Feeds

Space is the place, says Esther Dyson

Fly her to the moon. Please.

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

In a remarkable case of life imitating satire, Esther Dyson has decided to host a space conference.

No, we're not making this up - and no, we can't think of anyone more appropriate.

"It's not that there aren't space conferences, but nothing as tacky and commercial as we want to be," Silicon Valley's space cadet tells the New York Times.

How far Esther's own shooting star may have fallen from her heyday in the 1980s (or even the dot.com bubble of five years ago when she could command fees of $10,000 a day) is evident from the newspaper's acidic tone.

"Critics might say Ms. Dyson has herself left orbit in an effort to capitalize on a hot trend," notes Matt Richtel.

Um, yes. We had noticed. More than once, in fact.

"What's next," wonders the Times, "a conference on some other fad? How about two days on low-fat soy cheese?"

"I don't think soy-based cheese is undergoing radical transformation," Esther replies. "If so, wait 'til next year."

It seems like only yesterday when reporters hung on her every utterance about the transforming power of capitalism and technology. Now they make up questions about cheese. We shall have be having words with the cheeky pup, Mr Richtel, as soon as we can.

But once again we're staggered by the utopians' urgency to strike out for new frontiers. In the 1970s, after much lobbying from Boeing, United States' airlines shunned supersonic air travel that would have cut the journey time from New York to Los Angeles to a couple of hours. Rail links that put San Francisco and LA only a couple of hours apart remain a distant dream, too. And now they're talking about space taxis!

Perhaps a clue lies in Esther's own venerable signature file: "Always make new mistakes!" Which roughly translated from the Californian idiom, means "Always make a new mess when you can't be bothered to fix the old one."

It's as good an epitaph for this era as we've heard. ®

Related stories

US orbiter detects non-English language signals
Ex-ICANN chief spotted in low earth orbit
Register scotches Esther Dyson armed robbery rumours

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.