blarg?

Ground Level

A while ago, this fellow put together the shower scenes from the classic and remade versions of Psycho with one transparently overlaid on the other, so you could see the ostensible differences between the two.

If one of you could take it upon yourselves to do the same thing for Sarah Palin’s appearance on Katie Couric’s show and Tina Fey’s rendition of the same on Saturday Night Live, it would be very much appreciated.

On a related note: I’ve mentioned my love of Google’s autocomplete suggestions before, but: “John”-space suggests “Lewis” and “Edwards” ahead of “McCain”, who narrowly edges out “Mayer” and “Deere”. Palin loses out to Brightman and Silverman respectively, with Michelle Gellar and McLachlan rounding out the top five.

Unsurprisingly, Barack Obama is at the top of his list, but I thought it was a bit surprising that Joe-space goes straight for Biden beating out, among others, Satriani, Cocker and Montana.

Fail

This is a pretty classic little vignette: a Microsoft senior typography researcher decides that he’s going to create some standards-compliant web pages, so he asks his colleague the “Platform Architect of the Internet Explorer Platform team” what application he should use to create them.

And the answer was “Notepad”. The results are predictably horrifying and barely legible but they do, in fairness, validate.

The Platform Architect of the Platform Platform Platform apparently stopped blogging recently because he was “tired of the negativity” but honestly, if you’re telling colleagues to use the worst editor your company has ever shipped you’ve got that coming. And, man, it’s hard to believe that in 2008 the best web authoring tool that Platform Platform Architect Platform guy has on offer, even from the double-secret unreleased internal pre-alpha tools Microsoft might have, is a toy editor that’s barely changed since Windows 1.0.

It puts their erstwhile participation in actual standards bodies in a certain perspective, I think.

Asphalt sunrise

(rhythmbox:2688): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_date_new_julian: assertion `g_date_valid_julian (j)’ failed

Man, if I’m ever trying to update my iPod before 1582 I bet that bad metadata will be a serious problem. Good thing we took the time to solve that problem now. Way to dodge that bullet, linux!

Retrophone

… in which I am defensive and somewhat sentimental.

So, Palm’s “Treo Pro” came out today. It’s got a square 320×320 screen, it runs… well, windows-mobile-something and… Jeebus.

A little while ago in another forum I was chided as follows:

Also, I would like to say “NEENER NEENER” to one Mike Hoye. Because five years ago, I said: “Microsoft’s already beaten Palm, and the question now is whether Linux can mount an effective handheld challenge. … In five years, the competition in your hand is going to be the same as it is in your server room: Windows and .NET versus Linux and Java.”

And he was all: “Palm’s going to be fine. … I think Palm’s going to end up like Apple – the BMW of their product niche.” It turns out Apple is going to be the Apple of phones, but Palm was dead long before Apple took that niche.

So, in my defense, I kind of expected Palm to take some action that wasn’t roll over and play dead. Their flagship product has same screen resolution as the Tungsten models that shipped in 2003 and a bunch of nothing else to recommend it. I had a glimmer of hope when they teased us with the Foleo, but then they choked on the shot, and about twenty minutes later Asus released the EeePC and the market-segment pile-on was well underway.

Their announcement at the time, almost exactly a year ago, said that they “decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering our next generation platform”, whose development started in early 2004 (within months of when I made my claim! Yay?) and whose release has now been pushed back to early 2009 (Five years later. Boo), and in the meantime they’ve just been cranking out the same goddamn device, over and over again, in a slightly different plastic box, and now they don’t even ship with the only differentiator Palm has left, PalmOS.

Well, so much for that. Honestly, they might as well just start shipping these.

Spherical Mirrors

If like most of my ostensible friends you can only tolerate me in small doses, I’m using twitter to decant the occasional psychosis from the somewhat less well-managed corners of my brain. If you would like those things decanted right back into your own, there they are.

The Constant Struggle Between Nature And Technology

Nature holds some sort of grudge against my wife, it would seem, and delegates these little indignities to its squirrely minions to inflict. I get to occasionally come to the rescue, which would make me feel slightly more noble and courageous if all the things she needs to be rescued from weren’t smaller than your average kitten and easily frightened. Nevertheless, while not exactly the bat-signal, these are the sort of messages I periodically receive.

One of my favorite things about modern web browsers are Google’s autocompletion suggestions. You could be looking for almost anything, and in its attempt to be helpful the browser will give you this tiny little snapshot of the human condition, a little window into whatever corner of the zeitgeist starts with that particular alphanumeric sequence.

Anyhow, I was looking for a thing I saw a while back on tips for screen printing shirts, and started typing “tips for making tshirts”. By the time I got to “tips for”, Google suggested:

  • getting pregnant
  • interview
  • girls
  • losing weight
  • running
  • saving money
  • interviews
  • moving
  • better sex

These things are apparently weighted, so those of you having trouble finding qualified candidates will doubtless have your suspicions confirmed by the fact that “tips for interview” trumps “tips for interviews”, but I’m a little surprised that “getting pregnant” is at the top of the list. I’m not surprised at all that “moving” made the cut though, because anything that makes that a less heinous experience is gold.

“Tips for making” came out a little more predictably, but veers sharply off near the end in a way that gives me hope for humanity:

  • out
  • love
  • money
  • friends
  • hair grow
  • your hair grow
  • a resume
  • a website
  • bread
  • scones

As I’ve been finding out lately is typical of these things, you could probably have guessed the top contenders. The most interesting bits are near the middle and bottom of these lists.

Night Skyline

FYI: Nortel’s “Callpilot” product has been pencilled in just under “Symantec Corporate Antivirus”, “Windows Millennium” and “e-Machines” on a list titled “If my employer buys this, I quit.”

Thank you for your attention in this matter, please go about your business.