Home office refresh 2009

I’m starting on another “refresh” of my workspace at home: this is becoming a distressingly regular (annual?) activity that I’m hoping to put an end to soon. The objective this year is pretty much a total rebirth: minimizing/reducing, painting, and possibly re-flooring and new furniture. The first step was to excise a bunch of “stuff” from this rather small room, and to get ready for the painting which I intend to do myself.

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Impact of Google page rank

My site’s Google “PageRank” dropped in January, from a 3 to a 2, which is pretty much as low as you can go. Smaller numbers mean less “relevant”, at least as far as Google is concerned. I’d like a higher page rank but when I think about it doesn’t matter all that much to me. I’m more curious, however, to observe the impact of the ranking drop.

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Solid State Drives (SSD) and real-world performance

I have been following the development of solid state drives (SSD) for what seems like decades. The advantages of no moving parts and virtually zero random access latency are compelling, but the prices and capacities have not been where I needed them to be for practical use. That is nearly no longer true and SSDs are entering the mass market level for some particular purposes (notably laptops). Naturally, since it is on the leading edge, I’m all over it: I just bought a 128 GB SSD on my own dime for my work laptop.  

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Time to buy a PS3? Hardly…

The folks at Ars Technica would like you to believe that now is the time to buy a PS3. My interpretation of their thesis: the PS3 doesn’t really suck that bad, and if you don’t buy it you will lack a full understanding of the current “state of the art” in console gaming. I find the reasoning in the article to be rather shoddy, really: it only applies if you have a bucket of money sitting unused and don’t already have a console. I particularly don’t like the implication that I’m being shallow or ignorant by making the decision *not* to buy a PS3.

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WoW must be giving it away…

I was reading a “d’uh, that’s obvious” article today regarding how the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) industry needs to stop looking for the next WoW killer. And I came across this particular bit of text that, well, just doesn’t add up.

By his [Michael Cai] estimation, WoW accounted for half of the $860 million in revenues that MMOs generated in the U.S. in 2008.    

The emphasis above is mine. Let’s take a look at this figure.
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Observations after a week of waking up to the (simulated) sun

A week ago I mentioned that I had purchased a lamp that simulates a sunrise. I promised at the time that I would provide some kind of a review after a week or two of use, and I think I’ve experienced enough with this lamp to offer some reasonable impressions. The results are good: waking up to ersatz sunlight helps make my day a bit better.

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Crazy Brat Woman has another litter…

A woman who already has six children from in-vitro fertilization treatments now has eight more thanks to another such treatment. Although I hope her kids turn out okay, I really have to think that this woman needs some serious psychological counseling. What possible motive could an unmarried woman have for trying to pump out spawn like a hyper-active salmon? Kids need a proper parent with an adequate amount of time for each child, not some sort of crazed assembly line of half- assed care and perverse media attention.

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Lara Croft replacement

Angelina Jolie has apparently said more or less categorically that she will not come back to play as Lara Croft in another Tomb Raider movie. It has been announced that there will be another Tomb Raider movie, so the question Wired is asking is: who will don Lara’s spelunking outfit?

I have a bit of a bias towards Teresa Noreen myself: here’s a comparison shot showing Jolie on the left, and Noreen on the right.


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Simulated sunrise…

I have been contemplating acquisition of a “sunrise simulator” lamp for a while, and finally got one yesterday. The NatureBright Per3 is more or less a bright LED lamp with a clock attached. A bit modern looking…but not too garish:


After a single day of use, I can’t really offer a review, but I can say this: I’m awake, and probably in a better mood than I normally am at this time of day.

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