Critical Section

Friday,  05/20/05  10:45 PM

Sorry I was gone for a day.  Having exhibited an alarming tendency to stop posting, for weeks at a time, I know any lapse is automatically a possible harbinger of another gap.  You don't like to see an alcoholic reaching for that 1st glass of wine :)

Elroy JetsonYesterday I had the pleasure of reuniting with a group of ex-colleagues from my days at Intuit, aka "the Elroy team".  (All projects and products of this team were code-named after Jetson's characters.)  This group was actually a separate company half-owned by Intuit and half-owned by a consortium of VCs, charged with building "Web Quicken" in the wild dot-com days of 1998.  Ah, the stories that could be told...  Anyway it was really cool seeing everyone.  People really don't change.  And even the people you didn't particularly like at the time are wonderful to see seven years later :)

Bill Whittle has posted a new essay, Sanctuary, which means you have to read it.  Go ahead.

Jeff Jacoby: Why Islam is disrespected.  "Yes, Islam is disrespected.  That will only change when throngs of passionate Muslims show up for rallies against terrorism, and when rabble-rousers trying to gin up a riot over a defiled Koran can't get the time of day."  100% right.

The Economist reports on stem cell progress in South Korea. "Unlike many Americans, up to and including the president, Korean scientists - and the authorities that support them - do not wring their hands in agony about experimenting on tiny clusters of cells that might, in other circumstances, grow into people.  They just get on with it."  This is one of many areas where I totally disagree with President Bush.  Good thing California has a $3B stem cell initiative of our own - hopefully the Federal government will stay out of our way.  As if.

personal medical recordsEsther Dyson talks with innovators about Personal Health Records (link to page with movie).  "Is a complete electronic record of your medical history available to you or your doctors?  Chances are, it isn't.  At least not yet."  A key aspect of having a full online record for each patient is capturing Pathology information, which requires digitizing microscope slides.  Which requires a ScanScope!

Joel Spolsky: Wall Street survival 101.  "Never, ever, ever buy bonds at retail from a full-service broker.  Especially municipal bonds."  Okay.

Bittorrent goes "trackerless".  Wow, there goes the neighborhood, if it hadn't gone already.  I downloaded Star Wars Episode III last night, just to see if I could do it (I do want to see the movie in a theater, first).  There were so many seeds active the download only took about 45 minutes, for a 1.4GB file.  The MPAA is going to have a tough time putting this genie back in the bottle.

The popularity of "stuff" in a market area seems to follow a power-law distribution.  Clay Shirkey had done some interesting analysis of power laws, which Chris Anderson summarizes in a power-law primer.  "Powerlaw distributions occur where things are different, some are better than others, and network effects can work to promote the good and suppress the bad."  Like movies :)

Clive Thompson wonders: How ugly will you be in high-def?  Don't ask.

Robert X. Cringley follows up on his inflection point article with another, on creating the future.  I sure hope he's right about Apple's plans for an online video service.  How silly is it that the MPAA are fighting online distribution, instead of leading it?  I guess they didn't learn as much from the RIAA as we'd hoped...

Google's input line has so much power, it is basically a command-line interface to the web.  Jeff Atwood reviews Google-fu.  And since it is available as an HTTP interface, it is already available as a web service for any program which wants it.  The new OS?  Well, yeah, kind of...

kitten cannon - 451'Finally, here we have the Kitten cannon.  [ via Kehaar ]  I don't know that I should be proud or embarrassed that my record is 451'.



this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
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
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained