Saturday, November 13, 2010

After silence, that which comes nearest...

Last week I linked to something about Google's engineering organization.  Now here's insight into Facebook's engineering management.  With respect to hiring: "The quality of coworkers is the single greatest determinant of workplace happiness."  Rand shares what he wishes he knew before he started his company, SEOmoz.  (#4 Quality trumps quantity.)

 The Large Hadron Collider is cooking up a quark-gluon soup.

12 tips for using Twitter for business from companies who've tweeted their way to success.  How so?  Dell uses Twitter for special offers leading to $3 million in sales directly sourced from Twitter.  You can use TweetReach to gauge the range and influence of your tweets.   Saying that CAD vendors should ignore social media is like saying they should stop answering their phones.  Like any medium, embrace it where it makes sense.
  • FLOW-3D's fall 2010 newsletter is out including a cool tip for generating an STL file of the mold from the part and system runner without having to build a CAD model.
  • In Desktop Engineering's (and NAFEMS') article Improving Product Development with CAE the author says that close integration of CFD and FEA is (for simulating the noise caused by fluid sloshing in your gas tank when you slam on the brakes) is a key to future success in CAE.
  • ADINA now has a direct FEMAP interface.
  • Symscape's flexible licensing let's you avoid tooling-up costs for CFD.
  • How CFD and Tecplot can minimize sonic booms.
  • Rocketdyne has been awarded a $1.35 million contract to develop a new CFD code for rocket engines, ALREST-HFM.
  • Symscape's November 2010 newsletter is out with a tip on animating particle paths.
We all know the internet is mostly full of garbage (case in point: this blog).  So before you add your content to the cyber landfill, you might first develop a content strategy.  (This is a long article with lots of supporting references and citations so I've set it aside for a more detailed read-through later.)

Today's aircraft pr0n: Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor Flickr photoset.

There's no telling what happened at the now-abandoned airbase on Johnson Atoll.   Tom Clancy's new novel, Dead or Alive, is due out on December 7th.  On a related note, Clancy's The Hunt for Red October is number 9 on NPR's top 100 "killer thrillers." (#1 The Silence of the Lambs, #2 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (really?), #3 Kiss the Girls, #4 The Bourne Identity (Hooray!))

We are as guilty as writing poor error messages as anyone else.  Here are tips we should follow to better communicate errors.

In their NVIDIA Graphics Card Shootout, Kubotek's tests reveal that the $800 pro card outperformed its $150 consumer card little brother on 9 of 15 OpenGL tests.  But the author still recommends that you might be better off buying the cheap card and spending the difference on CPU and RAM.

Mr. Magoo came from UPA and this series of blog posts tells the story of their decline (a clash of business and art).  Disney, of course, suffered no such demise.  Maybe that was due to Walt's ideas on how to train an animator including the qualities they must possess (you have to read the entire 8 page memo).
  • good draftsmanship
  • understanding of caricature features and action
  • appreciation of acting
  • ability to create gags
  • story construction
  • knowledge of the mechanics of the work
Forms are the bane of a web designer's existence.  Here are some web form tips and tricks that should help you get the info you want with as little effort from the user as possible.   And if your forms use a Captcha (that squiggly text that you have to retype) you might consider switching to simple logic question captchas.  You can also go directly to Forms that Work, the companion web site to the same-named book.  Since this has turned into the web design paragraph, I'll link to this rather interesting article on styling breadcrumbs, how Google's recommended practice of using » is wrong, and how there are few other good alternatives.

 Get a logo that's guaranteed to suck for only $5 from Horrible Logos.

Are you interested in CAD and user interface design?  Then this long comparison of SolidWorks and Solid Edge is for you.  One conclusion: "Solid Edge as a product shows much more attention to detail in the interface."
Deelip talks to a lot of CAD people.
  • From his conversation with SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray: "Let's kill SolidWorks the way SolidWorks has killed some other companies."
  • He was at the Dassault Systemes Customer Conference (DSCC) where he heard CEO Bernard Charles say "The heart of [CATIA] V6 is social innovation."
  • Then later he spoke with Bernard Charles including how Charles spent "320 million dollars for a 9 million dollar company losing money" 
  • And now with DraftSight director Aaron Kelly including why the software may never have 3D capabilities.
Someone's gone to quite a bit of effort to visualize the cycle of Aunt Flo's visits.  Yummy, delicious Koopa.  Art meets science: see how Scan&Solve computes an FEA solution on a sculpture. If you think the world needs another browser, perhaps RockMelt is for you.

 NASA's Epoxi mission had a close encounter with comet Hartley 2.

Whatcolor is a cool site where the URL you specify shows you how your color selections will look online.  For example, if you want to see what hex color #abcdef looks like, go to For something a bit more interactive, choose colors with Piknik simply by moving the mouse around the screen.  If you use InDesign, here's your ultimate InDesign toolbox.

This link is for precisely one person and he knows who he is: the right hand rule. expressing the inexpressible is music.  ~Aldous Huxley

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