28 January, 2008

Happy birthday, Legos.

Happy 50th birthday, Legos. Far and away the most creative, fun, versatile, and long-lived toys I ever had (Thanks, mom).

22 January, 2008

Khoi Vinh on CS3

Khoi Vinh has a great little piece on Adobe's CS3 suite here.

One quibble: I have to disagree with Mr. Vinh regarding print dialog boxes in CS3. I find them very intuitive and handy, especially compared to the print dialog boxes on competing products (QuarkXpress, I'm looking at you, you slow, bloated, ugly, lo-res, counterintuitive piece of shit).

Aside from that, I find this article to be spot-on: CS3 is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor in terms of interface cohesiveness, stability, and feature improvement. I can't bloody wait until we upgrade at the office. . . .

10 January, 2008

Speaking of free. . . .

NetNewsWire, that badass, best in class, and my preferred feed reader, is now free. As in beer. If you're not using NNW for your RSS needs, do yourself a favour and get it now.

Hello neighbour. Come steal my bandwidth.

Good Morning. As soon as I iron out a few security issues on my machines, I've decided to open up access to my wireless access point at home (it's called Mothership X, just in case you're ever around). No password, no encryption, just free-and-clear internet access for me and my neighbours. I've been thinking about doing this for a while, for some of the reasons that Bruce Schnier outlines in this article. Also, I find it's a nice way to affirm what I've always thought, deep down inside: people are generally good, and when you share, people will share in kind. Karma and all that. Well, in any case, enjoy the free WiFi, Bed-Stuy.

09 January, 2008

The Pirate's Dilemma

Here's a fascinating excerpt from Matt Mason's new book, The Pirate's Dilemma, via torrentfreak.com. To wit:

We live in a world where it is legal for a company to patent pigs, or any other living thing except for a full birth human being, but copying a CD you bought onto your hard drive is considered an infringement of someone else’s rights. A place where an average law abiding citizen could owe more than $12 million dollars in fines if they were sued every time they accidentally violated copyright law in a single day. A society where it’s ok for each of us to be hit with 5,000 advertising messages every 24 hours, usually without our permission, but creating a piece of art and placing it in public yourself without permission can land you in prison. This isn’t just about the pros and cons of file sharing - this is about an entire species losing its sense of perspective, failing to understand the potential of one of its most precious (and yet most abundant) resources.

Many of us are confused about whether our ideas should count as information, or property. When we have a new idea, there are two opposing forces at work. At the same time as we are thinking “how can I get this out there?” we’re also asking ourselves “how can I benefit from/monetize this idea?” We want to spread ideas as information, but capitalize on them as intellectual property. This problem with information is something I call The Pirate’s Dilemma.

Interesting stuff, and there's not much on there that I don't agree with. I've had this book mentioned to me three times today alone—I'm going to have to shortlist it on my reading pile. . . .

02 January, 2008

Not dead, just resting. . .

I'll be back, like the Terminator. Except without the shotgun and the kickass bionics, unfortunately.