General

Random Thoughts

From Wired:

Clinton Rips Bush

There has always been kind of a gentlemen’s agreement that an ex-president doesn’t criticize his successor, but Bill Clinton has apparently seen enough of George Bush. The 42nd president was sharply critical of the 43rd president during a televised interview Sunday, accusing the Bush administration of going to war in Iraq “virtually alone and before U.N. inspections were completed, with no real urgency, (and) no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction.” Clinton also lambasted Bush’s handling of the Katrina aftermath, saying the failure to evacuate New Orleans in the face of the coming hurricane was inexcusable. And he had harsh words for Bush’s voodoo economics: “What Americans need to understand is that … every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina and our tax cuts. We have never done this before. Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a conflict, military conflict, by borrowing money from somewhere else.”

Go, Bill!

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BoingBoing had this on the GP2X:

It can play games. It can play your movies. It can play your music. It can view photos. It can read Ebooks. It runs on just 2 AA batteries – And it can do all this in the palm of your hand or on your TV screen. It runs the free Linux operating system. This means a whole world of Games, Utilities and Emulators are at your disposal. Quake, Doom, SNES, Megadrive, MAME, Media players and Applications to name just a few. It’s powerful – Two 200mhz CPU’s with 64meg of RAM, custom graphics hardware and decoding chips. Takes SD cards and has 64M of NAND memory. Plenty to play with. One of the most powerful and advanced handhelds today.

It’s cheap. Just £124.99.

It’s open. You want to develop your own games for the GP2X? Go right ahead. The SDK is included with the system free. Not since the days of the Amiga has a system been so easy to develop for, commercially and for fun.

Sounds interesting, especially since you can develop for it using the GPL Quake engine. Might be fun. :)

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Phil posted this on our server – we’ll have to take it down in a bit, but it is VERY funny. I was crying silently while listening to it at work. Language NOT worksafe – use headphones!

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For those of you who are both interested in horses and web developers/user interface developers, you might find this interesting, regarding an interview with Pat Parelli regarding user expectations.

Me: “So, you’ve recently made drastic changes to your program–a program that was already extremely successful. It’s obvious that you’ve been really listening to your members and taking their feedback and using that to make these sweeping changes.”

Pat: “No, listening to our members was maybe 20% of it, but the other 80% was something else.”

And then he said it:

“We changed our entire program because WE knew we could do better. Because WE were still frustrated that people weren’t learning quickly enough or progressing through the higher levels as well as we thought they could. People still weren’t having the kind of relationship with their horse that we knew they could have, even though our students were delighted with the progress they were making. So we changed it all.”

It turned out that most of the major changes they made to their program came not from user requests and suggestions, but from the Parelli team’s own innovations. He went on to explain that their members/students/users had no idea what was needed to make better, faster, deeper breakthroughs. In fact, many of the changes went against what their user feedback seemed to suggest. In other words, in many ways the Parelli team deliberately did not listen to users.

They trusted themselves, and did what they believed was right for their users, even if it meant doing things that on the surface seemed even less user-friendly.

Hmmnnnn…that’s a deep thought for the day.

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My youngest sister is back in the hospital again for plasma cleansing. She has a catheter in her chest, one side of her body is almost totally immobile, and it’s spreading. She is worried about going blind, as well. And still she seems in good spirits on the phone, she’s keeping in touch with everyone (or helping everyone keep in touch with me), and is trying her hardest to keep what she can of her life. I wish there was something that could be done. Best wishes…

2 Comments

  • jfs

    The GP2X looks interesting, but I can’t help but wonder about the cost of the SD cards. After all, a 1 gig SD card still costs about £40 and that’s either three episodes of a TV show or maybe 1 movie. Suppose it’s better to be able to store movies / games / music on your pooter and transfer them over to SD rather than buying them on individual discs though.

    Best wishes for your sister.

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