September 21st, 2010

Odd Lots

  • Two people have so far written to request that I post photos of my rash. Ummm, no. You'd barf. And most of us take far too many trips to Three Mile Island already these days, Web discussion being what it is.
  • And no, I'm not getting better. In fact, I may still be getting worse. But I do think it's time to dump what's in the Odd Lots file:
  • While I wait patiently for more sunspots (and thus better ionospheric conditions for long skip) scientists tell me that I may have to do without them for awhile. (This from a link in a post with more graphs and links at WUWT.) The last time I had a really good antenna during a really good solar maximum was 1980.
  • Intel is doing with its CPUs what IBM did with its mainframe processors in the 1960s: Disabling CPU features (in IBM's case, it may have been as simple as inserting NOPs into the microcode) and then offering to turn them back on for a fee. (In this case, $50.) This is one of those things that sounds good on paper, but may not work well, and will certainly not make them any friends. (Odds on how long it takes the hardware hacker community to provide a crack?)
  • PVC pipe fittings are wonderful big-boy tinkertoys, and come in any color you want as long as it's black or white. If you want to broaden your spectrum a little, here's how to permanently stain white PVC pipe any color you want.
  • The battle between portrait mode and landscape mode in the online magazine world may come down to simple economics: It costs more to lay out (or somehow code up) a digital file that reads well both ways. Between the lines, however, I sense an attempt to twist Apple's arm to cut their 33% cut of subscription revenue. Obnoxious question arises: How are iPad-targeted mags different from ambitious ad-supported bloggish Web-article sites like Wired, Slate, or Io9?
  • While driving to our HMO's Urgent Care facility the other day, I counted three MMDs (Medical Marijuana Dispensaries) on the eight-mile trip. Which means that Colorado Springs has a marijuana store every 2.7 miles. I guess we're not so conservative here after all.
  • One of the MMDs had a big banner across the storefront reading, "ICE CREAM!" Somehow I don't think it's French Vanilla.
  • Pertinent to both of the above: The kettle is trying hard to prevent legalization of...the pot.
  • It's not the fat. It really is the fructose. (Thanks to David Stafford for the link.)
  • Last Tuesday night we spent a little dusk-and-evening time at Cottonwood Hot Springs in Buena Vista, Colorado, and I highly recommend it. Not as slick as Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, but for looking up at the stars while immersed in hot water, you can't beat it. (They keep lighting around the springs pools to an absolute minimum. Walk carefully if you value your toes.)
  • Do you still smoke? If cancer doesn't scare you enough, consider what it will do to your looks.
  • I moderate comments on Contra pretty harshly, but I have to say, a recent spam comment from an IP in Vietnam is a testament to something. Maybe automated translation: "The content on this publish is really a single of the top material that I've ever occur across. I love your article, I'll appear back to verify for new posts." Heh. No, you won't.