Month: September 2017

Lake Tahoe Retreats

I’m just back from a couple of days on the road, where I headed up to Lake Tahoe. The trip was really a way for me to simply break things up for a bit, unplug and reset, and get out of the familiar for a bit while trying to focus on some planning and a special project. Yes, one person organizations can benefit from retreats, too. Being a native California person who’s lived in Silicon Valley since the 1980s, I suppose it’s strange having to admit I can’t tell you the last time I was in Tahoe, but it was long enough ago that I don’t remember it, and visiting the place didn’t stir up any latent memories like I find happens. One reason I went there was because I did want to get away from my tendency towards doing things by habit. I’d thought about heading down to Morro Bay again, or up into Oregon (again), and just didn’t find either trip that interesting. Most of the other ideas I had either involved more driving than I felt like doing or places heavily impacted by the ongoing wildfire problems here in the Western States. That’s when the “Why not Tahoe?” idea hit, and that settled things. I ended up booking a room at Harvey’s, which is part of the Caesars group and right next door to its big...

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Quick thoughts on the Apple announcements

I’m not going to go in depth about the announcements from Apple this week, but I did want to touch on a couple of things. If you want more detailed coverage and haven’t already found it, I suggest Sixcolors, iMore, Daring Fireball, 512pixels and Macstories. There’s a lot of good discussion of it on various podcasts hosted at Relay.fm. My overall take: I’m pretty impressed with what Apple showed us. Apple Watch: I understand why Apple wanted to add LTE to the watch, but I wasn’t sure they could pull it off. From what I can see, they have...

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I found something about the iMac I don’t like

Since buying this new iMac 5K, I’ve been really happy with it. Yesterday, though, I ran into something I wasn’t completely thrilled at. Getting ready to hop on a conference call, I fired up the built in camera, and… That’s rather red and dark and, well, not awesome. Since I had it handy, I plugged in and shifted to my reliable $70 Logitech webcam. It looked just a touch better: Same time, same light. Massive difference. Not entirely sure why Apple’s image is so much poorer, but there it is. And I’m back to using the Logitech Webcam full time moving...

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Jerry Pournelle, RIP

The word is out tonight that we’ve lost Jerry Pournelle, age 84. All I can say is, well, dammit! Rest well, Jerry. Sad to hear but not surprised. There had been some quiet chatter I’d heard from people I know in SFWA that after his last stroke he’d gone downhill. I liked Jerry. More than that, I respected him. That might surprise some people because folks who know us likely remember we spent most of our time arguing. There were very few topics where we saw eye to eye, especially on future directions of SFWA back in the day. I first ran into him in the ancient days when all domain names ended in .ARPA. I think the first time I met him in person was in the green room at Nolacon in New Orleans. He was one of those people with a big presence; he could fill a room with it. He was a good writer, something I didn’t give him enough credit for when I was younger. I think most authors would consider it a good career to write a book like Footfall, but he also did Inferno and Mote in God’s Eye (probably my favorite of his collaborations with Larry) and his Jannisaries stuff deserves a mention. And there was his column in Byte, which I think we forget today how important and influential it was...

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Our Diet Guidelines are wrong: notes on the PURE study

A new major and important dietary study has been released. It’s called PURE, and I think it’s going to be a big factor in reshaping how we think about our diets. This isn’t the first time I’ve written on the subject (a good piece on my views is here) and won’t be the last, I’m sure. A good overview of the study was published in Science Daily. A really good non-jargon-filled perspective on it is in the Irish Times. The full study isn’t online for open viewing but was in Lancet behind a paywall, but I was able to grab a copy and go through it. My take on this: the study is large (135,000 people studied) across 18 countries in 5 regions across the planet and on average they were followed for five years. During that time the study population had 5796 deaths and 4784 major cardiovascular disease events. The research seems well-designed and well-controlled and the results seem statistically valid and significant. There are some areas that deserve more study (the main one: impact of a patients economic status and whether low-income issues drive results more than the typical high-carb diet of low-income people) but the results to be unambiguous for the general results. What they found Their summary of the findings says it all: High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas...

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