February, 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What Corporate Projects Should Learn from Open Source: "The reason that people are so determined to stick by the rules is that everyone feels ownership of them."

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Monday, February 27, 2006

And now, Malcolm Gladwell has a blog.

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Keeping It (Un)real: "The idea was to break some of the rules of animation. You know, cartoon characters aren't really supposed to change over time. ... The alternative would have been to add Scrappy-Doo to the band."

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

More benefits of technology: people who are dissatisfied with a product have gone from grumbling to themselves about it, to emailing a few friends, to blogging, to creating embarrassing videos on the subject.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

New Theories About the Titanic: "That was one reason they only used half the seats in the lifeboats. They really didn't think this was the end."

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Average American Family Income Declines: "the growth in net worth was the weakest in a decade"

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jyllands-Posten editor Fleming Rose: Why I Published Those Cartoons: "The Muslim face of Denmark has changed, and it is becoming clear that this is not a debate between 'them' and 'us,' but between those committed to democracy in Denmark and those who are not."

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Truths of Science: "This reveals the problem with the intelligent design argument: the truths of science are not determined by popular opinion, but by evidence. If popular opinion determined scientific truths, we would still be teaching that the Sun revolves around the Earth."

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A Card We Should All Carry: "Without a stable address or the cash to pay registration fees, the homeless struggle to get a valid photo ID." -- but the even more expensive and bureaucratically painful national ID card will be easier for the poor to get?

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Mugabenomics: print more money: "Robert Mugabe said yesterday his Government would print money as Zimbabwe's deepening economic crisis drove inflation to the highest levels in the world and unemployment climbed over 70per cent." -- he would have gotten away with it, too, if not for those snooping monetarists.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

John Siracusa's Journal: Paths in the grass: "If someone goes through the trouble of creating and then supporting a system extension that provides a certain feature, and a significant number of users are willing to spend money - and, in many cases, willingly compromise the stability of their systems - to get this feature, then that's a pretty good sign that this feature is a 'high-value target' for Apple. The not-so-invisible hand of the market is showing Apple the way."

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The Che Cachet: "This, in brief, is why capitalism won."

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Hypocrisy in the China syndrome: "If members of Congress are 'sickened' by business between China and the likes of Google, Yahoo, Cisco and Microsoft, then they should be taking a similarly hard line on the thousands of retail companies that import merchandise from the country."

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Sleep on it, decision-makers told: "The team argued the problem with conscious thought is that the brain can only focus on a few things at the same time, which can lead to some aspects being given undue importance."

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Techies in Microsoft licence reading bombshell: "a new Windows OEM licence must be purchased if a motherboard is changed or upgraded"

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My friend Matt Alt has published a book on Japanese robot toys, and now has started a blog: AltJapan.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Laptop: returned.

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How to Submit a Bug Report : "dude, what's up with this thing?" "Dude! Wazzzzup!"

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yet another reason Apple can't get into the enterprise

or "Dude, you're getting a Dell."

Jan 16: PowerBook doesn't wake from sleep, won't boot.

Jan 18: Give up tinkering, take to computer store for diagnosis.

Jan 20: The computer store determines the logic board has failed, sends PowerBook to Apple for repair. PowerBook is out of warranty, so the repair is paid. Computer store indicates the repair usually takes a couple days but can sometimes take as long as 5.

Jan 23: Apple receives the PowerBook.

Jan 24: Apple's support site indicates the PowerBook is now in repair.

Jan 25: Call Apple to get a sense of when it might be done. I am told it should be done within five days.

Jan 30: Call Apple. Am told they meant 5 business days.

From this point on I call every couple days. The "we will have it fixed" within window shifts from 5 days to 5-7 days to 7-9 days to 7-10 days. After the fifth day the calls take one of three forms:

  1. "Yes, let me check... the status is that we've received your laptop and are working on it. We received it on Jan 24." "I'm aware of that. Do you know when it will be ready?"
  2. "I have no record of that / We have that registered to another name, [the original purchaser] / We don't recognize the dispatch number we gave you. Do you know that the store has sent it to us?" "Your computer confirms that you began repair work on the 24th. Do you know when it will be ready?"
  3. "Uh. Something's gone wrong. Here's what we're doing to fix it. If you don't hear from us by date X, call us again."

The current estimate is that the laptop will be back in my (now well-rested) hands by the end of this week or the beginning of next. Anyone want to put odds on my laptop being back in my hands by next Tuesday (20 business days since repair started) or next Thursday (1 month since Apple's receipt of the unit)?

Update: About 20 minutes after posting this Apple's site moved the status from "Service" to "Return", so I may have the machine back by this Thursday.

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Cheney seemed not to know basic safety rule: "1. Treat all guns as loaded. 2. Don't point your muzzle at anything you're not willing to destroy. 3. Never place your finger near the trigger until you've sighted the target. 4. Be certain of your target and what's around it -- behind it, beside it and under it."

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Can George Bush Order a Killing on U.S. Soil?

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blatant self-promotion / plug

Over the past year and a half I've been working with a company in California that's been trying to make it a lot easier and cheaper to make 411 calls: 1-800-411-SAVE. "cheaper" as in "free", with a short ad.

It launched in the San Francisco area a couple months ago, and just expanded to the Chicago area. If you're outside those areas you can sign up for the beta here.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

How many Time reporters knew they were deceiving readers about Rove's role in Plamegate?: How many more stunts like this does it take for people to realize Time is not a reliable source for anything.

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Blogger claims this is my 3000th post - 6 years and counting. These numbers would be higher if I could find my backups for /tmp/.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Troublemakers

Troublemakers: "To go by 'The Godfather,' mafiosi look like white men of European descent, which, as generalizations go, isn't terribly helpful."

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Depression may be lifelong parent trap

Depression may be lifelong parent trap, FSU study says: "The findings do not mean that parents don't find any pleasure in their roles; it's just that the emotional costs can outweigh the psychological benefits."

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

There Is No Open Source Community: "Too few have recognized the crucial role played by the internet in creating the economies of scale necessary for the proliferation of open source software. Furthermore, there has been little recognition in open source circles of the role the internet has played in driving down software production costs and thus software prices. It is this drastic reduction in price that is necessary for an open source-friendly environment to emerge."

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

If it's not a phone then why does it have this damn rotary dial on it?!: "Taking their cue from Sen. Ted Stevens' recent iPod epiphany, one that saw the octogenarian senator grilling RIAA windbag Mitch Bainwol on place-shifting, interoperability and fair use, the folks IPaction have embarked on a campaign to outfit every senator with one of the devices."

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