Expect no new posts until Monday and a slowdown in comment moderation as I attend the Breakthrough Initiatives event in Palo Alto. As has been my practice at previous such events, I won’t try to cover the talks and discussions live. While ‘live blogging’ has its place and seems to work for things like product introductions, I don’t find it useful for scientific conferences, where I need to take lots of notes and think about the implications of what I’ve written. But I’ll come back from Stanford with plenty of things to talk about, and we’ll use all of next week sorting them out. Dinner tonight with Jim and Greg Benford, my son Miles, and my old friend Claudio Maccone, with whom I’ll be talking SETI, the FOCAL mission (to the Sun’s gravity lens), and the best methods of data retrieval for a mission like Breakthrough Starshot. Many more good discussions ahead. SETI is a big part of this conference, but Alpha Centauri looms large.