Monday, December 27, 2004

gladwell has mo' on jd's new b00k:
Diamond’s distinction between social and biological survival is a critical one, because too often we blur the two, or assume that biological survival is contingent on the strength of our civilizational values. That was the lesson taken from the two world wars and the nuclear age that followed: we would survive as a species only if we learned to get along and resolve our disputes peacefully. The fact is, though, that we can be law-abiding and peace-loving and tolerant and inventive and committed to freedom and true to our own values and still behave in ways that are biologically suicidal. The two kinds of survival are separate.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

jared diamond, that whacky funster who called agriculture "the worst mistake in the history of the human race", is at it again! seed magazine has an excerpt from "collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed".

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Newsweek Barack article - it's hawt hawt HAWT. Best article on Obama I've read...any THOUGHTS?

A bit o' Christmas cheer from Fareed Zakaria: Islamic extremism is not making substantial gains in Muslim society (or so he thinks). :]

Does Cosby help? - Newsweek takes a careful look at what Cosby's trying to achieve with the controversy he's creating, how far he is from reality, and whether he's connecting. Great read. Any particularly memorable stuff? Mine came towards the end...last couple of paragraphs were really quite unF.

POY: Joe Klein on Bush's diverse cabinet and the effects it's having. A colorblind president leaving his opponents behind? Possibly. This is a must-read.

POY: Joe Klein on Bush's diverse cabinet and the effects it's having. A color-blind president leaving his opponents behind? Possibly. This is a must-read.

POY: The Rove Warrior - An article on Karl Rove, who apparently was a close runner-up this informative article on what drives the "brain."

POY: Bush's interview - I definitely guffawed a few times...any Guffaw Moments® for anyone?

There were some particularly good articles in Time's Person of the Year (POY) issue. I'm gonna put some of that up - Some interesting tHAWts would be nice :]

Peddling a crisis (the wrong one) - Newsweek's Sloan blasts Bush's plan for Social Security, and says he should focus on figuring out how to fund his exceptionally expensive Medicare plan, instead:
So which is a "crisis"? A $17 trillion problem that starts next year, or a $10.4 trillion problem that starts in 2018? You don't need a math genius to answer that question
The ending is hawt, it to find out!

ron avitzur: the story of apple's graphing calculator:
I used to be a contractor for Apple, working on a secret project. Unfortunately, the computer we were building never saw the light of day. The project was so plagued by politics and ego that when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead. In August 1993, the project was canceled. A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple's doors, so I just kept showing up.

Light adds: I especially liked this part:
Another company, the makers of Mathematica™, simply demanded that our product be pulled. Apple very politely declined.
Wolfram...LUV :)

in a recent cornell study, 44% of respondants favor limiting some civil liberties of muslim-americans. merry christmas, fellow citizens!

richard dawkins: "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

fbi agents allege abuse of detainees at guantanamo bay:

In another e-mail, dated Dec. 5, 2003, an agent complained about military tactics, including the alleged use of FBI impersonators. "These tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralization nature to date and . . . have destroyed any chance of prosecuting this detainee," the agent wrote.

do i really need to QUIP on this shit? it's like the commentary writes itself@#$%

Monday, December 20, 2004

move over, ipod sock--you just got pwned by the ipod h00die!@#$

the accidental guru: fast company fap-fap-faps over malcolm gladwell.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

retarded: time warner is strong-arming cable companies into removing television shows off people's DVRs, and the cable companies are bending over. unF!@#

Friday, December 10, 2004

When the UN fails, we all do - A well-written article by Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek looking over hte Rwandan crisis and other problems at the UN. Well written.

Not-so-incidentally, I saw Hotel Rwanda today. 10/10.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

cars, the final pixar film under its current disney contract, has been delayed from november 2005 to june 2006. the disney blog offers a nice conspiracy theory involving "chicken little", disney's first in-house cg feature-length.

Friday, December 03, 2004

the woz's SEEKRIT venture REVEALed: wheels of zeus is building a location-based encryption and security system. take your laptop outta the office, and the company's data is no longer available.

uhh... o.O

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

to prevent THOUGHT-CRIME, the cobb county school district in georgia will be slapping warning labels on textb00ks. if you come across any DANGERous textb00ks in your travels, you can tag them with stickers of your own.

i wish i shared your optimism, jack! :<

Funds for new atomic bomb development cut from spending bill. my confidence in our collective memory has been temporarily restored. halleluj... oh, wait@#$ guess what else got BLADEd? Congress cuts National Science Foundation budget. BONK.

Towards a more relevant United Nations: the economist on the new UN reform report. most of this shit is fuck'n... PAINfully needed, but there's also some o.O action:
[The reform panel] even considers “preventive” wars against serious but non-imminent threats potentially justifiable.

Douglas Barnes: Deworming the Internet
Both law enforcement and markets for software standards have failed to solve the problem of software that is vulnerable to infection by network-transmitted worms. Consequently, regulatory attention should turn to the publishers of worm-vulnerable software. Although ordinary tort liability for software publishers may seem attractive, it would interact in unpredictable ways with the winner-take-all nature of competition among publishers of mass-market, internet-connected software. More tailored solutions are called for, including mandatory "bug bounties" for those who find potential vulnerabilities in software, minimum quality standards for software, and, once the underlying market failure is remedied, liability for end users who persist in using worm-vulnerable software.

harsh words, huh? it's a must-read, though. before you RAGE on this one, let's do the ol' reality check: a virgin windows box can get knocked up within four minutes of being connected to the internet for the first time. 80% of home pcs are currently knocked up.

see also: concerning 80% infection and security. equally worth reading... shapiro wants regulation, but he also observes that the current pandemic was enabled by ass-poor design decisions that could've been avoided. he should know--he's trying to rectify the mistakes, unlike most of the hippy community, which is content to perpetuate the fuckups of 70s computer science rather than using 70s computer science to fix them.

i'm reminded of a great interview with errol morris:
I posted a revision of Santayana’s famous quote on my web site... my emendation: “those who are unfamiliar with the past are condemned to repeat it without a sense of ironic futility.”