Categories
Around The Web

Common Misconceptions

I’d like to propose that the Wikipedia list of common misconceptions become required reading for all students from grades 5-12. Every so often I browse this list and love it every time. Lots of interesting stuff, and lots of things people constantly seem to insist is fact.

Categories
Apple Networking

iOS 6 Adds Wi-Fi Plus Cellular

A nice little scoop from Apple Insider about iOS 6 shipping with a new setting. Wi-Fi Plus Cellular it will allow your phone to fall back to cellular when a Wi-Fi access point is slow. A rather nice little enhancement.

I’d actually love to see Wi-Fi be geofenced, so that it will automatically enable itself in certain locations. I don’t need Wi-Fi on all the times, but there are certain locations where iOS devices could utilize it. Why should I need to toggle it myself if the device knows where it is? I’d love if my phone knew it had access to Wi-Fi at home and could switch automatically when I’m home. It seems like this would be simple enough to do right. Apple does all the pieces already, it’s just a matter of doing it together.

Categories
Around The Web

The History of OMG

Interestingly, OMG (the acronym for “Oh My God”) is much older than most people would think. While associated with chatrooms and most would date it to the 90’s, it actually goes back to at least 1917 when it was used in a letter to Winston Churchill.

Sure enough the Oxford English Dictionary does list it:

1917 J. A. F. Fisher Let. 9 Sept. in Memories (1919) v. 78, I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis—O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)—Shower it on the Admiralty!

There you have it. Everything old is new again.

Categories
In The News

Lost da Vinci Painting Found

We’ve seen stories like this before, yet it’s impressive still:

For years it sat on a farmhouse wall gathering dust.

And when Fiona McLaren redecorated, she didn’t even take the time to cover the apparently worthless painting in a protective sheet, so it got flicked in specks of paint.

However, in an astounding twist it has emerged that the picture is likely to have been the work of master artist Leonardo da Vinci and worth over £100million.

Can you imagine a da Vinci was just in your possession and you didn’t even bother to protect it before painting a room? It’s amazing how artifacts get lost and then rediscovered in time. Sobering to think how many were likely thrown out because their owners didn’t even realize what they had.

Categories
Apple Space

Mars Curiosity Lands

Mars Curiosity First Pics

I’ve said it once today, and I’ll say it again:

Realization: No matter what I do today, it won’t be as awesome as landing a 1 ton robot on Mars with a space crane.

Curiosity is the pinnacle of science and if it’s predecessors (Spirit and Opportunity) are any indication will have a long life of helping us explore Mars.

A neat little side note is that the processor of choice in the rover is a RAD750. Which is based on the PowerPC 750, aka the PowerPC G3. When you look at the specs, you’ve got to admit, it looks a lot like those G3 Mac’s (except they used spinning disks and not flash storage back then):

On-board memory includes 256MB of DRAM and 2 GB of Flash Memory both with error detection and correction and 256kB of EEPROM.

A neat little tidbit. This rover’s close relative was my desktop computer in High School.

Categories
Internet Space

NASA’s Streaming Server Setup

With Curiosity’s landing just hours away GigaOM has some information on how NASA plans to stream coverage of the landing. Sounds like the big winners are Nginx and Amazon Elastic Load Balancer:

They built a test infrastructure comprised of a single origin server (a Mac Pro housed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) serving four bitrates (250, 500, 750 and 1,000) to a single Flash Media Server. Output was cached by a single “tier 1″ Nginx server, fronted by 40 “tier 2″ load-balanced Nginx servers running on Amazon EC2.

Nothing terribly shocking, though always interesting to see inside how others are handling large traffic events. Nginx is one heck of a capable server for this sort of task.

Categories
Around The Web

Desk Porn

When you spend a lot of time at a desk, you begin to admire and respect others workspace. I’ve long enjoyed the endless threads of “your setup” to see what others do, and what they put up with. The cool guys at Ars have a nice article on their own setups. My favorite desk is Lee Aylward’s because I love the giant roomy desk and corner setups in general. My desks generally look more like Peter Bright’s with several displays/computers surrounding. I’m up to 4 screens at work, and can go from 1-3 at home (if laptops are open or not).

I’m convinced a good desk is deeper than average and extremely sturdy. I’m not sure why there’s such a prevalence in shallow desks that barely hold themselves up. Pre-computers it was fine, but with computers, even a laptop needs some space behind. I understand the market for slim desks (small apartments for example), but not why they are virtually standard in the US. I know people who have searched endlessly for the perfect desk.

Next time around, I’m going for a deeper desk with enough of a lip on the back that I can put some monitor arms on it.

Categories
Apple

SVN In Mountain Lion

This one caught me by surprise. With 10.8 Mountain Lion, installing Xcode doesn’t mean tools like svn will be automatically available via command line. If you want to use svn by terminal for example you’ll have to first open Xcode, next go into Preferences and find the Downloads tab. Then install “Command Line Tools”. After a few minutes you’ll then have all the old tools you know and love available just like before.

Seems SVN is 1.6 what shipped with Mountain Lion:

$ svn --version
svn, version 1.6.18 (r1303927)
   compiled Jun 15 2012, 19:07:58

To bad it’s not 1.7. Lots of nice improvements since 1.6 shipped. Apple tends to be somewhat conservative in what it bundles, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Categories
Google Space

Tour Kennedy Space Center In Google Maps

NASA - Shuttle Atlantis - Google Maps Tour

The folks at Gizmodo point out that Google Maps has an awesome feature now that lets you tour NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. You can point and click your way through all the different parts you’d never have the security clearance to go yourself.

Needless to say I spent a nice little chunk of the evening browsing around.

Categories
Blog

Blog Post A Day Midterm

I’m about half way through my new challenge of a blog post a day for a year. As I stated when I began, I’ll be going slightly beyond a year, thus making this somewhat close to the halfway point. So far I’ve managed to average 1 post a day. I’ve done some experimentation in style, timing, length. Some variations were unintentional just due to what I felt like doing.

Generally speaking blog posts prepared a day is a better workflow for me, but I find it hard to keep up the habit. Perhaps that should be my first focus.

Overall I’m pretty satisfied, but I do think I’m going to try and mix things up a bit more. Onward!