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Comment Google+ circles = crowdsourced user profiling? (Score 5, Interesting) 164

(posted on my G+ wall last week, but I thought it might be worth pasting over here also)

There’s something creepy about Google+. It’s not so much what is seen on the surface. You have the power to manage your own user profile, the people you add to your circles, and what you want see. What you don’t have control over are the circles you are placed into by everyone else.

As users become more familiar with Google+, they will begin to create more specialized circles. For example, a sampling of circles I have currently have configured are "friends, family, acquaintances, following, paraglider pilots, hackers, makers, the press, ceo’s." Someone else might have me classified in their circles under “pilot” or “robot hacker” or “exboyfriends” or “high school buddies”. Whenever someone adds you to a circle, they are essentially profiling you, and the more people who add you to their circles, the more detail the profile about you will become. This is not something visible to you nor I. It’s visible only to the wizard behind the curtain (Google) and whoever they wish (or are forced) to share this information.

In the near future, ads may be served which relate to you, yet have nothing to do with anything you ever posted or mentioned on the internet. Your Google+ friends have inadvertently ratted you out.

So, who is really in control of your profile?

Comment Aurora pics outside of NYC from the last CME (Score 3, Informative) 220

Last time we had a decent CME along with clear skies, I went outside and saw Aurora spread across the sky .. and this was located a 30 minute drive outside of New York City. Grabbed my Canon point and shoot camera and set it for 10 second exposure and this was the result:

I heard they were seen as far south as the Carolina's.

Comment Re:Oh god no (Score 2, Informative) 104

Something that big and fragile will have to be launched in still air, but as the ground heats up in the afternoon, there will definitely be thermals popping off. Ridge lift is works down low, but will not likely be used in this mission (that would be cheating!). The thermals, however definitely will affect the flight. Up high (2000+ ft above the ground) there are often large patches of big lift and also sink (1000 feet per minute up or down is typical). The skill of the pilot's ability to read the ground and sky will play a large role in keeping the craft up in the air during the day. He will have to escape the sinking air and remain in the lift as long as possible. The night portion of the flight will probably the easy part - just coast around on battery until the 24 hr mark. The above information is common knowledge to all soaring pilots (which I am also myself). A few of my flying buddies have stayed up for 10 hours and flown 200+ miles on hang gliders - quite a feat accomplished without any motor or batteries. Given some decent pilot skill and the right weather conditions, the solar craft should have no problem accomplishing the task.

Comment Re:Tandy Model 100 (Score 1) 143

I still have my POQET PC, which runs off 2 AA batteries and is smaller than the TRS100.

Was too cheap to buy the serial interface cable, so I found the dimensions, etched a PCB connector, dialed into the university network and accessed the internet via Lynx browser. Does that make it a netbook? Actually it was more like a net-palmtop.

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