Look at the first half of this schedule:
Aug. 30 – vs. Navy (at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium)
Sept. 13 – Kent State
Sept. 20 – Virginia Tech
Sept. 27 – Cincinnati
Oct. 4 – at Maryland
Oct. 18 – Rutgers
Oct. 25 – at Penn State
You’d not be able to tell this team was in the Big10 based on this. The center of mass of this schedule is somewhere like Hagerstown, Maryland.
This guide to booting ubuntu on uefi hardware leaves me lost. I never thought I would pine for the days of the good old BIOS. Maybe I should go to the UEFI Summerfest, that sounds like a good time. Right up there with the “Root Canal Faire” and “Proctology Midnight Madness”.
So I’ve been acquiring and playing with 50-100 year old electrical lab instruments.
My latest is a reed-type frequency meter, I didn’t even know these things existed. Great admiration for the people who originally designed these things, a very clever little design. We tried a brief experiment to get it running today, but no response. We may not have been applying enough voltage, the wires in these things could probably handle 50+ amps.
I’ve also got this potentiometer, utterly crazy looking, and with controls and labels that are a mystery to me — terminals labeled E+ and E-, H and H1, L and L1, BA+, R, and a couple others. A big wonking selector switch that looks like it could transmit 50 amps, and a fine tuning gauge. I’ll be putting an ohmmeter on this thing to see what the hell is going on.
I’ve also got some more awesome potentiometers and voltmeters. As well as a variable capacitor. These things were built for the ages — massive wires, plenty of ventilation, solid wood and metal and bakelite construction. They are all amazingly beautiful.
I’m working to bond an arduino to some of these so I can use them for more mundane modern purposes. But they look great just sitting on the shelf.
In all my playing around with arduinos and raspberrypis, I haven’t really gotten into wearables. But for some reason this color sensor just seems totally cool. And then I get drawn to the lux sensor and the GPS module and accelerometer and well just about all of it. I don’t really have a great idea what to do with it — maybe tie it into OneBusAway and have something light up with the bus is near, time and gps wise?
Where am I going to buy $500 pens now? I’m devastated.
I hope they open a cupcake shop in the spot, we need more of those.
Great show last night, I feel very fortunate to have seen Prince in a small venue. A rocking show — just his current small backing band of 3 women on drums, bass, and guitar. Opened with a few classics, including a nice variant on “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man”. A lot of his new material. A nice cover of the Cars’ “Let’s Go” with a shout out to Boston. A really nice cover of “Crimson and Clover”. Along the way Prince was in great lead guitar form, and also picked up the bass at one point for a great solo.
He is a captivating performer. I’ve seen Jack White in a small venue and Buddy Guy, they both pour a lot of emotion into their guitar work, Prince is up there as well.
Everyone has written about forcing the stupid touchscreen down our throats, that annoys the heck out of me too. But maybe I can get used to it.
But moving beyond that, I just want to use a damn printer. There is nothing about printers on the home screen. When you type in “printers” it says it can’t find anything. Awesome. So I bring up the stupid f&*king charms (because menus and ribbons and taskbars weren’t good enough ways to start programs, let’s invent a whole new system, yay), choose Settings, choose “Change PC Settings”. Oh there is nothing called “printers” in this list either. OK click on devices and you can add a device, and then it tries and tries to search for devices. Meanwhile it is showing me a crappy list of devices I do have — great I have a “HL_DT_ST BD-RE WH08LS20″ installed, that is good to know. Oh and I have devices called “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” and “Send To OneNote 2013″. Where are those on my desk? Those are so much more important to me than my damn printer.
I know it isn’t cool and strategic to print anymore. But people still need to f&*king print. I eventually found a way to add a printer but don’t ask me where the hell I found it.
Oh and the arduino software won’t install on it, apparently the arduino board is not trusted. To install it, you have to boot into the secret system setup mode which you get to deep in the control panel, and choose to turn off driver signing enforcement. Except this super secret startup mode hangs on my brand new machine and I have to power cycle. That is great, you certainly don’t want the most active community of tinkerers using your operating system.
Oh and I am using with dual monitors — one plain old monitor and one touchscreen. DON’T DO THIS. It sounded like a great idea, keep the new interface off in one screen in its little ghetto, and run all my real apps on the other screen. Except the touch interface is horribly confused now — a touch on my touch screen moves the pointer on my non-touch screen.
Yes I am doing perhaps somewhat niche-y things but Windows used to be good at that, damn it. It would run on anything and let you do anything. Now it is just an OSX/iOS wannabe and not very good at that.
Not in a good mood.
What We See
What Minnesota Sees
So Minnesota fired Tubby
is pretty clear that the real problem lies within the Minnesota athletic program and community — failure to build facilities, failure to support program, etc:
That’s the truth. Gophers need to invest a lot of money to right the ship. I’m gone. Feel free to disagree.
You can get lost in Minneapolis. When the Gophers are good, everyone cares. When they’re not, they go away. That’s just how it is.
The Gophers need so many additional resources to compete with the best teams in the Big Ten and the country. Limited investment.
Pretty classic mediocre team problem. The institution thinks it is a premier program, and thinks it deserves premier people and premier results. The truth is different.
I have a need to collaborate on some complex documents and I am trying out Sphinx as the document build system. Plays nice with github, promises to play well with code (tho I haven’t really tried that out yet), uses reStructuredText for markup. I would have preferred that it used markdown (well, multimarkdown, I kind of need tables), but rST seems fine. Sphinx builds HTML, text, PDF, and a bunch of other output formats.
I also need some simple flowchart imagery and GraphViz seems like the way to go — auto generation of flowcharts, etc from simple text descriptions. Again plays nice with github, with my favorite text editor, etc.
For text editing I have moved to Sublime Text. I love bbedit but I do have the occasion to use a Windows machine and Sublime has versions for both OSX and Windows.
Oh and finally I occasionally need a more complex drawing. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus + Lekh Diagrams on the iPad seems to be a great combo. My drawing skills blow, I really like how Lekh Diagrams autocorrects my rectangles, triangles, circles, etc.
I liked Google Reader. It was a great way for me to keep up with content across a variety of interests — I had groups for college football, for tech, for books, for economics. I knew that I could always go to Reader and get caught up on a topic. As others have noted, it was probably the single Google product that I used more than anything.
Judging by Twitter reaction, a lot of other people liked Reader too, and in particular, use of Reader seemed to be biased towards the influentials in each of the disparate communities I followed. The leading college football writers were all saddened to see reader go. Leading tech writers. etc. “Marcelo”:http://blog.calbucci.com/2013/03/google-is-about-to-learn-tough-lesson.html says it well, Google just walked away from a product used disproportionately by influentials, and this seems like an ill-considered move. Most startups would kill for the audience that Google Reader had.
Of course Google isn’t really a startup any more, as this move demonstrates. Google is willing to walk away from customers to achieve some strategic goal. Google is willing to dump a product with users, to try to force people to more “strategic” products like Google+. Google prioritizes their competition with Facebook over user satisfaction. Google prioritizes the needs of advertisers, who probably never loved Reader, over the needs of users. It all seems a little arrogant and self-centered.
But no time for whining. Google owned Reader and they get to decide what to do with it. Twitter is fun but is no replacement for Reader — I didn’t have to wade thru a stream of gunk to get to content on Reader, and Reader never had the snark of Twitter — I like a certain amount of snark, but not all the time. I’ve moved initially on to Feedly which slurped up all my Reader groups and feed info nicely, seems relatively fast, is a lot more expressive that Google Reader. I’m not unhappy. Reader had been static so long, Google had really given up on it years ago, it was time to move on. As “others have noted”:http://corte.si/posts/socialmedia/rip-google-reader.html, Reader was probably hurting the market more than helping it, people can now move on to better solutions that are more user focused.
I worked for part of my career in the Personal Systems group at Microsoft. The Personal Systems group was full of great people, was a very successful business (MSDOS and Windows 3.x/95), and there was just a great vibe in the organization. I think I had a decent reputation as a manager and peer, but as they say “a rising tide lifts all boats”, and it was easy to seem smart and effective when I was part of a great team and business.
In early ’98 (I think), I moved over to the MSN group, Microsoft’s first major foray into online services. The joke inside Microsoft was that “moving into the MSN group caused 20 points of IQ to evaporate”, and I fared no better than anyone else. The group was dysfunctional, there were too many people without great product shipping experience, the strategy was unclear, the whole thing was just a cesspool. Ultimately I left Microsoft in large part due to my experience in this group — there was no coherent view of what the strategy should be (at every level of the company), and I was going to have spend years moving people out of the organization, which was not a challenge I wanted to take on.
I’ve been reading all the negative press around the “NCAA and Emmert”:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/sports/ncaafootball/calls-for-reform-grow-louder-for-ncaa-and-mark-emmert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& this week. The mishandling of the Miami case, Pete’s broadside against the NCAA, stupid amateurism decisions, etc. A lot of finger pointing at Emmert and calls for a change in leadership.
I have no idea if Emmert is a great guy or not, but he is in a broken system. The entire premise of the NCAA is wrong. Billions of dollars sloshing around in the system, flowing to the institutions and media companies and adults, and just a dribble flowing to the athletes. The system is doomed to failure, there is going to be leakage everywhere. As long as Emmert tries to maintain the system, he is going to look like an incompetent. If he really cares about the student athletes, he’d be wise to step outside the system and attack it.
On the heels of “B&N’s rumored step back from the Nook”:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/business/media/barnes-noble-weighs-its-nook-losses.html, I bet he is “more forlorn than ever”:http://theludwigs.com/2010/04/the-nook-dude-at-the-barnesnobles-looked-forlorn-today/.
This was an easy one to predict. Competing in consumer hardware against Apple (and Samsung), and with an undifferentiated product relative to the Kindle? The Nook was born with 2.5 strikes against it. Maybe there were ways that B&N could have succeeded — a device that made the retail experience better? That authors or publishers liked better than alternatives? — but competing head-to-head on hardware specs was doomed from the get-go. A lot of shareholder money wasted in direct spend on the Nook, and in opportunity cost as B&N chased this pipe dream and failed to innovate in their core business.
It will still be interesting to watch AMZN in this market. They will not be able to compete with Apple, Samsung on mainstream tablets. But they don’t necessarily need to, they can still be the best online retailer without making their own devices.
“15 of the stupidest items Jesse Jackson Jr, bought with embezzled funds”:http://www.ijreview.com/2013/02/37631-jesse-jackson-jr-pleads-guilty-to-living-off-of-campaign-money/ — Well I’ve never embezzled money, but I have certainly bought WAY stupider items than these. $9K on kid’s furniture? Seems downright sensible. A bunch of money on memorabilia? As someone who buys OSU tickets every year and has a closet full of OSU-themed clothing, what’s the problem?
For stupid, here is my personal list:
* A boat. Any boat. A moment’s purchase, and a lifetime of maintenance hassles.
* That whole life insurance policy I got fooled into buying at one point. Dumb. Combining financial instruments into one complicated hairball just confuses you, which is probably the seller’s intention.
* Every kitchen small appliance ever. The juicer, the bread machine, the rice cooker, the popcorn popper, etc. Used <6 times and then they clutter up some cabinet somewhere. I’ll make an exception for the toaster.
* That cool-sounding weekend trip at a charity auction. Which you never end up using. At least the money went to charity though.
* Antivirus software. Just don’t download sketchy crap.
* Any meal at “claim jumper”:http://www.claimjumper.com. Terrible food, and lots of it.
* The infamous “$100,000 couch”. Every MSFT employee in the 90s sold options to buy some household goods, and then lived to regret it 3-4 stock splits later when they realized that couch cost them $100K.
* Golf club membership. Seemed like a fine idea, but no one else in the family was excited, which I could have figured out earlier…
Thankfully I have ducked some stupid things:
* any vacation time share. whew.
* car lease. the last time i bought a car, they pushed me hard on this, telling me it was a huge win for me. so exactly why were they pushing it so hard?
* UPDATE: hot tub. Suggested by a friend, we’ve never bought one of these, and in fact filled one in at a house we bought. Never knew why we needed a really big Petri dish.
* “A Memory Of Light”:amazon by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. This series finally comes to end, about 6 books too late. Good to get to closure on the tale but I can’t recommend starting the series. The first 3-4 books were excellent but then the series meandered far too long.
* “Storm Prey”:amazon by John Sandford. A fine detective tale — a team commits a robbery at a hospital pharmacy and then have a falling out, with deaths resulting everywhere. No new ground broken here but a fun ride. An aside — I only picked this book up because it was on the “2 for $8″ hardback table at the local B&N. The only B&N purchase I’ve made in like 6 months, and I am their core market. There is no path to recovery for B&N.
* “Explosive Eighteen”:amazon by Janet Evanovich. My other $4 hardback. It is probably a mistake to pick up the 18th book in a series — my guess is that the high point of the series was probably back somewhere around book 4 or 5. Still, a lot of people must like these books since there are now 18. I thought it was trite, formulaic. Felt like the author spent a single afternoon writing it. I’m glad I spent only $4.
* “O Jerusalem”:amazon by Laurie R. King. I’ve only read a few of King’s Mary Russell series, they have all been very very good, as is this one. Wish I’d read another of these instead of the Evanovich.
* “A Manuscript of Ashes”:amazon by Antonio Munoz Molina. Tried to go highbrow but, well, boring.
So the new “Chromebook Pixel”:http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/02/chromebook-pixel/ is out, and it is an interesting move. Nice hardware, but expensive, and of course limited to whatever software runs on Chrome.
Being the “proud” owner of a Surface RT — another nice piece of hardware limited by its software — I’m not betting that this is going to be a big seller.
If I was Google, I would have built a Windows machine with great Google service integration and a Google/Chrome alternative to the new Win8 interface
* PC OEMs are not doing an amazing job on building machines, the field seems wide open
* One less thing to explain to users — it is a Windows machine, it runs all Windows software if you want to, no need to explain Chrome
* Probably easier to get wide distribution — it is just a great Windows machine
* Users have to deal with a new interface on Win8 anyway — the time is ripe to offer something that is different than Metro (and maybe supports the classic Windows look better)
* It would befuddle Microsoft. They can’t hate or attack a Windows machine.
I’ll never buy a Chromebook. I’d think about a great Windows PC with great Google integration.