Archive for the ‘cool’ Category

My Bicycle is dead, long live my bicycle!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

This post has several themes / possible titles, namely: how would you prevent bicycle theft, for real? my bike just got lost (sympathy seeker post), and bikelines.

So I just got a new dahon (foldable), after my bike was stolen from a stairway on the ground floor (no door lock) in tel aviv. The idea of the dahon is of course that if you don’t leave them outside they can’t be stolen. After briefly (again) thinking about putting a gps somewhere it can’t easily be removed, with a transmitter, and of course you need a reciever, etc., I moved on, and a dahon seems like a solution, and besides I never owned a small wheel foldable bike. From 30 minutes riding so far they seem adaquate to my daily commute job (30 minutes each direction), so I’m optimistic.

Bikelines is my latest from the Where-ideas-go-to-die department, or maybe not, but it’s still a nice idea: Since I’m into my third bike in the last year and a half, and I happen to know the dates of the mysterious disappearances, wouldn’t it be nice to open a site and let everybody create a bikeline, like a familyline, showing “7.2007- 4.2008 k2, 4.2008-10.2008 nameless bike, 10.2008-? my new dahon”, etc. ?That opens the way to statistics, to geotagging (got them here, lost them here), and datamining (where are bikes most likely to get stolen? where are bikes most used in tel aviv?, what is the median/mean/std. dev of bike ownership? per city?) etc.

RepRap – The coolest thing since amoebas began replicating

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Check out the project to create an open source self replicating 3d printer. I’m not kidding:

reprap.org

I don’t have the skills to build it myself, at least not without a lot more work then I want. Looking at the site, it seems for 400$ or so (look at the site for actual numbers) you can build a rapid prototyper which also happens to be self replicating, as long as you don’t include all the metal and silicon bits. It can still do a lot – for instance make a cup in which to celebrate the newly minted machine!

(on a side note, I’m fed up with NetworkManager breaking all the time on my ubuntu, and finally learned how to create a mapping in /etc/network/interfaces – http://wiki.saymoo.org/DebianNetworking)

Some random text from info (proof that you should read manual pages)

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

     Our units of temporal measurement, from seconds on up to months,
are so complicated, asymmetrical and disjunctive so as to make
coherent mental reckoning in time all but impossible.  Indeed, had
some tyrannical god contrived to enslave our minds to time, to
make it all but impossible for us to escape subjection to sodden
routines and unpleasant surprises, he could hardly have done
better than handing down our present system.  It is like a set of
trapezoidal building blocks, with no vertical or horizontal
surfaces, like a language in which the simplest thought demands
ornate constructions, useless particles and lengthy
circumlocutions.  Unlike the more successful patterns of language
and science, which enable us to face experience boldly or at least
level-headedly, our system of temporal calculation silently and
persistently encourages our terror of time.

…  It is as though architects had to measure length in feet,
width in meters and height in ells; as though basic instruction
manuals demanded a knowledge of five different languages.  It is
no wonder then that we often look into our own immediate past or
future, last Tuesday or a week from Sunday, with feelings of
helpless confusion.  …

— Robert Grudin, `Time and the Art of Living’.

It is kinda appropriate, this being my birthday.

one of my two favorite comic groups

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Always liked the song, this is a neat twist: original at xkcd.com/312
some say the world was written in perl, some say lisp

switching to a dvorak keyboard

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Ok. That wasn’t an easy thing to write. Even with the DVzine.org page with it’s helpful keyboard on top of every page, this sentence was/is still excruciatingly painful to type.

Why am I doing this to my self, you ask? I’ll try to be short:

1. Repetitive strain injury.

2. Supposed to study for a test.

3. Faster (potentially, in my case).

4. Keep people off my computer.

In addition to the link above, see The curse of QWERTY by Jared Diamond.