Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Collective Consciousness

Upgrade to 10.6 and your menu bar is messed up? Delete ~/system/library/core services/Search.bundle

(aka this is my post popular post ever)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Repper is a fun 2 or 3 minutes of your online time

Repper Studios

found via

I've been looking for something like this for years. If only they did rotational symmetry as well. Also digging the Creative Commons licensing on the software ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009

If your macbook pro's keyboard and trackpad stop working randomly, then

put a piece of tape on it under the hood. No, seriously. Fixing this was a zen moment and a half. Random internet person with external keyboard and mouse hooked up to laptop out of spite, this post is for you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today is good day

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Face to Face

Just watched a really interesting talk from Chris Dede held at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society that brought me back to a topic I've written a little about before.

Conceptually, it seems pretty clear that the science of augmented reality is still stuck on producing reality inside the computer. Instead, I think the focus should be creating new realities through the computer, paralleling quasi-teleportation.

Here's how it would work:

Take two conference rooms. In both rooms, one wall is a giant Ultra-HD screen linked to the other room via fiber-optic cable and an 8K camera, or maybe a grouping of these cameras depending on the dimensions of the room.

Walking in, nothing would appear different about the room, other than the fact that one wall is pitch black. Then it turns on. This fourth wall is now a "magic-mirror", linking the other room to your room and vice versa. Essentially, both rooms have now created a third room that they collectively share.

This isn't video-conferencing. This isn't virtual reality, and while the equipment I'm talking about is still experimental and available in limited quantities, Moore's law – or perhaps more accurately the demands of consumerism – will say otherwise.

The "killer-app" in this instance would probably be distance learning. A system like this would enable a lecturer in a far off land the availability of teaching an evening course to a class of students across the globe while maintaining the same classroom structure. The essential difference is that the experience for both parties sitting behind the camera/screen would be in such high-fidelity that it becomes truly indistinguishable from reality.

Just give it 10-20 years ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Really, what's a gigawatt?

Today's post comes from CleanTechnica.

Well, it started there anyway.

The article in question made me realize I have no idea what a Gigawatt really is, other than one billion watts -- useful information with other recent news like China's plans and the other article today.

Working with past solid proof that most of my ideas are already "out there", I went searching for answers. Turns out the numbers really depend on who you ask, since a gigawatt could power 750,000 to 400,000 homes depending on who you ask.

Citing his own fallibility, I think Dick Plano on the U.S. Department of Energy BBS had the best answer:

I can give you some numbers from my experience. There are two of us (retired) with an outdoor hot tub, full-house air conditioning, 4 TV's, 2 computers, gas heat. We are probably fairly typical.

Our electrical bill says we use an average of 20 kW with a maximum of 31 kW (in December). So 1 kW would meet our average needs and perhaps 2 kW would meet our maximum loads. 1 kW per person is generally considered adequate.

320 gigaWatts = 320,000,000,000 W = 3.2 x 10E11 W = 3.2 x 10E8 kW would therefore power 1.6 x 10E8 homes. With two people per home, this amounts to 320 million people, somewhat more than the population of the United States.

Of course, in our society a large amount of electricity is used by public needs and by industry, so 320 GW would be inadequate for the country as a whole.

So there ya go!