Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Released

Filed under: Software, Technology on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by scott | No Comments

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  The new 9.10 release of the Ubuntu operating system, codenamed Karmic Koala, is now officially available for mass consumption.

Ubuntu 9.10

http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/910features/

I’ve been a full time Ubuntu user for almost two years now, and after upgrading all of my computers at home to 9.10 this past weekend I have to say that this is without a doubt the best release yet.  The new Software Center is a great redesign and should make it much easier for new users to find and install software.  Also, the Ubuntu One cloud storage seems like it could be a useful feature for sharing files and documents between computers, as well as providing a simple method for offsite backup of data (you get 2Gb for free).  There are other notable software updates in this release, including the latest versions of Gnome Desktop, Firefox, and OpenOffice.org.

If you have yet to try Ubuntu, I highly recommend that you give this release a shot.  It’s completely free to download, install, and share with your friends.  Try doing that with Windows 7 .  :-)

Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King

Filed under: Music on Friday, March 6th, 2009 by scott | No Comments

I just got word from my buddy Rob over at WeeklyDavespeak.com that Dave Matthews Band has decided on the title for their new album which is currently in the works: Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. It’s an interesting choice, to be sure, but I’ll bet there’s a great story behind how it came to be.

Just wanted to pass this along. Hope everyone is doing well.

Benjamin Zander: Classical music with shining eyes

Filed under: Music, Videos on Thursday, July 17th, 2008 by scott | No Comments

Ok, I realize most of my posts lately are just links to videos, particularly on TED Talks, but I just caught this one a couple days ago and had to share it.

Benjamin Zander is a conductor for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, teacher, and public speaker.  Earlier this year he gave a wonderfully inspiring talk at the TED conference speaking about classical music and attempting to open it up to the masses.  His energy and stage presence are invaluable in achieving this goal.  Check it out for yourself:

Johnny Lee – Wii Remote Hacks

Filed under: Technology, Videos on Friday, April 18th, 2008 by scott | 2 Comments

As revolutionary as the Wii experience has been to the gaming community, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Johnny Lee is a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University and over the past 6 months he has developed a number of innovative uses for the Wii remote, particularly taking advantage of its high resolution infrared camera.

Mr. Lee recently gave a talk at the TED conference where he demonstrated a few of these Wii-mote hacks. Probably the most impressive is the use of IR goggles to allow the software to provide 3D feedback based on the user’s motion. This could have huge implications for the future of 3D gaming.

For more information on these projects, check out the following links:

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/

http://www.wiimoteproject.com/

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading

Filed under: Technology on Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 by scott | No Comments

I’ve recently become hooked on the TED Talks lecture series, and seeing as how their moniker is “Ideas worth spreading,” I figure it would be prudent for me to do just that by providing a link and personal recommendation to the loyal reader(s) of my blog.

If you’re not already familiar with TED, here is a description lifted from the About page:

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

I invite you to go to TED.com and find a talk that interests you. If you’re looking for a starting point, here are a few of my favorites:

The Daily Show: Florida and Michigan at it again

Filed under: Humor, Politics, Videos on Saturday, March 8th, 2008 by scott | No Comments

I caught this clip on The Daily Show last week and it just cracked me up.

Edit: The video has since been removed. Oh well, just imagine a funny Daily Show clip.

Einstein & Faith

Filed under: Quotations, Religion, Science on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 by scott | No Comments

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.

- Albert Einstein, What I Believe, 1930

I came across this quote in a TIME magazine article entitled “Einstein & Faith” in which the author explores Einstein’s personal views toward science and religion. This article is a great read for anyone who has heard mixed opinions on whether Einstein was a religious person.

Julian Beever: Pavement Artist

Filed under: Random on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 by scott | No Comments

Julian Beever is an English chalk artist who has been creating chalk drawings on pavement surfaces since the mid-1990s. His works are created using a projection called anamorphosis, and create the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the correct angle.

http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm

This guy has an amazing ability to capture a three-dimensional perspective and project it onto pavement. You can see that he is very creative with his applications as well. It seems a shame to think that many of these have washed away by now!

Here are some of my favorites:

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