Older blog entries for gregorrothfuss (starting at number 22)

.net on the desktop is dead

today, my feed reader died. it only showed me an empty window where my feeds should be:

RSS Bandit

so i tried google reader again. amazingly, it felt more responsive than RSS Bandit. my archive of read posts is in the thousands. i like having access to them, and often use them in searches. this puts a heavy toll on memory usage:

RSS Bandit memory hog

what hope is there for .net if an application written by a microsoft employee is such a memory hog, and gets its clock cleaned by an online application? none.

Syndicated 2006-11-12 04:57:55 (Updated 2006-12-01 16:44:06) from gregor

sophonts

go read this article on elephant violence. it has the qualities of a seminal piece on cross-species relations. consider this statement from a ugandan researcher who grew up in a war zone:

I started looking again at what has happened among the Acholi and the elephants. I saw that it is an absolute coincidence between the two. All these kids who have grown up with their parents killed - no fathers, no mothers, only children looking after them. They form these roaming, violent, destructive bands. It's the same thing that happens with the elephants. Just like the male war orphans, they are wild, completely lost. Most people are scared of showing that kind of anthropomorphism. But coming from me it doesn't sound like I'm inventing something. It's there. People know it's there. Some might think that the way I describe the elephant attacks makes the animals look like people. But people are animals.

now we can either discuss the semantics of sentience as we recognize our peer species, hopefully before it is too late, or we can adopt a new term that is not laden with meaning that needs to be repurposed first. sophonts works for me: why look at far away stars when we can find peers right under our nose?

update: another hurdle cleared

Syndicated 2006-10-28 05:55:11 (Updated 2006-12-01 22:32:01) from gregor

in praise of regional airports

sitting in Rapid City Airport, using their complementary wifi, i am wondering whether there will be a renaissance of the regional airport. hassle-free checkin, short lines, an absence of constant "security announcements" and the quiet of a place that does not want to be a mall make you feel as close to flying a private jet as reasonably possible. a new generation of planes and a departure from the hub concept might make this a reality in the next few years.

Syndicated 2006-10-10 19:57:13 (Updated 2006-12-01 16:44:06) from gregor

nextfest

wired is back. after years of being lost in the dotcom woods, i had written them off, but their nextfest taught me better today. i will be thinking about the exhibits for a long time: a wonderful departure from the daily stream of bad news out of the religio-political corner. watch my linkstream for more in the coming days. in the meantime, here are some of my favorite exhibits: Vein Viewer by Luminetxkick-ass kung fujuke_bots
magic planetActroidBrain Ball

Syndicated 2006-10-01 04:25:35 (Updated 2006-12-01 22:38:13) from gregor

personalized fashion

a trip to the FIT museum with its thousands of fashion pieces from 500 years made me wonder why we can't have it all? where is the startup that lets me pick whatever i like from a catalog that spans the centuries, takes my measurements and then produces the garments in a fully automated factory? failing that, how about leveraging that same labor that now brings us crappy jeans? a catalog so vast my require some recommendation technology to help me make picks, too. update: seefeld points to coco myles. wired reports on a 3D scanner for taking body measurements.

Syndicated 2006-09-28 04:05:36 (Updated 2006-12-01 16:44:06) from gregor

spam filtering as a proxy for search market share

why is it that the most basic spams and 419 scams make it past yahoo's spam filters into my yahoo inbox? i was willing to go give them a fair shot with their new ui, but their spam filtering is beyond bad, and makes their new mail beta just as unusable as the old one. almost makes me wonder if they have commercial reasons for letting a lot of spam through to their userbase. not having a capable contextual advertising platform must put them in some tight spots when revenue maximization time inevitably rolls around, and spam thresholds are early victims, i suppose. even more so at MSN, whose hotmail is even worse. it is the rare event, however, maybe once a month, that spam makes it to my gmail inbox.

the less search marketshare your email provider has, the more spam you can expect in your inbox.

update: the new york times reports that gmail spam filtering is getting even better. meanwhile, the obvious spam in my yahoo inbox continues.

looks like yahoo can't even afford a SSL certificate for their mail domain.. oy. plus they insist to show you a spammy 'start page' instead of your inbox. someone getting desperate in the monetization department?

yahoo mail sucks

Syndicated 2006-09-05 02:25:49 (Updated 2006-12-01 22:40:09) from gregor

sakku

via etoy and bernhard comes word of a new messenger bag with solar panels. while not powerful enough to charge your laptop, it will do fine with your other gadgets.

what is especially interesting to me is that sakku is a swiss startup. i have outlined before why switzerland is going down the drain. in fact, i sometimes tell smug swiss people that i am an economic refugee. all the more uplifting if a startup is ignoring the naysayers and delivering a cool product.

Syndicated 2006-08-25 16:32:46 (Updated 2006-12-01 16:44:06) from gregor

an inconvenient truth

went to see the most important film of the year today. very well done, with a data-driven approach to hammer the reality of global warming home. the only nit i have is that the call to action comes too late in the movie (in the last five minutes, and in the credits). also, there was not enough coverage of solutions beyond vague calls to save energy. no advice how to short a basket of detroit companies and buy efficient cars with the proceeds, no talk of emissions trading, no call for new nuclear power plants. instead, we got the advice to pray

still, go see it even if you are familiar with all it's points. longer playing times matter.

Syndicated 2006-07-10 02:53:47 (Updated 2006-12-01 22:41:01) from gregor

has last.fm jumped the shark?

last.fm used to give me great recommendations, now it gives me nirvana and nine inch nails when i ask for bands similar to air. looks like the site is being overrun by people with horrible music tastes, alas.

Syndicated 2006-07-04 02:08:17 (Updated 2006-12-01 16:44:06) from gregor

opensourcing the google os

it has long been argued that the google os, particularly MapReduce and GFS, is google's real competitive strength. yahoo, meanwhile, is paying developers to develop clones of these. with seeming consolidation on a common computing platform, and ever-rising data center expenses, you gotta wonder how much sense it makes for the big three to duplicate all that CAPEX. they might be better off outsourcing their datacenters, and sharing some base datasets, such as a crawler cache (kinda like the feedmesh network).

the outsourced company, on the other hand, would end up running a grid with several million nodes and could optimize running costs overall, by using very low power servers, running on an opensourced processor architecture.

Syndicated 2006-06-19 23:27:28 (Updated 2006-12-01 22:44:35) from gregor

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