October 31, 2002

Jam Master Jay Dies

CNN.com - Run-DMC DJ slain in recording studio - Oct. 31, 2002

I'm not a huge rap fan, but I always liked Run-DMC. Their work drew me in as something exciting and pleasurable to listen to. And Christmas always is better with their "Christmas In Hollis", just like "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses and "Christmas in the Drunk Tank" by the Pogues.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 09:43 AM | Comments (2)

October 29, 2002

Article on Why Yahoo Publishes PHP

Why Yahoo Uses PHP via Camworld

Not to start a holy war, but PHP is pretty nice; the arguments for and against PHP are insightful here. Having used PHP, JSP, SSI, ASP, and a lot of other "template-based" and "include-based" scripting languages, I can honestly say PHP is quite nice. It's nice to have a scripting language with DB capabilities built in, and not have to do a lot of CGI and middleware calls to get data, especially for small sites. From what I can tell, though -- Yahoo is using it as a templating language, rather than a CGI language. They mention that they use C/Perl to do the heavy, non-front-end computation. Neat stuff to read.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2002

Big Brother II: London Watching

Samizdata.net - Big Brother is watching: Not in 1984 but in 2002 via BoingBoing

Yeah, this goes in my category of things that go bump in the night: right along side of the movie Bob Roberts and my picture of Dubya winning the election... again.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

Senator Paul Wellstone dies in plane crash

CNN.com - Senator, family members killed in Minnesota plane crash - Oct. 25, 2002

Paul Wellstone was a senator I actually admired. I remember an interview he did when he first got into office; part of the interview focused on his view that it was irresponsible for senators to spend so much when there was a budget crisis going on. He insisted on taking commerical planes -- and going coach -- going from Minneapolis to D.C. The whole interview, he gave the impression of a regular guy who happened to get into office, and was just shocked by what he saw... but was going to change it.

I kept his name in mind while he went around, expousing views very similar to my own. He was one -- if not the only -- senator that I felt represented me well, despite the fact I don't even live in Minnesota. I admired him, and respected him, something I almost never do with senators. He was one of the good guys, and now he's gone. Go with peace, good sir; and thank you.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:32 PM | Comments (2)

October 22, 2002

Manual Keyboard Mac

The ElectriClerk

I've seen some pretty cool stuff on the web over the last couple of years... but this one, I'm in awe over. It's a Mac hooked up to a manual typewriter. This is what the phrase "Steampunk" is all about -- the old mixed with the new, to come up with the bizarre. The details are masterly -- the back even has warning labels. And it works.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)

Ok, so how's that ditty about guns go?

CNN.com - Task force investigates fatal shooting - Oct. 22, 2002

Guns don't kill people, people don't kill people, and bullets don't kill people. But bullets fired from guns by people kill people. And well-trained people fire bullets out of guns more accurately so they can kill more people.

I don't know who I trust less, the government -- which makes me want to keep guns -- or the NRA -- who makes me want to ban every gun from private ownership everywhere.

Yeah, it's gonna be one of those days.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2002

1911 Russian Color Photographs

Object Checklist - The Empire That Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated (A Library of Congress Exhibition)

Now this is neat: the official Tzarist photographer took 3 photographs of his subjects with different filters over the lenses, allowing us to digitize and them, put them on different channels, and drop them into one photo... making color photographs from a time before color photographs.

The cool thing is: they look very human, unlike a lot of older photographs. They're really quite amazing. Take a gander!

Posted by Ted Stevko at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2002

Why I Like Audible, Despite Everything

Audible.com -- Store

Certain sacrifices have been made in my life that seem a little arbitrary, to say the least: I don't currently own a TV, although I do watch TV with my parents once a week -- it's a good family time, and we enjoy it. I also don't go out much: working on everything that I do, from comic strips to short stories to programming languages leaves me very little time.

But the truth of it is, it's *quiet* around my apartment. No pets, no roommates, no significant others, it's sometimes pretty stressing. I'm not complaining, it's my choice -- but it's also something that needs to be fixed, even if by temporary solution.

But one final weirdness I have is this anti-corporate stance that seems to pervade my life. No biggie, just one that I seem never to be able to get beyond; I just don't like companies. The few I do like have shown, through significants acts and constant benevolence to charities, that they actually notice something beyond their wallet. And even those, I don't trust -- when is it a PR stunt and when is it true charity?

This, sadly, includes Apple computers. I'm a huge fan of them in many ways: I own several, and have used them since the first Apple II+ hit my house. I like them, and I want to like them.

Several times they've betrayed this trust. Don't think that I don't remember when things like kids getting kicked out of their open-source efforts, or crappy developer relationships like Superclock and Watson occur. They're not clean, just cleaner than average.

So when two companies team up, like Audible and Apple did, they seem at best suspicious, at worst downright disgusting.

Which would have been the case, but I'd been using Audible for about a year before.

What, then, is with all the buildup?

My point is this: I shouldn't like them... and I do anyway. Dang it, they do pretty good. They've got good books, good prices, you can put their books to CDs -- audio or data -- and their premium program is a good deal. And now there's a native player out there.

They have a decent, if a little light, selection of science fiction, some nice historical books, and a whole bunch of others. The books work well, and I'm not getting crappy quality either.

And finally -- you can download them to three other computers. Modest, but doable. I can at least get them both at work and at home, with one to spare (which went to my laptop).

My only complaint is this: I hate iTunes. Really. Audion is much better. And I want to use Audion for playing my downloads. I doubt they'll open up the system, so I suppose this is just a far-out wish. But as it stands, it's pretty good.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 04:26 PM | Comments (1)

October 10, 2002

I know what I *said*... what I *meant* was...

Kansas City Star | 10/10/2002 | Head of Aquila reiterates desire to hear from employees via Metafilter

I admire and respect this guy; when it's a choice of telling the truth or shutting up and keeping your job, most people -- including me -- shut up. We shouldn't; fair criticism, and even kvetching, build stronger systems, including and especially in business. But when CEOs decide to fire people for saying what's on their mind publically (or even in a relatively non-public way) the company slides downhill. Grow up, learn to listen to criticism, learn to judge the intelligent critique from the biased or nonsense complaints.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Wedding this weekend

One of my cousins is getting married this weekend... and what I'm thinking is I want to blog the event. This is getting just a little sick. Isn't it great?

BTW -- if you're looking for my presentations, I'm working on photos for one of them and attempting to keep my job; I haven't forgotten. I'm hoping the plane ride & assorted other times I have off this weekend will let me do some work on getting it up.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2002

Mitnick Selling His Laptops

CNN.com - Famed hacker hawking historic laptops - Oct. 9, 2002

I'm not sure what's more interesting: that Mitnick got his computers back, that he's got close enough ties to the Woz to get him to both sign the laptops & do the forward for his forthcoming book, or that he's done a book relating how to do social engineering. A suprising continuation to his saga.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2002

Winners... and still Thieving...

Winners of the IgŪ Nobel Prize

The executives, corporate directors, and auditors of Enron, Lernaut & Hauspie [Belgium], Adelphia, Bank of Commerce and Credit International [Pakistan], Cendant, CMS Energy, Duke Energy, Dynegy, Gazprom [Russia], Global Crossing, HIH Insurance [Australia], Informix, Kmart, Maxwell Communications [UK], McKessonHBOC, Merrill Lynch, Merck, Peregrine Systems, Qwest Communications, Reliant Resources, Rent-Way, Rite Aid, Sunbeam, Tyco, Waste Management, WorldCom, Xerox, and Arthur Andersen, for adapting the mathematical concept of imaginary numbers for use in the business world. [NOTE: all companies are US-based unless otherwise noted.]

And now, they're award winning for their stupidity. Way to go, guys!

Posted by Ted Stevko at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2002

Another Switcher Ad...

Apple Switch Parody -- drunkgamers.com

OK, some of them suck.. but this one's just funny as heck. Someone at the conference showed it to me. Enjoy.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2002

More Mac OS X Conference stuff

I got to meet Cory Doctorow; nice guy. It seems that a lot of people are interested in this robotics thing I put together. Hope everyone likes it; I'm looking forward to it now.

A couple of notes: Java 1.4 for Mac OS X is out -- in beta. Hurry up guys! We love ya, but we're waiting.

The Danger/Hiptop product came out today. Need to keep up with things, Cory and another nice gentleman who's web site I'm sadly forgetting discussed it a bit and I didn't have a clue. :)

Scott Anguish from Stepwise.com is giving an interesting talk about Mac OS X web services... it's pretty high level, but cool.

David Pogue gave a pretty funny talk about the future of Mac OS X; lots of laughs, I'm looking forward to seeing him talk some more, if he does.

And if anyone's reading this from the conference... I have Coke and Diet Coke in my car. Come find me if you want some. :)

Posted by Ted Stevko at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

Yeah, I'm here.

O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference

Well, I'm at the convention. Currently, Tim O'Reilly is talking about alpha geeks.

So far it's been pretty swell. James Davidson, creator of Ant & Tomcat, gave a tutorial about Cocoa -- pretty good. I'm looking forward to reading the next edition of Learning Cocoa. More as it goes.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)