Robert Bee's blog

MOVIE REVIEW: Kurzweil's Transcendent Man

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Transcendent Man is a documentary I’ve been meaning to review for Republibot for some time. It details the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, one of the main proponents of the Singularity, the idea that technology will reach a point, probably in the near future, when progress will be so rapid that the world will change instantaneously.

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BEELINE TO THE FUTURE:Lenovo Essential 570

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As I’ve pointed out in previous columns, I prefer Macs to PCs; however, I recently bought a new windows laptop. The primary reason is that I just started a new job as a computer trainer at a public library, teaching technical classes with an emphasis on Microsoft Office and Windows. I will eventually have the flexibility to add classes on iOS and maybe Macs, but the emphasis will be the Microsoft software people use in most offices. Although the library provides me with a desktop, I felt I should have a Windows laptop at home to practice and use the software I’ll be teaching.

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GADGET REVIEW:Kindle Touch

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Even though I love gadgets, I’ve never bought a Kindle. I came close on several occasions, but I’ve restrained myself partly because I don’t like Amazon’s proprietary Mobi format. If Amazon went out of business, then all the books you’ve purchased under their ecosystem might become unusable. I believe all ereaders should use an open standard format (currently ePub) so that the books are more portable from device to device.

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BOOK REVIEW: "I Want the Stars" by Tom Purdom (1964)

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I want the Stars is a 42,000 word Ace Double published in 1964. The story begins in medias res with an attack on an alien ship. The Horta, a group of telepathic aliens, are persecuting the Sordini, likeable amphibians that communicate via a color-based language. Intelligent races do not normally fight wars against one another in this future, but the humans intervene because the Horta are enslaving the Sordini. The attack on the Horta fails partly because humans have evolved into a peaceful race that does not often commit violence, and thus find the fighting psychologically difficult.

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COMIC REVIEW: "The Creeper" and "Unexplored Worlds" by Steve Dikto

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It’s a great time to be a Steve Dikto fan: three different presses have recently released trades and hardcover reprints of his comics from DC, Marvell, and Charlton. DC released a folio-sized collection of The Creeper, a superhero Dikto created in 1968 after he left Marvel, and Charlton closed its superhero line.

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