The World Economic Forum has released a list of 7 books that give insight into the world’s biggest problems. I’ve added these to my future reading list. Each addresses a topic within the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Each year American University releases a list of automobiles ranked by total domestic content (TDC). This year’s list is available on their website. The 2020 Ford Ranger tops the list. Ford and GMC have the most automobiles on the list but Honda Motor Company is also well represented. The automobile industry utilizes a distributed and global supply chain so nothing is made 100% in America.
📚 Currently reading “Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution”. It starts out slow but becomes interesting after about 70 pages. If you are like me you will spend hours checking the footnotes and then going down the internet rabbit hole. So much of the tech in this book is already available today.
I posted to this blog 264 times in 2020. That is significantly more than in any previous year. I hope to post even more this year. I know that is easier said than done but I have a plan. I’m going to make this website the central repository for more of my knowledge, interests, and hobbies.
It is so easy to accumulate digital information and I collect it in many different ways. I am going to start putting things here first and I will consolidate old information to the site as I use it. I hope that makes it easier for me to find things in the future and I also hope that it benefits some of you.
I was inspired by an old but still relevant talk by Scott Hanselman at Webstock 2012, “It’s Not What You Read, It’s What You Ignore”. I’ve embedded the video below. This is a hilarious presentation. It is worth watching multiple times. It is dense with useful information. One point that sticks with me is the idea that we only have a finite number of keystrokes. Rather than waste them in closed silos, we should use our blogs as multipliers of our keystrokes. That gets back to what the internet should be, at least in my opinion. It should be an open platform that democratizes information and knowledge.
SpaceX has made the impossible a common occurrence. Yesterday evening they started 2021 with another successful launch and landing of the Falcon 9 booster. This is the fourth recovery of the rocket used during the launch and the 71st successful recovery in the program’s history.
This mission placed the Turksat 5A satellite produced by Airbus into geostationary orbit.
At just over T+8 minutes the first stage booster performed a perfect landing on the autonomous drone ship “Just Read The Instructions”.
By now you have probably seen the viral video of Boston Dynamics’ Atlas, Spot and Handle dancing to Berry Gordy Jr’s “Do You Love Me”. If you haven’t check it out below. It’s the perfect song to show off the current capabilities of these systems. Ten years ago Atlas couldn’t walk on a treadmill with support. Now it’s dancing.
Bret Stephens in The New York Times
It wasn’t hard to see, when it began, that it would end exactly the way it has. Donald Trump is America’s willful arsonist, the man who lit the match under the fabric of our constitutional republic.
The duty of the House of Representatives and the Senate, once they certify Joe Biden’s election, is to reconvene, Wednesday night if possible, to impeach the president and then remove him from office and bar him from ever holding office again.
To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk, leaves our reputation as a democracy in tatters and evades the inescapable truth that the assault on Congress was an act of violent sedition aided and abetted by a lawless, immoral and terrifying president.
The man is a life-long criminal. He has already been impeached. Senate Republicans did not remove him from office because they were cowards. They cannot undo the past but they can overturn their mistake. It is not too late to impeach the president again and this time they must remove him from office immediately. Our Constitution demands it. We should not let him finish his term.
I work for a company with global offices. Many of my colleagues speak German as their primary language. We often need to translate words and documentation between languages. Google translate is still not a substitute for a professional translation, but it is helpful. I find myself cutting and pasting words and phrases to it all the time.
Today I decided that I should automate the task. The Automator application on macOS allows for the creation of “services” that run automation from any app. I created an automation that takes selected text as an input and then sends that text to Google Translate directly. This saves several steps.
First I created a new “Quick Action” within Automator. Then from the “Utilities” Library I added an action to “Run Applescript”. The script takes the selected text as an input. I create a variable called “site” that uses the input parameter to properly format the Google Translate URL. Translating between other languages is as easy as updating the letters following ?sl= and &tl=. For example, German to English is
?sl=de&tl=en while English to German is
After saving and installing the workflow should be available anywhere in the system by selecting some text, then right clicking and opening the “Services” context menu. A new Safari window will open to translate.google.com with your word already translated.
The NFL loves to showcase its gunslinging quarterbacks. They get an inordinate amount of time on the highlight reel. FiveThirtyEight points out why a strong run game is necessary for consistent results.
Since that Patriots team won it all in 2003, only nine of the bottom 20 rushing teams to have appeared in the playoffs were able to get a single win in the postseason. But of those nine teams, three won the Super Bowl: the 2008 Steelers, the 2010 Green Bay Packers and the 2011 New York Giants.
The Giants SuperBowl win was an outlier. It defied probability. I lost a lot of money that offseason. Green Bay had one of the best receiving corps in modern history. The Steelers had a phenomenal defence. Those things happen, but in general balanced teams have a far better win percentage.
Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level this year and his receiving group is solid. Davante Adams is arguably the best receiver in the game and Robert Tonyan is playing very well. The others are role players but they play their roles well. I think Green Bay can win it all this year though. The running game is great. Jones, Williams, and Dillon are quite a trio.
As they have done for several years, Tryolabs recently released their “Top 20 Python Libraries of 2020”.
The rules are simple. We are looking for libraries that satisfy the following conditions:
- They were launched or popularized in 2020.
- They are well maintained and have been since their launch data.
- They are outright cool, and you should check them out.
I’m a big fan of #4, Pretty Errors. I make lots of mistakes and anything that helps me find the error more quickly is beneficial. #10, Scalene, is also a nice utility if you work with multi-threaded code. I just recently started working with multi-threaded programs and they are a mess to profile in Python.