I was enjoying a fabulous read, Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash. The book was written back in 1992, but it emphasized virtual reality and collaboration in a way that sounds modern still now.
What was fun (and made me write this spoiling post), is that it is easy to spot MySQL usage patterns in science fiction:
- Metaverse – the virtual reality internet, has its counterparts already in our current non-fictional world. “Second Life” is a nice [MySQL powered] platform for virtual life and creativity, and it is now in state of early Metaverse evolution.
- Central Intelligence Corporation (created after the merger of Library of Congress and CIA, as they were duplicating each other anyway) operates huge resources of user-provided content, like Flickr, YouTube or Wikipedia [MySQL powered again]. Though it had somewhat better interfaces and APIs, I guess that is what Web 5.0 is about ;-)
I really liked the idea how asynchronous replication and lack of locking effects virtual reality worlds – even these effects were taken into account by the author. Add neurolinguistics, civilization history, brilliant satire, and you really get the best geek fiction. Thumbs up for the book. The Diamond Age seems to be the next read.
My class friend got promoted to lieutenant after military academy training, so we had a nice little party. It ended up at my place, which had one final exam for the guy.
There are gates to the yard, which can be opened remotely, and there’s intercom. And few meters inside there’s a white button to open the gates, if you have to get outside. What is really interesting – most people do not notice or understand the purpose of the button, though it is the single visible button, and it really contrasts with environment.
Anyway, military academy training proved to be successful, instead of calling me or climbing over the fence (that would be too childish), more sophisticated approach was used:
And that is extremely painful when I’ve got a collection of Vittel bottles!
Now as collection is finalized, I’m forced to make some decision with future of this army (>200 units ;-) Hell!
It is always somewhat fun to get special attention, but sometimes too much is too much. A guy at London airport looked at me and spit out “random search”. That was just stepping into another row and opening backpack.
Flying from LA to Vegas was another “random search” – a guy with gloves was carefully looking for WMDs.
Of course, why I’m writing this post – in Vegas I got the SSSS tag on my ticket, which meant changing lanes twice and getting into the fancy one – the one with dust particle blowers/analyzers, then each electronics equipment (and I did carry _some_) had to be checked for traces of _something_.
I still have two flights to make – will see how much of random searches I’ll get. Hail Vilnius airport, travel there isn’t that bad. But recently they started to ask to take shoes off too. I wonder how much time will it take for them to fire dust particles as well.
This is one of most funny memory back from school. Seven years ago a classmate managed to produce this magnificent picture, where you can recognize everyone, whom you’ve been for years with. Their faces, expressions, poses, gestures, properties and thoughts are in here. Some day I’ll really want to see works of the artist :) Click on thumb to get a bigger pic (and sure, easily identify myself).
In order to talk in UC2006 I have to somehow enter United States. Being from East means you are treated as immigrant, unless you prove you are not. In order to prove that at consulate you have to bring income tax declarations, bank statements, lists of financial transactions and job approvals.
Oddly, for me questions at the consulate were:
- How does MySQL AB generate revenue?
- What is special about MySQL’s products?
Answering those questions seemed to satisfy Uncle Sam. Later I wondered, did they really know or verify, what MySQL is? Asking such questions did seem quite… educated!
So now with my fingerprints stored in databases I’ve got green light to visit US and talk about our experiences there :)
Instead of celebrating 2006, I’ll better choose to celebrate leap second – last time it happened in 1998. That is the second of total freedom, it is not accounted usually in budgets, calendars or anywhere else. It is announced 6 months before it happens.
On the other hand, you can make those leap seconds happen every year. All you have to do is sit on your office chairs and rotate counter-clockwise. Every rotation will shorten the day by 10-35s. This has to happen in northern hemisphere of course, southerners should rotate clockwise.
And here is the important part, when will those free seconds happen:
- Helsinki, Vilnius, Cairo: 2005-12-31 21:59:60
- Paris, Berlin: 2005-12-31 22:59:60
- UTC: 2005-12-31 23:59:60
So, synchronize your clocks, let’s have some free time!