last.fm

people who burn hundreds or even thousands of dollars on itunes are retards. why would you pay 1.99 (and up) per song to “own it”, for severely limited definitions of owning, when you can pay 3$ per month to listen to any song you like, on any computer or smartphone? why would you put up with a clunky, user-hostile program like itunes that fails to collect interesting metadata and has no discovery mechanism to speak of, when you can use last.fm? why would you clog your storage devices with mp3s when you can stream? why would you waste space in your apartment for a CD collection when you can listen to thousands of artists?
i am sorry last.fm if i ignored you over long stretches of time over the 7 years we have known each other. i will try to do better.

the services economy has barely begun

There are over 2 billion literate, mobile phone subscribers in the developing world, many living on less than $5 a day. Corporations pay people to accomplish millions of simple text-based tasks.txteagle enables these tasks to be completed via text message by ordinary people around the globe.

between harnessing slacker energy and txteagle, we have not even scratched the surface of outsourcing. if you are an anti-outsourcing douchetard, it is time to dig in your heels. you won’t like the future.

IC 5067

in may 2009, i spent a night at kitt peak national observatory, the largest on the planet, to take a picture of IC 5067. IC 5067, also known as the pelican nebula, is 2000 light years away on our spiral arm of the galaxy, the orion arm. it is approximately 15 light years across, and an active region of star formation.

the picture was taken on a 0.5m telescope with a SBIG STL 6303E CCD camera, cooled to -15C. exposure time was 40 minutes each for red, green, blue and 2 hours for luminance.

manhattan vs zurich

having recently come back from zurich, i was curious how manhattan and zurich compare, size-wize. it turns out manhattan is roughly the same size as zurich, but has 1.6M inhabitants, while zurich has 380k.

joost unmaintained

looks like a lot of people i know wasted a couple years of their life with the venice project. the app is unusable on a 30 inch screen for me. oh well.

where is sarah?

today i checked my deserted blog, feeling a bit guilty after a friend had told me that i have effectively vanished behind the google cone of silence. and what do i see in the logs?

5 days, 9 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
5 days, 6 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
5 days, 3 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
5 days ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 21 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 18 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 15 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 12 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 9 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 6 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days, 3 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
4 days ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days, 21 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days, 18 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days, 15 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days, 12 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days, 9 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days, 6 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 days ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 21 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 18 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 15 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 12 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 9 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 6 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days, 3 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
2 days ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 21 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 18 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 15 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 12 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 9 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 6 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day, 3 hours ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
1 day ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
21 hours, 46 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
18 hours, 46 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
15 hours, 45 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
12 hours, 45 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
9 hours, 45 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
6 hours, 45 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
3 hours, 45 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'
45 minutes ago 	209.85.238.3 	Search: query for 'sarah m. byers'

someone* must be really interested in sarah’s whereabouts! if you haven’t heard, sarah is currently traveling in the stans for work. when internet connectivity allows, she is posting awesome pictures. here is a sampler:

Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar












* “someone” indeed. here’s why.

OpenOffice / NeoOffice fail at life

if you ever tried to use OpenOffice or NeoOffice to create a presentation with images and timed animations (bare-bones, standard stuff, in other words), do yourself a favor and delete those useless applications from your machine. you’ll thank me.
how those clowns can ship software that randomly replaces your images with the dreaded ‘broken image’ image, or that forgets about the animations it is supposed to show, and gives you a blank slide instead, is beyond me.
with desktop “productivity” applications this bad, no wonder people are defecting to online.

escaping lock-in

about a decade ago, i set up a yahoo email account as a spam catcher, and have used it for all sorts of registrations over the years. the time had come to finally ditch that account, between the pathetic spam filtering and the annoying user interface, but how to get all the emails i still cared about out without having to pay ransom? freepops to the rescue.

i find it remarkable that yahoo is so insecure about their product that they feel the need to lock-in users. in contrast, the superior gmail offers free pop access, so there is no lock-in. it is about time the industry holds yahoo to task over this nonsense.