Population of the Five Boroughs

I saw a graph showing the population of the Five Boroughs: Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. I tracked the data to: NYC Population and NYC 2008 Population.
What I was surprised about is how the population of Manhattan has actually dropped over the years:
Of course, it’s density that matters! Here’s the population expressed as 1000 people per square mile
Wow! 72,000 people per square mile in Manhattan.


Syncing my iPhone with Snow Leopard Server with Address Book — Not!

I have some contacts I wanted to share with other people so I figured let’s put them into Address Book Server on my Snow Leopard Server. I moved the group on to the server and everything was great. Contacts show up in Address Book on my macbook.
I synch my iPhone as usual. Next day I get a call from a familiar number but no name (I can’t remember phone numbers if my life dependent on it)! I check the contacts on my iPhone and none of the ones I moved are there!
After much fiddling and googling it turns out it doesn’t work! That doesn’t make any sense. How could Apple fail at something so basic? I imagine they want the iPhone to sync remotely to Address Book Server much like iCal and mail. Reasonable philosophy but it doesn’t do that! In the interim, I’d expect iTunes to be able to sync — after all, it’s in your address book. Not only that, they already handle Google sync using CardDAV, right? So why isn’t it in iTunes until they get it working on the iPhone!
From ForkBombr:

Sadly, this isn’t the case. Address Book Server works beautifully between Macs. It’s fast and reliable. However, the iPhone OS doesn’t support CardDAV, the technology behind Address Book Server, meaning these contacts cannot be synced over the air to an iPhone like iCal or Mail data.

And the relevant discussion:

ABS does not sync OTA or have push changes. The iPhone supports LDAP access. This means you can lookup contct info stored in your WGM for users in your company. It does not support CardDAV.

ABS is Address Book Sync; OTA is over-the-air; WGM is Work Group Manager (aka Apple’s LDAP server); CardDAV is how to share contact information.


Visualizing disk usage (Mac OS X)

I downloaded GrandPerspective to visualize disk usage on my laptop. It uses the tree visualization algorithm to show the directory hierarchy and the size of the hierarchy.
Each “bump” represents a file with the area reflecting the relatives size. As you move around, a series of nested rectangles are highlighted. Each highlighted rectangle represents a directory and the nesting of the rectangles the directory hierarchy.


DNS Performance

My ISP’s DNS servers were horrible (Verizon FIOS) so I switched to a while ago. It was quite an improvement. With Google’s announcement about a public dns server I got curious to see if things are better.
There’s a great tool namebench to evaluate DNS performance. It can use your local browser history to determine the set of hosts to tests or some pre-built lists:
I was averaging over 90ms per request — and this is the faster version! This graph is produced by namebench:
So I signed up for OpenDns to see if I could get an improvement. It’s pretty decent. I think it’s been dropped down to 45ms.


Global Temperatures

I graphed some data from the Earth Policy Institute. This chart is from data in the table Global Average Temperature 1880-2008. I think the data shows a long term trend of increasing temperatures across the globe:
However, when you hear someone say there’s been a decline over the past 10 years, they are being truthful but misleading. Here is the data they are looking at (1998-2008) which certainly looks like a decline:
This graph uses the same data but 1998 happens to be one of the warmest years on record. Those 10 years are the last two peaks in the 130 year graph.