February 27, 2002

Follow the Money

This flash animation gives whole new meaning to "follow the money"... a fine example of a 21st-century political cartoon!
Posted by brian at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2002

Future of Skyscrapers

So I replaced the CinemaDisplay, and the people at MacConnection were very helpful and saved the day -- they took the bad monitor back (it wasn't just ONE bad pixel, it was 15+ bad pixels!) and the new one has none.

On another note, there's an interesting article on the future of skyscrapers in the current Village Voice. The article mentions a website I hadn't heard of before: buildthetowers.org, which is advocating rebuilding skyscrapers in the WTC space.

Posted by brian at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2002

Using NeXTSTEP, er, MacOS X

Some observations upon receiving the new Apple Macintosh G4 computer (768MB RAM, 2 HD's - 60 and 80GB, Apple Cinema Display):
  • I'm drunk with awe for this CinemaDisplay. It's big. It's crystal clear. And for some reason the plastic smells like a new car or someting -- my room has this "New macintosh" smell from the packaging. I'm sure the fumes are toxic, right?
  • I'm not sure I like the keyboard. I'm so used to a Fujitsu PC keyboard. The keys on this Apple keyboard feel mushy. I suppose I'll get used to it.
  • I definitely am not taking a liking yet to the Apple Pro Mouse. It's optical, which is cool, but there's only one button! :-) And it doesn't have the incredible sensitiviy that I'm used to -- the slightest movement and the mouse cursor should move. This is different than cursor speed (which I upped to "fastest"). It seems that sometimes the mouse has to think for a few milliseconds and consider whether or not it indeed has moved. It's the optical reader no doubt. Well, I moved it, ok, mouse? So the cursor should move to. There's a subtle 10-20ms latency (maybe worse than 20ms) sometimes when I move the mouse, regardless of surface the mouse is on, and this latency becomes distracting. I want to be able to work at the speed of thought, not at the speed of the mouse's thought.
  • The damn computer is called "User Name". How do I change it to be something else? I have created a new user, but the default admin user on the machine was called "User Name" (w/ a userid of "username") with Admin privileges. I can't figure out how to rename the computer.
  • Print Center was weird. Too unixy -- what's with all this "LPR via IP" stuff to get this machine to talk to my LaserJet 4000N? Not very user friendly. I'm surprised there wasn't an option to scan the LAN and find any printers hanging off of it.
  • I love how exquisitely beautiful the packaging for the CinemaDisplay and G4 are. The boxes, the styrofoam packing material inside, custom-molded, just excellent. I haven't seen this kind of attention to detail since, well, I bought my last NeXTstation...
  • It's so AWESOME to be working in NeXTSTEP again! :)
  • I have already had one D'Oh! moment: Upon picking up the G4 and taking it out of its box, and removing the wrapping, and plugging stuff in and setting it down in the stand (throne?) I'd prepared for it, what did I do but stick my thumb in the big shiny hole in the front, reaching something that felt like a taut aluminum foil, which I continued to push inwards.. something instinctual told me to stop doing that, so I stopped. Probably in the nick of time. Only when I read the documentation did I realize that's the speaker and you're not supposed to stick your feelthy fingers in there... :-)
  • There's a bad pixel on my CinemaDisplay. I am now obsessed with it. I hadn't noticed it until I put a DVD in to try out the DVD Player. (I put GLADIATOR in :). Whle watching the opening battle sequence, I noticed a bright green pixel that wouldn't go away, located about one inch from the right side of the screen, and three inches up from the bottom. Bright green. Permanently on. Bright green. I am obsessed with this bad pixel. Nothing I can do will make it go away. Hmm, now I notice that it's visible even when there is a white background in that are of the screen -- the pixel shows up as a dark red, almost black pixel when there's a white background around it, and a bright green pixel when there's a black background around it. I am having grumblings about how one should not have to spend $2499 and get a flawed 22" LCD monitor. Sigh. I am trying to rationalize the fact that 1,638,399 other pixels work ok. :-/
Posted by brian at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2002

Lessig v. Valenti

A few months late, but better late than never... listen to a debate between Jack Valenti and Larry Lessig, recorded 29 November 2001 at USC. 32MB 56k MP3 file (running time 79:55)
Posted by brian at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2002

Stanford Lectures

Thought-provoking 1/23/2002 talk by Andy Rappaport (VC partner at August Capital) on "The Post Dot-Com Golden Age: Open and Now Serving". The VC's, he says, are now operating based on fear, instead of greed, and he believes this will mean the companies being funded now and in the near-term will be much more interesting than the companies funded in the past 5 years. I recommend watching the streaming video (Windows media player required and high bandwidth recommended).

Stanford's EE380 Colloquia offer great insights from many fascinating players in the technology world. Lots of other good links on this page too.

Posted by brian at 01:05 AM | Comments (1)

February 01, 2002

brianstorms is launched

Jargon watch: "Perfect storm". New new economyspeak for what happens when a series of seemingly independent events all happen at the same time causing, well, unfortunate outcomes. The big buzzword at today's Waterside conference, in reference to the lousy 2001 book publishing year.

SomaFM.com's GrooveSalad: my current favorite internet radio station. The best there is. How long it'll last, who knows. I'm enjoying it while it lasts. And for hours and hours and hours of interesting music to listen to, try the "listen" link at Musical Starstreams. Many hours of 128kbps MP3 music for your listening pleasure.

A slashdot article with Larry Lessig's thoughts on copyright

What do Larry Ellison, Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld, Phillipe Kahn, and Scott McNealy have in common? They're all owed money and they haven't claimed it! The things one learns on the Internet. Did you know that the State of California wants to help its residents get money owed to them? Check out the CA Controller's Office website to learn of unclaimed money.

  • Lawrence Ellison (Woodside, CA) is owed $34.40 from Lincoln National Life insurance.
  • Steven A. Wozniak (Los Gatos, CA) is owed $5.32 from Apple Computer. Steven also is owed $64.30 from Farmer's Insurance.
  • Andy Hertzfeld (Palo Alto, CA) is owed $5.32 from Apple Computer, $612.50 from Principal Mutual Life Insurance Co, and $136.00 from Principal Life Insurance Co.
  • Scott McNealy (Mountain View, CA) is owed $259.00 from Dixie Escrow Company.
  • Phillipe R. Kahn (San Jose, CA) is owed $42.78 from PG&E.
  • Bruce Katz (San Francisco, CA) is owed $856.30 in insurance claims.
  • March Fong Eu, who's running for CA Secretary of State again this year, is owed $25 from State of Illinois, $50 from Illinois, another $50 from Illinois, yet another $50 from Illinois, and $50 from Universal Bank.
  • Apple Computer is owed a whopping $754 from the State of Florida. Suggestion to Apple: collect the money, then pay Woz and Andy.
How much are you owed? Go find out.
Posted by brian at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)
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