Nice view up there

Update: Edited the embed because the original video was removed.



When commercial space tourism becomes attainable (but not necessarily affordable), I’m going to have to see this for myself.

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If you put an airplane on a treadmill…

Estimate the mass of an Airbus A320 at about 170,000lb, start the accelerometer based dyno tool on the iPod touch, and wait for takeoff!

For the record, the estimation based on a 170000lb aircraft was 28596 hp

60′: 4.71 sec@18.5 MPH

1/8 mi: 13.89 sec@ 66.5 MPH

1/4 mi: 19.40 sec@94.2 MPH

A rather poor 1/4 mile time that most modern passenger sedans can outrun but keep in mind that while Mom’s Ford will stop accelerating at around 100MPH, this Airbus will continue accelerating until well past 500MPH.

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Be nice to your servers


Yelling at your servers can measurably negatively affect their performance. No joke. Make sure to treat your servers with respect, and keep it quiet in the datacenter!

Perhaps there is a “brown note” for disks (“rust note”?) – some harmonic that destroys their performance; although based on what we think is happening (disk heads being thrown off track), we think this has more to do with shock force than resonance. I’m sure there are disk vendor engineers out there who know all about this (Bryan links to a good reference in his blog entry).

[Source: Sun Microsystems Blog (now Oracle)]

Continue Reading Music Ripper

Here’s a lazy liner that I cooked up to rip music from – simply replace the URL variable with the page that contains the music and it will dump the music using wget with an MP3 extension!

url=”″; IFS=$’\n’;title=();id=();for i in `GET $url | grep FlashVars | egrep -o “[0-9]{4}” | cut -b 30-`; do id=( “${id[@]}” “$i” ); done; for j in `GET $url | egrep -o “<h2><a href=[[:print:]]{1,} title=[[:print:] ]{1,}>[[:print:] ]{1,}</a></h2>” | cut -d\” -f4`; do title=( “${title[@]}” “$j”); done; for (( k = 0 ; k < “${#id[@]}” ; k++ )); do wget -O”${title[$k]}.mp3″${id[$k]}; done;

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8th ring discovered around Saturn


Right here, thanks to

8th ring discovered around Saturn. Well crap, why didn’t see see this sooner? It turns out that the ring is only visible in the thermal band, not the visible spectrum that we’ve been staring at it for so long with. When you point Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope (which observes in infrared) at it, you get the grand view of the rings, which start at 3.7 million miles out from Saturn and extend an additional 7.4 million miles. Composed of simply space dust, it was observed at a chilly -316F, or about 80 Kelvin.

Thanks to @waybis for pointing this out!

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Things I like about Houston:

  1. Elevated driveways to help prevent local flooding
  2. Road labels and signs painted on the road itself
  3. EZ-TAG also integrates a real-time traffic monitoring system
  4. Every day is bright and sunny

Things I don’t like about Houston:

  1. When it rains, it rains
  2. Elevated driveways are like small mountains to my car
  3. Traffic. 🙁
  4. Traffic. No, really, it’s terrible
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Window Tint Done

I had my window tinting done by “The Beav” over at American Auto Tint. After watching him work, let me say this – the man knows what he is doing.  It is like watching the master of an art practicing his form. In under 2 hours he managed to get all 5 rear windows tinted, and we settled down to let the adhesive soak in and started talking about some local car clubs.

When we came back out to see how the tint was adhering to the glass, he discovered that the lower left corner of the rear windshield tint somehow got a hair stuck in it. There is a pretty good sized bubble jammed between the tint and the glass because the hair is lifting the tint. Poop.

Simple right? Pull it off and re-do it? Here’s the problem. I needed to get to work, and the Beav needed to get on his vacation that he planned a long time ago. Eventually we agreed to meet again at a later date to remove and re-do the rear tint, which was fine with me. I would drop off the car, and he would work his magic to get everything fixed and squared away.

However, you can really only see it if you get up close to the car, so I guess for the time being I can deal with it – although I caught myself looking in the rear view mirror a lot, looking for that little spot of imperfection.

For those intestested, I went with maximum legal tint provided by Llumar for Texas all around in an even coat for the 4 door windows – this came out to be 35%. The rear windshield was done in 15%. In case you were wondering, no the dark rear tint does not make it any more difficult to back the car up at night. You need to pay attention more, but it’s not like it’s blacked out as you would think.

Overall, it was well worth the $200 for “The Beav” to get the job done, and get it done right. No imperfections other than the aforementioned hair on the rear tint, which will be fixed in about a week’s time, and also comes with a full lifetime warranty from Llumar.

On the way to work I kept thinking “why didn’t I get this done sooner, my hands don’t feel like they’re on the BBQ grill when out in the Texas sun”.

Enough babbling – on to the pictures!

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