Saturday, August 28, 2010

They say that 90% of TV is junk...

If you wore a Snazzy Napper and a Snuggie at the same time, you'd have the appendage-friendly fleece equivalent of a burqa.  Or at least the front half.  Gotta love the nose slit.

In an interesting psychology study, researchers at Washington State Univ. show that your colleagues won't like you if you're unselfish; what's objectively good is seen as subjectively bad.  In other words, you make them look bad.  In other leading workplace news, researchers argue for the importance of swearing:
  1. Swearing can let you develop social relationships (like with your court-appointed attorney at your harassment trial).
  2. Swearing can release stress (while inducing it in others).
  3. Swearing can be used as a form of positive politeness (no friggin' idea what this means).
  4. Banning swearing may inhibit self-managed teams (even less of a clue).
A Smart Bear, drawing upon experience seeing hundreds of startup presentations, writes about how to position yourself against the competition.   I like this: "Your company is defined by its own strengths, values, customers, and products, not by how it compares with other companies."  In other words, defining yourself as being against something else is a losing proposition.

Everyone has tips on how to design the call-to-action buttons on your web site but few actually provide a tool to do so.  That's the Super Conversion Button generator is so helpful.  These folks also provide button tips via SlideShare.  Also, the folks at Unbounce have a blog completely dedicated to landing page and conversion optimization.  The Web Squeeze magazine also goes into considerable detail on landing page design.

Now instead of just writing about CAD/CAM/CAE, TenLinks founder Roopinder Tara is selling it too at CADdepot.  AVL is going to add export to EnSight. Georgia Tech was named a CUDA Center of Excellence by NVIDIA.  For the second year in a row ANSYS has been named to FORTUNE's list of the 100 fastest growing companies, coming in this year at 39.

One million giraffes.  Cat extra. 

And here's an interesting icon map of the top million web sites illustrated by the site's icon scaled according to its traffic.

I'd call this unfair, but that'd be too whiny.  "The Situation" to make (note I don't write "earn") $5 million in 2010."  I only watched that show once for 20 minutes after lingering too long while flipping channels.  Those people are repugnant.

43% of companies will be blogging by 2012.  Measure your online influence with Klout.  (I'm just a dabbler.)  The SolidWorks Legion blog takes a look at how PTC has integrated social media with CAD.

I used Tagxedo to make a customized word cloud of my blog posts and here's what I got back.  Damn, this thing's good.

Ever wonder how companies pick their names?   Six Apart was coined because the company's founders were born six days apart.  In our case, it was because Trained Apes Software probably didn't give the right impression.

Proof #1,979 that creativity is not dead: Alien Pez dispenser.

Web Worker Daily (which unfortunately sounds like some communist era publication of the defunct USSR) offers a list of 7 ways to successfully work remotely.  I know several people who do this and I'm trying to figure out which one is The Cheerleader (and no, I'm not imagining them in the outfit).

Fulfilling my anal retentive periodic table fetish for the week: the periodic table of HTML 5.

Christie's is auctioning a bunch of Lehman Brothers' artwork on 29 September 2010 in London.  In addition to a Pink Panther drawing by Friz Freleng (catalog page 105) the auction includes some awesome lithographs by Sean Scully (pp 114-115).

Proof #1.41412 that simplicity in design is not dead: the Square Root Calculator.  

All you fractal geeks will love this 3D Mandelbrot fly-through.

Don't want to write your own style or user interface guidelines?  Just copy from Microsoft, NASA, Yale or any others on this giant list of UX guidelines.   If your interests are strictly on the software user experience side of things, these 11 principles of interaction design, while not new, are worth reading.  (#2 Consistency - I wish I could remember Cooper's quote from About Face on consistency.  It was something along the lines of a fanatical adherence to consistency.)

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, writes about how it's not easy going green.  My favorite quote from the article is "I went into the process thinking that green homes were ugly because hippies have bad taste."

I loved Gilligan's Island as a kid.  (And not just for Ginger.)  But I never knew Lovey Howell's real first name was Eunice.  (But TV Queen probably did.)

The folks running the AUVSI Unmanned Systems show had a great idea.  You could check out a Flip video camera, record your own video, and they'd post it to their AUVSI Flip Central web page for all to watch.

Here's an interesting opinion piece on how busy implies not committed, on how it's an excuse to hide  behind trivial tasks rather than proceed with important initiatives.  All I know is busy is way overused.  Perhaps it's like this: busy is to productive as complicated is to complex.

Here are two more Fort Worth food blogs: Linguine and Dirty Martinis and Not Just Here for the Food.  Do you know what a nurdle is?  It's a "wave-like glob of toothpaste applied to a toothbrush."  It's also apparently a reason to sue.

On the Siemens PLM blog, the rhetorical question is posed "Are you doing FEA for the color pictures?"  One interesting mandate in the post is "YOU DO NEED TRAINING" (emphasis theirs, but I agree).  I'm not exactly sure what's going on here because I couldn't find an About page, but it looks like Cudacountry is about young people exploring science and engineering with CAD and other software tools.

From the never give up category: Neptune is going to complete its first orbit of the sun since being discovered in 1846.  Unusual globes (not what you think).
It's not too late to get in on the bidding for a seat on a B-17 for the flyover of Texas A&M's home opener.

The Spaceship Company is hiring.  While not a flying car, Morgan Aircraft's VTOL jet sure looks interesting.  I wish I could recommend Aviation Week's Workforce 2010 Report but there's very little illumination to be found in it.  We giveth and taketh away:  the last W62 nuclear warhead has been dismantled while the B83 just had its first flight test.

It's not just TV, it's EngineeringTV.  Here's a list of some iPhone apps for engineeringCJR Propulsion has developed an in-house CFD capability for propellers.

Reader's Digest offers a list of 24 things you might be saying wrong (e.g. could care less instead of  couldn't care less).  Sadly, I am saying all of them.  On the other hand, check out these mythbusters for grammar.  Split infinitives to your heart's content and 4 other doors flung wide open.

No sense trying to explain what I don't understand so I'll just quote the article: "The radioactive decay of some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away."  When writing a scientific paper be sure to spend at least 50% of your time (i.e. 12 hours a day) typesetting the paper so that all the tables look nice. 

Here's a sport I could really get behind, er... in front of?

...but 90% of everything is junk.  -- Gene Roddenberry

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