Recently in Technology Category
"First off, there are, I believe, really two reasons why we're so bad at making estimates. The first is the sort of irreducible one: writing software involves figuring out something in such incredibly precise detail that you can tell a computer how to do it. And the problem is that, hidden in the parts you don't fully understand when you start, there are often these problems that will explode and just utterly screw you.
"And this is genuinely irreducible. If you do "fully understand" something, you've got a library or existing piece of software that does that thing, and you're not writing anything. Otherwise, there is uncertainty, and it will often blow up. And those blow ups can take anywhere from one day to one year to beyond the heat death of the universe to resolve....
"The key is that you first accept that making accurate long-term estimates is fundamentally impossible. Once you've done that, you can tackle a challenge which, though extremely difficult, can be met: how you can your dev team generate a ton of value, even though you can not make meaningful long-term estimates?"
Billions of dollars may be riding on the accuracy of formulas in an Excel spreadsheet or the accuracy of manual copy-and-paste from one sheet to another. "But while Excel the program is reasonably robust, the spreadsheets that people create with Excel are incredibly fragile. There is no way to trace where your data come from, there's no audit trail (so you can overtype numbers and not know it), and there's no easy way to test spreadsheets, for starters. The biggest problem is that anyone can create Excel spreadsheets--badly. Because it's so easy to use, the creation of even important spreadsheets is not restricted to people who understand programming and do it in a methodical, well-documented way." Comments on the story contain more anecdotes on the hazards of Excel overreliance.
"Matter is a corrective. Matter exerts a resistance, a counterforce, like wood to a carving knife or water to a ship's keel or air under an airplane's wings, that paradoxically enables us to get somewhere by making it more difficult. The Internet is a sensory deprivation tank. It somehow has the exact specific gravity of a human brain, so that it cancels out the heavy, reminding tug of our bodies. It deceives us that whatever we can imagine is not only possible, but already sufficiently existent without the salutary work and frustration that is matter's accursed blessing. Our minds are crumbling like the bones of astronauts who have lived too long in weightlessness."
Converts between latitude, longitude, and altitude in meters relative to the WGS84 ellipsoid approximation of the shape of the earth and a Cartesian coordinate system with its origin at the center of the earth.
Bugged that you can't get the last bits of jelly out of the jar? Introducing LiquiGlide, "an edible, plant-based coating that can be placed on any surface, from glass to ceramics. Liquid-based products that encounter the surfaces will slip right off, whether it's ketchup in a bottle or rain on a jacket." Click the link to see videos of LiquiGlide at work.
Blankets made heavier, but not hotter, with polypropylene pellets. Supposed to help release seratonin, assist relaxation and restful sleep. Used in therapy with stress, anxiety, PTSD, and various sensory processing disorders. Blankets are sold at cost, as a ministry to those who need them.
For gardeners seeking heirloom, non-GM seeds.
Mind-controlled robotic arms, silk stronger than steel, invisibility cloak, artificial leaves, Google goggles, meandering planets.
When the "safely remove" icon disappeared from my system tray, I found this article. I created a shortcut to run the command "RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll" then changed the icon for the shortcut to the "safely remove" icon in hotplug.dll, so I can easily recognize it.
More fun with PC ports -- serial port, this time.