Critical Section


views from Europe

Monday,  06/20/11  05:27 PM

Ole in London; the Eye on to the left, Parliment and Big Ben to the rightI'm back!  From Europe at least, although I'm still off from work, in fact today is the first day of a three month vacation.  Yay!  And so I have much to tell you about; the world didn't stand still while I was in London and Basel and Amsterdam and Groningen and Utrecht and Leeds.  Always fun to be on a different day different city different customer trip, whew.

Anyway.

I'm back - I will be back now for a while, although one of my key tasks now that I'm on vacation is to plan a vacation (probably Paris and Amsterdam!) - and it's all happening, so let's take a look, shall we...

I've been trying to stay out of politics, but I loved this: when government jumps the shark.  It is SO true.  Fanniegate was the cause of all the financial disasters which have followed.  Anyway I link, you decide...

When you're in Europe, you can't help but feel some of what is going on in America is preposterous.  And they [mostly] think so too.  They didn't like Bush but they're embarrassed by Obama.

Google Les Paul logoThe Google logo celebrating Les Paul's birthday was classic; you could play it, and even record from it.  Excellent.

From O'Reilly: dating with data.  Lessons learned from millions of users...  like don't be ugly by accident.  (Did you know, the camera you use to take your picture makes a big difference! - among cellphone pictakers iPhone users are more popular than BlackBerry users, but using a "real" camera makes you look even better :)

Apropos: five myths women have about men.  Hmmm...

iCloud - storms ahead?I noted Apple's iCloud announcement, with a little skepticism that they'd make a success of it, and Ars Technica share similar concerns in more detail.  "Apple's perennial difficulty with creating scalable online services is not a coincidence. Apple has a corporate culture that emphasizes centralized, designer-led product development. This process has produced user-friendly devices that are the envy of the tech world. But developing fast, reliable online services requires a more decentralized, engineering-driven corporate culture like that found at Google."  I think their secret is that they don't want to create a world-class destination website for iCloud, instead they want it to be infrastructure for their devices.  And in that way, they're competing with Amazon more than with Google, and in that way, they may succeed.

BTW I am *so* excited about IOS 5's new camera app; being able to get right into the app and use a hardware button to take pictures could save my life (while cycling).  While in Europe I used the heck out of my iPhone as a camera and it was great.  Having to enter my access code every time was my biggest complaint.

Apple's new headquartersYou all probably saw this already, but it was cool; Apple's plans for a new megabuilding in Cupertino.

Lego-making machine made of LegoYes!  A Lego-making machine made of Lego.  Now we just need a Lego-making machine assembly machine made of Lego, and the singularity will be neigh :)

Tim "XML" Bray on the web app vs native client dilemma.  I grant him that they are all "Internet apps", but the real debate is about client side technology; is JavaScript interpreted by a generic web browser the way to go, or do you need code compiled for a specific platform?

Apropos: Project Spartan; Facebook are apparently creating a client app in HTML5.  That is the best explanation for the lack of a Facebook iPad client I've heard, but it is sure taking them a long time...

Levi Leipheimer wins Tour of SwitzerlandCongratulations to Levi Leipheimer for winning the Tour of Switzerland!  And he had to gain nearly two minutes on Damiano Cunigo in the final ITT in order to do it.  Almost as remarkable, Andreas Kloden almost beat Fabian Cancellara.  Looks like Radio Shack are ready for the Tour!  As am I ... starts July 2 ... mark your calendars...

Oh yeah, I mentioned I am going to Paris?  Oh yeah, we're going to be there for the finish of the Tour.  Champs d'Elysee here we come!

Dave Winer reviews June 14, a big day in his life (he had a heart attack, and nearly died).  It's a big day in my life too; my Father's birthday, and the anniversary of my first date with Shirley!

Angry Birds - the breakout success story of mobile apps?The iPhone, the Angry Bird, and the Pink Elephant.  "Shockingly, lost in the stunning growth of iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android-derived devices - 300 million devices sold combined and counting, 600,000-plus apps built, and more than 18 billion app downloads - is the disconcerting truth that no one is talking about. Namely, that the closest story of financial success that we have to Facebook, Amazon or Intuit is ... Angry Birds!"  True.  But it's early days yet for mobile apps...

Scott "Dilbert" Adams proposes a stupidity tax.  Hmmm, not a bad idea, but unfortunately the dumbest people will also have the least money.  Better to keep them from being born in the first place, but how do you do that?

IBM mainframe from the 60'sIBM has turned 100; the NYTimes has some lessons in longevity.  One of the lessons is to build on the past; how cool is that picture of an IBM mainframe?  Man, computers were cooler then :)

ZooBorn: Sea Lion pupZooBorn of the week: a Sea Lion pup.

I'll leave you with a useful link from Scott "Dilbert" Adams: Vacation Science.  Virtual vacations, anyone?

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