Critical Section

Saturday morning post

Saturday,  01/23/16  09:57 AM

A nice quiet Saturday morning, no football (for the first Saturday in a looong time), and lots of interesting code to write... what could be better?

Slingbox!One of those weird first-world problems: this morning one of my Slingboxes stopped sending audio.  (I have two of course, one for each Tivo.)  I swapped and suddenly they both worked.  So that was nice, but me being me, I had to spend two hours figuring out why.  At the end of which, I never did figure it out, left them swapped and ... blogged :)

Oculus Rift headsetBehind Facebook's $2B acquisition of Oculus.  When this was first announced, I couldn't figure it out; it felt like one of those "well, the market will like it so our stock will go up" kind of acquisitions (like Google buying YouTube).  But I'm warming to the idea.  VR is going to be huuuge, and Facebook were probably smart to get out in front of it.

Of course part of my interest is that VR is going to be a big driver of Visual Search adoption :)

Related: for VR to be truly immersive, it needs convincing sound to match.

What I think is more important: Leap Motion is perfecting natural hand gestures for VR.  When we can interact with VR in addition to perceiving it, then it will become real.

And check this out! - the high performance icosahedron.  That would make anything seem real.

Blue Origin: launch. land. repeat.Excellent!  Blue Origin sends its rocket to space ... again.  We have to point out that "space" here means 100km, not at all the same as reaching Earth Orbit, but this is still impressive.  Love it!

SpaceX Dragon hoversAnd SpaceX's crew capsule is one step closer to flight.  In the race between SpaceX and NASA, who will win?  (We will all!)

This looks interesting: Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora: space is bigger than you think.  "Like some of the best Golden Age science fiction, Aurora is a story about engineers troubleshooting hard technical problems. But Robinson's generation ship is plagued by biological problems that are much trickier than the mere physics of propulsion."  On the list!

Philip Greenspun makes a great point: Why doesn't Windows 10 retry the password as if CAPS LOCK were off?  It already reminds you that CAPS LOCK is on... in case that would help.  This is a classic case of engineers implementing the solution without thinking about the problem.

global cooling?Are global warmists simply juicing the latest years' temperatures?  Yes.  Sadly, every year is now reported as being "the hottest year on record", because of these "adjustments".  Meanwhile a snowstorm on the East Coast has come in, right on schedule.  I'm not a global warming denier, just a skeptic, but the behavior of the "scientists" studying climate change is highly suspect.  Especially since their grants come from those with a stake in the "crisis".

new nuclear power plant in TennesseeExcellent news: first new US nuclear power plant in 20 years scheduled to open in Tennessee.  As we switch from carbon to electric cars, we'll need many more of these.

What do you think, is Tesla the car that killed glamour?  I disagree, because glamour will catch up with reality.  Someday soon carbon cars will seem like horse-drawn carriages do today.  They might seem glamorous, but only in a nostalgic kind of way.

single SD with all Atari 2600 cartridges everSpeaking of nostalgia, here we have the Harmony Cartridge, every Atari 2600 game ever made all on a single SD card.  Imagine the entertainment locked into that one little device.  Amazing.

You knew this already: The US Postal Service has not earned a profit since 2006.  Sigh.  If this were a business it would be out of business - or would have transformed itself by now.

Here's a cool visualization of wavelengths of different colors.  They look so happy :)

dance of the wavelengths

for extra credit, can you image adding X-rays?  (they are super-short)  What about radio?  (they are super long...)


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained