ten point five

October 31st, 2007

Apple launched Leopard, and sells two million copies of it so far. Not that they need the money right now. Their strategy of releasing frequent OS upgrades seems to work out. While there are issues in some areas (like the dock!!) there are other features and functionalities that sound really really good. I like those items that show that Apple is able to think about the entire system. At least in some points. Time Machine is a good example. Backups are a part of computer use. It is a good thing when the software that comes with your computer takes care of this. And if it’s easy and great to use then even better. Every Apple user that looses a hard drive but walks away unharmed will love OS X 10.5. Every Vista, XP user that looses data now might want to start over with an operating system where you can avoid it in the future. These simple truths take some time to trickle through to people. But they will. Same with remote support via iChat. I always told everybody in my family to get a Mac, so that I don’t have to support their Windows machines. Now I can help them even better. I am sure that this structure is very common. Whenever Apple understand such structures and builds solutions for then success will be immanent.

OS X 10.5 as seen by ars

October 30th, 2007

A review that’s worth the read. I have not even seen 10.5 yet. I suffer from feline-confusion anyway. I remember pretty much what changed from 10.2 ro 10.3 but would need to think hard what animal it was.

40 months later

October 27th, 2007

In June of 04 I found and read Grubers “Broken Windows” post. Found it via blogsNow, and finding that post alone made writing the tool worthwhile. Gruber explains logically why Mac’s are without malware and PCs are not. Reading it today it still makes sense.

Back in the day the most prominent argument against this was market share: People claimed that there were simply not enough macs around to be attractive for viruses. Since Gruber’s post mac sales have almost trippled. And they have switched to the same CPUs that Windows runs on. Number of Mac viruses? Zero. Still. Not even a single one.

Back in the summer of 04 Apple shares did cost 15 US$, now they are 185 US$. Sure, there is the iPod and the iPhone. But even without that Apple would not look that shabby.

I actually makes me happy that the ‘broken windows’ post holds up. It’s hard to decide if it’s the pointless yet human pride to have been right. Or the happyness about forty month of right decissions based on the right theory. I am sure I save allot of time during those forty month in that I was not battling malware on my laptops.

mass media

October 26th, 2007

no particular reason.

ah those 80s

October 25th, 2007

ten songs from the 80s

That’s why we had what was called a ‘counter culture’.
Was maybe half as tacky as the mainstream.

what it costs

October 22nd, 2007

According tothis article the war in Iraq costs two billion dollar. A week. I am sure that those 160,000 troops risking their life will be glad to know that that amounts to 12,500 US$ a week for each of them. Or we could just leave and pay each each 75 US$ a week. Does not sound like much, but the GDP per person and week is 64US$. So, yes, the US spends more on the war than the country is producing on its own. It used to be one of the wealthiest countries with a larger population in the arab world. Now this war has been gone for quiet some time.
And, no, we still have not found those weapons of mass destruction. That was the reason why the US had ot go there. So we have been told. That is a old story you might think. Exactly that kind of thinking helps this administration. They told us that war was the only option because of those weapons of mass destruction. We should hold them to their own arguments, instead of falling for their next story version about the ‘front in the war on terror’. Some things are simple. This one is.


October 22nd, 2007

Rushed to the airport. Packing took longer than expected. La Cienega made up for the time lost. It always does. I love La Cienega. When I park at Red Rabbit I have to turn once!

Of course the flight is delayed. Four hours delayed. Luckily I get a ten dollar NWA mail-in voucher. Score!

The next time Northwest will get in touch to sell me something I will remember that they could not be bothered to contact me, when I could have gained from it. They have my email. It’s freaking computers running airlines anyway. Why can’t they just
send an email out to let me know that the flight is been delayed. Hell, I would not even mind when they always would send me an email. 21% of this specific flight is actually on time. While they are at it they could also let me know which movies they will be showing. Which gate I will arrive where (so that I can forward this info to a person that picks me up). Sure, they could be somewhat smart and allow me to give them an email that would be notified about any changes in the arrival.
Once set up these things cost close to nothing to run.


October 22nd, 2007


where are you?

October 21st, 2007

a very nice map of the entire internet
The implementation is maybe soso, but the actual idea to put all 4,294,967,296 IP addresses into a grid is really nice.

A couple of week ago a high res map of internet connections was widely linked to.

Which does remind me of Aaron Koblin and his“Flight Patterns”.

interesting maps
interesting data visualisations


October 20th, 2007

progress has many faces

art can be nice

October 20th, 2007

Art does not have to suck. At least that’s what I think when I look at Andrew Bells Butterflies.

around the net

October 19th, 2007

a half Tunick

When thou goest to Comcast, take thy hammer.


wtf is ‘middleware’

October 13th, 2007

Reading this it sounds like “middleware” is this big deal. I wonder, if it’s not just something that a mediocre perl script could do??? It probably could.

in the right hands

October 12th, 2007

Call me crazy, but I think that the story of JH Schön could make a great movie. In the right hands. But I am so much out of touch that it might have come out last spring and friends of mine have worked on it.


October 7th, 2007

I am sitting here and code. Since hours. It’s what I do, and I like it. But sometimes I wonder how weird I really am. Since I am alone I had no reason to speak. The phone didn’t rang either. It might sound grim, but I really get allot done, and I like it quiet like this.
Then I read:

my $min = ($x, $y)[$x > $y];

somewhere, and I said “ha!”. I think it’s a bit weird if the first visible emotion in a couple of hours comes from reading ($x, $y)[$x > $y]. Geek!
It is a neat hack though.

not even worth a title

October 7th, 2007

The perfect gift for those two.

Sorry. This is the probably the most superflous (sp?) post I ever made. I just couldn’t resist.

those virtual worlds

October 7th, 2007

19 months ago there was Leroy:
(Mr. Jenkins is acting out the essence of Mr Bush foreign policy here, with bigger success I might add)

a year ago some kid did this:

and now Toyota released a truck commerical playing in Wow:

A while back “Second Life” was all the craze. Journalists were mumbling about it. Endlessly. Companies were spending money to be in those virtual world. I think it’s one of these hollow stories that got too much attention despite a total lack of substance. As a journalist you felt all hip and trendy if you would do a piece about it. That’s why so many were done.

In the meantime there were millions (litteraly!) of people just hacking away on WoW. it’s what people do. Naturally ads do follow them. But the basic premise of WoW is not that it’s ‘an alternative reality’. It just seems to be a game that is fun to play for many people. Not enough news for journalists, unless it involves chinese gold farmers, but a pretty thick trend. And one that will continue.

flash and it’s stuttering

October 6th, 2007

Recently Flash for video delivery might look less appauling, since Adobe overhauled the codec. But it still pretty much sucks ass if it comes to playing while there is less than the required bandwidth is available. Quicktime on the other side just goes ahead and downloads the movie, until enough of is on the local computer so that it can play smoothly. From start to finish. With flash you are often just out of luck and have to sit through some ridicolous stuttering. Which is basically unbearable. Of course you can still fuck up in Quicktime by not enabling progressive download when you encode it. Why the default is not to have progressive download is always on is beyond me. There is no downside. It does work since years. Real well. Not like that Flash crapp. Maybe one day people will test their sites and movies on actual internet connections, not while they practically sit on the server that they develop it on.

software: finishing it. starting it

October 3rd, 2007

Kyle Wilson wrote an interesting essay about finishing software back in August.

I am wondering why so much great software does not even get started: Since a long time I am using an EVDO modem to connect to the internet. The upside is, that I have Internet wherever I go. If there is the slightest hint of civilisation I can connect to the internet. Which is great. The hardware is smart enough not only to move bits around it also knows where it is. GPS is a rather elaborate system with satelites floating around the planet and all. It is a big commotion, and it works. Just, that the software to connect to that part of the device does not exist on a Mac. With the right amount of documentation a programmer that has done something similar before would only need a few days to program this. And they sold thousands and thousands of these the device. The benefit for my computer to know where exactly I am would be huge. Since I am also connected to the internet a website could replace a 300 US$ GPS device. Still nobody has done it.

The other day I learned that Los Angeles is not storing the traffic data it automatically collects. It is allot of work, and certainly was not cheap, to put all those sensors in place. The data flows to the right places. And then gets simply not archived.

In both cases the effort to add the extra functionality would be ridicolously small compared to the potential gain. In both cases it might never happen: There is no driving force behind it. Nobody is making a living from something similar enough to jump on these opportunities. Even though ideas might be clear and simple, they might never happen, no matter how good they are, as long there is not a similar enterprise already happening. This theory has a sad other side as well: If there is already some kind of business going in certain way, then all sorts of similar activities will be spawned. No matter if they make any sense (Sony’s Mp3 players) or if they are valid for society ( Arms dealer, Mafia, Spam).