Nikola Danaylov spends an hour interviewing Ramez Naam about the final book in his Crux trilogy, Apex. The entire trilogy is one of the best near-future science fiction series I’ve read in a very long time, looking at a world where people use nanites to interface with their brains which they then use to share their thoughts and emotions directly with other people. What makes the books rise above what other authors might do with such a premise is Naam’s extensive knowledge of the topic, and his ability to extrapolate based on opportunities and problems with existing technology how people might use and abuse this sort of direct brain connection.
In the interview Naam goes deeper into where brain/machine interfaces are today, how quickly they are likely to advance, and whether or not there might be computational limits on just how far we can go in simulating human brains.
Epic variant cover of issue 19 of the Buffy the Vampir Slayer Season 10 comic book.
Ever since Seagate released an 8tb 3.5″ hard drive, I’ve been dying to get my hands on one. I’m a bit of a data hoarder and currently have my personal date spread over about 15 drives varying in size from 2 to 4 tbs. I’d really like to consolidate all of that into 5 or 6 drives, and these 8tb drives give me that chance.
The knock on these drives is that they are slow. In order to get 8tb in a 3.5″ form factor, these use shingled magnetic recording (SMR), and one of the upshots is relatively slow and extremely variable write speeds.
I didn’t realize quite how slow this drive could potentially be until I did what I routinely do to all new hard drives I buy — I ran a full disk encryption program to encrypt the drive. With Western Digital Green 4tb drives, that typically takes about 24 hours using my setup. The Seagate 8tb drive took ten days to fully encrypt the drive. Ten days.
It also runs much hotter than the WD Greens I’m used to. I had this in an external USB 3.0 dock and had to resort to grabbing a small fan and pointing it at the drive for the 240+ hours it took to encrypt.
On the other hand, once it did finish encrypting, it functions about as I expected. It may be a little slower in transferring files than my WD Green drives, but not enough to write home about. It was more than fast enough for the sort of archival purpose that I bought it for, and being able to have that much data on a single drive is so much easier to manage.
Now I just need about 12 more of them.
Nice presentation by Australian philosopher Russell Blackford about doing bioethics without vague pseudo-religious concepts of “sacred” and “sanctity.”
This Flash logo bottle opener will have that bottle open before you know it.