Thursday, January 31, 2002
copper on steroids
Robert Cringley's current column on the PBS site I, Cringely (one has to admire the modesty of a man who uses that as the title and a logotype consisting of his own face with Steve Jobs' on his right hand and Bill Gates' on his left) has details of a new technology (Quadrature Ampitude Modulation) designed to increase the bandwidth of the legacy standard copper wires whose constriction keeps so many of us on 56k dialup. if you are a geeky rocket scientist you may like a more technical explanation than the rest of us mere mortals who drooled over the headline 10Gbps to the home over existing cables at the homepage of Rainmaker Technologies. if this stuff goes critical mass we're all going to wish we had bought stock in this company's silver bullet for the bandwidth problem.
every day we are assaulted by an overkill of visual imagery... much of it of such low quality that we become forgetful of how affecting the good quality stuff can be. this image Branches and the Moon was photographed in the White Sands National Monument southern New Mexico by Michael Reichmann. it's a big image so turn off all your browser chrome, maximise your browser window and then hit the link. in an interesting juxtaposition of metaphors this pure, calm landscape is in the middle of a military missile firing range.
Wednesday, January 30, 2002
dunno what it means either
the school of inane soundbites triumphs as a tight-lipped rumsfeld (we wish) makes an apearance at PLASTICbenjamin -- there are some people just have no respect for their elders and betters..
get away from it all
virtual travel with rolf potts vagabonding to the heart's content. extensive travel reading list too. do people still read books?
staff news flash
our 'stringer' becomes a full-time co-respondent, with full use of the pool car (as soon as it comes out of the repair shop) and use of the executive hot-rod at weekends, in return for this existential gem "an examination of being, nothingness and stale bubble gum" featuring 'pud' and others. all that stuff from mr. knowles' philosophy class now falls into place with a dull thud.
puniest site on the web?
groaniest, buttock clenchiest puns, certainly at unSupprted Headlines where you can join in the fun or just pass comments on other folks' efforts. sample: "Far cough, You bar stirred". thanks for this to jerry kindall and matt 'black belt' jones (motto: 'measure twice, cut once') whose mission is make the internet disappear: a worthy ideal, but he's wasting his talents... my internet does that a couple of times a day without his help.
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
get real and calm down
jeff lewis has a sane, level headed and very well written article at MacOPINION which concludes that "Finally, the truth is that Microsoft, in general, has a reasonable threat/risk/cost model." which, if true, leads me to wonder if the recent statements on security by His Billness are just comforting PR or a new marketing strategy aimed at selling us something else we don't really need. this is a long article (not for the attention span challenged) but lucid, balanced and easy to read with an excellent preamble on risk theory.
maybe if everyone tilled his own small acre, like bobby macaulay does at the unstbusshelter website, then the world would be a safer place. thanks to 'er indoors (our first internet 'stringer') for this one.
reality distortion field?
this is a quotation from an article at the News.com website With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business, managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other" Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft." Doug Miller is director of competitive strategy for Microsoft's Windows division. Now that we all agree, when can we expect them to do the work for which they are already being paid? Found in Adam Engst's column at the TidBits website.
shameless, self-serving referral
no, not enron executives this time. just a guy who wants his dinner cooked every night. so get on over to MyMac to read Beth Lock's latest column and help feed the needy and make an internet columnist happy. you know it makes sense.
Monday, January 28, 2002
car repair as a metaphor for living
Tommy and Ray Magliozzi ('Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers') have been handing out car repair advice on american radio since 1997. now on National Public Radio they gag, wheeze and reminisce for an hour every sunday afternoon. they have raised self-deprecation and schadenfreude to an artform. at the end of everything they actually give sensible advice on life, human relationships and as a bonus car repair.
you can catch the current show in RealAudio format at Cartalk. listen as they tell sandra who put diesel fuel in her gas driven car to carry on as though nothing had happened and even forget she had ever called in to the show. a real hoot.
"Oh -- and one more thing -- Don't drive like my brother!"
my nik Color Efex Pro Photoshop filters review for the excellent MacDirectory site seems to have been well received. they have invited me to write another review for a product which i hope to use to add a Flash section to an existing commercial site.
Sunday, January 27, 2002
why this blog?
i recently considered the way in which i communicate with people. i thought that most of my communication was either unsatisfactory, inappropriate or unecessary and often all three.
have you experienced sending someone a link to something you thought was pertinent and well worth visiting, only to discover that although they read your email they never visited the link? have you noticed that sometimes when you are talking to someone, you are each having one side of two entirely different conversations? have you become frustrated when you told someone something, then later they ask you a question that reveals they had not been listening to you? have you agonised over whether or not people are interested in what you have to say? do you send too much email or not enough? would you like a 'write once, read many times'?
well, my answer to all those questions is "yes" and this blog is my solution.
if you want to know what i am thinking; what websites i am visiting; what projects i am working on; what things i have achieved (or even things at which i have failed); how i am feeling, then come here. otherwise stay away and just get on with your own life.
after spending yesterday configuring this blog as "random ramblings", just before going to bed i checked my email and there, from an australian correspondent, was an email entitled "random ramblings" and this morning the email inbox is peppered with responses from her mailing list. upstaged, marginalised, trivialised and pre-empted again!
well, the end of a long day configuring this blog. tomorrow i will make the first entries with the "instant" poster and begin using the blog.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)