Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 29: Purchased.

30 day photo challenge, day 29: Purchased.

We got too many TV show boxed sets strewn all over the place, and I watch those things so often that some were about to fall apart. I thought that one 128-disc binder (Memorex, picked it up at Target) would be enough, but I ran out of room. I'll need to go back next week and pick up a second one.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 27: After Dark.

30 day photo challenge, day 27: After Dark. Nikki hiding under my desk, waiting for PJ to fall asleep so she can roam freely.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 26: Something old.

30 day photo challenge, day 26: Something old. This is a 10x micro photograph of my Leatherman tool, which I have owned for over 17 years. Except for the tip of the blade snapping off (I didn't break it, Ivette did), the tool and the case look almost exactly the same as the day I bought them in a PX in Germany when I was still wearing Army Green. Pretty much everyone that worked in electronics in the Army carried one of these, and now that I remember, I bought mine after getting yelled at for not having one at hand. A little bit after that incident some dumbass (not at our unit) decided that those tools were a good idea, so he went and bought and issued us ... Gerber pocket tools. Those were nowhere as good as the Leatherman products, so we signed for our Gerber tools, put them away and kept using the Leatherman we already owned.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 23: Sunset

30 day photo challenge, day 23: sunset. There's no way in hell I am going to have time to go shoot a photo-worthy sunset in this corner of suburban Virginia, so here's a Minecraft sunset:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 20: What I Read

30 day photo challenge, day 20: What I read. This is a Kindle 3 Wifi @ 150x, taken with a Celestron USB microscope. I am currently reading The Day of the Jackal, Jar City and The Hunt for Red October. That's one of the killer features of having an e-reader: you don't have to plan your reading ahead, you can switch whenever you feel like it, not having to take into account the extra weight you'll be lugging around if you were to be carrying 3 or more books around instead of the e-reader device.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Some Hobbled Stealth Fighters Cleared to Fly | Danger Room |

Some Hobbled Stealth Fighters Cleared to Fly | Danger Room |

At least we know this isn't a ploy to ditch our manned uber-expensive stealth fighter fleet to favor a cheaper, higher performance unmanned fighter plane platform that is not currently being developed in secret. Oh, wait.

Think about the long range math of a country with really deep budget issues, where everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is looking to chop funding from the Armed Services, and you have a fleet of billion dollar planes that DO NOT have adversaries. Do you sit pretty and get ready to defend them until they are taken away from you? Or do you make the obvious leap and start planning for a next generation of UAV that can perform in the air superiority role? It's obvious that UAVs work for surveillance and in the ground attack role, so the question is how much money can be saved by removing the elements of the F-22 and F-35 that are needed to keep the air crew alive and switch them to a remote control link?

If situational awareness is an issue, just move the UAV pilots into a sim cockpit and let them fly real the real plane from in there, and overlay real video on the simulator graphics whenever a feed is available for that angle. We already paid for the damn simulators, the only software that has to be written is to overlay the video in the right places, plus connecting the data trunks from the simulator rig into the UAV control van.

Day 19: Where I slept

30 day photo challenge, day 19: Where I slept.

Sony Introduces Digital Binoculars That Record Photos & HD Videos

From Sony Introduces Digital Binoculars That Record Photos & HD Videos

Too bad the price doesn't add up. In terms of technology it has nothing that my Sony DSC-HX9v (~$350) can't do, so we are expected to believe that the rest of the $1650 price gap is due to the casing? I almost said optics until I realized these are 10x optical, same as my camera, with 20x digital so basically you are being charged $1650 extra for the casing and the viewfinder.

Still badass, but right now priced for VERY early adopters. And the stalker gloves aren't included.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Whiskey Shivers - Gimme All Your Lovin'

All of it?

Day 18: In My Bag

30 day photo challenge, day 18: In My Bag.

Since I telecommute, my messenger bag has been pretty much empty for the past 6 years, so I had to scramble around to find ANYTHING in a bag. I also considered for a minute or so to put Nikki in one of those reusable shopping bags (the ones with the handles) but then I realized that she would maul me if I even tried to disrupt her sunbathing. So PJ's jelly bean stash it is. 

The challenge is at

Day 14: Flowers

30 day photo challenge, day 14: Flowers. 

The challenge is at

Day 17: On the Shelf

Our bookshelves are now bare, and we are about to remove them. 16+ years of an avid book reader married to another avid book reader meant a full wall covered with books, over 90% of them fiction hardcovers and paperbacks with zero collectible/sentimental value. That's hundreds of pounds of paper books that have to be dusted off and kept clean, and they eat up a lot of space.

We embraced the Kindle platform as soon as the first device launched, which means no more hoarding books. I read mine with whatever is convenient at the moment, be it the Kindle, the PC or cloud readers, or the Android reader. She prefers her Kindle. We both re-read, so it is nice to not have to scramble to find a specific book whenever we feel like re-reading a specific series.

Even if we have had to re-buy a lot of books, it is nice knowing that (assuming Amazon doesn't die) this is the last time we have to pay for a specific book. This is a real problem, over the years I have bought certain series (like Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series and W.E.B. Griffin's Brotherhood of War) at least three times. Books get wet, lost, etc.

The challenge is at
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Day 8: Technology

30 day photo challenge, day eight: technology. Also a reminder it is time to order new patch cords O_o

This is actually a router, not a cable modem. The coaxial cable is used to provide networking to the cable boxes. Unlike Comcrap, FIOS cable boxes pick up their networking through the broadband router. Using coaxial means not having to run two cables to each set top box. 

The challenge is at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 15: My shoes

30 day photo challenge, day 15: My Shoes. Those are Skecher Shape Ups. Some people complain that they aren't stable enough for working out, but they are incredibly comfortable for daily wear. 

The challenge is at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 13: From a Distance

30 day photo challenge, day 13: from a distance. PJ and Ivette goofing around with balloons, one of PJs autistic routine things. 

The challenge is at

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 12: closeup

30 day photo challenge, day 12: closeup. This is the ball pen assembly on a Pilot Precise V5 RT pen, shot at 10x with a Celestron USB microscope. I actually got a shot at 150x but it was nearly impossible to get it sharp unless I spent half a day building some kind of jury-rig to hold the pen and microscope just right. The microscope comes with a mount that is pretty much worthless, so most of the times you want to use it handheld (OK for 10x, pain in the ass for 150x). 

The challenge is at

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 11: something fun

30 day photo challenge, day 11: something fun. Another attempt at messing with my camera: shooting bright objects on top of a black glass shelf, right by a black plastic console. This was a lot simpler than my experiments with the right camera settings for our gray cat, and this time the flash actually worked, HDR did not give me a better result. 

Those three games are all 100+ hours of pure fun. Borderlands is just plain dumb fun, both in single user and co-op. Tiger Woods 12 is not the best in the series, but it is the first time the Masters is included in the franchise so it was well worth it. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood was AWESOME. 

The challenge is at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 9: faceless self-portrait

30 day photo challenge, day nine: faceless self-portrait. Protip: don't shoot yourself in a mirror, instead use the mirror to see your camera's LCD, you'll be able to aim much easier, and you will not have to deal with the distortion/cleanliness of the mirror. 

The challenge is at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 6: Childhood Memory

30 day photo challenge, day six(caught up!): A childhood memory. That book is THE bible of Puertorrican classic cuisine, and my mother had pretty much run through it (and mastered it) before I was even a teenager. My mom gave Ivette this copy as a gift many years ago. That book is available at Amazon:



The challenge is at

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day Five: Someone I love

30 day photo challenge, day five (yea, I am late): Someone I love. These two come as a pair, I can't just photo one. 

The challenge is at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day Four: My favorite color

30 day photo challenge, day four (yea, I am late): My favorite color. Also PJ's, but for different reasons. I wear a lot of khaki/tan, which is funny since that was our junior high uniform and I hated it with passion. 

The challenge is at

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day One: Self Portrait

30 day photo challenge, day one (yea, I am late): self portrait. This was taken with retro camera plus and is otherwise untouched. 

The challenge is at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mister Bubbles, NO!

IMG_0439 by Boo Radlus
IMG_0439, a photo by Boo Radlus on Flickr.

10 Reasons why Google will buy Research In Motion |

10 Reasons why Google will buy Research In Motion |

This is not the worst RIM-is-doomed-so-lets-fix-it article I have read this week. I love Blackberries, I still believe the Curve 8530 is superior to my current Samsung Intercept on every single thing except one: the screen.

The problem here is that buying RIM would give Google a whole basket of trouble, starting with the agreements that RIM has made with certain nation states to allow them to spy on their own people. Maybe Google decides to spin off the enterprise server element of the platform and leaves THAT company still running from Canada just to avoid this.

I would love to get another Blackberry as long as I don't get hit with the Blackberry Tax. Google's infrastructure is enormous and should be able to swallow support for BBM and provide email through the Gmail platform without any issues.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Upsell, Amazon Kindle Style

So I just finished a Kindle book, and this is what I saw as the last page:

They allow you to rate the book, which also includes the ability to send your rating as a Tweet or Facebook wall post, to which Amazon of course adds a link so others can find the book. On top of that they show you five other books that may interest you, based on the title, and a few more, based on the author. The only mistake in this page is that I own one of these books offered to me. I am sure that it won't take long before Amazon corrects this very small mistake and make this page 100% customized to each and every reader/customer.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Secret of Isla Pascua

From Truck Bearing Kibble:

I found this amazing comic by accident on reddit, without credits or any kind of attribution. Why the hell people do this? The OP wasn't trying to take credit for the cartoon, he simply posted it without any way of knowing who originally published it. Somebody else in the thread bothered to post a link to the original (this) cartoon, with the attribution intact, so at least people can discover the authors' other works.

Sadder still, was that somebody actually had to explain the joke in the headline.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

First sighting: Fiat/Chrysler 500

Finally got to see one of these out in the open. It is really short, it looks about the size of a classic Mini, a little longer than a Smart microcar. The interior follows the same styling of the BMW Mini (that is, it is fugly). Stylish in a way, but ugly. The back seat is microscopic.

That said, it used up about half as much space as a mid-size SUV. In terms of styling, in real life it looks much more like the classic 500, there are some subtle lines that are very hard to appreciate just by looking at photos. For example, from the front it is almost a dead ringer for the original.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011