Saturday, April 9, 2011

The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity...

Unusual soundtrack for today: ambient/synth group Emeralds from Cleveland, Ohio.  While you listen to that (I've already heard it) I'm listening to Puccini's Turandot.

Never think that a 3D mouse is only for fancy CAD applications.  3Dconnexion's new driver, 3DxWare 10, allows their 3D mice to be used with any application from web browsers on up.

I am not too bright.  Therefore, Kubrick2001: The Space Odyssey Explained, is very helpful.  However, now 2010: The Year We Make Contact no longer makes sense.

Need a personal video conferencing facility?  Try iMeet (not to be confused with iMeat - do NOT go there).

Solarized is a sixteen-color palette designed for use with GUI and other terminal applications. It was love at first sight and I immediately downloaded the color scheme for use with vim.

People have the internet.  Why can't things have the internet too?  Pachube is a map-based web app showing data feeds from devices all over the world - radiation sensors in Japan, someone's HVAC system in Houston, to someone's sump pump in Indiana.

I can't say I agree with all of these golden rules of email.  The first rule, say it all in the subject line (for example, "Today's Meeting Canceled - EOM" with EOM meaning end of message) is a trick I borrowed from a guy I used to work with but instead use "N/T" for "no text", i.e. there's no text in the body of the email.  As for the zeroth rule about changing an email's subject line, no way - don't do that.  I know a guy who puts his reply in the subject line and it drives me NUTS.  I'll send him an email with subject "Can we meet tomorrow?" and he'll reply with an email subject line of "Yes, how about 5pm?  Re: Can we meet tomorrow?"

Reaction Design introduced FORTÉ CFD, with accurate modeling of fuel effects.

Eric Ries' thoughts about your business being a lean startup have been turned into this flowchart/mindmap/decision-tree with lots of tiny print.

Debatable is how I'd describe these marketing statistics that the authors claim will blow your mind.  2/3 of Americans have registered for the Do Not Call list.  57% of business have acquired a customer through their company blog.

Callum Innes, Untitled 2008 No. 24, 2008 from London's Frith Street Gallery.

Callum Innes is one of my favorite artists.  In this video from the Tate Channel he talks about painting with watercolors and says that while his paintings may appear neat and tidy they are actually quite chaotic.  A couple years ago I heard him speak at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth - excellent and insightful.  Innes was born the same year as me.  He's creating such beautiful things and the best I can do is...  this.  Dang.
    Absolute freakin' genius! Terminator the Second is Terminator 2 told using only the words of Shakespeare.  The sample script below is from when the Terminator saves John from the T-1000 for the first time.  Note: this is not written in Shakespeare's style, these are actual lines from various Shakespeare works.
    John: We will give the devil his due.
    Terminator: If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear. Thou art come to answer a stony adversary, uncapable of pity, void and empty of any dram of mercy. Let's leave this town.
    John: Beesech you, first go with me to my house.
    Terminator: I do not think it good.
    John: Your reason?
    Terminator: I know his nature. He's gone to seek you at your house.
    Aviation pr0n of the week: testing the F-35's ejection seat.  Celebrate 2011, the Centennial of Naval Aviation.  The Virtual Aircraft Museum seems to have them all, from the Abrams Explorer to the Zinno.

    From the What Goes Up Must Come Down Department, see how the Space Shuttle's solid rocket boosters are recovered from the ocean.

    In general, pdfy sounds neat: paste your C++ code into the box and get a syntax-highlighted PDF back.   But I don't program in C++.  More programming tips on languages I don't use: learn Python the hard way.  Notes: a) Can anything be learned the easy way?  b) The title is a bit paradoxical because this is a "very beginner book."  The top 50 computer science blogs.

    In Interview with a Cracker (software not white trash or thin crisp wafer), we learn about how software companies make it easier for their products to be cracked.   #3 Not using some sort of encryption/obfuscation.

    What are the top 5 Facebook mistakes made by businesses?
    1. Not being genuine.
    2. Not monitoring and updating constantly.  guilty
    3. Not sharing funny, interesting, or useful things.  guilty
    4. Not learning all of Facebook's tools for business.  guilty
    5. Not following the rules.

    Here are 78 slides from a presentation on developing and maintaining a CSS systemPatternify is an online CSS pattern generator.  CSS transforms around a non-centered origin.  The world's shortest SEO tutorial.

    Mad Men + animation = Madmanimation, a cool bit of CSS-based animation.  (Sorry, doesn't seem to work in Firefox 3.  Try Chrome.)  Just when I think I'm out, those typographers pull me back in: Superhero alphabet.

    About 62% of companies have employees who work remotely and 56% of bosses think remote workers are more productive.  The former stat surprised me because larger firms are more likely to have this than smaller firms (77% to 39%).  The latter stat is delusional because productivity depends on the employee not their location.

    For the Trekkie in your life - Trexels is a limited edition print of Star Trek characters drawn in pixelated form by John Martz.  There are only 300 and they go on sale beginning 12 April.

    You can download a free white paper (deemed "excellent" by the GraphicSpeak blog) about a comparison of 3D CAD formats including STEP, 3D XML, JT, and 3D PDF.  I downloaded a copy but haven't read it yet.

    • Autodesk really has a hard-on for engineering simulation.  They introduced SIM Squad, a web portal for all things CAE including CFD.
    • CD-adapco opened a new Southern California office in Irvine.
    • CD-adapco helped ADFS build a better flight simulator with CFD.
    • This video mentions how Voxdale is using CFD for simulating boat hull performance.
    • techCFD is a Glasgow-based CFD consultancy. 
    • OpenSCAD is a free program for creating 3D CAD geometry but unlike a graphical CAD program this one is script driven.
    • Tecplot 360 2011 was released and includes enhanced capabilities for visualizing unsteady CFD results. 
    • Sharc released Periscope, a new CFD postprocessor.  
    • Symscape brings us this link to the city of Reno, Nevada's use of wind turbines for power generation, including the city's dashboard where you can see the performance of each device.

    I know someone who really likes ribs.  I really like the 3-way from Skyline Chili.

    The FTC requires bloggers to reveal any relationship with an advertiser including compensation for reviews and free products.  For the record, who in their right mind would care enough about my opinion to give me stuff?

    I applaud tip #3 from 10 ways to improve your Twitter following: write a decent bio with keywords about what you're interested in and what you'll be tweeting about.

    This video about Formula 1 steering wheels proves why I'll never be a race car driver - I have enough trouble changing the radio station.

    Frequent fliers: Next time you're airborne and hooked up to teh interwebs via the free wifi, check out MondoWindow, a new app that let's you see what you're flying over.

    How to reverse engineer an atomic bomb.

    Many of these rules for building a massive company ring true.  #7 Aspire, but don't drink your own Kool-Aid.  This is not the same as eating your own dog food which you should do.  #8 Having a great product is important but having great product distribution is more important.  Nuff said.

    lorempixum provides placeholder images of any size, color, or content for use in web design and other applications.  For example, gives you a 400x200 random image from the sports category as shown below.

    Astronomy geeks, this one's for you: Solar System Scope is an interactive 3D model of the solar system.

    Physicists found something, they just don't know what.  An unexpected version of the Higgs boson?  A new type of force?  Reminds me of that old SNL skit: "What the hell is it?"

    Kurt Vonnegut's rules for writing fiction:  #3 Every character should want something.

    The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, truly lost and recently found stories by Dr. Seuss, will be released in September.  Already added to my Amazon wish list.  When my kids were little I had memorized One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and several other Seuss tales.

    These aren't the 50 books every child should read, they're the books every person should read.  My score: precisely four.

    From the Way More Trouble Than It Was Worth Department, you can use picture dots to turn any image into a connect the dots puzzle.

    I know only one person (maybe two) who'll be even remotely interested in the Sewing Machine Orchestra, a performance of the sounds of 8 sewing machines with a little processing added on top.

    Classic bait and switch.  Hot Librarian Fantasy isn't what you think - it's a cool app for tablet computers that helps librarian sort books by finding the ones that are out of order.  Both my sons volunteer(ed) at the local public library and might have found this helpful.  On the other hand, they'd probably say they don't need a computer to understand Dewey Decimal.

    Now go back and look at the first letter of each of the opening paragraphs.

    ...but not in that order.


    Francis Shivone said...

    1. So I guess my Twitter bio, "I got nothin," doesn't pass muster.

    2. 4 or 5 of the 50. Can't say I have read every Sherlock Holmes piece.

    3. I have read the Vonnegut rules many times and enjoy them each time I read them.

    John said...

    Twitter bios are searchable. That's how someone might find you - by searching for food, restaurant, or review. Also, when I get followed I like to look at them up to see if I should follow back. No bio - no way to tell.

    A different variation on the same theme is LinkedIn requests. if I don't recognize your name, I'm not going to agree to the request unless you include a note reminding me of how I know you.

    Back to Twitter: just this afternoon someone tweeted about a very well-done Twitter page where the background graphic was custom made to put a lot of bio information down the left side of the page.

    Even better than reading Sherlock Holmes is watching him portrayed by Basil Rathbone. How many rainy Sunday afternoons did I spend doing that as a kid?

    Honestly, I've never read a single Vonnegut novel.