01/22/07 12:28 AM: Weekly Link Wrap Up (January 21)
Here's the weekly links wrap-up.
What Would Jeb Do?
The Washington Post looks at what the state of the union would be, had Jeb Bush been president.
A large collection of free brushes for Photoshop.
Move iTunes to another computer and keep library intact
A helpful guide if you need to move your iTunes library.
Bushisms vs. Obamaisms
Compares quotes from the two politicians.
Get out of your cell phone contract
A site for swapping or selling your cell phone contract.
The Pale Blue Dot
View of Earth taken from the Voyager spacecraft.
Authorize your iTunes library on more than 5 computers
Get around a bothersome "feature" in iTunes.
Once More Into the Security Breach
A woman boards an empty plane to retrieve her purse, sets off an alarm, and no one seems to care.
01/18/07 03:23 PM: Why I Switched to Ma.gnolia
I’m fairly new to the whole social bookmarking phenomenon. This past summer, I signed up for del.icio.us and started using it with some frequency. I was never a person who kept their browser bookmarks very organized, and the tagging features of del.icio.us seemed pretty nifty.
If you’re not familiar, social bookmarking sites allow you to save your bookmarks online, and “tag” them for easy sorting and categorization. Then you can see what other people have bookmarked, what the popular tags are, and so on and so forth.
del.icio.us is owned by Yahoo!, but as with Flickr, Yahoo! had the good sense not to alter the service once it was acquired. I’m not a huge fan of the del.icio.us layout, and it seemed some functionality was lacking. I wanted to integrate my bookmarks (given a certain tag) into my Textpattern blog, for example.
Now, I know, I’m sure all of this could have been done with enough hacking around with plugins. In fact, anything that works for Ma.gnolia should work for del.icio.us since they share the same API. Well, let me get to the point.
I discovered Ma.gnolia while browsing alternatives to del.icio.us. I immediately preferred the design, it struck me as cleaner and easier to use. del.icio.us always seemed a bit cluttered. I also found a plugin which made it easy for me to import certain entries to the linkroll on the blog. That was what won me over, but I began to enjoy everything else about the site.
It just seems more thought-out, more elegant. I haven’t delved into the contacts/groups aspects of the site yet, but that seems very fleshed out and substantial. If you’re on Ma.gnolia, let me know!
To be sure, there’s nothing specifically wrong about del.icio.us, it’s just Ma.gnolia beat it out. The Ma.gnolia Dashboard widget for OS X is also pretty nifty, and would alleviate the need for a bookmarklet.
I suggest you check out Ma.gnolia for yourself and see if it fits your needs for bookmarking.
01/14/07 11:55 PM: This Week's Links: iPhone, Chewbacca, 767 Accidents
Here’s a new feature, a wrap-up of all the links that have appeared on the “linkroll” this week.
Best 50 hacks for your Life
A wrap-up of 50 ways to improve your daily life.
A blog written by an Iraqi living in Iraq. Heartbreaking, truly.
Fast Order Classic
Story about the classic Waffle Shop diner in D.C., and how it may soon be history.
Safeguard Your Privacy in 2007
Tips for protecting your privacy in an increasingly privacy-unfriendly world.
We Will Rock You – EBN
A classic video. Just go watch.
The Chewbacca Offensive
A look at the futility of Bush’s new Iraq policy.
Nuclear Power Plant or Retirement Community
From McSweeney’s Lists.
The Apple iPhone unveiled
Will it change everything? Or is it a big letdown?
The Gimli Glider Incident
A 767 Airliner runs out of fuel at 42,000 feet. What happens when a jumbo jet becomes a glider.
Finally, Wireless Power?
Will 2007 be the year that we can shed our power cords?
A Mysterious Number – 6174
Some interesting number theory musings.
11/02/06 11:32 AM: Morning Update
Those creepy Congresscritters
Leading off this morning is a clip of disgraced former-Congressman Mark Foley in the 2003 low budget action film Strike Force (The Librarians). And yes, this is for real.
I like my Tivo
A few months ago I got an actual Tivo. Previously I had tried Comcast’s Motorola HD DVRs, and I have to say they were awful. Half the time the scheduled shows would either 1) not record or 2) record corrupted. Lame. I decided paying $100 a month for television was completely ridiculous and now have a Series2 Tivo with basic cable. And that’s fine. It’s a better user experience than the Comcast DVR with HD.
Anyways, all of this is just a way for me to talk about two television shows, Jericho and Lost. Let’s tackle the island show first, and I’ll point you to an an interesting article in Entertainment Weekly. (Whoa, did I just type “an interesting article in Entertainment Weekly?” That won’t happen often). The third season of Lost has been kind of a letdown for me, I think it’s mostly viewer fatigue—I’ve reached the point where I don’t really care that much about the characters.
My favorite new show of 2006, though, is Jericho. It’s a post-apocalyptic drama set in a small Kansas town. The townspeople have very little information about what caused an attack on most major U.S. cities—though it has been implied it may have been the work of terrorists. In any case, the show tackles the grim reality of a town cut-off from everything… but also stays light-hearted enough (love stories, family drama, etc) that it appeals to more than just die-hard end-of-the-world genre fans.
Some other nonsense
10/03/06 12:06 PM: From McSweeney's Lists
I’m a font nerd, what can I say.
By MICHAEL MEILAN
Lincoln Sans Hat
Nelson Mandela Black
Ulysses S. Gothic
Boutros Boutros Wingdings
Thatcher Old Style
09/30/06 01:41 AM: The $20 Theory of the Universe
What can you get with a twenty dollar bill? It seems that you can live quite large. Grease a few palms with $20s and a lot of doors are opened.
Here’s the intro, and I recommend checking out the whole article. It’s a fun read.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE LANGUAGE OF MONEY, credit cards are nouns. Dull, concrete, limited by rules and
restrictions and creepy fine print, credit cards have all the élan of aluminum foil. Personal checks—the coward’s stand-
in for cash—are ugly and static pronouns. But a twenty-dollar bill, now, that’s a thing of beauty. Nothing static about a
twenty. Used correctly, a twenty is all about movement, access, cachet. Forget the other bills. The single won’t get you
much more than a stiff nod and, these days, the fin is de reigueur. A tenner is a nice thought, but it’s also a message
that you’re a Wall-Mart shopper, too cheap for the real deal. A twenty, placed in the right hand at the right moment,
makes things happen. It gets you past the rope, beyond the door, into the secret files. The twenty hastens and
chastens, beckons and tugs. The twenty, you see, is a verb. It’s all about action.
09/30/06 01:36 AM: Space station transit of the sun
Images such as this remind me that I want to get a filter and set up my tripod and digital camera. I have a 500mm lens, and I could probably get some interesting images of the sun (maybe sunspots?).
In any case, check out this link, it’s a photo of the International Space Station and the space shuttle transiting the sun. I’ve seen photos of the transit of venus and the transit of mercury. A transit is when an object passes between the Earth and the Sun (think of an eclipse).
Here is a direct link to a large version of the image. Pretty slick.
06/13/06 10:40 AM: Guide to Packing
the main point is right on though, that packing for a few days versus packing for a week versus a month isn’t all that different. since it’s a “trip” and not a “move” you are not going to bring your entire wardrobe with you. so, pick and choose wisely and honestly who really cares if you wear the same two shirts for a week? (of course you will want to wash them).
reading packing tips reminds me how badly i want to go on a vacation. i have four days off for independence day… i’d like to take a train trip up to new england. we’ll see, i doubt it’s going to happen. but amtrak is pretty cheap… $66 each way to new haven.
02/15/06 05:52 AM: Interesting Air-Hotel
So check this out:
It’s the flying hotel of the future. Yeah, here at WWU we are also betting it’s never going to be built, and it looks rather ridiculous. But all of that aside, it’s kind of interesting to consider an air-hotel/air-cruise ship that could travel the world at a whopping 176 mph at 8,000 feet. Yeah, I think already tried something like this before.
From the article:
This two-football-fields-long concept airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects to have one completed by 2010. Pasternak says several cruise ship companies have expressed interest in the project, and for good reason: The craft would have a range of several thousand miles and, with an estimated top speed of 174 mph, could traverse the continental U.S. in about 18 hours. During the flight, passengers would peer at national landmarks just 8,000 feet below or, if they weren’t captivated by the view, the cavernous interior would easily accommodate such amenities as luxury staterooms, restaurants, even a casino.
Sweet. So what we’ll have is a bunch of these hovering just outside of U.S. airspace with their airborne casinos.
Personally, I’m more of a fan of the Airbus A380. Well, I’m not a huge fan of Airbus in general (Boeing will always have a place in my American heart), but the A380 is pretty damn awesome.
02/09/06 04:27 AM: Wireless iPods?
OK, so I’m hoping that continuously updating WWU will bring back a following, and maybe we’ll see Chris reappear from wherever it is he has gone. For now, I’ll just assume he is “busy” with “school.”
A few important notes. First off, for those who don’t follow college basketball, Georgetown’s team is doing well. Like, really well. As in, they’ve won the last half-dozen games, and gone from unranked to in the top 20. A pretty amazing feat if I do say so myself… but all of this must have occured after they realized I will be graduating this year and would like to see the team get into the NCAA tournament before I leave. Thanks guys, and keep up the good work.
Secondly, this is pretty cool. If you click on that, you’ll get an article about how we may be seeing Bluetooth and Wifi on upcoming versions of the iPod. Wireless Bluetooth headphones would be pretty awesome, as I always end up getting headphone cables all tangled up. On the other hand, I’m still using a first generation iPod from what, 2001? 2002? Each time rumors leak out about how the next version of the iPod is going to be so much better, it makes me stop considering getting a new one and waiting. I don’t want to be the chump who drops over $200 on an iPod only to have one come out the next week for $149 that has twice as many features.
Lastly, take a look at my column on baseball in D.C. I had to rewrite it three times because the D.C. Council couldn’t make up their minds. I like the title, “It takes a city.”