Reviews and Links for September 2012

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

5/5

Epic Murakami, set in a maybe-alternate-universe version of 1984. There is a definite change in tone in the third book, hard to tell if this is the story of the change in translator but the story sags slightly before picking up the pace again at the end. Even without this it's a long and sprawling book which you'll love if you like Murakami's tone and unique characterization. I'm in the love camp.

 

Links

Check out Field Trip on Google Play! https://t.co/EVGELuBe -- looks cool, automatically tells you when something interesting is near

Missing kids plan for 404 pages http://t.co/Z3B3v1QZ -- kind of creepy

Field Papers - http://t.co/QHIyzvPn - looks very cool. Via @RavenEllison #todo @myEN

Kids App Maker Duck Duck Moose Raises $7M Series A From Sequoia, Lightspeed & Others http://t.co/SaeXuzop -- well deserved

Crow Gyre http://t.co/jjLn3PtQ -- testing card approval

This Mind Blowing Video Does NOT Use Green Screen http://t.co/RkiyqmR3

San Francisco playground report card: http://t.co/shGKggA5 Precita Park gets an F :( #fb

Announcing Source Code Pro http://t.co/QpUUSO18 -- nice code font @myEN

ITHCWY: Crow Gyre http://t.co/kAM89GHF

Updated with more Endeavor pics: http://t.co/UIXy2xj5 #OV105 #spottheshuttle

Vernal Equinox 2012 in Catfood Earth http://t.co/UOHqwK3V via @CatfoodSoftware #equinox

ITHCWY: #OV105 http://t.co/m7Th3xMp

BBC News - Tom Daley 'abuse' tweet: Legal rethink on online rules http://t.co/ItA6wYFM -- only correct boundary is no boundary

Ridiculous / awesome: http://t.co/9Muup4tA

ITHCWY: Worst special TiVo offer ever http://t.co/rfTaeXn7

via @TheOnion - No One Murdered Because Of This Image http://t.co/Vilv9166

Check out Viva Fund Summer Campaign: http://t.co/XXwB9P1d via @razoo

5 of 5 stars to 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami http://t.co/T5u5ZiOB

ITHCWY: Earthquake Supply Co.: The last time we refreshed our earthquake supply kit was because of a smell. It… http://t.co/SlvpmlFO

ITHCWY: Like Debate?: I’ve just started work on a new project called Like Debate. It’s going to be a new type of… http://t.co/6Bj0YPxa

RT @LikeDebate: Getting Started - Like Debate is my attempt to build a new type of debate web site. The teaser page launched … http://t. ...

Ticked off: How stock market decimalization killed IPOs and ruined our economy http://t.co/P0CzpSQ2

Star Sighting: Invisible Obamas Seen Relaxing in Bernal Heights http://t.co/yLJkubYL #fb

Earth and WebCams announcement from http://t.co/YG0xtwCc: http://t.co/KlJfVs9j

ITHCWY: Catfood: Earth for Android: I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android. It’s my second app created with… http://t.co/YGjxSkcb

ITHCWY: Guess? http://t.co/0hz03251

(Related: 1,000th Post!; The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall; The Secret Diary of a Xamarin Android Developer, Aged 48 1/3)

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(All Book Reviews)

Crow Gyre

Updated on Saturday, October 1, 2022

Crow Gyre

Many crows form a gyre in the sky over the Presidio of San Francisco.

(Related: Crow, Sutro Tower; Clouds Over The Farallones; Barn Owl)

(You might also like: Humpback Whales in Golden Gate; Google Maps Ate My Battery; International Date Line Longitude, Latitude Coordinates)

(Recent Photos)

Photos of Space Shuttle Endeavor visiting San Francisco

Updated on Sunday, November 6, 2022

#OV105

Updated September 22, 2012 to add a few more photos:

 

Endeavor (OV105) flying over San Francisco with her escort:

Shuttle Endeavor Closeup

 

Endeavor over Alcatraz:

Shuttle Endeavor over Alcatraz

 

Endeavor making the second of two passes over the Golden Gate Bridge:

Shuttle Endeavor over the Golden Gate Bridge

 

Crowd watching Endeavor at Crissy Field:

Shuttle Endeavor over Crissy Field

(Related: San Francisco; San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse; San Francisco November 2016 Propositions)

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(Recent Photos)

Worst special TiVo offer ever

Updated on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Worst special TiVo offer ever

Get $1 off two Bounty Paper Towels, seen while watching the September 17, 2012 episode of The Daily Show on TiVo. Hard to imagine how expensive a full roll must have been.

(Related: How does Hulu manage to suck so badly and the missing app for cord cutting; Catfood WebCamSaver; Radio 4: Can I buy you a new hard drive?)

(You might also like: Catfood Weather 2.30; Lake Helen; How does the Nest Learning Thermostat work?)

(Recent Photos)

Earthquake Supply Co.

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Earthquake Supply Co.

The last time we refreshed our earthquake supply kit was because of a smell. It turned out a water container had burst. This rusted most of the cans, and then the became a domestic Superfund Site. 

Given the current subscription commerce trend - get a new belt shipped by FedEx every four hours - I think there's a small business or a very interesting nonprofit here. 

Deliver a 10-day disaster survival kit every couple of years. Pick up the old one a few months before the food expires and donate it to a homeless shelter. Repeat until the next big one strikes and the kit is actually needed. Different levels for different family sizes, pets, special needs, etc. 

As usual any of my billionaire readers who are interested in funding this should drop me a line

(Related: Business of Software 2009; Meeting Defragmenter; Executive Clubbing)

(You might also like: Winter Solstice 2014; Bangalore Timelapse; Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2022)

(All Marketing Posts)

Like Debate?

Updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2021

likedebate_300

I’ve just started work on a new project called Like Debate. It’s going to be a new type of debate web site, launching as soon as I can hammer out the first few features. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter or the Like Debate Blog.

(Related: ESRI Shapefile Reader in .NET; The Secret Diary of a Xamarin Android Developer, Aged 48 1/3; Cam of Fortune!)

(You might also like: Storm builds over Lassen Peak (Timelapse); Coronavirus Visualization Update; Got It)

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Catfood: Earth for Android

Updated on Monday, May 31, 2021

EarthForAndroid

I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android. It’s my second app created with Xamarin’s excellent toolkit. Being able to develop in C# allowed me to reuse a lot of code from the Windows version of Catfood Earth. The Android version doesn’t include all the same layers (yet) but it’s got the main ones – daytime (twelve different satellite images included, based on NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation but with some special processing to make them look better), nighttime (city lights, shaded to show nighttime and the terminator between day and night) and a clouds layer that is downloaded every three hours.

My main worry had been that this would suck the phone battery dry, but after a fair amount of optimization it doesn’t even register on the battery consumption list. Grab it now from Google Play ($3.99, Android 2.2 or better).

(Related: Catfood Earth; Improving the accuracy of the new Catfood Earth clouds layer; Animation of a year of Global Cloud Cover)

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Semi-flooded duck (DUKW) headlight

Updated on Saturday, September 18, 2021

Semi flooded duck headlight

Updated 2021-09-18: it's been a mystery for over nine years but I can finally reveal that this is the semi-flooded headlight of a duck (DUKW), photographed by Union Square in San Francisco.

(Related: Backyard Visits; Scary Bunny; Leafhopper Nymph)

(You might also like: Bald Eagle; Hoylake Beach; Mt. Livermore on Angel Island)

(Recent Photos)

Reviews and Links for August 2012

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

5/5

Stonking police procedural set in the months leading up to a global catastrophe.

 

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

5/5

Excellent techno-thriller. A little more serious and focused than Daemon and Freedom (TM). It's about a worst case drone scenario, ants, extra-special forces and some smart birds. Very good.

 

Links

Windows 8, Users 0? http://t.co/966Cuwjz

Bill Nye declares Todd Akin "fucking idiot"; issues debate challenge http://t.co/AZ3k55Y4 #fb

ITHCWY: Fight Facebook with Email: I was a little saddened to read today that Diaspora is transitioning over to… http://t.co/2G0pDdu0

Diaspora Founders To Move On, Handing Over Decentralized Social Network ‘To The Community’ http://t.co/KQGb2kpv -- sad, but not the future

RT @MargaretAtwood: Just used http://t.co/Nhna2CGO for gruesome printer problem: excellent, done in 10 mins! Tks to S H E F I N. Website ...

Check out Catfood Earth Live Wallpaper on Google Play! https://t.co/NTJQ1sYL

ITHCWY: Twenty-Four Hours with Twilio: I've wanted to play with Twilio's voice and SMS service for a while and… http://t.co/KOK0PG2M

Tuesdays http://t.co/BLNiCP3H

Twitter Cuts Off Tumblr's Ability to Find Friends http://t.co/1g3ZcClf

5 of 5 stars to The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters http://t.co/9NF2nviH

XML: http://t.co/VadVt321 #rofl

Windows 8 Is Now Available For Developers (And For Everybody Else, There’s A 90-Day Free Trial, Too) http://t.co/iu1li6BV

Gotye's YouTube orchestra remix of "Somebody That I Used to Know" http://t.co/OUEXXltQ

ITHCWY: City by the Bay: View from Bernal Hill this afternoon. http://t.co/11cI3ctk

Nice panorama! Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 2 #360pano http://t.co/w1H2ocUm via @360cities

ITHCWY: Share a picture in MonoDroid: Here’s how to share a picture to Facebook, Twitter and so forth from… http://t.co/pByzvjmx

5 of 5 stars to Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez http://t.co/TKgUMNW0

BBC News - Mars rover makes first colour panorama http://t.co/fZ7u8smZ

How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking http://t.co/BDmRAbm3

Via KQED Guides: Guide to Bay Area Tidepools: Where to Explore Amazing Marine Life | http://t.co/TDBRDnTD #todo @myEN

ITHCWY: Catfood: WebCams for Android: I’ve just released a WebCam app for Android. It’s based on WebCamSaver but… http://t.co/azZUwkkz

Pay for a new social network with no ads? https://t.co/2tox3c2y Anyone I know going to be on there? #fb

Curiosity http://t.co/D2cyWE66

BBC News - Photo shows Mars rover descent http://t.co/KfOv1qOF

Catfood WebCams for Android - Catfood Software http://t.co/VzeySq90 via @CatfoodSoftware

Check out Catfood WebCams on Google Play! https://t.co/VTU8YiBd

ITHCWY: Not a Private Key: When jarsigner says "Key Associated with [alias] not a private key" it almost certainly… http://t.co/3sk89ENV

ITHCWY: Sending email via GMail in C#/.NET using SmtpClient: I’ve stubbed my toe on this a couple of times, so here… http://t.co/QJ7YjcjI

Help end patent litigation insanity and tell your congress person to back SHIELD. http://t.co/27anadBt

ITHCWY: Support SHIELD–a small measure of patent sanity: A friend pointed me at the SHIELD (PDF) act today. This… http://t.co/ArXHgZ0e

ITHCWY: Thank you for choosing HSA Bank!: No, thank you HSA Bank for not giving me a choice and then cheekily… http://t.co/9torSXCq

Bill would force patent trolls to pay defendants’ legal bills | Ars Technica http://t.co/poB3zzlX +1, via @sr00t

What a happy coincidence. As well as #IPAday it's also goof off at work day: http://t.co/7AItItWq

Apparently it's #IPADay - luckily there's some @21stAmendment in the fridge. http://t.co/jyYPSePC

(Related: The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall; I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news on Facebook; More on breaking the Internet)

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(All Book Reviews)

Fight Facebook with Email

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fight Facebook with Email

I was a little saddened to read today that Diaspora is transitioning over to some form of community manged slow death. I joined a pod a while back and was pretty impressed with the design. It was very similar to Google+: clean, nice features, nobody home. 

I've also joined app.net. The concept here is a social network that you pay for, so the owners are aligned with the interests of the users and developers rather than advertisers and lame brands. I wish app.net well, but it's not the future. Best case (and it's not a bad one) it could be the new WELL - a community that people care enough about to pay for (I was on the WELL in the early 90's, splitting the tab with a friend so our handle was abft, account built for two). If that is the direction it goes in then simply having a slightly longer post limit than Twitter isn't really going to cut it. And cool as it might be most people aren't going to pay for a social network. 

Any attempt to displace Facebook has to solve the problem that anyone interested in sharing anything with anyone else is already using Facebook. The only platform that is in any sense comparable is email. So someone needs to make email into a social network.

This could be an interesting startup. Create some account - [email protected] - anything you send directly to that address is a post. Anyone you copy is a mention. Reply to a thread with this email address included and you're replying on the social network as well. Anyone copied on such an email gets invited to the network if they're not already.

You've got a killer viral component and an instant social network that is supported on every platform with no investment needed. Everyone has email, and everyone is a member as soon as they claim their email address or get included in a post. 

Maybe someone has tried this already and I just haven't seen it. I'm half tempted to have a crack at it myself. 

What would be more interesting would be layering a social protocol over email, and implementing that protocol by proxy on top of email providers that don't or won't support it. This creates a core social service practically out of thin air. Facebook and Twitter are the new AOL and CompuServe. There has to be a way to leverage email into a free and open alternative.

(Related: Circles; Is it safe to open securedoc.html (Cisco Registered Envelope)?; Facebook Interoperability)

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