Archive: May 27, 2005

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Friday,  05/27/05  10:56 PM

What's happening?  Well, let's see, shall we...

E.U. Constitution - 325 printed pagesThere's a great post on the Horse's Mouth about the upcoming referendum on the EU Constitution.  Tellingly, he's posted a picture of the US Constitution (a single handwritten page) and one of the proposed EU Constitution (325 pages of small print in a bound book).  Any questions? 

So what do we make of Peter Lynds?  According to Wired, he is an apparent genius who has published a Physics paper 'Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Continuity', in which he maintains that time isn't quantized.  "In his theory, reality is merely sequences of events that happen relative to one another; time is an illusion."  If that sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, it is.  The low-level definition of time is not related to causality, it is related to the structure of matter.  This is where you wish writers for Wired and their like were scientists instead of English majors... 

Leaving no Titan-related stone unturned, I must note CNN reports Bright spot on Titan baffles scientists.  "The Cassini spacecraft captured an image of the 300-mile (480-kilometer) blotch during a flyby of Titan earlier this year."  It probably isn't a surface feature, more likely a persistent weather feature like Jupiter's red spot.  Cool.  Oh, and here's a Slashdot thread on the same subject. 

Again I have to note that Matt Webb consistently posts the most "different" stuff on the web.  He asks for a new RSS reader feature:  "Every so often it should silently hide one of the feeds.  If I notice, and if I remember what it was is that's been hidden, I should be able to say:  Hey, you forgot feed X, give it back!, and the application would say:  Okay then, you got me banged to rights, here it is.  If I don't notice or can't remember, the feed is deleted permanently."  I love it! 

Eric Mack discusses how to get your kids interesting in computers.  Now this is a blog post that's going to change my world.  I am a computer guy - duh! - but my kids are computer users, which is a different thing.  As expert as they are in the use of various programs, the idea that they could actually create their own programs has not taken hold.  [ via Robert Scoble

I think part of the problem is that development environments are so complicated.  When I was a kid, you launched Basic and poof, there you were.  Understanding VS.NET is a task for a lifetime.  It doesn't have to be that complicated, but it is. 

Apropos, Jeff Atwood notes Incompetence considered harmful.  I love his list of coding paradoxes: 

  1. Wicked Problems.  You can't understand the problem you're trying to solve until you've partially solved it.
  2. Iterative development.  Users can't fully express what they want you to build until you build a version of the software for them to experience.
  3. Extreme skill disparities. The worst software developers are profoundly bad; the best software developers are absurdly good. 

Here we have the Sea Orbiter.  "The SeaOrbiter has a decidedly futuristic look, and a contemporary purpose.  Its mission: to follow the currents and give scientists a platform from which to observe sea creatures on their home turf and to study the interaction between ocean and atmosphere (and their effect on climate)."  I suspect it won't really work, but it sure is beautiful.  [ via the Horse's Mouth

I've continued to try using the new Bittorrent Search and have concluded that it doesn't work.  Yet.  Maybe their spiders just need time.  The bottom line on any search engine is whether it can find the stuff you're looking for, and this one can't... 

Halley notes Livestrong is one year old!  Wow.  47 million little yellow bracelets.  I wear mine everywhere (actually I'm on about my 3rd or 4th one), and I've noticed people don't ask about it as much; I think they know what it is, now.  Extremely cool.  As is the Lance Armstrong Foundation

I need to mention once again the sheer excellence of  If you ever fly anywhere, you must visit this site to select your seats.  Did you know that all seats in an Alaska Air B-737 are not the same size?  Aha, I thought so.  And did you know that the MD-80 is quieter than the B-737 because the engines are in the rear?  See, it's useful.  Check it out! 

By the way, this is the kind of site where I love Firefox with Adblock.  They have Doubleclick ads and Google ads, but you'd never know it if you visit it the way I do.

Donkey Kong does Van Halen.  Yes, you probably have to see this to believe it.  And you must see it.  An amazing compendium of old computer game screenshots, beautifully strung together.  Maxwell Jump!  [ via Gerard Vanderleun, in a collective link-filled post entitled 'Instapundit Lite'.  Indeed. ]  

Finally, check out the iGuy, "Gumby for your iPod".  One of the many effects of the Internet has been the speed with which company A responds to a product released by company B.  In addition to being a success in and of itself, the iPod has spawned hundreds of other products.  Excellent!  [ via Engadget



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