Critical Section

Archive: August 24, 2011

<<< August 22, 2011


August 26, 2011 >>>


Wednesday,  08/24/11  10:34 PM

Last night we were powerless - for about nine hours, from about 8:00PM to 4:30AM - and this afternoon we were again from about 1:30 to 3:30.  Boo hoo, right? 

Well, I now know that we have eight timers in the house and yard, and five electric clocks and one alarm system, all of which must be reset, not to mention my three servers which despite having a UPS which protects them for 30 minutes always seem to need some kind of weird resetting after a power failure.  Even as I write some of my domains still have messed up DNS.  I sure hope they stop playing with our street.


power pass

Wednesday,  08/24/11  11:03 PM

beat to quarters!A nice day, got caught up on a number of things, took a great ride, and am enjoying re-reading the Hornblower series by C.S.Forrester (I'm on Beat to Quarters, the first written but the fifth in the series).  And now that the power's back up, a filter pass seems indicated...  here we go :)

ObaminationSo I'm reading a leader in the latest New Yorker entitled How Bad Is It, by John Cassidy, and I encounter this: "What sort of policies might make a real dent in unemployment? Providing subsidies to businesses that hire new workers is one. Extending extra tax cuts to firms that build new factories and offices is another. More radical ideas include investing in infrastructure projects, importing a version of the job-sharing scheme that Germany has used, and launching a national community-service program."  Amazing.  This is the Obamination in a nutshell; the only ideas for creating jobs involve spending government money.  No mention at all of the government getting out of the way of business, decreasing regulation, reducing taxes, and allowing value to be created.  And yet that's the only thing that's going to work.

I find the illustration which accompanies the leader ironically apt; it shows President Obama standing next to an idle gear cage, wrench in hand.  Your caption here :)

The usually solid James Surowieki doubles down in The Business of Austerity.  Sigh.

Max apropos: How to motivate people: Skip the bonus and give them a real project.  Exactly.

time spent using TupperwareFrom the Oatmeal: Time spent using Tupperware.  I love it :)

On 50lb bicycles and the lockability thereof.  "All bikes weigh 50lbs.  A twenty pound bike requires a thirty pound lock.  A fifty pound bike doesn't need a lock."

Richard Dawkins: Attention Governor Perry, Evolution is a Fact.  And ignoring facts is not a leading indicator of a good leader :(

LinkedIn iPhone App rocksI've been using the new LinkedIn iPhone App and loving it.  They made it simpler and more useful all at the same time.  I am actually going into it more often now to see "what's happening", much like I do Facebook.  Amazing how important the iPhone App interface is for a company these days, almost as important as their website UI.

This is *so* true!  Twitter is like ICQ.  Exactly.  Great call.

MG Siegler: A Perfect Circle: 'Friends'.  Why Facebook's privacy changes make it easier and better.  Personally I don't post anything to Facebook I don't consider "public", but I agree that "friends" and "public" are the two categories that matter.  This is why G+'s Circles feature hasn't excited me; I just don't need finer grained control.

Don't you hate it when you go to a site which you haven't visited in a while, and you can't remember your username and/or password?  Sucks, doesn't it?  Here are some suggestions for all websites which require registration:

  • Use an email address as the username.  Easy to remember and unambiguous.
  • If for some weird reason you need a username aside from an email address, tell users the username rules (minimum length, etc.), it will make it easier for them to figure out what username they chose.
  • Tell users the password rules (capital letter, digits, minimum length, etc.)  Users use the same passwords everywhere, depending on the rules.
  • Finally, let users enter more than one password guess at a time.  I only ever use one of a handful of passwords.  If I can guess them all at once, it would save time.

goodbye, Steve!I can't add anything to all the chatter about Steve Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple.  He's been amazing, but I suspect Apple will continue on just fine without him at the helm.  I sure wish him well.

[ Update: Scoble has a nice take ]


happy 18th, Alex!

Wednesday,  08/24/11  11:18 PM

Alexis turns 18, and shows off the octadecahedral birthday cardTonight we celebrated Alexis' 18th birthday (!) in style, at our favorite restaurant Tuscany.  We had a great dinner - I broke my "wine not" training rule for the night, so we could enjoy an '04 Tignanello - and a great time.  Alex is moving out Friday (sniff) to attend LMU, so it's definitely quite a transition.  And in about half an our she'll be an adult ... wow.  Anyway she'll always be my baby girl :)

The highlight for me was making an octadecahedral birthday card :) that's Alex at right, holding the result, and you can see the print template below.

This octadecahedron is not a regular polyhedron, despite being composed of 18 equilateral triangles.  Imagine an equilateral pyramid, and now stick two of them together; you have a hexahedron, but it isn't quite regular (two of the vertices are more acute than the other three).  And now if you replace each of the six triangular sides with an equilateral pyramid, you get an octadecahedron.


Return to the archive.

this date in:
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