Shallow Thoughts

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Tue, 05 Jan 2021

A Golden ... Redtail?

[Red-tailed hawk impersonating a golden eagle] We were flying R/C planes at the soccer field at Overlook on Sunday morning when somebody asked, "What's that bird doing there?" There was a big bird sitting in the middle of the field. It looked like some sort of raptor. I keep a monocular in my flying case (it's not the first interesting bird to show up at the flying field), so I pulled it out. The bird had its back to me, but hmm, big raptor, all dark brown except for golden feathers on the neck and a few light ones on the back ... "Hey, guys, I think that's an immature golden eagle!"

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[ 10:12 Jan 05, 2021    More nature/birds | permalink to this entry | ]

Sat, 19 Dec 2020

Android Studio Workarounds, and Command-Line Gradle Builds

I got a new phone. (Not something that happens often.)

Fun, right? Well, partly, but also something I'd been dreading. I had a feeling that my ancient RSS reader, FeedViewer, which I use daily to read all my news feeds, probably wouldn't work under a modern Android (I wrote it for KitKat and it was last updated under Marshmallow). And that was correct.

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[ 17:49 Dec 19, 2020    More programming | permalink to this entry | ]

Tue, 08 Dec 2020

Petition for Better Los Alamos Broadband

Los Alamos (and White Rock) Alert!

Los Alamos and White Rock readers: please direct your attention to Andy Fraser's Better Los Alamos Broadband NOW petition.

One thing the petition doesn't mention is that LANL is bringing a second high speed trunk line through White Rock. I'm told that They don't actually need the extra bandwidth, but they want redundancy in case their main line goes out.

Meanwhile, their employees, and the rest of the town, are struggling with home internet speeds that aren't even close to the federal definition of broadband:

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[ 15:17 Dec 08, 2020    More politics | permalink to this entry | ]

Mon, 16 Nov 2020

Removed RSS 0.9.1 feed; Calendar Working Better

Fixing the Disqus comment system required regenerating the pages for old blog articles, to add the comment sections back. But doing that made me realize that the calendar wasn't right on a lot of pages.

This blog uses PyBlosxom, an excellent minimal blogging platform that is, unfortunately, no longer actively maintained. So I knew I couldn't count on anyone else fixing the calendar. I dug into the code and eventually found the problem, so I've regenerated all the blog pages and will be updating my PyBlosxom fork and sending a pull request upstream.

But while watching all those pages regenerate, I was struck by the three flavors of RSS generated for every page. It seemed excessive. I'm guessing that by now, anyone who's still using RSS (I certainly am!) can handle either Atom or RSS 2.0. So I've removed the RSS 0.9.1 feed. If you were using it, please update to the RSS 2.0 or Atom feed (see the links in the right sidebar).

If anyone was using RSS 0.9.1 and absolutely can't update to a newer format, drop me a line. If it turns out there was a good reason for supporting 0.9.1, I can put it back.

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[ 08:44 Nov 16, 2020    More blogging | permalink to this entry | ]

Sun, 15 Nov 2020

Blog Comments should be working again

The Disqus comments here have been broken for quite some time, and I didn't realize it. I just thought nobody must interested in any of my alphabet topics. :-)

It turns out there were two problems.

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[ 14:15 Nov 15, 2020    More blogging | permalink to this entry | ]

Wed, 07 Oct 2020

MarsMap: What Features of Mars are Visible?

[MarsMap screenshot] I've been working on my upcoming PEEC talk, Observing Mars at Opposition on October 16.

Mars' closest approach was yesterday, October 6, and the actual opposition will be next Tuesday, October 13.

So, wait, we've already missed closest approach, and the opposition will be over before the actual talk happens? Then why bother?

Fortunately, opposition is actually an "opposition season", not a single date. And for most people, the best part is a little past opposition.

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[ 18:10 Oct 07, 2020    More science/astro | permalink to this entry | ]

Tue, 29 Sep 2020

Y is for Yunque

Dave was browsing through satellite imagery and noticed what looked like an old bridge across the Rio Grande just north of Española, near the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo.

In the Days of COVID, one cure for the stir-crazies is to get in the car and go for a drive. So we ventured forth to check out this bridge.

[Bridge across the Rio Grande] Sure enough, just west of where County Road 56A crosses the Rio, there's a little stub of a dead-end road called Yunque that leads to a footbridge.

The name Yunque sounded vaguely familiar, but neither of us could pin down why.

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[ 12:50 Sep 29, 2020    More misc | permalink to this entry | ]

Sat, 26 Sep 2020

Pho 1.0, Belated Release

[pho image viewer] I was doing some disk housekeeping and noticed that my venerable image viewer, Pho, was at version 1.0pre1, and had been since 2017. It's had only very minimal changes since that time. I guess maybe it's been long enough that it's time to remove that -pre1 moniker, huh?

Of course I couldn't leave it at that. There were a couple of very minor bugs I'd been ignoring, when you delete from the end or beginning of the image list. So I fixed those, bumped the version, updated the web page, tagged the git tree and made a release. Pho is now 1.0. About time!

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[ 10:32 Sep 26, 2020    More programming | permalink to this entry | ]