If you are looking for the epic motorcycle journey blog that I've written, please see the Miles By Motorcycle site I put together. 
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  • Endangered species: US programmers
    10/15/2004 4:22PM
    "Say goodbye to the American software programmer. Once the symbols of hope as the nation shifted from manufacturing to service jobs, programmers today are an endangered species. They face a challenge similar to that which shrank the ranks of steelworkers and autoworkers a quarter century ago: competition from foreigners."

    Article at news.com.

    News of our extinction may be premature. From my observations as a member of this class and simultaneously a business owner, it seems to me that foreign competition is only partly to blame.

    In capitalism, as is the case in the wild, adaptation is key to survival. If the value of what you are offering starts to drain out from under you, you move into new areas, or better yet you create new areas through innovation. The highest standard of living in the world demands a high level of innovation to sustain it.

    Unfortunately, instead of hiring engineers American business tends to hire lawyers. We saw this in the auto industry in the early 70's and we've been seeing it in the software industry over the last several years.

    While the rest of the world is building new things that will drive their economies and the world forward, the US software industry is being crushed by a broken patent system and misapplied laws such as the DMCA.

    When programmers are afraid to program, it's going to be very hard to compete, let alone lead.
  • Worldwide Report Says Amphibians Are in Peril
    10/15/2004 1:58PM
    "Amphibians are experiencing a precipitous decline across the globe, according to the first comprehensive world survey of the creatures, which include frogs, toads and salamanders. As many as 122 species have disappeared since 1980, and 1,900 are in danger of becoming extinct."

    Read the article at Washingtonpost.com.

    It seems there's been an exponential increase in doom lately; which is of course what one is afraid of. At some point a tipping point will be reached. Unfortunately it will be nearly impossible to tell when that moment arrives or if it already has.
  • Male Bass in Potomac Producing Eggs
    10/15/2004 1:00AM
    From Washingtonpost.com:

    "MOOREFIELD, W.Va. -- The South Branch of the Potomac River is as clear as bottled water here, where it rolls over a bed of smooth stones about 230 miles upstream from Washington. But there is a mystery beneath this glassy surface."

    Read the full article over at the post.

    I've been coming across stories like this from all over the world on google news and other places. This evening there was a story on the BBC about the problem with amphibians (i.e. they're deforming in droves).

    We are so doomed.
  • Zero-emission Power Plants Proposed
    10/14/2004 3:28PM
    An article over at Slashdot;

    "Supercompact, superfast, superpowerful turbines called ZEPPS (zero-emission power plants), designed to combat global warming, could help produce the electrical power needed to keep up with 21st century demand. They would consume methane and oxygen and produce liquid carbon dioxide, which could be sequestered underground. The current electricity grid would need to be replaced by a 'supergrid' across the USA, says Jesse H. Ausubel in The Industrial Physicist. Work on such a system should start as soon as possible, since CO2 levels leaped up 2 ppm in the past two years as global warming becomes more of a reality."
  • Study Links Mobile Phones, Benign Tumors
    10/14/2004 2:40PM
    From an article over at washingtonpost.com

    "STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A new Swedish study suggests that people who use a mobile phone for at least 10 years might increase their risk of developing a rare benign tumor along a nerve on the side of the head where they hold the phone."

    I don't know about you but using the modern cellphones gives me headaches so I stay away from them ... holding gigahertz radiation sources next to my head just makes no sense to me.