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Thursday,  01/24/08  10:54 PM

I'm baaack!  No worries, I was just traveling...  I must tell you we are having serious rain out here.  As in water from the sky, day after day.  I believe it is a good thing in that we need the water, and also I find it pleasant and relaxing.  Tonight I did a ride in the rain from Carlsbad up to Camp Pendleton, and it was great; the sound of rain on the ocean is amazing.

So an interesting thing has happened; my blog traffic has increased significantly, and I blame Google Image Search.  See, with Google Image Search people easily can find pictures on a variety of subjects, and sometimes the pictures they find are in one of my blog posts.  So far, so good; enjoy my pictures!  And sometimes they link to the post containing the picture, so far, so better; enjoy my blog posts!  But sometimes they link to the picture only, so far, not good; I don't mind if you enjoy my pictures, but I don't necessarily want to host them for you.  Make a copy and host it yourself. 

Okay so this has been going on for a while - exacerbated more recently by the ascendancy of MySpace and Facebook, which make "hotlinking" really easy - and a while ago I implemented a mechanism to discourage it.  With this in place, hotlinkers would see a little Critical Section logo instead of the linked-to image.  I don't know if this really worked - I still got a lot of hotlinking - but maybe it did.

So more recently I changed the hotlink mechanism slightly; as before hotlinkers see a little Critical Section logo, but I added the URL of the blog; w-uh.com.  Poof!  So now anyone who visits a hotlinker's site will see this, and probably wonder what it is, and probably visit w-uh.com.  Hopefully they find it interesting and return later, but if not so be it, at least they had a chance to see it.  Basically this image serves as an ad for my blog, hosted by all the hotlinkers out there.  Pretty cool.

Okay, with that let's see what's going on "out there"... 

Dave Winer: what woke me up about the Clintons.  I know exactly what he means; I've joined the ABC camp (Anyone But Clinton).  I was talking to my Mom about this earlier tonight; I don't really hate Hillary, exactly, but I definitely don't want her and Bill back in the White House.  Barack Obama, John McCain, whomever would be better.  The backslash is real. 

Meanwhile, Geert Wilders Wakes Up the Netherlands.  Good thing, too, they're sound asleep over there.  Just the fact that everyone is so worried about broadcasting a film critical of Muslims shows how bad things have become; whatever happened to free speech?  You can say whatever you want, as long as you don't criticize those who can't take criticism, apparently. 

So Meg Whitman is leaving eBay, after ten successful years.  Check out TechCrunch's exit interview with her.  "Q: If you had to pick one thing you did over the past decade, what was your best move?  Meg Whitman: ... For me, the international expansion of eBay was the best idea. We are now in 35 countries, and have a huge global network. The second best one was the acquisition of PayPal—the wallet on eBay."  As successful as PayPal has been inside eBay, the original ambition was even larger; at one time the motto was PayPal: A New World Currency.  In addition to spawning a successful business, it also spawned many successful entrepreneurs, aka The PayPal Mafia

I love the Macalope, check out the Macbook Air Attack.  "... this gem from PC World's Mike Barton: MacBook Air Amiss: Time to License Mac OS X?  Good question!  Like 'I Have Stubbed My Toe And Find It Painful: Time to Commit Suicide?'"  The analysts' uneducated attempts to find fault with the Airbook have been totally over the top.  [ via Daring Fireball

Hey, iPhone / iPod Touch release 1.1.3 has been jailbroken!  Cool.  A new toy for my new toy

I find it amazing that there's a whole development ecosystem which has grown up around this "closed" system.  People are actually writing serious applications which are useful, not just cool.  For example I have an HP 16C emulator for my iPod Touch which is great.  (The HP 16C is of course the world's greatest programmer's calculator, despite not having been sold for ten years.)

This is awesome! - non-dripping wine decanters.  What will they think of next? 

Mark Pilgrim is truly one of my favorite bloggers; check out his Microsoft koan.  "Said the monk: If you give me non-standard markup, I will render it according to standards.  If you give me standard markup, I will not render it according to standards.  What do you do?"  (A Zen koan is a little poem which "breaks the mind of logic".  Truly Microsoft products are Zen-like in their inscrutable design choices.) 

With Vista a declared failure, an interesting meme of the moment is Windows 7, the next Windows OS, which is now being rumored for 2009.  (Ars Technica: Windows 7 in 2009? Be careful what you wish for.)  So I'm not wishing for Windows 7 - I just want XP with better paging - but what makes anyone think Windows 7 wouldn't be as bad or worse than Vista?  I will say the longer it takes, the crappier it will be... 

Popular Mechanics: Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo.  See also this Q&A with Burt Rutan, SS2's designer.  "Q. What will SpaceShipTwo look like?  Rutan: I think the public will be surprised at how large it is.  We are building 11-place commuter airliners.  If you're going to send somebody to a resort hotel in orbit, it's okay to cramp him into something small with a little window.  Because when he gets there he has this big spacious hotel, and he gets his view and his weightless experience.  But with suborbital spaceflight, your destination has to be your transfer van.  We believe the people - and there will be large numbers of them at the cost at which this can be done - they'll want to float around and look out of large windows facing all directions."  I wonder if SpaceShipSeventeen will end up taking me to Titan