"Heh. Indeed. Read the whole thing."
- Rock Paper Shotgun's Jim Rossignol has posted up an extended
article on Gaming
in the Russian Cosmos (should that be Kosmos?). It's an interesting
look at a market where, for economic and cultural reasons, PC gaming is
both healthy and still primarily sold in boxes, as opposed to downloads.
That's great for the Soviet-bloc countries, but it does mean that it's
hard for us to get a hold of them.
a table on your cell phone. Series 60 only. This is an interesting
idea, but not one that's going to convert a lot of people over to
Symbian, I think. Still, it's interesting to consider the possibilities
if fabrication machines were more common, both for commerce and for
Make-style problem solving.
- Sadly, well-known gear and production blog Music Thing has closed
its doors now that writer Tom Whitwell has a big-time job at The
Times. Tom was nice enough to link to my Excel-based drum machine a few
years ago, and somehow managed to dig up other synth and guitar-related
oddities from all over the Internet, like this "extravagant
tale of rotating speakers, midi accordians, and erotic polka" or ten
guitars shaped like guns. Just click randomly through the Music
Thing Hits on the right side of the page, you can't go wrong.
- In a clip on Fora.tv, Mike Rowe discusses dirty
jobs and dignity. Not safe for work, if your workplace discourages
hilarious discussion of lamb castration.
- I'm still trying to wrap my head around this
article (PDF link at the bottom of the post) by Aneel Karnani,
titled "Romanticizing the Poor." Essentially, Karnani reminds readers
that market-based solutions to development and poverty face serious
challenges--and these challenges have not been, in his view, adequately
answered by bottom-of-the-pyramid marketing advocates. I addressed some
of these issues in my worries
about Nokia's lifetools, but Karnani does so much more directly and
with some compelling evidence against treating the poor (or indeed,
anyone) as coldly rational actors. At the same time, he focuses
primarily on the sale of alcohol, tobacco, and dubious customer
services--very much a worst-case scenario for unregulated market
interaction. I think the article is, if nothing else, a great warning
against overconfidence in technological or market-based solutions.
- Via the Center
for Global Development comes Foreign Policy's Think
Tank Index, measuring the perception of quality by "knowledgeable
persons." Depending on your point of view, this is either a valuable
list of institutions that shape our policy, or the people who'll be
first against the wall when the revolution comes.
Through the Lens of Slumdog Millionaire.
- Finally, I've been trying out Windows 7 for a few days--first in a
virtual machine, and then finally in a dual-boot partition. I've
realized two things during that time. First, since I'm mostly happy with
Vista, the only compelling features I've noticed so far have been faster
wake-from-sleep times, probably due to the lighter window manager.
Second, a dual boot is a pretty poor way to get a feeling for an
operating system. You need to be able to do some work in it, and since
I'm unlikely to install a beta on my working partition, there's just not
that much I could actually do. Realistically, it's much more useful to
have a Linux or OS X VM hanging around than it is to have a second OS
partition, since in both cases they offer different software suites
and/or sandboxes side-by-side with the full-time operating system. For
example, I refuse to install RealPlayer or Quicktime on my main
partition, due to years of abusive behavior by both. It's much easier to
throw those into a VMWare Player or VirtualBox image and play them from
there--and with today's technology, it's about as fast. As soon as VM
software gains decent 3D acceleration, I'm tempted to create a Win2K
image for playing games locked down by SecuROM or other DRM.