Critical Section

Monday,  07/14/03  09:43 AM

U.S.S. Ronald ReaganThe latest example of U.S. military superiority has been launched; the Navy has officially commissioned the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.  This 1,000 ft. aircraft carrier will be based in San Diego, and will be home for over 6,000 seaman and 80 aircraft.  The ship can travel faster than 40 knots and will operate for 20 years without refueling its nuclear reactors.  Whew!

Yahoo to buy Overture in $1.6B deal.  And then there were two...

Wharton considers: What's Holding Back Online Music?  My thoughts - we have MP3 players, we have plenty of "free" music via Kazaa et al, and online music is booming.  The real question is - what's keeping people from paying for music?  Two things - 1) user experience, 2) price.  The Apple Music store fixes (1) very well, which leaves (2).  I still say $.50/track is the magic number...

Ottmar reports he is playing 'phone tag with the Apple Music Store.  "I am hoping to make nouveaumatic available on iTunes a.s.a.p., about 2 months before its release on CD."  Excellent.  I hope they connect.iPod body mask

Well, I like my iPod a lot - looks like Oprah likes hers, too...

If you love your iPod like Oprah and I, but you want to customize its look, then here you go...

Here's a cool tool: the HomePod.  This lets you use your existing 802.11 network to "beam" music from your Mac to your home stereo.  CDs are so last century!

In the same vein, CNet comments WiFi Pushes Beyond the Laptop .  Yep.

And if you're into gadgets, check out  Wired's "The Year's Best Gear So Far".  Excellent stuff!

Tim Bray considers writing software for an established platform to be Sharecropping.  "A farmer who works a farm owned by someone else.  The owner provides the land, seed, and tools exchange for part of the crops and goods produced on the farm."  I think it is a crappy analogy.  You don't have to invent dirt to be a farmer.  The more existing functionality you can leverage, the better your product will be.  Of course you still need your competitive differentiator, but I don't think that has to be at the platform level.  Nor is it essential that the platform be "open".  A lot of successful businesses have been built on Windows and/or Mac.

Ralph Peters: Let 'Em Eat Wurst.  "My heart breaks: Sniffing in Teutonic superiority, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has cancelled his Italian vacation.  Informed that Germany's answer to Bill Clinton wasn't going to grace bella Italia with his presence this year, Silvio [Berlusconi] shrugged and said, 'too bad for him'."  I love it.  [ via LGF ]

Grouchy Old Cripple considers Diversity.  Warning, this is only correct, not politically correct.

David Burbridge asks "whatever happened to punctuated equilibrium?"  The comments thread is an amazing discussion involving Dennett, Gould, and some excellent Darwinian philosophy...  Great stuff.

I am, of course, strongly on the side of Dennett against Gould.  There is no such thing as punctuated equilibrium as a qualitative phenomenon; it is merely a result of differential evolutionary timescales...

Scoble on social software.  "It's sorta like my hatred of eggplant.  I don't hate it enough to not keep trying it, but whenever I try it, I realize I don't like it."  I don't hate eggplant at all, nor social software, but it doesn't do anything for me.  Email, web surfing, RSS, what more does one need?

CNet reports Google cache raising copyright concerns.  Is a search engine cache fair use?  I'll tell you, I've often considered linking to Google's cache when I find interesting content I know will drift behind a paywall.

John Robb left Userland Software, then abandoned his blog.  Mark Pilgrim marks the moment.

This is kind of cool - the "pirate keyboard".  The pro edition has a "belay" button as well :)

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