recent posts related to technology in general

Google AI Blog: A look back at 2019 alvin January 10, 2020 - 8:39am

On the Google AI Blog, Jeff Dean wrote about Google’s research in 2019, and looking forward into 2020.

It’s almost all on your cellphone alvin December 9, 2019 - 12:15pm

Almost every product on this 1991 Radio Shack ad is now on your cellphone (sans the scanner and radar detector).

How to use a non-default table column separator in Asciidoc alvin December 9, 2019 - 12:04pm

As a brief note, if you ever need to use a different column separator when creating a table in Asciidoc, you can do so by specific the separator field in the table preamble.

For example, in the following Asciidoc table I can’t use the default pipe character | to separate the table columns, because I need to use that character in the content inside the table, so I set the separator character to be : instead:

<<methods_to_combine_cmds>> lists the ...

.Methods to combine external commands
:Methods :Description
:`cmd1 #| cmd2`  :The output of the first ...
:`cmd1 ### cmd2` :`cmd1` and `cmd2` will be ...
:`cmd1 #> cmd2`  :Normally used to write to ...
:`cmd1 #&& cmd2` :Run `cmd2` if `cmd1` runs ...
:`cmd1 #|| cmd2` :Run `cmd2` if `cmd1` ...
:`cmd1 #&& cmd2 #|| cmd3` :Run `cmd2` is ...

I shortened that content so you don’t have to read through all the non-essential text, but the image shows the actual resulting Asciidoc table.

For more information, this URL was the most helpful resource for me. This other page shows how you can specify format="csv" to create a table from a CSV-style syntax.

In summary, if you needed to see how to create an Asciidoc table with a non-default table column separator, I hope this example is helpful.

Dear Amazon: Kindle Paperwhite and ePub books alvin December 2, 2019 - 7:50am

Dear Amazon: If the Kindle Paperwhite supported ePub books I would buy one, but without that support it’s kind of useless to me.

Facebook deleted the “Lists (of friends)” link alvin December 1, 2019 - 12:22pm

When I use Facebook, I like to use lists to group people that I know, friends, relatives, people from different states, etc. But on Thanksgiving, or maybe the day before, Facebook deleted the “Lists” link from their web app. It used to be with this group of links. I don’t use their app on my phone, so it’s pretty crazy that they removed this.

So, dear friends, if I don’t see and like your stuff, it’s not my fault. I’m sure not going to type in the name of each friend to see if they posted anything.

Traveling to the Moon alvin November 30, 2019 - 10:02am

What the sky will look like when people travel back and forth to the Moon.

Quantum computing for the very curious alvin August 26, 2019 - 6:58pm

I haven’t read this article yet, but it comes highly recommended: Quantum computing for the very curious.

I realize that most inventions fail not because ... alvin July 26, 2019 - 8:51am

“I realize that most inventions fail not because the R&D department can’t get them to work, but because the timing is wrong‍ — not all of the enabling factors are at play where they are needed. Inventing is a lot like surfing: you have to anticipate and catch the wave at just the right moment.”

~ Ray Kurzweil

Performance is important to acquiring and retaining customers. alvin July 4, 2019 - 2:34pm

I used to use all the time. Then, over time, I noticed that it kept getting slower and slower. Out of frustration I looked around for other good weather websites. Today I use

On the web and with apps, performance — or lack of performance — is important to acquiring and retaining customers.

Smartphone CPUs are still getting significantly faster alvin June 25, 2019 - 11:31am

This article on When to use Web Workers had this good chart that shows that smartphone CPUs aren’t hitting a performance wall in the same way that PC CPUs did in 2005.