"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Faith and Reason

Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith", from a talk on CSPAN...

"In the west we are standing on the shoulders of dwarves, contemplatively speaking."
From his web site...
Harris argues that in the presence of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Most controversially, he maintains that “moderation” in religion poses considerable dangers of its own: as the accommodation we have made to religious faith in our society now blinds us to the role that faith plays in perpetuating human conflict. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism in an attempt to provide a truly modern foundation for our ethics and our search for spiritual experience.

Linux and Windows (and Mac OSX)

Here's a funny report on Linux from Microsoft. Not funny "ha-ha" but funny "sad".

First of all I did not even have to read the report to laugh, or cry as it were.

I have a couple of computers that are about 5 years old. They are set up for dual boot to either Windows or Linux. The only facts I need to know about them are these: I can run the latest Linux on them. Every time there has been a new version that I wanted, I was able to upgrade with no problem.

On the Windows side, I am still running Windows 2000. I am unable to get XP running on them. Oh, maybe someone will respond with a statement like, "All you have to do is X." But any value of "X" that I have run into appears to be at best an unknown amount of time and possibly money.

Let me say right now, I'd like to run XP on them just because the other Windows systems I have around do run XP. I could not tell you the reason why XP is better than 2000 other than there are probably some significant security differences. I am actually fine running Windows 2000 when I need them to run Windows at all, which just further makes the point of incompatibility absurd. Did they really screw up Windows NT and then Windows 2000 so much that a significantly incompatible rewrite of the OS was required? Or just an opportunity for more revenue?

I can also run Apple's latest Mac OSX on my six year old Macintosh very well. I have all the facts I need. I have no expectations that anything will get better over the next few years with "Vista". Apparently Microsoft is only looking forward to getting more revenue and not looking at the real value for the customer. To date, that has worked out well for them because they either don't have as bad a reputation as I think they deserve, or they don't have a customer base that cares about bad reputations. And that's a pretty darn big customer base, so I would have to go with what works if I were them, too. Will it catch up at some point? I think it has to, but I have never been successful at predicting these things.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Constant Flow of Ice Cream In

I am watching this Microsoft video to find out what The Roches have to do with sound on Windows Vista. It turns out they have Robert Fripp doing some sounds and in the recording evokes some essence of his work with The Roches. I saw the Roches perform at the Berkeley School of Music in Boston in 1985 (around the time Another World was released).

They are three amazing sisters for getting all kinds of harmonies into their music. (If you have not heard them perform the Hallelujah Chorus, well.) I was looking forward to some harmonies on the Windows Vista OS. Oh, well.

It turns out The Roches web site has a *lot* of video from Soundstage, SNL, the Late Show, etc. I leave you with some favorites of mine...

Why don't you listen to my little pep talk? Come in off the ledge.

RSS as an Operating System Component?

This is a sign of sure doom.

Problem is, I don't know whose doom it is a sign of.

Have you seen this man?

Wondering if this post will land me on the "no fly" list, I now relay a funny story. Not funny as in "ha-ha" but funny as in "that's funny. hmm."...

The author of a critical biography of Karl Rove ended up on a no-fly list. James Moore, an Emmy-award winning journalist and author of Bush's Brain was recently barred from boarding a flight from Texas to Ohio.

An airline employee gave Moore an 800 number to check on his no fly status. Moore posted this excerpt from their conversation at the Huffington Post:

"Mam, I'd like to know how I got on the No Fly Watch List."

"I'm not really authorized to tell you that, sir," she explained after taking down my social security and Texas driver's license numbers.

"What can you tell me?"

"All I can tell you is that there is something in your background that in some way is similar to someone they are looking for."

"Well, let me get this straight then," I said. "Our government is looking for a guy who may have a mundane Anglo name, who pays tens of thousands of dollars every year in taxes, has never been arrested or even late on a credit card payment, is more uninteresting than a Tupperware party, and cries after the first two notes of the national anthem? We need to find this guy. He sounds dangerous to me."

"I'm sorry, sir, I've already told you everything I can."

"Oh, wait," I said. "One last thing: this guy they are looking for? Did he write books critical of the Bush administration, too?"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Windows Switcher -- I'd Love to Switch, Oh, Yes!

Wow, a Three-Dee view of windows to allow me to switch among them. How... well, oh boy.

Microsoft, do you know what I would really like? I spent an hour or so putting drawings in a Word document. They looked fine yesterday. But today I opened up the document and all the drawings are squished. Expanding the drawing area does not also expand the drawings. Big area, squished objects.

Maybe by sometime in 2006 you'd think Word could embed a drawing and retain the layout correctly?

May Apple, Google, or whoever, run over you with a steam roller... as long as they provide a document processor that actually works.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Microformat => Microprotocol?

I just did a search for "microprotocol" and was surprised I did not find what I expected. Well, I found a couple of citations related to Atom from Bill de hÓra's site.

Shouldn't there be as much attention paid to microprotocols as to microformats? Or nearly so. I understand HTTP GET can be used to provide an XHTML document with multiple embedded instances of microformats. I understand Atom Publishing Protocol can be used to provide even more functionality with other HTTP verbs.

But what about WebDAV and CalDAV? These are fairly complex application protocols with out a clear purpose from what I can tell. Shouldn't this functionality be provided by more conventions on HTTP and APP? Right? The nice thing about microformats is they do not extend XHTML, just tell you ways to use it. The nice thing about APP is it does not extend HTTP, just tell you a way to use it.

To get beyond mere APP, would you want to extend HTTP like WebDAV and CalDAV? Why?

Am I missing where people are discussing ways to *use* HTTP (as opposed to extend it) for calendaring and other microprotocols? Otherwise how many protocols do we think we need? Is 2006 the year for microprotocols?

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.