Friday, December 30, 2005

Tropical Storm Zeta

I nearly fell out of my chair. I just got an email alert regaring a new tropical storm. A new storm at the end of December? What is going on? Anyway, just in case you think I am pulling your leg here is the bulletin:

ZCZC MIATCPAT5 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ZETA SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1 PM AST FRI DEC 30 2005

...LATE SEASON TROPICAL STORM...THE 27TH OF THE YEAR...FORMS IN THE
EASTERN ATLANTIC...

AT 1 PM AST...1700Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ZETA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 25.0 NORTH... LONGITUDE 36.9 WEST OR ABOUT 1070
MILES...1720 KM... SOUTHWEST OF THE AZORES.

ZETA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH ...13 KM/HR. A TURN
TO THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH... 85 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. ALTHOUGH SOME STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE LATER TODAY...A
WEAKENING TREND IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN TOMORROW.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 85 MILES
...140 KM FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1003 MB...29.62 INCHES.

REPEATING THE 1 PM AST POSITION...25.0 N... 36.9 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS... 50 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1003 MB.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER AT 5 PM AST.

FORECASTER FRANKLIN

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Smart stuff - the world's smartest stuff.

Smart stuff - the world's smartest stuff.
I love this site. Of course, you all know by now that I am a gadget addict. I think it runs in my family. Nevertheless, I think you all might enjoy visiting this site to view all of the latest and most unique gadgets.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Web maps going head to head

As a retired geographer I am really happy to see the head to head competition between Microsoft and Google to create the best online mapping applications. I must say that the new application Microsoft has come up with is pretty impressive. I have not really learned to use all of the features yet but you can go to their http://local.live.com/ site yourself and decide. Then go to http://maps.google.com/ and compare. I have the most experience with Google Maps at this point and love the ability to create my own applications using their program interface. It is also my understanding that Google Maps does not work that well on the set top internet boxes such as Webtv and MSNTV. I have heard, but not tested it, that the Microsoft application works better on those devices. That would make sense as Microsoft produces those TV based browsers. The bottom line is that this fight between giants to produce the best web maps can only be good for us users and for geographers it is thrilling to see this take place.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Open Everything

Open Everything: My previous post on Google Maps relates to this discussion. API mashups do appear to be the future of web applications. Here is a quote from the posted link:

"Application mashups (not to be confused with the music by the same name) are combinations of already availible APIs in a productive and useful - and usually cool - state. For example, the Google Maps interface allows you to enter in your own addresses to plot. Using this and some zip code data from the popular site 'Hot or Not', there's been an interactive map that shows users' locations. This simple example shows the real power that some of these mashups have, and it's all thanks to the open sharing of information that is offered through their APIs."

Google Maps Mania

Google Maps Mania Shows the amazing flexibility of the Google Maps application. If you get a Google Maps API key anyone can develop applications that use this amazing web application. We have even developed one for our flight simulation scenery site at http://fs-freeflow.com but this site, Google Maps Mania, shows a wide range of imaginative auses for this great service.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Video Sharing Site

Video sharing site. Converts various formats to Flash video. Good TOS and nice clean interface. Upload from camera memory.

read more | digg story

ClipShack Home

This is a pretty neat site for sharing videos and still images. I was able to upload some video clips directly from my camera memory card. The site appears to convert the videos to Macromedia Flash files which are playable almost universally. I read the terms and conditions for the site and they seem reasonable. You retain ownership and copyright to all your uploads. You can upload clips and images directly from your camera memory card and convert them with a very simple interface.

ClipShack Home

Jumping Santa

When we were in South Carolina we attended an evening dinner with my parents and a group of their friends. Since it was close to Christmas they had some little gifts for everyone. Mom and Dad ended up after all the picking of gifts and exchanges with this cute animated Santa toy. They gave it to us to bring home for Kaitlyn. We think she liked it. Well, we will let you decide by watching this video clip.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Ads on this site

By now you have surely noticed the ads on this site. I got an ad account with Google and sprinkled some ads throughout the site to see if it might offset some of the expense of maintaining this web site. I have some general impressions so far. Firstly, the fact that the ads are with Google seems to prevent them from being pornographic or otherwise offensive. For that I am thankful. Secondly, the ads being content related is a great idea on Google's part. Finally, this site just does not have enough traffic to generate a significant income but the few dollars it does generate might help a bit in offsetting some of the costs of the site. For example, this site only gets a few hundred hits a week at the most. Usually it is significantly less than that. I only get ad income if the ads are clicked on. So, a fairly large percentage of visitors do not click on the ads. How much money have the ads generated for me? Well, so far about $8 dollars. Yeah, I know that is not much but when you are retired and on a fixed income you look at many ways of cutting costs and generating income. I have some ideas for some high traffic web sites that might generate more money from ads. I will be sharing those with you here as they develop but for now, please click on those ads to help pay the bills.

Also, a reminder that you can add comments at the end of each of these postings. Feel free to join in the discussions which I post. If you have an opinion please add it at the end of each of these articles. If you have ideas for improving this site please feel free to jump in and give me your two cents worth. I have gotten a few comments from friends and they have helped a lot in improving things around here. So, thanks for that feedback. Thanks again to all of you who visit this site. Let me have your suggestions and feedback.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hurricane Epsilon, longest lived December Hurricane on Record

This is an interesting blog entry by Dr. Jeff Masters at Wunderground.com.
Wunder Blog : Weather Underground

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

camerahacking :: View topic - CVS Camcorder FAQs

This is an interesting site on hacking a disposable camcorder that you can buy at CVS pharmacy for around twenty bucks. This FAQ discusses the details of hacking this little camcorder. Some of the videos and applications on the forum camerahacking are really interesting. :: View topic - CVS Camcorder FAQs

Monday, December 05, 2005

Docked

The Mothership is docked in her home port once again. We had a smooth trip and around 4:00 pm found ourselves in Brevard County about two and half hours from home. We decided to just push on and drive the trip in one day. My piriformis muscle is protesting that decision but it feels good to be home again. I always pay when I drive more than a few hours in one day.


Interestingly we can always tell when we are within 60 miles of West Palm Beach without looking at road signs or maps. How? Drivers on the highway begin showing insane behaviors taking unbelievable risks and driving as if they have the devil chasing them. Many other people have observed this same phenomenon so it is not just our warped view of things. What on earth could cause people in a particular region to drive so insanely when in most of the other areas we have traveled they behave somewhat normally? Maybe it is the tropical sun that does something to people's brains down here. Regardless of what causes it, it is a very real phenomenon and always disturbing to encounter after being away for a while.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Tranquility Cove

This is a panoramic image our location here at Tranquility Cove. My dad has a complete campground setup for us with full 50 amp electrical hookup, water, sewer, and broadband wireless internet. I created this image using a fantastic free program called Autostitch. It is availble here. Just shoot a bunch of digital images and open them in Autostitch. The panorama of our present location was created with one click using Autostitch. No other action required.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Dead Cell Zones Wireless Coverage Complaints

Dead Cell Zones Wireless Coverage Complaints

Picking a cell phone service? Try this site before you make a decision to find out if there is coverage where you work or live.

New Scientist SPACE - Breaking News - Black hole's colossal sphere of influence revealed

New Scientist SPACE - Breaking News - Black hole's colossal sphere of influence revealed

An amazing image of an energy jet possibly coming out of a black hole. This was taken by an 11 day exposure using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Fascinating article.