Marco.org • About ▾

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

What an incredibly strange guy.

irc.freenode.net #tumblrs

Ian’s keeping my iChat Bonjour list chipper.

Amazon’s MP3 store is better than I thought

Availability is much better than I expected. They’ve had about 2/3 of the albums I’ve searched for.

Pricing is fantastic — every album I’ve searched for has cost $8-10, and those are all 256 kbit/s MP3s with no DRM.

Apple has not been able to negotiate similar availability for iTunes Plus (DRM-free 256 kbit/s AACs). I’ve only ever found one iTunes Plus album in my searches. None of my sought albums, with or without DRM, cost less than $10.

Apple should be worried. iTunes isn’t losing most of its business anytime soon, but this is a significant long-term threat — especially if Amazon continues to negotiate better distribution deals from the labels.

Good bad idea

What if people had to pay some small fee (maybe $0.25) to leave a comment on a website, and the author could choose to refund the money if the comment was useful to the discussion?

I can honestly say that, yes Apple/Macs/OS X may not, or ever, be 100% perfect, but nothing, nothing, NOTHING would ever get me to buy a Windows PC, not the price, not the specs, not if it was made of pure gold. […] There’s just no comparison, and anyone who appreciates good design and user experience will surely agree.

Graphis on MacRumors. Agreed — I’m happy to pay more for hardware, and have fewer choices, because the benefits to me of spending 100% of my computing time in OS X far outweigh those costs.

Amazon MP3 Store: That was easy

Just bought my first album from the aforementioned Amazon MP3 Store.

It was great. $9.99, using my Amazon-registered credit cards and billing address. Little downloader app works great and seamlessly. It didn’t nag me at all. The songs downloaded very quickly and were automatically added to iTunes with complete metadata and album art.

Apple might have a little more to worry about than I thought. Once you’ve tried the Amazon MP3 store, there’s absolutely no strong incentive to buy any other music from iTunes if it’s available on Amazon, and there are two strong incentives (price and format versatility) in the other direction.

I rediscovered Transport Tycoon last week with the excellent OpenTTD (download the required original data files here). OpenTTD is an open-source rewrite of the original Transport Tycoon engine, but modernized and cross-platform native to OS X/Linux/Windows. Highly recommended.

(Pictured is my Grand Central station in New York, an airport with two monorail lines and four rail lines offering passenger and mail service.)

I’ve been playing this game in bursts every few years since its release in 1995. Me-in-1995 on my 486 would never have believed that I’d still be playing it 12 years later… at 1920x1200… on a Mac.

Kindle 30-second impressions

Just played with a Kindle for the first time in real life. I only spent a few seconds with it, but got some quick impressions:

Bottom line? A faster version at a lower price point will be great. Will reconsider in a few years.

Non-conformist snowman (thanks, szymon)

Tiff got me a giant light for Christmas. It rocks. Now we can take amazing pictures indoors.

The light is also great for macro and product photography.

And for the photo-geeky, here’s the setup for that nut shot.

It’s almost impossible to feel passion about Windows as a platform. Probably like many of your readers, when I use software or applications, my brain can’t help but subconsciously notice an infinite stream of little things that are weird or out of place or questionably designed that I want to fix. When I try to use Windows, this internal alarm is literally constantly firing. Every window, every dialog, every workflow, my brain trips up on 1 or 5 or 15 things that are hard to comprehend.

Cabell Sasser to MacThemes 2.0 (thanks, Shawn Blanc)

I have a choice: either start programming again, or hire someone to do it. I want the new company to be profitable in the first year so I don’t think the choice actually exists.

Jakob Lodwick

If you want a largest lesson from open source, here’s mine: trust decentralization over centralization, voluntarism over coercion, bottom-up over top-down, adaptation over planning, openness over secrecy, practice over ideology, and markets over politics. Freedom works. Now go do it!

Eric S. Raymond (via Told or Known)

Google added those left/right-arrow buttons in the ad boxes. That way, if you want to see more awful AdSense ads, you can just scroll through them all with slide and fade effects!

Someone at Google had a bit too much of the punch at the holiday party. They’re under the delusion that people want to see ads. This is a common delusion among publishers.

Canon’s new $180 image-stabilized kit lens. I had no idea this existed until Tal Atlas asked me about it.

Basically, it’s a newer version of Canon’s 18-55 kit lens, but with an image stabilizer (IS) added. That’s an incredibly compelling feature, and at $180, it’s the cheapest IS lens by a lot. (The next step up is the $500 17-85 IS, or my personal favorite, the amazing $950 17-55 IS.)

Summary:

But it’s only $180 - that’s pocket change in the lens market. It’s also very small and light. For the price, it’s a great deal.

If you’re really on a budget and absolutely will not be able to afford a nicer lens in the foreseeable future… you probably shouldn’t have bought an SLR. But if you did anyway, this might be a good buy.

Under any other circumstances, though, I suggest that you save your $180 and put it toward the $950 17-55 IS USM, the best general-purpose SLR lens on the market from any manufacturer.

timb in the Something Awful Forums Mac Megathread:

I “hear rumors” that the 10.5.2 ADC Seed has kexts for G92 and new Radeons. I’ve also “heard” of people getting off the shelf PC 8800 GTXs running under 10.5.2 (Mac Pro) with no modifications.

Background info:

If this is correct, this seems to answer the video card question. Here’s what this is likely to mean:

I hope this happens!

I think it’s funny that this article praising Tumblr’s minimalism and focus is hosted on a WordPress blog with a giant photo-comment list, tags and categories, those giant stupid Snap Preview bubbles when I hover over any link, the cluttered row of sharing-site icons on the bottom of every post, top posts, recent posts, and a directory badge, all before you even get to the giant comments area.

Unresolutions

Bill Israel’s unresolutions list is quite good:

  1. Slow down
  2. Learn a new programming language
  3. Budget better, save more
  4. Write (at least) one original article per week
  5. Read more
  6. Commit to a todo system (regardless of which one)
  7. Consume less frivolous media (less RSS, for example)
  8. More music, less TV
  9. More time with family/friends, less with my computer

I was going to only quote part of the list, saying I’d try to do those selected items. But as I went through it, on each one, I thought, “I should really do that too.”

The Matrix: Revolutions

After seeing the second Matrix in the theater and hating it, I had absolutely no desire to see the third one, but Tiff made me watch it tonight.

It was better than Reloaded, but not by much. I will say that the battle scenes (excluding any stupid hand-to-hand combat) were much better than those in the new Star Wars movies.

But the dialog and attempted philosophy were painful. I wish they had just stuck with the first Matrix. It stood on its own.

Computer people love computers — so when computer people tell you “don’t use computers for that”, or “don’t use these computers for that”, you really ought to listen.

John Gruber on computer voting machines

Coincidentally, Transmission 1.0 comes in the middle of a strike by the Writer’s Guild of America, so it looks like testing will actually have to be done using ISO images of Ubuntu.

Torrent client for for Mac OS X, Transmission, hits 1.0

Goodbye, cable TV

Tomorrow, I’m calling Cablevision to cancel my TV service. I’ve been waffling about this for many months, but now, I’m ready to do it — and I’m committing to do it by writing it here.

It’s not that I have bad service. I have a nice digital/HDTV/HD-DVR package with hundreds of channels.

It’s not that I can’t afford it, although it will be nice to send Cablevision about $80 less every month. (I’m keeping the cable internet service because it’s awesome.)

In the spirit of Bill’s unresolutions that I intend to adopt, TV just isn’t a net gain in my life. The only benefit it gives me is to help consume time in which I can’t figure out anything else to do.

Not only should I be minimizing those occasions, but when they do occur, I have plenty of great alternatives.

Any of those would benefit me.

TV wouldn’t.

Decision made.

Google:

AdSense for content automatically crawls the content of your pages and delivers ads (you can choose both text or image ads) that are relevant to your audience and your site content—ads so well-matched, in fact, that your readers will actually find them useful.

Also:

Editorial Review makes sure that all Google ads are reviewed and approved by the Google team, ensuring that inappropriate ads don’t appear on your pages.

Thanks, Google!

CES

I’m a geek who loves electronics, computers, software, gadgets, and (occasionally) video games.

And I didn’t notice that CES was happening until Uncov derided it. This used to be one of the two biggest events in the industry (along with the also-now-irrelevant E3).

Is this CES’ fault or mine?

You can’t say someone’s not electable when they keep on winning elections.

Sen. Barack Obama (thanks, fuddmain)

US Navy warships are parked a few miles off the coast of Iran. They are there, apparently, to protect oil shipping lanes into and out of the Persian Gulf. Tensions are mounting. If provocation is at issue, those facts must remain front and center. If Iranian warships ever made it as close to the American coastline as US warships now lie to Iranian shores, our military would in all likelihood attack them. Iran is not attacking our warships - parked on their doorstep.

Provocation in the Strait of Hormuz (thanks, friends)

This guy was desperately holding up this sign after tonight’s NY Tech Meetup. He blinked a lot and was really excited to talk to anyone. He has one of those great ideas that he’s afraid of everyone stealing so he’s planning to patent it… but he needs money.

Great.

David actually talked to him and may have gotten some video. Hope so.

We have seen a number of instances where Google has failed to follow through with projects or initiatives and allowed valuable services to rot after an acquisition.

Google neglects a rotting Jaiku. This is a very common story for Google acquisitions.

Some don’t even read at all. It’s one of the amazing miracles of the internet: write-only people. They can’t read but they somehow find a way to write. You see them commenting all the time in my blogs: “I didn’t actually read your entry, but allow me to comment on it all the same…” Lovely.

Stevey’s Blog Rants: Blogging Theory 201: Size Does Matter

[Mad Magazine] instilled in me a habit of mind, a way of thinking about a world rife with false fronts, small print, deceptive ads, booby traps, treacherous language, double standards, half truths, subliminal pitches and product placements; it warned me that I was often merely the target of people who claimed to be my friend; it prompted me to mistrust authority, to read between the lines, to take nothing at face value, to see patterns in the often shoddy construction of movies and TV shows; and it got me to think critically in a way that few actual humans charged with my care ever bothered to.

Robert Boyd (thanks, Jeff Atwood)

Dan Meth at the Tumblr Rock Band Party — photo by Tiff

Lee Rubenstein at the Tumblr Rock Band Party — photo by Tiff

Justin Johnson at the Tumblr Rock Band Party — photo by Tiff

Erik Beck and Steve Nelson from Indy Mogul at the Tumblr Rock Band Party — photo by Tiff

Charles Foreman from iminlikewithyou and Dan Meth (playing Jared’s cowbell — best purchase ever) at the Tumblr Rock Band Party — photo by Tiff

The EPIC Tumblr Rock Party — david

The 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster

I’ve mentioned this numerous times at lunch, but I always forget to check Wikipedia afterward to get my facts straight. Tonight, I stumbled on it while doing research for a question about using turbinado sugar in iced coffee.

Anyway, the Boston Molasses Disaster was real, and it really killed 21 people. See for yourself. (Eat it, Blake.)

In extended listening sessions, I found the cables’ greatest strength to be its PRAT. Simply put these are very danceable cables. Music playing through them results in the proverbial foot-tapping scene with the need or desire to get up and move. Great swing and pace—these cables smack that right on the nose big time.

Dave Clark on these $3000+ speaker cables. Wow. I love audiophile bullshit. Every time I’m reminded of this market, I’m frustrated that I’m not one of the genuises making money by selling snake oil to rich guys who think it will make their music sound better (and therefore, it does).

We used to have this saying “slower than molasses in January.” It turns out the speed of Molasses in January is thirty-five miles per hour. It is also a crushing wave of death.

Dan, responding to this

Car alarms

Almost every car on the market comes with a built-in alarm system that honks the horn a lot if you open/unlock the door from the inside when the car thought it should be empty. Aftermarket systems are far worse - they’ll make their stupid array of noises if you look at them the wrong way, go near the car, generate another noise near the car, or breathe 3 miles away. And that’s assuming they’re installed properly and would never go off without provocation. (Sure.)

  1. What percentage of alarm triggers are a result of actual malice or theft attempts?
  2. When an alarm triggers nearby, does anyone actually bother to find out if there’s something bad happening?
  3. When an alarm triggers, how likely is the owner to hear it, recognize it as his, and take action?
  4. What would a person be charged with if they called the police and screamed for 60 seconds for no reason, twice a day?
  5. Why are car alarms legal?

When I’m president of the world, car alarms will be among the first things to go. (Mobile-phone ringtones that make sound for more than 1 second every 5 seconds, will be first.)

I’d create a new crime definition: aural assault. Why don’t we have that now?

Not the only one dropping cable

I just returned my cable box (as promised). The only noteworthy aspect of this is that I had to wait in a 10-minute line of people returning their cable boxes.

Maybe there’s hope for humanity.

squashed:

So, I can bake a cake.  And I can make a decent frosting.  But when it comes to putting the frosting on the cake, I’m not very good. Then there’s the decorative part.  My handwriting sucks to begin with.  But to write on a cake, I don’t get to use a normal pen.  I get to use a sack of frosting.  And rather than running it along the paper, you have to try to squeeze it out at as close to even a rate as you can manage.  So if my cake turned out a bit fugly, it’s hardly my fault. 

Wow. Don’t forget your word choice. You’re one well-placed dot away from “CJ is 600!”

Unexpected drawback

So far, I don’t miss cable TV… but I do miss the clock on the front of the box.

Now we don’t have a clock in the living room anymore.

But I’m sure I can come up with a replacement for less than $80/month.

Apple Numbers

I had a chance to use Apple’s Numbers spreadsheet program for significant work today. It’s really quite good for home users and small businesses. I like the separation of individual tables in the workspace: it more closely matches the way most people actually use spreadsheet programs.

If you need legal Mac office software, don’t bother with NeoOffice (Mac-native OpenOffice port). It’s not worth free.

The $70 for iWork is a much better deal than Microsoft Office for Mac ($131 for noncommercial home or student use, $355 otherwise) if you don’t need to frequently interact with Microsoft’s file formats.

This is the longest 3-5 weeks ever.

Reason #19,586 why this is the longest 3-5 weeks ever

I’m out of hard drive space on my laptop. It’s a 120 GB drive: the largest capacity available when I ordered it last year.

I had more disk space in my desktop PC in 2001.

In the desktop hard drive world, I can get a top-of-the-line, amazingly fast, completely silent 1 TB drive for about $275. Of course, since the Mac Pro has 4 drive bays and comes with a 320 GB drive, I’ll be able to put in the three spare 250 GB drives from my dead gaming PC for free!

Today was a bad day to go grocery shopping

Every checkout lane was open. And there were still half-hour lines at each one. It was easier to go shopping on December 31, 1999.

Everyone’s freaking out because we’re getting 3-6 inches of rain and snow tonight. I should send all of them to live in western Pennsylvania for 6 years to learn some perspective.

Spam possibility with Tumblr’s reblog Notes feature

fascinated:

Then when I comment (reblog) on thoughts or images of others, those people immediately know. All without spam and other complexities.

Avenues:

I dunno how long this lack of spam will last. I mean, if someone creates a spam tumblr account and just re-blogs all the posts by other popular users (adding links to their sites in their reblogs), then their posts will show up for all those who follow the people being re-blogged, and unlike comments, there’s nothing the original poster can do to remove this spam.

We recognized this possibility when creating it, but haven’t seen any spam so far. It’s not a very attractive spam venue: HTML is stripped from Notes in the Dashboard, and they’re limited to a very short, summarized length.

Rest assured that we’d very aggressively remove any spam that cropped up.

They couldn’t schedule this in, say, July?

The Reblog and the cost of commenting

Dan:

The reblog function allows some sort of commentary but also puts a cost on the commenter. I can reblog somebody’s comment, but my response now goes on my tumblelog with all the other things I put there. If I have something valuable to add, I will add it. If all I have is something stupid (like the guy who left a comment on an article about egg salad wondering why he had wasted five minutes of his life reading about egg salad) I won’t bother leaving a comment. It is sort of like a comment—but I have to have it on my tumbelog for everybody to read. By increasing the cost of leaving a comment, reblogging eliminates comments left by people who know they are stupid.

Exactly.

It’s 2008 and I actually need a cassette player.

Alex: My first website was neon green background with a background media loop.
Alex: I almost got beat up in high school because of it.
Alex: They taught good web design the hard way.

(thanks, Marc)

Call for quality blogs.

Marc:

I’m junking my current RSS roster because it’s crap (except for friends and xkcd). I’m looking for quality blogs that are worth my time investment. […blah blah blah I want good tech/software/Apple blogs]

This is tailored specifically to Marc’s interests, since I know him.

Must-reads:

Note that none of the must-reads update every day (unless you count the Linked List section of Daring Fireball, which is also good). That’s one of the reasons they’re so good.

If you have time:

These update much more frequently than the Must-Reads and are OK to skip posts in.

For general tech news without Engadget-like post volume, I suggest any of Ars Technica’s various feeds.

Thanks, Keystone Realty Associates!

By New York State law, landlords are required to pay annual interest to people on their security deposits. My security deposit was slightly over $2500.

I got $0.18 for 2006’s interest. (Yes, they actually sent an 18-cent check.) Granted, they only had it for 6 months, not the full year… but still, how exactly is this money invested? That’s a 0.0072% interest rate. Even assuming that they want too much flexibility and too little risk for a CD, the absolute worst bank savings account they could find would have yielded at least 1.5%.

This year, I got a check for $2.00. That’s a huge improvement! 0.08%! (…for the whole year.)

Of course, any idiot could have bought a 1-year CD instead, which offered about 5% when I renewed my lease. That would have given me $125 every June.

I have no idea how this is invested… what money-holding method pays interest at all, but at such low rates?

Thanks Keystone Realty Associates!

We got a quesadilla maker for Christmas. I was skeptical at first, but it’s pretty awesome. Our first attempts were perfect.

Results.

You’re doing it wrong

AATW:

I don’t get how Marco stands all day at work. I’ve been trying to do it for the past 3-4 days and my lower back is aching. Aching!

If anything is aching except your feet, you’re doing it wrong.

Check your posture. Don’t lean more on one leg than the other. Don’t sway. Widen your stance slightly if it helps you distribute the weight evenly.

Are you having to lean down? If so, you’re really doing it wrong. Raise your monitor so that the top edge is a few inches above eye-level (when looking straight ahead, not downward). Raise your keyboard and mouse enough so that your elbows form a 90-degree or slightly obtuse angle.

ideas: Who’s excited?

Mareen: “Where am I?”

Fun puzzle. I recognized the objects but not their location. (the answer) Aaaah! I should have known.

Quick thoughts on the MacBook Air

I wouldn’t rush out there and buy one just yet.

And finally, there’s the price. Sure, it looks slick. But:

The MacBook Air only makes sense if:

Now, a $1500 MacBook Air with a cheap SSD, an ultra-low-voltage CPU, and a built-in cellular modem will make a great travel companion when it exists… in 2012.

Voters and candidates in the primary season have been hollering about “change” but I’m afraid the dirty secret of this campaign is that the American public doesn’t want to change its behavior at all. What it really wants is someone to promise them they can keep on doing what they’re used to doing: buying more stuff they can’t afford, eating more shitty food that will kill them, and driving more miles than circumstances will allow.

Jim Kunstler

Re: I want to be where the people are

farfaraway:

Has anyone seen the Little Mermaid Broadway show yet? It only opened less than a week ago, but I’m curious to hear what people think.

I saw it early and free because Tiff built many of the costumes (including the incredibly awesome Ursula tentacle dress).

I haven’t seen any other Disney-on-Broadway shows for comparison, but I thought it was great. They did a great job of making us forget that they’re not really underwater, and the casting was excellent.

It’s different enough from the movie that there’s a reason to see it on Broadway — but it’s not different enough that you’d like it if you didn’t like the movie.

It’s a better show than Lion King on Broadway, so if you intend to see a Disney musical and enjoyed the Little Mermaid movie and story, you’ll like the Broadway version.

Yesterday’s Stevenote in 60 Seconds (thanks, Marc LaFountain)

I’ll know that Tumblr has made it big, or old-stupid-media has finally died, the day someone writes an article about us that isn’t 95% about David’s age and academic history.

Careless design attracts careless behavior which, in the aggregate, leads to a community of sloppy lowlifes.

Ricky Van Veen

It doesn’t matter how good or bad the [Amazon Kindle] is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.

Steve Jobs

Irony

I just deleted Signal vs. Noise from my feed reader because they don’t post enough high-quality content.

iPhone icon rejects

Now that we can move icons off of the iPhone home screen, is anyone keeping the iTunes WiFi store on page 1?

My rejects, shifted to page 2:

Tim Shey:

shey.net announces first padded case for macbook air<br/><br/>pre-orders available soon — email me for pricing.

John Brissenden:

How unfair to men with erections, people snogging with wifi-enabled children, women in the second year of their pregnancy and fat men with a table leg stuck up their arse.

Photo from here.

When Geeks Go to a War Protest (thanks, szymon)

Ron Paul: Who Owns You (narrated by George Carlin)

(thanks, solentdreams)

8800 GT and 10.5.2

The 3-5 week shipping delay on Mac Pros with the 8800 GT video card option isn’t because they’re short on cards.

The 8800 GT (G92) driver required for these cards only exists in the Leopard 10.5.2 update. It’s a huge update, and is still being beta-tested by developers.

I bet when 10.5.2 is released (…in 2-4 weeks), the Mac Pros with 8800 GTs will ship immediately.

Port Authority is the physical version of MySpace.

Dan Meth at lunch

kyleshank:

My proposed re-organization of all future cross country flights. Each section will be walled off and everyone will not have to pay hundreds of dollars to feel uncomfortable.

I’d swap the Obese People and Loud People. Loudness can still be heard through the paper-thin walls that the plane is likely to have, and obese people are often quiet enough to sit near (as long as there’s no risk of sharing a row).

We can use the immense mass of the obese people as an additional loudness barrier.

Plus, it makes more sense to put the Loud People in front of the Babies. That way, the obese people get rewarded for our use of their fatness by not having to deal directly with babies. Let the loud people deal with the babies instead - they’re already loud.

The rejects.

Macworld Wrap Up - 1938media. This guy’s awesome. (His predictions were here.)

The first bit’s about Macworld, and the second part is about how Apple views the market and feedback compared to Web 2.0 sites.

He manages to do what most video shows and podcasts can’t: cram a lot of information, entertainment, and value into a very short timespan (in this case, a minute and a half) so you don’t feel like you’re wasting your life away by watching it.

The biggest surprise from this year’s Macworld Keynote was that there were no surprises.

Sean Sperte

Seeing Cloverfield today. My prediction: we won’t find out what the monster is.

Cloverfield mini-review

Don’t see it if you have any problems with motion sickness. I don’t, and I was still incredibly uncomfortable and won’t be able to consume anything for a while. Imagine filming the Blair Witch Project after a lot of coffee in the back of a U-Haul driving across the Pennsylvania Turnpike in April.

Content: It was like a 90-minute-long trailer. Fans of J.J. Abrams won’t be surprised by much. A few funny lines. Minimal corny dialog.

Overall: eh. It’s probably going to disappoint you if you’ve been anticipating it. I don’t regret seeing it, but I wouldn’t see it again. Probably worth waiting for Netflix if you expect potential nausea.

Also, I’d love to know what camcorder model had such amazing battery life.

When I started working out, I lost 10 pounds but got 4 inches taller.

David

For me to have to pay to puke? I can do that on my own, in a bar, and I can at least get drinks.

Lindsey on Cloverfield

I was laughing when we had the debate a couple days ago…. People were asked, “What’s your biggest weakness.” So… I’m like an ordinary person, so I thought they meant, “What’s your biggest weakness.” So I said, “Well, you know, I don’t handle paper that well, you know, my desk is a mess, I need somebody to help me file stuff all the time.” So the other two, they said, “My biggest weakness is I’m just too passionate about helping poor people. I am just too impatient to bring about change in America.” You see, if I had gone last, I would have known what the game was. I could have said, “Well, you know, I like to help old ladies across the street. Sometimes they don’t want to be helped. It’s terrible.

Barack Obama (thanks, Dan)

tiff-looking-at-1000-dinnerware-for-wedding

“The Crunchies”

Apparently we lost Arrogant’s award show. We were a finalist, as explained so well here:

110,872 votes cast have been cast for the finalists

We’re near the bottom: best 2007 startup. I guess we could have lost to one of the other big names like iMedix or Ribbit.

I’m glad we ignored their requests to fly out there on our own dime and spend $40 per ticket to attend this incredibly important event in person.

“The electromagnetic field surrounding the power lines is enough to make fluorescent tubes glow.”

(thanks, Bill)

Do me a favor

Dan:

If you’re in the U.S., could you take a few minutes today and register to vote?   The primary is coming up quite soon and you can probably register in time—and there’s a pretty good chance that your state will be important.  You can probably do it in a post office if you can’t do it online—so just add five more minutes to your lunch and if your boss gives you a hard time, call him an Unamerican terrorist.  You’ll want to vote in the general election anyway—so you might as well get it out of the way now.  Also, get three other people to register as well. 

Euphemisms

A PR representative for McDonald’s on the radio today referred to “the quick-service restaurant industry.”

Uh… fast food?

irc.freenode.net #tumblrs

A curious top side-effect of working on an 8-core server.

If we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as “lines produced” but as “lines spent”: the current conventional wisdom is so foolish as to book that count on the wrong side of the ledger.

Edsger Dijkstra (thanks, Daily Meh)

You are kidding, aren’t you?

Are you saying that this linux can run on a computer without windows underneath it, at all ? As in, without a boot disk, without any drivers, and without any services ?

That sounds preposterous to me.

If it were true (and I doubt it), then companies would be selling computers without a windows. This clearly is not happening, so there must be some error in your calculations. I hope you realise that windows is more than just Office ? Its a whole system that runs the computer from start to finish, and that is a very difficult thing to acheive. A lot of people dont realise this.

Microsoft just spent $9 billion and many years to create Vista, so it does not sound reasonable that some new alternative could just snap into existence overnight like that. It would take billions of dollars and a massive effort to achieve. IBM tried, and spent a huge amount of money developing OS/2 but could never keep up with Windows. Apple tried to create their own system for years, but finally gave up recently and moved to Intel and Microsoft.

Its just not possible that a freeware like the Linux could be extended to the point where it runs the entire computer fron start to finish, without using some of the more critical parts of windows. Not possible.

I think you need to re-examine your assumptions.

By “jerryleecooper” on ZDNet. (thanks, livejamie)

Everyone is reporting election irregularities on the part of the Hillary campaign. There is widespread cheating and voter suppression going on all over Clark County—and it’s obviously coming in from the top down. Whether it made enough of a difference to swing the election is another question—but there is no question that Hillary was running a scorched-earth, no-holds-barred campaign in which all of her surrogates were instructed to cheat in every way possible.

Widespread Cheating & Vote Suppression by Clinton Campaign in Clark County, NV. What a surprise. Hillary Clinton is corrupt and willing to cheat, lie, and defraud our democracy to win. See? No different from the current administration.

Most new Windows machines come loaded from the factory with promotional software that most Mac users would consider adware. It’s a slippery slope to malware adware (as opposed to the non-malware adware that ships with these machines) from there. The simple truth is that Windows users are more accustomed to being annoyed by their machines.

Daring Fireball: Why the Mac Doesn’t Seem Viable for For-Profit Malware

Anyone know about colo?

We’re considering colocation instead of leased dedicated servers.

I’ve never run colo servers before.

  1. Can anyone recommend a good colo provider near NYC, or recommend a different one and convince me that I don’t need to be physically near the provider?
  2. Is colo likely to be a good idea for us?
  3. Do colo facilities offering remote KVM/management require special hardware, like a management card, in each server?
  4. Any reason not to go with Dell servers with on-site quick-turnaround warranties?
  5. What should I be asking here that I’m not considering?

Thanks.

Just don’t move to Dreamhost.

Hendrik’s comment on the downtime post

InnoDB Hot Backup

I recognize that this is a slim percentage of my audience, but if you:

  1. run a large MySQL database, and
  2. can afford a few hundred bucks

…you should absolutely license InnoDB Hot Backup. It does exactly what it says — back up InnoDB databases without any locks or downtime — and it does it extremely well (and surprisingly quickly).

Throughout our server migration, this helped tremendously. It’s absolutely required if you need MySQL replication. And it’s going to be our new backup method, too.

Highly recommended.

This is one of those nights you read about in books about startups.

Me, last night, getting into the elevator to finally go home.

kaukasische spezialität (via Kiyo)

High Industrial:

How Microsoft marketing ‘Macs’ a product: “Microsoft marketers have learned their lesson. They no longer expect Mac users to pick up a package marked ‘Certified for Windows Vista,’ with a jumble of specs on the front. Here’s how Microsoft renamed and repackaged the same mouse for Mac users. It’s clear that Mac users have a preference for clear, simple packaging.”

↓ AAPL

This is not a good day for Apple. Especially in the after-hours market.

Obama vs Clinton

Bijan Sabet:

[…] The sad reality is that I’m going to firmly support anyone that wins the nomination for the Democratic party. I’ve been hearing that same view from all of my democrat friends.

But the trouble is that it doesn’t feel like my party at times.

It feels like Republican-lite.

I hope I’m wrong.

The Democratic party has been failing democrats for years. I’ve completely given up on them being able to accomplish anything.

Maybe we couldn’t be so easily convinced to wage unnecessary wars if people cared as much about soldiers and foreign civilians as they do about actors.

Free investment advice

A sheet of instructions provided by the Clinton campaign to its precinct works captures its program for the Caucus: “It’s not illegal unless they [the temporary precinct chairs] tell you so.” This certainly suggests that, for the Clinton campaign, the operative standard of conduct was, simply and only, what it could get away with.

[PDF] The Obama Campaign’s Formal Complaint regarding irregularities in the Nevada caucus (thanks, Dan)

dalasverdugo:

People with joint email accounts (ie, “John and Becky Smith”) always have the most ridiculous questions.

At Last, a $20,000 Cup of Coffee (thanks, Marc LaFountain)

Incredible. Don’t miss the explanatory photo slideshow showing exactly how it works.

Designed by three Stanford graduates, it lets the user program every feature of the brewing process, including temperature, water dose and extraction time. (It even has an Ethernet connection that can feed a complete record of its configurations to a Web database.)

Filled with too many amazing quotes.

“The whirlpool, it messes with your mind,” said Mr. Freeman, the owner of the Blue Bottle. “There’s no way to rush it.” Mr. Freeman said he practiced stirring plain water for months to develop muscle memory before he brewed his first cup of siphon coffee.

While I don’t think any coffee maker could be worth $20,000, I’d happily risk $5 to try the coffee it makes.

Scott Adams asked his readers to compose song lyrics based on random phrases that seem like they might have a deeper meaning (but they don’t).

Here’s the result: The Hit Song You Wrote (lyrics included).

If you just passively listen, you’ll never notice that anything is unusual about it.

I always wonder how different the world would be if kids knew there are a million jobs in the world to choose from, and not just fifty.

The Dilbert Blog: Your Job When You Grow Up

Canon announced a new lens: EF 200mm f/2 L IS USM. 200mm at f/2 with IS makes that the most useful indoor telephoto I’ve ever seen.

Update: $5,999. Ouch.

irc.freenode.net #tumblrs

Overheard at Starbucks

The pickup-counter guy placed a clear drink in a fancy cup on the counter and announced, “Iced grande iced water!”

zachklein:

This was the first time I played Monopoly in 10 years. It astonished all of us that we played the game so seriously as kids — it’s incredibly complex and capitalistic as far as boards games go. I wonder how popular the game is outside of America … is this game fun or comprehensible for children in socialist societies?

Great photo! Most people don’t like Monopoly even in the U.S. because they have no attention spans and claim it takes too long. But it takes too long because of their own house rules imposed to make it easier.

How to make Monopoly NOT take forever: Don’t artificially inflate the amount of money in the game. Play by the official rules — and that’s it. People go bankrupt sooner, so the game ends quickly.

Most people don’t actually know the official rules, so here’s some reminders:

A few helpful unofficial tournament rules:

And some strategies to win quickly:

(nerd level: 105%)

New survey: Why should (or shouldn’t) we use The Planet?

Has anyone used The Planet for hosting and had good or bad experiences?

Note:

Please let me know by email: me at marco.org

Thanks!

This photo is really funny if you pretend they’re married. (Featuring Carrie and Marc at Tiff’s birthday dinner)

— by David

I cleaned out my RSS feeds. I cleaned out my twitter. I cleaned out my blog. I was tired of being bombarded by all the senseless information of the Internet. I unsubscribed from the hundreds of news blogs, and subscribed to blogs whose content I enjoyed reading. I cleaned out my digital life, and now I have a sense of freedom that I’ve never felt before.

Michael Mistretta (thanks, Shawn)

If you’re writing online, forget everything you were tortured by in high school English class.

Seth Godin: Just say it

Sorry, I don’t want to spam your dashboard, but at least it isn’t of kittens and cheeseburgers or cheesy friends and I showing off our best Paris Hilton poses to reflect the fun we’re having when we go out for cheeseburgers at night.

Mareen

Many bloggers seem to be on a perpetual hunt for the front page of Digg. Sure, it brings you hordes of eyeballs, but then they turn around and leave. What’s the point of that, really?

Seth Godin: Who are these people?

Please support Barack Obama. I want, for once, someone I can vote for not because I dislike the other candidate, but because I’m proud of mine. Obama is the real thing.

xkcd blag (thanks, AZspot)

“I feel safer!” By Clay Bennett (thanks, cowboyo)

PHP lesson

$_REQUEST includes $_COOKIE, not just $_GET and $_POST like I thought.

Nobody ever eats the last piece of cake at office birthdays.

Tumblr: Unfollowing

I’ve unfollowed a lot of people today since we added the easy Unfollow button to the corner panel.

If you get the axe, it’s because I skimmed through your first page of content and decided that you don’t post enough stuff that’s both original and relevant to my interests. Sorry.

Most people that alter colors are… not very good at picking colors.

Jacob Bijani on Tumblr theme customization

Instapaper feedback positive so far

I’m getting unexpectedly great reactions to Instapaper. Reblog the original post and add your comments if you’d like!

Digit3: “Instapaper gets my second-born, since I already promised my first-born to Tumblr.”

Inky: “Creating an account on Instapaper is quicker than saving a bookmark on del.icio.us. Saving a page for later is even quicker.”

Hannah: “Hurray for an internet application that helps you read more!”

Jakob Lodwick: “It’s worth signing up just to see the perfectly elegant handling of user accounts. ‘If you didn’t set a password, you don’t have one.’ Oh, Marco!”

Inky’s friend: “I can close tabs if I use this!”

Han: “I’m always trying to save items to read later. I usually forget about them, though. Not anymore!”

Ben Gold: “It’s like Delicious, but with Tumblr simplicity.”

Purzlbaum: “Oh, das ist wirklich cool.”

I had just been asked a question — I don’t remember which one — and Obama was sitting right next to me. Then the moderator went across the room, I think to Chris Dodd, so I thought I was home free for a while. I wasn’t going to listen to the next question. I was about to say something to Obama when the moderator turned to me and said, ‘So, Gov. Richardson, what do you think of that?’ But I wasn’t paying any attention! I was about to say, ‘Could you repeat the question? I wasn’t listening.’ But I wasn’t about to say I wasn’t listening. I looked at Obama. I was just horrified. And Obama whispered, ‘Katrina. Katrina.’ The question was on Katrina! So I said, ‘On Katrina, my policy …’ Obama could have just thrown me under the bus. So I said, ‘Obama, that was good of you to do that.’

Richardson’s Choice (via vertigo). That shows great character for Obama. Much better than Bush using a woman’s shawl as a tissue when he thought nobody was looking.

…on software

I’m amused that Instapaper made it onto TechCrunch, and that was the only community that left a bunch of negative comments.

…its design is simple (only 61 words — including credits — on the front page!)

Andrew Weissman on Instapaper. Now that’s a design measurement I wouldn’t expect to be made. We should judge more sites by that!

No more yes men and women in the White House, because I’m not gonna be right on every issue.

Barack Obama (via Dan)

Instapaper probably won’t win any awards for the largest number of features packed into a web site. But it does one thing and does it well.

Instapaper: Bookmarking doesn’t get much easier than this - Download Squad

Sovereign Bank sent me a check for $0.07.

My security-deposit interest check for $2.00 was apparently an error. They sent me too little. (Duh.)

So they sent an extra 7 cents.

Thanks a lot.

What you hear on Radio 1, or MTV, does not constitute all music. Not even a small percentage of all music. Half of that bollocks can hardly even be called music.

nostrich.net » I Like All Music

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