WoooHooo. I finally broke the 1000 views ‘milestone’ on my Flickr account in only three months. Kind of surprising because I don’t consider myself a great photographer, but I aim to improve 🙂 .
Thanks to everyone on Flickr for their kind words and suggestions.
Isn’t it so amazing that three weeks ago, AAA predicted that gas would be over three dollars a gallon by the end of the month. And, surprise! on August 31st my local is selling gas for $3.09 a gallon.
In my estimation, MenuMeters has got to be one of the sweetest utilities for keeping track of what is going on on your Mac (running OS X).
The app doesn’t take up a huge amount of space in the menubar, but gives a load of information. It also cleverly links in to some of the Apple apps for more information. For example, if you click on the CPU display, you have the option of running Activity Monitor or Console.
I just fired up adiumx on the Mac to tap into all of the buzz around Google’s new messaging offering.
So far, the Google offering seems to have little to offer over the other chat providers. Maybe that will change when they actually have a native OS X client. On the other hand, it’s kind of hard to believe that they didn’t differentiate themselves and come up with a browser-based messaging client (think gmail).
I sure hope that this new service works better than their bloated, pointless flash interface. The fact that they are using flash makes one question just how tuned in they really are.
Even the Wired write up on the company reminds me of what would get VC cash in the 90s: “we’re going to make this awesome product that does, er, something, um, everything and people are going to love it…”
I am curious to see what actually materializes “in the fall”.
There has been quite a bit of buzz this weekend that the Nokia 6682 will be available from Cingular (finally) including, apparently, an advert in Wired magazine.
Now this is totally cool — subway maps on your iPod (and free, ta boot). Requires what used to be called the iPod Photo, now just called the iPod (alas, not free).
I was looking for something like this when I was in London on business a few weeks ago and had to settle for a scrollable tube map that ran on my Nokia 6620 phone.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
This book was a suggested read by the ‘book club’ at work. Frankly, I don’t get what was supposed to be so great about this book (or maybe I do). First off, I found the writing style chatty and sophomoric (and in some cases annoyingly so). The way that much of the material is dealt with many times focuses more on the controversy around a given topic or some gee-whiz statistics than on actual substance and understanding.
While I was tempted to give up on the book about 100 pages into, I told my wife that I was going to force myself to finish it, in an ultimately vain effort to find out why it was so highly recommended. The only conclusion that I could come to is that the readers were really only interested in the sound-byte qualities of the book — something that they could chirp in on during a lunch conversation or over drinks.
In comparison, I found any number of books by Simon Winchester, such as Krakatoa, The Map That Changed the World, and The Professor and the Madman to be much more compelling and ultimately satisfying.
I thought that this was a brilliant little java applet that allows you to examine the popularity of names over time. Not surprisingly, many of the biblical based names remain at a somewhat steady stream of popularity and that some names tend to come and go based upon television or movie characters having those names.
My name appears to have been most popular in the 30s and 40s and has been in decline since. Suits me.
It also demonstrates a frightening trend of late to have children named after product brands.
I predict that this sort of thing (Wired: Hearing Aids for the unimpaired) will get increasingly popular as people run out of cosmetic surgery options in their quest to be (at least superficially) ‘different’ from others (which paradoxically tends to make them gravitate toward some homogeneous ideal).
Perhaps wearable mods are a step along the path to what William Gibson described in Burning Chrome where electronic mods to the human body become commonplace.
The Guardian recently had an article discussing how Curry spice may protect against cancer . Potentially good news for me, as I make it a point to have some Indian food a least once a week and tend to use at least some turmeric in cooking at home.
Not sure how efficient this is as it requires 220 volts to operate (manufacturer lists the output at 31,000 BTU). The brilliant part is that 100% of the heat goes into the room that it is in and it produces water vapor as a side effect so it humidifies the room as well.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Ok, everybody has already heard of/read this book (what can I say, Im slow and don’t have many opportunities to read). I thought that there were a great many interesting ideas about how things become adopted/popular. I particularly enjoyed the writing style which I found to be engaging without being chatty.
I also enjoyed the book because it is the sort of thing that helps me in my job, which is largely about trying to make complex things understandable and influencing people to take action on them based on the benefits.
This little tidbit seems to be making the rounds on the net:
The designers of some elevators include a hidden feature that is very handy if you’re in a hurry or it’s a busy time in the building (like check-out time in a hotel). While some elevators require a key, others can be put into “Express” mode by pressing the “Door Close” and “Floor” buttons at the same time. This sweeps the car to the floor of your choice and avoids stops at any other floor.
Elevators that have been tested and worked on:
Otis Elevators (All But The Ones Made In 1992),
Dover (Model Numbers: EL546 And ELOD862),
And Most Desert Elevators(All, But Model Numbers ELD5433 And ELF3655)
I might try this out the next time I am in a high rise building (which isn’t too often these days).
Came across this nifty site at world66.com that lets you generate a map of the places that you have been (which appear in red on the map) and even the ones that you would like to visit. Mine looks something like this:
It appears that the idea of the site is to allow travelers to add their own commentary and advise on places that they have visited or lived. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.
It’s always been my contention that the gear you have doesn’t matter, its what you can do with it that does. This article about an award winning professional photographer who uses so called point and shoot cameras for his pictures rather than a ‘big, fast, bulletproof pro SLR’ really makes the point.
I get a certain satisfaction out of his current choice of camera, the Olympus c-8080, the same camera that I have (though the results I get are not in the same league as this guy).
Just in time for the anniversary of the moon landing, it’s google moon. Just for fun, go to the Apollo 11 landing site and zoom all the way in to confirm what the moon is really made of…
Clearly a case of too much time on their hands: a group who as documented the preponderance of time the number 47 has appeared throughout all of the various Star Trek shows.
This is a quite odd, but somehow compelling piece of eye candy.
I had written previously about the initial construction of the front garden pond and nothing since. Sigh.
Here are a few links to some of the flowers (mostly lilies) in the pond over on flickr.