When
· 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 <a href='http://www.google.com/search?q=rnc+action'>outside the building</a>, and reading the latest on war videography from a <a href='http://www.platform01.nl/barbara/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1093541433&archive=&start_from=&ucat=&'>moonlighting Salam Pax</a>. 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 <b>Your Pictures And Movies... On The Web Now!</b> 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 <a href='http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/bmc/20040828#the_economics_of_software'>The Economics of Software</a>. 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 <cite>Music for strings</cite>, featuring the <a href='http://www.coeurope.org/'>Chamber Orchestra of Europe</a> under three different conductors. Some of the music works a little better than others: Tippet’s <cite>Fantasia concertante</cite> is a bit of a yawner, but the two chunks of Purcell, arranged by Britten and Stokowski, are both magic, as is Vaughan Williams’ <cite>Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis</cite> and the William Walton pieces from the <cite>Henry V</cite> movie soundtrack. Rather English in theme, you observe? Well, there’s a non-Englishman, Arvo Pärt—represented by <cite>Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten</cite>—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 <a href='http://www.georgewbush.com/Bios/GeorgeWBush.aspx'>the bio page</a> at the official Bush re-election site, and clicked on “View George W. Bush Photo Gallery”... busted link, a peek inside the source reveals <code>href="\News\PhotoAlbum.aspx"</code>... 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 <a href='http://images.google.com/images?q=george+bush'>pictures of George Bush</a>. 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 <a href='http://www.exego.net/notes/eitan/user/George%20Bush%201.JPG'>gotta be PhotoShopped</a>. “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 <a href='http://www.laurenwood.org/anyway/index.php/archives/2004/08/27/virtual-cubicles/'>nails it</a>; this is one of the technology-culture stories that has already arrived en masse before people start noticing it. When I’m working in <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2004/04/14/MineIsBigger'>three-million-pixel mode</a>, 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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