31 July 2012

On returning

We took a vacation to Costa Rica. Our return trip was one of contrasts. I’m writing about the return trip first, to get the unpleasantness over with. That and I have over 6GB of photos to work through, so the rest might take a while… Costa Rica’s San Juan international airport is the most mellow and relaxing airport I’ve visited. After paying the exit taxes and collecting our boarding passes, we passed through security screening quickly and easily. ... Read more

19 July 2012

A few words for global warming skeptics

[Updated 2013-06-26.] If you’re still considering yourself a ‘global warming skeptic’ in 2012, then we need to talk. Let’s start off by looking at Wikipedia’s summary of scientific opinion on climate change, and look at the list of statements by dissenting organizations. It notes that since 2007, no national or international scientific body has made any statement rejecting the reality of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. The last organization to express ‘skepticism’? ... Read more

17 July 2012

Et tu, Brewtus?

Walked downstairs to work this morning—I love home office—and discovered to my dismay that the espresso machine hadn’t switched on. Because it takes a while to warm up, I keep it on a timer switch. The timer had worked, but investigation revealed that the main power switch had failed due to about 7 years of thermal stress. Fortunately, I was prepared. When the switch started to feel “soft” a couple of weeks ago, I logged on to eBay and found a random company in China selling identical replacement neon-lit 240V/15A rated panel switches. ... Read more

15 June 2012

Nokia, then and now

“Our fundamental belief is we would have difficulty differentiating. The commoditization risk was very high.” — Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, 2011. “We need to compete with Android aggressively. The low-end price point war is an important part of that.” — Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, 2012. That’s right — Android would have be a race to the bottom, so Elop decided to go with an OS nobody wants and try and dig to the bottom even faster. ... Read more

11 June 2012

Uncommon common knowledge

Inspired by a Reddit thread, here’s a list of things I’ve learned over the years which I think everyone should know. Canceling or stopping a lost check is expensive, around $20 per check. Also, it doesn’t actually prevent the check from being cashed — if the check is cashed quickly (in under 24 hours), or slowly enough (not cashed for 6 months), it goes through anyway. Therefore, if you lose your checkbook, you are basically screwed. ... Read more

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