Critical Section


Tuesday,  08/12/03  08:37 AM

Arnold vs GrayThe Economist: Running Man.  Okay, I admit it, I'm infatuated with Arnold running for Governor.  No, he won't be able to erase all our problems with a rail gun.  But as an agent of change, he is appealing.

Dave Winer thinks blogs are going to be a big part of the 2004 election.  I think he's right.  Few people read blogs, and fewer write them, but they make up a disproportionate number of the nation's "thought leaders".  Just ask Trent Lott :)

Doc Searles blogs about "the third wing".  "I think there's a middle wing that doesn't see much play in the press, though it's all over the blogosphere.  It doesn't think of itself as libertarian, although that's basically what it is...  I think the candidate that captures the sympathy of that third wing will win in 2004."  Doc has his finger on the pulse better than most, I think he's right.  The strange thing about U.S. politics is that frequently a candidate has to move away from the center to win their party's primary, but move back to the middle to win the general election.

This is important - and good - a federal judge has ruled that two universities do not have to comply with subpoenas requesting that they hand over the identities of students who could be illegally sharing music online.  Emphasis on "could be".  In the RIAA's zeal to prosecute, they are neglecting due process in a shameful way.

AOL Time Warner is apparently considering dropping the "AOL" from their name.  Wow.  And to think only three years ago, it seemed perhaps they would drop the "Time Warner" part...

This is just terrible.  CNET: Online gamblers sue their creditorsAnyone doubt that the civil tort system in the U.S. is a shambles?  These people incur a debt, and then blame their creditors for causing it.  This totally raises my blood pressure.  It is so ridiculous but so possible, and fueled by greedy lawyers who only want a percentage of the take.  The sad thing is that from a financial standpoint many targets of such lawsuits are better off settling, even if the suits have no intrinsic merit.

Google is a great search engine.  One thing about it; everyone gets the same results.  So if I'm a pilot and I enter "wing" as part of a search, I'm going to get chicken recipes.  If I'm a chef and I enter "wing", I'm going to get airplane engineering results.  And this will happen every time; Google learns, but it doesn't learn about me.  A new startup called Kaltix wants to out-Google Google by personalizing search results.  Who knows, it might work!

Did you know Google has a built-in calculator?  Cool, eh?  [ via Dave Winer ]

the wooden mirrorWant to see something really cool?  Check out the wooden mirror.  "The wooden mirror has 830 pieces of wood each about 40 mm square arranged into an octagon of 35 x 29.  Each piece of wood is connected to a servo motor that can tilt it about 30º up and down.  The whole piece is lit from above with a few spot lights, in a way that when the pieces are tilted upwards they become brighter, and when they tilt downwards they become darker."  Amazing.

New Scientist: Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne has taken a crucial step towards becoming the first privately funded mission to carry a crew into space by completing its first solo test flight.  His company Scaled Composites is competing for the $10M X-Prize...

traffic!



A few days ago Philip Greenspun posted about Bay Area traffic: "Hell is Other People".  I added a comment about my caravan idea, and there's been a lively discussion in the comment thread, including a fascinating analysis of traffic waves.  Excellent!  

Adam Curry: To collect and to serve.  He thinks RSS aggregators should be used to time-shift big payloads like movies.  A very interesting idea.  Adam is definitely a thought leader in uses of technology for media...  I need to think about this.

Treo 600Handspring keeps sending me emails about the Treo 600, which isn't available yet, and won't be until "fall".  Now that's unreasonable torture, don't you think?

Wired: Luxury Loo, the Seat also Rises.  "Steve Marshall vividly remembers the night he was terrorized by a toilet."  Yeah, I guess I would, too.

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