Archive: December 19, 2009

<<< December 18, 2009


December 20, 2009 >>>

Saturday,  12/19/09  10:21 AM

Good morning!  Yes, it is a good morning, although it began (before coffee) with a demonstration why Shih-Tzus are so named...  It is cold and windy, football is on and Tivoed, Par-tays are taking place, and people are being all Christmaslike.  Frantically shopping.  Being friendly and neighborly.  Traveling home for Christmas.  Etc.  And I am contemplating a relatively unscheduled weekend, what shall I do with it?  Perhaps I shall blog!

Ole Reads I:  I am not a fan of opera, but I am a huge fan of Alex Ross, the New Yorker's opera critic, who writes so well and makes opera sound so interesting, I hang onto every word.  His review of Tosca, at the Met, ends thusly: "From the crackling first bars of the prelude, you knew that this would be no ordinary night at the opera.  A hundred minutes later, the last harsh chord sounded, a stunned audience burst into a prolonged ovation, and it seemed as though the grand old Met had been the scene of a revolution."  Doesn't that make you wish you were there? 

Ole Reads II:  I am not often moved to tears, but The Games of Their Lives, a story by Jon Wertheim in Sports Illustrated about swimmer Marin Morrison and sailor Nick Scandone, really hit me.  Both amateur athletes, they were each struck by debilitating and ultimately fatal diseases (Marin, brain cancer, and Nick, ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]), and each competed in the 2008 paralymic games.  Wow, what a story. 

Ole Reads III:  I loved a little vignette Critic's Notebook in the New Yorker about Gladys Glover, a lonely young woman who becomes famous by putting her name on a huge billboard in Columbus Circle.  Yes it is just a story, from the 1954 comedy It Could Happen to You, but what an amazing concept.  I am tempted to do this myself (just kidding).  Last year's Wired cover of Julia Allison is brought strongly to mind. 

May I note, parenthetically, that I love the name Gladys, it reminds me of another name I love, Hermione, in that you have this surprised reaction when you realize it sounds so much nicer than it looks.  Second order note: I liked "Hermione" long before Emma Watson was cast in Harry Potter, but she hasn't changed that I like it :) 

From my friend Gary, after reading CNet's list of the decade's ten biggest tech flops and realizing that he'd owned most of them: "the beauty of being an early adopter is that you start to live the way everyone else will live a few years before everyone else does."  I love it, back to the future! 

Speaking of living the way everyone else will, this morning I side-graded to Google Chrome Beta, and happily installed AdBlock and IETab, the two Firefox extensions which I absolutely cannot live without.  (Well okay I also love Firebug, but Chrome has its own developer tools...)  I am strongly considering switching my default browser to Chrome.  In fact, I just did.  I think I heard a peal of thunder... 

Speaking of the decade's ten biggest flops, Slashdotters discuss Has a decade of .NET delivered on Microsoft's promises?  I'm not sure what Microsoft promised, I was confused at the time (and still am) by what .NET was supposed to be.  Perhaps as a business initiative .NET was successful; it is hard to say how things would have gone if .NET hadn't ever been.  Perhaps it opened the door for Macs' resurgence, or smartphones, or the rise of web apps, but perhaps those things would have happened anyway.  As a software development technology .NET has failed miserably, my company Aperio stays away from it as much as possible.  

Humorous aside: how various OSes are viewed by OS fanboys

Wow, Yahoo! Cycling Team to launch in 2010.  "An online survey targeted at Silicon Valley Professionals revealed that an astonishing 50 percent are cycling enthusiasts and follow the local scene.  The results were presented to the Yahoo! Management, the internet services company which operates the third most-visited website in the world, and prompted it to come onboard as the main partner to launch America's newest team in 2010: Yahoo! Cycling Team."  To this I can only say, Yahoo! 

Browser Pong.  Yes, you must play this, and yes, you must join me in saluting its awesomeness!  Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you realize “it all” is so much more than you thought :)  

Okay I have to say, Chrome opens a link in a new window faster than Firefox.  I'm a huge Firefox fan, but I open links all day long, and for browsers speed kills.  A particularly brutal comparison was playing browser pong (!); Chrome just kills Firefox at stuff like this, because it multiprocesses instead of multitasks. 

People forget that the main reason that IE 4 took over from Netscape 4 was because it was faster.  Windows 95 shipped with IE 2, which was the piece of crap of the world.  Then came IE 3, the infamous "AOL browser", which was not only a piece of crap, it was an incompatible piece of crap, but because AOL used it you had to support it.  At that time Netscape was king.  Then in 1997 we got IE 4, the heavens parted, and angels sang.  It not only supported DHTML, it was faster.  And Netscape was history.

But I digress, what I meant to say was: Chrome is now my default browser.  BONG.


browser size

Saturday,  12/19/09  11:20 AM

Check out Google Browser Size, a cool tool which allows you to visualize how a given site will be viewed by users with different-sized browser windows.  Here's my blog loaded into the tool:

It really gives you an appreciation for the value of the page real estate in the upper left corner!  (People don't scroll right, much or ever, and often don't even scroll down!)

OTOH, There Is No Page Fold.  Except when there is, which is always...


la vie Grand Marnier

Saturday,  12/19/09  12:28 PM

how much do I like this?

a blonde in a backless dress
a stranger in tuxedo, bowtie untied
the art deco doorknob
the decision
and best of all, the anticipation...

romantic minimalism fully rendered

I like this a lot...


white Christmas in Copenhagen

Saturday,  12/19/09  04:53 PM

I know weather is not climate, but I couldn't help enjoying the irony that President Obama had to leave the Copenhagen conference early, before any agreement was reached, because of a snowstorm in Washington D.C.  This after a blizzard dumped snow all over Copenhagen just as the speeches about global warming began.  The agreement which was finally announced is about as watered down and ambiguous as you might expect; a statement of intent rather than a plan of action.  The conference crashed under its own ponderous weight, and as ESR notes "the glum tone of the report is palpable".

Perhaps global warming really is a problem, perhaps the actions of men have exacerbated it, and perhaps there are more things we should do to preserve the ozone layer and otherwise avoid affecting the Earth's natural balance.  At this point I'm conflicted and honestly don't know.  What I do know is that "global warming" is a political industry, and that conferences like Copenhagen are absurd theater rather than serious efforts to solve problems.  Imagine inviting Robert Mugabe, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Hugo Chavez to speak, as if they knew anything at all about it.

Anyway I'm glad our President made it back, and I wish him a Merry Christmas, hunkered down in the snow.

[Update: apparently they are having record snowfalls in the capital.  Heh.]

[Update 2: just saw the latest New Yorker cover.  Perfect.  As the veil slips ever further, the MSM pendulum is swinging back to center.  This balances cheer and irony perfectly, very New Yorker -ish :) ]


the facts about bottled water

Saturday,  12/19/09  05:35 PM

(yes, there is no page fold)


Return to the archive.