Pedal Power: MIT Cyclists Set Record for Pedal-Powered Supercomputing

Pedal Power: MIT Cyclists Set Record for Pedal-Powered Supercomputing

Fester points me at this cool story — fire up a supercomputer to run a tomalak simulation using cycles. I miss my bike!

Short Rib Error Message

Note to self — when braising beef short ribs in three tablespoons of extremely hot oil, do not, repeat, do not attempt to introduce said ribs to said oil by hand as they stand a chance of falling from fingers to oil from a height of six inches, causing a molten lava splash; which, upon contact with self’s face, yields utterly gruesome wounds about 48 hours after the event.

The ribs — cooked according to the recipe in the Balthazar cook book — were worth the burn(s).

Good succinct account of Google vs. Microsoft

Sunday’s Times carried a very strong summation of the showdown between Google and Microsoft on the future of computing.

My summation of the summation: Do users need to have their applications and data local on their harddrive or in the cloud and accessed/shared through a web interface?

I am not a Google Apps user. I’ve tried their stuff and it hasn’t clicked. I am a gmail user, but am enslaved by corporate devotion to Lotus Notes. I use Thunderbird for POP mail. Microsoft Word is gaining value for one simple reason — off-line composition and editing of blog posts. Google’s iGoogle portal is very valuable.

See Damon Darlin’s sidebar to the Times piece about his month without Office. Pretty compelling.

If you get beyond any knee-jerk emotional allegiances, and look at the future of computing from the point of view of economic expediency, I’d have to predict the cloud model is inevitable. The implications for a PC company are profound in terms of product design and architecture — almost like a return to the disk-less PC movement of the mid-80s …..

Facebook’s snail mail and social network fatigue

Why do I get notifications from Facebook about 48 hours after the event occurs (invitation from a friend, etc.)? Amazingly stupid to act on an invite and then two days later, like a bad echo, get a useless email informing me that it all went down.

In general, being an antisocial kind of guy, the social networking fad is just that, a passing fad for me that hasn’t really lit me up in any meaningful way. Among the casualties:

  • LinkedIn feels like being a member of the Rotary Club. Random head hunters pinging about opportunities in Kuala Lumpur. Vendors looking at me like a trussed turkey. SEO consultants, lead gen spammers.
  • Facebook: okay, FunWall, Scrabulous, Flixster, and every other application that I have been invited to install? Compare my movie taste with Bill Clinton? Well, in order to do so, for some reason, Facebook and these apps think it is cool to check off the box next to each and every person in my friends list so I can “invite” them to check out the app. This is turning me into a spammer and I hate it.
  • Plaxo: this is the ultimate spam engine for torturing friends. What started as a semi-useful tool to let people know about a change of address or cell phone number is now an instrument of inbox torture.
  • Long-tail networks: look at the post below. Cool site, lets me file my ergometer scores and then mashes them up on a map and publishes the scores on this blog. Only problem, Concept2 has a six year head start on my data — and I can’t unlock it.

Problems aside, I think Google’s Open Social initiative is on the right track — give me some permeability between social nets and their functional value will sky rocket — wall me in with a close system and it’s back to the knuckle-dragging days of Prodigy, AOL, and CompuServe.

And we know how that turned out.

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