Marco.org • About ▾

I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

It’s interesting, and very promising, that Apple and EMI are attaching “no DRM” and “higher quality”, which will cause many people to mistakenly assume that DRM reduces sound quality.

This can only be a good thing.

“might be slow”? That’s the least of the many problems in Vista’s search dialog…

They sounded really excited about what they were doing, which usually equals lots of talking.

David, trying to guess the content of an upcoming meeting

Today’s Joy of Tech comic. I love John Dvorak.

Pig card reader. I love how the USB cable plugs into its butt. 

david-how-do-you-spell-least-marco

They call it “the Starbucks sound.” It is meant to serve as a placid soundtrack to your Starbucks coffee-drinking experience. It is not, as you might expect, the sound of dual cash registers chiming in unison as five automatic milk foamers screech in disharmony as 12 kids from eight different minivans march in and scream their want of a dozen grande Tazo strawberry high-fructose chai tealike milkshake things as their wary parents whip out the credit card and sigh and yell at the kids to please shut the hell up.

Starbucks pushes its own music label<br/>

Wikipedia’s official picture of a “CD-RW drive” is the exact drive model of my first CD burner: the trusty Yamaha 4x2x6 internal SCSI drive. I still have it somewhere in my mother’s basement. To the best of my knowledge, it still works.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2757699799528285056&hl=en

Real Estate Roller Coaster - They plotted actual real-estate prices into Roller Coaster Tycoon to show how ridiculous they are right now. Very cool.

Wow, a site that plots restaurant data and reviews onto Google Maps! What a great idea! Why hasn’t anyone else done this yet? By the way, I found this site linked from our good friends at Serious Eats.

The unappreciated business genius of Starbucks is not charging $4 for a latte but rather giving adults permission to drink milkshakes, on the pretext that they are merely tea or coffee.

Can green tea save your soul? - Jacob Weisberg, Slate

How is it that tea becomes more medically potent as it loses color and flavor? Next in this progression will be an invisible ghost tea with the regenerative properties of fetal stem cells.

I know, two quotes in a row from the same article. You should really just read the article. It’s good.

Sad Sad Fruit

I have more computers than I know what to do with. I have two computers perfectly capable of playing today’s hottest new high-budget super-realistic 3D simulators of stuff blowing up in a complete virtual world.

Yet I’m still playing Desktop Tower Defense.

All the computer people use Macs now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s. So not only does the desktop no longer matter, no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft’s anyway.

Paul Graham: Microsoft is Dead

Microsoft’s biggest weakness is that they still don’t realize how much they suck. They still think they can write software in house. Maybe they can, by the standards of the desktop world. But that world ended a few years ago.

Paul Graham: Microsoft is Dead

Two quotes in a row? You might as well read the article. It’s much shorter and much better than Paul Graham’s average. 

I’m tired of blogs about blogs.

This is circulating - no idea where it originated.

B.J. Novak (the temp on The Office) proves that Cadbury Eggs have gotten smaller this year.

Only with Google AdSense could you get 1000 visitors to a site, get 4 ad clicks, and only get 9 cents. Thanks a lot.

What I meant was not that Microsoft is suddenly going to stop making money, but that people at the leading edge of the software business no longer have to think about them.

Paul Graham explains himself on “Microsoft is Dead”<br/>

Why does every Flickr photo look like the photographer had just discovered the Hue/Saturation sliders in Photoshop and went nuts?

Microsoft would have told EMI to stick their DRM-free tracks up their ass. And the classic Microsoft, the Microsoft with a set of balls, would have told EMI that if they wanted to sell DRM-free tracks elsewhere, at other stores, that they’d suddenly find the terms changed for their songs at the market-dominating Microsoft store.

Daring Fireball: Some Facts About AAC and why Apple isn’t “the Microsoft of digital music”. 

In my time observing the site, I’ve identified one world constant: People love to twitter about coffee and tea. They also need more sleep.

The allure of Twitter - Slate

It’s so easy, even AOL’s doing it.

Marc Goldberg

MSPaint your SO’s little quirks that drive you NUTS. - The Something Awful Forums

This is excessively bad coffee. Absolutely never drink it.

Seems like the gods of Tumblr.com cleared out all the bloatware from this site. How refreshing! Well done.

Norman’s take on our database problem<br/>

I kept an observation nest of bumblebees last year (it came in the mail, which was awesome and our postman no longer likes us)

Ask me about being a beekeeper

Bad Trades: An excellent day-trader tumblelog.

I can’t stop listening to Phish live concerts. I’m hooked.

Just like the SimCity 3000 and TetriNET addictions that would always plague me in late April during college… finals.

Not that I would have studied otherwise.

Strangely enough, the clearest heads on the internet following Apple’s announcement that it is delaying Leopard until October belonged to the investors.

OSX Leopard’s necessary - not regrettable - delay.

Stinging bees leave behind a pheromone which tells other bees, “This thing sucks, sting it until it goes away.

I keep learning so many interesting things from the SA beekeeper thread.

You see, when you’re a workin’ man, you don’t have time for fruity drinks with umbrellas or watered down cocktails. You have time for whiskey.

A Street Sweeper’s Tale - SA Forums

Not only does Fred Thompson play the D.A. on Law & Order, but he was also a real Tennessee senator for 9 years and is considering a 2008 presidential bid for the Republican party.

I’d vote for him. Hell, I probably know him better than any of the other potential candidates.

YouTube’s errors are so helpful.

“This video is a duplicate of a previously uploaded video.”

Thanks. But… I’d still like to watch it. If you know it’s a dupe, why don’t you redirect me or provide a link to the correct video?

Come on, Apple… what if I didn’t have a spare computer to use during this delayed repair?

Epic.

This is an amazing collection of true stories from a street sweeper on the SA Forums in a single huge thread that’s about to be goldmined. 

The Night I Set My Truck on Fire
Tranny Hooker: Pt. 1
Dead Rising
The Most Disturbing Thing I’ve Seen
Messing with Ricers
Doug and the Killer KY:
Bruiser Stops a Robbery
Illegal Street (Sweeper) Racing
The Beastmaster
Bruiser Trains an FNG: Episode One - First Strike
Bruiser Trains an FNG: Episode Two - The Finer Points
Jim, Fred, and a Severed Limb
Sweeper Vac Olympics
Bruiser Exacts Revenge
DUI-a-Go-Go
Bruiser Exacts Revenge - “Nice Fuckin’ Baja, Dave!”
“I Knew You’d Be Involved Somehow” - Bryce
Lucy - Part 2
The Nacho Cheese Incident
Duck and Cover - a Sweeper’s July 4th
Hard to Kill
Naked Hiker
Bruiser: 1 - Emo Kids: 0
Rematch: Bruiser vs. Ricers Part 1
Rematch: Rematch: Bruiser vs. Ricers Part 2
I’m Not What You Expected?
I’m Not What You Expected? Part 2
I’m Not What You Expected? Part 3
I’m Not What You Expected? Part 4
I’m Not What You Expected? Part 5
I’m Not What You Expected? Part 6
EPILOGUE
Death of a Sweeperman
Bombs Away
Bombs Away Part 2: a Plan Comes Together
Bombs Away Part 3
Bombs Away Part 4: Execution
I Can Make That
Therapy
I Fought the Law, and the Law Won
I Fought the Law, and the Law Won, Part 2
I Fought the Law, and the Law Won, Part 3
I Fought the Law, and the Law Won, Part 4
Funeral of a Sweeperman: Pt.1, the Reflecting Pool
Funeral of a Sweeperman: Pt.2, the Long Goodbye
Letter from Jen
Funeral of a Sweeperman: Pt.3, the End

The first-generation Intel Mac laptops are disappointingly buggy compared to their PowerPC predecessors. But they’re so much faster and more versatile that they’re completely worthwhile.

Our office actually has the cool MoMA ceramic version of the classic paper NYC coffee cup. Just like the paper one, it gets a bit too hot to hold if you’re moving around with it, but it’s great for desk use. It even has the little fold-over ridge from the wrap-together edge of the “paper” down one side.

I am constantly amazed at how unamazed we are at the efficacy, safety, and low cost of airline travel

Freakonomics Blog » The Miracle of Flight

Wow, David Heinemeier Hansson is really full of himself and loves to pick pointless fights with nerds.

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality

When I “upgraded” from Outlook XP to Outlook 2007, the only new “feature” I noticed was that full text searches started taking about 30 seconds.

Joel on Software

Via’s new Pico-ITX motherboard - Wow. The VGA and Ethernet ports are massive by comparison. 

Had I known that I would meet Michael Eisner today and show him Tumblr for 20 minutes, I probably would have shaved.

These are really cool. (But I only paid $10/pair for them last week - looks like the price fluctuates a lot.)

The lack of open source software billionaires is by design. It’s part of the intent of open source software - to balance the scales by devaluing the obscene profit margins that exist in the commercial software business.

Coding Horror: Where Are All the Open Source Billionaires?

I nearly shat when I first saw this.

MacApper really likes Coda, a new web development OS X app from Panic that looks amazingly cool, even though I have almost zero use for it.

By locking in users and then not supporting their own lock-in features, they’re effectively making it very hard for many Mac Office 2004 users to upgrade to Office 2008, forcing a lot of their customers to reevaluate which desktop applications to use. It’s the same story with VB 6 and VB.Net, and it’s the same story with Windows XP and Vista.

Joel Spolsky on the effects of Microsoft dropping VBA support from Mac Office<br/>

This is across the street from my office. No idea what’s going on with that.

Big deal, I was Time’s Person of the Year.

DrBagpipes on SA: Drew Barrymore is People’s Most Beautiful Person

An outstanding offer from Fog Creek ensures that the first time they have to wake up at 8 a.m. and put on a suit for a high-pressure interview with Oracle - well, when the alarm goes off, there’s a good chance they’ll say to themselves, why the heck am I getting up when I already have an excellent job waiting for me at Fog Creek? My hope is they won’t even bother going to that interview.

Recruiting the Top 1 Percent - Joel Spolsky for Inc.com<br/>

There are now no interesting non-networked applications. Standalone computers are devices for watching stored video or listening to music, usually on airplanes.

Working for The Man | Tux Deluxe

The effectiveness of NYC parking laws.

After almost a year, I got speakers at work.

Apple has had my MacBook for 22 days…

And it’s still waiting at Step 2 of 3: On hold - Part on order (06-Apr-2007)

Come on, Apple. I recommend your computers to everyone because they’re great, and I expect great service.

The white MacBook is one of your most popular computers. You still sell it new. How long could you possibly need to wait for a part?

Okay, so the new marketing campaign for Cleveland is based around a “Cleveland+” slogan? Seriously? “Cleveland” with a plus sign at the end?

Tiny Droplets

A fine Google ad found on Serious Eats. As a matter of fact, I was looking for local eat!

The beta of Mac Mozy is what .Mac Backup could have been, if it hadn’t been developed by the Punishment Group at Apple.

Ars Technica<br/>

Kick Design’s awesome NYC subway map (MTA’s on the left, Kick’s on the right) 

Kick - Where can I buy one? 

To give you an idea on the kind of traffic we get, picture this: Snowstorm, 2 feet of snow. All schools are closed, all roads iced over, even penguins refuse to leave their houses. We do $18,000 in sales.

Stories from a Wal-Mart Associate

Idol Gives Back - Simon audition - The Simpsons (via sk8erboinhl)

Blogging: Expanding no more

P3P sucks: How to get frame cookies unblocked in IE6 and IE7

For any web developer unfortunate enough to need to read a cookie from an off-domain IFRAME in IE6 and IE7, you need to specify a P3P compact policy (CP) in the headers for both the framed page and whatever page sets the cookie you’re trying to read.

P3P is a poorly designed, poorly implemented “standard” that no browsers support except Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and 7. (And even then, it’s only half-assed, and only the Compact Policy is ever checked.) 

There’s surprisingly little good, free information on the internet about P3P, compact policies, and IE7’s requirements - and IE7 gives absolutely no helpful debugging output such as why your cookie was blocked.

This is approximately the minimum HTTP header needed, and it basically says “We’re not collecting any of your personal data”:

P3P: CP=”NID DSP ALL COR”

If you actually store some data, such as email addresses and login cookies, this (also working) policy may be more correct:

P3P: CP=”ALL ADM DEV PSAi COM OUR OTRo STP IND ONL”

And this useful page will tell you what all of those abbreviations mean, and which ones you want to use.

I think I’ve just made the most useful post about P3P on the entire internet. 

It’s amazing how much better the internet gets when you stop reading comments.

Merlin Mann, Kung Fu Grippe

I win at Subversion.

Sending        process-photo-emails.php
Transmitting file data .
Committed revision 1337.

Last Tumblr comment from Ghostvirus: “Tumblr needs to stop reformatting all images as JPGs. I know they’re doing this in an attempt to keep bandwidth usage down, but when a tiny PNG gets reformatted into a JPG that’s 2 or 3 or even 4 times the size the PNG originally was, you’re not doing yourself any favors.”

Stop revealing our feature list before we do! This has been on my to-do list for almost a month, and it’ll happen soon.

We don’t recompress to save bandwidth - we recompress because we resize every image to fit in Tumblr’s narrow columns, and it’s much easier to manage if we can apply the same compression to every image.

But we’re not happy with the image quality, even with images that are better served by the JPEG format, so we’re switching to a different image library. And while I’m in there, I’m going to ensure that PNGs and GIFs (maybe even animated ones) are kept in their original format for better quality and better size efficiency.

Re: re: re: re: Fwd: re: ReBlogging

topherchris writes:

Faux-comments aside, the “reblog” feature irked me, precisely because I figured that it would turn this medium into an orgy of content appropriation. I think the fact that it doesn’t credit the original poster or provide a link is what’s really bugging me. Do that, make it uneditable, do something to show that content has been ReBlogged, and I would completely approve. Until I change my mind.

We hear you. Every reblogged post tracks where you got it from and where it originated - and this data can’t be edited out. Attribution is permanently recorded, but we don’t display this yet in the themes. In fact, none of the new features (friends, followers, ReBlogging) are integrated in the themes yet - and that’s intentional. We don’t take theme updates lightly, because they change the fundamental public-facing interface of everyone’s tumblelogs.

There’s a lot to be said for keeping reblogged content editable. It’s a mechanism to quote someone else’s content, but add your own commentary. We found that many people would browse Radar or their friends’ tumblelogs and copy popular content manually onto their own tumblelogs (usually without attribution). ReBlogging simply automates this process and adds automatic attribution tracking - you just don’t see it publicly yet.

Initially in development, it was just a straight copy. We found that testers reblogged fewer posts because they didn’t want someone else’s description of a link (for instance) on their tumblelog - they wanted to add their own commentary. Once we made the content editable, ReBlogging became much more useful.

So don’t worry. ReBlogged posts always maintain attribution, and once we finish integrating attribution into the themes, you’ll see it.

Oh… wow.

This is bullshit. David cheated on Tiff and me by taking Ian and Lindsey to OUR 7A Cafe, and he didn’t even call us.

RAID-0 in a Macbook Pro

As a huge laptop fan, the one thing that frustrates me is that even with a high-end 7200 RPM hard drive, everyday laptop performance is abysmal compared to a desktop with a fast disk. And having used a RAID-0 desktop, I’ve seen first-hand that there are huge real-world performance gains. If a proper backup is maintained (and that’s a big “if”), there’s no reason not to.

Maybe I should get one of these… but to match my MacBook’s 100 GB 7200 RPM drive, they want almost $400! The bare drive is only $109 at Newegg. Ouch.

Test taking is the most important skill necessary to succeed in college. […] What does that say about college? Who’s going to pay anyone to take a test? What does a test measure? It measures your ability to memorize stuff. Who is paid to memorize stuff? Actors? Pilots? I don’t know. I’ve never been paid to memorize stuff.

How the Public School System Crushes Souls, a very interesting read 

Paradoxically, the buildings which tend to be in better condition are the historic ones, the ones built before modular-snap-together materials existed, the ones made of materials found in nature, the ones built with non-electric hand tools. They manage to resist the natural ravages of time. Their roofs were designed to bear snow loads and to shed water in a way that protected the rest of the structure. The materials never promised to be maintenance-free, so the owners and caretakers naturally perform the required routine repairs. They stand there as reminders that our notion of progress-through-technology is a slippery thing.

Jim Kunstler (reblogged from azspot, thanks)

The Mystery USB Cable.

Any idea what this could possibly be used for? USB can’t be passively split without some sort of hub logic, and they’re all male-B connectors.

PHP programmers: Don’t use the Zend Framework for anything.

“It was the mobile phones after all.” - MSPaint your reasons for the tragic honey bee disappearances!

The gator even assaulted a police car, biting a chunk out of its bumper.

Illegally parked gator snarls traffic - CNN.com (thanks Dan)

The scientists named the planet Gliese 581 C, evidently to showcase the reason scientists can’t get laid.

The Dilbert Blog: Cool New Planet with a Shitty Name

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