Sunday, December 27, 2015

Windows 10 - finally fixed?

Do you want to build a snowman? Again

Disney makes a Frozen karaoke machine.

Great, right? Because parents can't have possibly heard their kids sing songs from that movie enough yet.

The ghost of future perfect subjunctive

Things I learned lately - 27 Dec

  • In 1912, the area I live in, currently known as Montgomery, was called Shouldice Terrace. It was outside of Calgary's city limits.
  • A total of 10,588 unaccompanied children crossed the border from Mexico into the US in October and November 2015
  • Alberta is the only province in the country where baby boomers are outnumbered by their children.
  • When Europeans were first introduced to the potato, they were afraid to eat it because it was closely related to the nightshade plant. So instead they used it as a decorative garden plant.
  • Except for Mexico, most of Montana's immigrants come from Canada.
  • There's a heavy metal band called Okilly Dokilly. The members are all dressed like Ned Flanders.
  • 6% of Americans believe the moon landings were faked.
  • You can get up close and personal with snakes in Tokyo at the Snake Center. None are dangerous.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


No posting pics of toys!

Folks, this is yet another blatant example of why the DMCA is a farce. Megacorporations can arbitrarily issue take-down notices that are marginally legal at best and nothing will ever come of it. The world was promised that people would not be permitted to abuse the DMCA when it was crafted. Now we know this is far from the truth. Big E is exempt from abusing the big law because they have the big money to hire the big lawyers. They flaunt their power with impunity.

But seriously. We can't post a personal picture of a toy seen (and purchased!) at a store because it offends the house of mouse? 'Violated copyright'? How exactly?

One word - pathetic.

Pixar oops

Shakespeare did 'your momma' first

From Titus Andronicus.

No more wasting food in French supermarkets

In France, supermarkets will now give away food that would otherwise have been thrown out.

French MPs, from across the political spectrum, voted unanimously to force supermarkets to give away unsold food that has reached its sell-by date. Shops will be banned from destroying food to prevent it being distributed.

The next step is to persuade EU member states to introduce similar legislation, and eventually, around the world.

Things I learned lately - 19 Dec

  • The two largest urban parks in Canada are in Calgary, Fish Creek Provincial Park and Nose Hill Park.
  • Cats can't focus on anything closer to them than 30cm.
  • India will soon be building 27 solar parks at a combined 18.5GW capacity. For comparison, Alberta's total generating capacity is 16.2GW.
  • The tallest skyscraper in the world was always an American building until 1996, when the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur took the honour.
  • A guy working for Kodak actually invented the digital camera. But Kodak didn't want to sell it, so all they got out of it was earning money off the patent until 2007. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
  • All table salt is sea salt. Mined salt just happens to come from long buried, evaporated, prehistoric seas. ~NdGT
  • The world's longest commercial airline flight is from Dubai to Panama City. It's 17 hours and 35 minutes long.
  • The long, skinny sticks of butter sold in eastern North America are called Elgins (named after the machine) and the shorter, fatter blocks sold out west are called Western Stubbies.
  • The Beatles' concert at Shea Stadium in 1965 marked the beginning of the stadium concert culture.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Up-goers that burn fire water!

This Minute Physics video is not just good because it explains how to get to space, but it's also quite funny due to its forced use of only the most common 1000 words English people use most.

That's not one thousand, that's ten hundred.

Also.... fire water!

Painted ladies make chameleon

Where's my snow?

Hello Canada Post? Your parcel tracking says you delivered snow to my address. Clearly I can see that you did not deliver any snow.

CP: Uh, oh, you're right. Sorry. Our note here says you weren't home to sign for the snow, so the driver sent it to the postal outlet. You can pick it up in Banff tomorrow after 1pm.

That seems like a long way to go to get my snow.

CP:Do you want the snow, or not? By the way, there is customs and duties outstanding on the snow. You'll need to pay that when you get the snow.

Painted ladies together making a frog

Things I learned lately - 12 Dec

  • In Berlin, there's an Uber for escorts, called Peppr.
  • Uruguay gets 94.5% of its electricity from renewables.
  • Hans Island, which sits in the Kennedy Channel separating Canada from Greenland, is in dispute between Canada and Denmark. The militaries of both countries periodically visit to remove the other guy’s flag and leave a bottle of Danish schnapps or Canadian whisky. Under the terms of a 2005 agreement, both countries have agreed to inform the other before they visit.
  • There are only 29 McDonald's in North Dakota. There are 1,492 in California. China and Japan have more, with 2,142 and 3,093 respectively. But the entire US has 14,339.
  • Almond milk only has 1/8th the amount of protein as cow's milk.
  • The city judged 'most livable' in 2015 is Melbourne.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

On purpose?

Cars on the Lanes

Music from cars passing by a point in space and time. Genius. The artist's description:

"Since everything moves, and every moving pattern can be read as numbers or notes, then everything contains music. When we cross this with the human spirit, and combine those patterns in a pleasant way, we have the chance to transform them in art. That's the idea behind this project. On this first test, I used cars on a New York freeway, and choose small loops from several minutes of footage, picking special moments when the elements can be read as interesting musical phrases. No speed changes. No effects whatsoever. Just plain trial and error. Different from the original Birds on the Wires video, I will not add my own arrangement over the captured pattern. The arrangement will come from the patterns themselves. Several ones, layered and combined, with no interference, but the curation process."

So there

Things I learned lately - 5 Dec

  • Deutsche Bank is considering replacing traditional passwords with biometric security that measures 50 different factors including location data, how you hold your phone, thumbprint technology, and facial recognition.
  • If you want to get back a tab you closed, just press "Control" (or "Command" on Mac), plus "Shift," plus "T," and it will magically reappear.
  • In Google Chrome, if you press "S" while you right click on an image it will do a reverse Google search. That means you'll be able to see where that photo is and where it potentially originated.
  • If you want to play a trick on someone, and send them a fake screenshot of something that never existed, there's an easy way in Chrome. First you bring up the console by pressing "F12."

Then you enter: document.designMode = "on"
After this, you can edit any of the text that appears on the screen.

  • Quickly clear your cache by pressing "Control," plus "Shift," plus "R." This will also refresh your page.
  • The biggest issue with testing the self-driving cars is that they are programmed to drive perfectly. A self-driving car doesn't know how to deal with human behaviour, such as cars at a 4-way stop that won't come to a complete stop. The cars need to learn human behaviour and a little bit of aggressiveness to get by.
  • Only 14% of Windows 10 users are using Microsoft's new Edge browser. It peaked at 20%.
  • The New York subway system has 468 stations. There are 24 lines with 660 miles of track.