Archive: June 10, 2023


Archive: June 10, 2022


Archive: June 10, 2021


Archive: June 10, 2020

spacecraft UI

Wednesday,  06/10/20  12:52 PM


The evolution of spacecraft UI over time. 
Apollo - 1961-1972.  Shuttle 1981-2011.  Dragon: 2020-????



Archive: June 10, 2019


Archive: June 10, 2018


Archive: June 10, 2017

not liking not liking

Saturday,  06/10/17  01:37 PM

Hi all.  Still missing in action, I know*.

Anyway a quick update: I am not liking Not Liking.  I was about to do it, and it didn't feel right.  If you my friends want to post crappy crap about politics, who am I to judge.  I might not like it, but I won't Not Like it**.

* I'm either too busy or my priorities are messed up, possibly probably both.  I mean, I haven't even blog-bragged about sailing in Tahiti yet, and that was already a month ago.  Sigh.  And I haven't blogged about Tom Dumoulin winning the Giro, and about ... a lot.  But please stay tuned...

** I still reserve the right to hide your feed.  But you would never know, bwa ha ha.


Archive: June 10, 2016


Archive: June 9, 2015

the Apple music mess

Tuesday,  06/09/15  11:26 AM

Boy, did Apple make a mess on Monday with their Apple Music announcement.  This was the first time since Steve Jobs passed away that I really felt Apple doing stuff he would not have done.  Let me count the ways:

  1. It was the wrong venue.  A major new music service, announced at a developer's conference?  WWDC is a big deal these days, perfect for announcing new versions of OS X and IOS and watchOS, but incredibly wrong for Apple Music.  It should not have been a "one more thing" at a dev conference, no way.
  2. Beats 1 Radio makes no sense.  So ... the future of music is a single station we all listen to, all the time.  Riiight.  This is exactly backward, the future of music is a million personalized stations.  In fact, it's already the present of music, as presented via Spotify and Rdio and Pandora and Slacker and all the rest.
  3. Music curation by experts?  Bsssst, fail.  Okay I get the argument in favor of people over algorithms, but not experts over friends.  (And I say this as a lifelong Jim Ladd fan).  Actually Apple have traditionally been on the side of algorithms anyway, Genius, etc.  Felt retrograde.
  4. Connect aka Ping 2.0?  Yawn.  This feels like Apple getting desperate.  They just do not understand social networking, and should not try.  Everyone already belongs to Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram).  Nobody wants or needs a fourth network.  They should have integrated with what is already there.  The lessons of Ping (and Google+) were not understood.
  5. [Added] The dog that didn't bark: artist royalties.  The biggest challenge in the music industry - and one which has been exacerbated by subscription services like Spotify - is how to share the wealth back to the artists, especially those further down the long tail.  How are they to be discovered?  How can they get paid?  Apple was silent on these issues, which should have been taken head on.  Remember, iTunes saved musicians from Napster.
  6. Worst of all, the whole thing felt like a mishmash.  Not cleanly organized or communicated*.  Clearly a big push-pull between Apple and Beats execs.  Yeah Drake and Weeknd are cool, but where's the "there" here?  Confusion breeds indifference.  I'm clicking away already.

This slide says it all: three old things trying to be one new thing.  And the Apple of today trying to be the Apple of 2007 (iPhone).  In fact, trying to be the Apple of 2001 (iTunes).

My biggest takeaway is that this calls the entire Beats acquisition into question.  I didn't understand it at the time, and now that we see where it went, we can see it was a mistake.  It was Tim Cook and Eddie Cue trying to be cool by hanging with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, and failing.  Everyone involved has lost cred.

I predict the execs at Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora are celebrating.  They must have feared Apple's entry into their space, and they must be relieved that it was so weak.

PS I will consider the other parts of Apple's announcements shortly, stay tuned.  For a great recap, I recommend the Verge liveblog, which is not only informative but funny.  High line: biggest news was open-sourcing Swift.  First time I have thought that maybe I will want to / have to learn it.

[*Update: Reaction in the blogosphere is trending strongly negative.  Much of the coverage is trying to explain what Apple Music is, not why it is amazing.]



Archive: May 27, 2014

Tuesday,  05/27/14  11:15 PM

My goodness; nearly two weeks since my last filter pass.  Let's get on with it then, shall we?

Why should read The Circle, even if you don't buy it.  I'm reading it, and while it is interesting, yeah, I don't buy it.  It's tough to like a book which has such a strong point of view, especially when none of the characters are likeable.  I'm struggling on... 

Meanwhile, I enjoyed Hatching Twitter tremendously.  What a story; four co-founders, all of whom contributed and none of whom are still involved in the day-to-day workings of the company.  Such politics, such intrigue, and yet the company survived and indeed prospered.  One gets the impression it all worked out because of the strength of the product, and the essential simplicity of the business model. 

On the illusion of life; "The 12 basic principles of animation were developed by the 'old men' of Walt Disney Studios."  Excellent. 

Wow: Image is everything: Snapchat tops WhatsApp as biggest US messaging app by volume.  It certainly could do with image search :) 

Apropos: Facebook goes after Snapchat, again.  "If you guys were the inventors of Snapchat, you'd have invented Snapchat."  Hehe. 

Reminds me to mention: great movie I've seen recently: Chef.  In which a chef's son uses social networking to wildly publicize his father's food truck.  There's a lot more to it than that ... watch it! 

Marketing by Beats by Dre.  "It's easy to see why Apple might want to buy them."  Nope, I don't get it.  I don't see the fit, and moreover, if this was real, I wouldn't expect to see so much information leak ahead of time.  I believe there were discussions, but will be surprised if they actually lead to a deal. 

Awesome: The Greatest Show Off Earth.  Indeed it is. 

This is so cool: Stunning quadcopter coverage from Big Sur at Amgen Tour.  You can see where this kind of thing is going to become much more common, and soon we'll see sporting events from every conceivable angle. 

Meanwhile I have to say, the video coverage of this event was awful.  The frame rate stuttered constantly, and the compression artifacts were ridiculous.  Embarrassing, really; when life cycle racing coverage in Europe is so excellent. 

Agree entirely: Stop forcing people to wear bike helmets.  The nanny state is unnecessary and unwanted. 

Speaking of which: Why global warming alarmism isn't science.  "Global warming alarmism fails the test of science. The alarmists' models generate one false prediction after another."  Note, this doesn't not mean global warming isn't occurring, only that we do not have models which correctly predict it. 

Excellent: Met puts huge image trove online.  (You can browse it here...)  There is going to be more and more of this, and it will be an incredible resource for widespread image search

Absolutely beautiful: Stunning photos reveal the enchanting world of fungi

Dave Winer: In news, the front page is the first problem.  "When Twitter started owning the news cycle, that's what they call in business a "competitive threat." You can choose to respond or not respond. But if you don't respond, you pretty much always lose."  Yep. 

On the future of Metafilter.  Google are the gatekeeper for traffic on the web, no question.  What can break their hegemony?  (Images?) 

Awesome: Stunning digitally composited star trail photos.  Way cool.  This could have been done with film, of course, but digital makes this stuff so much easier. 

Wrapping up...  the proven way to add value:  "Do extremely difficult work."  Which might be true, and begs the question, "what makes work difficult?"  I claim it isn't doing it, it is knowing what to do.



Archive: June 10, 2013


Archive: June 10, 2012


Archive: June 10, 2011

doing nothing (for a little while)

Friday,  06/10/11  04:39 PM

This afternoon, in the midst of recovering from a busy week with a kazillion things going on, and preparing for a trip to Europe starting tomorrow, I did ... nothing.  For inspiration, I turned to my dogs, who are world-class experts at doing nothing.  In fact here they are, doing what they do best ... nothing.

Maxi and Bijou demonstrate the fine art of doing nothing
in style

I grabbed my Kindle, a Diet Coke, and a box of Wheat Thins, and sat next to my pool, soaked up some sun.  Perfect.  I think I told you, I'm taking the summer off?  I don't plan to do nothing all summer - that would drive me crazy - but I do plan to do a little nothing every day.  Well that was fun, but now on to dinner and a movie :)


Archive: June 6, 2010

Week of 5/31, redux

Sunday,  06/06/10  12:02 PM

Blogging from Chicago, where it is raining...  and where I am for the day, having flown out overnight on a red-eye for a single two-hour meeting, after having ridden a double metric century yesterday (report to follow), and from where I will return this afternoon.  Whew.  You are tired of reading me report that I had the world's busiest week ever, so I won't say so (but I did), and you are anxious to read my recap of the week in the blogosphere, so here it is!

Big big news: SpaceX Achieves Earth Orbit.  Yee haw! 

And in other space news, Scientists find a 'hint of life' on Saturn's moon Titan.  All right! 

I like this a lot: Bayes Theorem Illustrated.  Previous to reading this article I thought I understood Bayesian Statistics, and I wasn't wrong, but my understanding was incomplete.  This is great.  (Not much math, but lots of details and diagrams...) 

Scott "Dilbert" Adams pounds another nail through the wood: The Adams Theory of Content Value:  "As our ability to search for media content improves, the economic value of that content will approach zero."  In other words it is distribution and access that determines the value of the content, not the content itself.  Hmmm... 

This would be funnier if is was less true: How to Plug the Oil Leak in the Gulf

Classic, in response to Microsoft's recent reorganization of its Entertainment & Devices Group: Ballmer just opened the second envelope

Fred Wilson: I prefer Safari to Content Apps on the iPad.  A great point of view, showing that for users there is an advantage; we already knew there was a compelling advantage for vendors.  I wonder how this will end up, especially with Android's popularity on the increase? 

MG Siegler: Why Google TV may push Apple to build Televisions.  There is an analogy here, they do like to control the entire experience... 

Latest from Eric Raymond, in his ongoing effort to show how Android will defeat iPhone: Steve Jobs' Snow Job.  We have to admit, he did call this; AT&T is offering tethering for the iPhone and has scrapped its "unlimited data" plans. 

Here's Jason Snell's summary of Steve Jobs' D8 Appearance...

Meanwhile, Brad Feld is Loving the HTC EVO.  I liked this: "And – for the payoff – I can make a f**king telephone call on this thing. I can’t remember the last time I looked back after a day and thought 'wow – I didn’t drop a single call today.'” Now the only dropped calls I’ve had are when I’m talking to someone on an iPhone and they drop."  Ouch. 

From New Scientist: Tacit Knowledge: you don't know how much you know.  A rather recursive truth :)  I find the observation that tacit knowledge is relational to be particularly true.  But then, you already knew that... 

This is awesome!  Dolphin uses iPad to communicate with humans.  (I will refrain from wondering whether the target user base for this device has finally been identified :) 

I'm linking this purely for the headline: Magic Nucleus Gives Clues to the Origin of Heavy Metal.  It's actually an article about particle physics, *not* Black Sabbath :) 

This sucks: Blown call costs pitcher perfect game.  I think it sucks, but I don't think they should retroactively fix it.  Perhaps this is an argument for instant replay however... 

And this sucks too: Former UCLA Coach John Wooden dies.  He was 99, and there is nobody I mean nobody who had more respect from his peers and players. 

A great article by Jeff Atwood: The Vast and Endless Sea.  How do you motivate programmers?  The results may surprise you!  "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.  – Antoine de Saint Exupéry

ZooBorn of the week: a [rare] white baby antelope

Wrapping up, want to know the secret words?  "You are so hot"  Works for me :)



Ojai Valley Double Metric

Sunday,  06/06/10  01:43 PM

Yesterday I rode the Ojai Valley Double Metric Century - 200K = 129 miles, with about 8,000' of climbing.  This ride started as a century, a big 100 mile loop up past Lake Casitas and into Santa Barbara, then down the coast to Ventura, across to Santa Paula, and up and over the hills back into Ojai.  I rode it that way a couple of years ago and it was really nice.  Recently they've added a Double Metric option, wherein you start by going 15 miles straight up route 33 to Mount Rose, then turn around and descend it, and then ride the century.  And that's what I did... it was excellent.  Took me 10:30 elapsed, with 9:20 riding time.

In case you're interested, here's the obligatory photo gallery:

Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

And below please find selected pictures from the ride:

the route: 129 miles, 8,000'; note the way it starts!

the climb up route 33 to Mount Rose; 15 miles at 5%

first checkpoint! at top of Mount Rose; it's "all downhill from here"...

paceline along Lake Casitas

descending route 150 into the fog at Carpinteria - yay, arm warmers :)

checkpoint in Carpinteria
this ride offers 100K, 100mi, and 200K options, and all the riders converged here

powering along the shore in Summerland

my favorite: riding the 101 freeway; trucks on the left, beach on the right

the lead group assembles at a stoplight in Ventura before powering along to Santa Paula

best part of the ride: popcicles! at the final SAG stop atop the Ojai grade

Among other things this ride was hot; summer is definitely here, or at least on the immediate horizon.  I went through about ten bottles and burned my arms.  Yay!


the key to life

Sunday,  06/06/10  02:09 PM

I just realized the key to life. 
Happiness comes from liking yourself. 
Anything you can/must do to like yourself better is worth it. 
That's it.


Archive: June 10, 2009

Pre and me!

Wednesday,  06/10/09  11:14 PM

I have a Pre!  Yay.  I'll tell you everything but the first thing you need to know is that everything you've heard is true, and more.  After 24 hours I would say it is probably the most amazing device I've ever owned.

Sunday I called around and nobody in L.A. had a Pre left in stock, every Sprint store, every Best Buy was sold out.  Monday I was in Vista so I called around and nobody in San Diego had a Pre left in stock either.  I put my name on about fifteen waiting lists, resigned to wait.  Then yesterday afternoon the Sprint store in Encinitas sent me an email: they had a Pre for me!  Turns out they were operating a mini lottery instead of a FIFO queue - why, I cannot say - and they had one Pre left, and so despite getting on the list late it was mine.  And so I dashed down and bought the little guy, including a Touchstone charger (yes they had one of those for me too) and a car kit and so on.

The phone was activated in the store and I walked out with everything working.  I setup Exchange in about 15 seconds (just gave my username / password / domain / server URL) and poof, everything synced, and everything worked.  Email, Contacts, Calendar, perfectly synced and functional.  The only thing I couldn't copy over was old SMS threads.  The learning curve was shallow and I was a Pre demoer in no time.

I'll have more to say after a while, but my initial impressions are that the screen is great, the keyboard is great (better than the Centro), WebOS is really cool (just like you've seen), the camera is unexpectedly great (that self-portrait above was taken in a dark elevator without flash [yes, the Pre camera has a flash]), and the fit and finish are better than I was led to believe by some picky reviewers.  I really like the size and roundness and feel and clickiness and everything, and the light weight.  My hands just want to take it out and play with it all the time, it feels so cool.  I am worried about battery life; I love that it charges from USB, so you only need a cable if you're carrying your laptop, but I had to do that mid-day today, and that scared me a little.

Oh, one more really cool thing, which doesn't really have to do with the Pre but with getting a Pre, I bought a new Plantronics Pro bluetooth headset, and it is amazing, qualitatively better than any bluetooth headset I've tried to use.  It even works (gasp!) in a car... while driving.

Well enough gushing.  I have one, it works, I'll be using the heck out of it, and you will hear all about it.  Stay tuned.


Wednesday,  06/10/09  11:36 PM

Whew, man it has been an eventful couple of days...  yesterday I worked all day, dashed out and got a Pre as you saw, took another rehabilitation ride (barely 15 miles, Carlsbad to Oceanside harbor and back), and had an amazing dinner (rare flatiron streak, Hitching Post pinot) with friends / colleagues after which I was in no shape to drive, barely in shape to walk (fortunately all I had to do), and unable to blog a word, coherent or otherwise.  Then today I worked all day (meetings from dawn to dusk!) and tonight rode my famous "Kessel Run" from Dana Point to Camp Pendleton and back.  And so I am now blogging to you from the Charthouse, anticipating Mahi Mahi.  We'll see what that means...

Forbes on the ARRA: the $787B mistake.  "The bottom line is that ARRA will leave us with a legacy of substantially rising debt without a commensurate benefit...  Our current crisis may soon be over, but we are in the process of creating a debt crisis of substantial proportion, and one that is not cyclical but rather is permanent."  My sense is that the economy is recovering, and that inflation caused by excess government spending will be the next crisis.  After which will come debt caused by excess government borrowing to fund the spending.  Blech. 

Cory Doctorow gives Julian Comstock a glowing review.  I've one-clicked to my Kindle.  Can't wait... 

... although I have to because I'm still reading William Gibson's Spook Country, previously one-clicked to my Kindle.  It is great, full of the same "coolseeker" observations as Pattern Recognition, although the book is newer so the observations are fresher.

And so now Google Apps sync with Outlook.  Wow.  That could be "goodbye Exchange" over time.  A central email server and shared calendars, and there you go. 

Related, at least in my mind, this month marks the 10th anniverary of Napster!  Wow.  Napster was one of those mind-blowing things that heralded a completely new age.  I totally remember how blown away I was by it, a peek into the reality of the future, that digital information was going to be shared freely.  I suspect Microsoft sees the same sort of writing on the wall when they look into the future of selling server software... 

Here we have the Penguin USB drive.  Wow, I love it.  What is it with Penguins, that they're so cute in any position? 

Jason Kottke on the science of persuasion.  This is important because people are not logical, even though they try to be.  Figuring out ways to appear logical while actually being illogical is amazingly useful. 

A real life "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" moment.  "I pull out the 17inch Macbook Pro, like it was the gold artifact in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, his eyes go wide, I open the lid, it’s on instantly, I’ve got like half a dozen spreadsheets and documents open, it doesn’t matter, I pop the movie in, it starts right up, as a final flourish I produce my remote control, and set it next to him, “You Drive,” I said.  The punchline: My new friend, is a senior executive at Dell."  Ouch. 

The top 10 most absurd Time Magazine covers.  Amid heavy competition, as the magazine itself has veered strongly toward the absurd altogether.  This is total linkbait, but I'm linking it anyway, and if you want my vote put it on the first one, Occult Revival. 

Anil Dash considers the future of Facebook usernames.  Whenever one of these new "namespaces" is announced, there is always sturm and angst, and the Earth continues spinning.  Yeah, we'll all wish we could get the name we really wanted (I am betting that Ole.Eichhorn will be available :) but no, it won't be so bad to be ole99.  Stay tuned. 

ZooBorns of the day: baby Lemurs!  They look cute and mischevious, as all babies should... 


Archive: June 10, 2008

alcohol is not a performance enhancing drug

Tuesday,  06/10/08  08:13 PM

In the public interest I want to report a key finding from personal research: alcohol is not a performance enhancing drug.

Here's what happened: today Megan graduated from Elementary School.  (Yay, Megan, congratulations! - that's her walking up to get her diploma at right...)  And afterward we had a celebratory lunch, together with several other families.  And we had some Pinot Grigio.  Some.  And for whatever reason, thus far unexplainable by science, white wine in the afternoon hits me harder than red wine at night.  So I was buzzed.

Later I went for a bike ride; one of my "usual" routes through Westlake and Hidden Hills, about 25 miles.  Not good.  I was tired, weak, slow, and unmotivated.  I couldn't climb worth a lick.  I couldn't even descend.  I was passed by small children on tricycles.  I thought perhaps I would ride my way to being sober, gaining strength in the process, but it didn't happen; I finished as weak and listless as I started.  It was easily my slowest time ever on that ride.

Anyway with this experiment in hand, I can report: alcohol is not a performance enhancing drug.  I don't think your mileage will vary.


pictures of Iran

Tuesday,  06/10/08  08:29 PM

You might not think about it, but Iran is an extraordinarily beautiful country. 

These days we view them as "an enemy", because of conflicting religous politics, but it was not always so; there was a time when Iran was a staunch U.S. ally, and a time before that when Persia was one of the most influential and advanced countries on Earth. 

How things changed I'll leave to others and other times to explain, but in the meantime I wanted to share this collection of amazing photographs of Iran.  Enjoy.

Armenian Church - North-Western Iran

Cottage in northern Iran

Uramanat - North-Western Iran

Izeh - South-Western Iran

Layalestan - Gilan, Northern Iran

Bagh-e Eram Palace & Gardens - Shiraz

Oroomieh Lake - North-Western Iran

Winter night in Isfahan

Marble Palace - Tehran

Vank Cathedral - Isfahan , Iran

Museum of Fine Arts - Tehran , Iran

Shahzadeh Gardens -Mahan - Kerman

Waterfalls near Shiraz - Iran

Chehel Sotoun Palace Pavilion - Isfahan

Aali Gaapou - Isfahan , Iran

Lahijan - Guilan Province , Iran

Asalem - Khalkhal - Northern Iran

Niasar - Isfahan , Iran

Mansion in Mazanderan - Northern Iran

Pear Orchard - Shiraz

Parandegan   Park in Isfahan

A serene Lake in Guilan, Northern Iran

Latian Lake near Tehran

Margoon waterfall

Outskirts of Shiraz - Iran

Oroumieh Lake - N.W. Iran

Ramsar - Northern Iran

Village of Roodbarak - Norhtern Iran

White Bridge - Ahwaz, South-Western Iran

Chahar Bagh Avenue - Isfahan

Arg-e Kola Farangi - Birjand , Iran

Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmad Province - Iran

Traditional Persian outdoor teahouse

Saayeh khosh - southern Iran

Sistan & Baluchestan province

Sobatan Village - Ardebil

Ferdowsi - toos, Khorasan, Iran


Tuesday,  06/10/08  09:20 PM

A great day today; not only did Megan graduate from Elementary School (yay!) but before the alcohol test I made good progress on some key projects.  I have two kinds of work, "real work", in which I create code, write documentation, or otherwise produce real output, and "scorekeeping", in which I monitor and advise others doing real work.  (There is also, I suppose, "meta-scorekeeping", in which I monitor and advise other scorekeepers :)  Anyway in all my years of managing I have never managed to enjoy scorekeeping as much as real work, and I suppose by now it is hopeless.

Woo hoo!  Holland's thrilling victory over Italy finally brought Euro 2008 to life!  Yeah, baby, shutting out the defending World Cup champions in the group of death, what could be better than that?  I am so not a soccer fan, but I am now :)  TivoHD to the rescue... 

And whew, Kobe & co. staunch the bleeding, win at home over the Celtics.  Another series for the Tivo... 

More sports: George Hincapie powers to a win at the Dauphiné Libéré.  Excellent!  Thor Hushovd is still in yellow, with Alejandro Valverde in second and Levi Leipheimer in third; they're separated by five seconds.  The time trial tomorrow should sort things out a bit.  

The NYTimes reports Wine may keep liver healthy.  "Recent reports suggest that red wine is a potent force in increasing lifespan, and a new study offers still more good news for wine drinkers. A glass a day, whether white or red, may reduce the risk of developing the nation’s most common liver disorder, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease."  Another point in favor of drinking wine!  [ via Instapundit ]  (Although as noted, alcohol is not a performance enhancing drug :) 

TechCrunch: Google app engine 'accidentally' blocks PayPal.  "Google App Engine, their new platform for building and hosting third party web applications, is blocking applications from integrating with PayPal for payments.  Developers who are building apps that use PayPal to handle payments require the application to send a request to the PayPal service.  The URLs used in these requests are all on the domain name.  In Google App Engine apps, requests to these URLs returns a generic ‘download’ error with no specific details."  Wow, whatever happened to "don't be evil"?  Even at their competitive worst, eBay never blocked PayPal URLs(back in the bad old Billpoint days, before eBay capitulated and bought PayPal). 

Mike Davidson: I really do think Apple just split the mobile world into two choices: settle for a free phone or buy an iPhone.  Well maybe; my spiffy new Centro wasn't free, and I didn't buy an iPhone.  It is possible that in the wake of the iPhone 3G, cellular providers like Sprint will have to offer Centros for free to keep their subscribers; time will tell...  [ via John Gruber


Archive: June 10, 2007


Archive: June 10, 2006


Archive: June 9, 2005

Thursday,  06/09/05  09:15 PM

Parental chest beating: My daughter Alexis was named the top science student in her 6th grade.  Whew.  She's going to be a Bond girl - the improbably beautiful nuclear astrobiologist who saves the world.  Way to go, Alex!

From James Lileks, a devastating dose of perspective: 

I can imagine in late 2001 asking a question of myself in 2005:

What’s the main story?  The smallpox quarantine?  Fallout from the Iranian – Israeli exchange contaminating Indian crops?  A series of bombings in heartland malls?

"Well, no – the big story today has to do with soldiers mishandling terrorists' holy texts at a detention center."

Mishandling?  How?  Like, you mean, they opened it up without first checking to see if it was ticking, and it blew up –

"No, they handled it in a way that disrespected it.  Infidels are supposed to use gloves."

Oh.  So we lost, then.

Citizen Smash also adds some Clarity.

So this is what running out of oil looks like.  Check out this graph of the Abqaiq oil field in Saudi Arabia, from a report by The Oil Drum.  The green area is oil, and the red area is gas; the large blue areas are water pumped into the well to push up the oil.  [ via Mark Frauenfelder

In response to Linda Foley's refusal to either substantiate or retract her charges against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, journalist Hiawatha Bray is running for the Newspaper Guild executive committee as a write-in candidate.  "Choose Honor."  Excellent, I hope he wins.  [ via Glenn Reynolds

Titan in the news: Possible Ice Volcano Found on Saturn Moon.  "The international Cassini spacecraft has spotted what appears to be an ice volcano on Saturn's planet-size moon, a finding that may help explain the source of Titan's thick atmosphere.  Infrared images snapped by the orbiting Cassini reveal a 20-mile-wide dome that appears to be a cryovolcano, a volcanic-like vent that spews forth ice instead of lava."  Awesome. 

The 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge semifinalists have been announced.  Of course Team Caltech is one of them.  The goal is to build a robotic vehicle which can travel 175 miles over open desert within 10 hours, navigating and bypassing obstacles without human intervention.  Maybe this year we'll get further than seven miles from the start :) 

Clive Thompson reports on plans to use giant mirrors to reflect sunlight into a park which is permanently shaded by adjacent buildings, in Battery Park, New York.  "The mirrors ... will reflect enough of the sun's rays to keep the park in sunlight year-round, he said, and in some ways will be more effective than broad daylight since the rays can be directed to different spots at different times of the day or season, as needed."  Sounds pretty cool. 

David Bryne ruminates on the difference between performed and recorded music.  (Yes, the Talking Heads' lead singer is now a blogger.)  "When music as a product, as a consumable object, is subverted and undermined by technology and by its own success, then maybe we have come full circle.  Maybe if music is no longer seen as an object, but as pure information, data, sound waves, then the object becomes at best a mere delivery device, and we’re back to viewing music as an experience, albeit still one that other people produce."  [ via Cory Doctorow

Matt Webb ponders the correspondence between the Web and San Francisco.  "I never realized I was a 'them' until I went to California."  Living in Southern California, I never realized I was a 'them' until I went to San Francisco itself... 

Cory Doctorow has seen God in a cup of chocolate, at Hemingway's in Florence, Italy.  "There were medieval princes who spent lifetimes searching for experiences that did this sort of thing to your sensory apparatus.  Whatever they found was nothing so good as this.

Ottmar Liebert comments:  "If they don't run out of chocolate by then I will experience the place in October.  I will give you a detailed report."

Here we have a house carved to look like it's made of books.  How excellent!  Even the furniture in the house is hand-carved to look like they're made from books.  [ via Cory Doctorow

This reminds me very much of the work of Pierre-Jean Couarraze, who paints books which look like they're made of stone - on canvas.  They're just amazing, you reach out your hand to touch textured stone, and touch smooth canvas...

You know the famous Monty Hall Problem?  ("Do you switch doors after he shows you a donkey?")  Well here's another one which seems to be similar: The Serbonelli Problem

Of three prisoners, Matthew, Mark and Luke, two are to be executed, but Matthew does not know which.  He therefore asks the jailer ‘Since either Mark or Luke are certainly going to be executed, you will give me no information about my own chances if you give me the name of one man, either Mark or Luke, who is going to be executed’.  Accepting this argument, the jailer truthfully replied ‘Mark will be executed’.  Thereupon, Matthew felt happier, because before the jailer replied his own chances of execution were 2/3, but afterwards there were only two people, himself and Luke, who could be the one not to be executed, and so his chance of execution is only 1/2.  Is Matthew right to feel happier?

I'll let you chew on this one for a bit...

Walt Mossberg relates What the Apple Plan To Switch to Intel Chips Means for Consumer.  "For all but the techiest techies, changing the processor in these machines will be a nonevent, sort of like changing the engine in next year's Lexus cars.  As long as the new engine is at least as fast and smooth as its predecessor, few drivers would notice or care."  So be it. 

You would have to say Russell Beattie is a gadget freak.  Check out the contents of his "bag" on the way to Mobile Monday.  So, Russell, I have to ask: "what, no Treo?"  Doesn't look like he has a Blackberry in there, either... 




Archive: June 10, 2004


Archive: June 10, 2003

Tuesday,  06/10/03  08:45 PM

On the road, blogging from San Mateo after a day of meeting with VCs.  Treat everything you read accordingly :)

Adam Curry: our Copy-Paste Culture.  This doesn't do it justice, but:

Blogging = Copy + Paste

Very insightful.

David Burbridge reviews The Meme Machine .  A great book for anyone interested in the Darwinian evolution of ideas.

There are three missions to Mars planned this June, the most ambitious exploration in the last 25 years.  The Space Review ponders Why is Mars so Hard?  "Software is the number one problem."  (By the way, the first of these missions blasted off today.)

(click for fullsize view)

This is so cool: A QTVR panorama of the lost City of Petra, made famous by the final scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  This place is impossible to capture in a normal still image, but I tried anyway; click on the pic at right for a fullsize view.

Several bloggers have noted Technorati's new keyword search, which let's you find blogs and blog posts by keyword.  Since Technorati has the most comprehensive database of blogs, this should be pretty exhaustive.  Question: Is it better than Google?  Don't know...

Gollum won Best Virtual Performance at the MTV Movie Awards.  And here's his virtual acceptance speech...

BigWig bemoans Apache 2.0, trying to upgrade from 1.3.  What a disaster; since Apache 1.3 is (was!) the most popular web server on the planet, why did they have to make upgrading so difficult?  A total failure to understand the user base.

Found an interesting study on the usability of different computer fonts, courtesy of Tim Bray.  The bottom line - users considered serif fonts more attractive, but paradoxically rated them less readable!  Aha.  (This is why I use Century Gothic on my blog...)