2012 By The Numbers

Carrying over the commute from last year (minus a few more WFH days) and taking an extremely educated guess at foot travel.

  (6.85 mi [drive] + 47.4 mi [train] + 1.29 mi [subway]) x 2 =  111.08 mi daily
                                                                x  245 days
                                                                27,214 mi
  2,676 mi + 2,437 = 5,112 mi
  2,948 mi + 2,518 = 5,466 mi
  3,656 mi x 2 = 7,312 mi
                                                             =  17,890 mi

  850 mi (estimate)
                                                             =  850 mi

Walk (via pedometer minus treadmill estimated)
  ~1,200 mi - 294 mi =                                        =  906 mi

Etc (misc, pretty random guess here):                        = ~3,500 mi

Total:                                                          50,360 mi

Velocity for 2012: 50,360 / 8,760 = 5.75 mph

Laps around Earth: 50,360 mi / 24,901.55 mi (earth circumference at equator) = 2.022 laps

That might be the first time I’ve ever broken 2 laps around the earth. It’s alarming to think that with relatively little travel I still did 2 laps around the earth. I’m always on the go.

US Pays High Prices For Low Internet Speed

Susan Crawford has a very interesting read on the high prices Americans pay for Internet access:

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan of March 2010 suggested that the minimum appropriate speed for every American household by 2020 should be 4 megabits per second for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. These speeds are enough, the FCC said, to reliably send and receive email, download Web pages and use simple video conferencing. The commission also said it wanted to ensure that, by 2020, at least 100 million U.S. homes have affordable access to download speeds of at least 100 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 50 Mbps.

Other countries have different goals. The South Korean government announced a plan to install 1 gigabit per second of symmetric fiber data access in every home by 2012. Hong Kong, Japan and the Netherlands are heading in the same direction. Australia plans to get 93 percent of homes and businesses connected to fiber. In Britain, a 300 Mbps fiber-to-the-home service will be offered on a wholesale basis.

That pretty much sums up the argument. Think about the innovation and jobs created by the Internet in the past 15 years. Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay and the entire ecosystem that supports them from hardware sales to shipping, to energy they purchase. This is all happening despite the efforts to stifle growth. 1-GigE symmetrical to the home would change how the world works. It will redefine the economy. Someone will get there, either Korea South or someone else. The opportunities will be vast.

Microwave UI Patents

Joël Franusic has an interesting theory that the reason microwaves have so many different UI’s is because patents make it difficult for them to share a similar interface. Like Joël, I’m not totally convinced, however I do suspect this is at least part of the problem. I also think it goes way beyond just microwaves, that particular appliance is just a great example. The end result is the products created, and the users who buy and use them loose out. If you skim through some of these patents, it seems pretty obvious and hardly innovative, even for the times.

Patents will be the downfall of technology and innovation in America if it’s not reformed.

How To Improve The PC As A Gaming Platform

Bruno Ferreira wrote a good article on how to improve the PC as a gaming platform. As someone who is a PC gamer, I couldn’t agree more with what he says. It’s extremely difficult to build a system for PC gaming, and very difficult to buy games since the metrics used are so difficult to work with.

In my opinion once every 12-18 months the platform should create a new standard based on the latest and greatest. It’s assigned a number, likely the year. A software profiler would then establish what standard your computer meets. Don’t buy any game that exceeds that number. A game can support “minimum” and “optimal” but would just put the number below vs. spelling out all the specs. Profiler could then advise on how to upgrade. For example if you upgrade you’re weak GPU and add more RAM you’d meet the requirements for 2013. Or just leave it at 2012 standards if that’s good enough for your needs.

Petition To Bring USS Enterprise Spaceship To Life

There is now a assign NASA to do a feasibility study and conceptual design of the Gen1 USS Enterprise interplanetary spaceship I’m all for a Manhattan project style roadmap, it pushes to do great things and changes the world and the nation for the better. I’m not convinced we have the technology or will in the near future for the propulsion system. I also suspect it’s size would make it difficult secure enough resources, the same problem with the death star proposal.

23 And 1/2 Hours

23 and 1/2 hours

This is a pretty interesting presentation on the health benefits of being active. It doesn’t take much to get the benefits. Interestingly my non-city working friends have always looked down upon my 10 minute walk to and from the office like it’s a burden (when they drive right up to their office). Ends up that’s a very healthy way to commute.

Christmas Drop

Operation Christmas Drop

Most likely one of the more enjoyable training operations they get to participate in. From Wikipedia:

Operation Christmas Drop is a tradition that serves as a training mission for the United States Air Force which started in 1952. It has since become the longest running U.S. Department of Defense mission in full operation, and the longest running humanitarian airlift in the world. Supported by the local communities of Guam, it is primarily conducted from Andersen Air Force Base and Yokota Air Base.

Apple Shuts Down Kickstarter Project

It’s a shame Apple killed this Kickstarter project to build a portable charger. These kinds of innovative projects can do wonders of the ecosystem of a product like the iPhone/iPad ecosystem.

That said, I’m not sure I totally get the project’s logic. Why not just make it USB and let a user provide their own Lighting cable. On top of being a legal workaround it actually can make the product more attractive by being compatible with anything that can charge over USB. In my opinion it’s actually a superior design. I prefer USB devices over Lighting or Apple 30 pin since it’s easier to share.