Critical Section

Archive: June 16, 2003

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Monday,  06/16/03  07:26 AM

It looks like there's actually going to be a recall vote on California Governor Gray Davis.  That is amazing.  If the Republicans had only fielded Richard Riordan, the popular and centerist ex-mayor of Los Angeles, instead of Bill Simon, the unknown and conservative magazine publisher's son, this would not be necessary.  But since they didn't, it is.  If you want to know why, check out California's $38.2B deficit.  Amid stories everywhere about state budget shortfalls, California wins the prize for biggest deficit and worst management.  Our kids are the ones who suffer, among others...

CNet reports Microsoft is halting development of Mac IE.  This follows the recent reports they are halting development of Windows IE, too (at least as a stand-alone component).  Interesting.  I'm sure Apple's Safari had something to do with this, but perhaps not everything, it has the feel of a strategic decision, not a tactical one.  As in: ".NET doesn't run on MacOS, so neither will IE".

Aurora AustralisNASA's picture of the day: Aurora Australis, as seen from space .  Includes a 1MB animated GIF movie.  Beautiful, and impressive; looks like something from Hollywood.

What does it take to bring Lord of the Rings to the screen?  About $5M worth of computer equipment, as in 588 IBM blade servers.  Cool.  Reminds me of that great quote from the other day: " it would cost less to send a man to Mars than it would for Hollywood to make a movie about it."

Evolution of $20 BillThe color of money dept.: The U.S. Treasury is introducing a new colorful $20 bill.  Please click on pic at right to see the planned evolution (was, is, will be).  I've always felt U.S. currency to be the ugliest anywhere, this is a step in the right direction.  The change is being made to foil counterfeiters, not for aesthetic purposes, but still...

This is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hype week.  The new H.P. is being released this Saturday.  The initial printing run was 6.8M copies.  Whew.  Well, I guess we're going to get our copy just like everyone else :)

Steve Gillmor: The Jim Allchin Tax.  "So after the Allchin Tax was applied, IE is now finally sucked into the OS where it belonged all along.  Yukon will merge Exchange, SQL Server, and eventually the Windows FIle System, and .Net turns out to have been Windows all along."

Continuing our project to drink our wine, last night we had an '87 Jordan Cabernet.  It was not bad, but definitely over its hill; too bad, we must begin drinking all the stuff from the '80s while we can.  I'd give it an 84.


Monday,  06/16/03  08:26 PM

Have you been following this SCO vs. IBM thing?  Today SCO announced they've terminated IBM's license, and IBM may no longer distribute AIX.  Right, like that's going to happen...  (here's IBM's response)  SCO is bogusly destroying value, wasting everyone's time with a non-lawsuit that will cost everyone money and help nobody.

King Kaufman in Salon: "Watching the NBA Finals, that poorly played, charisma-free exercise in bricklaying that the San Antonio Spurs ended with an 88-77 win over the New Jersey Nets in Game 6 Sunday, I wondered if the league had reached an epochal moment."  I have to agree.  This was the most boring NBA finals ever, and not just because it didn't include the Lakers.  Only Jason Kidd and Manu Ginobili seemed alive.  Okay, okay, it was fun seeing the Admiral go out on a high; I've been a big fan of his all along.  But as entertainment goes, this was painful.

(click for larger view)
Brussel Sprout?

Speaking of watching sports, tonight I was watching the Angels lose in Seattle, and I suddenly saw a giant Brussels sprout wearing a hat.  What?!  (I'm not making this up - click the pic for a larger view.)

What is the heck is going on here?  Really, really close inspection reveals it says "Jan's Ultimate Salad".  Is this an ad for salad dressing?  A head of lettuce?  A deli?  Besides being unreadable and confusing, I think the demographics are messed up.  Most people watching baseball are not interested in the ultimate salad, they're interested in the ultimate bikini babe holding the ultimate beer.  Weird.

Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos meet Ginger.  "'This is the most energetic discussion we've ever had,' he said, 'and like all good energetic discussions it leaves you with more questions than answers, and leaves you questioning everything you thought you knew.'  He paused.  'And that's good.'"  Apparently it was not love at first sight.

Scoble reports he just ordered a Traffic Gauge.  Excellent, I want one!  They're currently limited to Washington State, however...  what a business opportunity in Los Angeles...

This is cool - literally - SFGate reports a company called IdleAire Technology is making a device for truck stops that provides cool air, TV, phone service, and Internet access.  Apparently they'll charge less than it would otherwise cost to idle the truck for the air conditioner.

And speaking of cool, Popular Science has an article which shows how to use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream in 30 seconds.  Isn't the Internet amazing?  This is why I blogsurf, who would want to miss important technical breakthroughs like this?

The highlight of the annual JavaOne show in San Francisco is Java guru James Gosling hurling T-shirts into the crowd.  In past years he used a three-person slingshot, but these days slingshots are banned in S.F., so he used a medieval machine called a trebuchet instead.  (Here's an action shot of a trebuchet flinging a piano; this one was slightly larger than the one James used for shirts.)  I am not making this up.


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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