Random Thursday - The 1st Day of Spring on a Saturday Edition

Is this really the first day of Spring? I get confused about the date, and not just because the temperature is 50 degrees colder today than yesterday. I could Google it, but, you know...spring fever and all.

Anyway, now that The Gate is hung, I'm between projects (I'm contemplating trying my hand at building a fusion reactor in my garage next) and the weather is too bad for yard work (yay!) so, what the heck - I'll just do a little blogging.

  • You should check out broadband.gov, the FCC's website devoted to that agency's plan to make high speed internet access available throughout the USA. On the home page there's a link to a broadband speed test that allows you to check your ISP's connection speed. According to this Ars Technica report, the FCC is doing this because it distrusts the self-reporting done by ISPs (gee...do you think ISPs would actually fudge their numbers? Say it ain't so!). The FCC's test provides two methodologies, the nuances of neither I'm qualified to explain, but for my cable connection, they provided pretty consistent numbers (averaging 7600kbps down, 1050kbps up, and latency of 43ms). Those numbers were a bit under the national average, but well above the median, at least on the download side.

    The interesting aspect to these tests is that the FCC requires you to provide your address, presumably so they can track how ISPs in your area are measuring up.

  • Speaking of the Feds, the Department of Transportation has issued a statement to the effect that bicyclists and pedestrians will now be placed on equal footing with motorists in federal transportation planning. I may have a lot of beefs (beef? beeves? beauf?) with how the federal government views many issues, but anything it can do to make streets and highways safer and more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians is fine with me. Well, as long as it doesn't inconvenience me when I want to drive somewhere. Or raise my taxes. Or make me give credit to the Obama Administration. But, otherwise, I'm on board.

  • Speaking of non-vehicular traffic, did you know that there's a commercial farm devoted to the planting, harvesting, and sale of tumbleweeds? You can have your very own organically-grown, hand-harvested 'weed for the low price of $25 (large), $20 (medium), or $15 (small), plus shipping, of course. Here's the thing, though: a "large" is defined as "20 inches in diameter and up." In West Texas, that barely qualifies as a "tiny." As I type this, there's a four-FOOTER residing in our neighbor's driveway, apparently trapped for eternity in the wind equivalent of a whirlpool. We've had tumbleweeds the size of Mini Coopers rolling through our neighborhood.

  • Photographic Portfolio Recommendation of the Day: Brian Bloom. Guy has some amazing work on his site. [Link via Seth Godin]

  • If you think a blog devoted to Christianity is probably insufferably stuffy and boring, then you obviously haven't visited Stuff Christians Like.

  • Random photos:
Finally, in the "Inevitable Technology" category, I give you FujiFilm's latest camera offering, the Finepix Z700, which features face detection for dogs and cats. But not every dog or cat; apparently some breeds are inscrutable to the camera's software. Those with "unrecognizable" pets are bound to get riled over such slights, which brings to mind a similar misstep by Nikon's human face recognition feature.  

2 Comments

Eric, re: the "smokin' motorcycle" ... what? ... no beer cooler?

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on March 20, 2010 11:25 AM.

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