A rather fun kind of all-terrain bike, from Aerofex.
More info here.
Gosh, it’s easy to miss this one:
I’ve been using the vigorous-shake-to-undo feature when I’m working in apps which don’t have an Undo button, but it isn’t always convenient. Especially late at night when I’m trying not to wake Rose…
After a weekend clear-out, we’re giving away a couple of dumbbell-type exercise weights, and an old HP Deskjet printer, on our local Freecycle list.
Seven people immediately expressed an enthusiastic desire for the gym accessories.
Nobody was interested in the miracle of modern printing technology.
This is, in my opinion, some of the finest salami yet created by mankind. I’m sure it’s the finest at my local Waitrose, anyway. It’s… well… creamy.
If you’re a salami enthusiast, ask yourself when you last described one as creamy. If it wasn’t recently, give this a try. Goes nicely with mozzarella in a salad.
My friend Frazer points out that the manufacturers of screen wash fluid had better start looking for a new business, because, with self-driving cars, we soon won’t need windscreen wipers. And with no rear-view mirrors, where will we hang the fluffy dice? Actually, Frazer has some keen insights into the massive changes that driverless cars will eventually bring to society.
Richard and I, discussing our hopes for this future, realised that what we really wanted was a driverless campervan or motorhome. Just imagine, you can all sit around and have a cup of tea en route. Or, if you prefer, a glass of wine. And then go to bed. And in the morning, you wake up in the Alps and take the dog out for a walk. If you need a car, to get around while you’re there, you can call one to wherever you’re parked. But if you have a car of your own, and you want to take yours along, you can just tell it to follow you there.
Now, this is an important new market, because one of the things that driverless cars will bring is dramatically-reduced car ownership. Cars sit idle in the street for so much of the time, just so that they’re around when you need them. But when an iPhone app can call any nearby car to you at any time, they’ll be much more efficiently used, and you’re much less likely to need one of your own. Having to find parking in city centres will be a thing of the past, and residential streets will be freed of so much clutter. All good news.
Unless, of course, you’re a car manufacturer. If car ownership goes down by a factor of two, three, four… who knows?… you’ll need a new source of revenue. And I think your motorhome/campervan, decked out the way you like it, is a very personal thing – it’s something you’ll still want to own. And something a lot more people will want to own in this future.
So I’d like to offer my services as a consultant and beta-tester for Google, and all those auto manufacturers, who are now slapping their foreheads as they realise that… of course! The key to their future is in the mobile, self-driving, holiday cottage…
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
I’m chuffed to discover, while looking for something else, that a script I wrote – called newslist – is still included as a demo in the Python distribution. I sent it to Guido in 1994.
It was basically a simple interface to Usenet (NNTP) news servers, so I shouldn’t really draw attention to it because it probably hasn’t had a lot of use in the last decade or so!
The included documentation, however, may induce a little nostalgia in those who were involved in the early web. It begins:
NEWSLIST ======== A program to assist HTTP browsing of newsgroups ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WWW browsers such as NCSA Mosaic allow the user to read newsgroup articles by specifying the group name in a URL eg 'news:comp.answers'. To browse through many groups, though, (and there are several thousand of them) you really need a page or pages containing links to all the groups. There are some good ones out there, for example, http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/DataSources/News/Groups/Overview.html is the standard one at CERN, but it only shows the groups available there, which may be rather different from those available on your machine. Newslist is a program which creates a hierarchy of pages for you based on the groups available from YOUR server. It is written in python - a splendid interpreted object-oriented language which I suggest you get right now from the directory /pub/python at ftp.cwi.nl, if you haven't already got it.
Note that we hadn’t yet started to call it ‘the Web’.
I was just too late to make it into the Python 1.0 distribution. But for this and a couple of other small early contributions, I find I’ve been in the Python acknowledgements since 1.0.2, nearly 19 years ago.
‘Tis an honour I dreamed not of.
And your second interesting technology statistic of the day:
© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser