Windows Explorer in Windows 8

I read this post on Improve­ments in the Win­dows Explor­er ear­li­er today with quite a bit of excite­ment. There’s a lot to learn in here about the thought process that goes behind the Rib­bon UI which was devel­oped at Microsoft and is final­ly reach­ing the Explor­er win­dow. I, per­son­al­ly, wel­come the changes and think it… Con­tin­ue read­ing Win­dows Explor­er in Win­dows 8

Categorized as Apple, Geek

I’ve been a fan of fan­ta­sy pret­ty much my entire life. No mat­ter how much I got a cer­tain amount of enjoy­ment of the scant­i­ly clad women war­riors from artists like Frazetta or Lar­ry Elmore, much of the—uh, armor?— that some women wore did­n’t seem like it would be of much help in a sword fight. Or keep them from freez­ing to death in a cool breeze. Or even just stay on them, for that matter.

Some­one has cre­at­ed a handy Tum­blr blog so we can all enjoy know­ing that there are plen­ty of sen­si­ble women in the make-believe worlds of fan­ta­sy. Enjoy some of the great art at Women Fight­ers in Rea­son­able Armor.

I may even make some self-res­cu­ing princess art for my daugh­ter from some of these.

I often hear from oth­ers and even find myself say­ing “I’d pay more for a ver­sion of prod­uct X if it were made in the U.S.” Accord­ing to this Forbes piece by Steve Den­ning, most com­pa­nies could­n’t man­u­fac­ture or even design a lot prod­ucts here, even if they want­ed to. The facil­i­ties and know-how all got shipped over­seas along with the jobs and money.

One exam­ple that struck me:

The lithi­um bat­tery for GM’s [GM] Chevy Volt is being man­u­fac­tured in South Korea. Mak­ing it in the U.S. wasn’t fea­si­ble: recharge­able bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing left the US long ago.

Some efforts are being made to res­ur­rect recharge­able bat­tery man­u­fac­ture in the U.S., such as the GE-backed [GE] A123Systems, but it’s dif­fi­cult to go it alone when much of the exper­tise is now in Asia.

Inter­est­ing, giv­en that my neigh­bor here in Franklin, TN—Nissan—will be man­u­fac­tur­ing the bat­ter­ies for the Leaf in near-by Sym­r­na, TN (one of their larg­er plants in N.A.) by next year. I think it is far too ear­ly to make any claims as to the via­bil­i­ty of one choice over the oth­er, as both cars just hit the mar­ket and pro­duc­tion lines have prob­a­bly yet to even hit any sort of reg­u­lar­i­ty. How­ev­er, that seems to be a glar­ing hole in the argu­ment that bat­ter­ies, at least, can­not be made in the states.

Or, on the oth­er hand, it may soon serve to prove that point. Only time will tell. I, for one, am root­ing on Nis­san to make it work.

I’m an Apple fan and as much as I’d like to write some­thing on Steve Jobs’ retire­ment, the Inter­net is pret­ty much already filled to the brim with rumi­na­tions on the top­ic. If you do choose to read a piece on this, I sug­gest MG Sei­gler’s piece at TechCrunch. It sum­ma­rizes why Jobs’ leav­ing is broad­er than just a tech news piece and delves into what is next for Apple.

I will sum­ma­rize why this mat­ters to me: Apple was formed a few months before I was born and Jobs retired on my 35th birth­day. I have grown up with Apple in a very real sense. From play­ing “Ore­gon Trail” on an Apple ][ to car­ry­ing a device ripped from a sci­ence fic­tion nov­el as my phone, these devices have real­ly mat­tered to me. The atten­tion to detail in them and the amount of vision it took to get them in my hands has always been phe­nom­e­nal. The fact that so many oth­ers are tak­ing note of this change in lead­er­ship means that they meant a lot to all of us, regard­less of what com­put­er of phone we use. It was always so much more than just that.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

It took me sev­er­al tries to get inter­est­ed in Lev Gross­man­’s nov­el, The Magi­cians: A Nov­el. I had avoid­ed read­ing any­thing about the novel—other than it was high­ly rec­om­mend­ed and had won an award. I had no idea what to expect aside from, most­ly like­ly, some mag­ic hap­pen­ing. The open­ing of some kids walk­ing down… Con­tin­ue read­ing The Magi­cian King by Lev Grossman

Categorized as General

The Windup Girl

I fin­ished the audio­book of The Windup Girl, Pao­lo Baci­galupi mul­ti-award win­ning nov­el about life in a dystopic Thai­land after glob­al warm­ing and genet­ic engi­neer­ing have wrecked much of mod­ern soci­ety. Baci­galupi is a won­der­ful writer and it is an imag­i­na­tive sto­ry, wor­thy of the praise and awards that were heaped on it after the… Con­tin­ue read­ing The Windup Girl