Custom GelaSkins

I recently found out that you can make custom GelaSkins, the process is a little tedious but I got my three customs GelaSkins last week and they look great. The colors are well reproduced, crisp and clean. Be sure to upload high resolution pictures because a laptop lid is quite large, and bear in mind that you will probably have to crop the top and bottom of the image because of differences in the the aspect ratios between the it and the laptop lid.

Sharks

This is a small Nurse Shark resting on some sand. Nurse Shark feed at night and rest during the day, and have a set of teeth which are used for grinding because they typically feed off the bottom looking for shellfish and crustaceans. They are not aggressive towards divers and are in fact rather curious. Some of them came very close to me.

Last week I said that I would give an update on the sorry state of the shark population, so here are some stats.

Officially 38 million sharks are fished from the ocean, mostly for their fins (the finless shark is dumped back in the water to drown) and some as by-catch (I don’t have any numbers on the ratios.) The real number is most likely between 70 and 100 million because most of the shark fishing is not reported.

In the past 20 years the global shark population has been reduced by 50%, at this rate sharks will be gone by 2030.

Some shark populations have crashed completely, 95% of the Mako sharks off the east coast of the USA are gone.

Each year about 10 people are killed by sharks.

What is really obvious is that sharks are not cuddly or cute, like polar bears or whales for example, which is a real problem for any conservation campaign, and I am still at a loss as to how this can be remedied. A lot of people think sharks are dangerous and in fact the statistics show quite the opposite. As one of the top predators in the oceans, sharks have a vital place in the ecosystem, take them away and there will be major disruptions to that ecosystem. We are already seeing that with an increase in the number of stingrays off the east coast of the US.

I hope that we are more enlightened now than we were when we hunted whales close to extinction, but I am not sure given the lack of response I have seen on this issue.

VC Website Organization

I have been spending a lot of time this weekend looking at VC portfolios on their website for a client. My sense is that VCs would want these portfolios to be well structured and easy to navigate, after all the idea is to have a favorable exit. Turns out that there is a lot of variability in the way these portfolios are presented making navigation sometimes very difficult.

So here are some suggestions on how to improve this:

  • Show the company logo, web site and a short description together in a simple list. Do not force the user to click a link to see the company description.
  • If there are lots of companies be sure to give a way to narrow the list down quickly either through a faceted search or via tagging, so Networking, Social, Music, etc… And there is no harm in having multiple tags for each company.
  • Separate prior investments from current investments, or provide a way to do so easily.
  • Make sure the company descriptions are accurate and skip the marketing/hype adjectives, if I don’t see descriptions such as “Delivers revolutionary software solutions” or “Discover breakthrough improvement opportunities”, it will be too soon. This tells me nothing about what the company does and my time is limited.

The idea behind listing a portfolio is to communicate, the less I have to futz with the website the better the communication.

Anti-Virus for Mac

Interesting, PC Tools now has anti-virus software for Macs.

I tried it out and the scan came up negative, and I uninstalled the software.

I have not run anti-virus software since the days of Mac OS 9 and may even have dropped it since Mac OS 8.

Still you have to assume that Mac OS X will become a target once the ecosystem is large enough.

New Apple Products and the Inevitable

Apple just announced a new raft of products today. I’ll spare you the me-too and just direct you to the Apple site for details.

Of interest to me is the new mouse which looks very nice, I currently use the wired Mighty Mouse from Apple because it fits my hand nicely and I don’t like the tracking (floating) of the Bluetooth variant. But I will certainly try this new one and see how it goes.

The new remotes are very cute, I will have to try one of those too.

And there is the inevitable. My Airport Express died two weeks ago, on sunday morning at 6:45am. It was out of warranty, so I went and bought myself a new one. And it just figures that Apple would update it two weeks later (today.)

Lionfish

When I was in the Turks and Caicos a couple of months ago, we saw Lionfish on pretty much every dive we did, if not all the dives. This fish is a native of the Pacific Ocean so had no business being in the Atlantic. It would like seeing a polar bear in the middle of the jungle.

In fact it is a voracious predator consuming very large quantities of small fish, threatening reef ecosystems.

The Economist has a very interesting article about the issue and steps which are being taken to control their population:

Mr Dimin’s company works with fishermen who practise sustainable fisheries management, and helps them get their catches into the sort of high-class restaurants frequented by wealthy conservationists. Mr Dimin got his idea from the appearance in some resorts of “lionfish rodeos”, in which holidaymaking divers round the fish up, and which are usually followed by lionfish cook-ups on the beach. He learned from these that the fish, suitably de-spined, are delicious (they taste like snapper). That got him wondering if consumer demand might be a force powerful enough to halt even an invasive species as successful as the lionfish.

Next week I will post an update about the sorry state of shark populations.

MacResearch Weblog

Can’t think how I missed it, but the MacResearch weblog tracks the use of Macs in research.

Particularly interesting to me is the tutorial on OpenCL (currently there are six parts, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).