willbryant.net

March 2009

Scripps FLIP ship

I love the FLIP ship, it's a 108m-long, thin ship with no engine of its own; it gets towed out into the ocean somewhere where they want to do some research but need a stable platform that won't bob up and down or make noise. When they get it there, they flood the long stem bit and it sinks under the water, flipping up the whole ship 90°. The length and weight of the sunken part makes it very stable so it provides a great base even in fairly heavy seas. The crazy thing is what it means for the people on the ship at the time – they don't get off to flip it:

Posted Mon 30 March 2009 13:10 (+1300)

Historical Ford fail

It's kinda funny when western businessmen assume they know best about how to do everything:

Posted Sat 28 March 2009 11:25 (+1300)

China, government, savings, and conspicuous consumption

One of the interesting things Jonathan Siegel talked about from his Beijing trip was the attitudes Chinese people have to their finances, and to their government:

Posted Thu 26 March 2009 16:40 (+1300)

GE Smart Grid promo augmented reality

The GE Smart Grid promo is very cool and has to be tried to be believed. Print out the “Solar Panel Marker”, click the “Launch Wind Turbine” link, maybe tell Flash which camera on your laptop to use, and hold the page up… and it will open out a 3D thing from your held-up page! Blow at your computer and the wind turbines will spin… very cool touch. And it just uses Flash over the web, no software download required! (via)

Posted Thu 19 March 2009 21:19 (+1300)

Bulletproof Javascript detection

You may have to be a programmer to understand why this is tragically funny, but the Bulletproof Javascript detection post Mog linked me to is, well, special. In the short-bus kind of way.

Posted Wed 18 March 2009 21:35 (+1300)

Software development survey

Nat's linked to an interesting survey on software development theory vs. practice that everyone who develops in OOP languages should fill out (it's quick). Anyone who works for me had better rate designing for testability as a high priority or there'll be Words :).

Posted Tue 17 March 2009 14:50 (+1300)

Communicative hosting companies

Looking around at a number of hosting companies recently it was great to see some positive examples of how you should communicate important permissions and restrictions to your (potential) customers sticking out from the usual pile of deliberately obscured limitations and unmanageable legalese we've come to expect from the world.

Posted Wed 04 March 2009 13:20 (+1300)

Powershop blogs

The @powershop search on twitter is turning up some interesting blogs – Alan Macdougall did a pretty in-depth look at whether Powershop will save his family money over a year (in short: he gets much less saving than some of us are getting), Ari from Powershop getting in and answering the questions everyone's coming up with. Meanwhile Nik at Code to Customer blogged an amusing telemarketing call from his old powercompany where he manages a bit of the ole' back-sell :). I'm finding it quite fun hearing how the blogosphere is reacting to the projects I've been working on!

Posted Mon 02 March 2009 23:29 (+1300)

NATO/Jordan hookups

Wikileaks has been making itself useful over the past few months, discovering that the password to a now-offline NATO document in a Pentagon repository used to give the official line on the war in Afghanistan to their PR flacks was in fact “progress”, and the document had some interesting things to not say:

Posted Mon 02 March 2009 23:04 (+1300)

SAVE

It's been years since I read slashdot, but occasionally you run into articles with some real gems, like this comment on an article about an OS that's half like one I want to build (and half really not, but that's another story):

Posted Sun 01 March 2009 21:15 (+1300)

Craig sez

Saint linked up this excellent Facebook group consisting primarily of occasionally very funny notices attached by the mysterious Craig around Melbourne. We'd like to believe he's some bloke but he's probably just someone's marketing campaign. We'd also like to believe he's one of our friends in Melbourne, but they're probably too busy, tall, and/or insufficiently funny.

Posted Sun 01 March 2009 00:28 (+1300)

New Server

The old server hosting this blog had pretty much crawled to a halt due to the other things using that box, so I've set up a new VM at ServerAxis which will host all my & my company's Rails apps. The site should now be much faster. Let me know if you have any problems!

Posted Sun 01 March 2009 00:09 (+1300)

Recent photos

Hong Kong at night, from Victoria Peak
An IFC monolith
Lucky Dessert neon
Hong Kong sign overload near Mong Kok
Sunset from Hong Kong Island
One of the stalls making Mong Kok overpoweringly smelly
Making the most of the land you've got
Cool arch up Nong Ping
More

About me

I'm a Wellington, New Zealand-based software consultant. In my spare time I enjoying cooking, traveling, geocaching, progressive house, and fixin stuff.

Need to get in touch? Try me at my public email address.