all i ever wanted was to be your spine

Four hours of sleep does not make thinking about statistical models a very productive way to spend your day.

In the Cathedral and the Bizarre, a Mac developer deconstructs ESR’s recent MacHack keynote. A valid point or two is made, but the whole thing feels off, somehow. I think it’s the focus on the user as customer – because, fundamentally, in the Open Source world, the customer is the developer, not the user – it’s a self-serve world, and it all gets back to the ‘scratching your own itch’ motivation behind developing software and giving it away. I’m doing a poor job of explaining this, I think – perhaps I should think on this some more…

Memoware has scads of e-text for your Palm or Visor.

(By the way, my Visor is free of the 8 MB memory problem. Yay! On the downside, I’ve been struggling with getting USB to work properly, and I think I’m just going to fall back to the serial cradle for the time being.)

Here’s another BBC article on Lake Vostok.

The repressive Taliban regime just arrested a US citizen. Said citizen happens to be a woman who was in Afghanistan trying to help poor families and widows. I hope this is resolved quickly and peacefully, but also hope that the Powers That Be won’t hesitate to use appropriate force if other avenues fail.

After-market spun aluminum replacement cases for the Palm III series. Start your drooling here.

Continuing yesterday’s music stuff: I’ve been head nodding to Barcelona quite a bit – I’ll have to pick this one up if I see it.

Continuing yesterday’s Big Brother stuff: The FBI has a new tool they call Carnivore. Sounds like a glorified packet filter to me – basically, they get a wire tap warrant against you, then plug this box into your ISPs internal network, and hover up all your email. The only problem is, they have to scan all the email to find out what’s yours. Here’s a question for the lawyers in the audience: generally, evidence of other crimes uncovered by wiretap is admissible in court, right? (For example, if you wire-tap me because I’m a drug dealer, and you record me ordering a hit on a rival, I get sent up for that as well – even though there was no reasonable cause to suspect me without the wiretap.) So, what’s to stop some bright boy or girl from adding a little word-recognition to Carnivore, such that other email, not explicitly covered by the tap, is scanned for things like ‘bomb’,‘murder’, or ‘PICK_YOUR_WORD’?

This picture made me laugh out loud today.

This would certainly put a different spin on things: the LAPD is threatening to protest the Democratic national convention.

Rafe, I see your RMS, and raise you one JWZ and one ESR. Interpreting the significance of the number and level of certifications is left as an exercise for the reader.

Hey! I’m done updating, and it’s still early! Maybe I can reduce the email backlog a bit… I’m taking tomorrow off; it’s Pint Night with the NCBI Systems Crew. See you back here on (probably) Friday.