A note to my visitors

Since this site got hacked at the beginning of the year, I haven't been in a particular rush to put it back online after clearing out all of the malicious code, since I effectively [started again](http://somerandomnerd.net) with a new site, a new direction, a new way forward etc. etc. But after reading [this post](http://shawnblanc.net/2013/07/heres-to-the-future) about how we should *expect* to look back at our past work and cringe (unless we don't expect our future work to get any better), I realised that was actually the reason I wasn't in any rush to put something like 6 years worth of blog posts, links and random thoughts back online. So here it is again. A few broken links and lost images here and there (mainly the result of a poor backup strategy), but most of the work is still there. But if you're looking for something more recent, then have a look at my [new site](http://somerandomnerd.net) instead. Cheers, Scott

The Apple Fan Cycle

[Marco Arment](http://www.marco.org/2012/11/07/linking-to-bullshit) wrote recently about the business of writing inflammatory articles about Apple;
It’s booming partially because writing inflammatory Apple headlines gets a lot of clicks. Apple is popular and the dominant player in many industries, so anything that attacks it will attract attention.

The most interesting thing about the new iPhone and iPads

So, another year, another new iPhone – and 3 new iPads. And, repeating the pattern of the last few years, people who spent the previous few months closely tracking rumour sites for leaks from Chinese assembly plants, or scrutinising microchip shipment figures and suppliers' financial reports for clues about Apple's secret designs immediately declared that its is a 'disappointment.'

Creating a 3D game model

In a past life, where I had a job instead of a career, a girlfriend instead of wife and kids and plenty of time on my hands, I was teaching myself about 3D modelling and skinning, learning my way around software like 3D Studio Max and Lightwave and generally discovering how insanely complicated CG 3D modelling is. By the time I have enough time to go back to that world, it probably will have transformed beyond all recognition – back then, broadly speaking, you had hi-res modelling that was done for video work and much more simple low-res modelling that was done for things like computer games. This account of the development of a single model [Mech](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BattleMech) just highlights how much more advanced game modelling has become. Fascinating reading.

Same day delivery?

Being in the UK, I've only been vaguely aware of the issues with Amazon and sales tax being different in different states. But I've also been vaguely aware that Amazon has agreed to start charging California residents a California sales tax. Apparently the end of this isn't as simple as Amazon agreeing to start paying more taxes. The idea is that, if Amazon move their distribution centres (so that people buying *from* California are also buying *in* California), then Amazon don't have to ship the items across hundreds of miles from warehouses to customers. Which in turn means that they can ship faster. So it could be possible to order something online and then get it delivered on the same day. Given that this change is all about the US infrastructure and logistics, I'm not sure if its going to have any sort of impact on the service we get in the UK (which is significantly different - particularly when it comes to Amazon Prime and the digital services that Amazon offers.) But if it did, I know that the ability to order something from the office and having it delivered before the end of the day would have a massive impact on my shopping. (Especially for last-minute presents...)

iPod Dock Connector

A look at the 30 pins in the iPod Dock Connector. The thing that surprises me is the idea of Apple throwing away what they have. Walk into any stereo shop - you'll see a bunch of stereo systems with a built-in iPod dock. Walk into a car showroom – you'll see iPod docks in the dashboard. The idea that Apple would happily abandon all of these seems… well, given their record of ditching technologies that they don't see having a future, not exactly out of character. But still. *Weird.*

Tweet analysis

As a part of a broader project at work, I've been playing around with the Twitter APIs recently and building an application to collect Tweets, and using it to look at how Twitter is reacting to television events. With the stack of data that this generates, I thought I would have a stab at creating some infographics out of the data. My first attempt was a look at the Eurovision Song Contest; ![Eurovision on Twitter](/images/EurovisionOnTwitter.png)

The New iPhone

[WWDC 2012](https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/) is coming next week, and along with it a fresh wave of rumours and speculation about the next iPhone is building up. WWDC is Apple's annual developer conference – a [sell-out](https://twitter.com/marcedwards/status/195160527511617538/photo/1) event for ~5,000 developers of Mac and iOS software who get a chance to hear about platform developments, speak to the people who put the software and APIs together, and Apple's big opportunity to share a lot of information in a short space of time.

Who sees your Facebook posts?

If you have anything to do with Facebook marketing, then you should know about [EdgeRank](http://www.quora.com/EdgeRank) – the algorithm that Facebook uses to decide what it thinks is 'interesting' enough to show you. If you don't have anything to do with Facebook marketing but are a Facebook user, then you should probably know about EdgeRank anyway, because it affects whether or not any of your Facebook Friends will actually see the stuff that you are posting.
Free Tags: 

Happy Birthday Speccy

Today is the 30th birthday of the ZX Spectrum — my first computer (and in its [+3 incarnation](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum#ZX_Spectrum_.2B3), my second), and the one which introduced me to gaming and taught me the basics of programming (through writing short BASIC programmes, usually copied out of a book or magazine.) Funny to think of a device with 48k of memory (the image above alone would fill half of its entire RAM), no floppy drive, no hard drive and a 16k operating system as having its power being a significant selling point. Brings back memories of loading software from tapes, a small suitcase full of (mostly copied) games, and games like Harrier Attack (still don't know what it had to do with the Harrier jump jet), the twisted perspective of a man being chased by 10 foot high chickens in Chuckie Egg, Dizzy, Back 2 Skool… Also brings back memories of the days of the fanboy wars of Spectrum vs Commodore 64 vs Amstrad CPC. I guess some things don't change so much.


Facebook is brilliant for a certain kind of "personal". Photos that I don't want the world to see, but I want to share with some friends. Idle thoughts. Songs you like. All that shit that clutters up the Tickers and Timelines and NewsFeeds. But then there is the stuff that is truly personal. Big, life-changing stuff. Stuff that you want to share with the world, but not until you've shared it, face to face, with the people who matter the most. Stuff that you might put as a cryptic message, meaningful only to those who understand it (or stop to think about it.)

Infographic vs Visualisation

I suppose that when I found myself getting excited about Amazon delivering my copy of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte, I should have realised that I have a problem that the book wasn't going to solve. But its made it worse. I can't stand "infographics." Now, don't get me wrong; anything that helps communication — especially the communication of complicated information — well, thats a good thing. And good design, making something attractive and engaging — well, that is a valuable skill.

SomeRandomNerd.com is back in action

Following a nasty infection by a spammer, somerandomnerd.com is currently was being overhauled and is was offline, as of 20/3/2012. While I figure out whether I want to rebuild it, renovate it or maybe do something different with it, you might like to take a look at MyElectronicBrain.com, which is something I have been working on/playing with recently while learning a new programming language.


Subscribe to Some Random Nerd RSS