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Archive for November, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Razor

geek job #3: fixing Galactica and Pegasus’ computers

With all of the retro cool analog phone sets and other low-tech gear on Battlestar Galactica, FTL (faster than light) drive not withstanding I was beginning to get the impression that the whole thing ran on vacuum tubes, that maybe some EMP (electromagnetic pulse for you non-geeks) had fried all of the circuity that runs computers.Battlestar Galactica Razor

But, behold, Gina Six (Tricia Helfer) and Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen), as they work to replace (or in Gina’s case, hack) Pegasus’ network. It ain’t a rack of Cisco Catalyst routers, but it looks more than capable to connect those phones and keep bits flying through Pegasus.

As a security professional, I was shocked, nay, dismayed, when young Ms. Shaw gave her security code to the under-privileged Gina. And just because she was sleeping with Admiral Cain. Gives social hacking a bad name.

Rockets 07-08: Losing streak stopped at six

T-Mac came back from a strained elbow, but it took three games before the Rockets stopped their losing streak at six with a 109-81 shellacking of the Denver Nuggets. McGrady had 35, Yao had 22 and 13, Steve Francis had 10 and Battier had 12 boards. It was the Rockets largest margin of victory of the season, and the led large all the way.

A six-game losing streak in November with a somewhat re-tooled team is no cause for alarm. But the Rockets penchant for fading late with the lead is. They had the lead over Dallas on home late in the 4th quarter, and managed to lose 100-94 in McGrady’s first game back from injury. They were close to the Miami Heat on Friday, but managed to let Miami get their first home win 98-91.

The H-town boys need to learn to win the close ones. (more…)

Red Moon

bookrev: Red Moon by David S. Michaels and Daniel Brenton

Red MoonThe US-USSR space race re-imagined, with historical fiction combined with a near-future earth on the brink; a great read, not just for NASA fans or sci-fi fans, but all readers.

This book combines an in-depth knowledge of the Soviet Cosmonaut program and moon exploration in general with a plausible near future environmental/political forced need for a new fuel supply and an intertwined, well thought out face-paced read. One of the most enjoyable reads off my stack in quite some time.

I am linked to this book in many ways:

The plot revolves around two events spaced (pun intended) fifty years apart: (more…)

Rockets 07-08: T-Mac out, 4 Losses in a row

Did someone say “flashback”?

A win at Charlotte to start the week, then the loss of a winnable game at Memphis that starts the current four game skid, with Dallas coming up on Wednesday. After starting 6-1 and being ranked the top team in the league, the Rockets are now 6-5, staring .500 in the face.

T-Mac strains his elbow during the Lakers home game, and the hometown Rockets go on to lose that game, a road game at SA (where they played close until the stretch), and last night’s home game with Phoenix, where they looked like a team playing the last of 4 games in 5 nights without their leading scorer.

The good news? (1) Luis Scola, 20 points against both the Spurs and the Suns; (2) the motion offense finally got some motion; (3) McGrady will be back on the court for Wednesday’s home game with Dallas.

and (4) it’s only November.

2012 The Return of Quetalcoatl

bookrev: 2012 The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck

2012 The Return of QuetalcoatlA research paper and personal journal covering the possibility of a world consciousness and psyche evolution on-going, and building up to the near future.

Daniel Pinchbeck covers a lot of ground in this sometimes rambling, often revealing and occasionally genius work. “Personal consciousness evolution” is the phrase I’d use to describe both the glimpses into Pinchbeck’s own journey and his research of tying or attempting to tie many seemingly disparate cause/effects into a worldwide readiness and/or need for evolution of our joint psyche.

“In shamanic cultures, synchronicities are considered to be teachings as well as signs indicating where one should focus one’s attention. (more…)


great geek job #17: driving NASA Mars Rover

Since I might be slightly too old to be an astronaut (although the specs don’t rule me out for degree, corrected eyesight, height or resting blood pressure!), another cool job would be toNASA virtually be there.

PCWorld has a nice article interviewing one of the drivers of Spirit, one of the two NASA Mars rovers. No surprise that he is an IT guy and fellow geek, once again proving that geeks do rule not only this world, but Mars too!). Filled with interesting geek moments such as discussing flash drives filling up so that you can’t boot up the system and repairing them remotely. Hasn’t that happened to us all?

Houston Rockets 07-08: Mavs, Spurs and Dikembe dunkin’

The week started off in “flashback” fashion, as the Rockets went to Dallas, showed some promise, and then failed to close the deal. Just like in several games last year, most notably the playoffs, the opposing team executed better than the Rockets. With about 5 minutes left and the Mavs up a point, the Rockets started taking jump shots (missing 6 of 9) and turning the ball over twice. A 10-2 run by Dallas later and the Rockets had their first defeat, 107-98. They forgot their defense in some areas, letting Jason Terry (not the originally “Jet”, that was former Rocket Kenny Smith!) score 31 off the bench. (more…)

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

bookrev: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie WillisA self-correcting space-time continuum meets British sarcasm and pomposity, with a little love thrown in.

Winner of the Hugo award in 1997, Ms. Willis’ novel had been recommended to me from several different people for reasons of good science, humor and time travel. When it finally popped off the reading stack, I now know why it won and has gotten such rave reviews (to which I will enjoin mine own!).

The idea of a self-correcting space-time continuum, vs. the multiverse/multiworld or “time travel is impossible” theories is one that begs a lot of plot twists, which this novel takes full advantage of. (more…)

Houston Rockets '07-'08: 1st Weekend

Houston Rockets ’07-’08: 1st Weekend

wallpaperitstime_800600.jpgWhile everyone else in the American sports world was gearing up for Pats-Colts/Brady-Manning, most of us in Houston are gearing up for the early gauntlet the Rockets will run this second week of the season: Monday night at Dallas followed by Tuesday at home against the world champion Spurs.

The Rockets are 3-0 for the first time since the 96-97 season, a season shortly after their two back to back NBA championships in ’94 and ’95. I had season tickets for those seasons, and for every season that Hakeem Olajuwon was a Rocket. Not since Hakeem left, not during the Stevie Franchise years nor the first few Yao-McGrady years has their been a cause for optimism like there is this year. (more…)

Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

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Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo


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