Critical Section

Archive: June 24, 2003

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Tuesday,  06/24/03  07:52 PM

You want yet another example of how dumb patents are?  Netflix granted patent on DVD rental service.  C'mon.  Are you telling me this is sufficiently innovative that they should have a monopoly for 17 years?

Tom Yager pokes holes in Apple's G5 SPEC benchmarks.  "The Power Mac G5 shows major ass-kicking potential.  Apple's got too much class to resort to sketchy benchmarks."

[ Later: Slashdot posts a rebuttal from Apple, recounted from a 'phone interview. ]

Adam Curry comments favorably on iChat AV.  He points out that you can't see video unless you have a camera attached.  There is no technical reason why this should be, so there must be a market reason, and I believe he nailed it; Apple didn't want iChat AV to become a p0rn tool...  (Of course, it will anyway, how long do you think it will take for someone to hack this? :)

The Detroit News: Beyond Kazaa, a Grand Plan.  "Nikki Henning [CEO of Kazaa] to the entertainment industry: 'Realize that this technology is inexorable, and come to the table'."  Yeah, right, like that's going to happen.  But she is right, isn't she?

This is great - check out, which let's you compare different nations in a huge variety of ways.  Want to know the youngest nation?  Uganda (high birth rate, high death rate).  Poorest?  Zambia.  Most generous?  Luxembourg.  What a treasure trove!  And it is freely available on the Internet, the greatest tool man has ever devised.  (I'll defend that in 100 years after it becomes obvious.)

Lance ArmstrongAre you ready for some biking?  The Tour de France is coming up, July 5-27.  Trek has a great site with Tour info, which is terrific because in years past nobody did (the "official" Tour site is French and sucky).  This should be an interesting year with American Lance Armstrong the favorite to win his 5th Tour in a row, which will probably not sit well with the French populace.  3,400 kilometers spread over 23 days, including some of the toughest mountain climbs in the world.  If you can finish this race, you're an athlete.  If you can win it five years in a row after surviving testicular cancer, you're amazing :)

Mostly a note to myself so I can find it later: Don Park illustrates "funkyness" in RSS feeds.  My feed is funky even though it doesn't use any Dublin Core elements, but it seems to work with all aggregators.  Perhaps it is my content which is funky!

{If you use an RSS aggregator and my feed doesn't work, please tell me!}

I've been getting a whole passel of spams advertising anti-spam tools.  Fascinating.  Kind of like pop-up ads which advertise anti-pop-up tools.  A distant cousin of the famous robot which turned itself off.  Good thing I have Matador (to filter spam) and Mozilla (to eliminate pop-ups)...

Google's Pigeon RankThe secret behind Google's success: Pigeon Rank.  I am not making this up.  But they are...

The last couple of days I've had a ton of traffic.  And unlike every other time this has happened, it isn't because of one new article.  Somehow there are just more people coming by...  Thanks, and I hope you found it worthwhile!


Tuesday,  06/24/03  11:36 PM

Baghdad BobReuters is carrying an unconfirmed report that former Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, aka "Baghdad Bob" has been captured.  "'He has some serious talking to do...this time', a 'senior coalition source' was quoted as saying."  Verrry interesting...

Bill Gates sent an email update to Microsoft partners and customers today, calling for government and corporate cooperation to fight junk mail.  "Spam is so significant a problem that it threatens to undo much of the good that e-mail has achieved."  In a case of supreme irony, my spam filter treated Bill's email as spam.

Jim Lynch gives Lindows 4.0 "the Mom Test".  It passed.  Perhaps Linux really will make inroads on the desktop...  the machines sure are cheap inexpensive .

Tim Bray thinks intelligent search is a Turing Test.  He's probably right; Google doesn't search anything like the way an experienced librarian does, any more than Deep Junior plays chess like Garry Kasparov...  in fact this analogy is apt because in both cases the computer substitutes being able to do something simple very fast for being able to do something complicated.


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