Atlanta Science Tavern Lecture

I've been invited to speak at the Atlanta Science Tavern on 13 June, 2012. I'll be speaking on "Hydrogen Cars, Ethanol, Wind Farms, and other Silly Ideas." You can sign up to attend here. … [Read more...]

Favorite iPhone/iPad Apps: Spring 2012 Update

It surprises people that, as a well-assimilated Apple fanboy, I didn't buy the first generation iPhone. I was in the store on launch day, I had one in my hand, my credit card was burning a hole in my pocket... and I left without one. I used my Treo for nearly another year until the 2nd generation iPhone (confusingly named 3G) was released. I wasn't … [Read more...]

An Afternoon with Micky Bly

On a beautiful spring day last week, I was lucky enough to meet Micky Bly, a 1990 Georgia Tech BSME graduate, and the man in charge of the Chevy Volt. His General Motors business card reads, somewhat splendiferously, "Group Global Executive Director, Global Electrical Systems, Infotainment, and Electrification." … [Read more...]

Buying a Coal-Powered Car

I'd read all the news stories about NHTSA-induced fires, laughed at all the jokes, and watched Newt Gingrich claim that "You can't put a gun rack in a Chevy Volt." (Wrong.) But I also read "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters" by Bob Lutz, who knows more about the automobile business than anyone alive... and who proudly declares himself to be the father … [Read more...]

How Doug Osheroff Changed My Life

Yesterday, I got to meet Doug Osheroff, Nobel Prize winner in Physics. At the reception before his lecture at Georgia Tech, I got to shake his hand and say "I'm glad to meet you. In 1981, you changed my life." You have to admit, it is a good way to hook someone into a conversation! … [Read more...]

Suggestions for Noteshelf

I own fourteen stylus-based notetaking apps for the iPad. (Yes, I'm obsessive. Trying to recreate my long-lost Newton experience.) I love Noteshelf for the iPad, but there are some parts of the user experience that could use some work. This post is aimed at Fluidtouch tech support. Fingers crossed! … [Read more...]

Hydrogen Hype

Car and Driver is the latest enthusiast rag to hop onto the hydrogen bandwagon with their article "What the H?" in this month's issue. I wrote this letter to the editor but, since I doubt it will be printed, I'm reproducing it here. … [Read more...]

Lunch with Nassim

Today, I was fortunate enough to enjoy lunch with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, his wife, and their son. (Yes, this is the author of "The Black Swan" among many other accomplishments.) It was an utterly indescribable experience. The best I can do is: Conversing with Nassim is like conversing with a swarm of butterflies. A swarm of glittering, … [Read more...]

My Talks at Dragon*Con 2011

Once again, I'm honored to have been asked to speak in the Space and Science tracks at Dragon*Con. Dragon takes over downtown Atlanta during Labor Day weekend. It's enormous. All the public reports of attendance are wrong... they admit to "40,000+" but that's low-balled to avoid fire code problems. But for those of you who don't know, there … [Read more...]

The New Model 100

Has anyone else noticed that iA Writer's "focus mode" turns your iPad into a TRS-80 Model 100? Some of you are too young to remember the Model 100. I travelled with one of these bulletproof boxes for years, starting in 1984. It ran forever on AA batteries. It had a full-size keyboard for touch-typing. The acoustic couplers would connect you to … [Read more...]