Archive for March, 2005

Trade Secrets

Thursday, March 17th, 2005

DaringFireball has been going on for a while now about the Apple vs. ThinkSecret case. (ThinkSecret is an Apple rumor site.)

It’s a corporate version of Celebrity vs. Tabloid, except that in California corporations have the law firmly on their side.

If she’s appalled…

Tuesday, March 15th, 2005

Jolene Blalock never fails to entertain, at least off the set:

[…] asked about the series finale, written by longtime executive producers Rick Berman & Brannon Braga, Blalock said, “I don’t know where to begin with that one…the final episode is…appalling.”

The ellipses apparently represent stammering rather than genuine elisions. Read all about it at TrekToday.

Feminism Unmeme

Monday, March 14th, 2005

Link of the day: Babes Under Glass.

Now if I were a feminist, I’d have all sorts of deep things to say about my Link of the Day. Instead, I’ll give you a special abbreviated answer to Jerie’s feminism meme: feminists are people who get all meta about gender. I am not a feminist because I don’t.

The Wreck of The River of Stars

Sunday, March 13th, 2005

I don’t have too much to say about Michael Flynn’s The Wreck of The River of Stars, besides that you should go out and read it, especially if you’re interested in personality typing. On the surface it’s a hard-sf tale of the wreck of the last great magnetic sailing vessel, written in a literary-mainstream style. That is, the omniscient narration gives away its own ending (as if the title hadn’t sufficed) and distances the reader from the crew to the point where they’re not dying fast enough.

That’s a little more quality literature than I signed up for, but the novel makes up for it all by being the world’s only SF Myers-Briggs puzzle. There are sixteen characters (give or take a few corpses) representing the sixteen types, and the reader gets to guess who’s who. Find out how your own special and unique personality helps doom a spaceship full of people to a tragic cold-equations end!

It may sound depressing, but it really was a great read. I highly recommend it. There’s more discussion of the novel and its Myers-Briggs types over at sffworld.

Fried Puppy?

Friday, March 11th, 2005

Five or six NStar trucks were parked on my corner when I got off the T last night, so I immediately wondered whether the electric company had electrocuted yet another dog. Besides the two most recent incidents leading to the formation of the Mayor’s Fried Puppy Task Force, there were a couple in the North End last year and who knows how many more? Someone needs to start a watchdog website devoted to local dog electrocutions.

Two of the trucks were still there this morning.

Pop-ups Popping Up

Thursday, March 10th, 2005

Lately I’ve noticed a few pop-ups sneaking into Safari. After more than a year of popup-free bliss, the sight of those unsightly windows is distressing. Todd Dominey thinks it’s being done with Flash, but I’ve also seen speculation (from Mike Soloman, the PithHelmet guy) that they’re being popped up using links that contain both a real URL and a javascript onclick event.

Women and Hard SF

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

This was supposed to be a comment on Lori’s blog entry about a discussion at Electrolite partly involving the statement:

Women do not write hard science fiction today because so few can hack the physics[…]

But Lori’s blacklist plugin appears to be broken, so I’m not sure the comment went through. I’m preserving it here for posterity.

Lori said:

Im not sure which assumption bothers me more the assumption that women are incapable, or the assumption that we dont find science interesting enough to bother with it.

I wanted to say:

I don’t think either is an assumption. They’re both somewhat-independent deductions from the number of women in physics. Either one may be an incorrect deduction, though the only other likely explanation seems to be continuing bias against women in the academic community and that doesn’t seem terribly likely either.

To summarize: Women don’t study advanced physics in the numbers men do. Either they can’t hack it and our merit-based system boots them, or they can hack it but they’re not interested, or they can hack it and they are interested but the academic world keeps them out somehow. I’m curious what you think the explanation is, if not one of those three.

As for women writing hard science, that’s an even harder number to explain away since women in general have better verbal skills than men, which ought to balance out men’s greater talent for physics (or whatever other factor results in more male physicists).


Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Trek quote of the day: “I mean, we started out with 13 million viewers on the pilot, and we somehow managed to drive 11 million of them away.”Jolene Blalock

CherryOS, a vaporware Mac emulator that died back in November has risen from the dead. Slashdot has links. Apparently the fresh-risen zombie is still a ripoff of PearPC.

[Update] has a CherryOS Roundup.

Protected: Despite

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

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Locked Up

Monday, March 7th, 2005

Link of the day: Group as User: Flaming and the Design of Social Software.

The password to the next post will be Khan. I’ve locked it as a quick-and-dirty way to keep it from being indexed by search engines. It mentions real-life public events and persons who, while somewhat anonymized, would be easily recognizable to anyone else who was there at the time.