Feeds

US orbiter detects non-English language signals

Foreigners may not speak English, advises US tech guru

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NASA is hoping that clever robots may be able to repair its aging Hubble telescope, but can they do they same for another cherished piece of ancient deep space hardware? We're referring to the patron saint of California's techno-utopians Esther Dyson, who from her privileged orbit somewhere over Planet Earth, has detected new and important signals for US entrepreneurs to heed.

She's discovered that people in foreign countries might not speak English. So if you're writing software for these countries, translations may be necessary. There are more dramatic revelations to follow:

"They have a different time zone in some of these places," says Esther, in a showcase video interview at CNET - which has taken over maintenance of the orbiter.

Excellent advice, you'll agree: although if you're in possession of a Babelfish or, like Esther, can punch holes in the space-time continuum at will, you need not be concerned by such practicalities. Although CNET editor Dan Farber manages, quite heroically, to look interested in the wisdom of his company's latest acquisition, the banality of Esther's insight won't surprise long-time astronomy fans.

Reviewers of Esther's dot.com-era tome Release 2.0 on Amazon.com report that the book is "a regurgitation of old ideas using worn out and obvious examples", is "very shallow" and "fifth-grade"; that the author appears to be "self-centered", "self-satisfied" and "pompous"; and the book is "Best used as a couch support". And that's just some of the kinder comments.

It's wrong to wish on space hardware

Esther's true purpose amongst us is revealed later in the interview, where she boasts that "I've never met a government that could pick winners" and advises regulators to get right out of town. Of course you don't need to be a genius to see that government makes a lousy businessman, which is why governments don't even try to anymore. But government can fund technology projects that are both hugely useful (TGV) and aesthetically beautiful (Concorde). Japan, Germany and now the People's Republic of China have proved that judiciously directed public investment provides a welcome alternative to the bulimic US model of private investment: huge splurges followed by copious vomiting. And only a churl would point out that of the last three technology upturns in Esther's old launch pad of Silicon Valley, two (the 1980s and the current modest revival) have been stoked by government defense spending, and the one in between was the result of exploiting a publically funded defense project: the Internet.

Phsaw.

We'd love to bring you further installments, and we'd even promise to read Esther Dyson so you don't have to, if only her banalities, even in twenty minute bursts, didn't take such a toll on the human spirit. ®

Related stories

Ex-ICANN chief spotted in low earth orbit
Boffins isolate 'blogging gene'
Ad agency pays Net Queen Dyson $10,000 a day
Register scotches Esther Dyson armed robbery rumours
William Gibson gives up blogging

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.