1. Rediscovered my lost Icelandic phone whilst packing. It doesn’t seem to be charging or turning on correctly. Mixed feelings about this, at least the SIM is still working.

  2. Understandable and Confusing Design

    This treble recorder is an example of understandable design. For various reasons it’s separated into three parts and has to be assembled before usage, but a consistent decrease in diameter and significantly differently sized joints for both ends leave no ambiguity about how it should be assembled.

    On their own the parts are unbalanced with exposed unpolished joints. Assembling the instrument creates a balanced, visually consistent object, and a sturdy interference fit gives the user extra confidence that the device is ready for use.

    This Icelandic bus timetable is an example of confusing design, due to the inconsistent usage of colour and direction. The grids of times must be read top to bottom then left to right, contrary to most western languages. The yellow blocks (expressing at what intervals between the given times each bus leaves) are not strongly associated with the durations above them, and from a distance, the pairs look much like times themselves.

  3. Last work morning of the year at Vísar today — really enjoyed the 9 months I’ve spent with the great people here so far. Looking forward to having a break before running a whole bunch of surveys in the new year!

  4. Loving that exercises require going out and taking photos of things instead of just sitting in front of the screen checking boxes. Going to post any interesting ones here and POSSE the answers back to Udacity!

  5. Finally found official name enwp.org/False_dilemma for when people see N options when in fact there are at least N+1, of which the unconsidered options may be superior and considering only N options creates boxed-in thinking.

    Examples: ATOM vs RSS (unconsidered: HTML), Tíu Dropar multiple tipjars, where competing tipjars blot out the option of not tipping.

  6. The other detail added to : phoning via SIP and a “Call Me” button. On desktop devices you’ll see it on my homepage in the Elsewhere section. Clicking it on a WebRTC-enabled browser will start an audio call with me if I’m logged into a SIP client.

    Next: using a Tropo app as a middleman for providing voicemail transcription and local numbers, improving/providing mobile UI.

  7. Notes vs Articles, again

    After deliberating a little about how to “do” a composite homepage feed, whether or not I should forget about having “notes”, “music” and “articles” and just merge them all, coupled with the fact that I already use notes for replies, I have reached a simple conclusion, of which this post is the first demonstration.

    /notes/ and what used to be “Notes” is now my de-facto dump for short-medium length chronological posts of all types. This covers notes, replies, checkins, short articles (basically named notes with more structure) and so on. Posts with a name live at /notes/DDD-name, those without names live at /notes/DDDSSS.

    /articles/ retains all content which lived there in the past. Going forward it might become more of a wiki, or a place for very long things like Data Export.

    /music/ will retain all it’s content, and be where I post standard musical notation tunes. Audio recordings of those tunes will be posted as audio posts with a link to the relevant tune.

    Hopefully these changes, along with improved templating (post-type-specific DOM templates here I come) will make finding, posting and reading posts on a much more pleasant experience.

  8. Voltage Dividers

    Working through some example circuit simulations I finally gained an intuitive understanding of the voltage divider equation — it’s just a ratio, but I had never figured this out before.

    Given this circuit, where the voltage source is rated at 1V:

    The voltage at A is equal to 1V·(R2 / R1 + R2), which is 1·(1/1+1) = 1·(1/2) = 0.5.

    Why? Because R1 + R2 represents the total resistance of the path, and as such the total voltage drop. Dividing R2 by the total produces a fraction representing the voltage drop over R2. Multiplying the input voltage by this fraction leaves us with the voltage dropped over just the R2 portion of the circuit, which must be VA because there are no other branches in the circuit.

    Put another way, the equation finds the ratio of resistance (and so voltage drop) R2:R1 and then feeds the input voltage through this. Here’s a more abstract visual representation of what’s going on:

  9. “Fail Fast” is the trendy alliterative buzzword version of “have small feedback loops”, just less accurate and more prone to undesirable misinterpretations.

  10. Emil Björklund: #PHP folks: when fetching from an API, would it be wise to use function_exists to check for cURL, and else fall back to file_get_contents()?

    @thatEmil that should work fine — one thing to bear in mind is that by default they both treat redirects differently. IIRC, cURL doesn’t follow redirects by default whereas file_get_contents will.