Home » 2008

Weekly Links 20081228

Computers

An interesting article on how hardware is cheaper than software in some situations.

In 2009, Linux will ship on more PC’s than Windows.  Well, at least that’s what the rumor is.  Information Week looks at what it all means.

The Linux Foundation saw those successful I’m a Mac commercials, and Jerry Seinfeld playing with Bill Gates, and they wanted in. So they’re having a video contest that will try and showcase “just what Linux means to those who use it, and hopefully inspires many to try it.”  Gizmodo thinks it’ll be one big mess.

Stupidity

Okay, so you’re driving… drunk.  You’re boyfriend is in the seat beside.  You end up rear ending someone, and your boyfriend dies.  What do you do if you live in the United States?  Why, you sue the driver of the vehicle you rear ended, of course.

Writing

Have you ever met someone famous, someone you admire (or not)?  This article is geared towards meeting an author, but it applies across theboard.

The book industry is doing what everyone else is doing right now… floundering.  The article was originally from Salon.com, but I found it at Agent in the Middle.  It’s depressing, but really, the book industry has been in trouble for a long time.

Holiday Greetings

Marry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza, and any others I may have missed.

I hope the season bring all the joy it is meant to.

This wish was delayed because I managed to stay off the computer for the last 2 days.  I had severe withdrawal, but I’m better now. (editid to add: except for work)

Weekly Links 20081221

No weekly links this week, things have been busy and hectic, as they have been for just about everyone this season.

I’m actually off of work for the next two weeks.  The kids have no school, and I’m still the primiary caregiver, so I stay home with them.  The timing work-wise sucks, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Majel Barret-Roddenberry passed away

Majel Barret-Roddenberry, know for being the voice on almost all of Star Treks computers, Nurse Chapel in the original series, and Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation, died of luekemia.

Some people may not know that she was also producer of Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda.

Weekly Links 20081214

Misc

Everyone suffers from Someday Syndrome at some point in their lives, often catching it repeatedly. For me, most recently, I’d been saying that I really should give running a try without doing anything about it.

Did you ever want to build your own 22″ binoculars?

One of the best TV shows ever is available on DVD.  I wish I knew about this earlier!  There’s still time before Christmas… anybody?  Anybody?

Writing

“To write fully believable, near future science fiction today, you almost need to be voracious antisocial polymath, deeply conversant in half a dozen technical fields, as well as familiar with ongoing social, economic, and environmental change.”

Blog

The first thing you’ll notice about (WordPress) 2.7 is its new interface. From the top down, we’ve listened to your feedback and thought deeply about the design and the result is a WordPress that’s just plain faster. Nearly every task you do on your blog will take fewer clicks and be faster in 2.7 than it did in a previous version.  It’s time for me to do an upgrade.

Computers

Modern PCs can execute billions of instructions per second, but today’s web applications can access only a small fraction of this computational power. If web developers could use all of this power, just imagine the rich, dynamic experiences they could create. At Google we’re always trying to make the web a better platform. That’s why we’re working on Native Client, a technology that aims to give web developers access to the full power of the client’s CPU while maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability and safety that people expect from web applications. Today, we’re sharing our technology with the research and security communities in the hopes that they will help us make this technology more useful and more secure.

Anybody for a quick trip down memory lane?

Weekly Links 20081207

Computers

Although the Linux file system is one of the most important pieces of an operating system, we generally put little thought into them these days.  Put bits in, pull bits out.  It usually works well enough for desktop systems – until the power fails – but even that is usually pretty painless these days.

Writing

Tor has an article on swearing in Genre fiction.

JA Konrath has an article on a writers discipline. Not an easy task for writers. There are so many failures for so few successes, and not many ways to truly measure the impact of your efforts. This means that success or failure is largely arbitrary, based on your personal goals, And those goals can change. This can result in lesser efforts, which almost always yield lesser results.

Misc

Robbie Cooper’s film stills capture children’s faces as they play violent videogames and form the basis of an art project that could also help us understand the effects of spending time in a virtual world. Sam Leith reports.

no matter what industry you’re in, your duty as a manager is to motivate your employees and provide them with the tools they need to get the job done. Here are five timeless management laws that have stood the test of time.

Weekly Links 20081130

Science (Fiction)

Gizomodo has an article on the size of the Space Station: We are so used to the International Space Station that we don’t give its massive scale a second thought. I, for one, took it for granted until a newly-released NASA photograph reminded me that this thing is huge.

Speaking of the International Space Station, apparently they now have equipment in place to convert urine into drinking water.  Here’s a video showing the developmental testing of the product.

Misc

You know how some people just seem to have too much time on their hands?

These are some of the coolest t-shirts I’ve seen in awhile.

Already a lot of fun to drive and environmentally efficient, the popular MINI Cooper will soon gain even more favor with environmentally conscious drivers as the electric-powered MINI E debuted at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

There’s been this thing called ‘Rick Rolling‘, where Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give you Up” is overlayed on exiting videos and stuff like that.  Well, looks like Rick Astley did his own Rick Rolling, and I found it absolutely hilarious.

Writing

Writing fiction, whether short or long, can be a very trying experience indeed.  So many writers of fiction have different processes for achieving their writing goals that it’s hard to sift through what works and what doesn’t.

In 1980, science fiction writer and editor Ben Bova told a group of women writers, “Neither as writers nor as readers have you raised the level of science fiction a notch. Women have written a lot of books about dragons and unicorns, but damned few about future worlds in which adult problems are addressed.” It’s no wonder that female science fiction authors have disguised their gender in order to have their work taken seriously. We have a list of women who used male and androgynous pseudonyms to compete in the male-dominated field of speculative fiction.

I’m going to go out of sequence here, and post a link outside of my regular weekly ones.

Economically, we’re in a bad place.  Our friends to the south are being hit harder than we are.  It started with the mortgage crisis (honestly, sub-prime loans for quarter million dollar houses to waitresses?), and has rippled out from there.  It affected almost every sector, and spread rapidly across the U.S borders into other countries.

A nice guy I met via BackSpace, and in person when I went down south, E.J. Knapp has blogged about it in Don’t Let the Meltdown Melt You Down.  It’s a good read.

Weekly Links 20081123

Writing

James Van Pelt talks about whether you should write for the market or not.  I agree with him.

Time was, bad writers wrote bad query letters. Like the Washington Generals of exhibition basketball, these writers hammed up—telegraphed, shall we say—their lack of talent and know-how. They typed their queries on law office stationery; they cold-called your office, asking for the “submissions director” (later referring to this phone call in the letter, as if it had been for both parties a singularly memorable event); they mailed their queries to outdated addresses culled from the 1997 edition of Writers Marketplace; they sent head shots; their return address was a prison; they wrote longhand in red crayon on college-ruled paper. Bad had a look; bad was obvious.

To be an amateur in the original sense of the word simply means to do something for love, though our culture has added the rider, “not for pay.” An amateur writer, then, is generally taken to mean one who’s not paid for her efforts.

In the beginning of every story, the writer makes a promise to the reader. The writer must deliver on that promise by the end of the story. It’s what the reader expects–and it’s what the reader deserves.

Technology

This is from Tor.com, who got it from Engadget.  Really cool Minority Report type interfaces.

NASA has successfully tested the first deep space communications network modeled on the Internet. Working as part of a NASA-wide team, engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., used software called Disruption-Tolerant Networking, or DTN, to transmit dozens of space images to and from a NASA science spacecraft located about 20 million miles from Earth.

Misc

One of my favourite authors is hosting a 17-part half-hour documentary series for Canada’s Vision TV entitled Supernatural Investigator. It premieres Tuesday, January 27, 2009, at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and runs every week until Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

Computers

I remember when entire computer companies were started in a guys garage, by two people.  Now the world is thrilled that a lone developer can create a nifty game.

I wrote a nifty entertainment system for my vehicle… multiple displays so the kids could watch a show while I listened to music.  All the kinda stuff.  I switched to Windows so I could get a working GPS.  Figures.  Here’s an article about ‘pimping’ you car with Linux.

Communicating your clients is a necessary evil of contract web development, design, programming, writing, or any other freelance art form. Some clients are great — they communicate what they need very clearly from the get-go and things go smoothly from spec through to delivery. Others, though, will make you want to pull out your hair in frustration. This round up of ten must have web-based tools below will help you communicate with either type of client, and generally make things easier on you and help you keep your sanity.

Science

I know my brain seem to be alot slower now than when I was young.  Here’s how to keep your brain young!

Weekly Links 20081116

I’m a little light on links this week, but I hope you enjoy the ones I have.

Misc

The truth can be a bit strange sometimes.

I use WordPress to run this site.  There are lots of pages out there with ‘x’ of the best WordPress themes.  There were a few on this page that I liked, so this is more of a bookmark for me.

I like eating meat, and when I see stuff like this, it make me laugh.

If you own a BBQ that you don’t use too often, you may want to see what happened to this guy.

The world used to be (okay, it still is) a strange place.

Science

The Kuiper belt is strange. Most of this strangeness probably comes from the fact that we are only just beginning to uncover this mysterious region of the Solar System.