Intel Mini: Underwhelmed

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

The Intel Mini leaves me feeling a little disappointed. For one thing the price is up, not down. The low end Intel model is $100 more than the low end G4 model was. For another, although A/V functionality has improved somewhat, it’s still not ready to replace my cable box or Tivo or DVD. I’ll probably still buy one of the lowend models to replace the old Dell running this site like I was planning, but I won’t buy an extra one to hook up to my TV like I was considering, and I may wait a little while to buy the first one if this Dell continues to hold out.

Yahoo Ads Beta Flops; Moving Back to Google

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

I agreed to participate in the beta for Yahoo Ads because they would let me put ads in the feeds, unlike Google; but it was clearly not ready. The targeted ads were incredibly poorly targetted compared to Google AdSense. Perhaps that was just a function of fewer advertisers. I don’t know. However there were two problems that were definitely Yahoo’s fault and convinced me it just isn’t as smart a company as Google:

It’s Freezing In Here

Monday, February 27th, 2006

It’s -2°C outside, (the warmest it’s been all day) and after turning the heaters all the way up, removing the window air conditioner, replacing the windows with new, more tightly sealed ones, the temperature in my office has now reached an invigorating 21°C. Later today I’m shopping for warmer socks and a ski mask. I love New York, but days like today make me think seriously about moving to California.

How Many Cylons are There?

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

If we can trust Number 6 (and I’m not at all sure we can) there are exactly twelve “skin job” Cylon models. So far by my count we’ve seen 6. (Warning: spoilers follow.)

Number 6 is Not What I Thought

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

After watching Friday’s Battlestar Galactica, I think I have to change my opinion of just what’s up with Gaius Baltar and Number 6. (Warning: spoilers follow.)

Long-eared Owl Relocated

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Yesterday afternoon I got the following e-mail from Don Burggraf, who as you may remember joined me on an unsuccessful expedition Friday to locate the Long-eared Owl.

After I left you, I returned to the car and looked up Croton Point Park in the Audubon book, and couldn’t find the park listed there. I looked on my New York map and saw that it wasn’t listed there. So, I just went to Floyd Bennet Field (discovering many of the areas listed in the Audubon guide are now closed) and Breezy Point (finding just how well named the place is – whew! – and no purple sandpipers).

However, remembering your story of a Christmas count a couple of years ago, I decided to look one more time on my way South this morning, leaving the city. I went back to the area, found the perch we examined yesterday empty, and then I looked for white-wash. I saw some that looked relatively fresh, and some of that crumbly stuff you showed me in the Botanical Gardens. Some of the white-wash was closer to the stairs leading down to the Maryland memorial. I went around the area, looking for white wash around other trees without success. I thought I would climb the stairs one more time and have a last look. This time I started scanning as I was standing at the top of the stairs — AND I FOUND THE BIRD!

It was not visible from the place where you and I had been scanning for the bird yesterday. You showed me three trunks close together (and the bird had previously perched on the left-most trunk). This time, the bird was perched on a branch off the center trunk, considerably closer to the stairs leading down. I was able to see the orange face, the ear tufts, the heavily streaked breast, the tail. I saw it turn its head.

Today I took Beth to find the owl since she still hadn’t seen it. It had moved back to its usual brach though it was a little higher up and harder to see than it sometimes is:

The owl had its back turned toward us.

I still don’t know whether the owl was actually in that tree on Friday when Don and I first looked. We searched that tree pretty thoroughly, so I suspect not; but owls are really good at hiding and we could have missed it. I guess we’ll never know. But for now it seems the owl has returned to Prospect Park.