First off, Michael Schumacher's condition has improved slightly which is welcome good news. As one of his F1 compatriots noted, there is no one more fit to come back from an injury like this than Schumacher. While he was a driver, his rest heart rate was 36 beats per minute. What's more amazing is that he could hit is rest heart rate in under two minutes after leaving the cockpit where pulse rates regularly top 180 bpm. He is an incredible athlete with an iron will; let's hope that's enough for him to make a full recovery.
Like most, I was somewhat perplexed to learn that Schumacher was wearing a helmet and yet sustained such a serious injury. Sadly--and as per usual--only the NY Times made the effort to write a halfway decent article explaining that brain injuries have increased at almost the same rate as helmet use. Incredible, right? It turns out that helmets aren't particularly effective at abating hard impacts, and in many cases give wearers a false sense of security. The glorification of extreme sports has led people--predominantly men from their teens to mid 30's--to increase risk taking and consequently get injured and killed more often despite helmet use approaching 70% in many resorts.
Technology has a long way to go before it can compensate for human nature.
I'm still bummed about the Silva fight. But after seeing this video, I'm not sure it didn't turn out exactly the way Anderson wanted it. Anyway, the rematch is Dec 28th and I'm a sucker so I will be watching it for sure.
After denials, equivocations, delaying tactics, and general lameness, Google finally admitted that their maps project violated the privacy of private citizens when drive-by cars "casually scooped up passwords, e-mail and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users." Privacy is not a lost cause. Customers, make demands of your service providers.
David Ranta was finally freed from his prison term for a crime he didn't commit. He had a heart attack within days of his release. Let's hope he survives and find some semblance of a life outside of prison, and that someone is held accountable for this miscarriage of justice.
Quantum computing feels a lot like cold fusion of the 1980's--promising, but forever beyond reach. Maybe that's about to change? I'll wait to see the results, thanks.
I read some interesting history on Leland Stanford and some egalitarian ideas he had late in his life (after the death of his 16-year-old son). I find it so interesting that the most ruthless captains of industry often find compassion so late in life, and often after some personal tragedy. The parallel between conservative fathers changing their thoughts on gay marriage only after one of their own children is counted amongst the discriminated should not be lost on us.
I've been thinking a lot about personal data backup, lately. I'm using Bitcasa and CrashPlan, and ran across a very cool article show how to run CrashPlan on Synology hardware. Going to be implementing this later in 2013.
I have absolutely no love for Monster, but the story of how the Beats empire basically hosed them completely makes me have enmity for the entire industry. I wish people actually understood how to make great audio devices, and consumers new how to pick them. Beats is jewelry. Cool, very slick, very clever jewelry.
As a father, I find the competition to get kids into the best-best-best school program exhausting, and I'm not even doing it yet. Articles about child prep classes for four-year-olds is insane. My god. Where will our childhoods go?
I think it's odd how prevalent camera lenses are, and yet how mysterious their manufacturing is (and even more so their design). I'll post some design stuff in the future, but this Discovery Channel video on how lenses are made is fascinating, if a little light on details:
I've been bitching for a while about high frequency trading. Too much responsiveness in a market makes it unstable, and HFT does nothing to benefit the companies for which the capital market was originally created. Glad to see the topic is getting some press. Let's hope some regulation of this practice happens before the next market gyration does even more damage.