Critical Section

Archive: January 2017

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starting 2017 right: surfing dogs in the Rose Parade

Monday,  01/02/17  11:32 AM

This morning I got up and [like everyone else on Earth] watched the Rose Parade.  Wow.  As usual the floats were amazing, the bands were great, and the sense of pageantry and tradition was strong.  A perfect way to warm up for a day of doing nothing and watching football (and for a year of doing ... a lot).

(click to watch on Twitter)

As I was watching this - amazed and delighted - I couldn't help wondering about how this might be received by some of the other people watching this, people in other countries, other cultures, who might be astounded that we have so much excess bandwidth that we can worry about creating 100' long parade floats with surfing dogs.  In order to promote a philanthropic organization that exists to spay and neuter pets, so we don't have too many of them.  What a time to be alive.

Onward, into my day of doing nothing and watching football.  I'm picking: Wisconson over Western Michighan in the Cotton Bowl, Iowa over Florida in the Outback, USC over Penn State in the Rose Bowl (sorry, Kevin), and ... Oklahoma over Auburn in the Sugar.


bloggin in the year

Monday,  01/02/17  01:26 PM

Critical Section archive ... fourteen years inBloggin' in the new year ... it's 2017, which means it is fourteen years since I started blogging, way back in the bad old days of early 2003.  That means I get to add another "this date in:" link to my sidebar, and I get to add another row to the summary grid at the top of my archive.  There you will find links to 3,282 posts.  I can't believe how much time I've spent blogging, and yet... I can't help feeling that it was time well spent.  It was fun, for one thing, and educational, and through blogging I've met many of you, some of whom have become good friends and a few even business partners.  And I must confess I do like being able to see what I was doing and thinking this time in each year; I am probably the biggest user of my Flight link, which makes that vertical cut.

Weirdly and unusually, I have not redesigned my blog; it looks almost exactly as it did fourteen years ago.  I was an early pioneer with drop shadows, image maps, a right-side nav, and a chronological archive.  And may I say, my site has stayed fast; flat teeny compressed HTML, baby, with no client-side crap.  I was also wrong about a few things; frames, we hardly new ya, blog roulette, cute but useless, and blogroll, no longer a thing (sadly).  I do still have a cool, fast, simple search, and have held on to those greatest hits in the sidebar, although they don't get many clicks.  I didn't get RSS at first, and even thought aggregators are not good, but soon saw the light; I continue to think RSS is amazing, and it enables me to follow over 200 sites and blogs every day; click my OPML feed to see what I see.  And way back in 2009 I started Tweeting links, and echoing posts to Facebook.

NASA's purple rain tribute to Prince, 4/21/16So what's new for 2017?  We'll have to see.  I have no immediate plans to change anything about my blog, but I most definitely plan to start blogging again.  I have a backlog of about 200 items to share with you, and will dribble them out among new things of interest.  A lot of space stuff - it's been a good year for space! - and a lot of tech as usual, and of course a little social and political commentary, but I promise only a little.

(At right: This was NASA's tribute to Prince, after he died on 4/21/16)

Cheers and onward!


we're going to make some history today

Tuesday,  01/10/17  08:40 PM

Ten years ago, today:

Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone, Jan 10, 2007

"we're going to make some history today"

Well that was true.  Wow.

Notes on rewatching:

  • Hehe, Macs running on Intel, how amazing.
  • iTunes Store ... 5M songs per day.  Of course, no app store yet!
  • Zune, we hardly knew ya.
  • Those old iPod ads were the best.  Those white earbuds.
  • Apple TV!  Who can remember, it was introduced at the same time.  Nice hobby.
  • 22 min in ... every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.
  • Who wants a stylus?  Nobody wants a stylus.
  • iPhone runs OS X.  Really!?
  • Sync with iTunes.  Yep the first iPhones required a computer.  Quaint.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack.  "All your iPod headphones fit right in."
  • Accelerometer.  Weird to think turning your phone sideways didn't used to do anything.
  • "To unlock my phone I just take my finger and slide it across."
  • "You had me at scrolling."
  • "The killer app for a phone is making calls."  Hehe not any more.
  • Random access voicemail.  Another breakthrough we now take for granted.
  • First public call was to Jony Ive.  Of course.  "It's not too shabby, is it."
  • SMS texting pre-iMessage.  Hardly ever see green anymore :)
  • Pinch to zoom - big ovation.
  • Yahoo! Mail.  Yay.  Biggest mail service in the world.  That was then.
  • Realtime stock updates...  APPL was up $2.40 during this keynote.  Heh.
  • "I want to show you something truly remarkable" ... Google Maps on iPhone!
  • Calling Starbucks: "I'd like to order 4,000 lattes to go please" ... so great.
  • It's my pleasure to announce ... the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt!  This was before Android :)
  • "You can't think of the internet without thinking of Yahoo!"  Um ... yeah.
  • Launch network Cingular.  Remember them?  Eleven days after AT&T had bought them!
  • Love that anecdote about Woz and the TV scrambler at the end.
  • Wayne Gretsky: "skating where the puck is going to be".  Yep.
  • Finally, can I just say, that version of IOS looks so much better!
  • Pretty much the best tech product introduction of all time.  The benchmark.

Can you remember what was in your pocket on that day?  I proudly carried a Palm Centro.

I don't care what you say, that was a better time.  (...more history...)



Return to the archive.

this date in:
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