Pogue on the iPhone#

It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles.

Mossberg on the iPhone#

Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer.

I generally don't give too much credence to gadget reviews by people like Mossberg and Pogue (yes, yes, I realize the rest of the world treats their impressions as gospel), but regardless, I'm happy to see that the heavyweights are giving the iPhone such glowing write-ups.

I think the most surprising bit of information to come out of today's slew of reviews is that the battery really does perform as advertised; pretty amazing all things considered. Of course, my main hangups with the first-gen device persist, but my outlook on v2.0 has only brightened.

I'm headed to New York City

June 21, 2007

Later tonight I'll be taking a redeye to NYC for a firm-related event going on tomorrow night, and will be staying in the city until Sunday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to this mini-vacation, in part because my dad's actually flying up there to hang out with the girl and I for a couple of days. Given that this is only my third time visiting the city, I'm quite excited and hope to be able to get some great shots for the photoblog.

I guess all of that was just a long-winded way of saying that this space will be a bit slow over the next few days (though I will be trying to keep up with Twitter). If you know of something neat going on in the city this weekend that I should check out, please e-mail me.

Swim across the Atlantic Ocean

June 20, 2007

Perhaps this is old news, but I hadn't come across it until a couple of days ago. It turns out that if you ask Google Maps how to get from City A to City B, and the cities are on different continents, one of the steps will be to swim from point Y to point Z. To see this in action, check out the New York, NY to Paris, France directions (in particular, look at step 21).

The life of the Chinese gold farmer#

To sit at Li’s side for an hour or two, amid the dreary, functional surroundings of his workplace, as he navigates the Technicolor fantasy world he earns his living in, is to understand that gold farming isn’t just another outsourced job.

I'm not buying a first-gen iPhone

June 16, 2007

Everyone and their damn brother has asked me if I'm getting an iPhone on June 29th, and my "no" response always invites a very puzzled look, to which I'm compelled to offer an immediate, excited defense of my decision. After all, I've prided myself, for the better part of my life, on having "it" first, even when 99% of the population didn't start caring about "it" until some time later; cost permitting, I'm usually in the front of the line when it comes to tech ‘gadgets.'

As I've explained before, and which fear has grown more prevalent since, I'm scared of the iPhone's keyboard. Scared. I've been indelibly connected to the net for over a decade and I'm an IP attorney — I text/e-mail from my phone a lot and just don't think the iPhone is going to cut it for me. I want to be proven wrong, but I'm not going to camp out for a couple of days in front of an Apple/AT&T store on a chance that it might be good. Let me be clear here: if iPhone 1.0 was shipping with a mechanical keyboard and a 3G stack of some sort, I'd not only be first in line, I'd likely pay double what they're asking (especially in light of the direction I think the iPhone is ultimately headed).

Every time I think it may be possible for the keyboard to work well, I just harken back to the fact that when Jobs demoed it, he used his pointer finger and not his thumbs. Yes, yes, it was a pre-release demo, not everything was finalized, and Steve Jobs walks on water. But, am I to believe that in the short time since Jobs' demo it's become a robust texter? Of course not. Indeed, just last week at the WWDC Keynote, the VP of iPhone software was demoing some new app built entirely on "web standards" (more on the whole stop-gap, iPhone non-SDK thing in an upcoming post), and when punching in "john," or whatever he was searching for, he too used his pointer finger.

When is the last time you saw someone use something other than their thumbs to type on a handheld device? Never? Exactly. Oh, wait, you're right, there was that whole Graffiti thing from Palm, and Windows Mobile has had some form of handwriting recognition for years, but seriously, does anyone use these things to type complete sentences?

I think we all know I'm an Apple fanboy through and through and have turned more people onto Macs than Jobs himself (give or take a few million), but I'm no apologist and will call Apple out as quickly as I praise them.

Let's hope the keyboard is real-world usable and doesn't suck.

Moving to Media Temple

June 15, 2007

I'm putting this site into the gracious and [hopefully] caring hands of Media Temple. After I finish transferring all of my files and databases (so. much. work.) to the new server, I'll initiate the DNS changes (I'm hoping to get that ball rolling sometime tonight). Please bear with me over the next couple of days as the new DNS information propagates through the Internet's tubes and the kinks are ironed out.

See you on the other side.

Network coding#

Network coding "could dramatically enhance the efficiency and reliability of communications networks. At its core is the strange notion that transmitting evidence about messages can be more useful than conveying the messages themselves."


MizPee "finds the closest, cleanest toilet and gives you entertaining reading material once you get there. Since the service is cell phone-based, it's always with you, when you really need it."

How can you not love technology?

Plants 'recognize' their siblings#

Though they lack cognition and memory, the study shows plants are capable of complex social behaviours such as altruism towards relatives.

Anatomy of the Linux kernel#

[E]xplore the general structure of the Linux kernel and get to know its major subsystems and core interfaces.

E-mail survival

June 08, 2007

Lately I'm finding myself further delaying the answering of questions I receive through e-mail (from people I don't know) by responding to them, some two+ months old, with, "Are you using the latest version of the plugin?" or "What's the address of your site? Let me take a look." Sometimes I'll just flat-out say, "Have you resolved the issue since you wrote me?" Best case, they have answered their own question and I can take it off my plate. Worst case, I have another couple of weeks to give a substantive response to their original e-mail.

For the e-mails that don't contain questions, it's now not uncommon for me to reply with a simple "Thank you" or "Good point," whereas five years ago I probably would have engaged the writer much more and attempted to enter into some sort of sub-surface dialog.

Horrible, I know, but desperate times…

At least I haven't declared e-mail bankruptcy.

A step toward a living, learning memory chip#

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have demonstrated that neurons cultured outside the brain can be imprinted with multiple rudimentary memories that persist for days without interfering with or wiping out others.