Critical Section


Monday,  10/19/09  06:31 PM

Another long week ahead; Thursday and Friday I'm attending and presenting before an FDA hearing on digital pathology.  It was fun just hanging out and relaxing yesterday, and today it was kind of back to normal work which was fun (even got in some coding...).  Still this might be the last post until the weekend, so savor it!

FuturePundit asks Does the tragedy of the commons apply to reproduction?  You bet your ass it does.  This is the whole problem behind Unnatural Selection.  His discussion is sound but he misses something important; in the reproduction game of life, "profit" is measured by the number of genes that make it into the next generation...

Eric Gagne - Welcome to the Jungle - Mariano Rivera - Enter SandmanWatching Saturday's Angel game against the Yankees, I was struck once again by the skill of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver on Fox; I love Vin Scully, but they might be the best announcing tandem on TV.  In the fifth inning Tim repeatedly called Burnett's pitches before he made them, and even predicted which ones would work and which ones wouldn't.  It was pretty amazing.

Watching the Dodgers against the Phillies, I have to sadly conclude they are not going to win this series.  It's not just that they got blown out, they just don't seem to have "it", whatever it is...

Another baseball note: I used to think Eric Gagne had the best reliever entry song, back when he was with the Dodgers they'd play Guns 'n' Roses' Welcome to the Jungle when he came into the game, but I have to give the award to Mariano Rivera, for whom they play Metallica's Enter Sandman.  Which is perfect.  Enter night, exit light :)

high resolution picture of sand dunes on MarsCheck out this incredible picture of sand dunes on Mars.  Wow.  That's just about all I can say, the resolution is amazing.  [ thanks, Chris ]

Congratulations to TidBITS!  On their 1,000th issue...  wow, that's amazing.  I can remember getting TidBITS as a text email way back when I had a Mac SE.  Come to think of it, I *still* have that Mac SE, and I'm still getting TidBITS.  Anyway congratulations to Adam and Tonya and their staff.

giant flux ribbon at edge of solar systemWow, who ordered that?*  A giant ribbon discovered at the edge of the solar system.  "Although the ribbon looks bright in the IBEX map, it does not glow in any conventional sense.  The ribbon is not a source of light, but rather a source of particles--energetic neutral atoms or ENAs."  Any structure at all on this scale is spooky, and hard to explain...

* as famously uttered by physicist I.I.Rabi when the muon was discovered.

MachinariumI haven't played an "adventure" game for a long time, not since Myst Revelation I think, but after reading Ars Technica's review of Machinarium I bought and downloaded it on the spot.  It just looks so cool.  Anyway, like I have time to play a game, but stay tuned; I am looking forward to it :)

BTW this is another instance of the "instant gratification" effect; buying a game online and downloading it vs ordering the DVD.

Motorola Druid smartphoneBoy Genius heralds the arrival of Motorola's Druid, the Android-based smartphone which is poised to make a big splash on Verizon.  It looks really cool I must say; for one thing, it has a real keyboard.  It will compete squarely against the iPhone and the Pre.

TSA comic - is that a bomb in your pocket?A delightful TSA comic, courtesy of Adam Curry.  Nobody who flies doesn't think the TSA's security procedures are a joke.  I had an expired driver's license in my pocket for six months, and they never noticed.

John Gruber discusses the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app, which is causing a stir because it costs $50.  "I haven’t bought it, but I’m glad they’ve set the price high.  There’s widespread consensus that the current race-to-the-bottom in App Store pricing discourages the development of deep, significant applications.  If all anyone is buying are quick-hit apps, then all anyone will make are quick-hit apps.  We can’t have it both ways, folks."  It certainly warms the cockles of would-be-developers' hearts... like mine :)

Fake Steve on Microsoft: Why the Borg's copycat business model no longer works.  "How is it that everything about Microsoft's business is backward looking?  This is the real problem they have now.  They're fighting wars that are already over.  They're investing huge energy into defending things they already control, like Windows."  It is amazing how they've become technically irrelevant, and so quickly.

This is interesting: Microsoft moving Visual Studio toward the cloud.  There is no application I can think of less likely to work well as a web application as a development IDE.  I will be watching this with great interest... and skepticism.

[ Update: at first I thought this meant VS itself was becoming a web app, but upon rereading I realize VS is being enhanced to support development of web apps, which makes a lot more sense. ]

ZooBorn: world's smallest rabbitAnd the ZooBorn of the weekend is...  the world's smallest rabbit.  OMG.

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