Just discovered a great app: Better Touch Tool. You can assign pretty much any action to any multi touch gesture. Now i can four finger swipe in different directions to move between spaces. works with the new magic mouse too, so now I might even get one…
I’ve been playing with this really cool GPS app for the iphone. If you are rockin’ a 3g or 3gs, you should be rockin’ this app. It will let you do most of what you’d want to do with a dedicated hand held gps (maps, tracks, waypoints, etc.), plus it lets you download those maps over wifi or the cell network, take and geotag photos, and share your location via FB, twitter, or email, send yourself kmz or gpx files of where you’ve been. In addition to google and bing maps, you can download maps from the totally open source OpenStreetMap, which I didn’t even know about (Zmurder, did you?). I seriously think that in a post iphone world, electronics that are not connected to the interwebs will seem increasingly dumb.
The light version is free and awesome, but I think the 2.99 upgrade is worth it, if for no other reason than to support what they are doing.
It’s been around for a little while, but now that jttm is all up to date we can actually use it to post to our little blog. You can even use it to post photos using the iPhone’s camera (like this one of ben sitting on daniels floor).
I just wanted to post and say thanks to Joel for keeping this thing rolling for all these years. Here’s a newly-discovered ginger brew to you!
Also, I wanted to post because I was getting sad when I looked at the gadget on my netvibes page and saw no highlighted post titles.
One bit of tech news I’d like to throw up to the crowd is the arrival of the netbook.
About two months ago, my trusty Powerbook G4’s logic board went bad. I had already replaced the HD myself (out of Apple Care warranty), so I thought I’d just buy a logic board and try to DIY again. I found out that boards cost ~$500. A used PBG4 runs about $600 on eBay. That’s when I started looking at purchasing another machine. I’ve determined that I would want another Powerb…err…Macbook Pro, but I don’t have the extra $2000 just lying around to purchase some alumized sweetness. That put me searching for a Windows or Linux machine.
In my search, I struck upon a new-to-me market segment of notebook computers-netbooks. The first machine that caught my interest is put out by Asustek. It’s the Asus EEE pc. It was popularized after Asus tried to offer a viable entry in the OLPC project, but was unable to do so for the target price of $200, but they were able to do it for $300. These little dudes were made for internetting and basic operations, most of which running Linux Xandros.
Asus was putting out the only 9″ computer, then companies like Samsung, Acer, HP and now even Dell have jumped on the bandwagon. MSI, Asus, and Lenovo all offer 10″ versions, which were the ones I was looking at. The 9″-er’s keyboard is just too cramped for any long-term writing work, but not as bad as you would think. Standard specs is a 1.6Ghz Intel Atom chip designed specifically for this market, 1 GB RAM, either a smallish SSD or largish standard spinning platter, and most are shipping with Windows XP, but some are also coming with Linux distros like Xandros, SUSE, or Ubuntu (although rarer). Most have 3 USB ports, a multi-card reader, some sort of video out, Ethernet port and audio jacks. Most also include a 1.3 Megapixel built-in camera. No optical drive.
In the end, I went with a much larger Lenovo machine that has full-sized keyboard, DVD burner and various mulit-media options like 5.1 “surround” sound on-board speakers-largely because I do not own a TV and use my computer for all video entertainment. I’m only experiencing slight buyer’s remorse because this baby is a behemoth compared to my Powerbook, and just plain doesn’t feel as solid. It’s not a ThinkPad, it’s from Lenovo’s new consumer line, IdeaPad. I know that’s why the thing feels a little Dell-sy and only cost me $550 on TigerDirect. Oh, and I think some of the frustration is Windows-related. Yes, it runs Vista, which I firmly do not hate.
All this is to say/ask, do you guys have any experience with (1) netbooks, and which one or (2) Vista, and what do you think apart from it being bloated and requiring a minimum of 2GB of RAM.
Lastly, do you guys have any experience with more recent distros of Linux? I am considering Dual booting for simple tasks like web browsing.
Finally for real, are you guys aware of how awesome Open Office is?
If you haven’t visited www.ted.com, now is the time. The site offers tons of “inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers.”
Here’s their quick self-summary:
“TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week.”
This one, is far from the most interesting, but there’s an incredibly amazing octopus at the end that I think everyone needs to see.
least skip to the end where an octopus will blow you away.
I had to replace the hard drive in my Powerbook G4. I did it myself, and I believe the hardware install went fine. The problem I’m now having is installing Leopard on a blank drive. I know that sounds fishy, but each time I try to install, it either freezes up or says that the “Essentials” package from the installation DVD can’t be accessed. I’ve already formatted the drive with no problem using the built-in Disc Utility application. I’m also reading, when not working, the articles I find online.
If any of you have advice other than making sure the DVD is clean, etc, I’d appreciate it. If all else fails, I suppose I’ll have to go to the Apple store :(
I’m not sure how many people besides Joel/Boo/Me are watching and loving Battlestar Galactica, but if you aren’t you should be. I just found this picture of the cast posing as Da Vinci’s Last Supper, as if the show didn’t have enough religious overtones….
Boo asked me to post this, its an awesome video talking about how the last West Wing election is very similar to the Obama McCain match up and why that is. Very interesting on how they basically predicted the type of candidates we would see. Or maybe that those are the only types of candidates we see and its a cycle.
As a HUGE fan of the West Wing (at least when Aaron Sorkin was writing it) I find this utterly amazing…
This picture is from GoogleMaps. It’s my dad. Parking his white Honda. Near his house in Chicago. Somehow, someway, as he was paying the street meter, GoogleMaps captured his image. It’s incredibly creepy. While performing a banal task of daily life, near his home, my father’s picture was captured and uploaded to a public website, without his knowledge or consent. What’s creepier yet, is that at a separate address, GoogleMap also captured my father’s picture as he was unlocking his front door (for privacy reasons, I won’t post that link here). Gentlemen, it’s time to break out the fake mustaches (in case you’re wondering, my dad’s is real).
The Macbook Air has arrived. Click the link for the skinny. Pardon the pun, couldn’t resist.
Disclaimer: This post will lack in relevance (not all of us are Mac OS X users) and depth (there are people who are much more knowledgeable about Mac OS and other things writing better “reviews” all over the interweb). I thought you might want to hear my impression just the same.
I was faced with the “necessity” of upgrading my OS when last week I decided to fix a few issues I had with iPhoto and DVD player by taking in to the newish Apple Store here in T-town. Part of the problem was that I never received an iLife ‘06 install disc because I bought it pre-loaded from the campus bookstore back in 2005. The other part of the problem was that although I am still covered by Apple Care and could have iLife ‘06 reinstalled, I was still running Mac OS Panther. For the most part, I never noticed that I was two generations behind (Tiger came out right after I got my machine). Recently, however, I have been bugged by some glitches when installing some apps and what not. I was faced with the options of upgrading to iLife ‘08, which has some very nifty changes to iPhoto that I would use, or upgrade to Leopard and reinstall iLife ‘06. For expense and longevity, I chose the second option. If you’re still interested in what I think of Leopard, let’s go for Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve started a bit of a blog over at my site, indiemaps.com. I’m mostly going to be talking about programming, Flash, cartography, graphic design, and more professional stuff over there. And I’ll be keeping up my drunken political ramblings and personal updates here at jttm.
I’m trying to keep the blog as minimal as possible — just color and text, with images only within blog posts. I’m also using an extremely lightweight blogware called Blosxom.PHP, written by a Hungarian dude. It’s helping me develop my PHP skills and I plan to re-write the program and add tagging functionality over the winter break.
I’m with Joel on keeping jttm alive. Indiemaps.com is more of a professional thing for me, and most of its content I wouldn’t post here anyway. Anyway, check it out if you want to. Look forward to jttm posts from me soon on David Horowitz at the UW and Hitchens as a political conservative. Soon.
I’ve complained a lot about obvious patents, especially the Amazon “One Click” patent. It turns out someone else did more than just complain
While we just scratched our head and laughed, blogger Peter Calveley went and did something about it. He filed a re-examination request last year. And now that the patent office has taken another look at the one-click patent they’ve rejected a large number of claims made by Amazon. In other words, while Amazon has a chance to respond, there’s a good chance this patent will be revoked.
While this is good news, I can’t help but feel like for every one of these that gets rejected there are many more new, lower profile patent applications approved for “inventions” that are obvious and/or vague. Maybe not though. Maybe this is one of those times where good policies will eventually evolve through trial and error and public feedback without the need for new legislation or court intervention. After all, if the patent office can’t keep up with the pace of technology, it’s probably too much to expect our elected officials to make sense of it.
I just released the World Freedom Atlas — my project for the past 6 months or so (on and off). I describe it thusly:
The World Freedom Atlas is a geovisualization tool for world statistics. It was designed for social scientists, journalists, NGO/IGO workers, and others who wish to have a better understanding of issues of freedom, democracy, human rights, and good governance. It covers the years 1990 to 2006.
The beast includes over 300 variables from dozens of datasets. It is meant to complement efforts such as GapMinder World and the World Bank Online Atlas of the Millennium Development Goals, though I intended my atlas for a somewhat more expert audience (social scientists and the like). This was a great project for me. I solidified my knowledge of Flash/Actionscript, learned a bit of PHP, even some Python, and worked for the first time with mySQL databases, web servers, and whatnot.
Life hacker has a post with cool news: Now, when you are usingGoogle Maps for driving directions, you can drag and drop your route if you want to modify it. This is a great feature I’ve wished for ever since I first used mapquest.
I just dropped my third interactive map. It is called streamViz, which is pretty stupid. But the map/visualization is awesome!– at least in my opinion (but then again, I’m biased). This gets more into geovisualization than cartography, and people in cartography like to argue about whether geovisualization is just a part of cartography or vice-versa. The assignment was to just map streamflow data for 3 months in 1993 (a big flood) but I have a hard time spending a lot of time on such a one-off map. So I decided to load in 10 years of daily data off the USGS website. StreamViz is so powerful — please do not use it for evil.
Hey gang, here’s the second map I’ve produced for my animated and interactive cartography class. The assignment was to map like one variable over time, and presumably to have this variable hard-coded into the map. As you can/will see, I kind of went crazy on this assignment. If applicable, this map is the reason I have ignored your emails and failed to return your phone calls over the past two months.
There are two datasets available to be loaded right now, but in theory any dataset of Wisconsin counties could be loaded. There are a ton of things that could be fixed or added, but for now I have a bigger final project to worry about.
Sigma has a radical new idea - stick the best image sensor on the market in a compact camera at the cost of dropping optical zoom (the user can just use digital zoom/crop the picture in Adobe later). Read more here.
The site late last week began purging copyrighted material from Comedy Central, including clips from YouTube stalwarts like “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” [and] “The Colbert Report” ….
There goes, for me at least, one of the primary reasons to visit Youtube.