matthew's blog

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Back on the wagon: Day 3

So here I am at Day 3 of my current fat-loss saga. Plus factors: just changing my eating habits already deducted about four pounds from my frame. Minus side: it's mostly four pounds of "lean" according to my fat-monitoring scale. Which means it's glycogen storage in my muscles & liver.

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Weight loss Day 2 & Updates

So last night my family & I went to see "Megamind" at the local dollar theater together. With a total of 6 in our family, it's really the only way to go out to a movie affordably. The only cheap theater in our part of the valley is Cinemark Sandy Movies 9. Like most such theaters, they only get the movies very late in the theatrical run.

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On the wagon again: Day 1

Like many people, I set New Years Resolutions this year. One of my primary ones is to lose the weight I've put on since August of 2009.

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Why you want to record as loud as possible

People often wonder "why should I record a signal as loudly as possible when it risks clipping above 0dB?" Here's your answer. It all boils down to RESOLUTION, and that's why 24-bit recording -- and soon, IMHO, 32-bit recording and even higher -- are all the rage. A friend who is a professional storyteller is trying to engineer his own CD. He started out with GarageBand.

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Why I won't vote Constitution party

Want to know why I won't vote Constitution party? Well, I believe our nation is a grand experiment in a secular democracy: a Republic founded upon Enlightenment principles. Ours was the first Western nation to believe -- and embody in its founding documents -- that the power of government springs from the consent of the governed, not from God or earthly institutions claiming to speak for God.

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The Veneer of Respectability

My problem with organized religion is illustrated by a small slice of a speech being given by some dude with an accent on the TV in Utah right now. He used an urban legend as if it were truth to prove a doctrinal point. Religions are based on legends formed from half-truths and inaccurate memories accepted as fact and given a veneer of respectability by the passage of time.

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Microsoft Windows BSOD involved in Deepwater Horizon disaster

So it turns out that the worst environmental disaster in US history -- the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill -- may be, in part, due to Microsoft Windows systems crashing.

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Should I upgrade to a Core i3/i5/i7 processor? (2010)

Recently, a friend approached me with a short question that has a much longer answer.

"Do you think it's really worth it to upgrade to the i3 Core processor?"

The computing industry has really stabilized over the past 5-6 years. We (collectively, humanity-wide) have bumped up against some really hard-limits in computing recently with heat management and silicon manufacturing techniques, resulting in the push to parallelize processing more: more cores, lower clock speeds, bigger caches, extracting more per clock cycle with less waste, reducing heat output and power requirements, etc. It's been a boon for data centers, as the average cost of running these things has actually flattened out. Power requirements, while not going down, are not going up exponentially just like CPU speeds were for a while. And the power cost per GHz of CPU speed, and per GB of storage, is of course going down as we squeeze more performance per kilowatt-hour out of the systems.

So really, over the past four years, that has been the #1 improvement in CPU tech: extracting more performance for the same amount of power. Not extracting more performance as an absolute measure. Also there's been a push to integrate Graphics Processing Units into the CPU core to enhance performance. As a result, it's brought 3D gaming capabilities into the mainstream of computing, with lots of applications in real life that most of us rarely explored before. In addition, virtualization of operating systems has taken off like never before, as we can stuff more and more CPUs into the same form factor with similar power requirements. Even desktop users are very commonly virtualizing entire operating systems on their laptops these days. I know I do; I'm running a Solaris VM and a Linux VM on my Windows laptop at this very moment.

For the home user, though, if faster integrated graphics and extracting more work per clock cycle with better battery life tickles your fancy, then yes, an upgrade to a Core i3 (mobile), Core i5 (Desktop Mainstream), or Core i7 (high-end computing) processor is on your radar. Also, niche markets like audio-visual recording and real-time processing can take advantage of this sort of parallelized-power, if you will, driving innovation in the computing industry today. If power consumption isn't much of a concern and you prefer discrete graphics, or if you aren't running applications that can take advantage of symmetric multi-processing, then the i3 may not be worth the upgrade for you.

Keep smiling!

--Matt B.

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Women's memory and weight

Chanced across an article guaranteed to create some controversy: Women who are carrying more body fat have worse memory than those who carry less.

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Web Hosting Hub Review

2010-07-12-Web_Hosting_Hub

I received an invitation today (July 12, 2010) from Web Hosting Hub to try out their hosting service and compare it to my current web hosting provider (who shall remain nameless). There are a number of key features that I look for. Note that this list is from memory, and I didn't check their list of features before writing it.

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