Mid-Solar Max


Solar Disk: 2013 June 10

Here is what a sun spot number of 41 looks like at mid-solar maximum in the sunspot cycle.  The NASA/Marshall Solar Cycle Prediction web site is a good site to monitor the progress of this 24th solar cycle.

ssn prediction, 24th cycle

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Darkship Thieves, by Sarah Hoyt


Darkship Thieves - cover

Darkship Thieves
by Sarah Hoyt

Rating: 5/5

Series: Darkship Series by Sarah Hoyt

My introduction to Sarah Hoyt was through her web site “According to Hoyt”. I usually enjoy reading about her thoughts and ideas. She is an unabashed fan Robert Heinlein, and his influence shows in this book. I picked up this EPUB book as an introduction to her fiction. I’m glad I did, and enjoyed it very much.

The background story begins with an apparently biological solar energy storage system that is harvested by both Earth and a libertarian asteroid based society. The foreground story is of a young lady who escapes an apparent kidnapping. I was surprised and horrified by the ending, but it was carefully set up throughout the story. Continue reading

Who is the Enemy?


Yesterday we learned that NSA was gathering all of the phone logs from a cell phone company. Unless Verizon has a special terrorist phone plan, the broadness of this effort raises suspicions that this data mining effort is not limited to one company This scares the H*ck out of me.

  1. This information establishes relationships, whether it is all relations (including iffy relationships) or close relations, frequent call, like between you and your bill collector. An illegal use of this would be to use it to build the Democrat support base out to friend, and friends of friends. Also, he IRS scandal shows active persecution of perceived enemies. This program permits illegal extension of that enemies list. We have already seen the IRS leak confidential information to the President’s political friends. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on EBooks


Last year I finally bought a Nook (well, two – one for me and one for my wife). I’m intrigued by the capability of carrying a small library around with me. However, I was, and still am, a little apprehensive about “Terms of service”, and this limits my usage of the device.

I finally convinced myself that I could justify an ebook, in order to carry a number of manuals around. The easy availability PDF versions of manuals makes this conceivable. In addition, Project Gutenberg  provides a source for free, often classic, if dated ebooks.

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Dog and Dragon by Dave Freer


Dog and Dragon
by Dave Freer

Series: Dragon’s Ring by Dave Freer

Dog and Dragon Cover - Baen ebooks

rating: 4/5

Its been a while since I’ve delved into a lot of science fiction and fantasy, but as I learn more about ebooks I might read more contemporary science fiction.  I obtained this novel as part of the Monthly Baen Bundle for April 2013.

“Dog and Dragon” is a sequel to “Dragon’s Ring” which I have not read. There are elements to it which I presume are related to the series. There are two themes to the story, first is the tail of the dog’s, [and dragon’s] search for its mistress [and apprentice] The second theme is the story of said mistress and magician’s apprentice. She appears suddenly in an unfamiliar place. It soon becomes apparent to everyone but her that this is a place where she belongs. This is the interesting part of the novel as she heals the land from it’s strife.

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