The Big Think

October 8, 2012

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 8:39 pm

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Steve Jobs

Time Capsule

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 7:13 pm

When the EchoStar XVI television satellite lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome later this year, it will be carrying a message to the future designed to last billions of years. As it swings in geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometers (22,236 mi) above our planet, it will have a gold-plated silicon disc bolted to it, nano-etched with 100 black-and-white images depicting life on Earth.

The disc is the culmination of the Last Pictures project by Trevor Paglen, artist in residence at MIT, and is funded by the non-profit Creative Time organization. The disc is the work of researchers at MIT and Carleton College, and is designed to last indefinitely in outer space without breaking down. By placing it in on a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, the disc might, barring intervention, remain in orbit until the earth is destroyed.

The Last Pictures project sending gold-plated time capsule into orbit

First Sale

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 3:41 pm

The right of First Sale might be lost. This is huge news.

Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda this fall is a little-known case that could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmother’s antique furniture to your iPhone 4.

At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture, as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products…

That’s being challenged now for products that are made abroad, and if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling, it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it.

more here.

Spending

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 8:36 am

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“It has been true in the U.S., for a long time, that most voters want to cut government spending, yet spending inexorably rises. It turns out that this is more or less a universal phenomenon: government spending increases irrespective of voters’ desire that it do so. Why this is true is a large topic, but it seems that at least part of the answer is that the New Class that has sprung up across the modern world is still firmly in the saddle and is exploiting the rest of us at an ever-increasing rate.”

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