Swimming with the Razorfishes

Friday, September 17, 2004

OSI Hosting.net purchases 1000 XServe G5s.


Oh, very exciting. The International Center of Photography's Looking at LIFE exhibition has the full W. Eugene Smith Spanish Village spread, as well as original Smith prints of the same negatives.

Smiths photography can be difficult; he lit, shot, and printed his photos in a high-drama, Renaissance painterly style, and his inner demons often pushed him to photograph disturbing things. But his photos are gripping, and his prints are truly sublime.

Seeing his prints alongside the prints created by LIFE's staff in their darkroom, you can really see why Smith fought tooth and nail for creative control. He had a singular vision.

The Times is running an article about the exhibition, which opens today. ICP is on the corner of 43rd Street and 6th Avenue, in New York City.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Very cool. A Bose dock for iPods. Very sexy. Want one. Supposed to be around $300.

It works with 2G and 3G iPods, as well as Minis. It comes with a remote, and charges the iPod when docked.

Good God. What is this -- three security updates in a week from Apple?

Just in case your lithium prescription ran out, you've been self-medicating with crack cocaine, mescaline, and Johnny Walker Black for a few weeks, and in your haze decided to switch from IntelliJ IDEA to Eclipse, IBM has posted a tutorial.

Now that Paolo has stolen this gif from Dave, I have to link to it. I'm absolutely mesmerized by this animation.

So JP is sending the enormous $5bn contract to the shitcan. Interesting. IBM is a good company with some great stuff, but these asinine "uh, take care of all that techie stuff, 'cuz we don't like to do it ourselves" contracts are doomed to failure. I don't think you can pay someone enough to ignore their own self interest. And, trust me, AIX, Websphere, and DB2 are not always the answer.

The God FAQ.

[via Sex, Drugs, and Unix, which has such a wonderful collection of absurd things, you really should visit.]

When the writing for The West Wing is good, it is very good.

Nature.com questions George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry about environmental issues.

One of George W. Bush's college professors speaks out:

"I don't remember all the students in detail unless I'm prompted by something," Tsurumi said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect -- the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite." [via Salon]

In recalling his students, Professor Tsurumi contrasts George W. Bush to another future politician, also in his class:

One of Tsurumi's standout students was Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., now the seventh-ranking member of the House Republican leadership. "I typed him as a conservative Republican with a conscience," Tsurumi said. "He never confused his own ideology with economics, and he didn't try to hide his ignorance of a subject in mumbo jumbo. He was what I call a principled conservative."

Bush, by contrast, "was totally the opposite of Chris Cox," Tsurumi said. "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him." When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, "Oh, I never said that."

Larry David's letter to "the undecideds:"

"[...]The truth is, Undecideds, you're getting on our nerves. We Decideds hate all the attention you're getting and that you're jerking us around. Anyone who can't make up his or her mind at this point in the campaign should forget about the election entirely, buy a pint of ice cream and get into bed."

Dare Obasanjo: Apple fucking rocks.

Eric Sink is assembling a very good series of articles on source code control. While it has a focus on Vault (SourceGear's SCM product), it touches on a lot of the basic knowledge and philosophy necessary for good source code control practices.

The .NET Guy: I have to say: the more time I spend with this Mac, the less time I want to spend with my PCs!

That, my friends, is high praise, indeed. I think the Apple laptop experience is far better than the Intel experience. With desktops, the story is a little different.

The Old New Thing: The x86 architecture is the weirdo


Johnny Ramone dies at 55.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

"Documents allegedly written by a deceased officer that raised questions about President Bush's service with the Texas Air National Guard bore markings showing they had been faxed to CBS News from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene, Tex., according to another former Guard officer who was shown the records by the network."

"[...]There is only one Kinko's in Abilene, and it is 21 miles from the Baird, Tex., home of retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, who has been named by several news outlets as a possible source for the documents."

[via The Washington Post]

Channel News Asia: Syria tested chemical arms on civilians in Darfur region

DNC Video: Fortunate Son

Adobe just released Photoshop Elements 3.0. It has the healing brush, and can handle RAW format files.

Can someone please remind me why I have the $600 CS version?

Via jwz, words and images from Emmanuel Goldstein about his arrest and detention in New York, the week of the Republican National Convention.

Crazy stuff going on here.

I've noticed that when someone says something in favor of gun control, like, say, commenting on the sun-setting of the assault rifle bill, the reaction is rather predictable.

A bunch of guys (it is almost always guys) jump all over your shit, as if you had suggested taking away their penises.

Just an observation.

Royal Institute of British Architects: A new strategy for London streets "Towards A Fine City for People"

Interesting article. I'm a closet urban planner, so I love this stuff.

"This confusion, said Gehl, ‘is a way of telling people you are not loved in this place’, and London he added ‘is a city without seats’. ‘We saw a place where perhaps 100,000 people pass in a day and there were no seats,’ which was no good for the elderly or infirm."

This is one of the things that strikes me about London, something that stands in stark contrast to New York; the focus on people. Where in New York you see one worker at a subway entrance, a token booth clerk (if you are lucky), in London you'll often see several. There are personal touches everywhere, points of contact between people, human consideration.

Sometimes, in New York, you get the sense that we've descended to an "every man for himself" mentality. A relentless focus on the bottom line encourages businesses to cut staff (and service) to the bare minimum, and pushes cities to devote every possible square foot to generating income.

It is nice to interact with humans, rather than machines. It is nice for a city to acknowledge that people are its lifeblood, and to accommodate people, rather than automobiles, in its thoroughfares.


"Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have confirmed what many high-tech workers have long suspected: The job market for technology experts remains bleak, years after the U.S. recession officially ended in late 2001."

"The nation's information technology industry lost 403,300 jobs between March 2001, when the recession began, and April of this year, the researchers found." [Seattle Post Intelligencer, via Slashdot]

Good. Let them go. So many God-awful software developers entered the market in the 90's. There are still too many people in the "IT" industry who are simply not qualified to be here. Attrition is good. Take your "Learn C in 24 Hours" and paper the walls of your trailer with it. I have work to do.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I missed this last week. Jonathan Shwartz showed a picture of an 8-core SPARC processor, on a board, running Solaris. That is pretty cool. I'll have to look up expected ship dates in Sun's processor roadmap.

Lexar releases their cool-looking JumpDrives with SafeGuard software to password protect data on the drive.

Someone takes a look at the drive, and determines that the password is stored as XORd data directly on the drive.

"The password is located on the JumpDrive device. It can be read directly from the device without any authentication. It is stored in an XOR encrypted form and can be read directly from the device without any authentication."

XOR? What the fuck? Didn't people learn their lessons with the stupid ROT-13 "security" scheme in PDFs? If someone gets slapped with a DMCA lawsuit for figuring this out, I'm going to be very upset.



Monday, September 13, 2004

"The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war.  We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective.  And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War."

President George W. Bush, on Meet The Press, Feb. 8, 2004.

"We felt like we had a method that we wanted to apply to Falluja and thought we ought to let the situation settle before we appeared to be attacking out of revenge," [Marine Lt. Gen. James T.] Conway said.

"Would our system have been better, would we have been able to bring over the people of Falluja with our methods? You'll never know that for sure [...]"

Former U.S. Marine commander of forces in western Iraq, Marine Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, Sep. 13, 2004.

Via MetaFilter, a 50MB QuickTime movie of bike racing through the streets of New York. Good stuff.


"Nearly four months ago, the Transit Authority proposed prohibiting photography and filming in the tubes and on buses, saying the measure was aimed at preventing terrorists from gathering information."

"But transit sources told the Daily News a total ban may not be enforceable - and that the TA and cops are now working on crafting a more limited restriction."

[Via NY Daily News]