One cool thing about my new Tesla is that they've moved much of the operation of the car into software, which means that, as time goes on, my car will actually improve, unlike almost any other car out there.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Sunday, October 18, 2020
My friend Ken Stanley and I created a song for the times, and posted it everywhere.
My wife told me it felt like the Apocalypse; I realized it was Tuesday and contacted my friend the ace songwriter Ken Stanley, and suggested that he create a song called "Apocalypse Tuesday", in the vein of the "Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society". A couple of hours later he had finished the song. I sang it and played guitar and bass on it.
Then Ken created a great video for it in the space of a couple of days! So here it is:
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
The only movie I’ve heard of that was actually filmed to use a high frame rate was Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man”. A kinda standard action movie starring Will Smith. And the thing is, it looked pretty cool! It bombed, but it looked cool. But I agree with Lee: digital is not celluloid, and we don’t need to be limited to what celluloid can do just because of movie audience nostalgia for a crappy motion format.
Containers. The new buzzword. The latest iteration of the desire to make applications invulnerable.
I've been working with Docker a lot recently. I have to admit: I'm basically offended by containers.
Containers simply gather a lot of technology that already exists into one place and let you use it all at once with yet another interface and set of commands. Some parts of virtualization, some parts of more advanced, kernel-based security features, all bundled into a single thing called a container.
The thing is, we could have made running apps on single unix machines much safer and easier to do. For instance, let's just admit that dynamic libraries were a bad idea. They were meant to save space when hard disk space and RAM were expensive, but the price was library/DLL hell. We don't need to deal with this anymore. One time I begged my manager to let me statically link the older version of OpenSSL to a program. It would save so much time and effort on the customer's side to not have to install our antiquated version of OpenSSL themselves, but the manager didn't want the responsibility for having to issue new binaries if another "Heartbleed" was found. Fair enough. But boy, does that manager want to get us working with Docker! What? Now we're not going to just be responsible for our own binaries, we're going to be responsible for the entire OS installation in the container?
The entire premise for the series is that Spock has a previously unknown adopted human SISTER. Does that sound like a fanfic from a 15-year-old girl?
The first season is yet another trip into the “Spock’s Beard” universe.
The premise for the second season is that Spock (the real one) and his sister have to, um, save the universe. Yes, Mr. Spock is a really popular character. Does he really need to dominate yet another series?
I mean, I often think about writing sequels to my favorite tv episodes. Doesn’t everyone? What most people DON’T do is write original stories. I would think that’s what you pay actual writers to do.
Friday, February 15, 2019
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Monday, May 07, 2018
Thursday, December 07, 2017
I have a Pixel 2, and the Pixel Ear Buds, and I'm definitely of two minds about them. I think it's time Google put some serious money into design.
I don't like IOS, although I'm an Apple fan most ways, so an iPhone X is out of the question for me. Nevertheless, I wish my Pixel looked like that. I wish it was interesting looking in any way! It's just bland.
Bland wouldn't be so bad; the phone is, at least, small and smooth and pleasant to hold and use. And it looks OK. However, for some unknown reason, about a quarter of the back is covered in a chunk of extremely thin glass. Hey, it looks and feels kinda nice, but I had the phone not more than three days when it slid out of my pocket at a theater, not more than 15 inches off the carpeted floor, and shattered. Obviously you CANNOT use this phone without some kind of box around it, which completely destroys the nice look and feel of it. And this is a premium phone, most definitely in price. Why should I have to wrap my $700 phone in a cheap box just so that I can dare to take it somewhere?
And they've removed the analog headphone jack, which means to use my headphones I need to use a clumsy adapter. And the adapter/phone interface needs some work; the phone doesn't always recognize when the adapter is plugged in. That generally requires rebooting the phone. And it will take another clumsy and expensive adapter to be able to charge the phone while I'm playing music on it. Which isn't even out yet.
(BTW, wouldn't it make sense to have TWO USB-C jacks on the thing? Wouldn't that be unique among phones, a reasonable "premium" feature, and since the circuitry for the single port is already there, still save some space in the phone?)
I'm a musician; I really do want high fidelity sound from my device, and the lack of an analog headphone port means I must really use bluetooth, which has NO real hi-fi codecs available, at least not yet. Even the best of them, aptX, only promises "nearly CD quality sound".
Which brings me to the buds. They don't sound good. The bass is OK, but subtle high frequency stuff, like maracas, tend to disappear. I've certainly heard decent sounding bluetooth headphones; my old Sony SBH-50 sounds a lot better than these things. On the plus side, once you have them adjusted, they are quite comfortable and stay in your ears. But I'm not sure I want to live without noise cancellation in my headphones anymore. At least the touch controls work pretty well.
Google, I have to admit, you are making me look longingly at the iPhone X and the Samsung and LG phones. For a premium price I'd much rather see a premium design. I'm not sure how much I want to trade groovy looks and sound for the most up to date version of Android.