Critical Section

Archive: December 24, 2008

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Wednesday,  12/24/08  12:13 PM

Greetings all...  yesterday was another long slog, up with the sun moon, drive down to Vista in the rain, spend the day in meetings and working (yeah, people were there working!), and drive back home in the rain...

...and then football, watching the end of the great Packers - Bears tussle, settled in overtime...

...but today is Christmas Eve (yay); I did a little wet cold ride this morning, in anticipation of eating and drinking way more than any human should (I must tell you the shortribs smell amazing, and I have seen See's candy boxes stacked high), and then wrapped about twenty presents (= wrap master Ole =).  And soon it is off to hang out with the family, but first, a little blogging...

Christmas presentThis whole gift exchanging thing is really cool.  I like giving people nice presents, but more than that, I like giving people the nice feelings they'll get from the present, first, the way they'll feel when they open it, but later, the feeling they'll have when they use it / eat it / drink it / enjoy it...  good gifts keep on giving :) and cold...Monday I posted man against the elements, about my ride in the freezing cold on the winter solstice; searching for it later I encountered this post from June, in which I used the exact phrase "man against the elements" to describe a ride in the blazing heat of the summer solstice.  There you have it, the cyclist is pitted against the extremes of weather...

I was just reading about Yahoo's woes as they try an "open" strategy...  looking back I can remember writing in May that I thought Microsoft needed Yahoo more than Yahoo needed Microsoft (and initially it seemed that the markets agreed).  Bad call.  The end of the year finds Yahoo searching for answers - and a new CEO - while Microsoft seems likely to survive the economic downturn and emerge stronger.  Never underestimate the longevity of a dinosaur :)

This is rather sad: NPR rewrites Rathergate history to cover up fraud.  "'Nobody has ever proven the documents to be anything but what they purported to be,' Rather says."  Riight.  He's either an idiot or a liar.  Possibly both.

NYTimes: Turning page, e-books start to take hold.  You betcha.  The Kindle has been a game-changer, and just like the iPod, it is the whole ecosystem that makes it different, including the Amazon store...

A key theme in all the 2008 year-end reviews is the decline of print media; possibly this is because many of the reviews are written in the print media :) but also it is a real thing, and as Ezra Klein notes, there's nothing anyone can do about it.  Newspaper publishers are often criticized for being "slow to adapt", but the critics neglect to mention anything they could do to adapt, basically, it is game over for print media, slowly but surely...

CNet has the complete year in tech review: 2008.  Everything from the iPhone, to the rise of social networks, Microhoo, Vista's woes and Windows 7, and the economic meltdown and it's affect on Web 2.0.  Check it out, a great overview...

Jupiter from EarthNational Geographic has the top ten space photos of 2008.  Excellent, all of them, but my favorite would have to be this excellent picture of Jupiter as seen from Earth.

SpaceX Dragon spacecraftCongratulations to SpaceX for closing a $1.6B deal with NASA to resupply the space station.  And congratulations to NASA for choosing small innovative companies like SpaceX instead of Lockheed and Boeing.  [ here's more from Kimbal Musk ]

Apollo 8 astronautsApropos: 40-years later, Apollo 8 moon mission still awes.  No kidding.  Recent progress by companies like SpaceX just underscores how amazing it was that we were able to send men to the moon in 1968 with the technology of that day.

I love this: the classic Radio Flyer wagon updated for world 2.0.  "This wagon, called the Cloud 9, is equipped with enough high-tech bells and whistles to make the family minivan jealous.  Outfitted with 5-point safety harnesses, padded seats, cup holders, foot brakes and fold-out storage containers, the sleek, curved Cloud 9 has every family covered for a ride through the park.  There's a digital handle that tracks temperature, time, distance and speed - just in case energetic parents want to track their split times around the playground.  And there's a slot for an MP3 player, complete with speakers, for some cruising tunes."  I love it.

I also think the phrase "world 2.0" is cool, although misleading...  it implies some kind of inflection point, a qualitative difference between 1.0 and 2.0.  Whereas in truth it is just a gradient, albeit with ever-increasing slope (3.0 will probably occur sometime next year :)...


Merry Christmas Eve

Wednesday,  12/24/08  12:24 PM

Santa's workshop

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today is a day of wrappin', eatin', (and to get started, riding'),
It's cold and rainy and feels Christmasy,
The house smells of great cookin',
The tree is lit and glowing,
Peace reigns.




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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