Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
The animated videos of nationwide traffic are amazing.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
I haven't tried this yet, but there's supposedly a law? FCC regulation? that cable providers must give you a set top box with firewire output? Here is a forum about hooking up a Mac.
I also want to try this: MPEG Streamclip to "open most movie formats including MPEG files or transport streams; play them at full screen; edit them with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Trim; set In/Out points and convert them into muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Toast 6 or 7, and used with many other applications or devices."
And if you decide to start your own TV station someday and need programming, here are some "classic" public domain shows that you can usuall buy for a dollar or so at Target or Dollar Tree :) Also, don't forget archive.org for your programming needs.
I don't think these are churches I'd be attracted to, but since one of them is in Visalia I thought I would post the links:
If you are interested in such things, one of Jakob Nielsen's alertbox columns talks about VW and BMW user interface problems. The BMW idrive interface took a lot of heat.
These folks did a three-way usability test: BMW idrive, Audi MMI, and the Jaguar touch screen.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
He goes on to write ficticious reviews of Dijkstra's "goto considered harmful", Codd's "relational model of data", Turing, Shannon, Hoare, and Rivest-Shamir-Adelman's famous public key paper.
It looks like the Computer Society has it available without charge, but who knows for how long:
"We are sorry to inform you ..."
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Gladwell is speaking at the Blackboard conference (Bb world) at the end of February, and Friedman at the Campus of the Future conference in July, and Educause in October.
If you go back to my September posts, you can listen to talks by Gladwell and Friedman. I still like listening to Friedman better than reading his stuff.
There is a nice video of Friedman at lecturing at MIT in May 2005.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
In general, you can find "open courseware" from many places here.
You can also use MERLOT to search for material in your discipline.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Check out the graph at the end of this article (there's also good information about ETOPS).
Here's a fun great-circle mapper that also shows non-ETOPS areas. For example, here is HNL-LON.
Raskin's open letter to Truss appears in the July/August 2004 ACM Queue.
Some of Raskin's work is available on line: his one-page solar system, and his explanation of the Coanda Effect. The news release of his February 2005 death is online.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
- An article about the first transoceanic telegraph cables.
- Nice resources for paper prototyping user interfaces.
- Articles about open source telephony.
- An interesting talk about some of the first spy satellites,
- and an interesting talk about computational origami. Check out some of his paper creations.
And finally, since I am at LAX right now and people trying to get to Chicago are stranded, you can easily find operational information about commercial airports. For example,
gives you the infromation about Chicago O'Hare (ORD), and you can substitute your favorite airport codes in the URL. If you aren't up on your airport codes, here is a list.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
- Alan Lightman, "The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-century Science, Including the Original Papers"
- Rebecca Goldstein, "Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel"
- David Leavitt, "The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer"
You can watch the replay on booktv.org. Scroll down to the bottom to the last session of the day.
Those days are over! Here are the links:
IEEE Computer Society Style Guide (click on "Special Sections" near the top)
ACM Style Guide
Sunday, November 20, 2005
If you'a a manager and you try to motivate your developers the same way that you would like to be motivated, you're likely to fail. ...
If you're a developer, be aware that your manager might have your interests at heart more than you think. The phony-sounding "attaboy" or hokey award might be your manager's sincere attempt to motivate you in the way that your manager likes to be motivated.
McConnell's Table 11-1 is "Comparison of motivations for programmer analysts vs. managers and the general population". I highly recommend spending some time with that table. You can see it by going to Amazon, looking up the book, and doing a "search inside" for "Fitz". This link should take you straight to the book. I think this link will take you straight to Table 11-1, but Amazon might move it (I'm not sure if the URLs for Amazon searches are static).
Back to mission statements. One of the most famous is from the original Star Trek TV series (and updated for The Next Generation):
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
In his amusing book All I really need to know I learned from watching Star Trek, Dave Marinaccio explains mission statements (you can Seach Inside for "mission statement" on Amazon):
Crew members of the Starship Enterprise know exactly what they are supposed to do. Suppose you are the dumbest person on the ship. How long do you think the mission will last? Five years? Very good. And suppose you encountered a strange new world? What should you do? Expore it, perhaps. There is even an emotion telling you how you should go about exploring it. Boldly.
He goes on to relate that to corporate/organization mission statements.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
"The biggest mistake the labels are making is, they're letting their lawyers make technical decisions. Lawyers don't have any better understanding of technology than a cow does algebra," Leigh said. "They insist on chasing this white whale."
Friday, November 18, 2005
You can listen to a BBC Radio show about them here and read an article from Salon.
Or, let your mind wander and listen to digit after digit on archive.org, here or here.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Kuperman, B. A., Brodley, C. E., Ozdoganoglu, H., Vijaykumar, T. N., and Jalote, A. 2005. Detection and prevention of stack buffer overflow attacks. Commun. ACM 48, 11 (Nov. 2005), 50-56. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1096000.1096004
Colwell also has an amusing article about giving presenations: Bob Colwell. "Presentation Lessons from Comedians," Computer, vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 10-13, September, 2005. If you can't access the article click on this link for a free copy. (Same note applies for Fresno State students).
Mark R. Hamilton writes about why is it that the people immediately above us in the org chart are idiots? Are they really? See "Two rules for communication."
Sunday, November 13, 2005
If you decide you want to own some space artifacts, collectSpace is for you.
Friday, November 11, 2005
"The subconscious mind of the consumer (and how to reach it)"
Thursday, November 10, 2005
"Why software fails", from the September 2005 issue of IEEE Spectrum. Take a look at their software hall of shame.
You can also read the last article in Simson Garfinkel's series in Wired. This one is "Microsoft's secret bug squasher" about using model checking and formal methods. For more about formal methods, see "The exterminators" in the September 2005 issue of IEEE Spectrum.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
- "History's Worst Software Bugs" includes the infamous Therac-25 and the more recent problems in Panama. Make sure you click on the "top 10" list.
- "Battling Bugs: A Digital Quagmire", including Dijstra's famous quote about testing.
IEEE Software article: "High-tech Disasters" about Katrina and New Orleans.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Zimbra is "an open source server and client technology for next-generation enterprise messaging and collaboration." That means it knows about POP, IMAP, iCal, and stuff like contacts lists. Their approach to mail reminds me of gmail.
If you are looking to replace your campus financial system you should watch the Kuali project.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Take a look at the table "Grade Level and Circulation of Current
The "grade level" numbers refer to US school years, so 12 = last year of
high school, 16 = last year of college.
Microsoft Word will compute readability scores for you. This article
about website accessibility describes some of the pluses and minues of
the MS Word readability function.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Speaking of webcasting, ePresence is an open source system that look a lot like commericial system such as Breeze.
more information is on
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Here is downtown Cayucos.
There are also surprising things in the satellite pictures you can get on the web.
I can't really see it, but supposedly this is a man and a dog in a park in Boston. This U2 is much easier to see.
Here is google's picture of Camp Keola. You can see the camp's boat docks very clearly in this picture from MSN.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
But, if you want to go directly to some of the most popular flight tracking sites, try
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Microsoft has free viewers for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: click here for Windows and here for Mac versions.
If you want to create documents, consider the free OpenOffice package. It runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Unix.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Here's what FirstMile does:
Our mission: To educate, advocate and focus the debate on the power and promise of big broadband in the United States.
Our vision: Every member of the American public has access to big broadband, the 21st century pathway to a better overall quality of life.
Monday, October 03, 2005
The general page for state-negotiated rates for air travel and rental cars is
The link straight to the airfares is:
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Also take a look at the Sierra Summit cam. One of the usual views is of the lake. Or, look at a webcam at Shaver Lake.
Or check Sierra Summit's current snow conditions.
A few miles south is the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park webcam, and the Hume Lake cams.
The interface is a buggy Java applet, sometimes the pages don't load, but the information is pretty interesting :)
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
- In 2001 SDM had a conference of software engineering pioneers (Wirth, Parnas, Fagan, Guttag, and more). You can watch streaming video for most of the talks. All are in English except for Parnas' talk!
- Dr. Dobb's has archived webcasts (audio and video) of talks by famous people such as Don Knuth, Marvin Minksky, ...
- Terry Winograd's HCI Seminar at Stanford has a talk every Friday. Here is the course homepage.
- It looks like the stuff that used to be on the Multi-University Research Laboratory (MURL) Seminar Series website is now on the the Research Channel.
- Listen to three experts on usability being interviewed on NPR's Science Friday. Don Norman and Henry Petroski and Michael Graves discuss the design of computers and potato peelers.
- An interesting and amusing article on building Apple's first computer mice. Some video clips of Douglas Engelbart demonstrating video conferencing and shared workspaces back in 1968. More Engelbart and mouse pictures
- Some talks from the 2005 Usenix Technical Conference. Here's a link directly to the mp3s.
- Clay Jenkinson does the weekly Thomas Jefferson
- The University of California has UCTV on line.
- The Commonwealth Club has
speakers from politics, entertainment, and lots of other areas.
- I'm not a big Prairie Home Companion fan but sometimes I listen to the archives of their annual "joke shows".
- NPR lets you listen to All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Science Friday sometimes has Computer Science and technology people as guests.
- You can also listen to NPR's Justice Talking and stay up on current events.
Friday, September 23, 2005
I was skimming http://compiling.blogspot.com and
was reminded of the postmodern essay generator:
At the end of that page it takes about
Alan Sokal's hoax article that was published.
In the one and only end-of-semester "convocation"
(like graduation) speech I've done I
referred to that. I also cited C.P. Snow's "two cultures".
Thursday, September 22, 2005
- The GNOME usability report.
- Why GNOME Hackers Should Care about Usability.
- Usability and Open Source Software.
- KDE Usability Project.
- GUI bloopers.
- Nancy Leveson's updated paper about the Therac-25.
- G.A. Miller's The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information.
- Vannevar Bush's famous article As We May Think.
You can also listen to an audio interview of Don Norman discussing "emotional design".
You can watch two brief clips from the video at http://www.billzarchy.com/clips/clips_apple_nav.htm.
I believe this was done in 1987 (pre-WWW) so it is remarkable.
The talk is called "Flying Linux" and was an invited presentation at the latest USENIX.org conference. The talk is wide-ranging (from real-time operating systems to digital fly by wire to ...) and is sure to include something that you will disagree with or be offended by. Nevertheless, the URLs are below.
One thing that I found interesting was his discussion of interfaces to vehicles like segways (http://www.segway.com/). Note that Segways don't have steering wheels (like cars) or reins (like horses -- or the Phelps tractor!). Here are the slides and movies and the talk.
Here is a link to the story and video:
The academic paper that started this discussion is: