- World of Goo - Drew Davidson | ETC-Press (Beta) - Nice overview of World of Goo.
- The Volokh Conspiracy - 100 Best Movie Lines in 200 Seconds:
- Amazing Lunar Lander Game Using Google Earth | Google Earth Blog
- Kindle and the future of reading : The New Yorker - Although a lot of the criticisms are valid to various degrees, this seems to go out of its way to find the negative IMO. (And has lots of subtle snark like only a New Yorker writer could do it.)
- HP plans electronic whiteboarding tool | Beyond Binary - CNET News - Potentially interesting. The ability to do "napkin sketches" and the like easily is one of the things that seems really missing when you're working remotely.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
- 'Waterproof' Camera Group Test (Q2 2009) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review - Nice set of reviews. Is it too much to ask that someone put an optical viewfinder on a waterproof camera?
- Open Source to Go!: The Real FLOSS Community and the "Faux FLOSS Fundamentalists" - "I've come to think of these people over the past several days as the "Faux FLOSS Fundamentalists"." A lot of truth in this although there are certainly community people who are very ideological as well.
- Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule - Some good thinking here. As an analyst I have to be somewhat interrupt-driven and take a lot of 30 min-1 hr briefings. Sometimes it's OK, especially as I've shifted to a heavier concentration of shorter pieces that I can crank out in between 30 mins and 2 hrs. However, more in-depth research and writing takes focus. It's hard for me to totally isolate myself but I do try to reduce the interrupt frequency, especially of lower-priority interrupts (e.g. twitter).
- How The Times' Home Page Gets Made | The New York Observer - Interesting piece. Note especially the discussion about the use (or non-use) of Web stats.
- Lobster in the rough - The Boston Globe - I'd add Young's in Belfast, ME and I find Harraseeket in S. Freeport, while in a great location, a bit inconsistent on non-lobster items but overall seems a good list.
- Nina Munk on Hard Times at Harvard | vanityfair.com - Hugely damning. I don't really have a feel for how fair it is overall.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
- PUNKADIDDLE: Hugos 2009 - A rant about the Hugos shortlist. I don't read nearly as much SF as I used to. I think there's truth to the assertion that fandom as a whole tends to favor the predictable--just look at the endless padded series out there. OTOH, I confess to often being lukewarm on more "literary" works favored by many professional critics and writers.
- Amazon is not Big Brother - Telegraph - Amazon did a dumb thing (which they've acknowledged) but this piece has the outrage about right.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A few weeks ago, AMD sent me an HP dv2 notebook, the first system to use their “Yukon” mobile processor. The dv2’s basic concept can be summed up as ultraportable experience at a value price point—it starts at $700. Put another way, it aims to avoid some of the compromises associated with netbooks while getting within at least sight of netbook price points.
So how does it do? Read on. This won’t be a full review but after playing around with the system for a few weeks, I think I have a pretty good feel for its capabilities.
Let me start by saying that my overall experience is quite positive. It’s small. It’s light. The touchpad doesn’t drive me crazy like many do. (My pointer tastes are a bit idiosyncratic. I favor trackpoints on notebooks and trackballs on desktops.) And the processor has been fast enough for what I’ve thrown at it.
This last point is worth digging into a bit deeper given that it’s pretty central to the dv2’s concept. I didn’t do formal benchmark comparisons, but I did open up a CPU meter on Vista’s sidebar and cranked up multimedia applications to see if things would stutter or otherwise go unresponsive on me.
I started music playing using AMD’s Fusion Media Explorer. Then I opened Firefox to Hulu and started some video playing. To round out the experience, I fired up another browser Window and went off Web surfing sites with the usual mix of Flash and other multimedia.
All this drove the CPU pretty hard as indicated by the CPU meter but both the music and the video continued to play smoothly and the system always felt responsive. I’ve no doubt that heavy-duty image or video processing would bog down the system but it seems to have plenty of performance for the sort of Web usage and general productivity work that I tend to use an ultraportable for while out of the office.
The 12-inch screen and almost full-sized keyboard were easy enough to view and type on although my personal preference is something just slightly larger. (My other notebook is a 13-inch Lenovo ThinkPad x200; the x200 is also on the order of 50 percent more expensive than the dv2.)
One thing that may bother some people is that the dv2 doesn’t have an internal optical drive. The external USB Blu-ray drive that I received with the notebook works well, but it’s one more thing to carry and and is a bit awkward if you’re balancing everything on your lap. Personally I’m largely indifferent to whether an ultraportable has an internal optical drive or not—I generally don’t travel with one—but I know it’s a sticking point for some.
As for aesthetics, it’s black and silver and shiny. To be honest, my tastes lean more towards the muted finishes of my ThinkPad that, among other things, doesn’t attract fingerprints to nearly the same degree. But it’s hard to criticize such sleekness too much.
Bottom line? If you want a budget ultraportable that’s closer to the look, feel, and experience of full-featured notebooks than it is to even a 10-inch netbook then the dv2 looks to be a pretty good choice.
- Internet Evolution - Andrew Keen - It's Time to Bust the Beta Cult - "But I’m worried about the increasing centrality of the beta product and the beta ideal in the digital economy. Beta is a creditable practice -- as long it exists in parallel with the more adult world of finished products. But when it becomes the thing-in-itself, when there are no finished products, when everything is in perpetual flux, then the Internet economy has a serious problem."
- Tech Tips - The Digital Journalist - "In the realm of compact digital cameras, there is no question that the high end of the market is looking for better image quality than current cameras provide, especially at high ISOs. But I'll bet that the eventual solution to that request is going to be larger image sensors with high resolution rather than small sensors with reduced resolution. Time will tell!"
- tweetbook.in - Get all your tweets in PDF form.
- Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » Where’s Twitter’s past, and what’s it’s future? - "Blogs privilege the “now.” New stuff always goes on top. But they also create a durable record of “then” — as I have learned in spending the last couple of years digging through the back catalog of blogging. One of the great contributions of blogging software is to organize the past for anyone who writes frequently online. Before blogs, with each new addition to a website we had to think, where does this go, and how will I find it later? Blog tools, as personal content management systems, ended that era."
Monday, July 20, 2009
- The Technium: Was Moore's Law Inevitable?
- Web fonts. Where are we? Will web fonts ever be a reality? | i love typography, the typography and fonts blog - A good overview of where things stand with fonts for the Web.
- Too Many Words « Slice of MIT by the Alumni Association - "When I use a blackboard, the material flows out at about the speed at which it can be absorbed. Students not only see it, they think about it. Speaking as an MIT-educated Electrical Engineer, there is a good impedance match."
- Lessons from Amazon's 1984 Moment | Freedom to Tinker - Lack of transparency, yes, but this also seems closely related to cloud computing in that you only control certain aspects of the environment.