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Archive: May 6, 2003

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Citydesk 2.0

Tuesday,  05/06/03  11:45 PM

Yippee, I'm trying theCitydesk 2.0 beta.  (Citydesk is the tool I use for creating all these pages.)  There's a bunch of new stuff as well as bug fixes, performance improvements, etc.  The most visible thing to you, my readers, is that I was able to add "previous" and "next" links on every post and article.  These let you browse though posts chronologically.  For an example, please click here; this takes you to yesterday's post.  You'll notice new links at the top which take you to the previous and next posts.  You can click "home" to return to the main page.

So far so good, but as always with new software stuff could be broken; if you notice anything amiss please let me know!


Tuesday,  05/06/03  11:47 PM

David Burbridge is on a roll; his latest: Altruism and Group Selection.  There is really no such thing as either altruism or group selection, as David shows...  Basically you have selfish genes and they are the units of selection; if this results in apparently altruistic behaviour at the group level, so be it.

Paul Graham has another great article up: Hackers and Painters.  [ thanks Tim Bray ]  An interesting look at the sociology of computer engineering.  I don't agree with all of it - I can't draw the sharp distinction between "architecture" and "engineering" that Paul does - but it is an interesting read.

Will the last person/company to leave Silicon Valley turn out the lights?  Now it is 3Com which is moving; continuing the string of companies which have fallen on hard times after buying the rights to name a stadium.  (Candlestick Park it will always be...)  The key fact: "[3Com CEO Bruce] Claflin has roots in Massachusetts."

Hilary Rosen, the outgoing head of the RIAA, has written a column for Business 2.0: Why the Recording Industry Loves Tech.  This is a reasonable and well-balanced article, but it is at odds with the RIAAs completely unreasonable and unbalanced response to applications of technology such as Internet file sharing.  I think they only love tech when they can control it, and that is impossible.

With eight days to go until the Matrix Reloaded is released (yeah, but who's counting), Salon ponders 'Matrix Nostalgia'.  "We've gone down the rabbit hole, and not in the way many of us expected."

Xbit labs has a cool article about Chess Championships: Humans vs. Computers.  There's some good history and analysis of the progression of computer skills in playing chess, including the recent Gary Kasparov / Deep Junior match, as well as technical detail about how computers play chess well.  Check it out.

Russell Beattie compares the iPod UI to a typical cell phone; guess which he prefers?

Here's some cool art - Gridcosm.  [ via Matt Webb ]  "The way it works is that each level of Gridcosm is made up of nine square images arranged into a 3x3 grid of images.  The middle image is a one-third size version of the previous level."  Watch the video flythough of over 1000 levels! (5MB)

Some information is starting to leak out about Longhorn, Microsoft's next Windows version, currently planned for late 2004 or early 2005 (set your calendars).  Apparently the window rendering will be quite different, see this WinInfo article for a taste...

Here's an interesting review of a recent Gartner study: Linux Desktop Myths.  Some of the myths (with my take in green):

  • Linux will be less expensive.  (false: Linux is less expensive)
  • Linux is free.  (true: Linux is not free)
  • Linux means no forced upgrades.  (sort of false: Linux means fewer forced upgrades)
  • Linux management is easier.  (false: Linux management is way easier)
  • Linux has a lower TCO.  (false: most studies show Linux has a lower TCO)
  • Linux means longer hardware life.  (false: Linux requires far less hardware)
  • Linux skills are transferable.  (false: Linux and Unix are very similar)

It is actually not a very good article, but perhaps the Gartner study is to blame.  This goes back to the same old problem; these studies are written by junior people, and are not very reliable.

Finally - this file has been shamed :)


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained