uncool is the new cool

Sounds just like what an uncool person would say; everyone mentioned in this story probably should be thrown into a volcano. I just hope I live long enough to see my many dreams of volcano-based cultural justice happen.

Also, I guarantee you won’t finish reading this — your brain will try to protect you, and as such, it will send a signal to your arm that will move your cursor to the “close” box well before the end.

~jeff

.Mac Craptacucon

According to this, .Mac is now throttling bandwidth. So shareware/freeware developers, people who share their pictures, movies, etc., via their .Mac accounts for hosting may be SOL. It is just one more move towards .Mac being an overblown price hole. I don’t use iSync, the “free” software has pretty well dried up, there isn’t enough space for a meaningful backup… Unfortunately, I am pretty invested in the email address(es) I have, so I won’t be leaving any time soon.

new music

Sufjan Stevens – Greetings from Michigan & Illinois
Stevens has been described as a folk-rock act, but I prefer to think of his music more along the lines of Badly Drawn Boy and the like. Interesting composition, and easy on the ears. Michigan is the first in his series of albums about states. He intends to do all 50, but that seems deeply insane. Illinois is the second of the series and also very good.

Who would like it: Jeff and Joshua. Perhaps Jon Klein?

Lyrics Born – Later That Day
One half of Common collaborator with Blackalicious, Lyrics Born has great cadence and tone, while having interesting things to say as well. The production is good overall, though his faster-paced verses sometimes get muddied, and there is too much reliance on backup singers in my opinion. That being said, I like this album enough that I have to actively try to not overplay it.

Who would like it: I’m not sure which of you, if any, like rap, but if you do, this is a must listen.

longhorn build 5203

Screenshots here. Some thoughts:

  • Glossy! It reminds me of something else, I can’t… quite… put my finger on it…
  • In Longhorn, IE 7 is apparently used mainly to browse the “linux-noob” forums. Odd choice by Microsoft, but good luck for the owners of lunix-noob.com.
  • I hate Windows’ new-since-XP tiny system font. It’s just a little too small and weak. Tiny system fonts never got too much better than Geneva 9.
  • From a user interface and usability perspective, those transparent window title bars are godawful atrocious; and the white diffused drop shadow under the text only serves to make the readability even worse.
  • Nice glass recycle bin. Shiny, shiny.

Otherwise, it’s looking (and presumably working) exactly the same as XP, except with a suspiciously familiar techno theme. But, hey, anything that makes Windows’ UI better, I’m all for; there’s already too much rampant ugliness in the world these days.

~jeff

Pi

This thirteen year old article in the New Yorker is about two mathematicians who are believed to be the inspiration for Daren Aaronofsky’s movie Pi. It also includes this great quote:

It is one of the great mysteries why nature seems to know mathematics. No one can suggest why this necessarily has to be so. Eugene Wigner, the physicist, once said, “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.”

capturing creativity

Well worth a read.

>Salvador Dali, the great surrealist, used to grab ideas for paintings from the very fertile semi-sleep state we call the hypnagogic state. He’d lie on a sofa and hold a spoon in one hand, balancing it on the edge of a glass placed on the door. Just as he’d drift off to sleep, he’d release the spoon, and the sound of the spoon hitting the glass would awaken him. Immediately, he’d sketch the bizarre hypnagogic images he was seeing.

>Anyone can do this. We all have bizarre perceptual experiences in those moments before we fall fully asleep. Dali simply developed a way to seize some of them.

~jeff

wil shipley comes alive

If you haven’t checked out the presentation Wil Shipley (the guy who wrote the way cool Mac OS X app “Delicious Library“) gave at WWDC, do so now. It’s pretty great. He also recorded an hour-and-a-half long talk to accompany the slides as well; in the talk, he’s got a lot of very interesting real-world advice about developing a product, starting a business, and becoming “successful” in general. I got more out of the talk than I initially suspected I would get — Wil is a funny and engaging speaker, and his speech is well worth listening to.

~jeff