For those new to this, NewsFire is a news reader for blogs, news sites, and anything else that publishes an ‘RSS’ syndication feed. It watches for news so you don’t have to. When a new story is published, NewsFire brings it to your attention with some super-slick animation. Unlike other readers, NewsFire is designed with a deliberately minimal interface. The news is what matters and it takes center stage.
This is huge news for any Mac users in need of a great RSS reader. (Especially those who think NetNewsWire isn’t great.)
When you’re young, you look at television and think, ‘There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down.’ But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.
Starts by illustrating how DRM penalizes only legitimate customers:
The marketing people babble on about how Digital Rights Management “enhances” your “enjoyment” of a product. But what copy control really does is make ripped-off stuff better than the legal version.
Then transitions to a call to action, by apathy toward DRM-laden products.
Copy control encourages contempt for your customer. It’s not as if you’d force this garbage on people you respected, after all. And contempt for your customer, in turn, encourages more copy control - because you can’t trust those animals!
[…] Look for the most uncomfortable chair in a white person’s home and ask “who designed that?” If they say “Ikea” or “Design within Reach” you can call it a chair, otherwise refer to it only by the name they give you.
Even people who hate this site because of the racial implications should be able to enjoy the hilarious social commentary on modern American life.
A fundamental trait of today’s right wing is the willingness to lie, baldly and repeatedly and without shame. And it always catches the Democrats off guard. Just ask war criminal John Kerry or Munchausen Syndrome sufferer Al Gore. Are people like Sean Hannity really so dumb that they think Barack Obama is an African spy who’s plotting to be the Lion King? Well, in his case, yes, but…People like Karl Rove know that the more ridiculous the charge you make, the better. Because they’re not aimed at rational people. They’re aimed at that great teeming mass of Americans who wept with joy when they heard “American Gladiators” was coming back. They’re called “undecideds” or “swing voters”, but I prefer the traditional term, “morons”.
There has been some heateddebate recently on whether long posts “belong” on Tumblr. As usual, I have an opinion. (It’s the internet. What did you expect?) My authority comes not from my job, but as a long-time Tumblr user.
Yes. Long content belongs on Tumblr.
So does short content. So does nearly anything. You can use Tumblr for whatever you like.
Tumblr is a tool, first and foremost. There are plenty of community features to make it more useful to many people, but fundamentally, this is a tool. Not everyone will use it the same way. If you find that it works for long content, by all means, use it for long content. If you want every post to be 5 or fewer words, you can do that, too.
Like Daring Fireball, I also have a separate “long post” website. And you know what? I hardly ever post there anymore. Dan posts more than I do, I think. I’ve found that much of my content is better suited for the community here. Sometimes, I just feel like writing it quickly and don’t want to use my long-post-website’s CMS. And sometimes a short post becomes long and I don’t even realize it.
With Tumblr, I publish more than I ever have before. If I wasn’t writing all of this content here, it wouldn’t go on Marco.org — it just wouldn’t be written. Regardless of what you think of my content, you have to agree that having an outlet is always better than not.
If Tumblr enables people to publish valuable, original content, we’ve succeeded. And if you publish your thoughts online with the tool of your choice, you’ve succeeded. Who cares if some people need to spend valuable milliseconds scrolling their mousewheels past the long posts on their Tumblr Dashboards?
…I have no doubt that Senator Obama has the judgment, bearing, intellect, and high ethnical standards to be an outstanding president — completely aside from the movement that has formed around him, and in complete contradition to the silly assertions by both the Clinton and McCain campaigns that he’s somehow not ready.
Google wasn’t much of a help while researching this, so I’m lending some of my PageRank to it. There isn’t enough good Linux server administration help out there — or if there is, it’s buried under a million unanswered newsgroup postings (copied to 3 million different sites).
The problem: On MySQL 5.0 (in our case, version 5.0.22 from the stock RHEL5/CentOS 5 x86-64 yum repository), concurrent InnoDB queries take much longer than they did under MySQL 4.1. A query that normally takes 1-2 seconds might balloon to 20-40 seconds when a few are executing simultaneously. No amount of hardware upgrades or configuration-variable tweaking solves the problem. CPU usage is moderate to high, but disk activity is low. Eventually, the server gets heavily burdened by these queries.
The solution: Upgrade to a newer version of MySQL, at least 5.0.30 (that’s when they claim it was fixed). We upgraded to the latest stable RPM from MySQL’s site (version 5.0.51a) and the problem was immediately and completely fixed.
Make sure you get all three RPMs: client, server, and common-libs. I would not suggest using yum with third-party repositories for this — I tried, and it screwed up very badly with a million file conflicts that ended up breaking my use of yum for MySQL.
Hopefully, the RHEL5/CentOS5 repositories will be updated soon with an official version of MySQL that contains this bugfix.
There are few things in life less fun than a pickup game of volleyball. It always seems like a good idea at the time. You imagine yourself and a few athletic friends passing, spiking, and diving to dig out great shots, as the ball almost magically never hits the ground. What actually happens looks like something from a movie where a virus has turned everyone on earth into spastic zombies. You watch in horror as grandma on her motorized scooter joins your side, along with two toddlers, a drunk, and a woman whose hands are apparently made of bubble wrap. And your team is the good one. What follows is a whole lot of people acting surprised they can’t punch an inflated ball in any directions but downward and backwards. Meanwhile your youth slowly drains away.
Jobs used the Apple shareholders’ meeting to publicly dismiss the the full-blown PC Flash version as “too slow to be useful” on the iPhone. He then went on to describe the mobile version — Flash Lite — as “not capable of being used with the Web.”
In fact, things that don’t make men feel threatened (including anything pink and fuzzy, impractically tiny dogs, excessively objectifying clothing, half-sweaters, and those sort of puffy, sort of pleated skirts that were in style a few years back) are only unthreatening because they are confusing. How do you compete with a pink pom-pom at the back of a pen? Do you get a bigger pink pompom or do you get a pen without a pink pom-pom? Do you want a brighter pink or a paler pink? We don’t even have the metric. We understand things like bigger, louder, sharper, faster, taller, and more expensive. Froofier? Not as much.
3.It’s incorrect to answer the question “How are you?” with the statement “I’m good.” Wrong! Am is a linking verb and linking verbs should be modified by adjectives such as good. Because well can also act as an adjective, it’s also fine to answer “I’m well,” but some grammarians believe “I’m well” should be used to talk about your health and not your general disposition.
…I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
We see tons of startups predicated on the so-called “wisdom of crowds”, an idea that’s been so thoroughly internalized by people, the actual premise, that crowds are wise, are rarely questioned. But maybe when the individuals within the crowd don’t know anything, the crowd doesn’t either.
[Obama] has a million little donors. He has brought many, many Republicans and Independents to the brink of re-thinking their relationship with the Democratic party. And he has won the majority of primaries and caucuses and has a majority of the delegates and popular vote. This has been a staggering achievement - one that has already made campaign history. […] If the Clintons, after having already enjoyed presidential power for eight long years, destroy this movement in order to preserve their own grip on privilege and influence in Democratic circles, it will be more than old-fashioned politics. It will be a generational moment — as formative as 1968. Killing it will be remembered for a very, very long time. And everyone will remember who did it — and why.
When you scale animals you can’t just keep everything in proportion. For example, volume grows as the cube of linear dimension, but surface area only as the square. So as animals get bigger they have trouble radiating heat. That’s why mice and rabbits are furry and elephants and hippos aren’t. You can’t make a mouse by scaling down an elephant.
What strikes me about Barack Obama saying he wouldn’t accept being Vice President is how… pompous that is. Regardless of who wins the nomination, our country could use us some Barack. And he’d turn down Veep because of his… pride? Because Hillary Clinton is OMG SO MEEN even though she seems to carry swing states?
I don’t think that’s it.
The Clinton campaign is losing. They’re pulling out all the stops, stooping to new lows (e.g. the 3 AM phonecall ad) in a desperate grab for support.
It’s in their best interest to attempt to deflate the Obama momentum. One way to do that is to convince people that Clinton is winning, even though she isn’t. If you keep saying you’re the winner, and the media helps you repeat it, you can sway a close race to your side.
You can make them stop counting, declaring you the winner, even if you aren’t.
Obama rejected their notion of “offering” him the VP seat because he’s winning, and letting that possibility circulate would sound like he’s losing. It might reduce his momentum in the remaining primaries, and it would help convince the population (and the superdelegates) that he’s not powerful enough to beat McCain.
That’s why the Clintons floated that idea — that was the goal! Did you think it was some sort of altruistic peace offering? Of course not. It was pure political strategy — and it was the sleazy, dirty kind that Karl Rove used to wedge Bush into office. The Clintons have repeatedly shown that they’re willing to engage in these tactics, while Obama’s campaign has been impressively clean and fair.
Obama had to quickly, publicly, and definitively reject any notion of settling for the vice-presidency. And that’s exactly what he did. Clinton would have done the same if the offer was in the other direction.
There’s a lot more to political strategy than any of us realize.
That’s a shame. He really did a lot of great things for New York as attorney general. Among many other achievements, his Wall Street reforms have made it much safer for regular people to invest in the stock market.
The only saving grace is that his replacement is also a pretty great guy.
When we won Iowa, the Clinton campaign said it’s not the number of states you win, it’s “a contest for delegates.”
When we won a significant lead in delegates, they said it’s really about which states you win.
When we won South Carolina, they discounted the votes of African-Americans.
When we won predominantly white, rural states like Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska, they said those didn’t count because they won’t be competitive in the general election.
When we won in Washington State, Wisconsin, and Missouri — general election battlegrounds where polls show Barack is a stronger candidate against John McCain — the Clinton campaign attacked those voters as “latte-sipping” elitists.
And now that we’ve won more than twice as many states, the Clinton spin is that only certain states really count.
So I uploaded a GIF to Tumblr, and the mini version is animated, but the regular version is not. Why?
We had a problem with people uploading massive animated GIFs that, even when resized, would be inconveniently huge (1+ MB) and would slow down Dashboard rendering even on broadband. (You can fit a lot of animation within the 10 MB photo-upload limit. Some people were using it to post short video clips.)
We didn’t want to disable animation in our images — there are too many legitimate uses. But we wanted to make sure that people weren’t getting these huge images in their Dashboards, either.
So there’s a new method: any PNG or GIF for which the resized output is larger than 500 KB is converted to a high-quality JPEG instead.
Without Michigan and Florida in the mix, Clinton will need to win about two thirds of the remaining delegates. In other words, she’ll need to do on average, significantly better than she did in New York in all the rest of the contests.
I think she’s at the time to exit gracefully stage. I won’t make the call for anybody else—but I think at this point a vote for Clinton is a vote for McCain.
He urged the House Committee on Science and Technology to “allow high-tech companies to hire more skilled foreign workers,” among other (more admirable) requests such as better domestic education.
He charged that the current limit of 65,000 H-1B visas per year “bears no relation to the U.S. economy’s demand for skilled professionals,” […]
It’s not meant to match our economy’s demand. It’s meant to fill the gap between the number of workers needed and the number of workers available if the latter is less than the former. The idea is that we shouldn’t be giving jobs to foreign citizens unless there aren’t enough U.S. citizens to fill them.
Disputing claims that skilled immigrants would cost American jobs, Gates argued that Microsoft hires four Americans for supporting roles for every high-skilled H-1B visa holder it hires. He also cited a study by a Virginia-based group that found a similar pattern held in other American high-tech companies.
Might this indicate a different issue?
Software-development salaries have been stagnant for years, and working conditions have worsened. Workaholism is infecting the entire industry. “Old” programmers (often as young as 35) are driven out because they’re too expensive and refuse to give up their personal and family lives to work 60-hour weeks. And many great developers have left the field because the rampant outsourcing has destroyed any semblance of job security, while driving the quality of the output through the floor.
The few remaining developers don’t get through the ineffective, arcane HR resume-buzzword filters that big companies hire with. Those who get interviews (because they had the right acronyms on their resumes) are often unfairly penalized because they haven’t yet memorized the answers to your trendy trick questions and brain teasers that have no bearing on actual software development abilities.
It’s all supply and demand, Bill. Make software development a more attractive industry to work in, and you’ll get plenty of qualified Americans willing to fill these jobs.
Almost all of my clients are married. I would say easily over 90 percent. I’m not trying to justify this business, but these are men looking for companionship. They are generally not men that couldn’t have an affair [if they wanted to], but men who want this tryst with no stings attached. They’re men who want to keep their lives at home intact.
Wired’s Gadget Labs call the ThinkPad X300 a “MacBook Air without the compromise”, but then go on to point out that the screen isn’t bright enough, battery life is poor, it weighs a half pound more, and costs $1000 more.
Vista makes me feel like my computer has an agenda of its own, and I am only there when it is politically correct for me to be involved. If what I am doing gets in the way of what the computer wants to do, I am out of luck.
Today’s little snots have it easy with their Happy Meals, fruit-flavored toothpastes, child-proof medication bottles, and Capri Suns with straws that can actually poke through the bag. Why are we coddling our children with burn-less Listerine?
It was sort of like going to a high school reunion but the only people there were the ones you truly wanted to see and were honestly interested in catching up with. And then you weren’t disappointed by one thing they said or did, and you wish that every new person you meet in life could be so endearing.
Great summary from Lauren Farmer, complete with a bunch of links to people’s tumblelogs if you forgot who they were and want to go follow them now.
Sometimes, people force women against their will to work as prostitutes. Therefore, we should outlaw all prostitution (rather than just outlaw forced prostitution and human trafficking). It’s possible to eliminate recreational activities that people have engaged in privately for thousands of years simply by making it illegal and then imprisoning the people who do it. Thus, we criminalize prostitution and drugs to ensure that nobody does those things.
I have a compulsion to learn other people’s handwriting. Not just to recognize it, but to actually learn how they make their letters. So if someone writes me a note, I will automatically start tracing and retracing their letters. I try to imagine what it would feel like to form my letters that way all the time.
He has since deleted the post, but it was here. Please don’t fan-mob him.
so, I just discovered this….but did you know, when you write things here, other people who write things here, they also read what you write, then sometimes they write about what you wrote, in the places they write.
I discovered this whole thing in the “dashboard” (i guess this is the windsheild of a very very isolated and lonely vehicle) …..where you see people who are “following” you….woah.
i looked at some of those people’s idea spaces or whatever.
my favorite was someone named Rach who somehow managed to get the most amazing picture of new york city to be in the space where on my blog it is just some neutral color or other.
And also someone who likes cupcakes and Iron Maiden.
It is kind of unsettling and strange and completely weird and awesome. I suppose it is okay seeing as these are just screens, and if you were to look down at this whole process from someplace above, you would just see very strange very isolated people rapping away on little microchip boxes,
not building bridges or furniture
not feeding bears or birds
not discovering new bodies of water or animals
not talking or being awkward
…maybe also if you went back in time and did the same thing, you would see very tired people coming in from tending to their crops or building houses sitting around their radio and staring at some strange box with a speaker
or hovering over tv trays of food, each food group in little tin boxes all in one tin tray, staring at a television, in silence, together,…..
all secretly wishing the autumn football game would go on forever,
so that they could enjoy each others company in silence
in the american version of meditation….forvere
and not have to say what is most painful but most true about life
which is that it is fleeting
and sometimes a pain paralyzes a person
and they must stay at home then
to collect themselves
in hopes of a springtime
that moves not only the green to go bright
but the soul to alight
I love the perception of Tumblr by new people, especially those less technical or less familiar with the web than us geeks.
Jim Cramer’s book, Real Money, has had the opposite effect that he probably intended: it convinced me that I shouldn’t buy individual stocks — or at least, they shouldn’t make up the bulk of my investments. (He recommends devoting 20% of your investments to high-risk, discretionary stocks while you’re young. That still sounds good.)
That makes most of the book’s other lessons pretty useless to me now, other than preventing me from losing a bunch of money in the long run. But there was one other great part, with only one page devoted to it (page 200), that’s worth the price of the book for me: the list of recommended mutual funds for people who don’t want to buy individual stocks.
There’s so little guidance out there on this topic for newbies (like me and probably you) that I’d love to share this information here. Here are his recommendations:
KAUAX: Federated Kaufmann Fund A: Lawrence Auriana and Hans P. Utsch, mgrs.
SHRAX: Smith Barney Aggressive Growth Fund: Richard A. Freeman, mgr. This one’s looking pretty bad from the other ratings, such as Morningstar. I’d go with KAUAX for high risk instead.
FCNTX: Fidelity Contrafund: William Danoff, mgr. This is a nice substitute for an index fund. It’s a little better than index funds with a bit less risk. Cramer recommends this for most people who only want one fund.
OAKBX: Oakmark Equity & Income Fund I: Clyde McGregor, mgr. This is a more conservative fund, with a large percentage invested in bonds. Considering that, its returns are impressive. Look especially at its history back to 2000 (in Google Finance, scrollwheel down all the way with the mouse pointer in the graph) — compared to the others in this list, it’s the only one that has a consistent climb.
JCVIX: John Hancock Classic Value Fund: Richard S. Pzena, mgr. Cramer claims this one is low risk, high reward. But it’s not doing well recently. Looks like it was hit very hard by the subprime problems and recent recession, since its major holdings are mostly banks and retailers.
In case you didn’t know: (I didn’t)
If you already have an investment account with someone else (Vanguard, E*TRADE, etc.), you can probably still buy these funds without starting a new account at their respective banks. Search for their ticker symbols from your investment account to find out.
There’s a huge lack of good, practical, useful financial advice for regular people. Maybe it’s because money discussion is taboo. I don’t care — we’d have many fewer problems with personal finance in our society if people were better educated about it.
I’ve personally lost thousands of dollars from being uneducated (or under-educated) about finance, from both direct losses and missed opportunities. I’m lucky that I’m finally learning about this as a debt-free 25-year-old.
Hopefully we can have a more open discourse about personal finance in our culture. It’s too painful to see 50-year-olds without retirement funds because nobody ever told them they needed one, or 20-year-olds with credit-card debt because they bought frivolous things and didn’t consider the math.
If you don’t like prostitution, don’t be a prostitute or the customer of one. I never have been, not out of disapproval, but because it is not what I want. I want to make love with my sweetheart, not just have sex. But if you would like sex with someone very attractive, and you don’t need love to go with it, I don’t see any harm in your paying a skilled professional sex-partner to please you, just as I pay skilled professional chefs and musicians to please me in other ways.
Another thing we know that is millions of Americans are losing their nest eggs. They gave up job security, unions, health care, pensions, on and on. They were promised a piece of the action in the stock market. Once again, they’re screwed. Will enough of them wake up? Or will they just look for the next hooker scandal to distract themselves while decrying the high price of gas, driving to Wal Mart in order to stock up on more junk produced in China, paid by credit cards, as the suburban house faces foreclosure and the call-center job they had to take after losing a real job is outsourced to India? Oh, the president “is on top of it.” And those tax refunds will fix everything.
Preliminary analysis conducted by specialists from SysTest Labs indicates that the internal audit capability of the Franklin County voting machines had been manually disabled by county election board programmers last year, making it almost impossible to tell if any nefarious changes have been made to the systems.
This is a pretty big deal. I’m not nearly economically educated enough to realize the full implications, but it should mean lower loan and mortgage rates. It also makes stocks more attractive for a number of reasons, so stocks should go up.
With the latest reduction, the federal funds rate is far below the rate of inflation, meaning that the “real,” or inflation-adjusted, rate is below zero. It is also well below the European Central Bank’s benchmark interest rate of 4 percent or the Bank of England’s rate of 5.25 percent.
That, however, could be troublesome — again for reasons I’m not qualified to understand or explain. With this, the government could borrow money, stick it in a no-risk inflation-based investment such as a CD, then pay it back… and make a profit. Something tells me that’s not a good idea.
But if I figure correctly, this should also send CD and savings rates plummeting. Do you have one of those “high-yield” savings accounts from ING or HSBC Direct? Expect a friendly email soon to tell you that the rate is decreasing to something pathetic. (I’d be surprised to see any savings account offering more than 2.5% in a few weeks.)
I can’t tell you how huge this is going to be. There will be thousands of iPhone programs, covering every possible interest. The iPhone will be valuable for far more than simple communications tasks; it will be the first widespread pocket desktop computer. You’re witnessing the birth of a third major computer platform: Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone.
This is incredible. No wonder everyone’s linking to it.
One of the many great parts:
We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. […] But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.
You really should read this, even if you don’t support Obama.
It’s long and dense. Read it later if you won’t give it the time it deserves now.
I met MC Hammer tonight at a fancy party. I saw his nametag on the table and thought someone else had registered under his name to be funny.
He’s an incredibly nice, down-to-earth guy. We exchanged phone numbers and I’m going to try to get him to use Tumblr. He had a lot to say about the music industry, and he’s very passionate about being a part of its impending revolution. Very sharp guy.
But despite the speech’s high profile and intense media coverage of it, Mrs. Clinton said at a news conference she had not heard it yet or read the text.
Many reporters muttered in disbelief during and after her remarks, surprised that a candidate as diligent as Mrs. Clinton -– who always talked about being well-prepared and doing her homework -– would not have read the speech yet.
There are at least three positions of prominence in each segment — three ways to be number one, if you will: The First One, The Free One, and The Good One.
Also, a great little aside that I wish he would have gone further with:
Naturally, being the market leader is a comfortable place to be, but you don’t have to “kill” the market leader to make a decent living.
This is something most people forget. Sure, you won’t be the next Adobe with your one-man shop… but you can earn a great living even if a fraction of a percentage of their userbase decides to give you $30.
By posting pictures of myself, I am also broadcasting the message, “It’s ok to be photographed even if you are not a model.” This may subtly influence people to post their own pictures; as a result, they will become more aware of their own image. As a result of that, they may learn to accept their unique physical traits as just that — unique traits — instead of flaws to be hidden.
“The reason why we don’t put copy protection on our games isn’t because we’re nice guys. We do it because the people who actually buy games don’t like to mess with it. Our customers make the rules, not the pirates. Pirates don’t count,” Wardell argues. “When Sins popped up as the #1 best selling game at retail a couple weeks ago, a game that has no copy protect whatsoever, that should tell you that piracy is not the primary issue.”
Also contains great discussion about the disconnect between high-end game development and the actual market. Hint: there are a lot more people buying Super Mahjong Plus 3000 than Bioshock.
Garfield barely resembles a cat. He is more of a logo, a product, a nonsense shape whose meaning derives only from its position in popular culture, as something you can buy. Garfield exists merely as a trinket, another blip in the continual accelerating churn of late capitalism’s ravenous hunger for the “new.” But these trinkets are merely salves for the underlying horrors of late capitalism: social fragmentation, isolation, anxiety. Remove the product from our lives, and we’re left with nothing.
This is an interesting album. It’s the soundtrack from a movie dramatization about a true story of a crazy guy who abandoned society, went out into the Alaskan wilderness to live, and died of starvation. (People from the area say that crazy hippies and assholes do this all the time.)
My only complaint about the album is that it’s only 33 minutes. It’s great, though. At $8, it’s a no-brainer. At $10, give it a listen first.
In order to post this song from an album I purchased from the iTunes Store, I had to illegally download a different DRM-free copy. Had I pirated the album in the first place, I could have skipped that step.
This is stupid.
Now, the Amazon MP3 Store exists and has a massive, 100% DRM-free catalog of well-priced music. It’s better than the iTunes Store in every way: more-universal format, high bitrate, much larger selection (compared to the DRM-free “iTunes Plus”), and (usually) lower prices.
I’ve been watching Lindsay Campbell’s new daily video show, and it’s great. Remember Lindsay’s on-the-street interview segments in Wallstrip? MobLogic is mostly those, in shorter segments (2-4 minutes), with a focus on politics so far. Content and production quality are top-notch.
I’ve met Lindsay and her producer, Scott Solary, and they’re both friendly, smart people.
I didn’t have anything to do this weekend. Tiff was out of town. Nothing was happening on the internet. When I had cable, I would have watched a lot of TV.
TV is the easy way out. When you have nothing to do, it’s the default. But without cable, we’re forced to consciously decide what content we want to watch, and plan accordingly. Instead of flipping through channels or settling on shows we don’t really want to watch, we watch entire series with Netflix. No commercials, no week-long waits between episodes, and an inherent limit on how many hours per day can be spent watching things. For new shows, there’s always iTunes or piracy. And plenty of great content is now free as video podcasts.
Instead, I taught myself the beginnings of Cocoa, Objective-C, and the iPhone SDK. I’m already making progress on a real application. Then I wrote a massive HTML-parsing engine for a cool upcoming feature of Instapaper. Tonight, I successfully diagnosed and fixed an obscure Tumblr server issue, dramatically speeding up the service. Then I wrote this article, which will sit here and earn a few cents every day for years.
I feel great, too: I haven’t needed to keep myself awake with coffee because I haven’t been bored. I was so excited and motivated by new ideas that I stayed up until 3 AM programming (only going to bed because I knew I should), then hopped out of bed 7 hours later and went right back to coding.
What would you accomplish if you didn’t waste so much time watching TV because it’s the easy way out?
Look at the sky, pick a random object, hold it in front of the clouds and take a picture. ‘Fun with Clouds’ is the unofficial name for this series of photographs that makes you to use your imagination in order to create cool illusion effects with the different shapes of clouds (more examples here).
As you can expect from a massive corporation enjoying a monopoly enabled by governmental deregulation, their lobbyists’ jobs are to whine as much as possible that any unfavorable policy change will spell doom for their business.
Today, our public discourse is dominated by people who have been wrong about everything — but are still, mysteriously, treated as men of wisdom, whose judgments should be believed. Those who were actually right about the major issues of the day can’t get a word in edgewise.
Songs sold without DRM, at high quality, with album art, that’s the best way to get people to buy music instead of stealing it. DRM is a way to punish people who are buying. Offering a great product at a great price is a way to combat piracy.
You just don’t get offered too many McCain stickers at Penn. They’d be a scarlet letter - like “zit stickers” from that game Girl Talk. “You got caught cheating on your Roman History exam. Take 3 McCain stickers!
As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”
I don’t want to hear another conservative bitch about our education system when they’re financing 720 million dollars a day for the Iraq War. I don’t want to hear another conservative bitch about our falling economy when they’re financing 720 million dollars a day for the Iraq War. Enough is enough. There couldn’t be a larger contradiction than that. You can’t eat your cake and have it too.
But he also believes Jews and Muslims and non-believers who live moral lives are as much “children of God” as he is, according to The Associated Press.
As an example, he spoke about his late mother who was “not a believer.”
“[S]he was the kindest, most decent, generous person that I have ever known,” Obama said, according to the Times. “I’m sure she is in heaven, even though she may not have subscribed to everything that I subscribe to.”
When I read the post, I thought, “Is it possible that RIM finally learned how to make a usable, well-designed mobile device?” After all, it’s clearly trying to rip off parts of the iPhone. They need to aim high.
Engadget just loves it. And they’re so… enthusiastic about everything. So everything must be good! Otherwise their sponsors might stop sending them stuff!
Don’t miss the “video of the hot new UI in action” below the post.
What is that supposed to be a massive improvement over, exactly? Are BlackBerries really that bad? Does Engadget really lack taste so badly that they thought that’s a good UI?
No wonder Apple is crushing the smartphone market.
Puppy the World is a dog rental store. You can choose small, medium, or large breeds and rent them for $19/hr, or $100 a night. They have everything from chihuahuas to labs to border collies to papillons—and you get a 5% discount at the cafe if you rent one! You can’t lose.
Every day, they have about 10-15 dogs in circulation. The dogs rotate in and out of service every few days. The ones in service stay on-site in a kennel, and the rest are all kept in nearby facility on their days off. The average dog works for about 5-6 years before they retire. Once they retire, they go to a facility in Chiba where they “rest.” I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant by rest, but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it means they get to romp in huge meadows with other retirees. (via TOKYOMANGO: What’s Hot Now: Dog Rental by the Hour)
Puppy rental is always one of the examples I cite as something that sounds like a really great idea, until you think about it, and you realize it’s a really terrible idea.
I had another such idea in the car once. You know how when you get on the highway, you roll up the windows because you’re speeding up and it’s getting too windy? Why doesn’t someone make a car window that rolls up the windows automatically when you speed up?
Larchmont (10538) gets a Walk Score of 94, beating many Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods. And it’s cheap[er], nicer, and quieter. Maybe city people will stop making fun of me for living in the suburbs now.
Feature creep can also be present in our lives. If we pretend for a second that our lives are a piece of software, we can see the types of “features” that we’ve added to it. Cell phones, email, IM, iPhones, Crackberry’s, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace… suddenly we’ve got a bunch of digital accounts that are stealing our focus. All of these accounts demand attention, and carve bits of attention from our day. We’ve become more and more connected to our computers and other communication devices. Life, it seems, has become much less simple.