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Business sign seen a bit north of San Carlos, on my way down to Sunnyvale: "Oxygen with Attitude" O.o;

If you like the "All is Full of Love" look of the Svedka android, they've put together a Bot Builder - supply the Flash app with a photo, then add any accoutrements you feel appropriate, to see how you'd look as one. ^_^

A couple shorts I particularly enjoyed on the flight in: Yello Sticky Notes, and duelling air guitarists in a quiet suburban street, in the trailer for Air Knob. The former recaps the creator's journey into animation, blending personal insights (and procrastination), politics, and professional development (and lack thereof) into 2,300 sticky notes, showing six years of his life in six minutes, in wry style.

More first impressions of the new MBP: I'm happy with the glossy display. True, there are reflections, but they're easily ignored - and the tradeoff is that it's all still perfectly bright and clear even in strong sunlight. Battery life looks good so far - with the more power-hungry 9600M enabled, I'm currently showing 78% battery left, estimated 4h24 left. Haven't switched around GPUs much yet, but it does seem the 9400M saves a noticeable amount of power, whilst still delivering quite a decent SL framerate. With the 9600, though.. wow. Most sims are so smooth now! And I can play with shadows as well, though those do come with quite a framerate hit - but they do distinctly enhance the sim's realism. (Not sure if it's changed, but the shadow code used to require an Nvidia 8k series or newer)

Ah, United.. got to love looking at a departures display and seeing a flight scheduled for 2250 as "on time", when no boarding's even begun at 2253. =:) The boarding disagreement was sort of amusing, with one agent calling out "rows 20 and higher", to be contradicted by another, requesting 30 and up; then 20 and higher, countered by 25+. I'll board at some point. ^_^

(And promptly missed the apparently magnificent lighting storms around part of the flight, thanks to everyone having their blinds down on a night flight. Wah!)

An interesting little rebuttal of an Archbishop's recent claim along the lines of "internet-based friendships aren't real". I shan't add much to that line of tripe, other than noting how I've met almost all of my persistent friends on the net, and indeed, fell in love via Usenet and email.

View from the pub's terrace last night.. I'd trade it for the Bay in an instant, but this isn't so bad.

Yeah, what's with putting the blinds down on a night flight? Are they worried the sun's going to say "Y'know what? I know it's 3am, but I'm going to randomly shine on you full blast!"?
What, you've never had that happen? =:)

And these people deliberately chose those window seats, too! Ah well. Bit ironic, really - my default assignment had been the middle of the left row, seat B, but I thought I'd prefer having just one neighbor, rather than being a sandwich filling. As it turned out, it was a couple next to me - so if I'd kept B, I might have been able to swap over to the window. (Air Canada permits online checkin from 24 hours before the final flight segment, which was while I was asleep, so I could only take care of that once I woke up on Sunday)

I ought to ensure I pick up a replacement pair of noise cancelling/isolating headphones for the next flight, though - bit of a nuisance, having to turn the volume up to properly listen to the movies. Even with no audio fed in, the old cancellers kept the background rushing sound down quite a bit.. most pleasant. ^_^ (They still work, but the wires have lost their flexibility, and all but frayed through where they enter the 'phones) I suppose the ideal would be Bluetooth noise cancelling with iPhone support (the magic button for pausing and suchlike).. wonder if such exist? Not exactly a niche market, after all, though perhaps that combination's a bit less common. Still, they'd do until we get direct neural interfacing sorted out. =:)
I would imagine most bluetooth headphones come with an 'attention' button and I get the feeling it's part of the spec. My current earpiece (Jabra BT530) is an A2DP (is that it? Stereo Bluetooth anyway) device and the phone responds to the button for call response etc. I would guess that the iPhone just responds to the button press in a similar manner?
Hm! Good point. Maybe I'll ask on the PowerList, and see if anyone's had first-paw experience with such. Any idea what the actual fidelity of A2DP can be? Not that I'd really be seeking audiophile quality anyway, given they'd be used while I'm walking by the main road (making listening to spoken podcasts fairly impractical - damn, but cars are noisy things, and stinky too) or on noisier forms of transport.
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Planning ahead of time? Luxury! =:)

I suppose there's not that much to distinguish most of the airlines, but Virgin have been particularly good in the past, and I was mostly very pleased with Air Canada - USB and 110V power on all seats (though seats C were missing the 110V for some reason), and all programming was on-demand, no waiting for the next start of a film you want to watch. Good choices, too, spread across Hollywood blockbusters, Canadian indies, classics, and more; United, on the other paw, always had terribly turgid selections. 'Course, with something like a fully-loaded iPhone, you can keep yourself busy regardless of the airline's offerings. (And I hear some people use collections of paper to entertain themselves, too)

I wonder how far ahead it's worth getting tickets - the USD seems to be slipping back down at the moment (saving me something like £50 on the MBP =:). Still, the UK prices don't seem to alter all that much.

If you fly out of Heathrow, check TfL's site for maintenance work on the line there - I was a bit surprised to find it completely out of commission, leaving me with the Heathrow Express or National Express from Gatwick, both around £30-35 return - more than the cost of getting to London! As it turned out, the former coworker was (very kindly) able to give me a ride both ways, solving the problem entirely. ^_^

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Don't worry about it. ^_^ It all results in the journey taken, after all, and that's what really counts - being able to be with friends, or in some new and nifty part of the world. Or, indeed, both. ^_^

The Heathrow Express did catch me by surprise, especially after seeing how cheap the tube was, and in comparison to any other mainline service. =:P Once I saw £15 each way, I started looking around for alternatives. Certainly, it's fast and frequent, but that's surely a service ripe for competition, as well as Gatwick-Heathrow, which is even more expensive by National Express, who also appear to have a monopoly.

I'll be keeping an eye out for LGW fares next time - that'd be a simpler journey for me, just a hop up on one train. Still, it was wonderfully kind of Gareth to offer a ride.. so easy, going door-to-door like that, even if I wasn't actually lugging all that much this time - just the one big bag with clothing, the Glaros, electrical bits, and my plush companions. ^_^ (And the laptop bag, needless to say, which was oddly heavier on the way back =:)

This is for FC2010, ne? Will you have time to spend in the area before/after the con, exploring the greater area? I admit, I'm much more one for the City than the South Bay - so very walkable. From North Beach to Market's only about a 15-20 min walk, f'rex, and not that much faster by bus, given the lights at every block.
It is a nice view, yes.

The rebuttal there was underwhelming though, to be honest. Yes, Nichols' claims *are* tripe, of course, but the rebuttal mostly seems to boil down to "I got 10000 comments that disagree with you, here's one (1), there's better ones still but I'm not gonna show them to you, so let me instead use some buzzwords like 'transformative social experience'".

But maybe I'm just overly critical again myself today. :)

The new computer (what's an MBP?) still sounds good, too. ^^ My new box (Skuld) has a GeForce 9600 as well, and SL really does run rather smooth most of the time, even with all the graphics quality settings cranked up to the maximum possible.
Let's try this again, this time with a functioning network connection so pressing Post Comment actually does something more useful than losing the comment.. =:P

Well, it's fair enough that an academic paper under evaluation won't see publication; the comments on the article have a similar flavor, as one might quite reasonably expect. Quite why the guy would make such an assertion, I'm not sure - I suppose it's not so surprising to encounter a lack of empathy for the ways of the net and online life in someone of his age, though there certainly are many exceptions. Church attendances in the UK have been on a steady decline for some time, so perhaps there's an element of self-preservation in his claim; but then again, proof has never been a strong point of religion. (What need for supernatural intervention in the world, when even a system as simple as water droplets descending through cold air can result the everyday magic of snowflakes? The wonder and beauty of the universe is all around us, sometimes working as we might expect, sometimes quite unintuitively, but often to such great effect, whether in the fractals of ferns, or the uncanny field of view of a bunny)

MBP = MacBook Pro, which I've probably mentioned here. *grin* (And it's still an utterly gorgeous system, in all aspects of its aesthetics. Love the battery life, too - after 1h30 in the bath last night, it was showing 79% left, even after playing a fair bit of video and other exercising) Certainly, I've loved being able to explore SL with a truly fluid framerate, or being able to drag it down to what I'd previously experienced, if I turn everything way up - as you might expect, the draw distance has the greatest effect. Have you experimented with enabling shadows? Does incur a hefty framerate hit, but the improvement in realism can easily be worth it, depending on the setting.

Quite why the guy would make such an assertion, I'm not sure

Just to be sure, "the guy" is Nichols, right?

But yes, I agree - it very much seems like the typical "lashing out at things he doesn't understand but which he associates with the younger generation(s)". Whether it's a sound strategy for stopping the decline (also visible over here, BTW) is another question entirely, of course.

But yeah, it needn't bother us non-churchians anyway. ^^

Oh, yes, and "MacBook Pro" - I should've guessed that! :)

Mmm, shadows? I'll have to check that, actually, let's see... hmm, where's that option, actually? I can't find it under Preferences→Graphics.

Glad to see you made it back ok.

I'm now the owner of TWO 15" MacBookPros. My original one (the one you saw) died for no apparent reason other than me possibly opening it up, cleaning the keyboard 5 times, and putting it back together again with either extra screws or screws left over.

I woke up Tuesday morning, checked my email, closed the lid, and it became dead as a door-nail (which is pretty dead). I rely on it so much, I hurried to the closest Apple store and got a new one while I wait for it to get fixed.

This new one has the same battery as yours now, can take up to 8GB of RAM and who-knows-what-else is new inside :-)

I'm selling the old one when it comes back from repair if anyone is interested... I'm sure it'll have all the screws etc this time :-)

Well, if you were to all but give it away, I could think of some worthy furs.. ^_^

I'm starting to get used to the idea of having two 17" laptops in the house. Seems somehow terribly bourgeois, but once I'm properly spinning in creative mode again, it'll be tremendously useful - there's plenty I can only really do on Dandelion, but there's also loads I can still share with Hyzenthlay, even in the land of Logic, as long as the project isn't too complex.

Came in handy today, actually - I popped back home, as there was enough time to drop by the supermarket and get de-sweatified (it's been oddly warm and humid) back home before the appointment, but not really enough to get back to the office. So I still had a fully loaded PowerBook at paw, and was able to hop over to my Wolf Valley rental box and pay for the coming month.

Sounds like a PMU (or now, SMC, as I recall) problem. Weird, but I suppose random soldering problems or suchlike can still happen. You hadn't taken it swimming or anything like that? =:)
I find myself using the two four-finger gestures a LOT now that I know how they work. How about you?

I still can't get used to moving windows around, though. Two-finger scrolling is the absolute best invention ever...
Yep - haven't bothered with the f-key Exposé controls since uncovering those getures. ^_^ Haven't used the window movement ones much yet, though, but that'll probably change soon enough - being able to zoom in and out like that is rather sweet, though.. !