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A Great Math Site: Understanding the Analemma


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When I was a kid I remember reading about this pattern. I never knew it
was called a, what, Analemma??? Anyway, Check out [this

post]( from Good Math, Bad

By way of the astronomy
picture of the day
, I encountered a
really fantastic site about the analemma.

The analemma is the apparent path that the sun takes in the sky during
the year. If you record the precise position of the sun at the same
time every day, instead of being in exactly the same place every day,
it will traverse a figure eight, like in this image. This is an effect
caused by a combination of the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, and
the tilt of the earth's axis. It can be a bit hard to visualize just
where the figure-eight shape comes from; the analemma site uses a
combination of diagrams and animations to make it extremely clear, and
works through the entire process of demonstrating where each component
of the analemma comes from, and deriving the equations that describe
it. Read
the comments on this post…

Enclosure: sky1.v01.small.JPEG
(3.1 Kb)

(from: A
Great Math Site: Understanding the Analemma

OMG: Lotus Notes still alive and kicking ?


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A million years ago I used Lotus Notes … I think it was version 3 and 4.
I believe that it ran on Mac even then so I am not sure what the big news
is. But look at this screen shot. It looks more similar than different to
the old Lotus Notes. And among the Mac congesenti there's always a lot of
tut-tut-tuting when an application claims to support Mac OS X but doesn't
have the true Mac OS X mojo. I guess they give IBM a pass.

Check out this
from The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Filed under: Software,

We first
about Lotus Note's Mac support in January of this year, and
now it would seem IBM has fully delivered on the promise. [snip…]

(from: Lotus
Notes 7.02 brings full Mac support

Cool underwater restaurant…


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Check out [this

post]( from Crave

(Credit: Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa)

What I really should be saying about this, just to tick off fellow
Craver Mike Yamamoto, is that I wish this underwater restaurant were
in the Antarctic Ocean, so that I could go and see
some penguins
swim by. Alas, I don't know how …

(from: Dine
with the fishes at Hilton Maldives' underwater restaurant

Joel on Software on bribing and ethics


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If you're a blogger or read blogs you might have come across the debate,
such as it is, about "pay per post." Frankly I've not paid much attention
to it other than noting the links go by without my clicking on them. But
Joel's stuff is often good.

Check out this
from Joel on Software:

Joel says: "There's an interesting debate going on about whether bloggers should
accept gifts from vendors.

Lately Microsoft, working through their PR agency, Edelman,
has been getting rather aggressive about trying to buy good coverage
from bloggers. A few months ago they invited bloggers out to Seattle
to meet Bill Gates, with all expenses paid (hotel, airfare, etc). Last
week they send out a round of expensive laptops with Vista
preinstalled. These are not loans, by the way: they're completely free
laptops ("yours to keep!"). Here's the offer I received from a
Microsoft employee… [snip]

Sounds nice, huh? What could be wrong with that?

Robert Scoble says
"it's an awesome idea." He says that as long as the bloggers disclose
that they got the laptops free, they're acting ethically. And he says
that Edelman is just "doing their job," which is therefore by
definition ethical:

On Edelman's side? Is sending out laptops ethical? Of course! That's
their job.

Scoble is wrong.

Just because it's someones job to do something, doesn't make it
ethical. Robert, your logic is faulty. Unless you want to assume that anything
that Edelman does in the name of promoting Microsoft is automatically
ethical, this logical argument you are making is simply false. For
example, if Edelman paid a bribe to a government official to
standardize on Windows, that would not be ethical, even
though it's their job.

[snip…]" (End of quote of Joel on Software, from: Bribing

Yeah, I think that Joel is making a pretty good ethical argument. I
guess the more visibility (= power) you have the more you have to bend
over backwards to avoid "the appearance" of impropriety.

New search engine from Wikipedia-land

If you keep up, you may have heard abou this. A new search engine coming from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Check out this post from Mashable!for a pretty good update:

"Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is set to launch a search engine early next year in partnership with Amazon - it's intended to be a rival to Google and Yahoo.

(Read the rest here: Wikiasari: Wikipedia Founder Launching a Google Rival)"

Here's another pretty good article introducing the idea from TimesOnline.

In-depth analysis of Microsoft content syndication platform patent application


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A bit of a debate is developing regarding Microsoft's recent patent for
(and here's where the editorializing starts) "RSS". It's only a slightly
interesting question which is why I won't pursue it, save to say that
patents are very technical and narrow so it's easy to jump to the wrong
conclusion about them when reading them only superficially.

At any rate if there's any beef to be had, IMHO, it's with the Patent Law and
the Patent Office, not with Microsoft.

Check out this
from Niall
Kennedy's Weblog: In-depth analysis of Microsoft content syndication
platform patent application

On June 21, 2005 eight Microsoft employees claimed invention rights
for a "content syndication platform," exemplified by Internet Explorer
7 and its support for aggregating feed content. Patent application
20060288329 pursues the "the right to exclude others from making,
using, offering for sale, or selling" (see United States definition of
a patent) normalized web feeds made available via an API and centrally
stored feed lists. The patent application was revealed yesterday after
an 18-month privacy window expired.

(from: In-depth
analysis of Microsoft content syndication platform patent application

Blog tag, I’m it

I've been tagged in the new fangled blog tag game, and am now honor bound to reveal 5 things about me that you probably don't know yet.

  1. The "R" in R. Pito Salas stands for Ralph
  2. My ancestors have been in Curaçao for over three hundred years
  3. I've been studying piano for 3 years. I am still a beginner.
  4. I was a team lead on one of the earliest Macintosh software products, Jazz

And now, it is for me to tag 5 others. It would be fun if there was a permanent home for these fun factoids about us.

  1. Brian DelVeccio - The Institute of Hybernautics
  2. Aleksey Gureev - Noizze
  3. Francois Gossieaux - Emergence Marketing
  4. Kathleen Gilroy - The Otter Group
  5. Marjolein Hoekstra - Clever Clogs

Over to you, pals!

‘Daybreak’ canceled, episodes to stream online


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This is too bad. Daybreak was one of the new shows I was enjoying (not 'must-see-tv but still entertaining.) It was basically "Groundhog Day meets '24'. Anyway, check out this
from Lost Remote:

The new ABC show Daybreak is getting the ax. The terrific, 24-like show
is a tough one to join mid-season, so ratings slipped and ABC did what
networks do. My fiancee is a huge fan of the show, and fortunately the
remaining episodes will be streamed online -- a programming move that's
quickly becoming the standard.

(from: 'Daybreak'
canceled, episodes to stream online