Posts

The Growth of iPhones

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Current iPhones, and phones in general, have gotten too large.  I saw one -- an iPhone 6 perhaps -- squeezing out from the front pocket of a young woman's stretch jeans.  With each step she took, the iPhone slid a little further out.  But she couldn't save it as her arms were full with two trays of sheet cake.

Walking past her, I made eye contact, and then looked down to her pocket.  She smiled and asked, "Could you?..."

I gently pushed the phone back into her pocket.  She thanked me and I continued on my way.

When I recount this tale, the guys would, in mock frustration, say "Mike, what's the problem?  Why are you complaining that phones are too big?  Did you at least get her number?"

Okay, this particular situation made for a fun blog entry. But being serious, a phone should fit in your pocket comfortably and be properly sized for one handed operation. The iPhones that came after the 4S pushed past those boundaries, delaying my upgrade from the 4S un…

Microsoft Git-Hub Hub-Bub πŸ™€

The developer community is divided over Microsoft's purchase of GitHub.  In simple terms, it's closed source versus open source.  ArsTechnica's take is that GitHub had no good alternative, but some developers are having none of that, and are actively exploring options such as GitLab and BitBucket.

For perspective though, and at the risk of sounding like your high school English teacher, read the following articles on Steve Ballmer and Satya Nadella.  Compare and contrast.

Vanity Fair 2012:
Ballmer and Microsoft’s Lost Decade

Wired 2017:
Nadella and Microsoft’s Future
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were more than their sums.  Together, they made Microsoft formidable and feared.  Alone, however, Ballmer was a functional CEO, executing in the present, but unable to take Microsoft into the future.
Nadella came from within the ranks of Microsoft, and given the complexity of the company, an insider for CEO was a good thing.  A telling and significant move was that Nadella allowed so…

Phone Cradle Hack

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It dawned on me during breakfast.  Coaster sets come in various containers and as I stared at this particular empty holder, I realized it could be used to hold my iPhone.  It props your phone up a bit, and there's a convenient opening to channel your recharging cable.

And what of the coasters it once held?  Without a home, they are coasting around the dining table.






Connections

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Opening a drawer in my hotel room in Toronto, I found this.  I worship at the altar of tech, but I imagine the reaction between two priests might go like this:

Mormon Priest:  "At least we're wireless!"

Catholic Priest: "And from the very beginning too!"

Graduation

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"It's up to you to save the world.  Our generation messed up." said an older person to no one in particular.

I graduated in 1982 with a degree in Chemistry.  As is tradition at Cornell, there were no hired inspirational speakers.  The send-off was given -- more appropriately, I think -- by the then university president Frank H.T. Rhodes.   The economy was in rough shape, but President Rhodes nevertheless emphasized the importance of setting great goals and finding meaning in service and leadership.

I found a portion of his speech in the NY Times

My graduating class had 4,200 students, and President Rhodes was a distant figure.  Yet, we were separated by one degree.

One summer, I had a job at Uris Library doing general inventory, cataloging, and shelving.  I learned this library was steward to a very special collection: all the issues, from number one with Marilyn Monroe on the cover, to the present, of Playboy Magazine.  I got the plumb assignment of checking the collect…

On The Internet, No One Knows You’re A Targ

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A recent project had me fitting my Mazda3 with a cloaking device.  The  goal was just to learn, as speeding without being seen is arguably more dangerous than speeding while visible.
Here is a photo sequence of the cloaking device in action.  There was absolutely no photoshop trickery!
Photo 1: Mazda3 j

Photo 2: So'wI' chu'  (Engage cloaking device)

Photo 3: Qapla'! (Success!)

The most difficult part of this project wasn’t the installation, although I did need special tools, including a phase coil resonator.  Nor was it the additional power requirements; I simply advanced the engine’s spark timing and switched from regular gasoline to premium.  No, the difficult part was locating the parts.  eBay and Craigslist were dead ends.  Inquiries on various car forums went unanswered.  And I sniffed around several junkyards to no avail. 
The last junkyard search ended like all the others — in  failure — but it led me to a nearby bar for a much needed drink.   Like so many patrons befo…

Goose-y Ways

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This post is not about the migration of geese.  Rather, it's about the migration of humans who use Google Maps, Siri (Apple Maps), and Waze.

Google Maps, my preferred app, recently went squirrelly on me, suggesting routes that didn't make sense.  It recovered the next day, but the episode was enough to make me reconsider Waze and Apple Maps.

Waze filled in admirably, but it was not without its quirks.  I liked that I could send my route and ETA to someone I intended to pick up. Waze would also automatically text the person when I was about five minutes away.

The very social nature of Waze, however, makes the screen busy.  While Google Maps can be summed up as no nonsense cartography, Waze has a whimsical side.  I don't use Waze's options to report accidents, police presence, or red light cameras.  Once you begin reporting hazards on the road, you become that hazard on the road.  When my son is in the passenger seat though, he freely taps away.  He finds it all mildly dive…