You know what, bitter investors bring me much mirth. People bet a huge chunk of cash on volatile tech companies and then wail and gnash their teeth when they get pounded by the market. Anyone who says investing is easy is a liar.
So I’m finally getting started using XML on a real project at work, and I haven’t bothered to buy a book about it yet. I’m hoping to find some useful stuff in the list of tutorials at XML.com.
Little did I know that posting an item about maps would solicit more feedback than just about anything else I’ve posted in the last year or so. The same reader who urged me to look further into the Peters Projection earlier also sent along a pointer to an article that discusses the controversy over that map and the political agenda behind it in exhaustive detail. Another reader sent along a pointer to the Fuller Projection — a map that offers extremely little distortion because it doesn’t bother trying to project the Earth onto a rectangle.
I consider myself to be an educated person, and I knew that the Mercator projection distorted the sizes of continents on a map of the world, but until I saw the Peters Projection, I didn’t really get the degree to which the sizes are distorted. I imagine that if this map were shown to most people, they would say that it’s inaccurate. (As a couple of readers have pointed out, the map is inaccurate. It’s just not inaccurate in the same way that Mercator projection maps are. Here’s a mathematical description of how it’s skewed.)
Salon is spinning off a company to market its content management system, which is built using Perl. I know enough about Salon’s operations to think that this company could produce a Vignette killer. Salon’s system is much more open, and is based on Perl rather than TCL. I hope they do very well.
The “drug war” has been one of the most embarrassing public policy initiatives of the last decade or so, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse, as we start writing checks to support an all out shooting war in Colombia. We’re about to spend a whole lot of money to finance a raft of human rights abuses in Latin America, and it’s not going to solve anything. Does anyone really think that disrupting the coca trade in Colombia will somehow reduce the supply of cocaine in the world? In the history of mankind, I’ve never heard of anything that people really want going out of production. As long as there are drug addicts, there will be a drug trade. Blowing up or defoliating half of South America isn’t going to change that.
Here’s a potentially interesting developing story: a 16 year old claims that the domain AOLBeta.Com was stolen from him by AOL. He registered the domain name when it came available, and a day later, the domain was transferred to AOL without his consent. This is only interesting because AOL is itself an ICANN accredited domain registrar, and the domain name is now registered through their in-house registrar. Clearly it seems that AOL abused their powers as a domain registrar to transfer the domain name without permission. If that is indeed what happened, it will be interesting to see what, if any, action ICANN takes.
Here are some instructions on upgrading the security of Apple’s AirPort wireless hub, and getting it working with non-Macs. I only have one computer at home right now, but I plan on having more and setting up a wireless LAN.
The new design of Economist.com has launched at a beta address, and looks great. The best magazine I don’t subscribe to becomes easier to read on the Web, I love it.