Just Thinking

Here you’ll find some of my thoughts and opinions on various subjects that cross my mind.

  • Reminiscent of “Futureworld” June 18, 2017
    Scientists are just at the beginning of reading images from minds — in this case, from monkey’s minds. In the movie “Futureworld” — sequel to the ...
  • Fighting Gorn in his 80’s June 9, 2017
    A few years ago, in an ad for a new “Star Trek” game, William Shatner was seen in his living room fighting the Gorn — ...
  • Bark or Woof? June 9, 2017
    New Scientists discusses robot dog sounds this week.  They say that sound, especially tuned to the size of the object, is an important element of ...
  • UI can cost your company money June 2, 2017
    According to The Washington Post, The Federal Trade Commission announced recently that parents whose children made Amazon purchases on mobile apps without their permission can ...
  • 1989 Defender of the Crown CD-ROM June 2, 2017
    Back when I was working at Cinemaware in the late 1980’s, I was given the task of adding CD quality audio to “Defender of the ...
  • Robots and humans on the job May 26, 2017
    Want to understand how employees relate to robots in an industrial environment?  Perhaps a study in South Korea would be appropriate.  South Korea has the ...
  • Captain? May 20, 2017
    We already have Siri, Cortana, and Alexa — as well as Google Assistant, which doesn’t seem to be a name at all.  But Yahoo has ...
  • Why does “Star Trek: Discovery” look like “Star Wars”? May 20, 2017
    The “Star Trek” movies in recent years have had spectacular effects, and some have been enjoyable films.  But they mostly benefit from characters that already ...
  • Keyboard lock up after sleep on Windows 10? May 12, 2017
    I’m not sure if this is due to the latest version of Windows 10 or not, but it started happening after the last update I ...
  • Traffic flow and robot vehicles May 12, 2017
    Anyone who drives has faced a traffic jam where they have to ask themselves, “why is the traffic backed up?”  Often, it isn’t obvious at ...
  • First human head transplant? May 5, 2017
    The Scientist reports that “Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero announced that the world’s first human head transplant…will take place in China sometime within the next 10 ...
  • Chief Robotics Officer (CRO) April 14, 2017
    Computerworld senior writer Sharon Gaudin recently suggested that companies are going to need a Chief Robotics Officer (CRO), responsible for the company’s robotics strategy. While I ...
  • Robots aren’t just winning at Go and Chess April 7, 2017
    In the New York Times recently writer Claire Cain Miller presents a thought-provoking summary of “Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs“. This ...
  • SpaceX Booster Reused! March 30, 2017
    SpaceX today achieved the first successful re-launch (reuse) of a booster rocket!  This may lead to savings of millions of dollars per launch. We live over 100 ...
  • I’ve been to China March 17, 2017
    I enjoy many forms of creative expression, including writing, blogging, and game design.  No matter which I’m working on at the time, or thinking about, ...
  • My original “Star Trek” series top 20 list February 6, 2017
    I know there are many original “Star Trek” series top episodes lists, but I thought I would add my opinion to the mix.  Over the ...
  • AI and bluffing January 30, 2017
    I’ve recently been following the progress of computer AI in playing poker.  One area of interest is that the AI responds to bluffing.  Bluffing is a major ...
  • AI rights for robots? January 13, 2017
    At what point do political scientists and others need to consider the future of robot or AI voting rights?  In the New Scientist, Zoltan Istvan takes ...
  • Determine folder of Outlook message in search results January 12, 2017
    First, Happy New Year 2017! I was pleased in 2016 to get many kind messages from fans and visitors to my blog who were interested in Outlook ...
  • Do coding skills = foreign language skills? December 23, 2016
    On December 5, 2016, FloridaPolitics.com cited that “Florida lawmakers could once again consider whether computer coding classes should be counted as a foreign language credit.  ...
  • The social impacts of robots December 16, 2016
    When I attended UC Irvine and studied computer science, one of the most influential courses I took was “Social Impacts of Computers”. To this day, I ...
  • Sci-fi and Golden Globes 2017 December 12, 2016
    I love to write science fiction, in part because I love to read and watch science fiction.  So I’m always excited to see sci-fi related ...
  • Network devices not showing in File Explorer December 9, 2016
    Normally, when you have Network Discovery turned on and then click on the Network folder in File Explorer in Windows 10, you will see devices and ...
  • Face augmented reality December 9, 2016
    With augmented reality — think Pokémon Go or Microsoft HoloLens — possibly taking off in 2017-2018, I thought I’d spend a moment pondering the ramifications. First, ...
  • Microsoft Edge tab previews December 3, 2016
    I’ve been using Microsoft Edge quite a bit since extensions were added this year.  Mostly I find it fast and simple, a nice browser.  But ...
  • Microsurgeon interview in Retrogamer issue 163 — January 2017 November 11, 2016
    “Microsurgeon” (Imagic 1982 and 1983) is the first, or one of the first, video games related to healthcare.  It’s been mentioned in numerous magazines, featured ...
  • Robots like to play games too November 11, 2016
    For years, we’ve read about chess, checkers, and more recently GO and Jeopardy, played by computers with artificial intelligence.  The new trend seems to be ...
  • Ambient Computing November 4, 2016
    Desktop computing gave way to laptops — though some analysts have recently wondered if desktops are making a comeback with attractive options like Microsoft’s new ...
  • Accidentally dismissed Microsoft Edge tab October 28, 2016
    Sometimes I’m in a hurry, and if I click once too many times on the browser tab to close it, I’ll close the one next ...
  • Outlook 2016 disconnected and related issues September 26, 2016
    Over the last several days I have noticed issues with sending, and sometimes receiving, emails from Outlook 2016.  Often, Outlook 2016 would report that it ...
  • Robot arrest September 24, 2016
    No, I don’t mean a robot arresting someone.  Back in 2010 there was a report of a UAV being credited with making an arrest. A robot ...
  • Sci-fi TV: Westworld, Timeless, “Star Trek: Discovery” September 14, 2016
    With the new television season approaching, I thought I would add a quick comment about some new sci-fi shows that interest me.  I don’t have ...
  • Do we time travel in our thoughts? August 25, 2016
    Like probably many of you, I’ve been on vacation recently.  I visited several places in the West that made me think about time travel. If you ...
  • Is predicting the next president like BattleBots? July 29, 2016
    In my last blog entry I suggested that BattleBots, a show that features robots battling in a ring, can be humorous — largely because we ...
  • Appliv and mobile app discovery July 8, 2016
    As a sci-fi writer and Indie app developer, I know how difficult it is to get e-books and apps noticed on publisher e-shelves. Appliv recently contacted ...
  • Family Tree Solitaire for cribbage? June 24, 2016
    My version 1.0 of Family Tree Solitaire uses poker rules for scoring family hands.  But there is no reason why I couldn’t use other card ...
  • NeuroQuantology and space exploration June 24, 2016
    NeuroQuantology is an interdisciplinary journal of neuroscience and quantum physics.  Physicist Roger Penrose’s theory about quantum consciousness is probably the largest reason for the existence of ...
  • What did 1 microbe think of the other (10^12)-1? June 3, 2016
    New research on microbial diversity shows that there may be as many as 10^12 — a trillion — microbial species on Earth. In the last few years, ...
  • Is Family Tree Solitaire a good test for Presidential candidates? May 28, 2016
    I know what you’re thinking.  What a silly question.  After all, my new game Family Tree Solitaire is only currently played — so far — ...
  • Can artistic style be cloned? May 20, 2016
    Of course.  Art forgery, according to Wikipedia, goes back more than 2,000 years.  Students learned from the masters by copying their works.  But what about ...
  • My spotlight video interview with UC Irvine April 13, 2016
    When I was recently at UC Irvine, my alma mater, I also gave an interview regarding my career since graduating with a computer science degree.  ...
  • Not all AI is having success April 1, 2016
    AlphaGo’s AI recently had a huge success in beating a world expert opponent in several games of Go.  The main programmer of AlphaGo is now researching ...
  • Women in game design and development March 11, 2016
    This week featured International Women’s Day 2016.  Many women have been inventors, yet — as the Microsoft video below shows — many young girls do not ...
  • Paging Dr. Levine March 11, 2016
    Almost 35 years ago now, I designed and developed “Microsurgeon” (1982 Imagic) for Intellivision.  I wanted game players to experience having to make difficult choices ...
  • Career Simulators March 7, 2016
    Mark Lautenschlager for “Into Tomorrow” wrote a piece entitled “Pondering the Existence of Career Simulators.” While I enjoyed the article’s light tone in regards to the ...
  • My trip to UC Irvine February 29, 2016
    UC Irvine in California is a great school (take a look at the terrific ratings). That’s why I’m both honored and humbled to receive the Hall of Fame ...
  • What’s a mycobiome? February 10, 2016
    A couple of years ago I wrote about our microbiome — microbial communities in and on our bodies — and since then much more has been ...
  • Popular scientists January 22, 2016
    Seems like every generation has its “cool” scientist.  Einstein was a popular scientist.  Before we had television personalities, when people thought of a genius, they thought ...
  • New in AI January 18, 2016
    MIT Technology Review recently wrote about “This AI Algorithm Learns Simple Tasks as Fast as We Do.”  If the algorithm — Human-level concept learning through ...
  • Interconnected brains December 18, 2015
    When I wrote “Agent Lenore” several years ago, I was thinking about the growing freelance marketplace for software engineers and others.  As a science fiction ...
  • Golden Globes insult science fiction writers December 11, 2015
    Yes, I think it is an insult to science fiction writers to nominate “The Martian” in the category of Best Musical or Comedy.  While some science ...
  • “It Came From the Desert” meets next gen game engines December 10, 2015
    On YouTube gaming, the post “Top 5 Best Next Gen Game Engines of The Future” by EETech  (see video below) presents some nice looking demonstrations of ...
  • Modifying genetics epigenetically December 6, 2015
    Epigenetic changes can change gene expression, effectively acting like a genetics modification.  Scientists have had meetings recently to discuss the ethics, dangers, and future of ...
  • Good aliens or bad aliens? November 24, 2015
    “Childhood’s End”, based on one of Arthur C. Clarke’s best novels, is coming to the SYFY television network on December 14, 2015.  But are the visitors good aliens or ...
  • Trip to India, Singapore, and Cambodia November 2, 2015
    I recently returned from an amazing journey to India, Singapore, and Cambodia.  Besides the fact that these are fascinating countries to visit, they are also ...
  • Genealogy – predicting what ancestors looked like September 24, 2015
    Buried in an article about “A genomic entrepreneur plans to sell genetic workups for as little as $250” is perhaps an even more striking claim ...
  • Time travel can be confusing September 10, 2015
    The time travel television series “Continuum” starts its final season — just 6 episodes — on the SYFY channel (Friday, September 11, 2015.  Those of ...
  • Solarpunk September 4, 2015
    There’s Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Decopunk, Atompunk, Biopunk, Nanopunk, and Dreampunk.  Do you even know what all of these are about?  I admit, that I couldn’t ...
  • Robot passports August 28, 2015
    MIT Technology Review recently reported on the need for “License Plates for Drones.”  The concept involves colored blinking lights which would help someone identify the drone ...
  • Is Lucy dead on Extant? August 21, 2015
    Lucy is a humanoid robot (Humanics) soldier on the television series Extant.  I found it interesting that the programmers/developers of her mind thought it would not be ...
  • Quantum Biology August 21, 2015
    The term Quantum Biology was coined over 60 years ago, but only recently has it gained momentum.  I believe quantum biology science has the potential to ...
  • JAXA launches KOUNOTORI towards International Space Station August 19, 2015
    So many places on Earth to see a space launch nowadays. This morning I watched on NASA TV as JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) launched ...
  • The Maritimes and vicinity – Wow! August 14, 2015
    I just got back from a vacation in The Maritime provinces of Canada, as well as Quebec, Maine, and a few neighboring states.  I highly ...
  • With earthquakes, warning time makes a difference July 16, 2015
    Wired magazine recently published an article entitled “A New Earthquake Early Warning System For Mexico City.”  In theory, residents could have up to 60 to ...
  • Science is difficult July 1, 2015
    Recently, the famous little Philae comet lander re-made contact with satellite Rosetta.  After Philae landed and lost power, likely due to being in shade, it was ...
  • Is it possible that the future affects the past? June 19, 2015
    Second Nexus reports that recent physics experiments would seem to indicate that the future affects the past.  If so, that would be a form of ...
  • I backed LightSail on Kickstarter June 16, 2015
    The Planetary Society’s LightSail test was a success, so I’m excited about next year’s attempt to launch LightSail and sail it!  They’re Kickstarter project asked ...
  • LightSail Test Success June 9, 2015
    The Planetary Society blog declared the LightSail test mission a success as of today, June 9, 2015.  Above you can see an image of the ...
  • LightSail deployed! June 7, 2015
    The Planetary Society’s Mission Control website exudes excitement as the LightSail test flight successfully deployed the sail.  It’s only a matter of time before the ...
  • Lightsail May 20, 2015
    The Planetary Society’s Lightsail-A test launched successfully today from Cape Canaveral.  As of this afternoon, it appears that they have heard back from the craft.  If all continues ...
  • Self-driving 18-Wheelers still need drivers May 8, 2015
    The Huffington Post blogs about the new self-driving 18 Wheeler trucks being tested by German manufacturer Daimler in Nevada.  But they will still require a driver, ...
  • How much is a Myr? May 2, 2015
    If you ever run across the term Myr, it may be because you are reading an article about astronomy.  One Myr is one million years. Michael ...
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell coming to BBC America April 17, 2015
    I read the book, “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell“.  While I really liked the idea, and the plot as written has merit, I generally agree ...
  • I was a video game developer, a real job April 10, 2015
    A story appeared recently in TechCrunch entitled: “Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated“.  I couldn’t agree more! If ...
  • NASA smiley faces April 10, 2015
    The Hubble Space Telescope found a smiley face in space.  I think that’s wonderful. Too often nowadays, space movies or stories depict space as a dangerous ...
  • More X-files? April 6, 2015
    The Hollywood Reporter (and many other websites) say that the X-Files is “coming back as a six-part limited series.”  I really enjoyed the “X-Files” series and ...
  • Rope and ride a star March 19, 2015
    As many of you already know, Leonard Nimoy died recently.  He is probably best known for his role of Spock on “Star Trek”. I loved watching the ...
  • Where do you want to go today? March 13, 2015
    You might remember that in 1994-1995, “Where do you want to go today?” was a big ad campaign for Microsoft.  I started working for Microsoft ...
  • Intellivision “Truckin'” in a History of Racing Games March 6, 2015
    Lance Carter’s “History of Racing Games” is an online collection of files and blog entries about racing games from the 1940’s to the present.  I am ...
  • LightSail March 6, 2015
    The Planetary Society — I’m a member — has planned a LightSail mission.  It will essentially sail in space from the photons from the light of ...
  • Consciousness is a hard problem February 26, 2015
    Hard Consciousness may be the most difficult problem.  Oliver Burkeman,  for an article in The Guardian, writes about the efforts to solve the mystery and why it ...
  • Game inventions February 19, 2015
    On my other blog, NEWWorthy, I recently posted a couple of game-related entries I thought I would share here as well. Researchers have figured out how ...
  • Closed offices to make a comeback? February 13, 2015
    I have not been a fan of the “open office” concept for businesses.  I think some, or possibly many, workers like — or need — to be ...
  • Back-up computers, tablets, phone data…soon, back-up your brain? February 13, 2015
    BBC – Future has a thought-provoking — pun intended — piece on the concept of back-up brains.  The idea has been explored quite a bit ...
  • Accidentally dismissed Outlook reminder February 13, 2015
    I modified a reminder in Outlook, and as I was preparing to delete another reminder, the modified one popped up.  This caused me to accidentally ...
  • Retrogaming Events Calendar February 2, 2015
    Wikipedia defines retrogaming — yes, they spell it with no spaces, but many websites (about 3 to 4 times as many) use the two words retro ...
  • Mondegreen-phobia January 31, 2015
    I think I may have mondegreen-phobia.  In case you don’t know what a mondegreen is, according to Wikipedia a mondegreen is “a mishearing or misinterpretation of ...
  • Hubots January 23, 2015
    In 2012, a Swedish drama called “Äkta människor” (Real Humans) became a hit science fiction show about very human-like robots and the issues that come ...
  • Robots that create jobs? January 16, 2015
    In 2014, I blogged a bit about how robots and AI — long thought of as job-destroyers without numbers to back up that thinking — might actually ...
  • Asimov’s “Foundation” series on HBO? January 9, 2015
    TheWrap reported in November 2014 that Jonathan Nolan, writer of “Interstellar” and the short story that “Memento” was based on, is now working — or ...
  • “Twelve Monkeys” 2.0 January 9, 2015
    I enjoyed the 1995 movie “Twelve Monkeys” with Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe.  Actually, with each watching, it’s grown a bit more on me, because as ...
  • A face is not just a face January 5, 2015
    I was excited to see a number of articles last year on the subject of pattern recognition, particularly as it relates to human faces.  Face pattern recognition ...
  • How long before India launches astronauts into space? December 19, 2014
    A spectacular launch.  India recently successfully launched and recovered an astronaut capsule.  This is a step on the way to launching astronauts into space.  See the ISRO ...
  • Scifaiku: The Big Picture December 16, 2014
    This is a reprint from my scifaiku, “The Big Picture.”  In 2006 it appeared in Scifaikuest Special Edition.  It represents my attempt at dark humor.  ...
  • SYFY debuts Ascension on Dec. 15 December 5, 2014
    I’ve enjoyed previous Canadian-filmed science fiction television, such as “Continuum.”  So I look forward to another Canadian/American television series entitled “Ascension,” about an alternate present ...
  • Investing Jetson’s Style November 26, 2014
    Science fiction movies like “Minority Report” portray a future where virtual reality is a natural way to access data. In reality, many companies, researchers, and ...
  • Will “12 Monkeys” be a good tv series? November 14, 2014
    “Twelve Monkeys” was an interesting time travel movie that starred Bruce Willis, Madeline Stowe, ...
  • Philae lands on a comet November 12, 2014
    On NEWWorthy, I just blogged about the European Space Agency’s landing of Philae on a comet today (Nov. 12, 2014).  All I can say is ...
  • OSHbots and science fiction November 7, 2014
    I just blogged a new entry on NEWWorthy regarding Lowe’s OSHbots, robot assistants in their stores.  Since science fiction writers helped to come up with ...
  • Lighthouse math November 7, 2014
    So I was reading “10Best: Scenic lighthouses around the USA“, and I had to stop for a moment when I came across “Further south, the ...
  • “The Force Awakens”? November 7, 2014
    According to CNN Entertainment and other sources, Star Wars 7 will be named “The Force Awakens.”  From a movie-goer and scifi writer perspective, I have ...
  • Infographics can be wrong October 31, 2014
    When infographics show data in an interesting way, they can help one quickly comprehend the results.  That’s assuming that the visualization correctly portrays accurate data ...
  • T5 next summer October 27, 2014
    I posted an entry on my NEWWorthy blog regarding the movie “Terminator 5”.  But I don’t really know if it’s NEWWorthy or OLDWorthy, because I ...
  • Game with the human body as a map? October 7, 2014
    A few times a year I enjoy perusing the internet to see what new comments I find about my classic video game, “Microsurgeon” (1982 Imagic) ...
  • I support our national parks October 3, 2014
    I support the National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) goals for support by our next and future U.S. Congress.  I have visited many national parks as a child and as ...
  • Mathematics inspiration – The Geometry of France September 22, 2014
    I’ve always enjoyed mathematics, and I still have fun reading about new research, tutoring for the SAT, and participating in online math contests.  On my ...
  • Life reflecting art or art reflecting life? September 20, 2014
    I took this photo during my recent visit to the Louvre in Paris.  It struck me as fascinating that the crowd — and it is ...
  • Da Vinci inspirations September 18, 2014
    Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last years of his life in Amboise, France at Chateau du Clos Luce?  During our recent ...
  • Van Gogh inspirations September 17, 2014
    During our recent France vacation, we stopped in Arles, France.  Why?  Because my favorite painter, Vincent Van Gogh, was inspired in Arles to produce over ...
  • French inspiration – A drive through France September 17, 2014
    That’s me standing in front of the Millau Viaduct in Millau, France.  It’s the tallest — not the highest — bridge in the world and ...
  • Doctors are creative too August 15, 2014
    Dr. Anthony Jahn, otolaryngologist and volunteer medical director for the New York Metropolitan Opera, has patients with specialized needs.  He practices the art of caring ...
  • Is poker the face of future AI? August 8, 2014
    In the past, chess was the target of AI (artificial intelligence) programmers.  I wrote a 4k chess player in assembly language on my old Intel ...
  • Rosetta’s comet rendevous July 18, 2014
    I normally place “first in history” items on my NEWWorthy blog, but Rosetta hasn’t officially arrived yet at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.  On August 6, Rosetta will rendezvous ...
  • Self Driving Cars July 11, 2014
    Bits on The NY Times blog had a nice piece recently about the challenges of self driving cars.  While it may not be easy to ...
  • Math and Movies June 27, 2014
    My love of mathematics is what drove me to a variety of careers in education, game development, software engineering, and science fiction writing.  I often ...
  • Microsurgeon makes list of top 10 Intellivision games June 20, 2014
    It’s nice to see that my classic video game “Microsurgeon” recently made the Retro Gamer Team’s top 10 list of Mattel Intellivision games.  I’m also glad ...
  • Where do game ideas come from? June 13, 2014
    If you are an aspiring game designer, then please don’t limit your knowledge or your visions.  Good game ideas can come from any field of ...
  • Eternal hope for the driverless car? June 6, 2014
    Are we all so in love with the idea of a car that will drive for us, that we underestimate how long it’s going to ...
  • Death in The Fog May 30, 2014
    The Fog, also known as The Internet of Things, will eventually contain untold numbers of sensors and devices that work continuously or at intervals over ...
  • Another spooky action at a distance May 30, 2014
    Almost everyone has heard of Einstein’s description of quantum entanglement as spooky action at a distance.  Now, we have a new kind of spooky action ...
  • How to keep up on games research and development May 29, 2014
    I recently commented in a Game Developers group on LinkedIn about how to keep up on games research and development.  The response to my remarks ...
  • Links to “Edge of Tomorrow” May 28, 2014
    I was repairing broken links on my website today and in the process ran into a recent review of the movie “Edge of Tomorrow” that ...
  • Disc golf inspiration May 26, 2014
    I’ve always enjoyed a good hike in the park, and more recently discovered the sport of disc golf.  I had played and enjoyed Frisbee golf ...
  • Metamaterials and FTL May 23, 2014
    It has been suggested that metamaterials can possibly be used to build a warp drive.  Now Z.Y. Wang, a researcher at SBSC in China, explains ...
  • A few thoughts on programming May 16, 2014
    Computerworld recently offered “the stories behind 13 programming language names”.  Dr. Dobbs, no youngster when it comes to reporting on programming languages, offered this piece ...
  • Fun with math May 16, 2014
    I usually do the Ole Miss Math “problem of the week” and “algebra” problems when they run the online contest, but lately the site seems ...
  • Music for Robots May 9, 2014
    As a science fiction writer, game designer, and software engineer, I find the use of robots to make music fascinating.  Robots performing with musical instruments is ...
  • Robots replacing humans? May 2, 2014
    Are robots replacing or assisting humans?  Perhaps both.  Though this Slideshare presentation will no doubt be outdated in no time, it does provoke thought about ...
  • Where are wearables going? May 2, 2014
    I recently participated in this fun and interesting discussion on where wearables are headed.  There will be many interesting new wearable styles and technologies.  Golfers ...
  • How about maps going forward in time? May 2, 2014
    CNet headlined “Google Maps Street View now lets you go back in time“.  As a science fiction writer, I have to ask: “What about going ...
  • Game of Thrones math April 28, 2014
    Having watched the latest episode last night, I was having a conversation today with my wife about Game of Thrones.  I said I would not ...
  • More on art and science April 27, 2014
    This is a follow-on blog entry to my recent one about the relationships between art and science. Several websites claim that artist M.C. Escher said, “For me ...
  • Art, Science, Music, Math, Dance April 18, 2014
    What do these fields have in common?  I enjoyed writing in college about the relationships between Science, Math, and the creative arts, and I was ...
  • Big Blog Theory April 18, 2014
    David Saltzberg is the physicist behind the scenes of “The Big Bang Theory” television series.  If you want to know more about the science behind ...
  • Antiplag April 11, 2014
    AntiPlag is some interesting writing-related research coming out of the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.  I follow achievements in writing and mathematics, so this ...
  • Science fiction meets medicine and genealogy April 4, 2014
    Mocavo recently blogged about “s Genealogy a Thing of the Past?”  This is the stuff of science fiction. I don’t remember the name of the story, ...
  • Juggling inspires the mind April 4, 2014
    I enjoy juggling.  The first time I was inspired to try and juggle was probably when I saw the movie “The Juggler” (starring Kirk Douglas) ...
  • Face facts March 28, 2014
    A few years ago I wrote a short story entitled “Face Facts” that was published in “Crime and Suspense” magazine and is now available as ...
  • Math as art March 28, 2014
    As a former math teacher who maintains a strong interest in the subject, I enjoy reading about people in the field.  When I recently ran ...
  • Kirk’s signature costs more than Q’s? March 14, 2014
    “The Away Mission” conference is coming to Tampa, FL on April 11, 2014.  While I realize that William Shatner is a popular actor, it’s a ...
  • Calming a hurricane March 14, 2014
    Dvice.com recently discussed Stanford professor Mark Jacobson’s computer model that looks at how offshore wind turbines might affect a hurricane.  Though 70,000 turbines offshore is a tall ...
  • What films inspire innovation? March 14, 2014
    Here’s Innovation Excellence’s top 10 list of films that inspire innovation.  While I think that “Moneyball” is a good fit, and the other movies in the ...
  • Mr. Peabody, but where’s Data? March 7, 2014
    Maybe Mr. Peabody does belong among the “Top 5 Smartest Fictional Characters Of All Time.”  Personally, I loved him in the old Rocky & Bullwinkle ...
  • Stephen Colbert on security March 7, 2014
    I got a kick out of Stephen Colbert’s recent humorous comments on security.  I particularly enjoyed his opening bits — so to speak.
  • Creative failure February 28, 2014
    On LinkedIn, I recently responded to a post that asked “How do you cope with failing as a writer.”  My answer below applies to any ...
  • When taking a break from my creative efforts, I enjoy disc golf February 28, 2014
    I have several science fiction story ideas from last year that I plan to work on soon.  I’ve also had a few game design ideas lately ...
  • Watson’s Strategies for Playing Jeopardy! February 21, 2014
    IBM Researchers recently posted their findings on “Analysis of Watson’s Strategies for Playing Jeopardy!“.  While you might not normally think of looking to IBM research ...
  • Who says computer geeks don’t get married February 21, 2014
    I’m one computer geek who has been happily married for a long time.  Computerworld recently published some numbers on the subject that you might find interesting.  
  • Barbie’s dreamhouse February 17, 2014
    Since I am a Mattel employee alumni, having worked on game in the Mattel Electronics division, I will always remember fondly the company orientation day ...
  • Ken Melville, author of “It Came From the Desert”, passed away February 13, 2014
    In 1988, I developed programmer and authoring tools for “It Came From the Desert”, a Cinemaware classic video game based on giant ants. Ken Melville, ...
  • Reading your emotions February 7, 2014
    The Verge recently featured an article about emotionally intelligent software.  While it is easy to see how phones and computers might be able to better help ...
  • Energy teleportation and “Forbidden Planet” February 7, 2014
    MIT Technology Review recently blogged about “Energy Teleportation Overcomes Distance Limit.”  This would seem to be a very promising lead into further experiments and possibly ...
  • How do science fiction writers think? February 7, 2014
    I recently blogged about on “How Game Designers Think“.  But what about science fiction (SF) writers? Some SF writers might think that a story about “Drilling surprise ...
  • Do the “Gamesters of Triskelion” comment on blogs? January 31, 2014
    “The Gamesters of Triskelion” is an old “Star Trek” episode that features three brains that chatter quite a bit considering they don’t have bodies. I enjoy ...
  • How do game designers think? January 31, 2014
    Okay, if you’re wondering what makes a game designer’s mind whirl, here’s one example.  I saw this article at theatlantic.com on “Why is Pennsylvania So ...
  • Apparently I’m this James Bond January 31, 2014
    According to a non-scientific, but fun, quiz on BBC America’s website, I’m more like Roger Moore’s version of James Bond than any other actor’s.  So I ...
  • It’s different in the Silicon Valley January 31, 2014
    Having worked in the Silicon Valley twice in my life, I do think it’s different there.  It’s a special place that most engineers might enjoy trying ...
  • NASA Wallops Visitor Center January 16, 2014
    I recently visited the Kennedy Space Center an saw the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit.  It was fantastic to see! Recently an Orbital Sciences cargo ship, launched from Virginia’s ...
  • Creative inspiration January 16, 2014
    This creative use of EEG technology by Lisa Park inspires science fiction story ideas.
  • What makes science fiction fun? January 16, 2014
    This University of Fukui  research called “Tethered Flying Robot for Information Gathering System” refers to a kite flying robot.  This is the kind of stuff that ...
  • Questions about self-driving cars January 9, 2014
    Govtech.com asks “6 Questions States Need to Ask About Self-Driving Cars“.  Any of these issues would probably make for an interesting science fiction story.  Below, ...
  • Logos can invite creativity January 2, 2014
    I enjoyed this CIO Magazine slideshow of “25 (Mostly) Tech Company Logos with Hidden Meanings“.  I find that like good art, interesting visuals with hidden ...
  • Learn a bit about programming (coding) December 9, 2013
    I started programming (writing code) not long before handheld and video games came along.  A solid mathematics and software engineering education prepared me for careers ...
  • Light harvesting and quantum computing November 26, 2013
    MIT Technology Review recently published an article on Quantum Light Harvesting.   The research hints at the possibilities for an entirely new form of quantum computing.  Interestingly, ...
  • Intellivisionaries #3: Microsurgeon game discussion and interview November 23, 2013
    The Intellivisionaries podcast, episode 3, was posted on November 22, 2013.  They discuss my award winning classic video game, “Microsurgeon”, at length and include a ...
  • Blood count bordering on science fiction November 21, 2013
    Science fiction has in recent times taken a look at technologies and cultures where people know approximately or exactly when they were going to die.  ...
  • Silicon Valley trends 2013 November 21, 2013
    I worked at a few companies in Silicon Valley in the 80’s and 90’s, so I like to follow what’s happening in high tech there.  ...
  • Locomotion of microscopic robots November 21, 2013
    Tad Hogg of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in Palo Alto, California, has an interesting paper on the “Locomotion of Microscopic Robots in Viscous Fluids.” Science ...
  • Surrounded by robots? November 15, 2013
    Computerworld published an article recently about future military having 10 robots per soldier.  Some may see a future US military force with 10 robots per ...
  • Unlike Siri, Florence is for healthcare November 15, 2013
    Speech Tech Magazine reports that in 2014 Nuance is introducing Florence, a virtual assistant for healthcare clinicians. As we see more robotic surgeries and more virtual or ...
  • Microbial mediators November 12, 2013
    The Scientist reports that researchers were able to show that “symbiotic bacteria can help hyenas communicate with one another.” As a science fiction writer I have to ...
  • In the category of “what makes us who we are”? November 7, 2013
    The Scientist today reported on “Gut Microbes May Impact AutoImmunity“.  Researchers are finding that certain gut bacteria may be associated with certain kinds of arthritis, in ...
  • “Twelve Tomorrows 2013” science fiction anthology October 31, 2013
    MIT Technology Review just announced their “Twelve Tomorrows 2013” science fiction anthology.  Please note that I have not read this edition yet.  The 2011-2012 anthology ...
  • Astroturfing – digital disguise October 29, 2013
    After reading comments at the end of online articles or social media postings, I have often wondered whether some or many of the comments were from real people.   Astroturfing ...
  • SkyCall, a fun robotic guide October 24, 2013
    Why am I blogging about SkyCall?  It’s a drone and software developed at MIT to guide people around campus, and I think it captures the fun ...
  • Baxter – World’s first magician’s robot assistant October 23, 2013
    Thinking about the future of games and entertainment, it is interesting to note that Baxter is being programmed and trained to be the world’s first ...
  • Decentralization of Innovation October 23, 2013
    Former CEO and co-founder of America Online (AOL) Steve Case has some interesting thoughts on decentralizing investments in innovation, especially for education and healthcare.  He reminds ...
  • Curiosity hasn’t found methane on Mars September 23, 2013
    First, it was believed that orbiting sensors found evidence of methane in the Martian atmosphere.  Then, some speculative articles were written suggesting that the methane ...
  • Some jobs of the future September 17, 2013
    I like this SlideShare deck (below) entitled “20 Jobs of the Future”.  In particular, the idea of a Curiosity Tutor intrigues me.  It’s not that ...
  • What went on under the paint? September 17, 2013
    National Geographic online reports on “Picasso Under the Paint“.  Below or also at the National Gallery of Art you can see what was discovered under ...
  • SF Movie: Europa Report September 11, 2013
    “Europa Report” has mixed reviews online, but the look and style of this movie interests me.  It appears to be a rare hard SF movie, ...
  • Are people “right-brained” or “left-brained”? September 5, 2013
    Science Daily reports that while there are clearly mental operations like language that take place in the left or right side of the brain, researchers at the ...
  • Microsoft buys Nokia device business September 3, 2013
    As many of you probably know, I used to work at Microsoft.  So I am intrigued by Microsoft’s purchase of the Nokia devices division.  You ...
  • Microsoft by the numbers August 13, 2013
    I like this “Microsoft by the Numbers” website.  Since I used to work at Microsoft, I particularly get a kick out of the fact that 554,000 pizza slices are consumed each ...
  • Hubs in Mild Cognitive Impairment July 8, 2013
    Researchers investigate how “…hubs of functional brain networks are modified as a result of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)“, which sometimes precedes the onset of Alzheimer’s disease What ...
  • Quantum remote control July 2, 2013
    MIT Technology Review blog reports that researchers have discovered the secret of quantum remote control.  That’s pretty neat if they are able to prove that ...
  • Geek or nerd or neither June 28, 2013
    Judging from the geek-versus-nerd-words visualization presented on Slackprop’s blog, I think I trend more nerd than geek.
  • Game Developer Magazine’s top 30 June 28, 2013
    Game Developer Magazine published their choices for “Top 30 Developers of All Time“.  I think there are many good choices in this list, but I’m ...
  • Science Fiction: The Arts June 27, 2013
    The Art of Science 2013 Online Gallery includes a wonderful 3rd place finisher, “Web of art and science”.  The Lewis Center for the Arts and and ...
  • Time-lapse train trip or time travel? June 27, 2013
    Below is a creative — surreal — time-lapse train trip through Tokyo’s artificial island, Odaiba, by a Japanese photographer.  For me — when I can ...
  • Learning 2.0 (or is it 3.0 by now?) June 20, 2013
    It seems that learning is the latest hot term of the decade.  Universities are offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) online for free, video game companies are ...
  • Kiva robots and jobs June 17, 2013
    Kiva robots are the warehouse automatons for Amazon.  Other companies have started using these handy floor-workers as well. They have replaced some jobs at warehouses, because ...
  • Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination May 31, 2013
    According to UCSD (The University of California, San Diego), in conjunction with the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation they “are launching a major center to better understand, enhance ...
  • Hyperloop? May 31, 2013
    Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has been touting a new form of transportation he calls a Hyperloop.  He says it’s a ...
  • SF tv shows: “Continuum” and “Orphan Black” May 29, 2013
    I don’t often make tv show recommendations, but I’ve really enjoyed these two science fiction television shows this past year. “Continuum” on the SYFY channel seems ...
  • “Riddick” 2013 – “Pitch Black” May 29, 2013
    I’m not really a horror fan, but I love the look of the movie “Pitch Black”.  The elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and action are ...
  • Are robots taking our jobs? May 21, 2013
    Kevin Drum writes “Welcome, Robot Overlords.  Please Don’t Fire us?” At least for now, you might be giggling at the thought of robots taking our jobs.  ...
  • How many ways are there to program a mobile game? May 17, 2013
    Reading online about how to develop for smartphones or tablets, there are about a dozen recommended mobile games development tools.  While Unity 3D seems to get the ...
  • The Robot Middle Class? May 17, 2013
    An MIT Technology Review blog comments on “Race Against the Machine”, a book about robots and how they might change our thinking about employment (or ...
  • Robot careers May 13, 2013
    Are robots entitled to a career?  Computerworld today published an article called “10 Careers Robots Are Taking From You.” My story “Like Mother, Like Son” in ...
  • 10 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs May 10, 2013
    Wow, Tampa — the area where I live — was recently rated #2 in Forbes’ Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs.  Go Tampa!
  • Another nice piece on Big Data May 10, 2013
    Kate Crawford of Microsoft Research wrote a Foreign Policy Magazine piece called “Think Again: Big Data” (Why the rise of machines isn’t all it’s cracked ...
  • IBM’s “A Boy and His Atom” May 3, 2013
    As an engineer, I think that IBM Researcher’s “very small” movie, “A Boy and His Atom,” is an amazing accomplishment.  Would scientists in the early ...
  • Illumiroom May 1, 2013
    Microsoft Research’s proof-of-concept Illumiroom, which uses Kinect, was shown in 2013.  With so much wonderful capability — actually pretty cool — to involve the user’s senses ...
  • Near-future IT May 1, 2013
    What’s coming to the office next?  Computerworld has an interesting article about the “Consumerization of IT.”  Unisys has done three annual reports on this topic, the ...
  • Van Gogh, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and “Starry Night” April 22, 2013
    According to Wikipedia, American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once said “Creativity is seeing what everyone else sees, but then thinking a new thought that has ...
  • Robot jobs April 17, 2013
    MIT Technology Review blogger Tom Simonite asks, “will robots create new jobs when they take over existing ones?”  Makes me wonder if in the future ...
  • Robots and the law April 12, 2013
    There’s an interesting MIT Technology Review blog entitled “Does a Tele-Robot Operator Need a Visa and W-2?”  That’s a good question. I’ve been reading about telerobotics for a ...
  • Can dreams be read like in the movie Futureworld? April 5, 2013
    According to BBC News, Dr Mark Stokes, a cognitive neuroscientist from the University of Oxford, said “a single dream-reading system would not work for everyone…you ...
  • Family narrative April 1, 2013
    I recently read this New York Times article (“The Stories That Bind Us”) about the power of family narrative in a child’s life.  Genealogy research is a ...
  • Couple going to Mars? March 1, 2013
    I have written several stories about trips to Mars, including my award nominated “A Comic on Phobos”.  One big reason I’ve written about Mars, is because ...
  • How about that – Remote work is the topic of the week March 1, 2013
    Not too long ago I was thinking about why we don’t see more computer companies allowing workers to work from afar.  Now, because of the ...
  • A thought about telepresence robots February 15, 2013
    Telepresence robots are part of this century’s wave of the next big think in technology.  Some businesses and individuals are very excited by the possibility to consult ...
  • Star Trek inspired scientists to create mobile phones. Is a real medical tricorder next? February 15, 2013
    Qualcomm is sponsoring a Tricorder XPRIZE.  We’ll we see one in our lifetime? A few years ago I wrote a SF story about future medical technology and ...
  • Is the University of Cambridge helping to insure the future of mankind? February 12, 2013
    The University of Cambridge is empowering their top thinkers to evaluate the risks to mankind’s future here on Earth.    
  • Remote Programmers December 29, 2012
    While there are examples of software engineers working together remotely (in different locations) — such as some video game and a small list of high ...

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