- a brief history of the spud The Burbank Russett (the gold standard of tubers) owes much to the original cultivators of the potato, the Aymara Indians of Peru [Reed, via Blog for Thought]
- Minneapolis approves citywide 2 a.m. bar closings–Looks like bars in Minneapolis will have the option of staying open until 2 AM starting July 1st. [jim]
- Clear Sky Clock Clever meterologists in Canada offer projections on cloud cover, indicating whether the sky will be clear on a particular day in St Paul, MN and over 1400 other locations. [reed]
- Microsoft to ‘Netscapize’ Google? If you are a web site operator and of the mind that Microsoft needs to be hobbled in the coming Google/MSN/Yahoo search engine war, then consider denying the MSNBOT access to your content via /robots.txt. [reed] [or just ignore it, like I do. Information wants to be free. Even for Microsoft. -Dave]
- Aaron Swartz explains Google AdSense.
- Congress Finds Rare Unity in Spam, to a Point. They all hate it, but they’re being paid by receiving contributions from advertisers, so they don’t want to just ban it.
- Man accused of spamming by Microsoft protests innocence, and SpamHaus seems to back him up, but he still may have to spend five figures to defend himself.
- Putting All Your E-Mail in One Basket, namely your work email account, is a risky business. It’s why I got a personal email account on eWorld back when that debuted, and have maintained separate personal and business email accounts ever since (though the line blurs sometimes because I run my own business).
- Bill Aims to Cut Computer Clutter by mandating an additional fee on new computer purchases to cover the cost of disposal.
- rms explains why the SCO smear campaign can’t defeat GNU community.
- Is the Penguin on Thin Ice? Probably not. In fact, it may be SCO that’s going to get an unpleasant surprise once they get to court.
- Putting open source on trial asks the question,
What if SCO is right?[scripting]
- A Mathematician Crunches the Supreme Court’s Numbers determining that the current court has the equivalent of 4.68 ideal (that is completely independent) justices. It’s not always the same justices who ally together, but all of them seem to make decisions based at least in part on other justices’ decisions.
- How Amazon Opens Up and Cleans Up. They’ve given up some control of their data by exposing it via web APIs, but they’re getting lots of extra business out of the deal. Plus they’re allowing third parties to get some income in exchange for developing cool applications that Amazon wouldn’t have time to get to.
- Cory’s talking about how T-Mobile drives a nail into the Sidekick’s coffin. I don’t think it’s quite that bad, but I’d sure like to see a carrier other than T-Mobile that supported the SideKick. T-Mobile’s coverage is spotty in Minnesota (and wasn’t great in San Francisco or Detroit), and their customer service often leaves something to be desired (like maybe service). [boing boing]
- Some shyness may be inherited, study suggests. Kids who are shy will grow up to be adults who have signs of shyness (even if they’ve learned to be more outgoing) that are visible on the physical level.
- Well, it’s the first day of WWDC, and as usual, Steve’s keynote will lead things off. I’ve got a few minutes (even after being one of the last people to enter the hall) of waiting before it starts, so I’ll try and catch you up with my doings.
- Yesterday was a travel day, starting in Detroit, catching a 12:30pm flight (which was delayed at least a half-hour) with a bunch of other people who were going from MacHack to WWDC. We weren’t grouped together on the plane, but there was at least one ad-hoc airport network that was set up on the plane, complete with a chat. Lisa, Chris and I took the BART from SFO into the city, and it was surprisingly smooth. $4.70 gets you from the airport to downtown, which is quite a deal when you consider that the alternatives are a $40 cab-ride or a $15-$20 shuttle bus.
- I checked into the Powell, then wandered over to Moscone West to register (and get the bag of conference materials that Apple distributes. After dinner wiht a couple other guys, it was back to the hotel for sleep.
- Steve’s on, and here goes the keynote. 3800 in attendance. 300k registered apple developers. No turtleneck, not even a mock. Just a crew-neck black t-shirt. 1M iPods, 8 weeks on the iMusic store, and 5M songs sold. Safari goes 1.0 today, and will be available on the web today. Also WebCore (Safari) SDK.
- Panther (10.3) previews today. It will ship sometime this year. Grey look (like the T-Shirt for the conference) on the logo. Finder 10.3 has a new setup. Left column that looks like the start menu in windows. Labels are finally back (no surprise there), but they only seem to apply to the name of the doc.. There’s also a special button that replaces contextual menus, since people couldn’t find them. It’s also brushed-metal look. There’s a faster search (but what cost in indexing?)
- iDisk is now enhanced to auto-sync when you’ve got networks. Local folder that mirrors and auto-syncs in the background.
- Exposé: Layer manager on steroids? Way to deal with lot of apps open and be able to find the window you’re actually looking for. Lets you assign any key on keyboard (or screen-corner) that shrinks all the windows so they’ll tile on your screen and you can then select one to bring it to the front. Pretty cool. Also lets you drag’n’drop from desktop into an application. Pretty darned cool.
- FileVault encrypts/decrypts everything in home directory. What about external disks?
- Mail improved. Faster, HTML, etc., mostly the kind of things you thought you shoujld have. Spiffy address-handling. There’s a ner threaded browsing mode, too, which happens right in the subject-view. No word on how well the threading actually works, but I suspect it’s pretty-good.
- Fax-printing built into the OS
- Pixlet - new Codec - film-grade compression, Pixar request. Wavelet technology. No inter-frame compression, so you can edit at any point in the stream. Not only full high-def, but also HD/2 (half-high-def), which you can decompress live on a 1GHz G4 (or better).
- preview’s been improved, faster render/search. Also can now do live PS->PDF conversion, which is cool.
- FontBook - suitcase for MacOS X? Installation easier, at least, as are previews. Searching on substrings of names. Built-in to panther. Steph’ll like that, but no word on removal.
- iChat - adds audio and video-conferencing. "Video-conferencing for the rest of us." Also iSight camera - 30fps VGA video@24bps. AF, AE, f/2.8, firewire camera. Small enough to clip to screen on powerbook. Set up to be mounted on top of screen. $149. Available today. All developers at the conference get one free.
- New developer tools (Xcode). Speed improvements. GCC 3.3-based. Only twice as long to build as CodeWarrior. Also supports distributed builds, and Steve’s marketing numbers suggest it scales relatively well. Also, zero-link - that is, you only link the objects that are needed to launch. Predictive compile. It starts compiling before you hit "Save", which means that compile times are cut further, and you can fix, recompile, relaunch more quickly, because they’re using mach-o and dyld to change the object code in-place, and continue running without re-compile relaunch cycle.
- Okay, here’s the one-more-thing. Chip = 970. Steve is carefully not mantioning Moto, but just IBM. G5 chip - 64-bit processor. Runs existing code just fine (natch). 2GHz CPU. 1GHZ front-side bus. Full SMP. System has custom ASIC designed by Apple. Fabbed by IBM. It controls I/O. 8Gb of bandwidth, and you can put in two of them, to get 16Gb of bandwidth. Memory limits to 6.4Gb. New graphics bus, to double bandwidth there. Slops. 133MHz PCI-X (one, two @100). Serial ATA drives, independent interfaces. USB 2 on there, analog i/o, too. Product: dual processor, 8GB RAM (so you don’t have to page!) 4x Superdrive, Radeon 9600 pro in high-end-model. New case. all-aluminum. Oh my christ, look at the heat sinks. Four thermal zones. New cooling system, 9 fans, independently controlled. 35dBA at normal room-temp. "twice as quiet" as G4. 3 models - $2k, $2.4k, $3k - 2x2.0GHz, .5GRAM - pretty decent system at the $3k point. Will ship in August. 3GHz processors within 12 months.
- I know that’s not horribly organized or coherent, but I’m not firing on all cylinders at the moment. Not very linky, either, but maybe there’s something people will find useful in there.
- Well, MacHack’s over, and it's time to hit the road. Here’s some links for the day.
- Extreme lobbying upsets Assembly. Lawmakers are mad at the response to their killing a privacy bill in California. Proponents of the law have posted the social security numbers of the representatives who voted against the law. [flutterby]
- New bill injects FBI into P2P battle, making them responsible for catching and prosecuting people who are illegally trading copyrighted works. This just after it was announced that the FBI was going to spend less time on drug prosecutions so they’d be able to catch terrorists. I guess that means that file-swappers are the real terrorists.
- Senate Once Again Backs Stringent Penalties for Spam Senders. The bill makes it illegal to forge your headers, but still legal to send a first unsolicited commmercial email. The recipient would still have to opt-out (which is bad), and the bill would do nothing to prevent spammers from moving offshore, just as online casinos have.
- Ashcroft Calls on News Media to Help Explain Antiterrorism Laws. Of course he wants them to explain that the laws are a Good Thing, but hey, it’s not like other lies haven’t appeared in the news.
- Says here the White House censored report on global warming. Our government lying to us?! Inconceivable!
- Solstice revellers watch sunrise at Stonehenge this morning.
Meanwhile at MacHack, I’ve finally (as of 9:30pm) got a decent network connection, so I finally get to do the update for the day. The pictures are from last night, and I didn't get any decent pictures from the award banquet tonight, so these will probably be the last ones from the conference.
after the first rush 1024x768(93k) 640x480(18k)
The pizza got swarmed once again, but it seemed like there was more left after the initial rush. There was some doubt as to whether or not there would be pizza before the Hack Show, and there were signs up saying that if people didn't donate, there wouldn't be pizza. Apparently the signs bugged Leonard and I at the same time, since we both walked into ops and asked how much it would take to make there be pizza. Then we kicked in that much.
waiting for the hack show 1024x356(41k) 640x222.5(7k)
Considering that attendance was down this year, the Hack Show was still pretty good. There were about 50 entries, and we ended up going until the wee hours (
Wee!) before we got to see the last hack and call it a night. The fifth hack of the night (
Unstoppable Progress) was far and away the best of the lot, and I felt a little bad for the people who had to follow it. One of the bigger problems with the hack show is that people who show their hacks late not only face a tougher crowd, but also face a smaller crowd as some people have decided to go to bed.
time for bed 1024x503(50k) 640x314.375(7k)
- MacMegasite has a brief MacHack Report with more to follow (perhaps by the time I get this posted, but perhaps not). I think it’s been a pretty good show, and while attendance may be down a bit, and the network has been a bit flaky, the conference has been pretty good so far.
- Metrowerks has a presentation on Friday about PowerPlant (PDF) for Mac OS X. Sounds interesting, but I sure wish it had been along a couple years ago. In order to get applications I work on done for Mac OS X, we’ve had to avoid PowerPlant because it wasn’t ready for X yet. Sigh.
- One of the fun presentations on Friday was Keith Stattenfield’s Keith Explains (it was titled
Mac OS 9: The Return). Keith talked a bit about how Mac OS 9 was dead, and then showed his show (#115) about Puppetry of the Penis and his take was pretty hilarious.
- GIF patent dead at 20 as of yesterday. I wonder how Unisys will make any money now.
Here's a scene from last night. Just before Scott Knaster’s keynote, the pizza arrived. Look at the geek feeding frenzy. Mmmm. Pizza! Here are two quotes from Scott’s keynote:
The Feeding Frenzy 2048x1536(412k) 640x480(21k)
At the time I thought I was walking into the future, I thought the future was kinda screwed up.(talking about seeing the Lisa under NDA in Palo Alto in 1983) and
At Apple, it has to be cool. At Microsoft it has to win.(explaining why people who work for Microsoft don’t think the Dance-Monkey-Boy video of Steve Ballmer isn't that bad.
- Genetic engineers decaffeinate coffee. No word on what the hell they were thinking at the time (sorry–it’s MacHack, and decaf just seems so incredibly wrong). [fark!]
- Cat slobber is everywhere because people who just wuv their widdle sweetums who spend all day licking themselves and then shedding on their owners, who drag the hair and cat-spit everywhere they go. [boing boing]
- At Age 4,600-Plus, Methuselah Pine Tree Begets New Offspring. Wow, that’s one old mommy.
- Google Expands Contextual Ad Placement Program To Small Sites. It sounds like Dave’s Picks would fall into the
maybe we’ll allow thatcamp. [scripting]
- Those Intriguing Nanotubes Create the Toughest Fibers Known. They’re four times stronger than spider silk, which is five times stronger than steel. That’s some pretty strong string.
- U.S. Gays Who Marry in Canada Face Hurdles, because the federal government won’t recognize their marriage, nor will 37 of the 50 states, but there’s a pretty strong legal argument that such marriages should be recognized. Someone’s just going to have to be the test-case.
- SCO's criticizing Linus now, because he doesn’t care and doesn’t want to know about intellectual property issues for the code in Linux.
- SCO Revokes I.B.M.'s License for Operating System Software, so if you’ve got AIX installed on a machine, that’s now illegal and you’re supposed to delete your OS. SCO’s not trying to make many friends at the moment, but if they do win against IBM, they’ll have a big enough war-chest to be a real pain in the ass to the Unix world.
- Whose Data Is That, Anyway? Your personal financial data, credit history, etc., are all very appealing to a number of big companies. Well, maybe there’s some privacy laws on the way.
- False Terrorism Tips to F.B.I. Uproot the Lives of Suspects. So if you want to ruin someone’s life, just call them a terrorist, and let the FBI screw 'em 'til they bleed.
The iCafe at MacHack 18 2048x1536(493k) 640x480(30k)
- ISP software puts squeeze on spam—SpamSquelcher is $19,000 dollars (yes, nineteen /thousand/) but if you’re an ISP with a bunch of email customers and problems with spammers effectively DOS ing your servers, it looks like it might be worthwhile.
The Atrium at MacHack 18 2048x1536(384k) 640x480(18k)
- Microsoft files 15 lawsuits against alleged spammers [fark!]
Me & Andy Ihnatko 2048x1536(525k) 640x480(34k)
- Ken Arnold gave the keynote. He talked about a few things, mostly object-oriented design (in which he didn’t actually mention much about programming, but a lot about human factors in design) and then about Jini and how it’s pretty cool.
Scott! 2048x1536(287k) 640x480(17k)
- At MacHack, we got a preview of new stuff in CodeWarrior 9 (due later this year). There’s plenty of cool things, and most of the bugs I’ve been griping about seem to have been addressed. That’s one of the cooler things like a conference like MacHack. You get a chance to actually talk to the engineers who are working on the tools you use, and complain about the bugs that are most important to you. For me, the Metrowerks sessions alone at MacHack have been worth the cost of the conference.
- On the drive down to MacHack I noticed a couple billboards. One was for Cruisin' at Chubbies at Wisconsin Dells. The other was for a place called “Scooters Showgirls”. Both made me laugh. But now I’m in Detroit and staying up too late. Expect updates to be at goofy times of the day(s).
- For Better, Then Worse tells how mail-order brides are finding out that marrying a guy from the US isn’t always the best deal. Imagine! Marrying someone to get a green-card isn’t always a good idea! Inconceivable!
- Study suggests difference between female and male sexuality. See straight men are turned on by pictures of women, and gay men by pictures of men. But most women are turned on by pictures of men or women. I’m betting that still doesn’t make a strip club an okay venue for a first date, though. [metafilter]
- Hey! Jim now has his own weblog (sort of). Jim and his friends Scott and Tim are blogging as the Usual Suspects. Only a few posts so far, but it just got started. [jim]
- Mac Rumors: WWDC 2003 Rumor Roundup covers the 970s, new PowerBooks, Panther, and more. Guess we’ll know for sure in about a week.
- DMZ Twist: U.S. Retreat Unsettles North Korea. Interesting. See the US is pulling troops back from the DMZ, and it’s unnerving both the North and South Koreans. International relations sometimes seem pretty odd, and this is one of those cases.
- Online Locator Software Use Grows, mostly as a way for monopolies like MLB or the RIAA to restrict access to digital content geographically. They look up your IP address in a big database, and can usually figure out where you’re located, which will determine what you can see online.
- What does the SCO Unix code reveal? Well, at this point, it looks (according to leaks from people supposedly under NDA) as though SCO might have a credible case against someone, but not necessarily against IBM.
- Meanwhile, Linus Torvalds leaves Transmeta to wrok full-time on the Linux kernel.
- Gun-ban postings divide firms as some customers are offended by the signs, and others are afraid to shop if there’s not a sign there.
- One of my projects yesterday was installing the Air Conditioner. My apartment is on the south side of the house, and the outside wall is dark-colored faux-brick (shingles with a brick pattern), so I’m usually one of the first in the neighborhood to have the drone of the A/C coming from my house. The nice thing about installing the A/C is that it’s somewhat sweaty work, but when you’re done, you have a blast of cool air available to you. But then I went looking for a link for this, and discovered that the first hit on google is for a place that sells parts for this particular brand. Apparently it’s not super-reliable, though mine’s been working fine.
- Flowers of Evil: Ask Charles Baudelaire
Q: Is it all right to trim trees in the winter?[reed]
A: Yes, provided the temperature isn’t too low. Also, check the trees. If black regiments of larvae flow out of the trees like a dense, ghastly river, and the stench of death is overpowering, throw the trees away; it’s way past trimming time. But bear in mind that you, too, will turn into a rotting mass, to be eaten by vermin. My Love!
- Stop Movie Ads! It was bad; now it’s simply awful. You thought you could tolerate the quaint slideshow interleaved with movie trivia and local merchant advertisements. You thought you could ignore the Coca-Cola ads prior to the start of movies. You thought you could tolerate those trailers which spoil both plot points and key scenes. After all, you’d show up early with your date to get a decent seat. Things have changed materially with the widespread use of digital projection. Prior to the start of films you are now subjected to a continous stream of television ads. But it’s worse—everything is so damn big. How to combat this trend? There are both smart and dumb approaches. Booing and heckling the ads seems to be a good strategy, as well as patronizing those theaters which have a no-ad policy. [reed]
- Saturday morning, I went down to Oxman Luggage to buy a real carry-on bag. You know the ones with the wheels that are the maximum size allowed by the airlines so you can carry-on more crap than you could carry if it just had a shoulder-strap. Yeah, that’s the one. Anyway, after years of using soft oversized-gym-bag-type bags, I decided it was time to get some
grown-up luggage. I’m not sure it was entirely a wise decision (the bag’s really bigger than I want, but the next size down was basically the same nylon stuff I’m trying to get away from), but there it is. Another step down the path of committing adulthood, like the suit I bought earlier this year (one of these days I still need to get the picture of me in it from the bride or her sister).
- I was planning on doing something this weekend, rather than spending it in front of the computer. Yesterday ended up being a mix of stuff, but I figured I’d do Dave’s Picks anyhow. Today, I woke up and realized that I had to update the machack site (I had the updates yesterday, but the server was slow, so I didn’t get it done then), and from there, I was caught. I’ve got a to-do list for the day that fills a post-it, but I still took the time to do the blogging, once I’d powered-up the pute.
- Mark has a description of How to consume RSS safely. Apparently it’s much harder than most people figure. [flutterby]
this! is an interview with James Gosling about Jackpot , which sounds like a damned handy tool. Just wish it worked on C++ instead of Java. [some guy]
- BOYCOTT DELTA has news that CAPPS II has been discontinued. Apparently someone in the Department of Homeland Security has read the Bill of Rights and said
hey, wait a minute…[boing boing]
- There’s Outrage at burglar's right to sue Martin in the UK. Martin’s the farmer who had been repeatedly burgled, and finally got fed up and shot the burglars, killing one. He’s serving five years for manslaughter, and to add insult to injury, is being sued by the burglar who survived for the injuries. But in an encouraging sign, people in the UK don’t think the burglar should be able to collect damages.
- AOL cuts RIM ties, picks up Sidekick. This is a big win for the Danger guys, I’m thinking.
- David Pogue has a list of features that should be on The Cellphones We Ought to Have.
- Rare earth magnets for fun and profit. Cool! Even kinda educational.
- Friday the 13th, full moon bring out the weirdos. Me, I stayed home and watched a movie. Guess I’m not that weird, eh? [fark!]
- According to Slashdot, there’s No Business Like SCO Business. It’s a good wrap-up of the various stories. SCO prepares to expand Linux fight is CNET’s round-up of the stories.
- FTC: Blame Foreigners for Spam, and they’d like more power to deal with foreign spammers. I still don’t think laws are the way to deal with spam, but best of luck to 'em.
- Loopholes frustrate Texans on No Call List, which was pretty much the case with the Do Not Call list here in MN. I’ve resorted to putting up a veritable Maginot Line on my phone, and when the telemarketers and junk-faxers start getting through that, I plan to print up a new raft of business cards and unplug all the phones on the landline. I don’t know if I’ll have people call the cell, or just get an answering service yet, but phones are just too much of a pain in the ass. [fark!]
- Switching cell phone carriers? Read this first! It’s a pretty good summary of what will be changing in the cell-phone world in the next year or so. [gizmodo]
- IE for the Mac is dead. Well. There it is, then. I’ll be back to being free of Microsoft software on my Macintoshes again.
- Worried about someone stealing your computer? Try this concrete casemod. Though the author does recommend never plugging it in again, which may hurt your productivity a bit. [boing boing]
- Run a small business? Think you’re under unfair or excessive regulation? The Small Business Administration Ombudsman's Office is supposed to help.
- Says here that computer jobs are as rare as mainframes. I’ve heard that from various people, too. The common thread seems to be that these are people who haven’t added something new to their résumés while they were unemployed. I see plenty of work out there, but a lot of it needs skills that people don’t have. [strib]
- I’ll probably be taking the weekend off, so don’t panic if you don’t see anything until Monday. Oh, and I just noticed that it’s Friday the Thirteenth. Spooky.
- Fotolog: Where Art Meets T&A. As the community there grows, is it going to be a
seriousphotography site, or a place where camgirls post their latest pictures? It sounds like they’re going to
let the community decidebut the way I see it, if I were hosting the site, I’d make a decision. If someone doesn’t like it, they can put up their own seerver.
- Dog House Records put out the Simon Night CD. Arf!
- Will wireless Internet be free in Twin Cities? Probably, but meanwhile, Boingo is looking to make some money by providing service. [strib]
- Well, then… The old fat Johnny is coming to Minneapolis. That’s right, The Sex Pistols are touring the US for the first time in 25 years. Date is still be determined, but we’re on the list. Not sure I’ll go. [jim]
- SCO could act Monday in IBM Unix case, probably filing a preliminary injunction, since IBM still maintains it’s done nothing wrong, so they haven’t changed what they’re doing in shipping Unix.
- Speaking of IBM, MacWhispers.com: OEM Report: The PPC 970 Transition and 64-Bit Macs May Outpace ‘Panther’ both seem to say that we’ll see Macs with new processors from IBM Real Soon Now. I’m betting it’ll be during WWDC.
- Here’s a nice article explaining why there aren’t 175x CD-ROM drives. [jr]
- Tuesday’s Saints game was another win, but it took extra innings after Fink drove in two runs to tie it in the top of the 9th. It wasn’t until the 11th when the Saints won. Jody got the win, but Chris Begg really pitched an outstanding game. Then there was the post-game cow promotion. They had two cows that were supposed to walk around square on the field, and whichever square the cows pooped in first would determine which of 15 fans would get $1000. Well, as the cows were being led onto the field, they left a stream of manure leading out to the squares, but by the time they got there, apparently all the business was done. About 20 minutes later, I decided it was time to head on home. Don’t know how long it finally ended up taking, but the cows outlasted me.
- Yesterday’s Saints game was another win. Woo! That’s two sweeps in a row!
- Proposal limits rentals to students in St. Paul. The proposal would mean that if there’s an existing
student houseon a block, there can’t be another within 350 feet. We’re watching that here in my neighborhood, since we’ve had plenty of problems that come from students (and non-students) who don’t respect the neighborhood. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I think most of the current proposals fall short because they don’t address the real problem of people (not just students) thinking it’s fine to pee in someone else’s yard or break empty beer bottles on the sidewalk. The problem isn’t students. The problem is assholes.
- There have been times in my life where I wished I had the presence of mind to write something like this hospital letter. Instead, I’ll just link to it so I can find it again when I need it. [WVSR]
- This Simple Guide to the A-List Bloggers is pretty funny… as long as you’re not on the list (as Dave Winer pointed out). [scripting]
- Odd old Dodd Road is turning 150. A brief history of Dodd Road, which runs from Mendota to St. Peter. [strib]
- Hey, Joe Shallenberger got another RBI last night without getting a hit, collecting a bases-loaded walk. And Jeff Brooks, who was just acquired, hit a homer in his first at bat, on the first pitch. Another Saints win. Attendance didn’t even break 5000 though, which is surprising, as well as the team is playing.
- Pick a Language, Any Language: Last week, DARPA challenged coders to write software that will translate English to an arbitrary language. The deadline? Next month. And there’ll be no funding for it beyond that. The real goal is to find out how quickly researchers can build a translation engine if it’s needed on short notice, but there will hopefully be other cool things that come out of the project.
- Remember the Iraqi museum that was supposedly looted, losing priceless artifacts? Well, the latest word is Baghdad treasures ‘mostly intact’. Seems there was a secret storage vault where most of the things were hidden when the shooting started.
- Have I pointed to this History Of The Internet before? I dunno. Whether I have or not, it’s darned funny.
- SCO-Caldera v IBM: SCO 1, Novell -1 in SCO v Novell Unix-IP Feud. Novell seems to have lost round one in the battle, as SCO points out that yes, they did buy Unix from Novell, and they've got the signed contract to prove it.
- Tom Powers wants Baseball for fans, not twitchy kids. I’d kinda like that too, but I don’t think it’ll happen. Why? Because the people who’d like it are the hard-core fans who are going to show up at games anyhow.
- In Sunday’s Saints game, we saw another first for Jody. His first career run scored (as far as we know), on a weird win in the bottom of the 10th when Joe Shallenberger got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Chris Chavez got the win. Strange, but cool. And the Saints swept Schaumburg in the weekend series. It’s been a while since the last sweep.
- Pawlenty turning green? Environmentalists see signs. Maybe our governor is a crunchy (as in granola) conservative? Makes some sense. [strib]
- That said, the City Pages doesn’t seem to think much of the new gov.
- William Topaz MacGonagall is widely believed to be the worst poet in the history of the English language. A contemporary of Robert Burns, MacGonagall wrote An Address to the New Tay Bridge and The Tay Bridge Disaster amongst, unfortunately, many other things. [jim]
- Here’s one for the reference shelf: MacEdition Abridged CSS2 Support Charts [zeldman]
- Marvin The Martian and Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers Prepare for Upcoming NASA Missions to Mars. Warner Brothers helped NASA design the mission patches. [boing boing]
- How to catch monster catfish Not for the squeamish, these guys will wade into muddy water searching for catfish holes using their feet. Then reaching down into a hole, they’ll wiggle their fingers as the bait. You might guess what happens next. The sport is called ‘noodling’. [reed]
- Trashing the Internet: Spam growth starts to choke Web’s most popular use. Despite the horrible headline, this article tells the story of Samuel and Adam Meltzer, convicted St. Paul spammers. [strib]
- Saints’ Whitney keeps on pitching, and hoping he’ll make the big show. Last night Jake went 6 innings, giving up 10 hits, but only 2 runs. And Jody earned his first career save, pitching well for 3 innings. [strib]
- Just a quick update. I’ve ordered the t-shirts from BUTIK.PL and I’m currently waiting for PayU to validate my account so I can pay. Looks like the final price is going to be about $14 per shirt (XXLs are more, so I haven’t figured it out exactly yet).
- Sosa gets 8-game suspension, which seems about right. The historical precedent is 4 to 10 games from what I’ve heard, and while he thinks it’s harsher than he deserves, there were those asking for longer suspensions, too. As Scott points out, the fact that MLB checked his bats and found them clean proves only that someone was smart enough to clean out Sosa’s locker before the officials came to get the bats.
- Rioting penalties proposed in University of MN code, which is a step in the right direction, but as was pointed out by June Nobbe, what’s really needed is a culture change, rather than a single law. But maybe this law will help start the change.
- Minneapolis to consider allowing 2 a.m. bar closing. The only real opposition is over what parts of the city will be allowed to have the later closing time. The current proposal is city-wide, but there are those who would like to see it limited to just downtown. [strib]
- Glitch wipes out Candian firearms records of an unknown number of people who registered their firearms (as required by Canadian law) in the last few days of last year. If you’re not registered by July 1, you’re breaking the law, but how do you know whether you’re registered or not? For that matter, how does the government know who’s registered? [some guy]
- Gun signs: eyesores, windfalls. The signs are required to be ugly by law, but at least it’s made a little bump in business for the sign-printing industry.
- Downtown Minneapolis will fall under cameras’ watchful scrutiny, but Councilmember Lisa Goodman assures us:
If you’re not urinating into a flower pot in front of Goodfellows it shouldn’t be a problem for you.Gee, Lisa, I feel so much better about being continually watched in downtown now.
- the Creatures in my Head are daily illustrations by Andrew Bell. Kinda cool.
- Terrorism Information Awareness by Mark Fiore. Big Brother is back! But in a nice way! [endwar]
- ASM.NET Forget PHP. Too slow. For the ultimate performance in scripting your HTML pages you want ASM.NET. It’s an insane hack, but fun nevertheless. [reed]
- A slow-speed protest in northeast Minneapolis as residents try to keep Marshall St. NE moving at 30mph (rather than the much faster speed traffic usually moves at there). [strib]
- Mosquitoes return; they're out for blood, and it only took the state and the Strib a week after the skeeters were out biting people to notice it. [strib]
- This column is the best write-up I’ve seen on Sammy Sosa. Sure it’s opinion, but it’s opinion that explains why none of the other bats examined were corked and why Sammy (who has shattered dozens of bats) may have used a corked bat now. [jim]
- Seventy-six Sosa bats found to be clean, and just the one was corked. Sammy claims it was his
put on a show during batting practicebat. [fark!]
- Probing the Power of Corked Bats shows that they might let you make contact a little more often, but they’ll probably take a little distance off your hits. In other words, they don’t make that much of a difference. [fark!]
- Minor League Team Planning Cork Giveaway For Fans. The Fort Myers Miracle will give pieces of cork to the first 505 fans attending tonight’s game. [fark!]
- Why Centrino and VPNs Don't Mix. See if you enable the feature in Centrino (Intel’s WiFi chipset) that lets you switch between different wireless network, and you’re running VPN software, you’ll get the blue-screen of death. Handy! Y’know, I’m pretty happy I mostly use Macs, especially after trying to use wireless on a PC, even with an external adapter.
- Gag Rules? Bloggers Report Anyway. Apparently this is a big deal. But I blogged WWDC 1998 and 1999 with no problems. As an Apple developer under NDA, I did run my reports past folks at Apple before posting, but they were happy to let me post the information. [scripting]
- T-Mobile Launches Color-Screen Sidekick. The launch is earlier than I expected, but it’s not news that it was coming. [boing boing]
- StrangeBanana does computer-generated webpage design, using CSS. That’s pretty darned cool. The designs aren’t incredible or anything, but they show off the flexibility of CSS-based designs, and might give you some ideas if you’re stuck. [metafilter]
- Discriminating against Republicans is Socially Acceptable Bigotry. Good article. And that, plus some comments around me lately, prompted me to write about gun bans in local businesses (which is why the update was a little late today).
- Say it ain’t Sosa–Sammy got caught using a corked bat. Huh. Sammy joins Albert
Don’t call me JoeyBelle, Billy Hatcher, and Graig Nettles in the ranks of those caught with corked bats. [jim]
- A recent survey says that over Half of all e-mails are spam. 55% to be exact. Blegh.
- Why is there so much spam? Sick of spam? Then blame Alan Ralsky. He emails a billion of them a day In fact, as few as 150 people may be responsible for 90% of the spam. Boca Raton, FLA is the capital. Maybe we can get the Marines to invade there? (And yes, I’m aware that this is another case of the Pareto Principle, Joey.)
- 419 gang scam themselves into the slammer. Six of the
Nigerian Scammerswere sentenced to between 1 and 4.5 years in jail in the Netherlands. [boing boing]
- Corporate inboxes choking on spam which is (as I linked to earlier) outpacing legitimate email.
- Twilight Zone episode illustrates the Spammer’s dilemma Those who write pro-spam tools want to ease the task of writing and sending bulk email. Should they succeed, the life of the spammer will be similar to that of the commodities trader—the ability to move large quantities of product at will. [reed]
- Okay, so I mentioned BUTIK.PL last Saturday and have been working on putting together an order. I think I’ll be sending an order off this Friday. So if you live in the Twin Cities and like any of the shirts I pointed to then, or maybe this monkey, or any of these HTTP error messages, or any of the Ananke collection, or any others on the site, let me know what size, what shirt(s) and how many, and I’ll add it to the order. They don’t normally ship to the US, and it’s a pain to pay them from here, but I think I’ve got all the details worked out, and I might as well make it easier to order. Prices will be about $10-$15 per shirt.
- Here’s a good interview with Guido van Rossum (the creator of Python) about Strong versus Weak Typing. Excellent fodder if you’re a software geek.
- Honeymooners test sweet sex brew in Britain. They’re going to drink mead for a month after getting married and see how it works. Real research combining booze and sex. Woo! [some guy]
- Here’s how to do TiVo video extraction with Mac OS X. I haven’t tried it, but it looks more or less right, as I understand things.
- For sale: A cell phone wristwatch. DoCoMo made 1000 of them and test-marketed them via their website in Japan and sold out in 20 minutes. Two hours of talk-time and two-hundred hours of standby. Sounds like a winner if it’s actually usable.
- FCC vote opens door to media mergers, so get ready for Clear Channel (or Disney) to own all the Radio and TV stations, plus all the newspapers in your town. Blech.
- Tech a Key in Media Rule Change talks about the FCC rules change too, pointing out that the FCC thought the Internet would offer competition. [scripting]
- Hey, it’s official. The Justice Department says US ‘abused rights post-9/11’. Wow. I’m shocked and amazed, I tell you.
- The Mill City Museum not run of the mill. The Pioneer Press has a preview of what the museum will have to offer when it opens in September.
- It can be frustrating when your parents start forgetting things, usually because they don’t forget the right things. Yesterday, my mom forgot I was coming up to visit and bringing lunch. Luckily, I got there before she’d started cooking something for herself, but she hadn’t forgotten that I’d called the Sunday before and told her I wasn’t going to make it (which was when I told her that I’d be up yesterday). She’s doing pretty well, and it was a relatively pleasant visit, though, followed by an evening trip to a bar with a gal-friend of mine. And as if to emphasize that it wasn’t a date of any sort, she introduced me to another gal she thinks might be a potential girlfriend for me. I guess we’ll see. At the moment, I’m more concerned about waking up enough to get to work for the day.
- Speaking of dating (or not dating), maybe I need to add Score Brownie Points to my arsenal. After all, they nearly called it
GuaranteedNookie.com. See, you send them money, and now and again they send you a gift that you can give to the woman in your life. Oh, wait. Cart before horse problem.
- Maybe the people who are taking pictures of “Barbra Streisand’s” coast should send her lawyers a copy of The Photographers Right.
- Speaking of photography, Kodak’s Toxic Moments present a pretty darned good reason to switch to digital.
- Charges fly as bicyclists and police clash in Buffalo Critical Mass ride. It sounds like both the police and the riders got out of hand, and when that happens, it’s pretty easy to guess who’s going to get beaten up. [some guy]
- Nebraska considers war against Iowa because too many Nebraska residents are crossing the border to gamble in Iowa. About $250 million per year crosses to Council Bluffs, IA.
- SCO’s CEO says buyout could end Linux fight. Ah-hah! So now we discover the real reason for SCO’s recent behavior. I still think that Novell GPLing System V would be a good solution. Preferably before an IBM buyout, but either way would work.
- AOL Agrees to Get Under Microsoft’s Desk is a concise summary of what Microsoft and AOL got out of their recent deal. [flutterby]
- There’s an Emergency Benefit for North Country Coop, Sunday June 1st 5:30pm. That’s today. The benefit is to raise enough money for the downpayment to buy the building that holds the coop. Their landlord has tried to sell the building out from under them, and this is probably their only chance to stay in the same location.
- Third assault of bicyclists on Minneapolis bike path by a loitering gang of yoots. The path is the Cedar Lake Trail, which is basically a bicycle freeway, and they’re doing it near the 394 and 94 underpasses. Maybe someone should point out to these criminals that Minnesota has a new concealed-carry law. [strib]
- Would-be pistol packers are surging to the gun shops. Yeah, it’s slanted, as you’d guess from the headline, but it does point out the demand for concealed-carry training that’s required for the permit, and the number of people who are looking into arming themselves. [strib]
- Terror threat level lowered to ‘elevated’. Woo! It’s only yellow now! That means it’s safe to prop open the bunker door once in a while, right? But yeah, it must be working, since no terrorists have attacked. [fark!]
- Fireworks Shows Put in Doubt by New Rules. The terrorists have already won.
- The FBI has been reading my diary tells of a college gal who kept a blog. And got a visit from
The FBI, except they turned out to be local cops. Now she’s encouraging everyone to give up their blogs because the federales might be snooping. [scott mcgerik]
- The Photographers Right is a one-page summary of what rights you have as a photographer in public. Handy if you’re taking pictures in a public space and someone tells you that you’re not allowed to. [flutterby]
- SCO Says It Will Reveal Its Code soon, but only under NDA to selected analysts and reporters.
- Here’s another idea of how to deal with SCO: if Novell were to GPL System V (why not, since they’re not selling it anymore?), that’d pretty much solve all the problems, wouldn’t it? [holy schmoly]
- McDonald’s sues critic for comparing their burgers to rubber and their fries to cardboard. Apparently they thought the burgers should be compared to carboard, and the fries to rubber. Hey, if people are allowed to sue critics, there’s an awful lot of critics in trouble. [metafilter]
- Last Month
Here’s the wrap-up that I would have posted yesterday if I could have gotten all the pieces together. It’s a long one, so I bet I would have fallen asleep before finishing this.
Friday at WWDC was fairly typical. There were a lot of sessions I wanted to go to when I looked at the schedule early in the week, but when it actually came time for those sessions, I was too tired to learn anything real in them, and stayed out in the hallways talking to folks. I even napped through the 2pm session time, laying in a bean-bag chair in a corner of the 2nd floor hallway.
The one regular session I did get to on Friday was on automated software testing, and Eggplant, by Redstone Software looks like a pretty cool tool. The session went on longer than I think it needed, though. A fifteen minute sales pitch would have sold me, but I had to sit through about an hour of talking, including havving people tell me why automated software testing is good. I already know that!
There was also the traditional last session of the conference, printing (now expanded to include all of graphics and imaging) feedback forum. No earth-shattering news there, but I did find out that the XML parsing that makes Carbon Printing so slow on 9, and all printing so slow on X has been sped up a bit on Panther, so that’s good news for folks who write applications.
I did get to spend more time this conference with a few gals I’ve known, but not really talked to in previous years. Lisa and I talked a bunch at both MacHack and WWDC. Also at WWDC, I talked with Alexis more this past week than I had in all the previous years since I first met her. There’s also some folks from a mailing list I’m on that I finally got to meet in person, and it’s nice to be able to put faces with the names. There were probably plenty of guys I could mention, but in the geek community, the gals are more memorable, because there are so few of them.
Overall, it seemed as though there were more women at the conference than in previous years. I’m not sure why, but Ingrid commented on it too, and I think it’s a good sign. Even if they aren’t all programmers, having more geek girls around is a good thing, I think.
|Looking Down the Hill|
Saturday was a slack-day. I was basically staying in SF because it made for a cheaper airfare to fly back out on Sunday. I probably should have thought harder about how tired I’d be before booking the flight that way, but I don’t always plan ahead perfectly. The plan was to see a few things I’ve never seen in the previous times I’ve been in San Francisco: Coit Tower, the Cablecar Museum, Alcatraz, and maybe catch a Giants game.
|Bay Bridge from Coit Tower|
I started the day with breakfast at Burger King. I walked up through chinatown, idly window-shopping as I went. There’s one store I’m going to have to stop back at, since I saw what I think might make a good present in the window, but they weren’t open yet, and I didn’t feel like waiting around for them to open.
|Fog rolling through the Golden Gate|
I continued on to Coit Tower. The last few blocks up Telegraph Hill were very steep, and in spite of the cooler temperatures, I worked up a pretty good sweat, but the view was worth it. There was a huge line of cars waiting for parking there. I’m starting to think it was a good thing I didn’t head for Alcatraz first thing in the morning, as the fog is rolling right over the island, and that looks fairly chilly.
I walked down from Telegraph Hill to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. My knees were burning on the downhills, and I started wondering if all this walking was a good idea, but after about a half-hour of resting on a bench and watching other tourists, I felt better. Lunch was the world’s worst polish sausage (it was effectively spice-free), and then I walked along the waterfront heading west.
I had been planning (vaguely) on playing tourist with Rich, but shortly before noon I called him and it sounds like he doesn’t feel like doing much other than a little shopping, so I’m on my own. I also notice that the Giants game is at 1pm, rather than in the evening like I was thinking, and with it being almost noon at this point, the game already sold out, and it being a beautiful day, I figure I’m not going to make the game.
Alcatraz turns out to be a no-go, too.
Next available tour: Monday. D’Ohh! But the fog’s still rolling in, so I ponder walking closer to Fort Point to see if there’s a better picture of the fog out there somewhere that I can take. I get past Fort Mason, to Marina Green, and decide that’s about as far as I think I’m going. I’m fairly tired of walking at this point, and decide to catch a cablecar back to the hotel.
|A closer look at the pyramid|
Along the way back, I notice that there’s a hostel at Fort Mason and wonder if it might be an okay place to stay for a longer stay. If a guy had a bike, it might work out pretty well. I didn’t get any details, but this is my reminder to myself.
|Parking @ Coit Tower|
Walked back to Ghirardelli Square, got some chocolates for mom and then into the line for the cable car. Looks like about a 45 minute wait, and the folks in front of me are drinking beers in line. Seems like a fair idea, but I think a beer will wipe my out at this point.
|Turning around the CableCar|
Back at the hotel, it’s coming up on 4pm. Feet and head are tired. I nap for about an hour, shower, and get ready for dinner. I realize that I’m very sunburned, especially on my forehead and face. Note to self: San Francisco is farther south than Minneapolis, even if the wind feels cool.
|Alcatraz Island and Piers|
Dinner was with Rich, Stephan, Larry, Jim & Steve and assorted spice. We ate at a sushi place in Metreon, and it was yummy. I had tempura and chicken, but still. Then beers with Jim & Steve. Thanks, guys!
I also said au ’voir to my desk clerk Saturday night. It seemed like he needed it, and I truly will miss him. I’m very glad I stayed in the Powell again, and when I return, it will be in large part due to him. I hope they know what a gem they have there.
Sunday, I got my shopping done, and made it to gate in SFO in about 90 minutes. That’s including checking out of the hotel, fighting my way past the crowds watching the Gay Pride parage, navigating BART, walking around the airport and grabbing some shitty lunch. Left me with about two and a half hours to kill. I guess I could have hung out downtown and watched the Pride festivities, but crowds like that don’t really interest me, and I had to check out before noon anyhow. But I did manage to get all my shopping done, in spite of the place in chinatown where I was getting Steph’s present (for watching my place while I was away) opening about a half hour after their sign said they would.
That about wraps it up. There’s probably a rant I could write about the TSA or airport hassles, or the folks I met on the plane, but really, there wasn’t much that was all that memorable (even compared to all the crap I’ve rambled on about for too long already), and I think it’s best to just end here.
I made it home in one piece. I’ve got a bunch of catching up to do, with pictures from the weekend, and writing from the past three days, but I’ve also got a huge backlog of links, so I’ll do a Sunday evening post to clear those out before doing the weekend recap. Lots of links for your Monday morning, since I probably won’t get the weekend update done until later in the day.
Last night was the Beer Bash at Apple. Interesting time, and I got to see a bunch of Apple employees I used to work with, and meet a few new ones, including the gal who was the hardware lead for the 12 inch PowerBook I use, the guy who led the team that did the desktop G4 that I use, and the guy who was the lead for the G5 project. Plus lots of other cool folks, and it almost makes me wish I worked at Apple again.
Here’s a picture of me in SF, before the bash, plugged into the wall to get electricity for my PowerBook, and sitting in the beanbag chairs so thoughtfully provided for us. It was a pretty comfortable hour yesterday morning surfing the web and filling up the battery. At the time, the network was even working.
|People Waiting in the Bowl|
I got a ride down to the Apple campus with Ingrid. It was good talking to her and catching up on about a year’s worth of gossip, but we split up shortly after arriving at the campus, so I didn’t have an opportunity to get drunk with her and say something foolish. Darn the luck?
My only real complaint about the beer-bash is that the band was loud enough that it was difficult to actually talk to people during it. I hope someone at Apple realizes that for an event where the goal is for people to be able to talk to engineers, having a band that’s loud enough that you can’t hear the person you’re talking to might not be the best idea.
After the bash, I got into line for the buses back to SF next to Emily, a gal I’d seen earlier in the night (she was looking for the restrooms in IL-4 and I helped with directions). We sat next to each other on the bus (sorry Matt, I would have talked to you more, but she was a lot cuter than you are). Turns out she works at Indiana University. Three years ago, I met Joe who works there. Two years ago I met his co-worker whose name I don’t remember. Last night I met Emily, and when we got off the bus, Joe and his co-worker were waiting for her to walk her back to her hotel. Even semi-random encounters like that lead back to people I know. Strange. Indiana. Hopefully I’ll run into her another year.
I’ve spent the past couple days feeling completely tired, and on the ride back to the city while talking to Emily, I felt about as awake as I have since before MacHack. I wonder if maybe I just need to spend more time around cute 24-year-old gals.
Not much sleep last night. It continues to be hot here in SF, and I spent most of the night tossing and turning. Plus there was a fire alarm that went off in the hotel at about 5:30 this morning. 7AM rolled around, and I was still ready for another two or three hours of sleep, but I got myself over to the conference center for some donuts (made by an overrated national chain) and orange juice before it all got taken away.
I also find myself wondering how the conference is going to end. See, today is the last Friday of the month, which means Critical Mass. And the last session of the day starts at 5pm, so there will be plenty of people trying to leave Moscone about the time the ride gets going. Not sure what will come of it, but it should be interesting to watch. Very few people at the conference are even aware of the existence of the Mass, and I’m pretty sure only a few are aware of the mess it can make of traffic in the City. Should be entertaining.
Well, once again, I’m link free, and basically posting a cheese-sandwich post, but what the heck. Nobody seems to be complaining, so I guess it’s okay with the three or four of you who actually read this. No idea when I’ll be able to post this, since the network is dead again (I’ve been luckier than most with the networking here, but it still hasn’t been very good), but I’ve at least got this written.
Well, yesterday was a warm one. Temperatures here in San Francisco were hovering in the mid-80s during the day, and the Powell has no air conditioning. When I got back to the room in the evening, it was still sweltering in the room, and I fired up the ceiling fan and wrote for a while as I waited for things to cool off.
|Moscone West Exterior|
It was another good day at the conference, but I was tired most of the day. There also weren’t a lot of sessions I really wanted to see, so I spent much of the day hanging around the DTS Lounge, which was nice. I got to see many of the people I used to work with in DTS, and there were comfortable couches to lounge on. I also spend=t some time up on the third floor of Moscone West. The architecture of the place is pretty neat, and I was reminded again that this is a darned big building. The lower two stories are taller than the 7-level parking garage next to the convention center, and this picture is along the short dimension of the building.
|Same wall from the inside|
Another fun thing yesterday was actually sitting and talking to David for a while. He used to run a business that would take on multi-person contracts, kind of like I’m doing. He’s gotten out of that business and gone back to working at Apple, but he had some interesting perspectives to offer on how to manage things. He agreed that my somewhat unique position as a contract mac programming house located in the middle of the country was probably part of what made finding work easier for me. It’s nice to find someone who not only knows the technical side of things, but who has a pretty good understanding of the business side, too. I’ve known him for years, but I think this is the first time we’ve ever talked business.
|Stump the Experts|
Last night was also Stump the Experts. It’s one of the highlights of the conference, and Fred and Mark did a fine job, as usual. There were the usual newcomers to Stump who asked questions that were far too easy, and also a few people who wanted to argue with the experts, even when they were wrong. Oh well, everyone’s got to be a newbie some time.
|PacBell lights up|
Just after Stump, I looked out to see PacBell park with the lights going on. I hope to make it to a ballgame there on Saturday, but the game is already sold out, so hopefully I can find a ticket. It’s not too long of a walk, and I hear there are always some grandstand seats held for the day of the game, so I’m hopeful.
There was also a group dinner last night. It’s a group of pretty smart people I know, and we took over Max’s Diner. Max’s beats Mel’s Drive-In hands down, and our waitress/bartender was a lot of fun, getting into the raucous atmosphere that comes from having 40 people show up when we had a reservation for 24. I just hope everyone figured their bills correctly so she didn’t get stiffed on the tip (I didn’t stick around to see the final accounting).
As for sessions, I went to one session on the new Carbon Human Interface stuff with 10.3. It looks like Apple’s still moving things in the right direction, and the Carbon APIs are keeping up with the Cocoa side of things. That’s very encouraging. There was also a session on performance-tuning your application, and I learned about a few new tools I’ll have to look into further. It seems that every year at the conference I come home with a big list of things I have to look into further, and some years I even get through that list. I hope this is one of those years, and not one where the list is still languishing around Thanksgiving and I finally just give up on it at that point. That usually happens because I’m too busy with business, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s what happened last year, and Apple has made enough changes that I’m going to have to devote some time to catching up with the latest stuff again pretty soon.
Tonight’s the Beer Bash on the Apple campus in Cupertino. I don’t envy the organizers the task of busing 3000 or so developers from San Francisco down to Cupertino and back, but I imagine it’ll work out somehow. I think I’ve got a ride down to campus, but I’m betting it’ll be another late night. It’s sure going to be nice to get home and be able to sleep more regular hours in my own bed and air conditioning, especially after waking up at 6am today, and discovering that the room was still hot. I tried to head to the conference center and its powerful air conditioning, but they don’t let attendees in until 8am, so I had about 45 minutes to kill at the nearby Starbucks. A large iced chai seems like it might be both a welcome blast of caffeine and something cool to drink. It’s just not supposed to be warm and muggy in San Francisco at 7am, even in June.
Also saw something that just made me wonder this morning. There was a homeless guy who was asking for change out on the street. When he had collected enough, rather than going to someplace more affordable (there’s a convenience store around the corner that has coffee), he came to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and then walked out to collect some more change while sipping his mocha frappe something or other. Apparently there are yuppie homeless, too. I always figured the only use for Starbucks was a place to sit, and paying $4 for a cup of coffee was worth it only because of the seating.
I started writing this on Tuesday during the day, either while sitting in sessions at WWDC or while sitting around in between schmooze-fests. As with previous WWDC’s, I’m not trying to attend every single session, but rather going to just the sessions I think I really need to be at, and then talking to people "off-line" most of the time.
Tuesday ended up being a day where there were a number of sessions I did have to go to, though. There are a number of sessions on graphics and imaging, as well as text and fonts, all of which are areas where I’ve got some expertise, and I need to work on maintaining that. While the sessions themselves don’t really have a lot of content that I need to pay close attention to, the people who are attending them are the people I work with, and reading their take on the sessions and getting a chance to give the Apple people feedback on things they’re doing right and wrong is an opportunity I can’t really afford to pass up. It’s not exciting, but it’s part of what I need to do for the business so I can keep the new business coming in.
There’s also the problem of the sessions being under NDA. That means I can’t talk about what I learned with impunity, and I think probably the easiest solution is to leave the technical bits out. Some people are sure to want more, but I just don’t feel like trying to turn on the filters so I can write safely about what I’ve learned so far. There’s cool technical stuff, and if you’re at WWDC, you’re hearing about it. If you’re not, the word will trickle out, but not from me (at least not this week). Sorry.
I spent Monday been trying to connect with Ingrid (an ex-co-worker and good friend of mine) with no success. Tuesday morning, I was walking down one of the halls, and there she was. Simple as could be. Except that she’s double-booked for dinner Tuesday night (more on that in a bit) and triple-booked for dinner tonight (Wednesday). I think we’re probably going to end up lunching. It’s probably for the best. Previous years we’ve gone out for dinner and drinks and she’s bought me enough shots that I started doing things like confessing my undying love for her and trying to fumble her back to my hotel (after she became single again). I’m such a dork sometimes, eh?
So anyway, dinner last night was with Kate & Bob. I dated Kate while I was at Apple in 1995-1996, and she’s now married to Bob. I should’ve taken a picture so you could compare me to Bob, but didn’t. It just didn’t seem right at the time, and what the hell, I’ve gotta maintain some level of mystery around here, right? Anyway, we dined at the E & O Trading Company. Tasty food, a nice waiter (Miguel), and good beer brewed on-site. Recommended.
Other than that, the conference is progressing about as expected. I’ve been talking to a bunch of people. Some of them are the same cast & crew as previous years, but I’ve also been meeting some new people. Of the three technical things I had to get done at the conference, I’ve attempted one (with the result that it really isn’t done, and I’ve got a lot more work to do on that), and have to look at the other two today and tomorrow. The Apple DTS folks are a little leery of me at this point. I may just be stopping by to say howdy, or I may be asking a question nobody knows the answer to, so I guess I should get the awkward questions out of the way soon so we can all go back to being friendly.
Well, that’s the update. I ended up writing most of this Wednesday morning in the hotel room, and now it’s time to go get some breakfast and then get into the conference center so I can upload this update and plow through a bunch of email.
|The new terminal in DTW|
With yesterday’s keynote news, I didn’t have time (or a sufficiently stable network connection) to upload any pictures, but here they are today. I’ll start off with a picture of the Detroit NorthWest WorldHub (or whatever the heck they’re calling it). It’s the new terminal NorthWest Airlines has built in the Detroit airport since the last time I was there. It’s a huge improvement over the old terminal.
|Lining up for Steve|
Next up is the line to get from the second floor of Moscone West to the third floor for the keynote this morning. Jeff (an ex-co-worker from WAM!NET and Multi-Ad) is in the left foreground. This was after about ten minutes of people heading up the escalators, and it took me another five to get to the third floor after I stopped taking pictures and got in line.
Then there’s Nick. I used to work with Nick in DTS. Since then, he’s gotten married and had some (two?) kids, and has moved up to being a manager at Apple. Something about audio, I think.
|Your Humble Narrator|
Finally there’s the picture Nick took of me, from a very low angle. He’s convinced it’s a fine work of art, and makes me look even bigger than in real life. I think he believes that’s a good thing, but with Nick it’s sometimes hard to tell.
Last night, back at the hotel, I picked up my cleaning. Forty bucks to clean a few Hawaiian shirts, a couple t-shirts, a few pair of shorts and some underwear. I’d consider it highway robbery if I hadn’t needed clean clothes so badly. It also helped that the desk clerk had commented on how heavy the load was, and then compared me to the Incredible Hulk when I picked up the load as if there was nothing to it. I really like the clerk here at the Powell. He’s got a good sense of humor, and I’m not sure that we’re not flirting sometimes. I think the best description I can give of him is that he’s a dear man. I’m not sure if he’s gay or not, and I don’t think it really matters, but he definitely belongs in San Francisco. I was especially touched by the way he cautioned me away from the Tenderloin, unless I was a sadist and then he encouraged me to go do my worst. In any case, he brings out my goofy sense of humor, and that’s fun.
The other notable thing about San Francisco is the large number of street people. Many of them are selling Street Scene, at least trying to give something in return for the money they’re getting from you, but there are also a good number of agressive and abrasive people who will curse you down the block if you fail to give them the money they expect from you. As much as I like having WWDC in San Francisco this year, I find myself hoping that it’ll be back in San Jose next year, if only so I don’t have to put up with the aggressive street people. It probably sounds callous, but when you get harassed a half-dozen times on every block you walk down, it gets old pretty fast.
No notes from the conference today, as I’m trying to get back on a morning posting schedule after yesterday’s late post. Hopefully the network will coöperate with me so I can actually do that.
For the past week, I’ve been feeling swamped with obligations. And it’s been causing me to get farther behind, which leads to feeling more swamped. For that matter, I’ve been following Homer Simpson’s philosophy:
Lisa, if you don’t like your job you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.
which isn’t necessarily the best plan when you work for yourself.
Yesterday I decided I needed to try another approach, so I took the day off and went to the Saints game. Before leaving for the game, I sent email to a couple people who have been hassling me about things I’ve been doing as a volunteer. The gist of the messages was:
Look, I’m doing this for you for free. If you wanna make it a hassle, I’ll be happy to quit and leave you to your own damned devices. Then I shut off the computer and went to the ball-game. I didn’t even turn the computer on until this morning, and after dealing with about a hundred emails, I realized that for the first day in a long time, I hadn’t gotten any snarky emails from those people. Huzzah!
After a bit of reading the web this morning at my own pace, I think I’m ready to get back in the saddle for some real work and the daily update of the site here, albeit later than usual. But you know what, the site update is late, and I don’t really care if people don’t like it. I’ll deal with the paying work, since those people are paying me, but I’ve had enough of trying to go the extra mile on things I’m doing for free. If the quality of the work isn’t up to what people want, or they’re just looking for someone to pass their headaches onto, they can spend some money and hire someone to do the work.
Today is the St. Paul Saints annual Play Hooky game. And that’s just what I’m doing.