Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quick bit of YouTube drivel

What if real life meetings had the same politeness standards as comments on the Internet? YouTube has the answer (put on your headphones -- contains NSFW language).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Half way to a switch app

About two and a half years ago, I proposed that Apple create a tool to track what programs one runs and then reports on what alternatives are available under Mac OS X. Apple ignored me and never realized what a brilliant idea this is.

We're half way there now. Wakoopa provides a tool which tracks what you run. Register, download a small application and install. Wakoopa runs in the background and reports to Wakoopa's servers what you're running. I've installed this on my work machine (running XP Pro), go see what I use.

They don't provide the Windows to Mac switch recommendations, but you can see what other people are using and, perhaps, extrapolate from others what might work for you. If Wakoopa were to provide an API, then Apple could finish the job they never started.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Better Gmail

The editors at LifeHacker have compiled some of their favorite Firefox extensions for enhancing gmail and put them all together into a single extension called Better Gmail. Of those included, I've been using and loving Gmail Macros for a while.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Swimming the Atlantic

I learned today that Google Maps provides transatlantic driving directions. For example, if you choose to drive from Washington, DC to London, England, Google suggests driving to Boston. You navigate to downtown Boston and then:

20. Turn right at Long Wharf 0.1 mi
21. Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 miles

and then continue on through northern France, through the Chunnel and on to London. The whole trip will take 29 days, 14 hours.

Because I'm a geek, I wanted to know how fast I'd have to swim to achieve this. I've never considered swimming across an entire ocean before. Isolating this route to just the departure and arrival points for the swim (Boston to Le Havre, France), Google says it takes about 29 days.

Next pull up the handy unix/linux tool called units. It does all sorts of conversions, even converting such things as speeds.

You have: 3462 miles/29 days
You want: mph
        * 4.9741379
        / 0.20103986

That's almost five miles per hour. That sounds pretty fast. Is it reasonable? Ask wikipedia. The current world record for swimming 1500 m is 14:34.56.

You have: 1500 m / (14 min + 34.56 sec)
You want: mph
        * 3.8366772
        / 0.2606422

That's 3.8 miles per hour. So, even record holder Grant Hackett at his peak 5.5 years ago, couldn't swim across the Atlantic in 29 days even if he were to swim at his world record pace for 24 hours per day.

Update: Geoff Fox blogged about this also. In fact, Geoff's post was probably the origin of how I found out about this since the original link that was sent to me came from a relative who reads Geoff's blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

March 21 is not the first day of Spring has a wonderful article explaining why the vernal equinox can shift and points out that from 1981-2102, Spring will begin no later than March 20. The myth that Spring starts on March 21 must be quashed. People who suggest that should be loudly corrected.

On a completely unrelated note, March 20 just happens to be my birthday.