Saturday, September 3, 2011

There is no real wealth...

Is this blog smarter than a 5th grader?  Thank god, yes.  But only by two grades.  One must accept these small victories.

Here's a list of 11 proofreading tips for blogs that you probably wish I'd use.  #5 Read your post backward.  (The way I write, it might make more sense.)

Jackson Pollock 51, a ten minute film worth watching.  "Expressing emotions rather than illustrating them."
The lightning talk (aka pecha kucha) speakers for Business of Software 2011 have been announced.  In case you've never experienced lightning talks before, imagine giving a presentation using 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds - and the slides automatically advance.

Controversial (or at least paradoxical) study showing that watching a demo of something hurts your understanding of it.  The reason being that you interpret the demo within your own perspective of misunderstandings.

On the other hand, a 6 minute presentation at DEMO in front of high powered journalists and venture capitalists can make or break your company - and seem to last a lifetime.  Tips on how to get through it and maybe become a DEMOgod.

The coolest dull photo you'll see all week.  The earth (left) and moon (right) photographed by the Juno spacecraft from a distance of about 6 million miles.
In this interesting (yes, interesting) article about Windows Explorer (not IE, Windows Explorer) I learned a lot and because I use Explorer every day as the primary way to manipulate files on my laptop I'm hoping that the coming improvements are everything they promise.
  • The top 10 (paste, properties, copy, delete, rename, refresh, cut, new menu, command bar, new) of 200+ commands account for over 80% of the usage.
  • Only 2 of those top 10 commands are available via the command bar.
  • Slightly over half of command invocations are via the right click menu.
  • And this usage data influenced the design of Explorer 8 including addition of the ribbon.
In 1963 Aldous Huxley wrote an article about Shakespeare and Religion.  It was the last article he wrote before his death and it was published in 1964 in Show Magazine.  It's a nice piece and I'll just re-quote a passage from Henry IV used in the article.
But thought's the slave of life, and life time's fool;
And time, that takes survey of all the world,
Must have a stop.
An example of video sharing.  I sent someone the URL for the Unicorn Planet video.  He sent me back this video of a first person shooter game filmed IRL.

More weather data about hurricanes that you'll ever want.  There's a reason they're called Spaghetti Models.

Proof #399 that I have way too much free time.  Hand crafted from the Value Pack alphabet.
The lowly penny is a fascinating coin.  66% of them never get back to the central bank, probably because most of them are in my son's collection.  Another random factoid, people carry on average 14 coins at any one time.  I can't recall the last time I had any coins in my pocket, let alone 14.

Murfie Music seems to be a new spin on the CD/mp3 music deal - it's an online new and used CD store with a twist.  You buy the CD and they'll rip it for you and send you the mp3s and store the CD for you.  Hence, no DRM.  Or you send them your CDs, they rip them to mp3 for you, and then sell the CDs for you.  Interesting.  If only they took LPs.

Fun to watch: the browser fountain.

Just one from the hidden meaning of logos.  (I know someone who drives a Porsche but he'll never see this so it's OK.)
They say that half of America will be obese by 2030.  I'm happy to be above average and ahead of the curve for once.  How much will we be spending on avoidable fat-related diseases?  Around $50 billion per year.

History is full of food-related disasters, including the 1814 beer flood of London that killed 8.

Maybe we could keep the pounds off by just looking at Scandybars rather than shoving them into our pie hole.

Someone dares you to finish these 10 novels (because they're long).  Like most things in life, size doesn't matter.  Regardless, 6 I've never heard of, 2 I haven't read (nor have I watched the movie of Gone With The Wind), and 2 I've read (my high school English thesis was a comparison of War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, and a play by Gogol).

Play all you want with the super recursion toy.
Do you hate Captcha's, those verification tools on websites that require you to type-in some word displayed in a barely readable font?  If you think that's bad, what might happen if they added smell?  You'd get Fartcha.

...but the labor of man.  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Happy Labor Day everyone.  Enjoy your 3-day weekend.


Jim said...

The Windows Explorer article was interesting. What I'm a little confused about is why they didn't opt for keeping it pretty simple. Instead, they've filled in the entire ribbon with a lot of additional functionality.

When I read the "dare you to finish this novel," I wondered if they had a fiduciary interest in the one to be published.

John said...

The ribbon is pretty controversial. I honestly don't have an opinion. One reason why they did it might be similar to the recently published stat that 90% of people don't know you can use Ctrl+F to find stuff on a web page. In other words, make stuff visible. They also seem to have tried to make sure stuff had accelerators for power users. In fact, on Win 7 I turned the menu on for Win Explorer just to have visual access to the commands.

As for the long books, such an article might be a good way to lump your new book in with some classics.

Francis Shivone said...

I also enjoyed the Explorer article. I find the new version has too many things going on. I had an old Dos file manager that I liked. Wish I could still use it.

What's a coin?

My old blog is at 8th grade. Is that a random selection or do you think it actually "reads" something?

Someone once told me that "random" is not possible in a program. I thought of it watching the roots and limbs grow.

John said...

Although your coin comment is facetious (trying to raise the blog's grade level) it indicates why collecting them is a good thing. My youngest son collects pennies, I collect nickels, and the oldest collects dimes. It's a good hobby that keeps us off the streets.

Programming random results in something that generally is not random. That's why many high level encryption schemes use a natural source of randomness as a seed (e.g. atmospheric white noise, cosmic background radiation).

Francis Shivone said...

John -- Very interesting comment concerning randomness encryption, that makes sense.

On coins, my granddaughter and I save coins as "our" spending money on the Boardwalk when we go to the beach. My wife and I counted it the other day and I looked for silver. Out of about 500 coins -- 1 silver dime. Now that's fun.

John said...

My youngest got into collecting when he received a ton of pennies as part of a toy (they were used in a construction-type kit). One of the pennies was a wheat penny and that intrigued him.

Back when I had to do an honest day's labor, the coke machines at work would sometimes spit out old coins as change. I have a 1941 nickel from that machine I've kept on my keyboard for about 20 years. I recently added to that a 1930s buffalo nickel that a friend got in change at a 7-11 or something.

Paul Simmon said...
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