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Archive: August 2014

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Wednesday,  08/06/14  01:16 AM

SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts offA little midnight blogging, after a wonderful night at the center of the universe (Dodger Stadium).  Yes, the Dodgers won in the bottom of the ninth on a walkoff error, after the Angels moved one of their outfields into the infield.  And yes, the final score was four hot dogs two beers.

Picture of the day: SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off.  Awesome!  (Click to enbiggen.)

Don't you love the way iCloud stops syncing at random, and the only way to restart it is to uninstall / reinstall it?  Yeah, me too.  That's what you call user friendly.

Starbucks payments' appWith all the talk about mobile payments, guess who is the leader in number of mobile payment apps deployed?  If you said Starbucks, you would be correct.  So now Starbucks wants you to use their app for payments in other stores.  How interesting.  It's a simple stored-value system, not clear why you would want to use this, but ... we'll see.

They do have a plug-in for my Pebble Watch :)

Bitcoin gatewayMeanwhile: Stripe CTO explains how Bitcoin could improve the financial system.  Excellent.  Seems like the transparency of all transactions is most important; not who did them, but that they were done.

Apropos: Wikipedia now accepts donations in Bitcoin.

Seth Godin: Doing the hard things.  "'How do we do something so difficult that others can't imagine doing it?' is a fine question to ask today."  Hehe.  At eyesFinder we do the impossible every day :)

Guardians of the GalaxySo, the power of Han Solo is alive in Guardians of the Galaxy?  (Question mark is mine)  Meh.  I saw it after reading reviews like this, and I was underwhelmed.  It was entertaining enough I suppose, but not in the same class as Star Wars.  At all.

Strong Bad!Meanwhile: Ranking all 205 Strong Bad emails.  So good.

How to fake flawless predictions for any event on social media.  Basically, you make a bunch of predictions beforehand, and then afterward highlight the only one which was right and delete the rest.  "Never trust a prediction revealed after its outcome."

Bill Nye: How finding ET will change the world.  And it will most likely be found on Europa.  So be it.  I would *still* like to visit Titan, maybe there will be Europa-ians there already!

More proof, if any were needed, that the world is sinking Idiocracy-like into decline: Jerry Pournelle republishes a book sixth graders used to read 100 years ago.  Now it would be college-level reading.  This is fueled by Unnatural Selection.

The Scarlet Pool, ThailandAmazing swimming pools.  Wow!  (Pictured, the aptly named "Scarlet Pool", at a hotel in Thailand.

So, does technology have a "gender gap"?  Maybe.  I feel like if anything technology is mostly a meritocracy, the examples in the article notwithstanding.  There is most definitely a gender gap in available engineers - when I run an ad for programmers, nearly every applicant is male - but I suspect that has more to do with interest than bias.

Jens Voight and Chris HornerJens Voight is calling it quits after USA Pro Challenge.  So be it.  He's going to be missed.  That's him at right, with Chris Horner; two 42-year-olds still at the top of their sport.

Alejandro Valverde answers his Tour critics with Clasica victory.  Nobody should have to apologize for finishing fourth in the Tour de France.  Alejandro is a great rider.

How to be lucky.  As you might expect, this turns out to be mostly a matter of attitude.  I always feel the harder I work, the luckier I get :)

adorable little PenguinAnd we'll end tonight with an adorable little penguin.  You're welcome!

 

NYTimes 1943, if edited today

Friday,  08/08/14  11:10 PM

 

This would be funnier if it were less true: 
If today's editors of the NYTimes were in charge in 1943:

NYTimes of 1943, if edited today

 

 

apathy to dependence

Saturday,  08/09/14  10:22 PM

we the people ...So, apparently democracies go through the following cycle:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

 

Hmmm... doesn't seem inevitable, but it does seem like it happens a lot.

 

It's pretty hard to get good decision making from the masses, they generally vote in favor of their own self-interest and against the common good, until something cataclysmic comes along to reset the cycle.

 

our Curiosity

Tuesday,  08/19/14  10:07 PM

 

Our Curiosity is a nice video by Caltech narrated by Neal deGrasse Tyson,
celebrating NASA's Curiosity Rover (which was designed and made for NASA by Caltech's JPL)

One of the most successful and influential unmanned spacecraft (robots) of all time. 
So cool

 

 

over 21

Monday,  08/25/14  09:51 PM

over 21Today is of special note; it is my daughter Alexis 21st birthday!  Wow.  How the time flies... Happy Birthday Alex, congratulations on another trip around the sun.  I hope the next 21 are even better :)

Meanwhile, it's all happening...

3D-printed jet engine, courtesy of GEHow awesome is this?  GE releases instructions for 3D-printable jet engine.  Yes, of course I printed one for myself :)

Yobi 3D is a search engine for 3D objects.  Excellent, and much needed.  I'll be back.

A message from the Amazon Books team.  In which the transition to e-books is compared to the previous transition to paperbacks.  Well-reasoned, and reasonable.  Book publishers are most definitely not on the side of history.

The counterintuitive trait that will make you significantly more successful.  It's ... skepticism.  Hmmm, I have to say, I'm skeptical :)  I grant that excessive optimism and unrealism can hurt, you, but sometimes the man who knows something is impossible is interrupted by the man who is doing it anyway.

IBM Mark I computerSeventy years ago today ... IBM presented the Mark I computer to Harvard.  I love those old machines, they're so ... intricate, right?

Important news: the best beer in baseball.  The Washington Post ranks every ballpark in Major League Baseball by the quality and breadth of their beer offerings.

Is HBase's slow and steady approach winning the NoSQL race?  I don't think so.  I think Cassandra has a huge lead and is gaining on everyone else.  This isn't a race, by the way.  There is no network effect to the leader, selection of databases is purely a meritocracy.

Twitter's small chance to maim email.  I rate the chances of Twitter denting email use as approaching zero from the left.  Good direct messaging in Twitter might replace other kinds of messaging, but email is longer form and queued, giving it other properties.

stunning cliffside beachesTwenty stunning cliffside beaches.  Wow.

Spring shopping - follow brands, not usersHmmm... this is interesting: Jello Labs launches Spring, a new shopping app.  "On every other platform, users follower users.  On Spring, shoppers follow brands."  I predict this won't work, but it is an interesting experiment.  And it could most certainly benefit from inclusion of visual search :)

So I can find it later: how to center one object inside another in CSS.  If I could comment, I don't find CSS to be at all elegant.  There's an inherent crapiness which makes even simple stuff hard.

Interesting: Wind power requires 700 times as much land as Fracking.  I prefer nuclear power to both, but I must admit I am greatly troubled by the land area consumer by "clean" wind power.

Darian National Park - the gap in the Pan-American HighwayThe gap in the world's longest road.  It's the Darien National Park, in Panama, which breaks up the Pan-American Highway that runs from Alaska to Argentina.

Robert Scoble has thrown in the blogging towel: I've completely moved to social media.  So be it.  For myself, I'm still Facebooking, but blogging allows two things which Facebook does not: linkblogging (like this post), and long-form essays.  Both of which I like to write.

What Facebook doesn't show you.  "All I want is an unfiltered feed of what my friends post, as they post it."  Amen, brother.  That's all anyone I know wants, but somehow Facebook doesn't want to give it to us.  Does anyone prefer "top stories" to "recent posts"?  Yeah see, I knew it.

Dave Winer: Little Facebook Editor.  Huh, this looks interesting... must check it out.  "Little Facebook Editor can cross-post to both WordPress and Facebook simultaneously, and when a post changes, both sites are updated."  Maybe a good solution for Robert Scoble :)

 

Milky Way over Yellowstone

Thursday,  08/27/14  02:42 PM

 

Wow!  Milky Way over Yellowstone is the most amazing NASA APOD ever.

Milky Way over Yellowstone

(click to enbiggen amazingly)

 

 
 

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