The Real Fool

10:40 pm - Jason G. - Asides

Did you know?

April Fool is the codename for a spy and double agent who allegedly played a key role in the downfall of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. – Wikipedia


Geek Humor

2:06 pm - Jason G. - Humor, Technology

Programmer Humor at its lowest… and quite funny.


(Click to zoom in)


Plate Tectonics

9:48 pm - Jason G. - Technology

An interesting view of what the tectonic plates look like. The Nazca plate is the one that caused all the trouble in Chile…


(click to zoom in)


From DRB. Also on DRB’s page is what things should look like in 50, 150, and 250 million more years after expected tectonic movement.



Flight Aware

7:57 pm - Jason G. - Technology

File this in the category, “stuff I’d like to find later”…


The FlightAware.com web site provides free flight tracking of private and commercial flights as well as airport activity, flight and airport maps with weather, and aviation statistics for airports in the United States.

Users can also search by airline flight number or the aircraft’s registration if it is a non-commercial flight, or select a flight from an airport’s status page. Information provided includes:

  • Proposed departure and arrival times
  • Actual departure and arrival times
  • Proposed and actual altitude
  • Proposed and actual airspeed
  • Four month history of that flight or aircraft
  • Time elapsed and time remaining
  • Filed Route

Details from the Wikipedia entry.


The Mariana Trench – To Scale

1:18 pm - Jason G. - Technology


Click to zoom-in… originally from here.



5:13 pm - Jason G. - Humor

The shocking details began to emerge late yesterday afternoon, at a time when the importance of an already-fragile consumer confidence simply cannot be overstated. “Pinotpocalypse,” as some commentators… have taken to calling it, may well be remembered as the single greatest scandal to rock the wine-drinking community this year.

For anyone still unaware of the details of the situation, here’s a brief rundown on what’s known thus far:

A French court yesterday found twelve industry figures guilty of exporting inferior quality wine to the United States fraudulently under the Pinot Noir label. It is believed some 18 million bottles of sub-palatable plonk found their way onto US dining tables before the ruse was uncovered. The unnamed shysters, who pocketed millions carrying out their heinous act, were handed suspended sentences and fines ranging from 3,000 to 18,000 rapidly-depreciating euros.

At the time of writing, the questionable batch appears to be confined to E&G Gallo’s “Red Bicyclette” label, although it is difficult at this early juncture to fully assess the extent of the damage. Until further information becomes available, your editor has taken the precautionary measure of switching to Australian Shiraz and Argentinean Malbec only. We suggest you employ a similarly protective strategy.

From Daily Reckoning.


PSA as Art

10:06 pm - Jason G. - Art


Information Wants to Be Free

7:20 pm - Jason G. - Technology

Stewart Brand was the person who originally coined the phrase “information wants to be free”, but apparently, his original quote was actually about the paradox of the value of information…

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

As told in Chris Anderson’s book Free.


Make No Little Plans

6:06 pm - Jason G. - Quotes

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.”

-Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)


My Take on the iPad

9:52 pm - Jason G. - Technology

From Daring Fireball 4 weeks ago

Like all Apple products, The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well. It will offer a fraction of the functionality of a MacBook — but that fraction will be way more fun. The same myopic feature-checklist-obsessed critics who dismissed the iPhone will focus on all that The Tablet doesn’t do and declare that this time, Apple really has fucked up but good. The rest of us will get in line to buy one.

Sounds like he had a frickin crystal ball.

As for the name… yes, it sucks. But all new names suck when they’re first announced. The name iPod was derided when it was first launched. Those of us who were at Accenture when it was renamed thought the name was horrible… But those feelings change, and the awkward, nonsensical names — we get used to them, and then over time they are unique trademarks that it is hard to remember our original derision.

If you really want need multitasking, or a camera… go get a netbook instead. This iPad thing isn’t for everyone, and we should all just get comfortable with that. Innovation is rarely without critics. Oddly, I’ve never heard someone complain about how a Kindle doesn’t allow multi-tasking…

I have to admit the actual iPad feature set underwhelms compared to many of the wacky rumors that were swirling before launch (where’s the unicorn menu item?)… but it’s still the product I’ve been waiting years for. The only real technology that is really new in the iPad is the Apple A4 processor. So, if there’s nothing new, why haven’t we seen this stuff packaged together in a product before? Why aren’t there other tablets already available to choose from?

My biggest gripe about the iPhone is the requirement of an AT&T 2 year contract (even if you pay an unsubsidized price). With the iPad you have more options — no contract, or skip on the cell connectivity completely. Sure AT&T still sucks, but now I am not forced into a 2 year contract, even if I want to use the AT&T data plan. The addition of no-contract cell data plans may end up being the biggest innovation of the iPad.

Another plus — this is the first “computer” I would recommend to my grandmother. It’s the right device for someone who “doesn’t get computers” or for someone who doesn’t need anything beyond email, facebook, and a browser. You might want multi-tasking to run Pandora and AIM in the background, but a lot of people wouldn’t even notice that was “missing”. (Sidebar: the iPhone does support multi-tasking, just not for the apps you want. The phone and iPod apps can run in the background while you run other apps.)

Could the iPad be better as a product? Of course. But I, for one, am excited.

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