How Not to Land a Rocket

September 14, 2017

From SpaceX, a blooper reel of the failed attempts to land a rocket…


Jackasses of the Week

September 13, 2017

I first heard this via a political writer on Twitter:

In response to:

He followed the first tweet with more amusing snark, but then I read John Gruber’s post, Jackasses of the Week, on Daring Fireball:

I don’t write much about “Silicon Valley” as a culture, because I don’t live there and, frankly, I don’t care. But the fact that this startup is being taken seriously is absurd. It’s a company named Bodega, and Fast Company’s headline says it all: “Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete”.

First, all they’ve done is make a fancy vending machine. That’s great. Vending machines are a real thing, and maybe there’s a market for better ones. But better vending machines are still just vending machines.

Second, what kind of sociopaths are these people that they want to put mom-and-pop corner stores and bodegas out of business? Local family-owned stores are what make for great neighborhoods. They’re good people running good businesses that people love. Good startup ideas are things that replace products or services that people hate. Taxis suck, for example. That’s why ride sharing services are so popular and successful. Bodegas and corner stores are great.

Third, as Helen Rosner argues in this thread, they’ve got a crummy business model.

Fuck these guys.

Can’t top that.


Google Photos Assistant

August 31, 2017

We just got back from vacation at our usual place in Cape Cod. You can take the pictures from the posts from any previous years, imagine my daughters slightly older, and that’s how it was. We just love the spot (Skaket Beach, Orleans MA).

Our beach is a great sunset beach. People arrive at the beach at 7 PM just for the sunset. When the sun sets, they applaud. So at the end of every vacation I have a plethora of sunset pictures. And with all of them, my reaction is “yeah, but it was even better”.

As a long time Google Photos user, I love how they will pick pictures and try to enhance them. They almost always pick some sunset pictures. Here are the nine pictures that Google decided to enhance from this vacation. One is really two pictures stitched together as a panorama. Every picture here was taken from our deck (with my phone).


Thanks Google.

Holy Shit, Look at the Sky

August 16, 2017

Via xkcd


Boring Tunnel to DC

July 20, 2017

Elon Musk is claiming that he has “verbal approval” to build a hyperloop from NYC to DC (with stops in Philly and Baltimore). That would be super cool and I totally hope they try. His new “Boring Company” designed to bore tunnels would do the tunneling part.

Just call me a tiny bit skeptical on the “verbal approval” part.

I’m a big Elon Musk fan and I’d love to get to DC in 29 minutes (I don’t even like DC that much, but damn).  I just suspect he’s underestimating the challenges of digging a tunnel across several states.



SpaceX is Taking Over, well, Space

July 13, 2017

From PBS, the percentage of commercial space launches by County/Company.


Zero percent in 2012 to over 60% next year. This is for the entire planet.

And Elon Musk snarks a bit towards Boeing/Lockheed:

An Article for Font Nerds Everywhere

July 13, 2017

Fontgate” is an amazing story if you are a font nerd, threatening to bring down the daughter of the Pakistani Prime Minister (of course now a hashtag, #fontgate).

Documents claiming that Mariam Nawaz Sharif was only a trustee of the companies that bought the London flats, are dated February 2006, and appear to be typed in Microsoft Calibri.

But the font was only made commercially available in 2007, leading to suspicions that the documents are forged.

At least it wasn’t Comic Sans…