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week of 1/11/10, redux

Friday,  01/15/10  07:55 PM

Quite a nonstandard week; most of my colleagues were traveling all week for one reason or another, so I worked quietly at home - got quite a bit done, yay, and shipped a crucial fix - but today everyone was back and so I'm back too, in Vista, on a Friday.  And in fact I'm still there, because tomorrow *early* I'm riding the Stagecoach Century in Ocotillo, whew.  So I need sleep but first, a filter pass...

Victor Davis Hanson: Truths we dare not speak.  1) Illegal Immigration and California, 2) Iraq, 3) Affirmative Action, 4) The Ivy League is a Naked Emperor, and 5) The Middle East is a Fraud.  Wow.  Read the whole thing, as they say...  I find I not only agree with VDH often, but find he is thinking ahead of me. 

And questions we should ask: Why is Haiti so poor?

Transparency redefined: President Obama has not held a press conference since July 22.  No comment. 

From the LAT: Obama personally joins Massachusetts quake relief.  This is quite interesting, if Scott Brown wins - as is now appearing possible, if not likely - then Obama has a lot to lose by associating himself with this election.

A new anti-pirate ship, the U.S.S. Independence.  Cool.  A 200' long amphibious speedboat, capable of over 60 knots.  Who knew we would need these in the 21st century, but we do...  [ via Gates of Vienna

MG Siegler on TechCrunch gives an iPhone lover's take on the Nexus One.  "I’ll come right out and say what everyone will want to know: Do I think the Nexus One is better than the iPhone? No."  He does like it, though... tellingly the biggest shortcoming is the applications

Eric Wiesen considers More Platforms?  "Startups have limited resources. If you are care about your mobile app, build a great app that can and will be used by the people who use apps all the time. Today, those people are iPhone users. Unless your app is deeply specific to another platform (like Viigo, for instance), you are better off trying to really succeed in the low-hanging fruit garden that is the iPhone.This is the incredible value of the network effect Apple has created, the same as Microsoft did with Windows on the PC.  If people only develop for one mobile platform, it will be the iPhone, and if they develop for more than one chances are their iPhone implementation will be their best. 

Apropos: From GigaOM: The Apple App Store economy, an info-graphic.  Click through to see it all, amazing.  This is a platform in action.  [ via Cult of Mac

The amazing Onion's highlights from CES.  I particularly like the "noise-postponing headphones", and as Boing Boing notes, "the TI-101 Graphing Bassoon", at last! 

I love this so much: Electrosensitives tormented by radio tower that had been switched off for six months.  "A group of South African "electrosensitive" activists had been tormented by their local packet-data radio tower, with terrible symptoms that only subsided when they left the area.  They're suing.  Only one problem: during a six week period while they were experiencing their symptoms, the tower was switched off, but the symptoms persisted.  So, either the symptoms are psychosomatic, or these people are allergic to very tall pieces of inert metal."  Of course, they're still suing. 

Priori Acute.  Massively cool, a 3Dish typeface.  As John Gruber notes, "if M.C.Escher had been a type designer". 

This reminds me of the great Univers Revolved project, in which I took Wired magazine's circularly symmetry font and made an actual TrueType font out of it...  who knows how I ever made time for something like that!

TechCrunch reports Google GDrive Launches. Just Don’t Call It That.  Aka an online repository for, well, everything.  "You can soon upload any file type at all to Google Docs, not just the dozen or so Office formats that the service allowed as of yesterday.  Video files.  Images.  Audio Files.  Even Zip files.  As long as those files are 250 MB or smaller, you’re good.  The new feature will roll out over the next several weeks, says Google."  Huh, cool. 

Microsoft Office, the movie.  Hilarious.  Yes, you must watch it, but first please set down any sharp objects or hot liquids...  too bad Microsoft themselves don't do stuff like this, I think it would work for them. 

Salon's cheat sheet for the best wine values... anywhere.   Print it out and carry it with you, in case of emergencies!  I do agree with finding nonstandard appellations for better prices, seems like the market has been chasing me around the world for years, first Chilean Cabs, then Spanish Tempranillo, then Argentinean Malbec...  now stay away from New Zealand Pinot, okay! 

Huh, Flash on your iPhone, right now.  A Flash runtime written in JavaScript.  I don't even know what that means, exactly - does this interpret a Flash movie at runtime?  It seems cool, but I can't connect the dots.  I guess if this is a real solution to running Flash on iPhones, we'll know it soon enough :) 

Wow what a concept: MIT's food printer.  "Cornucopia's cooking process starts with an array of food canisters, which refrigerate and store a user's favorite ingredients. These are piped into a mixer and extruder head that can accurately deposit elaborate combinations of food. While the deposition takes place, the food is heated or cooled by Cornucopia's chamber or the heating and cooling tubes located on the printing head. This fabrication process not only allows for the creation of flavors and textures that would be completely unimaginable through other cooking techniques, but it also allows the user to have ultimate control over the origin, quality, nutritional value and taste of every meal."  I can has cheezburger? 

Hey guess what?  Michael Rasmussen is back, with a Continental team called Miche Silver Cross.  "Rasmussen had wanted to ride for a higher-ranked team which would enable him to race one or more Grand Tours.  'I had hoped that I would return to a higher level than what is now the case.  But there is so much hypocrisy in cycling, it was not possible,' he told Danish website politiken.dk."  Unfortunately we won't see him in the grand tour pelotons this year, but perhaps it is a stepping stone back...