Evening Reading 4/13/09

Lots of good stuff tonight.

Wally Bangs Department: When a blog post starts off with this sentence, you know it’s going to be good: “Twenty four years ago I loaned Ken Kesey’s Garage Sale to a dude that worked with me at McDonalds.”  I wish Wally Bangs would quit all other pursuits and just write blog posts all day.

Make Light Not War: I was really surprised it wasn’t via Facebook.  Or Twitter.  This is an interesting video.  I love it when scientists talk about scientific topics without sounding like eggheads.

Beautiful Math Department: I like this math game for the iPhone or iPod Touch.  I have to somehow let Delaney see it on her own and ask for it so she won’t realize it’s the “E” word.

Stupid Jargon Department:  I am fired up that Alan Meckler is fired up about the “Semantic Web.”  Anything that increases the chance that the entire “Semantic Web” concept will disappear into deep obscurity, like Virtual Reality World Magazine or CD-ROM World, is a very good thing.  If you doubt that, don’t take my word for it.  Take a moment to consider Business 2.0’s attempted definition:

[The Web is] basically a compendium of billions of text documents designed to be read by humans. You can search it for keywords, but the results aren’t much use until you sort through them to find the page that has the info you want. To take the Web to the next level – to move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 – the information in those documents will have to be turned into data that a machine can read and evaluate on its own. Only then will computers be able to take over tasks we now do by hand: find the nearest restaurant, book the best flight, buy the cheapest CD.

A Truly Smart Server:  HP is preparing an update for its MediaSmart Sever software to add video streaming functionality for remote devices.  Yes, including the iPhone.  Plus, an improved Time Machine configuration.  My pal Ed Bott has more on this.  Unfortunately, this update doesn’t work on first generation MediaSmart Servers- like mine.

Great Record of the Day: 30 Days Out, one of my favorite music blogs, has a post on the Byrds’ excellent 1968 record.  This was the great Gram Parsons’ only album with the band.  Gram Parsons and Clarence White is a combination that would make a Reece’s Cup feel inadequate.  Here’s the most excellent track, You Ain’t Going Nowhere.

Expensive Hardware Department: Engadget has a detailed review of the very expensive and, in my opinion, not worth the high price Dell Adamo.  Engadget says it’s pretty, but tends to agree with me about the price thing.

HD Camcorder Roundup:  PC World has a primer on shopping for an HD camcorder, a list of cameras that also take HD video and a link to Macworld’s HD camcorder buying guide.  As noted before, here is my HD camcorder buying guide.  I’m going to buy one the day they are available.

Desperately Seeking Smartphone: After reports that some carriers thought their proposed Smartphone was boring, Dell is looking to partner up with China Mobile to release a Smartphone in China.

Light a Firecracker, Mini-Explosion Results: I generally enjoy Penelope Trunk’s posts.  And she seems like a good person, if perhaps not at the very top of the curve on the self-awareness scale.  But how a parent can tell the worldNo school today and the nanny’s on vacation. A whole day with the kids gets so boring: all intergalactic battles and no intellectual banter” (here‘s the Twitter post in question) and then go nuts when someone craps all over you is a supreme mystery to me.  Yes, parenting is hard work and yes there are times every parent gets frustrated.  But there’s such a thing as over-sharing.  And another thing.  There’s a whole lot more to life than so-called intellectual banter.  Now I’m sure that Penelope knows and appreciates that, and I bet she’s a good mom.  But for crying out loud, don’t say something like that to a world full of devoted parents and then act surprised by the resulting firestorm.  And not just because it might be banal (that’s an intellectual word that would be useful in bantering).