Strong opinions, weakly held

Links for July 26

  • The New York Times reports on Dell’s ugly business practices. They started taking money from Intel in exchange for not offering CPUs from other companies, and tried to hide that revenue from investors.
  • Tim Bray talks about the state of Perl.
  • WordPress is dropping support for PHP 4 and MySQL 4. Next year, they’re dropping support for PHP 5.1. I was going to take this opportunity to beat up on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its horrible outdated packages, but I see that RHEL 6 will support PHP 5.3.2 and MySQL 5.1.47.
  • The New York Times ran an insightful op-ed by Van Jones arguing that our culture is not mature enough to deal with the way the media works today.
  • Finally got around to making this ricotta cheese from Serious Eats. It was easy to make and delicious.
  • I’m not one of those people who sees income inequality as a huge problem unto itself, but I think it’s a sign that there may be problems. And it has been growing rapidly in the US for the past 30 years. One thing’s for sure, Republicans have done a great job of making sure rich people keep getting richer.
  • Former CBS and NPR correspondent Daniel Schorr died last week. I love the anecdote about Richard Nixon retold in this article.
  • Researchers trying to figure out whether working out using a Wii was dangerous learned that working out with a Wii isn’t very effective.


  1. The item about how the media works today reminded me of the “Jam Choice Experiment” briefly described here:


    (Original paper is here: http://www.columbia.edu/~ss957/whenchoice.html )

    Simply, providing more options means less choices are actually made.

    In a similar way, perhaps the media is so successful at completely overwhelming us with information that most people have a difficult time processing more than the most superficial details about a story or event (even if that story or event is blatantly wrong). So it’s that singular item that is used when people made a judgement about the story, story or person.

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