Critical Section

Sunday,  01/04/04  11:14 PM

Great football today, eh?  The Green Bay win in OT against Seattle was a classic!  And the Sugar Bowl was a great game.  I was rooting for LSU, because of Oklahoma's disasterous loss against Kansas State, and so now we have a split NCAA championship; USC wins the AP poll on the strength of their victory in the Rose Bowl against Michigan, and LSU wins the coaches poll by winning the BCS.  So be it.

Spirit - Mars' surfaceMars rover Spirit continues to do well, and wakes up to a new day.  I love the coverage of the Mars missions in the blogosphere; there is so much good stuff out there.  Like Susan Kitchens' blog, and the raw images on the JPL website...

Paul Graham on What You Can't Say.  A great discussion about the fashions in forbidden thoughts.  "To see fashion in your own time, though, requires a conscious effort...  How can you see the wave, when you're the water?"  Great stuff.

Scott Raymond thinks BitTorrent + RSS = Tivo.  "Gillmor's vision is upside down: we shouldn't use BitTorrent to carry RSS, we should use RSS to carry BitTorrent.  The beauty is that this synergy can so easily be realized.  You can start publishing RSS feeds of BT files today: just point to a .torrent file in the element."  Fascinating.  I wonder what Adam Curry will make of this; it seems to have the benefit of RSS enclosures without the server-side overhead.  [ via Matt Haughey, who comments "Of course, the legal issues around this type of technology would kind of make it impossible to do for very long, but it's perhaps a glimpse into the future of where entertainment could be going." ]

[ Later: Slightly different formulation from Scott and Matt.  The <enclosure> of RSS items could be the URL of a .torrent file.  That way enclosure-aware aggregators can retrieve the media - with BitTorrent - before you "read" the item.  BT makes it more efficient to download a big media file, but it still takes time.  The difference is putting the .torrent in the <link> makes downloading discretionary (you click the link if you want the file), putting it in the <enclosure> makes it "free". :) ]

Interesting article in the Seattle Times about cheap consumer electronics, like $40 DVD players.  Explains how they can be so inexpensive (they're made overseas from commodity components) and the drawbacks (less features, low reliability, can't be repaired).  Overall it is amazing.  For one thing, every DVD and CD drive contains a laser, thirty years ago any laser was a major, expensive piece of electronics.

Of course, now they're pet toys :)

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