GoogleStreets on Holiday

03/27/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=&layer=c&ie=UTF8&ll=58.378499,-134.68792&spn=0.044011,0.119133&z=13&cbll=58.382387,-134.686796

While fiddling around with GoogleStreets, I noticed that they had a section of the Alaska panhandle digitized -- specifically the area around Juneau. It's not exactly the most easy place to get to so I was wondering why they would have gone there instead of mapping, say, Seattle.

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Wikihistory

03/26/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.abyssandapex.com/200710-wikihistory.html

Creative short story about time travel written in the style of a Wikipedia discussion page. After reading it, take a gander at this earlier post on the inherent paradox.

Bonus link: alternate history as viewed through a commercial search engine.

(Via BoingBoing)

 

Mini Movie Reviews

03/25/08 | by Adam | Categories: Reviews

Too much time on aircraft (and the road generally) recently has resulted in the following brief movie synopses(*):

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Standards and why there are so many to choose from

03/24/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/03/17.html

Another great article from Joel Spolsky on the problem of enforced versus suggested standards. He's primarily discussing web browsers but covers a lot more.

 

Windows Vista, you suck

03/23/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Recently I had a need to reformat a 60GB USB drive to FAT32 on my Vista box. Back in Windows 2000, Microsoft pulled their FAT32 formatting option out of the GUI as they preferred that people use the proprietary (and admittedly more stable) NTFS. Sometimes though, the older format is what's needed so they left in a command line option. It's too bad they didn't spend a little bit of time doing some parameter checking. It's worth noting that, despite the message below, FAT32's maximum addressable space is 8 TiB, or roughly 8 terrabytes.

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Literature as "fanfic"

03/22/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://gotmedieval.blogspot.com/2008/03/did-they-have-fan-fiction-in-middle.html

Fanfic (or "Fan Fiction" to use its unabbreviated name) is typically considered a contemporary phenomenon. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's where readers of a particular story decide to continue it themselves. It's particularly common in the SF&F world where it's possible to imagine what-if scenarios that the original author choose not to explore. The need to continue a story or insert oneself into it isn't that new as this article at Got Medieval points out. If I were still at university and working on a graduate thesis, this would make for an excellent starting point for a research paper.

(Via BoingBoing)

 

The View From The Trenches

03/21/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080301/how-hard-could-it-be-lessons-i-learned-in-the-army.html?partner=fogcreek

As always, Joel Spolsky has an excellent article on how there's a significant perception gap between the more senior people in an organization and those a bit further down.

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Resizing a Parallels partition

03/20/08 | by Adam | Categories: Macintosh

When I first started using Parallels, the idea was that I would use it on the MacBook for work and keep the OSX side completely clear for my personal use. Under the requirements at that time, I could happily get away with an 8 GB XP virtual hard drive with a second one dedicated for a RAW database partition. With the relatively small hard drive in the MacBook, that seemed to be a good compromise. However, changes in work requirements resulted in a need for a rather larger XP partition. For the last month I've been running with about 200 MB or less free on the XP partition which has resulted in relatively poor performance as the virtual machine pages in and out of virtual memory.

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Nerdfotainment

03/19/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2008/03/11/nerdfotainment.html

Rands has an interesting thesis: unduly complex films, books and TV shows are not a case of a creator misunderstanding the audience, but rather understanding it all too well.

(Via Daring Fireball)

 

David Arkenstone's "Atlantis"

03/18/08 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Reviews

Link: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:aifexqtsldje

There's not a lot to say here: it's, well, more David Arkenstone although this time he seems to be channeling a fair amount of Adiemus. Otherwise you more or less know what this sounds like without having heard it first. It's not as aggressive as "Return of the Guardian" but less processed and meandering than his early 90's output. Nothing stands out but all the same it makes for a very pleasant listen.

 

The problem with time travel

03/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

Link: http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1871.html

Yup: causality. Here's a brief primer from the physicists over at Irregular Webcomic.

 

"Can We Get A Napkin, Please"

03/15/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube

Link: http://improveverywhere.com/2008/03/09/food-court-musical/

Unlike most of the Improv Anywhere performances which seem to be annoying -- funny, to be sure, but still at someone's expense -- their food court musical number is a classic.

(Via BoingBoing)

 

McNally Robinson closes Calgary store

03/14/08 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2008/03/13/mcnally-closes.html?ref=rss

A bit sad; it was a good bookstore that I liked to visit and (gasp) even buy from.

 

The D&D Gateway Diagram

03/13/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/03/09/opinion/09opart.large.gif

Nifty flowchart on the NYT's site about how D&D is the gateway to nerd-dom!

(Via BoingBoing)

 

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