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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12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
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12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Friday, March 19, 2010
15:03 - Pie are not square
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/03/pie-verus-cake-scientific-approach.htm

(top)
Resolved: pie is superior to cake.



That's it. I'm getting a birthday pie next year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010
07:54 - The Light Fantastic
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/03/nyc_and_las_vegas_from_above_a.html

(top)
A photographer by the name of Jason Hawkes rigged up a helicopter with stabilizing mounts and took to the skies over Manhattan and Vegas at night. Excellent imagery ensues:



What's particularly amusing (and/or depressing), though, is that the comments are so predictably full of Luddites and bitter moralists who think these photos represent the peak of human decadence. One even goes so far as to proffer an image of the African continent at night as being "much better".

Fortunately there are plenty of voices of sanity to offer a counterpoint:

"Our circadian rhythms are set so that we can sleep in the DARK"

Have you heard about the latest invention? They're called "curtains". You hang them in front of your windows and they block out the light from outside. It's like magic! You should get some if you're having trouble sleeping. It's probably cheaper than moving to Africa, anyway.

And lol at the people boo-hoo-hooing about New York's energy inefficency. Sure, it could be better, but New York by far is the most energy-efficient city in America, and I'd be flabbergasted if it didn't have the lowest carbon emissions per capita (in additon to the millions of people in the city who use public transportation and the high number of multiple-family dwellings, New York gets much of its electricty from the Indian Point nuclear power plant). "Oh noes, those poor trees!" Yeah, because I hear farmers and suburban developers are great for forests.

Via Tim Blair.


06:03 - And what?

(top)
When did this start happening? Suddenly I'm noticing people around me using the phrase "and that" where I would normally use "and all that".

"We need to go get some boards and nails and that."

I know this has been widespread usage in Cockney English, but only just now have I started hearing it coming out of American mouths. Is this an East Coast thing that I've only just now suddenly started noticing?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
05:36 - Grissom, we may have something here

(top)
It's been quite warm for a few days now: 60 degrees or so at the high. It's been great. All the giant piles of snow from two weeks ago are rapidly disappearing, even from the parking lots where they've been heaped up, and I'm sure by tonight there'll be nothing left of them at all.

One side effect is that there's a lot of water melting off the snowbanks, and not all of it goes into the proper drainage. On the Saw Mill Parkway last night, on the way down the far side of the hill just south of the Reader's Digest road crossing in Chappaqua, there was a heavy, rushing torrent of inch-deep water flowing across from the highlands on the right (west) side of the road and occupying the left lane. I felt the wheel drag to the left as I crossed it; I thought at the time, damn, that's bound to catch someone off guard.

This morning I passed the same spot going the other direction. There was a cop and a HELP truck parked at the side with their lights on. Up the hill to my left, in the wide median that climbs the hillside, there was a car facing northward, wedged up against a tree, a long way from either side of the highway. As I passed it I realized that the track it had plowed in the leaves and dirt was coming from the downhill (southbound) side.



He must have hit that same patch of water, I thought. But then again, it wasn't that deep. Surely it was only dragging at the wheels for a second or so? And surely it would have lessened its flow by the time morning came?

Then I checked my thermometer:



Oooh.

You gotta watch out for the damnedest things around here.

Monday, March 15, 2010
08:57 - wePad
http://www.thestreet.com/story/10702190/1/ipad-has-user-log-in-flaw.html

(top)
Interesting take from Anton Wahlman of TheStreet.com:

Just like the iPod Touch, the iPhone and most or even all other smartphones, the iPad lacks multiple user profile logins, including any "Guest" login.

Think of the iPad as one big iPod Touch or iPhone. Once you've entered the password, you're in. And I mean in! You have complete access to all emails, instant messages, the address book and calendar. Contrast this with a laptop: On a PC, you may have, say, four different user logins (father, mother, son and daughter) and one generic "Guest" login. This means you can't see others' emails, instant messages, address books, calendars and any other documents created. Privacy is protected.

. . .

The fact of the matter is that the iPad is a lot more like a laptop than a smartphone in terms of how you need to protect your information. You wouldn't let your kids use your laptop under your personal login, with access to your emails, address book, documents, and instant messages. This will force parents and others to not sync their personal information -- through iTunes and MobileMe -- with the iPad, at which point the iPad has immediately lost a material portion of its intended utility.

He may have a point. I'm not sure a "guest" account (or multiple user accounts of any kind) would solve the problem, though; even ignoring the user-interface complexity you'd incur by making it possible (and unavoidable) to switch between users and log in at a prompt, making only a particular user's iPod and address-book activities sync with the host PC is far from a slam-dunk. There are a zillion other apps with private data that would have similar sensitivity in syncing. Would "guest" users (and all users except the "primary" syncing user) only get access to a few core cut-down apps?

He's astute to say that the likely unintended consequence of this setup is that people will elect not to sync their data, in order to protect it. There's a password lock, obviously, but that's only going to offer a certain level of protection; beyond that, I'm having trouble thinking of a way to poke a hole in his contention.

Whatever form the solution might take, if solution there must be, will probably have to involve a reengineering by Apple, and a fairly fundamental one at that. Parental controls preventing on-device modification of critical data or purchasing music or apps? Stronger password schemes? "Cancel or Allow"?

Or maybe they just won't address it at all, and will rely on expecting usage patterns to conform to the device rather than the other way around. Unlikely; but it'd be very unlike them not to have thought through something like this, especially considering all the 24/7 real-world usage it's undoubtedly had in testers' hands by now.

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