Geek Entertainment TV has an interview with Lawrence Lessig: Mr. Creative Commons and champion of reasonable copyrights. I’m a big fan of both. Lawrence’s work supports the spirit of the the early Web.
Way to Go, Kids
Now this is what social networking should be for: High school students use MySpace to organize a walkout over proposed immigration changes. The kids are right. It’s wrong to make illegal immigration a felony. The […]
Stoning ‘Philosopher’s Stone’
While traveling this month, I started reading J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with the shameful, Americanized title. The book is properly known in the UK as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Given the Potter series’ popularity (six books and four movies), I had high expectations of the bestseller, but lowered them upon reading.
Coming from Northern Maine, where remain cultural ties to Canada and Britain, I quickly picked up on the mishmash of very British references. I’d say that Rowlings includes just about every magical or ghoulish creature known on the British Isles. The book borrows heavily from literary consciousness. The lacking originality, of plopping together concepts and creatures familiar to many generations of Britons, is astounding—unless her originality is humor. I take the book to be farcical, humorous in its plopping together so many creatures steeped in British cultural heritage.
My wife and daughter picked up this lollipop at a local store. Three bucks, or about the price of three songs from the iTunes Music Store.
Housing Prices Decline
After warm weather temporarily boosted home sales in January, reality has returned. According to a CNN Money article, today, home sales dipped in February. More importantly, home prices receded—to an average $230,400, or decline of $6,900 (3 percent)—compared to February 2005.
I am no economist, but I expect an acceleration of the trend. Many U.S. consumers had been using home equity like bank accounts, greatly contributing to overall spending and GDP growth. Trouble signs are everywhere—and well beyond the housing sector. With the exception of some very profitable oil companies, last quarter’s earnings announcements hinted of troubles with consumer spending. When companies like Intel, even Wal-Mart, lower earnings estimate (as they did for first quarter), something’s amiss. And it is.
Microsoft’s Coal in the Stocking
My week went to hell, no thanks to Microsoft. The Windows Vista delay, then Microsoft platform group reorganization, then Office 2007 delay made for one nutty week. Reporters, clients, everyone have called looking for comment, explanation or speculation. One reporter told me she smashed her cell phone in frustration.
Bun Bun Suns
Washington is cooler this Sunday than the last. But a little chill isn’t stopping Spring, or Bun Bun (not her real name) getting out for a run.
Bun Bun will be three years old this year. We bought her on an August day from the Animal Exchange in Rockville, Md. The store was a pitstop to pick up pet supplies before purchasing a bunny from the Montgomery County Fair. My daughter fell in love with this lone bunny at the store. She was big, perhaps six months old, and a risk. Young kittens are easier to train and to hold.
On the plane from Washington (DC) to Washington (State) today, I got to thinking about numbers, and the shenanigans businesses–and even journalists—get away with because of them.
Lady seated in front of me had a newspaper open with headline about some company paying $1 billion for something. What struck me was the $1, not the billion. People tend to associate with the familiar, and the numbers zero to nine are pretty familiar. The obvious association is everyday usage, which is $1 as $1, whether there is a million or billion that follows. The impact of the number’s real value is insignificant.
Twisted Tales for Girls
In today’s New York Times, author Naomi Wolf looks at “cute” books for teenage girls that are anything but sweet.
Teenage girl series, such as “Clique” or “Gossip Girls”, are fitting to the adage, “You can’t judge a book from the cover”. Beneath the banal paperback covers are pages rife with status, shopping, and sex. Excerpted from one of the “A-List” series novels, one teen describes sex with her boyfriend: “We used to jump each other, like, three times a night. When we went out to the movies, we’d sit by a wall and do it during the boring parts”.
This afternoon I took the Canon 20D and EF-S 60mm Macro lens out into the backyard. This prickly plant reminds me of cloud formations, where the shapes take on meaning. In the photo, I see a fox to left and dog to the right. Bow. Wow. The neighbor’s dogs barked as I took pics near the fence.
I continue to struggle to find satisfaction with the Canon 20D, which has been the case since buying it. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them. I have long fussed over the Canon 20D, with some dissatisfaction regarding focus, which has always seemed soft to me or different than expected. I’m surprised by the number of times the focal point isn’t where it appears to be. I’ve encountered this problem using two different 20Ds.
My daughter and I hauled over to Quiznos for lunch. On Saturdays, kids meals are 99 cents. More importantly, it’s about 20 Celsius in Washington and perfect day for eating on Quiznos’ outdoor tables. Humph. […]
Shame on Congress
I have my differences with President Bush, but there is one issue about which we agree: UAE. Congress’ unwillingness to accept a United Arab Emirates company’s taking oversight of some U.S. ports brought to a close on Wednesday a visible disagreement between the President and his Republican allies on the Hill. American flags around the Capitol building should be lowered in shame.
The ruckus started about a month ago when the UAE company bested a rival to buyout London-based P&O, which had a contract for six U.S. ports. The UEA company, Dubai Ports World, will walk away from the U.S. ports deal, following a stunning 62-2 House Appropriations Committee blocking vote. Democrats, lead by Sen. Hillary Clinton, had made big noise against the deal—and she’s supposed to be a presidential candidate in 2008?