Category Archives: Uncategorized

Apple has 46& of Japanese smartphone market

From TUAW:

Impress Corporation of Japan is reporting that Apple now controls almost half the smartphone market in Japan with over 3 million iPhones sold to date. Keep in mind, it has taken the iPhone little more than a year to accomplish this.

Impress reasons that the major shift towards the iPhone is because of its ease of use and the Japanese App Store.

One of the predictions I distinctly remember an analyst making a the iPhone announcement launch was that it would reach Apple’s 1 percent of market share goal but it would have no impact in Japan, where the phones were so allegedly advanced.

Using PDFTOTEXT to convert a batch of PDFs to text and splitting them by page

I can’t believe how hard it was to find this (also, I know basically nothing about bash scripting), so maybe the next person who Googles this will find this post and save themselves a few minutes:

(replace ‘999’ with the number of pages in a document)

for f in *.PDF; 
         for i in {1..999}; 
         pdftotext -f "$i" -l $l "$i" -layout $f "${f%.PDF}_$1.txt"; 

for f in *.PDF; do for i in {1..999}; do pdftotext -f "$i" -l $l "$i" -layout $f "${f%.PDF}_$i.txt"; done; done

The above script will tell pdftotext to take every .PDF file and convert each page into a separate text file in the format original_file_name_pagenumber.txt

22 million Bush White House e-mails found

From the AP:

Computer technicians have found 22 million missing White House e-mails from the administration of President George W. Bush and the Obama administration is searching for dozens more days’ worth of potentially lost e-mail from the Bush years, according to two groups that filed suit over the failure by the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system.

Read more:

An interesting tidbit from a Jan. 2009 Talking Points Memo article:

But it doesn’t sound like we’ll get everything. The new email system that the White House switched to four years ago allowed all staff members to access storage files and delete messages — unlike the previous system, which was designed to preserve all messages containing official business. Fuchs said that the White House has still declined to make a forensic copy of the records, so any emails that were deleted likely won’t be recovered. And since we’re talking about millions of emails, it may be impossible to know what we don’t have.

NPR: Charles Babbage’s ‘Difference Engine'; a computer designed in the steam age

“I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam!”

Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage

– Charles Babbage, the 19th-century man who, with better luck and political skill, could’ve brought the information age to the Victorians.

This fascinating story from NPR (“A 19th-Century Mathematician Finally Proves Himself“):

Charles Babbage, the man whom many consider to be the father of modern computing, never got to complete any of his life’s work. The Victorian gentleman was a brilliant mathematician, but he wasn’t very good at politics and fundraising, so he never got the financial backing to finish any of his elaborate machine designs. For decades, even his fans weren’t certain whether his computing machines would have worked.

But Doron Swade, a former curator at the Science Museum in London, has proven that Babbage wasn’t just an eccentric dreamer. Using nothing but materials that would have been available to Babbage in the 1840s, Swade and a group of engineers successfully built Babbage’s Difference Engine — and a version is now on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

The Difference Engine fills half a gallery and stands taller than most men. It’s 5 tons of cast iron, steel and bronze woven together from 8,000 distinct parts. Though it looks like it could be a sculpture, the machine is essentially a giant calculator. Tim Robinson, a docent at the museum, says it’s “the first automatic calculating machine.”

This engine — made from 162-year-old designs — doesn’t have a power pack; it has a hand crank. Robinson works up a sweat as he turns it. “As long as you keep turning that crank, it will produce entirely new results,” he says.

babbage machine 10301732

FriendFeed, Deepest Sender, FriendFeed Activity Widget

Still configuring the blog…opened a FriendFeed account so I could gather my various Flickr, Twitter, and items into the sidebar, using the FriendFeed Activity Widget. And am now using Deepest Sender, a FF-extension for WordPress posting so I don’t have to use the slow-as-molasses admin. Also switched to Thematic’s 3-column layout with the middle column reserved for the FF detritus, to make my site look more active than it is.