Category Archives: Technology and Society

That’s Moving

I mentioned how impressed I was with the speed of the Eurostar train from London to Brussells. I was guessing that we were going a hundred fifty mph or so. Apparently, that wasn’t too far off, but it’s going to go even faster later this year:

Beforehand, it took nearly three hours to make the crossing, and now it will take two hours, 35 minutes. Further upgrades scheduled to be completed in 2007 will knock another 15 minutes off. The trains will finally travel at their top speed of 186 miles per hour, according to Eurostar.

Sure wouldn’t want to hit a cow at those speeds. At the least, it would be instant hamburger. A system like that would be a huge hit for LA-Vegas, if they could resolve the political and financial issues.

That’s Moving

I mentioned how impressed I was with the speed of the Eurostar train from London to Brussells. I was guessing that we were going a hundred fifty mph or so. Apparently, that wasn’t too far off, but it’s going to go even faster later this year:

Beforehand, it took nearly three hours to make the crossing, and now it will take two hours, 35 minutes. Further upgrades scheduled to be completed in 2007 will knock another 15 minutes off. The trains will finally travel at their top speed of 186 miles per hour, according to Eurostar.

Sure wouldn’t want to hit a cow at those speeds. At the least, it would be instant hamburger. A system like that would be a huge hit for LA-Vegas, if they could resolve the political and financial issues.

That’s Moving

I mentioned how impressed I was with the speed of the Eurostar train from London to Brussells. I was guessing that we were going a hundred fifty mph or so. Apparently, that wasn’t too far off, but it’s going to go even faster later this year:

Beforehand, it took nearly three hours to make the crossing, and now it will take two hours, 35 minutes. Further upgrades scheduled to be completed in 2007 will knock another 15 minutes off. The trains will finally travel at their top speed of 186 miles per hour, according to Eurostar.

Sure wouldn’t want to hit a cow at those speeds. At the least, it would be instant hamburger. A system like that would be a huge hit for LA-Vegas, if they could resolve the political and financial issues.

Fighting Fakes

Alan Boyle has a post on the current state of the art in detecting fauxtography. As the researcher notes, this will always be an arms race. With molecular manufacturing, it’s going to become possible to create copies of art that is indistinguishable from the original. I also think that it will mean an end to cash, because it won’t be possible to create uncounterfeitable currency.

Ummmmmm…..

Mystery Meat.

One technical challenge: Muscle tissue that has never been flexed is a gooey mass, unlike the grained texture of meat from an animal that once lived. The solution is to stretch the tissue mechanically, growing cells on a scaffold that expands and contracts. This would allow factories to tone the flaccid flesh with a controlled workout.

Tell Us How You Really Feel

I’m not sure–it’s kind of subtle, but I think that this is a guy who really hates Macs:

I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don’t use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.

PCs are the ramshackle computers of the people. You can build your own from scratch, then customise it into oblivion. Sometimes you have to slap it to make it work properly, just like the Tardis (Doctor Who, incidentally, would definitely use a PC). PCs have charm; Macs ooze pretension. When I sit down to use a Mac, the first thing I think is, “I hate Macs”, and then I think, “Why has this rubbish aspirational ornament only got one mouse button?” Losing that second mouse button feels like losing a limb. If the ads were really honest, Webb would be standing there with one arm, struggling to open a packet of peanuts while Mitchell effortlessly tore his apart with both hands. But then, if the ads were really honest, Webb would be dressed in unbelievably po-faced avant-garde clothing with a gigantic glowing apple on his back. And instead of conducting a proper conversation, he would be repeatedly congratulating himself for looking so cool, and banging on about how he was going to use his new laptop to write a novel, without ever getting round to doing it, like a mediocre idiot.