Friday Four

Friday, February 07, 2014

1. Justin Jackson writes of a conversation he had regarding appointment software he started bouncing around in his mind during a trip to the barber:

Barber: "Almost all my bookings happen on the phone, or via text message. There's nothing I've found that's more efficient than looking at a paper calendar on the wall, and finding them a time. If I have to walk over to the computer, I've already wasted too much time. I have 5 seconds to look, and determine when [I] have a spare block. All the software I've tried just gets in the way."

All the plans in my head, for incredible barbering software, were crushed, in a single conversation.

This is the power of getting out and actually listening to people.
I think that creative types in general would do well to read this short blog post about the importance of getting feedback from one's potential audience or customers.

2. Someone who creates computer models as a hobby considers the physical feasibility of donut- or hoop-shaped planets and what things might be like on one.
The spring dawns and autumn twilights on the hubward side would have some amazing deep colors, since the sun would be rising past the atmosphere of the other side (already pre-dawned or pre-twilighted, you could say). This would be added to the local atmospheric optics, producing some very deep reds and color gradients. Just before or after sunrise/sunset parts of the corona would also be visible.

These sights would be more impressive if they weren't so brief. On Earth, the sun moves close to 15° per hour: at its fastest, the sun moves one diameter in 2.1 minutes. On Donut solar motion is 127° and on Hoop 102°: a sunrise takes 15 or 19 seconds, respectively. Coming in at a slanted angle and the delaying effects of atmospheric refraction would prolong things a bit, but to an Earthling it would still look very brief.
Skimming through this made me recall some of the science fiction reading of my youth, and has made me interested in finding something similar to that for my ebook reader.

3. A big advantage to having kids just two years apart is that one can observe the development of the second, while still recalling what the first was like at the same stage.

Our son, who can sit very well, but isn't crawling yet, likes to play with his older sister's old refrgerator/stove/kitchen toy. The toy makes lots of noises and has lots of moving parts, but is relatively small -- about half his size.

I recall Pumpkin sitting in front of it and playing with it when she was his age and now laugh when I see the boy manhandling it. For example, if it's too far away from him, he just grabs it and drags it over -- something I don't recall Pumpkin ever doing. He also isn't one to just calmly sit in front of it to play. He moves it around constantly.

My wife says we have gone from worrying about the safety of the kid to wondering whether the toys can take all the abuse.

4. "Your transaction has failed successfully."

A freelancer reports that this is the ultimate wording demanded by a client for an error notification.

I am unsure whether I find this -- or the irascibility of said clent -- more amusing.

-- CAV

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