July 21st 2009

The recent episode in which Amazon un-sold 1984 (of all possible books!) from their costumer’s Kindle e-book readers is a fine example of how to get your company quickly on my (and I hope others’) boycott list. It’s insane beyond compreension. At Boing Boing Gadgets, they speculate this sets a precedent for instant book bans at any government’s request. Not nice.

I was eagerly awaiting for the Kindle to be released in this part of Europe. Now, I’m as eager for it’s launch as for a kick in the groin. Turns out that the Kindle, like the iPhone, is a pretty looking but piece-of-shit device in which the seller left a backdoor that allows them to remotely delete your stuff. Imagine your real estate agency having a key to steal you home’s furniture. Fuck that. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the ugly Taiwanese clone that reads thousands of file formats off SD cards and couldn’t care less about what you’re reading.

Even though it was unarguably impressive to get people to fly to the moon — and back!, the feat of space exploration that impresses me most is the Soviets getting the Venera spacecrafts to land in fucking Venus and transmit pictures just before being destroyed by the intense heat and pressure (Venus, despite being home to heavenly-named locations such as Aphrodite Terra, is actually one very real Hell).

Almost as cool, in 2001 NASA got the NEAR Shoemaker probe to land on the asteroid 433 Eros, a manouver that wasn’t even in the flightplan. Crazy.