Critical Section


Thursday,  08/04/05  11:13 PM

The Ole filter makes a pass...

NCSA Mosaic logo - January 1994CNN published an interesting survey: The Internet Transforms Modern Life.  Indeed.  The thing I like best about it is the screen shot of NCSA Mosaic, the forerunner of all modern browsers, dating from January of 1994.  I ran that very version, I think; I sure recognized the logo.  Unbelievable how much things have changed; I'm guessing very few people had even heard of the Internet in 1994.

Julian Beever - pavement art!Julian Beever is a pavement artist.  Kind of like Lance Armstrong is a bike rider.  Wow.  These drawings absolutely look three-dimensional.  [ Thanks, Justin ]

The Economist reports London pips Paris at the finish line, regarding the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.  "In one of the closest contests in the history of the modern Olympics, London has been chosen to host the 2012 games, edging out Paris in the final round of voting. After Athens’s soaring costs and its struggles to get the venues ready in time for the 2004 games, should Londoners really be celebrating?"  The economics of these huge events is fascinating and complicated.  That there is a business case for them at all equally so.  Personally I'm glad because they're fun, even if they're not profitable.

This is pretty interesting: Macworld reports Apple making big inroads in business with OS X.  "The report found that 17 percent of businesses with 250 employees or more were running Mac OS X on their desktop computers.  Twenty-one percent of businesses that had 10,000 or more employees used Mac OS X on their desktop."  Those numbers seem really high.  I wonder if I even believe them?  But I do believe the trend.

Ottmar Liebert reviews Wired's The Digital Devolution.  "Great article in Wired about music and sound.  Simple, this is what democracy does.  The brilliant and benevolent despot will always reach greater heights, but then people have to suffer through generations of not brilliant and not benevolent despots...  Come to think of it...not a great article in Wired, merely interesting, and probably written by somebody old enough to have fond memories of the olden days..."  I love it.  Where but on a blog would you read that?

BTW, OL's Winter Rose album will be released October 11th.  Mark your calendar.

blue whale - thar she blows!blue whale - this is not a flukeCybele goes out to sea - and sees blue whales!  And takes pictures!  Awesome!!  Whales are just wonderful, aren't they?

See also "The Man"'s gallery...

(My family and I spent a week at Orcas Island, and yes, we went whale watching and yes, we saw whales.  Man was that cool.  And yes, we took pictures.  Stay tuned...)

Joel Spolsky hits a high note.  "The real trouble with using a lot of mediocre programmers instead of a couple of good ones is that no matter how long they work, they never produce something as good as what the great programmers can produce."  I was getting worried about Joel, seemed like he was too busy extolling the virtues of .NET to write anything good anymore.  (But I understood because .NET is very time consuming to understand, let alone write about :)  Anyway I agree with this piece and like it a lot, and find it completely 100% IN CONFLICT with Joel’s apparent liking for .NET.  I link, you decide.

Paul Graham, like Joel, bats disgustingly close to 1.000; he ponders what business can learn from open source.  He makes some great points, but I didn't think it was as insightful as some of his missives.  It defies easy synopsis, please read it for yourself.

Apple's Mighty MouseI like the new Mighty Mouse, looks cool.
I think I need one for icebaby :)
But...why does it have a tail.  Should be wireless, eh?

Yahoo listed the top ten movie lines of all time.  [ via Halley ]  They have a good list, but they missed the best ones:

  • "You can't handle the truth."  (A few good men)  How could you leave this one out?

  • "You had me at hello."  (Jerry McGuire)  My favorite.  What can I say, this is just a great line.

  • "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."  (When Harry met Sally)  Shirley's favorite.  Deep, but hard to remember exactly.

Finally, today's new buzzword is Yak Shaving:

Any seemingly pointless activity which is actually necessary to solve a problem which solves a problem which, several levels of recursion later, solves the real problem you’re working on.

So that’s what it’s called.  I always thought it was called “programming” :-)

P.S. Apparently the nerd usage of this term dates from the MIT AI Lab, after a Ren and Stimpy episode, but I like this etymology better.
P.P.S. And then of course there is the Yak Shaving Razor.

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