A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘computers

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes an upcoming group photo of prominent Toronto musicians.
  • Centauri Dreams speculates about the sort of starship a Kardashev II civilization would build.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze has a couple of papers noting the interactions between hot Jupiters and their parent suns.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on Russian nuclear submarine advances.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that same-sex marriage in Slovenia is safe and observes the advance of civil unions in Italy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how revitalizing neighbourhoods can lead to complicated politics, politely put.
  • Marginal Revolution considers ways to improve the allocation of water in drought-hit areas like California.
  • The Numerati’s Stephen Baker wonders if Apple might be able to regain its lost customers.
  • Torontoist approves of a Haitian restaurant in a Scarborough strip mall.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the complexities of language policy in the former Soviet Union, looks at the institutionalization of Islam in the Crimea, and examines the issues of self-identifying Ukrainians in the Russian Far East.

[META] On technical problems and the future

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Unfortunately, due to technical issues–a laptop that was sent back to the manufacturer for repairs, a desktop that is no longer working, a tablet that is a bit wonky–the frequency and nature of my posts here may be limited. I’ll try to keep things up, but I can’t make any promises.

For technical reasons, posting to my WordPress account is likely to be rather easier than posting to my Livejournal. A Bit More Detail’s address there is


In the meantime, if you have any suggestions as to future content at A Bit More Detail, please leave them in the comments field. Thanks!


Written by Randy McDonald

March 23, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Meta, Non Blog, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO takes a look at the reasons for the failure of the Toronto Sushi Festival, a failure that included the blog’s own misrepresentation of the event’s success.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly argues that, in our media-saturated environment, paying attention to everything is exhausting.
  • Centauri Dreams and D-Brief react to Dawn’s arrival at Ceres.
  • The Crux notes that Enceladus’ seas appear to be driven by tectonic activity, suggesting they may support life.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the remarkably eccentric orbit of exoplanet HD 8673Ab, links to a paper suggesting that hot Jupiters disrupt their planetary systems as they migrate inwards, and suggests that planetary systems discovered by Kepler with only one or two planets are the remnants of much denser systems.
  • The Dragon’s Tales and The Power and the Money discuss the idea of military unity in the European Union.
  • A Fistful of Euros compares the recent trajectories of Greece and Iceland following their
  • Joe. My. God. notes an Irish bishop who made an odd comparison of gay people to people with Down’s syndrome.
  • Language Hat notes that the Parisian journals of Russian exiles from the Soviet Union are online and notes the South Arabian language of the Yemeni island of Socotra.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers if rudeness can be a firing offense.
  • Marginal Revolution criticizes the Greek government, and argues that Krugman’s criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is misfounded.
  • The Planetary Society Blog calls for a return to Venus.
  • Otto Pohl observes that just over 62 years after his death, Stalin remains a popular figure in Russia.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes worsening American-Venezuelan relations and argues that Venezuela’s PetroCaribe scheme hasn’t achieved its geopolitical goals.
  • Registan considers the controversy surrounding the disappearance of Vladimir Putin.
  • Peter Rukavina notes how, by tweaking an inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer, he can detect aircraft incoming to Charlottetown.
  • Spacing Toronto notes gendered violence on mass transit.
  • Towleroad observes the conviction of a California man on charges of intentionally trying to infect others with HIV.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers the legal issues surrounding an Indian state’s ban on beef, by comparison to California’s horse meat ban.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one Russian’s call to partition Ukraine, observes Russian irredentism towards the Baltics, considers the consequences of Russia’s statements about Crimea, looks at Hungarian irredentism towards western Ukraine, argues that a new Yalta is impossible, and compares the position of Vladimir Putin to that of Khrushchev afte the humiliating Cuban Missile Crisis.

[PHOTO] My old Microsoft mouse

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My old Microsoft mouse #computers #peripherals #mouse #computermouse

I plugged my old Microsoft mouse this morning into my new laptop via its USB port to see if the device would still work. It still did. After years of using touchpads on first one laptop than another, it was a small delight to find that I still could use the old point-and-click as comfortably as ever. It felt almost retro.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm

[PHOTO] On the endless runner game of Google Chrome for Android

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What an interesting easter egg #google #chrome #android #dinosaurs #endlessrunner

I discovered the above easter egg just recently. I’ve found that it has since been described by others, including by Lifehacker’s Patrick Allan.

You’ve probably seen the cute little dinosaur that appears when Chrome can’t establish a network connection. Well he’s actually the star of his own endless runner game that you can play on PC and Android.

Amit Agarwal wrote about the game at Digital Inspiration when a tipster mentioned the discovery, and it’s actually pretty fun! When you reach the “Unable to connect to Internet” screen in your Chrome browser, just hit the space bar to start the game and use the space bar to jump over incoming cacti. The game works on the Android version of Chrome as well. Just turn on airplane mode and tap the screen to start jumping. Instead of getting mad when you can’t get a connection, you can blow off some steam playing an addictive game. My high score is 1,081—bring it on.

My score is not that high, yet.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

[LINK] “China’s Huawei Unveils Luxury Watch in Bid to Rival Apple’s”

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Go Huawei!. From Bloomberg:

China’s Huawei Technologies Co. unveiled its first smart watch that is aimed at the higher end of the wearables market, a week before Apple Inc. is expected to host an event to present a rival device.

The 42-millimeter (1.6-inch) diameter luxury watch will be the world’s first wearable with sapphire crystal glass, Richard Yu, chief executive officer of Huawei’s consumer business group, said at an event in Barcelona Sunday, ahead of the Monday opening of the Mobile World Congress. Yu also unveiled an upgrade to Huawei’s smart band, introduced at last year’s conference.

Huawei, ranked fifth in global smartphone shipments during the third quarter, is focusing on higher-end smartphones that can rival Apple’s or models by Samsung Electronics Co. All have expanded into wearables.

[. . .]

For Huawei, this year’s upgrade in accessories comes after sales of higher-end smartphones helped revenue rise about 20 percent in 2014 and operating profit improve. The maker of phone-network gear that also competes against the likes of Ericsson AB, has also been widening its product portfolio as it works toward a goal of achieving $70 billion in revenue by 2018, from $46 billion last year.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 5, 2015 at 11:26 pm

[LINK] “Astro-boom offers big bang for the buck in Chile”

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Al Jazeera’s Frederick Bernas reports on how observational astronomy in Chile may, if handled correctly, spark a technological and economic boom in that country.

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), scheduled to begin construction this year, is a 3.2-billion-pixel camera that shoots “a colour movie of the universe”.

It will create the largest public data set in the world – a complete map of the sky that enables astronomers to conduct detailed investigations without telescope access.

“This will start a new era – some people call it the democratisation of astronomy,” said Chris Smith of Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a hallowed institution that includes the world’s largest camera.

“Astronomers will use the digital maps for digging information, with less observing time, and then develop follow-up projects with real telescopes,” he told Al Jazeera.

At the University of Chile in Santiago, the National Laboratory for High Performance Computing was opened in 2010 to develop methods for managing these huge volumes, as well as to educate a new generation of experts that will meet surging demand.

“This is the astronomic equivalent of genome research,” said Eduardo Vera, the laboratory’s director. “The data will be too big to handle – that’s why you need algorithms, just like what Google is doing with the internet.”

Every night, 20-30 terabytes of data, cataloguing hundreds of transient events – such as supernovae, asteroids, comets and new stars – will arrive from the LSST on a blazing connection of one gigabyte per second, before being stored and analysed by giant supercomputers.

“Chile can become a world leader in informatics and leapfrog the competition, because this stuff is so new that we’re not following anyone,” Vera told Al Jazeera.

More at the site.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm


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