(From this Tumblr.)
(From this Tumblr.)
Programmer: So we’ll see only record types A, B, and C, right?
Finance: Yes. That’s all.
Programmer: Never D? We have some D here.
Finance: Actually, yes. You need to do $special_thing with D records.
Programmer: Okay, so A, B, C, and D after all. That it.
Finance: That’s all. We promise.
Finance: Where are my E records?
It’s distressing to me the degree to which rigorous logical thinking is completely alien to corporate finance people. I am reminded of the wise words of my friend R., who said “Normal people don’t see exceptions to rules as a big deal, so they forget to mention them. This is why programmers drink so much.”
So, what happens when you wring out a washcloth in zero g?
As with many space-related things, it is completely awesome.
You know, it’s nice and all that multistep logic is possible in a custom field calculation, but don’t you think it might be NICER to make it possible to debug something like this
IIf([Imported Actual Finish]<>projdatevalue("NA"),100,(IIf([Imported Actual Start]=projdatevalue("NA"),0,(IIf([Imported Expected Finish]=projdatevalue("NA"),0,(IIf([Imported Actual Start]>=[Imported Expected Finish],0,(IIf([Imported Remaining Duration]<0,0,((ProjDateDiff([Imported Actual Start],[Imported Expected Finish])*2/3)-[Imported Remaining Duration]*60*8)/((ProjDateDiff([Imported Actual Start],[Imported Expected Finish])*2/3))*100)))))))))
without resorting to external editors? I mean, just some basic paren matching would save an awful goddamn lot of time…
If you connect enough 1:50 gears, you can run the first one at 200RPM and still encase the final one in concrete, as it will be trillions of years before it rotates even once.
Gamer-Heathen may have heard by now of the serious clusterfuck that is the new SimCity release. EA has decided that an always-on Internet connection is required to play this single player game that has no natural reason to connect to anything, and their servers got swamped on launch day. The predictable result was lots of folks with an $80 game who could not play.
They’ve taught a giant four-legged robot called Big Dog to throw cinderblocks.
This man has invented a machine to separate Oreos and remove the cream.
In years past, when you bought a piece of software, you owned a perpetual license. If your computer died, you could install it on your new computer without a hitch, because of of this license.
Microsoft has decided not to do it that way anymore; new versions of Office will now be bound to the machine they’re installed on, so that when you move to a new computer you are expected to buy another copy.
Even if you’re not a Unix junkie, open a Terminal and type this: traceroute 126.96.36.199 DNS tells a story… /via @gravax @AlecMuffett
Right now. Immediately. (On Windows, use the CMD prompt and “tracert” instead, I believe.)
Motion capture has long been a part of gaming and special effects, but the next-generation process used in the game LA Noire didn’t require weird reflective suits; instead, the cameras just captured the actors. This resulted in shockingly real motion in the game, obviously, but a by-product is an actual outtakes reel that is both fascinating and a little disturbing.
Bonus: Mad Men’s “Ken Cosgrove” is the lead character.
Right, so, Twitter is fun. I like it. I enjoy the long-term async chat it gives me with my friends near and far, and I enjoy the amusement gained from following assorted famous people.
Some of these famous people — whom I enjoy! — have a tendency to go a little bananas on the RT front, either with “real” retweets or quote-style retweets. Twitter itself will allow you to opt out of receiving a given user’s RTs at all, but this only catches the first kind; if some likes to RT posts with commentary attached, it’s not a RT by Twitter’s definition and it gets through.
The other aspect of the “disable RT” feature that makes it unsatisfactory is that it’s all or nothing, when in fact I like getting the occasional RT of some clever bit shared by someone, or the signal boost of a good cause that someone like Wheaton or Gaiman can provide.
My dream Twitter client is one that allows me to set a threshold for each person I follow (or overall; I won’t get greedy) such that I only see X tweets over Y minutes period, resetting only after the user has been quiet for Z minutes. That way, I’d get the one-off RTs and signal boosts, but I’d be spared the I MUST SHARE EVERYTHING explosions that some people (God love ‘em) have been prone to.
Granted, no one is going to write this, let alone now. Something I’d settle for, though, would be the ability to apply new mutes, unfollows, or RT-blocks to the list of tweets already downloaded. That alone would salvage the experience once someone goes RT-happy.
This time, Jeorg Sprave has made a slingshot capable of firing chainshaws.
My own attempt:
On very big jobs like power places or space cars or flying cars , people have a hard time telling how much is done, or how much money it is going to take, before they are finished. They might spend too much money, or take too long, without knowing first, and that makes the people with money mad or sad. This is very bad because of how much money and time these big jobs take.
There is a way to tell, and people have to use it or be in bad trouble, but doing it right is very hard and takes lots of time and hard work. This makes the worker people have to work very very hard, because the big job is hard work already.
We make computers do some of the hard part better than the old way, and better than the old computers, but it is still hard. Computers need help from people. We work with the worker people and ask questions to help them tell the computer how to do the hard thing. People have to work with each other and computers to get the answers, and they have to do it every week or month to keep getting money for the big job.
Then the people who give the money and want the space car or power place or air car come and look at the answers, and say if the big job is doing good.
John Siracusa breaks down why the software in your TV blows chunks.
The Brazilian Treehopper is the goofiest weirdest thing you’ll see today.
These guys are WAY more metal than your favorite band. Seriously.
Because they’re robots. No, seriously. Robots. The drummer has four arms. The guitarist has 78 fingers.
(Also, you have no idea how many Terminator themed headlines I avoided in writing this post.)
This is the best thing to ever happen on Twitter, period. Seriously. Check it out.
Buried in this rundown of Richard Garriott’s Mayan Apocalypse party is this delightful paragraph:
Garriott, 51, who made his first million after developing the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) “Ultima” while in his early twenties, has become known for his ostentatious and theatrical gatherings that give his guests a chance to visit a live version of his virual worlds. His first big parties date back to the late eighties when he began hosting elaborate haunted houses. Perhaps his boldest bash was his Titanic-themed party in 1998—he decorated a barge as the doomed ship, loaded it with VIPs in tuxedos and ball gowns, and then made the vessel sink in Lake Austin, forcing his guests, including the then-mayor of Austin, Kirk Watson, to swim to shore.
That man knows how to live.
Go check out Pinokio, which is, astonishingly, a student project.
Penny Arcade nails it.
So back in the 1970s and 1970s, Hostess ran one-age ads in comic books that starred popular heros who invariably endorsed the cupcakes or whatever as part of a quickie bit of do-gooding.
Sandman was mostly later, but that didn’t stop some enterprising soul from making their own Endless Hostess ad.
You should stop what you’re doing and go watch this really cool video.
All my nerd Heathen have already seen this, but the rest of you probably haven’t: XKCD explains the Saturn V rocket using only only the 1,000 most commonly used words. Example:
This end should point toward the ground if you want to go to space. If it starts pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today.
Then you might want to check out this video on Graham’s Number. It’s big.
Now in her earlier forties — just like the rest of us — she’s returned to Salt Lake City, but I was surprised to learn that, for a while, she lived here in Houston. Weird.
I just realized something kind of breathtaking in its awesome boneheadedness.
The “Desktop” folder in Windows has always been a troublespot for them, conceptually. They do their level best to convince you that the Desktop is actually the “top” of your whole computing tree, but that’s materially not true; actually, the “desktop” is just a folder in your user directory. Drill far into down, and you’ll find that the “desktop” Windows Explorer shows you at the top will contain, inside a nest of other folders, itself.
Yeah, turtles all the way down. I’m sure that’s NEVER confused anyone.
Well anyway, I work off the desktop, mostly, in my Windows VM. I drop working files there, so I interact with it quite often. I keep little in the VM long-term, so I don’t want things getting filed away in My Documents or whatever where out of sight becomes out of mind.
It turns out that if you drill down to the desktop normally — usually, by choosing “Computer” and then “C:” and then “users”, then your username, and then “desktop” — you see pretty much the correct contents:
But if you make the Desktop folder a favorite by dragging it to the navigation bar in Windows Explorer, it apparently becomes the MAGIC DESKTOP, and Microsoft helpfully adds a bunch of other clutter:
Look! Extra shit in one view that’s missing in the other — in what should be exactly the same view. Nice.
There does not, by the way, appear to be a way to:
a. Remove these stupid extra links; or
b. Create a “favorite” link to my desktop folder that doesn’t include them.
And they wonder why people hate Windows.
There’s a thing in computing called “the principle of least surprise.” It’s the idea that, when you’re building a system, you don’t want to shock the user with unexpected behavior. This is an excellent example of a violation of that rule, and of the kind of bullshit that happens when you design by committee.
Liquid nitrogen + warm water + 1,500 ping-pong balls == AWESOME.
Seriously. It’s interactive.
Because, seriously, what could top (or out-creep) this Bert and Ernie pair?
This great post and thread at MetaFilter covers my early computing life rather thoroughly.
Apple had effectively no presence in south Mississippi in the early 1980s, but Radio Shack was there. My friend Rob had a no-shit TRS-80 Model 1; my friend Paul got a TRS-80 Color Computer soon after. Eventually, I got a Color Computer II, which was the first machine of my own that I wrote code for — before this, I’d written some BASIC on other oddball micros over at USM.
That CoCoII — which I think is in a closet here in Houston as I type this — had no disk drive. Instead, I stored programs and files on a cassette drive, which was WAY cheaper. And, of course way more prone to failure. Interestingly, the word processor I used all through high school was cartridge-based, like an Atari game, which had at least one advantage over floppy-based programs in that the cartridge bus was many times faster. I didn’t realize this was a Thing until later, when I was first using a dual-floppy PC at the high school and couldn’t figure out why the word processor took so long to change between modes…
I left the tiny computer world in 1988, when I bought an AT clone for college, but parts of my nerdy heart will forever belong to Tandy and their computing family, first introduced now 35 years ago. Ouch.
(Oh, and I still have one of these somewhere. I took notes on it in college. Back then, laptops were prohibitively fiddly and heavy, but this little bastard ran for weeks on AAs. I’d transfer the files to my desktop with a null modem cable, since back then there was no wifi and there were no SD cards.)
The Enterprise IT Adoption Cycle pithily and accurately captures something I fight daily: how utterly hidebound and obstructionist most big-company IT is.
Take that, Olympics.
This slow-motion, high-definition footage of great white sharks breaching to snap up seal decoys is pretty amazing. Giant animals, completely out of the water. Eek.
Also, it appears that some of these scientists may need a bigger boat.
You may have heard that we’re sending another probe to Mars.
Once it hits the Martian atmosphere, it takes about 7 minutes for it to reach the surface.
Mars is far enough away, though, that messages from the lander take 14 minutes. Ergo, by the time we hear it’s hit the atmosphere, it’s either safe on the ground or a pile of junk.
The Curiosity rover will touch down — or crash horribly — on Monday, August 6, at 12:31 AM.
h/t: The Mant.
Google is starting its fiber rollout; the initial neighborhoods in Kansas City will have the option of a ONE GIGABIT CONNECTION — both ways.
Existing telcos in whatever markets Google identifies are, I’m sure, absolutely shitting their pants. And should be.
It’s possible some of you aren’t nerdy enough to realize how big a deal this is. When I say “a gigabit connection,” I mean a connection that delivers 1 gigabit of bandwith per second. A gigabit is 1,000 megabits. A megabit is 1,000 kilobits.
Initial DSL connections were usually in the 400 to 600 kilobit range for download speeds. Now it’s usually 1 to 3 megabit download and about 0.7 megabit upload, unless you pay extra. Here at Heathen Central, we buy the fattest pipe UVerse will sell us, which is theoretically 18 megabits down and 3 up. In practice, it’s more like 12 to 15 down and 2 up, but that’s normal.
1,000 megabit both ways? Shit yes. Sign me. ATT can fuck off as soon as I get my hands on that, for sure. I mean, Google may be trending towards evil, but AT&T is the goddamn phone company. How much more evil can you be?
Back in the 60s, apparently, Jack Kirby did some theater costume designs for UC Santa Cruz. For a Shakespeare play.
Randall Munroe’s What If? tackles the question of “What would happen if you gathered a mole of moles?”
McCoy is of course already immortal in fandom as the 7th incarnation of the Doctor back in the 80s; his tenure — the 24th, 25th, and 26th seasons — closed out the original TV series, though he went on to do a TV movie in 1996.