Archives April 2010

Shorter Steve Jobs

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

If you’re going to write applications for our phones that use proprietary APIs, we want you to use our proprietary APIs.

(Disclaimer: I work for Nokia, which competes with Apple in the smartphone market.)

Art for the country’s sake

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In some parallel universe with slightly better taste than our own, this is the cover art for the May 2010 issue of Fortune, and this is the design for United States paper money.

both via Daring Fireball

The e-postman always pings twice

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

My wife called me at work this morning to report that she hadn’t gotten any email, not even in her might-be-spam folder. “I’ll fix it”, I said, remembering some odd “temporary failure in name resolution” messages I had received from some scripts running on the server (the virtual machine which serves this here site, and ...

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Maybe he thought it was a commentary on Leviticus

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

At shul today, I noticed a guy reading Foucault’s History of Sexuality during the Torah reading.

Through brightest day, through blackest night, if evil escapes your sight it’s your own damn fault

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Back during the reign of George the Younger, when public opinion on the war in Iraq began to sour, defenders of the administration would insist that really, we could coerce Iraq (not to mention Afghanistan and Iran) into becoming a peaceful and harmonious and pro-American democracy, if we only tried harder, and shame on those ...

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Republican etiquette

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In Japan, I am told, if someone asks you to do something, it is considered very rude to embarrass them by saying “no”. Instead, you say “that would be very hard”, or “let me think about that”, or some other euphemism for “I will accede to your request when hell freezes over”.1

In the ...

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Bucky would have loved it

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I dare say this is one of the most significant innovations in construction since the geodesic dome.

As you may already know, rock, brick, concrete, and similar materials are strong under compression but weak under tension; metal, by contrast, is strong under tension but weak under compression. Thus, in a building whose structural walls are ...

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Annals of interethnic harmony

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

My younger brother once remarked to me that the most racially integrated institutions in Chicago were its street gangs. Over in the Holy Land, Jewish and Arab crooks used to do a brisk business with one another in stolen cars, although I don’t know if this is still going on.

Along the same lines, I ...

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Confederate necromancy

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I hear that some politicians south of the Mason-Dixon line have proclaimed April to be “Confederate History Month”. The most eloquent commentary I have read on this subject comes from Ta-Nehisi Coates:

The Lost Cause is necromancy—it summons the dead and enslaves them to the need of their vainglorious, self-styled descendants. Its greatest crime is ...

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I, for one, welcome our new Nordic overlords

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Like most of my co-workers, I have long expected that my happy little GeoStartup would some day be acquired by a much larger company—the IPO market being kind of shvakh these days—but I was surprised to learn which company ended up acquiring us. After having some time to reflect, though, I can appreciate ...

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