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August 2003
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October 2003

A new iView

I've been a happy iView MediaPro user for a long time. I use it organize all my photos, and create my online QuickTime VR gallery. I like it so much that when iPhoto was released, well, I mostly yawned. iPhoto is much prettier, and makes those nice albums, but for speed and flexibility iView can't be beat.

Today I accidentally discovered that a new version, iView MediaPro 2.0, has been released. Neato.

I'm surprised that they didn't notify me, as a registered user you'd think they'd be more than happy to try and get me to pay the (expensive) upgrade fee. ($72.) I suppose its possible that they're better programmers than business people, though.

Oh, and the new version is Mac-only, at least for now. Ha!


Nisus Thesaurus

Kudos to Nisus for providing their free interface to WordNet, called Nisus Thesaurus . I've been missing an easy-to-use WordNet UI on Mac OS X, and now I have one.

It's not nearly as compelling as the Visual Thesaurus I wrote about a few days ago, but the data is derived from the same source, and that's what ultimately makes either so attractive. If you're a writer, or want to be one, it's an essential tool.


Highway Overexposure

When I first arrived in California I thought it was funny how the locals would hop on the freeway for even the shortest of trips. New friends would take me to lunch and take Interstate 280 to go what amounted to about 5 blocks, getting on and exiting at the very next ramp.

Now, nearly 8 years later, I might have become one of them. On my commute this morning, it occurred to me that during my 13 mile drive I traverse no less than 4 highways. I take 101N to 237W to 85N to 280N. Not exactly the straightest route, but unless there's an accident, the fastest by at least 10 minutes.


Mescalero lights me up like a flaming arrow

ZZ Top finally released their latest album, Mescalero, and I must say that I'm completely enthralled. The little ol' band from Texas pays homage to their roots with this release. To be sure, there are echoes of Eliminator and Recycler, but for the most part this album sits squarely in the family of Deguello and El Loco. Fuzzy guitars, dirty vocals, and riffs that embed themselves deeper than a double-ended fish hook. What's not to like? It's good to hear that after a remarkable 35 years together this power trio still has a few tricks up their sleeves.

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This can't be happening.

Global Eye -- Vanishing Act

It's a shell game, with money, companies and corporate brands switching in a blur of buyouts and bogus fronts. It's a sinkhole, where mobbed-up operators, paid-off public servants, crazed Christian fascists, CIA shadow-jobbers, war-pimping arms dealers -- and presidential family members -- lie down together in the slime. It's a hacker's dream, with pork-funded, half-finished, secretly programmed computer systems installed without basic security standards by politically partisan private firms, and protected by law from public scrutiny. It's how the United States, the "world's greatest democracy," casts its votes. And it's why George W. Bush will almost certainly be the next president of the United States -- no matter what the people of the United States might want.


The Fledermaus

There are several good reasons to buy your own Flying Pig - Fledermaus model.

First, it's great fun and makes a nifty desk toy. Also, it's a good, solid example of instructional design and graphic art. Finally, it's cheap and lets you experiment with the nify BitPass payment system.

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That's a helluva bargain for less than a buck. What else are you gonna do, spend your money at the iTunes Music Store? (That would make me happy too, of course.)


Twitch

Grizzly is an old-school platform game for Mac OS X. It could use some better character animation, but overall the physics and level design are just what is needed to relive the early 80s video game experience. If you're an old video game junky like me, check it out.


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