Critical Section


ski report

Sunday,  02/19/06  03:51 PM

Apple Airport ExtremeSo, we're skiing!  And having an excellent time, too.  I couldn't be prouder of Alex and Megan, they're skiing like they were born to it.  (Actually to be technically accurate Alex is snowboarding, not to be confused with skiing; much cooler, apparently :)  So I'm in a condo at Mammoth, and only have dial-up to a local ISP, but of course I brought my trusty Apple WiFi hub and therefore we are all on WiFi here, sharing the 48K dialup.  And surprisingly it doesn't suck.  Not as fast as DSL, of course, but I've had worse.  Anyway, the blogosphere didn't hit pause just because I left town, so let's see what's happening...

Levi Leipheimer wins the Tour of California prologueThe Tour [of California] started today, and Levi Leipheimer took the prologue.  This doesn't surprise me in the least.  Ever since he beat Jan Ullrich in the Tour of Germany, he's been my pick for this year's Tour [de France].  Tomorrow is a sprint.

Apple - snowboardersGizmodo notes Apple's free Olympic publicity.  "Though Apple doesn’t specifically target athletes, Olympians from figure skater Kimmie Meissner to snowboarder Shaun White have been spotted using Apple’s little music device during their runs.  Burton Snowboards even designed outfits for the athletes to wear that have pockets designed especially for the iPod."  Pretty cool.  I was pleased to read that Shaun White listens to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC.  I guess that music still has the power it had for me when I was 19!  Overall if there is one result of these Winter Games for me, it has been to make X-game sports like Snowboarding seem more "legit".

Shani Davis wins goldLet's hear it for Shani Davis!  Not because he's black - so what - but because he won gold in speed skating for the U.S.!  I guess he made the right decision to skip the pursuit, he concentrated on his event, and won.  Excellent.  [ via Horse's Mouth, who very properly asks "Bryant would you like a glass of whiskey with that crow?" ]

Guy Kawasaki: How to suck up to a blogger.  "Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head.  It used to be that ink begat buzz...  Nowadays buzz begets ink.  Journalists no longer anticipate or create buzz--rather, they react to it."  [ via Dave Winer, who notes of Guy "He knew how to blog before he knew he knew" ]

If you're in the market for a new car or just want an entertaining read, check out Confessions of a Car Salesman.  If you're in a hurry, start at Part 9 - the concepts and recommendations.  Pretty useful stuff.  Not surprising, but it verifies all the stereotypes you've heard.  Yes, car salespeople can be pond scum.  And it also reveals that there are honest car salespeople out there who try to figure out what you want in a car (gasp!) and sell you a car that gives it to you (double gasp!).

This is what we do at Aperio - we call it solution selling - and it has two incredible benefits; first, the customer is happy (because they get what they want) and second, the salesperson is happy, because they don't have to lie and so on, they just have to ask a bunch of questions to understand the customer.  Seems simple but apparently it isn't.

Tim Bray on PHP.  "So here’s my problem, based on my limited experience with PHP: all the PHP code I’ve seen in that experience has been messy, unmaintainable crap.  Spaghetti SQL wrapped in spaghetti PHP wrapped in spaghetti HTML, replicated in slightly-varying form in dozens of places."  I have the same problem, and I have it with every web scripting language; whether it be PHP, Perl, ASP, or KSH.  There is no separation of data encapsulation from business logic, and no separation of logic from presentation.  You can force this - with stored procedures, templates, etc. - but the language doesn't, which can lead easily to kludging.  Yet having said that, it is productive, it runs rather well, and it is designed for web interactions and database access.  Tim has appended a "virtual comment section" with emails he's received.  A great discussion.

Scott Loftesness asks What's your favorite Mac stuff?  Then he answers the questions with a good list of his favorite Mac stuff.

I wonder what Scott thinks of prosper.com, a new site trying to be "eBay for money".  The NYTimes reports its Like lending to a friend, except you'll get interest.  "Prosper's users lend money to and borrow money from other people on the site at what the company says are better interest rates than those available through traditional financial institutions and without some of the risk that comes from typical person-to-person loans."  Quite an interesting concept.

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