Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Word “Entity”

I suspect the only reason you see the word “entity” in computer science and such places is that, in school, we're taught not to use the word “thing” because it's not specific enough, it's too ambiguous.

So, I claim that when a person uses the word “entity,” they are trying to be ambiguous without being ambiguous.

Telescope camera - 3.2-Billion Pixels

Is this the most powerful camera in the world? Giant 3.2-billion-pixel device will give us the ”deepest view of the night sky ever seen” from Mail Online.

The Best Statistical Programming Language is

Javascript?  From R-Bloggers by Tony.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Anyone else recall when the most complicated sneaker decision was

“Do you want those Converse in hi-top or low, black or white?” RT @Gartenburg

How to stop Facebook apps from sharing your info

from Leslie Meredith , TechNewsDaily.

Remember:  Check your Facebook privacy settings early and often.   (That's from me, not the article).

A Forgotten Principle of Compiler Design

from Programming in the 21st Century.
That a clean system for separately compiled modules appeared in Modula-2, a programming language designed by Niklaus Wirth in 1978, but not in the 2011 C++ standard…hmmm, no further comment needed. But the successor to Modula-2, Oberon, is even more interesting.

Strange Objects Punching Holes Through Saturn’s Outer Ring

From Wired.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Friday, April 20, 2012

Instant Web Server on Amazon (AWS) S3

Well, I just tried it and it worked!  If you needed a quick and easy web server set up, you could grab a micro instance of a virtual machine on Amazon Web Services (AWS)  EC2 service, set up Apache or similar, etc.

However, it's much easier than that.  S3 (Simple Storage Service) lets you serve files, including static web pages, directly.  You create a bucket, upload files, set permissions, set up logging, and you have a web site.  It's free unless your web site has a huge amount of content.

Of course this is static, i.e., there's no PHP or programming, or dynamically generated pages here.  This is just a simple site, but it works quite well.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Beatles on American Bandstand

When I think of American Bandstand, I always think of watching this very show in 1967 when films (like  videos!) were premiered for Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields.  (From Video Cabinet in Limbo.  It looks like the actual music videos have been removed).

Here are color versions of the videos.  The ones on AB were in black and white.

Penny Lane

Strawberry Fields  (Another B&W version)

So Long Dick Clark

Man Flies a Boeing 737 in His Garage

From Mercury News. “James Price of Pleasanton has built a flight simulator out of the nose of a former Lufthansa fleet Boeing 737…”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Your Next Boat

The Adastra super yacht.  From Mail Online.

  • The Adastra is so hi-tech that you can even control it with your iPad 
  • Its range is 4,000 miles, enough to go from the UK to New York in a single trip without refueling 
  • The 42m yacht has a maximum speed of 22.5 knots 

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Why Have I Disappeared from Facebook?

Or at least, why am I not responding?

I have a few FB accounts and it seems that FB has decided I need to provide a phone number to keep them active.  Right now I can't log into most of them without providing a cell phone number.  I'm generally put off by this whole development and mostly inclined not to provide any information like that and just leave FB, at least on those accounts, behind.

For anyone who wants to read what I have to say, the good news is that I usually only post on FB an echo of what I post here.  You can always see what I have to say by reading this blog.  You always could.

Similarly, I've provided easy and effective ways to contact me.  You can, for example, use those to comment on or follow up on my postings here.

What I am missing out on are some postings and pictures by folks on the locked FB accounts, and even occasional messages.  Right now I can't reply to any of them and can't see many of them.

For most of the time I've not been a fan of FB and I'm less a fan than ever right now.  Who knows, though, they may yet emerge as the preferred way to communicate and stay in touch.  I expect the future holds some interesting surprise that I haven't imagined.

In the mean time, if you're looking for me, I'm still here where I've been the whole time.  That's the nice thing about centering communication, at least the outbound kind, on one's own blog.  You always have control of it and it can persist beyond the limits and misdirections of other services.

New Look

Well, now I've gone and done it.  For the first time in some six years (I think) I've changed the look of the site here.  I may make more changes over the coming days as I sort this out.

The site was looking a little old and, frankly, I didn't really like the current version of the look.   I did like the fonts, colors and general layout.

However, I'm clearly a fan of the lighter and more open looks and this one is an example of that.   I like the days being grouped this way.

I spent some time poking around with the text font.  This is currently Open Sans (I think).


The new mobile phone service, Ting, looks interesting.

The Twelve Greatest Defunct Tech Magazines

... from Technologizer.   Memories.

Mac OS X Dtrace Scripts

I'm cleaning up my email notes and found this excellent article on Mac OS X Dtrace scripts from Brendan's blog.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Nice Balloon Flight Report

This is a nice balloon flight report and I like the 1/4-wave and yagi antennas.