Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, February 07, 2004

You really must read Mr. Mustard.

Can't sleep. Not at all. I'm not enjoying this. To pass the time, I thought I'd see what googlism had to say about "eric:"

eric is resolving problems in km architecture; release of
eric is the name of an informal consortium of the
eric is right
eric is out of the factory
eric is a concept
eric is an acronym for the educational resources information
eric is
eric is to be credited with this exhibit along with tamara
eric is a national education database sponsored by
eric is the best python
eric is confronted by eleanor while looking at the family photos
eric is the ceo of apsystems enterprise uk
eric is in china
eric is born
eric is having a good day
eric is gone
eric is a camwhore
eric is the house that lends its name to
eric is around here somewhere
eric is a freak"
eric is doctored
eric is the lead guitar and vocals for the daddy
eric is from philly
eric is my lord and savior
eric is allergic to girls"
eric is in the picture too
eric is scared of heights
eric is sleepy
eric is the coolest
eric is soooooo cute
eric is too cool
eric is a flammer

Just to set the record straight: I am right; I am a concept; tamara had better give me due credit (bitch); I am not in China; I am a camwhore; I might be a freak; I am certainly not allergic to girls (that only happened once, and I applied a soothing balm at once).

I'm not sure what a "flammer" is, but I might as well deny that, too.

Friday, February 06, 2004

OmniGroup, the elder statesmen of MacOS development, have released a new beta of their web browser, OmniWeb. This is a 5.0 release, replacing the old rendering code with Apple's WebKit framework, as well as adding a bunch of new features. One notable new feature is general RSS awareness. HTML with a link to an RSS / RSD file will cause this little newspaper icon to show up.

Clicking on it gives you the option to subscribe to the feed. Subscribe, you say!? Why, yes.

Feeds show up as folders in the bookmarks menu. Cool. Is this the first web browser that combines an RSS reader (not counting third party plugins)? There is even a nice little dock icon that shows the number of unread icons. Cool. Can't wait to see the final product.

"Okay," he would say.  "When I tell you to, I just want you to kick ass.  I mean really kick some ass."Then a few seconds later the old man would say, "alright, now KICK ASS!  COME ON, KICK SOME ASS!!"

This is bold. President Bush will be on Meet The Press this Sunday, for the full hour.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I clear my throat diffidently. 'There is one thing we might try. As you know I had the foresight to bring many rolls of clingfilm with us for emergencies just such as this.'

'I scoffed at the time but now I perceive you were wise. You will wrap me in cling-film at once.'

I retrieve some cling-film from the Clingfilm Stowage Compartment where several hundred of the translucent rolls of joy glint softly in the cabin lights.

Roy Orbison unbuckles from his seat and floats out into the middle of the cabin, his black clothing billowing about him in the zero gravity like the folds of some black cloth manta ray. 'Commence,' he says.

A friend of mine is looking for a new software development job. He pointed me to some openings in New York City's tech department. I actually think it would be interesting to work for the city for a while.

Here is a blurb from a job description for a software developer:

"NOTE: The following types of experience are NOT acceptable; superficial use of preprogrammed software without complex programming, design, implementation, or management of the product; use of word processing packages; use of a hand held calculator; primarily the entering or updating of data in a system; the operation of data processing hardware or consoles."

I wonder how many people interviewed for a development position armed with an HP pocket calculator?

If you have installed JBoss and / or Tomcat from Apple's developer tools CD, and have just updated your system VM to 1.4.2, some paths hard-coded in config files may have been broken.

It appears that a new version of iChat allows video conferencing between MacOS and Windows clients. Cool.

Now I can have naked webcam chats with my PC friends as well as my Mac friends.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004


Tuesday, February 03, 2004

“Janet Jackson’s right boob has been taken into custody and sent to Guantanamo Bay for questioning,” Mr. Ashcroft told reporters in a Washington briefing. “We’d very much like to know what the boob knew and when it knew it.”


When asked about Ms. Jackson’s left boob, Mr. Ashcroft said that it is not a suspect at this time but that it remains “a boob of interest.”

[via BorowitzReport.com/]

This evening at work, I discovered Spinal Tap's Smell The Glove in my laptop's music collection. I have no idea how it got in there, but you know I listened to Sex Farm.

Not only did this IE patch fix a security problem, they also disabled URLs that contain a username and password: http://username:password@server/resource.ext.


"And while Powell is at it, maybe we should expand the probe to include ass-slaps on the football field. And those obscenely tight pants of theirs. And let's expand to the baseball field and their scratching. And Nascar, too: Are the proponents of erectile dysfunction drugs truly dysfunctional or are they defrauding us?" [via BuzzMachine]

There will be no end to this fun. I'm waiting for the congressional probe to determine whether or not Michael Powell has latent homosexual tendencies.

High-quality punditry from Howard Kurtz:

  • If Kerry wins all seven states...
    • The pundits will declare the race over, with just over 10 percent of the delegates selected, and start chattering about what kind of acceptance speech Kerry needs to deliver at the convention this summer in Boston.
    • ABC and CNN will retire their costly campaign buses and make their reporters travel by bicycle.
    • "Dateline" will launch an investigation of the grave allegation that Kerry has used Botox....
    • Business Week will investigate the Heinz ketchup fortune. ...
  • If Edwards wins South Carolina:
    • In a transparent effort to keep the race alive, the anchors (who are camped out in South Carolina because they like the restaurants in Charleston) will cast it as a groundbreaking victory....
    • Newsweek will run a cover story on how niceness is in.
    • Time will run a cover story on the rise of the New South.
    • U.S. News will run a cover story on the Civil War....
  • If Howard Dean wins any state:
    • The same pundits who dismissed Dean as a gadfly last year, then insisted he was unstoppable, then pronounced last rites after Iowa and New Hampshire, will be buzzing about a Dean comeback. They will do so without a trace of embarrassment.
    • The New York Times will run a front-page analysis titled "The Scream: Was It a Blessing in Disguise?"
    • Seventeen thousand bloggers will post screeds with the same approximate theme: We told you so....
  • If Wesley Clark wins Oklahoma:
    • The boys on the bus will start saluting when the general boards.
    • GQ will run a spread with preppy models on the importance of argyle sweaters....
  • No matter what happens: The pundits will start chanting that it's not too late for Hillary.

Morgan has hung up his shingle as web-based psychoanalyst. I fear for his safety.

I've noticed two sure-fire ways to become a freak magnet here on the internet:

  • Post naked photos of yourself online.
  • Engage in philosophical discussion online.

Morgan, do be careful.

DP Review has posted a hands-on review of Nikon's new D70. Damn, they're fast.

Overall, looks like a great camera. At the risk of starting a flame war, it appears that Nikon has styled the body to more closely match a Canon 10D than Nikon's own D100.

Among the many nice features:

  • Nikon includes a clip-on LCD protector.
  • The drive settings are accessed via a single button on the rear of the camera body, just below the mode dial. This makes is convenient to switch from single-frame to burst. Canon's Elan 7 (the basis for the 10D) has a nice, firm, three-way toggle located on the mode dial to switch between drive modes. The 10D dispensed with with, using a button on the top of the camera to enter into "drive changing mode," then using a dial and the LCD screen to switch between them. Neither are as convenient as a real switch, but Nikon's approach appears to be somewhat easier to manipulate.
  • The camera can overlay a 4x4 grid on the focusing screen.
  • The diameter of the circle used in center-weighted metering can be adjusted.

For the MacOS X users, if you check your software update control panel, you'll see two new bits: Safari 1.2 and Java 1.4.2.

I'm rather excited to test out the new Java VM. I haven't installed any of the developer releases.

Oh, and don't forget to update your Windows installations with the fix for that nasty URL issue.

Monday, February 02, 2004

"I am outraged at what I saw during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better." [Michael Powel, FCC Chairman]

It is a breast. A boobie. A tit.

Get over it, America.

Many of you drank from them as children. The are parts of the body. Many of "our nation's parents and citizens" have breasts. They aren't evil. Don't be afraid of them, and please don't screw up your kids any more than they already are.


"His and Hers"

David Lemson: How do we decide what features make it in to Exchange?

Interesting stuff from a member of the Microsoft exchange team.

Lately I've been hearing the "we should investigate .Net" discussion. My initial reaction is that .Net is way cool, if you are willing to commit to a Microsoft-based architecture from top to bottom. And if you can wait for all of .Net to actually ship.

My caution was with the vendor lock-in, and how Microsoft has treated developers over the last few years. All the people who invested money in developing C++ based COM systems have a good deal of refactoring to do. If you want to leverage the power of .Net, you really have to do it in C#. Making this kind of transition takes a lot of resources; think carefully before binding yourself so closely with a single vendor.

More fuel for the fire: Microsoft has "deprecated" its SOAP toolkit, in favor of APIs provided by the .Net framework. A lot of people have spent a great deal of time and money to build tools around that SOAP code. Now it is going away.

This is the problem with lock-in. Forced upgrades. They always seem to come at the worst time.

Simon Fell has a picture of the guys from Crystal Method. They look a little frumpier than I imagined.

Examples of two presidents' public record. First, President Bush:

  • THE PRESIDENT: Ribs? Good. Let's order up some ribs.
  • Q What do you think of the democratic field, sir?
  • THE PRESIDENT: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I'm here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?
  • Q An answer.
  • Q Can we buy some questions?
  • THE PRESIDENT: Obviously these people -- they make a lot of money and they're not going to spend much. I'm not saying they're overpaid, they're just not spending any money.
  • Q Do you think it's all going to come down to national security, sir, this election?
  • THE PRESIDENT: One of the things David does, he asks a lot of questions, and they're good, generally.

Next former President Bill Clinton:

"The world you enter today in 2003 may seem very different from the world you left when you embraced the confines of Syracuse in 1999. In 1999, the economy was strong, the world was making progress toward peace in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, Bosnia and Kosovo. Science and technology seemed to offer limitless possibilities for progress and prosperity. Since you came here in that year, you have seen a close presidential election resolved in the Supreme Court; a lethal attack on the United States in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington; conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq; the continuing war on terror; the failure of many high-tech companies; and the reversal of economic progress."

"Here's what I want to say to you as you go out with your education. There's a big difference between the trend lines and the headlines, and one of the things that you need to be able to do as you leave here is to draw that distinction: to understand when you see a headline, if it's troubling or good, whether it's consistent with the trend line. And to know that it is your job as citizens, either of our country or of some 70 other nations from which you come, to try to build your trend lines. For the world of 1999 and the world of 2003 are actually not so very different. In 1999, we had the dangers of terror and weapons of mass destruction - it's just that they weren't in the headlines because they hadn't happened here. But we were working hard to deal with them."

One manages to fill me with hope, the other fills me with dread.

Actually, this comparison might not be fair. Bush's speaking was off the cuff, while Clinton's came from prepared remarks. A better comparison might be this off the cuff duscussion Clinton had at one of the Davos conferences.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Usability labs.

[via vowe.net]

Andrew Grumet hacked his TiVo to display RSS feeds on screen.

That, my friends, is a geek.

Sun seems to be having another demo of its Java Desktop system, including the project looking glass software that caused so much talk the last time it was shown.

I hope they show more of its basic productivity features, rather than the wiz bang, turn windows inside out stuff.

Read this Wired article on outsourcing technology jobs.

Then substitute "negroes" for "indian IT workers." We've learned so little in ffity years.

Racism is racism.

Here is an odd fetish I didn't know existed: women getting their cars stuck in mud.

This is a weird, weird world.

Warning: pop culture references follow.

Squizzle.com has the video of William Hung singing "She Bangs" on American Idol. Funny, funny stuff.


As this team ran the course, they'd cheerfully shout "Huzzah!" to passers-by. Also, I believe the green thermos was integral to the team's theme, though I couldn't figure out how.