Critical Section


week of August 17, redux

Saturday,  08/22/09  11:14 AM

I am back in my blogitorium, happy that another *busy* week is over with, and looking forward to a [relatively] quiet weekend.  I definitely have to change things; my current workload is unstable.  I have so much to do that I can't do it [well], and relentless delegation is my best way out.  Want to help?  Actually you are helping; blogging is sanity-restoring.

Endless Summer - classic (from 1966)Can you believe it?  Summer is over.  The kids are back in school, and everyone is talking about football.  Wow, it was a great summer, but man it flew by... I wanted it to be endless :)

You think healthcare is expensive now? Just wait 'till it is FREEBumper sticker of the week, courtesy of my friend Jim...  There are two known ways to reduce healthcare costs, reduce the expense of liability litigation, and sever the connection between employment and health insurance.  There is one known way to increase healthcare costs, get the government involved.

Microsoft BOBInteresting post: Innovation, the lessons of Bob.  I think the takeaways are pretty good (if not groundbreaking), such as "Never underdeliver against expectations", and "Consumers don't care about strategy".  Not mentioned, "crappy products don't succeed".  Jeff Atwood suggests the only truly failed project is one where you didn't learn anything.

World Bicycle Relief - Million Dollar RideJohan Bruyneel is taking a Million Dollar Ride.

This is pretty funny: TechCrunch: What are these bars on my iPhone?  "Over the weekend I noticed something odd going on with my iPhone: It was working! That is to say I actually had signal in the SoMa district of San Francisco."  And yet - and yet - people love the iPhone.  I'm not saying it isn't a great phone, but I find the level of hype a little weird, given the shortcomings.  I would highlight the lack of keyboard and lack of multitasking as the worst problems, but AT&T's slow and crappy network is also a drawback.

iPhone app: amazing 3D map of ParisAnd the biggest plus of course is all the cool applications.  Check out this amazing 3D map of Paris.  Wow, how cool is that?  I want one for Los Angeles!

Gauss light bulbs - an example of cool packagingTen Awesome Package Designs.  Cool, I love this stuff.  Sometimes the package is cooler than the contents...

In the New Yorker, The Secrets of Magus.  About sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay, who, if you've never seen him, is absolutely amazing.  (YouTube has any number of examples of his fine work.)  Definitely you do not want to get into a card game with this guy.  He's also a great actor, and [apparently] an interesting personality...

An interesting question, CNet wonders Does Kindle keep you from buying a book by its cover?  Certainly the cover is less important even if not unimportant.  The same with cover art for iTunes albums.  That is one of the drawbacks of buying online.  On the other hand, you get reviews and recommendations, which are probably more strongly correlated with whether you're going to enjoy the book or music than the cover art :)

Ann Althouse: everybody calm downPicture of the week, from Ann Althouse...  everybody calm down...

the Cosmic Muffin - boat recycled from Howard Hughes' planeAnd here we have the Cosmic Muffin, a boat recycled from Howard Hughes' plane.  You have to love that!

Bummer: Michael Rasmussen will not be racing in the Vuelta this year; he failed to register in time with a team which is racing.  However Alexander Vinokourov is cleared to race, as an alternate with Astana, now we'll have to see whether he is actually selected by the team to do so.  Man, I hope so.  He is a former winner of the Vuelta, after all, and Astana is his team.  On the other hand he did blow it pretty badly by doping in the 2007 Tour de France....

John Scalzi's Guide to the most Epic Fails in Star Wars Design.  Until you see this list, you don't realize how bad they really are, but yeah, they're bad.  "I'll come right out and say it: Star Wars has a badly-designed universe; so poorly-designed, in fact, that one can say that a significant goal of all those Star Wars novels is to rationalize and mitigate the bad design choices of the movies."  I love it.

Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad, circa 1963This is amazing: Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad, from 1963.  It does things most graphics programs don't do today.  [ via Daring Fireball ]

ZooBorn: Cheetah cubZooBorn of the week: a Cheetah Cub!

Well that's it for now... then some coding, a little bike ride, dinner with friends, and tomorrow who knows?

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