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:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Friday, June 29, 2007
09:36 - Who writes the posts? Someone else

(top)
What with corporate offsite events taking place today, car juggling, and the fact that I don't want one, get your iPhone news today from Daring Fireball. Don't miss the mysterious overnight jump from 40Kbps to 200Kbps on the EDGE network, the on-camera mugging of Newsweek's Steven Levy (for his iPhone), and this:

Our tipster said that at this point, Steve got a "look on his face that was kind of the same look as he had when introducing the Mac in 1984." He said that it sounded like Steve thought the iPhone launch was a really huge deal, and considered it to be one of the most revolutionary and exciting products they had ever created. Steve said, "Don't worry about two years from now," they'll deal with that as it comes. Apple employees will be able to tell their grandkids that they were at Apple when they launched the iPhone, and that it was all worth the sacrifice.

I remember that look.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
09:08 - The trick is: just type away, and trust the intelligence of the keyboard
http://www.apple.com/iphone/usingiphone/keyboard_large.html

(top)
The loupe-like insertion cursor, the expanded tap zones for predicted next letters, and the ".com" key for URLs—all things I hadn't seen before. This looks damn cool; even, rather than a liability, a fun feature in its own right. Certainly a far cry from Graffiti, the last mobile-device text input method that we were assured would become second nature in just a few days.

(Related is that the "disastrous" Newton's handwriting recognition was actually really good, according to people who actually owned them; you just had to give it time to adapt, and few reviewers—or TV show writers or cartoonists—were willing to do so, especially when it was funnier not to. First impressions are key (as it were); Apple's taken that particular lesson to heart, it seems.)

Via Gruber.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
22:12 - What, was Elfman busy?
http://music.ign.com/articles/799/799630p1.html

(top)
Guh?

The soundtrack to The Simpsons Movie will be hitting stores on July 24th, 2007 with a special Limited Edition of the album being released a week later.

Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer has crafted the music for the first full-length feature based on Matt Groening's successful television series. The album will feature Zimmer's take on the music from the series.

"It's such an iconic part of today's culture," says Zimmer. "And I had to try and express the style of The Simpsons without wearing the audience out with too much attitude!"

I can hear it now: the chorus singing "The Simp-sooooons" over the clouds in the intro will be an African choir singing in Zulu...

Via Mark.


13:56 - Money's tight these days

(top)
I guess that's why there are lines forming already to fork over $1000+ for a phone.


11:57 - Good luck with that
http://news.sel.sony.com/en/press_room/corporate_news/release/30713.html

(top)
Wow, what an idea:

SAN DIEGO, June 26, 2007 -Sony Electronics today announced the rollout of Backstage, a VAIO PC support service, to four Sony Style retail stores in New York and New Jersey.

The service has already been introduced at three store locations – San Diego (Fashion Valley); Scottsdale, Ariz. (Fashion Square); and Atlanta (Lenox Square) – and will be available in a total of 15 Sony Style stores by the end of the year.

From computer usage advice to hands-on technical support and service, Backstage offers a convenient in-store resource staffed by specifically trained and dedicated service consultants.

“Backstage is a great example of our commitment to providing the highest level of personal service and support,” said Scott Strother, a Sony Style vice president. “No matter what your level of knowledge, this service will simplify computer buying and maintenance through one-on-one assistance from VAIO product experts.”

The service includes complimentary product consultations and personal tutorials, as well as expert advice to help people find the VAIO PC that best suits their specific needs.

Because we all remember how well imitating Apple worked for Gateway.

Via Peter G.

Monday, June 25, 2007
17:56 - Everything's on fire

(top)
So just as all the Bay Area fire crews start to rush out to battle the giant Tahoe fire, the hills above Stanford suddenly go up in smoke. The plume outside my office right now looks at first like it's just a few blocks away and a few hundred feet high, but as you get closer it just looks bigger and further away.

What do you suppose we can blame all this on?


17:33 - Welcome to the boondocks
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_6222824?nclick_check=1

(top)
Aww. I always thought it was kinda cute that San Jose's airport was so tiny and cramped and sucky and had such a ridiculously circuitous road system.

While San Jose is larger than Oakland and San Francisco, its airport has fewer travelers than those cities. Burger King and McDonald's are the marquee food attractions.

New features will include state-of-the-art baggage systems; a 3,400-space parking garage; expanded food and beverage offerings; and tunnel jetways that connect travelers to the airplanes.

Already under construction is a new North Concourse that will link Terminals A and C. Terminal C will ultimately be replaced with a new, 14-gate Terminal B.

In a briefing scheduled for today, airport leaders will unveil a new design for Terminal B and for a glass-faced annex at Terminal A. The annex would allow ticket counters to be moved to the ground floor and free up space for more concessions on both sides of the security checkpoints. Currently, Terminal A offers no dining options outside the metal detectors.

Crews also plan to improve traffic flow on the airport's winding, circular roads.

Driving in and out of the airport "sometimes requires superhuman skills to be able to read signs and steer at the same time," said Councilman Sam Liccardo, whose district includes part of the airport.

Starting in early July, crews will build a temporary "Skyport Connector" that links travelers directly from Terminal C to Skyport Drive. The roadway is designed to save motorists time heading out of the airport, rather than having to loop all the way out to Coleman Avenue, as is the case now.

"This will make it intuitively easier to get in and out," said Rich Dressler, an airport spokesman.

Bah! If them city folk don't like our dinky airport, let 'em keep their stinkin' cappucinos outta our software farm!


11:04 - Too much to meet the eye
http://www.thesmokesellers.com/?p=1022

(top)
I was all set to go through images I found online and do side-by-side comparisons of various characters in the new Transformers movie versus their "classic" appearances... but in the process I found this site that has already done it for me. It's in Spanish, but the images are the important thing, and you can get the general gist: "Dios, pobre hombre, a este lo han desfigurado pero de verdád."

Cover up the one on the left with your hand. If you can identify who the one on the right is supposed to be—and this goes for any of the other similar examples on the site—you're a better man than I. I mean, yeah, the robot designs never were very plausible as things that were supposed to physically fit into the shapes of the cars and trucks and jets and pistols and things they transformed into, without having all kinds of telltale fins and portholes and stuff sticking out of the body panels of what's supposed to look like a bone-stock VW Beetle or Lamborghini Countach (and that's to say nothing of the uncomfortable questions of relative size, where cassette tapes and tractor-trailers somehow turned into robots of comparable size to each other). But... is this really what was necessary?

It's even worse than that, though. On-screen, in motion, you don't even have the luxury of staring at a still frame of a carefully arranged pose for several seconds until you figure out what are arms and what are legs and just who the hell it's supposed to be. The movie has dark backgrounds and shadows and smoke and a million constantly moving parts that defy any attempt at being associated with a character:

I mean, dude, what the hell?

I kinda want to see this just because I grew up squarely in the middle of the Transformers meme pool, and it was the center of my life for several awkward years. I'm not one to obsess over the kooky directions the franchise has taken in past decades (ill-advised CGI TV series in which the robots transform into animals and all the backgrounds and set pieces are made of shiny metal); but I can look at this movie and wonder just what in hell it has in common with the thing from the 80s aside from the title.

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© Brian Tiemann