Monthly Archives: September, 2002

Lawrence Lessig’s Supreme Showdown

[Original Link] For anyone who wants to know more about Lessig’s background and his upcoming Supreme Court case. A very nice bit of writing by Steven Levy.
“For Microsoft, the proceedings were just business, as Tony Soprano says.”

Cars that run on compressed air

[Original Link] I was looking at some old steam-powered boats recently and noticed how many of them incorporated a little hot-water urn to allow passengers to make nice hot cups of tea.

Perhaps, in contrast, these very neat air-powered cars could also make nice cold fizzy drinks?

Nicholas Negroponte – Being Wireless

[Original Link] “3G is too little too soon, with none of the attributes of a real generational shift. It is still voice-centric at a time when data usage is gaining fast, a conversion that 3G can nowhere near fully accommodate.”

Lessig in 3 seconds

[Original Link] Lawrence Lessig is pretty good now at coming up with sound-bites himself, but Steve Mallet is running a fun competition: “Can you summarise his main message in three seconds or less?”

Some of the responses:

“Freedom is more valuable than the right to profit”

“Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it”

“IP. To boldly restrict where no man has gone before.”

More info on the authors of these, and other examples, can be found here.

Isn’t it great when a program does exactly what you want?

[Original Link] I have a nice row of almost unused function keys on my Apple keyboard. I wanted to map them to do some of my regular tasks, so that F1, for example, would open Palm Desktop and prompt me to search for an address.
Keyboard Maestro allowed me to do this easily and has lots of other cute features which you can use if wanted and disable if not.

This is also a very nicely tailored use of shareware. The free version does enough for many people without nagging, but you can pay $20 if you want that little bit more. Recommended.


Here’s a picture I took today in Windermere in the English Lake District:

Note the implication of the logo. The internet, in all its glory, is represented by a letter ‘e’…


Today the BBC announced that they are providing RSS feeds that can be used with all the popular news aggregators including our own Radio UserLand. [from Scripting News] Well done, Auntie!

Jaguars are faster

Since upgrading my elderly Powerbook to ‘Jaguar’, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, I’m struck once again by an important contrast with Windows. As far as I can remember, every upgrade of Windows I ever did gave you extra features, sometimes even features you wanted, but at the cost of speed.

Mac OS X, perhaps because of its youth, has the wonderful characteristic that every version has been faster than its predecessor, which is especially good if your hardware isn’t the latest. This is particularly wholesome because Apple, unlike Microsoft, does make a lot of its money from hardware and so has a vested interest in encouraging you to upgrade.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser