nullstream weblog - August 2006

Astronomy Rebels


August 31, 2006 10:39 PM PST

The tighter you close your fist, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.
Or something.

Pluto is totally a planet. For Real.

The entire empire will start to strike back...

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Sandisk's new Nano Competitor

Cool Tech

August 21, 2006 09:44 PM PST

sandisk.jpgSanDisk has just announced their new 8G flash based Nano rival. I don't want to get into a debate about which device is better, the SanDisk or the Nano. But I do think the SanDisk has two notable features that I really wish the Nano had:
1. A memory expansion slot (MD).
2. A user replaceable battery.

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GTalk gets new features

Cool Tech

August 16, 2006 05:06 PM PST

There is a new update to Google Talk available that adds file transfer and voice mail among other things.

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Bootcamp refresh


August 16, 2006 11:19 AM PST

Bootcamp 1.1 Beta is now out. Notable features include; Apple Key right mouse click support as well as XP drivers for the iSight and built in microphone.

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Xbox Live Homebrew


August 13, 2006 10:02 PM PST

Microsoft is going to let home brew developers make and deploy games for Xbox Live! How awesome is that?

Microsoft will provide the software for free, and you can use C# to write games that can target the Xbox 360 and the PC. If you want to share your game, it'll cost you $99, but eventually, developers will be able to sell their games through Xbox Live Arcade.

Links to the news:

This is a great move, and bound to generate hundreds of fun games that would never be made by a commercial game studio. Very cool, Microsoft!

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Happy Birthday, PC


August 12, 2006 01:03 AM PST

25 years ago today:


I know people at work who still swear by those clicky-clacky IBM keyboards.

Continue reading "Happy Birthday, PC"...

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Cool Tech

August 9, 2006 12:24 AM PST


Paint.NET is a cool drawing application written using the .NET framework (version 2.0 required). It's also open source, so you can grab the code here. It has a bunch of useful features like layers, good history / undo management and plenty of effects, in addition to a nice Photoshop-like user interface.

It is a little CPU intensive: try drawing a bunch of lines on the canvas, then apply a Gaussian blur with a 15 pixel radius. Theoretically, .NET should be caching the compiled bytecode so it should get faster after the first time, but I didn't notice that.

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Apple's Hackers

Brilliant Code

August 8, 2006 11:38 PM PST

woz.jpgEveryone associates Steve Jobs with Apple and the Macintosh, but it was Steve Wozniak that made the intial magic happen with the Apple I & II. Here's an interview with Woz about those early days, and a book due out soon about him.

Andy Hertzfeld was another Apple hacker that worked on the Mac version 1 system software. He's got a website, with loads of behind the scenes stories on the creation of the Mac. Here's a video of him giving a tech talk about the early Mac at his new company, Google.

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Would you buy one of these?

Cool Tech

August 8, 2006 09:56 AM PST

Sony's new 'cool kid' toy, Mylo, is a WIFI enabled chat and browse device. It looks very similar to a sidekick to me, but without any cell style service. In typical Sony fashion it only supports memory sticks. It comes with Skype, Yahoo, and GoogleTalk IM support. It includes an Opera browser. It can play MP3, WMA and ATRAC audio, MP4 ASP video. It has a 320 by 240 pixel 2.4-inch screen and is rumored to sell for around 350 according to

Other than the slick pop out keyboard, this thing doesn't bring any capability I haven't already had for years with the PocketPC platform. Would you buy one of these?

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WWDC 2006


August 6, 2006 11:20 PM PST


I'm heading off to WWDC all this week, which is conveniently located 3 blocks from my apartment in downtown San Francisco (making it 3 times longer than my old GoAhead commute).

Stevie-O's keynote is first thing tomorrow, so I'll post "as it happens" updates here.

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