July 31, 2007

When Stealing Ohio Isn't Enough

If asked to vote on California Initiative No. 07-0032, just say no.
Posted by brian at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2007

Sunshine: Crap

Received an invite from somewhere for a free pass to attend a sneak preview of the new sci-fi film SUNSHINE. Luckily I got there 30 minutes beforehand, but there was already a huge line going out of the mall and down the street:

I was one of the last people in line, and wound up in the front row of the theatre.

I was REALLY looking forward to this film. The reviews that I'd seen were pretty good, with comparisons to 2001 being made here and there.

So. I have now seen it.

In a word: crap. It was awful. A huge, HUGE disappointment. A script that runs amok without any sense. A cast of nobodies that could have walked right off of SCREAM 2 or I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. A preposterous plot, that gets worse as the thing progresses.

A space expedition to save the Earth and all life on it. Think about it. Who would you put aboard the spaceship?

Of course, why would you put ANYONE abord the ship is what I'm wondering -- 50 years from now, we're able to construct this insanely massive ship, but we then select a crew of pouting, selfish nincompoops with the good sense of Thelma and Louise.

What about science? What about reason? There certainly was none in evidence in this film. An utter travesty.

And the worst part: the very very end, when the credits come up, they play this horrible, screeching punk rock music that jars you right out of whatever contemplative mood you might have been in, and you realize you have been utterly, totally HAD by the filmmakers and the (Fox, natch) studio.

My advice to you this summer: Avoid SUNSHINE. Go see a re-run of EVENT HORIZON instead.

Posted by brian at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

Trunk's Open

Yikes... trunk's open in a car wash:

Not sure this driver realized it, but he pulled into the car-wash with his car's trunk open. Now, the worst part was not that tons of soapy water streamed into the trunk, but that when he pulled out seconds after I'd pulled up in the queue, noticed the car already in the wash, noticed the car's trunk open, and snapped the picture, he was starting to go through the air-dryer phase of the wash, and the hurricane force of the air-dry wind was strong enough to close his trunk! Then the driver pulled away! Prolly never knew that the trunk was open!

Who knows how long it will be before the driver next opens his car's trunk? What a mess it's gotta be inside.

Posted by brian at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2007

Heart Covering The Who

Who would've thought that Heart could out-Who the Who when it comes to performing "Love Reign O'er Me"?

Compare to, say, this:

Maybe it might be worth catching Heart next time they're in town....

Posted by brian at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2007

Even more Eventful coverage on CNN

Wolf Blitzer and Abbi Tatton of CNN's Situation Room program do another segment on Eventful:

Here's the video itself:

And here's a related story published on the CNN site today.

Posted by brian at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

National Review Cruise

Fascinating article by a reporter who took a cruise with 500 readers and supporters of the National Review magazine. Worth reading the whole thing.

Posted by brian at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2007

Nettle: one of the first blogs

There have not been any phone calls, or emails, or knocks on the door, or papparazzi snapping photographs or shooting videos, but nevertheless the Nettle blog started in June 1997, ten years ago.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, blogging is ten years old. Well. no. It's almost ten years old.

"We are approaching a decade since the first blogger -- regarded by many to be Jorn Barger -- began his business of hunting and gathering links to items that tickled his fancy, to which he appended some of his own commentary. On Dec. 23, 1997, on his site, Robot Wisdom, Mr. Barger wrote: "I decided to start my own webpage logging the best stuff I find as I surf, on a daily basis," and the Oxford English Dictionary regards this as the primordial root of the word "weblog."

So says the article.

Well, I started blogging on June 1st, 1997. The blog was called Nettle.

What a logo :-)

The blog lasted for about a month and a week. The last post was made on July 8th, 1997, and was about the Mars Pathfinder (geez, it seems so long ago, a different era).

At that point I mothballed the blog and it didn't reactivate until August 11, 2002. I'd already started Brianstorms in February 2002 -- why stop at one blog, I thought. Nettle kept going until January 2005 when its most recent post was made. Not sure if I'm going to make any more over there.

Just to be clear, I do not consider my blog to be the first blog. Not at all. I consider Newsreport to be the first blog. That's from 1973. Haven't heard of Newsreport? Well, that's a story for another time. . .

Posted by brian at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

The SUV Meme

At the FORTUNE iMeme conference I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Dawkins among other brilliant attendees.

One conference panel featured Dawkins (creator of the concept of "memes" among many other accomplishments), Craig Venter, and Bill Joy (whose demeanor seems rather grim these days). For me this was one of the most interesting panels of the conference, just to hear what Dawkins, Venter, and Joy are up to these days.

Joy, who's now funding green technologies at Kleiner Perkins, remarked several times that one of the biggest problems he's facing is a reluctance, a lack of willingness, in the marketplace to adopt green technology faster.

When it came time for questions from the audience, I asked Joy and Dawkins what they thought of the "SUV Meme", the notion that sport-utility vehicles are safe, powerful, the best thing to buy, own, and drive. How do we kill this meme, I asked. They didn't have answers.

When the panel moderator asked the panelists who among them drove SUVs. The moderator raised his hand, and, reluctantly, a bit embarrassed, Venter (one of whose current projects is to design synthetic bacteria to create biofuels) raised his.

Posted by brian at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

Arrogance

Vinh speaks trvth.
Posted by brian at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2007

Deleting Emails on the iPhone

Yikes, is the realization I'm having, with trying to deal with email on the iPhone.

I'm generally loving the iPhone, like everyone else, but one thing that's driving me crazy is deleting emails. Lots and lots of emails.

I'm on the road right now and during the day I've been checking email via the iPhone. Works great.

Lots of spam, of course, and trying to DELETE stuff is a major pain. It seems like the only way to delete email is as follows:

First you have to go into "Edit" mode in your inbox, say, and then you have to touch the icon consisting of the little red circle with the minus sign in it, and then you have to, um, wait until the "Delete" button appears, and then touch that, and then wait, and then the message goes away.

Well, that is fine if you are deleting one or two. (And yes, you can also view the email contents and touch the trashcan icon while reading and the message deletes that way too, but it's SLOW to load the contents of each email and delete, so I don't go that route).

BUT if you are trying to delete, oh, dozens, or scores, or HUNDREDS of emails, this touch icon, then touch button, then wait, then touch icon, touch button, then wait, method, doesn't, shall we say, scale.

What's worse, I get so many incoming emails (and it's not all spam, despite my example screen shots here) that I find I cannot KEEP UP with the iPhone -- more mails are COMING IN than I can deal with. I cannot delete them fast enough!

So either I am missing some cool way to delete LOTS of messages or say, ideally, DELETE ALL or DELETE SELECTED (I sure miss that feature from my Treo!), or there isn't a way yet to do this on an iPhone.

Assuming there is no way to delete multiple emails yet, I hereby offer one suggestion to Apple:

You'd touch the minus icon, then when the Delete button appears, drag your finger down (or up) and "select" all the emails you wanna delete in one fell swoop. As you would drag, more "Delete" buttons would appear, and when you're done dragging, you would just touch any one of them and ALL the selected emails go bye-bye.

Whatdya say, Apple, could you implement that? Please?

Posted by brian at 11:01 PM | Comments (2)

July 04, 2007

Gravel's Pentagon Papers Story

Regardless of how you feel about Gravel's politics or his performance in the Democratic presidential candidate debates, check out this video of his recounting of the events surrounding the publicizing of the Pentagon Papers back in 1971.

It's great storytelling that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Here's the link:
http://www.allaboutvids.com/view_video.php?viewkey=d8176d665453cfb2e55f

Posted by brian at 04:16 PM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2007

iPhone + Facebook Platform

One thing painfully missing from the iPhone is a platform development environment. You know, something like, oh, Facebook's new platform environment.

Wouldn't that be something: Thousands of developers building iPhone apps that millions of iPhone users could then select and install after browsing a huge new apps directory in iTunes. A meritocracy of coolness.

That giant sucking sound would be the vacuum created by FB developers flocking to build apps for the iPhone.

Posted by brian at 08:03 PM | Comments (1)
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