Critical Section


Tuesday,  09/23/03  11:45 PM

SpaceX has a new update out...  This is one of my favorite companies to watch.  Their ultimate goal is to put people into orbit.  There's some interesting remarks in the update about the difference between sending people (or anything) "into space", and sending them into orbit; it takes about 25X more energy to put them in orbit.  Note this differentiates SpaceX from other companies which are merely trying to win the X-prize (put a person "into space").

The Ward Hunt ice pack, the largest ice shelf in the Arctic and a feature for 3,000 years, has broken up.  "Local warming of the climate is to blame, they said -- adding that they did not have the evidence needed to link the melting ice to the steady, planet-wide climate change known as global warming."  Hmmm...

Kevin Laws on Toppling Ticketmaster.  "Unfortunately, all the fall of the recording industry will accomplish is to deliver the industry to a player with even more power: Ticketmaster."  Naval Ravikant says it isn't quite that bad, because Ticketmaster ain't eBay.  "At Ebay, a large number of relatively undifferentiated sellers go to sell relatively commoditized, mostly physical products.  Ticket sales are at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum -- they are heavily branded and differentiated virtual products."  Great stuff.

WSJ announces Camera Phones Pass Milestone In Photo Market.  "For the first time, global sales of cellphones with built-in cameras surpassed sales of conventional digital cameras."  Wow, that's amazing.

And that's why Some Gyms Ban Cell Phones.

Students all have cell phones, PDAs, and laptops.  Which is great, except they are distracting (passing notes in class has nothing on text messaging) and encourage cheating (crib notes on the PDA, anyone?)  Yahoo reports Schools Set Rules on Classroom Gadgets.  Short of banning them completely - hard to enforce! - what can you really do?

Entry-point Tivos are now down to $199 (with rebate).  That's exciting.  Then you go to WeaKnees and upgrade!

Roku media playerRoku is a new company which makes an HTDV connection device for music and pictures stored on your PC.  Doesn't do movies - yet.  (Why not?)  [ via John Robb ]

Panasonic has a TV with an integrated DVD burner.  Okay, that's different.  How soon before we see TVs with integrated PVRs?  That has to be next, right?  I wouldn't be surprised or amazed.

Think VoIP isn't the Next Big Thing?  Well, check this out.  Dartmouth is making free VoIP available to all students in their dorms.  "The roll out of voice over Internet protocol is closely coupled with Dartmouth's recent decision to stop charging students, faculty and staff for long-distance phone calls.  The college made that decision when administrators discovered that the billing function was costing more than the calls themselves."  Okay, did you get that?  It is less expensive to give away VoIP than it is to bill for analog calling.  Wow.

Want to know how often you're Googled?  Glenn Fleishmann says it's easy, just buy Google AdWords for your name...

My $.02 on this - save your money and look in your referer logs.  That way you'll know how many times people have clicked through from Google, which is actually more interesting...

In other Google news, they've launched a beta of Search by Location.  You enter a search string and a location (address, zip code, city) and they deliver results in that area, along with a map.  Pretty cool!

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