In Real Time

So in the past couple of weeks we've seen the proliferation of a couple new "real time services," for various kinds of data. Enjit brings real time data from friendfeed (which itself aggregates a lot of data pretty close to real time), and then there's tweet.im which finally brings something approaching real time twitter interaction back to those of us who have been begging for a real time/xmpp twitter interface for a while.…

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Wiki Completion

Insofar as it's been a loose series, this post is a continuation of my thoughts on wikis and hypertext. My leading question is "Are wiki's ever completed?" And "If so, how do we know and decide?" This is a question that I find myself wondering about a fair deal, and I think the answer--which I haven't come to a firm conclusion on--has a to do with the potentials of the wiki medium.…

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The Siege

So I said I would, in honor of NaNoWriMo, write about writing on tychoish a bit during the month of November. So here I am. I thought for the first in this occasional series, I'd touch on the project that I'm currently working on. I'm working on a long novel/novella that fits loosely into my interest series of "historiographical science fiction" stories that I've been working on for a while now.…

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Deep Computing

So here's another report on my Linux usage: For some unknown reason I tried to upgrade to Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10) last weekend. Which failed epically. So I reinstalled, which has gone... less well? Explaining the problems I'm having are incredibly complicated. Everything works well, except the dual monitor support, which is just bothersome. I have a work around that seems to work pretty well, but I'm not sure if pretty well = production ready.…

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Window Management

OS X has been a really innovative force in personal computing. It's highly usable, lots of different kinds of users are able to work with it. It's compatible with lots of different standards, and it provides a lot of tools to developers that make even the sucky third party software pretty nice. I think if you look at Windows Vista, and the latest versions of KDE and GNOME and some of the other open source user interfaces, it's pretty easy to see some resonances of OS X.…

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Is there any there there?

I learned the other day that some (a lot?) of the big box retail corporations--Costco/Sams/etc.--don't turn a profit by selling things to people. This shouldn't be particularly large surprise, they sell goods at prices that undercut all of the competition, and probably aren't that much above the core cost of the goods (if that). And yet the companies are profitable. How? My understanding is that they take their gross income and invest it in short term things--bonds, stocks, and the like--which generates enough income that the entire operation can turn a profit.…

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Long Threads

Have you ever noticed how email exchanges where it's just you writing back with a friend or two always seems to peter out after about 3 volleys? And how online discussions seem to go on and on? And how a lot of virtual communities--particularly the really active ones--are full of drivel? Yeah, me too. I don't have a particularly good answer for it either. I think the sociological/psychological reasons are pretty straight forward: the conversations linger because the medium is time-shifted, each party of the conversation has to contribute less resources to keeping the discussion going.…

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