Over my recent vacation, I read Neal Stephenson's latest book Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, which is a rough sequel to 2011's REAMDE. I thought I'd write up some brief thoughts I had on it and maybe some questions for a hypothetical future reader. Like all of Stephenson's work from the last couple of decades, this book is a meandering combination of science fiction, philosophy, political commentary, and mythical fantasy. The Kindle edition I read is 880 pages long, and went pretty quickly over four three-hour flights.
In general, I'd give it ★★★☆☆. It's got lots of interesting ideas, but it's shot through with too much ridiculous libertarian ideology, and it tries to tell too way too many stories in parallel. If you liked Cryptonomicon, you'll probably like this book, but I would be surprised if anyone likes it enough to plod through it twice.
WARNING: This post will contain significant spoliers for both Fall and REAMDE; don't keep reading untless you've either read both or are highly confident you aren't going to read either.read more
For the first time since early 2010, I have a desktop computer again!
It's a 2019 5K Retina iMac with an Intel Core i5-9600K (9th Generation, 6 physical cores), 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 580X, and a 1TB SSD. Geekbench isn't exactly scientific, but it reports this computer as 50% faster single-core, 150% faster multi-core than the computer it's replacing.read more
In February, I Kickstarted the Pebble Time. As soon as it was announced (March 3), I upgraded my Kickstarter pledge to the Pebble Time Steel. As you might remember from last year, I had Kickstarted the original Pebble ("Pebble Classic" now) and purchased the Pebble Steel as soon as it was released, so this was a no-brainer.
Well, it took a few months longer than expected, but my Time Steel arrived about a week ago, and here's my review.read more
Hello friends. As you may remember from a few years ago, I am an iPhone user. Like several million of you, I decided to upgrade to the iPhone 6 this year. I thought I'd share some really brief impressions:
I've had an article sitting in Draft status since June 2013 about the Pebble smartwatch which I bought during their Kickstarter campaign. The article essentially said that the Pebble has awesome features, but feels like a toy and scuffs if you look at it askance. I was planning on going into detail about how apps like httpebble and smartwatch+ feel immensely hackish.
Well, as of today, I'm confident reporting that Pebble has resolved all of these issues with the Pebble Steel and Pebble OS 2.0.
I'm going to talk (briefly!) about both of these new releases. All of the …read more
So, you might have heard about Amazon's new Kindles. They're kind of a big thing. There's even talk that an earlier post of mine that I have a Kindle 2. Well, when I saw the new Kindles, I couldn't resist. So now I also have a Kindle 4 (non-touch). It's pretty awesome. Let's start with some sexy comparison shots (flickr set):
The most stunning thing about the new Kindle …read more