Beware the tinfoil hats of September

Beware the tinfoil hats of September:

Yes, let’s. Everything the NSA collects goes over networks. They’re a signal intelligence organization. They analyze signals—which is to say, communications. Phone calls. Email messages. IM messages. Bank transactions. There’s a lot of things that constitute signals. But you know one thing that doesn’t?



Wake up, sheeple!

Good talk.

[I’d recommend bewaring the tinfoil hats of October as well.]

Source: Coyote Tracks

802.11u and Hotspot 2.0

Apple’s iOS 7 GETS HOT! – The Ruckus Room:

But you probably haven’t seen ANY coverage of what will likely prove to be the most significant new Wi-Fi feature in iOS 7, namely its support for 802.11u and Hotspot 2.0.

While not all of the 200 million Apple devices said to be updated to iOS 7 will support Hotspot 2.0 (older iPhones, iPads and iPods currently do not), it’s certainly some obese number north of 50 or 60 million new Hotspot 2.0-capable mobile devices that have quickly appeared almost overnight. Wow.


64 bits. It’s Nothing. You Don’t Need It. And We’ll Have It In 6 Months

64 bits. It’s Nothing. You Don’t Need It. And We’ll Have It In 6 Months:

What these processors lacked in raw power was more than made up for by they way they were integrated into Apple’s notion of a purposeful, usable mobile device: Enhanced UI responsiveness, reduced power consumption, obeisance to the unique requirements of media and communications.

The expectation was that Apple would either fail, or produce a “competent” (meaning not particularly interesting) iteration of previous A4-5-6 designs. No one expected that the processor would actually work, with all in-house apps running in 64-bit mode from day one.


Source: Monday Note

What if surfing was your job?

What if surfing was your job?:

Your drudgery is another person’s delight. It’s only a job if you treat it that way. The privilege to do our work, to be in control of the promises we make and the things we build, is something worth cherishing.

[I long ago recognized this when I went to play weddings and the other musicians were doing everything but paying attention to the music. Mostly the woman frankly. Anyway… I’ve often thought throughout the years as I worked on various things whether what I was doing was something I could do every day, for years, or whether I enjoyed it because it was a change from what was currently doing. It was and is a key question.]

Source: Seth’s Blog

The Batch

The Batch:

I won’t bore you or your readers with the technical details on how I built the Batch. What interests me more is the design process. I find detailed accounts of nailing boards together tedious. When you build by eye like me and every other garden variety savage, you measure with your heart, lengths of string and arm spans. Sort of like a bird that has access to power tools. Plans would be useless. CAD even worse. I’ve learned that. Get my drift?

home for the winter

Home for the winter. The Batch sends a plume of smoke over the shed, thorugh the chestnut tree and down the valley.

Your creative process may vary but mine works like this. Doodle on receipts. Write your friends a letter. Send ‘em a sketch of your notion. Drink some whiskey. Smoke your pipe. At least that’s what I do. Napping is good for inspiration. Smart phones aren’t. First thing you should do when tackling a project like this is stomp on your iPhone. All they do is connect you to ideas that have already been built. So you end up cloning what’s been done before. Maybe that doesn’t bother you. It does me.

[I hope I can get to a place like this.]

Source: Tiny House Blog

Worse is human

Worse is human:

My pocket psychology take is that we love anachronisms because they’re imperfect. Like humans are imperfect. We form relationships with people who are flawed all the time. Flaws, imperfection, and worse are all part of the human condition. Tools that embody them resonate.
It’s hard to engineer this, though, but it’s worth cherishing when you have it. Don’t be so eager to iron out all the flaws. Maybe those flaws are exactly why people love your product.

[I’d go a step further and say it can’t be engineered. Like an antique, the passage of time combined with use (and sometimes abuse) tells a story. Adding a distressed finish is a thin veneer that only says “we like things that tells stories”, but has no story of its own. I think trying to engineer imperfection would go the same way. I do think you can measure and engineer some aspects of wear into items, and that can be valuable addition in many cases. But that’s not the same as trying to create something that looks but is not authentically old. In case you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of “restoration” when it’s defined as making something look (and maybe act) as if it were brand new despite it’s age. I find the endeavor and skills fascinating. I love when people resurrect something that was otherwise on the verge of not existing. But only from afar, as a testament to the skills of the restorer. I’d much rather have something that is wonderful and new and through use, and love, and time build my own stories into it. There’s nothing like it.]

Nothing is ours, except time

Nothing is ours, except time:

Furthermore, if you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years lie behind us are in death’s hands.

Therefore, Lucilius, do as you write me that you are doing: hold every hour in your grasp. Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by. Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity—time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.

[So beyond well said… and wonderfully apropos of the upcoming Yom Kippur.]

Source: Letters of Note

On not collaborating

On not collaborating:

Ignore. Ridicule. Fight. Lose. That’s what happens to the institutions that seek to preserve the problems for which they were created.

So it is with collaboration. We’ve heard the word many times. And we’ve seen it paid lip service many times. But so long as it was not centre-stage, the immune system didn’t care.

[I often mention that the first field I really studied was music, with a clear concentration on group playing. Collaboration was a way of life. Solo efforts are often still collaborations with “launch” points. Hard for me to understand the ego and thinking that leads elsewhere.]

Source: Via Doc Searls

The Red Lantern

The Red Lantern:

Natural talent is rewarded early and often. As Malcolm Gladwell has pointed out, most of the players in the NHL have birthdays in a three month window, because when you’re 8 years old, being six months older is a huge advantage. Those kids, the skaters with good astrological signs, or possibly those performers with the genetic singing advantage–those are the kids that get the coaching and the applause and the playing time. Unearned advantages, multiplied.

If we’re serious about building the habits of success, tracking is precisely the wrong approach. Talent (born with or born without) is not your fault, is not a choice, is not something we ought to give you much credit or blame for.

How do we celebrate the Red Lantern winners instead?

[It seems like the Red Lantern of the Iditarod is sourced from the Lanterne rouge of the Tour de France, which in turn borrowed it from the rail system where the last car was marked with a red lantern so that the conductors could ensure that the train was complete. That said, Seth is right on. ]

Source: Seth’s Blog