April 30, 2012
April 29, 2012
April 28, 2012
Amazon.com agrees to begin collecting Texas sales taxes | Business | Dallas Business, Te…: “Amazon.com and Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said Friday that the online retailer will begin to collect Texas sales taxes beginning July 1, in an agreement that Combs said ‘resolves all sales tax issues between Texas and Amazon.’”
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
April 27, 2012
I got into a (polite) disagreement on FB a few weeks ago about security and privacy versus the unspoken agreement that we all have to allow ourselves to be tracked as part of the social contract we make in exchange for a mostly free internet. I’m not convinced of this position at all— if you broadcast a tv or radio signal for free there’s nothing – no legal or moral argument– that prevents me from just listening to the content. That’s why God and Sony created a MUTE button after all. The person I was talking to about this didn’t see the connection but the fact that she does marketing for a living and thus depends on mailing lists and selective targeting to make their job more effective somewhat diminishes the argument in my mind.
Regardless, whenever I get on a completely unprotected (i.e. un adblocked, un-Do-Not-Tracked) machine I’m always appalled at all the flashy movement that’s taking place on the edges of the screen. Is this what everyone else puts up with every day? Seriously? It’s incredibly distracting and borderline anxiety-producing to have virtual sidewalk-hawkers constantly throwing stuff in your face trying to get you to punch the monkey or chase the mute button. Our surfing experience at home is fast, anonymous, quiet, and very non-distracting.
I think you’ll be amazed at how much better a “quiet” internet can be.
Neat! Still chugging along on my 3d printer account. I’m mainly holding off to let the tech get just a bit better (mainly the software side of things).
Not too crazy about this news. SketchUp is my tool of choice for 3D woodworking and prop design. I only hope they keep developing it. Love the “free” part, but if it’s part of a business (and not a Google side-project) I don’t know if that’ll continue. I’m definitely not against a for-pay version in the future (businesses have to pay their people after all) but the pre-Google version- which I almost bought- was $700! Hope we don’t go back to that.
April 25, 2012
Really well done animation/interview that makes it all make sense. If you don’t know what all the fuss has been about definitely take a minute to watch this.
Time Travel: Why are people from the future not time traveling to our period? – Quora: “the current period is probably the temporal equivalent of flyover country. You might say, ‘What do you mean, it’s a time of unprecedented technological and cultural change!’ Maybe so, you time-hick, but a small town in South Dakota that’s finally getting hooked up to teh internet or getting their first Olive Garden isn’t interesting to someone who already has ultra-fast broadband or lots of family-owned local Italian restaurants. “
Dang! Wish these had been out last year when we had a new roof put on.
Friend (and String Theorist) Matt writes:
So, people constantly talk about how tiny we are in the scope of the entire universe, how miniscule, how insignificant we are next to stars and nebula and galaxies, etc. This seems strange. The scale of the known universe is about 10^27. sure, that’s real big. but, the planck scale is 10^(-35). that’s way smaller than the whole universe is big. we’re actually bigger than about 56% of the stuff in the universe. There’s plenty more “below” us than “above” us.
so why are we so quick to marvel at how small we are? is it because the cosmologist and astrophysicists have better PR people?
i’m seriously curious about this – why would we not stop to appreciate how gigantic the “classical” scale is?
It’s always struck me as weird that, as vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big space is (not just “out-of-our-conception” big, but “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me” big), as Matt says, there’s “more small” beneath us as there is above us. As to why more people don’t realize this, I suspect it has something to do with the fact that we can hold a nigh-infinite number of “smalls” between our pinched fingertips and so they don’t have as much, ahem, weight as the one single “big” we can see just a tiny part of on a dark night.
“When you wish upon a proton” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
April 24, 2012
If you live in or travel through a desert region, having access to clean water is always going to be an issue. If you can’t carry enough for your journey, you have to ensure your route allows for a few water bottle refills. But the lack of water in deserts and other arid locations may soon be a thing of the past if a new wind turbine system is implemented on a large scale.
Marc Parent, founder of Eole Water, realized that he could extract water from the air after noticing how much water an air conditioner unit collected. He decided to combine a green energy source with the necessary components for condensing water directly from the air. The end result after 10 years of R&D is the WMS1000 wind turbine, capable of condensing and storing up to 1,000 liters of water every day.
The 34 meter tall turbine requires 15mph winds for its 13 meter diameter rotor to turn and generate sufficient energy. It then produces 30kW of power for the system to function. Air is drawn in through vents in the nose of the turbine and a generator heats it producing steam. That steam is then fed through a cooling compressor to form moisture that gets condensed into water. The resulting liquid is piped into a storage tank at the base of the turbine after being purified.
April 20, 2012
April 15, 2012
Pretty much sums it up:
It’s unlikely that any average student can develop a world-class skill in one particular area. But it’s easy to learn how to do several different things fairly well.
I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. The “Dilbert” comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. The rare part is that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. That’s how value is created.