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March 2009

Written By: Gary on March 30, 2009 No Comment

If you’ve ever taken a foreign language, you’ll love this!

Here’s the direct link to the video.

Found at Dean’s World.

Written By: Gary on March 27, 2009 No Comment

wwf.pngSo for one hour on March 28, 2009 at 8.30pm the WWF and Earth Hour US wants you to turn off your lights for one hour starting at 8:30 pm, it doesn’t appear to matter what time zone you’re in, just 8:30 your time.

google-black-homepage.pngBut they appear to have certain cities on their lists that they’ve teamed up with, but they still want everyone to do it. Last year, even Google turned their home page black.

Written By: Gary on March 25, 2009 No Comment

macheist3So I tried out the MacHeist 3 bundle, it’s only $39 and has gobs of software in it; 12 applications (with additional games if you get in early) and even more if you convince a few friends to sign up.

Lot’s of graphics-type software this time around. Painting, snapshots, 3D animation, a cool recipe app (with huge fonts so you can read it from across the room and scroll with your Apple remote)

They say it’s worth $975+, but since you wouldn’t want everything it’s not worth that much. I think all the software are full versions, many will probably offer discounts to get you to upgrade to future versions. One application, BoinxTV, is a Sponsored Edition and “you only need to add a credit somewhere in each show stating that it was created with BoinxTV” (actually they normally sell this for $199, the non-sponsored is $499!)

I wanted the video camera switcher software, BoinxTV, which isn’t unlocked yet, but I jumped on since some networking board games were free for the first 25,000 people (you still have time). They unlock more apps as they make sales, encouraging you to promote it to other people. And if other people follow your suggestion to purchase, they give you a few more free apps.

World of Goo is a cool game for the bit I tried it. A slow puzzle game but the animations make it seem like it’s a faster game.

Lots of info on all the applications at the MacHeist 3 site.

Let’s see, what else? 25% of the sales go to charity (you can pick which one of ten) and they’ve raised $131,000 so far this sale! You can get EventBox for free, it manages your social networks, just go here and scroll down (I don’t think you even have to register).

Written By: Gary on March 24, 2009 No Comment

admiralhopper.gifAdmiral Grace hopper lived from December 9, 1907 to January 1, 1992 and had a lot more to do with computing than most names you know today.

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. ”

She graduated from Vassar in Mathematics and Physics and got her Ph.D. from Yale in the same subjects. She to a leave of absence from Vasser, where she was an Associate Professor of Mathematics, and joined the Navy Reserve. I’ve got a few quotes of hers in this post. She’s also attributed to phrase “bugs” in the computer (or maybe “debugging”), but I’ve heard so many stories about that I’m not so sure but here’s a photo with notes.

  • She served on the Mark I computer programming staff at Harvard.
  • In 1949 she was a senior mathematician on the team developing the UNIVAC I.
  • In the early 1950s she worked on the A-0 programming language compiler. This is the first computer compiler!
  • A lot of her compiler work is said to be the basis of the COBOL computer language.
  • In the 1970s she pioneered the implementation of standards for computer languages (like COBOL and FORTRAN).

    “It’s always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

    She was on 60 minutes in 1982, here’s part 1 and part 2, she’s pretty funny.

    Here’s a video of her on Letterman (Oct. 2, 1986). She holds her own pretty good and explains how fast light and electricity can travel. It’s some of the same jokes from the 60 Minutes interview, but dumbed down for Dave.


    Here’s the original YouTube link.

    In 1971 ACM created the Grace Murray Hopper Award which is awarded to the outstanding young (35 or younger) computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. Be sure to click the link, you’ll see some familiar names (Wozniak, Joy, Kurzweil, and more).

    “The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.”

    Additional info on Admiral Hopper: There is a conference named in her honor Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. She’s received 47 honorary degrees. When she retired she was the oldest active person in the military! She was in the Navy for 43 years; from 1943-1966, 1967-1971, and 1972-1986. The Navy’s USS Hopper, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is named after her.

    Why am I talking about her today? Because I signed a pledge that said “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same“. I’m one of those 1,000 people, actually when last I looked it’s up to 1,610 people (I think I was number 844 to sign up).

    Info on the post taken from here, her WIkipedia entry and some other info I’ve posted before.

    Later: I see Brenda Wallace, Kathleen Weaver, Miguel Esquirol Ríos, cr0n.net, Joanna Bryson, Carolyn and Andy Roberts chose the same topic as I did.

  • Written By: Gary on March 16, 2009 4 Comments

    pennyblossoms.pngUnlike when they mentioned WalletNook.com, tonight on The Big Bang Theory they did create a site for PennyBlossoms.com.

    “Every Penny Blossom is unique and special – just like you”

    But they don’t actually have a product to purchase. They really need to work on this a little more, they could be promoting something else or selling something…

    The Big Bang Theory - The Complete First Season Warner Home VideoMaybe the season two DVDs should come with a few free “Penny Blossom” flowers in the box!

     

     

     

     

     

    Written By: Gary on March 14, 2009 One Comment

    It’s March 14th (3/14) and its 1:59 AM. So that makes it 3.1415926 right now. At 26 seconds and some change it will equal PI exactly…

    3.141592653987 is all that I know in my head. It’s not accurate enough for space missions or time travel but it’s more than enough for every day use. I think I used to know it for a few more digits but that’s faded away with lots of more important stuff I’m sure.

    I like this animated image since it illustrates P relatively well as being 3.14(etc) rolls of the wheel.

    Pi-unrolled-720.gif

    Images from the PI WIkiPedia page.

    Tags: [, , , ]
    Written By: Gary on March 13, 2009 No Comment

    Totally funny spoof of Malin Akerman’s roommate giving tours of their apartment (while she sleeps).

    Here’s the direct link to the Watchmen Tour with Malin Akerman at Funny or Die.

    Written By: Gary on March 11, 2009 No Comment

    golfitoquake.pngHeard there was another earthquake felt in San Jose, Costa Rica. Actually, I saw a tweet from The Tico Times when they felt it. USGS reports that it was a 5.7 about 175 km (110 miles) SSE of San Jose. I was kind of worried after the last big one.

    A 5.7 should be a bit less than the last one and it was centered in the water, but it was in the bay of the Osa Peninsula by Golfito. I’m hoping there won’t be as much devastation as the last one.

    UPDATE: And this is followed four hours later by another quake of magnitude 5.9 just a few miles away. I’m not sure what makes this a new earthquake and not an aftershock, but @TheTicoTimes stated it that way.

    LATER UPDATE: Looks like no injuries and very limited damages. And depending on where you look the magnitudes for the bother of the above range from 5.5 to 6.3. Here is an image from the Tico Times. They’ve got an article up, but I’m not sure how long until they rotate out the article.

    earthquake-costarica-daily_03_12_09.jpg

    Written By: Gary on March 5, 2009 One Comment

    A very cool video of building a virtual world from the inside and it’s a love story too.

    It’s done by the guy who did 405.

    Here’s the high quality direct YouTube link. Found at The Fire Wire.

    Written By: Gary on March 4, 2009 2 Comments

    Amazon released a Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch application (that link is to the US iTunes store, not sure about international release).

    With Kindle for iPhone, you can:
    * Buy a Kindle book from your Mac, PC, or iPhone using a Web browser and wirelessly transfer the books to your iPhone.
    * Read first chapters of any book for free before you buy.
    * Download the Kindle books you already own for free (they are automatically backed up on Amazon.com).
    * Adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view the annotations you created on your Kindle device.

    Kindle for iPhone also includes Whispersync, which allows you to seamlessly switch back and forth between your Kindle device and Kindle for iPhone while keeping your bookmarks and reading location synchronized between devices

    kindleapp.jpgWow! Now you don’t even need a Kindle now to read the eBooks. I’m assuming the “digital paper” display is easier to read on the Kindle, but this is very cool. I wonder if the images look better than on the grey-scale Kindle? It looks like it will “show books in color that were developed that way“. I’ve liked the idea of a Kindle but not the cost and I’ve also been afraid of not having it with me everywhere; if I can start syncing to other devices that’d be very useful. Even if you don’t want to read a whole book on your iPhone/Touch, you can read the first chapter of all the Kindle books for free! ANd it doesn’t appear to sync magazines or newspapers, only books.

    And did I mention that it’s free at the Apple App store? Of course you have to buy the books.

    Update:

  • A lot of nice screenshots at the iPhone Blog.
  • It looks like to buy books you need to use Mobile Safari (or a computer) and not the Kindle software. That’s not ideal, but it’s workable.
  • Written By: Gary on March 3, 2009 One Comment

    We don’t get another Square Root Day for another 7 years, so be sure to celebrate wisely.

    Square Root Day

    Today is 3/3/09 and 3 x 3 = 9 or more accurately (for today) the square root of 9 is 3. And the beauty of it is that it’s 3/3/09 no matter if you do day/month/year or month/day/year so it works for people all over the world…

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