Archive for: December, 2007

EVE Online sticks their foot in it bigtime with system upgrade

Dec 06 2007 Published by under Online Gaming

Linden Lab often takes a lot of heat in the comment thread on their blog posts. Yes, both the client and the server are not at a level of stability where we want them to be. There have been painful times when a server deploy introduced a problem that made the server a lot less stable. (That blog post describes what was a very long Friday for me and a few other people....)

I think that EVE Online has really managed to take the cake, though, by rolling out a new client version that deletes a crucial boot file on Windows such that if you installed the update before the problem was found, you would not be able to boot your computer at all after that.

I think the only word that truly captures that is "oops".

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Dinosaur soft tissue preserved!

Dec 03 2007 Published by under Science

This is like the coolest thing ever. It's a dinosaur that had been (somehow) naturally mummified... preserving soft tissue in addition to bones. We have all these fossilized dinosaur skeletons, but the other stuff we hang on them in our drawings and speculations are based on some combination of general biological principles and fancy (and, I don't doubt, deduction from indirect clues in the bones). But here we've got a bit of a dinosaur where some of the rest of it was preserved!

Cue "Jurassic Park" theme music.

When I was a kid, until about age 8 or 9, I was going to be a paleontologist. I mean, lots of kids are dinosaur freaks, but I was a dinosaur freak. I was known for it at school. Somewhere starting around age 9 I started to really get into space, though.... Not totally out of that phase. (The computer phase started at about age 11 or 12, and I'm not out of that one either.)

(Hat tip: BoingBoing.)

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Welcome to my blog - there's lots of room, so come right in

Dec 01 2007 Published by under About the Blog, Personal Updates

I know, I've said that sort of thing before. I'm not a new blogger... until a couple of months ago, I was writing Galactic Interactions, a science blog that (like so many other blogs) was about everything under the Sun, but which tended to focus vaguely in the direction of astronomy.

Lots of things have changed in my life since then. I'm no longer in academia. I'm no longer an active physics & astronomy researcher or teacher. I'm now a computer engineer, working for Linden Lab, the company that has created and runs the virtual online 3D world known as Second Life. For a while, I tried to keep writing Galactic Interactions, but I was finding it difficult on a few fronts. First, I was quite busy learning my new job (my new career!). Second, I really am somewhat bitter about having had to leave physics & astronomy, and it was a bit of a bitter reminder. Most importantly, though, I was finding that I felt the need, the responsibility to post something about astronomy regularly (each week?) to Galactic Interactions, and it was starting to feel more like a burden. I wasn't naturally running into random astronomy news tidbits as much as I had been, so the spark of "oh I must post about this!" wasn't coming so naturally. What's more, there are always nasty comments out there from people who know everything, and the personal attacks in the comments were making me feel like it just wasn't worth being out there saying my say— even though they were rare in comparison to what quite a number of other bloggers at, say,


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