Archive: July 7, 2024

Cycling through time

Sunday,  07/07/24  09:43 AM

NY 240527


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Archive: July 19, 2020

sail on

Sunday,  07/19/20  09:20 PM

Amid all the sheltering, I've been sailing!  Yippee.  The local clubs here in Southern California haven't exactly opened up - the clubhouses and bars are locked tight - but they have started running simple "practice" regattas.  So much fun.

Literally unbelievable: Widespread Twitter Hack Reaches Bill Gates, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Barack Obama.  I follow Elon and was almost taken in myself.  Wow! 

Experts agree: US should reopen schools.  Much to the chagrin of some media. 

Powerline: America's reporters and editors are liars.  Yep, no surprise there.

Half of Americans have used Telehealth services during pandemic.  Excellent.  But what about all of you in the other half? 

National Geographic: The Atlas of Moons.  Over 200 of your favorites, with all known data about each one.  Definitely a bookmark to revisit. 

Although I must say, the site is a tad over-engineered; it would have been better without all the background processing.

Mark your calendars: NASA's SpaceX Crew Dragon astronauts will return to Earth on Aug 2.  Excellent. 

Apropos: SpaceX wins NASA approval to launch astronauts on reused rockets.

Less certain: NASA chief says he's 'very confident' in a 2021 launch date for SLS.  Did he read this: What you need to know about our SLS rocket's 'green run test'.

Inspector General: NASA's Orion is a program of lies.  Sad.

But ... at least NASA is keeping the astrologers honest, so they've got that going for them.

Here we have the Katmai National Park annual "bear cam", showing bears, salmon, and all sorts of other wildlife.  I've visited three times and seen bears every time.  Sooo cool. 

On behalf of environmentalists, I apologize for the climate scare.  Why thank you. 

Related: A visual lesson in energy density.  Green entropy barely shows up.

Berci Mesko: I would love to go back to 2006 to show this image to someone and ask what they think is going on here

Doc Searls: How long will radio last? 

And finally from John "Doom" Carmack: "Someone noticed that when you have hundreds / thousands of cores in a supercomputer, the individual utilization boxes in Task Manager start to look like pixels. People started making pictures by doing different amounts of work on specific processors."
It escalated quickly

Onward ... smooth sailing!



Archive: July 21, 2019


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Archive: July 20, 2015

Monday,  07/20/15  09:31 PM

So I spent the last week / weekend sailing in the 2015 C-15 Nationals, an event I first sailed in way back in 1978.  Whew.  We didn't win, and although I almost killed my crew (longtime friend and fellow sailor Don, who is always the center of good stories) we did have some good moments too (best one, port tacking the entire fleet with the right side favored).  It was so much fun, we might even do it again ... in another 35 years.


What can I say about the Iran deal that hasn't been said elsewhere by others already?  It's a horrible deal, truly Munich for our time.  (This refers to the Munich agreement made by Prime Minister of the UK Nevil Chamberlain with Hitler's Germany, an appeasement which didn't work, and led directly to WWII.)  We know it will enable Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and we can only hope it doesn't lead directly to WWIII. 

Brings to mind the remark by Albert Einstein, that he didn't know what weapons would be used in WWIII, but he thought WWIV might be fought with sticks and stones.  Sigh.

The worst part is I'm entirely unclear on what the US gains from this deal.  It seems the only benefit is that President Obama can claim to have made a deal with Iran, and that's of no use to anyone.

Hmmm: Stephen Hawking and Russian Billionaire start $100M search for aliens.  So be it.  I for one hope we find life "out there", but I am not optimistic.  Far more likely that they will find us, after we have advanced sufficiently, but I don't think we're quite there yet.  

I think the answer to Fermi's Paradox, "where is everyone", is that they're out there, but we're very (very!) far apart... and will need advanced tech merely to find each other, let alone communicate.

Wait But Why's discussion of the Fermi Paradox is great, check it out... 

Meanwhile: Asteroid Mining company's 1st satellite launches from space station.  And no, that's not an Onion headline nor a movie.  What a great time to be alive. 

I'd love to, and I did: Test fly an ICON A5 amphibious sport aircraft in this new video.  As far as the cost, well, if you have to ask... 

Interesting: PayPal shares pop 8.3% after split from eBay.  The acquisition of PayPal by eBay made sense at the time - the dot-bomb explosion made access to capital for PayPal very difficult - but now it's good that they're separate.  PayPal can resume its original vision of becoming "the new world currency" :) 

So, what programming language should you learn?  I gave my answer a few days ago, ObjectiveC.  The assumptive answer from this survey is Python, but I'm not so sure...  I haven't seen it used for "real stuff" too often.  The other "real" answer would be JavaScript, which is used for everything these days. 

In re Apple design trends, this progression of iTunes icons speaks for itself.  2015 is definitely the ugliest, and I'd pick 2006 as "peak icon". 

As Ghandi once said, "half my quotes on Pinterest are fake".  Ah, but which half?



Archive: July 21, 2014

Le Tour 2014, rest day 2: movie + thoughts

Monday,  07/21/14  10:56 PM

The Tour de France 2014 rests again today.  Left are three mountain stages in the Pyrenees, a transition stage, and a time trial left before Sunday's parade / sprint to Paris.

It seems like Vincenzo Nibali is a lock to win.  But the rest of the podium and top ten is up for grabs, should make for some exciting racing.  Peter Sagan has the green jersey sewn up.  But the polka dot jersey competition is tight (tied!) between Joaquim Rodriquez and Rafal Majka, and the white jersey is up for grabs between Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot, who are also battling for top French rider and ... perhaps most importantly ... fighting to be the first Frenchman on the podium since Ricard Virenque in 1997.  Add to that Tejay Van Garderen sitting in fifth, and riding stronger every day, and Bauke Mollema lurking in seventh, and Rui Costa ... well there's a lot of racing left.  (Update: Rui has dropped out due to pnemonia!  Rats)

It already seems a long time ago but remember stage 5, which retraced the Paris-Roubaoix route over the cobbles in the rain?  Want to see it again, from the handlebars of a riderCheck this out:

Wow.  And Onward!

[ Le Tour 2014: all posts | index ]


Archive: July 21, 2013


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Archive: July 19, 2011

birds of a feather (New Yorker, 7/11/11)

Tuesday,  07/19/11  09:08 PM


"birds of a feather"

another awesome New Yorker cover celebrates summer!
...and friends...
what would one be without the other



TDF stage 16 / mountains - great racing! Hushovd wins from break, Evans takes time on GC

Tuesday,  07/19/11  09:11 PM

Today's Tour de France stage 16 was a pure pleasure, it had all the elements of great racing, with many riders motivated to get in a break, a chasing peloton, a tough final climb that made a big selection, and a nasty descent which enabled Thor Hushovd to win from the break and Cadel Evans to take time on all the GC contenders.  For me this was the stage of the Tour so far; if you haven't watched the Tour and want to watch one stage, make it this one.

Alberto Contador roused himself to make some great attacks, and broke clear of the Schlecks and some other contenders like Ivan Basso, but couldn't shake Evans and Samuel Sanchez, who seem to be the strongest climbers this year.  And Thomas Voeckler continues to amaze; not only was he in the mix all through, but even answered a couple of Contador's attacks himself before losing a little time in the end.  He is truly a worthy yellow jersey wearer and I look for him to keep it again tomorrow, only to lose it on the Galibier Thursday.  We'll see.

By the way there were two Norweigens in the race, Hushovd and Edvard Boessen Hagen, and they finished one-two.  What are the odds of that?  And kudos to Ryder Hesjedal who led the break up the climb and then worked perfectly with Garmin teammate Hushovd on the descent to get the win.

Tomorrow's stage is similar to today's, with perhaps more climbing; it is interesting that they have the intermediate sprint after a cat 3 climb, which may allow Philippe Gilbert or perhaps Hushovd to take points from the pure sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Jose Rojas.  And then we have a serious cat 1 climb into Italy before a long long long descent and then a final cat 2 climb before a descent to the finish.  It could definitely be another day for a breakaway, much like today, as well as a day for a selection on GC, much like today.  Stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2011: all postsindex ]


we're off!

Tuesday,  07/19/11  09:28 PM

Final post before getting on a plane tomorrow and heading to Europe.  It's going to be great!  I don't know how much time I'll have for blogging, so I apologize in advance if I have to catch up later.  Please have a great time if we don't see each other :)

Sorry for posting so much about the Tour de France, I know, you don't care, but I do, and this is my blog, eh?  We're actually going to be in Paris for the final stage on the Champs d'Elysee next Sunday, how cool is that?  And there's a nonzero chance we might go down to Grenoble for the time trials on Saturday, too.  So I'm afraid there's more Tour blogging ahead!

Want to see something sad?  This isn't a Tour de France stage profile, it's the value profile of my house over the past ten years, according to Zillow.  As you can see, the last five years erased the gains of the first.  Now the more-than-$64,000 question is, what will happen from here?  Is this the bottom and will prices recover, or are they going to go down further? 

Susannah Breslin: How not to be unemployed.  I am always stuck by how useless the "normal" advice for job-seekers feels.  I especially liked her emphasis on networking over resume sending.  That feels dead-on. 

Awesome counterpoint to country-level rights: this painting is not available in your country.  What's especially ironic is that this picture is on Flickr, where it is rights-restricted :) 

John Gruber, regarding the new Google+ app for the iPhone: "An interesting app for a service I do not enjoy. It does not solve my fundamental problem with Google+, which is that it feels like work to use."  See, that's my problem too.  In fact, it feels like work just to explain why I don't want to use it. 

Doonesbury on teaching creationism.  I love it. 

Why can't we fix Medicare once and for all?  Geoff Colvin makes too much sense in Fortune. 

Okay, that's it, we're off.  Have fun and stay tuned!



Archive: July 20, 2010

TDF stage 16 / climb / Lance attacks and almost wins! Fedrigo prevails; Hushovd back in green

Tuesday,  07/20/10  09:50 PM

Wow, Lance *almost* pulled it off, and I think everyone was pulling for him to do it.  He almost won from a nine-man break, almost putting a great punctuation mark on his fabulous Tour de France career.  At least he gave it a shot!

Today we had the "queen stage", a huge climbing day with two Cat 1 climbs and two HC climbs... and [unfortunately] a rather long flat run after the final climb down to the finish.  It was tailor made for a breakaway, and indeed there was one, and among the twelve riders in it was #21, Lance Armstrong himself.  Also in it was Ryder Hesjedal, ensuring the peloton wasn't going to give the break too much leash.  After a while they were joined by Alexander Vinokourov, Carlos Sastre, Sandy Casar, and Anthony Charteau, the current KOM leader.  That was the status after the second Cat 1 Col d'Aspin.  Soon Casar attacked, and soon after so did Lance!  The peloton absorbed the break as other riders attacked off the front, even as Lance passed Casar on the lower slopes of the HC Col d'Tourmalet.  For a while he was all by himself, and we all wondered whether he'd be able to hang out there all day, with two HC passes ahead of him...

But it was not to be.  A nine-man break formed, with no GC contenders, and they made it all the way to the finish, but Pierrick Fedrigo out sprinted the rest of the break, leaving Lance to finish sixth.  I was a little sad but it was fun watching it all unfold however :)  Also great on this day: Thor Hushovd does what he always does, race his bike in the mountains as well as the flats, and as a result he took enough sprint points to reclaim the green jersey from Alessandro Petacchi.  We'll see if he can keep it, but it is cool that he can compete for the green jersey without actually being one of the top sprinters.

Tomorrow is a rest day - much needed, you can be sure - and the day after we'll have fireworks for sure as it will be Andy Schleck against Alberto Contador mano-a-mano on the hilltop finish to the Tourmalet, which they'll climb from the other side to the way they took it today.  Will be amazing!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


totally Tuesday

Tuesday,  07/20/10  10:09 PM

A long day of work for me - drove down early, many meetings - but overall things are going quite well.  I've been working on a project which is taking shape, and it's great to see it finally moving...  tonight I find myself in San Clemente - all the hotels in Carlsbad are occupied by ComicCon, apparently - and so I did a rather weird ride, lots of residential streets, kind of fun though as you never know what will be around the next corner, and the next...

... (and yes, of course, I did wear my sunglasses at night :) ...

... meanwhile it's *all* happening, what a day in the world and the blogosphere!

Today is the 41st anniversary of the lunar landing.  As I do every year, here's a link to the video; wow, *still* gives me goose bumps.  Everyone can remember where they were when this happened, right?  (Well, assuming you were alive :) 

I don't necessarily agree with the New Yorker on most things, but Borderlines hits the nail on the head.  "The problem of illegal immigration isn’t a matter of violent criminals storming the walls of our peaceful towns and cities. It’s a matter of what to do about the estimated eleven million unauthorized residents who are already here."  I think of this every time I drive through the useless border checkpoints along I-5 between Oceanside and San Clemente, which I did tonight... 

NewScientist: Why Facebook friends are worth keeping...  (linked to the Google cache, to bypass the paywall.)  Apparently those "weak ties" to your not-really-best-friends have more value than we might think.  Maybe I should be friending more people?  Maybe. 

WRONG: Guy Kawasaki explains why too much money is worse than too little.  He's making a valid point - that companies develop bad habits if they have too much money - but not having enough money kills a company more surely than anything else. 

A re-introduction to JavaScript, on the Mozilla website; great article, linked as much for me (so I can find it later) as for you (so you can find it now). 

Massively cool: create a 3D hologram with your iPad...  best part, no funky glasses required :)  Seriously this technology could lead to some amazing things...  a home entertainment room with 3D? 

Speaking of 3D, did you know?  Avatar and Aliens are the same movie

Apple's billion dollar data center will be done this year, and TechCrunch [as many others] wonders why are they building it?  Their answer: "iTunes in the cloud", and they might be right...  of course another possibility is streaming movies, and that's my own guess... 

On Slashdot: the rise of small nuclear power plants.  "The prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This assumption is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged."  Yay. 

Most excellent from Jeff Atwood: Groundhog day, or the problem with A/B testing.  It celebrates Groundhog Day, one of the most excellent movies ever, and then goes on to make solid points about the virtues and limitations of A/B testing of software...  yeah, it's a stretch, but let's give him credit for celebrating the movie :) 

Google had a big announcement day for a series of image search enhancements they're rolling out...  some UI improvements, and some new functionality, and ... image ads.  Cool for the most part, blech for the ads... 

Finally via Little Green Footballs, this awesome video about dolphins blowing air bubble rings.  You must click through, please, you will be amazed! 


Brains of the Man and the Woman

Tuesday,  07/20/10  10:30 PM

I love it
from a friend... who thinks Descartes was wrong (at least for men :-)


Archive: July 21, 2009

TDF stage 16 / climb - Astarloza attacks to win / jerseys unchanged after battle

Tuesday,  07/21/09  10:51 PM

(refraining from descriptive titles until a couple of days later, for you Tivoers out there...)

And so after a rest day we had a day of fireworks in the Tour, with two massive climbs between Martigny and Bourg-Saint-Maurice that resulted in a further selection.  Mikel Astarloza won with a daring last minute break, but the real battle took place among the GC men behind him.  The Schleck brothers attacked, Contador and Kloden followed, and for a while there was a split between the contenders, with Lance Armstrong powering across the gap.  Ultimately the leaders came back together but some of the pretenders gave up more time, like poor Cadel Evans.  You could really see who was "on the rivet" and who wasn't; Bradley Wiggins looked really strong (pic at left), as did Contador, Andy Schleck, and Kloden, Lance showed a flash of his old power crossing the gap, and Frank Schleck, Vincenzo Nibali, and Christian Vande Velde were able to match the pace.  Also up there today was Kim Kirchen, who looks to be getting stronger.

Tomorrow is a maniacal stage with five massive climbs (the "queen" stage), but I don't look for any further selections until the TT on Thursday.  That's really the only and best chance for Lance or Bradley Wiggins to take time from Contador.  And/or for Kloden to move up into a podium spot.  There will be more attacking tomorrow because the Schlecks really can only gain on a climb, and perhaps one or more of the leaders will fall by the wayside; we'll see.

On a sad note poor Jens Voigt pulled out in the early break, fell back to power Saxo up the first climb, and then crashed heavily on the descent.  I sure hope he's okay, and it is sad to see him out of the tour.

One more note: check out this video of Fabian Cancellara descending on stage 7; this was while he was still in yellow, after he'd flatted, and with the peloton charging down the hill.  Wild bike handling skills on display as he weaves through the motorcycles and team cars at 60+kph :)

[ Tour de France 2009: all postsindex ]


Tuesday,  07/21/09  10:55 PM

Still tired.  I seem unable to sleep enough, and then spend the whole day tiring myself out further :)  Busy day of meetings as our company absorbs our growth plans, and then a hard 30-miler with my friend and colleague Craig.  And then dinner and too much wine (Mahi Mahi and Sauvignon Blanc if you must know).

Pre-report: Battery life A-OK.  Lovin' it.  I always say "precelebration is the root of all failure", so I don't mean to Pre-celebrate :) but so far so good. 

Sounds-like-an-Onion-headline of the day: Entire moon added to Google Earth.  Pretty amazing technology, that we even have these data. 

Ben Rometsch: Google Wave, first impressions.  I don't "get" Google Wave [yet]; it seems to be a super-email, sort of a wiki-ish attempt to share information.  I distrust things like this which aren't simple enough to explain, but I'll keep trying because there seems to be a there here.  Stay tuned... 

Something I continue to believe doesn't have a there here is Twitter, and I see where Trent Reznor agrees...  Raise your hands, how many of you find Twitter useful?  See, there's no there... 

Hilarious: the Bio-Comedian.  ( Powerpoint comedy :) 

News you can use: is it safer to drive drunk or on the phone?  I so fear that using a phone while driving is going to be made illegal; granted, it may be [somewhat] dangerous, but so are a lot of things and it really isn't the government's job to protect us from ourselves. 

Jeff Atwood makes a great point: nobody hates software more than software developers.  I, too, dread it when something I buy comes with a software CD.  Invariably the software sucks and it breaks your machine.  Not sure whether to blame Windows for this or software developers in general, but it is so... 

Wow, this is cool: Cellscope, the cellphone microscope.  Now with a UV-upgrade.  People sometimes ask me about this technology, wondering if it will be an "attack from below" on high-end diagnostic equipment like that made by Aperio.  Not sure.  The performance gap is still large. 

Alex Payne: Fever and the future of feed readers.  "Today, at least in the web-tech echo chamber, feed reading is quickly falling out of fashion. Too many sites producing too many feeds of dubious quality means information overload, and a creeping sense of obligation to keep up with a torrent of questionably relevant content."  I'm not sure I agree with that; sure, there are a lot of bad feeds, but a lot of good ones too.  Just stick with me :)  Anyway the main point is Fever, a new feed reader, which filters feeds based on keywords etc., and in theory at least can extract information from data...



Archive: July 21, 2008

how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?

Monday,  07/21/08  08:40 PM

Well, I did it.  I climbed Mt. Whitney yesterday, and I have the pictures (and the overall soreness!) to prove it.  I actually had no idea how hard it was going to be, or how dangerous; in fact, before this I had little comprehension of the difference between hiking Mt. Whitney (basically, walking up the trail) and climbing Mt. Whitney (actually, er, climbing, as in hanging from rocks with 100' of nothing below you).

hang in there, dude!

My friend Mark Elliot and I climbed up the "moutaineer's route" to the summit, and then descended the trail back to the Whitney Portal; overall it took us about sixteen hours.  I would not recommend trying to do this in one day, but we did it :)

Our day started at oh-dark-hundred in Lone Pine (actually, about 5:00AM); the peak of Mt. Whitney was barely visible in the darkness, framed by the moon.

moon over Whitney; that slight purple dot is over "the notch"
Whitney Portal (base) = 8,325'

After a big breakfast (!) and driving up to the portal, we began the hike around 0700; as we climbed up, the views back down the valley to the East were amazing.

not in Kansas anymore

After about two hours (and some rather, um, interesting climbing up "the ledges") we reached Lower Boy Scout Lake.

Lower Boy Scout Lake, Keeler Needles (and Mt. Whitney) in the distance

The beauty of these high meadows is incredible.

wildflowers abound...

... as do waterfalls

After some serious climbing - and about 3 1/2 hours after starting out - we reached Upper Boy Scout Lake.  Here the foliage turns to rock, and the mountains really begin.

at Upper Boy Scout Lake, so far, so good

Lone Pine is now way off in the distance

At this point the weather began looking iffy, and we weren't sure if we could make it to the top.  Fingers crossed, and much scrambling over the talus ensued.

mist shrouds the Sierra crown; Keeler Needles at left, Mt. Whitney at right

Finally, five hours after starting, we reach Iceberg Lake.  Now the serious fun began, and man I must tell you, looking up at those peaks is intimidating!

Mt. Whitney beckons...
some objects are further than they appear

Iceberg Lake panorama
(click to enlarge)

We stopped here for lunch, taking in the scenery while refueling.  Fortunately we were not affected by the altitude; although people frequently camp here you are warned about altitude sickness.  We also met some of the locals...

A marmot checks us out; I can has cheeseburger?

Then onward; about 2,000' left, much of it seemingly straight up (!).  Now the difference between hiking and climbing really became apparent.  Making things even more fun, the East chute was filled with some icy snow.  Whoa.

looking up the East chute to "the notch"; note ice

Still we proceeded slowly and methodically, and made it to the notch.  After 6 1/2 hours, we are nearly there.  The views in every direction are unbelievable, and you must try not to think about the exposure.

yay, made it to the notch!  so far, so good...

the view to the West - you can see for miles and miles and miles and...

Now there was a little matter of climbing the North face to the summit.  This is considered a "class 3" climb, but whatever you call it, this is serious.  It just doesn't do to think about falling.

the North face, just 300' to go - straight up

Fortunately Mark is an experienced climber, and a solid guide.  We took our time and he roped us through a particularly tricky section, entering the face.  I must say in retrospect this was the best part of the climb; methodically working our way from hold to hold.  There were some really cool sections, including a 'chimney' to wedge through near the top, and it was really fun.  I really like rock climbing, who knew?

Mark, in the route

That picture of me at the top of this post was taken by Mark, about halfway up the North face.  Woo hoo.  So after a very concentrated hour, we made it!  Eight hours after starting out, and 6,000' higher.

and you may ask yourself, "how did I get here"?
once in a lifetime
(same as it ever was)

2,000' straight down to Iceberg Lake

The feeling of vertical dimensionality you get, standing at the highest point in the U.S, looking down in every direction is hard to explain.  Of course I've looked out an airplane window, but this is pretty different.  The volumes of air are apparent, and the Earth looks curved.

maximum verticality

altimeter check
Mt. Whitney = 14,496'

After gazing for a while and eating and drinking, we took off back down the Whitney Trail; 11 miles of switchbacks.  The trail begins by heading South behind the Keeler Needles and Mt. Muir, before joining the Muir Trail at the "Trail Crest".

peeking down between the Keeler Needles

at the Muir Trail Crest; looking East...

...and looking West... Wow!

At that point the trail heads down and East, along a different valley to the one we climbed up.  The views back along the ridge toward the peaks were incredible; it was hard to believe we had been standing "up there" just two hours ago.

the Sierra crown: Mt. Muir, the Keeler Needles, and Mt. Whitney

The path down the remainder of the valley was long but amazingly beautiful in the fading light...

High Sierra beauty  

...still ticking, but winding down...

Six hours later, we were back at the car; no problem :)  So, eight hours of hiking climbing up 6,000' vertical feet to the highest point in the U.S., followed by eight hours of descending back down through some of the most beautiful High Sierra scenery imaginable.  Quite a day. 

And I may ask myself, how did I get here?



Monday,  07/21/08  09:30 PM

Okay, Whitney survived, mind cleared, and it is back to work, although without my voice, which somehow left me during the course of yesterday and has been replaced by a chorus of frogs.  Fortunately I was able to get stuff done anyway.  Meanwhile the world hasn't stopped spinning, let's take a look...

Charles Krauthammer: The Audacity of Vanity.  He nails it; the main reason I am recoiling from Obama. 

A similar theme at the National Review: The Tautology of Hope.  ("Beliefs we can believe in..." :) 

And the Onion outdo themselves: 'Time' Publishes Definitive Obama Puff Piece.  "Hailed by media critics as the fluffiest, most toothless, and softest-hitting coverage of the presidential candidate to date, a story in this week's Time magazine is being called the definitive Barack Obama puff piece."  Amid heavy competition, we might add... 

Michael Barone thinks McCain should revisit 1976

Think things are bad in our economy?  Well you might be right, but consider poor Zimbabwe, where $1B won't buy a loaf of bread.  I believe Monopoly money is more valuable.  That's what happens when the government raises incompetence to new heights ( or I should say, lowers it to new depths).  Wow. 

I watched yesterday's Tour de France stage tonight (being otherwise occupied yesterday :), it was great!  A real shootout on the final climb, with an early breakaway staying clear, an unknown nearly winning (Danny Pate of the U.S.), plenty of spills in the rain (Oscar Periero fell over a guardrail 12' onto the pavement below, breaking his arm; later about 20 riders in two separate clumps hit the pavement at a turnabout, and on the final climb Denis Menchov fell while attacking, recovered, and ended up attacking again), and a dogfight among the leaders which closed up the standings so that six men are now within 40 seconds of the lead!  Speaking of Menchov, he looked strong...  stronger than Evans and Sastre.  Today was a rest day, but tomorrow there are more alpine fireworks, it should be excellent! 

Was it really thirty-nine years ago the first men landed on the moon?  Yes it was.  Wow.  That was definitely one giant step for mankind

Pete Worden, director of NASA, says "we're going back, and this time we're going to stay".  Cool!

William Tucker in WSJ: Let's have some love for nuclear power.  "All over the world, nuclear power is making a comeback.  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just commissioned eight new reactors, and says there's 'no upper limit' to the number Britain will build in the future.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has challenged her country's program to phase out 17 nuclear reactors by 2020, saying it will be impossible to deal with climate change without them. China and India are building nuclear power plants; France and Russia, both of whom have embraced the technology, are fiercely competing to sell them the hardware.  And just last month John McCain called for the construction of 45 new reactors by 2030.  Barack Obama is less enthusiastic about nuclear energy, but he seems to be moving toward tacit approval."  Excellent!  This is really our only chance. 

Awesome! - here we have a lego Stephen Hawking... 

This is pretty funny: HP shatters excessive packaging world record.  Seventeen nested boxes to ship 32 pages of paper.  That's pretty good, it might put the record out of reach.  Reminds me of the time IBM mailed me a big shipping crate containing only a smaller shipping crate.  But HP has topped that... 

Well, looks like it is now possible to unlock / jailbreak your 2.0 iPhone or iPod Touch.  With the 2.0 software and the Apple App Store there is less reason to do so, but less is not none; some of the apps you can run jailbroken do things you can't do otherwise, such as continue to play music after switching to another app.  I might have to check this out :) 

Here we have the North Sails VW Toureg.  I am not making this up.
[ via Sailing Anarchy

AppleWatch wonders what is Apple's mystery product?  "During Apple's fiscal third-quarter conference call this afternoon, CFO Peter Oppenheimer warned of falling margins for the next quarter and fiscal 2009. He gave three reasons, but one really stood out: a future product transition that 'I can't discuss today.'"  Huh... 

Why does race matter for women?  GNXP reports "women care much more about the race of a potential mate than men do".  Huh...



Archive: July 21, 2007


Archive: July 21, 2006


Archive: July 4, 2005

Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam!

Monday,  07/04/05  07:57 PM

Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam.  You're the best.

I spent the weekend sailing, hanging out with my kids and good friends, and eating.  And also thinking about all the men and women - my daughter Nicole among them - who make my life possible, protecting our freedom and way of life.  Thank you all.

It turns out I'm not the only one who thinks so; a recent Gallup Poll revealed that "The American public has more confidence in the military than in any other institution."  Other tidbits from the poll, "big business and Congress tied for the second- and third-lowest rankings" - not surprising in view of either's lack of integrity, and "Gallup noted that public trust in television news and newspapers reached an all-time low this year".  See, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but...

By the way, there has been a flurry of discussion recently about whether it should be illegal or even unconstitutional to burn a U.S. flag.  So I think it is a horrible thing to do, but it should not be illegal, and I can't even imagine under what pretense it could ever be unconstitutional.  People should be entitled to express their opinion, however much we disagree with it.  Mark Frauenfelder posted an interesting conundrum for those who would make burning a U.S. flag illegal.  At what point is a flag a U.S. flag (does close count)?

Here's a nice post for the Fourth: The Endgame.  [ via Tim Oren ]

Finally, do you want to thank the troops?  Click here.  It only takes a minute to send a short message to someone serving overseas, and imagine how much they'd appreciate it.  [ via Smash ]


(new yorker, 07/04/05)

Monday,  07/04/05  08:16 PM

So you know how much I like New Yorker covers, but get a load of this:

The name of this piece is "Party of One".  Ha ha.  In case you can't see, there are little foreign flags next to each empty place setting; a French flag, a German flag, etc.  Empty places, get it?  So clever.  (I'm glad they didn't put in a Dutch flag, although I think they tried; they have a flag with white, blue, and red horizontal stripes but they're in the wrong order.)  Of course they left out the British and Australian place settings - those places are occupied, of course, not to mention the Iraqi or Israeli place settings!  And just maybe the French people would be more interested in attending than their leaders; certainly that is one interpretation one could place on the recent French vote to reject the E.U. Constitution.

On another level, I find this quite revealing.  I can only imagine how clever the illustrator thinks him or herself, and how pleased the editors were to run this.  This naked vitriol from the left is so self-defeating.  Isn't it more fun to win?  Unless you're already in this club, why would you join?


Monday,  07/04/05  08:27 PM

Playing a bit of catch up, I have a weeks' worth of posts to filter :)  May you live in interesting times, indeed...

So, the Tour de Lance France is underway!  And in the very first stage Lance managed to put serious time on some of his biggest rivals, including Jan Ullrich.  Serving notice that he is ready, once again, to win.  I love it.  I've been watching on OLN, and it is pretty darn cool.  I just wish my Tivo supported this channel so I wouldn't have to watch all those commercials... 

Speaking of Lance, have you Joined Team Lance?  In addition to being a cancer survivor and an amazing athlete, Lance has raised tons of money for cancer research and to help cancer survivors.  If you join his team you'll be making a donation to one of the best causes around.  And if you donate at least $50 you'll even get a spiffy tee-shirt.  I'm in!

The G8 are meeting next week in Gleneagles Scotland.  Among the items on the agenda is global warming; The Scientist reports Scientists demand action on climate.  "Scientific academies from the world's leading nations have issued an unprecedented joint statement urging the leaders of their countries to commit to taking prompt action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.  The statement from Britain's Royal Society and the science academies of France, Russia, Germany, United States, Japan, Italy, and Canada was released ahead of a G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, at which climate change is expected to be a major focus.  The academies of Brazil, China, and India, not members of G8, are also signatories."  Whew.  Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here? 

The Business Online observes: spot the real sharks in the climate talks.  As in, due to warmer water, Scotland now has sharks!  Coupled with declining oil supplies and rising prices, there is now real pressure for alternate entropy sources.  Nuclear option, anyone?

Jeff Atwood: Why anyone can succeed.  Although the premise is that success has little to do with talent, my conclusion is nearly the opposite, that success follows from talent regardless of circumstances.  Not everyone can be a programmer; I've encountered any number of counter examples. 

Cult of Mac notes Griffen's iFill.  (motto: "Oww.  iFill good".)  "iFill streams mp3 files from thousands of free radio stations directly to your iPod.  You can choose several stations at once and select from many different genres.  And since iFill goes directly to your iPod, it won't clutter up your hard drive with extra files."  That sounds awesome.  Much better than random podcasts. 

It is now old news, but iTunes 4.9 is out, with - ta da! - podcasting support.  (Billed as "the next generation of radio".)  So be it.  This will expose about 10X more people to podcasts than ever before; let's see what sticks to the wall...

Russell Beattie says Wow!

Amazing: Brain Scans Can Predict Alzheimer's Disease Onset 9 Years In Advance.  The psychological implications are as interesting as the physiological ones, if you knew you were getting Alzheimer's in 5 years, what would you do? 

Meanwhile, Brain Exercise Is Key to Healthy Mind.  So keeping read my blog :)

This is awesome: The Onion in 2056.  E.g. "Million robot march attended by exactly 1,000,000 robots."  Or maybe you prefer "Lunar Olympic officials continue search for missing pole vaulter."  Great stuff, please check it out.  I've often thought the Onion must be a great place to work. 

Bram Cohen, inventor of Bittorrent, considers Avalanche, Microsoft's supposed answer to peer-to-peer transfers.  "I'd like to clarify that Avalanche is vaporware...  As you've probably figured out by now, I think that paper is complete garbage."  Okay. 


Archive: July 21, 2004


Archive: July 21, 2003

Monday,  07/21/03  11:12 PM

Here we go again: "The order has gone out for a team of U.S. quick reaction force soldiers to be sent to Liberia where rebel fighters are attempting to create a "strangle-hold" on the capital."  Fasten your seat belts, and please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle.

Remember how bizarre it was when Libya was chosen to chair the U.N.'s Human Rights committee?  Well, here's the result: UN farce as Libya judges Israeli rights.  You can't make this stuff up.  The U.N. has careened so far off course it is worthless and indeed counterproductive.

Steven Den Beste has the "microscopic view" of the war...  a lot of detail.  Worth bookmarking for future reference.

pods unite iPodOkay, the Pod's Unite thing is cool.  (A joint marketing venture between Volkswagen and Apple.)  But get this - the link between the iPod and the Bug is a humble cassette adapter.  You think they could have done better, huh?

So, the RSS saga takes another turn, as Dave Winer transfers the RSS 2.0 spec to the care of Harvard University's Berkman Center, where he is presently a fellow.  This solves the problem caused by the spec being in the hands of a commercial venture (Userland Software).  A good move, IMHO.  And in Dan Gillmor's HO as well...

Want to create an AOL journal?  Go hereI did.  Cool!

Tour de Lance update: Armstrong falls hard - and wins!  His lead is still only 67 seconds, much smaller than it has been at the 15th stage of his previous four victories.  There's a lot of racing left!  (I've been linking to Yahoo for Tour news, but check out Lance's own site as well...)

Walt Mossberg reviews the Fossil watch.  This is a watch which includes a fully functional Palm pilot.  As a PDA, he doesn't like it: "The Wrist PDA is much harder to use than other Palms or Palm-compatible devices...  The screen and stylus are simply too small."  But it has a feature he likes a lot: "the most interesting feature of the Wrist PDA has nothing to do with the Palm functionality.  In watch mode you can scroll through and select from a wide variety of different watch-face designs.  This is the first watch I know of that lets you pick the way its face looks and change that look as often as you like."  I wonder how long before someone writes a program to display an aquarium on the watch face :)

You know how hard it is to get radioactive ore, and other nuclear materials?  Well, consider United Nuclear!  They seem to stock everything :)  I am not making this up.