January 2005

No PowerBook G5 for now

Apple's announcement today of new PowerBook G4's puts to end anticipation that they might release a PowerBook G5. It seems unlikely that with the new machines being released today that a PowerBook G5 will arrive any time this year. The next logical place to announce one would have been WWDC, but the new powerbooks would seem to make that a long shot.

MarsEdit/DirecWay problem

I've started using Ranchero Software's Mars Edit and am pretty happy with it. This post, however, is happening the old fashioned way - via the web page. This seems to have to something to do with a conflict between Mars Edit and my DirecWay Satellite Internet Connection. It works just fine on my laptop at work and elsewhere but when trying to update over the satellite link it fails to parse the XML. My guess is it has something to do with the "web page optimization" that DirecWay is doing causing problems.

Even so I'm still posting. There seem to be those who are too busy with new toys to remember all their fans.

Which version of reality do you see?

About a year ago the coverage of the Howard Dean scream points out an important question for all journalists (those writing for traditional media and those writing for blogs and other media outlets). A journalist should always ask themselves if they are accurately representing the situation. The coverage of Dean was part of the truth, but not an accurate representation of the situation. The microphone singled out Dean's voice and did not show it accurately in context. WIth more unedited reporting in blogs and podcasts it is important to remember that a single point of view in a situation, or a single microphone in a room, may not accurately reflect what is really happening.

The "Yahoo" Problem

It is funny how the side you take influences your position. Dave Winer spends a great deal of time talking about the need to properly give credit to those who create solutions. When it comes to the unintended consequences of a "solution" - aka a problem - he is quite happy to pass the buck. He sites The Yahoo Problem. Wait a minute though, what product was it that started the trend towards putting a little icon on the page for each different news-reader? That's right it was Userland's Radio, which Winer was a key intellect behind.

How did this become the Yahoo problem anyway? They are amongst the latest to pile on the "add this to whatever" bandwagon. And is setting up a collection of competitive directories for people to store their RSS subscriptions in one of several centralized data vats really the answer? The solution proposed by Winer has a clause stating there should be open competition. So for a while everybody plays nice, and then when AOL and Time Warner split they setup competing services. And very soon we're back to a whole bunch of buttons that don't do much for anybody but clutter up the landscape.

In fairness, Winer has removed the Radio button from his main website, but the orgins of the problem lie in the early foundation of the idea there should be a button to subscribe to specific news readers.

9 mm

We had our 9 mm qualification today. It was a really cold day to be out on the range so, by the time I got to shoot I was shivering pretty hard. The army issues 9 mm Barettas to officers, referred to in military parlance as the M-9.

The range consists of pop-up targets at various distances. They are pretty close because the M-9 is definately a close range weapon. My first attempt did not go well but I believe there was something wrong with the targets. I knew that I was hitting some of them but they were not going down.

Range control told me that I failed to qualify and had to go again. This was frustrating because I was getting cold and it seemed like it should have been easy. It made it worse when the Sergeant in charge of the range began to talk to me like a slow child, explaining how to aim the gun.

Luckily I redeemed myself. I shot at different targets and they all seemed to be working properly. I scored "expert", the highest possible and better than just about everyone else. No pop-up target is safe with me around.

Take care,

Legislative countdown

As we begin the countdown to the start of the 73rd session of the Nevada Legislature on February 7th articles and opinion pieces are starting to pick up around the state. The Lahontan Valley News has an opinion piece lobbying for a state lottery.

Meanwhile an anti-smoking initiative petition is seeking relief from the courts. The groups promoting the petition were dealt a setback when Secretry of State Dean Heller said the petition needed ten percent of the voters in the 2004 general election instead of the 2002 general election since the petition was presented after the November 2nd election.


I haven't found the right time yet to write about what Kevin Maney wrote a good article about in the USA Today. Blogs share a lot in common with their first-cousin pamphleteering. Over the past many centuries we've seen the advance of so many technologies making sharing information easier and cheaper. The printing press made getting a lot of copies of information out much cheaper than it had ever been before.

The argument is made that freedom of the press is only afforded to those who own one. Certainly blogging has made inroads in this area by continuing to cut the costs. The changes bear a strong resemblance to the advent of the laser printer dramatically cut the prices of sharing ideas and communicating information. Blogging makes it possible to link to other's information in ways that were previously not thought of.


iPod shuffle away

The announcement came last night that the iPod shuffle was shipping for arrival on Thursday. It arrived this morning. How long till a car stereo is released with a USB port on the front to plug in your shuffle? Not long I think.

The end of nofollow

Rogers Cadenhead hits the nail on the head with his post about the doomed "nofollow" attribute. My prediction is a little different. Within about nine months Google and others will quietly determine that it has done more to hurt their databases and will quietly stop using it.

The problem is that the nofollow attribute won't stop the spam bots from polluting websites aplenty. There are plenty of ways to increase search engine placement that aren't comment spam. On the other hand nofollow will provide ways to prevent your link to a site from casting a popularity "vote" for the site but it won't stop the spam.

Nofollow was put together quickly with a few bloggers and software companies being given advanced notice but there was not a vetting that allowed developers to put their heads together and hash it out. Many people are frustrated by the process because they have to deal with attitudes that really are not helpful and their frustration is understandable but closing the process to outsiders is not the answer.