Critical Section


Wednesday,  11/10/04  11:54 PM

Today was a good day.  For many reasons.  Some of which I can tell you about, some not.  Yet.  But please stay tuned.

diplomaOne of the ones I can tell you about; my daughter Alexis made the Headmaster's List - with a 4.0 GPA - in her first term at middle school.  Yay, Alex!  The triumph of hard work over bad genes :)

Citizen Smash posted a great tribute on the Marine Corp's 229th birthday.

IFILM is screening Theo van Gogh's Submission.  Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was assassinated November 2, 2004, by a 26-year-old extremist Muslim of Dutch-Moroccan descent.  The current theory is that he was taken down for his critical look at the treatment of Muslim women.  [ via LGF ]

razib posts a voice from the dykes:  "The Dutch population have been attacked, harresed, intimitated and made to feel a stranger in our own country for decades.  This isn't a case of one man or a group of extremists who held a grudge against Theo Van Gogh, since nearly every Muslim in Holland disagrees with his given right to criticize, or 'insult' Islam."  Ugly.

Glenn Reynolds with many links and discussion of the situation in The Netherlands.  "You can't have a tolerant country if you're not willing to get tough with the intolerant."  Great point.

With the pending launch of Microsoft's search service, many analysts are wondering what this means for Google.  John Battelle pleads Can we please bury the Netscape metaphor?  "Let's get one thing straight, for once and for all: Google ain't no Netscape.  As many have pointed out, it's looking more and more like the next Microsoft, in terms of business model, talent, and riches."  I agree.

AlwaysOn reports Google is now crawling 8B web pages.  That's B, not M.  Bill Coughran, Google's VP/Engineering, blogs about this.

It's alive!  MSN Search (beta).  Well, almost alive.  Uh, Redmond, we have a problem...

MSN search error
(well, no, I didn't get the results I expected)

Looks like MSN Search has a blog, too.  "We know still have a lot of work left to do.  We'll keep you updated here as we make progress."  Okay, so be it.  [ via Dave Winer ]

Charles Arthur: Why iPod's tune won't change.  "The iPod has a path to dominance the Walkman never had."  An interesting and well-defended [albeit contrarian] point of view.  [ via Cult of Mac ]

ballot receiptCory Doctorow: How a ballot-receipt should look.  Taken from Wired magazine's "objects found from the future".  In a previous life I built transaction systems for banks, including ATM networks.  Paper receipts are indeed a great thing.  However in order for them to be useful, they have to balance against a transaction database

And therein lies the rub – are people really going to allow the government to store their voting record in a database?  I don’t think so.  This is the unpleasant reality of voting machines, if you don’t keep an audit trail, you can’t balance, and if you can’t balance, you can’t verify the machines’ operation.

Patrick considers personalized ad insertion; another interesting business model for video content.  With the advent of Tivo, I've definitely noticed an increasing amount of non-personalized ad insertion...

Ross Rubin: How Microsoft's Media Center will save Television.  Yeah, right.  Actually the article is a lot less sanguine about Media Center's prospects than the headline: "Media Center is a take-it-or-leave-it option and most consumers will leave it for the foreseeable future.That's right.

The other day I asked "I'm just wondering - are there any commercials on television which don't use special effects?"  Well through the magic of referer logs I found a post by Bruce on The Galactic Patrol in which he answered: "My mind immediately popped back to one of the best TV advertisments I've ever seen - Honda's 'Cog' ad.  That thing is incredible, and has no special effects."  He's right, that ad was incredible.  And notable especially for the fact that it did not use special effects.

Honda "cog" ad - tires rolling uphillUpon re-watching, my favorite part is where the tires roll up a ramp.  No special effects, simply weights inside the tires, so the center of gravity goes down even as the tire rolls up.  Very cool.

 

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