Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, May 08, 2004

I love reading Raymond Chen's 'blog, because he talks about all the absurd things Windows developers had to do to get the system working.

Pardon me, I had a very busy week, and I'm still catching up. But Reuters seems to have launched RSS feeds with pointers to their video content. I just watched five minutes of raw footage from a Paul Bremmer meeting in Iraq. Very cool.

The new feeds are business, world news, entertainment, and life.

Semacode. Is this just another CueCat?

"[...]experts also point out that the man who directed the reopening of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last year and trained the guards there resigned under pressure as director of the Utah Department of Corrections in 1997 after an inmate died while shackled to a restraining chair for 16 hours. The inmate, who suffered from schizophrenia, was kept naked the whole time."

Via goupstate.com.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Boing Boing points to a great article written by someone who infiltrated some kind of Scientology den:

"We have courses which can help you deal with your childhood traumas and depression," she says.

"But Dieter's music is about childhood traumas and depression. Listen to the album A Coffin Is Home."

"Our courses can make your music that much better. You'll find yourself writing about brand new things."

"If Franz Kafka were not depressed, would his writing be just as good?"

Rosemary's smile grows. She thinks she's going to gain ground in her argument.

"I think his lyrics would be even better. He would have a whole list of new things to write about!"

I tell her to listen to his latest album, The Metamorphosis.

So funny.

Great article over at Rob Galbraith on Vincent Laforet and his aerial photos of New York City. I first became aware of Vincent when The New York Times ran his aerial photo of ice skaters in Central Park.

Do check out the article, if only for the great photos.

Via Fray: The Worm Within.

This is rather gross. Please be prepared if you do click through.


"Mother, did it need to be so high?"

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I'm going to start getting violent when I hear empty-headed, dumfuck, excuse for thinking phrases like "low carb lifestyle."

Wow. Hidden message on Jacob's Chatter: "I am not real. You people really like to argue. You killed Jacob."



Wednesday, May 05, 2004

My home phone had been unplugged since April 21. I just noticed. Actually, I didn't notice; my TiVo did. You can see how much I enjoy talking on the phone. Or answering the phone.

Also, I had street-vendor shish kebob for dinner tonight. If I'm dead tomorrow, that is why.

Macintosh Folklore: The story of Switcher, Apple's first multitasking implementation.

Mono Beta 1 is out. And check out that snappy logo.


Thank you for letting me show you my junk.

Nice. Hotmail is now running a protection racket. Maybe AOL will jump on the bandwagon and start selling newbie insurance.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


The rest of this week's pictures are pretty unspectacular. The theme is north Brooklyn textures.

I call this one, "Emphatic Door."

Monday, May 03, 2004

Via Circant: Nigerian gangs using baboons and hyenas to intimidate rival gangs. Wow.


Went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Saturday.

Good stuff. Flowers are in bloom, as are the cherry blossoms. A really nice park to walk around. The Japanese pond and garden is particularly nice.

The whole place was packed with people, however. Many, many people. Like rush hour on the Lexington Ave line.

I didn't take these pictures, by the way. I was shooting black and white film. My lady friend took my digital camera. A guest photographer. How posh!

If you are in the area, and have a chance, do make a visit to the garden. Quite nice.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

I hope I'm not the only one who is getting sick of Dale Chihuly.

Google sends about 1,000 hits my way each day looking for this nostalgic, craptastic photo. Imagine, ten years from now, after I have died in a tragic caffeine-induced gardening accident, if this is the only trace of me left.

How sad.

Fazal Majid is asking whether or not Americans have become second-class consumers:

  • Sony's PEG-TH55 PDA has integrated WiFi and Bluetooth worldwide, except in the US where Bluetooth is omitted. This is incredibly annoying and rules the device out for me (unless I import one from the UK or Germany), as I have discovered from practical experience with my PEG-UX50 that WiFi access points are seldom available when you need them, and I often have to fall back to GPRS via Bluetooth. We are already saddled with the industrialized world's worst mobile telephone operators and clunkiest phones, why add injury to insult?
  • Canon's new Digital Rebel DSLR is available in a kit with a 18-55mm lens. The lens has the smooth and fast USM ultrasonic motor in Japan, but uses the inferior AFD micro-motor in the US. Perhaps they believe US customers are too clueless to notice the difference.
  • Many ultra-slim laptops available in Japan are never introduced in the US (this has created a market opportunity for parallel importers like Dynamism. Once again, the gaijin must lack the refined aesthetic sensibility to appreciate models like the Sony Vaio X-505 and are probably content to lug their boat anchor laptops in their gas-guzzling SUVs. Nor is this attitude limited to Japanese companies - until recently IBM had an entire line of ultra-compact notebook computers available only in Japan.
  • Epson's Stylus Photo 2200, probably the favorite printer of professional photographers, does not include in the US the gray balancer, special software and calibration sheets used to improve the neutrality of black and white prints. Michael Reichmann puts it best when he calls this "The software that Epson North America thinks its customers are too dumb to use".
[via Fazal Majid's low-intensity weblog]

I take exception to a number of these. There is a cult of the camera in Japan that is so irrational it is difficult to believe. Japanese camera buyers will only buy the best, and will spend whatever it takes. Witness Epson's R-D1, a $4000 camera that uses $2000 lenses: all available copies will most likely be snapped up by the Japanese market. No one would buy the Digital Rebel kit with a non-USM lens in Japan. It is just a fact of that market.

Additionally, Japanese consumers have always favored size over power. Americans have typically favroed the opposite. This is partly a fact of living conditions (space is at a premium in many parts of Japan), and partly a reflection of the different ways consumers in the two countries use the devices. Computers targeted at the Japanese market have always been smaller than their American-market counterparts.

Still, Fazal asks a good question. The internet boomed in the U.S. because it was relatively easy to get connected. It was a matter of well trained people in the right place, at the right time. But as important as the people, the lack of absurd regulation helped, too.

Fazal seems to be wondering what kind of anti-consumer, graft-ridden legislation and regulation is hurting the American market. How has the lobbying and oligarchy-protection had a negative effect on American consumers and , by extension, American business?

Jayson Williams was recently acquitted in the shooting death of a limo driver. Unfortunately, information that showed his propensity for getting drunk and killing things was blocked from entry into the trial.

[via Vegan blog]