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week of October 12, redux

Sunday,  10/18/09  09:56 AM

WOW what a week.  Man.  I was on the go go go all week, including a board meeting Thursday, flying to Scottsdale on Friday for a day to attend the Academy of Health Sciences' CMO Forum (that was cool, must tell you), and riding the Solvang Autumn Double yesterday (barely made it, but I did, yay).

And so we have a lot to catch up on, pull up a chair, grab a cold one, and let's make a filter pass...

I mostly stay away from online video, and totally stay away from Pajamas' Media political videos, but this one caught my eye: Bill Whittle says throw the bums out.  "We already pay farmers not to farm.  Why can't we pay legislators not to legislate?"  [ via Instapundit

Obama's favorite words: Let me be clear.  Okay, okay; we'll let you.

Eliot Spitzer in Slate: How to stop the U.S. Commerce Department.  "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce - the self-proclaimed voice of business in Washington - has been wrong on virtually every major public-policy issue of the past decade: financial deregulation, tax and fiscal policy, global warming and environmental enforcement, consumer protection, health care reform …"  I completely agree with Spitzer.  His morals might be messed up, but his policies are dead-on.  

This TOTALLY PISSES ME OFF: Racism on campus.  "According to the data, not all races are considered equal in the college admissions game.  Of students applying to private colleges in 1997, African-American applicants with SAT scores of 1150 had the same chances of being accepted as white applicants with 1460s and Asian applicants with perfect 1600s."  This is so blatant it is unbelievable.  If we really want to end racism, this would be a great place to start; let's make college admissions colorblind

Meeting with the Bobs?  Gmail will now make sure you contact the right one :)  Not only a useful feature but the allusion to Office Space is excellent. 

While traveling Friday it occurred to me that within one year the Kindle has become de facto.  I take mine everywhere; it is "my book", and I'm always reading from it, but I don't even think about it as a cool thing anymore.  When I first got it all sorts of people asked me about it, and now they already know what it is and nobody says anything.  You see them all over the place.  Etc. etc.  After all these years and all the talk, Amazon has changed reading.  And it happened poof! just like that. 

Exactly the way the iPod changed listening to music.  Wow, what a decade of change!

Oh, and Apple has announced in-App purchasing from within free apps.  This is huge; it means a developer can give away a teaser app which leads to the purchase of the real one. 

With all the success of Apple's App Store, it is easy to forget there is a pretty sizeable "black market" of jailbroken iPhone apps out there, too.  Some of them do stuff you can only do from a jailbroken app, such as running in the background, and others are just "unacceptable" to Apple, for whatever reason.  (And in some cases, developers just find it easier to publish through Cydia than through Apple :)  Anyway I just installed 3.1.2 on my iPod Touch, and just re-jailbreaked using Blackra1n, and it was cool.  And BTW you do not need any technical expertise to do this; you run the application and 30 seconds later you are done. 

Superawesome: The Evolution of the International Space Station.  I've always made fun of the ISS, like, why did we do it, but this graphic makes clear why we did it; we had to learn how to build a big thing out of little things out in space.  Seeing this, you realize this is exactly how we're going to make really big things out there, and someday, we will make really big things out there :)  BTW yes it has now been eleven years since the ISS launched, and remember, it was put out there by Russia

As the Yankees make their way inexorably toward the World Series, Jockbeat asks "who's the real Mr. October?"  Reggie Jackson vs. Alex Rodriguez, in which we discover all it takes is one great game. 

Jeff Atwood on the state of solid state drives.  I am sure my next laptop is going to have a solid state drive, for speed if not for the low power drain.  The new technology for storage has arrived, finally.  In fact this is probably going to drive my purchase of a new laptop; my old one has an ATA interface, and all the SSD drives require SATA... 

This is by far the coolest folding bike I've ever seen; the first one cool enough that I'd consider riding it.  (Although no clue how well it rides, of course.)  Check out the way those wheels fold up! 

Gerard Vanderleun is the co-author of a new book about the Rolling Stones: Let it Bleed.  I've come late to the Stones as a big fan; I never didn't like them, but I didn't really think they were awesome until I saw Shine a Light

This is pretty funny: Cake Wrecks.  The picture at right shows what can happen if you leave a picture for the baker on a jump drive :) 

Picture of the week: whale circling a massive school of fish.  Wow. 

Rogers Cadenhead notes Readers have never paid for the news: "The real issue here is that online ads aren't generating the kind of revenue that other ads did for decades, so it's an extremely rough time for the industry.  But placing the blame on readers for being cheapskates is extremely misguided. We've always gotten the news at a price much lower than the cost of reporting it."  Just like Music and Books, this industry has been changed forever by technology, and there is no turning back the clock. 

Cory Doctorow provides a helpful checklist: why your idea to save journalism won't work.  #1 is "your plan fails to account for: reader's unwillingness to pay for just news". 

Oh, and here's another thing which is changing: Amazon introduces same day delivery.  Wow.  Same day.  One of the unappreciated reasons the iPod took over music and the Kindle is taking over books is the instant gratification.  If Amazon can do this with physical objects, they'll really have something. 

This is pretty cool (and pretty unique); Daring Fireball notes Sublime Text, a new text processor for Windows.  "A new Windows text editor with clever original features and a graceful UI.  Never thought I’d write those words.  I’m particularly intrigued by the 'minimap' - a zoomed-out view of the entire file.Almost makes me want to try it.  But...  why? 

The amazing Onion shoots, scores: God introduces new Bird.  "THE HEAVENS—In what is being described by advance marketing materials as 'the first divine creation in more than 6,000 years,' God Almighty, Our Lord Most High, introduced a brand-new species of bird into existence Monday."  I love it. 

ZooBorn of the week: a baby Oryx.  Awww...