Five Pounds of Flax

Every culture has a burrito.

Easy image and movie capture

Wednesday, September 12, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 10:09 PM

Jing makes screenshots and screen movies very easy to make. It exports screen movies to SWF (flash video), ready for hosting on a website.

It's Hillary's turn next, then Jeb's

Tuesday, September 11, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 4:38 AM

So you know who to vote for.

The iCache -- a pocket credit card reader/writer

Friday, September 07, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 12:49 PM

A company named iCache is developing an eponymously named product to store your credit cards. It has a magstripe reader/writer in it, which it uses to produce single-use credit cards.

It's an obvious idea, in retrospect, and certainly better than carrying a Costanza-wallet of various cards around. Instead, you just need the iCache and one magstripe card, which gets reprogrammed for each use.


Thursday, September 06, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 7:12 AM

Release 1.07-PRE-5 of IMAP-IDLE, a plugin that provides "push-mail" support for Apple's email client, is available for download.

This version asks Mail to sync and fetch, due to user reports that just a sync doesn't always catch new mail. It also fixes a memory management issue that caused occasional crashes (unfortunately, not on my test machines -- but thanks for the crash reports!).

An interesting community

Tuesday, September 04, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 2:15 PM

Bradburn Village in Westminster, Colorado looks like a great place to live.

Every home in Bradburn includes a large front porch—not just a token 2 foot concrete stoop. Garages are all in the back, and homes here also have very small setbacks (the distance between the house and the sidewalk, or front yard), meaning the porches sit right above the sidewalks. This means people sitting on their front porches easily see neighbors walking by, and they stop to talk, creating a community bond that is so elusive in most traditional suburban neighborhoods.

(from Fermentarium).

Hi Ryan

posted by Michael Rothwell @ 12:47 PM

Woof. Woof.

Theresa's "dark night of the soul"

Monday, September 03, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 5:01 PM

Daniel Dennett wrote down his thoughts on Mother Theresa's doubts -- her "dark night of the soul".

(excerpt) Mother Teresa’s agonies of doubt are surely not all that unusual. [...] I get mail all the time from religious leaders who admit to me in private that they do not believe in God but think that the best way to continue their lives is to swallow hard and get on with their ministries, concentrating on bringing more good than evil into the lives of their parishioners and those for whom their churches provide care. [...] How many millions of priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, nuns and monks around the world are living lives of similar duplicity? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the outing of Mother Teresa inspired a few thousand of them to come out of the closet and acknowledge their atheism! Then it might start being obvious not only that faith in God is not a requirement for morality, but that the loss of faith in God often goads people into living more strenuously helpful lives, as seems to be the case with Mother Teresa. Of course, such honesty carries a price: you have to change your mission in a way Mother Teresa never did. She could have devoted herself more single-mindedly to helping the poor instead of trying to convert them. Perhaps it was her guilt at being unable to convert herself that drove her to work so hard to convert others to take her place among the believers.

That reminds me of Penn Gillette's "This I Believe" segment on NPR.

This "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God." Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life.

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

"Goodbye, cruel Word" -- Amen!

Sunday, September 02, 2007posted by Michael Rothwell @ 6:41 PM

Steven Poole says, "Goodbye, cruel Word". Creating text on a computer doesn't have to be an exercise in frustration. I agree with his assessment that Word 5.1 for the Mac was the last good version of Word. Since then, it's become more and more unusable, and less and less fun to use. I should be able to use tools to do work, without having to be too aware of the tools themselves. Word seems to need attention, and believe me, I'd love to roll up a newspaper and give Word a few whacks every time I use it.