16 October 2013

Accurate notifications: 249,561,088 Invitations!

It's always nice when applications give notifications which are useful and informative. In this example, I present a picture of a terribly useful notification from the FaceBook app on an iPad mini...
#iPad #Facebook

29 September 2013

I like modern phones

I really do like our modern era of customisable smart phones... The HTC One is truly the best phone I have ever owned.

The point if this posting: The recent Android 4.3 upgrade also upgraded the system apps. This meant that it came bundled with Google Hangouts and Google Maps 7. Both of these apps are a UI nightmare and so, I have removed them and installed the older Google Talk 4.1.2 and Google Maps 6.14.4 apps.

Much nicer!

#HTCOne #Android

05 September 2013

Google Contacts UI fail

There is clearly enough room to not truncate the name if the name was shifted up.
#google #android #fail

The flute makers and the rebellious child.

I posted this text in a comment on Facebook. Perhaps I had heard it from somewhere or perhaps it is totally original. I don't know. I post this tiny story here for more people to enjoy:
Imagine a happy functioning society of flute makers, who spend their time toiling the fields, making beautiful flutes with intricate carved patterns and playing music which is a joy to listen to. However, they are all born blind but to them, this is completely normal.
One day, a child is born but she could see: She learned growing up to pretend to be as blind as her brethren but in her rebellious teens she decided she wanted to paint the colours she saw.
Such blasphemy! Colours! Her parents were so sad that they gave birth to such a deformed and mentally insane child that did not want to make flutes and play music but instead she wanted to paint imaginary "pictures" that no one can feel and she talked about "colour" nonsense that no one can hear. How does one hear the colour "red"?
The child was obviously insane.
However, the village elders know a cure. They can put out her "eyes", obviously a physical defect, and she would be just like everyone else: Normal.

01 September 2013

Battle for the post smart-watch era...


I was considering how there are many players in the space, with Google acquiring a player, Samsung about to launch a product, there is also Pebble, Sony already entrenched and even Apple looking like it's interested in playing.

One of the biggest criticisms I have seen with several reviews of products is over integration and battery life. Random neurons fired and I recall reading that there was already a fuel cell developed that could generate electricity from blood plasma.

So, here is the idea: A subcutaneous implant with an OLED display, a digital smart tattoo, fuelled by the wearer's blood, Bluetooth connectivity to a phone and maybe a bunch of medical applications, like monitoring blood glucose, etc.

03 August 2013

Twinkle, twinkle, little star...


While on FaceBook, I had encountered the following take on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and it didn't seem to flow right for me and didn't feel adequate, scientifically.

So I came up with the following variant:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star;
how I admire what you are!
Giant ball of incandescent gas,
Compressed under its own mass.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star;
how I admire what you are!

Glowing bright, nuclear fusion:
Hydrogen to helium, C-N-O!
Billions of years of fuel to burn
until the iron cools the core.
Red dwarf, white dwarf, Supernova!
Infinite universe, full of awe.

Twinkling star, far away:
Distorted by our own atmosphere.
Scientists with their adaptive optics,
study the night sky, beauty abound.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star;
Science tells us what you are.

I give it to the world under the following license:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

24 July 2013

Modern electronics...

Modern electronics is so tedious to solder by hand. Here is a successful attempt to solder an extension to a microphone.

13 July 2013

Recording ideas

Being conscious of the weird ways that our minds work is a useful thing. One if the more interesting studies in recent years revealed that our minds scrub some information when passing through doorways. Recently, I have adopted the policy of not passing through a doorway if I am incubating a new idea and will try to record the idea before I leave the room. For this, I have found that the Google Keep app is really quite useful.

10 June 2013

Apple Yawn.

Apple iButt Yawn! Didn't their old Dot-mac, MobileMe do this years ago?


20 May 2013

A tale of two Pis

Since I have two different Raspberry Pis, both model B but one is made in China, the other is made in the UK, I may as well post a picture of them side by side.

11 May 2013

HTC One charging oddity

This is mostly just a post for my personal reference:
After mucking around with the phone, plugging in and unplugging things from its USB port, the port may suddenly stop working and the phone won't even initiate charging when the charger is plugged in. Soft reboots or soft power-down/power-up doesn't appear to fix it and the phone won't appear when plugged into a computer's USB port.
The solution is somewhat simple: Force a hard reboot by holding down the power button for 10 seconds. The following reboot, it appears to work again.

01 January 2013

Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013.


It's that time of year again: Reflect on the year's successes and flubs... Of which some were "resolutions" and some were merely wish-list items.

Notable flubs:

  • Practically all work-related items were flubs but there again, I didn't seriously expect Blizzard to give me the "pink slip".
  • Most FOSS project items were flubs but there again, changing job and relocating puts a serious crimp on one's free time.
  • Failed to maintain the fitness improvement - Finished 2010 at 235lbs, 2011 at 198lbs and I'm finishing 2012 at 206lbs. Could be worse, I suppose.
Hard pressed to think of any real successes which were on the 2012 list. There are a few work successes at my job at +LinkedIn but they don't count because this time last year, I was only a user of their site.


Anyways, on to non-work wish-list for 2013... Not solid resolutions because, meh.

  • Would be nice to get back to under 200lbs again.
  • I am going to make time for Free and Open Source projects:
    • OQGraph for MariaDB
      • Cleanup the v3 work
      • Get it merged into trunk.
    • External Stored Procedures for MariaDB
      • Cleanup the current work.
      • Include the proof-of-concept work to split the parser so that the stored procedure parser is plugable.
      • Get it merged into trunk.
    • Playing with Raspberry Pi
      • I plan to outfit my Pi with more IO using cheap PIC16 parts and make all the source and schematics open.
      • I want to make a small bipedal robot, powered by a Pi or two.
      • Is it possible to use I2C as a Transport for NDBCluster?
  • Just for fun:
    • Participate in more get togethers with other Blizzard alumni who are now in the SF Bay area.
  • Personal development:
    • I'm planning to relearn the piano.
    • Read more books. I have a backlog of books, including fiction books, that I want to read.
    • Eventually get my home office organised.
I'll see where it leads...