· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · August
· · · · 28 (5 entries)

Post It! · Sit­ting up late, chat­ting with Sifry about his DNC sto­ries and con­ven­tions and how to cov­er them and won­der­ing if the re­al RNC sto­ry might be out­side the build­ing, and read­ing the lat­est on war videog­ra­phy from a moon­light­ing Salam Pax. My per­son­al bet is that New York will be noisy but non­vi­o­len­t, both the demon­stra­tors and the cops have too much to lose by be­ing scary on TV. Stil­l, I bet there’s some first-rate the­ater in the street­s. So, here’s an idea. Go to Man­hat­tan. Get your­self a high-end Pow­erBook lap­top with a bunch of bat­ter­ies and a FireWire and USB ports and enough WiFi ser­vice provider ac­counts that you’re al­ways on­line... then, print up a sand­wich board that says Your Pic­tures And Movies... On The Web Now! and walk around, and then, if some­thing hap­pen­s, it won’t be film at eleven, it’ll be right now.
The FYO Point · Today’s must-read: Bryan Cantrill’s huge (in im­port, it’s not that long, and it’s il­lus­trat­ed) piece The Eco­nomics of Soft­ware. Sam­ple quote: “Open source soft­ware has all of the prop­er­ties of a loss-leader — mi­nus the loss, of course.”
Lachrymae · I’ve been lucky in my mu­sic shop­ping in re­cent months and end­ed up with a stack of ex­cel­lent record­ings I’ve been mean­ing to write up. Let’s start with this one (Warn­er Clas­sics 2564 60190-2) sub­ti­tled Mu­sic for strings, fea­tur­ing the Cham­ber Orches­tra of Europe un­der three dif­fer­ent con­duc­tors. Some of the mu­sic works a lit­tle bet­ter than oth­er­s: Tippet’s Fan­ta­sia con­cer­tante is a bit of a yawn­er, but the two chunks of Pur­cel­l, ar­ranged by Brit­ten and Stokowski, are both mag­ic, as is Vaugh­an Williams’ Fan­ta­sia on a theme by Thomas Tal­lis and the Wil­liam Wal­ton pieces from the Hen­ry V movie sound­track. Rather English in the­me, you ob­serve? Wel­l, there’s a non-Englishman, Ar­vo Pärt—represented by Can­tus in Me­mo­ri­am Ben­jamin Brit­ten—well, OK, it’s re­al­ly English. The mu­sic is good, and the sound, well the sound is mag­i­cal; record­ed live (and min­i­mal­ly I’d guess) in a Lon­don church, it flows out of the speak­ers like silken tsunami, even the less thrilling num­bers ca­ress the ears.
Dubya Photo Funnies · What hap­pened was, Lau­ren was away dur­ing the Demo­crat­ic Con­ven­tion, and as a pol­i­tics junkie, I want­ed to watch some of it, so the kid (just turned five) end­ed up watch­ing a cou­ple of the big speech­es with me. (All on we­b­cast, our TV is a movie box, doesn’t get any chan­nel­s). He’s full of ques­tions so I tried to ex­plain, and as a re­sult the can­di­date is the on­ly pub­lic fig­ure in the world whose face he knows, when we’re some­where that there’s a TV show­ing news he’s apt to pipe up “There’s John Kerry.” This is a lit­tle em­bar­rass­ing, es­pe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing he’s a Cana­di­an. This morn­ing I was read­ing news and made some re­mark about Ge­orge Bush and he asked “who’s he?” so I tried to ex­plain the big pic­ture around the elec­tion and I went look­ing for some Dubya pix to show him. So I went to the bio page at the of­fi­cial Bush re-election site, and clicked on “View Ge­orge W. Bush Pho­to Gallery”... bust­ed link, a peek in­side the source re­veals href="\News\PhotoAlbum.aspx"... if I were mean-spirited I’d sug­gest that some­thing about ei­ther be­ing Repub­li­can or us­ing Win­dows makes you stupid, but se­ri­ous­ly, have to won­der about an or­ga­ni­za­tion that claims it can run Amer­i­ca not be­ing clue­ful enough to use a link-checker. Back to our sto­ry... I went to Google and looked for pic­tures of Ge­orge Bush. This turns out to be a bad idea; the top-ranked pic­tures are by and large, shall we say, not Republican-friendly. Want­ed poster­s, deranged-monster morphs, things that have just got­ta be Pho­toShopped. “Why are you laugh­ing, Daddy?” said the kid, and I couldn’t re­al­ly ex­plain. (PS: Lots of nice pic­tures of Ge­orge over at the White House site if you want ’em).
Cybercubes · Lau­ren nails it; this is one of the technology-culture sto­ries that has al­ready ar­rived en masse be­fore peo­ple start notic­ing it. When I’m work­ing in three-million-pixel mode, I ac­tu­al­ly work on the big out­board screen, and the 1280x854 Pow­erBook screen in­evitably grad­u­al­ly fills up with iChat win­dows. There are a cer­tain num­ber of peo­ple with whom I usu­al­ly have a chat go­ing most of the time, ev­ery day; the equiv­a­lent of ad­ja­cent cu­bi­cles, I guess. (Ex­cept for, un­like re­al cubes, you can ig­nore peo­ple with­out be­ing rude.) The fact that some of them are many time-zones away is ir­rel­e­van­t. And un­like a re­al cube far­m, Lau­ren is in one of the ad­ja­cent cy­ber­cubes, which is nice too.
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