fighting the lack of good ideas


I’ve not yet been impressed by any of the e-book readers I’ve seen – with Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader being the apparent “market leaders” in the segment.

However, Barnes & Noble’s new Nook may change my mind. From the early reviews, it appears to have a better screen, longer battery life, and more natural navigation than either the Sony or Amazon offerings.

My previous experience with eBooks has not been overly positive, with proprietary software and awkward navigation on my PC. However, with the multi-format-capable Nook – I may be ready to give eBooks a try again.

end6 must die

Have any of you seen

Apparently some web sites choose to redirect their viewers to rather than render in IE6.

Yes – IE6 is old. Very old. But hundreds of thousands of us are stuck using it while at work due to bad IT policies, or upgrade paranoia.

Taking me to end6 instead of your content doesn’t make me ever want to go see it at another time … say when I get home and can use a modern browser.

I’m all for pushing folks to get rid of IE6 in favor of, well, pretty much anything else. But telling me to get rid of IE6 when I have no control over it doesn’t inspire confidence in the service or content that is being offered.

And as for the site? Why is not promoting Google’s Chrome along with Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE8?

shell scripting

I’ve been playing around with bash scripting quite a bit recently in relation to my current job.

Came up with one that’s really useful (imho) around chkconfig:

# mass set all services known to chkconfig to be `on` or `off` at given level
# written by warren myers -
# 28 sep 2009

echo "USAGE:"
echo " $0 <level> [on|off]"

# list all services, just the name, skip blank lines, do in order
SERVICES=`chkconfig --list | cut -f 1 | grep -v ^$ | grep -v ':' | sort`

  chkconfig --level $1 $SERVICE $2
  echo "$SERVICE has been altered for $1 to state $2"

Yes – there’s an evil you could perform:

for CS in `chkconfig --list | cut -f 1 | grep -v ^$ | grep -v ':'`
  chkconfig --level 12345 $CS off

So, if you wanted to stop all services from coming on at startup, you could – and not know you did it until you rebooted.


I like [some] Pringles potato crisps. For years I wondered why it is that when you remove the lining inside the cover it often likes to rip the inner lining of the cardboard case off with it, but it was a minor inconvenience (especially in the era [many moons ago] when I’d eat a whole can at a time).

Now, Lays has introduced the Stax line – same concept: reconstituted potato spooge shoved into a mold and baked. And, at least in Singapore, the packages are the same cost as an identically-weighted package of Pringles. Here’s the kicker – the Stax chips come in plastic. So when you remove the lid liner, it comes off – no tearing of the inner package liner.. because there isn’t one.

Why can’t Pringles do the same thing, or cut their cost so that the convenience of a tear-free interior is actually a cost of the other guys?


How ironic. My favorite condiment at Vietnamese restaurants in the US is actually a Thai sauce. A sauce, may I add, that I have never seen in a Thai restaurant – anywhere.

Sriracha is awesome – heat but not an astounding amount. And it still carries a lot of flavor, so it’s not just heat.

bad math and the digital economy

I generally like reading Seth Godin’s blog. However, this post on the digital music economy isn’t very helpful, in my opinion.

“A study last year conducted by members of PRS for Music, a nonprofit royalty collection agency, found that of the 13 million songs for sale online last year, 10 million never got a single buyer and 80 percent of all revenue came from about 52,000 songs. That’s less than one percent of the songs.”

Yes – 0% of a large number is still 0. But 0.5% of a large number.. is a big number, too.

What I think that article is telling us is that people are only willing to pay for .5% of music available online.

It speaks nothing to the relative popularity of said music – just to it’s profitability. I legally obtain lots of music. I buy CDs, use iTunes, stream radio, etc.

I also find freely-available songs from artists, and download them from their websites.

Also note – of the 13,000,000 songs available, 10,000,000 never had any purchases made. That means that 3,000,000 of them did – which means there was at least enough interest on some folks’ parts to give it a shot.

I think that means that most people won’t pay for the crap that’s shoved out the doors, and only want the good stuff.

You used to be stuck with 10 songs you didn’t want along with the 2-4 you did off a given album – the article says this means the bad songs were financing the good ones. That’s backwards: it was/is the good ones financing the bad ones. Now that people can get just the ones they want (ie, the good ones), we’re seeing how much of what is produced is really just junk.

nasa searching for new challenges

I saw this in /. earlier in the week.

Apparently NASA is turning to the American public for new challenge/contest ideas.

I don’t know whether to be impressed that they’re trying to get new perspective.. or scared that they can’t come up with it on their own.

There’s lots and lots of smart people at NASA. I hope it works 🙂