Friday, April 20, 2007

probability.earthquake <- probability of coding success?

Over the past couple of weeks I've been learning how to use a new program called Splus. Well, actually, I mostly feel like I'm bashing my head against concrete. It's a statistical software package and I'm trying to code up some nice analyses. Which would be fine if I had any coding skills. I have to say that the help files are spectacularly unhelpful to a beginner.

Anyway, because I'm all new at this Splus thing, I've been reading the "useful tips" that pop up each time I start a new session.

Today's tip said:

"When an earthquake strikes, take cover under a desk or doorway. Try to avoid areas near windows or heavy objects that might topple, and above all, do not panic".

This seems like odd advice to include with a statistical software package. I can only conclude that I'll just feel like there's an earthquake happening in the event that I actually ever get some useful code together.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Media savvy

Erm, so if you pop a few pills your probability of dying is 75%???
And we thought we had an ageing population NOW.

Must confess: I got this from planet procrastination

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm a little green with this laptop...

As part of my new job where I actually get paid to do research, I am using a brand new laptop. We are just getting to know each other, and let's just say - there have been a few hiccups along the way.

The main problem is that it is not too sociable. It likes to sleep. That's fine; I like to sleep too after I've been awake for a certain amount of time. But when I wake up the laptop, half of the services stay sleeping. Including the server, internet, and firewall. It's kind of like if I got out of bed and then went and lay on the couch for the rest of the day.

The only solution seemed to be restarting the computer. So I was shutting it down every time I woke it up, which seems ... uh ... a bit counterproductive...

Anyway. We're moving past that little dilemma now and 'lil Lenovo and I are getting along just fine.

Yup, it's a Lenovo. And although I had nothing whatsoever to do with picking it out, I am happy to announce that Lenovo just topped an environmental ranking of electronics firms.

According to Greenpeace, the firm guarantees that it will take back and recycle any obsolete or nonfunctional piece of equipment that bears the Lenovo name. And let me just say that I love that it's a Chinese company leading the way.

Sadly, Lenovo products may still contains a few toxic ingredients - like brominated fire retardants, polyvinyl chloride, beryllium, and pthalates. Yummy. Hopefully it will soon get those outta there.

Apple, the funky-hip-gotta-have-an-iAnything company that everyone seems to love pretty much sucked on this ranking. They got 2.7 out of 10.