Squandering Squirrel

As I pulled into the driveway after an emergency visit to the dentist this morning, I saw this large black squirrel running away with a persimmon.  If it was cute, I wouldn't mind so much.  This one looks like a very large rat.

The worst part is that this squirrel squanders food, eating only parts of fruits from our yard and then abandoning them.  Our neighborhood raccoons eat them too but they only eat what they need and eat one completely before touching another.

Update:

While raccoons may not waste food, they sure make up for it in volume.  My wife told me today that many of the branches were broken and she found 65 stalk-ends at the bottom of the tree.  It must have been a family of hungry raccoons that did that.  Well, they are now a severely constipated family of raccoons.  Sweet.

Dumb and Dumber

A funny news from Korea.  A Korean man was recently arrested for borrowing close to a million dollars from three people and then refusing to payback.  The funny part is that the man authored many books explaining how to do exactly what he did with titles like 'How to Take Other People's Money' and 'Ways to Avoid Paying Back Borrowed Money'.  The kicker is that one of his victims was the publisher of his books.

Conversation Category

Dave has an interesting idea this morning.  A reader suggested in my Right Roles for Standards Body post that Tim and I have a public debate on Atom vs. RSS.  Using the suggestion, Dave formulated a new type of debate that takes place on the blogosphere over a much longer period than traditional face to face debates.

Very cool.  Dave's blog-based debates can be implemented using a new type of blog category: Conversation Category.  The idea is for a small number of people to share a single blog category and converse over a long period of time through their blogs.

A conversation aggregator subscribes to the category feed of all the participants and merge them into a single feed and publishes a mini-website dedicated to the conversation.  The 'referree' of the debate or the conversation moderator gets editorial rights over the merged feed and the mini-website.  Hmm.  This stuff is very close to what I am currently working on so I think I'll slip this feature in while I am at it.

This idea reflects what is going on in each of our blogs.  Note that I often mention Dave Winer and Tim Bray by their first names.  That's because there is a persistent context that reduces ambiguity and an ongoing history to refer back to.  This context is not just limited to my blog but includes blogs of everyone I frequently mention in my blog (i.e. everyone on my blogroll).  A conversation category formalizes that context and gives it a more refined shape.

Frankly, this is the kind of innovation we need to be thinking about instead of reinventing what is already in wide use.

ActiveGrid

Looks like ActiveGrid finally unveiled itself.  One sentence description of ActiveGrid is: open source development tools and application server for grid + LAMP.

There is an arguably patentable technology underneath it all though.  If you were at NetDynamics while I was there, you might remember the cascading network of holes and plugs idea I mentioned in a few occasions.  This is exactly that.

River of Time

I often feel as if I am living in a river of time.  When I was young, I didn't really care what might be downstream.  As I got older and experienced many harrowing turns of the river, I found myself looking farther and farther ahead.

What I just realized was that my sense of now changed over the years to include the future, near and far.  An event that will happen feels almost as real to me as an event happening now, just as the shape of the river downstream affects the flow of the river upstream.

Skyping Again

FYI, I can now receive Skype calls.  If you are a skyper as well, you should update Skype.  Old versions of Skype had an buffer overflow vulnerability in the 'callto' URI handler.  The trouble starts as easy as clicking on a 'callto' URL longer than 4K.  Ouch.

Some software recommendations while I am here:

  • Sam Spade is great Windows app for digging information on IP, DNS, etc.
  • Fujaba creates UML diagrams from Java source.  It has an awkward UI and not much layout smart, but it's useful for figuring out what is going on in typically class-happy Java code.  ArgoUML is a better UML tool overall, but Fujaba is handy for this task.

Scram!

NASA's unmanned jet X43A, powered by an experimental scramjet engine, flew under its own power for 10 seconds off California coast and reached close to mach 10.  Awesome!

X43A is the small (12 feet long) black thingy
at the tip of the white booster rocket
hanging under the B-52.

X43A accelerating to scramjet speed

I couldn't find any image or video of X43A flying under scramjet power.  Maybe they are classified.

BTW, NASA's scramjet project is being phased out, thanks to Bush's Vision for Space Exploration initiative which aims to send humans to Mars.  *eyeroll*  Damn it.  I wish we had more say in where my tax money goes.