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greetings from Amsterdam

Friday,  05/09/08  01:07 PM

Hello all - this post is coming to you from sunny Amsterdam, where I find myself on a combination of family visiting and business.  It is now about 10:00PM here - I arrived this afternoon in fine style after an uneventful and comfortable flight (KLM are really good).  The weather is fantastic; I used my rusty Dutch to rent a bike (!) and toured the canals downtown, then took off into the countryside North of the city called Waterland.  Finished up with a nice Entrecôte accompanied by excellent Rijoa.  And now I am ready to [try to] sleep.  But first, a quick pass of the blogosphere...

Holland is the most cycle friendly country on Earth; everyone rides, there are bike paths everywhere, and cars are unfailingly polite to cyclists.  I don't know how it all got started (some say it was gas rationing during WWII), but now that it has, it is a good thing.  You've got to love these Dutch girls with their long legs; they don't think anything of riding a bike to a club wearing a dress and heels!  One of the many pleasures of Amsterdam... 

I've been thinking about the ghost bike idea - I've realized the main effect of a ghost bike memorial is on cars, rather than bikes.  People who drive by a bike memorial every day will take notice and possibly be more careful.  In this way a memorial to a bike accident victim could prevent more accidents, which would be a great result.  So I am now for ghost bikes; they may be spooky, but if they increase awareness of bikes on the part of cars, they're a good thing. 

This Saturday the Giro d'Italia begins, and with the last-minute inclusion of Team Astana (Contador, Leipheimer, Kloden, and company) this is the BIG race of the year.  Especially watch out for Dennis Menchov, last year's Vuelta winner, who is/was gunning for the Tour but realizes with this field this is the race to win. 

Leigh Himel wonders Have we Crossed the Chasm?  It's kind of a non-question, because "we" don't cross it; according to Geoffrey Moore it is a transition each technology goes through in market adoption.  Leigh asks "when it comes to technology", like there's one thing called "technology", but clearly that's wrong.  Different new technologies find their market adoption separately over time as they go through these stages, and it will ever be so...  Still I like the post for this nice diagram :) 

Scott Adams ponders The Economics Party.  "I decided to start my own political party. I call it the Economics Party. There’s no paperwork involved, and you don’t even have to stop being a Democrat or Republican or whatever to join. The Economics Party won’t have its own candidates. All we’ll do is agree to vote for the candidate with the best long term economic policy, according to the consensus of leading economists."  I love it.  Of course this is a sort of electoral college; we're delegating our votes to "economists", on the theory that they know better than we do.  And perhaps they do :) 

Instapundit links Obama's Support Similar to Kerry's in 2004.  I don't know why it wouldn't be; although Obama is a much more appealing candidate, his liberal voting record suggests similar positions on many issues to Kerry's.  Unfortunately in 2004 this meant he could win the nomination, but not the election, and it may mean the same in 2008. 

So, have you signed the Save XP petition?  I think it is in everyone's best interest to do so; if you're an XP user who hasn't yet "downgraded" to Vista, you don't want to have to, and if you're a Vista user who has, you want to put pressure on Microsoft to make sure their next version of Windows isn't a step backward.  Apparently about 200,000 people have signed the petition, but while Microsoft has made some noises to indicate they might extend the life of XP, so far there has been no change in the official position... 

For an interesting perspective on why this is important, check out Ars Technica's three part series: From Win32 to Cocoa, a Window user's conversion to Mac OS X.  There is some great background on why and how Windows squandered its technical lead, as well as good information for would-be Mac OS X developers.  Part II features a section called Vista, Schmista, which accurately summarizes the failed promise of Vista. 

Finally, this lightbulb has burned continuously for 107 years.  Now that's amazing.