Saturday, February 19, 2011

Solitude is painful when one is young...

Today's soundtrack brought to you courtesy of Pat Mastelotto who offers several consecutive tracks illustrating the evolution of Smudge from noodling to finished work.  Very insightful.  Open the link in another window, start the streaming playback, and come back here.

Not to be left behind, mathematicians have started a 3-year project to create a periodic table of shapes to categorize all the three, four, and five dimensional shapes.  You can follow their progress on their blog.

Design guru Don Norman has seen the future and is opposed.  It's not the technology that has Don down, it's the service providers.  Whether that's overloaded wireless networks at a hotel, cell phone roaming charges, or for-fee delivery silos for news, video, sports, Norman sees a future where service provider greed is going to rule the day.

 This nano-photo of two types of molecules layered on a gold surface is one of POPSCI's best images from the 2010 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Why would you ruin bacon by putting it in bourbon to make something called the Bacon Bourbon Sour?  I'd like to know if any of my booze friends are willing to make one of these.  Ho hum, bacon toothpaste.

The big news in the CFD world this week was the announcement of CAD software maker Autodesk's intent to acquire CFD software vendor Blue Ridge Numerics (CFdesign) for $39 million.
  • Autodesk's announcement: "Simulation represents a significant growth area for Autodesk, and we are focused on strengthening our portfolio in this area both organically and through acquisitions." 
  • DEVELOP3D: They don't seem to be surprised by the deal because they figured both Autodesk and PTC needed to beef up their CFD capabilities.   They also make some speculative statements regarding the cost of SolidWork's CFD capabilities (licensed from Mentor Graphics) and Simulia's intent to develop their own CFD in-house.
  • Schnitger: As a side note to her commentary, Rita quotes prior research on BRN in which they "generally came out at or near the top:  well-respected for both innovation and business practices."
  • Autodesk Manufacturing's blog: The blog post includes a video of the current integration of CFdesign and Inventor.
  • GraphicSpeak: This blog post points out Autodesk's recent string of analysis acquisitions (Algor, Moldflow) and BRN's large number of PTC customers.  They opine that perhaps the big shake-up of PTC's product line (Creo) will have customers lining up to take a look at Autodesk's offerings.
  • BIM Apps: There's discussion here about a CFdesign integration with Revit.
  • IMAGINiT blog: They claim that Autodesk's R&D budget is 4-5 times that of its closest competitor.
  • Revit OpEd blog: An expression of the need for simulation beyond just modeling.
  • CFdesign 2011: If you want to see what's at the root of all this, here are BRN's five reasons for using CFdesign 2011.

What the heck is going on in the engineering software market?  While collecting new data in advance of COFES 2011 one fact made clear is that "2010 was a lot better than 2009 for most manufacturers and the engineering software vendors that serve them."

Howe and Howe's Ripsaw EV-1.  Bad ass.  Simply bad ass.  Watch the videos.

Contrary to many productivity strategies including GTD, Nate Riggs advises that you forget about emptying your email inbox when you're overloaded.  Speaking of GTD, Nirvana is an online, browser-based task management system based on GTD's principles.

Who are the most influential colleges on Twitter?   Syracuse, my alma mater, is #2.  (Now if they'd only stop referring to themselves as "Cuse."  God I hate that.)  Here's a tiny infographic about when major versions of modern web browsers shipped.

Not for the faint of heart: an 11 page legal brief on whether software technical interfaces are copyrightable.  They are not.

Honestly, I wish success to the new Fairmount Bike Taxi for Fort Worth's Near Southside.  Equally honestly, I have no idea what to think of the whole thing.  Smells a little like hipster to me.

In case you missed it, a computer named Watson competed on Jeopardy! this past week.  You can commemorate the event with an "I Beat Watson" t-shirt.

Flogton is golf for those of us who are terrible.  I'm not sure the liberalized rules will help me.  I'd cheat and still struggle to shoot 120.  And I bet the purists (like my father) will be up in arms when they hear about this.  (Flogton, not my cheating.)

If you have never seen Most Extreme Elimination Challenge you've missed a hilarious take-off of a Japanese game show where the real joy is the overdubbed commentary.  The TV show Wipe Out is an attempt to Americanize MXC but in the end they miss the point completely and instead produce nothing more than a turd.  In fact, if a turd could take a dump it would defecate Wipe Out.  (This double entendre is completely unintentional.)

Whether called bibliovores or book geeks, the WSJ presents this review of books about books including the interesting quote "in childhood all books are books of divination, telling us about the future."

Extended Voronoi by Leonardo Solaas

Two nuggets from the TRIANGULATION blog this week.  First up is Extended Voronoi.  Second is an animation from Antlers Wifi.

If you're curious about how much to charge for your product or service, perhaps the Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter can help.

eWEEK presents the top programming languages for 2011 beginning with Java, C, and C++.  To give you a head start on your C programming, here are the top 10 C language resources.  Here are nine traits of the veteran Unix system administrator.  #6 We generally assume the problem is with whomever is asking the question.

Coming from Disney in 2013 and going straight to DVD is PLANES, a flying version of Cars.  More interesting to me is the speculation that Cars was inspired in-part by Disney's 1942 film Saludos Amigos.

In the United States of Beer, each state is represented by a brew.  In California, it's Stone Brewing (the only reason I posted this link).  Well Stocked is a photo of a beer-packed refrigerator.  The question for my beer friends is whether the title is deserved.

There seems to be a correlation between the size of a primate's brain and the extent of its social group.  For humans, the Dunbar number is 147.8 indicating the average size of your circle of friends.  The interesting endnote of this article proposes that the evolutionary growth of the human brain was not due to the need to understand the world around us but the need to understand other humans.  Of course, eating meat and marrow fueled that growth.  (Don't know why I added that last bit.)

From the rumor mill, AMD is for sale and Dell is interested.

 Explore the proposed $3.7 trillion federal budget for 2012.

  • Toyota Motorsport brings together experimental and CFD data using Tecplot.
  • nPower released SubD-NURBS, software for converting subdivision surface models into NURBS models.
  • Symscape's February 2011 newsletter is out.
  • Supercomputer maker Cray reported a huge jump in Q4 income in 2010 relative to 2009: $52.1 million versus $3 million.
  • CD-adapco is hosting a webinar on CAD geometry for CFD.
  • Beta CAE systems released ANSA v13.1.2 for CFD.
  • OPEN CASCADE released Best Fit for working with point clouds.
  • The 4th International ANSA Conference will be held 01-03 June 2011 in Greece.
  • Tech Soft 3D's annual customer meeting will be held 14 April 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • OpenCMISS is an open source project to revive the CMISS modeling package including CFD.
  • How the Yale School of Medicine used CFD to cut energy usage in their buildings.
"The customer is always right" is a bit patronizing.  This article about how you can go wrong by listening to your customers is another variation on a theme.  You want your products to be inspired by your customers, not defined by them.

Begin with audio, end with video.  There's just something about this swordplay between an actor and a projection that is fun to watch.  I can't read Japanese so there's nothing more I can tell you.

...but delightful when one is more mature.  ~Albert Einstein

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