On Friday night, I went to a beach burn and took some photos.
I realize that you have all seen this, but I am feeling duty bound to force you to think about it again. Here is the dullest blog in the world:
"The room was quiet so I tapped the arm of my chair. It wasn't a particularly interesting noise, so I stopped after about 4 taps and sat in silence."
It's very enlightening to spend some time listening to non-technical people describe their computer problems. For anyone developing software to be used by mere mortals, I recommend it. Recently, I overheard a couple of choice quotes at the Genius Bar in the Palo Alto Apple Store:
"...and so I bought a home network. The box it came in said it was 'wireless ready' but normally I find that means it's really not."
Upon finding out that the error with her computer was something that she herself was doing, a flustered and frustrated middle-aged woman huffily remarked:
"I'm going to switch back to a PC. It was so much nicer when it was always their fault."
Here's a fascinating insight into the economics of massively multiplayer online games. Having tried The Sims Online, I can understand some of the appeal, but these people are obsessed. Serious gamers run entire farms of machines playing automatically to generate income within an online game, that's then sold on Ebay for real money.
Behold: the gold farm. Twenty-one PCs, each running 20 or more sessions of Ultima Online, each session automated to exploit a 350,000gp-an-hour loophole in the UO economy. Shall we do the math? 20 x 20 x 350K x 24 hours a day = potential returns of over 3 billion gp (US$45,000) daily.
Gizmodo reports on the latest gadgets from twenty years ago; the first cellphone, the new-fangled Microsoft Mouse, and a tiny Sony Walkman cassette player: "Music isn't going to get any easier to carry around than this." Ha!
Motorola DynaTAC 8000X cellphone
From Motorola, the first commercial portable cellular phone to receive FCC approval. The DynaTAC 8000X, which weighs just 28 ounces, works on the new Advanced Mobile Phone Service that's being rolled out, and has an LED display, memory to store thirty "dialing locations," and enough battery life for 30 minutes of talk time and eight hours of standby. Retail price: $3,995.
Last week I spotted these helpful stickers on the payphones at the corner of Haight and Fillmore. The fine print says:
"This conversation is being monitored by the U.S. government courtesy of the USA Patriot Act 2001, Sec 216 of which permits all phone calls to be recorded without a warrant or other notification. For more information, visit www.crimethinc.com"
Three days later, the stickers were gone.