Critical Section


Tuesday,  02/07/06  08:54 PM

Here's some wonderful sarcasm: The Jewish Street Explodes.  [ via Glenn Reynolds ]

I've been conducting an unintended stress test on Aperio's image server.  Recently I posted high resolution photos from NASA of Virtual Earth and the Galactic center.  These high res images are located on one of Aperio's servers, and are being served by Aperio's ImageServer software.  A Flash-based thin client displays the image incrementally, enabling rapid panning and zooming throughout the entire image.  Anyway, I've been getting more and more links to these images, and in the past day the traffic has really built up.  As people are panning and zooming, the ImageServer is serving.  So far, so good.  In the last 24 hours the steady state has been 4200 requests per hour, for 800MB of data.  Respond time hasn't suffered despite a large number of concurrent users.  So thanks everyone for helping us test :)

VisitorvilleNow I need Visitorville, "an application that takes a website's traffic information and renders it as a Sim-City-like world, where each page in a site is a building, and visitors appear as human avatars that travel to and fro..."  Now that would be cool.  Useless, too.

Spirit rovesThis sounds excellent: One Giant Leap to IMAX.  "After gliding 100 million miles and plopping on the red planet's surface inside a giant puffball, the robot Spirit unfolds, then basks in sunlight like an origami bird.  Back on Earth, a NASA control room is jammed with scientists.  They alternately cringe, calculate and cheer while Spirit and its younger sibling, Opportunity, meander on Mars and snap photos like bug-eyed robot tourists.  And that's just the first 20 minutes.  An eye-popping documentary about NASA's Mars Rovers is about to hit IMAX screens."  That's so excellent!

If you're a regular reader, you know I like Titan.  (In fact, I plan to visit Titan :)  Now BBC reports Titan moon occupies 'sweet spot'.  "Earth and Saturn's moon Titan show striking similarities because both occupy 'sweet spots' in our Solar System, researchers have said.  Many processes that occur on Earth also take place on this moon, say scientists participating in the US-European Cassini-Huygens mission.  'Titan is perhaps the most Earth-like place in the Solar System other than Earth, in terms of the balance of processes,' says Jonathan Lunine, of the University of Arizona, US, who is an interdisciplinary scientist for Cassini-Huygens."  [ via Slashdot ]

There is even some conjecture that there could be life on Titan.  "People talk about Titan and astrobiology all the time, but it tends to be Titan as the laboratory for the pre-biotic Earth.  It's got nitrogen, it's got organic chemistry.  We've known that for a long time, and that was a large part of the motivation for sending these missions, Cassini and Huygens, to examine the pre-biotic chemistry...  But people haven't talked much about the idea that something might be living on Titan today.  I think mostly because it's so cold there, and chemical reactions just proceed too slowly.  But Titan turns out to be an exceedingly active planet."  Wow, now that would be cool.  Pun intended :)

I know you had your calendar marked for the SpaceX launch tomorrow, right?  Well, it has been delayed a little bit more, with a test Thursday and the actual launch on Friday.  Third time's a charm!

[ Later: Kimbal Musk is posting from Kwajalein again!  The best way to follow the launch, blow by blow... ]

The IT CrowdCory Doctorow noted a new sitcom called The IT Crowd.  I downloaded the first two episodes with Bittorrent, and man, is it funny.  I mean Office Space funny.  I don't know if it will have wide enough appeal to succeed - somehow I don't think Shirley would think it is funny, or my Mom - but it definitely has the Geek Vote.

Apparently Google is talking to Dell about distribution.  I don't really understand this, unless, as Jakob Nielson notes, it has to do with the power of defaults.  Anyone can use Google, and anyone can install the Google toolbar.  So why would Google pay Dell to do it for them?  Not clear.  Seems like old school thinking to me.

OTOH remember when the Netscape home page was the most visited page on the web?

Ottmar Liebert considers David Byrne's regarding Self and Brain.  "From observation it seems to me that the brain craves order.  The brain will do anything to achieve order, including believing in something - just to be done with it.  The brain thinks that believing something is efficient since a problem is solved - or rather filed away."  I think that's right, it certainly describes my brain...

 

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