Posted on November 11, 2013
I got the news a bit late, but one of the buildings of the Internet Archive caught fire last week.
An early estimate shows we may have lost about $600,000 worth of high end digitization equipment, and we will need to repair or rebuild the scanning building. It is in difficult times like these that we turn to our community.
You might know the Internet Archive from their Wayback Machine, a service that keeps snapshots of many websites back to 1996
I’m really only familiar with that tool, but they do so much more. From their about page:
The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
If you want to help rebuild, you can donate.
Posted on October 18, 2013
A retweet wasn’t enough this time. If you work with APIs you’ll relate to this (baby is optional)
Having a baby has really driven home how terrible it is when several issues result in the same error message—
Andrew Traviss (@andrewtraviss) October 18, 2013
Posted on September 30, 2013
Folsom Street Fair. Judging for the name, one would expect something completely different. If you have no idea what it is, ask Google Images (NSFW). I think I had never seen so many naked guys, not to mention bondage and whip demos, leather and latex, and all sorts of crazy stuff, in broad daylight, in a major city center.
The two women in the picture above were just hanging out there, acting like cats, playing with toys. I so wished I’d had brought a laser pointer
Posted on September 19, 2013
More often than not, I find this alert greeting me: I’ve reached my iCloud storage limit again.
You get 5GB free, but you share those for all the devices tied into your Apple ID. In my case, here’s the list:
- 32GB iPad mini – testing device, but used for reading, browsing, videos,… while not working
- 32GB iPhone 4S – main phone so far
- 32GB iPhone 5 – next main phone, used to test the iOS7 betas this summer
- 8GB iPod 4G – testing only
- MacBook Pro
That’s not counting the older devices I never use anymore.
Backups don’t include the OS or the installed Apps, but the rest of the data can easily surpass 5GB with this many devices. You can opt to not backup some parts like your Camera Roll or iBooks, but then what’s the point of backing up. The other option is to pay for more storage.
I don’t think the storage plans are that expensive (although they are, compared to Dropbox and others), but considering I roughly buy a new iPhone and iPad each year, that’s over $1000 for Apple. If you renew your computer every 2-3 years, duplicate that (those new retina MacBooks are expensive). Throw in another $100 for the developer program, although that’s peanuts compared to the hardware cost.
It’s not crazy to think Apple could offer you an extra 5GB for each new device. Even expiring the extra space after a couple of years would be enough.
Then again, a lightning cable is more expensive than the 10GB plan.
Posted on September 18, 2013
Reading John Gruber’s review of the iPhone 5S and 5C, I found this very interesting part that I hadn’t realised before:
ARMv8, the architecture upon which Apple’s new A7 is designed, is a clean break. ARM’s previous instruction set dated back 20 years. ARM has always been designed for low power consumption, but 20 years ago is forever in this industry. Rather than simply add 64-bit instructions to the old ISA, ARMv8 is a clean break designed for today’s — and the future — world.
[...]the biggest reason for the performance and power consumption improvements going from the A6 to A7 is the switch from the ARMv7 to ARMv8 architectures, not 32- to 64-bit. ARMv8’s improved instruction set alone has resulted in 15-20 percent performance gains while simultaneously using less power, from what I’ve been told by informed sources. And though Apple could have gone to ARMv8 while remaining 32-bit only, it made no sense not to go 64-bit.
I was wondering where was the need for 64-bit on smartphones, but that sounds really cool.
Posted on August 14, 2013
- Caramelized Apple and Blue Cheese Crostini
- Asparagus and Jamon with sous vide fried egg. Roughly based on a recipe from Modernist Vegetarian
- Vegetarian Four Cheese Lasagna
- Banana Cream Cheesecakes
- Mojito Spheres
After a 6 course dinner for my birthday I realized maybe 6 dishes for 5 people was a bit more than I could handle so I decided to go simpler for Esther’s birthday, but things got crazy and I started adding stuff to the menu. At least I had the lasagna as the main course (to make sure nobody left hungry) and had more room to experiment –and potentially fail.
The banana cheesecakes called for some coconut milk, and the can included a recipe for Piña Colada, so I added the crostini as an appetizer while we enjoyed them and finished cooking the rest.
I still can’t believe I got the spheres right on my first try ever, we’ll see if next attempts go as smoothly as this one.
Taking pictures was an afterthought and by the time the food was ready we were all pretty hungry, so there aren’t pictures of everything and what I got is not exactly the best in terms of food photography. I’ll have to plan for that on the next one.
Posted on August 14, 2013
I’ve always enjoyed cooking but my recipe repertoire was pretty basic until recently. I’d say Esther going vegetarian was the first step towards more creative cooking. Earlier this year we had an amazing dinner in Seattle thanks to the guys from ChefSteps. That definitely got me curious about new techniques, but it’s not all about that: I’m looking for dishes that both look and taste delicious, and many times you can get there with more traditional methods and ingredients. I’m definitely not buying liquid nitrogen anytime soon.
So, I had thought of throwing a big party for my 30th birthday, but I had spent almost 3 months living in Germany, plus a week in Greece. I moved out right after I got more into cooking and I hadn’t tried many of the recipes I wanted, as I cooked either for myself only, or had to do a vegetarian option. All I wanted was to cook something at home. So I did that.
And after cooking for 1 or 2 people for so long, I took the opportunity a bit too far and ended up with 6 courses in the menu: almost 2 days cooking and another one shopping.
- Caramelized Cold Carrot Soup
- Lamb Skewers with Mint Yoghurt
- Zucchini Tots
- Salmon mi-cuit with Garlic Cheese Risotto
- Nutella Cheesecakes
- Candy Cane Vodka
* All the courses had a vegetarian option, mostly replacing any meat with Tofu
My expectations were all wrong: I thought the Lamb and Salmon would be the favorites, but I think the carrot soup and cheesecakes won by far.
The soup was delicious, but it takes some time to prepare. I had cooked it once before and burnt most of the carrots. The upside is that I learned then that I had been using my pressure cooker wrong all this time (I used to set it on high heat and just leave it there *facepalm*). But even with a burnt taste it was mostly delicious so I had to try again. And I’m glad I did. If you prepare it, try just the cream without the carrot juice. The flavour is really strong so it might not be for you, mix with carrot juice until you love it.
My friends loved these more than me. After a couple more attempts, the more they liked them the less I did, so I guess I just don’t like Zucchini much.
The lamb was a big fail: it felt undercooked, I seared with a torch instead of a pan and was clearly not enough, and the sauce was too liquid and full of mint chunks. Good thing it wasn’t the only dish on the menu.
The salmon was delicious although I wouldn’t call that mi-cuit: I really need a better thermometer (stay away from this one) or, even better, a SousVide Supreme. The risotto was nice (a bit too much garlic), but didn’t really pair well with the salmon.
The nutella cheesecakes were the highlight that night. It’s relatively easy to make, once you know how to whip cream properly. I’ve done these 4 times now and it just keeps getting better.
The Candy Cane Vodka was mostly an excuse to use my new whipping siphon and getting rid of some vodka that nobody ever drinks. Their flavor was very subtle, I’m not sure if they needed more candy cane, pressure, or time, but I’ll keep experimenting.
Overall it was fun, and I managed to keep the kitchen clean and tidy up to the desserts, when it all went to hell. It probably didn’t help that by the time I was plating desserts I probably had had 3-4 glasses of wine already.