Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adulthood difficulty

Some of us have trouble moving into the next phase.  The images describing this transition, though simplistic, are wonderfully accurate. (thanks switch)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simply the best

A bold, artistic move.  Only Picard spin-kicking Jabba the Hut on the top of Mount Doom could hope to compete. (thanks Kim)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stuck in a Groove

A disturbing, beautiful, and very unique video about if a remix of perfect or imperfect moments lasted for eternity.  An interesting visual and thought experiment.

From the amazing Live Visuals blog.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Zimbra email client review (part 2)

See Part 1

This is review is my attempt to take a second look at this program.

  • God awful memory cluttering (over 100 megs!).  I'm thinking it runs an entire web server to operate this single application.  Surely they could turn a few services off to cut that down a little.
  • Contacts and calendar don't plug in right to my work email.
  • New messages notification in task bar never goes away even after i read everything
  • Indent email is a two-click process.  I indent A LOT of email so this is painful.
  • Search is somewhat slow
  • "Notebook" doesn't work or sync with Outlook's "notes"
  • Very annoying: won't exit memory unless you say "Shutdown Service" rather than "Quit".  Just sits there taking up a TON of ram.

  • Best feature may be that when a time is mentioned "Yesterday, Tomorrow, Next Week" it automatically highlights this and asks if you want to make a calendar instance from it.  This is beyond cool.
  • Cleaner, simpler, easier to search my messages ... will even search my entire public folders directory, which helps me track down weird/obscure company information.  (include "in:inbox" if you dont' want that to happen)
  • Collects messages into a "conversation" / gmail-style box
  • Skinable
  • Connects many different email accounts

Verdict: Would rather use Thunderbird and just forward everything to Zimbra.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Processor premium

A friend pointed out that Apple charges a big premium on their top-of-the-line Intel i7 processors.  Some digging shows that although many operations go about 30% faster from i5 (the next step down in Apple's offering) to i7, it may not be worth the money.

Its a persistent problem in computers: a premium both Apple and Intel both put on the "Ferrari" versions of their products.  In this case, users can save $400 by getting the i5 and a slightly less powerful graphics card.

Not included in the product price is what many users will need to get the very latest versions of software often necessary to get the optimized speeds.  For Photoshop users, that can be a cool $1,000 more.  You don't just pay for the processor, you pay for the software optimizations to use it.

This graphic is from a few years ago but as the article suggests, its unlikely the Core 2 Quad ($550 at the time) was 3x faster than the Core 2 Duo Conroe ($180).

Edit: was listing i9, but the highest processor sold by apple at the writing of this article was the i7 processor.

(Thanks Kimberly.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Movie Review: Legion (2010)

An awesome B movie unfortunately ruined by moments of awkward, out-of-place, and terrific acting.

Picture the producer talking to the studio heads:

"Think machine guns and angels! ... We've got [insert good actor/actress] already signed up.  Its just like that Christopher Walken movie The Prophecy, except this time both God and all the angels are all pissed."

There's a flicker at the beginning of Army-of-Darkness-style Sam Raimi genius, but it quickly fades into a story that takes itself too seriously.  There's no flow in the actors or dialog from scene to scene, so its impossible to care about the characters, even when their copious talents are put into some outstanding monologues.

This movie should have embraced how absurd it was and pushed it over the top at every opportunity with the zeal of a teenager on too much caffeine.  Maybe next time, captain angelface.

Types of debt

Have anxiety about buying a house or going back to school and getting into huge debt?  Turns out there's good debt and bad debt and here's a very clear breakdown on both.

Bad teachers can be good for students

Although any institutional tolerance for bad teachers brings down the status of the whole operation, learning to deal with difficult people and difficult situations is a function of adulthood.  An education official agrees, though I'm sure parent's don't.  Mainly because its possible to prepare young people for useless authority figures without being one.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thinking about songs from The Clash

Edit: Song actually by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets 
(Thanks Kimberly.)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Quote of the week, July 5th, 2010

"You have to listen for the 'awwwrrrr'." 

My friend Silver, explaining how to know when enemies in the game Modern Warfare 2 are finished.

Making fun of people in trouble

From a few years back, Craig Ferguson talks about picking on people who obviously need help.  Remarkably open and honest for a late night show.

 Related: Great article on addiction .

Friday, July 02, 2010

Car tricks

How you drive is as important as what you drive when trying to save gas.

Thursday, July 01, 2010