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September 2014

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Odd Lots

  • From the "...And Then We Win" Department: Lulu is eliminating DRM on ebooks published through the site. (I was notified by email.)
  • The Adobe CS2 download link everybody's talking about (see my entry for January 10, 2013) is still wide-open. If it was indeed a mistake, you'd think they would have fixed it by now. New suggestion: They're arguing about it. New hope: They're really going to allow CS2's general use without charge.
  • I didn't get the art gene from my mother, but I did indeed enjoy the Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies. I still have my full drafting set in a drawer somewhere, replete with bow compasses, French curves, triangles, and so on. How many years will it be before nobody under 50 has any idea what those are? (Thanks to Jim Rittenhouse for the link.)
  • And while we're doing peculiar museums, check out this selection of implements from the International Spy Museum. I believe the surplus houses were selling CIA turd transmitters twenty or thirty years ago. Shoulda bought one when I could. As the late, great George M. Ewing would have said: "Forget it, Jeff. Nobody will pick that up."
  • Strange transmitters you want? From Bruce Baker comes a video link that no steampunker will want to miss: The annual fire-up of the only Alexanderson alternator left in the world, station SAQ in Sweden. From the sparks to the swinging meter needles, it's just like Frankenstein, only it's real--and sends Morse telegraphy at 100 KHz or so. No vacuum tubes, and I don't see any reason why it couldn't have been in operation in 1890.
  • Every wonder who was behind Information Unlimited? Here's the guy.
  • Here's more on how fructose messes with your brain. It's not just the number of calories. It's the chemical composition of those calories. Whoever says "a calorie is a calorie" is wrong, and probably has an agenda.
  • It's almost pointless to link to the first video ever made of a giant squid (since we won't see the whole thing until January 27) but Ars Technica has a background page that's worth reading. "Hello, beastie!"
  • The BMI is worse than worthless. But I told you that years ago.
  • Brand fanboys may have low self-esteem. Or they may just be tribalists. Or tribalists may be people with low self-esteem. No matter: Defend no brand but your own. Big Brands can damned well defend themselves.

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