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Objective Sea

Tuesday,  08/30/11  10:13 PM

Hi y'all ... are you wrapping up your summer?  Almost the end of August, kids are back in school, heat abating a bit, sun a little lower in the sky ... all the signs are there.  Still I'm hanging on, I have two weeks left in my summer-long vacation, and I'm going to make the most of them :)

One thing I'm doing is having fun playing with Objective C.  This is the language used to program iPhones and iPads, a superset of the C language which implements objects in the "sending messages" way pioneered by Smalltalk, instead of the "calling methods" way used by C++.  There have been some stormy waters to navigate; I've had to learn Xcode, Apple's development environment, and IOS, the underlying operating system, and figure out the whole test environment.  Yippee.

From TheScientist: The heritability of intelligence.  "A new study of thousands of people in Europe quantifies the genetic underpinnings of intelligence, finding that some 50 percent of smarts stems from genes."  What's amazing about this study isn't the conclusion, which doesn't surprise anyone, but the fact it was performed and reported like any other study, without all the weird politics that always seem to accompany serious scientific investigations into intelligence.  Yay. 

I great insight: The only question about Tim Cook: Will he be as good as Steve at saying "no"?  Of course it isn't just a matter of saying "no" all the time, it's a matter of knowing when... 

Square goes mainstream.  Man, I'm sure hearing a lot about them ... must be a lot of people who wanted to accept debit/credit cards and couldn't.  For 2.7%, now anyone can...  That cool map at right shows the geographic distribution of Square's transaction volume. 

A great interview with Levi Leipheimer in the wake of his impressive US Pro Cycling Challenge victory.  What a nice guy, he really does it right.  And there has never been any hint that he's doped, either... 

Horace Dediu analyzes the television market.  "The answer is not to graft technology onto an archaic value network, but to build a new value network around new technology."  Exactly. 

Facebook shuts down Groupon competitor.  Yawn.  Of course they did; Groupon is losing tons of money every month, they don't have a real business, while Facebook does.  Why would anyone compete with Groupon? 

MG Siegler comments on Microsoft's preview of Explorer for Windows 8.  You have to click through to see the preview in all its glory.  A UI disaster.  BTW the ribbon thing just doesn't work, right?  Nobody I know thinks Office 2007 was an improvement over Office 2003. 

Flow|state: Infinitely postponing great feature suggestions is one of the toughest tasks in UX design.  Doesn't look like Microsoft took this to heart :) 

Scott Adams: When Liberals attack.  Note that Scott is far from a conservative, he's trying to make an unbiased assessment of media bias.  We've lived with this so long that we've become inured to it, but honestly the MSM are way over the edge. 

A thought experiment: What if Obama were Governor of Texas?  "Both Obama and Perry inherited an economy from George W. Bush, but here’s what happened in each case."  I don't want to like Rick Perry but this is the most compelling argument yet I've heard in his favor. 

This is just awesome: 100 years of East London fashion, in 100 seconds.  The dancing and music are perfect.  What a great production.  You have to be struck at how cool some of those old fashions were, too :) 

Fuzzball!Today I met a friend's two-week old kitten and the little fuzzball stole my heart.  We're definitely going to give him ZooBorn of the week :)