Technology

Category archives for Technology

My timekeeping course this term is a “Scholars Research Seminar,” which means it’s supposed to emphasize research and writing skills. Lots of these will include some sort of poster session at the end of the term, but I decided I preferred the idea of doing in-class oral presentations. Having assigned that, of course, I felt…

As I keep saying in various posts, I’m teaching a class on timekeeping this term, which has included discussion of really primitive timekeeping devices like sundials, as well as a discussion of the importance of timekeeping for navigation. To give students an idea of how this works, I arranged an experimental demonstration, coordinated with Rhett…

Lap Desk?

It’s apparently a good day for asking questions of the readership, so here’s another one: as SteelyKid has gotten older and more active, she’s become a real drain on productivity, especially at bedtime. Bedtime is now a process rather like a certain spoof book, extending well over an hour, and involving repeated requests to come…

Simple Video Editing Software?

So, back when How to Teach Physics to Your Dog was coming out, I did a few “dramatic readings” of bits of the book, such as this one on the Quantum Zeno Effect: This was made with Windows Movie Maker, because it was free (came with the computer) and dead simple. However, Movie Maker on…

Machine Translation Lets Me Down

It’s a sign of how good computers have gotten that I’m faintly offended whenever Google Translate fails to come up with something even halfway sensible. I mean, translating a blog post from one language to another is a ridiculously difficult problem, and yet they usually do a passable job. It’s only when the vanity search…

Energy Efficiency Question: Water Heaters

The water heater for Chateau Steelypips is significantly older than the usual useful life for such devices, and it’s really started to show. I’m getting pretty sick of lukewarm showers, so we probably need to replace it. As a good squishy liberal type, I of course want to replace it with something more efficient, and…

Help Me With My New Toy

I sent in the page proofs for How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog this week, and by way of celebration, I went out and helped boost the economy by buying some consumer electronics: Yes, I now have an iPad. Just one with wi-fi, not the 3G version, because we already send Verizon enough money,…

This coming June will mark ten years since I started this blog (using Blogger on our own domain– here’s the very first post) and writing about physics on the Internet. This makes me one of the oldest science bloggers in the modern sense– Derek Lowe is the only one I know for sure has been…

Pseudonymity Is the Wrong Solution

I don’t think my point quite got across the other day, so let me try phrasing this another way. I think a lot of what’s being written about pseudonymity on blogs is missing the real point. The really important question here is not so much whether blog networks should allow pseudonymous blogs as whether employers…

On Nymity

The whole issue of pseudonymity has come up again, both on Google+ and on ScienceBlogs. While I’ve been on the Internet for nigh on 20 years, my initial point of entry was through a Usenet group that strongly preferred real names (or something real-name-ish). As a result, I’ve never tried to maintain a separate Internet…