Saturday, March 24, 2007

---A380, Yellowstone, Alaskan Tech Support Blues, and Other Stories 

Ezra 9
3When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.
FOXNews.com [AP]- Double-Decker Superjumbo Airliner Makes First Trans-Atlantic Flight
The Airbus A380, now the largest passenger aircraft in the world, made its trans-Atlantic debut, landing in New York. A real achievement would be to convince a struggling air transportation industry to make the considerable investment required to upgrade to the double-deck 550-passenger planes from an equally troubled manufacturer.

LiveScience.com - Surprising Activity Discovered at Yellowstone Supervolcano
As if it weren’t surprising enough that almost all of Yellowstone National Park IS a volcano, the monstrous caldera has been doing strange things lately. The floor of the supervolano’s caldera has been rising and falling noticeably over the last twenty years, but the central portion rose an “unprecedented” 7 inches between 2004 and 2006. Moreover, the nearby Teton range, contrary to scientific expectations, is sinking. Geologists keep saying that a super-eruption---which could be a global catastrophe, and would likely cripple civilization in North America---is unlikely any time soon. Since no human has ever been present for one that we know of, this all seems like guessing to me.

Prison's deadliest inmate, hepatitis C, escaping - Infectious Diseases - MSNBC.com[AP]
First of all, this story is from the Associated Press. If we assume, however, that the account is even superficially based on legitimate facts in evidence, this situation is shocking beyond belief.
“by some estimates, around 40 percent of the 2.2 million in jail and prison are infected [with hepatitis C], compared with just 2 percent of the general population.”
Even beyond the unfashionably moral implications of people refused testing and treatment for a life-threatening condition because it costs too much and is politically unpopular, the consequences of this failure are potentially staggering. As inmates are released from this ideal breeding ground into the general population, there is a real ongoing possibility of a deadly epidemic of this often incurable disease.

FOXNews.com [AP]- Computer Tech Accidentally Erases Info on Alaska's $38 Billion Oil Fund
“While reformatting the disk drive during a routine maintenance check, the technician mistakenly reformatted the backup drive as well and, suddenly, all the data disappeared. A third line of defense — backup tapes that are updated nightly — were unreadable.”
Yes, anybody who has spent any time with a computer has had these little lapses, but this one is probably a record-breaker. The Alaska Department of Revenue had to go back to 300 cardboard boxes containing 800,000 original documents to clean this one up. Admittedly, it does little good to ask why so much critical information was entrusted to two hard drives and some obviously defective tapes (all of which could have been readily housed in one rusty old PC), or a technician who evidently didn’t know what he was doing. The lesson has supposedly been learned, and “a proven and regularly tested backup and restore procedure” is in place, along with a price tag of about $200,000 in expenses.

The top 10 funniest tech videos on YouTube
And speaking of hilarious situations caused by computers and their technicians, here is a collection of spoofs on computer tech support from those wacky guys at ComputerWorld.com. The first three are especially poignant, or whatever. The skit from Conan O’Brien---“Andy Blitz...Visit to Indian Call Center” was almost more than I could stand unsedated....

The Museum of Lost Interaction... Exhibits
A multiplayer game based on a network of telephone booths in 1900, a multitrack music recorder (using four wax cylinders) in 1918, a music download service from 1920, a mobile wireless communicator (using Morse code) from 1932, and other technical breakthroughs that were far ahead of their times. This museum has reconstructed these astonishing communications devices in a series of exhibits, available online.

My Way News - Mormon Church Objects to Angel T-Shirt
Okay, let me get this straight---Joseph Smith worked out this whole Mormon religion thing after talking to a being named “Moroni”?! Shouldn’t this have been a clue or something?


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