Best raw oysters in Silicon Valley?

September 30, 2007

I've lived in the Bay Area for four years now and have yet to come across decent oysters for less than $2.50+ a pop, and even those are usually small and unmemorable. I realize I'm not going to be able to get them for a quarter (like on a good day back home), but seriously, there has to be a reasonable in-between somewhere in northern California. I'm growing a bit tired of this four-oyster appetizer crap (half dozen? not around here) and would like to make a full meal out of them for less than $70.

I've been told to check out Half Moon Bay, but haven't been given the names of any specific restaurants there.

If you're sitting on an oyster goldmine out here, please let me into the club (I promise to not give away your secret on this site).

Virtual friendship and the new narcissism#

Does [social-networking] technology, with its constant demands to collect (friends and status), and perform (by marketing ourselves), in some ways undermine our ability to attain what it promises -- a surer sense of who we are and where we belong?

GTD guru David Allen and his cult of hyperefficiency#

When it comes to processing incoming signals, Allen recommends sorting by the most immediate criteria: How long will it take, what is your location, what devices do you have at hand, what other people are present? These direct, contextual cues do not demand any profound insight. Tasks can be assessed extremely rapidly and executed without friction.

Why a person doesn't evolve in one lifetime#

If [our cells were replaced] simply by replication of the various specialized cells in each tissue, our tissues would evolve: mutations would arise, and some would spread. In particular, mutant cells that don't do their specialized job so well tend to replicate more quickly than non-mutants, and so gain a competitive advantage, freeloading off the others. In such a case, our wonderfully wrought bodies could grind to a halt.

The evolution of language#

What we are beginning to see is that a set of disparate cognitive traits lends credence to the fact that language is genetic, and arose suddenly.

Smart Archives v1.9.1

September 25, 2007

As a lot of people seem to know, WordPress v2.3 was released early this morning, and not an hour after the package went live was I flooded with e-mails about it breaking Smart Archives.

Looks like there are new "terms" tables that overwrite some of the older category tables, including post2cat, which is why the plugin was failing miserably under v2.3.

In any event, I've resolved the issue; after nailing down the problem, the solution was quite simple and required only a slight modification to the code.

Note that there are now three different versions of Smart Archives (one each for WP v2.0-, v2.1-2.2, and v2.3+).

Mint#

Mint automatically pulls together your bank, credit union and credit card data, and provides up-to-date and amazingly accurate views of your financial life -- from the big picture to specific details, in a friendly and intuitive way. [It] automatically categorizes all your purchases, showing you how much you spend on gas, groceries, parking, rent, restaurants, DVD rentals and more, with amazing precision.

I can't recommend this free site/service enough -- it's awesome. Really, I'm utterly addicted.

Mac OS X kernel-mode exploitation#

Despite [the] increased interest [in Mac OS X], there is still an apparent lack of detailed vulnerability development information for OS X. This paper will attempt to help bridge this gap by walking through the entire vulnerability development process. This process starts with vulnerability discovery and ultimately finished with a remote code execution.

Machines Like Us interviews Steve Grand#

[There is] increasingly inescapable evidence that we are machines; that a human mind in all its glory is a mechanical consequence of the lawful interactions between trillions of very simple moving parts, and not some kind of vitalistic magical essence attached by a silver thread to a body. For most people this is very hard news to take, and they rebel against it. 'What about culture?', they say. 'What about free will?' 'How dare you suggest I'm some kind of jumped-up pocket calculator!' But as an engineer I have a huge respect for machinery and see things differently. Recognizing that we are machines doesn't demean us at all; it just shows us what astounding and beautiful things machines are capable of. I find it awe-inspiring.

A fantastic interview.

More than innocent stares#

Whether we are seeking a mate or sizing up a potential rival, good-looking people capture our attention nearly instantaneously and render us temporarily helpless to turn our eyes away from them.

And all this time I just thought I had something stuck in my teeth.

Help, I need a point-and-shoot camera

September 17, 2007

I came to the realization a few months ago that my dSLR just wasn't going to cut it for all occasions and that I needed a smaller option, something a little less cumbersome. I've been on the fence about the Leica D-LUX 3 for a while now, and just can't seem to get myself over the hump. While I'm willing to spend $600 on a point-and-shoot, it's hard for me to justify the cost in light of every reviewer's warning that it produces noisy images. I've no doubt that mechanically, the D-LUX 3 is second to none, but if they can't get the electronics right, I can't spend that kind of money, despite its ability to save to RAW, which is rare for a compact camera and something I really want.

For the past few weeks I've had my eyes on the recently-announced (though not yet available) Canon SD950 IS, and just when I had somewhat resigned myself to pre-ordering it, Scott Beale got me thinking about companies other than Canon and Leica when last week he gushed about the brand new Fujifilm FinePix F50se.

There's no question that I've a certain affinity for Canon — I've owned a few PowerShots, currently use a Canon dSLR, only buy Canon glass, recommend their products to everyone, etc. — and would love to add another of their models to my collection, but the FinePix has me doing a double-take; it's at least $150 cheaper than the Canon and supports full manual and aperture priority shooting modes (I generally shoot in aperture priority mode on the dSLR, and would like similar control over the non-dSLR).

Thoughts?