Beautiful photos but less happy story

I also wanted to post a link to Mike Golby and his beautiful photos of South Africa. Unfortunately, these may be it for a while, as his car was stolen today.

Of the event he writes:

The snaps I’ve been able to catalogue over the past eight months have, frequently, felt like my documenting of the end of something. I’m not sure what; but that’s the way it’s felt to me. The end of a city’s innocence, the end of the democratic dream, the end of ‘sharing’?

I guess the latter says it best. The forced redistribution of wealth, where those ‘without’ are as much victims as those who ‘have’ in abundance, is not sharing. Theft is brutal, violent, and barbaric. And it reflects an abysmally ugly side to our society.

The ruthless, cunning, and mercilessly vicious way in which those who ‘have’ cling to obscene wealth reflects this horror as clearly.

It was my father’s car and it had great sentimental value. I do hope his spirit drives the bastards who pinched it into a tree, but I hope so in a detached way — having no knowledge who these assholes are. Were they to return it, I’d probably thank them and carry on as normal.


Anne 2.0 on Hybrid Ajax/Java/Flash applications

Anne writes today on the coming proliferation of applications combining Ajax and Flash, and where the direction may go:

What tools will be important, if hybrid Ajax + Flash + Java browser apps are the future? Perhaps toolkits and frameworks that shield developers from having to know multiple languages, object models, and browser quirks, for example, OpenLaszlo, the Google Web Toolkit, and Morfik. Abstracting the web development task like that, though, introduces its own problems.

I’ve never been a ‘framework’ person, preferring control over every aspect of my code. I’ve used frameworks, just never felt a level of comfort. To me for all the advantages of such toolkits, the disadvantage of increased bloat in code, inability to debug, and loss of fine control outweighs the benefits. Which means that I really do need to take a closer look at the tools, before I allow my natural bias to distance me from what could be handy technologies.

It’s going to be interesting to see where this goes. In particular, with the growing partnership between Mozilla and Adobe, we’ll definitely see an impact on Ajax.

I also want to extend congratulations to Anne on her new gig with Web Worker Daily.

Environment Political

Johnson Shut-Ins and the political gaming

There was a story in St. Louis Today about the Johnson’s Shut-Ins and possible criminal charges that State Attorney General Nixon might be filing because of the dam break. Ameren is dragging its feet on restoration because, the company says, while this is hanging over the corporate head, it’s not sure what is or is not covered by insurance, and therefore the company doesn’t know what it will or will not do.

Black River News has more on a local meeting between area residents and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources director, Childers. He basically parroted what was said in the St. Louis today: if Nixon pursues this course, the company (hint hint) may not re-build the dam or do other work it originally committed to do.

Now let’s look beneath the headlines. State Attorney General Nixon is the Democratic challenger to now Republican Governor Blunt. DNR director Childers is a Blunt appointee–brought in as part of the sweep made of the DNR when Blunt took office. And who ordered Nixon to pursue criminal charges in the first place? Matt Blunt.

Not to let Nixon off, when his office is contacted about the Shut-Ins, they basically redirect people back to the DNR. No one wants to take responsibility for anything, except for the money–everyone wants the money. In the meantime, the conditions at Johnson’s will only worsen: impacting on both the environment, as well as a primary source of income for that area.



When Web 2.0 breaks Web 1.0

Jeff Bezos of Amazon is running around to Web 2.0 conferences, hyping the companies new Web 2.0 offerings, such as S3. In the meantime, the company’s order system is failing. This is the Web 1.0 portion of the company–the one that puts bread and butter on the company’s table.

I ordered a PC audio switch so that I could plug in both headphones and speakers, and I get a notice that this is going to be delayed until January. However, when I go to cancel it, I’m told the item is in process of being shipped, and can’t be canceled. When I send an email, I’m told by customer service to disregard the shipping date listed with the item, because it’s shipping this week–November 14th. I’m also told:

However, if you do not recieve(sic) your package on November 17, 2006, or
do not want this package anymore, you may of course return this to
us for a full refund.

When I don’t receive my package on Friday, I’ll be sure to send it back.

What is the problem on this shipment? It was an order with more than one item, and the rest was able to ship. This isn’t unusual, and in the past, the company’s systems could manage this. Now, though–it’s completely haywire.

When I look in order history, past orders show up duplicated or even triplicated. When I access the site with Firefox on my older TiBook, the Flash ‘snow on penguin’ causes my system to race so badly I have to shut the computer down. I just noticed the penguin is gone, so I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one who suffered from this ‘effect’.

I put in to be listed as author on several books, so that I can write up a note on each, but I’ve not had a response back. I like the concept of being able to personalize my book pages, as well providing useful information (such as where to find the book examples), but I can’t seem to get Amazon to respond to my request.

I like the company. I signed up for the Amazon Prime service, and have been very happy with the service up until a few months ago. Now it seems like the company just doesn’t care about it’s old “Web 1.0” customers.


But I don’t see that it’s only men

Philipp Lenssen has closed down the thread on the list of bloggers post. As he wrote:

Projecting whatever evil you see in the world (racism, sexism, homophobia, wars) on me/ this post is certainly an easier option than facing real issues. I’m only afraid it won’t help anyone.

I think everyone made their point by now, repeatedly, including me. I’m closing off this thread (see the forum rules that state it’s not OK to “make the same point over and over causing constantly repetitive posts”), but I invited Shelley Powers to write a guest post here on Sexism in Blogging, so expect this to be up in 1-2 weeks.

I’m writing a weblog post on Sexism in Blogging for the site, and I’ll also be publishing it here. I’m taking a couple of weeks because I want to think about what I write: it does no good to repeat myself, only to face the same filters we continue to face and have faced in the past. Google Blogoscope has greater reach than I do at this blog churned site, and I’m rather hoping for…well, what, I don’t know.

Right now, I really have to focus on the Adding Ajax book, and get it half way caught up so that the tech editors can be doing their thing while I finish the rest of the writing. As it is, I’ve missed my first deadline because of some personal stuff that came up and that ‘de-railed’ my focus for a time.

Did I happen to mention I have the most wonderful editor in the world? If you know Simon St. Laurent, I bet you agree with me. Now that I’ve embarrassed Simon, moving on…

I’m not taking a hiatus from the weblog while I attempt to catch up. Though I get frustrated at posts such as the one at Google Blogoscoped, I’ve come to re-discover that I do enjoy weblogging–not the least of which is it seemed like old times on the thread at Google Blogoscoped. I want to continue this odd hobby/unnatural fixation until I get tired again, and then probably move to a different URL, declare I’m going to ‘do it all differently’, leaving all my link cred behind so that I can bitch about it at some future time.

Long live blog churn.

Oh, and don’t forget: Cephalopodmas in 38 days. Have you started hanging your tentacles yet?

On the thirteenth day of Cephalopodmas,
Cthulhu gave to me
Thirteen Hapalochlaena,
Twelve ink sacs squirting,
Eleven Architeuthis,
Ten ammonites,
Nine tentacles strangling,
Vampyroteuthis infernalis,
Seven photophores a-flashing,
Six arms a-flaying,
Four snapping beaks,
Three suckers,
Two cuttlefish,
And Histioteuthis heteropsis.