Saturday, May 29, 2010

Librarians Do Gaga

[Thanks to Marcelo]
Librarians Do Gaga, video.

It's funny how many different social groups the gaga lady is hitting and inspiring. She must be doing something right.


Irish medicine

An Irish woman of advanced age visited her physician to ask his advice in reviving her husband's libido.
"What about trying Viagra?" asked the doctor?
"Not a chance", she said. "He won't even take an aspirin."
"Not a problem," replied the doctor. "Give him an 'Irish Viagra'. It's when you drop the Viagra tablet into his coffee, he won't even taste it. Give it a try and call me in a week to let me know how things went."
A week later she called the doctor, who directly inquired as to her progress.
The poor dear exclaimed, "Oh, faith, bejaysus and begorrah! T'was horrid!... Just terrible, doctor!"
"Really? ... What happened?" asked the doctor.
"Well, I did as you advised and slipped it in his coffee and the effect was almost immediate. He jumped straight up, with a twinkle in his eye and with his pants a-bulging fiercely!
"With one swoop of his arm, he sent me cups and tablecloth flying, ripped me clothes to tatters and took me then and there passionately on the tabletop! It was a nightmare, I tell you, an absolute nightmare!"
"Why so terrible?" asked the doctor. "Do you mean the sex your husband provided wasn't good?"
"Feckin jaysus, 'twas the best sex I've had in 25 years!
"But sure as I'm sittin here, I'll never be able to show me face in that restaurant again!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pad clothing

See? I told you that new clothing would come with iPad-sized pockets.

Oddity in blog archives

I'm just noticing that a week or two or more is missing (from the beginning of the month) from most of the monthly archives on this blog! That's not on. Anybody know why or what to do?

Thanks to Philocalist and Bron. Changing to weekly archives solved it. It seems to be a matter of how much text Blogger is able to show on a single page.

Ask Dad: Why Are Men So Fascinated With Breasts?

[Thanks to Joe]
Ask Dad: Why Are Men So Fascinated With Breasts?, article.
The eternal mystery.

$100 tablet

One Laptop Per Child Project Works With Marvell to Produce a $100 Tablet, article and video.
I find it highly interesting, especially that Negroponte is so keen on plastic. The right kinds of plastics could dramatically cut production cost as well as weight.

And if these guys are going to make a 15-inch tablet weighing 400 grams (14oz), then the push is on Apple.

Fujitsu ScanSnap (not "snapscan")

Update July 2012: I bought a Mac version ("1300"). This means that I can now have it sitting on my normal work desk, and scan in receipts and such as they come in, instead of having 400 pages to do when my accountant wants them!

Before, when I need to send a paper document electronically, I usually just used a digital camera, much easier and faster than hooking up my scanner.
Not any more, with my new scanner, it's the other way around. You just put in the paper, hit the button, and 20 seconds later a PDF file sits on your computer to be emailed! Like sending a fax.

It scans both sides in one go. It corrects it if the paper came in crooked. And it uses Optical Character Recognition to embed the text in the image, to make the PDFs searchable! (For example, this makes it much quicker to find a specific receipt if you need it later.)

It senses paper sizes and corrects the scanned image to the correct size. When I think of all the BS I had to go through with all these things when I scanned documents back in the day.
It can take 10-15 pages at once, and they arrive in a single PDF file. (As a matter of fact, I could not find any option to turn off this setting, nor set it to scan just one side.) (James' tip below helped with the latter, but not the former, so I just have to feed one page at a time.)

A weird thing is that it comes in a different version for Mac! I never heard of such walking. It's all sent over USB, why make the scanner different?
And of course I happened to buy the one for Windows. Well, so luck would have it I recently acquired a Win laptop (4-year-old HP from eBay) for just such occasions. It's slightly clunky, but it gets the job done.

This is a compact, easy, fun and helpful product.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lenny Lightfoot, reviewer

iPad/Apple case, and Stowaway keyboard from Eolake Stobblehouse on Vimeo.

Eolake's little-known twin, Leonard Lightfoot, reviews and demonstrates the Apple iPad case, and how to use the tiny (out-of-production) _Think Outside_ Stowaway Universal Bluetooth keyboard. (Important, it has to be Universal and Bluetooth.) (These are unfortunately already pretty expensive used; let's hope some new ones come up when the iPhone can take bluetooth keyboards soon.)

Lightfoot is not much of a videographer; he apologises for much of the screen being unreadable in the video due to screen glare. (He had just heard Apple say it's not a problem, and was not concerned about it.)

Just as a follow-up:
I took a chance on the Scosche HZ5 tuneSTREAM Bluetooth Headphones.
And they work with my pad and they work with the iPod Touch 3rd gen. They are stylish and light-weight, and what little I've had time to test them yet, it seems the sound is great.
And you don't need a dongle/adapter, which is great.
You can adjust volume on the headset, very handy.
You're also supposed to be able to skip songs, but I've not gotten that to work yet.

UK link. (Not sold in the US?)

Burn, baby burn

That's now an iPod Classic looks after a few minutes being too close to a fluorescent lamp.

It still works perfectly, but the naviation has become trickier.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apple Overtakes Microsoft

New King of Technology: Apple Overtakes Microsoft, article.
A little more than a decade ago, Apple, which had pushed out Mr. Jobs in 1985, was widely believed to be on the path to extinction.
Michael S. Dell, the founder and chief executive of Dell computer, went so far as to suggest that Apple should shut itself down and return any money to shareholders. (The computer maker is now worth about a 10th of Apple.) Around the same time, Microsoft’s chief technology officer called Apple “already dead.”

I think all the a-holes who so gleefully proclaimed Apple's imminent death even up to less than ten years ago (and so many times) should be forced to eat the magazine or paper their articles appeared in. And no salt or ketchup either.

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s

Two of the Most Entertaining SF Novels from the 1980s, review(s).

I haven't read Vacuum Flowers, but I guess I should, because I can vouch for the other one, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. An amazing feat of fantasy.

The Anubis Gates on Amazon

I'm delighted to see that most of Tim Powers' books are in print. So many other excellent mid-range authors are lost to the used-book stores.

Cool cams

[Thanks to]

Dell Streak

The five-incher* tablet/cell phone Dell Streak is supposed to launch in just a couple of week, but very little is known yet, including price.

*The iPhone's screen is 3.5 inches (always diagonal), the iPad's is near ten inches. So will a five-inch device be Goldielocks, or sit down between two chairs?

The Orangutan and the Hound

I've seen this before, but I don't think I posted it.

Wired is home

Wired, now on the iPad.

Shake it baby if you have regrets

Here's one of those iPad features you just wouldn't intuit:
You can un-do typing/deleting/pasting (more than once) by shaking the durn thing!

It has to be shaken pretty vigorously too, so I can't use it, for example, when it's sitting in my book holder.

Thanks to the Ipad Missing Manual.
(Ooh, another advantage to ebooks: sometimes they come out earlier than the print version.)

By the way, I love O'Reilly's gimmick of having a line drawing of an animal on each of their books. It's beautiful, and it makes O'Reilly books instantly memorable and recognizable.
It's so much more asthetic than the glaring yellow covers of the "Dummies" series. Although admittedly those do have the other characteristics. But they would also if you embedded broken glass in the cover.

Work, work, work!

Laurie writes:
Work, work, work!
When not posing for my camera, my models have a strict schedule working out and keeping fit. NOT! (nudity)

Perhaps related: veteran girl-shooter Martin Krake told me that every single model he has ever driven to a location, slept in the back of the car. Every one.

Combining this with the way most of them eat, and how often they arrive hollow-eyed because they were up late chatting or partying, I suspect that many glam or nude models live off the fact that from 18 to 23 or so, they will stay hot no matter what they do. And then comes the shock.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bluetooth earphones

I've just been made aware (via the iPad Missing Manual) that some bluetooth-driven headphones or earphones can be driven from the iPad's own bluetooth, they don't need a dongle sitting on the iPad. Which seems very attractive to me.
But it seems difficult to search for which of them can do this.

Does anybody know: those that come with a dongle, can they also be driven by the iPad itself if you take away the dongle and pair them with the iPad? (I suspect not, it seems there has to be some kinds of buttons on the 'phones to make the pairing with.)

Otherwise, does anybody know a quality set of this kind? (I use both headphones and earphones.)

Update: silly me, I gotta pay more attention: it says in the book "the kind that's advertised as "A2DP".

More NEX

Pogue gives a very positive review of the compact Sony NEX. Article. Slide show.

Of course, since it's a newspaper review, he doesn't go into the technical details, so technical people will want to wait for the more technical reviews. Technically.

A practical jetpack

Jacko lives on

Good night

Good night. I hope you had a good weekend, and that all those in the relevant areas enjoyed the warm weather, because it's over now. Which is why I prefer it, incidentally.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Do it with valentines

Little Melissa comes home from 1st grade & tells her father that they learned about the history of Valentine's Day. 'Since Valentine's Day is for a Christian saint, and we're Jewish,' she asks, 'Will God get mad at me for giving someone a valentine? Melissa's father thinks a bit then says: 'No, I don't think God would get mad. Whom do you want to give a Valentine to?' 'Osama Bin Laden,' she says. 'Why Osama Bin Laden?' her father asks in shock. 'Well,' she says, 'I thought that if a little American Jewish girl could have enough love to give Osama a Valentine, he might start to think that maybe we're not all bad, and maybe start loving people a little bit.And if other kids saw what I did and sent Valentines to Osama, he'd love everyone a lot. And then he'd start going all over the place to tell everyone how much he loved them, and how he didn't hate anyone anymore.' Her father's heart swells and he looks at his daughter with new found pride. 'Melissa, that's the most wonderful thing I have ever heard.' 'I know,' Melissa says, 'and once that gets him out in the open, the Marines could shoot the Bastard.'

Living With a Computer (in 1980)

Here's a cool article about what it took to get a word processor thirty years ago.

Forced perspective

Tommy found these fun examples of forced perspective.

Compact keyboards

With iPhone OS 4 coming soon, both the iPad, the iPhone, and the iPod Touch will able to use bluetooth keyboards. And it will be interesting to see what kool kompakt keyboards kompanies will kompete with.

Right now, a bit over-priced, you can buy and use some out-of-production products like the "Think Outside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard". I got one, and after figuring out its peculiarities with no guide, it works nicely with the pad. And folded, it's hardly bigger than an iPhone. Good for when you want to write on the hiking path.

The stand is just a stand, no connections. It connects only via bluetooth. It's woken up by pressing Ctrl and both Fn keys simultaneously. To use the numbers (for pairing it with the iPad), you need to press the blue Fn key.
It's a pretty nice keyboard, but people charge $100 for a used one. And it's not made for the system of course. I'll bet those that are, will be simpler and more stylish.
Review here.


"Good work, Daria, your cube is perfect. You've really created the illusion of depth."
"I'm thinking of of going into politics."

Daria: The Complete Animated Series

"What happened to the money you were making writing papers for the college students?"
"My mom wouldn't let me keep it. She said it's wrong to encourage cheating and to make money off it."
"So is she going to quit being a lawyer?"

Why can't we concentrate?

Why can't we concentrate?, interesting article by Laura Miller.
What to do? For most people, bailing on the Web or e-mail or cellphones isn't even feasible, let alone practical or ultimately desirable. (I shudder at the thought of living without my beloved Tivo.) Besides, modern life really isn't making us stupider: IQ tests have to be regularly updated to make them harder; otherwise the average score would have climbed 3 percent per decade since the early 1930s. (The average score is supposed to remain at a constant 100 points.)

Isn't that something. And here we are always told that every new generation of kids are stupider. A malicious lie.

Jan points to:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

[Thanks to DBC]
The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry, article.

Very interesting. It also contains a lot of hidden back-story about the colossal struggle it was to create and market the iPhone. It really is a singular accomplishment.

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Is Google Making Us Stupid?, article.
It's fascinating, and a bit scary.
It's also long. Can you finish it?
I thought I was the only one who's developed "adult ADD", but it turns out it's everybody.

Related article about managing Connectivity-Addiction.

Nor a lender be

Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend; And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry [economy].
-- William Shakespeare, 'Hamlet,' Act I, Scene iii

Stephen fry talked vehemently against this and people quoting it, because, well, I guess he doesn't believe it, and he said the character Shakespeare had say it is an idiot, so he didn't mean it to be good advice.

But it's true it's tricky business at least. I borrowed a lot as young, and while I did pay it back eventually, it took a long time. And later in life I've given substantial loans to three friends, and it seems most of it I'll probably never see again.