· 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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