CNet has a nice Year in Review (of tech). My favorite: Technology Overturns Five Major Businesses (life sciences, finance, health care, security, and entertainment).
Well, it looks like the little Beagle is in trouble; CNN reports No News is Bad News from Mars, and the Beagle 2 website notes: "The fate of Beagle 2 remains uncertain this morning after the giant radio telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, UK, failed in its first attempt to detect any signal from the spacecraft." Landing on Mars remains tough; out of nine known missions only three have succeeded. (I say "known" because it is rumored Russia made several more unsuccessful attempts during the early 70s.)
WorldChanging notes The Greenest Building in the World. "Two 45-foot wind towers and screen walls provide air pre-cooled by 10 degrees to the air-conditioning system, thereby reducing the amount of energy required for cooling. The core structure also has photovoltaic panels built into it to generate solar energy that takes care of 20% of the building’s annual energy requirements. Thanks to its circular design, fewer materials were used in the building’s construction." Very cool. [ via Ottmar Liebert ]
Think the U.S. civil tort system isn't out of control? Then check this out; 2-year old model seeks lost wages. Absolutely pathetic. Yeah, and people over 30 should be dead.
Remember the Island Chronicles? Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair moved from Los Angeles to the South Pacific, bringing their two young daughters with them. Mark just posted Happy Holidays:
On January 1, 2003, Carla and I decided we would sell our house and move with our two daughters to the South Pacific.
Five months later, we were on a plane bound for Rarotonga. It was wonderful (no stress, living in a house next to the ocean and walking barefoot everywhere) and awful (the baby got antibiotic-resistant pneumonia and the hospital sucked, lice, tropical sores, ceaseless weeks of rain).
Four and a half months after that, we were back in Los Angeles.
Now we're in our new house, surrounded by boxes, and I feel like I haven't been anywhere or done anything. Rarotonga, Aitutaki, New Zealand, and Australia seem like a daydream I had while shuffling around these boxes.
Wow. And I thought I had an eventful year!
Here's a useful page: links to every Newspaper website in the U.S. and the world. Amazing and impressive! [ via Doc Searles ]
Microsoft has announced a creative solution to the problem of spam: "For any piece of e-mail I send, it will take a small amount computing power of about 10 to 20 seconds. When you see that proof, you treat that message with more priority." The idea is that it imposes a cost on the sender, but instead of money, you pay with computer time. This is quite clever; I sure hope it catches on... [ via Dave Winer ]
This is just so I can find it later (if you're not a geek, please ignore this): in order to make useable CDs from the ISO files on the MSDN distribution DVD, they must be burned in "disk at once" mode.
While I'm nerding out, here's a great step-by-step description of how to install Linux on a PowerBook (alongside OS X). [ thanks, Ottmar! ]
Okay, back to real life.