Archive for February, 2006

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Mac Media Center: the Mini

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006


Gotta love titles like that with so many capitol letters! So Apple officially has moved most of their product line over to the Intel platform with today’s introduction of the Intel based Mac Mini. The new Mac Mini comes with a Core Solo or Core Duo processor, Frontrow, and an Apple remote.

It’s good to see this transition – I might be picking one up to act as a desktop/server here shortly. I’m still not sure how I feel about the lack of a TV tuner. They have made it much more media-centric with the addition of digital audio output and a remote, but with no TV tuner I would like to see the iTunes store start releasing a lot more content to help make up for it. I realize that the future of television is not broadcast, but vodcast and IPTV, but until it becomes much more fleshed out as a service offering I doubt if we will see Apple gaining significant ground on Microsoft’s Media Center platform in the marketplace.

Update: I am also noticing that the new Intel-based Mac Mini includes Gigabit ethernet which is always a good thing in my book. Unfortunately it does not include a dedicated graphics chipset making the primary processor do all the work. For a media-centric device this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it will restrict these boxes from ever really even becoming casual gaming machines or anything other than a front end for media storage and playback.

One day down

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

So now I’m on day 2 of my not smoking campaign and it’s going better than I thought it would. I really want to smoke, but I’m finding enough distractions to keep myself from doing so. Last night Tim came over so I could fix his iBook, and it ended up taking way longer than I planned. Normally I would have been a little ticked off, but it was a good excuse to focus on something and not smoke!

In a mere 40 minutes (while I’ll be driving to work) Steve Jobs will be announcing Apple’s “Fun new products”. I can’t wait. I’m going to wager that it’s very cinema related – perhaps a new Video iPod, or a Mac Media Center. I’ll be shocked if they don’t come out with feature length movies on the iTunes music store – dear god I pray that they end up coming out in hi-def!

Must… not… smoke…

Monday, February 27th, 2006

So the weekend was fun – I had some fun at the Eagle, and got to spend the majority of the weekend hanging out with friends and relaxing. Saturday was a housewarming/birthday party for Tres, and Sunday involved a nice long walk.

Unfortunately all of these good things are being offset right now by the fact that I really want to smoke. I am now going on roughly 18 hours since my last cigarette and boy am I irritated about it. It’s time to quit tho – walking 8 miles yesterday reminded me how bad it is for my lungs to suck down a half a pack a day…

*hack* *sputter* *cough*

Damn my butt looks good!

Friday, February 24th, 2006

So Brien and all of my co-workers finally got to me on the whole clothing thing. I personally don’t like spending much on clothes, and have resisted going on a big shopping trip like this for a while.

Jana convinced me to go spend some of my comissions on a few pairs of jeans and a new pair of shoes. I ended up spending more than twice what I planned on and feel weird for that – but damn my butt looks good in these G-Star jeans!

For good measure I got a haircut today as well. I’m still growing it out a bit, but I took some significant length off the sides, and about an inch off the top to make it a bit neater.

Now that my self-image is soaring its time for some fun tonight at the Eagle with Jason, Tres, and Jake.


Friday, February 24th, 2006

What the heck is it doing snowing in Seattle at this time of year? It snowed about a half an inch last night and boy did it make my commute nasty. I’m sitting here in the office after spending 50 minutes in my car, and my mood has certainly suffered for it.

Not that the snow was deep mind you – people in Seattle are just idiots. You would think that once the roads were plowed people would figure out how to drive again. It was not slick, it was not slippery, yet still – traffic must go at 5mph “just in case”

Computers evolve space-ward technology: is the singularity neigh?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

BoingBoing just brought to my attention one of the coolest things to happen so far this year in technology. NASA has been using genetic evolutionary algorithms to design space-worthy equipment.

Recently they put this new technology to work to design a better antenna for satellites. They gave their genetic algorithm several existing antenna designs and had it try random modifications to it and then run tests to see if these modifications improved the reception and performance of the antenna for the specific duties it would be performing.

Space-ward antenna

When a generation was better than the previous generation of antennas the computer would use that as a new generation and repeat the process. Using only 80 personal computers these genetic algorithms were able to make significant improvements to the design (resulting is something a human designer probably would not have thought of) in less than eight hours.

The newly designed antenna looks much like a bent paper clip, but is significantly better at sending and receiving the data than the much larger antenna the design process started with. The new antenna also has a wider range, and significantly lower power requirements than a traditional antenna would have.

I personally think that this event has further reaching implications than simply a new antenna for low earth orbit satellites. To me this is the first step in the direction of the Singularity. Now that we have proof that a well designed computer can create a tool far more efficiently than a person (or a person using a computer with traditional prototyping tools) can.

With this as a first step how long is it before a super computer cluster is called upon to design a new processor for Intel or AMD. Once that happens and nano-fabrication technology catches up not only would the cluster be able to create the new processor, but it could add that processor and it’s increased abilities to the cluster, thus making the next generation of genetic technological evolution happen even faster.

Golly the future is going to be neat if the geeks win!

Vin – you are letting me down

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Vin And Tigon Wheelman

I’m quite disapointed to see this. It looks like Vin Diesel is selling out his hot manly image and donning the parenting guise. I don’t know how I missed the Pacifier movie, but I’m really glad I did.

Vin oh Vin – why must you abandon your ultimate hotness for bottles of milk?

[via Joystiq]

Fat and sassy!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

I’m in a good mood this morning – I closed a deal, and got a good nights sleep. Unfortunatly I’m having to wear this silly jacket while I meet with my new consultant , but hey – it’s money! Now let’s get on closing a second deal!

This jacket makes me look fat, but still I could use to lose a few pounds. I think I’m going to take a few pages from Jason’s book and get on the treadmill!

The future is going to suck

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

…if business has any say in the matter. The internet is filled with pop-up advertising, spam, and every sort of scam under the internet. It’s sad that it’s a valid business model to serve up advertisements to people. When a company spends so much money on marketing they are taking money away from R&D and making their product better in the future.

If a product is sound and is the best in the marketplace it will sell itself – there is no need to plague a users computer with garbage, wasting their bandwidth and polluting your screen real-estate with an advertisement for cheap air fares or the latest phone.

Hopefully before the internet ends up wet wired in everyones brain this problem will go away. As looking forward to being “connected” as I am the thought of fucking Viagra advertisements getting spammed to my frontal lobe makes me throw up in my mouth.

Being a grown-up sucks: you realize that the world is headed to a giant conglomerate hell, soaked in advertisements and dripping with the leavings of a capitalist society.

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