January 2003

I'm also losing patience with Bush.

Terry Jones gives a real world metaphor for what Bush is going to do with Iraq. What I still don't get is why Bush wants a war with Iraq? All the reasons given by the administration seem lame.
  • Saddam is a potential WMD threat. This makes no sense at all. During the first Gulf War Saddam had a real arsenal that he did not use because he knew the consequences would be terrifying. Why would he suddenly use what little is left if he knows the consequences? On the the other hand if we back him up against the wall, all bets are off.
  • Saddam is an asshole. So what else is new? He was a worse asshole when he was Cheney's lap dog. Another problem with this reasoning is why Saddam and why not all the other crazy despots? Besides that, where is the international law that would support deposing the government of a sovereign nation?
  • Saddam supports Al Qaeda. People that claim this need to show evidence! From my understanding, philosophically Saddam and Bin Laden are on opposite scales: one is a secular fascist and the other a religious fascist. Did you know that 50% of the US public thinks Saddam was behind 9/11? Talk about an effective propaganda machine!
Even the reasons given by outside speculators don't add up.
  • Oil. I cannot see how the negatives could be compensated. How could oil compensate for for instance the financial cost of a war, the loss of goodwill from the international community and the quasi automatic creation of more terrorists willing to die?
  • Iraq is the first step in building a US Empire. I thought this theory was stupid until I noticed that Condoleezza Rice has a lot of influence with the President. Her view of the world as big military power blocks is very much outdated.
The downside of the war seem much more credible.
  • Gives any nation the right to preemptively strike at another nation.
  • Lots of innocent people will die and be maimed for life.
  • It will cost massive amounts of money that could be spent on more useful things.
  • The US will lose lots of goodwill.
  • Many more people will line up for terrorism training.
The US military victory in Iraq may be swift but I fear the US has already lost the peace. Probably not as bad as this prediction (Thank's Xavier for the top link)

Larry Lessig's compromise.

Am I the only one that thinks this is a horrible idea! The initial problem is that copyright is being extended into perpetuity.

Copyright law is there to encourage creativity in a way that benefits society. To take example on patent law, imagine for a minute that it was also 90 years and growing. Don't you think the IBMs and Bayers of the world would file blanket extensions for all the patents they hold? We, the end user, would have to pay enormous sums for our drugs and gadgets. Many would not be made because it would almost be impossible to make things that did not infringe on some patent somewhere. The patent holders would have very little incentive to invest in new research as they could milk their old ideas into perpetuity. I think this has already started in the copyright space, Disney is a prime example of a company mainly recycling their old ideas (and ironically public domain works).

The problem with current copyright law is that it no longer encourages copyright. In the patent space companies know full well that they need to reinvest their profits into new ideas because the old ones will expire. Where is the equivalent motivation in the copyright space. How does society benefit from perpetual copyright?

Well apparently, I am not alone in thinking it is a bad idea

The Glass Wall

Just discovered that Matt Jones had put up the story of the BBCi redesign. I have yet to read the whole PDF but it looks mighty interesting. I am still not sure I really like the BBC home page. I have a feeling there is no scale in the information and therefore it is really difficult to separate all the boxes. The inside pages are much better. Having said that, one has to admit it must be one of the most difficult projects to take on.

Starting to love Safari

I am amazed how quickly Safari has taken over my mind share. When I first looked at it I dismissed it because it did not have tabs and less than perfect CSS Support. I had grown addicted to that those features in Chimera. But now I am realizing I am spending more and more time in Safari by choice. Today I was in for another positive surprise. One of the things I love in safari is the full page bookmarks management, a kind of virtual tab (hopefully the basis to bring in completely). As I was there adding a new folder to the bookmarks I realized it would be great if the browser started up on the bookmarks page. As was just about to file bug report with the idea when I realized maybe they already had. Sure enough in the preferences there it was. This is what I love in Mac software, usually if you think something should work in a certain way, it does.


Are you getting confused by CSS Selectors, why don't you translate them to English. (via Jim Roepcke)

XHTML 2 or not to be

After Mark's frustration, Jefrey Zeldman adds to the XHTML2 debate. In my eyes his comments make a lot of sense.

At least I have one reader ;-)

Greg comments on my new design.
The only thing I'm missing compared to the previous version is the little picture on the top, which was clearly showing in which category we were...
I was so frustrated that I could not create categories on the fly. It required a trip to PhotoShop each time. By dropping the image I could make it much easier. Irony has it that since the change I have of course not added a single category. But at least I just activated the multi category and it seems to be working. Well anyway, I'm starting to prepare the next lift that will bring back the icons without the trip to PhotoShop and hopefully fix some other annoyances.

Down and out in the magic kingdom

Utterly fantastically cool Cory's new book book is downloadable! I started reading yesterday and am already in heaven or should I say in the magic kingdom.

SUVs and Terrorism

The perfect answer to the stupid drugs = terrorism ads: SUVs = Terrorism. Here is the NYTimes story about them. (via Aaron Swartz)

Some thoughts on the Jobs keynote

I guess three days should be enough to dissipate the reality distortion fields from the MacWorld Keynote. So here is my assessments of the stuff:
  • Final Cut Express Brilliant move, anyone that has played around with iMovie will want to get their teeth into something a little more powerful but at $1000 final cut is beyond the scope for most people $300 is much more acceptable.
  • iPhoto2, iMovie3 and iDVD3 all look like good upgrades and the iLife integration is also a smart move.
  • Safari Like almost everyone I surprised apple did not pick the Gecko but after some reading on the web I think this letter to the KDE team and this old post from Dave Hyatt one of the Safari team members and one of the people behind my current favorite browser Chimera reveals the general thinking. Anyway it seems the renderer still has a long way to go and as long as they don't get rid of the Metal look and add tabs I will stick to Chimera.
  • Keynote Maybe the most significant announcement of the MacWorld. Keynote could be a the first step in Apple's declaration of independence from Microsoft. Take the horrible PowerPoint and make something that both pro's and beginners can love. By fully leveraging Quartz it looks like they have just done it.
  • The 17" PowerBooks What can I say, This is the machine I have dreamed of for years. Now that it is available why am i not going nuts. It's a little bit too expensive and the screen resolution could be higher, everything else is perfect.
  • The 12" PowerBooks Also a gorgeous machine but again in my opinion a little flaw in not including DVI video output. This machine combined with one of Apple's beautiful desktop LCD's would have made make a killing.
All in all I think it was a some great stuff

I need a new backpack...

... a bigger one to fit this. More comments in a while.

Corporations right to lie

Interesting historical perspective in this article about Nike's right to lie.
Jefferson and Madison proposed an 11th Amendment to the Constitution that would "ban monopolies in commerce," making it illegal for corporations to own other corporations, banning them from giving money to politicians or trying to influence elections in any way, restricting corporations to a single business purpose..."
Lots of food for thought in this article (via Doc Searls)

In-Room Chat as a Social Tool

What happens if you enable chat software among the participant of a live meeting?
The in-room chat created a two-channel experience -- a live conversation in the room, and an overlapping real-time text conversation. The experiment was a strong net positive for the group.

Face lift for the New Year

Finally updated the the design after procrastinating for half a year, Although this design still needs a lot more work it's not as drab as the old one. Apart from the obvious changes, I decided to finally switch to a serif font as browsers are getting better at handling anti-aliasing. I also tightened up the letter spacing in the headlines but will change a bunch of other things in the CSS as I go along

Happy New Year!