Wired cover story: The New Diamond Age. "Armed with inexpensive, mass-produced gems, two startups are launching an assault on the De Beers cartel. Next up: the computing industry." Wired isn't always right, but they're almost always interesting. Check it out! (click pic at left for larger view of cover.)
Philip Greenspun asks "Why can't we buy a Chinese house at Walmart?" Interesting... It is probably only a matter of time; the labor in housing construction is definitely a factor in the expense.
NYT via CNN on life expectancy. "Psst. Wanna live to the age of 600? This may not be as absurd a question as it sounds. Genetic medicine is making enormous strides, and it may hold the promise -- or maybe it's the peril -- of eventually making us something closer to immortal." This re-begs the question of why animals live as long as they do. The quick answer is "just long enough, no longer"; that is, long enough to become mature enough to reproduce, and [in some cases] to rear their offspring. After that they are simply consuming resources best left for the younger generation. So extending lifespans is truly Unnatural Selection!
Glenn Reynolds loves his new Mazda RX8. The Instacar...
Yesterday I was seized with the desire to build a desktop Java application. (Don't ask!) On the advise of my friend Kevin, I downloaded and installed IBM's eclipse IDE, which runs on JDK 1.4. To my great surprise it was 1) easy to get up and running under WinXP, and 2) easy to understand and use. The documentation is great - I recommend the white paper - and best of all the IDE is snappy, with none of the sluggishness for which Java is known. IBM has built some great UI support - SWT and JFace - which lets applications build reasonable GUIs in a cross-platform way, without looking like they don't belong in their host environment. Very cool.
Dave Winer fixed his RSS feed bug, and publicly thanked me for my "courage" in pointing it out. I don't think he gives himself enough credit; he's actually a reasonable guy who just wants stuff to work :)