Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


EVDO/Wifi router made from a Soekris box

Filed under: — adam @ 1:58 pm

Those little microboards are really cool. I may have to build one of these.

Spamusement tweaks my early adolescence wasted on chasing that devious bitch

Filed under: — adam @ 12:05 am


Lots of sex positions as animated gifs

Filed under: — adam @ 11:58 pm

If you need to start a fire by polishing the bottom of a coke can with chocolate, you’re probably not reading this blog right now

Filed under: — adam @ 10:42 pm

But, you never know when this knowledge might come in handy later.

If, perchance, you need this at some point in the future, and it saves your ass, I expect you to take me out for dinner at Lugers.


New food pyramid contains recommendations to eat mercury

Filed under: — adam @ 9:49 am


New Superman pics

Filed under: — adam @ 9:40 pm

They released the first pictures of Brandon Routh in the Superman suit.

Unless one of his new powers is absorbing color, that picture is really desaturated, and that’s not a good representation of what the suit is going to look like – is his face really that pale?

I’ve fixed it up a bit below – the edits were applied across the board to the entire picture, and not in selective areas. I also took the liberty of sharpening it a bit, to compensate for the downsampling they did:

Superman Color Corrected

Update: I found another edit, but this one is just the suit colors, and doesn’t take into account that the whole color cast is off.

Also, there’s this analysis of new Superman (not so) buff vs. new Batman buff.


Entire wikipedia in PDA format

Filed under: — adam @ 12:16 pm

Foodsaver guide to estimating portion sizes

Filed under: — adam @ 9:40 am

I love my Foodsaver – I use it all the time for sealing bulk items for storage, particularly meats for freezing.

They have a good guide to estimating portion sizes by comparison to real-world physical objects.

Foodsaver guide to estimating portion sizes

Filed under: — adam @ 9:40 am

I love my Foodsaver – I use it all the time for sealing bulk items for storage, particularly meats for freezing.

They have a good guide to estimating portion sizes by comparison to real-world physical objects.


Google adds “Prove Adam Right” button

Filed under: — adam @ 8:27 am

“Google Inc. is experimenting with a new feature that enables the users of its online search engine to see all of their past search requests and results”.

There is so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m writing something up for a followup post.


Sony sets up online auction for selling virtual stuff for real money

Fed up with trying to police people selling their online stuff in EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies, Sony set up shop and is taking a cut:

“Late Tuesday, the company unveiled Station Exchange, an auction site that allows players to spend real money on virtual weapons, armor, coins and new, high-level characters.”,2101,67280,00.html

Hint hint:

s/Sony/US Govt/g
s/online stuff/pot/g


Shift Bicycle

Filed under: — adam @ 11:28 pm

Apparently, the back wheels can be either a bicycle or a tricycle configuration.

Newly designed prescription bottle adopted by Target

Filed under: — adam @ 6:21 pm


Rent a Dildo


(Given their rental model, I’d have gone with something like “NetPrix” instead of the name they chose.)

Adobe is buying Macromedia

Filed under: — adam @ 8:55 am

This is a very interesting merger, and it totally makes sense.

1. Adobe gets Dreamweaver, which is way more advanced than Go Live, in my limited experience.

2. Adobe gets Fireworks to integrate into ImageReady. I’ve never really used Fireworks, but I’m told that it makes common web graphics a lot easier.

3. Adobe now controls PDF >and< Flash.

And, possibly most importantly:

4. Adobe has been doing a lot of dynamic PDF generation with J2EE. Macromedia has Coldlfusion/JRun. I think, but I’m not sure, that I smell a really kickass CMS brewing here that integrates directly with Adobe’s image server. Moreover, it may be what I’ve been waiting for from Adobe for years – print and web output from the same system, and a web-based interactive system for editing content for print publications based on InDesign (or similar) templates.

IBM has been working on techniques for combining PDF and XML documents via J2EE:

I’ve put together a possible pretty simple flow diagram for #4:


Note to users of Earth

Filed under: — adam @ 2:37 pm

“Google’s success doesn’t automatically mean that every wacky idea is worthwhile.”


Why photo editing is important

Filed under: — adam @ 3:38 pm

While looking at Kottke’s pictures from Paris, I immediately noticed that he’s got a good eye. But here’s why photography, in my mind, is not just about taking good pictures, but also about solid editing.

Here’s one I particularly liked:

Kottke Original

I spent about 15 minutes with this, adding sharpening (big difference!), tightening up the color curves, and cropping a little. Granted, I’m making some assumptions about what the day looked like, but I didn’t get the sense that it was really hazy there.

Adam Fields Edit

In this particular case, the yellow hose here is such a defining factor that I might even go one step further and give it a real focus:

Adam Fields Black and White Edit

But maybe that’s too much.

These edited images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

iPod mixing station

Filed under: — adam @ 10:16 am


Realtime physics accelerator

‘A San Jose startup is building a “physics accelerator” for PCs that will contain hardware optimized for calculating realistic simulations of real-world physics — they hope that this will bridge the gap between general-purpose PCs and the specialized game-graphics cards in consoles.’

Also, as they point out, it will be very useful for realtime weapons calculations, and I’m sure there have to be porn applications as well.


Freedom Keepsafe

Filed under: — adam @ 10:21 am

This seems like a good idea – a paired set of two cards where you attach one to a device and put the other in your pocket. If they move more than 20 feet away, yours beeps.

It would be more helpful if the remote one beeped also so you could draw attention to the creep who’s walking off with your laptop, or find your dropped ipod or whatever.

UNH paper on the mechanics of widescale biodiesel production

Filed under: — adam @ 8:52 am

“In the United States, oil is primarily used for transportation – roughly two-thirds of all oil use, in fact. So, developing an alternative means of powering our cars, trucks, and buses would go a long way towards weaning us, and the world, off of oil. While the so-called “hydrogen economy” receives a lot of attention in the media, there are several very serious problems with using hydrogen as an automotive fuel. For automobiles, the best alternative at present is clearly biodiesel, a fuel that can be used in existing diesel engines with no changes, and is made from vegetable oils or animal fats rather than petroleum.

In this paper, I will first examine the possibilities of producing biodiesel on the scale necessary to replace all petroleum transportation fuels in the U.S.”

The history of breast augmentation

Filed under: — adam @ 8:42 am

As told through patent illustrations:


Wireless USB demo

Filed under: — adam @ 12:13 pm

Well, that’s just amazing.

Honesty in fashion

Filed under: — adam @ 11:50 am

Josh Rubin found knockoff bags clearly labeled “FAKE” over the counterfeit designer pattern. I like it.


Sin City is pure beautiful genius

Filed under: — adam @ 4:53 pm

We saw Sin City on Friday, and I wanted to let it gel a little before writing it up. The more I think about it, the more I enjoyed it. It is brutal, ugly, violent, and unpleasant, and also one of the most interesting movies I’ve seen in a LONG time. It captured my interest from the very beginning, and didn’t let go. Unlike Sky Captain, the cinematography is varied and fresh, the pacing is good, and the characters are certainly not boring cookie-cutter templates without life.

Obviously, it was very beautiful, and captured the revolutionary look of the books in a way that has never been done before. But, there’s been a lot of dismissal of the violence and the story as childish and simplistic, and I think it goes way beyond that.

(Some spoilers inside.)

I think that some of what I see here is represented heavily in Dwight’s characterization of Marv. This passage appears in A Dame to Kill For, one of the stories that didn’t make it into the movie, but was obviously important enough for them to use anyway.

I’m no shrink and I’m not saying I’ve got Marv all figured out or anything, but “crazy” just doesn’t explain him. Not to me. Sometimes I think he’s retarded, a big brutal kid who never learned the ground rules about how people are supposed to act around each other. But that doesn’t have the right ring to it either. No, it’s more like there’s nothing wrong with Marv at all–except that he had the rotten luck of being born at the wrong time in history. He’d have been okay if he’d been born a couple thousand years ago. He’d be right at home on some ancient battlefield, swinging an ax into somebody’s face. Or in a Roman arena, taking a sword to other gladiators like him. They’d have tossed him girls like Nancy, back then.

This is pre-pretty Dwight speaking, which was also largely dropped from the movie.

This passage struck me as remarkably apt when I first read it, and again when I heard it delivered on screen.

Sin City itself is, in fact, exactly the kind of world that best fits Marv. For some value of the word, he thrives there. He acquires a drive, in murder and revenge, and while he is ultimately done in by the forces that be, he goes willingly and defiantly to that end, having accomplished his goals of driving some greater evil than he from the world. But if you take the statement in the context of the real world, hopefully it’s true – Marv doesn’t fit here, in the kind of world we’d like to have. Maybe Sin City the story doesn’t either, and that’s okay.

Dwight was my favorite character in the books, and he shines in the movie. Some have complained that he’s portrayed as sexist somehow, as the man that the women of Old Town need to save them from their own evil. I really don’t see that. He’s a man with a plan, yes. He’s a serious badass, yes. But there’s never a sense that Gail and the others can do any less than look out for themselves just fine. Sometimes you need to be saved, and sometimes you need to do the saving. If anything, this is a respectful relationship of equals. “Where to fight. It counts for a lot. But there’s nothing like having your friends show up with lots of guns.”

That Yellow Bastard is just weird. I still have no idea how I feel about that. I do think the parallels between Marv and Hartigan are interesting – they’re both busted for taking out a Roark, they’re both tortured for confessions (which they both sign – and that’s a whole other analysis right there), and they both ultimately feel like their lives are worth trading for something larger than themselves – for Marv, it’s revenge in and of itself; for Hartigan, it’s an end to the chain. Cowardly? Maybe, but he’s also supposed to be MUCH older and in much more pain than he’s accurately portrayed in the movie. I can see where that sort of a decision might seem to make sense.

There’s a lot of layered complexity in here, and I think there’s much more in there than credit is being given for.


Blue light may replace your toothbrush

Filed under: — adam @ 1:49 pm

Flash Player may store local data akin to cookies

Filed under: — adam @ 1:48 pm

Apparently, Flash Player allows remote sites to set locally-stored data about you, and some sites are using this to get around persistent cookie settings.

Here’s how to adjust your settings and see what’s stored locally:


Becker and Posner agree: drugs should be legalized

Filed under: — adam @ 10:51 am

There’s a very interesting discussion here on the Becker/Posner blog, between these two very smart and well-educated men, regarding the prospect legalizing drugs in the US:

(The posts seem to be out of order on the blog. I think this is the right order.)

How not to get hit by cars

Filed under: — adam @ 8:56 am

Interesting tips on bike riding safety and common accident types.

(Update: Novitz points out this link, which is much better:


I don’t know how I missed this

Filed under: — adam @ 2:49 pm

Coming soon: The Grates

Filed under: — adam @ 2:26 pm


Superheroes reimagined

Filed under: — adam @ 2:03 pm

Great collection of classic superheroes drawn by different artists.

Spamusement wants you to visit their sponsors today

Filed under: — adam @ 1:30 pm

Heh. Spamusement makes me smile.

Illegal Tender

If companies can insist on non-negotiable terms for every product sold as a service, why not terms for your money in return?

Buying John Malkovich

Filed under: — adam @ 12:27 pm

John Malkovich sells very stylish clothing on his website.


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