Brilliant Marketing: The MacBook Air Floats

I saw this video from Gizmodo this morning. It shows the MacBook Air suspended by a single balloon at a Mac store. Is it for real? Is the MacBook Air really that light? After a few seconds, I realized there is no way a single balloon that small can suspend a 2 lb MacBook Air in the air . It would take a few more balloons than that. That is some hot air.

Actually, it will take more than hot air to suspend a MacBook Air. Helium doesn’t cut it. Perhaps hydrogen. It’s just that the balloon is just too small to buck gravity with a 2lb payload. Notice the balloon doesn’t move at all. As it turns out, the balloon is actually suspended by a string.

Here are some of the funny and interesting comments from the article:

I walked by the apple store yesterday. The balloon was suspended by wires.

Kind of ruins the illusion when you’re leaving work late one night, and you see a bunch of Apple employees hanging up the baloon by fish wire.

Although this is obviously held up by some wires, it would be interesting to see how many balloons it takes to get it off the ground.

And of course, some mathematician tries to explain it all.

MacBook Air: 1060 grams
Approximate volume: 0.68*29.95*19.2=391 cm^3
Average Balloon: 11410 cm^3
Average Balloon: 16.3 grams

Total volume: 11801 cm^3
Total mass: 1076 grams

Density of MBA: 0.09117 g/cm^3 (STP)
Density of Air: 0.00128 g/cm^3 (STP)

The MacBook Air and balloon are 70 times denser than air, and therefore, will not float.

Please check my math.

Yea, somebody check his math.

I say this is brilliant marketing from Apple. Now, I really believe the MacBook Air is really that light. I own one.

Netflix Takes Half Of My Bandwidth

I was watching videos on Youtube last night, and I noticed that my connection was slow. Really slow. My download speed just couldn’t keep up with the Youtube videos at 360p. We are not even talking HD quality here. I was scratching my head as to why my connection was slow. As it turned out, Netflix was taking half of my bandwidth.

I don’t have the fastest connection to begin with. I have an AT&T’s DSL Elite Pro touted at 6 mb per second. When I perform DSL speed tests from SpeakEasy, my top speed is almost always 5 mbps. I’ve never seen it go past 5. Unfortunately, my neighborhood does not support U-verse. So, I’m stuck with DSL. Cable is not an option for me, but that’s another story.

So, when I had some trouble today, I noticed that my bandwidth dropped to 2.5 mbps. I realized someone watching Netflix on the XBox 360 downstairs. This the sole reason why the Youtube videos would crawl at certain times of the day. Based on what I read online, it basically confirms this:

the average encoding rate for video streamed to the Xbox 360 is about 2000Kbps. That means one person watching a two hour movie would transfer roughly 1.8GB of data. For high definition movies, the average encoding bitrate is around 3200Kbps and one user would transfer about 3GB of data.

This makes a whole lot of sense. They are saying that Netflix will take up about 2 mbps. In my case, Netflix was using 2.5 mbps of my bandwidth to stream movies. That leaves me with the other 2.5 mbps for browsing, email, etc. It doesn’t give me a lot of room to run Netflix and Youtube at the same time.

Install LibreOffice on Ubuntu 10.10 or earlier

The Document Foundation released the first ever stable version of LibreOffice, version 3.3, last Tuesday, January 25, 2011. As you already know, future versions of Ubuntu will use LibreOffice starting with Ubuntu 11.04 scheduled to be released later this spring.

Well, the good news is, you don’t have to wait. You can now install LibreOffice 3.3 on your Ubuntu desktop whether you are using the latest Ubuntu 10.10, or an earlier version. You can start the process by downloading the first stable release of LibreOffice. You need to download the correct deb package. If you are a Redhat or Fedora user, you need to download the rpm package.

1. Download

There are two versions of the deb package: 32 bit and 64 bit. How do you know if you are running 32 bit or 64 bit version of Linux? Type “uname -m” in your Terminal. If it says “x86_64″ you are running 64 bit. Otherwise, you are running 32 bit, regardless if you have a 32 bit or a 64 bit CPU.

2. Unpack. Right-click the file and Extract Here.

Once you have the file downloaded the version you need, you need to unpack the file. You can right click the file and choose “Extract Here.” This will unpack the file. It will create a new directory which will be named with something that starts out with “LibO_3.3.0rc4_ …..” I’m not going to type out the entire directory name since its too long.

3. CD to the DEBS directory and install these packages.

From the Terminal, type:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

4. CD to the desktop-integration directory and install these packages.

From the terminal, type:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

5. That’s it. You’re done. Access LibreOffice from the Applications > Office menu.

By the way, LibreOffice is also available for Windows and Mac users.

Macbook Transformer

A Macbook turns into a spaceship, takes off and the flies out of the window. This video has been around for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the MacBook ran out of battery, a crash landed just two blocks away. Apple would not take it back, because the mod voided the warranty. Yea, right.

It’s obviously not real, but it’s very realistic.

Make Your Copyright Notice Dynamic

Most website and blog owners place some kind of copyright information on their websites and in their blogs. Copyright notices mean that the copyright holder, reserves all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of derivative works.

Copyrights are usually found in the footer of most designs, themes or templates. My copyright information is found in the footer. It says, “Copyright © 2003-2011. All rights reserved.” The copyright notice will need to be updated yearly to reflect the current year.

Some owners place a range of years, such as 2000-2010, just like mine, to reflect that the website or blog has been around for a number of years. Often times, the owner forgets to update the copyright information. It’s a simple text change, but there are ways to make it dynamic.

By making your copyright notice dynamic means you never have to edit the copyright notice ever again. At every New Year’s eve, while you are out celebrating, your website magically updates the copyright notice to the latest year. How? It uses a PHP function called date().

To get the current year, use the PHP date function:

<? echo date(“Y”); ?>

If you want a range of years, you can use:

2001-<? echo date(“Y”); ?>

There you have it, a dynamic copyright notice! And one more thing, to display the copyright symbol properly, use the HTML special symbol:

&copy; or &#169; which are the same as the symbol ©