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Saturday,  12/19/09  10:21 AM

Good morning!  Yes, it is a good morning, although it began (before coffee) with a demonstration why Shih-Tzus are so named...  It is cold and windy, football is on and Tivoed, Par-tays are taking place, and people are being all Christmaslike.  Frantically shopping.  Being friendly and neighborly.  Traveling home for Christmas.  Etc.  And I am contemplating a relatively unscheduled weekend, what shall I do with it?  Perhaps I shall blog!

Ole Reads I:  I am not a fan of opera, but I am a huge fan of Alex Ross, the New Yorker's opera critic, who writes so well and makes opera sound so interesting, I hang onto every word.  His review of Tosca, at the Met, ends thusly: "From the crackling first bars of the prelude, you knew that this would be no ordinary night at the opera.  A hundred minutes later, the last harsh chord sounded, a stunned audience burst into a prolonged ovation, and it seemed as though the grand old Met had been the scene of a revolution."  Doesn't that make you wish you were there? 

Ole Reads II:  I am not often moved to tears, but The Games of Their Lives, a story by Jon Wertheim in Sports Illustrated about swimmer Marin Morrison and sailor Nick Scandone, really hit me.  Both amateur athletes, they were each struck by debilitating and ultimately fatal diseases (Marin, brain cancer, and Nick, ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]), and each competed in the 2008 paralymic games.  Wow, what a story. 

Ole Reads III:  I loved a little vignette Critic's Notebook in the New Yorker about Gladys Glover, a lonely young woman who becomes famous by putting her name on a huge billboard in Columbus Circle.  Yes it is just a story, from the 1954 comedy It Could Happen to You, but what an amazing concept.  I am tempted to do this myself (just kidding).  Last year's Wired cover of Julia Allison is brought strongly to mind. 

May I note, parenthetically, that I love the name Gladys, it reminds me of another name I love, Hermione, in that you have this surprised reaction when you realize it sounds so much nicer than it looks.  Second order note: I liked "Hermione" long before Emma Watson was cast in Harry Potter, but she hasn't changed that I like it :) 

From my friend Gary, after reading CNet's list of the decade's ten biggest tech flops and realizing that he'd owned most of them: "the beauty of being an early adopter is that you start to live the way everyone else will live a few years before everyone else does."  I love it, back to the future! 

Speaking of living the way everyone else will, this morning I side-graded to Google Chrome Beta, and happily installed AdBlock and IETab, the two Firefox extensions which I absolutely cannot live without.  (Well okay I also love Firebug, but Chrome has its own developer tools...)  I am strongly considering switching my default browser to Chrome.  In fact, I just did.  I think I heard a peal of thunder... 

Speaking of the decade's ten biggest flops, Slashdotters discuss Has a decade of .NET delivered on Microsoft's promises?  I'm not sure what Microsoft promised, I was confused at the time (and still am) by what .NET was supposed to be.  Perhaps as a business initiative .NET was successful; it is hard to say how things would have gone if .NET hadn't ever been.  Perhaps it opened the door for Macs' resurgence, or smartphones, or the rise of web apps, but perhaps those things would have happened anyway.  As a software development technology .NET has failed miserably, my company Aperio stays away from it as much as possible.  

Humorous aside: how various OSes are viewed by OS fanboys

Wow, Yahoo! Cycling Team to launch in 2010.  "An online survey targeted at Silicon Valley Professionals revealed that an astonishing 50 percent are cycling enthusiasts and follow the local scene.  The results were presented to the Yahoo! Management, the internet services company which operates the third most-visited website in the world, and prompted it to come onboard as the main partner to launch America's newest team in 2010: Yahoo! Cycling Team."  To this I can only say, Yahoo! 

Browser Pong.  Yes, you must play this, and yes, you must join me in saluting its awesomeness!  Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you realize “it all” is so much more than you thought :)  

Okay I have to say, Chrome opens a link in a new window faster than Firefox.  I'm a huge Firefox fan, but I open links all day long, and for browsers speed kills.  A particularly brutal comparison was playing browser pong (!); Chrome just kills Firefox at stuff like this, because it multiprocesses instead of multitasks. 

People forget that the main reason that IE 4 took over from Netscape 4 was because it was faster.  Windows 95 shipped with IE 2, which was the piece of crap of the world.  Then came IE 3, the infamous "AOL browser", which was not only a piece of crap, it was an incompatible piece of crap, but because AOL used it you had to support it.  At that time Netscape was king.  Then in 1997 we got IE 4, the heavens parted, and angels sang.  It not only supported DHTML, it was faster.  And Netscape was history.

But I digress, what I meant to say was: Chrome is now my default browser.  BONG.