“I remember watching the American conventions at home, and — as is correct behaviour in Britain — sneering in projected shame at the display: not of the emotion, but of all that self-congratulatory pomp. And so pre-rehearsed! What’s the translatable metaphor here? It’s like if Americans were to turn on the television and see Mexicans greet their new nominee by taking giant cakes made in advance in the shape of their candidate, and then individually smearing it over their bodies going “love him, love me, loooooove meee loving himmmmm”, while the camera obscenely zooms in on their smug faces. That’s what American pageantry looks like to Brits. It’s not the show of emotion, it’s the horrid self-reflexive, self-glorifying appearance of it.”—roll-call of the presidents
“Speaking of amazing cameras, the upcoming Nikon D90 DSLR shoots video. Video, I say, with all the exposure and depth-of-field control of an SLR camera.”—Advance Testing the Nikon D90. FWIW I’ve read elsewhere (and can’t find it now) that the D90 won’t let you change aperture during a video shot, and AF-C won’t work. So I wouldn’t call it all the exposure and depth-of-field control of an SLR camera.
“But you know what, how about we all agree, all of us who write about writing software, to write about this once every year or so. Because there’s this terrible glaring conflict between what sensible managers want and what sensible programmers know. Managers, good managers, want a plan; they want to lock in design constraints so that work can be dealt out and progress tracked and promises kept. Programmers, good programmers, know that they’re not smart enough to get the core design choices right until they’ve built something that works.”—Build One to Throw Away. Amen.
“Did the fun stop there? Hell no. We walked past a trailer that was aptly named, “Big Fat bacon”. Seriously. I couldn’t make this up. Big Fat Bacon sells one product, and one product only: a 1/3 inch thick cut, foot long piece of bacon… on a stick. The slab bacon was cooked perfectly, however I must say, it is a little much. The texture is like a perfectly cooked lardon, however, unlike a lardon it is not just a half inch square: it is a foot long, and it a major work out. I ate about half of mine and had to through in the towel: the texture is just overwhelming and needs a good salad to get through the whole thing. (I can NOT believe I just wrote that.)”—Heaven! I will never let David forget that Big Fat Bacon was too much for him, and that he wanted a salad instead!
“We just launched two new ways to give your web apps free and secure access to a user’s location, without requiring that user to enter it manually. First, there’s the AJAX API property that provides a simple way to get an approximate, region-level estimate of a user’s location based on their IP address. It’s as simple as referencing google.loader.ClientLocation, which is made available using the Google AJAX API Loader. This API does not require users to install any client-side software.”—Google Code Blog: Two new ways to location-enable your web apps. Nice!
“While traditional cron jobs are executed at set times, inotify cron, or incron, is a cron clone that watches the filesystem for specified changes and executes the relevant commands. You can set incron to monitor a particular file or directory for changes and schedule jobs for when those changes occur.”—Scheduling jobs based on filesystem activity with incron. Looks useful.
A great TED talk by Cliff Stoll. The Cuckoo’s Egg came out at about the same I got my first Internet account, and that convergence had a big influence on the directions my education and career have taken.
“If our research capability is to remain vibrant, we need more science and math students with decent elementary and high school preparation. The declining interest is partly from the perception that scientists don’t get rich like lawyers and dentists and stockbrokers, but also because science isn’t valued in a country full of creationists. One way the president can help is by trusting scientific advisers and not overruling them for political reasons.”—Memo to the Next President. I can’t help but quote a good dig at creationists, but the rest of the memo is actually more insightful.
“My Flickr account is my Yahoo! account. If I use Yahoo! Mail, it’s my e-mail account. If it’s my e-mail account, it’s Single Sign On for basically everything I use online thanks to forgotten password e-mails. It may not be an internet banking account but it’s only one step down.”—Simon Willison nicely sums up why OAuth matters, in a discussion about suspicious behavior by the iPhone app “Exposure”
“Nikon is a competent camera company. The IOC is a competent sports impresario. The Chinese government is a competent authoritarian dictatorship. Pity they’re all so fucking stupid about technology.”—Lock-In, the 2008 Flavor