Posts categorized under: Offtopic

Ricky Jay R.I.P

Ricky Jay was one of my heroes. I first became aware of him in the pages of the remarkable “Cards as Weapons,” an oversized paperback that I bought at age 13 because it had a few pictures of topless women in it (you really can’t appreciate how much the …

"The Deuce" Stinks. A Rant.

I’m a hair’s-breadth away from declaring that “The Deuce,” HBO’s Sunday night “prestige drama” about flesh-peddling and pornos in Times Square and 42nd Street in the mid-70s, is an exercise in trolling, some kind of meta-level commentary on the lack of drama, characterization, or stakes in, y …

I Didn't Like "Enlightenment Now"

They say to never write a negative review of a book until it has received too many positive ones. Which brings us to “Enlightenment Now: The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress,” by Steven Pinker.

The tl;dr is that he doesn’t actually argue this case, he just …

Dell Infuriates Me

Sunday rant: I have a 2016 Dell XPS (high-end) laptop. I bought a Dell 25" 4K monitor. And on Friday received a Dell Thunderbolt dock for the monitor. I plug it all together and although the monitor displays wonderfully, the dock is not passing USB through. So I start fiddling …

Programmed my first Alexa skill: I was shocked by what I found!

Although I am pretty deeply entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, the recently-announced \$50 Dot was so inexpensive I could not resist checking it out. (Before I go further: I work for Microsoft, so take that into account as you see fit.)

Out of the box, the Echo is very easy …

My Westworld prediction

[code lang="csharp"]
var k = Convert.FromBase64String("vlqnRQo8YYXdqt3c7CahDninF6MgvRnqNEU+/tcbWdM=");
var iv = Convert.FromBase64String("gaXwv734Tu3+Jw1hgtNrzw==");
DecryptStringFromBytes(Convert.FromBase64String("Yr2XWzCxceStAF1BaUgaqmWcqFjzWskDDN4foaxfGEO5JHc/oKvgukkMHZuOiw+dK0JxnOhzC1ZA3QLqZZsQxFtjX+qvu0VRM0p6VEfcv18="), k, iv);[/code]

Review: 11-Day Diving on the Galapagos Master

Trip Review: Galapagos Master, 11-Night Liveaboard Diving

My wife and I recently returned from 11 days on The Galapagos Master, a 16-passenger liveaboard vessel whose itinerary includes Wolf and Darwin Islands.

The first thing to say about Galapagos diving is… Well, okay, the first thing to say about Galapagos diving …

Airport Time Capsule considered harmful

The premise of the Apple ecosystem is "It just works." It is a world of hardware and software in which you pay a premium for not having to worry about fiddling with configurations and command-line options and incompatibility.

The Airport Time Capsule is a wireless router that also contains a …

Experiment in Auto-Generated UML as a Documentation Tool

I wrote a program to automatically generate class diagrams, filtered by coupling. Here is the result for CoreBluetooth in iOS:

Screenshot 2014-12-20 08.33.14

You can see there are clusters around CBPeer, CBPeripheral, and CBCentral and that CBCharacteristic is another class with lots of references.

Obviously, huge class diagrams are more noise than signal …