Articles by Ian Littman


Movie Review: Source Code

The human brain keeps a rolling record of the last eight minutes of a person’s experiences. The record stops at death, but can be retrieved and projected into the mind of another person by high-tech software thanks to quantum physics and parabolic calculus. This eight minute window effectively contains an alternate reality where the actions of the one reliving these memories can learn and do new things, possibly heroic ones. That is the premise upon which Source Code is built.

Tech Break: Merger Mania

Welcome back from Spring Break, everyone! AT&T is buying T-Mobile… and CenturyLink is buying Qwest. The latter story has been out for awhile, though only recently has the federal government approved the wireline telephone giant merger. The former is hot off the presses and is by far the more worrisome of the two stories.

Tech Break: Row 44 & Southwest WiFi

Over President’s Day weekend, I did something that I have not done in quite a while – take a flight on Southwest. The third major airline at Denver International Airport offered a lower fare than my perennial favorite, Frontier Airlines, between home and here, so I got to taste firsthand the crackers, peanuts, and inflight WiFi of the US’s largest low-cost airline.
At this point, getting WiFi on a Southwest flight is a very unsure proposition; the technology is only installed on seventy of their 547 plane fleet, and I did not know WiFi was available until I saw the “Southwest WiFi Hotspot” decal as I boarded the aircraft. However, the airline is aggressively rolling out the service to its fleet, and rollout appears not to be specific to just newer planes; I am positive that my flight was not on a shiny new Boeing 737-700, yet WiFi was definitely online.

Tech Break: Comcast, Verizon and Apple

The last few weeks were relatively busy for the nation’s largest ISP, the nation’s largest wireless provider and the nation’s hottest computer manufacturer, and each company’s announcements had something to do with communications.With Comcast and Apple, the story was about getting data faster. With Verizon, price was a keyword on both ends of the spectrum, thanks to their release of the rather expensive Motorola Xoom tablet and their priced-to-sell landline replacement service.

Tech Break: Gogo inflight WiFi

I’m writing this article from a relatively exotic location (Orlando, Florida) with a relatively exotic computer (Google’s Cr-48). I am here for work-related reasons (partial internship), and as a result, had someone pick my flight for me. The flight to here, powered by US Airways, has in-flight WiFi, so I will review that in this article.

Faculty Spotlight: Joy Godesiabois

“I actually started out working in industry,” Joy Godesiabois, an Assistant Professor in Mines’s Department of Economics and Business noted, recounting her past. “ I had an undergraduate degree in accounting, worked in accounting, got into high technology. But my freshman year at college I had a great anthropology professor, and I knew that getting a PhD in teaching is something that I always wanted to do.”

Tech Break: Anticompetitive, much?

Apple just brought their iPhone to the US’s largest wireless carrier. Comcast is rumored to be upgrading Internet speeds for the second time in less than three years. So competition from other companies in each mega-corp’s field is moving the market forward, requiring no regulation to keep it on the right path, right? Maybe, but there are a few rather deep, dark secrets that seem to point to both companies being a little too big, with too few observers for their customers’ own good.

Tech Break: Google Cr-48 with Chrome OS

I am typing two of my three articles this week via web-based word processors not from Google. The reason? To test how well Google’s Chrome OS works as an alternative to desktop computing. The test was brought about by a package that showed up on my doorstep Tuesday; Google decided that I was worthy enough to be given the Cr-48, a test platform for their browser-based OS, Chrome OS.

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