Archive for the ‘life’ Category

iDC

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I started from http://www.shakuf.org.il . No, I actually started from the latest meeting of the pyweb-il group http://groups.google.com/group/pyweb-il, where someone mentioned shakuf. Interested, I proceeded to the 7th eye, read Anat Balint’s very disturbing essay, and by googling her name found out about another very interesting place and mailing list called the iDC, http://www.collectivate.net/idc/, Institude for Distributed Creativity.

The alpha site of shakuf:  http://neu.shakoof.org.il/

One nugget from the iDC mailing list:  http://p2pfoundation.net/Sustainability_Building_Block_Package

New year, new prefix

Monday, January 5th, 2009

I haven’t made any resolutions of any sort for most of my existence. However I’m going to break with tradition, this once, and try to hold myself up to some goals / idea{,l}s:

Which one doesn’t fit? seriously, this list is half complete and not very well thought out. The only thing I’m sure of is the first part of it. Anyway, here it is, out in the open, for all the search engines to see. So happy new civilian year (doesn’t translate well into english I’m afraid), and happy 30th to me!

Full MapElevation

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.

Common, Tel Aviv, where's the Firefox spirit?

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

So I’m going to live in the place in that picture. But why did I have to go through an ordeal just to get tel-aviv’s free for all gis site to actually give me this shit? First it doesn’t show you the overview – so you guess where florentine is and do an initial zoom in. After several tries you get it. Then there is that annoying “loading” graphic that doesn’t disappear, ever. Arghh. On the bright side – I’m moving to Tel Aviv!

gis.tel-aviv.gov.il admins/developers, hear this, hear this: firefox is not a 0.1% market anymore, more like 20%. Linux FF users, like moi, are not that many, but growing. Please fix. I’m hereby volunteering to beta test any improvement you throw at me.

And before anybody asks: this was done on FF3, with both the profile in the picture and a relatively clean one without any addons, and FF2 didn’t even get this far. All on ubuntu hardy (or is it intrepid now? but that hardly matters to the firefox version).

My Place for the next bits of life

The last lecture

Monday, April 21st, 2008

I just read the book, by Randy Pausch. It is very moving, as things like that usually are to me. But very uplifting too. I guess it would be best just to give a few pointers from the book, since I’m not that good at rehashing stuff, even if I just read them and they are fresh in my mind.

What is the book about, and why should you follow those links? It’s about someone who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and knows he has 6 months to live. It is about “How to accomplish your childhood dreams”. It is about what makes life worth living. And it is also about python. Ok, it isn’t about python, but it does mention it in one of the pages. Java is also mentioned, to be frank. Alice is too (www.alice.org).

First there is the books site, www.thelastlecture.com

The author’s main site, with the video of the last lecture given in CMU, and also a video about time management by same, Randy Pauch home page. You can find a blog there with day by day updates too.

A very good essay about statistics that are in fact good to know, and not just lies^3:  The Median Isn’t the Message by Stephen Jay Gould

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.

Room Panorama

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Used hugin to create this panorama. Some notes:

  • bluriness is my photos, not a hugin artifact.
  • should not use auto-whitening in future panoramas
  • used a fixed exposure (but what good is that if the white balance is changed between pictures?)
  • hugin created pictures need a lot of cropping, or is there a hidden setting somewhere?

More Free (your) Phone Stuff

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

The latest post by link to a bunch of openmoko (on youtube) videos that are very funny and enlightening.

Here’s my favorite:

While I was at it since these videos are also on youtube I naturally looked at one of the commenter’s favorite videos and stumbled upon The Klein Group Four including a nerdy love song about Finite Simple Group (of Order Two).

raindrops keep falling on my head

Monday, June 25th, 2007

The blog. I haven’t really considered the implications of this, but since this is a prewritten first entry, I probably never will.

Why am I writing this? I’ve been using a wiki for more then a year, and despite it being a very good place to store junk, it is not so good at linearizing thought. So using a real blog, will it have any better results? I’m not sure. But it has so much fewer points of entry, that may be a boon.

If I want anyone to actually read it it better contain some useful information.

I’m calling this “raindrops keep falling on my head” since I couldn’t find anything containing “webdrops” or “googledrops” or whatever, but you get the gist.

Of todays drops:
* rasterman – the man behind e17. He’s 28, like me!
* sage – first it is a web accessible python interpreter, so that’s something off the todo list, but other then that it is a very nice CAS. I’m trying to get it to do voronoi diagrams (but first I need a working python based implementation, or wrapping an existing c one, like fortune’s or Tess).
* TexMacs – this too has a python plugin which makes it very nice as well.

Plotting with TexMacs looks like this:
from math import pi
from pyx import *
g=graph.graphxy(width=8)
g.plot(graph.data.paramfunction(“t”,0,2*pi,”x,y=sin(6*t),sin(4*t)”))
g.writetofile(“demo.eps”)
ps_out(“demo.eps”)

basically just like plotting with pyx, but you use ps_out.

with sage:
m=[(0,1),(0,0),(1,0)]
g=sum(sum([[line([m[i],m[j]]) for i in xrange(j+1,len(m))] for j in xrange(0,len(m)-1)],[]))
g.show()