Charles’ Web Log Raves, rants & random rubbish
A web log, a test of my web design software, stories about the absurd, the dumb & interesting stuff.
Birds of Prey in the UK Twenty years ago there were no birds of prey around my house. Now I’m surrounded by them. Yesterday I counted 16 Red Kites in the sky above my house. Are they waiting for something? More. Electric Cars Ten years ago in this blog, I wrote that electric cars were the future. That in 10 years they would common, and in another 10 they’d be the only type of car you could get. That prediction seems to be working out pretty well. But, wow, look how far we have come. More here. Brexit - a dangerous topic to discuss A divided nation makes it risky for anyone to give an opinion. I guess the best that can be said is that it’s entertaining to watch this car-crash slowly unfold. But I wrote a short Medium article about it. Most of the rest of this blog is old. Very old. Like 10 years old. It’s interesting to see how my predictions panned out - most were pretty accurate it turns out. Dolphin Bubble Rings It would be a seriously difficult task to create a machine that made rings of bubbles, more accurately hoops of air, as you can see in these pictures. These are a continuous rolling cylinder of air that does not float to the surface. Presumably the rolling, moving nature overcomes the buoyancy. The physics of these things must be pretty complex. The fact that dolphins can produce these bubble hoops is just astounding. They seem to make them for fun, as a toy to play with. The fact they can teach other dolphins the trick is even more amazing. How do they do this? Check out the original video here. Google - the evil empire. Google’s - ‘Don’t be evil’ motto is B.S. according to Steve Jobs. He’s not wrong. Google are not only becoming ‘the evil empire’ abusing of their monopolistic dominant position (hey, everything they hated about Microsoft, Google are now being accused of, by someone or other), but they are hypocrites as well. Here’s why My lawn mower broke and so, in no time at all, my lawn has become a flower meadow. Very pretty it is too. Perhaps I should leave it like this. Click to enlarge iPad I’ve owned an iPad since April 2010. I was one of the first owners in the UK, and had mine shipped from the US a couple of days after it was released. I believe this is a revolutionary device. It will change the computing landscape. It’s also fundamentally flawed, as many Apple devices are. Read here what I think is wrong with it and why you’re probably better of waiting for the clones. More... (OK, more than a year after I wrote this you’d still be waiting for any decent clones. I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab, and a Motorola Xoom. Bottom line: they are still not competitive.) Now 10 years later - the iPad did change the landscape - practically everyone has one, hundreds of millions have been shipped. But we are still waiting for realistic competitive alternatives 10 years later. That I did not expect. I use an iPad Pro with keyboard as a laptop replacement, and it’s better than any laptop I’ve ever used. But it still has some crazy, artificial limitations like not working with a mouse as an option - this is one area Android and ChromeOS tablets got right. Apparently the next iOS 13 will fix that. Samsung meanwhile has a great, great DEX system which means you can plug your tablet into a screen and use it just like a desktop computer. I want one Awesome looking electric car. Source: Read More... Copy / Paste pictures into Gmail Cloud computing is the future. I’ve believed this for a very long time - even started a company doing cloud-based software more than 10 years ago. I’ve been surprised how long it’s taken to become established, but cloud-computing is now becoming mainstream. And there’s almost no type of software that can’t be done better in the cloud. The highest profile examples are web-based email, such as Hotmail and the current king Gmail (from Google). But one problem of using a web browser to operate software such as Gmail or Google Docs (web-based Office applications) is a pretty basic one - you can’t copy pictures from desktop applications into web-based ones. If you do a lot with graphics and photos, as I do, this is a real pain. The only way to copy a graphic from Word, say, into Gmail, is first save it from Word then in your email program select Upload, browse to the image and upload it to the server. And some email systems don’t even provide image upload. Well here’s a utility that solves the problem. It’s called PicturePaste. It’s great. (I would say that though.) 10 years later my prediction that cloud computing was the future proved to be prescient. It should be obvious (well it should be to any company starting out now) that desktop software has had its day, web-based software is now the only option that matters. The Web Browser is the operating system. Going forward Windows doesn’t matter, nor OSX, nor Linux or any desktop OS for that matter. Only the browser matters. The browser is the OS. My PicturePaste utility had a limited life - solving a flaw in web-based editors that should never had existed in the first place. The browser makers eventually solved the problem (supporting copy / paste from external apps), so PicturePaste became redundant. I sold more than 10,000 copies so it’s was great fun while it lasted. Thanks to everyone that purchased and used the program.
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