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James Turner
Developer, Maker, Journalist, Dad
Developer, Maker, Journalist, Dad


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My article on MakerFaire and young Makers is in this week's Christian Science Monitor, it's available in print (or via Nook/Kindle now), and available next week only at the site.

How I spent my weekend:

1) Doing a dry run for next week's Vex Robotics competition at my son's school. All the hardware worked fine, so I'll be all set to act as Competition Coordinator.

2) Buying two new guns at a show in Manchester, a Remington 870 Pump 12 Gauge for me (which will become our Southern NH deer gun w/slugs, and bird gun), and my son bought a Mosin Nagant 91/30 (which will eventually become our Northern NH deer rifle...)

And my iPhone 4S finally started talking to Siri :-)

Something that doesn't happen every day: Honda calling me to tell me that I miscalculated the amount they owed me for inappropriately replacing my catalytic converter 2 years ago (due to software issues), and that they really owed me $200 more.

Of course,they get major props for owning up to it in the first place, and letting all the potentially affected owners know. Corporate accountability, what a novel idea.

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Enterprise iOS fans, I'll be doing a Webcast for O'Reilly on October 5th, come hear how to get an Enterprise iOS app ready for the App Store.

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New toy arrived in the mail yesterday, the latest sensor package to attach to your iPad from Oscium (the guys who do the 5 channel oscilloscope for the iPad). In this case, an RF spectrum analyzer. Haven't had time to take it out of the box yet, but I'm going to bring it to MakerFaire NYC this weekend and see just how noisy the spectrum is in a geek Mecca.

Truth in advertising: They sent it to me for free because they like me, they really like me, but I didn't ask them to.

Anyone else experiencing spotty Internet connectivity tonight. Internet Traffic Report is showing a bunch of routers down in North America

Question of the day: We're used to (and in my case, sick of) weird high tech company names now that sound like something a two-year-old would gurgle, and tell you nothing about the company's line of business (contrast with International Business Machines, Texas Instruments, Digital Equipment Corp, Microsoft, Paypal.)

Who started the trend? Google? Yahoo? eBay? Can people think of examples from earlier of high tech ventures with nonsense names?

Scored 3rd row tickets to Avenue Q for me and the boy next Saturday, something to do between MakerFaire days in NY

Went with the son to see Contagion tonight, a few thoughts.

1) This is far and away the most scientifically accurate movie I've seen in years, possibly ever. As far as I could tell, all the jargon and procedures were accurate (to my semi-informed lay eye), and little attempt was made to dumb it down, or have Basil Exposition baby-talk stuff. Evidently, hordes of CDC folks and virologists consulted, down to instructing Gwyneth Paltrow how to convulse convincingly.

2) As a result, it's also damn scary. No attempt is made to make MEV-1 into some "wipes out all of humanity and turns us into zombies" virus, it's just a nasty novel virus with a moderate mortality rate, similar to the Spanish Flu. What's scary is how tellingly the film portrays what even a modest death rate would do to civil society today. We're so highly dependent on trucked in food, police and medical personnel being there when you need them, and so casual about basic hygiene, that it's easy to see how quickly things could go pear-shaped.

3) I'm hoping to heck that this isn't another China Syndrome, where the real event occurs a few weeks after the movie comes out :-)

Anyone else going to be going to MakerFaire NYC and want to get together for a meal or something? I'll be there with my 16yr old Maker son, and looking for trouble :-)
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