Agua

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Agua

Little known fact, geologists would tell you that Bernal Hill is made of chert, actually it's mostly dog crap. And if keeps raining like this the hill will be gone tomorrow.

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Mangler

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mangler

I don't know what the machine attached to our office does but it's giving me nightmares.

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Executive Clubbing

Updated on Thursday, August 4, 2016

Executive Clubbing

I used to really love British Airways. I even got over their silly new livery and refusal to stock full fat tonic water. But I can't get over the increasing uselessness of their frequent flyer program which has recently switched over to 'Avios', a scheme that seems to have been designed to stiff people out of their free flights.

Despite having a stupid number of miles and several free companion vouchers there is not one single seat available to book for the next six months of service, and I have enough miles/points for three of the four cabins.

Even if a seat was available the 'free' part only covers the actual fare and not the fees, taxes and surcharges. Flying from San Francisco to London the fare is about a dollar and then you still have to pay the rest. 

It would be better to not even pretend that the Executive Club relates in any way to free travel. Give me sugar in my G&T on one flight in five and I'd be happier than I am now with my vast stock of worthless Avios points. 

The whole mess is nearly enough to make me defect to Virgin Atlantic, but they only fly as far as Reno and then you have to take a bus the rest of the way to Heathrow. 

Photo credit: caribb cc

Updated 2016-08-04 14:07:

Maybe there is hope - on my most recent flight BA had Fever Tree tonic water!

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etc, ba

Sand Ladder at Fort Funston

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

SFO

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

etc, sfo

Robot Ahead

Updated on Friday, April 17, 2020

Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over

David Lee reports from the Innorobo 2012 conference and comes up with 'Is the dream of having a robot companion over?'Apparently it is, because:

1) A five year old girl is mildly frightened by a robot and so this is one of the industries biggest hurdles: 'What will it take for Kibo to be Emi's friend, rather than the subject of her nightmares?'

Sure, it's initially frightening, but leave the robot with her for an hour and you won't get the thing back without an epic meltdown. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of children rather than industry threatening hurdle.

2) '...the industry should perhaps look to recreate simpler, smaller tasks.'

Says the guy that makes the Roomba, a vacuum cleaner. No self interest involved there.

3) 'That kind of notion for a service robot we think is completely wrong.'

Says the guy that makes the RoboThespian, a next generation Teddy Ruxpin. No self interest involved there. 

So general purpose robots are not happening, because a girl was initially nervous and two companies focused on special purpose robotics would rather talk about their niches. Thanks for wasting my time on this BBC.

I'm wasting more time writing about it for two reasons.

The Internet is killing headlines (something I agree with Paul Carr on). BBC news is egregiously awful, both for overwrought link bait and for using warn too much. The dream of a robot companion will never be over.

More importantly, think about every news story that either covered an event or an industry you're deeply familiar with and you'll realize that it's wrong, usually seriously so. What are the chances that it's only those stories that flawed in this way?  

Photo Credit: AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon

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Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200

Updated on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200

I've been going quietly mad trying to fix a constant dropped connection issue with our Linksys E4200 router. There's lots of advice around tweaking  the MTUs, upgrading firmware and disabling UPnP (a good idea anyway) but none of this helped at all. The connection just continually dropped, eventually came back, dropped again, ad nauseam.

The fix was to change the 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks to use different network names (SSIDs).  I then connected to the 2.4GHz flavor and the connection is now solid.

I guess the problem was that by sharing the SSID devices would keep switching between the networks whenever they got the chance to connect to the juicy 5GHz flavor. The 5GHz network is flakier (higher frequencies having less range) and so the constant dropouts.

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Reviews and Links for February 2012

Updated on Friday, May 22, 2020

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Very good, enjoying the entire Harry Hole series. Wishing for translations of the first two now!

 

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø

3/5

Slightly weaker than the others in the series I've read so far but still knocked it back quickly.

 

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Best so far on my quest to read through Nesbo...

 

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

4/5

On a Jo Nesbo binge...

 

The Leopard by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Compelling crime thriller, rather worryingly one of series featuring Harry Hole so I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and read all of them.

 

Links

Catfood.Shapefile 1.51: http://t.co/BKtkx9Zq (ESRI Shapefile Parser, fixed release binary issue).

4 of 5 stars to The Snowman by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/IrvdrDBf

Breaking Good: how to synthesize Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) From N-Methylamphetamine (crystal meth): http://t.co/fviYaj5P

ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.50: I've just released a small update to my C# Shapefile library on Codeplex. Catfood… http://t.co/lXoGoBsY

4 of 5 stars to The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/PqrOQnQL

Epic #Bernal Panorama: http://t.co/zVqZYosG - via @bernalwood

Neal Stephenson on getting big stuff done http://t.co/6PHS1VD1 #todo @myEN

Stop Colbert: http://t.co/kBtSC7NV via @NancyPelosi

Wolfram|Alpha Pro: http://t.co/G88eWq6Y #tools @myEN

A History of the Sky for One Year: http://t.co/UKMjosCK (very cool)

+1: A U.S. appeals court rules Prop. 8 unconstitutional: http://t.co/TZgdKU9k #fb

ITHCWY: Badge Driven Development: Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings… http://t.co/5BOyNF03

ITHCWY: GGNRA Dog Management Plan Update: I love it when making some noise works. The NPS is pushing its dog… http://t.co/fzqaJWM2

Unicode Character 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9): http://t.co/LkGffsvW

http://t.co/NA6TOdQk #todo @myEN

BBC News - Can the US Army embrace atheists? http://t.co/5ubkKT7r

Running an API at HUGE Scale - Webinar: http://t.co/tEnxdRBM #API

4 of 5 stars to The Leopard by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/tIIPs1M5

ITHCWY: Reviews and Links for January 2012: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk 3/5 Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant… http://t.co/6kvApyf1

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Badge Driven Development

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Badge Driven Development

Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings gamification to Visual Studio in the form of badges. The achievements are a mix that include feature discovery, best/worst practices, printing source code and swearing. 

Initially I wrote this off as a silly little feature. But it could be the start of a whole new development methodology religion that I'm going to call Badge Driven Development (BDD). 

It's related to Test Driven Development, but instead of writing unit tests first you start with creating a set of achievements. These should be a measurable mix of business goals, personal development, coding standards and random mayhem. Once you have measurable badges you can start writing code and build a leaderboard for teams and individuals. 

BDD has all the ascetic one-upmanship of TDD, and owes something to EDD as well. It's the Parkour of Agile. I should start a training business where you can become a certified Badge Driven Scrum Master.

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