Recent Software trials – Soluto, Splunk Python, Calculize, Keymando, timely.js, onswipe

* “Soluto”: Soluto seems right up my alley — focused on simple common frustrations that we all have, promises to save me time. Install is a breeze and I really like the super sparse interface — such a difference from the overcomplicated software from Norton, etc. The software feels very light and the interface reinforces the promise of simplicity. And it does seem to make tuning up boot time simple, it pretty accurately understood all my boot processes and gave me reasonable suggestions. It’s browser diagnosis was less helpful, it found very little in Chrome to improve, and it didn’t look at my firefox install at all. Not sure why. Anyway, worth a trial and I will be interested to see how they go. A challenge they will have is getting users to pay — solving my boot speed issues is nice, but I only need to do that once and I have no enduring reason to keep on running the software — and thus am not going to pay much for it. They need to figure out a way to deliver me value every day. The only guys in the utility space that have done this are the virus/malware protection guys, who have latched onto consumer fear (and probably stoke that fear).

* “Splunk Python interface”: Really curious to play with this (disclosure, Ignition is an investor in splunk). I hadn’t installed splunk in a while, installs super simply on Mac and Win. and wow what a firehose of info you get from Splunk about your system. Next up, tie to python and try to write some simple scripts. A lot to play with here.

* “Calculize”: Kind of like Matlab, in the browser. Might be useful. at times.

* “Keymando”: Love the idea of hotkey utilities but I always seem to drift away from them. Because I can never keep them in sync across all my machines. And so I will probably never install this. But noted here in case I try.

* “”: Rand likes it which is a good sign. If I cared about readership and impact of my tweets I think I would certainly give this a whirl.

* “Onswipe”: This seemed really cool, but I thought it was basically a wordpress theme. It isn’t tho, it grabs your wordpress data and puts it behidn a new url. and it seems to be dependent on categories which I don’t use. so I will wait.

UPDATE: nice simple tip from the Keymando guys — use Git or Dropbox to keep Keymando settings in sync across multiple machines. This is a simple obvious brilliant thing I should do in general for my work and home Macs.

Link cleanup

A bag of stuff I’ve read recently that was compelling:

* “Coffee as economic health indicator”: Yay Seattle! Contrast with…
* “World Class Orchestras”:
* “McKean’s Inversion”: Whatever you publicly espouse to be — you probably aren’t.
* “Wicked Problems”:
* “A one page explanation of the Higgs boson”:
* On the lighter side, “Bacon Ipsum”:

College football amateurism — time to go

Kirk Cousins, the returning MSU QB, got all kinds of kudos over the last week for his nice speech about what a privilege it is to play college football, but I am underwhelmed. As others point out — “Kirk Cousins and Privilege”: — Kirk is letting himself be used by the monied powers in the system to protect their interests. The schools, the NCAA, the media companies are making billions of dollars off of college sports, and throwing peanuts to the players. And the players don’t even have a voice in the system — maybe the players would vote to spend all the proceeds from their sports on non-revenue sports, on university facilities, on salaries for university staffers, etc — but shouldn’t they at least have a say? Kirk, being part of a football team at a good college is a great experience, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are being used.

Frank Deford says it well — “Frank Deford on amateurism”: The time has come to abandon the amateurism requirement for college athletes in the revenue sports. A family friend made this same argument to me today in an email, I am all for it.

Other college football reading today — “Bodog season win total odds”: (hattip @darrenrovell). OSU and Wisconsin both at 9. I’d take the over on both.

Books — Robopocalypse, Wild Cards, Leviathan Wakes, NPR list

* “Robopocalypse”:amazon by Daniel Wilson. Zombie robots rise up and attack humanity. Ok but many better zombie apocalypse books out there.
* “Wild Cards I”:amazon, Ed. George R. R. Martin. Noir-ish x-men, with the significant inclusion of all the unfortunate people with less-than-useful mutations — uncontrollable sliming, terrible disfigurements, lethal mutations. Obbviously a lot like it, since a jillion more books have followed. Just ok.
* “Leviathan Wakes”:amazon by James S. A. Corey. Solar-system-spanning conspiracies and war, fun stuff. No terribly new frontiers but quality space opera.

Oh and here is “NPR’s list”: of the top 100 SF/Fantasy books or series. Can’t agree with it all but a not unreasonable reading list.