It’s from a blog I get in the mail.
— Tiff, referring to Apple Mail’s RSS feature, right after I commend her for getting into blog-reading and RSS.
This took me 2 hours. I’m so proud! It’s so slick. Just wait until you see it on your iPhone.
Starting April 1st, 2008 the nation’s second largest retailer will use the site as a promotional tool.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity,” says Ennis Blentic, Senior VP of Marketing at Target. “It’s a great chance for us to connect with some of our most valued customers and let them know about our great product line for 2008 and beyond.”
Improv Everywhere launches new site design
In typical “release Tuesday” fashion, Steve Jobs unveiled the next generation iPhone this morning in Cupertino, CA in front of a small invite-only audience. As expected the new iPhone runs on AT&T’s 3G network, has an 8 megapixel camera on the front with video capture capabilities, and has an integrated Twitter client. Steve Jobs’ “one more thing” was a new application from Apple called iGetShitDone (iGSD).
And here I was, predicting that we wouldn’t see it until June. Never underestimate Apple!
After a bit of a slow period, The Daily Puppy has redeemed itself.
Pixdaus (via handa)
I’d hate to have April 1 as my birthday. Everyone would always pretend to forget or that they didn’t buy me presents, and then suddenly be all APRIL FOOLS HAPPY BIRTHDAY. And then I’d kill them.
— Courtney Johnston
“The entire concept of ‘late’ no longer exists for me. That’s pretty cool. Thanks Gmail!”
Instead of No Child Left Behind, you could have just talked to any teacher anywhere.
As far as I can tell, this isn’t an April Fools’ joke… but it should have been.
No wonder Sprint’s stock has tanked and they’re bleeding customers.
The argument from high-tech employers, that they simply can’t get enough high tech workers in the United States is ridiculous on its face. If these jobs paid millions of dollars per year (like jobs at Wall Street investment banks), then highly skilled workers would leave other occupations and develop the skills necessary to work in high tech occupations. Obviously, Bill Gates and the other high tech employers cited in this article want to be able to employ high tech workers at lower wages. The issue is wages, not a shortage.
— H1-B Workers and Gains From Trade (via azspot)
T-Mobile threatened Engadget Mobile for using the color magenta. This is Engadget’s response.
One thing that working does not necessarily look like, however, is busy. After all, the only real way to tell if someone is working is by their results, and that’s how it should have been all along.
Constantly being “busy” is toxic for actual productivity.
See all of those giant companies with thousands of employees that are all “busy”? How much do they actually accomplish per person?
I’m very happy working at a two-person company. I’m able to do fulfilling, intellectual, challenging work in a great environment during the day, then go home and have a life outside of work.
The chances of doing that at a big company are close enough to zero that it’s not worth the risk.
This most likely means that people love the iPhone so much that they’re willing to carry it along with another phone that they need for some other reason, and possibly even pay for two phone plans at once. Most likely explanations:
This shows that they have a lot of very devoted fans.
Benefits of working at home today:
The big problem with picking a doomsday date is that it so obvious when you are wrong. For most other decisions, you can generally make a case for why your wrongness was really right. For example, you still hear people say Saddam had WMD but he did a good job of hiding them. There’s no way to disprove that sort of assertion. But when the world doesn’t explode on Tuesday, it’s hard to make a case that it did. You have to go with something like “The comet was heading this way, but we prayed it off course. You’re welcome. Give me back my stuff.”
Standing ovations, the word genius, and the word friend are overused.
— Jeffrey Tambor
Screw syncing. I’m back to NewsFire. I’d rather just use RSS at home than stumble through this might-as-well-be-Windows app any further.
Ian Jenkins reviews the new Wendy’s Spicy Baconator:
Weighing in at only 287 grams, this 880 calorie monster (500 from fat alone) is frightening to any human being, except most of America.
Don’t miss his review of the original Baconator.
Looking to honor the forty-third President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, the recently formed Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is looking to change the name of the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility. It seems the group would like to rename the SF Zoo adjacent facility to the ‘George W Bush Sewage Plant.’
— The SFist on the San Francisco movement to name a sewage plant after the much-adored current president of the United States. (via zetahydrae)
One New Hampshire doctor rented a building he owns to Clinton; it took so long for the campaign to pay him that he decided to forward its $500 check to Obama.
— Hillary’s Wrong Numbers: Obama Polls Up, Clinton Funds Down (via squashed)
The iTunes Store leads the pack with 19 percent, Wal-Mart (which includes the brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online properties) is second with 15 percent, and Best Buy is third with 13 percent. Amazon is a distant fourth at 6 percent, trailed by the likes of Borders, Circuit City, and Barnes & Noble.
Congratulations, Apple! It’s always good when Wal-Mart’s monopsony power is reduced.
Study: ‘Weight-ism’ Is Bigger Than Racism (via emilyposts)
… weight discrimination is spiraling upward, and that’s a dangerous trend that could add fuel to the obesity epidemic.
The study argues that discrimination against fat people should be illegal, just like discrimination based on race, age, or gender.
Personally, I don’t see the connection… being overweight is just as much of a lifestyle and personality decision as smoking, being annoying, or listening to bad music. Sure, it’s hard to change it once you’re there. But it’s not impossible, and it’s not the world’s fault that you got there in the first place.
People shouldn’t be prohibited from thinking negatively of people who are overweight because of their decisions.
(Also, this picture… they couldn’t have picked a better representative? Is that a pair of 2-liter soda bottles in that shopping bag?)
It’s another 90’s Friday at Marco.org! Here are the Crash Test Dummies with God Shuffled His Feet.
It’s from their 1993 album of the same name. You know Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm and possibly Afternoons and Coffeespoons from the radio.
This is my strangest musical quirk, by far. I like the Crash Test Dummies. I admit it. Not all of their albums are good — just the first three.
Apparently they were very popular in Canada, where they’re from, but I’ve never met anyone in the U.S. who knew any of their non-radio songs — except once. When we met with Vimeo for the Tumblr API integration last fall, Jakob Lodwick was playing A Worm’s Life in his office. It’s the only time I’ve ever heard anyone else playing their music in the last 15 years.
Their airy pop-rock sound is impossible to compare to any other well-known bands, and their whimsical lyrics are odd and ridiculous. If I had to pick one song of theirs to be the best, it’s this one. Headphones and relaxation recommended. Enjoy!
(screw google) Lunch at Tumblr
This was awesome. I’m the far one - creme brulee with cappuccino (the silver teapots were from appetizer teas). This was dessert after the deliciously tender hanger steak. Who needs cheesy corporate cafeterias when you’re in midtown Manhattan?
I had a really interesting time shooting this. So much emotion in everyone’s eyes and voices. Felt honored just to be a witness to it.
Great show today.
I did not manipulate this error message in any way. Do Mac users ever get this kind of hilarity? I suspect not.
Nope. And “data execution prevention” is the more modern equivalent of “illegal operation” - the program said something along the lines of “execute starting at address 100” but the stuff in memory at address 100 isn’t supposed to be program code.
You’re the only one of our high-school friends to not switch to Macs yet. I’m impressed by your resolve. But you’ll cave soon. I can feel it.
OS X’s worst error is the kernel panic — the Mac equivalent of the BSOD (more accurately, the blue STOP errors in Windows 2000/XP). The screen gets a 50%-dark translucent overlay with this multilingual notice in the middle (a full photo). It’s actually somewhat pretty, as fatal error messages go.
Like the Windows STOP errors, you’ll usually only see a kernel panic if there’s a serious hardware problem or very low-level crash, like if you have bad RAM.
Dear MacBreak Weekly podcast,
You’re frequently interesting and you have great guests.
But why must you be so long? Most of your episodes are over 90 minutes. And as great as your guests are, those 90 minutes aren’t all interesting. I’d love to hear what you and they have to say, but I have a life and a job and a lot of other media I’d like to enjoy.
Normally I don’t recommend committing to a duration in a podcast, but you’re clearly powerless to rambling and you can’t help yourself alone. Your show would be a lot better with a bit more preparation and someone to move it along when the discussion enters a bottomless pit of dull rambling.
Prepare a basic discussion outline beforehand with duration guidelines for each topic, then commit to a 45-minute show.
Getting some beer after work at Hop Devil from about 6-8 tonight with David and some friends from the office. Feel free to drop by!
(that’s in 1 hour! hurry!)
Criminal Intent doesn’t deserve the Law & Order name.
As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn’t as easy to get programs right as we had thought.
— Maurice Wilkes (via igowen)
Fun night out.
Fat Convertible by Erwin Wurm, an Austrian artist, is the highlight of his gallery series on obesity.
Money, when it travels at a certain trajectory and speed, can make anyone into an asshole.
— Textism: Alright.
My first golf game, courtesy of my father-almost-in-law.
Music Will Eat You (thanks, tightgrip)
Every day, it becomes more difficult to blame George Bush, Dick Cheney and comrades for their seven years (and counting) of crimes, corruption and destruction of our political values. Think about it this way: if you were a high government official and watched as — all in a couple of weeks time — it is revealed, right out in the open, that you suspended the Fourth Amendment, authorized torture, proclaimed yourself empowered to break the law, and sent the nation’s top law enforcement officer to lie blatantly about how and why the 9/11 attacks happened so that you could acquire still more unchecked spying power and get rid of lawsuits that would expose what you did, and the political press in this country basically ignored all of that and blathered on about Obama’s bowling score and how he eats chocolate, wouldn’t you also conclude that you could do anything you want, without limits, and know there will be no consequences? What would be the incentive to stop doing all of that?
— Glenn Greenwald (via azspot)
Tumblr has turned into what the Facebook news feed should have been! Dead simple, gorgeous, no zombies, and a great mix of blog posts, tweets, camera phone pictures, and the occasional video of slugs having sex.
— Benjamin Stein - Thanks!
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (via azspot)
After the first golf comes the first post-golf soreness. Wow.
Also, I underestimated how much exercise that would actually provide. Not only did I have to swing the club a lot because I sucked, but I also had to do a lot of walking. I probably walked about 4 miles, total.
Connecticut’s For Fucking, by Jesus H. Christ and The Four Hornsmen Of The Apocalypse.
I love this. I heard it on Sirius last year and immediately went to iTunes to buy it. Catchy!
I originally censored the name of the song in the previous post. I’ve sworn on my sites before, but that’s usually just “shit” or “ass”, and I try not to do it gratuitously to preserve the value of the words.
I assumed that I had never used the word “fuck” in my content because I didn’t want to unnecessarily ostracize people or disqualify myself from advertisers. But two things changed my mind:
I don’t like the idea of certain words being completely off-limits.
I wouldn’t use racial slurs, but I would never want to make them illegal to speak, write, or broadcast. I understand why racial slurs are highly offensive, but my way of rejecting racist language is not to use it — I’ve never needed or wanted to communicate the racism and anger of slurs. And I’m fine with other people not wanting to say “fuck” for the same reason.
But when used well, it’s a useful and effective word. Those who choose to use it should be able to. Why artificially shrink our language? That just hinders ideas and communication.
Plus, that song wouldn’t be nearly as catchy if the title were “Connecticut’s For Engaging In Recreational Sexual Intercourse Between People Who Aren’t Necessarily In Love”.
A fun look back, with plenty of great quotes.
[…] it’s just good business sense to avoid any situation in which you are dependent upon Microsoft acting in good faith.
And from Dave Hyatt, quoted in the article, on why Gecko (Firefox’s HTML-rendering engine) would be a bad choice on OS X:
Gecko is a thick cross-platform codebase that doesn’t reuse components that have already been implemented by the OS. […] The code is immense (over 1.5 million lines) and hard to understand. It’s hopelessly entangled. […] A browser on OS X done right should be able to dust Gecko in terms of speed and footprint. It should be able to just smoke Gecko in startup time and page load time. The fact that this hasn’t been done yet doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Enter Safari. And Gruber was completely on point with this:
Apple’s stated goal is to make Safari the best browser on the Mac. What’s unstated, but clearly their larger goal, is to make it the best browser in the world, period. A noble goal, but clearly reachable.
There’s now a Windows version of Safari, and Apple recently made its Windows iTunes updater prompt users to install Safari. I saw that one coming.
Anyway, this article is a fun look back. I love reading old tech blog posts and seeing how their predictions and opinions fared over time.
What text editor do most of you serious Tumblr folks use? I’ve used Pagespinner for years and years, have dabbled with Coda (which doesn’t seem well-suited to Tumblr), and am just curious what’s preferred.
Tumblr is written entirely using TextMate. (So is Instapaper!)
It’s a great editor. Before switching to TextMate, I used SubEthaEdit and even Vim for periods. They’re both nice, but I now prefer TextMate to either of them. I’ve now been using it for 2 years and still haven’t come close to mastering all of its advanced features, but those that I’ve memorized are incredible time-savers every day.
Your Mother (directed by samreich)
“Why John Edwards Can’t Endorse Hillary.”
I didn’t agree with many of his positions, but John Edwards really nails it in this clip. Well done, sir. This is particularly relevant since the Clintons’ extravagance has just recently come to light.
The mark of a bad search implementation… this is almost always 99% indicative of a naive implementation of search using MySQL FULLTEXT.
This is usually a sign of bad outsourced-overseas development and a company run by “business”-only people. I looked at their About page to find out, and found this gem as one of their “three goals”:
2) Making search results relevant: Since Viddler searches inside the content of videos, our users have a lot of flexibility when it comes to finding new material to watch. Search for any object, person, or place and the results will be staring you in the face with exactly what you wanted.
So how, exactly, am I supposed to find the many C4 videos? The stupid FULLTEXT search doesn’t work.
The only way I found was to click the c41 tag on one of the videos I actually knew about — but only after being frustrated, giving up, and starting to write this post. Nobody except geeks knows what “tags” are… that’s not a solution.
Search is a critical navigation element. Don’t slack on it.
I’ve just released a major Instapaper update. The most significant feature is a new Text mode for articles — when you’re on your slow iPhone connection, you can view just the text and save a bunch of loading time. The text is also optimized for iPhone readability in portrait or landscape orientation.
The main article list also now uses fast AJAX updating for the main buttons (Skip, Delete, etc.).
The iPhone interface has also been adjusted to have larger buttons and fields for easier tapping.
Take a look!
And it’s been written up in the Washington Post!
One of Walsh’s occasional readers is Davis, who heard about the site a few months ago. The cartoonist calls the work “an inspired thing to do” and wishes to thank Walsh for enabling him to see another side of “Garfield.”
“Some of the strips were slappers: ‘Oh, I could have left that out.’ It would have been funnier,” Davis says.
Walsh may start having trouble finding the lonely, depressed Jon for his comics. Davis recently created a girlfriend for the longtime bachelor.
“How much humor can you get out of someone’s unhappiness?” Davis muses. “Day after day for so many years — it was getting to me, too.”
This is a great article, albeit very long (read later?).
Public transit itself can be bad for the environment if it facilitates rather than discourages sprawl. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is considering extensions to some of the most distant branches of its system, and those extensions, if built, will allow people to live even farther from the city’s center, creating new, non-dense suburbs where all other travel will be by automobile, much of it to malls and schools and gas stations that will be built to accommodate them.
Tons of great quotes.
Most of the car’s most tantalizing charms are illusory, though. By helping us to live at greater distances from one another, driving has undermined the very benefits that it was meant to bestow. Ignacio San Martín, an architecture professor and the head of the graduate urban-design program at the University of Arizona, told me, “If you go out to the streets of Phoenix and are able to see anybody walking-which you likely won’t-they are going to tell you that they love living in Phoenix because they have a beautiful house and three cars. In reality, though, once the conversation goes a little bit further, they are going to say that they spend most of their time at home watching TV, because there is absolutely nothing to do.” One of the main attractions of moving to the suburbs is acquiring ground of your own, yet you can travel for miles through suburbia and see no one doing anything in a yard other than working on the yard itself (often with the help of a riding lawnmower, one of the few four-wheeled passenger vehicles that get worse gas mileage than a Hummer). The modern suburban yard is perfectly, perversely self-justifying: its purpose is to be taken care of.
The author raises great questions about what people really need and what’s really most efficient. Recommended when you have time.
Bureaucracies are built by and for people who busy themselves proving they are necessary, especially when they suspect they aren’t.
— Ricardo Semler
I’m going to have Jakob write all of my press releases.
In the alternate universe in which Hillary supporters reside, not only is Hillary winning, but Obama doesn’t even deserve second place. Seriously, what is going on? Is this a cult? Are these people drugged? Should we start to worry now, or when they start wearing identical black suits with Nikes?
— John Cole (via fuddmain)
Yeah, this is a little too geeky for most of you to care, but this really is unbelievable.
See? Not only am I saving my own sanity by using Macs, but I’m contributing to the health of the entire internet.
Improv Everywhere: Best Game Ever.
For our latest mission, we turned a little league baseball game in Hermosa Beach, California into a major league event.
This got pretty ridiculous… imagine being one of those kids! Must’ve been awesome.
Great New York Times profile of Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture. You may have seen its link circulating a few months ago called “Dying 47-year-old professor’s last lecture”.
I watched this a while ago, and I’m happy to see that Randy’s still alive. It’s great — you should really sit down and watch it sometime. (It’s a bit over an hour. Wait until you have the time it deserves.)
Even though he’s tragically dying of pancreatic cancer, it’s truly inspiring. Randy Pausch makes us remember that life is short, and we shouldn’t delay achieving our dreams. He didn’t, and although he’ll most likely die within months, he lived a full, happy life, despite being cut short.
Our time is limited. What have you been putting off? What are you waiting for?
25% of the visitors we track at Squidoo use Firefox, which is not surprising. But 50% of the people who actually build pages on the site are Firefox users. Twice as many. This is true of bloggers, of Twitter users, of Flickr users… everywhere you look, if someone is using Firefox, they’re way more likely to be using other power tools online. The reasoning: In order to use Firefox, you need to be confident enough to download and use a browser that wasn’t the default when you first turned on your computer.
— Seth Godin
Looking past this “news” piece’s blatant promotionalism*, Starbucks seems to have stumbled upon knowledge that’s only news to them, and they’re celebrating by announcing a nationwide program of mediocrity at an overhyped PR event today.
People don’t like variety. They want the same mediocre, universally agreeable, unchallenging*, least-common-denominator coffee blend every day. So Starbucks is giving them what they want by having one mediocre blend that they can serve ever day.
* Firefox says these aren’t real words, but I don’t care. You know what I mean.
This isn’t a surprise to me at all. Most people don’t like coffee. They like the idea of coffee, or they like caffeine, but they don’t like the flavor. That’s why most coffee sold is very weak. What people really like is dairy and sugar. You can add dairy and sugar to anything and people will like it.
Starbucks has also learned that roasting and grinding coffee months in advance and shipping it to stores in “flavor-locked bags” doesn’t produce fresh coffee. But we knew that already.
Just keep boosting local coffeeshop sales, Starbucks…
Why did I receive this email?
It’s hard to tell if this is the beginning of a Nigerian scam…
Soup, answering Nora about this:
To clarify, Schultz stated that the plan is to dispose of coffee after it has been sitting for 30 mins. What is this all about!? For the most part, I’ve known Starbucks to be an environmentally responsible company, but the comment above clearly communicates otherwise.
This is actually what most respectable coffee vendors do. When I worked at Bruegger’s Bagels in high school, their limit was 20 minutes. When you see little timers stuck to the big drip pots, that’s usually what they’re for.
If it makes you feel any better, the employees and shift managers rarely obey out the corporate standard on this one because they’re lazy and don’t want to ruin their metrics. (Trust me, it’s not an environmental statement. Retail is a hideous business.)
As retail and food-service waste goes, this is a fairly minor offense.
I know there’s only so many ways to make a Flash video player… but this is a bit blatant, don’t you think, Flickr? (via caseypugh)
Experience in Washington is not knowledge of the world. This I know. When Senator Clinton brags ‘I’ve met leaders from eighty countries’—I know what those trips are like! I’ve been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There’s a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then—you go. You do that in eighty countries—you don’t know those eighty countries.
— Barack Obama (thanks, Lindsay)
The legalising of format-shifting of audio files - such as from a purchased CD to an iPod - is a very modest step in the right direction, It is a great pity…they have not extended format-shifting to other media such as video.
— Keith Davidson (via yum9me). Yes, it’s (somewhat) legal for me to convert audio from a purchased CD to an iPod, but it’s very illegal to do the same for video from purchased DVDs. Love big media.
Coffee roasted nearly 3 weeks ago is not fresh, nor is it anything to brag about, especially the day after your major PR push toward freshly roasted coffee.
(I didn’t just pick the worst one. They had about 30 bags of this for people to buy… all had the same date.)
Review: Starbucks’ new Pike Place Roast coffee
It’s a bit weak. Wrong coffee-to-water ratio.
It’s a very flat taste — not complex or full-bodied like good coffee is supposed to be. Stale beans.
It’s hard to tell for sure since it’s weak and flat, but it tastes burnt to me. Over-roasted.
Suspicions confirmed. It’s marginally better than what you’ll find at most convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s nowhere near the quality that you get from a real roasting coffeeshop. Not recommended.
In just over two months, it’s become clear that people will buy CDs and downloads if they get access to the kind of service we offer.
— Martin Stiksel of Last.fm on a 119% increase in music sales since launching free, full-track music streams (via artistspaid)
The bigger problem is that the now-finished boom was, for most Americans, nothing of the sort. In 2000, at the end of the previous economic expansion, the median American family made about $61,000, according to the Census Bureau’s inflation-adjusted numbers. In 2007, in what looks to have been the final year of the most recent expansion, the median family, amazingly, seems to have made less — about $60,500.
— For Many, a Boom That Wasn’t (via azspot). And now, houses cost a lot more than they did in 2000.
[…] the firmware contains references to an updated version of the iPhone’s communications chipset. This updated chipset adds support for 3G networking, including WCDMA, the 3G flavor used in Japan and Korea. In addition, the chipset supports features like live recording and two-way video calls. It’s not known if or when developer access to any of these features will be enabled by Apple, but it certainly gives rise to the notion that some very useful applications could be coming our way. This reference to the updated chipset certainly indicates (and to some of us, practically guarantees) that we will see updated 3G-capable iPhones when the 2.0 firmware is officially released in June.
This makes a lot of sense, and seems to be in line with most reasonable assumptions that the next iPhone update will be released at WWDC (June 9).
Rosie Siman wrote this detailed response on my criticism of Starbucks’ new “fresh roasting” campaign.
She makes many good points, but I think this is the meat of her response:
[…] if you ask most coffee shops when their coffee was roasted, they would have no clue. They wouldn’t know most likely because their managment doesn’t want to promote the fact that the coffee was roasted months ago. Coffee is (often) roasted in the beans’ city of origin: ie, overseas.
Now having said that, the average coffee-consumer probably won’t even taste a difference in the beans, so it definitely is a PR effort.
That’s sad, but I recognize that it’s true.
As I said yesterday, most people don’t really like coffee — they like dairy and sugar. But even among those who take it black (I’m curious — do you know what portion of your customers do?), there’s a bigger truth here:
Most people simply don’t have good taste, or don’t care enough to be discerning.
Apple products are great because Steve Jobs and much of Apple’s upper staff has exceptionally good taste. Most people (with bad or no taste) don’t see what the big deal is, and they’ll buy the $300 Wal-Mart special. But to the discerning minority, there is a big difference.
It’s not like audiophile placebo — there are real differences between good computers and bad computers and good coffee and bad coffee. The only difference is whether people notice or care, and I recognize that most don’t.
But I do. I try to be discerning in everything, because I love it. I love the research and acquisition of specialty things, I love finding new and better versions of the things I like, and I love discovering the immense depth of hobbies and goods that most people never see.
I shave with this stuff when everyone else uses the Mach 3. I buy wine from this guy when everyone else drinks Bud Lite. I use these fancy headphones when everyone else buys Sony. I drink loose tea when everyone else is fine with Lipton dustbags. I carry around 5 pounds of camera gear every day because I won’t settle for bad photos. And I got this ridiculous monster because no laptop would satisfy me.
Most people aren’t discerning, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to be.
Finally, a perfectly valid question from Rosie to end with:
Why do you go to Starbucks if it disppoints you so much?
Most of the time, I go to coffeeshops that I like more. But I do go to Starbucks occasionally for the same reasons most Starbucks customers go to Starbucks:
Starbucks is much better than any convenience store or fast food place. Starbucks’ coffee is also better than what I’ve had at some “real” coffeeshops. (They’re not all good, obviously.)
For what they are — a high-volume, easily reproducible, massive national corporate chain — they’ve achieved a respectable level of quality.
Their marketing keeps trying to tell us a different story, though. We’re told that Starbucks is our nice local cultured coffeeshop serving fresh, high-quality coffee that justifies its price premium.
But it’s not. It can’t be, and it never will be.
What I need is a better random play. In fact, what I don’t want is random play at all, I want intelligent play.
Agreed. Random has been broken since… well, forever. It really never worked.
Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
— Donald Knuth (via igowen)
Comments. I got rid of them. I know this is going to be contentious. My current view on comments is I really don’t like them — at all, anywhere on the internet. I’m all for communication between author and reader, but comments are the lowest possible denominator. More often than not, they bring out the absolute worst in people.
— Steven Frank (of Panic) on his self-authored blog platform
It is only the mediocre who are always at their best.
— Jean Giraudoux (via bullshit)
Creepy. (via stumblng)
We’re spending large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military, some of whom possess specialties like Arab-language capabilities that we desperately need. That doesn’t make us more safe.
— Barack Obama (via squashed)
Just got back from my afternoon trip to ‘bucks (see yesterday). I’m not sure what is going on, but I don’t like it. Every day for the last year we’ve curved the line around the rope/divider, inside. Today is the 2nd day the masses have decided to forgo the clear divider and take the line directly out the door, into oncoming pedestrian traffic on 42nd St. Why? It’s so organized on the inside. Why are we doing this? We know how it’s been done. It worked that way. Just because it’s nice weather, doesn’t mean we should take it outside and wreak havoc on the sidewalk. I turned to the lady behind me and said “this isn’t right.” She didn’t care.
I drew a diagram to better illustrate my point.
I love this. This is exactly the kind of everyday minutia that I think about all the time.
When Apple announced the iPhone SDK, they launched the next bubble. […] There’s just one problem: there are no engineers to write these apps. There are maybe 3000 Cocoa engineers on the planet, and most of them work for Apple. Three years ago I wasn’t sure how I was going to feed a family writing Macintosh software. Now I turn down more money in a day than I’ve made in my entire career. People in the valley who are eyeballing the huge money cloud are coming to the resource pool and finding it dry. There simply are no engineers.
I’ve been half-assed-trying to learn Cocoa and Objective-C for a few years, but from the perspective of an outsider, it’s an ugly, verbose language and a massive, barely documented framework with no substantial guidance, examples, or community.
I recognize now that it’s better than it looked. But that’s how it looks from the outside, trust me. And the truth isn’t much better. There’s still only one book worth getting, and there’s still absolutely zero public community.
For those who were willing to look past the initial discouragements and actually learn Cocoa and Objective-C, their prospects were… writing only desktop software, only for the Mac, in the golden age of platform-agnostic web applications and the dusk of most desktop software. Not a very appealing prize.
And good luck ever getting a job with that skill. Most employers probably think Objective-C is a typo on your resume, and you meant to say something like “object-oriented C”.
“So, Mr. Arment, uh… does this mean you know C++? We’re looking for someone with 15 years of .NET experience.”
But iPhone development is incredibly attractive — for the first time, any smart person can get instant distribution to the hottest platform in the massive mobile phone industry, in which millions of people are willing to pay money for simple applications. (To a Web 2.0 programmer, this is novel.)
You keep 70% of the revenue, and you only need to pay Apple $100 for the right to sell your app. Once. Know what it takes to make an application for a Verizon phone?
The iPhone SDK was finally the motivation I needed to learn Cocoa and Objective-C — for real this time, with an actual, attainable project (or three) worth building.
Now, a few weeks later, I’m finally becoming fluent in the Objective-C syntax and some of the Cocoa conventions. I’m matching the standard naming and formatting styles. I’m not clear on autorelease yet, but I finally know when I’m supposed to retain and release. And I’m actually understanding all of the code now instead of just pasting example code blindly. I’m making progress.
And when I finally get good at this, I’ll have unintentionally qualified myself to develop Mac software as well. That’s a nice side benefit, but it wasn’t good enough by itself to overcome the learning curve.
The real attraction here is the iPhone. The hardware is amazing, the SDK enables a ton of functionality, and the app marketplace is going to reinvigorate the nearly-extinct independent developer.
I’ve met both professionals and (mostly) students who believe that when class or work is over, it’s time to take off the designer hat. Design is not a hat, it’s a full body tattoo. It does not come off.
— Nicole Guinta: Design on Your Own Time. We see the same effect with programmers: the ones you want to hire are the ones who do side projects at night because they love the craft, not the ones who clock out at 6 and never care about code outside of work.
I feel so proud of myself. Apparently a search for “naked girls playing squash” brought my site. It must be pretty far down the results, though. I bet somebody was disappointed.
— Dan (squashed) on Google Analytics
Somebody quote that so I can reblog it!
— David Karp
Phish - The Squirming Coil (Live at Madison Square Garden, New Year’s Eve 1995)
I almost forgot about 90’s Friday! It’s been a Phish week for me, and this is a great performance of theirs. Enjoy.
(I’m also proud of my geek skills: it’s a 10-minute song that I encoded to 10,182,797 bytes, just 295 KB below the Tumblr audio-size limit, by using a LAME ABR of 133 kbit/s. And it sounds great.)
Holy balls. I can’t believe that they aired this on mainstream television; it’s way too sensible and accurate for them.
Wolf Blitzer gets three pundits on the air to discuss the latest political spectacle, Clinton and McCain ganging up on Obama for “belittling” the people of Pennsylvania. This was after a speech wherein Obama said that the people of Pennsylvania were bitter at Washington, left behind in economic frustration. It’s an utterly ridiculous situation, and Clinton and McCain get thoroughly served, especially by Cafferty at the end.
Maybe there’s hope for “news” TV after all.
Of course, both Clinton and McCain are serial liars, but they speak to the American people the way one speaks to slow children, pander to their prejudices and rarely try to make them think about the real challenges the nation faces. It’s not merely that a black man can’t be elected president in America. It’s that a smart, honest person who treats citizens as adults and challenges them to think can’t be elected. That would be too “elitist.” Enjoy President McCain.
— Rogue Columnist (via azspot)
Quick trip to Best Buy, or as I like to call it, the ‘Amazon showroom.’
— your monkey called
Over the past year I’ve become aware of mechanisms where we effectively transfer money from the poorest to the richest by reducing the risks associated with investment. Limited liability and bankruptcy laws put a limit on losses. But there is no corresponding limit on gains. When stocks head south we put together a ridiculously gigantic stimulus plan to try to turn things around. It won’t be enough to save anybody’s mortgage—but it should be enough to keep the corporations going. At the same time, we’re very hesitant to do something about outsourcing or minimum wage because, hey, it’s the market.
— squashed: Wealth shifting
Obama’s excellent “bitter” response. (thanks, ianblue)
Screw frequent-flier miles or opaque “points” systems. Free money every April without having to think about it or do anything is awesome.
It’s even more awesome because I always forget that it’s coming, then I see this big credit on my account. It’s like finding $20 in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn in months. But a lot bigger.
Apple could really do a lot more to make this easier.
My appreciation for PHP is growing. Not the language, but the development community and references. PHP.net is really good. Nearly every function has a usage example and user comments. I guess I took that for granted.
Also, PHP isn’t updated randomly every few weeks in ways that break old functionality with no schedule or roadmap.
Apple’s secrecy is great for product launches, but it’s painful to try to develop against it. And while developing for the iPhone SDK, you feel like you’re the only person in the world doing it. There’s no community. No examples. No websites. No tutorials. It took all night before I even found the beta-3 changelog (after they helpfully removed a critical rendering function of UITableView and broke my code).
It’s a good thing this is an attractive platform for other reasons.
Because of the pain required to make them and the ease of charging money in this environment, I don’t expect any high-quality iPhone applications to be free.
But that’s probably a good thing:
Soulver is such an awesome program. It’s a very good halfway point between Calculator and Excel. (And once you have it, you’ll never use Calculator again.) I almost always have it running.
The fact is, Americans are smarter than Clinton and McCain suggest. Americans are frustrated that their government supports corporations at the citizens’ expense. People are getting poorer and their educations are getting worse and more expensive. As people get poorer and angrier, they do more readily cling to symbols and superstitions. Under threat or antisemitism, Jews cling more steadfastly to Israel. Just as persecuted gun owners cling to their guns, and fundamentalists cling to their gods - especially when voting.
— Douglas Rushkoff (via azspot)
Harlem to Grand Central in 58 seconds, by me. View in HD.
Timelapse at 10x realtime, filmed with the camera pressed against the front window of the Metro-North train. No sound, since the natural audio was boring and I couldn’t think of a good music track to attach except Star Guitar, but it’s copyrighted and Vimeo probably wouldn’t appreciate that.
My first original video on Tumblr (and Vimeo).
By trying to prop up and support the existing mainstream form of music, namely the 3-5 minute recorded pop song, the natural evolution of music is being hindered.
— William Cotton (via jakoblodwick)
The reason (George H. W. Bush’s tactic) works so well now is that you have all these economically insecure white people who are scared to death.
— Bill Clinton, 1991 (via johnbrissenden)
The best bloggers make money, but mostly as a side effect, not as a direct result of setting out to use a blog to make a profit. It’s just too long a ramp up time, too frustrating and too uncertain to be the best path to make a living.
— Seth Godin (via soupsoup)
Eric Spiekermann’s new attitude in life (thanks, Mareen)
To people who know me well, it should come as a surprise that I just bought these three items in one night:
Next thing you know, I’ll be buying ink cartridges and pop music CDs, then I’ll take a cab home, rent an SUV, and drive to Indiana.
Why is marijuana illegal? In twenty words or less: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” Those were the words of the guy who outlawed it.“ The current situation, in nineteen words: Marijuana is illegal so that we can arrest poor people for no good reason. Marijuana is harmless. The end.
— Marijuana - Everything Shii Knows (via poortaste). The last thing we need is a reason to imprison more people.
Why aren’t there more Googles? The answer’s very simple. Because every company that had the potential to be economically revolutionary over the last five years sold out long before it ever had the chance to revolutionize anything economically. Think about that for a second. Every single one: Myspace, Skype, Last.fm, del.icio.us, Right Media, the works. All sold out to behemoths who are destroying, with Kafkaesque precision, every ounce of radical innovation within them.
— Umair Haque (via azspot).
Why is it such a strange idea for web startups to try to establish a profitable business model before being bought? And why is being bought the only way out?
You ever look around your desk and think, “What the fuck am I doing here? I should be doing something more meaningful than this.”
And then you realize you like health insurance.
One of the many problems with the lack of nationalized health care is that people are forced to stick with their crappy big-company jobs, discouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
… Kentucky Republican Congressman Geoff Davis using the word “boy” in reference to Sen. Barack Obama …
A racist Kentucky Republican? Terrible, but not a massive surprise. This is highly offensive:
One, it’s the ultimate sign of disrespect, and is often more offensive than calling them the N-word. For years black men were summarily dismissed and treated with disregard. It was as if their stature was diminished when someone white called them a boy. I’ve heard black men describe the hurt and pain of growing up and having someone white call them a boy in front of their own child.
I can’t possibly understand what that would be like, but it sure sounds awful, and I can’t imagine the level of prejudice, repressed anger, and immensely poor taste that would motivate someone to disregard people like this.
Remember earlier this year when former President Bill Clinton referred to Obama as a “kid”?
No! What? He did?
That evoked a similar reaction by some because it was seen as being dismissive of a sitting U.S. senator who also is a grown man with a wife and two daughters. Where I come from, we call that a man, and not a boy or kid.
What a shame that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has helped tarnish Bill Clinton’s otherwise excellent presidential legacy. They’re both revealing themselves to be absolutely awful people.
Dan Meth is working on a sequel to “Watermelon Nights” with more talking fruits and vegetables. I can’t wait!
“McCain Family Recipe” suspiciously identical to Food Network recipe.
Maybe Cindy McCain’s surgeon accidentally snipped the saggy muscle that helps us to remember not to plagiarize.
Via So Good and The Huffington Post.
Ah, politicians. What won’t you steal?
Left-Handed Toons: Present for You (thanks, maniacalrage)
I’ve worked at large and small media companies and what’s frustrating about companies is how many times people say “no” without good reason. Having/starting a startup there’s a place where the “yes” can be accomplished.
— A VC — Ten Questions About Entrepreneurs / Community page on Disqus (via fred-wilson)
xkcd: Techno (thanks, jonathandeamer)
SSL unfortunately uses an awkward and complex certificate format called X.509, which is one of two evolutionary relics left over from a long-dead overly-ambitious network architecture called X.500. (The other one is the LDAP directory protocol; the fact that the L stands for “Lightweight” gives you an idea of how comparatively elephantine X.500 must have been.)
— Jens Alfke
Available … on the now defunct Failed Experiment Records.
— Thee Head Space.
I guess they should have seen that one coming.
Obama’s new ad stars Clinton and one of her speeches attacking Obama speech attackng Obama.
The caucus caters to the most enthusiastic—and Clinton suffers from an enthusiasm gap. She has frequently picked up the “late deciders” in elections. Who are the late deciders? I’m a “late decider” every year in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl’s this Sunday? Huh. Who’s playing? Ah. The Patriots. I’ve heard of them. Go Patriots… I guess. We “late deciders” watch the game if our friends invite us to a party. We eat the snacks. We cheer when it would be awkward not to cheer. When it comes to an election, the late deciders go to the polls after they see a certain number of “I Voted” stickers and feel awkward without one.
— Don’t Seat Michigan’s Delegates (by Dan)
My dream guy’s wife looks like me.
That’s the worst!
At a previous job, I worked my ass off to try to earn more respect from the bosses. They recognized my skills, but no matter how well I did, I was always viewed as a young guy with no experience and no Ph.D. and therefore I couldn’t be trusted with any real responsibility or advanced projects.
Once, they were discussing (within earshot) the need to hire for a “senior” programming position.
They actually said, “We need someone like Marco, but older.”
Vacation Deprivation Survey
This is sad and it is up to us to change it.
I notice that our presidential elections always seem to boil down to cartoon characterizations of the main candidates. The Republican is generally characterized by the media as the person of principle and character, albeit a bit dim-witted. (Reagan, George Bush junior, McCain) The Democrat is generally characterized as whip-smart but with a suspect character. (Clinton, Kerry, Clinton again, Obama)
I wish it weren’t that simple… but it is.
Knitting graffiti (thanks, hydeordie)
What’s missing here?
This is Jason Knox’s site. He’s Peter W. Knox’s brother, so I expected a certain other publishing tool to power it.
I instinctively looked at the upper-right so I could follow him and got thrown off when there was nothing there. Am I logged in?
I had absolutely no idea that this was possible. Amazing.
“Bosnia and Back Again,” starring Senator Hillary Clinton.
Thanks to the magic of splicing clips and Youtube, I present to you ’90s Hillary campaigning against ‘08 Hillary. Great stuff, this.
Toothpaste for dinner (thanks, Tiff)
Interesting and simple.
Dan Savage, of the Savage Love column (and the editor of Seattle’s best weekly magazine) wrote a really touching obituary for his mother, who passed away unexpectedly last week.
From the article:
After a long struggle, we had to go into my mother’s hospital room and tell her that nothing more could be done. She didn’t go into the hospital expecting to die and she was not ready to go. But she took the news with her characteristic grace. She said her farewells, asked us never to forget her (as if), and paused for a moment. Then Mom lifted an eyebrow, shrugged, and said…
Does anyone remember the frozen icee things we would get in elementary school that came in a triangular packet? Often blueberry or orange flavored, you’d cut the top off one end and squeeze it out? Help me out here. Email me or something.
I do! But I’ll be of no help — I have no idea what they were called.
The package was shaped as though you took a flat rectangle and twisted the bottom half 90 degrees, right? And I believe the packaging was thick white paper.
Great quick read. Makes you think.
Which strategy have you picked?
I’ve been executing the second strategy, but trying to achieve something better.
“Nothing Rhymes With Orange” by Patrick Moberg (thanks, hrrrthrrr)
I conserve exclamation points. People overuse them, and they’ve become devalued. By conserving them, they gain significance for the rare occasions that I think they’re warranted.
I never use “meh” or “heh”, and I don’t like when other people do. If I think something is very funny, I’ll use “LOL” — but I use it sparingly, so it retains its significance, like exclamation points.
I hate semicolons. There’s almost always a better, more readable way to convey the intended idea without using one. If you ever see me use a semicolon, you can be sure that I agonized over it, and it’s very uncomfortable for me to see it there.
I will never write “the fact that”, “in and of itself”, or other meaningless phrases like them that too many bad writers use to inflate their word count. I hate these phrases so much that I avoid them in casual speech, too, even if I need to pause for a moment to reorganize my sentence. The overuse of these fluff phrases is a product of our education system’s bad writing standards. Teachers: Every time you assign a minimum page length or word count, you’re encouraging this.
I will almost always put the punctuation outside of the quotation marks if it wasn’t part of the original quoted string:
I recognize that the latter is the convention for American English, but I don’t like it. I think it’s misleading, because it creates the ambiguity about whether the comma was part of the quoted phrase. This is a reflection of being a programmer, I think — I hate the idea of misrepresenting the literal string by including punctuation that wasn’t originally there.
Social Distortion - Footprints On My Ceiling
This entire album is awesome. Each song’s play count in my iTunes library is above 40. If you like loud rock by guys who can’t sing and don’t care, like they used to make before rock became pop and singers got pretty and marketable, buy this album.
(One rule: needs to be loud. If you can’t, use headphones. If you still can’t, wait until later.)
When the network becomes as fast as the processor, the computer hollows out and spreads across the network.
— Eric Schmidt, 2003. (via christmasgorilla)
cool 3-D borders! (via David)
With your performance tonight — your focus on issues that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods, punctuated by inane “issue” questions that in no way resembled the real world concerns of American voters — you disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes. But it’s even worse than that. By so badly botching arguably the most critical debate of such an important election, in a time of both war and economic misery, you disgraced the American voters, and in fact even disgraced democracy itself.
— An open letter to Charlie Gibson and George Stephanapoulos (via azspot)
The Job (thanks, nickdouglas)
From Bill Israel:
According to Ars, NBC is perfectly willing to bring their content back to the iTunes Store. This option appears to be conditional, however:
NBC would still like to be able to bump up prices—something that Apple has been stubborn about in the past, but has shown it’s open to negotiation over when it comes to movie licensing. NBC would also like Apple to tighten up its DRM, however, in such a way that would block NBC’s content from being transferred onto iPods.
Translation: We’ll put our content back on iTunes, but we don’t actually want people to buy it.
Sure, NBC, I’d be happy to pay you more money for your shows and be able to do less with them. Because, of course, if I can’t watch them on my iPod, and I assume you also wouldn’t want them to be watchable on the Apple TV, that means I can really only watch them at my computer. And if I’m at my computer, I’ll certainly not care that I can watch them for free on your website. Yup, I’ll be happy to pay.
$2 per episode wasn’t enough for you. How much would you like? Is $5 enough? Here, I’ll make this easier. I’ll give you direct withdrawal access to my checking account, and you can take $10 whenever I make an Arrested Development joke. Is that sufficient?
Not at all gay.
Third-party applications created with the iPhone SDK will be available for sale in June. Apple has created an incredible platform here — how much will these applications cost?
I’ve analyzed the market from a developer’s point of view: how much can a developer expect to make at given price points?
On the complete lack of passion and profession ambition among too many college students.
I called these “side projects”. But in reality, school was the side project.
Do you think if Barack Obama had left his seriously ill wife after having had multiple affairs, had been a member of the “Keating Five,” had had a relationship with a much younger lobbyist that his staff felt the need to try and block, had intervened on behalf of the client of said young lobbyist with a federal agency, had denounced then embraced Jerry Falwell, had denounced then embraced the Bush tax cuts, had confused Shiite with Sunni, had confused Al Qaeda in Iraq with the Mahdi Army, had actively sought the endorsement and appeared on stage with a man who denounced the Catholic Church as a whore, and stated that he knew next to nothing about economics — do you think it’s possible that Obama would have been treated differently by the media than John McCain has been? Possible?
— Question for the Class (via azspot)
exploring, by nikography
My life is awesome. I’m not ashamed or too modest to admit it. Through a combination of luck, merit, and effort, I have it very well.
Sure, I’d like a house, but the houses I want cost $1.2 million. It kinda sucks that I lost most of my hair already. And I’m fatally unmotivated to do anything outside of my narrow care-radius.
But I have my dream job, I’m marrying my dream woman, and I live in the nicest suburb of the best city in the world. I make enough money to afford a great lifestyle and a few expensive hobbies. I don’t have to be at work until 10, and with the exception of when servers explode, I usually don’t need to take work home with me.
There are so many people out there who can’t even afford food. Of the lucky ones who can, they’re usually working in awful jobs that they hate, and they can’t leave because they’re buried in debt, can’t go without their job’s health insurance (if they even have health insurance), and have never been paid a high enough salary to build up any meaningful savings.
They can complain if they want to.
I have nothing to complain about.
Barack Obama puts manufactured political distractions On Notice on yesterday’s “Colbert Report.”
This HDMI cable cost $5 after shipping. I got two of them. They’re the same quality that I’d get from any other cable vendor.
The cheapest one at Best Buy is $59.99 plus tax. (Of course, they also wanted about $600 more than Amazon for the TV that I’m plugging these into.)
Retail sales are down? I wonder why.
Sara Zucker asks for male comments on our opinions of the female body:
[…] society has attempted to make us females feel that we must be thin and fit to attract the male population, but i am quite sure that this is not true because, for any topic, opinions vary. […]
The ideal defined by “society” (fashion, more accurately?) is unachievable for nearly everyone. And keep in mind that there are three pressures at work here, from our point of view:
That last one’s important. You may not have known about it. Plenty of guys are attracted to women who are far from skinny models, but they don’t want to admit it because they’re afraid of what other guys will think and say.
It takes a strong woman to ignore those ideals and be comfortable with herself as she is — similarly, it takes a strong man to ignore those pressures and let his natural attraction urges happen, even when he’s not being attracted to a model. Not every man is that strong.
Different men have different tastes and preferences. And it’s not just physical. Some women become more attractive as you talk with them and spend time with them. Others become hideously ugly after 30 seconds of interaction. Appearance is cheap. There’s an infinite supply of physically attractive women out there. But nothing can make an idiot interesting.
It’s also important to realize the distinction between “attracting the male population” (or attracting the fashion industry) and attracting enough men that you can choose some good ones to spend time with. You don’t need 3 billion people to want you.
In reality, you don’t need to achieve some unrealistic fashion ideal for men to be attracted to you. You can do it for yourself, or you can do it for fashion. But don’t do it for us. We really don’t care as much as you may think.
What biofuels do is undeniable: they take food out of the mouths of starving people and divert them to be burned as fuel in the car engines of the world’s rich consumers.
— How the rich starved the world (via azspot)
Buying CDs is wasteful for me… I don’t need to have Amazon send me a plastic discs in plastic cases with plastic stickers wrapped in cardboard boxes, shipped to me on trucks and dropped off in my office by those delivery guys who listen to loud rap music and use their push-to-talk phones in the elevator, just so I can rip the disc into iTunes and never touch it again.
But if it comes down to buying a CD or buying DRM tracks, DRM loses. Every time.
jessicagoldharalson on the female body discussion from earlier:
[…] My body type (short, curvy, rounded) has been slammed by multiple anonymous Internet males. On the website AutoAdmit, the (mostly male) posters there called me a “huge sow” and linked to some pictures to show what a fatty I was.
On another thread on another forum, my “huge cankles” have been criticized. (Note: I do not have cankles. It was just the angle of that freaking picture!)
On another comment thread, I was told I could “lose ten pounds and then be hot.”
You could respond with, “Well, those men are just jerks!” But even if those guys are jerkwads, there sure seem to be a lot of them out there.
I’m pretty OK with the way I look most of the time, but if I listened to men on the Internet I sure wouldn’t be.
Internet commenters consistently tell me that I’m an idiot, I’m a moron, I suck, I can’t write, I suck at my job, I should be fired, and I’m a loser.
They’re internet commenters. That’s what they do.
Commenters aren’t a representative sample of readers. They’re a tiny minority (most people don’t comment), and by the nature of the medium, they’re far more likely to be negative, angry, and idiotic.
There are lots of angry, aggressive, stupid, bigoted, shallow, prejudiced, and ignorant people out there. Internet comments give them a voice, and they’re desperate to spew their ignorance all over this new medium that gives the illusion of an audience.
Who cares what those people say? That’s not who you’re going for. You wouldn’t want to associate with them even if they wanted you to.
They’re like those crazy people who talk to you on the street until you walk away because they’re desperate for someone to listen, and they have no idea how crazy they sound.
There are many good reasons why I don’t have comments on my tumblelog and I never read comments on sites I visit. (Instapaper’s new text view quietly strips comments out, and nobody has complained or even noticed enough to mention it.)
There are plenty of great people out there, but you won’t find them by wading through the swamp of internet commenters.
One big reason for the airport congestion, of course, is that the runways are cluttered up with planes making trips of only a few hundred miles. This has been a problem for quite a while. Periodically, it gets so bad that the media gets all excited and sometimes (last summer, for instance) the President makes a statement deploring it. Since the current president is a knucklehead, it apparently hasn’t occurred to him to get behind a revival of the passenger rail system. But Mr. Bush is apparently not the only elected knucklehead in this country, because absolutely nobody is talking about this.
— Jim Kunstler (via azspot).
I wish we had good domestic rail service.
Tons of people travel between New York, Washington D.C., and Boston by plane, even though it takes only slightly longer to drive. The only other options are bus (sucks) and Amtrak. Amtrak only runs a handful of trains per day, so the schedule is unlikely to work out in your favor. And the laughable “Acela” high-speed option is far more expensive than most plane trips and doesn’t even save much time.
Our domestic rail service needs help. Badly.
Geek porn: the new Western Digital VelociRaptor. 10,000 RPM, 300 GB, $300, and it solidly outperforms every other SATA drive on the market.
This is one of the things that really boosted my energy and creativity. Instead of wanting to do everything in a day, I made a list of the things that were really important to me. Then I compared that list to the things that I would do during a day: check my emails every hour, check my site statistics, surfing the web for new creations, answering phone calls, answering emails…. It became clear to me that I was wasting a lot of time on stuff that were not on the list of stuff that I wanted to do. After that I started asking myself questions about all these activities. Did I really need to do them? Did I have to do them instantly? Did I have to do them so frequently?
— Increase Creativity (via somethingchanged)
I have not read the news, watched the news, or read a blog for 48 hours, and it is kind of great. Hell, I have not even checked memeorandum to discover the latest ginned-up outrage of the week. The 98% of the world who don’t read blogs may be on to something.
— John Cole (via fuddmain)
A sign is causing heated arguments outside of a church in Jonesville. Pastor Roger Byrd of Jonesville Church of God put the sign up which reads “Obama Osama humm are they brothers?”
Pastor Byrd says the signis not meant to be racial or political but rather to make people think. “His name is so close to Osama I have a feeling he might be Islamic therefore he doesn’t recognize Christ,” Pastor Byrd said.
Pastor Byrd told News Channel 7 he would ask his congregation to vote on whether to keep the sign. They voted unanimously to keep the sign up Sunday night.
Jonesville Church of God does not have any African American members.
Here it is, everyone: the reason George W. Bush got re-elected.
Remember when people thought it was the end of the world because the bees were mysteriously dying off?
Now, researchers at University of Virginia have found another culprit - air pollution, which is eliminating the “scent trail” that guides bees to pollinate flowers. Scents that could travel for more than half a mile in the 1800s now probably travel less than about 600 feet, they say. The scent trail deteriorates even close to the flower, discouraging bees to sample the flower to see if it has the nectar the bee needs. Thus, both the pollinator and the pollinated suffer.
I like bees. They’re really important. Let’s not kill them off.
The bigger problem for the music business: There just may not be that many music lovers. Recall that Radiohead, perhaps the world’s best-loved tech-savvy band, offered to let their fans pay whatever they’d like for their new album last fall — and most chose not pay a penny. If that’s at all indicative of bigger trends — and we think it is — then the music industry’s future is clear: A modest, niche business supported by a handful of passionate consumers, and ignored by most others. And no PR agency will be able to fix that.
— Silicon Alley Insider (via artistspaid)
I’m at home today, so I made bees. They are filled with lavender.
Yes! More bees!
Who the hell gets anything productive done in 14 hours a day? Try working 5 hours a day. If you only had 5 hours a day to work on something, you’d focus your time a lot better.
— David Heinemeier Hansson (via jnunemaker)
King of the Castle (thanks, Jakob)
One of my life goals is to hire David Lanham to do artwork for something. An application. A website. Anything. I don’t really care. I’ll know I’ve made it in the world when I do that.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
— Dr. Leonardo Buscaglia (via vinh)
If interns are doing valuable work, pay them.
Are you worried that you could win the nomination at the convention and defeat John McCain in the general and, you know, go to the inauguration and Hillary would still be running?
— Jon Stewart to Obama on the Daily Show (via highlow)
Smoking lounge ceiling mural. That’s about right.
Obama responds to the awful ABC debate.
The advent of Web 2.0 has made everyone a broadcaster and thats not necessarily a good thing. The echo chamber has gotten worse. Good stuff is harder to find. We are drowning in useless shit.
— Kyle Shank: Relative Silence
There is no code that is more flexible than no code!
— Brad Appleton (via incidentalthinking)
Internships—in general—encourage a climate that caters to students financially reliant upon their parents (you know, the ones who complain about their course load, but haven’t held a job in their life), and results in companies wondering why their interns don’t have a developed work ethic or the professional skills necessary to jump right into a demanding position.
Casey Liss asks:
I’m can feel myself start to buckle under all the peer pressure. I’m strongly considering buying my first Mac.
For all you fanboys, self-proclaimed and closet alike, what do you recommend? While I probably could blow $2k+ on a MacBook Pro, I don’t want to. I’d like to do something nice, but on the cheaper side. I’m considering the $1300 MacBook that has the DVD burner. On the plus side, my wife is a teacher so it seems that would get me $100 off.
Am I barking up the wrong tree? Should I go Craigslist/Ebay? Is that even a safe/good plan?
I definitely want an Intel-based laptop with whatever the latest and greatest cat is. That aside, I expect nothing much from it.
I should note I’m not entirely committed to this yet, so if waiting a few months is a good plan, I’m all ears for that too.
Any constructive thoughts, anyone?
Don’t buy a Mac this close to June if you can help it. Apple holds two big events per year at which new products are usually introduced: MacWorld in January, and WWDC in June. This year’s WWDC keynote is on June 9 — wait until then. Even if Apple doesn’t update the laptops at that event, any pending updates are likely to hit around or before that time.
Assuming the lineup’s relative features and pricing don’t change much (they’re unlikely to), the most economical, bang-for-your-buck answer is to get the lowest-end MacBook available from Apple, then max out the RAM (and add a 7200 RPM disk if you want to spend a bit more) with third-party vendors such as OWC.
You could spend the extra $200 for the midrange MacBook instead if you want, but it’s still stuck with a 5400 RPM hard drive. Keep in mind that if you buy upgrades separately instead, you can get 4GB of RAM for $90 and an awesome 200 GB, 7200 RPM hard drive for $160 — add that to the base-model MacBook and you’ve spent slightly more than the $200 difference between models and you lack a bit of CPU clockspeed and DVD-burning, but you have a much larger and faster disk with twice the RAM. I guarantee you that you will hit disk performance bottlenecks more severely and more often than anything else.
It’s worth noting that the hard drive is very easy to replace in MacBooks but nearly impossible to replace in MacBook Pros (without taking the whole thing apart).
I used a base-model MacBook with third-party RAM and disk upgrades as my only computer for 18 months and was perfectly fine, save for the slow hard drive performance and low capacity. I never missed the DVD burner. Now, I’m flying along with my giant Mac Pro with a desktop DVD burner, but haven’t burned a single DVD yet. I primarily got the Mac Pro for its immense disk capacity (four native 3.5” SATA drives, or six if you run cables to an eSATA bracket or can find a place to mount two more inside).
Once you realize that Macs are awesome and you don’t want to use anything else anymore (I expect, for you, for this to take about 6 months), you’ll probably want a desktop for its disk performance and capacity, like I did. An iMac will probably be the most sensible choice, or a Mac Pro will be the most satisfying and geeky choice (for considerably more money).
I can tell we’ve already won you over… it will just take a bit more time for you to realize it. Welcome to the addiction. You’ll thank us later.
If you want to see whether a responsible adult can hold a responsible adult’s position, treat and pay them like one, not as an ‘intern’.
— Trapped in Time
That’s a lot less friendly than “We’ll be right back.”
Got my Moo MiniCards!
F.U. & The Blog You Rode In On: After using Tumblr semi-regularly now for awhile, I think I’ve finally figured out how “viral” works
I love this site. You should follow it if you don’t already. It’s like a better, reality-show version of “Stuff White People Like”.
For the past three years, I’ve listened to podcasts sped up between 50-100%. […] I was in a big rush the other day and I accidentally synced a week’s worth of regular speed podcasts. It was a fascinating experience.
As a general rule, if you don’t need something, it’s better for the environment (and usually for you) to not buy it, even if the label is painted green and made out of recycled toothbrushes. A Prius, while more fuel efficient than an SUV, still burns a whole lot more gasoline than a bicycle.
It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.
— The Low Road to Victory - New York Times (via squashed)
If you’re an Obama supporter and can afford to do so, consider donating to his campaign today.
Want to change politics? Vote with your dollars. It sucks that the country is run this way, but it is, and contributing to a campaign is (sadly) the best way to make your vote count.
Nice overview from Ars Technica. Some highlights:
Overall, no surprises.
Well, add that to the list of reasons for not visiting Congo.
I’ve developed a sort of therapy for myself where I revisit old memories, and try to reevaluate them as honestly as possible. This helps me reach conclusions that I perhaps did not make at the time, and correct little glitches which cause seemingly inexplicable anxieties in my present adult life.
— Jakob Lodwick: Defrag
How Hillary Can Still Win
I also think that my party can be smug, detached, and dogmatic at times. I believe in free market, competition, and entrepreneurship, and think no small number of government programs don’t work as advertised. I wish the country had fewer lawyers and more engineers.
— Barack Obama (via azspot)
I no longer have any CRTs or 4:3 screens.
HDMI just replaced all of these.
Honest College Ad, by Sam Reich, Kevin Corrigan, and Jeff Rosenburg
This guy has an oddly shaped head.
Great list by Bill Israel, including:
For Kyle Shank’s new show, The Mythical Man. I was a bit nervous at the beginning, and I apologize if I’m boring or sound weird — it was my first audio interview. Go easy on me.
It’s 2008, everyone. We can spare the extra CPU cycles to avoid ever showing “1 comments”.
E-mail me your resume and a photo of you doing something you enjoy doing.
— Ricky Van Veen: Job Opening. I love this.
I think being good at doing something awful is more awful than being bad at it.
— Giles Bowkett: Jerry Springer For Programmers.
Here’s a radical idea: stop consuming gossip. It’s one of the most universally popular human vices in the world, and we honestly, unequivocally, unarguably know that the world would be a better place without it.
I’ve stopped consuming gossip, personal attacks, and general nastiness, and my life and outlook have improved. I maintain a more open mind about people, and I have more free time (from not reading stupid websites and gossiping about people) to create positive value in the world.
I fully expect Apple to add an optical zoom lens to the camera on the next iPhone based upon secret conversations with the voices in my head.
— Charles Jade, ArsTechnica
That’s no less credible than any other iPhone rumors.
A lot of people don’t want to make their own decisions. They’re too scared. It’s much easier to be told what to do.
— Marilyn Manson (via solentdreams)
TV Dinner (via tiffany). So cute.
I’m playing Worms online against strangers on Xbox Live Arcade.
If you have a 360, come join me! I’m TumblrMarco.
We should start an Apple rumor. They just did a minor iMac update, but it’s only Monday. If this is what they release on Monday, what are they going to release on Tuesday?
[Television] essentially functioned as a kind of cognitive heat sink, dissipating thinking that might otherwise have built up and caused society to overheat.
— Gin, Television, and Social Surplus (via agsystems)
Wow… the reviews are remarkably consistent.
This is as impressive as bringing 12 friends to Blockbuster and all agreeing on the same movie.
My music collection is in desperate need of an update, having stagnated since about 2002 with very little new discovery since then. This is the beginning of my effort to revitalize it.
With the help of Tuneage and other music discovery methods, I’m trying a new experiment:
Last week’s albums:
As an industry — as a business model — health care is winning. It is taking everyone’s money with an amazingly low level of accountability for the product it sells.
— George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente (via jayparkinsonmd.com)
Descriptive restaurant title.
Drip coffee: You’re doing it all wrong. (thanks, jeremyk)
Despite my coffee snobbery, this is much fancier than my coffee-preparation method. I’ll have to try this sometime.
(thanks, Matt Falconieri)
A few interesting points, including this:
We aren’t allowed to speculate on anything that isn’t on apple.com. We can get fired if we even tell a customer that a 3G iPhone might come out.
I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?
— Jeremiah Wright (via azspot)
Is that an umbrella?
It was a little disheartening to realize that Microsoft’s default birth-year of 1998 on Xbox Live registration wasn’t an oversight.
Was it incredibly smart of Nintendo to coordinate the release and massive PR of Mario Kart Wii two days before GTA IV?
This picture has been floating around with comments implying that Steve Ballmer uses a Mac laptop. Obviously that’s wrong, and that was the laptop left on stage by the venue or the previous presenter.
But what bothers me is the title.
“Business Leadership and Digital Innovation for Future Graduated”
What? “Graduated”? Was that supposed to say “graduates”? Or is the business world adjusting grammar again?
My favorite shoes were understandably falling apart after being worn every day for 1.5 years. They got drenched yesterday in the rain, so I ordered a replacement pair from Zappos at about 4:30 PM with the free 4- to 5-day shipping.
Not only did they ship the same day, but they emailed me to say that they upgraded my shipping to Next Day Air for free: “It is simply our way of saying thank you for being our customer.”
And the new pair is waiting at my apartment door now.
Buy shoes from them.
Interesting thoughts on the possibilities when hardware becomes cheap enough to throw around in large quantities.
From jakoblodwick, who writes:
His “family also received more than $693,000 in federal farm subsidies from 1995 through 2006”. But they have “earned” that money, the article points out, because of some floods.
Hey, I have an idea! Let’s take taxpayer money and use it to pay farmers and (mostly) farming conglomerates to grow more crops than the market demands at an artificially low price. Then, since we can’t sell it all here even at this ridiculously low price, we can export it and bankrupt other countries’ farmers who can’t compete with our artificially low price. And with the huge piles of corn and soy that we still have left after that, we can make cheap, highly processed food additives to make Americans fatter and more diabetic.
Ah, farm subsidies.
Here’s a little unscientific survey question of my own:
I know registered voters in both of those categories. That’s why your next president will be named McCain.
- Do you personally know anyone who thinks Obama is a Muslim?
- Do you personally know anyone who suspects Obama might secretly hate America and is running for President to destroy it from within?
Who at Opera thought this was a good idea?
If you listen to a lot of conservatives, they’ll tell you that the difference between them and us is that conservatives love America and liberals hate America…. They don’t get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America the way a 4-year-old loves her Mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.
— Al Franken (via azspot)
This week’s experiment album is Widespread Panic’s Light Fuse Get Away. Here’s Space Wrangler, a great 9-minute-long jam.
Aides said that [Clinton] had a driver’s license and that she sometimes used a hybrid S.U.V. back home in New York.
Dan’s take: “I should have guessed she was the type to combine the unnecessary, conspicuous consumption of the S.U.V. with the envirocred of the hybrid. The hybrid S.U.V. is sort of like ordering a Diet Coke with your triple bacon cheesburger. It sort of helps…but it misses the point.”
Social Networking Wars, by Current TV (via betterthancupcakes)
Very useful to illustrate the caloric intake of your chosen Chipotle configuration. It’s interesting to see how a few small changes can add or subtract hundreds of calories.
My typical order: Burrito Bol, rice, fajita veggies, barbacoa, tomato salsa, corn salsa, sour cream. This is a respectable 670 calories, or slightly less since I don’t eat all of the rice and I ask for “a bit” of sour cream.
(The daily recommendations aren’t quite as great: that’s 105% of daily sodium and 50% of daily saturated fat.)
How healthy is yours?
Don’t ask questions. Don’t cause problems by thinking, or waste time on coming up with new ideas. Don’t think about the future, or try to anticipate problems before they arise. Just keep at it, do exactly what is expected of you, and always get the most done in the least amount of time and at the lowest cost.
Obama’s new campaign commercial: The Truth about Gas Prices
Whenever I play video games, I feel like I’m not doing homework.