Critical Section

we're going to make some history today

Tuesday,  01/10/17  08:40 PM

Ten years ago, today:

Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone, Jan 10, 2007

"we're going to make some history today"

Well that was true.  Wow.

Notes on rewatching:

  • Hehe, Macs running on Intel, how amazing.
  • iTunes Store ... 5M songs per day.  Of course, no app store yet!
  • Zune, we hardly knew ya.
  • Those old iPod ads were the best.  Those white earbuds.
  • Apple TV!  Who can remember, it was introduced at the same time.  Nice hobby.
  • 22 min in ... every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.
  • Who wants a stylus?  Nobody wants a stylus.
  • iPhone runs OS X.  Really!?
  • Sync with iTunes.  Yep the first iPhones required a computer.  Quaint.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack.  "All your iPod headphones fit right in."
  • Accelerometer.  Weird to think turning your phone sideways didn't used to do anything.
  • "To unlock my phone I just take my finger and slide it across."
  • "You had me at scrolling."
  • "The killer app for a phone is making calls."  Hehe not any more.
  • Random access voicemail.  Another breakthrough we now take for granted.
  • First public call was to Jony Ive.  Of course.  "It's not too shabby, is it."
  • SMS texting pre-iMessage.  Hardly ever see green anymore :)
  • Pinch to zoom - big ovation.
  • Yahoo! Mail.  Yay.  Biggest mail service in the world.  That was then.
  • Realtime stock updates...  APPL was up $2.40 during this keynote.  Heh.
  • "I want to show you something truly remarkable" ... Google Maps on iPhone!
  • Calling Starbucks: "I'd like to order 4,000 lattes to go please" ... so great.
  • It's my pleasure to announce ... the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt!  This was before Android :)
  • "You can't think of the internet without thinking of Yahoo!"  Um ... yeah.
  • Launch network Cingular.  Remember them?  Eleven days after AT&T had bought them!
  • Love that anecdote about Woz and the TV scrambler at the end.
  • Wayne Gretsky: "skating where the puck is going to be".  Yep.
  • Finally, can I just say, that version of IOS looks so much better!
  • Pretty much the best tech product introduction of all time.  The benchmark.

Can you remember what was in your pocket on that day?  I proudly carried a Palm Centro.

I don't care what you say, that was a better time.  (...more history...)



bloggin in the year

Monday,  01/02/17  01:26 PM

Critical Section archive ... fourteen years inBloggin' in the new year ... it's 2017, which means it is fourteen years since I started blogging, way back in the bad old days of early 2003.  That means I get to add another "this date in:" link to my sidebar, and I get to add another row to the summary grid at the top of my archive.  There you will find links to 3,282 posts.  I can't believe how much time I've spent blogging, and yet... I can't help feeling that it was time well spent.  It was fun, for one thing, and educational, and through blogging I've met many of you, some of whom have become good friends and a few even business partners.  And I must confess I do like being able to see what I was doing and thinking this time in each year; I am probably the biggest user of my Flight link, which makes that vertical cut.

Weirdly and unusually, I have not redesigned my blog; it looks almost exactly as it did fourteen years ago.  I was an early pioneer with drop shadows, image maps, a right-side nav, and a chronological archive.  And may I say, my site has stayed fast; flat teeny compressed HTML, baby, with no client-side crap.  I was also wrong about a few things; frames, we hardly new ya, blog roulette, cute but useless, and blogroll, no longer a thing (sadly).  I do still have a cool, fast, simple search, and have held on to those greatest hits in the sidebar, although they don't get many clicks.  I didn't get RSS at first, and even thought aggregators are not good, but soon saw the light; I continue to think RSS is amazing, and it enables me to follow over 200 sites and blogs every day; click my OPML feed to see what I see.  And way back in 2009 I started Tweeting links, and echoing posts to Facebook.

NASA's purple rain tribute to Prince, 4/21/16So what's new for 2017?  We'll have to see.  I have no immediate plans to change anything about my blog, but I most definitely plan to start blogging again.  I have a backlog of about 200 items to share with you, and will dribble them out among new things of interest.  A lot of space stuff - it's been a good year for space! - and a lot of tech as usual, and of course a little social and political commentary, but I promise only a little.

(At right: This was NASA's tribute to Prince, after he died on 4/21/16)

Cheers and onward!


starting 2017 right: surfing dogs in the Rose Parade

Monday,  01/02/17  11:32 AM

This morning I got up and [like everyone else on Earth] watched the Rose Parade.  Wow.  As usual the floats were amazing, the bands were great, and the sense of pageantry and tradition was strong.  A perfect way to warm up for a day of doing nothing and watching football (and for a year of doing ... a lot).

(click to watch on Twitter)

As I was watching this - amazed and delighted - I couldn't help wondering about how this might be received by some of the other people watching this, people in other countries, other cultures, who might be astounded that we have so much excess bandwidth that we can worry about creating 100' long parade floats with surfing dogs.  In order to promote a philanthropic organization that exists to spay and neuter pets, so we don't have too many of them.  What a time to be alive.

Onward, into my day of doing nothing and watching football.  I'm picking: Wisconson over Western Michighan in the Cotton Bowl, Iowa over Florida in the Outback, USC over Penn State in the Rose Bowl (sorry, Kevin), and ... Oklahoma over Auburn in the Sugar.


Jumping Into 2017

Saturday,  12/31/16  04:12 PM

Happy New Year, everyone! 
I hope 2017 is amazing for you.

I haven't been been posting much, sorry ... maybe I'll start again soon.  This summer I had some changes which made me quite busy - I am now CTO of InTouch Health, yay! - and yeah, I got tired of all the political wrangling, and stopped blogging.  Per my blogging history this is about the 6th time I've done that in the last 13 years, and each time I started again, so stay tuned.

I wanted to share this amazing picture.
This is the international space station, showing two Russian spacecraft docked.
Below is Earth, with various Earthian cities lit up at night, and lighting flashing in the clouds.
This is a real picture, not Star Wars XX.

Looking at those tiny little lights way down there gives me goosebumps.
Think of all the Earthians down there, each living their lives with all their complexity.
I hope they all - we all - have a wonderful year.


a new beginning

Wednesday,  11/09/16  09:03 PM

return of the elephants

Yesterday, the American people sent a strong signal.  They didn't vote for President-elect Trump or the Republican party, and they didn't vote against Hillary Clinton.  They voted for change.  They did not like where we were headed, and they said so, loudly.

In 2008 after Barack Obama was elected President, the Democratic party controlled both houses, 29 governorships, and 27 state legislatures.  But in the four elections since the Democratic party has moved further to the left and left America in the middle.  Now Donald Trump has been elected President, the Democrats have lost both houses, and they are left with only 18 governorships and 12 state legislatures.  *That* is change you must believe in.

I didn't see this coming.  I don't like Donald Trump.  But I am delighted that the era of liberal policies, free-spending big government, victimology, and sanctimonious political correctness may be brought to an end.  We have serious problems and we need serious solutions.  We cannot expect our government to provide those solutions, we can only hope that they get out of the way.  Obamacare is only the latest in a long serious of fiascos where the government attempts to manipulate a market, and causes incredible damage.  (For an earlier example, see the government's subsidy of subprime loans via FNMA and FDMC, which caused the disastrous housing bubble of the mid-2000s.)

I would guess that 75% of you, my friends and readers, are more liberal than I am.  Many way, way more.  (You are great friends for all that.)  Same for the bloggers I follow (great bloggers), my Facebook and Twitter feeds, etc.  Since last night there has been a vast outpouring of anger and frustration and denial.  It will take time to understand what happened.  But I hope those who are angry and frustrated will take that time. 

This was not about race, not about gender, not about multiculturalism, not about trivial considerations of social correctness.  You and I, we live in a bubble.  We cannot easily identify with those who cannot find work, who see their towns shrinking, their kids growing up worse off than they were, the way of life they love slowly eroding.  But that is reality for millions of people, and those people voted for change.  They are Americans of all races, genders, and cultural backgrounds (check the stats, Trump received more minority votes and more support from women than Mitt Romney).  They want to make America great again.

Let's work together and make that happen.  We learn from the past, take all the best ideas, and move forward.  I am not angry or frustrated, I am excited and energized.  It is a new beginning, let's make the most of it!



never forget

Sunday,  09/11/16  12:01 PM

Wow, 9/11, again.  I will certainly never forget, as must we all not, for the evil philosophy which drove the horrible events of that day is with us still.  We must be ever vigilant to defend our ways of life against those who would take them away.

I have a calm quiet day; the biggest challenge I face will be riding my bike up a steep mountain.  I will worry only about how to make great things happen in the future, for my family and my business, and not about how to avoid bad things happening in the present. 

But I will not forget the recent past, and I hope you will not, either.



points of view

Monday,  04/25/16  10:30 PM

points of viewI'm been ruminating on points of view.  Everyone knows that people see things differently, but is that because they literally see the same thing and perceive it differently (sometimes) or are they viewing the same thing but seeing something different ... because they have a different point of view.  A lot of the work in understanding something is moving to different / better points of view.  So if you want to know a lot, you have to move around :)

If you're wondering "how could anyone ever support X", where X is one of the current presidential candidates, consider their point of view.  They are probably seeing different things than you are, rather than perceiving the same things differently.

Try ... if you can ... playing the "under the skin" game.  The other person is usually more rational than you thought, and you are often less rationale when seen from another person's point of view.

Tesla gigafactory as seen by a droneSpeaking of points of view, here we have the Tesla Gigafactory as seen from a drone.  Wow.  It's hard to comprehend just how large this building is...

Not surprising to me: Human intelligence is declining according to Stanford geneticist.  "I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues."  Clear evidence for Unnatural Selection.

Life in 2016: How White Castle will adjust to a $15 minimum wage.  A minimum wage is one of those issues where people definitely have different points of view.  If you're poor and struggling to live on a minimum wage, you will think this could help.  And if you're an economist or student of history, you will think this can only hurt.  The challenge is not figuring out who's right, but how to we get the right thinking implemented.

Victor David Hanson: The next President is going to be hated.  Yeah.

Alpha Centauri - target for Yuri Milner's probeSome people would say this is a waste of time and money, but not me: Yuri Milner is spending $100M on a probe that could travel to Alpha Centauri.  I saw Yuri speak at a Caltech event recently, and he's level headed and constructive about this.  Most impressive.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the political spectrum, Bernie Sanders is now calling for a nationwide ban on fracking.  See, to me, he *really* doesn't understand how things work.  But to you, maybe this makes sense.

on identity: is this 5'9" white guy really a 6'5" Chinese girl?A sad aspect of today's political environment is that people can't say what they think anymore.  Don't believe it?  Check out this video, in which a 5'9" white guy challenges people to say he isn't a 6'5" Chinese girl.  This is not proof of people seeing things differently, it's evidence that people don't feel comfortable saying what they see.

I'm not one of those people: I see crap, and I call it crap:  Brutalist websites.  This is a variation of my "patience" rant; people can whip out something ugly, call it style, and move on, instead of taking the time to make something worth making.  And once again let's not confuse simplicity (which is good) with brutalism or as I might call it lazyism (which is bad).

10,000 days of MathematicaAn extraordinary read: Stephen Wolfram, my life in technology.  Stephen is one of the people I admire most, a thinker who is also a doer, and who has thought and done some amazing things.  Mathematica and the Wolfram Language are two of the marvels of our time.  From any point of view :)

I'm going to wrap up with this, which is ... great, 1986 in photos.  Talk about having a different point of view, imagine how differently you would have reacted to these pictures thirty years ago (or forty years ago!).  And how we will look back and view the events of today.  As you look at these pictures, which one strikes you?

Donald Trump in 1986




filter pass

Saturday,  04/16/16  10:27 PM

the Kepler space telescope - is okay!Woah, 10 days since my last filter pass!  What happened?  Nothing in particular, I've just been ... busy?  I guess.  The days go by.  Anyway here's a catchup... because [as you know] it's all happening...

In case you were worried: NASA's Kepler space telescope is back in good health.  Whew.

Clive Thompson: The new site.  In case you were a fan of his Collision Detection, or especially if you weren't.  Check it out!

It's funny to read about someone who thinks Moveable Type is legacy, when I started blogging, there was no Moveable Type, in fact, Blogger had just come out.  I had to write my own CMS, and it's still running.  Also, I had to walk in the snow to school, uphill both ways :)

From October, Heather MacDonald testifies before the Senate: The Myth of Criminal-Justice Racism.  "The most poisonous claim in the dominant narrative is that our criminal justice system is a product and a source of racial inequity."  In which once again we see that correlation does not imply causality.

space shuttle Challenger 30 year anniversaryThirty years ago (!) - space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing all seven astronauts aboard.  For me this was totally a "remember where you were when you heard it" event.

Scott "Dilbert" Adams ponders a presidential persuasion pardon.  "Let’s say Donald Trump promises that when he gets elected President he will pardon Hillary Clinton of any future convictions regarding her email server situation."  An interesting what-if, but I don't read him that way.

Dumb dumb dumb dumb: PayPal withdraws from North Carolina because of new LGBT discrimination law.  The law is pretty benign - requiring each sex to use bathrooms for their sex - but everyone sure is jumping on this bandwagon.  This is nothing but virtue signaling, but it sure is compelling.

Meanwhile: Chariot launches, an Uber-like service for women only.  No word about how they will treat men who "present" as women.

One down: Panama papers scandal brings down Iceland's prime minister.  Wow.  Wonder who's next?

I use a tool called WordFence to protect eyesFinder's website (which is running WordPress); check out this post on the WordFence blog about how the Panama papers got exposed.

the next big sport: first-person drone racingThe latest sport?  First-person drone racing descends upon Wembley Stadium.  Wow.  And meanwhile, ESPN is trying to make drone racing a mainstream sport.  Well why not?  Better than poker :)

The thing that will be really cool?  First-person drone racing ... in virtual reality!

AR/VR business modelsApropos: the reality of AR/VR business models.  A great survey.  Personally I think VR content creation will be like making movies ... a huge business.  (With many of the same people and players.)

Related: How virtual reality is looking to reawaken the joy of arcades.  Might even get me back into one :)

Major League Baseball approves wearable tech for in-game use.  Specific products for now, but it's a slippery slope.

The three things Apple needs to do to unlock the potential of Touch Id.  I totally agree with the first thing: use Touch Id to override web passwords.  It is such a pain to remember (and recover) passwords on every site; how great would it be if authenticating yourself on your phone was all you had to do?

The headline is clickbait but the article is better: a survey of the challenges that Yahoo faces, as it explores the sale of its core business.  Not a pretty picture.  How the mighty have fallen...  I thought Marissa Mayer had a chance to turn them around, but apparently she did not.

I remember when I was at Intuit, in 1999, that Yahoo was THE online service, the Internet challenger to non-Internet AOL.  That was a long time ago, and in all that time Yahoo has steadily declined.

the Tesla Model 3As Tesla Model 3 preorders approach 400,000: If you built it, they will come.  "Prior to the Model 3 event, the rhetoric you still routinely heard was ... that Tesla is a niche product, a 'Valley-thing.' These pre-order numbers destroy that notion. It’s still up to Tesla to execute on the plan, but at least right now, that plan is clearly working."  This is most definitely starting to look like genuine disruption.

the new (!) Tesla Model SOh, and: Tesla unveils new Model S design.  Wow for everyone, and Sigh for me.  The number of reasons to upgrade to a brand new one keep growing. 

Teslarati explores the details behind the Tesla Model S update.  Interestingly, they've got a "normal" center console now, standard.

the Bazooka canoliWrapping up, here we have The Bazooka, a huge super Canoli filled with 50 normal canolis.  Just when you think you've seen it all, you realize "it all" is so much more than you imagined :)




Wednesday,  04/06/16  11:49 PM

HTC ViveToday I had a new experience; I flew around the Earth!  My ship was an HTC Vive.  I was able to fly around, zoom in and out, and even see population statistics and social media traffic superimposed over the globe.  It was seamless 1080p at 90fps, and I was there.  I didn't feel sick or scared, I felt liberated and elated.  And I can't wait for my next flight!

The headset is light and comfortable, but it's a headset, and it's tethered by a not insignificant wire bundle.  That's the downside.  The controllers are easy to use and importantly, appear in the field of view.  So while your hands do not - and they could be added, of course - you definitely have the sense of your movement corresponding to the world's movement.  I don't know how this stacks up against the Oculus Rift, but I can't wait to find out.  Stay tuned :)

For the to-learn list ... Unity.  [Apparently, one of] the easiest / best ways to develop VR content for Vives, Rifts, and their brethren.

ILM's VR lab in actionInside Industrial Light & Magic's virtual reality lab.  "Industrial Light & Magic’s Experience Lab (ILMxLAB) is a newly-formed supergroup of artists, engineers, sound designers, and storytellers prototyping the future of interactive, immersive cinema for Lucasfilm."  Next gen moviemaking.

Of course the ILMs of the world will be making VR content, but with the tools now available, there's going to be a democratization and everyone will be able to make VR movies, just like anyone can shoot HD with their phone.  It will be all about the destinations and stories.

And this: StreamVR featuring the HTC Vive:

StreamVR in action

----- Meanwhile, back in the "real" world... -----

Jeff Immelt of GE counterpunches: Bernie Sanders says we’re ‘destroying the moral fabric’ of America. He’s wrong.  "We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches."  Absolutely.

Sigh: Jerry Brown admits $15 minimum wage does not make economic sense.  California is such a contradiction, a bastion of liberal thinking and the best counterexample :)

John Hindraker considers The Left's new battleground: co-ed bathrooms.  "The 'discrimination' consists of the fact that men can’t use women’s rest rooms ... There was a time when, if you had said that one of our major political parties would someday consider it a vital civil right that men be allowed to use women’s bathrooms, people would have thought you were nuts. They would have been right."

I can see on the Internets including my Facebook feed that the North Carolina law has attracted the ire of many liberals, protesting this "discrimination".  More proof, if any were needed, that Idiocracy was a documentary.

All is not lost, however: When Mark Steyn struck back.  The rapid decline of conditions in Europe are a cautionary tale for sure.  Those who fail to learn the lessons of history current eventsare doomed to repeat them.

Re Mark Steyn: Tomorrow's civilizational cringe today.  Featuring the evergreen Tim Blair headline: British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing.  [Thanks, Zoya]

----- But on the plus side... -----

Peter Sagan wins Tour of FlandersPeter Sagan wins Tour of Flanders, his first monument, but surely not his last.  It's not just that he won - while wearing the world champion's rainbow jersey - it's the way he won, riding right away from the field to power to victory.  You just don't see that very often in today's peloton.  I can't wait for Paris Roubaix next Sunday!

Hat tip to Fabian Cancellara, who finished a charging second; he did his best in his final effort (he's announced his retirement), but nobody can catch Sagan when he's on a good day anymore.

HP's new logoThis is HP's new logo.  I like it.

xkcd: mycologyThe incomparable xkcd: Mycology:

Perhaps the fungus actually causes comics about fungi :)


it's the law

Tuesday,  04/05/16  10:55 AM


Hehe.  Remember, it's the law...




Monday,  04/04/16  10:55 PM

Villanova wins at the buzzerWow!  Has there ever been a better ending to a better game than last night's NCAA basketball championship?  With 4.7 count 'em 4.7 seconds left, North Carolina launches an improbable 3 which somehow hits net to tie, and then after a frantic full court scramble Villanova bags a game winner with 0.5 cannot even count 'em 0.5 seconds left for the win.  Wow.

I had predicted NC would win in a yawner.  Missed it by a mile.

Talking of missing things by a mile, Real Science notes the Falling Sea Level on the East Coast of the US.

planet with three suns, shouldn't existMeanwhile, astronomers just discovered an alien planet with three suns that shouldn't exist.  Great headline for an interesting story.  What a time to be alive.

I wonder if "My Three Suns" was considered as an alternate headline? :)

space archaeologySpace archaeology uncovers potential Viking settlement in North America.  Love this.

Strongly reminiscent of Nevil Shute's amazing An Old Captivity, which imagines a Viking settlement discovered during an air survey.  A great read.

We seem to have reached "peak Trump", and with tomorrow's likely defeat in the Wisconsin primary, Roger Kimball wonders What Happens Now?  He's not sure and neither am I.  But we'd both love to see Ted Cruz as the Republican candidate...

Political philosopher Scott "Dilbert" Adams considers Derailing the Trump Train.  "If you have been reading my Master Persuader series, you might be interested in why Trump’s persuasion suddenly stopped working. It’s more interesting than you think."  It's a wonder the charade lasted as long as it did; a tribute to the IQ of the voters and the media.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensNews you can use: Star Wars, the Force Awakens is now out on Amazon digital video.  Well in time for May the Fourth.

The economics of this are interesting; in the old days, studios would delay online release to make sure everyone paid to see the movie in a theater.  But in the new days, if they delay the release people like me will download a torrent instead of paying for a copy.  They should make the movie available right away so we can get it legally.

Arizona airplane boneyardIncredible: The Arizona boneyard where old warplanes go to die.  There are over 4,000 planes there.  So much hardware, but also, so many stories.  (Click here to visit via Google Maps.)

It is interesting to ponder, what should be done with old military hardware?  Ideally it would be sold and reused, but a lot of this tech is simply obsolete.  Leaving it sitting out in the desert doesn't seem like the best answer, just the most expedient one.  Maybe it can be teleported to another universe which isn't yet as technologically advanced?

bacterial programming languageExcellent: programming language makes circuits out of bacteria.  "Ultimately, this could lead to bacteria that solve specific conditions, such as reducing lactose intolerance (by improving digestion) or producing pesticide when bugs attack a plant."  And what could possibly go wrong?

This seems like the perfect language for a biochemist-turned-software-engineer.  Heh.



ess ee

Monday,  04/04/16  08:05 AM

Reginald ... click to enbiggenYou guys may know, I'm a "small phone" guy.  I loved my Palm Pre, it was the perfect size.  So when Apple went from the iPhone 4 form factor to the iPhone 5, I was not delighted.  I did upgrade, and for the past two years I've liked my iPhone 5S, but there was no way I wanted an iPhone 6.  (And as far as the iPhone 6 Plus, I already have an iPad :)

So the iPhone SE was designed for me; essentially an iPhone 6S in an iPhone 5S body.  I just got one and I like it.


  • The camera.  The picture at right of my cat Reggie is amazing; there was so much variation in light that I had a hard time seeing him by eye, yet the picture is great.  (click to enbiggen, but note that I've downsampled the resolution by 200%)
  • The battery life.  I got my phone on Friday, and powered it on Saturday morning.  I deliberately ran all day Saturday and Sunday without plugging it in, and on Sunday night I was still at 20%.
  • Apple Pay.  I'm all setup with nowhere to go; all the places I went over the weekend didn't accept it.  (The blank look on the DoIt Center cashier's face when I asked if they accepted Apple Pay was especially great.)  Still, I'm looking forward to using it and confident it will be cool.
  • "Hey Siri" without pressing the home button.  This is way cooler than you might think.  I'm not a Siri user - or at least I wasn't - but now it is so easy to try stuff that I do.  "Hey Siri, where's the nearest post office?"  Etc.  Siri still doesn't work that well, but the ability to access it just by speaking is game changing.
  • Faster.  Yep, it is.

SE closeup - flush camera, and it's awesome

That cool camera is capable of some amazing close-ups, check out the self-portrait at right, showing how the camera does not stick out.  (click to enbiggen; again, resolution downsampled by 200%)

Not so great things:

  • I was forced to upgrade to iTunes 12 in order to restore to this phone.  Okay, I get it, forward motion, but I was holding out because iTunes 12 seems like a step backward from 11.  All that Apple Music stuff that I don't care about ... everything moved around ...  Anyway IIWII.
  • As always, remembering all my accounts and passwords and re-logging into everything is a massive PITA.  Now that we have fingerprint recognition built into the phone, can't we do away with all this crap?  Seems like once I've authenticated myself with my finger, everything else should be known...
  • I still don't like the virtual keyboard.  It is so fast and the auto correction is so useful that it is almost as good as a real keyboard, but almost is not quite.  I mentally flirted with getting a Blackberry Priv for just this reason ... but I didn't pull the trigger.  (The reviews of the Priv's keyboard mostly said "this keyboard isn't as good as previous Blackberries)

SE infinityAll in all a worthy upgrade.  "Hey Siri, will the iPhone 7 be available in the 5" form factor?"



Sunday night

Sunday,  04/03/16  11:09 PM

repair manIt is Sunday night, and I'm blogging after a long weekend of doing stuff around my new house.  Highlights included blocking the sideyard so my dogs can't escape, coercing four big guys to move a gigantic entertainment unit upstairs (a 90o turn halfway up made this especially interesting), recovering from some crappy expansion bolts that refused to expand (details and cursing redacted), and mounting curtains so they drape onto the floor just the right amount.  Great stuff.  Oh yeah and importantly, getting my second Tivo and Slingbox working so I can watch TV in my office, while ... blogging!

At right: that's not me, but it is how I feel :0

North Carolina handles SyracuseSo I *finally* started watching basketball, after ignoring the NCAA tournament for two weeks.  And I watched the blowout of the world, as Villanova crushed Oklahoma by the biggest margin ever in the final four - wow, how did that happen? - and a pretty good game as North Carolina took care of business and walked away from Syracuse.

My pick for Monday night: North Carolina.  No way Villanova stays that hot and no way NC will be as cold as Oklahoma.  I think it will be a yawner, too...

Victor Davis Hanson is brutal: A nation of Laws - sort of.  "The end of constitutional America comes not loudly and suddenly with jackboots and brown-shirt thugs, but more insidiously with soft-spoken totalitarians and their “noble” appeals to advancing fairness, diversity, and equality."  Scary and feels true.

Exhibit A: White House under fire for 'censoring' video of French president's speech.  This is pretty Orwellian.  As Glenn Reynolds comments, "It’s not just that they're sleazy liars. They're bad sleazy liars."

Unfortunately it's not just the US: UN names Israel as world's top human rights violator.  This would be laughable if it wasn't sad.  The UN has long ceased to be useful.

OTOH: Eric Raymond: This may be the week the SJWs lost it all.  A welcome victory for the good guys, but unfortunately the tech world is but a small corner of the real world.

all Apple's products, ever (in one graphic)This is cool: All of Apple's products ever, in one glorious infographic.  You should most definitely click through to enbiggen.  It's charming to see all of the history; I've lived it all :)

Just just bought an iPhone SE.  Lovin' it.  Stay tuned more to follow.

Cult of Mac: iPhone SE proves size doesn't matter.)  Oh but it does, and that's the point.

So: Jack Welch could have bought Apple for $2B (back in 1996).  What analyses like this fail to note is that if GE had bought Apple, Apple wouldn't have become Apple.

Apple minivan!My favorite April Fools story: Apple unveils self-driving mini electric home on wheels.  Inhabitat are on a roll :)

And also, hell now frozen: Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders, and Xamarin now free in Visual Studio.  Excellent.  Visual Studio is the best IDE, hands down.  Not even going to add IMHO, because it's a fact.

Elon Musk introduces the Tesla Model 3The Tesla Model 3 unveil was amazing, did you watch?  So well done.  And crisp! - 20 minutes, tops.  So many could learn from this.  So now the Model 3 is here and it's ridiculously sexy, preorders are well on their way to 300,000.  That's twice as many as Tesla expected, and for perspective three times as many as all the cars Tesla have made so far.  Wow.

FYI: Why does the Model 3 have no instrument cluster?  "... the near complete absence of operator control displays is a logical move from Tesla because they fully anticipate their Autopilot technology to dominant the means of Model 3 operation by the car’s late 2017 rollout date..."

Blue Origin once again launch a rocket to space (100km) ... and land it back on EarthAnd last but not least: congratulations once again to Blue Origin for once again launching a rocket into "space" (100km) and relanding the booster.  Ars Technica: why Blue Origin's latest launch is a huge deal for cheap space access.

"After the January flight, Blue Origin's founder Jeff Bezos told Ars that refurbishing the propulsion module after that first flight cost 'in the small tens of thousands of dollars.'  His technicians never even removed the engine from the vehicle.  'We inspected it and said, 'Let's go.' It was designed to be reusable from the start.'"

I'm among those who point out, yeah, but this isn't like what SpaceX have done ... and it isn't ... but it is most impressive and a great step forward for space exploration.  Plus, it's good for SpaceX to have competition.


not fools day

Friday,  04/01/16  09:14 AM

think ... for yourself!Hi everyone - it's April 1, so this will be the one day where we question everything and try to figure out if it's actually true.  In other words, this is the one day we are not fools!  Have a great day :)



the future has arrived!

Thursday,  03/31/16  09:05 PM

the Tesla Model 3


Fairly recent posts:

01/10/17 08:40 PM -

we're going to make some history today

01/02/17 01:26 PM -

bloggin in the year

01/02/17 11:32 AM -

starting 2017 right: surfing dogs in the Rose Parade

12/31/16 04:12 PM -

Jumping Into 2017

11/09/16 09:03 PM -

a new beginning

09/11/16 12:01 PM -

never forget

04/25/16 10:30 PM -

points of view

04/16/16 10:27 PM -

filter pass

04/06/16 11:49 PM -


04/05/16 10:55 AM -

it's the law

04/04/16 10:55 PM -


04/04/16 08:05 AM -

ess ee

04/03/16 11:09 PM -

Sunday night

04/01/16 09:14 AM -

not fools day

03/31/16 09:05 PM -

the future has arrived!

03/30/16 11:22 PM -

Wednesday,  03/30/16  11:22 PM

03/30/16 03:59 PM -


03/29/16 11:29 PM -


03/27/16 10:53 PM -

virtual Easter

03/26/16 11:58 PM -

Meg epiphany

03/26/16 10:56 PM -

Saturday,  03/26/16  10:56 PM

03/24/16 11:58 PM -

the chart of cosmic exploration

03/24/16 11:41 PM -


03/22/16 10:07 PM -

SE edition

03/21/16 08:19 AM -

phone-y dreams

03/20/16 11:05 PM -

{filter pass}

03/20/16 09:56 PM -


03/20/16 09:45 PM -

Iditarod wrap: Seaveys one two again, Sass 20th after 26 hour delay, DeeDee 44th!

03/14/16 11:24 PM -

happy Pi day!

03/14/16 07:15 PM -

Iditarod: Seaveys and Sass, sprint to the finish

For older posts please visit the archive.


About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
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
the big day
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?