Category Archives: Travel

The Geek Atlas on Google Maps


The Geek Atlas – 128 Places Where Science & Technology Come Alive by John Graham-Cumming is by far my favourite non-fiction book to be published last year. As the title suggests, it’s full of geeky places to visit and it offers great insight into the science behind different concepts.

This is a prime example of ‘I should have googled it first’.

I was planning a trip to do with my parents around Easter and I started looking on the pages of The Geek Atlas for inspiration. As I was going through it, I started placing a pins on a Google map so I could see their relation to each other. I.e. how best to plan our route around England. Soon I had so many pins on the map that I decided to do the rest of the book as well. I looked up each site in the book and placed a pin for it.

Little did I know, although I should have, that John had already made a map like this. His can be found here.

I didn’t want my efforts to go to waste so I’m still publishing mine on my site. At least that way I can update it with more info and photos if I happen to visit the sites.

Another thing I found when doing this is that there’s an iPhone app version of the book with clickable long/lats to help you easily find the places you’re looking for. The app is available on the App Store.

The book itself is of course available at any good Amazon bookstore near you: US/UK.

Wings of Nutty Behavior

Annoyance,

On a plane to Finland I’m getting bored after organizing my folders and finding things to archive. A job that someone’s gotto do and there never seems to be time for it.

Hmm. Does this machine do anything else than serious stuff? It does indeed. I can play few rounds of WingNuts 2: Raina’s Revenge, a great arcade style game I had bought about a year ago.

Launch WingNuts 2, go.

What!?! Register? Aah, ok, I haven’t typed the registration code in after rebuilding my machine. No problem though, got everything I need in my email!

MK Tapaninaho

and

click – click – click – click – click – click – click – click – click – click – click – click

And ‘Register’


Dialog box appears:

“The code entered was purchased too long ago and has expired. Go To Site [sic] your registration through the Support section of theCancelrse web site.”

No, in a matter of fact I wont. I can’t. I’m on an airplane!

This really sucks. It’s not saying it’s an invalid code or that it requires Internet access at the point of registering. It’s just too fricking long. And old.

I’ll suggest something but I first want to say that I’m all for serial numbers and web authentication for apps. It’s important for the developer to make money out of what they love doing and we love using.

But, and this is my suggestion. Don’t let it get in the way of the experience. As far as I see, there is no reason to expire a serial code*.

Many indie Mac apps come with a generous 30 day trial period, in Wingnuts’ case I think you can launch it 9 times and play only few selected scenarios. Fair enough. I’m not sure why it didn’t give me that option this time. I haven’t played it since ‘the great rebuild of 08’.

Idea I had for the web authentication when you don’t have access to the Internet is to let the user semi-activate it and use it for a week. Then each time the app is launched try if connection to the server is possible and towards end of the week, warn the user that it’s time to find that open network.

I don’t know if this would be hard to implement, don’t think so. Yeah, it is more work but then again, so is making rest of the app and making sure it’s accessible and trouble free to use.

I’ll post an update once I find time to go through the registration and find that newer, younger and shorter password!

Any similar experiences? Please share below.

–kristian

ps. I do have another license for the game, too. One I got with the MacHeist bundle. It also requires you to go on their website to get the serial.

*Of course, there are serial number farms where these sometimes end up but I guess that is what devs have to cope with, just like musicians have to cope with piratism.

Europe Allows Mobiles Phones on Planes

Funny, I was just talking with a friend, explaining how the ban on using mobile phones on airplanes is fear mongering and one of the biggest bluffs since aspiring. Of course, the regulators until now have said that mobiles can – or will – effect the delicate equipment that is used to keep the airplane in the air. This is obviously absolute rubbish. If mobile phones would have any effect on an airplane, they would be taken off the passengers, sealed in a lead box and only given back after passport check once safely on the ground.

Not so much any more, European commission lifts the ban and allows airline carriers to decide for themselves. Whether or not it’s a good thing to allow passengers shout on the phone, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’M 10000 METERS ABOVE THE SEA LEVEL!”, will be learned the hard way. Read more on The Guardian.

IMG_8306

Next thing EC has to get their act together on is the ridiculous ban on fluids on the planes. What a load of bullshit. Haven’t they ever heard of Nitroglycerin? Eh?

–kristian

[update] Just reading Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) re: above topic. It appears that airplanes will be fitted with something called ‘open cable’ that will keep phones from contacting mobile phone masts on the ground. Instead, they’ll direct the signal to a satellite.