Graduate Materials Science programs — distance learning

I started taking graduate matsci courses several years ago at the UW via the Edge program, and also took some on campus. I have found it hard to continue though as the UW materials science school doesn’t have a deep schedule, and they have decommitted from the distance learning effort. So I am shopping for other programs.

Columbia’s program — CVN – Columbia Video Network — seems to be among the most complete with a full schedule of courses. And they offer a full MS degree via online. And you can start as a non-matriculated student. Florida has a program as well. And so does USC, tho the courses offered is a smaller slate than Columbia’s.

Stockli watering can replacements.

We have these plastic Stockli 7 liter watering cans that we love — but after years of use they are breaking down. I can’t find any US source for them which is a bummer. But these Dramm – Watering Cans seem to be an equivalent and are available widely. So we will give them a try — the 7L size are great for outdoor use — big enough to carry a lot of water, but not so big that they are unusable.

Home media server

Now that I have a PS3 I want to serve up photos etc to it. Trying to decide between all the choices out there:

* Google’s new media server
* Free Media Player Streams iTunes, Syncs Content, Converts Video for iPod, PSP and Xbox 360 – SimpleCenter
* WMP 11 of course
* One man’s guide to all the choices out there
* Eyeconnect seems to be liked on the Mac
* or Mediatomb

I have a TON of photos and I need something that will perform well, not clear which of these is the way to go. Time to start experimenting I gues

Summer 2008 Lopez to Anacortes Car Quotas

The WSDOT does a great job posting ferry schedules and making them available for cell phones. For some reason tho, the exact quotas for cars on each sailing are not online — you can get them in person at the ferry docks but no online presence. They are willing to email them to you tho, so here they are for Lopez this summer:

|_. Sailing |_. 6/22- 7/6 |_. 7/7 – 7/27 |_. 7/27 – 9/27 |

There are separate quotas for overheight vehicles, let me know if you need those.

Mark Anderson on Solving America’s Energy Crisis — get to all electric with nuclear then solar/wind

Strategic News Service Blog » Blog Archives » Solving America’s Energy Crisis — a reasonable approach. I heartily agree with the idea of getting to all electric as soon as possible. We need an Apollo-like program — we need the leadership to propose it and to get everyone focused on it. The whole country focused on the July 20 1969 Apollo landing and rallied around it — we can do the same around the date of the last tanker docking at our shores from overseas.

As I’ve mentioned to some people — there will never be a solar embargo, there will never be a solar cartel, the sun isn’t controlled by governments inimical to our interests, “peak solar” is billions of years away, and solar production economics are going to follow a Moore’s-Law-like curve. What is not to like?

Amazon Unbox rental — never again

Rented a flick on Amazon Unbox last night — it downloaded fine to my Tivo and it looked fine, but the 24 hour exploding limitation is beyond stupid. We regularly watch a movie on two nights running, half each night, but this is impossible with Unbox rentals thanks to the fact that the movie explodes in 24 hours. I can pay the same price and buy a movie off Tivo PPV and keep it forever. This unbox thing will be a failure until Amazon can get DRM straightened out.

Replacing my DVD player with a PS3

Spent the morning hooking up my birthday present — a PS3. Replacing my DVD player.

One major bummer is the PS3’s use of bluetooth for remote. While I appreciate an RF solution versus an IR solution, as the PS3 boards note, no universal remote will currently work with the PS3. So sigh, I have to keep yet another remote around. Bummer.

Also my AV receiver is a few years old and doesn’t support HDMI and so I have to use RGB + Digital Audio connectors. My AV receiver is in a tight cabinet and so I have to work largely blind plugging cables in, this was painful. HDMI would be nice for reduction of cables.

Solar cost competitive by 2015

Electricity Rates from Solar Cost Competitive by 2015 « Cooler Planet

Clean Edge, a research and publishing company focused on renewable technologies and the non-profit organization Co-op America released a report that states the cost of electricity derived from solar power will be on par with electricity derived from fossil fuels by 2015.

Awesome, this is certainly my bet. The amount of investment that has poured into solar technologies is going to pay off somehow. I don’t know which approach will win, but one of them will.