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Archive: January 5, 2008

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Saturday,  01/05/08  10:18 AM

The promised storm *finally* materialized.  It rained pretty hard for a long time, but it was not - yet - unusual by historical standards (only by recent ones, in that it rained at all).  Stay tuned for more...

ZZTop!Did you see ZZTop at halftime of the FedEx Orange Bowl?  Pretty cool.  Those guys must be 100 years old, but they still rock.  Good to see they haven't become a cover band, doing old ZZTop tunes :)

The game itself was pretty good, too.  Although I must say watching college bowl games on January 4th does not feel right.  Yes, I'm a dinosaur.

Speaking of old bands who are still great, all the reports of Led Zeppelin's one night reunion were overwhelmingly positive.  A true event, I wish I could have been there.  If I were forced to pick one band as my favorite (e.g. "if you could only bring one band's music to a desert island") it would be Zep.  The bootleg clips surfacing on YouTube are excellent, Plant and Page still have it.  BTW their drummer was Jason Bonham, John Bonham's son, how cool is that.  Will they tour?  I doubt it.  Too bad.

Tesla Roadster: the song remains the same?How's this for a segue: Tesla changes CEOs, reports The Song Remains the Same.  As longtime readers know, Elon Musk is my hero, but he may have busted his pick on this one.  Then again, I thought that about SpaceX, too, which keeps on ticking...

Looks like maybe Blu-ray is going to defeat HD-DVD (albeit temporarily, before the 'net defeats both :); Engadget reports HD-DVD group cancels CES press conference.  So be it.  And rumor has it that Apple will include Blu-ray in future Macs.

Meanwhile, Business Week reports Sony BMG plans to drop DRM.  Excellent.  Looks like music DRM is dead, but video DRM is alive and well - for now.  We'll see what effect Apple's anticipated announcement at Macworld has...  rumor says they're going to announce a movie rental service, which (because of the limited time nature) implies DRM.

BW also has a little 'Intel' on Apple's next move.  At this point, if Apple doesn't announce a subnotebook, it will be a huge surprise.  More clues about Apple's future plans in this Engadget post: Maximus-like keyboard, iMac Macbook dock.

Marc Andreessen has an interesting take on Rebuilding Hollywood in Silicon Valley's image.  [ via Tim Oren ]  The writer's strike has affected me little, as I don't watch TV (except "unscripted" events like football games :), but if the ultimate effect is to change the way movies are made, that would be good.

Some Microsoft bashing; Tim Bray's 2008 prediction: Windows looks Bad.  Mark Pilgrim wrote Windows off years ago, but now thinks 2008 is the year of Linux on the desktop (at least at his parent's house).  And Bill Burnham thinks Microsoft should buy Plaxo.  I do agree with Bill that 1) Outlook is my most-used application, and 2) Microsoft hasn't enhanced it significantly since 1997.  Still, I am not [yet] motivated to switch to Thunderbird, despite being an avid Firefox user...


may I take your order?

Saturday,  01/05/08  12:21 PM

This could be the funiest thing I have ever read.  Warning, do not read while drinking hot liquids.

May I take your order?

(Just in case this ever disappears, here it is as a PDF.  I do not want to lose this :)


the cowboy

Saturday,  01/05/08  12:53 PM

Apropos, with the elections in the air, this from my friend Jim Holder:

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.  The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.  Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored.  He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.  Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right.  Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.  Then Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says Bud.

"Wow!  That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required" answered the cowboy.  "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked.  You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows... this is a herd of sheep... give me back my dog.




Saturday,  01/05/08  08:07 PM

m.w-uh.comSo: I have "moblified" this site; if you are viewing with a Treo, iPhone, BlackBerry, or other handheld you might want to try instead.  Among other things, it works great on my new toy (and my old toy, a Treo 650, too).  This version of my site is simply piped through Russell Beattie's mowser service.  (You might want to bookmark on your handheld also, so you can view any site through this filter.)

My standard site as seen by a browser worked well via mowser, but using the "robot" version of my site, as served to Googlebot and bretheren, worked better.  Mowser simplifies the page structure, removes scripting etc., and shrinks images, among other things, to create a better experience on a handheld device.  This seems like a great idea - whether it will catch on and whether Russell can monetize it through ads or whatever remains to be seen...


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