Archive for month: October, 2010

A 2010 “Graphical Computing” Calendar

October 28, 2010 | Math | By: Mark VandeWettering

The Make blog brought the Dead Reckonings blog to my attention. The blog is fascinating: consisting of essays of bits of lost mathematical lore, and nomography in particular. Author Ron Doerfler has some great stuff, and a cool give away: a calendar that demonstrates and explains many different kinds of nomographs. Of course, it’s kind […]

Most Americans support an Internet kill switch

October 28, 2010 | Stupidity | By: Mark VandeWettering

Sixty-one percent of Americans said the President should have the ability to shut down portions of the Internet in the event of a coordinated malicious cyber attack, according to research by Unisys. Most Americans support an Internet kill switch. 51% percent would also like cars made out of candy that run on stupidity.

Ting-Tong? Pick-Pock? Keeping time on an Atari 2600…

October 27, 2010 | Atari 2600 | By: Mark VandeWettering

Years ago, I remembered that someone (couldn’t remember who) had invented a clock which looked like a version of the classic video game “Pong”. A few minutes of searching now reveals who that was: Sander Mulder. I thought it was a cool idea, and I was thinking of a project that could get me back […]

Giants lead Phillies in the NLCS, 3-1

October 21, 2010 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

Wow, last night’s Game 4 of the NLCS was a real nailbighter, with the Giants ultimately prevailing 6-5 in a game which saw three different lead changes. I’ve begun to look at baseball-reference.com for play-by-play and statistical analysis, since it breaks down the outcome of each play and gives the change in winning percentage as […]

Bicycles & tricycles; an elementary treatise

October 19, 2010 | Gutenberg Gems | By: Mark VandeWettering

Courtesy of the Make blog, here’s a link to an 1896 book on the design of bicycles and tricycles. I suspect a lot has been learned about bicycle design in the past 100 years, but I think it’s pretty interesting to see how much design theory had been developed at this early stage. Bicycles & […]

Why are baseball managers so stupid? Or is it just me?

October 18, 2010 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, I’m currently reading The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball because I hate to see intentional walks. Case in point: last night’s 7th inning walk of Chase Utley with one out and pitcher Roy Oswalt on second. You’d expect him to score on a double, but he’s not a huge immediate threat. In any […]

What do I know about baseball?

October 17, 2010 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

Back in 2004, I blogged a short message about the game four performance of the Red Sox against the Yankees. brainwagon » Blog Archive » Red Sox 6, Yankees 4, 12 innings. I had turned off the game after 7 innings, missing Bill Mueller’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to tie the […]

How a geek tells his wife he loves her: an exercise in Python programming

October 17, 2010 | Programming Languages, Python | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m away from my better half this weekend, visiting my Mom and brother. I scheduled this a few weeks ago, but shortly after Carmen was granted an entry into the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on the same weekend. Rescheduling the visit with Mom would have been hard, so I decided to go anyway, and missed […]

Design of a simple ALU…

October 14, 2010 | Computer Science, electronics, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a bunch of links to a 16 bit ALU designed to operate using blocks which are defined in the game Minecraft. It got me thinking, and ordered the book that inspired that work. It contains the specification for an ALU which is very simple, and yet surprisingly powerful […]

V4L2VD Home Page

October 13, 2010 | Video | By: Mark VandeWettering

I think I heard mention of this project during a recent episode of the FLOSS podcast a couple of weeks ago, and thought that it was an interesting idea, so remembered to track it down this morning. The basic idea is to provide a “loopback” device for video. You could write a program which can […]

Progress in number theory in the years 1998-2009

October 13, 2010 | Math | By: Mark VandeWettering

Dan Piponi passed along the following link to a nice paper summarizing the major results in number theory of the last decade or so. It’s mostly over my head (Dan is substantially smarter than I) but pretty interesting nonetheless. [1010.2484] Progress in number theory in the years 1998-2009.

On random numbers…

October 6, 2010 | Computer Graphics, Programming Languages, Stupidity | By: Mark VandeWettering

While hacking a small program today, I encountered something that I hadn’t seen in a while, so I thought I’d blog it: My random number generator failed me! I was implementing a little test program to generate some random terrain. The idea was pretty simple: initialize a square array to be all zero height. Set […]

Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge

October 6, 2010 | Amateur Satellite | By: Mark VandeWettering

Apparently NASA is sponsoring the development of nanosatellite launch capabilities by sponsoring a two million dollar prize purse for the first team to launch a standard 1U Cubesat into orbit (payloads must complete at least one orbit) twice in a week. NASA – Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge. I found out about this by reading the Team […]

Another nifty balloon project…

October 6, 2010 | Amateur Satellite, Amateur Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Luke Gesissbuhler did a balloon launch, lofting an HD video camera and an Apple iPhone to lofty heights before recovering them. Very nice. The footage right after burst was kind of cool: I was wondering whether the fragments of the balloon or parachute tangled with the camera: perhaps dangling the camera on a longer tether […]