Archive for January 2007

Lets pop the champane, Rails 1.2 has arrived!

Yes indeed, Rails 1.2 is officially out. My gems are updating as we speak, and Agile Web Development with Rails Second Edition should just about be in the mail ;)

The concepts of REST (Representational State Transfer) that technically seeks to model web sites as a state machine is the new hot thing for the Rails community, which means the focus is all on resources that can be accessed through simple GET and POST methods to a set of simple controllers.
This is a very vague incomplete description, but that is one of the big effects of going the REST way, which is what Rails is doing. I like the idea for its abstraction – data, with a layer of “views” built on top of it, with simple intuitive access to these views. There’s a whole bunch of cool things going on, and instead of me babbling about it (dude… it’s still downloading!), read what the core people are saying.

In other news, what’s Google up to… Would you believe me if you say that Google could possibly become bery much THE INTERNET? Read Cringely’s post on Google’s Fiber control, its interesting!

The First Two Days – just getting into it.

Its only been two days and i’m already up here in the RadioAstronomy lab trying to figure out how 21 units appeared on my schedule… CS61C, Physics 7C, EE120, EE40, Astro 121, IEOR 190C, Decal… And I haven’t even started at Yahoo! Good thing, because in the next week I’ll have to wittle down that list of 7 classes to a much more managable 5… hold on… make that 6. 17 units. Sounds good. And 10 to 15 hours per week at Yahoo. That should leave Friday nights open for some time with my girlfriend. Then again, she’ll most probably be up in Worster working on an architecture project ;) Life is good eh?

Ok, now not to get too much into going on about my personal life (which is exceptionally great at the moment), I’ll get to what I DID want to talk about. I walked into the RadioAstro lab today and ran into the local tech/engineer guy Jonah and a guy named Andrew (another student), busy tinkering with a little AMD-based board that they’re hacking to make an Ethernet-enabled sensor box. We had an interesting conversation about using technology and engineering in the astrophysics field, and the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER) came up, directed by Dan Werthimer (of Seti@HOME fame). I haven’t heard of them before, but they’re doing some awesome stuff! Taking the tools that Engineering teaches and applying that to the sciences. A very worthy cause in my mind!

I’ll say more later, but right now we need a program to capture some telescope data. w00t!

Reddit is Awesome – Flaming Lips, Fusion Energy and No Pants combine!

You just simply have to love Reddit now don’t you? Where else can I find information on the best news stories in technology, science, music, politics and, well, in today’s case, public semi-nudity? (that last one is a special treat on Martin Luther King day i’m sure!)

Check this out… 200 people ride New York’s underground without pants on! Why? Because it’s “No Pants Day!”. For a moment there I thought that BART might be fun this way, but then again I can see far too many problems trying that in the Bay Area ;)

Also, The Flaming Lips did a great cover of the Gnarls Barkley song “Crazy”, making it a war protest song. Some pretty sweet music going down here!

Then, for the science of today! China’s scientists apparently show that a fusion reactor is feasible! This is probably the most exciting news of the year! Take, for a moment, the current global energy and global warming crisis, and think about the biggest problem, the reason there is an issue at all. Well, I think we can universally agree on the fact that it is the rampant energy consumption of current day civilization that depends mostly on costly, dirty fossil fuels that cause carbon emissions and a rape of the earth for more resources. Thus, if we can replace our whole energy input system with something that is truly clean (as in, the by-products are helium and other light elements), extremely effective and extremely powerful (uses the same principle as the sun’s energy production). Boom! It might not solve global warming immediately, but will it put our species back on track for survival like no other!

Where is this miracle technology? Well, right here! Nuclear fusion – the process of combining atoms to form heavier elements – has been understood since the turn of last century, but has until now been out of reach of our technological capabilities. It seems to be coming within our grasp – This is excitement!

Art meets Technology: Smart focusing creates beautiful pictures

In the spirit of my belief that technology is a tool for the creative purposes of our mind, I found this picture simply amazing. Through smart composition and focusing, this image was taken (no photoshop, apparently):

Isn’t that awesome?

Snowboard Extreme!

I had a wonderful break in Yosemite, where I spent two days learning how to snowboard at Badger Pass. I'm hooked! Its an amazing feeling to have control of your board and zoom down the slopes!

I also cross-country skied out to Glacier Point. We covered just over 10 miles our first day, which HURT! Its beautiful to get out and leave civilization behind on your cross-country skies though – those of you whole always end up spending days on end with the crowds on the slopes should try it out. Bliss!

Its also now almost the start of the next semester. I'm hoping to focus this blog on my programming and design/development during this semester – I'll be doing micro circuitry in EE40, C, Assembly and MIPS in CS61C, and web development for Yahoo! Sounds like a fun-tas-tic semester!