The Conversation

Technology: Discussion of technology events and developments.

Good News: There are About 100,000 Objects the Size of the Russian Meteor-Bomb Likely to Hit Earth and We're Barely Aware of Any of Them

Feb 22, 2013 2:52 PM PT
bring it on, oh Sweet Meteor of Death.

It turns out the meteor that landed in Russia last week was a bit bigger than the 10 tons first reported. About 1,000 times bigger.




“If you think about objects the size of the one that came into Russia, you’re probably looking at 100 million up there. Of those likely to intersect Earth, there’s less, maybe 100,000,” said K.T. Ramesh, director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute and a professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins. “Space is pretty big.” And the size of those smaller objects -- whether they’re 10 tons or 10,000 tons -- makes them impossible to track with current technology, he said.

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NY Times Public Editor Throws John Broder Under the Electric Bus

Feb 20, 2013 10:54 AM PT

If you haven't been keeping up with the spat between the NY Times and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors, my initial post is here and a follow up is here. On Monday Margaret Sullivan, the Times' public editor, weighed in on the story and seems to have decided John Broder's bad experience is mostly down to his own failures.

After publishing a long email she received from a Model S owner who is critical of Broder, Sullivan concludes:

My own findings are not dissimilar to the reader I quote above, although I do not believe Mr. Broder hoped the drive would end badly. I am convinced that he took on the test drive in good faith, and told the story as he experienced it.

Did he use good judgment along the way? Not especially. In particular, decisions he made at a crucial juncture – when he recharged the Model S in Norwich, Conn., a stop forced by the unexpected loss of charge overnight – were certainly instrumental in this saga’s high-drama ending.

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I Don't Give a Poop

Feb 18, 2013 6:08 PM PT

In response to The Deuce You Say:

I agree. It's usually the ship's employees that sh*t out of luck because they are the ones sleeping way down in the bowels of the ship. And what about all of those passengers who had high hopes of winning a game of 'Craps' or two? Chances are they would have probably gotten the poop beat out of them at the Black Jack table first.

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What's With All of the Poop Talk?

Feb 18, 2013 5:40 PM PT

In response to False Consciousness & the Ship of the Poopie:

Poop this, poop that. Has Breitbart's 'The Conversation' gone to the pooper? There are like, 5 or more 'poop deck' stories about Carnival's SS Pooper, what's up with that? I think we all need to step away from the toilet, and let the pooping stories about the ship go down the drain? Do we all agree, or do you all just don't give a poop?

False Consciousness & the Ship of the Poopie

Feb 18, 2013 4:49 PM PT

In response to Hitting the Cultural Sweet Spot:

You're right, I was treating those comments as mutually exclusive.  But you're right, the nastiest form of anti-capitalist sneer is always directed at the poor, isn't it?  How dare they dream that they could have nice things like we have.  We, you see, are enlightened enough to know the opulence and comfort we surround ourselves with is a Lie.  We despise these material blessings (the same blessings, by the way, that give us our viciously superior attitude). 

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Hitting the Cultural Sweet Spot

Feb 18, 2013 4:31 PM PT

In response to Reviewing the Comments to CNN's Article on the Poop Cruise:

If you draw a Venn diagram showing a circle titled strained critiques of capitalist excess and another circle titled class snobbery toward bargain travelers, there is in fact a tiny point at which they overlap. And that point of intersection is Cruise Ship Disaster. The last time we hit this cultural sweet spot was James Cameron's Titanic.

re: Electric Cars

Feb 14, 2013 1:51 PM PT

In response to John:

The Tesla S does look like a beautiful car. I would happily take the car for a test drive if Tesla wanted to offer. But it strikes me as similar to a lot of $100K cars: an expensive toy. I mean, who buys a car which may need a new $12k battery pack in 8 years? Someone with money to burn who wants an expensive conversation piece. When you get up in this range, it's not about practicality so much as having something more powerful or more exclusive than the other guy.

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