there is a time for walking and a time for limping…


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The boys and I talked about the moon landing yesterday while on a walk. I love my sons but they are children of the new world. When I told them that the walk took place at 2 in the morning they said “why didn’t you DVR it?” I told them the DVR didn’t exist in 1969. They said “oh, couldn’t you have used a VCR?” I told them VCR’s didn’t exist until the mid 1970’s.

It wasn’t lack of information simply an inability to place a holder in your mind for “time before and time after.” They felt sorry for my father and I who had to stay up late to watch the moon walk. I told them it was one of the greatest memories of my life and that it was worth it. Then we talked about the concepts of recording versies watching live television. In the end it made me realize how far the world of entertainment has come in only 25 years.

I have 16 videos on my iPod classic.

Most of them are movies I watch on occasion (Creator, Patton) for various reasons. Others because I stopped buying DVD’s other than really cool movies about two years ago (when we got to nearly 1000 DVD’s we thought it was time to slow down). I also find that as I take an increasing number of digital still pictures I am taking less and less video. When Jackie and the boys were younger we ended up taking a lot more video than we do now. I guess the pain from the old days of transferring the video to the digital makes us forget the video camera now. I am sure someone will fix that someday.

Anyway – time to get rolling and go for a walk.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

another day, another chance to watch the Curiosity of and on Mars :-)


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It has often been the case that I am amazed by what NASA does. The current project landing a craft on the mars is simply amazing. If you think about robotic controls and the time lag sending a message to Mars has, it is truly amazing what they have built. Someday (and probably not to far in the future in fact) that technology will begin to benefit the rest of us.

I have over the years thought (and blogged) repeatedly about the value of NASA in terms of technology impact. To flip that conversation a little today I want to think about five technologies that impact me every day. Most of them are as expected but maybe some are a surprise. I suspect if you draw a line you will find the reality of NASA’s finger prints on most of the technologies but for today the focus is on the technologies that impact me.

  • Computing Technologies (Ipad, Laptop etc)
  • Cellular phone
  • Satellite radio
  • Satellite TV
  • Xbox 360

The last one mostly because I love to play Madden and other sporting games and that is the best console I’ve ever used, bar none. The other’s are things I’ve come to use/leverage over the years. The Cellular phone went from a brick that I carried in my bag (because it made my pants droop when connected to belt) to a device that is tiny, loaded with effective and useful applications and virtually every day changing the way I do what I do.

Interesting…


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I watched the movie J. Edgar last night. Well I watched the second half, I couldn’t finish it the night before so I stretched it over two nights. Dylan and I hung out and watched the movie. His impression of the movie was that overall the dogs (only shown in the final scene and mentioned in one other) should have been featured more in the movie. He is a bit of a snob about that kind of stuff.

Overall I liked the movie. Hoover was a moment of history from my childhood and it was nice to put all the piece together. The movie didn’t dive deeply into his sexuality which I was afraid it was going to do. Instead it focused on a man who believed in his heart of hearts that he was doing the right thing for the country he loved. In the end the film showed the gray lines that he frequently crossed and alluded to his personal papers which have long been a Washington myth.

An update on my previous review of the Logitech keyboard for the ipad (which is eerily similar to the new keyboard included with the surface computer from Microsoft). I had to charge it for the first time today. Well I left it on all day yesterday, and really need it to take notes today so I charged it. It wasn’t horribly discharged as it was fully charged in about 10 minutes. It is a great device for making my iPad even more useful.

time to get rolling.

 

.doc

Post birthday download bash


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Sometimes on the weekend I look back at my blogs and kind of wonder, what was I thinking. I realized that yesterday’s blog while fun and critical wishing my sons and father a happy birthday – the actual blog was shorter than my header.

I’ve picked up 12 new subscribers in the past week. It happens every once in awhile. There are over 200 people subscribed to my podcast via iTunes so while I am not saying anything important, it must be resonating with somebody. Or maybe people are listening and reading simply because they feel sorry for me, or are worried that I may come to their town or city and so they follow me on-line to make sure I stay far away from them.

I took the boys out for their birthday yesterday. We ended up eating Sushi and then heading over to the yogurt place for frozen yogurt. It was a lot of fun sitting and talking to them about their thoughts and perceptions. After all they are now fourteen, only four more years as children.

I dimly remember being 14. Actually I dimly remember the time before high school at this point. High School is a blur of good and bad memories. College to me was the time I really started to feel like I was moving in a direction.

The boys are downloading a star wars game on my cable modem today. I can kiss any access to the Internet good bye. The game is 27 gigs so I ended up connecting both of their computers directly to the cable modem so they could suck down the bits. Who makes an on-line game that is 27 gigs? Its supposed to be really cool, but still – that is a lot of disk space to leverage.

I can’t even think of a game I’ve placed that was larger than 4 gigs.

.doc

Is it today? Luck and games…


So, when you think about luck and most of us do…what do you think? I was playing a game the other day (Xbox) and felt like the game’s luck engine was heavily favoring the other team. I realized that I was winning, but on one drive ended up with 7 penalties. That seems like a lot.

Which made me think about luck. When you think about the mathematics behind luck its a balance of probability and possibility. The reality between them is luck. So building a luck engine into a video game isn’t easy.

It is however also a weighting process. You have to make sure that the game remains enjoyable for both players – so luck has to be favored towards the weaker player to create a level playing field.

In life it doesn’t work that way. There is a great quote “you make your own luck.” We have a belief that skill outweighs luck every time. My video game experience plays that out well – I had the better team and a better play calling (random) then the computer therefore I won. The game weighted my ability and gave me more penalties. It felt like the game was cheating but it was just the luck engine balancing the experience.

Its an interesting issue/problem.

.doc

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