Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in February, 2004

Back soon!

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Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
I’m posting this from Gramado… they have broadband here at the hotel, but it’s not yet normally available to guests. We’ll be back Sunday evening, so stay tuned…

O Texto é bom, mas…

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Posted by Luiz E-dmundo:
O Texto é bom, acho na verdade que ele é bem melhor, mais conciso, mais pé-no-chão que o Manifesto Cluetrain, mas não acredito em verdades absolutas…

Por isso cometi a heresia de comentar, nem sempre concordando, cada um dos 10 itens do texto…

Estou fazendo isso paulatinamento no meu Blog Acorde Dissonante :

Luiz E-dmundo

The SUV Plague

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We’re packing for a whole week offline, during the Carnaval holidays. This time to Gramado, a city way down in Southern Brazil, famous for chocolate and wine festivals.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t resist recommending Malcolm Gladwell‘s excellent article Big and Bad – how the S.U.V. ran over automotive safety:

…The truth, underneath all the rationalizations, seemed to be that S.U.V. buyers thought of big, heavy vehicles as safe: they found comfort in being surrounded by so much rubber and steel. To the engineers, of course, that didn’t make any sense, either: if consumers really wanted something that was big and heavy and comforting, they ought to buy minivans, since minivans, with their unit-body construction, do much better in accidents than S.U.V.s.

…In psychology, there is a concept called learned helplessness, which arose from a series of animal experiments in the nineteen-sixties at the University of Pennsylvania. Dogs were restrained by a harness, so that they couldn’t move, and then repeatedly subjected to a series of electrical shocks. Then the same dogs were shocked again, only this time they could easily escape by jumping over a low hurdle. But most of them didn’t; they just huddled in the corner, no longer believing that there was anything they could do to influence their own fate. Learned helplessness is now thought to play a role in such phenomena as depression and the failure of battered women to leave their husbands, but one could easily apply it more widely…The man who gives up his sedate family sedan for an S.U.V. is saying something far more troubling – that he finds the demands of the road to be overwhelming. Is acting out really worse than giving up?

I have driven one of these things once, and it was a scary experience. I’m used to small, responsive cars where you feel every pebble; I felt completely out of touch with the road, and was glad when I got out again. I’ve learned to watch out for cars that present one or more of these symptoms:

  • darkened windows
  • tow hook
  • pickup or SUV
  • extra points for a rollbar on the pickup/SUV
  • extra points for floodlights on the rollbar

since they’ll have a high probability of completely ignoring niceties such as traffic lights, rights of way, speed limits and other cars.

Re: Orkutlery

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Posted by jerryT:
LOL. No problem. It’s been great fun seeing how difficult it is to “get connected.”

Got a couple of emails from them. I was sent to a page, username recognized, and instructed to change password. Did so. Tried to login. No go. Tried the link in other email (which also gave me my username). This time it said no such username existed. LOL

Personally I think the hotshots at Google, in conjunction with the brightest lawyers of the world, have come up with a great new product: Tortureware. icon_rolleyes.gif

If and when I ever gain access I’m hopeful I can trash my account and/or make a quick cancellation and exit. It has, however, been fun. I especially like the little game of identifying the letters in the box and trying to then type them in. It’s really quite a challenge and I heartily recommend an Apple Studio Display. LOL


Re: Orkutlery

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Invites at Orkut seem to be down, due to a software bug. Sorry, Jerry

Meanwhile, Tina unjoins:

I don’t want to know that at least two of my acquaintances think intimate body piercings are hot, and I don’t want to have ‘fans’. I’m quite happy with the fans I have in real life (they’re loud, and lurking around in my bedroom… but quite useful once summer’s here) and I don’t need people to give me stars to show me that they like me. I know they do. Or do they?

And Glenn Fleishman also bows out:

But the fundamental problems for me are: I’m not dating. I’m married, happy, and not looking for more/new partners. And although I’m not a prude nor conservatively moraled, I still don’t want to know the romantic social predilections like a Elks Club badge of everyone I barely know.

I’m not looking for more friends. I have enough friends in the atomic world already to want electronic friends that I will rarely if ever meet in fleshspace. I’d rather spend more time enriching existing friendships.

…I don’t need to expose myself through yet another method. My site already exposes me enough. Even if I limit my profile, I’m providing a lot of personal detail. If I don’t fill out the profile, I’m not very interesting.

They both have good points. Interestingly, Glenn was on my Orkut friends list… I’ve actually met Glenn and his charming wife in person on the first MacMania Geek Cruise, and we’ve exchanged friendly e-mails several time since then. Still, there are people on my list whose degree of friendship with me is much greater – and others which I know even less. Shoehorning all these people into a generic “friends network” is awkward. And the whole dating/mating scene should have been fenced off into a separate section, really.

Glenn recommends LinkedIn for building business relationships. By a coincidence, I was invited to that network today by another of my Orkut “friends”, and had just filled out my profile when I read Glenn’s post. By contrast, LinkedIn is very businesslike and impersonal; almost too much so. Let’s see what will happen there…

Version tracker

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No, not that VersionTracker

As regular readers might recall, my last versions of Zingg! feature an improved update query that allows me to tabulate which Mac OS X version the client is running. Preliminary results show that roughly 3 out of 4 Zingg! users are running Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). Nearly all Panther users are running 10.3.2… but curiously, about 15% of the Jaguar users have not yet updated to 10.2.8, the last Jaguar release. These figures may be distorted by the fact that most users who check regularly for new versions will of course also upgrade to the latest Mac OS X as soon as possible.

There are no figures for 10.1.x users, as there’s no way to distinguish them from users of XRay, which doesn’t yet have the new version-tracking code. In any event, other surveys have found that they number under 10% (some say 5%) of active Mac OS X users. I don’t plan to support 10.1.x for any new version of my products, and indeed no longer have a Mac that runs it available for testing.

Starting with Jaguar, Mac OS X has facilities for weak-linking system calls and for easily checking if certain calls are available or not. This makes writing software that runs on both older and newer systems much easier. Hopefully Panther adoption rates will be such that I’ll soon be able to release Panther-only software.

Re: Orkutlery

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Posted by jerryT:
Alas I still await my invitation. <sigh>

(Actually I’m trying to remember why I wanted an invitation in the first place.)

Re: Orkutlery

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Posted by taliesin’s log:
taliesin’s log linked to this post

Channel crossing

Great cartoon on a ” revolutionary new Bluetooth feature ” (via Heli, who is otherwise in more serious mood, passing on a ‘Sorrows of Empire’ review at ‘ Heaven and Hell ‘).

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