Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Review: Glasshouse

Glasshouse by Charles Stross tells the story of Robin/Reeve in a world where intelligent beings have reached a point that traveling through space is as simple as sending packets across a router. You can live forever, but there are still hazards that could kill you or worse, steal your identity. Robin has recently gone through a procedure to remove large segments of his memory. This is a pretty common procedure for people. Robin believes he has specific horrible events that he needs to remove either from recent virus wars or some other traumatic feature. As part of his recovery, he has decided to enter an experiment that should help him find new focus and life. Instead he finds himself in a prison run by the things he is trying to forget.

I have found this sequel to Accelerando to be a good read. Mr. Stross has taken basic networking concepts and applied them to the life and movement of humans in the future. When you can take a backup of who you are now, you definitely would live your life differently. In addition, the problems you face are drastically different when you start learning of viruses and firewalls. He takes the idea of hacking to body types, memories, behavioral reward systems, and transport worm holes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Football season blues

Week 6. The point in the season that marks the last trades that can occur for the year. Their have been a couple big trades in the first 6 weeks. I am not sure if we will see one more as the deadline is Tuesday. A number of the analysts have put together their lists of players that could use a change in scenery or teams that should do what it takes to put talent in place to make a run at the playoffs. There is nothing the Lions can or should do. To many missing pieces and all they can trade is draft picks. And because of the needs, the draft picks are could be useful to the Lions, unless you can grab a real winner in a trade.

So the Lions lost today. They did get a win a few weeks ago so that I would buy my Lions hat. But this loss was particularly painful. They were shut out in a divisional contest and continue to allow opposing quarterbacks some franchise best days. Even with the porous Green Bay offensive line and the plethora of penalties, the Lions couldn't even score a point. I like the calls to not go for 3 and head for a touchdown. In the situations they were in, they correctly decided to try. Although I really question a sweep on one short yardage situation instead of running a dive or qb sneak.

I really like my football Sundays but I do have somethings that annoy me. First off, why are their still blackout rules? Not just economic reasons, you would think that it would help the NFL and the broadcasters to be able to run multiple games at the same time. Second, why is overtime they way it is? Why not just play 1 more quarter? Or do away with it, and deal with the tie. I have probably griped about these already, but they just continue to be an irritation along with rookie pay, collective bargaining agreements, and other issues that could risk alienating the market. If we see a lockout or strike next year, it would severely dampening my enthusiasm for the sport, and that has me most worried.