October 8

Java on LEGO Mindstorms Robots

One of the coolest hacks of all time is leJOS, a Java™ virtual machine, API, and tools for the LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ robotics computer (RCX). Like Sun’s Java products for small devices, the leJOS JVM does not support a complete Java environment, but at an amazingly miniscule size of about 16KB is more powerful than most other systems for controlling the RCX.

posted @ 02:13 PM EDT

October 9

New York Times Blunder: Soccer Ball Is Dodecahedron

In the science section of The New York Times the article “Cosmic Soccer Ball? Theory Already Takes Sharp Kicks” presumes that the basic geometry of a soccer ball is the dodecahedron, while in fact it is the truncated icosahedron, otherwise affectionately known as the buckyball. Of course, the two polyhedra are closely related forms in everyday three dimensional space, and the article is concerned with a subject where the geometry is non-euclidean. To be fair to the Times, it could be that the mathematician Jeffrey Weeks is a bit fuzzy about footballs. From an article on the same subject in New Scientist:

According to Weeks, the WMAP results point to a very specific illusion - that our Universe seems like an endlessly repeating set of dodecahedrons, football-like shapes with a surface of 12 identical pentagons. If you exit the football through one pentagon, you re-enter the same region through the opposite face and you keep meeting the same galaxies over and over again.

posted @ 01:06 PM EDT

October 10

Version 1.0.5 of NetNewsWire Lite Released

Here are the changes to NetNewsWire Lite in version 1.0.5, announced Wednesday. NetNewsWire Lite is the freeware version of NetNewsWire, “an easy-to-use RSS Web news reader for Mac OS X.”

posted @ 12:40 PM EDT

October 16

Version 1.0.6 of NetNewsWire Lite Released

NetNewsWire Lite version 1.0.6 was released today “to fix one particular performance bug, where during a refresh sometimes HTML descriptions would be slow to appear.”

posted @ 10:32 PM EDT