Archive for May, 2006

Painful Episode

May 30, 2006

It is so humbling as a parent (and a person) to sit and watch your child endure any sort of pain. Em had a tooth that had to come out today. Jen and I grabbed and held her hands throughout the process trying our best to comfort her and explain however feebly, that we are doing this to make the pain go away (she had an abscessed tooth). Em has made it easy for us as parents, ridiculously easy. I know that many more parents go through much worse every single day. But days like this remind us of how we would do *anything* to prevent our child from hurting – I’d have jumped into that chair in a heartbeat if I could’ve been a surrogate for her pain. Of course an hour later she’s sitting on the couch watching George Shrinks as if nothing had happened and anticipating the arrival of the tooth fairy later tonight. I believe 5 bucks is on offer for the inaugural visit.

This post is nothing more than a placeholder to remind myself in future years of what it really means to be a father and of what it really means to love my daughter. There will be times when I undoubtedly forget.

No Free Lunches Mr. O’Reilly.. tsk tsk

May 27, 2006

Read in the (remarkably long) comments of the discussion thread on the whole O’Reilly v IT@Cork debacle:

Folks this is getting out of hand. What’s the big deal?

If people wanted to use Web 2.0 freely then they should’ve come up with the name themselves.

There’s no free lunch!

Posted by: tim o’reilly at May 26, 2006 06:14 PM

“If people wanted to use Web 2.0 freely then they should’ve come up with the name themselves.”

http://www.allbusiness.com/periodicals/article/383501-1.html

Quite so!

Posted by: John McCormac at May 26, 2006 06:26 PM

In case you’re not interested in following that link, it’s an article using the term ‘Web 2.0’ back in 1999.

While I think it’s definitely a mountain out of a molehill situation , I’m beginning to think that Mr.O’Reilly should open-source the term rather quickly and stop the bleeding so to speak. Reputations can be sullied pretty quickly in the blogosphere these days and he’s doing nothing to prevent it.

Talk With My Boss

May 27, 2006

Talk With My Boss
Originally uploaded by Chris Brogan.

After reading his article on lifehack.org, I discovered Chris Brogan’s weblog and through that, his sketchbook set on Flickr. Amongst the creative doodles, there are some really enlightening and personal gems. His blog is a good mix of honest personal writing with a healthy dose of creative inspiration. I suggest you give it a read if that’s your bag – it’s definitely mine.

Brevity and Outright Coolness

May 26, 2006

I’m all for brevity. Sometimes just sending you there is better than trying to describe the outright coolness of a link. Check this out.

Classically Klass

May 25, 2006

I listened to the most recent Bitterest Pill podcast on my drive to work this morning. At the risk of sounding 25 years younger than I am, it was “Da Bomb”. Dan Klass has a lock on celebrating middle-aged mediocrity, a demographic I wholeheartedly immerse myself in ;). From his fatherly trepidation about his 3 year daughter’s magnetism to the opposite sex (something I’ve been experiencing with my daughter lately) to his cutting remarks about the social retardation of affluent adults, he’s nailed it completely.

Dan… you da man. If you’re an honest parent who feels at all like a fish out of water these days, you owe yourself a listen.

Wikipedia is Dead…Long Live Wikipedia

May 25, 2006

So Nick Carr thinks Wikipedia is dead. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said that ‘semi-protected articles will no longer be required to announce themselves as such to the general public’. Does this fact alone render Wikipedia dead? Seems Nick Carr thinks so. Then again, if you read the comments (which are much more interesting than his post) I get the feeling that he’s trolling the waters for more eyeballs on his blog. It worked – I went there to read it – but I wouldn’t draw water from that well too many times. Your ass will undoubtedly get bitten and your reputation will suffer, if indeed he cares about that stuff.

Every time the whole Wikipedia thing flares up, I’m left scratching my head as to why people think an encyclopedia’s job is to document modern web history, current political allegiances and other volatile information. Revisiting Dave Winer’s various blog posts relating to Wikipedia, I came across this:

That must stop now, surely. Every fact in there must be considered partisan, written by someone with a confict of interest. Further, we need to determine what authority means in the age of Internet scholarship. And we need to take a step back and ask if we really want the participants in history to write and rewrite the history. Isn’t there a place in this century for historians, non-participants who observe and report on the events?

Believe it or not, there are people who go to Wikipedia for information on things like dog breeds, reinforced concrete and the latin language. Hell, have you seen the quality of the article on Knitting!? It’s frickin’ fabulous! It’s a quality source for an absolute ton of information. Be glad you have it!

And don’t think history should never be re-written. Everybody has a slant on things. Everybody. Do you really think the history written in my grade 6 textbooks back in 1977 was correct and always will be? You’re damn right history should be corrected when it’s found to be inaccurate. It’s our duty to learn from our past, not cover it up.

Will the article on George W. Bush be kept constantly under guard against vandalism? Of course!

Will the article on the founder of the next great web technology be up for dispute? Who cares?

Will Nicholas G. Carr try to pull his bio from what he deems to be a sinking ship? I’d be very surprised. 😉

Quit trying to bury something that is overwhelmingly good and useful because you can’t see past the end of your noses!

Elephants Dream – An Open Source Flick

May 24, 2006


As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favourite podcasts has to be Lugradio. If you’re at all interested in the world of open-source and Linux, you should give it a listen. It’s funny, interesting and even sometimes intelligent ;). Anyhow, on the most recent episode, the boys talked about an open source short movie just released called Elephants Dream. It was the product of an open source project called the Orange Open Movie Project, and was produced with open source tools like (Blender, The Gimp, Inkscape and Cinepaint among others). It was released under a Creative Commons license and as with any open-source project, all of the project files used to make the work are available for download as well.

While not a candidate for a best-picture Oscar, it showcases what can be done with open-source tools by an open-source project – very definitely a creative force to be reckoned with. I have seen many many many worse short films. The story line is a bit ‘out of sorts’ for my tastes, but the music and video production technically was very impressive. Check it out. This might be the first of many more creative productions by a very creative open source community.

Sequencing Chromosome 1 and The Big Blue Marble

May 18, 2006


The sequence of the last chromosome in the human genome was published today. If there is one thing in this world I am not, it is a human genome expert. But I do try to keep up on science as much as possible, especially the important stuff. From what I read, this is really a milestone on a much longer journey. All the chromosomes in the human genome are now sequenced, but we still don’t know what most of the genes do. It is apparent though, that figuring that out will only be a matter of time and patience.

What this will enable us to do sounds both wonderful and scary. Will we be better able to fight and prevent diseases? Likely. What about slowing the aging process? Likely. But I think we’ve got a lot of other things to figure out before that – like how to manage the resulting surge of population growth when people live longer. We’ve got room on this big blue marble for quite a few more, but not the way we’re doing it now.

The world has to catch up socially and politically to the pace of scientific discovery. This stuff isn’t slowing down. I relish the thought of mankind accelerating progress, but progress has to occur on many fronts, not just science. The internet as a social and political network now plays a significant part in that process. If we can better educate the world (myself included) we can take better control of our destiny, and better prepare for it.

I know every generation says this, and it may be true for every other generation as well, but we do live in interesting times.

Or Whatever My Name Is….

May 16, 2006

Imagine by surprise when listening to the latest Gillmor Gang, that I’d hear my name mentioned (and by Steve Gillmor himself no less!):

“…Richard Querin or whatever his name is…” – Steve Gillmor

Of course Steve was describing in passing, (just like my name was mentioned…in passing) the non-linking controversy.

It’s truly amazing that a well-timed post by a ‘nobody’ (me) somehow finds its way all the way up to a ‘somebody’ (Mr. Gillmor) and even carries enough weight to seemingly piss him off. Although, I could be wrong about that last thing. He seems to relish in being perennially pissed off.

Amazing how that happens. Of course you know the primary method by which that little post found it’s way up there: linking.

They didn’t really talk about it enough for me to get a good reading on it, but it sounds like he’s lumping me (and others) into some sort of aggressive school of piranhas hell bent on attacking Seth Goldstein and himself.

I hate to disappoint, but I simply don’t have the time to be hell bent on anything. As you can plainly see from my posting patterns on this blog, I have many interests, only one of which is ‘Tech’. I estimate that I have about 3 hours (including my commute time) each day that I spend on my personal interests – and only a small portion of that includes blog/podcast related stuff.

He should be glad he’s getting that small bit of attention from me, not complaining about it.

Also of note, Doc Searls again scored very low on the bullshit-o-meter (which is inversely proportional to his reading on my respect-o-meter) when he said of Seth’s point about strong bloggers no longer linking: “Seth said that? …well that’s just wrong.”.

Spore one for the heart….

May 12, 2006

Don’t tell anyone, but I used to be big into PC gaming. I spent a lot of my gaming time with auto racing sims (I’m a huge F1 fan), and for quite a long spell I even participated in an online league during my Compuserve days (remember that?!). While RPG’s, battlefield strategy and first person shooters were not my cup of tea, there was one other game which vacuumed up a whole lot of my spare time back then. That game was SimCity, created by Will Wright. I simply loved it. I even gave a chunk of my life away to it’s sequel SimCity 2000 when it came out. But since that time, I’ve found other more serious pursuits (!?) and haven’t really found my way back to PC games since then. However Will Wright’s upcoming game Spore may change all that. You can check out a (rather long) demo video here. It looks simply amazing in it’s open-endedness. If there is a game that could suck away huge chunks of my productive life, I fear it is this one.

In my heart I want it dearly. But my head tells me noooo.. Let’s see who ends up winning. 😉