Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Apple's iPod Line Updated

As I predicted in February, the iPod photo has fully replaced the black & white iPod, but it has also dropped the "photo" from its name. Apple also lowered the price of the 1Gb iPod shuffle by $20.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What is the Sun made of?

Like most people, I was taught that the sun is huge ball of gas (plasma), mostly hydrogen. This description of the sun dates back almost 400 years to Galileo Galilei.

However, there are dissenting voices. At least two of which claim that a significant percentage of the sun is composed of iron. The first is Michael Mozina and the second is Dr. Oliver K. Manuel of the University of Missouri at Rolla. Both of their work incorporates the newest data from solar space probes launched over the last ten years.

Mozina claims that the sun has a seismically unstable solid iron surface. He uses this hypothetical surface to explain the full range of solar phenomena. Dr. Manuel claims the sun is primarily iron with a supernova core at its center. Here's a SpaceDaily.com article which cleanly discusses Dr. Manuel's theory.

I'm too much of an amateur to decide if these gentlemen are correct, but their ideas are quite intriguing. Consider this quote from wikipedia: One of the first people in the Western world to offer a scientific explanation for the sun was the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, who reasoned that it was a giant flaming ball of rock or metal, and not the chariot of Apollo.

How ironic would it be if this ancient philosopher was (in a simplistic way) correct?

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Bit of WWII History.

A Nagasaki Report By George Weller

"American George Weller was the first foreign reporter to enter Nagasaki following the U.S. atomic attack on the city on Aug. 9, 1945. Weller wrote a series of stories about what he saw in the city, but censors at the Occupation's General Headquarters refused to allow the material to be printed. Weller's stories, written in September 1945, can be found below."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Become a reverse engineer.

Introduction to Reverse Engineering Software.

"This book is an attempt to provide an introduction to reverse engineering software under both Linux and Microsoft Windows©. Since reverse engineering is under legal fire, the authors figure the best response is to make the knowledge widespread. The idea is that since discussing specific reverse engineering feats is now illegal in many cases, we should then discuss general approaches, so that it is within every motivated user's ability to obtain information locked inside the black box. Furthermore, interoperability issues with closed-source proprietary systems are just plain annoying, and something needs to be done to educate more open source developers as to how to implement this functionality in their software."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

iTunes Sales Level Off?

With the whole "Apple moving to Intel" thing, I think there is another issue that's being over-looked: it seems iTunes sales may have leveled off.

I have been recording the data Apple releases about iTunes sales from the beginning. Using their "total songs sold" number and the date of the announcement, I've been able to get a good approximation of how many songs they're selling per day, going back to when the iTunes Music Store was first released. During his keynote yesterday, Steve Jobs claimed total iTunes sales of 430 million, up 130 million from their March 2 number.

This yields an average songs-sold-per-day of 1.35 million. That doesn't sound too shabby until you look at the last period where the average was also 1.35 million, marking the first time since September 2003 that the per-day average hasn't significantly increased. Is this the beginning of the fall of the iTMS?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Holy Shit

I can't believe it. This is like finding out that your dad's been raping your kid sister! This is like discovering that your priest is in cahoots with Satan!

Apple is switching it's macintosh line over to Intel CPUs.

I don't know what to say to this. It's probably a good thing but after so many years of defending Apple's CPU choices... it's hard to accept. I had heard the rumors many times over the past few years but I never, not in a million years, thought this would actually happen.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Solder Electronics The NASA Way

NASA has some short but excellent videos detailing the correct soldering technique.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Web Translation To Make Quantum Leap

Google is working on a dramatic upgrade to their current language translation tools. An article entitled "Google Translator: The Universal Language" details the technology and possible applications. I'm really looking forward to having this available. Current language tools for translating foreign languages are barely usable as they generally yield gibberish-heavy translations.