September 30, 2002
In honor of Google's 4th birthday, library & internet research consultant Gary Price tracked down key moments in Google history, from Larry Page posting a question about a Java web spider through the press release of $25 million of venture capital.
Spotted on the Google Weblog.
It's sort of strange, because it doesn't filter by language, and because being listed on weblogs.com has nothing to do with having posts with a lot of comments.
Still, it encourages serendipitous browsing, and I'm on record as favoring that.
CNN-ABC News dance marathon continues
Will the [CNN-ABC News] deal happen?
Probably. Michael Eisner will see that it does because ABC has a lot more to gain than CNN.
Spotted at Romanesko's Media News.
The $3.5 billion question
Depending on the outcome of an insurance lawsuit, the public may never see the most detailed engineering study of the collapse of the Trade Center towers.
I found the following bit of philosophical hair-splitting especially interesting:
The insurance companies say the hijackings constituted a single terrorist attack, while Silverstein maintains that the two planes hit the twin towers in separate occurrences.
Silverstein believes he's entitled to a $7 billion payment; the insurance companies say he should be paid half that amount.
Which side are you on? One incident or two?
Free Free Free stock photos
Collection of royalty-free stock photos. Spotted at Jeffrey Zeldman Presents.
Bookman believes the real reason we're in Iraq is to establish the US as the world's policeman, creating bases in Iraq and elsewhere from which we can establish dominion over the entire planet.
To preserve the Pax Americana, the report says U.S. forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties" -- the United States acting as policeman of the world -- and says that such actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations."
To meet those responsibilities, and to ensure that no country dares to challenge the United States, the report advocates a much larger military presence spread over more of the globe, in addition to the roughly 130 nations in which U.S. troops are already deployed.
The general plan, which was repeated in Bush's new National Security Strategy, was outlined in a 2000 research paper from the "Projecct for the New American Century", and even earlier in a 1992 report prepared within Dick Cheney's Defense Department, then disavowed by Bush the Greater.
Not the sort of thing you typically see first in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Why nobody's buying PCs
I've long maintained that this is a reason for the PC sales slump -- the existing hardware is fast enough. My parents use a 266-mHz AMD K6 to run their business. I recently talked to them about upgrading, and Dad said, "All we ever run on it is FormTool and FreeCell, and it does both of those fine."
This is also part of the reason I think Apple has a brighter future. First, their digital hub strategy encourages users to get involved in exactly those activities that benefit from faster processors: editing digital video, encoding DVDs, even ripping MP3s.
Second, their emphasis on style and design encourages people to buy replacement machines because they want them, not just because they need them. Most PCs are still fairly plain boxes, and I can't see one of them inspiring someone to say, "I've got to have one of those NOW!" as both generations of iMac have.
September 27, 2002
Rumors 2, Frank 0 and a PowerBook marketing idea
Looks like we won't see the new PowerBook by the end of September, as I guessed way back here. I still think they're coming soon, and this morning, I had a thought:
Why doesn't Apple keep the 667 around as a "low-end" TiBook? In recent history, Apple has marketed two PowerBooks -- right now, there's a 667 and an 800. To fit the "Good, Better, Best" marketing on their website, they've made the "Best" be a build-to-order high-end machine with a bigger hard drive and more RAM. Why not just keep the 667 around for this revision, and have 3 levels of machine (assuming the new low-end would have been an 800, following the pattern)?
They could price the 667 at $1999, $200 higher than the most expensive iBook, with the now midrange 800 at $2499, and the new top-of-the-line (933 or dare we hope 1 Ghz) at $3199. If necessary, Apple could save money on the low-end by offering a different video card than the top two (as with the Power Macs) or a smaller hard drive (or both).
The reason I suggest they do this for this revision is that the TiBook is getting a little long in the tooth, and the rumor mill thinks this may be the last generation with the current skin. I know a lot of people who would love a TiBook, but find $2,500 too high a price point. Apple could spin the move as bringing the TiBook to a whole new audience.
September 26, 2002
Rounding third, heading for home
In some pictures of me in Columbus in my early grade-school years, I'm wearing a Cleveland Indians cap. I honestly don't know how that happened; I've never been a real fan of any team but the Reds.
When I was in 2nd grade, I saved my allowance for what felt like a year to buy a pair of Johnny Bench tennis shoes. I snuck a radio under the covers when Pete Rose was chasing DiMaggio's hitting streak, and I cried when it ended. I still automatically change the station when I hear Sister Sledge's "We Are Family", the anthem of the '79 Pirates team that knocked the Reds out of the postseason.
And now, after 32 years, the stadium where I saw my first major-league baseball and first NFL game is coming down.
The Reds did a great job of addressing the Pete Rose controversy here. They couldn't invite him to the "official" tribute Sunday night, so a few of his former teammates unofficially recognized him, as Ray Knight put a single red rose behind home plate, and Tom Browning painted Rose's number (14) on the pitcher's mound.
Then on Monday, Pete Rose got to play in a "Legends of Baseball" softball game that brought together the entire lineup of the 1976 Big Red Machine. The softball game outdrew the "real" game by about 1,000 spectators.
I don't think anyone ever thought Riverfront was a great stadium, but, man, the Reds had some great years there. I guess this will leave only the Cardinals playing in the cookie-cutter multi-use stadiums that dominated the late '60s and early '70s, with the destruction of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, and now Riverfront.
Here's a shot of the new stadium, modestly called the Great American Ball Park, under construction.
VNC's new home
VNC is a remote management tool that lets you see what's on a remote machine's screen and have your keyboard and mouse input go to that machine.
It was originally produced at an AT&T lab in Cambridge, England, but the lab was closed down earlier this year. (There's also TightVNC, another spinoff from the original project).
It's a terrific, free tool that's indispensable to system administrators. Unfortunately, it looks like the new open-source version above has lost its Macintosh support. There is a Java viewer, but no Macintosh server, and the last Mac server I used was for OS 9 only.
Seen at Ars Technica.