Saturday, October 16, 2010

The road of excess...

Welcome to the release of DBB (deadly blog buildup) where two weeks worth of crap are explosively discharged onto the internet.  Resign yourself to your fate and let's begin.

Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth has banned music and video streaming web sites because they were consuming 10% of their bandwidth.  When I started my professional career I couldn't send a letter - I had to get my boss's boss to do it.  How long before internet restrictions are equally anachronistic?

Why do Japanese people live so long?  My maternal grandmother (not Japanese) lived to 103 so that would be 2,860 more weeks of blog posts for me.  Bridging the cultural divide: understand other people by their toilets.  Who do you think has aged better?  Debbie Harry or Grace Slick?  These then and now rock star portraits make the answer pretty clear.

On the set of The Empire Strikes Back.
The best part of this collection of PowerPoint tips may be the link to the article calling Oracle's Larry Ellison the Darth Vader of PowerPoint.  If you prefer the original Darth Vader, check out these behind the scenes photographs of The Empire Strikes Back.  Here's the Star Wars Periodic Table  (Ex = Super Star Destroyer).

This review of Eno and Fripp's Evening Star manages to unite three things I often post about: beards, Eno, and the periodic table (see above).

John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing predicts trends that will shape small business in 2011.  (#1 Social simply is.)  He feels pretty confident about them, claiming that his predictions for 2010 were pretty much dead-on.  (#4 Kitchen sink on the cloud.)

Is this a word? will come in handy.  Two weeks ago I used "arcanery" which apparently isn't a word.  Chicanery, which I was apparently practicing, is.

Thus beginneth the deadly bullet list of CFD news.
The 5 myths of CFD.  (#1 CFD is too difficult to be used during design.)  I agree with all except maybe #5 (Most products don't need CFD.)   Based on no hard data whatsoever, I'd still say that the minority of products would benefit from an analysis of their fluid environment.

The big joke about CFD and experiment.  No one believes the CFD except for whomever did the analysis.  Everyone believes the experiment except for whomever did the test.

Dharmesh Shah writes on twelve facts about entrepreneurs "that are likely" to surprise you.  I guess one man's surprise is another man's "duh."  For example, #8 is "74.8 percent indicated desire to build wealth as an important motivation in becoming an entrepreneur."  What's actually surprising is that a quarter of entrepreneurs didn't have a wealth motive. Hasn't money been demonized enough?  A business exists to generate a profit.  You work to get paid money to pay your bills with money.

If you're an entrepreneur in the tech world here's someone's list of the top 256 entrepreneurship articles online.  The first link is an article titled The Secret Formula of Success is...  When you click through, the article begins "You Have to Work Hard."  Score one for accuracy.

Startup Quote features daily quotations from startup founders and other entrepreneurs.  For example, "Managers tell you where you are, leaders tell you where you are going" says Michael Lopp.

OpenCASCADE ver. 6.4 was released.  Tech Soft 3D announced the release of HOOPS 3D Exchange (3DX).  Ron Fritz, Tech Soft 3D's CEO and founder, has a long discussion on about the company's origin.  Deelip also has a long interview with Mike Payne, CEO of SpaceClaim, about his experiences in the CAD business.  Here's how Payne described Spatial when Dassault Systemes and he took them over: "It was worse than I thought. The product was unreliable. It had half-finished capabilities. Customers were mad. Customer service was non existent. The pricing was all over the place depending on what somebody would be able to pay at the end of a quarter. And there was zero quality assurance."  Speaking of SpaceClaim, they've launched the SpaceClaim User ForumNeed a free 3D CAD system?  Try KOMPAS-3D LT.

In 1712, this activity and reading printed books were demonized as "the uncontrolled, uncensored private lives of individuals."  What is this activity?  I would quaff Melachol for only one reason; it "corrects perverted secretions."

Aircraft pr0n - this time it's vapor cones

More video awesomeness from Lockheed Martin: first flight of the U-2 on 01 Aug 1955.  This video graphically demonstrates the amount of stress and heat absorbed by an aircraft's landing gear during a rejected take off.  (It also demonstrates why you want to keep the boarding stairs nearby.)

Read the story of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robbie Miller, posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroics in Afghanistan.

Fluid mechanics is hard.  So says the preamble of the Java Virtual Wind Tunnel, an interactive site that lets you play around with and visualize a two dimensional CFD simulation.   You can also explore irrotational, inviscid fluid flowANSYS is the 92nd largest software company in the world (and the top engineering software company) with $516 million in 2009 revenue.

In the wake of his talk at this year's Business of Software conference, Seth Godin illustrates why just because you can write software doesn't mean it'll make a good business - the issues of permission, networks, scarcity, and the desire to pay are key elements.   Speaking of BoS2010, the folks at BLN have posted their BoS2010 summary.  (Twitter takeaway from Joel Spolsky: "A CEO's job is to ask their people one thing: what do you need?")  Then, according to BNET, you should keep your mouth shut.

Apparently, a lot of people aren't fans of The Gap's new logo.  But at least it's easy to Crap Logo Yourself.  Or you can use the more richly featured Gap Yourself.  But this is moot because the Gap has decided to go back to their old logo.

 Clyfford Still, 1956-J No. 1, Untitled, 1956, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

"Clyfford Still was a paranoid, insulting, mean-spirited, grandiose, pompous, officious, self-important jerk" which may explain why his work isn't centrally featured in the MoMA's survey of abex painting.  But that doesn't mean his paintings still don't kick ass.

 Jackson Pollock, White Light (detail), 1954.

While we're on the topic of MoMA's Abstract Expressionist New York, here's one person's close-up (literally) view of some of the paintings.  The details revealed by these photographs are really cool.

And finally, Slate weighs in on MoMA's exhibition with their own abex slide show that promises to change the way you think about this art.

The recently-opened Monet 2010 exhibition in Paris has a cool interactive web site tour of his works.  (Press the Journey button.)

I include Matisse's View of Notre-Dame, 1914 only because it reminded me so strongly of Motherwell's  Open 151: In Ultramarine with Charcoal Line, 1970.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.  The USG spends billions annually on universities and national labs to bring technology to the marketplace and then wonder why it doesn't work.  Uh, hello - business brings technology to the marketplace.  This quote from one of these researchers sums it up: "I don't give a damn about transferring technology, greedy bastards."  I'm not a professor because I'm not smart enough.  Professors aren't businessmen because they don't have the skills.  I've seen this time and time again.  When famed outlaw Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks his reply was "That's where the money is."  So, why should the USG focus on business for technology transfer?  Cuz that's where the money is.

Speaking of dumb, here are the dumb things people do with their passwords.  (Over half of all young people have shared one of their passwords with someone else during the past year.)   I recommend KeePass for password management.  I use it to manage over 500 passwords.

For my student friends: consider the DoD's SMART scholarship program.

What does a prolate spheriod have to do with football?   The NSF and the NFL have gotten together for the Science of Football.   If that doesn't blow your dress up, check out the Geometry of Pasta.  (Do you know what Caramelle looks like?)

Bacon Bacon

Who else would you make a bacon statue of other than Kevin Bacon?  Halloween is fast approaching - why not dress up like a side of bacon?  Educate yourself with this video of how bacon is made.

Sheet music and audio files for the music from Super Mario World.

Let's get this out of the way up front - you leave a 20% tip in a restaurant for standard, regular service.  Here are more tips on tipping.  When you're in Dayton, be sure to dine at the Pine Club.  (We used to call it the Pine Box.  Two upcoming conferences will be held in Dayton and that's what got me thinking about this.)

What will your software's lack of usability cost you?  How about $170 million.  So says Marc Hedlund, founder of also-ran which lost out to when the latter was acquired by Intuit for the aforementioned sum.


Seaquence is an interactive, graphical, biologically-based music generator.  And when you see Rumpetroll, it's not what you think.

Another idea of mine, stolen: blanket support.  Want to flatter someone but lack the balls don't know how?  Let Flatter Me Calls do it for you for a fee.  I suppose growing up in the 1970s explains why I think the Hypnotic Illumicube is cool.

The dude in the background of the Beatles' Abbey Road cover is now 90 and apparently not a Beattles fan ("a bunch of kooks").

I'm not a car guy, but I'd love to have this Mach 5 in my garage. 

71% of all tweets are ignored.  How many of these worst ways to use Twitter have you seen in action?  (#4 Don't establish a personality.)

A link dump of 50 CSS tutorials and tools.  Who doesn't need to cheat every once in a while: 20 web-related cheat sheets, from XTHML and CSS2 to MySQL and World of Warcraft(?).   Asking for a phone number decreases responses by 5% and other interesting conversion stats for web forms.  I think by now everyone knows that your web site's buttons shouldn't say Submit.

Google's WebP is supposed to do to JPEG what PNG is doing to GIF.  Specifically, WebP is a lossy image format for photographs that has shown a 40% decrease in file size in some tests.

The Cranky Product Manager calls BoS 2010 a "sausage fest" and opines that the lack of women in the software business has something to do with the industry's frat house culture.

If you missed the GPU Technology Conference, over 300 hours of presentations are now online.  Here's another instance where the iPad sheds it's "gee wiz" appeal and does useful work - in this case, managing a supercomputer with an iPad.  Supercomputing SC11 will be held in Seattle on 11-17 Nov 2011.  The software developer's dilemma: what's more important, feature set or release date?  Are you a programmer?  Are you cheap?  Then you'll probably like these free programming ebooks.

With autumn coming and temperatures falling it's time to break out those appendage-friendly fleece garments and join the Snuggie Fan Club.  More Rubik's Cubes than you've probably ever seen.  Understand geology with this spiral timeline.

Mines are deep.  The internet can show us how deep.  At one pixel per inch, see how deep that mine in Chile is and how far down those miners were trapped.

Follow Peter Griffinn (Family Guy) on Twitter, if you dare.  ("One of the biggest benchmarks of true adulthood is when you come to the realization that all teenagers are douche bags.")

What's interesting about this story is not how a patron was awarded $650,000 for injuries suffered during a lap dance, but trying to imagine how the dancer's shoe got near his eye.

...leads to the palace of wisdom.  --William Blake

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