2011-12-31

ErgoEmacs hit Hacker News

ErgoEmacs hits Hacker News last week. See Emacs for the rest of us: ErgoEmacs @ Source news.ycombinator.com

Thanks to “Macro Lapse” (aka macco) for posting.

Here's a review of ErgoEmacs Keybinding.

Ergonomic Emacs Keybindings (2011-12-30) By Jeff Pace. @ Source jpace.wordpress.com

Macross Plus - Pulse (song)

Song 〈Pulse〉 from Japanese animation Macross Plus. amazon

For lyrics and other detail, see: Macross Plus - Pulse (song).

emacs lisp: cycle hyphen underscore, lisp properties

Updated article.

cycle-hyphen-underscore-space

(defun cycle-hyphen-underscore-space ()
  "Cyclically replace {underscore, space, hypen} chars current line or text selection.
When called repeatedly, this command cycles the {“ ”, “_”, “-”} characters."
  (interactive)
  ;; this function sets a property 「'state」. Possible values are 0 to length of charList.
  (let (mainText charList p1 p2 currentState nextState changeFrom
             changeTo startedWithRegion-p )

    (if (region-active-p)
        (progn
          (setq startedWithRegion-p t )
          (setq p1 (region-beginning))
          (setq p2 (region-end))
          )
      (progn (setq startedWithRegion-p nil ) 
             (setq p1 (line-beginning-position))
             (setq p2 (line-end-position)) ) )

    (setq charList (list " " "_" "-" ))

    (setq currentState
          (if (get 'cycle-hyphen-underscore-space 'state) 
              (get 'cycle-hyphen-underscore-space 'state) 0))
    (setq nextState (% (+ currentState (length charList) 1) (length charList)))

    (setq changeFrom (nth currentState charList))
    (setq changeTo (nth nextState charList))

    (setq mainText (replace-regexp-in-string changeFrom changeTo (buffer-substring-no-properties p1 p2)) )
    (delete-region p1 p2)
    (insert mainText)
    
    (put 'cycle-hyphen-underscore-space 'state nextState)

    (when startedWithRegion-p 
      (goto-char p2)
      (set-mark p1)
      (setq deactivate-mark nil) ) ) )

explanation and detail at http://xahlee.org/emacs/elisp_change_space-hyphen_underscore.html

Steve Jobs on Apple website on 2011-10-05

Steve Jobs on Apple Website on 2011-10-05

apple dot com Steve Jobs 2011-10-05
Apple.com website on 2011-10-05.

For Google website screenshot, see: http://xahlee.org/comp/Death_of_Steve_Jobs.html

2011-12-30

updated: Emacs Lisp Text Processing: find-file vs with-temp-buffer

Updated: Emacs Lisp Text Processing: find-file vs with-temp-buffer.

In my previous report, the timing difference is by a factor of 45. That's because i had stuff in my init file. (i have hooks for both find-file and html-mode, and that probably caused the major slowdown.) Now, the factor is actually just about 5.

You should still use with-temp-buffer instead of find-file besides speed, because find-file has quite some side effects.

Big thanks to Trey Jackson.

Perl Books Survey 2002

06210002

Updated: Perl Books Survey 2002.

2011-12-29

Review of Khan Academy by Xah Lee

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/math/khan_academy_review.html

So the other day i looked at Khan Academy. Spent a hour to watch a few videos. I find it fantastic, but also disapppointing. Let me explain. (If you don't know already: Khan Academy is a online educational site, basically just thousands of videos, each about 10 minutes. Website at: khanacademy.org)

Khan Academy logo

The Bad

Here's the disappointing parts:

Basics Only. Of all their courses of various subject areas (e.g. sciences, humanities, etc.), the level offered is about first year of university course. At best 2nd year university course.

For example, one of the subject they are known for and have the most number of videos is math. Vast majority of them are highschool level (e.g. fraction arithmetic, highschool algebra, etc.). The most advanced course they offer are: {calculus, linear algebra, differential equations}. This means, if you are a math fan, and you have studied first 2 years of university math, then Khan Academy doesn't do anything for you. (for example, they don't even have basic group theory or basic abstract algebra)

Video Format is Slow. They teach by videos. The Video format is a fixed and slow format. Very time consuming. I'm impatient to sit there and wait for the lecture to go thru second-by-second. In comparison, when learning a subject i don't know (e.g. bio-chemistry), i prefer a encyclopedia such as Wikipedia, where i can read fast, scan parts i already know, delve into parts i want to learn more.

Few Subject Areas. Although they have thousands of videos, but they don't really have coverage of wide range of topics. For example, in the category of Computer Science, all they have is ~30 videos on the very basics of programing Python. That is ALL they have on computer science. Paucity is the word. For what they cover, it's about equivalent of 1 day's worth of reading a python book, and you'd learn much more in depth.

The Good

Here's the fantastic parts:

Basics is Good. Although the level covered are rather basic, but that's also the good part about it. I know math well, but i'm rather ignorant in vast majority of other topics. For example: economics, law, art history, biology, finance, medicine, world history, anthropology, …, etc. This applies to basically everyone. This means, for vast majority of people, the majority of courses offered by Khan Academy are very useful.

Video Format is Engaging. The slow video format also has good aspects. For example, now and then i want to broaden my understanding of law, or art history, subjects that i do not have strong interest. Reading encyclopedia is a very dry experience, and requires high level of concentration. It gets boring and aimless fast. But well arranged course in videos with human voice that guides you thru, is very satisfying. You can sip a drink and passively enjoy the video and learn something.

Today there are more and more free online courses or educational materials. Next i'll be looking into Stanford's offers on computer science machine learning.

2011-12-28

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard has Docked!

Big news. The years-in-coming “Truly Ergonomic Keyboard” has arrived. This just might prove to be the ultimate emacs keyboard.

truly ergonomic keyboard 2
“Truly Ergonomic Keyboard”

If you haven't heard about this keyboard before, see my arm-chair philosophy here: Ergonomic Keyboards Gallery. If you wonder why this keyboard is a big deal, see Keyboard Hardware Design Flaws. Otherwise, go here to see keyboard lovers's on-hand discussion about it at: geekhack.org.

Thanks to @dotemacs for the tip.

Computer Keyboard Wrist RSI Problems

Keyboard Angle Issues

keyboarding RSI ulnar deviation
Ulnar deviation = bending the wrist outward to the sides. This is solved by split/ergonomic keyboards where the keys are separated into 2 groups. img src
keyboarding RSI forearm Pronation keyboarding RSI degrees of pronation
Forearm Pronation = rotating the forarm. This is solved by split/ergonomic keyboards that are curved/tilted. img src

and there's also wrist dorsiflexion, meaning bending up the palm. This happens when you use a thick keyboard that sits on a flat desk and your forearm rests on the desk surface. Especially bad when the keyboard's back legs are propped up. This is solved by typing while your wrist hovers above, which is actually the proper typing posture. It is also solved by putting ~5cm thick book in front of the keyboard, or a front tilt as in Microsoft 4000, or a dipped-in keys as in Kinesis Contoured Keyboard, or set your keyboard in a tray below desk surface.

read more: http://xahlee.org/emacs/keyboard_problems.html

emacs keyboard: μTron keyboard

updated the emacs keyboard μTron keyboard.

utron keyboard
“μTRON Keyboard” img src
utron keyboard 02
“μTRON Keyboard”

This is a excellent design. The only design issue i found is that it doesn't have dedicated function keys. The function keys are merged with the number keys. However, the other quality design makes up for it. (For why dedicated function is important, see: Function Keys in Computer Keyboard. For why the μTron is a excellent design, see: Keyboard Hardware Design Flaws.)

Video Intro & Official Website

〈はじめてみようμTRONキーボード〉

much more photo and info at: http://xahlee.org/kbd/uTRON_keyboard.html

more Wonderland Alice artwork

alice in wonderland 2010 by j scott campbell-d2z2q8l
By J Scott Campbell @ j-scott-campbell.deviantart.com

Misc Alice Artwork ₂

the cat yoga (funny video)

〈кошкина йога〉 (The Cat Yoga) (yourlight 2011-12-14)

Yoga b-boying (Breakdance)

Yoga b-boying. The song is “Sail” by AWOLNATION. amazon

For detail about the song used, see: Sail - AWOLNATION.

See also: Acrobatic B-boying Dance (Breakdancing) Videos.

2011-12-27

Song: Lily Allen - Fuck You Very Much

“Lily Allen - Fuck you” amazon
Its Not Me Its You  Lily Allen
Lily Allen's album cover “It's Not Me, It's You”. amazon

lyrics, live version, info at: http://xahlee.org/music/fuck_you_very_much.html

American Imperialism; Killing Hope

Killing Hope USA CIA Interventions map
〈US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II〉
Killing Hope book cover-2-2-2
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (2003) amazon

Wikipedia info: Killing Hope. Quote:

Noam Chomsky called it “Far and away the best book on the topic.”[1] Former CIA officer John Stockwell called it “The single most useful summary of CIA history.” [2]

Website: www.killinghope.org

Rogue State William Blum
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (2000) amazon

Wikipedia info: Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. Quote:

It was mentioned in a speech attributed to Osama bin Laden broadcast on January 19, 2006. Bin Laden stated: “If Bush carries on with his lies and oppression, it would be useful for you to read the book The Rogue State.” Sales subsequently soared.

Noam Chomsky on Death of Osama Bin Laden

Regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden, Chomsky stated: “We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden's, and he is not a ‘suspect’ but uncontroversially the ‘decider’ who gave the orders to commit the ‘supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole’ (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, [and] the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.”[86]

From Noam Chomsky.

2011-12-26

dance music: Hard in Tango - This is My DJ (Jessica Alba)

A great dance song.

Video clip of film “Honey” with music “This is My DJ” by “Hard in Tango” amazon

for lyrics and info, see: http://xahlee.org/music/this_is_my_dj.html

How Did You Spent Xmas Eve?

24號晚上跟弟弟聊qq。問我平安夜怎麼過。我說沒事幹,睡覺…… 然後弟弟說:“我媽問你是一個人睡還是兩個人睡”……

translation:

on xmas eve, i was chatting with my little brother online. He asked how i spent the night. I said “nothing much, went to bed…” then brother replied “mom asked whether it's 1 person or 2 persons” …

Source plus.google.com

Sephora logo

post removed

technology: skyscraper sized screen

Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone launch event at Millbank, featuring a 118m high building as giant screen.

This is done by 16 projectors across the Thames river, with the building as screen.

The building is Millbank Tower , located at the City of Westminster at Millbank, the banks of the River Thames in London, UK.

The building is 118m high. Each of the building's 800 windows are covered with vinyl. 16 projectors on the other side of the river beamed images onto it.

2011-12-25