in case you care

May 30th, 2009

where the two biggest commerical airlines are right now: there is a website for that as well

eight, nine or ten?

May 30th, 2009

“Do you run OS 8, 9 or 10?”

Original quote from Timewarner Cable support yesterday after trying to troubleshoot a connection issue for 40 minutes.

Bonus points when dealing with an institution as stupid as that: Figuring out the pattern of the special “access PIN” numbers for the Level 3 phone support after having received a couple of those. Let me know if you need one. And make sure to know if you run that OS that is obsolete since 1999.


May 30th, 2009

In 2007 GM lost $4,589 on each car they sold, in 2008 $4,670. Imagine any GM car, then remove things from it that cost four and a half grand*. This is the car you would get when would try not to loose money on making them. What do you care? Well you should, since next week you will probably own GM. And their losses will (continue to) come out of our (tax) pocket.

* OK, I got those numbers from the Internet and did the division myself, so all sorts of things could be wrong here. And you can also put back about one thousand dollar worth of parts into your imaginary Escalade: That’s what gets spend on marketing to convince you to buy the thing. How about a spare tire, seatbelts, a radio and a fan on the passenger side?


May 30th, 2009

This is a nice visualisation of how the world developed.

insomnia - the movies

May 30th, 2009

A while back I watched Insomnia, I think I found it by some lateral IMDB connection of its director Chris Nolan. It was not bad for most parts. Watching the DVD extras I found out ,that this was actually a remake of a swedish movie with the same title. Since that was the only choice I got the stupidly overpriced criterion disc.

Watching the US remake and original revealed some american movie codes that -looking at them in the light of these films- are just plain stupid. Essential story points got bent. It was not that horrible to watch Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank act in the 2002 version. The original rarely reveals the thesping. People, surroundings and the issues suggested simply feel more reel. All the style, sound design, fog, acting and writing in serpentines to avoid a dog being shot make the US version feel dense, crafted and inept compared to the original.

The swedish film is certainly not without its flaws. But Insomnia is a remake that makes you wonder why there is such as thing a remake.


May 19th, 2009

five point six appears to be a good guess for the number of Cheops pyramids that could have been built in the time that people spent trying to work around Internet Explorer.

list of people with more servers than INTERDUBS

May 14th, 2009

An interesting collection of more or less vague ‘cloud sizes’. My guess is that most of these machines are no longer specialized hardware or workstations. Explains why Sun -for instance- is having such a hard time. Once you scale well in software and do handle hardware failures in that layer too there is really no need for expensive irons. I wonder how many of those large footprint installs run Windows like operating systems.

the beauty of the API

May 10th, 2009

The main purpose of the API for INTERDUBS was to let my clients use it programmatically. Their system control INTERDUBS in a way that fits best into their workflow. That is what the API was made for, and it works. Every day.

Interestingly there are other, somewhat more surprisingly, benefits to having an Application Programmable Interface to a system too. This week I had a discussion with a client where they outlined specific needs in respect to their data that they have in INTERDUBS. They could have updated things manually, but that would have taken a very long time. By using the API myself it actually took me not that long to implement their needs. I spent only slightly more time on it than the actual discussion took that we had about their needs. This was very nice to see. And actually quiet unexpected. If the next client needs something similar I will be able to solve this in five minutes.

everybody has the tools

May 10th, 2009

Tools for people to create content of any kind are widely available since a long time. Still it feels rare when there is something like this.