November 17, 2002

Emergence Doesn't

"Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software" by Steven Johnson, I suspect, was intended to be an introductory glimpse into the science of complexity. The book was replete with interesting anecdotes and glimples into slices of the world that I'm not normally privy to. Unfortunately, it also lacked a "plot". Usually non-fiction like this one takes you from Point A to Point B and tries to explain as much as is needed for the author to keep the reader from ending the journey early. Emergence, on the other hand, did very little to keep the interest of the reader and ended rather abruptly. As is the case from time to time, I just read through books without reading them - which may have been the case with this one. So while I will be re-reading it at some point in the future to make sure that I didn't miss some big point that Johnson was trying to make, I can't recommend that you do.

I am happy to report however that Springsteen's latest disc is still in heavy rotation in my CD player. If you haven't picked this one up yet, you are definitely missing out. Neil Young on the other hand, hasn't fared as well. I still have yet to give the disc one complete listen through. Frankly, this one starts to bore me about three or four tracks in - I've never felt compelled to listen to the whole thing. Hopefully his next effort is better - he's a great musician that still has great work left in him, I hope. This one just didn't do it for me.

Posted by system at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Speaking of 'Radio for Dummies', RFID gains further traction with Gillette order...

Scott says that I steal stuff from /. too often. I still don't agree with him, but he's left me with some latent guilt and now I feel compelled to at least acknowledge when I'm ripping Cmdr. Taco and Hemos off. Therefore, Ob/.RipoffDisclaimer: The following post appeared on /. before I posted it here.

This is a big story. Retail RFID [?] is definitely the most practical use of leading edge wireless technology. These orders are only going to get bigger as the cost per unit for an RFID device comes down. Wait until these puppies are being sold by the manufacturer at less than a penny per piece. Wireless grocery checkouts? You bet...

What I haven't figured out is how they are going to stop my e740 from masquerading as a box of free razors. As near as I can tell, the technology needed to spoof an RFID device is available off the shelf real cheap - the PDA would make a great controller. I don't think it would take much to forge the radio transmission to make five dozen eggs look like one...

Posted by system at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Radio for Dummies...

Well, hopefully this self-imposed challenge doesn't soak up much more time. I've come to the conclusion that Radio is interminably disorganized. While doing simple things like posting is well thought-out, doing something that could/should be equally simple like changing to a custom template is...well, quite frankly, a pain-in-the-ass. There seems to be references, tags, schema's scattered everywhere hither, thither and yon and no real centralized way of navigating through them in order to make the necessary changes as you go. Instead, you kind of have to guess and create a mental roadmap of all of the dependencies that also need to be updated.

The current implementation is akin to Word requiring you to update both your document and the true-type binary in order to change the layout of a document.<sigh> I know they are trying real hard, but, eesh,  its not exactly user friendly at this point. To paraphrase Bob Frankston who call me for technical support one day not all that long ago, "I don't need Radio for dummies, I need Radio for Ross."

Anyways, there's a few more navigation tweaks that I want to make, but they will have to wait until later today (hah - now if that's isn't a recipe for procrastination, I've never seen one...)

Posted by system at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on Whacking...

I wouldn't call it addictive, but finding them does come with a certain degree of self-satisfaction. The second one I found was anything but accidental and far more recordable.

Its interesting to think about the digital detritus that we spawn simply by entering words into the global record. I'm thinking that yesterday's whack already shows up on five or six different pages in various parts of the web...It'll be interesting to see what the exact count is after the next Great Spidering.

Posted by system at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack