bolson: (Default)
I think within the last month I've developed a new ability: the ability to see blank walls. I never saw them before. There was nothing there so I didn't see them. But now I see blank walls and I think, "Something could go there."
bolson: (Default)
Bike 5 miles. Aerial silks class. Bike 5 miles. Bake cookies. Bike 7 miles. Party. Acrobatics. Dancing. Bike 5 miles home.
Good day. Now, tired and sore all over.
bolson: (Default)
Google AppEngine announced a new pricing model and the killer is that as soon as an 'app'* costs anything it costs $9 per month. The implication to me is clearly this: never do anything small. This probably won't be a barrier to people building a business on AppEngine, they're probably planning on moving many more dollars per month than $9. But I think it will be a barrier to tinkering and creativity.

rant about Google culture and AppEngine )
bolson: (Default)
Let's just call James Marsters "Mister Season Two", because damn does he make an entrance in season two of both Buffy and Torchwood. Of course I saw Buffy first so now I watch Torchwood and keep thinking "It's Spike!"
bolson: (Default)
In airports in Iceland and Belgium I felt privileged to know English which was a primary language of ads and signs and announcements.
Outside of airports in Belgium I felt humbled by my lack of any local language and grateful to strangers who had just enough english to point me in the right direction.

Belgian beer is delicious. The waffle was just okay.

There are a bunch of monasteries in Belgium that brew delicious beer. Apparently many of them reinvest the profits into the communities around them. Bring your business plan to the monks and the might give you a small business loan. I am amused to think of this as 'angel investing'. :-)

Also, BRU Airport wants €10 for one hour of internet. There were no coffee shops advertising wifi in the tiny seaside town in Belgium where I went. So, I was in an internet dead zone most of the time I was there. The plan was to get a 3G mobile hotspot or USB connection for internet, but never got around to it.
bolson: (Default)
Visa and Master Card. Democrats and Republicans. Coke and Pepsi. Verizon and ATT. The US and the USSR (or now China). There must be something profound in economics and game theory about these duopolies.
bolson: (links)
aerial acrobatics in a vertical wind tunnel (youtube, 2:17)
Makes me think of living in the 'Portal 2' world, a little bit of the original 'Ok Go' video on the treadmills.
bolson: (Default)
Some Democrats cheer when they see the Republicans getting crazier, because they think it'll help them win. I don't. I'd really like to see the whole country, perhaps especially those crazy Republicans, get more reasonable.
bolson: (Default)
Spending more on the frame than on the poster seems a little odd, but the effect works. Now I have beautified my home with two wondermark posters, "Futureism" and "The Tinkerer's Rules"
bolson: (Default)
Hey board gamers, who's up for "Power Grid: Fukushima rules"?
Simple house rule: on every turn we roll a D20 and if it lands 20 then anyone with a nuclear plant loses the plant and a random city.
bolson: (Default)
An NPR story just now noted that retailers are charged $0.44 per debit card transaction. I found one source where credit card transactions run $0.30 + 2-3%. 2-3% looks like a pretty big additional tax when compared to common sales taxes of 5-10%. There was talk of a bill in congress to limit debit card fees to $.12 per transaction. That sounds like it would be a big win for consumers and retailers - a bit of a loss for bankers but dammit they should be able to operate efficiently and still make a big fat load of money being middleman to an increasing flood of zillions of little transactions.

acro jam

May. 28th, 2011 08:39 pm
bolson: (Default)
Thanks S for organizing the acro jam in the gardens downtown today. 4 hours of exercise in the sun were fun, and lead to my current state of [flomp]. :-)

Samsung--

May. 23rd, 2011 08:57 am
bolson: (Default)
I have a Samsung 10.1" tablet, which is awesome, except that there is no way to move files over USB between my Mac and it because Samsung abandoned a perfectly good standard protocol, disabled it (a default part of Android OS), and implemented custom crap and only made a fully featured windoze app to speak custom crap protocol.
bolson: (Default)
Do you ever make yourself remember that you need something at the store, like peanut butter, and then forget to stop remembering that until you wind up with four jars on the shelf at home?
I seem to have done that with USB flash doohickies. On my desk now are 3 1GB and 2 8GB things.
One was temporarily lost, two were forgotten, and then one was bought last week because I thought I was running low.
Oh well, like jars of peanut butter, they don't go bad and eventually they'll come in handy.
bolson: (Default)
what do you get when you cross unspeakable ultimate all consuming deity of the underworld with a church of nice midwestern farmers?
Cthlutheran
bolson: (Default)
Sometimes I think it would be cool to work on making windmills for cheap sustainable energy generation. The part of this it seems to make sense to me to start tinkering with this is alternator design. I finally bought an oscilloscope (USB oscilloscope, software display, Linux/Mac friendly) so that I could measure my progress. It came today, and I measured what I get from waving the magnets I have past a coil of wire I wound, and I'm barely above the background noise 60Hz hum that my coil seems very adept at picking up. Boo. But, thanks to getting my high school physics refreshed at Khan Academy, I know that the energy generated is proportional to ((the length of wire exposed to magnetic field) * (the strength of the magnetic field) * (the speed of the wire moving through the field)). So, there are the things to scale up. Onward!
bolson: (Default)
Danced from 9pm to 4:30am. My knees hurt.
bolson: (Default)
Upgrading the distribution has crippled my awesome linux desktop. :-(
I have four monitors, but right now only one of them is usable.
Boo.
Gonna poke the configs some more, and poke the forums some more, and see if I can make it work.

[Edit, 20 minutes later]
Ah, better now. Had to log in 'classic' mode with 'no effects'. I was only crippled for about an hour. Back to normal now. (Xinerama still doesn't work, so I still can't drag windows between my four monitors, but I'm back to Linux normal I guess.)
bolson: (Default)
Once upon a time, 2001-2007, I worked in the 'embedded' world, working on software for computerized things that go into cars and printers and planes and whatnot. I got into this through hobby hacking a long time ago on a little 8 bit microcontroller, the Motorola 68HC11. I've been craving that hobby hacking again lately. A few years ago I bought a little ARM based board that seems to be a pretty hacker friendly device, with a built in boot loader so that I don't have to buy any expensive equipment to start using it (Atmel AT91SAM7S series). But, software support for it is kinda lacking. There needs to be an open source hacker community around these things these days to write all the drivers and complex piles of software to do things for USB and Ethernet and web serving and all the things we expect modern devices to do. My old ARM part didn't have that. It seems there is that kind of community around what is a superior device: Microchip's PIC32 line. If you've used the old classic PIC (8 bit) or PIC16, stop thinking about them. PIC32 is a MIPS 4k core at 80MHz with up to 128K of RAM and 512K of flash, and an awesome set of onboard peripherals (USB, Ethernet, 1MHz ADC, and bunches more). Yup, gotta get me one of those and start hacking. Also, and this is the real win that makes me want to use this part, Microchip is developing and has for download beta versions of a Mac (or Linux) toolchain!
bolson: (Default)
Can we subject our candidates for public office to a test of Gom Jabbar as part of the ballot access requirement?
Is this more or less onerous than Heinlein's proposed requirement (in Starship Troopers) that only military veterans can vote or be elected?

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