Falkirk Wheel

March 27, 2006 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Technology | 2 Comments

Here is a structure in EnglandScotland that every mechanical engineer should visit. This ingenious device lifts boats between different elevations using less power than an ordinary hair dryer.

MacOS X + 5

March 24, 2006 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Macintosh | 2 Comments

Today is the fifth anniversary of the release of MacOS X, and ArsTechnica has a very good retrospective article by John “Spatial Finder” Siracusa. The change has been gradual, but today’s Mac community is very different from the one 15 years ago, when we had Guy Kawasaki, 68040 processors, and BMUG. With the switch to Intel CPUs, running old-school software is no longer supported.

Iraq + 3

March 19, 2006 at 8:32 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Today marks the third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the past 12 months, we have lost another 800 soldiers, and Iraq may be on the edge of a civil war that may engulf the region. I can’t believe that this Administration is still giving the public unrealistic expectations and hopes; everything they’ve said as been based on lies or willful ignorance.

Mission AccomplishedIraqi Girl

Fantasy.            Reality.

Worthless

March 14, 2006 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Rants, Technology | Leave a comment

Hurt by the growing FUD being waged between the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD camps, Sony has announced that it will not downgrade the HD signal from Blu-Ray discs even if an HDMI cable is not present.

For now.

I fully expect Sony to renege on this claim if Blu-Ray wins and/or they feel that people are exercising their fair use rights “too aggressively”.

The answer to the title is “What is the value of a promise from Sony?”

Jack Bauer in “The Sentinel”

March 12, 2006 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Fun Indoors | Leave a comment

One of the plotlines in Fox’s “24” is the relationship between Jack Bauer and his mentor Christopher Henderson (Peter Weller). The upcoming movie “The Sentinel” (also produced by Fox) takes a similar relationship-gone-sour to the big screen, with Sutherland/Jack Bauer going after Michael Douglas.

If anyone still isn’t convinced that Jack Bauer is the toughest guy on TV these days, this fan video should remove all doubt.

How Toyota and GM define “cost”

March 9, 2006 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

There’s more to costs than employees. Here’s a Bloomberg article that shows how badly General Motors and Ford are doing with respect to Toyota. They claim that all it takes for them to be competitive is to reduce their employee liabilities, wages, and benefits. However, the article shows that they are at a tremendous technological disadvantage. For example, Toyota can assemble a car faster and with fewer employees. In addition, Toyota works with small American companies to gain manufacturing advantages — they can produce a V-6 engine block for $1000 less than an equivalent GM engine.

Even if GM were to somehow get Toyota’s lower (e.g. non-union) labor rates and health plans, their costs may still be higher.

A Better Case

March 7, 2006 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Fun Indoors, Macintosh | Leave a comment

Unlike Mr. Sneeze’s bad experience with an iPod case, I like my sleevz from RadTech; it doesn’t have the protection of my other case, but it is very light, the controls are easily accessible, and it keeps the scratches away.

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