Friday Fives – Elon Musk is the most important person alive

know this guy?  he is the most important person alive… and I dare say for the last and next 100 years.  Read on to find out why… but its at the bottom

Do you remember the first time you used a computer? 

Yeah.  It was before you were born, and about 25 years before the internet.  In 8th grade, I took a computer programming class…. On the Radio Shack TRS 80.  It didn’t do shit.  It was a black screen with one font and one font color.  We learned to write 4 to 5 lines of ‘code’.  It actually looked like this

10: “intro”

20:  “kevin is cool, scroll”

30:  “run”

40:   “see line 10”

50:  “repeat”
60:  close

I found this, a vaunted green screen (even worse).

I am sure half the school’s budget went to these paperweights

To say your phone has more than this would be a deadly understatement.  Your dog’s microchip has more computing power than this.

We could make our name scroll across the screen in ugly green font.  That was ALL these computers could do.  This was 8th grade… so about 1984-ish

Do you remember the first time you used the internet?

 Yes, it was a friends computer, and (of course) it was AOL.  Here is what is and was criminally sucky about AOL.   AOL internet only took you to AOL sites.  What this means is we wanted to look at nekkid ladies.  We knew they were out there, but you couldn’t get there past AOL’s firewalls.  This is pre-google.  This is pre-yahoo.  This is pre-netscape.  ALL the search engines you know didn’t exist.  There was only AOL, they had the entire market… and it would only take you to AOL pages.

Do you remember the first time you used a word processor?

Yes, I had one in college, and it SUCKED.  It looked like, and basically was, an electric typewriter.  You could write a 20 page paper, but all you could see was about a quarter of one line at a time.  You could see about 6 words.  Personal computers weren’t the kind of thing most folks had.  You had to go to the computer lab for that.  And there wasn’t Word, or Word Perfect back then.  Basically, it was like note pad… no spellcheck, no formatting.

Do you remember the first time you used a spreadsheet?

No.  math was never my thing, so I was afraid, and had little cause to use one.  Now, though, I LOVE them.  They do the math for you, and that is a new thing.  Just as long as 3 or 4 years ago, you had to manually create formulas.

what is the next big thing in computers/telecom/technology?

This isn’t about computers, or telecom, but it will effect EVERYTHING.  The most important thing in the world happening now… and for the next ten years… will be inductive charging.  I can not possibly say enough about how important this is.  It is charging things without plugging them in.  Right now, MIT can move electricity about a foot over the air.  This is HUGE.  Using Moore’s law, think of where this will be in 5 years.  You won’t plug your phone in anymore… it will be charging as you walk  in the house.  Same with your laptop.  You won’t need to plug in your electric car.  Tesla is already working on a mat for your garage.   You plug in a big rubber mat into your garage.  Then, you pull your car into the garage same as you do now.  BUT… you are driving it over this mat.  Over night, that mat is charging your car.  Your TV won’t need to be plugged in.  Just hang it on the wall.  No more cables and cords for ANYTHING.

This stuff exists now, but at a very low level.  See this thing?  It is awesome, and I have one at home now.  You plug it in, and then just set your phone on it.  This is MIT type stuff, and odds are it will be Elon Musk who will bring it to market.  Surely you know that name, he should be on Mt Rushmore.  He IS the NASA space program, and I am serious.  There isn’t a NASA anymore, they pay Elon Musks’ ‘Space X’ program to deliver crap to space.  Electric cars?  He is past pioneering them, he is pioneering others.  He took ALL his Tesla patents and published them… for free… for anyone to see.  NO ONE has never done that.  He said ‘look at these, tell me what I am missing?  What can I do better?’  and Teslas aren’t just for the rich anymore, he now makes a 30K model.  Traffic?  He is working on eliminating that, with ‘the Boring Company’.  Alternative fuel?  Yup, he is Solar City.  How about using batteries instead of oil, to capture all that solar energy?  He has the biggest battery factory in the world, it is called the Giga-factory.

Maybe you say, cynically, that its nice to have electric cars… but what would really save the pollution and earth would be long haul trucking in electric vehicles.  Maybe he should do that?  Maybe autonomous ones.   Yup… that is already done.

The earth is dying.  The govt won’t admit it, nor will they stop climate change, but are WE working on getting to Mars.  How?  On the back of Musks’ ‘BFR’ (it stands for Big Fucking Rocket… seriously)

how does a nerd like that wind down?  Well, making and marketing flamethrowers, and getting high with Joe Rogan.  Let’s take a look at this again.  This is the guy who is single-handedly saving the world.


Friday Fives – Closet? You’ll LOVE it!

We have spent the last two weeks trying to discuss big issues of the day as part of black history month. Well, March is here, time to be a bit less serious.

What is the next big thing – the changer?

The future of everything is inductive charging. It exists now, but not nearly in the sense it will be soon. I think this entire decade will be remembered for only that. Inductive charging is electricity moving through the air by proximity. This 5 years ago the Palm Pre was doing this with their charging stone. Why this didn’t take over and become the default for all phones puzzles me. This is BIG. Like… inventing the internet big. Like… inventing electricity big. Did you see that picture above I linked to? See… that phone isn’t plugged in. It is just laying on the charger.

You know how there are plug in electric cars? Well, the near future is simply a mat you plug in… and drive the car over. No plugs or wires into the car. Look at this, and this. Why is this a big deal? Well… right now they can only move electricity a couple feet. However… they are getting further every day. The short term is that you have a mat on your counter that you plug in. When you get home, you set your phone and tablet and laptop on said pad… and they are now charging. This technology exists now, but for some reason it is barely being used.

One day soon, you will walk into your house and your phone is now charging. Same with your laptop. What else can we do with inductive charging? How about a TV with no cables or plugs.

What is big now that must, must, must just go away?

The ‘keep calm and ____ on’. It started long ago as a British military philosophy. Keep Calm and Carry On. A few years ago, it was co-opted by an urban hipster site ‘the Chive’. Near as I can tell, it is a site solely dedicated to girls in tight shirts and no bras on. This is pretty great, I admit. Problem is, everyone is using this stupid phrase. Example – in Walgreens today they were selling shirts that said ‘Keep Calm and Colorado on’.  I strongly dislike this.  It is overused, and doesn’t make a ton of sense.

What will probably go away but we will probably miss a lot upon its demise?

Lady Gaga.  Not that isn’t talented.  She is mad talented.  She writes all this stuff herself.  She is over exposed, though (NSFW).  She needs to go underground soon before we get to sick of her.  It worked for Eddie Vedder and Alanis Morrissette.  Same thing with Bieber, really.

 What was a prominent thing in your childhood that you rarely see or hear about anymore?

There are a few house innovations that were HUGE in the 80s… and disappeared since then. I want them back. Trash Compactors, and dust busters. They were all the rage, and every self respecting white person owned both.

You’ve just won an insane amount of money but you can only spend it on things that start with the same letter as the first letter in your name. What does your life look like?

uh… kale? Kumquats? Oh man, this is the worst lottery win ever.

Friday Fives – inventions and cars


1. What’s in the trunk of your car?

First off, I not 100% in love with your tone.  I will continue, though, to prove how aggreeable I am.  Well, I have a truck.  So, I don’t have a trunk.  But, I do have a toolbox, which is where I keep trunk like things.  What’s in there?   Ooh, a lot.  I live in a very rural area, and also volunteer for Red Cross disaster services.  This means my truck is something you might see off of doomsday preppers.  Short list of supplies in the toolbox – red cross emergency first aid manual, army survival guide, bag of tools, several wool army blankets, road flares, folding shovel, slim jim, jumper cables, bag o’ rope, jar of bunjees, tow ropes, boat tie downs, tarps, multiple towing hitches, wiffle ball and bat, horse shoe set, battery jumper box, walkie talkies, solar radio and charger.  You get the idea.  Wanna go camping?  I am the guy to have a long.

want it, the stuff?  Don’t bother.  The toolbox is locked, and I am armed.

2. What is your favorite car?

favorite car is a truck.  I have had 5 or 6 different pick up trucks in the last 15 years.  They are indispensable.  Incredibly useful.  it is like a leatherman you can drive.  WOW – great analogy, self.  Right now, I think the Dodge Ram is the best looking truck.  I mean… just look at it.  That is truck porn, buster!  So, why don’t I have one?  Because it is a Dodge.  I fear anything made by American union workers.  Also, it doesn’t tow all that much.  While it tows considerably more than the Ford F150, it tops out around 7,000 pounds.  My Tundra tows 10,000 pounds.  What do I need all that for?  Horses, mostly. What’s worse is that Ford’s trucks are built in Mexico.  My Tundra was built in Indiana.  Does that make me some kind of patriot?  yeah, I think so.

3. What are some inventions that should exist, but don’t?

intentionally left blank.  I didn’t have a decent answer.  This is more proof that I don’t choose the questions.  i just answer ’em.  mostly, I get my question from my good buddy Roy.  He is the one who started me on blogging ten years ago.  Stop by his site and give him some love.

I mean, I invent stuff all the time.  That is why the site is called what it is.  Like this, and this.

4. Are there any old inventions from the past that have fallen to the wayside and need to come back?

inductive charging.  This needs to be EVERYWHERE… and it will be in a few years.  Inductive charging is when you can charge something without plugging it in.  The Palm Pre had this.  You laid your phone down on the charger (which was plugged in) and it charged your phone.  What are the implications of this, you ask?  Omg, you are so dumb sometimes.  This is the biggest break in electronics in the last 30 years.  If you could buy stock in this technology, I would sell my house and invest tomorrow.  Imagine a mat.  You have a mat just like a table cloth, but it matches your counter.  You plug that mat in.  Then, you rest your cell phone and laptop and mp3 player and tablet on there.  Just walk in from work and set the things on there.  The next morning, everything is charged.

They are also working on this technology with electric cars.  There is a mat you plug in to the wall in your garage.  Now, you drive your electric car over that mat when you get home.  In the morning, your car is all charged up.  Am I making sense here?  This is REALLY important stuff.  You need to be able to talk about this with people.

So, here is why I bring this up.  The technology exists now.  It existing 5 years ago with the Palm Pre.  So… why isn’t it EVERYWHERE?  Well, I imagine it will be soon.  And when it is, you can bet I will direct you back here with a big ole’s “I told you so” post that I am so fond of.

5. What’s the most honorable bad ass thing your dad did?

He was a marine in active duty on an aircraft carrier during the cuban missile crisis.  pretty fucking bad ass, eh?