Art installation: Visualization of city-wide Internet traffic.

"Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen.  Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white.  Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation.  Your map is about to go nova.  Cool it down.  Up your scale.  Each pixel a million megabytes.  At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta..."

    --From Neuromancer by William Gibson

While wandering around downtown San Francisco a couple of …

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Chaos, robots, and Faith and the Muse - all in DC!

Last Friday evening brought with a second attempt at the Chaos in DC meetup in Silver Spring, Maryland. I'd driven out there straight from work because I wound up leaving the office late, and when you factor in travel time it really wasn't a good idea to to do too much driving that night. In other words, there was no way I was going to drive two hours home through rush hour traffic on the DC Beltway, get there when the meetup began to pick up a few things and meet up with Jason, and then drive two hours back …

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0000 EST5EDT, Black Friday '09.

Around midnight last night, Lyssa and I were on the road headed in the general direction of her parents' place in southern Pennsylvania. It's plain to see that there were no shortage of people who'd forsaken warmth and rest to invade the mall just outside of Carnegie, Pennsylvania the moment the stores opened for Black Friday '09. Witness:

The images are of rather low quality, which I apologize for. They were taken through the windscreen of the TARDIS late last night with the defogger running full blast. The highway running in the opposite direction was at an utter standstill with …

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Life in DC.

Only on the DC beltway can you be doing 70 in a 55 zone and have a little old blue-haired grandmother in a Thunderbird behind you hammering on her horn and pitching a conniption fit because you’re not going fast enough for her. The moment traffic opens up, that grandmother will stand on the gas pedal and burn past you like you were standing still, flagging you off as she did so. If you’re very fortunate she’ll hurl her $8us vaguely-coffee-flavored mixed beverage from Starbucks out of the driver’s side window at your windscreen in an …

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Merry Christmas, everyone (a couple of days late, but still..)

The powers that be saw fit to give everyone at work an opportunity to go home four hours early on 24 December 2008, the better to go home and get ready for Christmas Eve. To that end, I sniffled and honked a bit and set course for home where Lyssa was still hard at work. I sat down to fill out my paperwork for the week (such is the life of a professional contractor), packed a duffel bag for the weekend, and slowly came to the conclusion that I'd somehow caught the beginnings of a cold earlier in the day …

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State of the Time Lord: I never could stay put for very long...

I'm writing this update from Lyssa's parents' house once again - the holiday is here once again (however you happen to celebrate it), and this year we've gone back to visit our families. We left around 1200 EST5EDT yesterday in an attempt to beat the traffic rush headed to points north, west, east, and everywhere but the southern half of the compass rose. Traffic, weather, and being worn out from staying up far too late the night before being what they are, we pulled in around 1730 EST5EDT, a respectable timetable for leaving at noon.

The fairest thing you can say …

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Moving visualisations of air traffic patterns.

If you've watched television for any length of time, chances are you've seen the classic FAA blips-on-a-screen representations of air traffic over the United States. A student at UCLA has taken this to the next level by generating high-res 3d movies of air traffic over the country. They're all in QuickTime format, so you'll have to have the appropriate CODECs or players installed. The animations are an interesting diversion, if nothing else. There is a version where each kind of flight is colour-coded, a 3D dome projection (nice work on that, incidentally), and even one where an amorphous blob is …

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