Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

quote of the day

"At a few hundred kilometers altitude, the Earth fills half your sky, and the band of blue that stretches from Mindanao to Bombay, which your eye encompasses with a single glance, can break your heart with its beauty. Home, you think. Home. This is my world. This is where I come from. Everyone I know, everyone I ever heard of, grew up down there, under that relentless and exquisite blue.

[...]

In the daylight, though, it's hard to see any sign of human habitation. But at night, except for the polar aurora, everything you see if due to humans, humming and blinking all over the planet. That swath of light is easter North America, continuous from Boston to Washington, a megalopolis in fact if not in name. Over there is the burnoff of natural gas in Libya. The dazzling lights of the Japanese shrimp fishing fleet have moved toward the South China Sea. On every orbit, the Earth tells you new stories. You can see a volcanic eruption in Kamchatka, a Saharan sandstorm approaching Brazil, unseasonably frigid weather in New Zealand. You get to thinking of the Earth as an organism, a living thing. You get to worry about it, care for it, wish it well. National boundaries are as invisible as meridians of longitude, or the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The boundaries are arbitrary. The planet is real.

Spaceflight, therefore, is subversive. If they are fortunate enough to find themselves in Earth orbit, most people, after a little meditation, have similar thoughts. The nations that had insituted spaceflight had done so largely for nationalistic reasons; it was a small irony that almost everyone who entered space received a starting glimpse of a transnational perspective, of the Earth as one world."

From Contact, by Carl Sagan (1985).

Categories: art.media
Posted by diego on November 3, 2003 at 5:59 PM

on longhorn

Ole has posted a comprehensive comment on Microsoft's Longhorn. Great analysis, I agree with basically everything he says. The uptake?

Longhorn will certainly hurt speed. Whether it helps robustness remains to be seen; we can only hope it will, given that this is a big problem for Windows currently.
Microsoft always seems to design OSes for the next generation of technology (for whatever reason). I remember how impressed I was the first time I installed Linux on a 386. Even running X Windows worked well. I think this is something that shouldn't be underestimated. In any case, Longhorn will take a long, long time to have any impact. Most big MS customers are well-known for waiting until the first Service Pack to change to the new technology. If they release in 2006 (as they say) then it won't be until 2007 until it is reasonably deployed.

Four years. A lot can happen in that time.

Update: Scoble responds to Ole's piece. Interesting read.

Categories: soft.dev, technology
Posted by diego on November 3, 2003 at 4:52 PM

daypop, blogdex and blogosphere.us

Amazingly enough I forgot to include both Daypop, Blogdex and blogosphere.us in my introduction to weblogs. I'm making the changes now--they're useful resources. They reminded me of their existence themselves, since the intro is at the moment in the top ten of of all three. Cool. :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on November 3, 2003 at 4:13 PM

alien: the director's cut

Yesterday it was my intention to see Alien: The Director's Cut, but it was sold out. In any case, I have seen the cut (I own it on DVD--it was released when they came out with the Alien DVD Box set a few years ago). It's pretty good--new transfer, surround sound and an additional scene that shows people being "cocooned" to create the Alien eggs (later, in Aliens, James Cameron would take advantage of the fact that this didn't make the first cut and change the creation of the eggs to be done by an Alien queen, and the people that were "cocooned" were only food for the eggs. In the original, people turn into the eggs. Yuck.) Maybe I'll get to see it next weekend after Revolutions (never underestimate the importance of watching a movie on a big screen with sound that blasts your ears).

Btw, if you were wondering why they re-released Alien now, here's the reason: Fox is coming out with Alien Vs. Predator in the summer of 2004 (Teaser trailer here) and I assume they want to build it up a little (After all, who remembers Alien Resurrection? :)). For those that are wondering if this Alien v. Predator thing is a marketing gimmick, not really. For years now Alien & Predator have battled it out in comics and even video games. I guess it was a matter of time until they made a movie out of it.

Categories: art.media
Posted by diego on November 3, 2003 at 11:37 AM

and in yet other news...

... my blogbrain is still a bit frazzled from writing the two pieces (articles?) on intro to blogs. Not even two full days out, and I've gotten great feedback and tons of links. Thanks all! Glad it was useful. I'll try to reply to some of the comments (and email) tomorrow as well.

Just writing them was quite an experience. It is quite amazing how easily we get used to things and we end up thinking they're obvious--only they're not. Once you start to peel back ideas and concepts, things that we (some of us) use and work with and talk about every single day, like "RSS", or even "server". The main thing I've learned all over again writing those posts is that we need to do better. Way better. Come up with examples. Simpler software. And so on.

Coincidentally, Dave points to a tutorial that he wrote back in May last year: How To Start a Weblog (For Professional Journalists). Very cool.

I'm wondering what other things seem obvious but are not, and might be a good topic for another introduction. For example, there are some things that I didn't go into detail in the articles, like blog posting from other clients...

That aside, today was a beautiful day, just a bit cold (not as cold as yesterday, when it was really cold!), sunny, breezy. I went out for a walk... and... I got ticket for Matrix Revolutions. Wednesday. November 5. At 2 pm. Yay!

Yes, that's when it opens. Supposedly it's synchronized worldwide: the first showing of the movie starts everywhere in the world at about the same time. 2 pm GMT... (I assume that in California they'll start at 12:00 am or 1 am at most. Kinda like they did with Star Wars Episode 1).

Going to sleep now, or rather, to read for a while. Lots of things today. A bit tired. Not bad for a Sunday! :)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on November 3, 2003 at 12:39 AM

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