Undetectable Technology

Science fiction author Karl Schroeder has an interesting answer to the Fermi Paradox, which asks why there is no evidence for extraterrestrial life given the high probability for its existence:

Basically, either advanced alien civilizations don't exist, or we can't see them because they are indistinguishable from natural systems. I vote for the latter.

For the interested news reader, the distinction between what's natural and what's artificial is already blurring in the fields of biology and chemistry. It is mind-boggling, though, that the most advanced technology might be undetectable because it appears to us as natural physical phenomena.

The Fab Four in the Innovation Economy

There was a time, not long ago, when you could sum up each company quite neatly: Apple made consumer electronics, Google ran a search engine, Amazon was a web store, and Facebook was a social network. How quaint that assessment seems today.

Farhad Manjoo continues to explain the current lay of the land in his piece The Great Tech War Of 2012, and gives a few hints at future developments. Excellent and detailed analysis of this exciting industry.

Living on the Edge

For some time my computer made clicking sounds and other—surprisingly loud—noises: signs of immanent hard drive failure.

I didn't act on it for far too long. Even with an excellent backup system in place, that feels like living on the edge. Yesterday I installed a new hard drive. Since I don't want to spend the money for a decent SSD, and the new hybrid drives don't work with disk encryption, I bought a regular 7200 RPM laptop hard disk.

The speed improvement is noticeable compared to my old 5400 RPM one.

The Retina Display

The iPhone 4's high-density "Retina Display" is truly amazing. It looks like a glossy high-quality print on the screen rather than a regular LCD.

I know that it's probably easier to invent something like this for a smaller device, but what really needs this kind of display is the iPad. Compared to the iPhone 4 (or the high-resolution MacBook Pros for that matter), the iPad's screen is terrible for reading.

Let's hope for a quick iPad update.