He starts well...
"When people say it's just Americans in Iraq they're missing something..."
They are. Unfortunately, so is Mr. Winer...
"...America is so diverse, we have people of European, African, Asian, Latin descent."
As someone who often quotes BBC articles, I'd expect him to be better informed. From the top of my head I can list the UK, Japan, Australia and, until recently, Spain; and I don't follow the news stories about Iraq. Five seconds with google shows that in January, 35 countries other than the US had troops in Iraq and the aforementioned BBC provided a summary last month.
What hope is there if educated Americans are so uninformed?
If you want an image for some CD artwork, or some web design, then there's a vast selection at Stock.XCHNG (royalty-free and cost free) and www.istockphoto.com (royalty-free, and pretty cheap, plus you can upload your own photos and get paid if anyone uses them).
And then if you're using the Gimp (free image manipulation package) to manipulate them, GIMPguru.org has lots of useful tips and tutorials; something you'll need unfortunately, because the Gimp UI is rather unintuitive.
Rather than the usual dubious infringement of copyright by distributing the MP3, these are MP3s of tracks that themselves have infringed copyright, usually by sampling somebody who objects to being sampled.
Here's a Webjay playlist for all the tracks on the page for anyone who wants a listen.
Check out the video page too, for gems like Dubya as the sun in the Tellytubbies.
As usual, I've been beaten in getting the photos up from my 30th birthday party. Those of you who read the comments to May 15th's post will have seen Jo link to the pics on her Fotopic site, and Carl has managed to immortalize my shower curtain in his take on events.
This year I did a much better job of managing my alcohol intake, resulting in my survival until the 7am close, and virtually no hangover the morning after. I had a blast!
Polymath: n. person of great and varied learning.
Sounds much more fun than being narrowly focused on one aspect of one field of interest. The problem with being a modern-day polymath, as Suw Charman points out, is that the world would rather you specialized. Of course, it's entirely possible that olden-day polymaths like Leonardo Da Vinci had the same problem, I don't know.
Focus hasn't troubled me unduly, at least not in my career. I've managed to stay mostly in the mobile phone / embedded software arena, and varied life with stints in protocol development, project management, application development, software porting, and a while as a COO.
Even that limited diversity brings problems. Given the precarious nature of my finances whilst launching my own business, I'm keeping one eye out for opportunities to earn a little extra cash; but it's hard to succinctly explain my wide range of talents*. Do I list the programming languages in which I can code? (C, C++, PHP, Perl...) Or a list of acronyms my code has understood? (TCP/IP, PPP, HTTP, GIF, HTML...) Devices my code has run on? (Nokia 6600 et al., Siemens SX1, Sony Z5 et al., Psion Series 5, Amstrad em@iler, Linux PC, Windows PC...) Those are the standard geek identifiers, but miss the management side of things; project or department management isn't something I could do for a short period of time, but I could advise software companies on their management, or their software process.
So many possibilities. So many other things I'd like to dabble in: building hardware; design; my artistic side (even if that's just creating some more cakes). And at the same time I have to make my fortune and make the world a better place. Hopefully, having my own business will give me some of the flexibility to pursue this multi-faceted agenda, or at least the techie part of it.
Experiment? Adventure? Impossible? Probably all three, but it's going to be fun.
Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted, and loudly proclaiming: "Fuck ME, that was BRILLIANT!" - Sal @ Farting Through My Fingertips
And to think I still haven't bought GTA: Vice City, there's now Grand Theft Auto: Lego City ;-)
My birthday afternoon preparations for tonight's party have been continually interrupted by the excitement flowing from the TV tuned to the Powergen Challenge Cup Final.
It's a local derby game between the two big names in rugby league, my home town team of Saint Helens vs. next-door neighbours Wigan.
An excellent game, with Saints romping home 32 - 16 after a pretty evenly matched first half. A few of my oldest mates will be busy celebrating that result tonight, and hopefully raising a glass to my 30th birthday, seeing as they've missed the party for the game.
A good week for sport all round - Saints winning the Challenge Cup, and Liverpool qualifying for the Champions' League next season.
The Incredibles. I can't wait.
Supergrass is 10. So says the badge I was given as we entered the Corn Exchange on Monday night. Those three words have done a better job of making me feel old than my impending thirty-ness.
We were there early, in plenty of time to catch the support act. The 22-20s, who sound like Motorhead fronted by Crispin Mills with a hint of Metallica and The Animals. Their distorted, heavy rock lent itself well to their infectious, energetic up-tempo numbers but was a little uneasy and monotonous with the slow ones; which unfortunately includes the upcoming single, 'Shoot your gun'.
Supergrass took to the stage at 9:15: superb from the get-go, the first organ notes from In It For The Money being delightfully drawn out for the band's entrance. Then followed an hour and a half of hit after hit, drawn from all their albums, broken masterfully in the middle with an acoustic section played from the relaxed setting of a brown leather sofa. I'd forgotten how many great songs they've got, no prizes for working out what's been on the MP3 player since...
Update: There are a few pictures of the gig available at Jean-Luc Benazet's website, currently on the News page: 13 May 2004.
This was the first session of the day, so we were all getting used to how it was going to work. The format was an open discussion amongst the group, facilitated by the session hosts, so things jumped about a bit. My rough notes...
I see that Carl has linked to the photos of his and Jo's party. Much fun, although I fear I overstayed my welcome by partaking of the karaoke until around 4:30am.
Hopefully the theme chosen for their next party will be such that I'm not tempted to just accessorize my suit again...
Now this would look cool in my back garden!
LSI still conjours up memories of early 90s rave tunes, but it can also be Latent Semantic Indexing, a clever method for searching collections of documents
So if you're interested in text search (something I'm rather surprised that I am), here's a rather techie, but comprehensive introduction to what Latent Semantic Indexing is, and how to do it.