Saturday, June 12, 2010

UK pad and phone (and parenthesis''szs'...)

I can't believe that they charge 425 Pounds Sterling for the cheapest iPad here in the UK.  Over $600. Well, OK, the difference between the pound and the dollar has been greater, so it's not quite so dramatic as I feel, perhaps.

But I notice now that in recent times I could have bought an iPhone 3Gs, and surely can the iPhone 4 also (I think from Tuesday if Stevie can be believed), without a monthly contract here, but instead a pay-as-you-go deal, in the UK Apple Store. Since the stupid contracts were the main reasons I never had one (low phone user here), maybe I'll get an iPhone 4 after all.

OK, the phone itself will be expensive* (probably , as these things tend to be) (gawd knows I've complained often enough about this), but I guess we have to pay a price for living in a country with a social network, and not fear ending up like the new-poor people in Tent Cities in the US. That can't be nice.

*The iPhone 3Gs (32GB) is 489 Pounds Sterling, over 700 dollars. (£440 for the 16GB one.) And of course the model 4 will be at least that. That is actually ridiculous when you consider it's similar to the iPad's price. It may be silly, but it seems counter-intuitive to me that the much-smaller, but similarly-featured iPhone should not be less expensive than an iPad.

... Man, I'm having way too many interstitial (thanks to William Gibson for that word) thoughts. I'm nearing four layers of parenthesizes now in some posts... (Good lawd, there are four alternative spellings for 'parenthesizes' (See what I mean?).) Maybe I shouldn't blog when my skull is particularly hyper-active. But then that's one of the raison-detre's of the blog: an outlet for all the BS I think. Sigh. Whatever.

House Concerts

... Are simply concerts played in private homes. This is one of the (surely) many surprising ways art and music is compensating for the Internet-spawned loss of the media-locked business (CDs etc). Well, it's not new, but it's growing rapidly.
My reader Grant tipped me off to this article about concerts in homes, which are often better for all involved and can even be more lucrative for the artist. An example is Magpie House Concerts.
... Of course it would not be the place for the Eagles to play... I guess.

Audience members "are here for the music," Ladd said. "They're not here to find a date or to cruise around the bar and talk."
And artists appreciate not having to compete with billiard games or blaring televisions.

The article has a good video. 

It occurs to me that I would like to go to one of these things, whereas my hyper-sensitivity for many years have barred me from going to any other kind of concerts. Well, at least the type without fastened chairs in the hall. It might of course be that many House Concerts would also not work for me for the same reasons, but I like the chance of burying myself on a chair in a corner instead of being in a press of bodies. It's not that I don't like people, so much as just hyper-sensitivity, it's way to intense a sensation.

Pat McGee said...
My absolute favorite musical memory was hearing my favorite group (Artisan) sing my favorite song of theirs (Rocking At The End Of Time) at a house concert in a friend's living room, with me sitting so close to them that if I had stretched out my feet, my heels would have been on top of the set list. I've been to lots of concerts and festivals, but that one memory tops them all.

I think the biggest house concert I've ever been to, there were about 60-70 people in the audience. Most are more like 20-30. You just can't rent a hall for an audience that small, so these moments just wouldn't have happened any other way. I've met some people who hosted concerts who turned into good friends, which is another great benefit.

Finding the Best Camera...

If you have ever tried to find the "best camera" for you, you might be highly amused by Mike Johnston's excellent satirical article Letter To George. He really is a very funny and insightful writer, Mike.
Step 3. After the digicam fails utterly on an expensive vacation—just when you most needed it to work—buy a Canon G10 premium fixed-lens camera. ($420.)
Step 4. Three weeks later, G11 comes out. Buy that ($470), sell G10 at $150 loss.
Step 5. Realize that G10 actually has more megapixels than the G11; sell G11 ($120 loss), buy another G10.

The role of the 'pad

I'm listening to a few MacNotables podcasts while relaxing. They're often good. Sometimes an interviewee will weave rather more on a point than necessary, because they are still thinking it out. If transcribed into an articles, I think many talks might be cut down considerably in wordage and keep the point. But I suspect that's true of most people being interviewed who are not either stellar or highly experienced in it, n'est pas?

Jason Snell makes an interesting point in this talk. They touch on the point of how clearly the world is still trying to figure out what the iPad "is really for". And usually that's a danger sign, because even amongst tools, the Jack of All Trades is usually Master of None. But not always, hey just look at the personal computer. And Jason makes the point that maybe there are many tasks that we think of as Computer Tasks, which are really Internet Tasks, but so far we've only had the PC/laptop for them, so that's how we think of them.

I think that's a very good point. And further supported by his use of the word "task" for it, such a computer-oriented word, I think "activities" embraces it better. I think in a couple of decades, the Net will be so interwowen into our lives and across so many different kinds of devices and activities that the idea that in the beginning the Net was limited to a "personal computer" will feel rather alien.

Liz Lemon

30 Rock, at its best, is hysterical.
(I've watched a little of season 4 on UK TV now, and I'm not sure if they've fully maintained the quality, what do you think?)

This is a little favorite. I wonder who originally came up with the "Charles WhatNow??" bit. Love it.

Legally Blonde

I just recorded Legally Blonde. It's an excellent movie and comedy. Just the fact alone that her toy dog is named "Bruiser" is fall-down funny.

That is, rather unlike Legally Blonde 2, - Red, White And Blonde, which frankly speaking sucked three sheets of donkey stick through pristine plastic.
Really, it was the greatest drop of quality since Spin City season six. I can see I'm not alone in this opinion, it is substantially lower in average rating on Amazon, which is quite a rare achievement on a popular movie, since the big numbers of ratings tend to even things out.

Anyhoo, Reese, I could eat her Witherspoon.

Ray sent this pic.

Stevie and Hamburger Helper

Here's one of those crazy coincidences: I was watching this interview with Stevie Nicks, and she mentioned using Hamburger Helper back before the money came in. And I'm pretty sure I've never heard of this product in my life before (though it's clear I would have, had I been American). Then I stop the interview to get my own chow, I turn on an episode of Family Guy I've never seen before, and within three minutes there's a substantial segment with Hamburger Helper! Weeeeeird. I was freaked out! Well, not really, but mildly amusing. 

Pachelbel, Canon in D Major

I wanted the version by Musica Antiqua New York & Mary Jane Newman, but could'na find it on the woohooboobs. This one is nice too, though it's a much more relaxed version.

In the song "Hotel California," what does "colitas" mean?

In the song "Hotel California," what does "colitas" mean?, "Straight Dope" article. Pretty funny. The site is quite entertaining and often informing, if you can take Cecil Adam's attitude as Know-It-All. Yeah, more than me.

I found it because by now I'm just trying to get that friggin song out my head.
Suppressing it didn't work, so I thought I'd at lease learn the lyrics properly, which included finding out if "colitas" is a desert flower or what.

By the way, I'm sure there must be many many theories of the meaning of the song. And of course Don Henley is doing the smart thing, not helping, not squashing any flighty ideas. Like that other Don, when asked: "What does 'Bye bye Miss American Pie' mean?..." Says he: "it means I never have to work again".
Cecil does not even mention the one I heard many years ago (from a nice guy, a soldier of fortune who served for a while in the Foreign Legion, friend of a friend, who later landed in jail for killing his girlfriend), that the title was a nickname for a woman's prison. Can't be a wide-spread theory though, it doesn't blib on google.

By the by, I rather like Madonna's version of American Pie. It has a phat sound, and it does not have the sheer exhausting length of the original.

ingly said...
"Yeah, more than me."
Shurely shum mishtake.
Actually it is worth putting up with that to enjoy reveling and sharing in your obsessions.

Like Steve Jobs said to the guy in the audience of the recent keynote who yelled "I love you Steve": 
Thanks, I think! 

Obsessions, yeah. I've reflected that's what they are. I can be intensely interested in something for a few hours, and then not at all. I've caught myself researching wide and deep to find just the right gimmigahoojit, when I know full well that I'll probably barely use it when I get it. 
I don't think I have any healthy interests, merely obsessions, more or less managed. 
Whether that's true for everybody, I dunno. Maybe it's a question of degree only.

I wanted to see what The Eagles looked like in the seventies (shock: long hair!), and found this. I must say, they are admirably, amazingly consistent in their renditions of the song.

Smart phone promotion

I got a pretty effective mailer from my Danish mobile phone company (I keep an account there for when I visit the ol' motherland). It had color pictures on a letter-sized page of nine smart-phones, with accompanying prices (it seems they sell them without a contract, which I don't see often in the UK or US) in bold, red letters. That's the first thing: by making the prices big and red, they are communicating that the prices are something they are proud of, not something to hide. (Currently the Danish Krone runs about six to a dollar, which is typical since many years.)

Each phone/price has in small text several "desired monthly payments" you can choose from. This makes you feel like you "desire" to pay something, you just have to make a choice.

The same is true by setting up several different phones at various price and performance levels: you feel like you have already decided to get a new phone, the only job now is to choose which one. Very clever.
And they have even gone to the length of making a line at the top saying "yes, I want to order a new phone at a desirable price", with the box already checked!

I think their only small mistake was in putting up nine phones. There's no way I can get the feeling that I'm informed on all of them. If they had used only three or four, the choice would have been much easier, and you would still feel like you have made an intelligent choice of sorts. Which of course you may have, or you may not, it's only important how you feel about it, for them to make the sale.

Snarky comment

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
           -- Bernard Berenson

... For most people, that's not a problem.
Sorry, just feeling sarcastic there for a moment. Hehe.

MacNotables #1021

MacNotables #1021. Best/funniest Apple-related "radio show" ever? Certainly right up there. These guys are funnier than W. Bush, and smarter than Dan Quayle.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another business I didn't know of

There's actually a web site called CheatHouse! And it's a pay site!
And if there's one, there's probably many, especially seing how professional this one looks. I wonder how much money is earned every year on students paying for access to ready-cooked essays like this?
I wonder how many are dull or stressed enough to just copy such essays directly?
I wonder how long it takes on average from an essay is posted until it is familiar to every smart teacher in the US? They are not exactly hard to find, this page was right near the top of a simple google search, along with several similar sites (it seems nobody is interested in "robber barons" except teachers and students). Although admittedly this site claims it alone has over 100,000 essays and over 30 new essays added daily. It can't be easy for teachers to keep on top of that. Unless of course several students in a class cheat from the same source.

You know, just reading the first paragraphs of a couple of these essays, it strikes me how boring it must be most of the time to be a teacher and have to constantly read and grade generally-boring-and-unoriginal (it's hard to be original and why take chances with your grades?) essays on the same eternal subjects. Wow.

Dave says:
A lot of them - at least the better, more expensive companies - give out one-of-a-kind essays. Properly researched and original, there is no way to identify them as not the work of the student.

Henley talks

TCGal also points to an interesting interview with Eagles' Don Henley, by Charlie Rose. (Rose is a good interviewer, he is always prepared and knowledgeable, and he is interested in and respects his subjects.)

Don talks about many interesting things, for example Emerson's outstanding Self-Reliance essay (not having gotten my education in the US, I only started hearing about Thoreau and Emerson by reading Doonesbury, and this essay got me more interested).
He talks about stalkers as being something that every celebrity has to face (didn't know that, like Don says here, they don't talk about it), and he advices people to center their universe around something they are doing, rather than around him or any other famous person.
Also, I had the feeling that the duty of having to play Hotel California in every concert would be a duty that he bears gracefully, even though it has to be very, very tiring, and indeed it turns out that it is so.  He acknowledges that it's his job, the song is very important to his fans who pay his livelihood, and to deny them the song just because he's personally tired of it would be arrogant.

Wild Innocence

For those who couldn't decide whether to get the book Wild Innocence, I just got my copy. I think it's really nice. At first I was a bit surprised at the size, it's only 7x7 inches (17x17cms). But a minute later I quite liked the size. It's sufficient to enjoy the photos (which are usually to edge), and yet fits easily in hand and shelf.

And I think the print is quite good. There was some debate about the coarseness of the screen in photo books from Blurb, but even with my reading glasses, I could barely see the screen, and then only in out-of-focus areas.
And of course the photos and models are gorgeous.

The Return of Jezebel James

"The Return of Jezebel James" was apparently a short-lived sitcom by Fox. It caught my attention, though I never saw it, because it had these two gorgeous critters in it, Lauren Ambrose and Parker Posey.
I was further intrigued when I saw that it was made by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who made the wonderful Gilmore Girls.
Three episodes aired, seven were made. (I think it's disrespectful to fans and creators when a network does this, dump a series and doesn't even run all the shows that were made.) If you want it on DVD like I do, I think it makes it more likely if you put yourself on Amazon's mailing list for it.

(Oddly, the wiki article claims that the unseen four episodes were released on iTunes in 2008, but I guess they must have been removed again, cuz I don't see them.) correction

Small note: after I got rid of the dang RocketBox plug-in, search in Apple Mail turns out to not be bad. Actually in some ways easier than in Eudora. I only thought it wasn't because doing things the way I was used to (for example hitting command-F) created unfamiliar and confusing results. (And even this was more caused by myself, because I'd switched around the "Find" (in one email) command and the "Search" command (in many mails) in Eudora. Since I use Find almost never and Search all the time, I'd changed Search to be command-F. Originally it was like it is in Mail.)

I just select (command-select for more than one) the mail boxes I want to search, and write a couple of words in the Search field (or hit command-option-F). And unlike in Eudora, this is not a "search string", all the characters don't have to be in the exact order that they were in the email for it to show up. So unlike what I thought at first, you can indeed search for more than one words which are not in sequence.

I guess I had my head full of outdated articles which proclaimed how much more advanced Search was in Eudora than all the others. "Act on fresh data" is not a bad motto.

A plaster on the wound

"I don't care! I'll start my own group! Rejection from society is what created the X-Men!"
- Liz Lemon


Every worthwhile person or group has been a reject from society. You can't do anything without moving different than the stream.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted (updated again)

[Thanks to Robb and TCGirl]

Awesome version.  I think I'll educate meself a bit more on Eagles, I missed on them as on so much more, growing up in a small town in DK.

Now, they had many good songs, but it's clear that Hotel California has a special lightning-strikes magic. The kind of combination of depth and width that any artists aspires to achieve at least once in a lifetime.

I like that the audience restrained themselves to one cheer when they recognized the song, and didn't start again when he started singing.

That very pretty person with the long hair on the left, is that a dude or a girlie? Based on the nasal profile and jaw, I'm guessing male, but certainly a person born to be in Entertainment. You know, the kind everybody notices. Except, it seems, the cameraman or editor of this video.

"... she got the Mercedes bends..." is that the actual lyrics? Pretty funny.

It seems the mature Don Henley has dropped the habit of singing "say-hey" for "say" (it seems odd without it), but has picked up the habit of singling " 'otel California", like he was cockney.

The big drums have a fantastic sound, especially when they're in focus in the intro. Clever of them to make a new, full intro, with material which is brand new and yet fits. Even more clever to do such a massive hit arguably even better than the original.  Det sker ikke tit.

Nina Hagen - Immer lauter

Nina Hagen - Immer lauter - Extended LifeBall Version - MEGAGEIL!!!

(I love the "megageil" the poster added in the title. It's German for "super-fun".)
(Oh, and by the way, the song's title means "louder and louder and louder".)

This is one of the late (2004) Nina Hagen songs I really enjoy (Until last year I'd been believing that she had done all her worthwhile work in the seventies like one might expect from a rock idol who was hugely seminal back then).

Ah, the song also has the lyric "immer weiter", which means "always onwards" or "always further".

Tanzen wir!
Jajaja! Klatschen wir und - jetzt - jajaja noch - mal - jajaja

Ein Monsterrrrrrrrr
ist auf der Welt! Du kennst es auch wenn es sich verstellt

Es hat keine Augen, es hat kein Gehirn
Es will dich verblöden und verwirr'n - Hey!

Kannst du nicht hör'n, denn das sag' ich's Dir
Immer lauter, immer lauter: Love rules the world - darum singen wir Immer lauter, immer lauter! Lass' mich Dich stör'n, stell Dein Radio Immer lauter, immer lauter, immer lauter- Bis Du's kapierst

Das Monsterrrr
versteckt sich im Wald Es tarnt sich und wechselt seine Gestalt

Es fliegt durch die Lüfte und sitzt auf Papier
Es will dich verblöden und verwirr'n - Hey!

Kannst du nicht hör'n, denn das sag' ich's Dir
Immer lauter, immer lauter: Love rules the world - darum singen wir Immer lauter, immer lauter! Lass' mich Dich stör'n, stell Dein Radio Immer lauter, immer lauter, immer lauter- Bis Du's kapierst

Ganz lang
ganz langsam fahren wir weit weg vom Wald übers Meer

Immer weiter - immer weiter - immer weiter - immer weiter
immer lauter - immer lauter - immer lauter - immer lauter

Kannst du nicht hör'n, denn das sag' ich's Dir
Immer lauter, immer lauter: Love rules the world - darum singen wir Kannst du nicht hör'n, denn das sag' ich's Dir Immer lauter, immer lauter: Love rules the world - darum singen wir Immer lauter, immer lauter! Lass' mich Dich stör'n, stell Dein Radio Immer lauter, immer lauter, immer lauter- Bis Du's kapierst

"Love rules the world - that's what we sing about, louder and louder, since you don't listen.
Let me disturb you, turn up your radio, for we'll keep singing ever louder, til you understand."

I don't understand all the the German, sadly, and I couldn't find an English translation of the lyrics.

Update: For some reason I did not think to try machine translation, but Jan made a decent one.
It did't get all the slang, but i think "verwirr'n" is a mal-spelling of "confusing (you)".

Hello Kitty Swarovski iPad Case

Hello Kitty Core Crystallized Swarovski iPad Case

Only US$ 591.28! (How did they calculate that price?)

Wow! I mean... Wow!
It's not often I'm struggling for words...

I think that if I were trying to come up with the most ludicrous combination of three most different human cultures I could, this would be high on the list.

How about a Minnie Mouse Super-collider designed by Porche?

Or a goth styled muscle car with a UNIX interface?

Or a transformers hunting rifle made of gold?

No, I think Hello Kitty wins.

Don't get me wrong, I like Hello Kitty, it's a very cute design, and I wish I had come up with it, I would rent New York City every weekend.
And I really want the toaster.

(Too bad that on the iPad case you can't even see the cat.)

Oooh, just noticed this: "Customers who buy iPad case from DSstyles will get a free iPad Screen Protector for free." Don't say they're not generous!

Thanks to Gail for pointing to Hello Kitty Hell. Great.

And thanks to Kitty Hell for the pictures below. "Hello Kitty" really takes another meaning, doesn't it! ROTFL!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Theresa Andersson

[Thanks to Jim]
Theresa Andersson, Live at Le Petit

Are Cameras the New Guns?

Are Cameras the New Guns?, article.
The insanity rises to new levels.
In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Well, the police state I foresaw coming in the evening of 9/11, 2001 is rapidly underway. Congrats, folks, you got your will.

In short, recordings that are flattering to the police - an officer kissing a baby or rescuing a dog - will almost certainly not result in prosecution even if they are done without all-party consent. The only people who seem prone to prosecution are those who embarrass or confront the police, or who somehow challenge the law. If true, then the prosecutions are a form of social control to discourage criticism of the police or simple dissent.

[...] Carlos Miller at the Photography Is Not A Crime website offers an explanation: "For the second time in less than a month, a police officer was convicted from evidence obtained from a videotape. The first officer to be convicted was New York City Police Officer Patrick Pogan, who would never have stood trial had it not been for a video posted on Youtube showing him body slamming a bicyclist before charging him with assault on an officer.

So in other words, the police is attempting to wipe out all recording of police in action. Yes, good luck with that. While they're at it, they should make a law against rain on parade days.


I'm a bit curious about exactly how good the 5MP camera in the iPhone 4 actually is. If it doesn't have serious weaknesses it might actually be the take-anywhere camera even for serious users.
(Of course it does lack a zoom for one thing. I don't give a pot of wee for "digital zoom")

Networks are down...?

Recently I pointed out that the little portable wifi device Mifi, which connects over the cell phone network, could be a backup network.
Well, I never thought I'd ever need it, because I have both a cable connection and a ADSL connection, and what are the odds of them both being down at the same time? And yet, right now they both are, and I can only use the Mifi. Spooky.
Really, WTF?

... Update: OK, that was strange. But now my cable connection is up again. It's weird, when I don't have Net access,  it feels like a cutoff of oxygen supply or something. My instant connection with the globe has become part of me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A letter to Mr. Jobs

Hello Mr. Jobs,

I've been an Apple customer since 1995, and I've probably bought about 50 devices and Macs. But this is the first time I'm attempting a letter to you.

It must be hard to keep a perspective when a person, like you, is sitting right in the middle of the great storm of public opinion and media hype, both positive and negative.

It must also be hard to keep things like a strong ego under control when working in one of the most high-pressure jobs on the planet. (And it *takes* a strong ego to do such a job.) I applaud you for doing a great job even there.

It is hard to imagine a world without Apple and Steve Jobs. Nobody could or would have the vision and the will to make such things as the Power Mac, the iMac, the iPad, etc etc. Where else do we see products which have anywhere near the clarity of vision, and have to this degree been born through the long painful process of bending the world, industry, and collaborators to fit a very precise and challenging idea?

I don't see it anywhere. Sure, many other companies have very good products, but I don't see anything with the hard-core... I don't know, *precision* of idea, execution, and build that Apple products have. And the focus on making new possibilities for the costumer, rather than on how to do well in the market.

So, well, thank you.

Sincerely yours, Eolake


I wrote this as simply an email to Steve Jobs, since it has become clear that he does read at least some of those he gets. As an afterthought, I posted it here, since it seems that many people simply don't see the essential and significant difference between what Apple does and what other companies do. Some think the differences are just "slicker design" and "cult customers", which is totally off the mark. There are importance differences right at the heart of the matter.

New spam types

It seems that in the past two days, the main type of spam which gets through my filters are fake notices from Social Networking sites. (I'm a bit tired of those, I have to say.) Like Twitter notices to an account which is not yours, no doubt expecting you to click on the link that says "this account is not mine". Or YouTube friend invitations send to an address which you don't use on YouTube, or an address which isn't even yours.

Inspired by Iceland Video

Inspired by Iceland Video,
Very clever promotion. The singer even sounds like Björk. And it has a flash of nudity. Thanks to Danny.

Keynote and new iPhone

Jobs' Keynote is online.
More reporting soon, but the new iPhone is a very impressive piece of hardware. Built-in gyroscopes... 330 pixels per inch display! ...

I must say that while the specs and looks are really impressive, they seemed more like evolutionary upgrades, so I was not really sure why they called it their biggest step since iPhone 1. Until I saw the marquee feature, revealed near the end. That's admittedly very cool, and I sure it'll be a milestone in telephony (though for a while it'll only work in wifi spots). If you want it revealed now, go to Apple's home page or the page for this feature, instead of directly to the keynote.

iPad connectivity

OK, so I have to admit: there are indeed some (wi-fi) connectivity issues with the iPad. For one thing, it sometimes just goes offline. A message will pop up which claims your password for your router is wrong.
Worse, it's often not good for videos. For instance, I've almost given up on watching Apple's own videos on it, which really is a bit embarrassing for Apple. They download like a crippled snail.

And until iOS4, you can't change to another app and let it download in peace, because all activity stops in an app when you go to another one.

Worse, you can't even change to another page in Safari and come back to the video later, because for some reason (unlike Safari on Mac) Safari re-loads every page each time you select that page, which means that the video starts downloading all over again! Gawd.

And it's not my Net connection's fault, because on my Mac, they download like horny lightning.

Michael said:
Just about every new thing I hear about the iPad makes me not want one. This is surprising, because I'm normally a real Apple fanboy.

Well,  perhaps you just don't need/want one, and that's fine. Anyway, don't mind me, this does not bother me often, and all these things are just the normal little weaknesses you find in anything complex product. I'd say that especially for a 1.0 product, the iPad is enormously well done. I really like it.

Comment on

As the keen reader will be aware, I took a big jump (given my large mail archives and many settings) and jumped recently from Eudora to Apple Mail.

Well, I'm still not happy with Search. I even bought RocketBox, but it is often confusing, and seems to often give missing results or just be buggy.

On the other hand, like I said it would be nice to take advantage, for once, of the extra functionalities that Apple ties in between the system and its own apps. One of them I just started noticing: using Quick Look for email attachments.

Given my job, photographers often send me ten, twenty or even more attachments in a mail. Photos. And in Eudora it was a bit of a struggle to view them, I had to scroll up and down quite carefully, and Eudora took its own time rendering them. But in Apple Mail I just click on the Quick Look button by the attachment icon, and then on the Full Screen icon (two arrows pointing to opposite corners), and I get a full screen slide show, fully controllable. Very nice.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Tech solutions

Jobs keynote right now

Apple World Wide Developer Conference is on, and Steve is giving his keynote. You can follow live blogging several places, for example on MacObserver.
Me, I'll probably wait for a day or two until the release the actual video. But what little I heard about it, iPhone 4 sounds interesting. Maybe it's finally time for me to get one, especially if there's a (UK) data plan for occasional users.

Yvette's Bridal Formal (updated)

How would you expect a site named Yvette's Bridal Formal to look? Not like this, I bet.
Call Jakob Nielsen. No, call Doctor Kevorkian.

Here is her map of how to find her:

I'd like to meet this person and see how she works.


I'm a bit irritated about all this cross-accounting. For example, YouTube cancelled my account for some reason they won't tell, so I had to log in with something else. But when I do, this means I also now logged out of all other Google related sites, like Gmails and Blogger, and I can't post here, and if I make comments, people won't know who I am. So I have to log out and in again with my other account.

I can "solve" it by using different browsers, but it shouldn't be necessary. Why the heck should I be logged out of blogger just because I log out of YouTube?

Update: Jan said:
I absolutely love Google's search engine, but decided to limit my dependency on them for other products. lost her blog and e-mail when Google suddenly locked her account. It made her lose all means of contact with her users! She has since wised up, bought a domain that she controls herself and started a new site, but many people are probably still wondering why her old blog isn't being updated.

Useful link: 


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Safe For Work Porn

Safe For Work Porn, edited video. Funny. Thanks to P-04-Referent. (I've know this guy for years, and I still can't recall what the heck that name means.)

Pondering Friendship Online

Pondering Friendship Online: Focus on Intimacy, an excellent article from Glenn Fleishman about what friendship means, and the problems some social network sites presents by throwing the word around lightly and enforcing a choice.

For some people (I suspect not the least, introverts), "friend" is a very loaded term, and friendship has many degrees and aspects, and to say "yes" or "no" to a direct request for "friendship" is either stressful or just meaningless. And to have 3,000 "friends" on FaceBook or such sites is equally meaningless. 
Because of my Internet presence, I am asked to be a "friend" on FaceBook by readers and admirers, but much of the time I hardly have a clue who the person is. What's the point?

I'm Danish. Scandinavia has a much higher number per capita of Introvert type people than say Italy or USA, and we don't tend to connect as readily, but then perhaps we take it more seriously when we do. (Note, I'm not claiming that Italians or Americans are generally more superficial people.)

For me, Facebook is just meaningless. Admittedly it has connected me with a couple of old friends... and then after a couple of days of busy mailing, it somehow just faded out. There wasn't anymore any impulse to socialize once we no more shared a class or a club.

Glenn links to this seminal article.  In it, David Weinberger says amongst other things:
"... the Friendster sign-up sheet assumes that there's only one me I want to put forward. I should probably have a profile sheet for at least several different me's: the blogger who wants to find other bloggers, the consultant trolling for clients, etc.

The real issue is, I believe, that any profile asks me to make myself explicit. And that can't be done without doing damage to the truth about myself.

But making explicit doesn't just do damage to selves. In general, making explicit does violence to what is being made explicit. (In the modern age, Heidegger gets credit for this idea.) Making things explicit isn't like unearthing an archaeological find that's just been sitting there, waiting to be dug up. Making explicit often — usually — means disambiguating and reducing complexity.

The reason is simple. The things of the world exist as they are only within deep, messy, inarticulate, shifting, continuous, fuzzy contexts. This is certainly true of human relationships, although I believe it's also true of all that we find on the earth, waiting in it, or promised above it. The analog world — the real world — is ambiguous. That's a source of its richness. In making a piece of it explicit, we make it less ambiguous and thus lose some of its value and truth."

That's an important thought. I've always been against direct statements of "love" and "friendship". For one thing, these things surely can be perceived on their own. For another, to state them directly and simply is to oversimplify them and tends to lock them down, doing harm to the natural development of things.

The accompanying article by Adam Engst I have yet to read, but from experience I expect it to be well worth reading also. (Update: it was indeed.)

XKCD (updated)

Another good one from xkcd. Food for thought.

I'm sorry to say this, though, I do wish that the guy could/would draw. Almost any drawing would be more interesting to look at than stick men. OK, I am sure many feel that the super-simplicity is a strength of the comic, or at least irrelevant. But I just like good visuals.
It does make it stand out, though.

Update: it's impressive that he makes a living off this. Good for him.

Fashion models and "Daria"

Why is it that fashion/cat walk models are always so flat, and trained to look so haughty and hostile? Seriously, any theories? It's clearly on purpose from the industry's side since it's universal, but what purpose does it serve? Would it harm fashion sales if the models were attractive?

I'm just watching a brilliant satire on this subject, an episode in the series Daria, which I recommend, it's intelligent, sharp, and  very funny. (By the way, the collection may seem a little expensive, but it is not only good, but huge too, over 26 hours of runtime, it's five seasons/65 episodes, and two movies. A good deal!)
Update: watched a couple more episodes. This is really good sh... stuff!

Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options

Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options, NYT article and diagram. Pretty shocking.

Here is a small bit of it:

Thanks to TidBITS for the link, and also for the link to this highly interesting radio interview (note: that site, NPR, is popup-ad infested. I recommend using the "download" option to listen to the show).
One of the experts on the show mentions that FaceBook is pretty much built up on the basis of spreading information about its users.

Me, I guess I'm naive and trusting, when I heard that FaceBook has a policy that people must use their real names, and that they enforce it, I thought it was for idealistic purposes, to promote honesty and so on. Silly me, I now realize that it is simply so FaceBook's marketing partners can more easily collect information about you and your likings!

A quote from the show: "two thirds of all lawyers use FaceBook as their primary source" [of information about people].

Amazing Spam, part eleven

Overall I quite like Apple's Mail app, but so far I'm not impressed by its spam filter. So far, it seems like at least 80% of its positives are false. And it let this one pass...

Surprise surprise Mr
You know what, I'm in a excellent mood so may I tell you a thing? I am a sales rep. manager target in your city.
As a leader, I'm allowed to send out 5 giifts phone each month as "returns" to loyal consumers.

We just got the brand new Apple iPhone 4G!
Actually, noone has claimed theirs yet for the period (I don't think they actually believe we do this :))
so if you get one before the night shift ends, I'll be happy to ship it to you.
Please confirm yours free request at this url
Conrad Carlozzi,
Consumer consultant director
5238 brookmill court,Pinehurst

Fantastic, n'est pas? How lame. And to have the nerve to say that not only are they first in the world to have Apple's next phone, but they're giving them away!

I don't know what kind of malware it was pushing, because TinyURL was on the ball and have already cancelled the spam address. 

By the way, here's an oddity: after I changed to Apple Mail from Eudora, all the Viagra spam I was usually getting (filtered by SpamSieve and ending up in Eudora's Junk folder) has disappeared! And it's not Mail stopping it, because that app merely labels it, it does not put it in any junk mail folder. I'm happy to be rid of it, but I am just puzzled as to where it went.