· The World
· · Puzzling Evidence
· It’s not obvious why the attachment of baskets to bicycles should be gender-related, but in fact one observes that 100% of the bicycles with baskets on the front handlebars are ridden by women. In fact I find the effect feminine and charming, but I suspect that’s because of the riders. [12 comments]
· It was late, everyone else long asleep. I was walking between the dining table and the kitchen counter (not a very wide space) when, from the counter-top, I heard a soft little discrete clinking sound, some electronic device wanting attention. It would not be surprising for such a thing to be found on our kitchen counter, but I didn’t recognize the sound. It would be a little more surprising, but not very, if the device on the counter were unknown to me. So I turned back and around where I could see the counter, which was only moderately cluttered, and spotted no electronics at all aside from a couple of battery chargers. They multiply like bunny rabbits when you’re not looking, producing slightly variant hybrids that don’t work with whatever needs charging next; then the original wanders away. But I digress. I was puzzled but decided to let it pass, and returned to my original errand. Soft discrete clink. I looked again: cookie jar, bottle of wine, butter, chargers, extension cord draped over the back of the counter, toaster. Well, whatever. Turn around, step, clink. Wait a second, there’s a pattern. I was brushing the cord and its end was swinging against the wine bottle. It sounded amazingly like a friendly alert envisioned and sculptured by a spiky-haired User Experience engineer in Shibuya. Real imitating fake, there you go. [4 comments]
· Sometimes it seems that’s all that’s out there, and out the other day, strolling the Drive, we discovered that it may even have a business model ...
· I guess there’s no harm in an occasional links+commentary dump; after all, everybody does it. Item: Bits at the Edge is the blog of Motorola CTO Padmasree Warrior. The entries are too long and dip into marketing-speak, but there’s good writing and original thought in there too and I’ve subscribed. How could anyone in computing not need to know what Motorola’s CTO is thinking? Item: Via Joe Gregorio, PDF slideware on The EBay Architecture. This ought to be required reading for everyone in this business whose title contains the words “Web” or “Architect”. I wonder if this sort of wisdom is being taught in universities? Item: Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) Specifications has crossed my radar a few times recently. If you really believe in loose coupling and asynchronous messaging (as we all claim to), then you believe in something like this. Item: How to find out which font has which characters; something I’ve never known how to do on OS X. Item: Ugandans grab ‘pig-for-name’ deal; it’s hard not to have complicated feelings about this one. [3 comments]
· I’m not kidding. This is the End, maybe, of Civilization As We Know It. I’m thinking now would be a good time for the Borg to come along and assimilate us all. I’m talking about Yahoo’s new The 9. Surely the Internet must have an “Off” switch somewhere?
North Korean Art
· There are a few feeds I subscribe to that I almost never read; they’re just there for when I’m stuck on a boring con call or I’m really tired late at night. One of them is North Korea Zone; I have a sick fascination with North Korea, the fact such a place can still exist in the 21st Century is mind-boggling. Anyhow, late last night I ran across some online North Korean Art, which I entirely lack words to describe. To get warmed up, check out these Film Posters. Then there are shots of Kim Il-Sung with children and burning books and documents. Finally, I’m not sure why this one of Kim Jeong-Sook (whom I assume is the same person as Kim Jong-Suk) appealed to me, but it did. [Update: Some of the captions, translated, worth reading.] ...
Surprising the Eye
· What happened was, I was speaking at a conference, sharing the stage with the Chairman of the SEC (by video) and (in the flesh) the SEC’s CIO and the FDIC’s Deputy CIO. No pointers because it deserves serious coverage. For the occasion, I (obviously) wore my best custom-made Italian suit (grey) and an understated-but-strong tie (mostly blue), along with my dapper new Bailey’s fedora. Then I took off for two heavy-geek meetings at Sun campuses and a visit to Technorati. When I pulled into the Sun parking lot, I thought about pulling the tie off and the jeans on but decided it would do ’em good to see a geek in a suit, and I have to say I got as many blank-faced WTF-is-this looks as anyone could want. But then, at the end of all my meetings, while I was trudging down a SoMa street to my alarmingly-huge Avis van ($20 in gas for a day going up & down Route 101; dear America, something’s wrong), I saw something really alarming ...
The Dark Side of RSS
· Reproduced verbatim, as received from a plausible-looking mac.com address: HI THIS IS KAYE SHAW. I DONT THINK SO MY HUSBAND BOB USE 'RSS FEEDS"!!!!! PLEASE HIS REMOVED CLEAN UP!!!!!!! WE HAVE OWN BUSINESS!!!! THANK YOU, MRS. KAYE SHAW
Pirate Source Code
· Perhaps I’m insufficiently in tune with the zeitgest, but those more hip apparently know that the nineteenth is “Talk Like a Pirate Day”—perhaps best experienced chez Simon Willison where you can furrow your brow over gems such as T'float call be in there because Python disregaards t'remainder in straight integer di'ision; by castin' one of t'arguments to a float floatin' point di'ision be used instead. But probably not after today.
The Cubs, Cicadas, and Coolidge
· Real life is way weirder than anything you could make up. Thanks to the wonders of modern syndication technology, the weird these days comes conveniently packaged and sequenced. Reproduced here for you mostly without comment ...
By Tim Bray.
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