I am digging out from a day of status / email / administrivia; just surfacing… my [oldest] daughter Nicole [who is in the Navy, stationed in Sicily] arrived this afternoon with her fiancé Chris (he seems very nice) and everyone ran off to go shopping. A bit of a whirlwind moment. They’re going to be here all week, should be “interesting” ;)
Was just telling a friend... I keep thinking about this web service idea. I don’t have it distilled into an “elevator statement” yet and that bothers me; if it is really that great an idea, I should be able to boil it down. Stay tuned for a ride in the elevator =)
And speaking of elevators, yeah, I know; here it has been one whole quarter and I still haven't done anything about Unnatural Selection exception blog about it. Does it count that I feel bad about not making time? Nah, didn't think so...
Daniel Hannan delivers a classic rant: The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued government. Yes you must watch it, and then you must wish that we had our own Daniel Hannan in our Congress.
Microsoft to shutter Encarta. Pretty incredible. Launched in 1993, the CD-based encyclopedia quickly put Encyclopedia Britannica and its competitors out of business, but it proved a transitional technology as it too has succumbed to the digital/online juggernaut; now Wikipedia rules. This is going to happen everywhere information is published, in whatever form; music, movies, books, etc., and not only will the new replace the old, but the new will cost less and make less money, as there is now no premium at all for distribution.
Related: Josh Marshall on the Kindle and the future of books. "In our living room we have two big inset shelves where I keep all the books I feel like I need or want ready at hand. And last night, sitting in front of them, I had this dark epiphany. How much longer are these things going to be around?" This is really true; I own a lot of books, and I love them (I think bookcases make great decoration for a room :), but the last twenty books I've purchased were for my Kindle.
Coming to this a bit late, but congratulations to Levi Leipheimer for winning the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. This makes him two for two in one week stage races this year, after winning the Tour of California. That's speed. And of course he is on the same team with Lance "broken collarbone" Armstrong and Alberto Contador.
Technolust: the world's most advanced mixing board. I have never used a mixing board and don't know the first thing about them, but I love them anyway. All those screens, knobs, dials, sliders; what could be better?
Joel Spolsky on solid state disks. "I did a little bit of benchmarking... don’t take these numbers too seriously since I didn’t run many tests and it’s hard to get everything right. Boot time dropped from 2:11 to 0:34. That’s from a cold boot to launching Firefox and navigating to google.com. Launching 6 major applications went from about 20 seconds to about 10 seconds. In general, the fact that app launching is so much faster makes a huge difference and it was totally worth it. This little laptop is now the fastest computer I’ve ever used." I totally believe this; with Windows paging sucking so hard disk speed is more important than CPU speed for most PCs. I want one!
Monsters vs Aliens seems to be getting a lot of good press. Interesting that the batting average of animated movies is so much higher than movies with live actors, isn't it? They aren't all great, but many of them are and few of them suck. This one is [apparently] notable for having good characters (and the lead is a woman!) and an actual plot; that alone would set it aside from a lot of the current cinema :)
Wow, check this out! 53.23 knots in a sailboat! Yes that is a new world record for a sailboat, and yes that is amazing. This record was set with a 25 knot breeze blowing, which means the boat was going twice as fast as windspeed to weather. Wow.