Sunday, December 31, 2006
From the Astronomy Picture of the day here's a wonderful composite of the moon and M31, the Andromeda Galaxy by Adam Block and Tim Puckett.
Most folks don't realize the immense apparent size of this galaxy, i.e., how big it is on the sky! Note how much larger it is than the moon!
Sadly, this also points out that galaxies are simply dim. Really dim! We can barely see our own and we are inside of it. The same goes for more distant galaxies.
The space scapes with bright galaxies glowing in the sky or the space craft view port simply don't exist in real life.
Here's the Wikipedia article on HDTV which has plenty of information, I think.
Then there is this nice list of LCD misconceptions at the LCD Buying Gude.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
MOFFETT FIELD, California (AP) -- Google Inc. and NASA Ames Research Center said Monday that they have finalized an agreement to deliver more of the space agency's imagery and information through the Internet's leading search engine.
The collaboration marks another step in a partnership announced 15 months ago when Google unveiled plans to build a 1 million-square-foot campus at the NASA center, located a few miles south of the company's Mountain View headquarters.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
GS: When I first started interviewing Steve, I said to him, “What should this book say?” And he’d say, “I hate reading anything about Apple. It’s all wrong. It’s all wrong!” And I’d ask what was wrong, and he’d just kind of brush his hand and say, “It’s all wrong! Everything ever written about me is wrong.” So I did a lot of research and I’d bring him stories and articles from throughout the years — “Is this wrong? Is that wrong?” And, in fact, a lot of the stuff out there that had been written about him was wrong. One common myth is that he was kicked out of the University of Colorado. He wasn’t kicked out. He’d run up so many fees from computer usage that he was afraid to tell his dad. So he chose not to go back the next semester and instead went to De Anza community college… With his 200 IQ and the perfect college board scores…
Another misconception that bothered him was the idea that he and Steve Jobs had designed the Apple I and the Apple II together. The sole designer of both those computers was Steve Wozniak. The sole designer. And that’s not to say that Steve Jobs isn’t an engineer in his own right; he may be. But he had nothing to do with the design of those two computers. He was the business guy there.
RU: And then there’s the myth that it was developed in a garage.
GS: It wasn’t done in a garage — that was HP. HP was started in a garage several decades earlier but not Apple! Steve Jobs worked in his bedroom of his parents’ house and Steve Wozniak was on the kitchen table.
RU: I guess some final tweaks were done in a garage.
GS: I think at the very end, when they have their first order of a hundred some units; they were actually just popping chips into sockets — some of that was done with Steve Jobs’ sister, and Dan Kottke, an early friend. Dan Kottke is a good example of one of the early employees who had everything to do with the success of these first computers — the Apple II, the first personal computer with color and sound.
This is another Slashdot pointer to an article on Servers, Hackers and Code in the Movies. It's mildly entertaining and a couple of nice lists. They certainly are not complete (e.g., the Colossus from Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) is missing) . There are no computers from Star Trek.
I have to say, the very top picture in the article does look a little like a flux capacitor…
Quoting the Slashdot quote:
“Frybrid has realized the dream of Dr. Emmet Brown's Delorean: putting garbage directly into your vehicle, and have it be turned into directly into fuel. This past fall, Frybrid installed a system into a 40' luxury RV that sucked up waste vegetable oil from the back of restaurants, removed the water and filtered it, and then burned the dry and cleaned vegetable oil as fuel. The family drove their converted RV from Seattle to Rhode Island on $47 worth of diesel fuel. Plans are underway for a smaller version of the system to fit in the bed of a pickup truck.”
Thursday, December 07, 2006
White list only
I've used this for years now with great success. You only receive email based on a white list. Period.
Sender stores email
All that is ever emailed is a link and the email client/recipient retrieves the email from the sender at the time they read it. There's no (or not necessarily) local storage of messages and sender validation is inherent. Also you have the added benefit of being able to modify (including fully retracting) a message after sending it. Storage is also ultimately efficient, only one copy in the universe. (Of course recipients can save their own copy). Downloading attachments integrates nicely and easily with pretty much no need for a size limitation.
Security is also nearly trivial! To secure the email, make the retrieval channel SSL. You're done.
If you want to limit delivery to authorized individuals, require authentication to retrieve the message. This could be made “invisible” in the background by employing certificates and doing the authentication on the fly.
Fully closed systems
For an organization's internal email (which I propose accounts for a large percentage of work-related messages), use a closed system like a forum/BBS with no connection to the outside world. Messages are stored once, organized into topics, security is inherently (approaching) perfect. Messages can be edited and retracted after sending. There is no spam, at all, ever. This is what LearnLink would be if it was disconnected from the Internet. I've been using a forum in this way for more than a year or two and have found it works extremely well.
I like the idea of a closed system for internal email and a separate email system for external messaging, perhaps Google- or Yahoo-based.
Also note that MySpace is exactly such a system on a vast scale, combining also the above white list idea with their implementation. I've noted that my kids, and their friends and family are using Myspace for communication more than email.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
pod2man mydoc.pod | groff -man -l
prints out pages that are missing the top header line. The solution to this is to make sure the string “letter” is in the file /etc/papersize.
echo letter >/etc/papersize
It's just that simple!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
More on prominences.