Offline day

Things I did today offline:

  1. Took my daughter to the playground.
  2. Bought a new microwave oven.
  3. Saw some friends walking on the street as I drove past. Honked lightly to get their attention and waved when they looked.
  4. Ate lunch at home with my wife.
  5. Walked my daughter to another playground where they have a sandbox. This time in her wagon. Compared to a stroller: more fun her, more work for dad.
  6. Saw another friend while walking, who honked as she drove past and waved when I looked.
  7. Went out for dinner and ice cream.
  8. Put my daughter to bed.

Now I’m going back offline to watch a movie.

Tomorrow: bruch with friends, grocery shopping.

Cringely on online music

Robert X. Cringely: Son of Napster.

Cringely thinks laterally about online music. He says it would need $2million up front. I would happily donate $100 to help seed it.

Don’t get me wrong. It costs money to make music and somebody’s gotta pay. I know this from personal experience, having lived with a few struggling musicians while in grad school. But something is broken. There are too many lawsuits. Too much innovative technology under fire. Too much stop energy. There has to be a better way to ensure that musicians and songwriters can make a good living making the music we love. Maybe Cringely is on to something.

More from the Linux front

News.Com: “Chris Sontag, senior vice president and general manager of the company’s SCOsource intellectual property division, said in a statement. ‘We intend to provide them with choices to help them run Linux in a legal and fully-paid for way.'”.

It’s very strange to hear Linux and for-pay licensing in the same breath. I guess RedHat and others are trying to sell for-pay licenses, but mostly they’re charging for early access and technical support: “If you stop paying, we’ll cut off your ftp account and stop responding to your emails.” Here we’re talking about simple permission to use executables. Breathtaking.

Update Wired quotes SCO chief executive Darl McBride: “‘Take away the code in question and you’re left with Linux 2.2,’ McBride said.”

New look

Inspired by Mena’s beautiful new site, I’ve reworked this one. I’m using nearly identical layout and styles, but obviously not the logo or orange color. Hopefully she won’t mind :->

I really like what she’s done with the Currently Reading and Listening to… sections. Especially the cover art. Hmm, maybe I’ll get an Amazon ID after all.

I have yet to update my archive pages. Please bear with me until then.


Tonight at dinner we were talking about things you are supposed to do but most people don’t. The subject of rotating one’s mattress came up. You’re supposed to periodically rotate and/or flip over your mattress so that it wears evenly over time.

I said, “I don’t bother. Instead, I rotate my body from time to time, sleeping in different directions. Other times, I crawl under the bed and just push up on the mattress.”

If that was painful, sorry. If you’re laughing, you might also like Demetri Martin.

Netscape's end

It’s kind of sad to see this poster child of the Internet boom meet its end. But it’s not surprising. Something like 96% of the market uses Internet Explorer. The few “anything but Microsoft” holdouts that I know have switched from Netscape to Safari. Oh yeah, and there’s that needling fact that nobody is making money selling browser software.

But Mozilla, Netscape’s open source cousin, lives on and wants to rumble with IE. The Mozilla Foundation president Mitchell Baker is quoted in the hyperlinked article thusly: “”We’ve got the better browser. And that’s what really matters.” I disagree. I think having better strategy is what really matters. I love Firebird, just like Joel, but it’s not going to do me much good unless it works seamlessly at my bank, my tax preparer and the catalog sites where I shop. Though banking, tax filing and shopping represent a tiny fraction of what I do online, these are the places where my browser has to be 100% reliable. I’m not ready for a two browser world, where you use one for reading and another for financial transactions.

The best way to ensure seamlessness is to get the browser into a lot of desktops. Mozilla should take a cue from what the competition was doing in 1995, and work on bundling agreements with the PC manufacturers.

Nytimes on Wi-Fi

Good coverage of wireless Internet technology aka “Wi-Fi” in today’s New York Times.

Happy to Share Wi-Fi-, for a Fee: Access provider Speakeasy attempts the carrot.

Led by Intel, True Believers in Wi-Fi Say It Will Endure: The title doesn’t do this article justice. First off, who is saying that Wi-Fi will go bust, and what exactly would replace it? That aside, the article has a lot of interesting material, e.g. about Intel experimenting with 70 megabit, 30-mile range systems, about McDonald’s getting into the fray and about the markets for-pay and free access.