Scott's Thoughts

Top Five Mountain Bike Digital Cameras

Photo-John recently posted his list of the top five cameras for mountain biking on MTBR, and given how well that hits two of my favorite hobbies, I couldn’t help but re-post it here.

I haven’t used any of these cameras, but the choices and reasons for making them seem sound. In my case, I’ve opted for the GF1 in place of P-J’s #2, the GH-1. The GF1 gives ground to the GH1 in EVF quality and it shoots video at 720p instead of the GH1s 1080p, but is smaller in size and comes in a kit with the lovely 20mm f/1.7. I can see someone going either way.

His #1, the Canon 7D is also a good choice of DSLR based on reviews I’ve read (and being a former Canon 30D user). I use the Nikon D700 as my DSLR, which has the advantages of being full-frame, better in low light and better sealing (and, IMO, handling). It gives up ground on being much more expensive and doesn’t do video at all.

In any case, it’s a good list and worth checking out if you’re in the market.

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Rudiments of Language Discovered in Monkeys

Campbell’s monkeys appear to combine the same calls in different ways, using rules of grammar that turn sound into language.


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Sweet VW Diesel Hybrid Gets 70 MPG

A diesel-electric hybrid? Nice.

AT&T Mark The Spot

An iPhone app that one can use to mark where AT&T service is crappy? Oh, I’m going to get some use out of this app.

Football Good and Bad

Bad first: I rarely ever watch football and I don’t really follow or call myself a fan of any given team. But today, feeling under the weather, I settled in and watched the New Orleans Saints play the Washington Redskins. It was a thoroughly entertaining game, the likes of which I haven’t seen in years. And then, as the Saints appeared to possibly make a comeback with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, FOX decided to cut from that game to the 49ers/Seahawks. Unbelievable. I found out later that the Saints did make the comeback, and it must have been something pretty incredible to watch. Sadly, I was watching a pathetic opening to another game that I couldn’t care less about. So lame.

Now the good: I’ve only been to one real college football game: a Nebraska Huskers game while visiting my wife’s home in Nebraska. It was a lot of fun. We just bought tickets to the bowl game they’re playing on the 30th and then spending New Year’s Eve down in SoCal. Should be a lot of fun.

Now There’s a Java Store!?

I guess everyone thinks having their own store is a good idea now. I don’t think I’ve ever wondered to myself where I could by software written specifically in Java, nor am I sure why I should. In fact, I generally think of desktop software, with a few notable exceptions (I’m looking at you, IDEA), as tangibly worse than otherwise equivalent software written “natively”.

As an aside, it’s funny that the post lists others who have launched stores recently, while not mentioning Apple, regardless of the fact that they started it all. Since it didn’t launch in 2009, I guess that would be a reason to omit the mention, but it still seems weird somehow.

(via Tim Bray on Twitter.)

Technorati Not Using Pings Anymore

I use Movable Type as the backend software for this blog, and when I create an entry, it notifies several blog-indexing services of the new post. One of them, Technorati, has recently stopped accepting pings at the address, resulting in an error on every post. I thought I’d spread the word here in case anyone else is confused by the error.


Nice site featuring photography and photographer-written stories. It’s obviously new and getting slammed, so keep trying if you get some errors. There’s some good stuff up there.


Node.js looks interesting. Its about page says that it’s goal is to “provide an easy way to build scalable network programs.” Build them using JavaScript, that is. Ryan Dahl’s talk at JSConf is a long-ish watch, but good.

Consumer Reports: AT&T Cellphone Service Last in Customer Satisfaction


Surprise, surprise. AT&T’s comment on the story, added at the bottom, indicates that they didn’t take my advice to heart. ;)

Without question the surest indication of customer satisfaction is churn, or turnover. For the last quarter, our postpaid churn was just 1.17 percent.

Way to spin it, folks. You suck. Losing the iPhone before you fix your problems could be catastrophic.

Wasp on a Mission

Wasp on a Mission, originally uploaded by Roeselien Raimond.

Great pic!


Square seems like a great solution to a real-world problem that many have: how to take someone’s credit/debit card in a low-ceremony way. It was created by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, and I think it looks like potential second home-run. Here’s Wired’s take.

Panasonic Releases Firmware Update for GF1

Grab it here.

Apple 27-Inch iMac

Wonderful review of the i7-powered 27" iMac. If I wasn’t sold on portables, I’d have one of these in a jiffy. Given the text of the review, I’m surprised it only rated 8 out of 10. Read like a 9 to me.

Top Ten YouTube Mountain Bike Videos

Gregg on MTBR recently outlined his 10 favorite mountain bike YouTube vids. Some pretty good ones in there.

Racing Wheel Stand

I so want this thing, no matter how dorky it may be. Better than using a chair as to hold my wheel up while getting my Forza 3 on.

Becky’s Carlmont Drop Challenge

Sounds like fun.

Twitter: Time’s ‘Person’ of the Year?

Seriously? They should just stop doing these if they don’t have the balls to call out a person.

Nice Rails Tips

Good guide.

I’m Looking Forward to ‘The Prisoner’

I watched the original series back when I was a kid, and I honestly don’t remember much of it. But the upcoming remake great, and I’ve already got my TiVo set. It starts on the 15th.