Eclecticity: Dan Shafer's Web Log : Where author, poet, sports fanatic, spiritual teacher, and dabbler in things Pythonesque and Revolution(ary) Dan Shafer holds forth on various topics of interest primarily to him
Updated: 11/13/02; 1:49:52 PM.


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Tuesday, October 8, 2002

The Non-Commissioner of Baseball is an Idiot. What's New?

Allen Barra over at has some good and well-written insights into the meaning of the playoff outcomes on the predilections of the dumbest guy ever to hold the job of Commissioner of Baseball.

What do you say now, Bud Selig?. The victories of the Angels, Twins and Cards show how empty the owners' and commissioners' arguments were. []

There is no rejoinder here, folks. No ground on which Mr. Selig could stand even if he had a backbone to keep him erect and a brain to tell him where his feet were. The guy's a moron. Only his unbelievable arrogance will prevent him from resigning, slinking off in shame, and committing some sort of ritual somewhere (not death, but perhaps sliming?).
9:45:14 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

The Problems With Word on OS X Are Worse Than I Imagined

Word has become, for me at least, almost unusable since my upgrade to Jaguar. Here's what Microsoft's MVP support team has to say on the subject:

Unfortunately, Word is not going to work properly under Jaguar unless Microsoft releases a patch for Microsoft Office. The problems have now been analyzed, and the experts have found that Word v.X is not fully compatible with Jaguar, and there is nothing you can do to make it so.

What incredible garbage. Now what am I supposed to do? I have a publisher waiting for a book. They use Word. Their feedback to me is in Word comments, which are frigging broken in Word on Jaguar.

Arrogance screws the little guy once again.
9:32:53 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

I've Opened a New Category for Runtime Revolution

I've found myself talking a lot about "Revolution" lately, so I decided to create a category for it on my Web log. I'll be saying more about this topic in coming days and weeks.
8:41:58 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

TidBITS rates OS X

Adam C. Engst rates OS X, reporting what he told the recent O'Reilly OS X conference. For the most part I agree with him. In fact, I was gratified to see a couple of my pet peeves -- which I was beginning to think I was the only guy on the planet who had noticed or at least who cared -- singled out by Mr. Engst as well.

I love his observation about type-ahead:

Apple appears to be moving in the right direction, since Jaguar includes many fixes, such as type-to-select in the Finder (though Open and Save dialogs remain a festering boil of awkward and inconsistent interface).

He gives OS X a B- for its UI. I'd be less generous and give it a C.

On programmability, he makes me smile broadly with this observation:

The two flies in the ointment are that Apple still thinks HyperCard smells funny, and the company seems to have developed an odd aversion for AppleScript, with AppleScript support in too few of Apple's own applications.

Amen! HyperCard remains one of the best thought-out development tools in the history of computing. I'm glad there's Runtime Revolution, which in many ways improves on HyperCard. Still, for Apple to treat its premier scripting environments so shabbily says something unpleasant, unsavory and unenlightened about the company's direction.
8:18:30 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Put me down for a nice, big, juicy Python!

Jon Udell cites favorably a comment made by Sam Ruby about programming languages. I am in complete agreement, have been for some time.

I do not, however, think Ruby has a real shot here. I've looked very closely at it and Python side by side and it seems to me that from the standpoint of syntax, GUI building tools in place, programmer adoption, and all-around quality of the language itself, Python has a pretty big edge. I spent the better part of three days with Ruby and concluded it was just a little too...primitive? clunky?...for my personal tastes.

That said, Ruby is light years ahead of Java and C#, and I think these modern languages are the basis for where we go next.

(Actually, I'm thinking that a full-blown environment such as Runtime Revolution with a Python-like scripting language to replace the xTalks that are just a tad too chaotic for most serious applications, is where we're really headed.

PythonCard, an Open Source project with which I have been associated as a documentor and example builder (among other things) in the past year or so is, I think, the best hope for such a tool.
8:03:00 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Marc Canter and Robert Scoble Yakking About Multimedia Conversations

Marc Canter is one of the truly inspired geniuses of new media. Like all geniuses, he has a spark of insanity. I love listening to the guy's ideas. So does my friend Robert Scoble. So when Marc and Robert started talking about blogging and multimedia, I had to eavesdrop...and add my two cents' worth.

So I started to post my comment here and then a light bulb went off. "I should post a comment in reply to Marc's reply to Robert's post on Robert's blog," the light bulb seemed to say (bulbs are hard to understand when their filaments overheat). So I did. So you can follow the link below, and then click on the Comments link and you can see what Marc said to Robert and what I said to both of them.

And I'd be very interested in your perspective on this kind of multi-blog, multi-user, shared-space blogging activity. Is it too scattered and confusing or does it add a depth you find tantalizing?

Oh, I missed Marc Canter's response to my railing on his ideas (it's in the comments). First, the fact that I missed it, shows a weakness with Radio's comment system (I believe that other systems, like the one used by Moveable Type allows the weblog author to get an email everytime a comment is posted. I'd really like that as well). Of course I hope Marc's ideas come to fruition. I'd love an environment that lets me share my life (not just my text) with others and I'm willing to pay for it.

[The Scobleizer Weblog]

11:12:31 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

The Perils of .Mac

Keeping your stuff on the Internet is a long-held interest of mine. I have been writing and talking for years about what I call the "Zero-Pound Computer." I really yearn for the day when I can walk into any Internet cafe, Kinko's or well-equipped public library in the world, log on to a site and get my "stuff". Apple's .Mac is a step in that direction, but as I've written elsewhere, it's not as ready for prime time as I'd like to see it. Two recent multi-hour outages in two weeks have shaken what little confidence I had in storing meaningful information on the .Mac servers.

What's a fella to do?

Apple's .Mac service goes down again. As the company phases out its free iTools service and tries to bump customers to the new paid offering, .Mac is not cooperating. It's gone down twice now in as many weeks. [CNET]
10:55:16 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Eudora or Entourage? Nice review in MacWorld

Adam Engst of TidBits fame authors a very helpful and well-done piece in Macworld on Mac email clients. I'll spill the beans. He likes Eudora but gives props to Entourage as well. Other apps don't fare so well.

I am a Eudora user of long standing myself (though I occasionally dabble in a browser-based email world only to find it leaves me wanting). It's always nice to see an expert agree with your decision, isn't it?
10:51:11 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

A rare victory for the little site

Ever since the Librarian of Congress set the new rules for royalty payments due from Web radio stations to the record labels for music played over the Net, little stations have been warning that they'd have to shut down if things didn't change. The U.S. House of Representatives moved on this front and passed a bill to reduce smaller sites' fees to a percentage of their revenue rather than a per-song fee that would have sunk them.

A rare and important victory, but don't count your chickens yet. This thing still has to get past the Senate, where it's likely to meet a chillier reception.

House votes for Webcasters' reprieve. A bill exempting small Net radio broadcasters from fees that had threatened to silence many small operations passes the House of Representatives. [CNET]
10:45:50 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Now THIS is scary...and it's not even Hallowe'en

The Rise of Online Panhandling. Recently, the internet has been plagued with a vile epidemic: online panhandling. From the woman trying to leave her husband to the car obsessed college student who is seemingly too poor to even afford his own domain name, it seems that every few days another site is launched with the same theme. These sites do not exist to entertain their visitors or satisfy a psycological need on the part of their creators; they are simply presenting a pitch designed to sell their webmasters as helpless charity cases worthy of visitors' financial support. And, it seems like the same marks who would otherwise be paying to import stolen Nigerian fortunes (as if there is anything valuable to steal in Nigeria) have embraced these sites as another way to flush their money down the proverbial commode. []
2:04:59 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Dave Anderson of the NY Times Agreed With Me

In my blog last night of the Giants-Braves NLDS baseball playoff game, I groused a bit about the way the schedule was handled. I suggested that TV has become more important than the quality of play, safety of the players, or enjoyment of the fans. Nice to have good company in the person of the NY Times' great columnist (and I thought he was great before he agreed with me, so there!), Dave Anderson:

Baseball's Sleepiest Showdown. At its best, sports is a survival of the fittest. Game 5 between the Giants and Braves was survival of the sleepiest. By Dave Anderson. [New York Times: Sports]
2:02:59 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

ABC, NBC, CBS Skip the Bush Ramble, So Why Did FoxSports Carry It?

As part of my blogging of the Giants-Braves games last night, I commented on the fact that the game started 30 minutes late to accommodate our selected president's desire to speak to the nation about Iraq, a subject which bores the public.

Then I discovered this piece that indicates the major networks didn't carry the talk due to lack of public interest. So who the hell's in charge at FoxSports? A bunch of Bush Cronies?

Citing Lack of Request, 3 Networks Skip Speech. Three major broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC chose not to carry the president's speech live on Monday. By Jim Rutenberg. [New York Times: Politics]
1:59:57 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Yes! Send Buck to the Mets!

Mets Interview Showalter. Buck Showalter has become the second candidate to interview for the Mets' managerial job, meeting on Monday with team executives at Shea Stadium. By Rafael Hermoso. [New York Times: Sports]

Buck Showalter is the worst manager in baseball. What he did to a talented D-Backs team with his Gestapo-like management style and his baseball ignorance was an abomination.

So of course I'd be simply delirious if the Mets hire him as their new manager. They deserve each other.
1:55:57 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Well, Dave Winer and Robert Scoble Were Paying Attention...and Thought It Was Cool!

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for defeating the Atlanta Braves this evening and advancing to the National League Championship Series against the St Louis Cardinals. What a cliff-hanger, what a surprising ending. And thanks to Dan Shafer for blogging the play by play. That made it even more interesting. [Scripting News]

Dan Shafer is blogging the Giants game tonight (Dan is a big sports fan and an even bigger Giants fan). Go Giants! Hey, Dave, you happy that the Yankees got knocked out? The playoffs this year are actually interesting. Oh, and Dan is absolutely right about Barry Bonds. The guy deserves far more accolades than he is getting. So what if he's arrogant. Arrogance is OK if you can back it up year after year. Barry does.

[The Scobleizer Weblog]
1:48:14 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

© Copyright 2002 Dan Shafer.

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