Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A world clock of life, death and the environment

Here’s an interesting variation on world clocks, click the image below to open in a new window …


It’s quite interesting to watch the statistics build up inexorably over a number of minutes.

But I wouldn’t keep it running all the time though, if I were you, since I noticed that it chews up a full 25 percent CPU (one of the processors on my quad-core system).

Scaling the heights and depths of the universe

Today I stumbled upon Cary and Michael Huang’s The Scale of the Universe animation (2010). Quite impressive …


Move the horizontal slider button (or click the left/right arrow keys) to zoom in and out across the scale. Click the down arrow key to improve the quality of the image.

In a similar vein, watch Cosmic Journeys: Cosmic Energy Powers of 10

Not enough for you? Then why not also watch From Quarks to Outer Space

Here’s the same as a Java animation.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the classic Powers of Ten documentary produced in 1968, written and directed by Ray and Charles Eames:

And to finish off this post about distances across the universe, take a look at the smorgasbord of free videos offered by SPACE Rip called Cosmic Journeys – what a grand feast!

Lotus Notes needs extended thumbnail capability

Concerning thumbnails in Lotus Notes, several months ago I was investigating for a client what ways there are to show thumbnails of photographs taken while inspecting building construction sites and stored in Notes documents of a particular database.

We should all know that there already is a form of thumbnail support available …


This works extremely well for a single image (as in a business card), merely by selecting the option shown above. No coding required whatsoever, excellent.

Alas this doesn’t work at all for multiple images, such as my client’s database holds:


The trouble is,obviously, that you can’t tell from the above Rich Text field contents (the attachment name as generated by your digital camera, or the generic attachment icon) what each photo’s subject is.

Support for multiple thumbnails per Rich Text field would be the perfect no-coding-required  solution for my client, and I’m sure in many other such cases.

My client’s staff would then merely click on one of the many thumbnails to see that particular photo taken at a building construction site as a pop-up (rather than having to open the photo in an external image viewer program).

I hope that IBM will extend the thumbnail support to multiple attached images, and as soon as possible. Agree?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Planet Lotus–a gripe pops up from me again


I whinged and whined about this a couple of years ago, and here I am again older and even more of a pain in the proverbial ranting on about it again … An extra-squeaky wheel I am, I am.


I thought that it used to only my posts that suffered from this back then, but doing a random mouse-over of various entries in today’s Planet Lotus find that quite a few other people have submitted posts that yield this too.

Can’t we get rid of all that annoying HTML junk in the “tool tips” (or “pop-ups” or whatever you want to call them)?

“We aim for perfection” do we not?

IBM and the killer electric cars?

I’ve started writing stories again for iTWire, and while researching my latest story found out that IBM seems to have studied a literally shocking new class of electric vehicles.

Go to … IBM finds consumer interest in electric vehicles, but major barriers to widespread adoption

(refer to page 3 of the story)