Posts

Showing posts from December, 2009

The Road Ahead

Image
I can't remember a time when I read so many books over Christmas. This year, it's a consequence of having my Amazon Kindle reader and as I've written here before, the results are quite remarkable in terms of easy and immediate access to works of both fact and fiction. Not one for holidays, the Christmas break is a time when a can enjoy a a good book without the world outside intruding too much on a temporary truce from the reach of email and the telephone. I can even turn my Blackberry off!

For many of us, each decade is one of those periods in our lives that we can most easily recall. In 1970, I was in my mid-teens, in 1980, I was starting a new career and in 1990, I recall that Microsoft's Windows was starting to make its presence felt over IBM's OS/2 Operating System. That technology, still very much in its infancy, would be inconceivable to the teenagers of today, where even the lowest-end iPod Touch carries 8Gb of memory and computing is heading towards a virt…

Scattered About

Image
Well, that's another Christmas Day, past. I've been out this morning and would personally like to express my personal 'thanks' to the occupants of the house which regularly dumps its household rubbish next to the council bin at the start of the St Mildred's Bay car park. I'm sure those responsible and I could read out the names from their Xmas present labels, will be delighted to know, that with help from the ever present and voracious seagulls, the remains of their Christmas dinner and gift wrappings, are now scattered as far down as the beach. Strangely enough, I see, even the gulls won't eat Brussel sprouts.

Further down in the recycling area, people either can't be bothered or are not strong enough to lift the cover on the skip and have dumped bags of wrapping paper and boxes next to it. Yesterday, I shoved a whole load of boxes and paper to the back which was blocking the opening. So what happens next, is when the wind picks up, all the paper will…

Re-booting the Economy

Image
I've embedded a conference presentation from TED.COM by Juan Enriquez that I recommend watching, as it delivers considerable insight into the problems facing the global economy and the technologies that may soon shape our future.

Although he refers to the US recession, much of what he says in terms of leverage and debt applies to our own economy, as closely linked as it is, to the uncertain fortunes of the mighty dollar and a globalised financial system.



Slightly Cloudy

Image
After almost two weeks away, I see the battery life on my Amazon Kindle reader still shows half charge and that's after wading through Dan Simmons' novel, Ilium, and having started the sequel Olympos as well. If you can imagine, Homer's 'Iliad', Shakespeare's 'Tempest' and some advanced quantum physics, all shaken vigorously together, then you've the basis for a rather imaginative novel of both the distant past and far future. The great thing about the Kindle device is that I can also load for free, the complete Iliad, Herodotus' travels in ancient Egypt and a great deal more besides and so in a very short period, it's completely changed my reading habits.
I can see a near future where devices like this one actually have liquid crystal pages as the technology now exists. So you buy perhaps a six-page device or twelve-page device to suit your budget and the first page is wirelessly synchronized with your email, several more display word or PDF…

Climbing Away

Image
I haven't blogged for almost a week and so I'll start this entry as my Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi, flings itself over the desert coast and climbs away towards Bahrain and London Heathrow, several hours away.
I can't praise the quality of service on this airline enough. I'm sitting in economy and yet Etihad is superior to business class in most other airlines, such as Iberia, that I flew with last week to Madrid. The digital entertainment system, all touch screen, is quite remarkable with enough to keep me busy for hours; I watched 'Ice Age 3' and 'District 9' on the way out and I plan to start today with 'Dillinger' once I settle down after typing this.
The flight attendants on this new Airbus look as if they've freshly arrived from a beauty pageant. I suspect that if they were suddenly exposed to the harsh winter light and charms of Cecil Square, they might wither away instantly; like delicate tropical flowers. On the way out to the emirate…