I think that the implications of the new Sony EyeToy could reach far beyond immersing people in their video games.
Knowing next to nothing about soccer and little more about England has not prevented me from becoming fascinated with the David Beckham phenomenon. The closest analogue I can come up with in the US is Michael Jordan, and they’re not even really that close. David Beckham is a good soccer player — Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever. And while Michael Jordan’s clothing line and, more importantly, namesake shoes, have been ridiculously successful, nobody obsessively pays attention to what Michael Jordan wears (or ever did). I guess they are both known for hairstyles, but Beckham’s revolving door of haircuts hardly stands up to Michael Jordan’s inspiring an entire generation of men confronting male pattern baldness to simply shave their heads.
Struts 1.1 is out. Here’s a link to the release notes.
Yeah, spam is ruining email, but so will the widespread deployment of challenge-response systems for dealing with spam. Patrick Nielsen Hayden posted a first hand account of this problem. I’ve only ever sent email to one person who had put such a system in place (ironically, I was responding to an email that they had sent to me). I just ignored the challenge email and let it drop.
Eric Sink has a brief piece explaining some version control features that many users just ignore. You know, reading it makes me think of a good interview question for software developers: how does branching in version control work and why would you want to use it? This enables you to determine whether the person you’re interviewing really has worked on as part of a relatively large team before. If you don’t know what branching is or how to use it, chances are you haven’t worked on projects of much scale, or your team was really not taking advantage of their tools.
Tom Friedman has a remarkably depressing column on what pervasive Internet access and robust search engines mean for the future. His take is that it means people who hate the United States will be able to connect more easily and band together to do mean things to us. His real point is to just say another way that we should do fewer things to piss off the rest of the world, and he uses the Internet to make his point. In doing so, he completely ignores the fact that the availability of more sources of information is generally a net good in the world. Most of the world doesn’t know much more about the United States than what they’re told by the state run media and the local clergyman. Maybe they’ve seen some badly dubbed US TV shows as well. The Internet creates potential for connections that could never have possibly existed before it came about, and Google (and other search engines) make it much easier to make those connections. (So do weblogs and RSS, by pointing you at information that may be slightly off your radar and letting you consume lots of information easily.)
Furthermore, if hate groups and terrorists are advertising online to recruit new adherents, then we have a lot better chance of being aware of them and their agenda than if they’re going through a back channel network that’s incredibly difficult to crack.
Nick Bradbury’s FeedDemon beta release has arrived.
Update: I need to figure out how to make the dates that items on this weblog were published show up in FeedDemon. I’m not sure what I’m missing but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
MEMRI sent out a copy of an interview of sorts in which the Saudi Arabian embassy in the UK attempts to explain their view of human rights and the Saudi system of justice. For academic reasons if no other, it’s interesting to see how they see themselves.
Some laws exist merely as monuments to bigotry and ignorance, and the anti-sodomy laws that were still in effect in some states until yesterday were perhaps the most egregious remaining examples. The legal ramifications of the bold ruling issued by the majority are huge, but there’s also another side benefit. Now we get to see the philosophical gay bashers show their true colors. It starts with Justice Antonin Scalia, who made his contempt for homosexuals perfectly clear in his dissenting opinion.