Friday, September 23, 2011

Still the speed limit

C that is, as in E = MC2, the speed of light.

Newspapers are breathlessly reporting that scientists have measured neutrinos travelling at faster that the speed of light, in seeming contradiction to the theory of relativity which tells us that the speed of light is the universe's speed limit.

I'm no particle physicist, but I'm sure that this result will not be reproducible, which is of course the standard for validating a scientific finding, and will prove to be a measurement error.

How can I be so sure? Simple logic (Or should I say "elementary my Dear Watson?")
If C isn't really the speed limit and the neutrinos really were able to exceed the speed of light they could pick any speed between 299 792 458 m/s and well, infinity. They they would pick a speed that is only just a tiny teeny bit bigger than what the scientists think is their margin of error simply does not pass the somebody screwed up somewhere test.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye Netflix

I've been a Netflix customer since November 2005, but just in case you're wondering what I think about the recent changes in Netflix pricing and services, I'm a Netflix customer no longer.

When the separate pricing for DVDs by mail and streaming were announced back in July I decided to drop streaming, since I can get pretty much the same catalog from Amazon for free as a Prime member, and dropped my DVD service back to one at a time, so that I could still order the occasional obscure movie on DVD. I hoped that a some time in the near future Netflix would negotiate some new deals with the studios and lure me back to their streaming service with a better price-value proposition.

That was until the worst apology ever from Reed Hastings their CEO, in which he dropped the bombshell that the DVD and streaming businesses would henceforth be run completely separately; different branding, separate websites and no unified queue or recommendations.

So today I hit the "Cancel My Subscription" button on the Netflix website. I admire Netflix's desire to move aggressively into streaming and to cannabalise their own DVD rental business before someone else does, something that far too few businesses confronted by technological change are willing to do, but that doesn't mean they ought to alienate and lose all their existing customers in the meantime.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Holiday in Iceland?

Since I live in Colorado and do a lot of international travel, I'm always interested in new international connections out of Denver. Right now we've got two* - British Airways to London which I've flown at least a dozen times, and Lufthansa to Frankfurt which I've flown once.

So I was sort of excited to hear that our options are about to increase by 50% with Icelandair to offer direct flights from Denver to Reykjavik. I say "sort of" because I'm not so sure what I'll do with this, other than take a holiday in Iceland, which I am sure would be fun - but only once.

Unfortunately Icelandair don't fly from Reykjavik to Dublin or this would be a really handy way for me to get to head office without having to go through Chicago, New York, London or any other congested and unreliable hub airport.

*I'm not including flights to Canada and Mexico; I don't consider those real international flights in the same way I don't consider Australia to New Zealand a real international flight. I think I'm conditioned by many years of long haul travel to expect an international flight to be 7 or 8 hours long, minimum!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Blogger

This is Marie, Steamboat Lion's "lioness".

For some time, I've been wanting to "put pen to paper" and begin a writing project, but it's always been at the bottom of my To Do List. I attended a seminar last week about independent publishing, and one of the speakers suggested that I begin with a blog, so I accepted an invitation from Steamboat Lion to be an additional blogger on his site, and here I am!

Now I can do my political venting to this site instead of to him...!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Two seasons

My friend Byron who is a contractor / rancher likes to say there are only two seasons in Steamboat: "winter's coming" and "winter's here".

I prefer to express it as "wishing I was skiing" and "I am skiing!"

It's still 78 days until skiing, which is just about the right time to switch from my general fitness program to my skiing specific program.

Friday, September 02, 2011

50 years

My parents were married on this day 50 years ago. My dad passed away in early 2009 and my mum is fighting cancer, so there won't be any celebration, but it's still a milestone worth noting. Everything I know about loving your spouse completely whilst still driving each other crazy most of the time I learned by watching my parents!