Critical Section


gone bowling

Monday,  12/30/13  11:38 PM

Lucky Strike!Last night I capped a day of firefighting by going bowling.  It was fun, and nobody was hurt :) 

I didn't go bowling just anywhere, either; it had to be the Lucky Strike, in the basement of the Hollywood and Highland center.  Most excellent people watching :)

Bowling is one of those things that's fun - really fun - for a short while, but you wouldn't want to do it all the time.  For me anyway, YMMV

We've had such a cold winter that I've just about run out of "Al Gore must have gone there" jokes when reading about it.  But the irony of this story can't be missed: Ship sent to rescue other ship trapped in ice gets trapped in ice.  I understand a third ship sent to rescue that ship didn't make it, and now they're rescuing the passengers via helicopter.  The irony comes from the fact that the first ship is a Russian trawler carrying climate scientists investigating the reduction in sea ice caused by global warming.  The climate change gods must be crazy!

[ Update: an interesting analysis by Ann Althouse.  I too wonder about these people; it must make them feel good to be "environmental tourists", but they can't actually think they are helping, right? ]

So Apple wants Siri to be able to search your iPhone photos.  Well, of course they do, and you do too.  Imagine how cool it would be if they had workable visual search?  This auto-tagging is an intermediate step, of course.

Irish ghost homesThis is just sad: Ireland tearing down thousands of empty, brand new 'ghost homes'.  And meanwhile housing prices continue to rise, and there are so many people now who can't afford a home.

I think about this all the time; when I was a kid, it was easily possible for the average person to buy a house, but now, it seems far beyond the reach of most people.

How excellent: This jumble of tent poles could be NASA's next Titan-exploring robot.  Just shows how the space program continues to develop cool new technology which can later be adapted elsewhere.  Maybe even ... affordable housing?

Related, and asking the important questions: What would French Fries taste like if you made them on Jupiter?

A great article: The NFL's best and worst announcers.  It's very entertaining - please read it - but the headline is a little misleading, because the scoring criterion is only "avoidance of errors".  I think commissions of greatness should be considered too.

Radio - iTunes versionKeith Kaplan wonders: How has the Radio survived?  It's an interesting question, and the premise depends on an extension of the original definition of "radio" to include Internet, Satellite, etc.  I suggest it could even include Television, when used as a background entertainment instead of foreground attention-grabber.  It's weird how certain tasks can be performed while having a background like that ... some can even be performed more effectively.  I often listen to music while coding, but have found it has to be largely instrumental; lyrics can become distracting.

The six most interesting things that happened in Media this year.  A nice list.  And none of them involved "radio" :)

Paul Graham: What I didn't say.  A rather mild rebuttal to a rather malignant misquoting.  But we should be talking about what Paul Graham actually said, not what he didn't say or why he was misquoted.  If you want to understand why there are few female entrepreneurs, you should start with why there are few female hackers.  Is this innate?  Prejudice?  Who knows. 

I must tell you, after thirty-five years as a software engineer, that I've encountered colleagues from all over the world, from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, but very few women.  I just can't say why.  I do think this effect is too striking to be blamed entirely on prejudice...

in the Matrix?With New Years' Eve coming tomorrow, something to ponder: What if we really are in a 'Matrix'-like simulation?  It's actually an interesting article that explores a lot more than that...  We will soon have the technical wherewithal to create our own simulated worlds; in important ways we do already.  So the real question isn't what if we're in the Matrix, it's what if we can make one ourselves...

Cheers, Happy New Year's Eve Eve!

 

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