MTV is the future Republican’s channel

The transition is complete.

I remember when MTV started. It was an little sort of DIY channel with cheap sets and a sense of promise. I think while everyone understood that they were a corporation with profit as a motive, we all enjoyed it when they would play punk and alternative videos. MTV actually was the conduit for a lot of teenage rebellion during the Reagan/Bush 80s and 90s. At least a few people felt some credit for Bill Clinton’s win should go to MTV.

Yeah, that has all changed. With shows like Laguna Beach, Sweet Sixteen, Road Rules and The Real World; MTV is now promoting consumerism and a sickening shallowness of character. The personalities that this channel chooses to promote are the saddest people I have ever seen. Do-It-Yourself has been replaced with Have-Your-Parents-Pay-To-Have-Someone-Do-It-For-You. MTV has gone from the channel that parents didn’t want their kids to watch because they were worried that they would start wearing funny clothes and listen to devil music to the channel that parents don’t want to have their kids watch because they don’t want to be continuously hassled for expensive parties, clothes and cars.

Maybe they are just going with the flow and this is what kids are like now. I don’t think so. MTV used to be the channel that was exposing urban youth culture out there to the burbs. Now it seems to be just showing the burbs to themselves.

If this is how far MTV has fallen, it might just be time to take it out back and put a bullet through its head and let the kids find something less lame to do with their time.

The End of LinkedIn

It has begun

I got my first bogus invitation from LinkedIn the other day. The person wanting to make a business connection had an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton in 1997, but only had a two year internship at Real Networks and was now a major manager at Microsoft. I had a friend check the Microsoft address book. This person wasn’t in it. Yet somehow this person had amassed hundreds of links. I contacted LinkedIn to find out what to do and was basically patted on the head and told to mail some generic e-mail address related to Privacy. They obviously didn’t care.

LinkedIn has a few major flaws. The major one has to do with it’s main concept. It wants to be a source of trusted business contacts by brokering your network. You are only supposed to connect with people you know (and can vouch for) and they you can contact new people through your trusted contacts. To ensure this, LinkedIn requires you to know the e-mail address of someone you want to add to your network. This is good, and bad. It makes it difficult to add people to your network whom you’ve lost contact with (like former co-workers). LinkedIn solves this by letting you invite people who worked for companies that you’ve worked for without knowing their e-mail address. This has been good for me as I’ve re-connected with co-workers I worked with years and years ago. The problem is that there is no way for LinkedIn to verify your information, you contacts are supposed to be that. So anyone can say they’ve worked for Microsoft and instantly invite everyone on LinkedIn who have every worked there to join their network. Now, theoretically, you aren’t supposed to add anyone to your network that you don’t actually know. The problem is that having a small network goes against your better interests. You want to have a big network of contacts, not a small one. Also, people are starting to treat LinkedIn like other social networking site, trying to see who could have the most contacts.

I’m getting regular invitations from people I don’t know these days and I’ve stopped adding them now that I realized that people are just faking their virtual resumes. The problem is that at first I did add one or two people to my network who I might have known, but wasn’t sure. Here is another LinkedIn flaw. There is no way to remove people from your network.

Now that people are taking advantage of LinkedIn’s flaws and they seem uninterested in doing anything about it, I think that you will quickly see LinkedIn go the way of Friendster, Orkut, etc…

Tim Russert is Karl Rove’s lapdog

Aaron Broussard put him in his place but good

On Meet the Press on 9/25, Tim Russert brought Jefferson Parrish President Aaron Broussard on once again.

Broussard had been on Meet The Press right after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana to discuss the response. On that program he had told a tearful story about how one of the people he worked with had lost his mother in a nursing home because he could not get to her. He blasted the federal authorities for having press conferences but not doing anything.

I guess Rove decided to take this guy down because the right wing bloggers have been attacking him for not blaming local authorities enough. They also decided to dissect Broussard’s story to try to find fault with the facts.

So, Russert brings Broussard back, not to find out how recovery is going, but to have him answer the bloggers. Russert is a piece of trash for this. He’s made himself into a administration footsoldier in the name of good TV. Leave that crap to Rush and get someone more interested in actual news running that show.

The best part was when Broussard destroyed the bloggers and Russert with his impassioned and excellent response.

Russert get over to Fox News where you belong if you just want to echo the administration’s talking points.

Aaron Broussard, get yourself to congress, you have a brain and a heart.

The Northwest Chamber Orchestra Opening Gala!

a review

I just returned from seeing the Northwest Chamber Orchestra’s performance of William Bolcom’s Concerto Serenade for Violin and Strings, John Adams’ Shaker Loops and Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 2.

First of all, this was a wonderful performance. While the NCO isn’t a premiere ensemble, they interpreted the pieces quite well.

The Bolcom piece was a bit disappointing to me, this was the first time I heard it and it didn’t seem up to the level of some of his other work. The ensemble did a good job with it and the soloist Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi did her able best to enhance the piece with her performance and stage presence.

To say that I have not been a fan of John Adams is an understatement. My first exposure to his work was at the World Premiere of Death of Klinghoffer at the San Francisco Opera. To say that I disliked it would also be an understatement. I hated it. Everything about it. It sucked and I’ve avoided anything with his name on it since. I’m willing to admit now that I’ve misjudged him, at least his non-operatic work. Shaker Loops is an excellent piece. Stunning. It was just a bit beyond the NCO’s comfort level which was unfortunate. Given the right ensemble, I think this piece could be transcendent. I’m going to seek out some of Adams’ non-operatic work now and re-evaluate him.

When it comes to Philip Glass, I am a devote. A fan. I really like his stuff and have for at least the last 20 years when I first found a copy of Einstein on the Beach at my local library. I have been a bit disappointed with his recent work because it seems that he has been adapting existing pieces for new ensembles and giving the pieces new names. This seems the height of laziness and is a bit of a disappointment. When the concerto began, I feared that this was going to be the case again. As the piece progressed, however, it strayed more and more from Glass’ old territory and into some new themes and ideas. Once the second movement (featuring R. Carlos Nakai) began, it really moved into new areas. Unfortunately, Mr. Nakai’s flute sounded way out of tune with the rest of the orchestra and was somewhat jarring. At the end of the movement, the flute and piano (performed excellently by Paul Barnes) performed a duet which was beautiful. The third movement was great and really saved the piece as a whole.

The rest of the season finds the NCO re-hashing the well-worn composers which guarantee ticket sales, but do little to move classical music forward. They are taking some interesting chances on their programs using the Garfied High School orchestra for their next concert and world premiering a new piece by C. Curtis Smith in April, but I’d hope to see them take more risks like today’s program in future seasons.

A good IDE

is worth its weight in gold…

Now, this should be obvious, but it isn’t until the day you are forced to use a crappy IDE. When it comes to software development, I’m from the old school. Not the old, old school of punch cards and dip switches, but the newer old school with command line building and debugging through printfs. I’ve realized that I have become soft in my advancing years.

I’ve spent most of the last 11 years of my career doing my development in Visual Studio (and its earlier versions). Now, I’m fairly platform agnostic as a rule. During that time, I’ve also written software for Linux in Java and the Macintosh as well. Eclipse and VisualAge were decent enough IDEs that I didn’t feel hampered. However, the leading IDE on the mac until recently was CodeWarrior. CodeWarrior has an long history. It’s been around for a long time and you would think that as development environments go, it should be one of the best considering it became the main development tool for Mac OS development. I have no idea why though. It sucks. I mean, it really sucks. At first I thought it was just the shock of the new. I was just having to adjust to a new environment, but no, I’ve been using it for 18 months now and I still hate it.

Luckily (or unluckily) Apple is basically forcing all those who want to write software for OS X to switch to XCode. I’ve only just started using it, so my observations are premature. In general, it seems quite good and well designed. It does have some significant quirks and weirdness though. Apple seems really interested in making it better, so here is hoping…

Representative George Miller, Democrat of California

You sir are awesome
From TPM Cafe

The President suspended wage standards for workers on the Gulf Coast before he declared a national emergency. That means he was so focused on cutting the wages of people who’d be returning to the Gulf Coast to rebuild their lives and their communities that, in order to hasten the suspension, he failed to follow the law. And at the same time the White House was cutting workers’ wages, it was busy awarding no-bid contracts. The President has proven once again that he’s more interested in governing for the few than in governing for all of us.

The President’s pay cut affects tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Americans who desperately need a decent income to rebuild their lives. People working construction jobs in the Gulf Coast might only have earned $7 or $8 in the first place; now, the only protection left for them is the federal minimum wage, which is a disgraceful $5.15 an hour because Republicans repeatedly refuse to increase it.

What the President has done is immoral.

Sep 16, 2005 — 08:06:51 PM EST

what the hell happened to Orkut?

It has become the best Portuguese language social networking service on the internet.

As someone who used to work on virtual worlds software, I’ve followed the internet communities sites with some interest. It has been interesting to see each new one emerge become the leader and then recede as another site takes it place. There was friendster then orkut now myspace. I just visited orkut again for the first time in many months to see many of the communities abandoned, without a post in the last 6 or 8 months. The only recent posts seem to be in Portuguese. Even in the Seattle group, there are events for Sao Paulo listed! The Brazilians have overrun every forum and group and claimed it as their own. I wonder if Google is planning to do anything about it, because otherwise, it is certain that Orkut will continue to decline until it isn’t worth the support costs.

Old School DVD burning

Nothing like burning bad after bad disc when the discs are pricey

Switching to burning DVD+R DLs for backup has brought me back to the old days when CD-Rs cost $8 and it could take a couple duds to get a good one.

I’ve been using the Lacie Dual Layer DVD burner with Toast 6 Titanium OS X 10.3.9 and Memorex DVD+R DL discs and an external firewire drive. I had pretty good success at first, but now I’ve just burned 4 duds in a row (two getting errors during writing the lead-out and two hanging the writing right in the middle).

It is amazing how cavalier I’d gotten about burning DVDs, having a 99% success rate had just become the usual. Compound this with the fact that DVD-Rs are now down to under a dollar each in bulk while Dual Layer discs are still up around $4 each.

I’m not sure if this is a firewire issue, a media issue or a software issue. Just like the good ol’ days.