Critical Section

Friday,  02/15/08  07:20 AM

Valentine's chocolateYes, I did have a nice Valentine's Day, thanks for asking.  Shirley made a fantastic dinner (filet on puff pastry with Fois Gras) which we enjoyed with a '94 Mayacamus Cabernet, and then we had some delicious Sauternes (with chocolate) while re-watching Hitch.  I hope yours was as nice.

Meanwhile, it's all happening...

Henry Waxman swears off earmarks.  "'We have a problem in Congress,' Waxman said. 'Congressional spending through earmarks is out of control.'"  Good for him.  He's the congressman for the district adjacent to mine, and generally a good guy.

Cycling news has a nice preview of the Tour of California which starts tomorrow.  Go Levi!

There is ongoing fallout from ASO's decision not to invite Astana to race in the Tour de France; you can read more here.  I am beginning to think this decision wasn't as political as I thought; they are really scared of having another scandal.  Two years ago Floyd Landis won, then was disqualified later for doping (a finding I still dispute), and then last year Michael Rasmussen was pulled while leading, and many other riders were disqualified during the Tour.  I guess they felt they had to do something to show they were serious.

The whole Second Life experiment in building a society is pretty interesting.  They began 100% libertarian, but it seems more and more regulation is being imposed, to combat various tragedies of commons.  "Does this mean the Lindens are rejecting libertarianism as a failed experiment? Maybe. Just as likely, they're doing this mainly in preparation for the time when the Second Life servers will be open sourced. That's when the libertarians will move their unregulated banks, controversial sex, and other banned content to adjoining nations."  I look forward to the Darwinian competition between worlds :)

Meanwhile in First Life (the real world), Rowan Williams has shown us why multiculturism must be abandoned.  I fully agree.  Its starts out sounding good, but by the time you end up with separate schools, separate courts, and separate laws, it breaks down completely.  Kind of like the situation in Second Life, but with actual pain and suffering.

Indiana JonesAre you ready for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?  I am!  [ via of all things, TechCrunch ]

TTAC: The insider's guide to speed enforcement, aka what to do when you're pulled over.  If you're me, knowing this is important :)

Philip Greenspun on Internet Software Patents.  "In the Internet software patents that I've looked at, a pattern has emerged. Someone takes a fairly standard business process and says 'I'm the first person ever to have done this with a computer' and patents it."  Repeat after me: patents are bad, copyrights are good.

I can see why they would do this, but yuk - Google toolbar hijacks 404 pages.  This is better than ISPs doing it, somehow, but it feels icky.  I don't use the Google toolbar anymore, and this kind of creepy nannyism is part of the reason (modern browsers have a built in search bar anyway, so you really don't need it).

BTW Firefox Beta 3 version 3 is out.  I've been using Beta 3 for a while, and it works great.  The only downside is that some plugins are incompatible, or say they are incompatible; you need another plugin to disable the compatibility checks :)

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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
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On the Persistence of Bad Design...
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almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
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introducing eyesFinder
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where are the desktop apps?