Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke.Simplicity is the key to brilliance - Bruce Lee
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View Article  Its A Wonderful World
Amazing hand puppet action here that I just had to post:

View Article  Global Warming
I've always been suspicious of anyone like Al Gore so vocal about Global Warming considering I've followed some of the research and discussion on the other side of the fence. You have to figure anything Gore is doing in the public eye is politically motivated. He is a politician and nothing more. A quote from his "An Inconvenient Truth" from IMDB: "Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions". He may have stripped his presentations of politics but you know they are his one and only underlying agenda.

I'll give you a few links that I've come across recently very recently:

From this National Post article:

In his enviro-propaganda flick, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore claims nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last decade. That's been a common refrain for environmentalists, too, and one of the centrepieces of global warming hysteria: It's been really hot lately -- abnormally hot -- so we all need to be afraid, very afraid. The trouble is, it's no longer true.

Last week, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- whose temperature records are a key component of the global-warming claim (and whose director, James Hansen, is a sort of godfather of global-warming alarmism) -- quietly corrected an error in its data set that had made recent temperatures seem warmer than they really were.

A little less than a decade ago, the U.S. government changed the way it recorded temperatures. No one thought to correlate the new temperatures with the old ones, though -- no one until Canadian researcher Steve McIntyre, that is.


In many cases, the changes are statistically minor, but their potential impact on the rhetoric surrounding global warming is huge.

The hottest year since 1880 becomes 1934 instead of 1998, which is now just second; 1921 is third.

Four of the 10 hottest years were in the 1930s, only three in the past decade. Claiming that man-made carbon dioxide has caused the natural disasters of recent years makes as much sense as claiming fossil-fuel burning caused the Great Depression.

The 15 hottest years since 1880 are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before atmospheric carbon dioxide began its recent rise; seven occurred afterwards.

In other words, there is no discernible trend, no obvious warming of late.

You'll definitely want to checkout this blog and this site where a group is reviewing official temperature sensing stations and showing the ridiculous locations they are put in or are now in due to urban development etc. The graphic on the homepage there says it all comparing a station setup correctly in a location vs one that is not.

View Article  Fire Up A Colortini
sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air - Tom Snyder. One of the greatest interviewers has passed away. There has not been another interviewer with a regular show other than Howard Stern that gets real interviews and guests talking honestly and openly than Snyder. He was absolutely the best. I had to find the Tom Snyder / Howard Stern interview. See below.

From this Time's article:

View Article  Kayako Help Desk
I was just online submitting a trouble ticket to a company and while entering the information a bunch of knowledge base articles started popping up underneath the web based input form. One of them had the answer to my question so I didn't even need to submit the ticket. This is the best implementation of an online help desk that I've seen yet. Most of the time I'll skip over reviewing the FAQ or online knowledge base because they are typically useless to search and get the info anyway. But this was a nice way to present it.

Looks like they are using Kayako Help Desk stuff.
View Article  Velocity Server / DataPoint Inc
I used to be able to recommend Velocity Server (who was recently bought by DataPoint) as a pretty decent Virtual Private Server (VPS) provider. That is no longer the case. It seems that whenever they were taken over by DataPoint mass incompetence has taken over. We used to deal with a few very competent people at Velocity Server but that is no longer.

Its almost impossible to get someone to get back to you from there now. The billing department emails have a phone number stamped on them that doesn't exist anymore. I've left a number of voice mails and even tech support apparently has asked someone to call me back (nothing). Although someone from another department called me back (I think it may have been one of the principals from the old Velocity Server).

The last straw that broke the camels back was when they mistakenly deleted the wrong VPS on me. Instead of killing one that I no longer required they killed the one that was working nicely leaving me holding the bag. I made it very very clear which one to delete. Further, I had just paid an invoice that morning on the one they deleted.

The moral of the story is, don't deal with these guys. Customer service is pretty much non-existent at this point.
View Article  GMail / Google Apps For Domains False Positives
I've noticed an alarming increase in false positives being detected by Google Apps For Domains GMail spam detection. It is so bad actually that I'd rather turn off GMail spam detection altogether. My own service SimpleFilter does a much much better job at spam detection and so much less false positive that I have to begin thinking about not using Google Apps GMail for my domains now. They really should allow one to turn on or off the spam filtering or at least some sort of basic options.

I've been using Google Apps For Domains with most of my domains for a while now. See here.
View Article  Wayne Gretzky-Style 'Field Sense' May Be Teachable
Having some of this Gretzky field sense myself, if I may say so, I think they are a bit off base in this article. At least in the examples given they don't apply to Gretzky's field sense whatsoever in my opinion. For the tennis and volleyball examples, one is training on being able to predict trajectory by watching directly and picking up on various clues. Also, with the Australian rules football example, I believe this is completely backwards as to how Gretzky and similar players in hockey process information.

From my own experience and the way I understand how Gretzky processes information, it basically comes from experience and the ability to track 3-4 other players (maybe more if you count the other team) simultaneously as to their predicted movement on the ice. This comes from being able to process what one would do if you were in their shoes without the need to look at them or focus on them. When I play with players that approach the game very very similarly to myself I have an extremely good idea exactly where they are going to be on the ice at any given time. I know what they are going to do if I cut one way or the other. I know what they are going to do if a defender moves a certain way. I don't need to glance at them or assess the field.
View Article  XM Weather helped AGR on rainy Indy 500
From Orbitcast:

Andretti Green Racing's partnership with XM Satellite Radio has more to do than just talk shows and sponsorships. AGR used XM WX Weather for up-to-the-second intelligence during the rain-soaked Indy 500 as part of their arsenal of tech tools.

While other teams were relying on local weather forecasts to layout their strategies, AGR was using streaming real-time weather data delivered trackside to their team computers.

Well, not quite. Although they might have had this data they certainly didn't make good use of it. I watched the Indy 500 and I was pulling up weather data from various online weather sites. It was obvious to me that they wouldn't finish this race without rain coming in big time for a second time and ending the race. With AGR having 3 cars up front I would have definitely left at least 2 if not 3 of them out there running instead of pulling them into the pits. The decision to bring them into the pits cost them dearly if you ask me.
View Article  ActiveWidgets Javascript Library
I've been using the YUI (Yahoo User Interface) Library for a while now and had a need for a pretty complicated table/grid and decided to give their DataTable a try. It is still in beta and probably why I ran into a few quirks and bugs I just couldn't work around. So I gave ActiveWidgets a try and have been really pleased with it so far. Seems to be nicely designed and although I also ran into a few quirks it was very easy to work around them. Definitely seems to be worth the dollars rather than spending the time getting YUI working. I fully expect YUI to work nicely down the road but I can't wait for it right now.
View Article  New Google Analytics
The update to Google Analytics seems to be really slick. Checkout the blog post about it here.
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