AppleInsider “believes in all sincerity that the Mac mini is dead.” I, for one, would be disappointed if this were true.
The Mac mini is exactly the kind of product Silicon Valley should never stop making. It’s the perfect platform for tinkerers in the middle of the hottest growth area for tech, the home network. I keep mine under a 46-inch Sony HD-TV. Nothing else in Apple’s product line would fit except Apple TV, which doesn’t do enough to interest a guy like me. I want a new much faster Mac Mini, and would pay for it. It’s the most cripped Mac I own, slow at everything. Yet its the workhorse of my home network.
1. Will my Cingular Blackberry work in Europe?
2. Will my Sprint EVDO?
3. Will there be Internet on the KLM flight from SFO to Amsterdam?
4. Will there be power at the seat?
5. Which power adapters do I need to bring?
Todd Mitchell offers some very detailed answers.
Brian Benz has a novice geek’s guide for staying connected while overseas.
I got Cingular to turn on the international roaming service. Calls and email will be expensive, but what the heck, I’m only there for 11 days.
KLM says no there’s no Internet on the 747 and no electric outlets either. It’s an old plane, but it’s huge. I got them to put me upstairs, in a window seat. Let’s hope I don’t have to go to the bathroom too much.
The consensus is that I can leave the EVDO card home, it won’t work in Europe at all. Luckily wifi does work in Europe, and it should be better than the last time I was overseas.
I don’t often read op-ed pieces in the Times, they’re part of Times Select, and it’s never really occurred to me to pay them for opinion pieces. Today I happened to be on a plane flying from San Diego to Oakland, and I picked up a copy of the Times, in print, an affirmation that newspapers aren’t dead.
One of the pieces that caught my attention was by Nicholas Kristof, an essay about trade with China. He explained that while the balance of trade between the United States and China is lopsided in favor of China, there are countries with which China has a trade deficit.
For example, China is in the business of assembling parts created elsewhere, and those parts show up as a negative on their balance sheet. So while a Barbie doll they send to US creates a $3 debt from the US to China, only $0.03 of that belongs to China, the rest of it is owed by them to other countries. Our massive trade deficit with China actually distorts the economic strength of China. They’re not so strong.
The second piece, about nursing homes in the US, was written by Atul Gawande. He explains that while nursing homes are good at keeping people alive, and better than they used to be, for people who lead rich lives before requiring care, they can be like prison. For people my age, this reality isn’t so far away that it wouldn’t be a good time to start thinking about it, and learning, and maybe helping to reform the system.
Two TV serials I follow wound up their seasons this week.
I have to watch the last episode of Heroes again to figure out the details, but it left me satisfied. A good story, with a good moral. Check.
The finale of Lost left me wondering why they’re going to have another season. So much was resolved. It also had a strong moral message, be satisfied with what you have.
TV is definitely getting better.
Every so often I get an email asking what’s up with the RSS Advisory Board.
Here’s what I thought in May 2004: “This group is not a standards organization. It does not own RSS, or the spec, it has no more or less authority than any other group of people who wish to promote RSS.”
Today I think it’s even less than that. It basically stopped functioning later in 2004. The people involved went on to do other things. In the meantime RSS kept growing and growing.
Did RSS actually need an “advisory board?” No, it didn’t.
I think it’s great that people care about RSS. Keep supporting it, and if you want to help people use it, great. Just don’t pretend there’s any official board or body or whatever behind it, because there isn’t.
Oh and by the way this is where the RSS 2.0 spec is and always will be. (Modulo redirects and Acts of Murphy.)
Postscript: Any group could create a profile of RSS, and recommend that other people use it. That group could be the authority on the profile, and change it in response to feedback. A validator could have an option to test against conformity to the profile, to say that a file is not only compatible with the RSS spec, but it also conforms to the profile. The group could act according to rules they devise, which they could pattern after the IEEE, IETF or W3C, or come up with a completely new protocol. Doing a profile is a logical and fair way for people who want to do standards work based on RSS to proceed.
Valleywag used a Creative Commons licensed photo of mine, one that I’m quite proud of, taken when I knew Scoble was leaving Microsoft and the rest of the world didn’t (yet, it would leak out the next day). I asked how it felt to be out of Microsoft, and he made this face, in jest, for sure. It would be great Valleywag linked back to the original from the photo they used, share some of the flow and credit. Seems like a fair trade. Thanks in advance!