30 December 2015

New Years Resolutions

A quick search on Google confirmed that people are really not stretching themselves when choosing their new years resolutions.

Search term "new years resolution" "1920x1080" got a creditable 33,000 hits... but it looks like almost 80,000 people were willing to put up with 640x480:

67      2560x2048
239     1900x1200
878     1152x864
2330    1440x1080
4600    1280x1024
9130    2048x1536
10600   1280x960
33000   1920x1080
38400   1024x768
53400   800x600
78900   640x480

Shameful, really

05 November 2015

There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

The moon's albedo is actually quite low. The Earth is significantly brighter, thanks to the clouds and oceans... which are shiny enough that there's a visible highlight in the center of the disc from the sun directly behind the spacecraft. So in this image, with the brightness adjusted for the larger planet, you get to see the true color of our dry, airless companion world.

Suggested listening for the day: Albedo 0.39

Aug 5: From a Million Miles Away, NASA Camera Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth

02 October 2015

The Last Android Villain...

I bought a non-Nexus Android phone a few years back. It was my first smartphone. It was released less than a year before Android 4.0 shipped. When I bought it, ICS was already going out to developers.

Did it get an update?


The cellphone business is chronically sick.

In this article disparaging Nexus phones as "advertising" Vlad Savov writes:
Google's Nexus phones are just ads
I've spent the past couple of days desperately trying to puzzle out the purpose behind Google's newly announced Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones. [...]
One word. Updates.
Google, our knight in shining armor and a propeller hat, has come to save us from the evils of perfidious carriers, ugly Android skins, and late software updates.
I wouldn't mind late software updates. I mind not getting them at all. If you get a flagship phone, it might get updates for a year or two. Then I guess you're supposed to buy a new phone. If you get a mid-range or entry-level phone? You get Bollocks.
There isn't a single Android device manufacturer that is happy with the Nexus program, and I've spoken with them all.
Have you asked them about updates?
Motorola went all-out with the Moto X Pure this year, seeking to deliver the cleanest possible Android experience, best possible specs, and lowest possible price, all while operating independently of carrier interference.
Now they're no longer owned by Google, let's see how they do with updates. If they keep them up, I'll consider getting one. There's a lot of things I really dislike about Nexus phones. Like the lack of SD card slots, which more or less force you to depend on the Google cloud.
 Android phone makers have grown more conscientious and restrained.
Except when it comes to updates.
There is no Android villain left for the Nexus crusader to slay.
Making Android profitable for Android phone makers is one of the great challenges of our time.
I'd be happy with a spec-for-spec replacement for my Nexus 4, with an SD card slot. Is that hard to do? The Nexus 5X is more than I want. I was looking at Chinese phones shipping with plain old AOSP or Cyanogen, because I knew the community could support them even if the manufacturer couldn't.
I wish Google would recognize that and try to do more to support Android as a whole rather than just its own good name.
With the phone manufacturers undercutting it all the time, by releasing phones that never receive a single update, they kind of have to.