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 -  4/17/2014
  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
Friday, May 16, 2003
17:17 - Apple For the Neocons

(top)
Mockery of Apple is not a new thing. Ever since 1984, the Mac has been made fun of; first for its toylike GUI in a world of command-prompts; then, after Windows killed that comparison, for the Mac's supposed "ease of use" advantage (only wussies used Macs); then, once Windows 95 came along, for the Mac's instability; then, once Mac OS X came along, for the Mac's bright candy colors; then, once every PC in the world adopted iMac translucency, for the Mac's slowness and high price and lack of games and so on. There's always something. And these criticisms are never constructive in nature, but rather a defense-- a means by which Windows users can assure themselves that Windows is the only reasonable solution for rational computer users. Windows is what they have, and what they know; they may not like it much per se, but as long as the Mac is an "other" that they can make fun of, it isn't something that they have to concern themselves with or consider as a viable alternative.

And that's fine, to a certain extent. There's certainly nothing wrong with an acceptance of a reality in which Windows is the only cost-effective solution. Workplace PCs are Windows these days, outside a few select industries; there's certainly plenty to be said for Den Beste's "network effect" observations. When everyone around you uses Windows, then using Windows is all benefit and very little hardship-- or at least only hardships that can be easily overcome.

Being a Mac user has necessarily, then, been something of an elitist position. Mac users have tended to be those who don't mind giving up a little bit of that network-effect benefit for the sake of something they feel is better, something they believe in. The "Think Different" campaign tried to capitalize on that, by painting Mac users as being in the same camp as those movers and shakers in history who have changed world events, thinking beyond the societal norm; what's seldom noticed about the figures showcased in the Think Different ads is not that the figures were all great achievers, but that they all had to give something up in order to achieve what they did. Whether inventors or social revolutionaries or political thinkers, they all had to sacrifice the comfort of a normal, unremarkable life in order to make their dreams reality. I don't think Apple was blind to this; they realize that Mac users are giving something up by sticking to their Macs. But with that tacit acknowledgment is the assurance that what they're buying with their rejection of what 95% of the world uses is going to be worth it. Most Mac users would tend to agree that it is.

But that's sort of a tired observation by now. Appealing to idealism forms a strong core customer base, but it alienates a lot more people than it beckons. The idealists of the world-- and even those who merely wish to buy into the cult of idealism-- aren't a large enough percentage of the computing world to justify a growing market share. So Apple has had to shift gears lately, putting its weight behind the Switch campaign, trying to appeal to frustrated Everymen rather than getting everyone to see themselves as John Lennons and Martin Luther Kings. It's debatable whether the new campaign is working, or whether it's doing more good than harm; but it's certainly a more extensible meme than the exclusionary Think Different one, and has enabled Apple to launch a lot more interesting stuff-- stuff that's targeted at those Everymen rather than at those who can see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower and infinity in the curve of a one-button mouse. iPhoto and 99-cent songs will sell Macs; it's not clear how many more converts are to be had on the basis of pure elegance and dreams.

What's more interesting to me, however, is a different perspective: the behavior of Apple as a company. It seems to me that Apple has acquitted itself admirably over the years, and in such a way that it has earned my respect, more so than any ad campaign could do. Their actions are what appeal to me and what make me defend the company. And what's more, I think these actions are right in line with what the populists and free-marketers and libertarians and freedom-seekers in the world would want from a company in Apple's position.

Apple is decidedly at a disadvantage in the computer market; they're having to scramble just to keep in the public eye and to maintain visibility as a viable brand. But they've never once played the victim card.

That right there earns them huge points with me, and (I should think) with a lot of other people out there.

Apple has never painted itself as an innocent victim of evil monopolies. The closest it's ever come to that was the GUI lawsuit back in the 80s, when they tried to claim what was rightly theirs, and backed off under threat and extortion. Since then, Apple has never made any press releases demanding federal action against Microsoft; they've never joined in class-action antitrust suits; they've never made excuses for their declining market share. One can criticize Steve Jobs for painting a deceptively rosy picture of Apple's balance sheet on occasion, when it comes time to court Wall Street, or for getting more excited about his products than reason should allow; but one thing he's never done is to stand on stage and tell the audience in steely frankness that Apple is headed straight for the dumper, and who is to blame but Microsoft! It's all their fault, not ours! ...Nope; that hasn't happened. Jobs has been known to shrug off financial difficulties with a smirk and a sigh, or to respond to snarky press comments with a covert but unmistakable gesture; but he's never claimed that the responsibility for fixing Apple's failures rest on anyone's shoulders but Apple's.

Owning up to one's responsibilities is one of those big American traits, those things that are looked at with such pride by patriotic conservatives. Other such traits include fighting for one's own defense, and responding to adversity by committing even harder to excellence. What's the fundamental precept of market economics? That competition will bring out the best in the products of the competing companies. Apple is an underdog in every sense of the word-- and historically speaking, they should be lagging behind in their products every bit as much as they are in their market share. They should be like Amiga in 1990, or IBM's OS/2 unit in 1995-- not bringing out any new products, but stroking their loyal fan base with empty promises of glory to come and excuses for the current sad state of affairs, blaming them on oppression and occupation (sound familiar?). But Apple isn't doing that. They never make promises. They never even (intentionally) let rumors get out about upcoming products. They paint no pictures of glorious futures or of the inevitable justice to be wrought against the unjust monopolies that hold them down in the mud. Instead, they do something that makes my capitalistic little heart fill with blood: they excel. They knuckle down, roll up their sleeves, and develop products that make headlines. With their paltry few thousand employees and their one meager campus, they've been creating products that rock the world, achieving more with less resources than Microsoft or Dell do with their armies of genii all plugged into their efficient cubicle-matrices and warrens of thought. Apple keeps outdoing them, producing objects of lust that are either best-of-breed or serious contenders in every field that they enter. iTunes and iPhoto and iMovie and iDVD are perfect examples of software that Apple's done better than the whole massive rest of the computer industry, and for what? Just its small cadre of loyalists. These applications aren't just proprietary also-rans, providing basic functionality to the ghetto, a token effort to parrot some industry standard; they're leading the industry. AirPort. LCD monitors. Case design. The iPod. These are all industry-leading examples of their genres, the things that everybody else copies, and they all come from this one tiny company. iSync and Final Cut Pro and Safari are more examples of such projects, as is Mac OS X itself. What company in history has been able to pull off a hail-Mary play like OS X and make it so well respected, so well polished and supported, in so little time? And on top of that, they've written AppleScriptability into everything, open-standards connectivity (XML, SOAP, etc), and hundreds of little pieces of overachiever eye-candy like Quartz that no beleaguered underdog company in its right mind would commit itself to delivering. Apple's creating its own destiny and ensuring its own future, by acting like that future is already granted them.

One thing that has always characterized Americans is their insistence upon being the masters of their own destiny-- of being willing to fight and die for the sake of that right, whether it means giving up convenience, social acceptance, or privilege. Those people who have focused their attention on the American political landscape in the days since 9/11, or who have made it their study for far longer, understand the nature of that struggle and how central it is to the American spirit. Call it rugged individualism, call it entrepreneurship, call it manifest destiny, call it what you will-- the defining right that we hold most dear is that of holding our destiny in our own hands. What galls the opponents of such an idea is that it denies pleasing fantasies-- even if a fictition, to borrow a Michael Moore-ism, is better than reality, the conservatives will reject it in favor of a hell that they know is real. There's a sharp divide there, one that can be illustrated quite well by the dystopia of The Matrix: do the humans prefer to live in the blissful fantasy of the simulation, even though it's not real-- or do they rebel against it, preferring to dwell in the hellish Real World, just because they know it's the real thing? The conservative American ideal would tend to go for the latter. And Captain Steve puts it more interestingly still:

More to my liking are the lizards here. If you look closely enough, you see them everywhere. In between our dorm buildings are shaded pavilions where we sit on cool evenings. They're wooden decks with canvas covers . Wire-mesh fly traps are bolted to the decks, and most are occupied by the fattest little lizards I've ever seen. Like the flies, they found their way into the trap and can't get out. They are pale pinkish yellow - the color of the sand, and they appear perfectly happy to have given up their freedom for a never-ending supply of food. I think they must be democrats.

Where would you say Apple fits into this scheme? I would argue that Mac users know that the world they're buying into is no paradise; they know it's full of hardships and sacrifice and a distinct lack of the best new MMORPGs. And yet they buy into it anyway. Why? Because they know what computing is like, can be like, with the right software and the right hardware and the right infrastructure in place and the right dream directing it all. I would argue that a Mac user is like a person who has learned first-hand the value of the Second Amendment, who has internalized the profound meaning of the right and the mandate to defend oneself with deadly force, either having experienced the need for it first-hand, or having reached that conclusion through study of history. It's like such a person then being faced with the threat of having that power taken away from him, legislated away, obsoleted away, assimilated away. Having known that level of power and freedom and then losing it is far worse than never knowing it at all.

Mac users are the lizards who choose to have to hunt for their food, because they know it's better than living in a fly trap.

That's why it's so hard for so many of us not to stand by Apple, even in the face of the most compelling of arguments in favor of its downfall. It's for the same reason that the NRA is made all the more steadfast, the more gun-control laws get passed: you can have my Mac when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, is how the refrain goes, isn't it? It's not just a chunk of metal and plastic, it's a symbol of something better, something that we'd better enjoy while we have it. And while the company making it possible is still turning out miracle after miracle, against all the odds and punditry, fulfilling the mandate of capitalist economics beyond anybody's reasonable expectation-- who can sniff callously that they may as well just give up, cash in, bow out?

America doesn't like whiners or professional victims; that's at the core of what our current war is all about. We refuse to be victims of terrorism. We refuse to be taken in by others' claims of victimization. We believe in hard work as the foundation for the creation of value, hard work and ingenuity and perseverance. We believe in earning respect. The ideology against which we're fighting is the ideology of entitlements, of victimization, of quotas and restitution and making sure nobody gets offended by anything-- respect enforced by law. And it seems to me that Apple has managed to do quite well without having to succumb to the temptation to whine. Sure, some of its user community might rail pointlessly against the Microsoft Hegemony; I've done that myself in the past. But I'm starting to think that that does no good at all, because Apple itself doesn't support that tactic. The company is speaking with its deeds. While Microsoft flails about trying to simultaneously entrench its credibility in business and to extend its brand into totally bizarre areas (apparently the iLoo story was not a hoax after all-- Microsoft has retracted its retraction), Apple keeps turning the crank and refreshing its offerings, and creating new and genuinely useful products. Where others theorize, Apple delivers. Today it's the iTunes Music Store, the first coherent answer to the years-old debate over the record companies' role in the digital age; before that, it was iTools/.Mac, while .NET is still mostly vapor; before that, it was wireless networking where they blazed ahead, and integrated DVD authoring, and flat-screen monitors, and video editing, and a long litany of such fields where they were the first to stake a claim-- and in many cases, remain the reference for it. They're the very model of the industrious, uncomplaining tinkerer in his lab, emerging-- you never know when-- with the airplane, the movie projector, the automobile, the transistor, the moon shot. Time was that we celebrated such figures.

It may be foolhardy to back Apple, when all the economic indicators state that they're doomed. It may well be more practical to say "Aw, to hell with 'em; they gave it a try, they contributed some good stuff, but their time is over. Let it go." But there's an ideal that Apple embodies, and I'm not just talking about the ideal of Proper UI Design or of Thinking Different or of Sticking It To The Man. I'm talking about the ideal of braving the storm, of playing the odds, of defying fate for decades upon decades and succeeding where so many others have failed. It's about learning from one's mistakes, of owning up to one's shortcomings, of solving problems and making things better. It's about the American Dream, really, and notwithstanding whether Al Gore is more popular with Apple's shareholders than even Jobs is, the behavior of the company demonstrates a performance that ought to bring a tear to the eye of any adherent to the thoughts of the Adam Smiths and Thomas Jeffersons of the world, indeed to the very eyes of the Founding Fathers and their revolutionary contemporaries who saw clearly what it was they were creating: this is what it's all about.

Who knows what's around the corner for Apple? Maybe prosperity, maybe death. I know that Morpheus' echoing speech in Zion ("We're still here!") applies, however; if we're determined to paint Apple as an underground rebel, with its own prophet exhorting the faithful from on stage, well-- he's either Morpheus or bin Laden. Some might not see a difference, but I do. It's their actions that define their worth, and Apple's actions are something to be proud of.

NOTE: IANA-Economist, but it should hardly need to be pointed out that monopolies belie market economics; they might become monopolies through superiority in competition or through other methods, but once they have reached monopoly status (or form a cartel), they no longer have the incentive of competition to push them to improve their products. Because improving their products costs money and is no longer necessary for their survival, they don't do it. That's why it's consistent for free-marketers to oppose monopolies. Even if a monopoly is the culmination of a company excelling in the free-market game, as soon as it's a monopoly it ceases to play by the free market's rules and plays only by its own, and should be acted against.

I should hope that intelligent fiscal conservatives would recognize this as well-- that it's not in their own interest to allow monopolies to run unchecked. The best expression of capitalism at work is when there are multiple viable competitors in a market, not when one of them has won.

Thursday, May 15, 2003
13:04 - Is the party over already?
http://www.macslash.org/articles/03/05/15/0320251.shtml

(top)
Well, that didn't take long. Some of the iTunes-sharing databases (of which iTunesShare.com and iTuneShare.org are two, though there are others) have noticed a problem with publishing users' sharing lists.

While iTunes doesn't let you actually copy the MP3 or AAC files that you're streaming from a remote server onto your own machine, there are tools out there that let you capture the audio stream into a new MP3 file. With that added to the mix, iTunes' Music Sharing feature becomes just another means for petty morons to steal music. So SpyMac has taken their database offline.

David Benesch, one of the hackers who helped to decipher iTunes' DAAP protocol and publish its behavior, has this to say about the leeching programs that have already been developed around DAAP:

I am incredibly disappointed that these programs were developed. If you believe in file swapping or not, these programs have caused legitimate services to be taken down. More importantly, it's quite probable that Apple will remove this feature very soon. It could have been great. It could have been revolutionary. Stream, don't copy. Perhaps it was part of the great music compromise. Maybe it died in two short weeks.

I whole-heartedly support Spymac and others' decisions to take their sites down. It clearly became a source of illegal activity, despite it's legitimate intent. However, I encourage Apple to not give up on the feature, but take that Apple innovation to make it more secure. I believe streaming, combined with cataloging sites, can work great. If anyone at Apple is reading this, we were only trying to help. Don't give up on it completely.

It would certainly be annoying if Apple were to take out that feature; they've clearly been fighting for a long time (ever since the initial demos of Jaguar) to get the Rendezvous-showcasing Music Sharing into the hands of consumers, and we can only assume that its inclusion in iTunes 4 was the result of their hammering out an agreement with the labels, and an assurance that the feature wouldn't amount to yet another piracy tool. As long as the music was only being streamed (and people's upstream bandwidth was limited), there couldn't have been any real danger. But with stream-leeching software to worry about, built around the freed genie of DAAP and Music Sharing, this might well be a legitimate concern.

Some of the database sites (like ShareiTunes.com) have pledged to keep their resources online; others are following SpyMac's lead. I personally don't think that even with leeching software, the piracy concern is that big a deal; legitimate sharers can restrict or password-protect or disable their sharing, and illegitimate sharers have other sharing options anyway. The only unique weakness in iTunes' system is the ability for the ill-intentioned to buy music from the Music Store and then leave it open for remote leeching. But even that implies a perpetrator with the same mindset as someone who would buy music (either from the Music Store or on CD), recapture it into a DRM-less format via a loopback cable, and then send it out on KaZaA. If the labels weren't concerned with that chain of events for the Music Store itself, perhaps they ought not to be concerned about the same thing happening in the Music Sharing feature.

There's an intermediate solution, too; if Apple finds itself pressured to remove the ability to "broadcast" over the net (quotes because it's not really "broadcasting", it's browsed streaming), they could simply remove the ability to connect to remote hosts by IP address. Rendezvous users could still share music; Apple's model for Rendezvous networks is a family unit or household (or workplace), and that's a much smaller concern than streaming to strangers.

This may turn out to be a tempest-in-a-teapot sort of thing. I hope that once the Music Store really starts catching on, the whole concept of free music sharing will become generally passÚ; who would want to go to all this effort to get free music when you can get it in better quality, legally, for a dollar a track? The only people Apple really needs to worry about here are those who steal music purely for the thrill of stealing music, not to actually enjoy the music for its own sake; they're incorrigible. But consumers who merely want music to listen to will find it in their interest, economically and ethically and qualitatively, to just buy it.

I may be being na´ve, but I think the latter outnumber the former.

UPDATE: Apple's attempts to prevent unauthorized hijacking of audio run deep. Here's what the developers of Snapz Pro X, which instantly crashes if you try to use it to get an iTunes 4 screenshot, noticed:

We know what this problem is, and it will be easily and quickly fixed. Essentially, in an apparent effort to enforce DRM, some of Apple's applications have a flag set on them that cause the kernel to uncerimoniously kill any program that attempts to pause them (as Snapz Pro X does).

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
22:25 - Sour Buckshot!

(top)
How delightfully politically incorrect! (Wonder if this was the original name they pitched this idea under?) And pretty dang sour to boot.



It even has a built-in belt clip. Even the iPod didn't originally ship with one.


20:05 - Eating crow

(top)
Do indulge me in a brief addendum to my Family Guy rant a few days ago.

Last night's episode had the following scene transition:



It's an establishing shot. Right? Well, for those of you in the audience who have studied the audio-commentary tracks of the Simpsons DVD sets with seminarial fervor, quick: what was the sound effect they always put on establishing shots of the Nuclear Power Plant?

And have a guess at what sound effect was used in the background of this Family Guy shot.

The only question is whether it was an intentional homage and sidelong winking industry/Film Roman injoke, or a rote lift?

Only the Shadow knows, I suppose...


15:50 - Shifting Gears
http://www.appleturns.com/

(top)
I've been remiss. For the past several months, I've been ignoring tech-related (and specifically Mac-related) news in favor of hounding after that little Iraq thing that happened. I seem to have gone off on a bit of a six-month political aside. I haven't been posting anywhere near as many long Apple-licious tirades or snarky analyses of Windows cretinisms or half-baked UI theory pieces or takedowns of clueless back-page tech columnists who predict Apple's bankruptcy and/or buyout by Disney (or Microsoft or Dell or NeXT or something) Any Day Now. I haven't even been giving MacSurfer its accustomed daily perusal.

Well, all that's gonna change. (Well, probably not, but accompany me on my flight of fancy just a little longer, won't you?) Because my favorite of all Mac commentary sites, As the Apple Turns, is back on the air after what appears to be a hiatus of similar dimensions and scope (though probably for different reasons). They're back to their good ol' three-posts-a-day formula, following the endless threads and plotlines that develop daily in the Apple world, weaving together disparate observations from today and last week and next February and early 1998 into luscious melt-in-your-mouth narrative. Anybody can harrumph about how the Mac rumor mill is like a soap opera; it takes the deft hand of AtAT to transform it into the real live article.

Which is why, when it comes to the iTunes Music Store, we took Apple's "million songs sold in one week" press release with a big ol' grain of NaCl. (For the scientifically unschooled, that's the chemical symbol for the element "Nackle.") Of course the store is going to see a lot of traffic during its first week, as everybody and their Mac-using grandmothers give the service a test drive to see if it lives up to the hype. Don't forget, out of those million songs sold during the first week, over a quarter of them were actually purchased within the first 18 hours. So there was a definite tapering off once people had satisfied their need to kick the tires.

But wait, what's this? Apple has just issued another press release, this time revealing that the iTunes Music Store has sold two million songs in its first sixteen days. Well, braid our hair and call us Heidi-- this is actually starting to look sustainable or something! Heck, if you factor out the first-day sales spike, it looks like the iTMS's weekly sales may even be increasing slightly. Roughly a million songs sold each week is definitely nothing to sneeze at, and once Apple extends the service to Windows users as promised, we imagine the numbers are going to skyrocket.

As will my renewed interest in the Mac rumormongering market, now that my favorite filter is back. Huzzah!


15:06 - So long, frying pan

(top)
I just paid off my car today. Yaay!

'Course, now I've got that mortgage to worry about, which is like having nine cars-- and which will take ten times as long to pay off. (Plus the 0-60 time and handling are for crap.)

What the hell was I thinking?!


11:41 - Hostages of Software
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=573&ncid=757&e=1&u=/nm/20030512/od_n

(top)
Via CapLion; ever wonder what would ultimately happen once the automotive industry-- traditionally a mechanical and hardware-driven sector, in which failures were sparse and the basis for recalls-- merged with the software industry, with all its unpredictability and blasÚ hand-waving smirking acceptance of instability?

This is what. People's lives get put in danger.

Much is made in the software QA industry of the example of NASA, where everything is triple-redundant and the software systems are miniscule compared to even a modest desktop computer on Earth-- because the kind of rigorous design and testing you need in order to provide a fail-safe guarantee of the stability of software necessitates simple and bounded systems. Adding one widget to the system can add a year to the R&D process. But NASA holds itself to those standards. It's not practical for companies like Microsoft to do so, not when there are the market pressures of an exploding industry to answer. Contractors who write software for jetliners or the Air Force get to work under banners that say "When our software crashes, so does the plane"; you won't find those kinds of banners in Redmond. (One hopes there's a banner somewhere on the campus that says "Remember the Yorktown", but I'm not holding my breath.)

And the automobile industry is hardly in NASA's league, either; but because until now they've been working with proven technology, making only evolutionary changes, they've been a lot closer to such stability than the software industry ever has. And never the twain shall meet.

Or not:

Suchart Jaovisidha and his driver were trapped inside the BMW for more than 10 minutes before guards broke a window. All doors and windows had locked automatically when the computer crashed, and the air-conditioning stopped, officials said.

"We could hardly breathe for over 10 minutes," Suchart told reporters. "It took my guard a long time to realize that we really wanted the window smashed so that we could crawl out. It was a harrowing experience."

It's only going to get worse from here. I could smirk at the fact that this was a WinCE-based system that crashed (in fact, it can probably be shown that Microsoft is in fact more prone to this kind of weakness than many other software makers, and more guilty of shoddy design and perfunctory testing-- and BMW, like so many other companies, picked Microsoft because they were Microsoft, not because their products were any good); but the problem that this uncovers is bigger than any one company. It's the whole argument about the excessive overcomputerization of huge chunks of metal that hurtle down roads piloted by civilian consumers.

I have no doubt that cars in the future will be necessarily as chock-full of technology as any sci-fi scenario would suggest. You can't have flying cars without computers, for instance. But you won't be able to sell flying cars if the computers randomly crash, locking up the engines, sealing the air circulation system, or otherwise endangering passengers' lives. Computer systems in personal transportation will have to be developed as rigorously as Air Force or NASA software before companies like BMW can be applauded for integrating them into their cars.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
20:23 - 9/11 for the Saudis?
http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=26166

(top)
InstaPundit links to this Arab News article (and this one), which struck me in a surprising way: Isn't this exactly the kind of introspective scrambling and sudden self-blame that occurred here starting on 9/12? Doesn't it have the feel of one of those "Why do they hate us?" rambles?

If so, it's exactly what we needed to have happen at some point: an analogous event, right in the heart of the Arab world, to 9/11; something that shook them up as much as those jetliners did us.

It's obviously terrible that the victims died, but-- (see there? That's what a but feels like) -- compared to 9/11, this was a pretty mild event from the Saudi perspective. It's right in their backyard, exploding their own "it can't happen here" myths, making crystal clear that turning a blind eye to terrorism is just as dangerous for the harborers as it is for the objects of the terrorists' ire. The fact that it was only an event of this size may even help make the prospect of change more palatable to the Saudis, more so than if, say, thousands of Saudi nationals in a business tower had been slaughtered. They might be more rational this way, bypassing the weeks of horrified pegging of opinion gauges that occurred here after the WTC fell.

Australia had its 9/11 in the form of Bali; they subsequently got on board with Iraq. Now, if these Riyadh attacks are perceived by the Arab press as being of the same nature, demanding positive corrective action from moderate, practical Arabs and a swallowing of pride in the interest of solving the problem, it might be exactly the medicine we need in order to bring the chain of events set in motion by 9/11 to a civilized close.


11:50 - iMacX970-Power64

(top)
LoopRumors has word that the 970 shipments to manufacturers in Taiwan are well underway:

We received word that two large shipments of Power PC 970 processors went to Foxconn in Taiwan, under a purchase order from Apple computer. Twenty thousand 1.4Ghz PPC 970's and forty thousand 1.6Ghz PPC 970's have already arrived in their hands. IBM's inventory contains fifty thousand 1.8 Ghz PPC 970's, of which forty thousand are destined for Foxconn tomorrow (Wednesday).

IBM has listed as pending 2Ghz parts as well, which means that it will be in inventory within a month if their fab in East Fishkill produces sufficient volumes of them, and from what we hear they should be in stock by mid-June.

I don't like getting my hopes up, but... dammit, I need a new machine. Preferably one with a better audio-ripping optical drive than the DVD-RAM combo drive in my G4/450 which still results in clicks and pops whenever I import any CDs, something that doesn't happen on my iBook or the current iMacs. (I think the DVD-RAM just has a bum driver that they never really had the incentive to keep current, once DVD-RAM stopped being a useful form of media.)

And if it can rip at 25-30x instead of my current 6-7x, so much the better, eh?

Anyway, the question that ultimately arises from these 970 rumors, and one that I was pondering this morning in the shower, is... what the hell will the machines themselves be called? PowerMac G5? G6? PowerMac 970? Here's a discussion forum whose denizens discuss exactly that; possibilities range from "something with X in it" to weird combinations of "64" and "970" and all the other monikers that have become common memes lately. As some of the commenters are correctly noting, they'll have to come up with a name that maintains existing mindshare capital ("PowerMac"), yet doesn't suggest discredited or outdated technology (e.g. "64", as in "Nintendo 64"); something that leverages "next-generation" terminology (Xmac?) without being hard to say quickly. I guess this is why the marketing guys get paid the big bucks, huh?

Sheesh. I wonder what other company gets this kind of speculation going about its own product names.


11:24 - The Sharing Scramble

(top)
It appears that iTunesShare.com has retreated from live deployment, at least temporarily, presumably to deal with unprecedented load and technical glitches. But in the meantime, there's another iTunes remote music-sharing/streaming clearinghouse site that's sprung up: iTuneShare, with only one S and a .org.

It's pretty sparse thus far, but if there's this much demand, I'm sure that won't last long...

Thanks to Ben for the tip.


10:57 - Next time with pictures

(top)
Time for another one of those interesting-only-to-Brian posts, I think.

For the past several days, and over the weekend in particular, we've been in drywall hell. Not the actual doing of drywall, mind you; just trying to find a drywall contractor who will answer his bloody phone.

See, the new master suite has a new arch wall about 1/3 of the way down its length; this needs to be fully drywalled along the lower part, below waist level, and then the columns and arches need to be clad in drywall and made nice and flush. Then there's the old wall that we removed, which used to divide the two small bedrooms from each other; that left long strips of bare wall and ceiling that have to be patched. We also removed the two closets, which means there are more strips of non-drywall to replace, in L-shapes on the ceilings and then down to the floor.

And then there's the new bathroom passthru door we put in, which needs to be surrounded with drywall; the ductwork has been clad in MDF, and it needs drywall; and the old bedroom door that we removed needs to be drywalled over, too. And then there are about a dozen little holes and divots and cuts and miscellaneous punch-throughs that have to be filled in somehow, either with lots of spackle or with actual drywall patches.

Not exactly a weekend's work, I know. But hey, we're stupid, so we thought we'd just buy the drywall and go to it.

Well... that didn't work out too well. Drywall's more complicated than just tacking some strips up and knifing putty into the cracks. The more we got into it (which is to say, not very far), the more we realized that the only way to go about this was going to be to have a professional come in.

Easier said than done, however. I spent the past week phoning every contractor in the area who came up in a yellow-pages search on "drywall" in Sherlock. I must have called nearly two dozen people. I talked to contractors, I talked to secretaries (wives), I talked to answering machines. Many said they only did large subcontract jobs for builders; they didn't do little piecemeal weird things like mine. So they were out. But among the remaining ones who did seem to be likely candidates-- care to guess how many returned my calls?

Yup, zero. Cold round goose-egg. I don't know what it is with the state of drywall contracting around here, but it just doesn't seem conducive to people actually following up on jobs or anything.

But at any rate, I figured the only thing for it would be to find one contractor that I liked, whose non-call-back at least seemed to be for the most innocuous of reasons, and to just hammer and hammer until I got him on-site. I could talk to his secretary/wife before noon most days, and she kept reassuring me that he'd get back to me, but he never did; after noon, I could call the same number back and get an answering machine, but the ingenous way it worked was as follows: Please leave a message after the beep. BEEP! ...You have reached so-and-so construction. For a directory by name, please press 8. ...Leaving me with little clear direction as to how I was meant to leave a message.

But yesterday, through some miracle, I managed to get through to the real, live contractor around 2:00. Boy oh boy, I wasn't about to let him off the line now that he was in the net! I told him all about our previous missed appointments (last Wednesday, the first day I'd called, he said he'd come by the house-- but never showed, though we waited there until like 7:00) and about his weird-ass answering machine, and he apologized profusely and agreed to come out and look. And come out and look he did.

After about twenty minutes of rubbing of chins and going "hmm", he said the job would likely cost us about $1800-2000. I suppose that's not as bad as it could be. Besides, he has a brand-new Avalanche with his logo on the door, so he must be good at what he does. (Yay, like my logic?) But after all this, I'm thinking that it's going to be a small price to pay to just get this all done, and done right. If it means just refacing the kitchen cabinets and not redoing the kitchen wholesale, which we'd been planning to do, well, so be it. We can still manage a nice granite countertop, and it won't look bad, certainly.

So the next step is to get the room 100% finished and ready for drywalling, which means completing the arches and the header over the new door, and putting new wider trim pieces in where the old door was (so the drywall can drive into them without splitting them). And then maybe the following week we can paint, and then we can carpet, and then we can... move in?


09:52 - What were those Root Causes again?
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=1&u=/ap/20030513/ap_on_re_mi_e

(top)
OSAMA: We must slaughter the infidels in order to fight back against their abominable military presence in Saudi Arabia, the country that houses the Muslim Holy Sites!

FRANKS: Okay, well, Iraq's now better for us anyway, so let's pull out of Saudi Arabia. That oughtta make them happy.

OSAMA: Ha haaa! Fooled you! We want to slaughter you no matter what you do! Ha ha haah! BOOM!

AL-FAISAL: Well, y'know, this stuff happens everywhere. Whaddyagonna do, huh?

POWELL: I'm sure this situation can be resolved through diplomacy. We even have a Roadmap to Peace ready to go in Israel and the occupied territories-- and the Palestinians say they're on board with it!

PALESTINIANS: Yeah, check this shit out! BOOM!

POWELL: Uh... yeah. Diplomacy, perhaps?


I think it should be fairly obvious by now that diplomacy is the cause of these attacks, not the solution to them. If we insist upon being seen as a country that uses words to deal with bombs, what possible tactical advantage could they see in not continuing to use bombs? Especially when their goal is not "peace", but "death for the infidels".

Diplomacy ain't gonna resolve goals that widely disparate.

Previous Week...


© Brian Tiemann