This idea seemed so obvious that it was a sin that it was not already in production. It would not be a profitable notion but it would have been extremely handy. Allow me to give you some history with a conversation I had with Scott yesterday.
Sean: I wonder how far away Hawaii is from the United States compared to Japan?
Scott: Hmm, if only Google Maps allowed you to do the distance between places; not give you a route or anything but just how far apart it is.
Sean: That is a brilliant idea, suggest that to Google now!
We couldn’t find a ’suggestion box’ right away and our conversation wrapped up thinking we had thought of the addition to Google Maps. Right along side being able to track Hurricanes, California forest fires and road reports having a distance calculator would be all you ever needed. I was so proud of our brainstorm that I told Jenna about it that night and never gave it a second thought.
Distance from Hawaii to LA and Tokyo
This morning Scott tells me that he found this ‘distance’ add-on to Google Maps here, and it does exactly what we wanted. We played with it for a bit, measured distances and looked to see where it would curve around the globe and that was that. A wonderful addition to Google Maps was already there for us and our brilliant idea was late to the party.
In case you were wondering it is 4,100 KM from Honolulu to Los Angeles and 6,200 KM from Honolulu to Tokyo.
The recent coverage on Hurricane Gustav really piqued my interest in the science of hurricanes and everything surrounding them. I kept track of Gustav as it came across the Dominican Republic and read how New Orleans was preparing for what Mayor Ray Nagin called the storm of the century.
Gustav over New Orleans
Once New Orleans was in the clear a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean was upgraded to hurricane status and given a name. This really got me wondering. How do they select names? Why do they have names anyway? My curiosity is your key to answers.
Apparently there is a six year cycle of names for the Atlantic hurricanes (there are other lists for the rest of the world) and if a name is retired then the list is revised. Hurricanes are named to avoid confusion and to make it easier to report on a Hurricane Samantha instead of referring to it as a number or by using the coordinates of the storm.
While it feels like all hurricane names in recent memory (Katrina, Rita, Wilma) have been female they are rotating between both genders for names and have been doing so for nearly three decades. Sadly for most of you out there your name is not on the six year naming convention cycle, but mine is, with the correct spelling to boot.
In three years, if enough hurricanes are named Sean will be taking flight through the Atlantic. For those living along the Atlantic coast I hope that there are not enough hurricanes to make it down to my name but the selfish side of me is curious to hear my name announced on national television as I approach America.
My Tube ChallengeTube Steak Challenge
September 2 turned out to be a very exciting day for us in the technical department at Statusfirm. Like the energy around Christmas day we all waited for Google to release its new browser named Google Chrome.
My excitement for the release of Chrome built when I read Gizmodo, Tech Crunch and Digg posts from over the weekend. When I went to Chrome’s main site and was a little worried that this was all a cruel form of an April Fools joke. Although by lunchtime the download was released and I was following initial reactions of the browser on Twitter.
There is a little bit of tradition around the office when a new browser is released, and today was no exception. When Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 was released we visited all of the sites we had developed to see how badly the page rendered and to our surprise the results were not very ideal. Once word came out that the download became available we all rushed to download and install the browser and see how much memory allocation the pages needed and how they appeared to the user.
Once my installation was complete my first stops were to RawVegas.tv, CurlTV.com and TheEnergyNews.com and was pleasantly surprised when all three sites loaded correctly. A new browser means another browser to test and develop for and will no doubt cause the browser debate to begin again at work.
It is days like this I am glad I work with other like minded people because I don’t think Jenna would quite appreciate me shouting out features I am finding, warnings about people standing behind you, nerd stats or referencing stills from the Chrome Comic.