Wednesday, November 09, 2005

ABC News: Why Bill Gates Is Giving Away His Fortune

So this is why Bill Gates Is Giving Away His Fortune. I hope ABC doesn't move this link. It is an enlightening (if somewhat superficial) look at why Bill Gates put so much money toward charity. I read an article in Time (I think) a couple of years ago about Bill's charity. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was not a stingy rich man or an uninvolved philanthopist. He seems truly concerned about these issues and sees his fortune as a way to make a difference. He is also concerned about the effect of too much wealth on his children. Fascinating. I do not know much about him, but from what I have seen, I am, as I said before, pleasantly suprised.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

This is a bug (I assume some form of cicada, but that is just a guess) outside the house yesterday... nearly made me jump out of my skin when I almost put a hand on him!
Oh, and I forgot to add, the cicadas here, make even more noise than the ones at home! It is almost painful sometimes, and it is certainly irritating. Oh well, what can you do? They don't live forever.

Here is a picture of a marker at the tropic of capricorn. Took us one year, but we finally made the laborious 10-15km journey to see it. Also found a geocache nearby!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Slashdot | DARPA Awards $53 Million for Solar Power Research

DARPA Awards $53 Million for Solar Power Research. This article isn't half as interesting as the comments about it. The police are going on a stakeout. That isn't a headline. Police captured Bin Laden Running a Hotdog Stand in Central Park. That is a headline. Anyway enough about that. The discussions that followed were a good read. I am still intrigued by the idea of living off the grid (power that is) and maintaining a reasonable degree of self sufficiency through farming. The ideas of what kind of solar cell would be most useful and ideas about DC vs AC and gas vs. elec and batteries, flywheels, and windmills. The topic is huge. I anticipate some great advances being made. Maybe even with DARPA's money. Stranger things have happened.

Netflix settles lawsuit

Users gain as Netflix settles lawsuit. I saw this (also seen here) and had to wonder once again at the problems with our court system. Evidently (and yes I am making an assumption here), this guy sued Netflix b/c in his eyes they failed to provide him unlimited movies with one day turn around.
Now if they said they could give a one day turn around, I didn't see it. But, even so, you gotta have a little common sense here. They are selling a product. Am I the only person who would look at an ad like that and think to myself "One day? Yeah right. Maybe if I lived across the street from the disto center and was personal friends with Bob the delivery guy". Besides, don't people realize that if they like netflix, which I assume they do if they remained a member all this time, that to take this is going to possibly hurt the company that gave them this service in the first place? I did notice, as /. pointed out, that the service does not stop after the first free month. So anyone who takes this has to stop it or start paying for upgraded service. I can't imagine that slipping by the judge unoticed. Hmmm, that may restore some of my faith in the court system right there.