Critical Section


Saturday,  05/14/05  08:55 PM

AICN tours Pixar - the great room
AICN tours Pixar - animator huts
AICN tours Pixar - conference room

Here's something I meant to post about, but, um, I wasn't posting so I didn't, but now I can...  Ain't It Cool News tours Pixar!  What a wonderful workplace...  The top picture at right shows the "great room"; apparently Steve Jobs wanted everyone to pass through one place together each day, and this was the answer.  It also allows rooms like the conference room in the bottom picture to have views "outside".  The middle picture shows the flexibility granted employees in arranging their personal workspaces - no cubicles here! - these animators have little huts like the dwarves in Sleeping Beauty.  I love it!  [ via Xeni Jardin ]

Another one from recent past; Christopher Locke, aka Rageboy, aka Chief Blogging Officer: Winning through Worst Practices.  This defies summary; you'll just have to go read it.  Bonks about five nails on the head, and keeps you laughing meantime.  He still writes at night when he should be sleeping :)  [ via Sam Ruby ]

Chris Anderson, he of the Long Tail, contrasts the Long Tail vs. the Bottom of the Pyramid.  The bottom of the pyramid is all about commodification, the idea that the same things can be made less expensively to serve more people, while the long tail is about niches, the idea that different things can be distributed less expensively to serve less people.  Not the same.

Speaking of Long Tail markets, how about the long tail of lending?  Wired reports: "A new U.K. website called Zopa aims to hook up two distinct groups of people -- those with spare cash and those looking to borrow some.  The auction-style exchange could give banks a run for their money."  Then plan to use an eBay-style reputation system to score credit.  Interesting!

tablet PCs used by CardiologistsHere's an interesting video on CNet: tablet PCs used by Cardiologists.  Tablets are a great technology for medical imaging, they're a very natural way for doctors to interact with images.  The portability is nice but the ability to draw right on the image is essential.  I've been waiting for the screen resolution to improve so they can be used for Pathology images.  Toshiba just announced two models with 1400x1050 pixel screens, that might do it...

This is/was a good call by Dave Winer: "Sounds like Barry Bonds' career is over, and he knows it."  I guess time will tell, but I had the same reaction.  Recovery from knee surgery at age 40 is a lot tougher without steroids.

I never know how to react to this sort of article: Tom's Hardware on How to Crack WEP.  One side is that by publicizing security problems, they help plug them; nobody with a WiFi network that uses WEP should feel secure.  The other side is that this enables a great many more people to become hackers, and the average guy with a WiFi network in his house doesn't read Tom's Hardware.  I guess in the end information wants to be free.  Anyway it isn't that easy; sort of like copying encrypted DVDs, yeah, you can do it, but no, it isn't easy and you have to invest more time than it is probably worth.

Lego HarpsichordHere we have the Lego Harpsichord, by Henry Lim.  Thought you'd seen everything?  No, you didn't think that, but here's more proof that "everything" is so much more than you thought.  Unbelievable feat of engineering, imagine how heavy this must be!  [ via Gizmodo ]

 

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