Bermuda!

by Joseph Akbrud


Earlier this month I had the pleasure of spending a week in Bermuda at the Fairmont Southampton.  It was my first time visiting Bermuda.  Needless to say, it won't be my last.  The weather was great (especially if, like me, you aren't a fan of very hot weather), the people were friendly, and the beaches were pristine. Below are some highlights from the trip.

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On the Passing of John Glenn

by Joseph Akbrud


John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth has passed away. As sad as it is that many of our space pioneers are leaving us, what's really upsetting is that no astronaut has ventured beyond LEO (low-earth orbit) since 1972. Why? Because no one has decided that space exploration and the advancement of science should be properly funded. At one point, we spent over 4% of our GDP on space exploration. Today that figures hovers at around .4%. Al Wooden, one of only twenty-four human beings to have journeyed to the moon, recently said the following:

What people do not understand about the space program is that the primary product of the space program is not going somewhere; it’s developing the technology to go there.
— https://journalistsforspace.com/2016/12/06/exclusive-interview-with-apollo-15-astronaut-al-worden/

I couldn't agree more.
Ad astra, John Glenn.

 


RIP Vine

by Joseph Akbrud


To help remember our good friends at Vine, here are some of my favorite Vines. 

You will be missed....

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Comic Con

by Joseph Akbrud


I'm almost embarrassed to admit this but this year was my first time attending Comic Con.  While it was very chaotic at times (and always VERY crowded), I had a blast.  There was definitely a sense of community and understanding.  Nothing screams "judgment-free zone" like an arena full of nerds.  I was impressed with the costumes, many of which were quite elaborate.  Below are some photos I took.  I can't wait to attend next year's Comic Con.  

 

On Google Photos

by Joseph Akbrud


The more I use Google Photos, the more I am convinced that it is by far the best product Google (Alphabet?) has released in a while.  Here's why:

  • It is one of the most easy-to-use products i've seen.  Install the app, login to your account, allow it to backup your photos - voilà, you're done.  You never have to worry about backing up your photos again.  Take a photo on your phone/tablet and it's automatically backed up once you're on WiFi. 
  • "Unlimited" storage.  As long as you opt for the "High Quality" option, you can store as many photos as you want.
  • Machine learning - this is the real killer feature.  Google automatically parses information about your photos (location, naming convention, facial recognition) and uses it to intelligently and automatically tag and group photos.  Went on vacation for a few days?  Expect an album containing all photos and videos taken on your vacation, as well as a list of photos of you, of your significant other, etc.
  • Cross Platform support - Unlike some companies (aheh, Apple), Google doesn't care whether you're an Android, iOS, OS X, Linux or Windows user.  Google Photos works with all of the above platforms well. 

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a fan of Google Photos.  Do yourself a favor and check it out if you haven't done so already. 


Windows 10

by Joseph Akbrud


I’ve been using Windows 10 for some time on a variety of hardware, including a fairly beefy gaming desktop and a low-end cheap laptop. So far the experience has been surprisingly pleasant. I’m convinced that Microsoft has learned from its mistakes. In particular, i’ve noticed the following:

1) Most Windows 10 users don’t have to worry about licensing anymore. If your machine came with Windows 10 presinstalled or if you upgraded using the free upgrade, your all set. Microsoft ties your activation to the machine itself (via a unique identifier tied to the BIOS, I think). No more having to worry about reading a serial number on the bottom of your machine.

2 ) Microsoft offers an ISO on their website, along with a tool to turn a flash drive into a bootable Windows 10 install disk

 

3) Windows 10 is fast. Very fast. I am currently running Windows 10 on a 1.8ghz Celeron processor and it runs as well as Linux Mint and Chrome OS. Unlike previous versions of Windows, it runs better on older hardware than it’s predecessor

4) The GUI is quite nice. Microsoft has taken the best of what Windows 8 had to offer and combined it with the classic Start Menu UI we all know and love. Once can confidently say that Windows users don’t have to envy OS X users in that regard.