Weighed down with nostalgia today; fixed a bug in my online picture gallery, and spent time looking at old pictures... really old pictures, like 10 years ago... fun, and yet sad. It all seems so long ago. (Pre blogging even :) Wow. 1999 was a year of great promise and expectation, the Internet boom was ON and we were living in Los Altos, right in the middle of it. Now it feels sort of like the 49er gold rush, something from ancient history, something you tell your grandkids about.
Today I almost heated our pool. My daughter's birthday is May 6, and a backyard birthday party is the usual reason to start heating it... but the day was so nice, I almost did it today. Almost. Then I remembered how cold it gets at night, and I imagined my little pool trying to heat the neighborhood all by itself.
When I read about Google's O3D plugin of course I had to try it, so I did. Total dancing bear. Yeah, it is cool that it works, but it is so slow that it cannot be called useful. 3D visualization holds great promise, but either the technology isn't ready yet or this implementation isn't at the leading edge. I don't have the world's fastest computer but this sort of thing has to work on "everyday" equipment to have a chance of reading critical adoption.
If you're thinking you need a new computer, forward this on: Study: not replacing laptops can be very costly. "The use of outdated equipment also costs a company about $9,600 per laptop user in lost worker productivity over the two-year period, the study concluded." However, users with old laptops won't waste time playing with O3D :)
I thought this was pretty cool: Kaiser Permanente offers up medical records on a USB drive. "The read-only drive, designed for use while a person is traveling or during a health emergency, is a sort of stopgap effort as the U.S. works to build a national electronic health records system that can provide easy access to patient health information anywhere." I'm a big fan of online health records as you know, but somehow a thumb drive feels like it would be more easily accepted than an online record on some website. It will be interesting to see how well this works compared to Mayo's implementation of Microsoft Health Vault.
Some first impressions of Wolfram Alpha, a new search engine designer to return information rather than links to results. An interesting concept, but I wonder whether it will really work. I noted this: "Most of the data is curated". Hmmm... does not sound scalable.
So, what do you think about this? Is Bio-Bak a cool web design, or what? (I must tell you these all-Flash interfaces are not necessarily my favorite, but some work better than others, and this one is pretty, er, interesting...)
Talk about bad timing: A novel idea: The machine that can print any book for you in minutes. Just in time for Kindle etc. to make books obsolete. Anyone working on new physical distribution for information is in the wrong business...
Ted Dziuba celebrates the birth of his daughter (really): Will Oracle kill MySQL? Who cares? "As an open source project, MySQL is already a dinosaur... In fact, it is in Oracle's best interest to keep MySQL moving at a glacial pace... MySQL's performance on a multi-core machine is embarrassing, whereas a database like Oracle really shines on big iron." This sounds right to me, and is a reason I hadn't considered why Oracle bought Sun.
iPod killer? Dave Winer thinks Sony got it right. 4GB MP3 player for $80. But... it ain't an iPod. And it doesn't have the iTunes store behind it...
So be it, another day's useless days energy spent. Cold hearted orb, that rules the night. Removes the colors from our sight. And we decide which is right. And which is ... an illusion.