Goodbye Weathered Wall/I-Spy/etc…

Weathered Wall

Although it has been vacant a while, I’d always hoped that this site would eventually feature another club. It was a fun place to play even with it’s weird entrance. I miss it. What is going to replace it? Another condo building of course. Whoop-de-do. Guess the only place to remember Seattle is in Almost Live Reruns, like:

the bio

I’m really bad at writing my bio. This doesn’t come up often enough that I have a canned text, but it does come up more often these days. I tend to write my biography to suit the occasion, but I was checking out my friend Kevin’s website and I really liked what he did with his bio.

It’s a bit tough, I’m too mid-western to want to toot my own horn, but too much of an ego-maniac to not think that people don’t care.

I thought that this site had some good suggestions. I’d like more if anyone has them.

found a weird OS X 10.5.3 bug

sometimes when my MBP turns off the monitor for power save, when it re-activates, the screen is black. I get the password dialog, but then the screen is black. If I hit the power button, I get the dialog for sleep/restart/cancel, but if cancel, the screen is black. Weirdest of all, if I hit fn-F8 I get the display of all my spaces, but when I choose one, the screen is black. This is obviously a software thing, something is drawing that black box, but if I do the force quit, I quit the active app and not the screen power saver. Each time this happens, I have to power-cycle the machine. Really annoying.

What do 90,000 Microsoft Employees do all day?

I saw this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about how Microsoft added another 11,200 employees this year and I was a bit dumbfounded. What are all those people doing? How could Microsoft expect to maintain quality hiring standards continuing to grow at that rate? Why on earth would someone want to join a company that was so large that you were guaranteed that your best hope would be to rise to middle-management. Companies with 90,000 employees don’t attract aggressive and creative folk who want to make a difference. They attract people who want a steady paycheck and job security, the risk-adverse. The risk-adverse don’t make good products, or push boundaries. They follow trends, they don’t create them (at least not on company time).

on a side note:

That article lead me to MSFTextrememakeover which had this awesome mega-post about everything that is wrong with Microsoft since 2000. Unfortunately, it was the last post

So it’s time for me to listen to the fat lady who has been singing for years now, and finally pull the plug. I can’t keep waiting another 11 years for MSFT’s leadership to deliver the returns that say AAPL’s have in just the past 12 months, despite struggling (and that’s on top of 2000+% this decade). I’m also increasingly concerned that under this leadership team the long-term flatline will eventually be resolved to the downside versus the up, with all the implications for additional shareholder value destruction that implies.

I’ll miss the insights from you MSFTem!

Boulangerie Nantaise

I’ve had their pastries several times over the years. They are decent. Not worth going out of your way for, but perfectly reasonable if you are peckish as you pass by. Today, I was there near lunch time, so I decided to try one of their sandwiches. Big mistake. I got two thin slices of ham and some old chese along with a single slice of lettuce and little bits of leftover tomatoes. The crust of the bread was so tough that eating it made my jaw sore. The primary taste of the sandwich was the bread and the cornichones which was the only thing they weren’t stingy with. For $7. Next time, I’ll walk the three blocks to Macrina instead of wasting my money there.

Boulangerie Nantaise on Urbanspoon

Bush administration gives carte blanche to destroying 10% of arctic polar bear population

Companies get OK to annoy polar bears (AP)
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004477335_appolarbearsoil.html

Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species because of global warming, the Bush administration is giving oil companies permission to annoy and potentially harm them in the pursuit of oil and natural gas.

The Fish and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing legal protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and gas in the Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska if “small numbers” of polar bears or Pacific walruses are incidentally harmed by their activities over the next five years.

Environmentalists said the new regulations give oil companies a blank check to harass the polar bear.

About 2,000 of the 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic live in and around the Chukchi Sea, where the government in February auctioned off oil leases to ConocoPhillips Co., Shell Oil Co. and five other companies for $2.6 billion. Over objections from environmentalists and members of Congress, the sale occurred before the bear was classified as threatened in May.

Polar bears are naturally curious creatures and sensitive to changes in their environment. Vibrations, noises, unusual scents and the presence of industrial equipment can disrupt their quest for prey and their efforts to raise their young in snow dens.

This is ridiculous, I can’t believe the gall. In the closing days of a hated administration, rather than try to reclaim some goodwill, they get progressively more evil. I guess they hoped that no one would notice.

Frank Rich hits it on the head

Wow, this op-ed from Frank Rich really summed up this point in the race for me and crystallized some vague thoughts around the race. Definitely worth a read

Op-Ed Columnist – Frank Rich – One Historic Night, Two Americas – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com

WHEN Barack Obama achieved his historic victory on Tuesday night, the battle was joined between two Americas. Not John Edwards’s two Americas, divided between rich and poor. Not the Americas split by race, gender, party or ideology. What looms instead is an epic showdown between two wildly different visions of the country, from the ground up.

Is this a good or bad thing?

I was washing my hands just now and something struck me.

How does a submarine achieve negative buoyancy by flooding tanks with water when it is still filled with oxygen?

If this had struck me 20 years ago, I would have probably tried to reason it out. Given how little I know about submarines, I may have come up with an elaborate, creative, and definitely incorrect solution. This would have tided me over until I went down to the basement to look it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica or went to the library to get a book on submarines. My answer may have even satisfied me completely.

Today, I go to google, and I type “submarine buoyancy”, the first article is “How Submarines Work” on howstuffworks.com, and I’m done. My intellectual curiosity is satisfied. Maybe I’ll read more about submarines, maybe I won’t. I definitely won’t spend too much time trying to figure it out myself when the answer is so close to hand.

Am I richer or poorer for the instant access to all knowledge? I don’t know, at least in this case.

What I want from data portability

I want to rate my books, music and DVDs once on netflix, Amazon, Facebook visual bookshelf, iTunes and I want the data shared across all of them.

However, I want complete control over how each of them uses every bit of that data and I want to approve who gets to see it, even among my friends. I don’t want to have to give any service my login for any other service in order to share that data.

I want to eliminate all my current log ins for each service so that I can use the OpenID service I created for myself.

However, I don’t necessarily want anyone to be able to track me around the net using that single sign-on.

I only want to map my social graph once, and I want it to be available for any service that I use.

However, I want to control who in my social graph has access to what information on each website that I use.

Until the privacy aspects of the different data portability are really well thought out, I can’t support any of them. I haven’t seen a single proposal yet that adequately balances utility with privacy. I honestly don’t know if there would a proposal that would offer users decent privacy since that would come at the expense of companies’ ability to market to them.