More Science in Tech Please



Eric Klein and I have a spirited discussion about how tech reporting and VCs fail to do proper due diligence when it comes to basic science as it pertains to technology topics. We bring up Theranos, crowdfunded artificial gills, UBeam, and other products and companies which fail at basic science. As a VC, Eric agrees, but also talks about the complexities of doing proper scientific due diligence. And let’s not forget the reality distortion zone introduced by charismatic inventors and founders. I also talk about wanting better science education for non-scientists. a culture that’s becoming more ignorant of science as it becomes more dependent on it risks turning tech into a belief system.

Tools

I begin with a mea culpa. Simply put, don’t buy the Intel TS15A CPU cooler. It does its job just fine — keeping a CPU cool — but the noise levels and buzzing quality of that noise makes it a non-starter as far as I’m concerned. I also talk about rediscovering the value of a dedicated test system for benchmarking, a spiffy electric shaver, and a really neat little portable cart/hand truck.

Oh, and if you’re running 4K displays or better using DisplayPort, make sure to buy VESA-certified cables.

Eric talks about interesting issues regarding VR, including weird calibration issues with the Vive, and how the base stations flood a room with lots and lots of IR signals.

Fun

I’ve been playing more Doom, and find it well-paced and a blast to play. I’ve also been playing Pandemic Legacy with a regular group, and we finally wrapped up an epic journey through this most excellent game. It tells a great story, permanently altering the game along the way. Highly recommended. Another great little game is Codenames, a perfect little party word game where teams of players guess at the right words when given hints by opposing team leaders.

Eric’s been getting into Charles Stross’ excellent science fiction as an escape from heavier reading. Plus, he’s been playing way too much Torchlight. But what’s really been consuming his time are the array of VR apps trickling steadily out. He likens many of these to the software toys created by the old demo scene — never complete, sometimes terrible, but almost always intriguing nonetheless.

 

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