Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • Text messaging has always struck me as more than faintly ridiculous: Spend a quarter to cramp your thumbs sending a handful of characters to another cell phone, when you could call that same cell phone and talk for a full minute for less. And even though texting costs phone carriers almost nothing, the cost of texting to consumers has more than doubled in the last three years.
  • I was at Barnes & Noble a little earlier today, prowling the history section as I often do. (The history section is now about the same size as the computer book section. This was not always the case…) I remembered something I had noticed many times in the past: B&N stocks an absolutely amazing number of books on the Knights Templars and Freemasonry. (By contrast, I counted three—three!—books on Ubuntu Linux.) The history section at Borders stocks almost nothing on these two topics. Do people actually buy this stuff? Or is there a Templars/Masonry fan club at the highest levels of B&N?
  • Xandros has purchased Linspire. Linspire tried their hardest to create an OEM market for desktop Linux, but annoyed FOSS purists by including commercial software in their CNR installation service, which was actually the only part of Lindows/Linspire that I really liked. Ubuntu has mostly swept the desktop Linux field, but I admit, they haven't gone after OEM installs as vigorously as Linspire did, nor as vigorously as they'd have to to get some traction against Windows. Ubuntu's parent Canonical is developing a mobile version that will be sold preinstalled on subnotebooks, but we're not quite there yet.
  • Mike Reith sent me an interesting little utility called IsDelphi, which will scan a directory, inspect any executables it finds, and report which ones were written in Delphi. The most interesting revelation: Skype is a Delphi app. I hadn't heard that.
  • In case you weren't already worried about whether you should take that trip down the hill to get a latte, I suggest a spin through Dark Roasted Blend's collection of weird car accidents. You Could Be There.
  • And in case you're not steamed out or punked out yet, head down to the closest Greek restaurant, order some calimari, and curl up with an anthology of squidpunk. Damitall, when are we gonna see glyptodontpunk? I'll show you escapist and whimsical…

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