Critical Section

Archive: October 29, 2008

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Wednesday,  10/29/08  11:32 PM

I've been attending Aperio's Pathology Visions conference since Sunday, and just got home.  Whew.

I now have 134 unread emails in my inbox, and 1773 unread items in my RSS reader.  Not to mention pages and pages of notes scribbled during the conference, as well as minutes from several meetings which I hosted.  All of which have to be read, collated, filtered, and processed.  I know, I know; cue the violins.  (You can read more about my experiences at the conference here, and here, and here.  Not to mention reading about my Midway experience, which has stayed with me...)

So now what?  Well, I have to slog my way through those emails, and skim those unread items.  Are they all interesting?  No.  Is it my job to filter them for you?  Yes.  Stay tuned :)



Wednesday,  10/29/08  11:51 PM

Okay, here we go, the Ole filter makes a pass (on 2,259 items)...  hang in there...

Phillies win World SeriesCongratulations to the Phillies for winning the World Series.  Bogusly, I was not able to watch any of the games over the weekend or this week, and [of course] was not able to stay away from the scores, so now, although I have them all Tivoed, my interest in watching has diminished.  Yeah, I understand it was "good baseball", but the attraction of watching two teams in which I have only an invented rooting interest play games for which I already know the result is not compelling.  Anyway it was good baseball, between two fun teams who hadn't been in the World Series for a while (Phillies) or ever (Rays), and that was cool...  Now it is time to focus my attention on college football for a while :)

Monarch caterpillarPanda's Thumb has a series of beautiful pictures of unusual species; here we have the Danaus plexippus aka Monarch caterpillar...  excellent!

Rob Harris sarcastically observes Blu-Ray is dead, heckuva job, Sony...  "Blu-ray is in a death spiral. 12 months from now Blu-ray will be a videophile niche, not a mass market product.  With only a 4% share of US movie disc sales and HD download capability arriving, the Blu-ray disc Association (BDA) is still smoking dope.  Even $150 Blu-ray players won’t save it.  16 months ago I called the HD war for Blu-ray. My bad. Who dreamed they could both lose?"  Well I did, for one thing, as did many others; you could see online video was going to kill any hard media standard from a mile away.

Netflix on TivoSpeaking of online video (we were); Netflix movies can now be viewed online on a Tivo!  Wow, how cool is that?  (Stay tuned and I'll tell you :)  This means I will have two different ways of watching movies in my family room, my AppleTV (which we love), and my Tivo (which we love already, and which we will love even more once it has streaming / downloadable movies).  Oh, and HD streaming is on the way, too...

Google Earth - the MatterhornTechCrunch reports Google Earth comes to the iPhone, and it's awesome.  "The Google Earth geographical software has been altered to make maximum use of the iPhone’s screen and functionality. You’re able to tilt the device to adjust your view when browsing mountainous terrain, use the ‘My Location’ feature to jump right to where you are in the blink of an eye, and use Google’s local search engine to look for information on cities, places and businesses."  How very cool...  and this is an application, unlike many others, for which a real keyboard is not required.

MercurySome space porn: Wired has Mercury as you've never seen it before.  Amazing, stunning, beautiful; what can I say?

Google adopts, forks OpenID.  I guess the adopt part is good, the fork part, not so good.  Whether OpenID will ever mean anything is beyond me to say...  it is certainly irritating to have separate userid/password relationships with a million different sites, and Google might be central enough and trusted enough to administer a common access database, but making it happen will be tough...

Last week Microsoft hosted their Professional Developer's Conference, the first since 2003 (when Vista was coming out), and among other things announced Windows Azure.  This is a version of Windows which runs "in the cloud", intended for developers who want to create applications based on Windows but delivered online.  In concept this is pretty cool, I guess you have a dig deeper (and I will) to see whether it is anything more than just a hosted version of Vista Server.

Robert Cringely sings the Azure Blues...  "... all Windows Azure looks like to me is Microsoft's effort to sell web services or maybe cut the sticker shock for smaller businesses adopting SQL Server.  But more properly, it likely means Microsoft's acceptance that computing clients may eventually be free or nearly so.  In short, Windows Azure is an insurance policy against the possible Vista-like failure of Windows 7."  Huh.

The early reports on Windows 7 are positive, however; as you know, I totally agree with this: "It needs to create a lightweight, fast, undemanding OS which will shed all of Vista’s fat, and for the first time in history really be twice as fast as the last OS."

RagtimeAs Scot Tempesta points out, there is simply not a cooler boat on the planet than Ragtime.  Still made of wood, still beautiful, and still fast...

Ericsson 4 breaks the day recordNot however as fast as Ericsson 4, who have broken the "most miles in a day" record while competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, logging over 600 miles in 24 hours.  That is unbelievable, you need heavy weather to go that fast, and then you have to survive!

Ars Technica: LinkedIn's new application platform makes your resume social.  So be it.  Unsurprisingly I've noticed an uptick in the number of LinkedIn requests I get; seems everyone wants to get "linked in" in case they are laid off and need their network.  I've been on LinkedIn since time zero but have never used it for anything; perhaps this is the time to start exploring its value.  Do you use it?

USB [port] wineFinally, here we have USB [port] wine.  I am not making this up...








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