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Archive: October 18, 2004

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yacht tricks

Monday,  10/18/04  12:41 AM

Here's a neat trick you can play with your ocean racing yacht.  Not recommended for those with a heart condition :)

Gitana capsize

Zephyr capsize


9/11 remembered

Monday,  10/18/04  01:17 AM

While I was out I missed the third anniversary of 9/11, which I, unlike some, refuse to forget.
The New Yorker remembered with a fantastic cover:

New Yorker cover 9/13/04

As you may know, I have a thing for New Yorker covers, but this might be the best ever.
Of course this one from a year ago was pretty spectacular, too.


Monday,  10/18/04  10:20 PM

Lance ArmstrongOne of the biggest things that happened during my blog break was Lance Armstrong winning his 6th consecutive Tour de France.  Unbelievable.  It was truly over when Lance won the time trial up L'Alpe d'Huez.  A vertical ascent of 3,800', with an average grade of 8%, Lance covered the 9.6 miles in under 40 minutes.  That's just awesome.

Did you watch the Tour?  I upgraded my cable package just so I could get OLN, just so I could watch the tour.  Great Tivo material :)

It is baseball's second season, and watching the games I'm reminded of how much "inside jargon" is used in this sport.  More than any other?  Maybe not, consider this report of a cricket match, which might as well be written in another language.

Here's a story from 2009, published in 2002: How Google beat Amazon and eBay to the Semantic Web.  This is so true.  Reminds me of the difference between emergent and explicit properties.

traffic jam!Remember my caravans idea?  Well, it's slowly becoming a reality.  The Economist reports on "adaptive cruise control", which is marketed as a safety features but may have positive side effects for traffic flow too.  Excellent!

Yesterday I noted Netscape's 10th anniversary, and I meant to link Eric Sink's fascinating article Memoirs from the Browser Wars.  "The original Internet Explorer team was just five or six people.  By the time Silverberg and others decided to rewrite the browser almost completely for version 3.0, released in 1996, the team had grown to 100. By 1999, it was more than 1,000."  Interestingly, Firefox really seems to be gaining traction, and it has been developed by a pretty small team...

Ottmar rants: "But if a Texan has to take off his cowboy hat at security, why should a Sikh not have to lift his turban or an Islamic woman have to lift her veil?"  Of course.

the slab sinkThis is just too cool - the slab sink.  "Watch the water challenge the laws of nature as it caresses the stone on it's way toward the drain."  Just when you think you've seen it all, you realize you haven't.

Today's cool utility - space.  Really great for visually managing all the files on your hard drive.  You might not be as into disk cleanliness as I am, but I think space is downright spiffy.

lemmingHey, did you know Lemmings do not commit suicide?  Me neither.  Apparently the whole thing was cooked up by Disney , for the 1958 movie White Wilderness.  "According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked.  The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers."  Man, you learn something new every day.


The Long Tail

Monday,  10/18/04  11:24 PM

Many have already linked The Long Tail in Wired by Chris Anderson, but I have to call attention to it as well.  This is a brilliant article, IMHO, which pounds a nail squarely through the wood.  The biggest, most successful businesses on the 'net are the ones which have exploited this, including eBay and Amazon, and Napster and its brethren, iTunes and Rhapsody and the like...  There are doubtless other businesses waiting to be made out of the long tails in other markets.

the long tail

Another thing to keep in mind; as there is more varied content available in each market, finding the content you want becomes harder.  This is where referral services and reputation systems and reviewers and a whole ecosystem aimed at helping you find what you want comes in.  Great stuff.

Final comment - pricing.  The article opines that pricing for the long tail should be kept low.  But I think this is a perfect opportunity to let the market decide.  Since the incremental cost of providing goods is essentially zero, the price is related to the demand.  A niche product may be very valuable to the small number of consumers which want it.  Many models may emerge, including subscriptions, "channels" of varying content, usage-based pricing, etc.  There is a lot of business model evolution left!


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this date in:
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