· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · December
· · · · 19 (4 entries)

Canon i9900 · We’ve spent quite a few bucks this last cou­ple of years with one photo-finisher or an­oth­er, and re­cent­ly Lauren’s been cook­ing up busi­ness ideas around pho­tog­ra­phy. So she went out and got a Canon i9900 and I got my hands on it first; wow! It’ll prob­a­bly end up plugged in­to one of the fixed ma­chines but we didn’t have the right ca­ble, so I FireWired it in­to my Mac (gr­r, had to re­boot to in­stall the driver) and ran one or two of my fa­vorite prints at 300d­pi and well, my good­ness gra­cious, they look just like what comes back from the on­line print ser­vice, on­ly bet­ter. I’m sure that a fine pro­fes­sion­al photo-finisher who puts their soul in­to their work can do bet­ter, but that’s not what I’m get­ting when I up­load my JPEGs to one mass-market printshop or an­oth­er. And there’s lots of playing-around to do with DPI and pa­per fin­ish­es and colour spaces and so on. I as­sume that, things be­ing what they are, the com­pe­ti­tion is about as good too, which is very good in­deed.
Firefox Temptation · I live on a Mac­in­tosh, and on a Mac­in­tosh, the na­tive brows­er is Sa­fari, which is good. But a cou­ple of times in the last week, I’ve cranked up Fire­fox for one rea­son or an­oth­er, and I’m be­gin­ning to think it just may be bet­ter. Among oth­er things, it seems to be faster. I’m about 80% of the way to­ward switch­ing. Can any­one pro­vide me with rea­sons not to? [Up­date: Some rea­son­s: You can’t drag some pic­tures from Fire­fox, and you can’t seem to drag any to Keynote. Ap­par­ent­ly some­times it spins. The text-entry wid­get is less slick and doesn’t spell-check. Thanks to Ste­fan Tilkov, Steven Dieringer, Paul Beard, and Carl Robert Ble­sius.]
NB4.0++ · Last Wed­nes­day, NetBeans 4.0 was re­leased, and I have a lit­tle add-on an­nounce­ment too. I’ve writ­ten be­fore about NetBeans here, here, here, and here: it’s fast, it’s slick, it’s Ant-based, it does what I need. The on­ly thing they’re ex­cit­ed about in 4.0 that I haven’t al­ready talked up is the fact that J2ME/MIDP and Tom­cat are built in; in fac­t, the NetBeans guys like to point out that you can do most things out of the box with­out hav­ing to hunt down and in­stall plug-ins. In bad news, I have a sig­nif­i­cant gripe with NetBean­s. In good news, we’re do­ing some­thing about it ...
Missile Defense Is A Cult · Up here in Cana­da we’re com­ing un­der po­lit­i­cal pres­sure from Pres­i­dent Bush to sign up for the U.S. Mis­sile De­fense pro­gram, we’ve got all this ter­ri­to­ry up North where they’d like to sit­u­ate the launch­er­s. Rather than just say­ing “Get lost!”, our Mr. Martin is (wise­ly I think) play­ing it cool and fuzzi­fy­ing. It’s good not to ir­ri­tate the U.S. when you don’t have to, but there’s ab­so­lute­ly no need for Cana­da to as­sist the dwin­dling but in­flu­en­tial band of cultists who be­lieve that Mis­sile De­fense is any­thing but a defense-contractor boon­dog­gle. It was bo­gus back when Rea­gan launched it and it’s still bo­gus. But don’t take my word for it, check out what the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Physics has to say. Mind you, it’s less dan­ger­ous now than it was in Reagan’s day, when there was a nonze­ro prob­a­bil­i­ty that “Star Wars” might have pro­voked some para­noid Rus­sians who were suf­fi­cient­ly stupid to be­lieve that it might work to launch a first strike while they still had a chance. (Lau­ren has told me of how she, like ev­ery oth­er un­der­fund­ed Physics Ph.D. in the Eight­ies, no­ticed how dress­ing re­search up as missile-defense-related was a good way to tap in­to the gush­ing SDI mon­ey pipeline). Now, it’s just an ex­treme­ly prof­itable waste of mon­ey. We all know that re­li­gious cults are dis­tin­guished by be­liev­ing in things that are ob­vi­ous­ly not true, usu­al­ly com­bined with sub­stan­tial cash flows in the di­rec­tion of those run­ning the cult. Mis­sile de­fense is an ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple.
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