HI THERE KIDS! You might have thought that my Weekly Head Voices were a thing of the past, but I unfortunately have to disappoint you yet again. The weekly head voices will continue in 2010, in spite of slip-ups like this one, where I’m going to have to stuff three weeks of inconsequentialities into the room usually reserved for a single week of inconsequentialities. Whatever the case may be, welcome to this edition, covering weeks 1, 2 and 3 of 2010!
Holiday feeling. Yes, that up there is my foot. Next to my beer. On my balcony. Overlooking my ocean and my clouds… It was a ridiculously lovely holiday, with the only drawback that I wasn’t able to take more people along on it. Fear not, soon my Master Plan will come to fruition, in which my significant other will become famously rich and I’ll be able to charter a Family and Friends Boeing (or an Airbus, depending on the rules that govern such things at that time), and you’ll all be able to tag along on my Ridiculously Lovely holiday.
Hey kids, this would have been the Weekly Head Voices #10, but since the past week can be really compactly summarised (4 hours of lecturing, 8 hours of lab supervision, 1 M.Sc. defense, 15 hours of meetings, 1 brilliant going-away party), I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s post to something completely different, something that one or two of you might even find useful!Image copyright Grant Neufeld. I get to process quite an amount of email every day, and the amount seems to be increasing year after year.
I’ve unfortunately not been involved in any quantum entanglement accidents recently — teaching duties are mostly to be blamed for my two-week silence. Besides spending at least a whole work-day every week on our Data Visualisation practical, I’ve been lecturing and also been preparing a new lecture block on information visualisation with a dash of visual data analysis. Due to my not secretly being an infovis expert, this latter activity has taken up quite a chunk of my time and effort.
Dear readers, Due to a small accident with a friend’s quantum entanglement device, I briefly got stuck in a high pressure reality vortex. The headaches have subsided, but I do still seem to be suffering from slight time compression artifacts. In any case, that’s why there’s only this one edition of the Weekly Head Voices to cover weeks 43 to 45. As is always the case, please make use of the bolded phrases to guide you through this post.
Today The Next Web posted an episode of BBC Watchdog where it was demonstrated how a GMail account was hacked through insecure (WEP) WiFi. For those of you still wondering, I’d like to confirm that it is indeed possible to hack a GMail account over insecure WiFi: GMail does indeed always send your password through secure HTTP (SSL) so that this can’t be directly hacked, BUT, by default, the rest of your session happens through normal clear-text HTTP.
On Wednesday evening I was putting the finishing touches on probably the most important presentation I’ve given in the past few years. As I was testing everything on my trusty little netbook just before bed-time, two scary problems reared their ugly heads: 1) An embedded MS-MPEG4 encoded AVI simply showed a black box when played and, perhaps even more disheartening, 2) the last and most important slide took between 4 and 6 seconds to appear.
So I went to IEEE VisWeek 2009, and it was far more awesome and enjoyable than even my most optimistic expectations. Besides contributing to the tweetstorm (see #visweek) but not being able to liveblog due to higher priority activities, attending paper presentations and chatting with as many cool people as possible (much higher priority activities), this year I’ve also made a number of elaborate bets with a subset of said cool people concerning the future of our technology.
I know that I said that I’d excuse myself from writing one or two editions of the Weekly Head Voices due to the upcoming VisWeek 2009 (and 2010, yes I will be blogging from the future) and the live-blogging explosion it will most likely lead to, but I somehow couldn’t stay away from my beloved WordPress installation. Oh well, so be it! Welcome to the Weekly Head Voices #7, a lucky number for a blog post dealing with week #42, a week that could potentially have something to do with the answer to life, the universe and everything.
Week 40 of 2009 brought with it the following noteworthy tidbits: Gadgets: Public opinion concerning the HTC Hero is generally quite positive, although the extent to which the most recent firmware update has remedied the often-reported laggy touch-screen response leaves me suspicious: It does have a capacitative touch screen (the best kind), but is apparently still not as responsive as the iphone. It’s almost as if the finger swiping is seen as a suggestion instead of an actual command.