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Showing posts from June, 2008

BibDesk and QuickLook

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I have a strong need use BiBTeX files, but fortunately life is generally made a lot easier with BibDesk. As I only need to deal with bibliographies in spurts, invariably there’s a new version when I get started. I didn’t think Leopard would inspire any changes to BibDesk, but indeed it has.The first change I noticed is that it saves a file for each publication, so that Spotlight will play nicer with each one (notice how it is also using QuickLook to present it like a card from the card catalog: This turns out to be really useful. Almost immediately after messing with BibDesk again, I needed to search for an author. Interestingly, BibDesk uses a different QuickLook style if you use QuickLook proper: I actually have no idea how they pull that off, but it’s very nice. Looking at all the other features BibDesk has, it has become very clear to me I am a total novice with it (they have a whole page for AppleScripts!).Technorati Tags: , , ,

NY Times: Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis?

Normally, I don’t post these kind of articles, since, well, horticulture isn’t exactly my cup of tea. But this article caught me right away. Lewis Ziska, a weed ecologist with the Agriculture Research Service of the USDA, wasn’t able get funding to create a lab that would allow him to examine the effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. His solution was really quite ingenious:When he checked, he found that in fact the temperatures in Baltimore run 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer on average than those of the surrounding countryside, and the concentration of CO2 in the local atmosphere (440 to 450 p.p.m., or parts per million by volume) is well above the current global average. This, coincidentally, matched almost exactly what the panel on climate change predicted for the planet as a whole 30 to 50 years in the future in its “B2 scenario,” a middle-of-the-road projection that envisions continuing greenhouse gas increases but also some success in abatement programs.Technorati T…

Really interesting report on the future of electric cars

Normally, I listen to the Newshour with Jim Lehrer in podcast form, since it’s usually not very video intensive. Barring that, I do TiVo it so I can always watch it later. But their report on electric cars sounded too good to not watch:Rising oil prices and improvements in battery technology are fueling new interest in developing electric cars. Spencer Michels reports on how industry giants and start-up car companies alike plan to release new vehicles by 2010.Fortunately, they do video streaming also, which is where I found the video of their report. It honestly seems like PBS, NPR, and the like taking the most advantage of new technology lately.Technorati Tags:,

SmartSleep 1.2

Almost a year and a half ago, I listed out a bunch of Mac applications that would be useful for some newly converted friends of mine. This is sorely in need of an update, but until then I’ll just occasionally post what others have to say. Macworld just covered SmartSleep, which can be great for people with laptops:Patrick Stein’s Smart Sleep, a System Preferences panel, lets you choose between four different sleep modes:Sleep and hibernate: Default mode.Sleep only: No RAM written to disk.Hibernate only: Power fully off.Smart sleep: A special mode whereby your machine will generally just sleep, but will sleep and hibernate when the battery is below a certain power level you specify via a slider. If the battery is below five percent charge, then it will only hibernate.After Apple made hibernation the default mode when closing a laptop, people are supposed to wait (up to a minute!) for it to finally go to sleep. This tool can be great for doing what really should be built in. It has to b…

Car Gas Mileage May Not Be All It Seems : NPR

I’m not really sure how to react to this story from NPR:Car Gas Mileage May Not Be All It Seems : NPRHere’s a quiz. Which saves more gas: trading in a 16-mile-a-gallon gas guzzler for a slightly more efficient car that gets 20 mpg? Or going from a gas-sipping sedan of 34-mpg to a hybrid that gets 50 mpg?If you guessed the second choice, you’re wrong.Even a small improvement in gas guzzlers saves more gas than a big improvement in cars that already save. But cars aren’t advertised that way in the U.S.I’m not sure I buy the setup of the argument (not having kids, I don’t live in a world where you wouldn’t just replace the worst efficient car) but that seems like a different argument. My problem is that it (and essentially the same story I found) doesn’t even bother to give a method to convert for yourself. The options are that they think everyone can figure it out for themselves (I doubt it), or they thought it was too hard to explain.Anyhow, I expect anyone who bothers to read my posts…

Merlin Mann and the NY Times article of email problems.

I’m not vain enough to think anything I say really holds much weight with others. Fortunately, Merlin Mann had a similar, but much better phrased, reaction to an article in the New York Times today about email overload. At some point I want to at least write down my thoughts of trying to keep an empty inbox while using Gmail with IMAP.NYT: Businesses Fight the Email Monster They Helped Created:If you’ve seen the video of my Inbox Zero talk at Google, you may recall the moment when a few attendees start mentioning the hundreds of internal email messages they receive (and send) in a given day. I still remember, because I almost fainted…Technorati Tags: