I know — it’s inconvenient to configure, but you’ll be glad that you did, when you’re no longer bothered by those awful pop-ups.
Tom Tryniski has an unusual hobby. Since 1999, he’s been scanning in old newspapers, converting the scanned images to ASCII text, and indexing that text. According to Wikipedia, “As of September 2014, the site has over 28 million newspaper pages.” Tom has done this all by himself.
Tom’s website home page opens with a brief animated movie (a website design no-no), but his site’s wealth of data is worth the delay. Its search function is excellent. I was able to quickly find decades-old information about old friends from New York state.
1. Each time you sit down to write, remind yourself of this sobering fact: “nobody has to read this”.
5. Don’t follow “we’re different because…” with clichés about “adding value” and “innovative solutions”.
and winds down with
48. Ruthlessly delete everything that’s not important to your reader (even if it’s important to you or the person who briefed you).
I agree with these tips. Although Doris and Bertie target a business audience, these suggestions could have been written by George Orwell or Winston Churchill, who spoke clearly to everyone. These masters expressed candor, rationality, and resolve, and sprinkled in just enough humor to keep us coming back for more.
The latest celebrities’ accounts breaches underline these truths:
The “cloud” is an innocent-sounding word for what is in fact a computer that’s owned by someone else.
Security questions — used to reset an account’s forgotten password — are mere guessable passwords. Paris Hilton’s account was compromised because her security question was “What’s your pet’s name?”; her dog’s name is easily found by searching the web.
Use two-factor authentication when available
Use a unique password on each account
Use a password management program. I like Keepass.
I’m guessing that access was gained via Apple iCloud password reset procedures. It’s been done before.
I listen to loads of pre-recorded and live podcasts on my Android phone. Most are technical; others are about ideas, current events, science, and sports. Duration varies from a few minutes to a few hours. My go-to podcast listening app is Tunein. It works fine 9 times out of 10. Occasionally, though, I’m unable to stream the entire pre-recorded podcast file.
Usually the problem seems to reside with the podcast server, but sometimes the IP transport is at fault. Regardless, I then resort to plan B: I first download and save the mp3 file, then use the Winamp or VLC app to listen to the downloaded file. On my (2.3.4 Gingerbread) Android phone, both players are more flexible than Android’s built-in sound player. Winamp works well, but it may no longer be available.
Are you ever late for appointments? When traveling to rendezvous with someone, you may now use Glympse.com to keep your friend or business contact apprised of your geographical progress. Portable apps for IOS, Android, and Windows Phone smartphones are available.
Your friend / business contact (and no one else) will be able to track you from any Internet-connected web browser as you approach your rendezvous point. You can also periodically securely share your location via email, SMS text messaging, Facebook, or Twitter.
A new site, If This Then That (https://ifttt.com), has begun to offer their beta version of an interesting service. IFTTT (pronounced “Gift” without the G) will do something (defined by you) when a web-based event (also defined by you) occurs. My first impression is that it’s a very high-level simple scripting language with hooks across the web and an easy-to-use graphical programming interface. The creator, Linden Tibbets, describes IFTTT.
IFTTT calls user-defined functions “Recipes”. The This part of a Recipe is a Trigger. Some example Triggers are “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook” or “I check in on Foursquare.” Actions can be triggered by events within an impressive selection of domains (which IFTTT calls Channels): stocks, weather, ESPN, Craigslist, social networking sites, Twitter, Youtube . . . 44 in all.
In a few seconds I created a recipe that sends my cell phone a text message when it’s raining in my zip code. They suggest a recipe that will send me a text message when tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain, which is probably more sensible. Another recipe that interests me is “Email me when a new version of WordPress is released”.
For a beta product, IFTTT looks very polished. Its account creation process was painless and creating a recipe was easy. Give it a try.
Just as Planefinder.com finds planes in flight, Shipfinder.co finds ships, using ships’ AIS (Automatic Identification System) signals. A ship’s AIS signal contains its identification, position, course, and speed.
All passenger vessels and all ships of any kind over 300 tons must be equipped with AIS transponders.
This is a neat side-effect of a new aircraft-to-aircraft airspace separation and aircrew situational awareness system (“ADS-B”, short for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) that’s being deployed throughout the fleet of U.S. aircraft: How planefinder works. From your smartphone, you can track the progress of any suitably equipped plane while it’s in flight.
ADS-B will provide continuously updated air traffic and weather information to pilots. The FAA has mandated that ADS-B transceivers be installed on most aircraft before 2020. The existing ground-based radar system will become a backup to ADS-B. Here’s the FAA’s description of ADS-B:
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is FAA’s satellite-based successor to radar. ADS-B makes use of GPS technology to determine and share precise aircraft location information, and streams additional flight information to the cockpits of properly equipped aircraft.
I confess: I’m a terrible chess player. Despite my lack of skill I like the game and in the days of 8-bit microprocessors I closely followed the progress of chess-playing programs. Peter Jennings’ Microchess (“the first game program sold for home computers”) on my Commodore PET (1 MHz 8-bit 6502 CPU and 8 Kilobytes of memory) consistently beat me, so I respected Microchess. I’m pleased as punch to have just found the Microchess 6502 Assembler source code on line! I loved reading about the birth and growth of Microchess on Peter’s Microchess page:
I love programming. It is almost impossible to explain the joy of writing software to someone who has not experienced it.
First and foremost, it is an act of creation. From a simple thought, and the arrangement of a few words and symbols, a reality is created that did not exist before.
No other activity can keep you in the moment the way that writing software can. At each step, one hundred percent of your concentration is applied to the solving of the current problem. Time disappears.
A well written program is a work of art. From conception to final presentation, the activity is that of an artist – the embodiment of a dream world expressed as an interactive experience for the user.
This is the way I have always felt about programming. And in particular, from its early stages, I thought of Microchess as my work of art.
I agree 100 percent.
Today, www.chess.com hosts multiple chess games and provides an online venue where you can play chess against their computer or against players from novice to grandmaster. It also provides free chess apps for iPhone, Android, Java, and Palm mobile phones.
News outlets are creating anonymous drop boxes through which sources may communicate with reporters without fear that the source will be revealed. The newly created New Yorker Strongbox will protect sources from eavsedropping by Obama’s DOJ — or anyone else. If the source chooses, by using the New Yorker Strongbox, he/she may converse anonymously with a New Yorker reporter via email. It’s designed by Aaron Swartz, similar to github’s Deaddrop.
You will be assigned a randomly generated and unique code name as part of the process. If a writer or editor at The New Yorker wants to contact you about the information you have submitted, he or she will leave a message for you in Strongbox. These messages are the only way we will be able to reach you, and this message can only be accessed using your code name.