Chat Log: Janurary 5th 2008

Jan 05 11:13:39 * You are now known as SeanLog

Jan 05 11:18:26 <Lensman> Hi Sean!

Jan 05 11:18:36 <SeanLog> yo

Jan 05 11:19:13 * SeanLog has just emerged from a deep slumber and the gf is demanding a very late breakfast.... i will be in and out

Jan 05 11:21:16 <Lensman> I'm multitasking too... actually working on the "Outsider" entry at the Incompleat Known Space Concordance. Rw says they've been using Nereid for 500 years... another continuity problem as that would put it before "Madness Has Its Place".

Jan 05 11:41:01 * SeanS (~Sean@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 11:41:01 * SeanS gives channel operator status to SeanS

Jan 05 11:41:01 * SeanS sets mode +O #knownspace SeanS

Jan 05 11:41:08 * SeanS has quit (Quit: Leaving)

Jan 05 12:07:24 * Lensman has changed the topic to: test

Jan 05 12:07:50 * Lensman has changed the topic to: Topic is 'Rishathra means never having to say you're sorry'

Jan 05 12:33:06 * Lensman is now known as Lensman_free

Jan 05 12:48:40 * chief_strike_anywhere (~chief_strike_anywhere@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 13:03:40 <Lensman_free> Hi Mark!

Jan 05 13:03:54 * Lensman_free is now known as Lensman

Jan 05 13:41:44 * NickE (~NickE@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 13:42:41 <NickE> early check in. Hi

Jan 05 13:44:33 <Lensman> Hi Nick!

Jan 05 13:45:43 <NickE> Hi. In and out, going to eat soon

Jan 05 13:46:00 <NickE> 2/3 thru FOW

Jan 05 13:46:04 <NickE> Is good

Jan 05 13:46:15 <Lensman> Me too. (Very) late breakfast is on stove now.

Jan 05 13:47:48 <Lensman> Well actually my breakfast was some Pop-Tarts. I guess this is "second breakfast", to use the Hobbitish term. :)

Jan 05 13:52:27 <NickE> heh

Jan 05 13:52:35 <NickE> dinner soon

Jan 05 13:59:11 <Dan> Back from taking my wife to church...

Jan 05 14:08:23 <Lensman> Welcome Dan!

Jan 05 14:08:35 <Dan> Hi there.

Jan 05 14:09:50 <Dan> Sean put me on troll-guard last night, so I had to stay logged into the chatroom while I was gone so as not to lose my Ops status. Sorry if you tried to talk to me while I was out.

Jan 05 14:11:04 <Lensman> Me? No. Troll-guard? Is it considered necessary to monitor this chat room?

Jan 05 14:12:55 <Dan> Dunno about necessary. But since several of us know how to get here through mIRC or other dedicated chat servers, it is possible that someone could web-search their way here to play hacker-games.

Jan 05 14:14:37 <Dan> Sean is goig to be off visiting most of the day, and he just wanted someone to be able to deal with anything unfortunate if it did happen. I don't expect anything, but with IRC, you never know.

Jan 05 14:14:55 <Lensman> Maybe it's not appropriate to be asking too many questions about this subject, then?

Jan 05 14:15:44 <Dan> Ask any questions that occur to you. :) I don't mind.

Jan 05 14:16:05 <Lensman>

Jan 05 14:16:59 <Lensman> Looks like anyone visiting the website could access the chat there. But I know virtually nothing about Internet security, so I'm not sure just what your concern with hackers is.

Jan 05 14:17:53 <Lensman> Oh! Sorry, now I see what you mean. I misunderstood, I thought you meant you were here last nite playing "troll-guard".

Jan 05 14:18:21 <Dan> Oh, that's easy. I've been using IRC for over a decade, I've seen hackers drive everyone out of a channel and close it off to the regular users - just for kicks.

Jan 05 14:18:46 <Lensman> Using the "kick" function?

Jan 05 14:21:07 <Dan> That, and using bot networks to flood the channel with cussing, or ASCII art, or just overload the server so that it splits away from the IRC networks. Of course, Sean's server *is* this whole network, so we've got more safety than most chatters.

Jan 05 14:22:09 <Dan> But yeah, anyone could find the portal on the Niven site and figure out how to get in here VIA any IRC program.

Jan 05 14:23:01 <Dan> I, for one, don't expect it to ever happen, but if Sean wants me to guard his server for him, I'm only too glad to do it.

Jan 05 14:26:48 <Dan> So what's on the chat agenda for today? I almost bought a hardback of Fleet Of Worlds this morning, but decided that I couldn't really afford the hardback price.

Jan 05 14:27:16 <Lensman> But to return to your earlier question: No, I don't assume anyone is "live" here unless I actually see them sign in.

Jan 05 14:27:52 <NickE> Oh , hey Dan

Jan 05 14:28:02 <Dan> That's true, several folks do just join the channel and leave it running while they do other things.

Jan 05 14:28:11 <NickE> (sorry, doing stuff and gonna eat shortly)

Jan 05 14:28:11 <Dan> Niya NickE.

Jan 05 14:28:16 <NickE> like now!

Jan 05 14:28:19 <NickE> BBL

Jan 05 14:28:34 <Dan> Not a problem. My wife is fixing a brunch for us, too.

Jan 05 14:29:24 <Lensman> No agenda, at least not from me. When we did the dedicated FOW chat, I did ask some prepared questions when I thought the chat was in a lull, but in general I don't think it's my place to be the guy "in charge" just because I've been assigned the task of announcing the chat. Sean asked me to take over that function, that's all.

Jan 05 14:30:42 <Dan> Oh, I just wondered if anyone had a topic that they wanted. I'm not in charge, either. :)

Jan 05 14:32:52 <Lensman> Well okay, if you want a topic, I've been surprised that no one brought up the situation in FOW where the /Long Pass/ is a safe ramscoops some centuries before "The Ethics of Madness" says they debuted in Human Space. In fact, I brought this up with Ed Lerner in private correspondence.

Jan 05 14:33:27 <Dan> What did Ed say?

Jan 05 14:34:25 <Lensman> That it was an experimental early effort, and since the /Long Pass/ failed to reach its destination, they just assumed back on Earth that the "safety bubble" had failed.

Jan 05 14:34:56 <Dan> Sounds like a good cover for a possible blooper.

Jan 05 14:36:05 <Lensman> This is one of those places where I really, really wanted to kick myself! In "Flatlander" Bey talks about the /Lazy Eight II/ something like 500 light years away and "still accelerating and on its way to the edge of the universe"

Jan 05 14:37:04 <Dan> Well, Bey could be less than exact, at times.

Jan 05 14:37:08 <Lensman> Which again doesn't fit the timeline. I had written that off as an irreconcilable continuity error, but in light of Ed's statement it suddenly becomes clear: The /Lazy Eight II/ was another failed early attempt at a safe ramscoop.

Jan 05 14:38:14 <Dan> Sounds quite plausable when you put it that way.

Jan 05 14:38:31 <Lensman> Anyway, I sent Ed a long e-mail identifying exactly where FOW said 500 years had elapsed since the /Long Pass/ was launched, suggesting the references be changed to 300 years. But Ed's rationale works much better.

Jan 05 14:39:36 <Lensman> A "blooper"? No, I think Ed fully realized it was an *apparent* continuity conflict. He said he received the same comment from another fan, and that they'll be adding something to the paperback edition to explain this.

Jan 05 14:40:14 <Dan> Ah. Good.

Jan 05 14:41:03 <Lensman> Re Bey being less than exact: The problem is, the /Lazy Eight III/ is mentioned in /World of Ptavvs/, so if the /Lazy Eight II/ was in the same series, it *had* to have been launched earlier than WOP.

Jan 05 14:41:53 <Dan> Yeah, I see that.

Jan 05 14:42:35 <Lensman> Anyway: That's how I see it, and that's now I'm handling the situation in the Incompleat Known Space Concordance. But I thought it was interesting enough to discuss, and since Ed had an explanation I didn't think of, I thought I'd bring it up for discussion and see if y'all could come up with yet another POV which had not occurred to me.

Jan 05 14:44:03 <Dan> I might have been able to rationalize something if you hadn't told me Ed's reasoning. I think that's far better than anything I could come up with now.

Jan 05 14:44:39 <Lensman> There's a note somewhere I read that "most fans assume the reference to the /Lazy Eight III/ was an error, and that Larry Greenberg was aboard the /Lazy Eight II/ when it was lost."

Jan 05 14:45:00 <Lensman> Not sure where I read that... maybe Marc Carlson's KS Timeline?

Jan 05 14:45:24 <Dan> Could be. I seem to remember it also, but not from where.

Jan 05 14:45:59 <SeanLog> I am more than half way through FoW. trying to just read a few pages at a time

Jan 05 14:46:25 <Lensman> I've never seen this discussed on the list, so I'm not sure what the "most fans" means. Maybe Marc has discussed this in his local fan group, or in another online forum.

Jan 05 14:47:05 <Lensman> Okay, Sean, I'll bite: Why just a few pages at a time?

Jan 05 14:47:12 <SeanLog> trying to savor it

Jan 05 14:48:41 <Lensman> Different strokes for different folks... I devoured it as swiftly as possible, with breaks only for meals and other necessities of life. But then, I've already read it twice.

Jan 05 14:49:36 <Lensman> The second time was more leisurely (sp?).

Jan 05 14:50:21 <Lensman> Well, sorry I revealed Ed's solution so quickly. Guess I killed that subject, huh?

Jan 05 14:50:49 <SeanLog> off to run some errands

Jan 05 14:50:57 <Lensman> Bye Sean

Jan 05 14:51:19 <Dan> See you later, Sean.

Jan 05 14:51:52 <Dan> You didn't kill anything for me Lens, I haven't read the book at all yet, but I never minded spoilers.

Jan 05 14:51:59 <Lensman> 15 minutes until "official" start time...

Jan 05 14:55:36 <Dan> I respect other people not wanting to read spoilers, but I figure that for myself I'm going to be reading a book over and over again after I buy it.

Jan 05 14:56:57 <Dan> I read all the Ringworld books at least once a year now, and have had the first one since 1975 or so.

Jan 05 14:57:20 <Dan> Just as a "for instance".

Jan 05 14:57:41 <Lensman> Well, sorry if my mention of the /Long Pass/ was a spoiler. It's the very first thing in the book, so it's no like I'm giving away plot points.

Jan 05 14:58:25 * jim_stiles (~jim_stiles@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 14:58:29 <Dan> Don't worry, books don't get spoiled for me. :)

Jan 05 14:58:37 <Lensman> Hi Jim!

Jan 05 14:58:43 <jim_stiles> hi

Jan 05 14:58:48 <Dan> Hiya Jim.

Jan 05 14:58:59 <Lensman> Wow, someone who's read /Ringworld/ more often than I have! 8-O

Jan 05 15:00:23 <Dan> LOL!

Jan 05 15:02:16 <Dan> Well, I *am* fifty years old now. I've had a lot of time for reading.

Jan 05 15:03:02 <jim_stiles> Aside from the reference to Ringworld, I don't understand what was meant by the topic title.

Jan 05 15:04:13 <Lensman> There was a sappy movie entitled "Love Story", a 70s film IIRC, which had the tagline "Love means never having to say you're sorry", which became a bit of a catch-phrase for a time.

Jan 05 15:04:54 <jim_stiles> I thought that phrase was stupid then.

Jan 05 15:04:59 <Lensman> Not that I agree with the philosophy, it was intended as a joke. Feel free to change the topic if you like.

Jan 05 15:05:14 <jim_stiles> no

Jan 05 15:07:09 <Dan> What would be other variations that would also fit?

Jan 05 15:08:00 <Lensman> Variations of-- ?

Jan 05 15:08:07 <Dan> The topic line.

Jan 05 15:08:31 <jim_stiles> Would a RW resident have less feelings about someone who was of a slightly different species?

Jan 05 15:09:17 <Dan> Probably different feelings, but not less feelings.

Jan 05 15:10:31 <Lensman> From various incidents in the books, it seems rishathra is for recreation, or diplomacy, not actually for love. But realistically, cross-species love is certainly possible. And at least some species would be capable of cross-breeding, altho the hybrid might be infertile, like a mule.

Jan 05 15:11:26 <jim_stiles> I have been told that people who practice zoophilia tend to not have any feelings about their animal lovers.

Jan 05 15:12:52 <Lensman> I wouldn't know. (And wouldn't admit it if I did! <g>)

Jan 05 15:17:46 <jim_stiles> I wonder: about a remake of "Love Story" that is about a man and his sheep

Jan 05 15:17:48 <Lensman> I love my dog... but I think in the Greek sense its "agape" not "eros"!

Jan 05 15:18:11 <Lensman> LOL! Baaaa...

Jan 05 15:20:20 <Lensman> Did someone post to the list a link about sex with robots? Would someone fall in love with a robot, or would it be a purely physical thing? And does that connect with zoophiles not loving their "partners"?

Jan 05 15:20:51 <jim_stiles> Yes, it was me that posted the story about robotic sex.

Jan 05 15:21:55 <Lensman> I suppose that sort of thing is inevitable. After all, people do buy "party dolls", so that could be seen as just an "enhanced" party doll.

Jan 05 15:22:03 <jim_stiles> I wonder if early humans thought the same way about Neanderthals?

Jan 05 15:22:43 <Lensman> I thought your comment on that, by making the subject line "The Robots of Dawn", was dead on the mark.

Jan 05 15:23:44 <NickE> BAck for a bit

Jan 05 15:23:47 <NickE> Hi Jim

Jan 05 15:24:03 <Lensman> Given that some guys will try to "nail" anything that moves, I suppose it *did* happen occasionally. Anthropologists are still arguing over how much if any cross-breeding there was.

Jan 05 15:24:54 <jim_stiles> Some horse lovers (both male and female) try to get "nailed" by the horse.

Jan 05 15:24:58 <Lensman> At least now they have genetic evidence to argue over. Reminds me of the passage in Ringworld:

Jan 05 15:26:30 <Lensman> "Your arguments are premature," said Louis. "Why not turn our telescopes on the shadow squares? That way you'll both have more facts to shout at each other. It's more fun that way."

Jan 05 15:31:06 <Dan> Humans love to argue about things, I suppose other sentients would also.

Jan 05 15:32:50 <jim_stiles> The article that I posted seem to argue that some people already love their computers more than people.

Jan 05 15:33:21 <Lensman> My take on sex between H. sapiesn and H. neanderthal was summed up pretty well in "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex"; wrong social cues, wrong pherenomes, wrong body language. It would feel like beastiality. And I'd say the same for rishathra, except in some cases the species might be so closely related that it may "feel" less so.

Jan 05 15:35:39 <Lensman> "Love their computers" in what sense? Unfortunately the English word "love" has too many meanings. I wish we had three terms; for erotic love, for fraternal love, and for paternal love. Not sure the Greeks divided it up exactly that way.

Jan 05 15:47:38 <Dan> Love does seem to be one of those words with load of differing meanings.

Jan 05 15:49:10 <jim_stiles> I believe that the classical Greeks had five terms for love.

Jan 05 15:49:46 <Dan> I'm familiar with "eros" and "agape", but what are the others?

Jan 05 15:51:01 <Lensman> Eros, philia, agape:

Jan 05 15:52:27 * EML (~EML@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 15:52:35 <EML> Hi, all.

Jan 05 15:52:52 <Dan> Hiya Ed.

Jan 05 15:52:56 <Lensman> Welcome Ed!

Jan 05 15:53:21 <EML> It'll be a lightning visit today, I think.

Jan 05 15:53:43 <EML> Houseguests are due soon, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year.

Jan 05 15:53:51 <Lensman> Too bad, Ed. Come when you can stay awhile!

Jan 05 15:54:02 <jim_stiles> hi ed

Jan 05 15:54:07 <Dan> Thank you, Ed. And best wishes in return.

Jan 05 15:54:12 <Lensman> Happy New Year to you and yours, also.

Jan 05 15:54:21 <EML> So what's on the docket today?

Jan 05 15:55:22 <jim_stiles> Rishathra (zoophilia, robot-philia) means never having to say you're sorry.

Jan 05 15:55:23 <Lensman> Sex with non-humans. Rishathra, robot "love", possible mating between H. sapiens & H. neanderthal.

Jan 05 15:55:48 <Lensman> But feel free to change the subject!

Jan 05 15:55:50 <Dan> Just shooting the breeze.

Jan 05 15:57:56 <EML> mating between H. sapiens and H. neaderthal is pretty uncontroversial these days, isn't it?

Jan 05 15:58:17 <Lensman> I tried to get a conversation going about "safe" ramscoop ships prior to their "official" debut in "The Ethics of Madness", such as the /Long Pass/, but that conversation didn't go anywhere.

Jan 05 15:58:44 <EML> Huh! I mean that such things used to happen. My guess is it's a lot less common now ;-)

Jan 05 15:59:54 <EML> Lens: from Earth's perspective, Long Pass was a fumble.

Jan 05 16:00:56 <Lensman> Well, recent genetic study has proven beyond reasonable doubt that H. sapiens and H. neanderthal were two separate species. Whether or not they were cross-fertile is, I think, still a subject of argument. There was a recent article claiming Cro-Magnon Man may have had genetic contributions from H. Neanderthal, but it looked to me like it was a "maybe, possibly, might have" sort of thing, rather than "we have solid evidence suggesting..."

Jan 05 16:01:43 <NickE> Oooh. back again, Hi Ed

Jan 05 16:02:00 <Lensman> And /Lazy Eight II/ was a "fumble" too.

Jan 05 16:02:31 <jim_stiles> There may have been cultural differences that made H. sapiens and H. neanderthal mating rare.

Jan 05 16:02:57 <NickE> I think that's likely

Jan 05 16:03:06 <EML> My expsoure to paleo-anthro is on the dated side, but IIRC H. sapiens evolved from Cro-Magnon. Is that the current thinking?

Jan 05 16:03:16 <NickE> Yep

Jan 05 16:03:24 <NickE> (aAFAIK)

Jan 05 16:03:49 <Lensman> To repeat, I suspect the passage in "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" pretty well sums up mating between H. sapiens & H. neanderthal: Wrong body language, wrong social cues, wrong pherenomes; it would feel like beastiality.

Jan 05 16:04:56 <Lensman> Cro-Magnon is a specific branch of H. sapiens that developed in Europe. At least, that's my understanding... you might want to take a quick glance at Wikipedia's article on Cro-Magnon.

Jan 05 16:05:05 <EML> Yet bestiality does occur, and with species far less like us.

Jan 05 16:05:24 <NickE> Which outside of certain ancient pagan rituals, a very few more modern tribal societies and the obvious "sheep shaggers" of our own...yes

Jan 05 16:06:00 <Lensman> That's right, almost certainly attempted mating between the two did occur. How frequently, and how much genetic material was shared, is still being argued by anthropologists.

Jan 05 16:06:25 <Dan> I think that word "feel" implies a more civilized attitude than proto-humans would have. But that's just my opinion.

Jan 05 16:06:28 <jim_stiles> Everything I learned from Paleo-Anthropology I learned from:

Jan 05 16:06:41 <EML> Certainly if we can entertain (or be entertained by) Rishathstra, Neaderthal/Cro-Magnan sex should be easy to believe.

Jan 05 16:06:48 <NickE> Oh I'm sure it probably happened, but more likely in some kind of unpleasant rape/abuse scenario

Jan 05 16:07:30 <Lensman> And the fact that now anthropologists have genetic evidence to argue over led me to make this ObNiven, from Ringworld: "Your arguments are premature," said Louis. "Why not turn our telescopes on the shadow squares? That way you'll both have more facts to shout at each other. It's more fun that way."

Jan 05 16:07:37 <NickE> Well, there's that. Heck, maybe they used it to settle border disputes!

Jan 05 16:08:50 <EML> OTOH, new species don't just spring up overnight. Species diverge over time. So maybe the two species did't seem that different to each other, not unless/until they've been separated for a while from the ancestral form.

Jan 05 16:09:56 <NickE> They did coexist for a long (by our standards) period of time

Jan 05 16:10:10 <Lensman> Ed: Yes, exactly, and that's part of why there's still (apparently) widespread lack of agreement among anthropologists.

Jan 05 16:10:42 <jim_stiles>

Jan 05 16:11:05 <NickE> But how much interaction actually occured? Who knows. Clan of the Cave Bear is a great story, but based on scant evidence in terms of the main character's tale

Jan 05 16:11:22 <Lensman> Haven't read that one.

Jan 05 16:11:33 * You are now known as SeanS

Jan 05 16:11:44 <Dan> Saw the movie, but thought it was a bit on the silly side.

Jan 05 16:11:47 <NickE> Hi Sean

Jan 05 16:11:53 <SeanS> hello all

Jan 05 16:12:01 <Lensman> WB Sean

Jan 05 16:12:21 <EML> Clan of the Cave Bear annoyed the hell out of me. Racial memory is a hard sell. Racial memory of the future? That's nonsense.

Jan 05 16:12:35 <SeanS> i read the book a long time ago.. the movie doesnt is silly

Jan 05 16:13:40 <NickE> Well, it was a fantasy, and the "Future vision" thing was pretty much a one off event

Jan 05 16:14:18 <NickE> Couldnt bring myself to watch the whole movie

Jan 05 16:14:37 <NickE> They messed with the book far too much

Jan 05 16:14:47 <EML> What IS the general take on Rishasthra? Believeable? Not to much?

Jan 05 16:15:02 <NickE> Well, it was startling

Jan 05 16:15:06 <Lensman> Well, let's say that I think it would be far less likely for a member of one species to be attracted to a member of a different species. "Wrong" perhaps implies a moral code, and you're right that's probably inappropriate.

Jan 05 16:15:54 <NickE> But, in context, I accepted it as part of the story

Jan 05 16:16:48 <NickE> Attraction (apart from vampire scent) was moot. The practice sealed agreements or was for birth control

Jan 05 16:17:34 <Lensman> Well, let's say I find it implausible that it occurs as *frequently* as it does in the books. That some species would use it as the *normal* form of recreational sex, to avoid pregnancy. And that it would be such a widespread habit that the word would be universal.

Jan 05 16:17:46 <NickE> In a society with many sentient beings capable of speaking a common tongue, I think it would seem less like bestiality

Jan 05 16:18:04 <EML> Is the birth control purpose believeable? Humans have birth control, so why wouldn't the advanced Ringworlders have had it? The fall of Cities wasn't that long before.

Jan 05 16:18:26 <Lensman> But certainly one would expect inter-species sex to occur at least occasionally. That doesn't mean it would be considered acceptable behavior in most cultures.

Jan 05 16:18:43 <jim_stiles> It is difficult for us to evaluate Rishathra because we are not familiar with non-human intelligent species.

Jan 05 16:19:13 <NickE> City Builders came into heat, that might complicate things. Plus might be cultural reasons pre dating higher tech

Jan 05 16:19:26 <EML> Jim: in general I'd agree, but the Ringworlders are hominids. They're not entirely alien.

Jan 05 16:19:54 <NickE> The practice was widespread and the common word was the same. That indicates it had been around a long time

Jan 05 16:19:58 <Lensman> If the species has sex as frequently as humans typically do, that means most households are inhabited by members of different species? Maybe that's a failure of imagination on my part, but I don't find it plausible.

Jan 05 16:20:49 <NickE> Exactly. Hominids who could speak and think. Most natives would think of other natives of whatever sentient species as people

Jan 05 16:22:01 <NickE> If the main sexual organ is indeed the brain, seeing other folk as people too makes it much easier to want/tolerate having sex with them

Jan 05 16:22:12 <EML> Not that our type of hominid is very good at overlooking the smallest variations.

Jan 05 16:22:36 <NickE> unfortunately

Jan 05 16:22:41 <EML> Make war, not love, as it were.

Jan 05 16:23:02 <Lensman> As Nick said: In context, I accepted it as part of the story. You asked my opinion, which that is I don't think it would be as frequent as described. But I don't insist I'm "right", that's just my opinion.

Jan 05 16:23:43 <NickE> I must admit, the extent of Rish parties in RWT did surprise me

Jan 05 16:23:53 <EML> Nor am I advocating a position, just wondering. Rishasthra is a major part of the later Ringworld stories.

Jan 05 16:24:00 <NickE> NOt such an issue in RW and RWE

Jan 05 16:24:27 <NickE> But I did accept it as part of the story in context

Jan 05 16:24:28 <Lensman> I don't think the word "rishathra" appears in Rw.

Jan 05 16:24:35 <NickE> no it didnt

Jan 05 16:24:42 <NickE> RWE

Jan 05 16:25:04 <Lensman> But suddenly in RE it's so commonplace that everyone Louis meets offers it.

Jan 05 16:25:10 <NickE> Should have just said RWE

Jan 05 16:25:45 <Dan> I suppose Pril's experiences would have been restricted to her own species, and then mostly to her crewmates - before she got back to Ringworld.

Jan 05 16:26:19 <EML> Looking at the bigger picture, biology-based SF is a newer variation than physical-science-based. I'm currently working on a biology-intensive novel. BOY has biology changed since I first studied it.

Jan 05 16:26:22 <NickE> I suspect that Pril used the term, but teh translator/Nessus never made the assumption that it was a "general" term for sex outside ones species

Jan 05 16:26:44 <Dan> agreed.

Jan 05 16:27:32 <Lensman> I don't recall if Prill said she practiced sex outsider her species. And her acceptance of Louis as a lover was influenced by Nessus "conditioning" her with his tasp.

Jan 05 16:27:53 <NickE> The few other sepcies they met may simply have not felt "worthy" offering it to "potential Engineers

Jan 05 16:28:28 <NickE> Well yes, she was conditioned, but she came to Louis first

Jan 05 16:28:45 <NickE> Nessus just took advantage

Jan 05 16:29:06 <EML> I'm discinclined to blame the translators. As shown, when they work, they work.

Jan 05 16:29:38 <EML> Pril wanted to manipulate Louis. Sex was her method (hardly original to Ringworld).

Jan 05 16:29:43 <jim_stiles> Refresh my memory: wasn't Louis the only male hominid on the ship with Prill?

Jan 05 16:29:45 <Lensman> Unfortunately, in the Campbell era, realism in biological science was not considered important, as realism in physical science was. That has changed slowly since then, but at least the early KS stories were very much influenced by the Campbell mold.

Jan 05 16:30:08 <NickE> Exactly

Jan 05 16:30:20 <NickE> (Prill)

Jan 05 16:30:38 <EML> Lens: It isn't just Campbell. Since SF writers are a middl-aged (and older) lot, we were exposed to very primitive biology.

Jan 05 16:30:51 <NickE> brb

Jan 05 16:31:00 <Lensman> Nick: Actually, Nessus was using the tasp on Prill at a low level much earlier, to enduce her to release Louis and Speaker from their captivity.

Jan 05 16:32:05 <Lensman> Jim: Well, there was Seeker, but he was "taken".

Jan 05 16:32:24 <jim_stiles> OK

Jan 05 16:32:43 <EML> Physics and space travel were much more exciting than biology in the 60s. Molecuilar bioloy was in its infancy then -- and without molecular insight, biology was (imo) mostly imagining relationships from superficial resemblances.

Jan 05 16:33:22 <Lensman> Ed: I admit to a bias; my first major in college was biology. So it's a bit of a sore point for me.

Jan 05 16:33:51 <NickE> Lens, I forgot that :-)

Jan 05 16:33:58 <NickE> (tasp)

Jan 05 16:34:04 <EML> Lens: what's the sore point?

Jan 05 16:34:36 <Lensman> About biology being treated as the "unwanted stepchild" of the sciences, in hard-SF.

Jan 05 16:35:15 <NickE> Agreed, but Ed's right, the advances in recent decades in biology have been huge

Jan 05 16:35:53 <EML> Lens: fair enough. I like to think I'm more attentive to it. My next solo uses evolution in an artificial-life context. My next solo after that (the one I'm now writing) is about medical nanotech.

Jan 05 16:36:23 <NickE> 20 years ago if someone had told me I'd be ordering custon DNA online for just a few quid, I'd never have believed them

Jan 05 16:36:41 <NickE> Oooh. Interesting

Jan 05 16:38:58 <Lensman> Ed: Certainly FOW seemed to treat exobiology realistically. I'm talking about earlier KS stories, that criticism wasn't meant to be directed at you.

Jan 05 16:40:04 <Lensman> Nick: You know you're going to have to explain that!

Jan 05 16:40:06 <EML> Lens: Oh, I didn't take it as a criticism. In general, early SF does play fast-and-loose with biology and sociology.

Jan 05 16:41:26 <EML> Greg Bear is the main writer AFAIK trying to do biology-based SF (e.g., Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, Darwin's Children). Do you folks have an opinion about his stuff?

Jan 05 16:43:15 <Dan> I've got a copy of his book "Eon" and never wanted to read any more of his stuff.

Jan 05 16:45:21 <EML> Another writer who's gone that way is Nancy Kress (although I mostly know her short fiction).

Jan 05 16:45:22 <Lensman> I think it was Bear who wrote a story in which the Earth was destroyed. As in, completely blown to tiny pieces. Don't remember the name, but it left me with no desire to read anything else by the author. Maybe I should try /Darwin's Radio/, I've certainly heard that title mentioned frequently.

Jan 05 16:45:35 <jim_stiles> Eon may be turned into a movie.

Jan 05 16:46:39 <Lensman> Brian Stableford wrote a series of novels which were essentially biological puzzles. The voyages of the Daedelus, if memory serves? Not to well written tho, basically pot-boilers.

Jan 05 16:46:42 <NickE> I can order oligonucleotides (say 18 - 40 base pairs) of what ever sequence I like for 5 quid a time. I typically order half a dozen or more depending on whether I want them for sequencing sections of genomic DNA or for genetic engineering of plasmid DNA

Jan 05 16:46:49 <Dan> Eon wasn't bad, but then it didn't thrill me either.

Jan 05 16:47:06 <EML> Lens: I suspect you're remembering the end of Blood Music, where (IIRC) he'd lapsed from biology and nanotech into abstruse theoretical physics and quantum consciousness.

Jan 05 16:47:31 <NickE> Blood Music was fun, but is out of date. As well informed fantasy of teh time, it is excellent

Jan 05 16:48:02 <Lensman> No, /The Forge of God/.

Jan 05 16:48:08 <EML> Nick: all those quid references ... I infer you're in the UK. Anywhere near Cambridge?

Jan 05 16:48:41 <NickE> Oxford. I work at the University on malaria, flu and TB vaccines

Jan 05 16:49:18 <NickE> (which is new for me, used to be cancer, but the mol biol techniques are the same)

Jan 05 16:49:50 <NickE> (mostly)

Jan 05 16:49:55 <Lensman> - /The Forge of God/ is noteable for having a scientist character "Laurence Van Cott" who theorizes how the Earth might be literally destroyed. :)

Jan 05 16:50:14 <NickE> Oh yes, forgotten that too :-)

Jan 05 16:50:46 <EML> Actually, I meant Oxford. I encountered, on a vanity surf (Google Books), that there's an Oxford University Calendar mention of me. I'm most curious -- and unenlightened.

Jan 05 16:51:01 <NickE> Oh really?

Jan 05 16:51:52 <NickE> I've only been back at the Uni recently after being made redundant at the biotech company I worked for, I was at teh Uni 6 years prior to that gig

Jan 05 16:52:10 <EML> Yup. "Edward M. Lerner" On Google Books, it says p. 221 in the Oxford University Calendar.

Jan 05 16:53:01 <Lensman> IIRC "Van Cott" is bearded and smokes a pipe. I'm sure this is all completely coincidental, and wasn't intended to suggest Lawrence Van Cott Niven... :-D

Jan 05 16:53:57 <NickE> what year?

Jan 05 16:55:17 <EML> Huh! 1960. Can't be me. Must be a coincidence.

Jan 05 16:56:12 <NickE> Googling, cant find it

Jan 05 16:56:25 <NickE> 1960, waaay before my time

Jan 05 16:56:54 <Lensman> I was five years old at the time, sadly not yet an SF fan...

Jan 05 16:57:12 <EML> And mine. Well, I was eleven then. I doubt I'd yet done anything of interest to Oxford.

Jan 05 16:57:49 <NickE> not born

Jan 05 16:58:02 <Dan> I would have been three.

Jan 05 16:58:39 <NickE> At least I can remember the moon landings :-)

Jan 05 16:58:39 <EML> Old farts, all of us :-( We need more young whippersnappers to get into the field.

Jan 05 16:58:47 <jim_stiles> Me and Nick feel young; we were not born then.

Jan 05 16:58:55 <NickE> Hehehe

Jan 05 16:59:14 <EML> Everyone ... my company is due shortly. So, I bid you a fond farewell.

Jan 05 16:59:19 <NickE> only by a few years

Jan 05 16:59:24 <Dan> See you later, Ed.

Jan 05 16:59:31 <NickE> By Ed, cheers for dropping by

Jan 05 16:59:33 <Dan> Thanks for stopping in.

Jan 05 16:59:57 <Lensman> Ed, from your picture I thought you were a young phart. :-D I guess you're just remarkably well-preserved.

Jan 05 16:59:57 <EML> my pleasure.

Jan 05 17:00:12 <Lensman> Bye, Ed.

Jan 05 17:00:20 <jim_stiles> bye ed

Jan 05 17:00:49 <EML> Or it's an old picture. I forgot (heh).

Jan 05 17:00:57 * EML has quit (Quit: *g0ne*)

Jan 05 17:08:54 <NickE> Good to see heim

Jan 05 17:08:57 <NickE> him

Jan 05 17:09:00 <jim_stiles> I just got finished reading the Wikipedia article on Blood Music and noticed that there was an episode of Futurama where Fry eats a rotten sandwich and the bugs form a civilization inside his gut. Fry also learns how to play the holophoner (from the second Foundation book).

Jan 05 17:09:16 * Larry (~Larry@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 17:09:25 <jim_stiles> Hi Larry

Jan 05 17:09:26 <Lensman> Welcome Larry!

Jan 05 17:09:28 <Dan> Hiya Larry.

Jan 05 17:09:37 <Lensman> Once again, you just missed Ed.

Jan 05 17:09:44 <NickE> Hi Larry, you just missed Ed

Jan 05 17:10:04 <Larry> I must have missed nearly everyone. Two hours late! Sorry.

Jan 05 17:10:27 <NickE> NP

Jan 05 17:10:32 <Dan> Nah, Ed was the only one who has left, so far.

Jan 05 17:11:38 <NickE> Happy New Year Larry. Hope you had a good one

Jan 05 17:11:57 <Larry> OATH OF FEALTY, the book Jerry Pournelle and I wrote about an arcology in Los Angeles, has been reprinted. However, the new intro we wrote didn't get into the book.

Jan 05 17:12:15 <NickE> Oh, that sorta sucks

Jan 05 17:12:16 <Lensman> Larry, as I understand it, on the Ringworld, lift belts and the like work by magnetic repulsion. How is it that the lift belt doesn't appear to attract or repel nearby ferrous objects? Is it that the magnetic effect is very wide and not concentrated at any one spot, or how does that work?

Jan 05 17:12:16 <jim_stiles> Why not?

Jan 05 17:12:22 <Dan> Saw that in paperback at the bookstore this morning.

Jan 05 17:12:27 <Larry> I'm directed to put it in the larryniven-l website.

Jan 05 17:12:53 <NickE> Ohh, an exclusive...we like those :-)

Jan 05 17:13:11 <Lensman> Dang! Well, I look forward to reading it at the website.

Jan 05 17:13:23 <NickE> Still havent finished FoW, but loving it so far

Jan 05 17:13:46 <SeanS> right there with you Nick. I am past halfway and loving it

Jan 05 17:13:52 <Larry> lift belts: beats me. The belts must repel (mostly) the magnetic web beneath the surface.

Jan 05 17:13:55 <NickE> oh yes

Jan 05 17:14:22 <SeanS> I really liked Oath of Fealty. I will look forward to having it in my collection again

Jan 05 17:15:05 <Larry> Fleet of Worlds: glad you like it. We've written a second. A third looks problematical, but would involve the Pak fleet.

Jan 05 17:15:13 <NickE> wow

Jan 05 17:15:20 <Dan> That would be a good read.

Jan 05 17:15:26 <NickE> Well, we can help :-)

Jan 05 17:15:44 <Lensman> Ahhh... I was wondering why Ed asked for any references to Pak in the MKW stories.

Jan 05 17:15:52 <NickE> Fow is good, looking fwd to JoW, even more to a 3rd

Jan 05 17:16:53 <Lensman> A sequel to /Protector/ would be much appreciated! Whatever happened to the war between the Home protectors and the Pak fleet is one of the BIG unanswered questions in KS.

Jan 05 17:17:31 <NickE> Yup

Jan 05 17:19:07 <NickE> just gonna switch to the laptop. Back shortly

Jan 05 17:19:16 * NickE has quit ()

Jan 05 17:20:16 <Dan> Larry, what conventions are you planning on attending this year, if any?

Jan 05 17:22:38 <Lensman> Larry, do you have any opinion on just when the Outsiders sold the hyperdrive to We Made It? The Ringworld Game seems to suggest it was somewhere around 2407, yet a strict interpretation of the interstitial notes in /Tales of Known Space/ would seem to suggest it was no later than 2394. However, that's in light of dating info in "Madness Has Its Place", which was written much later than /Tales/...

Jan 05 17:24:48 <Larry> I'm due in Israel (at a college) in March. Eaton Conference, May. Beyond that, the usual: WEstercon, Worldcon, LosCon.

Jan 05 17:25:22 <Dan> Thanks, Larry. I doubt I can go to any of those, though. :)

Jan 05 17:25:43 * NickE (~NickE@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 17:25:52 <NickE> back

Jan 05 17:26:41 <Lensman> What's the event at the college in Israel?

Jan 05 17:29:11 <Larry> Some Israeli fans had a convention planned for New Year going into 2001, including a vigil on Mt. Armageddon. Things heated up, and we foreign guests bailed out. Now the israelis have arranged for me to speak at a college. I'll get a week, and a chance to look around.

Jan 05 17:30:20 <Dan> Sounds wonderful, but keep your head down, OK?

Jan 05 17:30:47 <NickE> Oh I remember you saying about that back at the time#

Jan 05 17:31:01 <NickE> Definitely!

Jan 05 17:32:00 <Larry> Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan...mean anything to y'all?

Jan 05 17:32:45 <NickE> sorry

Jan 05 17:34:52 <SeanS> nope

Jan 05 17:35:40 <Lensman> Not sure now hot it is in Israel in March. Larry, are you familiar with the "cooling bandana"? You soak it in water, and tie it around your neck. It has some sort of microfil that absorbs water. It's amazing how much difference it can make on a hot day to have something cool around your neck.

Jan 05 17:35:45 <Lensman>

Jan 05 17:36:08 <Lensman> They're not expensive, either.

Jan 05 17:36:15 <SeanS> 2nd largest university in israel

Jan 05 17:37:03 <Larry> I'm familiar with the cooling bandana. On sale at the LA County Fair.

Jan 05 17:37:16 <Larry> Thanks, Sean.

Jan 05 17:37:31 <SeanS>

Jan 05 17:38:12 <Lensman> They're widely available now, I bought a couple at Wal-Mart.

Jan 05 17:39:10 <Lensman> Larry: How are your eyes? I hope you've fully recovered from that infection?

Jan 05 17:40:48 <Larry> My eyes work. I still have a persistent staph infection pluss Fuchs' Dystrophy plus that second cataract, but I can read and I can drive.

Jan 05 17:41:00 <Lensman> Tanj.

Jan 05 17:43:29 <Lensman> "Second cataract" means another operation is in the works?

Jan 05 17:44:30 <Larry> second cataract->second operation eventually.

Jan 05 17:45:03 <Lensman> Good luck with that!

Jan 05 17:45:18 <Larry> Thanks.

Jan 05 17:46:29 <Lensman> Anyone get any good presents for Xmas? I got a gift certificate for, ordered a (used) copy of /Bridging the Galaxies/. When it comes in, my collection of KS stories will be complete again!

Jan 05 17:46:36 <SeanS> cold and rainy day here... sounds like perfect conditions for making a bloody mary

Jan 05 17:47:23 <Dan> Just cold here. Thank goodness that it hasn't rained in a couple of days.

Jan 05 17:47:35 <Larry> Cold and rainy in Chatsworth too, and due to last another day and a half. Good day to make hot chocolate.

Jan 05 17:47:43 <NickE> looking at a new bottle of Macallan ;-)

Jan 05 17:48:54 <Lensman> It's been *very* cold here, and the consquent low humidity is probably why I have a persistant sinus infection. It's gotten warmer in the last couple of days, and it's supposed to rain Monday, so I'm hoping my sinuses will finally clear up within a few days. Kdapt willing!

Jan 05 17:50:03 <Lensman> I've gone thru an entire box of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate mix within the past few days. Hot cocoa is indeed good for stuffy sinuses and a sore throat.

Jan 05 17:50:12 <NickE> I prescribe a medicinal dram...damn this stuff is nice

Jan 05 17:50:21 <NickE> :-)

Jan 05 17:50:36 <SeanS> enough rain, dan? your area was screaming for drought relief a few weeks ago

Jan 05 17:50:51 <jim_stiles> Lensman, have you tried sinus buster; it contains jalpeno pepper extract and works for me

Jan 05 17:51:07 <Dan> Well, I needed it to dry up a bit so a storage shed could be delivered.

Jan 05 17:51:44 <SeanS> i will trade a BM for some of the Macallan, Nick.

Jan 05 17:51:54 <Lensman> Jim: No, what is "Sinus buster"? Sort-bought medicine, home-brew cure or what?

Jan 05 17:52:07 <Dan> And one of the things that's fallout from my recent auto accident is that I never got a chance to empty our pool and store it. So that's frozen over. :)

Jan 05 17:52:40 <SeanS> we need some of this stepping disk tech now.... ;)

Jan 05 17:52:46 <Lensman> I have been known to use Tobasco sauce liberally to clear my sinuses, but it doesn't last.

Jan 05 17:52:46 <jim_stiles> sinus buster is sold in health food stores

Jan 05 17:53:15 <Larry> Stepping disks would be endlessly useful. I'm working on it.

Jan 05 17:53:42 <Lensman> Thanks for the tip, Jim.

Jan 05 17:54:24 <NickE> heh. Yep, stepping disks would be dead handy

Jan 05 17:55:07 <Lensman> There's what appears to be a throwaway bit in "Flatlander" where Elephant has a transfer motor installed in the bottom of a liquor glass, and unsuspecting guests don't realize how much they're drinking... Yah, that sort of technology would be endlessly useful!

Jan 05 17:55:42 <Dan> Heh... I wouldn't have to throw the cat out of my lap just to go get another beer.

Jan 05 17:55:51 <SeanS> lol

Jan 05 17:55:56 <NickE> dangerous tho'

Jan 05 17:56:08 <NickE> as Bey noted

Jan 05 17:56:32 <SeanS> yep... something like this glass has turned good men into serious alcoholics

Jan 05 17:58:31 <Lensman> But the effect on society would be profound, with cheap ubiquitous transfer booths. There would be no need to live anywhere close to where you work. Would people form communities which shared common hobbies or interests to live in? Commute daily to work? I'd love to live in a community of SF fans!

Jan 05 17:59:08 <SeanS> all touched on in oath of fealty.... except using telepresense instead of teleportation

Jan 05 17:59:51 <Lensman> Yes, telepresence can duplicate much of the effect of transfer booths. I didn't remember how much a part of OAF that was.

Jan 05 18:00:34 <NickE> It would have to be much better that current tech, Viid conferences are a pain

Jan 05 18:00:54 <SeanS> not that big a part... mostly touched on when residents were being interviewed by the news if i remember. it has been awhile

Jan 05 18:01:30 <Larry> We saw it in real life. "Flash crowds" via teleport became "flash mobs" via telepresence--though those more nearly resemble the "permanent floating riot club."

Jan 05 18:01:33 <Lensman> Or would people use transfer booths as the ultimate in facilitating privacy? Everybody moves out to "the ultimate suburb"... cities disappear?

Jan 05 18:01:45 <Dan> Speaking of which, it is once again time to reinforce the cat's training. Watch as I turn my chair 90 degrees to the left and she leaps out of my lap, thus freeing me to get up and go get another beer...

Jan 05 18:01:56 <SeanS> yeah, nick....I would love to have a good linux sollution for 'star trek' like communication. skype just isnt keeping up

Jan 05 18:02:19 <NickE> it's OK, but yeah

Jan 05 18:02:36 <SeanS> it does ok voice wise... the video is lagging far behind

Jan 05 18:03:27 <NickE> even Skype chats can be laggy

Jan 05 18:04:49 <SeanS> i talk to Euan Ritchie now and again and it is like a telephone call. but he has a monster internet connection. we are about as far apart as we can be and still be on the same planet

Jan 05 18:04:54 <Dan> Some friends of mine want to do mixed audio and video chats through Skype to edit into podcasts. I told them that they better plan on getting some good editing software.

Jan 05 18:04:57 <Lensman> What I know about "flash mobs" is that a group communicates via Internet to meet at a specific place to perform a specific highly unusual activity, as you say closer to "The Permanent Floating Riot Club". Is the telepresence angle you refer to just the ability to communicate instantly with a group, or does telepresence impact the "flash mob" phenomenon more directly?

Jan 05 18:05:02 <SeanS> me in kentucky and him in New Zealand

Jan 05 18:06:12 <Dan> Lens, Flash Mobs have to be carefully planned in advance so that everyone can get to the selected site at the same time.

Jan 05 18:06:41 <Lensman> Dan: Yes. Is that done by e-mail list, or is it more interactive?

Jan 05 18:07:03 <Dan> I think that it depends on the group doing the planning.

Jan 05 18:07:38 <Dan> If it were me, a mix of IMs and chat would be preferable. But then I'm a chat junkey.

Jan 05 18:07:50 <NickE> heh

Jan 05 18:08:31 <Dan> "Addicted to IRC since 1996, and damn proud of it!"

Jan 05 18:08:37 <SeanS> heh

Jan 05 18:09:17 <NickE> mixed audio and vid on Skype...difficult. Wire Tap software can record all audio, but don't know about vid.

Jan 05 18:10:50 <Dan> Oh, LOL! For a minute there I though you were talking about my friends that want to do those podcasts. But you meant the Flash Mobs.

Jan 05 18:11:07 <NickE> well I was :-)

Jan 05 18:11:26 <NickE> (podcasting a lot at the moment)

Jan 05 18:12:05 <NickE> Thought I might be doing a Skype discussion one this evening, but it's next week now.

Jan 05 18:12:36 <Dan> My frinds want to upload their podcasts to YouTube, so I doubt that they give two hoots about security. They are a batch of Ripperologists/Unsolved mysteries buffs.

Jan 05 18:13:11 <Larry> I'm signing off. Fare you well.

Jan 05 18:13:22 <Dan> Goodnight, Larry!

Jan 05 18:13:27 <SeanS> thanks for stopping by, Larry

Jan 05 18:13:30 <NickE> Night Larry, ta for stopping by

Jan 05 18:13:33 <Lensman> Bye, Larry.

Jan 05 18:13:40 * Larry has quit (Quit: *g0ne*)

Jan 05 18:14:18 <Lensman> I'm going to get something to eat; AFK for a bit.

Jan 05 18:14:28 <NickE> k

Jan 05 18:15:02 <NickE> I'm producing The Signal for the next episode!

Jan 05 18:15:09 <Dan> Congrats!

Jan 05 18:15:31 <jim_stiles> its suppertime on the east coast so goodbye for now will be back later

Jan 05 18:15:36 * jim_stiles has quit ()

Jan 05 18:16:11 <NickE> Yeah, it's going to be interesting. Got a lot to do

Jan 05 18:17:01 <NickE> Still have Buffy stuff to do as Spike for Buffy Between The Lines plus a shed load of editing

Jan 05 18:19:43 <Dan> I'm trying to not get roped in to helping with the Ripperologists' podcasts. I've got too many projects of my own to get tied up doing stuff for another group.

Jan 05 18:21:31 <Dan> Bill Warren handed off a shared universe project to my e-zine, and by default I'm going to have to be series editor for that.

Jan 05 18:21:36 <NickE> yeah, think I need to be careful not to get too sdetracked with stuff

Jan 05 18:22:54 <Dan> No one has even submitted the first story for it, and already the writers that are interested are asking if they can change the rules a little. :)

Jan 05 18:24:43 <Dan> Unfortunately, none of them seem interested in doing the research necessary to keep the hard science aspect true to what Bill wants.

Jan 05 18:25:47 <Dan> I'm going to have to be hardnosed about it, and that doesn't come easy to me.

Jan 05 18:26:13 <NickE> I know what you mean

Jan 05 18:27:01 <NickE> I'll need to be bossy sometimes to get stuff done (it's a bi-weekly rolling schedule)

Jan 05 18:28:15 <NickE> I've just booked for Serenity Complete in April

Jan 05 18:28:19 <Dan> Thankfully, I don't have a schedule to keep, but trying to ride herd on this batch of rugged individualists is going to be a drag unless they take it seriously.

Jan 05 18:28:54 <NickE> I hope to be able to give Mark Sheppard (Badger) a copy of my Badger's World segments from The Signal

Jan 05 18:30:30 <Dan> Would that be just editing together those segments as a gift, or is there more work than that involved?

Jan 05 18:31:54 <NickE> No, it's all done, I have the hi quality wav files and just need to burn 'em to CD (tried it already - it all fits)

Jan 05 18:32:19 <Dan> Good! (That it fits, I mean.)

Jan 05 18:33:36 <NickE> Well, they're only 4-5 minute segments and theres 14 so far

Jan 05 18:34:19 <NickE> I'd love to get Mark Sheppard to say a couple of lines :-)

Jan 05 18:34:29 <NickE> Have you heard them?

Jan 05 18:34:48 <Lensman> Dan, you have a private message.

Jan 05 18:38:18 <SeanS> ok, the video works fine in the latest beta of skype if i have a light shining in my face

Jan 05 18:38:26 <SeanS> no way to adjust brightness levels yet

Jan 05 18:39:51 <NickE> dont have a cam

Jan 05 18:40:02 <NickE> and probably wont

Jan 05 18:41:16 <Dan> Hmmm... Some webcams react to normal lighting better. I picked up a cheap one at WalMart, a Phillips, that works better than the ones that I bought at BestBuy.

Jan 05 18:46:00 <Dan> Alhough at the moment, I have to re-think using a multi-port USB hub to plug my own webcam into. Every time I reboot my computer, the webcam has to be unplugged and plugged back in again. My computer doesn't play well with the USB hub.

Jan 05 18:49:29 <SeanS> this is the beta skype software. the camera works fine under windows. and a brighter images shows up when i test the cam under kopote

Jan 05 18:50:00 <Dan> Ah! I misunderstood.

Jan 05 18:51:34 <SeanS> np

Jan 05 18:51:58 <SeanS> i think this latest beta doesnt do sound that well. hopefully it will alll come together in the next release

Jan 05 18:52:13 <Dan> Probably will.

Jan 05 18:53:18 <SeanS> well, i hope so...

Jan 05 18:53:22 <Dan> My wife and I swear by Skype for bypassing long-distance telephone charges. Lyn has even been able to call relatives over in England using Skype.

Jan 05 18:54:10 <Lensman> But you have to call at pre-arranged times, is that right?

Jan 05 18:54:17 <SeanS> nope... just like a phone call

Jan 05 18:54:21 <SeanS> the computer rings

Jan 05 18:54:30 <SeanS> and you can see if someone has been recently active

Jan 05 18:54:46 <Dan> Not really, just call when you know that they will still be awake. 5 hour time difference, that's all.

Jan 05 18:54:46 <Lensman> Oh, then it's a VOIP phone.

Jan 05 18:55:08 <SeanS> its telephony... no other installed devices like vonage

Jan 05 18:55:23 <Lensman> Which means?

Jan 05 18:55:45 <SeanS> vonage adds a box to your internet connection then your regular phones are connected to it

Jan 05 18:56:09 <SeanS> this is pc to pc communications.. but in later versions you can call regular phones with it for a price

Jan 05 18:56:22 <Lensman> So when you say your computer rings, you mean that literally... not that the computer causes the phone to ring.

Jan 05 18:56:42 <SeanS> correct

Jan 05 18:57:11 <SeanS> if i broke down and put windows back on this box, dan and i could talk and see each other real time

Jan 05 18:57:36 <SeanS> i use linux so i am waiting for skype to come out with new version that fixes the bugs

Jan 05 18:57:41 <Dan> That's the way that Lyn uses it, but I can call Sean (or other friends with Skype) and it works just like any instant message/audio & video program. I put a few $$ a month in my Skype account, and pay 2.1ยข a minute to call another tellephone, anywhere in the world.

Jan 05 18:58:12 <Dan> Two functions, one program.

Jan 05 18:58:27 <Lensman> "For a price"? Hmmm, seems there ought to be a peripheral that would interface with your phone to make it act like a real phone. Except you wouldn't have a phone number, so I suppose you'd have to limit that to some sort of speed-dial setup?

Jan 05 18:59:04 <SeanS> well, i drape a mic around my neck... its hands free

Jan 05 18:59:38 <Lensman> But you can get hands-free phones, too. I'm thinking about the interface.

Jan 05 18:59:56 <SeanS> install it and try it out...

Jan 05 19:00:02 <Dan> What I do is to use a mic & earphone, use Skype to dial a phone number, and talk as if it were a telephone. Buy Skye users can contact other Skype users for free.

Jan 05 19:01:10 <Lensman> Phones use low voltage, ring when they receive a certain voltage surge as I understand it? No reason a plug-in peripheral couldn't interface with a phone the same way.

Jan 05 19:01:24 <SeanS> why would you want to

Jan 05 19:01:43 <Dan> I bought headset mics & earphones for us, about $12, and we can talk hands-free to anyone on a phone, or IM with voice & video to anyone who has Skype on their computer.

Jan 05 19:01:52 <SeanS> you can make the ring sound anything you want.

Jan 05 19:02:11 <Lensman> Well, then I wouldn't have to pay Skype a monthly fee, for one thing.

Jan 05 19:02:32 <Dan> I don't pay a set monthly fee.

Jan 05 19:02:40 <SeanS> you dont have to... dan chooses to so he can call terestrial phones

Jan 05 19:03:13 <Lensman> And I wouldn't have to install a microphone on my computer, for another.

Jan 05 19:03:30 <SeanS> you would if you want people to hear you

Jan 05 19:03:37 <Lensman> Or rather, the phone would be the mike.

Jan 05 19:03:41 <SeanS> tho most cams come with a built in mic

Jan 05 19:03:43 <Dan> I put whatever amount of money that I like into my Skype account, and when that runs low, I put a little more in. So far, $50 has lasted more than a year.

Jan 05 19:04:15 <SeanS> i am apparently not following you, lensman. what does a phone have to do with anything.

Jan 05 19:05:04 <Dan> A two hour call to England using Skype to do the dialing costs us about $2.50.

Jan 05 19:05:28 <Lensman> It just seems silly to me to use a $500-$1500+ computer to do the function of a $20 phone, that's all.

Jan 05 19:06:05 <SeanS> well, i already have the pc for other uses. so using it to make free voice and video calls is just gravy

Jan 05 19:06:18 <Lensman> Just my opinion, I guess I'm just being impossibly old-fashioned. :)

Jan 05 19:06:32 <Dan> That same two hour call to England on my regular phone can cost between $75 and $250 depending on the time of day. Want to pay more, use a regular phone.

Jan 05 19:07:20 <Dan> I think $2.50 is a fine price to pay so that my wife can talk to her sister-in-law.

Jan 05 19:07:45 <SeanS> most people i know in england already have skype so its free. nice about the ultra low rate to anywhere for non techy call recipeints

Jan 05 19:09:18 <SeanS> david, are you still using win98?

Jan 05 19:09:37 <Lensman> Yup, still using Win98

Jan 05 19:09:54 <Lensman> Like I said, impossibly old-fashioned. :)

Jan 05 19:10:04 <SeanS> hmm, skype doesnt support it.

Jan 05 19:12:22 <SeanS> win98 does ok.. i would probably pick it given the choice between 98 and vista

Jan 05 19:12:55 <Lensman> Anyway, it's not so much that I think there's anything "wrong" with using your computer as a phone, it's just that I was brainstorming about possibilities. I've turned my stereo into a peripheral for my computer, by running the computer's audio out into the stereo's audio input... so why couldn't one do the same thing with the phones? That way you'd be able to use phones all over the house, have multiple people talking from the same house on the line

Jan 05 19:13:13 <SeanS> apparently microshaft has decided that they are so powerful the people of the world can be beta testers

Jan 05 19:13:47 <SeanS> i run an audio cable to the stereo and a svideo cable to the tv and watch avi files on the 50 inch projection tv

Jan 05 19:14:47 <SeanS> yep... you could wire the phone system in. then you wouldnt be able to call the fire department without going to a closet and flipping the phone system back to bellsouth (pick your phone provider)

Jan 05 19:14:56 <Dan> Hmmm...., Lens, I think you're missing the point. Wiring your compputer to your telephones doesn't decrease the cost of your telephone bill. Using Skype to make phone call will reduce your phone bills.

Jan 05 19:15:37 <SeanS> and thats just using the phone's mic and speaker instead of a non phone mic and speaker

Jan 05 19:15:40 <Lensman> Well I remember my computer dealer complaining about a Windows upgrade, how some of his customers were requesting their OS be downgraded to the previous version of Windoz. But from the article I linked to on the list, I take it that with Vista it's a lot more than just working the bugs out of a new system; that Vista fundamentally doesn't work as well as XP in important ways.

Jan 05 19:16:05 <SeanS> thats how i understand it

Jan 05 19:16:09 <Dan> XP does seem to work much better than Vista.

Jan 05 19:16:24 <SeanS> so i gave microsoft the shaft and went with linux

Jan 05 19:17:56 <Lensman> I'm confused about whether or not Skype charges a monthly fee or not, I guess. It seems to me if you can Instant Message anyone, you could likewise send VOIP that way. But of course, only if they have VOIP setup.

Jan 05 19:18:19 <SeanS> skype doesn not charge a monthly fee

Jan 05 19:18:26 <SeanS> oops

Jan 05 19:18:33 <SeanS> skype does not charge a monthly fee

Jan 05 19:18:45 <SeanS> text voice and video to other skype users

Jan 05 19:19:05 <SeanS> if you want to call terrestrial telephone lines, you pay as you go and a very low rate

Jan 05 19:19:40 <Lensman> Okay. So why can't I interface my phones to a 'puter running Skype and get rid of my monthly phone bill?

Jan 05 19:20:40 <Lensman> Partial answer: Cuz then you can only call those who keep their computers running Skype all the time.

Jan 05 19:20:51 <SeanS> ok... interfacing your phones is one thing. requires better wiring skills than i have without research.

Jan 05 19:20:56 <Dan> Here's another example: I have Skype on my laptop, too. Once Lyn and I went on a trip out of state to a family reunion, my parents went to the reunion too. When Lyn & I got to our hotel I used Skype to call my Mom's cellphone and tell her that we'd arrived. Thus saving the price of using the hotel's phone to make a call outside the hotel, as well as the charges to Mom's cellphone.

Jan 05 19:21:33 <Dan> Skype is portable!

Jan 05 19:21:35 <SeanS> but byp paying for skype out, you could call from your pc at that very low rate and get rid of your monthly service... you could think of it as using your pc as a cell phone.

Jan 05 19:22:18 <SeanS> but skype drops calls like cell phones. i use it for convenience and fun... i dont depend on it

Jan 05 19:22:25 <Lensman> You called your Mom's cellphone without her having to pay for the service? Now I am *really* confused.

Jan 05 19:23:12 <Lensman> 'Cuz the call would still have to go thru your Mom's cellphone company, right?

Jan 05 19:23:47 <SeanS> done here... read the website. learn.

Jan 05 19:24:00 <SeanS> i am going to pack a cooler full of beer and go to a friends to watch football

Jan 05 19:24:15 <Lensman> G'nite Sean.

Jan 05 19:25:34 <Dan> Yeah, but it went through the cellphone company as a local call, rather than as a long distance call.

Jan 05 19:25:58 <NickE> night

Jan 05 19:26:21 <Lensman> I see, thanks Dan.

Jan 05 19:27:29 <Dan> Well, anyway... The thing I'm getting at is that Skype can save money on loads of different phone calls, as well as being able to do text, audio, and video messages to other Skype users.

Jan 05 19:27:58 <Lensman> I just recently read about how cell phone technology works, I think it was on the "How Stuff Works" website. Fascinating! Suddenly all that tech talk on cop shows about tracing cell phone calls makes sense.

Jan 05 19:29:24 <Dan> Sure! Call switching equipment has been useful to cops for ages. As the tech improves, it can help them trace a criminal even faster.

Jan 05 19:30:39 <Lensman> But that means every separate cellphone company must have its own towers? And they all have to be just a few miles apart? There must be, I dunno, hundreds of thousands of cellphone towers just in the U.S.?

Jan 05 19:30:52 <Dan> Whew! I've been typing faster than I can compose tonight. I'm surprized that I made any sense.

Jan 05 19:31:13 <Dan> I think that companies share cell towers.

Jan 05 19:31:36 <Lensman> Oh, well that would certainly be more efficient.

Jan 05 19:32:55 <Dan> That's something that I don't know a lot about, but I'm guessing that cell phones use a set of frequencies in common, and that the towers can handle lots of different companies' signals at the same time.

Jan 05 19:33:22 <Dan> Oh, I doubt that I said that the right way around.

Jan 05 19:34:00 <Dan> I'm going to have to plead ignorance of the details of that sort of tech.

Jan 05 19:34:18 <NickE> right, gotta hit the hay

Jan 05 19:34:50 <Lensman> Goodnite Nick.

Jan 05 19:34:58 <Dan> I can't stay much longer either. My wife has almost got supper ready. She'll be calling me to eat soon.

Jan 05 19:35:01 <NickE> Night all

Jan 05 19:35:09 <Dan> Goodnight, NickE!

Jan 05 19:35:22 * NickE has quit ()

Jan 05 19:37:00 <Dan> Yep, she's calling. See you all later!

Jan 05 19:37:09 * Dan (~vila@71.31.99.XXX) has left #knownspace

Jan 05 22:14:18 * chief_strike_anywhere has quit (Connection reset by peer)

Jan 05 22:23:16 * jim_stiles (~jim_stiles@ has joined #knownspace

Jan 05 22:23:35 <jim_stiles> there are still people here?

Jan 05 22:40:13 * jim_stiles has quit ()

Jan 05 22:59:28 * Lensman has quit ()