Wednesday, July 30, 2008

0.0008 seconds

Benny Solis of North Hollywood, Calif., won his third Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup race of the season on Saturday, winning a thrilling battle with Argentina's Leandro Mercado by a mere 0.0008 seconds after 17 exciting laps.

Source: Red Bull AMA US Rookies Cup 2008

Hat tip to Le for sending the original link.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Developers: iPhone is the gateway drug to OS X

The eminent Walt Mossberg is interviewed on the iPhone 3G and really nails it.

The iPhone is not a smartphone. It is a powerful portable computer that makes phone calls.

So it does not have a builtin keyboard? There's always Bluetooh connectivity. This presents a market opportunity for an entrepreneurial 3rd party to come in and make one.

The problem with traditional handset makers is that they view their business as primarily selling hardware, and hardware design is fixed very early in the phone's product cycle. This "fixedness"; this inability to adapt, infects their very core philosophies.

Software is virtual, and can easily adapt.

What does Darwin say about adaptability and natural selection?

So how does all this figure into Apple's grand plan? iPhone developers are enticed to the platform by the sheer number of iPhone users. And the iPhone APIs are extremely similar to OS X APIs by design.

This means an iPhone developer who programs in Cocoa Touch can become an OS X developer with slightly more effort, and vice versa. So there's that recurrent adaptability theme again.

Nokia is taking steps to address this hardware-software divide by buying up Symbian but it does not have all the pieces to the puzzle. Microsoft Windows is still the dominant platform and they have no reason to give up their control to Nokia to fulfill this integrated vision. So while it is the right move it may be too little, too late.

Walt Mossberg interview 1
Walt Mossberg interview 2
Walt Mossberg interview 3

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dress code

Read the Sunday Times today and there's this incredibly stupid article lambasting Singaporeans for "dressing down". Basically the points it raised were about "respect", and... er... trying to impress others.

Dressing down, unless the circumstances demand it, should be the way to go since it is more environmentally friendly. In Japan the government has actively encouraged everyone to forego the usual business attire of suit and tie in the summer months, to lower energy demands. Every time you fight entropy, you will lose. Physics dictates it. Refer to the Second Law of Thermodynamics if you don't believe me.

Besides, a person should not be judged solely by the way he looks, but by his actions and the way he conducts himself. Can't even begin to count the number of assholes I've met who expect special treatment just because they're in designer clothes.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Ben is going to flip at this one. Now I know what he really means by "Chinese Cultural Chauvinists".

Was browsing through Prof Terence Tao's blog on career advice when I came across this comment on his blog. Here it is, in full:

Hi!陶教授,my English is limited,I think I shoud express myself in Chinese.If you have interest in my opinio,you may ask friends to translate it.
汉字是一种象形字,不同于世界上其它国家的语言。一种语言的诞生可以说是源自于这个民族的一种文化的承传需求。你对中国的文化知之甚少,难以理解它的内涵,但我相信,像你这样的头脑,一定可以在短期内学好中文,那时,你可能会发现,中文带给你的远远要超过你现在所想像的。据说,人在学习汉语和字母语言(for instance English)时,大脑的左右半球工作状态是有些区别的,你若感兴趣不妨查一下有关资料。

The summary, in English, is that this person feels that Prof Tao would benefit greatly from learning Chinese because of its history and the (dubious?) use of both of the brain's hemispheres.

Maybe this "Kristy" character should learn English and concentrate more on her own career instead of lecturing a child prodigy/genius (Dr Tao won a Fields medal and MacArthur awards among many others) about the Chinese language.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sales Guy vs Web Dude

Saw this funny screencast of what an IT administrator really does at work all day. :)

On the main page, try to log in to the "Linux" machine and reboot. You can do this by killing init. i.e. at the prompt type "kill 1". You will then be rewarded with the segment of the video where he actually reboots the web server. :)