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Tuesday,  08/05/08  10:51 PM

After yesterday's adjustment from doing nothing to working, today's adjustment from working [alone] to working [in meetings all day] was not too jarring, but still...  I'm ready for more beach time!  Man there is a lot to do - and they say August is a "dead" month.

Do you have Java installed?  Do you get periodic update notifications?  And have you noticed how completely absurd they are?  Somehow the engineers at Sun think people actually care about Java.  Hello?  Most people have no idea at all what it is, and don't care.  Applying an update with a whole installer with questions about configuration, etc., is just bizarre.  (Okay, so you have an update, just go ahead and install it, and leave me alone.)  Lately however they've reached a whole new level of absurdity, because the Java updater installs OpenOffice by default.  Talk about crapware!  If I want OpenOffice I'll get it myself, thank you.  I can only imagine someone like my Mom, having this whole office suite installed by the update.  It probably steals the MS Office file associations, too, so suddenly instead of getting Word or Excel, you get OpenOffice.  Blech. 

I'm linking this purely because their logo is so cute: Inhabitots.  "Sustainable design for the next generation."  Excellent. 

The other day I noted SpaceX executed their third launch, and suffered their third failure to reach orbit.  Wired posted a candid interview with SpaceX founder Elon Musk.  Elon comes across as honest and determined.  I especially like this: "Wired: How do you maintain your optimism?  Musk: Do I sound optimistic?  Wired: Yeah, you always do.  Musk: Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we're going to make it happen."  Exactly.  I believe they will make it happen. 

When I was growing up, my parents were friends with the Schmidts, that is, the Maarten Schmidts, the famous Caltech astronomer who discovered that Quasars were red-shifted stars which were really far away (3 billion light years) and moving really fast (1/6th the speed of light).  Wired recently revisited Aug 5, 1962, the date on which the first Quasar was discovered.  Time magazine memorialized Quasars and Schmidt on the fantastic cover shown at right.  Ah, those were the days, for astronomy and for the world... (and for Time!) 

Meanwhile Mars Express acquires sharpest images of Martian moon Phobos.  SpaceX' challenges highlight the extreme success enjoyed by JPL's unmanned satellites, in mission after mission.  Excellent! 

The NYTimes are sorting out coffee's contradictions.  First it turns out wine is pretty good for you, and now coffee, too?  All my vices are really virtues?  (I want a study on the health benefits of marzipan!) 

This is pretty interesting: LinkedIn, like Facebook, is allowing employees to sell vested private stock before they are public.  Both companies are worth a lot, of course, and neither has imminent plans to go public, so I guess this makes sense, at least from the employees' standpoint (it might make less sense from an investor standpoint).  I wonder if these are isolated incidents, or whether the lack of an IPO market will make this a more common occurrence? 

Popular Mechanics: the 10 best planes from the Oshcosh Air Show.  I want a personal jet just like the Cirrus SJ-50, shown at right.  That would be great... 

And here we have...  Calvin and Jobs.  I am not making this up - check it out, pretty great.