Critical Section

Archive: June 25, 2010

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the return of MSDN magazine

Friday,  06/25/10  04:15 PM

You guys know I'm not a big fan of Microsoft, nor of MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network), nor especially MSDN Magazine.  I've been a member of MSDN forever - it's the way to get access to Microsoft's development tools, and as a developer, well, you need the tools - and hence I've been a subscriber to MSDN Magazine since time zero.  Over the years it has become less and less about software engineering and more and more about Microsoft's tools.

Chainsaw DevelopmentBut they've turned over a new leaf, sort of, and I've found myself being more and more interested...  in particular they've added columns by Charles Petzold and David Platt, both pragmatic engineers, and I like it.  (Check out Chainsaw Development, for example...)

Excellent, the pendulum swings back.  Especially excellent since the demise of Dr. Dobbs and Byte :)


shorting The Big Short

Friday,  06/25/10  04:25 PM

The Big ShortOkay, I like Michael Lewis, Liars Poker was a classic, I liked The New New Thing, Moneyball was amazing, and The Blind Side was great too.  But I did not love The Big Short.  Maybe it was just too depressing, maybe I'm just not as interested in finance as sports, maybe the characters were not compelling; who knows.  The writing was great, the analysis was seemingly spot-on, and I learned a lot (who knew or cared what a credit default swap was before this?)  But it just didn't click.

As I think about it, the problem with this story wasn't the sad ending, it was the fact that the ending was sad for us, but not for the characters who were responsible.  Because of the government's incompetence while the fuses were lit and its panic after the explosions, those responsible got off with huge profits, while taxpayers like you and me were stuck bailing out their companies.

Your mileage may vary...


Friday,  06/25/10  05:06 PM

Man was it great to be back home today...  Paradoxically, I get way more work done at home than when I'm in the office, and I've spent the last two weeks either in the office or on the road (vacation in Paso Robles, and business trip to Boston).  So I needed clear time at my desk to get [somewhat] caught up.  With two more blessed weekend days left to hang out and get stuff done coming up, yay.

I *was* going to ride in the Grand Tour Double tomorrow, but I've decided not to; it's a rather pedestrian double which I've done twice already, almost duplicates the route of the Ojai Valley Double Metric I did two weeks ago, and I'd rather have the time home doing "stuff" and doing nothing.  So there.

Onward, because it's all happening...

Steve Jobs and Apple have remainded consistently great over timeFast Company have a great profile of Steve Jobs and Apple.  Ever want your company to be the "Apple of X"?  Now you can find out all their secrets...  seriously I would love for Aperio to be the Apple of Digital Pathology, that would be a great compliment.

Today I had to rediscover for the kazillionth time that working to music rocks.  I do it all the time while traveling and in the office, but in my office, where I have a great music setup, I forget.  Fortunately Pandora was there to rescue me.  No great discoveries today, except the magic of discovery itself...

And so the first round of the World Cup is over, and the Dutch are comfortably through, as only one of two teams which have won all their games (Argentina are the other).  Go Oranje!

the better mousetrapSomeone finally built a better mousetrap.  Excellent!  No moving parts, always catches the mouse but doesn't kill it, and makes it easy to dump the mouse outside.  And won't hurt human fingers :)

Brad Feld is discovering at least one awesome thing each day on his new Mac.  It isn't the big stuff, it's all the little stuff.

Congratulations to Josh Newman on four years with Jess.  I used to enjoy reading his blog for the dating stories, now I enjoy reading them for the married stories.  Either way his self-described self-aggrandizement is entirely rewarding :)

Finding supermodels in rural Brazil.  I am not making this up, and neither are they.

double lightning strike in ChicagoPicture of the day: An incredible photo of a dual lightning strike in Chicago.  Wow.

Bam!Four month anniversary of Bam (when I was hit by a car).  Best four months of my life, playing on house time :)


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Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
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
the big day
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?