Month: February 2006

When Computer Science sounds like Star Trek


Okay, when I was growing up, like any self-respecting dork I watched old re-runs of Star Trek. Yeah, you know the one. It had Captain James T. Kirk and Spock and Scotty and the whole gang. Anyway, invariably at some point in the show the crew of the Enterprise would be trying to outrun some nasty aliens. But there would be a problem. So Kirk calls down to the boiler room in the basement, which […]

HTML Entities


I often find myself looking up the special codes used to create accented letters and symbols on the web. These special codes are called HTML Entities. A couple of good listings are at and In some cases, there are three or more ways to render a particular character. For example, the letter å: å = å å = å å = å If your browser supports all of those encodings, then the letter […]

Snakebites and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins


For some reason I was thinking of London and remembering the time the pub cleaner let us in even though it was after 11pm and at that time all pubs closed at 11pm. I still recall the drink that the pub sweeper introduced us to. It’s called the Snake Bite Black. Maybe you’ve heard of a Snake Bite. It’s half lager and half cider. The Snake Bite Black adds a splash or two of blackcurrant […]

Thinking about Writing: The Pen


We fully intended to write a response to Mike Rohde’s great blog post about being a Pen Freak and in fact thought we had. A quick search indicates that we may not have recorded for posterity our thoughts on writing devices. So here goes. A pen is a very personal choice, and for those of us who enjoy writing or drawing, an important one. You don’t need much to write—a piece of paper and a […]

Linu(x/s) Anecdotes


Back in 1998, Lars Wirzenius gave a talk at Linux Expo. He recounts the early days of Linux and of its progenitor Linus Torvalds. An amusing read certainly. Wirzenius was Torvalds’ officemate at the University of Helsinki so he would be the one to know. [via MeFi]

EV – the Ergonomic Violin


Tricia Ho, a graduate of industrial design from the University of New South Wales, has created an electric violin that uses high technology to be more comfortable to the musician. It’s cool looking—fairly exotic actually—and seeing how it wraps around the neck seems like, yes, indeed, it would be a more comfortable instrument to play. To quote from the press release: “It’s my idea of the perfect electric violin,” says Ms Ho. “I designed it […]

Why choose Linux over Windows?


Often when I’m walking down the street, people come up to me and say, “Dan, I’ve been afraid to try Linux. Robert Scoble has me whipped. I’ve been using Windows for so long, I don’t know anything else.” It is such an easy thing. To this person, I give my best Buddha smile and say, “Kind sir, the reasons to switch are compelling. If you are a dutiful neophyte, we shall instruct you in the […]

The Corporation


We watched a fine, fine documentary the other night called The Corporation. It’s a lesson in what’s wrong with the current corporate power structure. Very interesting thesis. Basically the film makes the point that multinational corporations are more powerful than governments in effecting their will to power, but that the corporation is today devoid of social responsibility and ethics. The film also takes issue with a fundamental definition of a corporation in the law as […]

The Finest Mashups in the World


We first must admit that we were getting a little burned out by the mashups being released last year. After DJ Danger Mouse’s excellent The Grey Album, there were many pretenders and wanna-be mashupers who were making nasty, awful mashups that gave us headaches. Okay, that said, Best of Bootie 2005 are 20 of the best mash up tracks we’ve heard in a long, long while. This is a total jam session. The artists selected […]

This One’s For You


So I was having this discussion yesterday with someone about the Best. Her claim—having lived many years out East—was that the Ivy League is the Best. My argument was the University of Chicago is the Best. Ultimately, I think we’re both correct. We’re simply measuring things with different yardsticks. The Ivy League is known for producing great politicians, business people, and lawyers. I completely agree: the Ivy League is the Best. If MIT were part […]