I never realized it would be so jarring to hear about parking a car at the Harvard yard without the accent
Month: January 2016
Possible new planet in the solar system, and idea for the name
Astronomers from Caltech claims to have discovered a new planet, a new ninth one that fills the empty spot left by Pluto after it was stripped of planet status. It’s supposed to lie much much farther away from the Sun even compared to Pluto’s orbit. While Pluto is about 4.6 billion miles from Earth at its most distant, this new planet is thought to be 20 billion miles away at its closest, and 100 billion miles away at its farthest. A single orbit could take 10,000 to 20,000 years. (According to the linked article) I suppose it must be a very dark and cold world.
The scientists discovered this planet while attempting to reconcile the difference between the observed movements of some small bodies in distant orbits and their supposed movements predicted by simulation. For the model to match the observations, there should exist an additional planet that is much bigger than earth, and following an orbit far away from the Sun.
All of this is extremely interesting. However, the reason I’m writing this post is because of the name. Since it’s a potentially new ninth planet of the solar system, people seem to be calling it “Planet IX” for now. I say, can we please please keep the name? 😛
IX is already the name of a fictional planet in Frank Herbert’s Dune universe, and it’s also said to have gotten this name due to it being the ninth planet in its system. The fictional IX has a machine and technology oriented society, and many technological innovations from IX (No-ships, Navigation devices, and Hwi Noree, to name a few) help shape the Dune world as the story unfolds.
I am aware that Dune is one of the reference materials that planetary names can come from. It would be a fun name to have for one of our own planets, eh?
I write this post with a bit more than half amount of seriousness.
Recommending Asus X205TA
I’m writing this post on my Asus X205TA 11″ laptop, and I must say it’s the best electronics purchase I’ve made in 2015. (Of course there are other, similar laptops in its class like the HP Stream which I suspect are just as good. I must say the biggest reason I chose the Asus machine was because of its calmer dark blue color, instead of the neon blue/pink of Stream)
The laptop costs less than $200, often cheaper on social shopping sites like Groupon. It uses an Intel quad-core Atom processor, 2GBs of RAM, and runs Windows 10. For its price, the specs leave little to be desired. It even includes a (albeit crappy) webcam. Since most of what I use my laptop for is using a shell to connect to a remote server, or creating simple Powerpoint slideds, these specs are more than enough for most of work. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who needs to work on more complex software, say, Photoshop, or even needs to create complex Powerpoint slides though.
It also helps that the battery lasts a very long time. With my usage pattern, I use it on-and-off throughout the day and charge it every day or so. It’s refreshing not having to look for a power outlet everywhere I sit down.
The laptop handles like a windows tablet with a keyboard. I guess with the overabundance of really cheap android/windows tablets and the economy of size regarding their production, they decided to build one with a keyboard on it and call it a laptop. Which I didn’t know was what I always wanted, but did.
The only major downside in terms of the hardware specs is the size of the internal flash storage, which boasts a measly capacity of 32GBs. This can be somewhat mitigated by plugging in a microSD card into the slot in the side.
A minor issue I had sometimes with it was with the touchpad sensitivity. It’s fine using it to move the pointer around, but often gets confused with multitouch, or tapping to click. I’ve been considering carrying a mouse around with me at all times, but I guess things haven’t been that uncomfortable yet.
A major pitfall most users will probably fall into is the wireless network problem: where the WLAN driver sometimes suddenly stops working and you don’t have wireless network anymore. No amount of rebooting helps.
This problem can be (airquote) solved (end airquote) by going into the device manager, removing the offending WLAN device, reboot, reinstall the WLAN driver and rebooting. The ASUS X205TA Broadcom Wireless Lan Driver can be found in the Asus Website.
Despite its little quirks, I’m very happy with the Asus X205TA. It’s also fairly good looking It’s a good lightweight laptop that handles most of my workload. Thanks to its price, I probably won’t cry too hard if I lose it during a conference overseas.
CGI Animated Shorts HD: “Fortress/Крепость”: – by Dima Fedotof
Beautiful 3D animated short about automated war machines fighting a war long after all the people, and the reason for the war in the first place, is gone.
Sweet things for yours and my mind here :D
I suppose every blog needs an explicit first post
Here we go!