g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

InstaPundit
Steven Den Beste
James Lileks
Little Green Footballs
As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
Cold Fury
Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





Book Plugs:




Buy 'em and I get
money. I think.
BSD Mall




 4/14/2014 -  4/16/2014
  4/7/2014 -  4/13/2014
 3/31/2014 -   4/6/2014
 3/24/2014 -  3/30/2014
 3/17/2014 -  3/23/2014
 3/10/2014 -  3/16/2014
  3/3/2014 -   3/9/2014
 2/24/2014 -   3/2/2014
 2/17/2014 -  2/23/2014
 2/10/2014 -  2/16/2014
  2/3/2014 -   2/9/2014
 1/27/2014 -   2/2/2014
 1/20/2014 -  1/26/2014
 1/13/2014 -  1/19/2014
  1/6/2014 -  1/12/2014
12/30/2013 -   1/5/2014
12/23/2013 - 12/29/2013
12/16/2013 - 12/22/2013
 12/9/2013 - 12/15/2013
 12/2/2013 -  12/8/2013
11/25/2013 -  12/1/2013
11/18/2013 - 11/24/2013
11/11/2013 - 11/17/2013
 11/4/2013 - 11/10/2013
10/28/2013 -  11/3/2013
10/21/2013 - 10/27/2013
10/14/2013 - 10/20/2013
 10/7/2013 - 10/13/2013
 9/30/2013 -  10/6/2013
 9/23/2013 -  9/29/2013
 9/16/2013 -  9/22/2013
  9/9/2013 -  9/15/2013
  9/2/2013 -   9/8/2013
 8/26/2013 -   9/1/2013
 8/19/2013 -  8/25/2013
 8/12/2013 -  8/18/2013
  8/5/2013 -  8/11/2013
 7/29/2013 -   8/4/2013
 7/22/2013 -  7/28/2013
 7/15/2013 -  7/21/2013
  7/8/2013 -  7/14/2013
  7/1/2013 -   7/7/2013
 6/24/2013 -  6/30/2013
 6/17/2013 -  6/23/2013
 6/10/2013 -  6/16/2013
  6/3/2013 -   6/9/2013
 5/27/2013 -   6/2/2013
 5/20/2013 -  5/26/2013
 5/13/2013 -  5/19/2013
  5/6/2013 -  5/12/2013
 4/29/2013 -   5/5/2013
 4/22/2013 -  4/28/2013
 4/15/2013 -  4/21/2013
  4/8/2013 -  4/14/2013
  4/1/2013 -   4/7/2013
 3/25/2013 -  3/31/2013
 3/18/2013 -  3/24/2013
 3/11/2013 -  3/17/2013
  3/4/2013 -  3/10/2013
 2/25/2013 -   3/3/2013
 2/18/2013 -  2/24/2013
 2/11/2013 -  2/17/2013
  2/4/2013 -  2/10/2013
 1/28/2013 -   2/3/2013
 1/21/2013 -  1/27/2013
 1/14/2013 -  1/20/2013
  1/7/2013 -  1/13/2013
12/31/2012 -   1/6/2013
12/24/2012 - 12/30/2012
12/17/2012 - 12/23/2012
12/10/2012 - 12/16/2012
 12/3/2012 -  12/9/2012
11/26/2012 -  12/2/2012
11/19/2012 - 11/25/2012
11/12/2012 - 11/18/2012
 11/5/2012 - 11/11/2012
10/29/2012 -  11/4/2012
10/22/2012 - 10/28/2012
10/15/2012 - 10/21/2012
 10/8/2012 - 10/14/2012
 10/1/2012 -  10/7/2012
 9/24/2012 -  9/30/2012
 9/17/2012 -  9/23/2012
 9/10/2012 -  9/16/2012
  9/3/2012 -   9/9/2012
 8/27/2012 -   9/2/2012
 8/20/2012 -  8/26/2012
 8/13/2012 -  8/19/2012
  8/6/2012 -  8/12/2012
 7/30/2012 -   8/5/2012
 7/23/2012 -  7/29/2012
 7/16/2012 -  7/22/2012
  7/9/2012 -  7/15/2012
  7/2/2012 -   7/8/2012
 6/25/2012 -   7/1/2012
 6/18/2012 -  6/24/2012
 6/11/2012 -  6/17/2012
  6/4/2012 -  6/10/2012
 5/28/2012 -   6/3/2012
 5/21/2012 -  5/27/2012
 5/14/2012 -  5/20/2012
  5/7/2012 -  5/13/2012
 4/30/2012 -   5/6/2012
 4/23/2012 -  4/29/2012
 4/16/2012 -  4/22/2012
  4/9/2012 -  4/15/2012
  4/2/2012 -   4/8/2012
 3/26/2012 -   4/1/2012
 3/19/2012 -  3/25/2012
 3/12/2012 -  3/18/2012
  3/5/2012 -  3/11/2012
 2/27/2012 -   3/4/2012
 2/20/2012 -  2/26/2012
 2/13/2012 -  2/19/2012
  2/6/2012 -  2/12/2012
 1/30/2012 -   2/5/2012
 1/23/2012 -  1/29/2012
 1/16/2012 -  1/22/2012
  1/9/2012 -  1/15/2012
  1/2/2012 -   1/8/2012
12/26/2011 -   1/1/2011
12/19/2011 - 12/25/2011
12/12/2011 - 12/18/2011
 12/5/2011 - 12/11/2011
11/28/2011 -  12/4/2011
11/21/2011 - 11/27/2011
11/14/2011 - 11/20/2011
 11/7/2011 - 11/13/2011
10/31/2011 -  11/6/2011
10/24/2011 - 10/30/2011
10/17/2011 - 10/23/2011
10/10/2011 - 10/16/2011
 10/3/2011 -  10/9/2011
 9/26/2011 -  10/2/2011
 9/19/2011 -  9/25/2011
 9/12/2011 -  9/18/2011
  9/5/2011 -  9/11/2011
 8/29/2011 -   9/4/2011
 8/22/2011 -  8/28/2011
 8/15/2011 -  8/21/2011
  8/8/2011 -  8/14/2011
  8/1/2011 -   8/7/2011
 7/25/2011 -  7/31/2011
 7/18/2011 -  7/24/2011
 7/11/2011 -  7/17/2011
  7/4/2011 -  7/10/2011
 6/27/2011 -   7/3/2011
 6/20/2011 -  6/26/2011
 6/13/2011 -  6/19/2011
  6/6/2011 -  6/12/2011
 5/30/2011 -   6/5/2011
 5/23/2011 -  5/29/2011
 5/16/2011 -  5/22/2011
  5/9/2011 -  5/15/2011
  5/2/2011 -   5/8/2011
 4/25/2011 -   5/1/2011
 4/18/2011 -  4/24/2011
 4/11/2011 -  4/17/2011
  4/4/2011 -  4/10/2011
 3/28/2011 -   4/3/2011
 3/21/2011 -  3/27/2011
 3/14/2011 -  3/20/2011
  3/7/2011 -  3/13/2011
 2/28/2011 -   3/6/2011
 2/21/2011 -  2/27/2011
 2/14/2011 -  2/20/2011
  2/7/2011 -  2/13/2011
 1/31/2011 -   2/6/2011
 1/24/2011 -  1/30/2011
 1/17/2011 -  1/23/2011
 1/10/2011 -  1/16/2011
  1/3/2011 -   1/9/2011
12/27/2010 -   1/2/2010
12/20/2010 - 12/26/2010
12/13/2010 - 12/19/2010
 12/6/2010 - 12/12/2010
11/29/2010 -  12/5/2010
11/22/2010 - 11/28/2010
11/15/2010 - 11/21/2010
 11/8/2010 - 11/14/2010
 11/1/2010 -  11/7/2010
10/25/2010 - 10/31/2010
10/18/2010 - 10/24/2010
10/11/2010 - 10/17/2010
 10/4/2010 - 10/10/2010
 9/27/2010 -  10/3/2010
 9/20/2010 -  9/26/2010
 9/13/2010 -  9/19/2010
  9/6/2010 -  9/12/2010
 8/30/2010 -   9/5/2010
 8/23/2010 -  8/29/2010
 8/16/2010 -  8/22/2010
  8/9/2010 -  8/15/2010
  8/2/2010 -   8/8/2010
 7/26/2010 -   8/1/2010
 7/19/2010 -  7/25/2010
 7/12/2010 -  7/18/2010
  7/5/2010 -  7/11/2010
 6/28/2010 -   7/4/2010
 6/21/2010 -  6/27/2010
 6/14/2010 -  6/20/2010
  6/7/2010 -  6/13/2010
 5/31/2010 -   6/6/2010
 5/24/2010 -  5/30/2010
 5/17/2010 -  5/23/2010
 5/10/2010 -  5/16/2010
  5/3/2010 -   5/9/2010
 4/26/2010 -   5/2/2010
 4/19/2010 -  4/25/2010
 4/12/2010 -  4/18/2010
  4/5/2010 -  4/11/2010
 3/29/2010 -   4/4/2010
 3/22/2010 -  3/28/2010
 3/15/2010 -  3/21/2010
  3/8/2010 -  3/14/2010
  3/1/2010 -   3/7/2010
 2/22/2010 -  2/28/2010
 2/15/2010 -  2/21/2010
  2/8/2010 -  2/14/2010
  2/1/2010 -   2/7/2010
 1/25/2010 -  1/31/2010
 1/18/2010 -  1/24/2010
 1/11/2010 -  1/17/2010
  1/4/2010 -  1/10/2010
12/28/2009 -   1/3/2009
12/21/2009 - 12/27/2009
12/14/2009 - 12/20/2009
 12/7/2009 - 12/13/2009
11/30/2009 -  12/6/2009
11/23/2009 - 11/29/2009
11/16/2009 - 11/22/2009
 11/9/2009 - 11/15/2009
 11/2/2009 -  11/8/2009
10/26/2009 -  11/1/2009
10/19/2009 - 10/25/2009
10/12/2009 - 10/18/2009
 10/5/2009 - 10/11/2009
 9/28/2009 -  10/4/2009
 9/21/2009 -  9/27/2009
 9/14/2009 -  9/20/2009
  9/7/2009 -  9/13/2009
 8/31/2009 -   9/6/2009
 8/24/2009 -  8/30/2009
 8/17/2009 -  8/23/2009
 8/10/2009 -  8/16/2009
  8/3/2009 -   8/9/2009
 7/27/2009 -   8/2/2009
 7/20/2009 -  7/26/2009
 7/13/2009 -  7/19/2009
  7/6/2009 -  7/12/2009
 6/29/2009 -   7/5/2009
 6/22/2009 -  6/28/2009
 6/15/2009 -  6/21/2009
  6/8/2009 -  6/14/2009
  6/1/2009 -   6/7/2009
 5/25/2009 -  5/31/2009
 5/18/2009 -  5/24/2009
 5/11/2009 -  5/17/2009
  5/4/2009 -  5/10/2009
 4/27/2009 -   5/3/2009
 4/20/2009 -  4/26/2009
 4/13/2009 -  4/19/2009
  4/6/2009 -  4/12/2009
 3/30/2009 -   4/5/2009
 3/23/2009 -  3/29/2009
 3/16/2009 -  3/22/2009
  3/9/2009 -  3/15/2009
  3/2/2009 -   3/8/2009
 2/23/2009 -   3/1/2009
 2/16/2009 -  2/22/2009
  2/9/2009 -  2/15/2009
  2/2/2009 -   2/8/2009
 1/26/2009 -   2/1/2009
 1/19/2009 -  1/25/2009
 1/12/2009 -  1/18/2009
  1/5/2009 -  1/11/2009
12/29/2008 -   1/4/2009
12/22/2008 - 12/28/2008
12/15/2008 - 12/21/2008
 12/8/2008 - 12/14/2008
 12/1/2008 -  12/7/2008
11/24/2008 - 11/30/2008
11/17/2008 - 11/23/2008
11/10/2008 - 11/16/2008
 11/3/2008 -  11/9/2008
10/27/2008 -  11/2/2008
10/20/2008 - 10/26/2008
10/13/2008 - 10/19/2008
 10/6/2008 - 10/12/2008
 9/29/2008 -  10/5/2008
 9/22/2008 -  9/28/2008
 9/15/2008 -  9/21/2008
  9/8/2008 -  9/14/2008
  9/1/2008 -   9/7/2008
 8/25/2008 -  8/31/2008
 8/18/2008 -  8/24/2008
 8/11/2008 -  8/17/2008
  8/4/2008 -  8/10/2008
 7/28/2008 -   8/3/2008
 7/21/2008 -  7/27/2008
 7/14/2008 -  7/20/2008
  7/7/2008 -  7/13/2008
 6/30/2008 -   7/6/2008
 6/23/2008 -  6/29/2008
 6/16/2008 -  6/22/2008
  6/9/2008 -  6/15/2008
  6/2/2008 -   6/8/2008
 5/26/2008 -   6/1/2008
 5/19/2008 -  5/25/2008
 5/12/2008 -  5/18/2008
  5/5/2008 -  5/11/2008
 4/28/2008 -   5/4/2008
 4/21/2008 -  4/27/2008
 4/14/2008 -  4/20/2008
  4/7/2008 -  4/13/2008
 3/31/2008 -   4/6/2008
 3/24/2008 -  3/30/2008
 3/17/2008 -  3/23/2008
 3/10/2008 -  3/16/2008
  3/3/2008 -   3/9/2008
 2/25/2008 -   3/2/2008
 2/18/2008 -  2/24/2008
 2/11/2008 -  2/17/2008
  2/4/2008 -  2/10/2008
 1/28/2008 -   2/3/2008
 1/21/2008 -  1/27/2008
 1/14/2008 -  1/20/2008
  1/7/2008 -  1/13/2008
12/31/2007 -   1/6/2008
12/24/2007 - 12/30/2007
12/17/2007 - 12/23/2007
12/10/2007 - 12/16/2007
 12/3/2007 -  12/9/2007
11/26/2007 -  12/2/2007
11/19/2007 - 11/25/2007
11/12/2007 - 11/18/2007
 11/5/2007 - 11/11/2007
10/29/2007 -  11/4/2007
10/22/2007 - 10/28/2007
10/15/2007 - 10/21/2007
 10/8/2007 - 10/14/2007
 10/1/2007 -  10/7/2007
 9/24/2007 -  9/30/2007
 9/17/2007 -  9/23/2007
 9/10/2007 -  9/16/2007
  9/3/2007 -   9/9/2007
 8/27/2007 -   9/2/2007
 8/20/2007 -  8/26/2007
 8/13/2007 -  8/19/2007
  8/6/2007 -  8/12/2007
 7/30/2007 -   8/5/2007
 7/23/2007 -  7/29/2007
 7/16/2007 -  7/22/2007
  7/9/2007 -  7/15/2007
  7/2/2007 -   7/8/2007
 6/25/2007 -   7/1/2007
 6/18/2007 -  6/24/2007
 6/11/2007 -  6/17/2007
  6/4/2007 -  6/10/2007
 5/28/2007 -   6/3/2007
 5/21/2007 -  5/27/2007
 5/14/2007 -  5/20/2007
  5/7/2007 -  5/13/2007
 4/30/2007 -   5/6/2007
 4/23/2007 -  4/29/2007
 4/16/2007 -  4/22/2007
  4/9/2007 -  4/15/2007
  4/2/2007 -   4/8/2007
 3/26/2007 -   4/1/2007
 3/19/2007 -  3/25/2007
 3/12/2007 -  3/18/2007
  3/5/2007 -  3/11/2007
 2/26/2007 -   3/4/2007
 2/19/2007 -  2/25/2007
 2/12/2007 -  2/18/2007
  2/5/2007 -  2/11/2007
 1/29/2007 -   2/4/2007
 1/22/2007 -  1/28/2007
 1/15/2007 -  1/21/2007
  1/8/2007 -  1/14/2007
  1/1/2007 -   1/7/2007
12/25/2006 - 12/31/2006
12/18/2006 - 12/24/2006
12/11/2006 - 12/17/2006
 12/4/2006 - 12/10/2006
11/27/2006 -  12/3/2006
11/20/2006 - 11/26/2006
11/13/2006 - 11/19/2006
 11/6/2006 - 11/12/2006
10/30/2006 -  11/5/2006
10/23/2006 - 10/29/2006
10/16/2006 - 10/22/2006
 10/9/2006 - 10/15/2006
 10/2/2006 -  10/8/2006
 9/25/2006 -  10/1/2006
 9/18/2006 -  9/24/2006
 9/11/2006 -  9/17/2006
  9/4/2006 -  9/10/2006
 8/28/2006 -   9/3/2006
 8/21/2006 -  8/27/2006
 8/14/2006 -  8/20/2006
  8/7/2006 -  8/13/2006
 7/31/2006 -   8/6/2006
 7/24/2006 -  7/30/2006
 7/17/2006 -  7/23/2006
 7/10/2006 -  7/16/2006
  7/3/2006 -   7/9/2006
 6/26/2006 -   7/2/2006
 6/19/2006 -  6/25/2006
 6/12/2006 -  6/18/2006
  6/5/2006 -  6/11/2006
 5/29/2006 -   6/4/2006
 5/22/2006 -  5/28/2006
 5/15/2006 -  5/21/2006
  5/8/2006 -  5/14/2006
  5/1/2006 -   5/7/2006
 4/24/2006 -  4/30/2006
 4/17/2006 -  4/23/2006
 4/10/2006 -  4/16/2006
  4/3/2006 -   4/9/2006
 3/27/2006 -   4/2/2006
 3/20/2006 -  3/26/2006
 3/13/2006 -  3/19/2006
  3/6/2006 -  3/12/2006
 2/27/2006 -   3/5/2006
 2/20/2006 -  2/26/2006
 2/13/2006 -  2/19/2006
  2/6/2006 -  2/12/2006
 1/30/2006 -   2/5/2006
 1/23/2006 -  1/29/2006
 1/16/2006 -  1/22/2006
  1/9/2006 -  1/15/2006
  1/2/2006 -   1/8/2006
12/26/2005 -   1/1/2005
12/19/2005 - 12/25/2005
12/12/2005 - 12/18/2005
 12/5/2005 - 12/11/2005
11/28/2005 -  12/4/2005
11/21/2005 - 11/27/2005
11/14/2005 - 11/20/2005
 11/7/2005 - 11/13/2005
10/31/2005 -  11/6/2005
10/24/2005 - 10/30/2005
10/17/2005 - 10/23/2005
10/10/2005 - 10/16/2005
 10/3/2005 -  10/9/2005
 9/26/2005 -  10/2/2005
 9/19/2005 -  9/25/2005
 9/12/2005 -  9/18/2005
  9/5/2005 -  9/11/2005
 8/29/2005 -   9/4/2005
 8/22/2005 -  8/28/2005
 8/15/2005 -  8/21/2005
  8/8/2005 -  8/14/2005
  8/1/2005 -   8/7/2005
 7/25/2005 -  7/31/2005
 7/18/2005 -  7/24/2005
 7/11/2005 -  7/17/2005
  7/4/2005 -  7/10/2005
 6/27/2005 -   7/3/2005
 6/20/2005 -  6/26/2005
 6/13/2005 -  6/19/2005
  6/6/2005 -  6/12/2005
 5/30/2005 -   6/5/2005
 5/23/2005 -  5/29/2005
 5/16/2005 -  5/22/2005
  5/9/2005 -  5/15/2005
  5/2/2005 -   5/8/2005
 4/25/2005 -   5/1/2005
 4/18/2005 -  4/24/2005
 4/11/2005 -  4/17/2005
  4/4/2005 -  4/10/2005
 3/28/2005 -   4/3/2005
 3/21/2005 -  3/27/2005
 3/14/2005 -  3/20/2005
  3/7/2005 -  3/13/2005
 2/28/2005 -   3/6/2005
 2/21/2005 -  2/27/2005
 2/14/2005 -  2/20/2005
  2/7/2005 -  2/13/2005
 1/31/2005 -   2/6/2005
 1/24/2005 -  1/30/2005
 1/17/2005 -  1/23/2005
 1/10/2005 -  1/16/2005
  1/3/2005 -   1/9/2005
12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
12/20/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
 12/6/2004 - 12/12/2004
11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/15/2004 - 11/21/2004
 11/8/2004 - 11/14/2004
 11/1/2004 -  11/7/2004
10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/11/2004 - 10/17/2004
 10/4/2004 - 10/10/2004
 9/27/2004 -  10/3/2004
 9/20/2004 -  9/26/2004
 9/13/2004 -  9/19/2004
  9/6/2004 -  9/12/2004
 8/30/2004 -   9/5/2004
 8/23/2004 -  8/29/2004
 8/16/2004 -  8/22/2004
  8/9/2004 -  8/15/2004
  8/2/2004 -   8/8/2004
 7/26/2004 -   8/1/2004
 7/19/2004 -  7/25/2004
 7/12/2004 -  7/18/2004
  7/5/2004 -  7/11/2004
 6/28/2004 -   7/4/2004
 6/21/2004 -  6/27/2004
 6/14/2004 -  6/20/2004
  6/7/2004 -  6/13/2004
 5/31/2004 -   6/6/2004
 5/24/2004 -  5/30/2004
 5/17/2004 -  5/23/2004
 5/10/2004 -  5/16/2004
  5/3/2004 -   5/9/2004
 4/26/2004 -   5/2/2004
 4/19/2004 -  4/25/2004
 4/12/2004 -  4/18/2004
  4/5/2004 -  4/11/2004
 3/29/2004 -   4/4/2004
 3/22/2004 -  3/28/2004
 3/15/2004 -  3/21/2004
  3/8/2004 -  3/14/2004
  3/1/2004 -   3/7/2004
 2/23/2004 -  2/29/2004
 2/16/2004 -  2/22/2004
  2/9/2004 -  2/15/2004
  2/2/2004 -   2/8/2004
 1/26/2004 -   2/1/2004
 1/19/2004 -  1/25/2004
 1/12/2004 -  1/18/2004
  1/5/2004 -  1/11/2004
12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
 12/8/2003 - 12/14/2003
 12/1/2003 -  12/7/2003
11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
 11/3/2003 -  11/9/2003
10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
10/20/2003 - 10/26/2003
10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
 10/6/2003 - 10/12/2003
 9/29/2003 -  10/5/2003
 9/22/2003 -  9/28/2003
 9/15/2003 -  9/21/2003
  9/8/2003 -  9/14/2003
  9/1/2003 -   9/7/2003
 8/25/2003 -  8/31/2003
 8/18/2003 -  8/24/2003
 8/11/2003 -  8/17/2003
  8/4/2003 -  8/10/2003
 7/28/2003 -   8/3/2003
 7/21/2003 -  7/27/2003
 7/14/2003 -  7/20/2003
  7/7/2003 -  7/13/2003
 6/30/2003 -   7/6/2003
 6/23/2003 -  6/29/2003
 6/16/2003 -  6/22/2003
  6/9/2003 -  6/15/2003
  6/2/2003 -   6/8/2003
 5/26/2003 -   6/1/2003
 5/19/2003 -  5/25/2003
 5/12/2003 -  5/18/2003
  5/5/2003 -  5/11/2003
 4/28/2003 -   5/4/2003
 4/21/2003 -  4/27/2003
 4/14/2003 -  4/20/2003
  4/7/2003 -  4/13/2003
 3/31/2003 -   4/6/2003
 3/24/2003 -  3/30/2003
 3/17/2003 -  3/23/2003
 3/10/2003 -  3/16/2003
  3/3/2003 -   3/9/2003
 2/24/2003 -   3/2/2003
 2/17/2003 -  2/23/2003
 2/10/2003 -  2/16/2003
  2/3/2003 -   2/9/2003
 1/27/2003 -   2/2/2003
 1/20/2003 -  1/26/2003
 1/13/2003 -  1/19/2003
  1/6/2003 -  1/12/2003
12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
 12/9/2002 - 12/15/2002
 12/2/2002 -  12/8/2002
11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
 11/4/2002 - 11/10/2002
10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
 10/7/2002 - 10/13/2002
 9/30/2002 -  10/6/2002
 9/23/2002 -  9/29/2002
 9/16/2002 -  9/22/2002
  9/9/2002 -  9/15/2002
  9/2/2002 -   9/8/2002
 8/26/2002 -   9/1/2002
 8/19/2002 -  8/25/2002
 8/12/2002 -  8/18/2002
  8/5/2002 -  8/11/2002
 7/29/2002 -   8/4/2002
 7/22/2002 -  7/28/2002
 7/15/2002 -  7/21/2002
  7/8/2002 -  7/14/2002
  7/1/2002 -   7/7/2002
 6/24/2002 -  6/30/2002
 6/17/2002 -  6/23/2002
 6/10/2002 -  6/16/2002
  6/3/2002 -   6/9/2002
 5/27/2002 -   6/2/2002
 5/20/2002 -  5/26/2002
 5/13/2002 -  5/19/2002
  5/6/2002 -  5/12/2002
 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
 4/22/2002 -  4/28/2002
 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
  4/1/2002 -   4/7/2002
 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
 2/25/2002 -   3/3/2002
 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Sunday, September 22, 2002
00:29 - Eww! I got some Windows on me!

(top)
Here's how to recognize a Mac program that has been ported from Windows by someone who really doesn't understand the Mac OS:



Huh? Whaddya mean, you "cannot find Smpl_wns.xm"? It's right here. <pointing at the screen> All I did was move it from my Desktop into a folder. And that means you can't find it anymore?

...Of course it does. The Windows filesystem doesn't have Unique File IDs; the only way to find a file is by its path. And if a path changes, any programs that try to keep track of the file are SOL. Whereas a program that was designed from the ground up with the advantages of the Mac in mind would instead keep track of files by their Unique File IDs, like iTunes does, so you can move files any which where you want to-- even while they're downloading or playing or being copied or whatever-- and nothing will go all brain-dead about not being able to find them, for God's sake.

Yeah, I know that only about 5% of the computer-using population of the world has used software that doesn't lose track of files if you move them. But if it weren't for Apple, it would be 0%.

22:58 - Someone else noticed
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47061-2002Sep21.html

(top)
Ah hah... via Corsair, here's evidence that the IKEA "Unböring" ad campaign is getting more attention in critical circles than just from me.

Apparently the thrust of the campaign will be a bid to get people to treat furniture as something that's more "disposable"-- something you can endlessly trade-up, discarding your old crappy stuff. IKEA vigorously denies that they're trying to promote conspicuous consumption or planned obsolescence, but... well, I don't know if there's a good way to end that sentence without being entirely self-contradictory.

While I'm not yet sure about the sentiment, I still think the ad's brilliant.

12:51 - RADiCal ...(Okay, you do better...)
http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,55244,00.html

(top)
Wow. It's only been a week since iCal was released, and there's already a Wired article about a site that's sprung up to take full advantage of iCal's ability to publish and share calendars freely, using only a standard web server. The site is iCalShare.com, and I've checked it out-- it looks pretty dang neat. Apple had already posted a few public calendars people could subscribe to (movie openings, US holidays, TV premieres), but it took someone apparently all of ten minutes to realize that anybody could run a clearing-house site to host calendars like that, and to allow individuals to post their own calendars and merge them dynamically with other people's.

This looks like a job for... The Internet!


There are calendars for shuttle launches, bible readings, Mac tradeshows, National Hockey League teams, NASCAR races, the America's Cup, soccer matches in the Netherlands and Formula One races.

There are also calendars for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Iron Chef TV show, the new Survivor series, the New York Yankees, Russian public holidays, school holidays in Luxembourg and significant dates related to Rush, the Canadian progressive-rock group -- including tour dates and band members' birthdays.

"The diversity and scope of calendars coming in continues to surprise me," said Crowley. "It's like a micropublishing revolution. Everybody's an expert on something, and they all want to share their expertise, but without all the fuss of making a Web page or website."

Thanks to Crowley's site, all the work of entering calendar dates is done by someone else who shares similar interests.

The service is free, and calendars are automatically updated when the creators make changes. Of course, you're at their mercy if they make mistakes.

The free iCal application has been available for just over one week, yet Crowley already has collected more than 100 calendars and expects to double that by the end of the week. It's likely to snowball.

"Part of Apple's recent success is its robust online community," Crowley said. "Hopefully, iCalshare will become part of that."

Boy howdy. Apple's one of those companies that understands how people want to work, and they write tools which play to just those tendencies. Lately they've seen not only how people tend to use the Internet, but how they love to use the Internet-- e.g. setting up websites for common interests and shared goals, and running them like small entrepreneurial businesses as more and more people come on board. All they were missing was the right tool.

It's like with iPhoto, which has created small businesses like one quoted on the Switch page in which a woman stays at home, has people send her collections of digital or film photos, and then organizes and edits them in iPhoto and make those hardcover photo books that she then orders through Apple. She then collects a healthy profit on the price she gets from the client. She's not the only one doing this, either.

Both Apple's and Mozilla's applications are based on an open, standard-file format called iCal, which was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

The iCal format is supported by a variety of calendaring software, including Microsoft's Outlook.

"It's another example of Apple taking an open standard and making it truly useful," Crowley said. "I'm sure other calendar vendors will shortly follow in Apple's footsteps with their own calendar-sharing stuff."

Kris was telling me last night about one of the WWDC keynote speeches from back in May, in which one of the engineering directors was talking about UNIX and Apple's vision for how to build on it. They're focusing on "smaller is better" and "open standards are good"; they're under a strict mandate not to change anything in the underlying UNIX unless they have to. Development infrastructure is geared toward fast code implementation, which is why OS X is so slow-- it's as pure an object-oriented platform as we've ever seen in widespread use. There are layers upon layers of abstraction APIs which must be called during any particular function, and while parts of this can be optimized, Apple really can't push the speed of OS X-- particularly in the user interface-- to the level of Windows without fundamentally undermining their ideals of object-based development. All they can really do is throw CPU speed at it (which we'll have, hopefully, in about a year). Personally, if the benefits are programs like iCal and iPhoto which they can whip out in a couple of months' time, then I'm all for it. I'd far rather have that-- applications whose underlying code is effectively "already written", freeing up the developers to make it robust, attractive, intuitive, and above all useful-- rather than a whole lot of talk and bluster that eventually results in yet another drab gray incomprehensible mess like Outlook.

Apple is about creating and enabling... and they do it almost without regard for their own ability to benefit from it. Jobs has always had the weakness (or strength, depending on how the company is doing at a given time) of being confident that customers will choose the better product, and that means Apple will always have a compelling business case. He figures that to succeed, he has to win the hearts-and-minds battle; even if Apple doesn't have a price edge or a performance edge, he believes that people will eventually be won over by the benefits of Macs rather than put off by the disadvantages.

Most people get less and less idealistic as they age, particularly through first-hand experience. But it doesn't appear to have happened to Jobs. He's gotten less brash and willing to take pointless risks on products that would never sell, granted-- but he does know a low-hanging fruit when he sees it, and as with Inkwell in Jaguar, he knows the value of cool.

Cool alone doesn't sell, says the Microsoft school of thought. Apple says, yes it does-- just not in the majority. But it will always have an appreciative audience.
Saturday, September 21, 2002
22:41 - Hah! Chortle, giggle, guffaw and other such utterances

(top)
I was listening to the ever-amusing "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR on the way to the store just now. Usually the hosts manage not to let their political leanings and/or cheap-shottery bleed through into the discourse. But this time, well...

Peter, the lead guy, posed one question (the obvious answer was "Bush") in which he related, in a thick Texan accent, the recent occasion where Dubya tried to recite the old "Fool me once/fool me twice" aphorism, but mangled it rather badly. He said, apparently, "Y'know, there's an old saying down around where I'm from: 'Fool me once, shame on me... fool me-- er, fool... you can't get fooled again.'"

The hosts all guffawed, as one might imagine. Peter explained how the press has been loath to gleefully broadcast Bush's malapropisms in the course of the past year, because hey, there's a war on and all. Word is that Bush's on-camera appearances have been intentionally brief, often rebroadcast only after editing, and written transcripts of his extemporaneous speeches have been cleaned of verbal flubs.

You could just hear the scorn dripping from Peter's expertly clipped and waxed voice when he smugly tried to finish up the segment as follows:

"Of course, as we all know, the actual saying is: 'Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me... er... wait...'"

The laughter that rocked the studio was louder than it had been before. As it was from inside my car. Yeah, take that, you sneering so-and-so. But the best part of all, what got the biggest belly-laugh out of everybody involved, was the next line out of Peter's mouth, delivered through a mortified, self-conscious giggle:

"I guess that just goes to show, I shouldn't criticize the Predisen--aaagh!"

15:10 - Lawyers and Computers: A Dangerous Combination
http://www.freep.com/news/locoak/checks21_20020921.htm

(top)
You know that "Nigerian Scam Letter" thing? The one that's apparently been in circulation since the 80s, through various media, and only now becoming so much more common knowledge because of e-mail?

Well, a 59-year-old woman at a law firm in Michigan seems to have fallen for it-- big-time. Bigger-time than usual. See, she had access to her entire law firm's assets. And she drained them in order to dutifully fulfill the scam's requests (for fees, taxes, bribes, etc. that must be paid in order to secure the victim's "fee"). To the tune of $2.1 million.

If a person falls for this scam and uses his or her own money to bankrupt oneself over it, that's one thing. But if the person embezzles money from business accounts to which he or she has access, well, now they're both stupid and malicious. And all you can hope is that they haven't bred.

Now we see why it's so futile to try to educate people to not open e-mail attachments, not install every damn piece of spyware/malware that they find, to pay attention to security warnings, and so on. We'd like to think of ourselves as a society that can handle the responsibility that comes with an unfettered, unregulated, unguaranteed medium like the Internet. But the sad fact is that our society-- and that of the whole world-- is in fact full of morons, and more of them are coming online every day. Half the population, after all, has an IQ of less than 100, by definition. Up till now it's mostly been the other half, the ones with a clue, who were using computers. But you know... that was once true of the telephone and the TV.

Sooner or later someone like this-- someone intensely rich and intensely stupid-- will have something like this happen to them, and then will pull coffee-in-the-lap emotional tricks and play on the PC conscience of the public and convince everybody that it's the Internet's fault, not theirs. And you know what that means.

The free ride can't last forever. Let's enjoy it while we have it.
Friday, September 20, 2002
17:32 - So it's a wash at worst?
http://www.bcentral.com/articles/komando/104.asp?cobrand=msn&LID=3800

(top)
Here's what happens when an MSN bCentral columnist tries out an iMac, Coursey-style, to see whether or not the "Switch" ads are just hype.

She does try to be fair, I guess. She has more than the usual share of weird misconceptions (she thinks the Mac equivalent of the Windows Explorer is called "Macintosh HD", which I guess is what an OS gets for putting its disks on the desktop where you can access them directly). And her conclusions are that the iMac suffers from the following three disadvantages:

A one-button mouse. Actually, the entire mouse is the button. I'm used to using the right button and scroll wheel on my Windows mouse. Really, Apple, you could do better than this.

Why? What good is the right button in an OS that's designed to avoid the contextual-menu madness of Windows? The whole point of the one-button mouse is simplicity for new users, who don't know what weird functionalities lurk in the right-button menus of this or that Windows program. The Mac's big design guideline on this subject is to make all functionality available either in clear UI elements (e.g. buttons) or in the menus; contextual menus can only mirror functions that exist in the standard locations, as a shortcut-- the contextual menu can never be the only place to find something. That way, a beginning computer user won't be confused by all these bizarre buttons everywhere. Did you know that a majority of PC users don't realize what the right button is even for? A study found that most thought it was just some sort of "alternate" button for left-handed people; or they never touched it for fear of breaking something.

Scroll-wheels and multi-button mice are indeed useful. I use one myself. Support for them is built into the OS, including sensitivity controls for the scroll-wheels on third-party mice. If you gotta have one, go buy one. Apple's engineers did do better, however. They put their effort into making the extra buttons unnecessary.

The 15-inch monitor. Apple has begun shipping iMacs with 17-inch screens. I'm used to using a 21-inch CRT monitor, and the 15-incher was just too small.

Fine, that's fair enough. So why are you complaining about the screen size on an entry-level machine, when what you're used to is a top-end monitor? Next on Non-Sequitur Review TV, we bring you a Formula 1 driver who warns buyers to stay away from the Chevy Cavalier, because the engine's too damn small.

No floppy drive. I know 3.5-inch floppies aren't used much anymore. But the need does arise occasionally. The iMac should have a floppy drive.

And put it where? And why? The original iMac had no floppy in 1998, and we never looked back. Floppies are used so seldom these days that they're just impediments to design. If you've gotta have floppies, there are USB floppy drives to be had for dirt cheap. (Remember, that's why the iMac popularized USB in the first place-- no floppy drive, but hey, lookee here, you can hot-swap one in if you want!) But this is the 21st century. Burn a CD. Send an e-mail. The "Mac has no floppy" argument has gotten about as old as the "Xb0X iz really Hy00ge LOLOLOL!!!!11``" postulate. C'mon, people. Get over it.

She also has a beef with the iMac's speed. In fact, yes, it's her major gripe. That's a perfectly fair thing to complain about, and nobody will fault the harsh mistress that is real-world perceptual interface lag (at least, putting aside the fact that IE on Windows and IE on the Mac are completely different animals-- one's an optimized kernel process that's inextricable from the OS interface, and the other's a bloated and decidedly non-optimized application running in user space). But, hey, Apple's working on that. We've all got our drawbacks.

But I'd have liked to see her really give the iMac "every opportunity" to impress. Like, for instance, doing some multimedia stuff. The stuff that it was designed for. Surfing the Web and writing Word files is one thing, yes. But how about ripping a CD into iTunes? How about editing a movie? How about burning a DVD? How about hooking up a digital camera, no drivers necessary, and making a picture book you can order with a click?

Or did those kinds of things simply not occur to her, because she doesn't do them on her Windows machine? Huh. Wonder why that might be.

Meh. As lukewarm-on-Apple columns go, this one's pretty mild. But maybe it says something about Apple's fortunes of late, that this is the worst we're hearing.

15:07 - Before I forget this one...

(top)
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the lab, trying to determine what the hell kind of CPU was being used in a piece of networking equipment that I was trying to test. I was poking through the boot messages, which printed out some obscure and esoteric lines from the chip's own ID strings about how it's a Celeron/Pentium III/Pentium III Xeon, Model 8-- evidently they can't get any more specific than that.

I got up from my chair, ready to admit defeat and find someone with more hardware guruism than I possessed, to see if they could cast Identificus Intellus and give me some kind of concrete name that would map to a chip that humans without Borg implants could write a marketing release about. Johnnie was nearby in the lab; I asked him. He looked at the screen, arched his eyebrows, shook his head.

I had another idea, though.

"I know-- I'll ask Chris. He's only been a Mac user for like a week. He probably still has some hardware knowledge."

Just one of those things I said without thinking, and would have probably forgotten immediately, but for the minute-long paroxysm that it sent Johnnie into. And when I related it to Chris, he told me I should put it in my blog.

Y'know, for safekeeping. Or something.
Thursday, September 19, 2002
02:39 - Sweet Lileks eases the pain
http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/02/0902/090302.html#092002

(top)
Another of those "Day in the Life" Bleats. I'd be hard pressed to say that these are the best kind, but they're awfully choice. Mostly because I find myself relating personally to so much of it-- my brain is surprised to find that so many of those unaccountable reactions I've grown up with weren't mine alone.

When we get fully-immersive 3d holographic TV, I want someone to redo the Beethoven’s 6th portion of “Fantasia. “I loved it as a kid, and even though it now looks kitschy as hell, the style of the animation is unforgettable - to this day I still see the Pegasus fighting the wind when I hear the storm sequence.

I know it's not widely regarded as one of his best works, and it's never gotten the respect afforded to illustrious siblings like the 5th and the 9th, but the 6th has always been my favorite of Beethoven's symphonies. Purely because of Fantasia. Because the music is so visual, just like the movie said. Because I can't disassociate the music from those visuals even if I try. Because if I hear a different recording of it, by some other orchestra, where they play that one strong sharp chord sequence too fast or without enough emphasis-- the one in which the pegasi come stomping through the clouds in the first movement-- my brain makes that Family Feud "X" noise and I have to go dig out my soundtrack to hear it "right". Maybe that impoverishes my musical appreciation capacity, or maybe it just means I'm nuts. Hey, either way I'm cool with it.

Oh, and:

“I’m running Jag on a newer iBook, and while I’m on an internet connection via Airport, I periodically get an OS 9 alert that I need to enable Apple Talk. It only happens when the connection is dropped for a half-second or so.”

He nodded, thought a second, then explained how I should reset a certain setting, and that was that. (It worked.) I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: WALK-UP TECH SUPPORT. I pidy the foo who buys a PC at Best Buy, and goes back to ask a blue-shirt a question. I’ll bet if I dragged my 512K Mac to the Genius Bar and asked for help, they’d oblige - after they stopped cooing and petting it like a long-lost pet.

Yeah, more speed would be nice. More applications and games would be nice. But neither of those things are why Mac people buy Macs. We buy Macs in spite of a clear and demonstrable disadvantage on both counts. Why? Some things are just more valuable to us than Bonzi Buddies or four-digit frame rates. Things that-- contrary to the unflappable opinion of some-- simply aren't a part of the PC experience. Like operating systems that people come to love so much that they treat a derisive comment like they would a personal insult, and a report of a bug like they would an injured family member; stores with knowledgeable, free, walk-in tech support; and well-maintained demo computers in those stores that a two-year-old can play on without a moment's confusion. I've been in one or the other of the local Apple Stores a number of times over the past year, and on every occasion the toddler's tables were full. Never once was a single kid crying or pouting or waving for help. Never once was any of them doing anything but typing and mousing and having a good time.

...No, that's it. That's all I wanted to say; nothing terribly important. Just wanted to register my pointless "me too".

01:49 - Ultralites on the horizon
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,543317,00.asp

(top)
Here's the word, as official as we've seen it so far, regarding the mysterious IBM/Apple dealings. In short: It's real. It's coming. It just won't be here for a year yet.

It's called GPUL, for "GigaProcessor Ultralite", and it's a POWER4-based 64-bit multicore CPU that will start production in late 2003 (possibly with four-way and eight-way cores) running at 1.4-2.0GHz. Clock-for-clock, it'll get about twice the performance of a G4; plus it has the 162-instruction VMX set, which they don't refer to as Altivec in any of the released material-- but which is evidently 100% compatible with Altivec. Which means "this transition should be less complicated than Apple's early-'90s move from 68000-series Motorola processors to the PowerPC family". And that was pretty damned smooth, as such things go.

So that's for next Christmas, and likely targeted for servers (e.g. Xserve) and top-end tower workstations, not for laptops and entry-level machines (after all, the GPUL will be power-hungry... not nearly as much so as the POWER4 or the Itanium 2, but way more than the G4). So what about the interim? It's clear that the G4 is getting too long in the tooth to really impress anymore. Commentators on the Ars Technica forum thread on this topic note that the G4 stumbled all over itself when it was released-- it had some powerful advantages, but it was hobbled by long ramp-up time and that now-infamous CPU-speed scaleback and the long stall at about 500 MHz, which seems like only yesterday. Many of the faithful have had a love-hate relationship with the G4; it's the best we've had available to us, it feels nice, it sounds right, but it just doesn't give us the chills to talk about it in mixed company anymore. We need something better, and soon.

Hence this little number:

Meanwhile, sources said, the long-awaited PowerPC G5 CPU from Motorola is likely to break cover perhaps as soon as early 2003. The G5, according to published product road maps from Motorola, should be available as 32- and 64-bit products with backward compatibility, though Motorola has provided few additional details.

In other words, a 64-bit version of the G4 at higher speeds, with the best benefits of Book E design specs and the power-stinginess that the PPC line has become known for. The G5, which may be available early next year, could take over the entire line, starting from the top down-- the G4 moving to the iBooks, and finally itself being replaced by the G5 when the GPUL takes over the top end at the conclusion of the year.

So all the contradictory rumors turn out to be (possiby) true: there's an IBM chip and a Motorola chip, and they've both got a future on the Mac. And suddenly Apple's got all kinds of options for directions to take their future development.

It's clear to me at least that this hydra of a plot has been in the works for at least a year or two. It's been kept wrapped up quite tightly for a long time. Apple evidently saw the writing on the wall back when the G4 was languishing at sub-700MHz speeds, and took the necessary steps. And now we're about to reap the rewards.

No, nothing's guaranteed. But my fingers are crossed for a very entertaining 2003.

09:17 - iTunes 3.0.1, or something
http://www.apple.com/itunes

(top)
One of the things released yesterday was iTunes 3.0.1, and it looks to be working fine, though I can't figure out what's different about it. The description from Apple says "includes a number of performance enhancements to iTunes 3.0, and provides improved support for Mac OS X version 10.2"... though as yet I see no evidence for the nifty Rendezvous playlist sharing that Jobs and Schiller demoed a few months back.

One thing I do see that's new is a "Provide iTunes Feedback" link under the application menu. More and more apps are getting their own Feedback pages, and I think all the iApps have them now.

One has to pull back and think about this. They provide a feedback mechanism for all of their applications. Including OS X itself. They encourage feedback. And they act on it.

When one talks about the fundamental difference in corporate attitude between Apple and Microsoft, this is the first illustrative example that leaps to mind. I think it says a helluva lot.
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
03:25 - UN arms inspector Clouseau, at your service...
http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/02/0902/090302.html#091902

(top)
Great Bleat today. (Well, hell, they're all good-- but you know what I mean.) Not one to read just before you go to sleep, mind you, but... great nonetheless.

Compound W, indeed. You nutcase.

01:43 - Arguing by Analogy
http://www.denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/09/Whoisourenemy.shtml

(top)
Cap'm Den Beste (whose name I just discovered I've been miscapitalizing all this time-- damn my eyes) has posted a nutshell summary-- though it's anything but short-- of who our enemy is in this defensive war (this jihad, if you will), and he doesn't mince words. He points fingers, but the targets he finds aren't ones that the antiwar left really has any intellectual mechanism to tackle. "Cultural genocide" is what we're going to have to end up committing, he says. Naturally no good liberal will be able to read those words without bristling.

And indeed, he's taking plenty of flak from the usual suspects who have been lobbing water balloons at his arguments increasingly steadily of late. But what I've noticed is that the people who have a bone to pick with the kind of cut-to-the-chase outlining of the problems and our tedious but clear-cut proposed solutions all seem to use the same tactics to try to argue against war and against American assertiveness: they argue by analogy, using such brilliant devices as:

It's time for an intervention. Take a day or two away from your blog.

Then go back and read your manifesto again. This time substitute the words "Jew" and "Jews" for the words "Arab" and "Muslim."

If it doesn't send a chill up and down your spine, check yourself into a mental hospital, or seek professional counseling.

And I'm not being sarcastic about this.

You accuse the Arabs of living in the 14th century. Arguably, your "solution" comes right out of the 20th. Roughly from the years between 1932 and 1945 to be precise.

It's not to late to wake up and re-think things.

...This is what I meant a couple of days ago by the intellectual tendency to want to draw parallels, form analogies, and make logical leaps that one can present in the form of a paper to one's professor and appear terribly clever. "You want to defang radical Islam by gutting the culture that it exists in concert with. Well, just pretend it's Jews that you're talking about defanging, and suddenly-- voilá! You're a Nazi!" But, you know, never mind that the circumstances are about as different as they can possibly be. Never mind how many Jews you could have counted in 1932 Munich firebombing ice-cream parlors and shooting guns in the air praising Jehovah. Never mind how adamant Judaism is about establishing a global Judaic ruling order that enforces strict adherence to Talmudic law. Never mind how many skyscrapers Jews have knocked down with planes for the furtherance of their religion.

Some people are placing as their highest goal the discovery of hypocrisy in any policy decision we make: if something we do can be shown even tenuously to mirror something the Nazis did, or that the Soviets did or that the Arabs do, then it's an instant deal-breaker. Yeah, hypocrisy sucks. But in and of itself, hypocrisy-- or the accusation thereof-- does not validate or invalidate a given policy. Just because some historical parallel can be drawn and turned against us, some would have us believe that that should trump any action on our part. I say that's bunkum. What we're interested in is the problem we face in the here-and-now, and what solutions we can propose that are appropriate. We are capable of deciding upon their ethicality and their international sensitivity without the aid of delicious historical irony, thankyouverymuch.

Den Beste defends his reasoning as well has he needs to-- arguments like Hesiod's deflate themselves in the very unfolding of the metaphors by which they define themselves. And that's exactly it: nobody making these anti-war comments seems willing to do it directly, without appealing to historical parallels or diplomatic precedent. It's all got to fit into a formula, these guys seem to be saying. This situation is no different from anything else that's happened in history. We're an advanced, enlightened culture nowadays. We have international laws to cover any and all circumstances that might arise. And that's why this insane cowboy Bush is so dangerous-- he's making up his own rules as he goes along! Whereas we all know that the answer to Islamic terrorism has got to be found in poring over history books, finding ancient causes and effects, finding successful solutions to contemporary problems, and applying them to the issues at hand. Never mind that saying that if we reduce our energy consumption, recycle more, and give more aid to Central Africa, we will eliminate global poverty and end terrorism is rather like saying that a pothole in the road is best fixed by declaring roads illegal.

I remember a Trek episode in which Data, having lost his memory, found himself in the midst of a pre-warp, medieval society with a very "Greek" physical model of the world. A teacher explained to her students how all matter was made up of sky, fire, water, and stone; she said that wood contained all of these in some measure, reasoning that because the wood was heavy it contained stone, and that because it was combustible it contained fire (and the smoke released was sky that was trapped in the wood). In what was one of the more scientifically conscientious Trek moments, Data argued, correctly, that she was reasoning by analogy, and that that was a logically flawed tactic; just because wood is heavy doesn't mean it contains stone. Naturally, though, she wanted to hear none of that.

(Yes, I'm aware of the irony of using a Trek reference about reasoning by analogy, as an analogy to the current debate structure.)


Mind you, there's nothing inherently wrong with reasoning by analogy, or arguing by analogy-- but only if the analogy makes sense. At best it's a poor substitute for real direct evidence, and when that's in short supply, the temptation to analogize hockey-sticks. Some people are so eager to appear clever with their rhetoric that they'll pull a bad analogy out of their ass-- and because it lends itself to trick wording and because the audience feels so compelled to follow the same parallels so they can "get the reference", such an analogy will often get a lot more critical reaction than it deserves.

I wonder why so few people seem willing to face up to the possibility that this war is indeed something new, something entirely and fundamentally modern-- something that could only have come to light in the age of the Internet and satellite TV and their impossibly ubiquitous and never-before-seen reach in broadcasting the message of American success to the world. Countries who had previously only heard of America as a vague name on the horizon now have Baywatch episodes to download via KaZaA. This is something that could never have happened in another age. And the rules of the engagements of history, the solutions to the problems of the past, will not avail us here. We do have to make up new rules as we go. The old ones will address the wrong problems. (Although I do agree that we'll have to demolish "Arab Culture" and reconstruct it, Japan-style. It's not that it's what we should do because "it worked in Japan", but because it's the only tenable solution regardless of historical context.)

I can just hope that our government sees it in this light, and that they're not seduced by the temptation to define what this war is like, rather than what it is. After all, who are we more concerned with outsmarting-- the enemy, or each other?

01:06 - New wave of Switchers
http://www.apple.com/switch

(top)
There's been a new spate of Switch ads released today, presumably to coincide with the 10.2.1 OS update and the iTunes 3.0.1 release that came out today. Those aren't being made much of (except in the Software Update panel), in favor of the new Switchers-- who appear to have been picked to address some of the concerns people raised about the first wave.


These guys are about as "normal" as they come. There's a cop, a veterinarian, a trucking company owner, a couple of students, a college professor, a lawyer, and a woman whose story of Mac joy is about how she saved Christmas. "Who wants to spend Christmas afternoon downloading Windows drivers?"

The raucous pundits are going to have a hard time coming up with snide remarks to make about this latest group's geekiness, dorkiness, or alleged sexual perversions. No propellerheads or dominatrices in this batch. These are regular people-- which is the vibe that the original wave of Switchers was supposed to convey, but apparently it wasn't innocuous enough. This iteration should do the trick.

The stories are compelling and real. Students talk about why their iPods are so much better than dragging CD cases around in backpacks. Software developers talk about how fun it is to work with photos in iPhoto and make books to send home to one's parents in India. The testimonials focus on what iMovie can do, what iDVD can do, how easy everything is to network, how people can just do more now that they've made the switch. And don't miss student Jeremiah Cohick, who used to be a Mac basher (out of ignorance, he admits with a guilty grin), but who after using OS X has become a missionary with the zeal of one who feels as though he must do penance for his unwarranted sneering in the days before he took up his teacher's challenge to consider using products that didn't have the Microsoft logo on them (I love the irony of how the vicious l33t rebels insist upon the institutional choice, as though it were the gospel of the anarchist or something).

There's a new batch of textual stories posted, too. This campaign seems to be working out for Apple; they've just announced 100,000 subscribers to .Mac since it was announced-- about six weeks ago. That's a lot of people voting with their dollars for Apple's services. After all, you do have to make a conscious decision to pay for .Mac. This is a good sign.

We just had a four-hour time-management workshop at work today; at the end of it, I showed the instructor one of the "Laid Off" movies by Odd Todd-- because, hey, it seemed to be on-topic-- and he was far more interested in my iBook than in the movie. "I'm looking at getting a new laptop," he said. "I'm totally Windows-based, but there's just nothing as cool as this."

Says Jeremiah Cohick, "It doesn't freeze. It doesn't crash. It doesn't require me to reboot when I change network settings. It boots fast. Its sleep function actually works. I don't need virus software. There is no system tray. It lets me run a gazillion media and programming applications without taking a performance hit. And (even though my fellow programmers won't admit it) it is beautiful."

The Mac community has had its ups and it downs over the past twenty years. We're bound to find ourselves in a valley again sometime in the future. But it's damned nice to be in an age of incline.

22:46 - Lotsa "lamp" ads this year, eh?
http://www.unboring.com

(top)
I don't know why I didn't notice this before-- I did look. I really did. But the IKEA ad that I mentioned yesterday is in fact online at www.unböring.com, in either QuickTime or (if you insist) Windows Media. Click on the TV in the Flash interface thingy.



I tell you, this one should rank right up there with the "weasel attacking the guy's tongue" cell-phone/text messaging ad, and those will be battling it out come Clio time. That one wins on outright ingenious hilarity, but I still maintain that the "lamp" ad has it in the sarcasm department. In spades.

By the way: the actual "unböring.com" address doesn't exist. Looks cute, but someone evidently didn't take international encoding into account when designing DNS. D'oh.

Bear this in mind when unboring.com releases more ads, which it looks like they're planning to do.

10:08 - C'mon, guy. You need a rest! Put your feet up! I'd like you to meet my partner in evil, Satan!
http://www.denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/09/Verysnakey.shtml

(top)
You know, if it's true that Saddam's recent letter to the UN was crafted as "snakily" as Den Beste describes it to have been, namely in that it claims to allow the inspectors to return to Iraq "without conditions"-- but says nothing about allowing the to inspect without conditions-- and that everything hinges upon what restrictions and demands will be revealed at the "practical arrangements" discussions that Iraq proposes... and if it's the case that, as Den Beste also (earlier, before the letter) said, "Either he'll make some sort of half-way offer which will be refused immediately, or he'll actually agree to permit the inspectors to return with only slight conditions. If it's the latter, then I will be afraid, for it will mean he thinks he's within a few months of success [at realizing his nuclear program]"... well, then I'm afraid too.

One possibility is that the letter was just shakily written, and that Iraq does in fact intend to let the inspectors run willy-nilly over the country, including the Presidential Palaces and everywhere.

But another, more likely possibility seems to be that it's another delaying tactic-- intended only to last for a very short time.

After all, how long does Iraq hope to have before the "practical arrangements" discussions? How long before the inspectors go back in and find their way to the palaces barred and guards firing rifles over their heads at biochem plants? How long until everybody catches Saddam red-handed in a baldfaced lie, in other words?

For him to gamble that heavily with world opinion, and with the countries which seem to have made a doctrine out of treating Saddam's offers as genuine and assuming that he won't lie... well, it means that he might well have surprises to unveil on the order of weeks from now.

Let 'em come, he says. By the time they discover I was lying, it'll be too late for "inspectors" to do a thing about it.


Lemme put it this way: This is one case in which I hope Den Beste is wrong.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
23:31 - Advertising Nation

(top)
I just saw the most sarcastic goddamned ad I've ever seen in my entire life.

There are several versions of it, but the best one (naturally) is the longest cut, almost a minute long. It begins with a woman cleaning out her apartment in the caverns of the city, probably Manhattan. She takes a bag of garbage out to the sidewalk-- along with an old desk lamp. She puts them down at the edge of the street, and the piano plays a slow, heart-wrenching, drama-filled dirge as the rain begins to fall on the lamp, its stalk bent slightly like an old man on a cane, its cord wrapped carelessly around its base.

It's dark and raining hard. You can see the woman in her room on the second floor; her window is the only one lit, and she's sitting in a chair by the window, reading by the light of her new lamp. It's tall and graceful, with a clear shade; its light streams out over the sidewalk and reflects off the wet surface and into the hood of the old lamp, which looks as though it's glowing warmly with the memory of being needed, turned as though in supplication toward the window's glow. The piano continues its woeful plodding melody as the woman gets up, turns off her new lamp, and gives it a loving pat. The light shuts off, and the old lamp outside is left in the dim twilight of the driving rain.

The camera trucks slowly in. You're sure by this point that the old lamp is destined to become the subject of one of those little-tin-soldier stories with which we were all plagued as children; it will come to life, or a little girl will walk by and pick it up and make it part of an art project or a beloved new addition to her playroom, or it will fall over and die... and just as you're positive that the smarm is about to begin in deadly earnest-- you see a guy's legs step into view in front of the camera, and we pan up to his head. He's a bedraggled little Scandinavian guy with rain-wet hair and a long jacket. He peers with a peeved scowl at the camera.

"Many of you feel bad about this lamp. That is because you crazy! It has no feelings! And the new one is much better."

IKEA. www.unböring.com.



...You know, even if I cling to the conceit that I'm not influenced into buying certain products by the imagery spewed forth from the glowing phosphor tube day in and day out, that I eat at Taco Bell because I like the food rather than because they show melted cheese along with the Pavlov bell logo, that I go to see certain movies because of their own merits rather than how compelling the trailers are... there is one other level at which I find myself susceptible to a company's advances. And that is that if that company sees fit to create an ad campaign that I find irresistibly clever or artistic or genuinely funny, I find myself wanting to find some excuse to patronize that company just to support its decision to make good ads. That's largely why I like Volkswagen, and Jack in the Box, and even Apple. And now it seems I'm going to have to add IKEA to that list.

From the lowest of the low-brow mind-polluting pap to the richest, most sarcastic and inspired pieces of commentary-laden pop art, advertising is every bit as much the modern art form as, say, movies or Web pages. And it'll probably last longer, too.

I don't know what I even think about that. Especially considering how insidiously well-done that horrible "Bad Boys Bail Bonds" ad is. (Those of you not local to San Jose probably have no idea what this particular meme is like. Consider yourselves fortunate.)

It's both the price and the boon of capitalism.
Monday, September 16, 2002
20:48 - Shut up, Brian

(top)
What would happen if Kelsey Grammer married Tori Spelling?



(Hey, shut up, at least she wouldn't be Miss Spelling anymore...)


09:54 - 2050 History Book Illustration

(top)
Via Tal G. and Live From Brussels:


There are certainly a lot of photos from a year ago which deserve Pulitzers; but whoever took this one gets my vote.
Previous Week...


© Brian Tiemann