frosty canadian vista

So my friend Snuffy passed a link along about a Microsoft event going on in the city to promote Vista, so I strolled up there today over lunch to have a look at the setup. They had it stocked with shiny gadgets and very Canadian looking PR folks sporting Vista toques and singing the MS theme song. There were heaters inside but I was glad to have mitts.

Anyway standard marketing speak was going on, the ice crapper was pretty much fantastic, and there was an MS Office(R) compatible toaster on site. I missed out on the free hot chocolate however, so I supplemented with a barley and hops related approach to the rest of the afternoon. More pics yonder.


fourty five nanometers is like uh, pretty small

Intel does a press release about shiny new chips and decides to give some website camera clearance and a guided tour of their research facilities, Q and A provided by Director of Process Architecture and Integration and Senior Fellow Mark Bohr. Cool, great this should be interesting. Oh, wait, what the hell Arstechnica? You were moving so Scoble gets the interview?

I mean, moving sucks and all but I really would have liked to have heard some more detailed questions given the setting. This is just like that time the dude at Tim Hortons left the crullers defenseless while he went to get a roll of nickels to make change only I couldn't decide if I wanted glazed or not and he caught me behind the counter trying to make up my mind. Another fantastic opportunity ... wasted due to bad planning.

Grumble grumble grumbling.


why i read english russia

Besides the fact that something cool does seem to happen daily on one sixth the Earth's surface, cool stuff happened there back in the day too. Yesterdays colour photos circa ~1900 are an interesting glimpse into the past. I'm pretty sure I failed history but I often find stuff like this fascinating.

This photographers stuff washed up on my screen once before when I stumbled onto an LOC archive of middle America a while back. For more of the Russia series surf this way. For a view of Toronto through the way back machine take a look at this unfortunately named but conveniently world readable listing of various city archive photos. For less sifting and more detail there are more conventional sites.

Anyway English Russia is great stuff, read early, and read often. In my suggested reading department I've re-tuned my sidebar from dugg stories to shared items in Google Reader. Hopefully this will provide a more interesting overview of what I'm eyeballing these days. For the rest of the stuff I try to read consistently see my OPML (c'mon 'blogroll' just sounds stupid).


the future conan?

A number of interested parties seem to think its somehow their business what my plans for the days ahead might include. To these nosy types I say sod off! However it has been my experience that people don't just up and sod off when you tell them to, so for the persistent folks out there who want to know what I'm doing with my time these days scroll down and browse my calendar. I try to keep my work schedule (a rotating shift at a 24/7 datacenter aka "the cube") current at the very least, so check here if you need to reach me.


i think i have that same shirt

One of my favourite geek bloggers sporting some stylish gear and in fine company. I'm pretty sure some grandparent of mine put me in one of these once, hopefully I had the sense to remain unphotographed.


bitching about the news is useless ... i know

There needs to be a word for online publications that forgo linking to story sources or reference material they may have consulted prior to writing and just gratuitously self link instead. A word that simultaneously conveys the fundamental uselessness and the conspicuous air the practice generates.

Not only does it condescendingly suggest that the writer has more correctly assessed the source materials than the readers could themselves, it boarders on a silent claim to be the end all of salient facts.

I suppose ad-blocking software aside I am able to 'vote' with my page views, but for the average web surfer their valuable ad impressions have already been volunteered by the time they realize the article sucks. I wonder how long before my browser as an info broker can be configured to disregard information that does not meet my licensing preference? How long before my websearches can be customized based on the openness of the data sought?


On an unrelated note, I found some interesting reading material today starting with a U of T project which uses programmable GPUs for real time computer vision processing. Surfing around there a bit led me to a fairly readable overview of wavelets, and a brief description of chirplets, signal processing techniques used in mars rovers, image formats, and digital cinema. Read up!


ottawa in twenty four hours

So my dad called me up recently to say he would be in Ottawa for a few days, and work being a sucking vortex of evil decided to give me just one day off to head up there. I snagged a cheap ride at the island (nuts to the whiners, an airport downtown is a mighty convenience) and grabbed a quick visit and a tour of the office which was pretty cool. The liquid cooled gravity meter was pretty wild looking, they keep it in a tea cosy though which adds an odd grandmotherly look. Good little visit before he's off to work in a Peruvian summer for another couple months, try not to have too much fun

I had a few hours to roll around the city while he straightened out some last minute stuff at work and while I was looking around I managed to photograph the elusive Canadian crackspider! Fortunately I kept my cool having been previously alerted to the dangers of the crackspider and how to avoid becoming its bitch by my well prepared friend Anneveld, thanks Anne.


we live in the future now

I read it on the internets so it must be true. You can add your set top box and your smartphone to the list of places to watch for botnet drones this year. That aside the DVB-T transmitter talk is pretty good, and includes a nice overview of MPEG encoding for those who are interested.

It reminded me of a couple things I wanna see more of this year, open hardware accelerated video encoding and software radio. I want commodity FPGA gadgets dammit, and I want robot legs!

Also, I miss the Open Graphics Project ... where'd you go?

Update: the Open Graphics Project is back online, but it hasn't been updated since last year.