Critical Section

Archive: July 26, 2020

old ideas

Sunday,  07/26/20  09:54 PM

old ideasAnd so we celebrated the 28th solar orbit of our marriage; where by "we" I mean Shirley and me, but also our kids Jordan, Alex, and Meg, and our grandkid Ori.  A time of reminiscence.  A lot has happened during those orbits, and a lot has changed, but also the song remains the same.  The sound track was the Beach Boys, who were always nostalgic even when new.

Ottmar Liebert: Old Ideas.  "Perhaps the desire to change or become something else is a genetic selection… because, if everyone wanted to change it might create too much societal upheaval. If no one wanted change society would become stagnant."  Agree entirely.

And it's an old idea: viz Progress Ratchets.

Le Tour 2020: 8/29 - 9/20?One of the joys of having blogged for 17 years now is checking to see what I was blogging about this time last year, and the year before that, and so on ... the old ideas spawn new ones.  I was sad this year that there was no Tour, and now I'm sad that I'm not sad that the Tour has ended, as I usually am at the end of July.  It's presently scheduled for Aug 29 - Sep 20, but that seems rather optimistic now and I'm betting it will not take place.

Some of the things which have been and shall be delayed by the pandemic will just take place as usual, but later, but some will be quite changed by the delay, including athletic events where the athletes trained for peaking at a given time.  The effect on the Olympics of 202021 will be significant.

Pangea with modern-day bordersThe Visual Capitalist outdo themselves: map of Pangea with modern-day borders.  You must most definitely click through and oogle.

Did you know?  You can now boot a Win95 PC inside Minecraft and play Doom.  Ah, but can you play Minecraft on it?

More Ottmar: "perhaps I should use the word timeless instead of old".

A new video blog to watch: The Reassembler.  Great stuff; interesting, and narrated with great humor.

square waterSo you can make square water.  Or perhaps more accurately, square pools of water.  You never know when that might come in handy.

Am I the only one who immediately thought of yelling SQUARE WATER!  Yeah, I guess I was.

More old ideas: Scarlet, a previously unreleased 1974 Rolling Stones song that features Jimmy Page on guitar.  Not bad and age hasn't hurt it one bit.

Ottmar again: "The idea of balancing two extremes is what makes a great piece of art, whether it is a painting or a piece of music…. or food. What are those extremes? They can be familiar and strange, comforting and arousing, sour and sweet. It’s all about the balance."


Archive: August 7, 2019


Archive: August 7, 2018


Archive: August 7, 2017


Archive: August 7, 2016


Archive: August 7, 2015

the great debate

Friday,  08/07/15  12:50 PM

bench strengthSo, did you watch the great debate?  Or should I say, debates, because, weirdly, there were two of them?  I though it was great theater, for the first time in a long time I'm genuinely engaged with the Presidential race, trying to figure out who to support.

Longtime readers know, I'm actually more of a Democrat than a Republican (voted for Al Gore), but ever since the vast lurch to the left which started with John Kerry and has continued with Barack Obama, I just can't support Democratic candidates.

My first observation echos the Michael Ramirez cartoon at left; the GOP has a lot of bench strength.  I can't support all of these candidates - and of course, Donald Trump is an idiot - but there are a lot of good choices.  Watching the debate, you would have to conclude it's an impressive group of people.  Also a pretty diverse group, and a fairly young group.  Good stuff.

So ... who won?

I think besides the Republican Party itself, there were three winners:

  • Marco Rubio.  Even if you don't agree with him, he's good.  We could do much worse.
  • Ted Cruz.  The smartest guy in the room.  I'm afraid he might be slightly too arrogant, but how great would it be to have a smart President?
  • Carly Fiorina.  The clear winner of the "undercard", she's a strong contender.  She needed people to get to know her, and they did.

A fourth choice would be Ben Carson; he's an impressive guy (brain surgeon!) but I just don't see him as a politician.  Making the leap from business leader like Fiorina is easier.

[Update: after thinking about it, another victor last night was Fox.  They did a great job of asking tough questions.  Can you imagine MSNBC treating Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden that way?]

And ... who lost?

  • Donald Trump.  I guess there will always be a group rooting for him, the way you root for a train wreck, but he showed himself to be unserious*. 
  • Jeb Bush.  Nobody could figure out why he was riding so high in the polls, and after last night, he won't be anymore.
  • Scott Walker.  He's a likeable candidate and had a lot of momentum, but I think he failed to stand out in this distinguished company, and lost ground as a result.

This debate probably presages a shakeout where the candidates that were already off the radar and didn't do anything to improve will fall further back.  Rand Paul, Rick Perry, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, etc.

You might find this interesting: Camille Paglia rates the debaters (in the Hollywood Reporter).  A feminist liberals take on the GOP's slate.  I found her comments quite insightful, and it's especially important to understand how these candidates will appeal to potential undecided voters, not just how they're regarded preaching to their choir.

It will be a most interesting campaign.  Pass the popcorn!

* an observation about Trump: he is not going to be the Republican candidate, and I think after this becomes obvious to him he's going to drop out.  I was mildly worried that he'd be a divisive force as an independent candidate, but I can't really see him doing that; first, it would be expensive, and he doesn't have as much money as he says he does, and second, he would ultimately lose, and he hates losing.


Friday,  08/07/15  09:51 PM

Dream Theater in concertWant to be more productive?  Have a job that requires dedicated periods of concentration?  Then listen to music.  It's fun, and it works...

My current favorite Slacker channel: Masters of Metal.  YMMV!

Apple Music clocks more than 11M trial customers.  Which have so far collectively paid $0 for trying the service.  I can't get too excited, I've heard zero friends raving about the service.

First I passed on Apple Watch, and now Apple Music.  Hmmm...

Milton FriedmanPowerline celebrates Milton Friedman's birthday by linking his "20 best quotes".  They're all great, folksy wisdom from a solid thinker, well worth checking out.  You have to like #1:

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

The NY Times editorializes: The Right Minimum Wage: $0.  "The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable – and fundamentally flawed."  That was in 1987.  Everyone has a right to change their mind, but those arguments are just as compelling today.

Related: Plunder and Deceit reaches #1 on Amazon's bestseller list.

Nuna and foxInteresting article by Laura Hudson in Boing Boing about the game Never Alone, which features an Alaska Native girl named Nuna and her pet arctic fox.  "Cook Inlet Tribal Council members weren't just asked to superficially consult; they became part of a greenlight committee that had equal numbers of E-Line employees and Natives, and worked together to address problems related to everything from concept art to personnel."  After watching the video, I wanted to play the game, which is amazing because I'm not really a gamer.

Also interesting, this post featured an image in webp format, the first time I've seen that.  My ancient version of Photoshop didn't know what to do with it, so I had to screen print and cut-and-paste.  My first reaction to a new image format is "who ordered that?" but I guess we mustn't stand in the way of progress :)

Vino veritasA great use of technology: Machine learning used to predict fine wine price moves.  I'll drink to that, but of course using it to make fine wine finer would be a higher and better use.

Of course they are: North Korea is creating a new time zone.  It is offset from South Korea, China, and Japan by ... 30 minutes.  That will certainly make things easier.

IBM buys Merge Healthcare to add medical images to WatsonWow: IBM are buying Merge Healthcare for $1B, to add medical images to Watson.  "When IBM set up its Watson health business in April, it began with a couple of smaller medical data acquisitions and industry partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. Last week, IBM announced a partnership with CVS Health, the large pharmacy chain, to develop data-driven services to help people with chronic ailments like diabetes and heart disease better manage their health."  This is probably the biggest visual search deal yet, and it's focused on medical imaging.  How interesting!

Also of note: the stock photo which accompanies the article (shown at right) is pretty dated; most Radiologists have PACS systems and can compare images side-by-side on a computer screen.



Archive: August 6, 2014

Wednesday,  08/06/14  01:16 AM

SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts offA little midnight blogging, after a wonderful night at the center of the universe (Dodger Stadium).  Yes, the Dodgers won in the bottom of the ninth on a walkoff error, after the Angels moved one of their outfields into the infield.  And yes, the final score was four hot dogs two beers.

Picture of the day: SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off.  Awesome!  (Click to enbiggen.)

Don't you love the way iCloud stops syncing at random, and the only way to restart it is to uninstall / reinstall it?  Yeah, me too.  That's what you call user friendly.

Starbucks payments' appWith all the talk about mobile payments, guess who is the leader in number of mobile payment apps deployed?  If you said Starbucks, you would be correct.  So now Starbucks wants you to use their app for payments in other stores.  How interesting.  It's a simple stored-value system, not clear why you would want to use this, but ... we'll see.

They do have a plug-in for my Pebble Watch :)

Bitcoin gatewayMeanwhile: Stripe CTO explains how Bitcoin could improve the financial system.  Excellent.  Seems like the transparency of all transactions is most important; not who did them, but that they were done.

Apropos: Wikipedia now accepts donations in Bitcoin.

Seth Godin: Doing the hard things.  "'How do we do something so difficult that others can't imagine doing it?' is a fine question to ask today."  Hehe.  At eyesFinder we do the impossible every day :)

Guardians of the GalaxySo, the power of Han Solo is alive in Guardians of the Galaxy?  (Question mark is mine)  Meh.  I saw it after reading reviews like this, and I was underwhelmed.  It was entertaining enough I suppose, but not in the same class as Star Wars.  At all.

Strong Bad!Meanwhile: Ranking all 205 Strong Bad emails.  So good.

How to fake flawless predictions for any event on social media.  Basically, you make a bunch of predictions beforehand, and then afterward highlight the only one which was right and delete the rest.  "Never trust a prediction revealed after its outcome."

Bill Nye: How finding ET will change the world.  And it will most likely be found on Europa.  So be it.  I would *still* like to visit Titan, maybe there will be Europa-ians there already!

More proof, if any were needed, that the world is sinking Idiocracy-like into decline: Jerry Pournelle republishes a book sixth graders used to read 100 years ago.  Now it would be college-level reading.  This is fueled by Unnatural Selection.

The Scarlet Pool, ThailandAmazing swimming pools.  Wow!  (Pictured, the aptly named "Scarlet Pool", at a hotel in Thailand.

So, does technology have a "gender gap"?  Maybe.  I feel like if anything technology is mostly a meritocracy, the examples in the article notwithstanding.  There is most definitely a gender gap in available engineers - when I run an ad for programmers, nearly every applicant is male - but I suspect that has more to do with interest than bias.

Jens Voight and Chris HornerJens Voight is calling it quits after USA Pro Challenge.  So be it.  He's going to be missed.  That's him at right, with Chris Horner; two 42-year-olds still at the top of their sport.

Alejandro Valverde answers his Tour critics with Clasica victory.  Nobody should have to apologize for finishing fourth in the Tour de France.  Alejandro is a great rider.

How to be lucky.  As you might expect, this turns out to be mostly a matter of attitude.  I always feel the harder I work, the luckier I get :)

adorable little PenguinAnd we'll end tonight with an adorable little penguin.  You're welcome!


Archive: August 7, 2013


Archive: August 7, 2012


Archive: August 7, 2011

Paywall (New Yorker, 7/25/11)

Sunday,  08/07/11  09:22 AM

excellent :)


Archive: August 7, 2010

tranquility challenge

Saturday,  08/07/10  10:20 AM

I am sitting on the deck outside my bedroom, quietly enjoying a beautiful morning, blogging.  Oh wait, it's not quiet, not at all, because no fewer than five count 'em five of my neighbors are blowing their yards trimming their trees murdering their cats and/or otherwise making hideous noise.  It would be a much nicer morning without all that disturbance in the force.  I can't see anything but man can I hear it.  I swear the business opportunity of the world is to invent a quiet little engine for leaf blowers and tree trimmers and such.

Anyway it *is* a nice morning and I cannot allow any amount of unwelcome noise to ruin it.  Challenge, met.


despicable me

Saturday,  08/07/10  04:31 PM

Despicable me - an emotional roller coasterJust saw Despicable Me with Megan...  liked it a lot.  It started slow and didn't meet my [high] expectations at first, but it got better and better and then sold me with the now-famous roller coaster ride.  And then got better from there... great stuff.  How come animated movies are consistently better than live-action ones, huh?  The emotions were pitch-perfect.

I found it a little rougher than a Pixar film, but even making the comparison is a complement, and it hangs in there pretty well.  Every Pixar film has left me thinking, and I'm not sure that's so true here, but I'm off on a bike ride now so maybe it will  :O

Here's a quiz: what was *your* second-favorite part of the movie?  I'll tell you mine later...


revisiting ancient posts

Saturday,  08/07/10  10:19 PM

l'Hydroptere [still] flies!Today I happened to check my referer logs - they tell you how many people have visited your blog, what they're reading, and where they came from - and I was surprised to find some ancient posts *still* attracting visitors.

Heading the list: The Tyranny of Email (my all time greatest hit), The Two Switches (a great puzzle which at first seems impossible, and hence intriguing), L'Hydroptere Flies (eye candy and sailboat porn, per pic at right), and finally and most surprisingly, Texas Chili Tasting (which upon rereading still has me laughing hysterically).  I'm glad I can provide such great entertainment for the Internet :)

It is rather fun to have been blogging for eight years - yeah, I can't believe it either! - and to have some of that ancient content to reread; I enjoy displaying a "flight", which shows the posts I made on or near today's date of each year.  And then of course it is fun to check referer logs, you just never know where people will come from, and it is most fun to see the searches which bring people in.  Today's most interesting: "using your beauty for god", which resulted in a hit to God and Beauty, one of my all time favorite posts from May 2003.  I love it!


Archive: August 2, 2009

remembering 1984

Sunday,  08/02/09  09:35 AM

Twenty-five years ago!  Wow, guess what, that's when the Los Angeles Olympics took place.  I remember it like it was yesterday, the sense of excitement and pride.  Watching so many events, live! on TV.  Driving around and seeing the banners.  Knowing that my city was showing the world how it should be done.  So what if the Eastern Bloc boycotted?  Their loss.  We did get China instead (as a result of a deal to name Tawain as Chinese Taipei), their first Olympics since 1952, a good trade.

1984 Olympic rowing venue at Lake CasitasMy strongest memory remains watching the rowing events on Lake Casitas.  Every time I ride by that lake - which is pretty often, because it is right alongside route 150 between Ojai and Carpinteria - I think back to those magical days.  I also remember watching Olympic baseball at Dodger Stadium.  Although when I watch the Dodgers today, that seems like a million years ago, at the far edge of my memory.

Time man of the year: Peter UeberrothStars of 1984:  Carl Lewis!  Edwin Moses!  Joan Benoit!  Mary Lou Retton!  Connie Carpenter!  (women's cycling...)  Michael Jordan! (yeah, professionals were allowed in...)  and... Peter Ueberroth!  Seriously he was a star of those Olympics, as was President and ex-governor of California Ronald Reagan...  what's interesting about seeing him now on the cover of Time Magazine as man of the year is remembering how important Time was back then :)  Ah, those pre-internet days... when print mattered.

This was [I think] the first Olympics which was thoroughly televised; I remember filling VCR tape after tape, and watching snippets of all the weird events you'd heard about but had never seen.  Diving.  Weightlifting.  All the track and field events; had you seen hammers thrown or a steeplechase before that?

1984 Olympic torchThis was [I think] also the first Olympics where such a big deal was made of the torch relay; it started in New York and was continuously carried by runners to Los Angeles.  Remember O.J.Simpson carrying the torch up the California Incline in Santa Monica?  And Rafer Johnson running it into the Collesium?  And the incredible spectacle and ceremony of the opening - not quite on technical par with China's last summer, but more amazing because it was all new back then; we had never seen such a thing before.  All those athletes from all those countries, filing into the stadium in their national costumes.

Twenty-five years ago.  Wow.


Sunday,  08/02/09  09:42 AM

Back in the chair, back blogging...  a little overcastey this morning but promise of a nice day.  I did not end up riding yesterday, didn't do much of anything actually (although the brunch was great :)  How's that for boring, someone blogging about doing nothing!

Speaking of blogging, I've noticed a real decrease in the amount of new referrals.  Used to be you'd post something semi-interesting, another blogger would find it, and they'd create a link.  Now people seem to find stuff via search engines and social networks.  My traffic is up but my links are down.  I miss the old blogosphere!

Love, Actually - a great romantic feel-good comedyShirley and I [re]watched Love, Actually last night.  A great movie, on many levels.  Recommended.

AppleTV - the perfect movie-watching deviceI must tell you, more and more we are loving and using our AppleTV.  Not too many people have them - when I mention it to friends and colleagues, there is little awareness - but it's a great solution.  As cheap as any other way to rent/buy movies, excellent quality, and fully integrated into the family room system; you just point and click and poof! watch.  On my network the average delay between ordering and watching is about 5 minutes.

TechCrunch: Why the FCC wants to smash open the iPhone.  "Today there are two different sets of rules for applications and devices on the Internet. On the wired Internet, we can connect any type of PC or other computing device and use any applications we want on those devices. On the wireless Internet controlled by cellular carriers like AT&T, we can only use the phones they allow on their networks and can only use the applications they approve."  It is probably giving Google too much credit to think they bought Grand Central so they could have Google Voice for the iPhone so Apple would reject it so this would happen, but they have to be happy about this result.  Remember they bid on the 700MHz wireless spectrum?  Nobody could figure that out at the time, but you can see where this is going now...

Sounds-like-The-Onion headline of the day: grad sues college because she can't find a job.  This is the logical result of all that political correctness; people are coddled and coddled and when real life hits they can't handle it.

church sign: time to go sailing!Time to go sailing!  The Tillerman notes a church sign on a Sunday, and so concludes...  That's certainly a good option for today.

the beach! - why aren't more people going there?Why aren't more people going to the beachGood question, come on in, the water's fine (and the sand is too!)  Some combination of cooler weather and too many indoor entertainment options are keeping people away, I guess.  That's certainly another good option for today.

A beautiful day (the overcastey-ness is already gone); what will I do with it?  What are you going to do today?


Archive: August 7, 2008


Thursday,  08/07/08  11:55 AM

So, I am taking my computing life into my hands, and - gasp! - installing XP SP3.  Yes, I have a current backup, thanks for asking.  If past experience is any guide, having it will be the main reason I don't need it.

And so it begins...

XP SP3 - starting!

Okay, here we go...

XP SP3 - ntdetect error

Ah yes, I had forgotten how much fun Windows Service Packs could be...

[Update (eleven hours later): Cannot get past this point.  I've tried a bunch of stuff, but this error always appears.  A few times it was preceded by some other errors which gave me an "ignore" choice, and which I ignored, but this one can't be bypassed.  I'm giving up; there wasn't anything in SP3 I was that interested to get, I just felt I needed to "stay current".  I'm afraid this starts the clock on when I'm going to have to reinstall XP from scratch, that's something to look forward to...]



Thursday,  08/07/08  11:21 PM

Today was a mixed bag; I enjoyed scheduling a release beta now that I can predict bugs, and got in some productive coding, but also pissed away quite a bit of time trying to install XP SP3.  I did have a great ride, felt really strong, and joyfully setup my Tivo to record the Olympics, which as you know start tomorrow! 

Olympic road race profileActually one of the first events of the Olympics is the Men's Road Race, as previewed by Velonews.  Check out the stage profile at left - wow - bet you've never seen anything like that before.  I think it favors someone like Levi Leipheimer, he's my pick to win.  There isn't quite enough climbing for Contador, there's too much climbing for Evans, and Valverde likes an uphill finish, but he'll tire on all the other climbs.  We'll see!

Engadget tells us how to get the most out of the 2008 Olympic games.

Hillary Clinton on McCain and ObamaI love this ad from McCain, especially that great snippet from Hillary at the end: "I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House, and Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."  Ouch!  There is a serious side to this message; by showing that prominent Democrats think they can work with him, McCain is telling us he'll be able to get things done even if he has a Democratic Congress, which is very likely.  Perhaps many of those Democrats would find it easier to work with McCain than Obama...

McCain and Obama both commented on Bambi, guess who said what:

    • "I think I may have teared up at the end..."
    • "Oh, yeah, I cried.''

Right there you have the stark difference between these two guys.  Of course Obama might change his mind after polls show Americans don't like crybabies.

Extreme 40 capsize!The iShares cup, presently being held in Extreme 40 catamarans, off Cowes, England, is amazing.  Check out this action from Sailing Anarchy!  Whoa.

Martin Eberhard's TeslaMartin Eberhard, ex-CEO of Tesla, has driven 1,000 miles on his car, and posted a review.  Overall he seems pretty happy, but the range is only 125 miles, and the nav / radio seems pretty broken.  The range will be harder to fix :)  Also note his snide reference to a MacLaren F1; that would be Elon Musk's car, and we can guess that Elon is responsible for the fact that Martin is no longer at Tesla...

Chris Anderson: thirteen words that lose their meaning when the denominator approaches infinity.  "Here are five words that I would suggest are usually meaningless in a world where the populations we're talking about are limitless in size and diversity and doubling overnight (just add the word "blogs" after any of them and you'll see what I mean): Most, Average, Typical, All, None/No".  It is an interesting point but I think it is dead wrong; just because you don't know the absolute quantity doesn't mean the ratio isn't meaningful.  You can say "most blogs" and make a point without knowing how many blogs you're talking about...

Some interesting speculation: AppleTV could become a Real TV?  There could be something to this; all the other speculation about Apple's forthcoming "product transition" has struck me as too lame to be true.

This could be from the Onion: Athiest finds image of nothing in his toast.  I love it :)



Archive: August 7, 2007


Archive: August 6, 2006


Sunday,  08/06/06  09:14 PM

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Is this thing on?  Oh, it's working.  Cool.  Yeah, I'm  s l o w l y  reawakening from a deep blog sleep.  My longest ever, nearly six months...  maybe that counts as a blog hibernation.  Anyway I've been out there lurking, reading, watching, and working, and having fun.  And there is much to report, and much to comment on "out there".  So maybe it could be time to wake up :)

Please stay tuned for more...


Archive: August 7, 2005

Westlake sail-a-thon: results!

Sunday,  08/07/05  10:03 AM

So, we sailed in the Westlake sail-a-thon, as threatened, and we won!  We completed 45 laps, barely short of the record of 47, but in seven hours instead of the tradition nine, so we'll take it.  And we raised over $1,800 for the Casa Pacifica children's crisis center thanks to friends and colleagues.  The wind cooperated and the sun was out, and really it was an excellent day.

Westlake sail-a-thon: the crew

Here we are on the lake; me, my daughters Alexis and Megan, and Megan's friend Madison.
(click for larger pic)

Westlake sail-a-thon: the scene

Going downwind.  The boat in the foreground is a sabot; there were a bunch of them...
(click for larger pic)

Westlake sail-a-thon: the victory!

Later: To the victors go the spoils!
That's us, with Robert Piccione, Rear Commodore of the Westlake Yacht Club.

(click for larger pic)

It left us a bit tired and sore (especially me), but it was great...  and Thanks to everyone who supported us!



Sunday,  08/07/05  10:13 AM

Zopa!Scott Loftesness discovers Zopa, person-to-person lending.  I find this fascinating; could be an interesting business.  It is U.K. -only at this point, but I wonder if something like this could be done in the U.S.?  (If nothing else, they have a cool logo :)

Ah, the issue of Photoshop vs. untouched, yes.  A photo is already not the truth; merely a representation of it.  I have this discussion with Aperio customers all the time.  They scan a microscope slide, creating a digital image.  Is the image "the truth"?  Some people want to have the raw bits, with no corrections, no enhancements, no compression.  I sympathize with this desire, and in fact we do everything we can to ensure the image is as accurate as possible.  But the corrections, enhancements, compression, etc. add value, they are not distorting the truth.  And what is more - even looking through a microscope is creating an image.

shuttle astronaut self-portraitThis is one heck of a cool photo.  "Astronaut Steve Robinson turns the camera on himself during his historic repair job "underneath" Discovery on August 3.  The Shuttle's heat shield, where Robinson removed a pair of protruding gap fillers, is reflected in his visor."  You must click through to see it at full resolution.  [ via Xeni Jardin ]

Ottmar Liebert has released a new track in his Listening Lounge, and it's awesome.  "A new album in the ListeningLounge in which I will collect odd songs that did not fit on the albums they were recorded for.  First up a song I recorded for La Semana..."  Ottmar's "misfits" would be the best song on many another artist's album :)

Final Ottmar note: he has a mini tour planned for September in California.  Excellent!

Traffic for TreoThere's this new app out for the Treo: Traffic.  It sounded awesome, realtime traffic information for Los Angeles!  What could be better than that?  So of course I downloaded and installed it, and it works okay, but...  First, it is slow.  Too slow.  And second, it is not handheld friendly.  You actually have to use your stylus, what fool thought of that?  And finally the information is just interesting, not really useful.  The granularity of the reports is too large to allow you to take evasive action.  [ via Sean Bonner ]

I guess I'll have to wait until there is realtime traffic information in my GPS unit - now that would be cool...

Robert X. Cringley notes there's more to the Apple - Intel deal than met the eye.  And even so it was eye-opening.  His bottom line: It's all about video, which is what I speculated, too.  (Maybe I was right, after all?)  First we get the video iPod, then the Apple video store...

I thought this was pretty funny: Napster loses $19M on revenues of $21M.  Can you spell "dot-com"?  Yes, I thought you could.  "Napster chairman and CEO Chris Gorog stressed the positive news: 'Napster continues to make strong progress as we recorded our fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth.'"  This is the new Napster, a legal DRM-crippled service, not to be confused with the old Napster, an illegal file sharing service.  I bet there are any number of business which could record double-digit growth losing $1 on each $1.  [ via Cory Doctorow ]

I remember back in 1999 I joked about, a new site which gave away dollars for fifty cents.  A customer acquisition cost of just fifty cents!  How can you beat that!  (Did you ever think we'd say "back in 1999"?  Seems like a long time ago!  Anyway.)

Some Longtailmanship, from Chris Anderson: Pre-filters vs. Post-filters, and Filters 101.  The idea being, when you have a long tail, it isn't valuable unless you can find what you want, and for that, you need filters.  Filters are an instance of Tools, which is one of the business opportunities presented by the Long Tail.  In fact, some of the most value is created there, see Yahoo! and Google, for example, which really are just tools for filtering the Long Tail of the internet.  Finally, Chris considers Do you really need a Head to have a Tail?  He says "yes" but I'm not sure; wouldn't the Internet be just as interesting without large anchor sites like Amazon and eBay?  I think it would...  Anyway I love this stuff, check it out!



Sunday,  08/07/05  10:16 AM

l'Hydoptère - a trimaran with hydrofoils!  Wow.


Just beautiful.

[ via the Horses Mouth ]


Archive: August 7, 2004


Archive: August 7, 2003

Andale = bad

Thursday,  08/07/03  09:45 AM

I just want to say - publicly - that the Andale counters on eBay items are horrible.  Instead of quietly providing a simple service for sellers, they try to turn it into a huge cross-sell opportunity, and completely lose sight of what users want.  After my experience with their counters I wouldn't buy something from Andale even if I really wanted it.  I'm actually surprised, given the quality of other eBay partners like iPix and PayPal, that eBay puts up with them.  The next time I sell stuff on eBay I'm going to use a third-party counter.  There, got that off my chest...


Westlake Sail-a-Thon

Thursday,  08/07/03  09:46 AM

Westlake Sail-a-ThonThis Saturday, August 9, I'm participating in a Sail-a-thon on Westlake to benefit the Casa Pacifica Children's Crisis Center.  This is the 10th anniversary of this event, which last year raised over $30,000 to benefit victims of child abuse and neglect.  For nine hours participants sail "laps" around Westlake.  Typically participants sail about 30-40 laps although my team is shooting to break the record of 47 (me, my daughter Alexis, her friend Katherine, and my daughter Megan).

If you're a regular reader you know about "Ole's Law", that any time spent in a boat is better than any time spent not in a boat.  Well this time spent in a boat will be even better than usual, because we'll be raising money to help abused and neglected kids.

I'd  like to ask each of you to help by sponsoring us.  Typical sponsorship levels are $.25/lap, $.50/lap, or $1/lap (about $12, $25, or $50, respectively).  It really is a great cause.  If you're interested please just send me email; after the event I'll report on how we did :)

I should add - thanks to all my friends who have already pledged their support.  If we sail 50 laps, thereby breaking the record, we will have raised over $1,000.  That's terrific!


this date in:
About Me

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
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
progress ratches
2020 explained