- VMware: Top 10 Predictions for Virtualization in 2009 : VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - Steve Herrod of VMware obviously has an interest in promoting virtualization. But, even if you think that some of the things listed here will take longer to develop than he implies, it gives some useful insight into VMware's thinking.
- The Sassy part of the Cloud « Barton’s Blog - We seem to be reaching a consensus of a cloud taxonomy.
- It's Still Too Late - Jim Grisanzio - There's certainly some level of competition between Linux and OpenSolaris but I concur with Jim that it's not a zero-sum game. This is a pretty good article (and not just because I'm accurately quoted in it) but there is a tendency in the press and elsewhere to paint it as a contest with a winner and a loser.
- Olympus MJU TOUGH digital cameras - I just wish that someone would come out with a genuinely good waterproof digital.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I really enjoy lobster cooked this way. It's based on a recipe that Jasper White popularized in his restaurants. (See e.g. Lobster at Home) It looks complicated, but isn't really so long as you have the right gear assembled. In fact, one of the nice things about this meal is that you can do a lot of the work a couple of hours in advance so this meal can actually involve less last minute mess and fuss than steamed/boiled lobster. (Less mess at the table too.)
The changes I've made mostly relate to some of the preparation details. In particular, I prefer to parboil the lobsters rather than cut them up alive which, in my experience, leads to pieces of lobster thrashing around the cutting board. It's just more drama than I consider absolutely necessary for this dish.
As for equipment, you'll want a large pot for the lobster of course. As for the pan-roasting part, if your oven is large enough to accommodate it, I find a 16-inch Lodge cast iron skillet that I picked up last summer just about perfect. That should handle about four to six lobsters in the chicken to two pound range. If you don't have a big enough skillet or a big enough oven, a workable alternative is to use a baking sheet for the oven part and one or two skillets, as required, on the stove. You will also want a long-necked lighter or some other suitable implement next to the stove to flame the bourbon.
Lobster is inexpensive right now, so go for it!
Ingredients for four people.
4 to 6 lobsters (1.25 to 2 lb.)
3 TBS peanut oil
1/3 cup bourbon (can also use Cognac)
1/2 cup white wine
8 TBS unsalted butter, cut into slices and chilled
1/4 cup of chopped parsley or chervil
1 TBS finely chopped chives
White pepper and salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Parboil the lobsters for about 4 minutes. If you don't have a pot large enough to accommodate all the lobsters, you can do this step in two batches. (You'll need one of those big steamer pots or equivalent.)
Once the lobsters have cooled enough to handle, remove the tails, the claws, and the knuckles/arms. Cut the tails in half lengthwise. Thoroughly crack open the claws and the knuckles to minimize the amount of cracking and picking that needs to be done at the table. You'll now have six pieces per lobster plus the body, which you can discard or use to make stock. Weather permitting I prefer to do this operation outside to keep all the lobstery fluids out of the kitchen. If you like, you can prepare the lobster to this point a couple of hours in advance and put it in the refrigerator.
Preheat the broiler. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Assemble all you ingredients and equipment by the stove. The pan will be hot and you'll want to move quickly. The final preparation only takes about ten minutes so everything else should be more or less ready to go for dinner before beginning.
Place your sauté pan over the highest heat possible. Allow it to heat for a few minutes until it becomes extremely hot. Add the oil and heat it until it forms a film on the surface of the pan. Slide the lobster pieces, shell side down, into the hot oil. Using tongs, move the pieces in order to evenly sear all the shells.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for about three minutes until the shells are slightly browned. It's OK if they're a bit charred in places. Put it on the stove over high heat. It will be very hot! You can put the plates in the oven to warm at this point.
Add the bourbon and ignite. Add the wine and allow to reduce until it is almost dry; a few tablespoons or so will remain in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat. Remove lobster pieces and arrange on the plates.
Return the pan to low heat. Add the butter and herbs. Season with some white pepper and maybe a little salt (the lobster will be somewhat salty already) and spoon over lobster pieces on plates.
- Coding Horror: Avoiding The Uncanny Valley of User Interface - Interesting mapping from animation/robotics to user interface design. To phrase another way: don't design online apps to behave like offline ones--only not as good.
- Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad - News, TV & Radio - The Independent - Very funny but also useful reminder.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
- The author of the MPG illusion on why we misunderstand the meaning of miles per gallon (and why we shouldn’t completely hate the hybrid Cadillac Escalade) « - Interesting.
- Marginal Revolution: Markets in everything, Xmas edition - Hilarious.
- Why I gave up Photoshop - Inside Lightroom - I still use Photoshop but rarely. I may well just go with Elements rather than upgrading my full version at some point.
- The Frame: An ice storm coats the northeast - Some nice pics. (Of course, better if you're not among those whose power has been cut!)
- Holiday gift guide: Cookbook edition - Megan McArdle - "I've never been able to get into The Joy of Cooking; somehow, it's sensibility of comfortable shoes and stuffing olives into the gaping maw of Midwestern ennui oppresses me." I've never been a huge Joy fam myself though I couldn't explain why so snarkily.
- Screengrab Presents: The Best Stage-To-Screen Adaptations Of All Time (Part One) - The Screengrab - Hee hee. "Hair has always been my Camelot: an idealistic, romanticized fictionalization of an era that sounds good in theory but was kind of a drag to actually live through."
- Edge Master Class 2008: A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS—INTRODUCTION - Thaler's Behavioral economics stuff is very interesting. I had him as a professor at Cornell when he was still fairly early-on into this work. And his research seems solid, unlike the "popularizers."
- Technology Review: Are Social Networks Sinking? - "At least there has not been the same profligate investing that there was during the dotcom days. There is no counterpart to the excesses of investors who put $830 million into Webvan or $280 million into Kozmo.com."
- Sun closes pay-per-use utility computing service • The Register - This style of cloud computing went with virtual machines.
Monday, December 08, 2008
- HP and Capgemini try not to have ‘clouded judgement’ – what a pun! | CTO Blog | Capgemini | Consulting, Technology, Outsourcing - It's about time for me to take another pass as cloud defining/discussing. I get asked to grid computing question a lot so factor that in as well this round.
- An Inconvenient Genius ... The Timeless Legacy of an Untimely Man | Steve Kayser's Riffs, Tiffs and What Ifs - Testimonial to the work of Nicolai Tesla.
- Complete Map of Europe, Year 200 - Historical Atlas of Europe.
- CRUMBS: Delicate, delicious fish chowder - Provincetown, MA - Wicked Local Provincetown - Legal's fish chowder. Interesting use of chesse as a thickener. I never knew.
- Know Your Mushrooms : A visual guide to all your favorite fungi - CHOW - A nice overview of mushrooms for cooking.
- Op-Ed Columnist - Raising the World’s I.Q. - NYTimes.com - “Probably no other technology,” the World Bank said of micronutrients, “offers as large an opportunity to improve lives ... at such low cost and in such a short time.”
Yet the strategy hasn’t been fully put in place, partly because micronutrients have zero glamour. There are no starlets embracing iodine. And guess which country has taken the lead in this area by sponsoring the Micronutrient Initiative? Hint: It’s earnest and dull, just like micronutrients themselves.
Ta-da — Canada!
- Sonic Boom, Sound Barrier, and Prandtl-Glauert Condensation Clouds - This is a short tutorial on the sound barrier, sonic boom, and Prandtl-Glauert clouds.
- Taxing music at the level of the ISP: Good idea or bad? | The Open Road - CNET News - I'm very leery of this sort of thing but I do wonder if we're going to ultimately determine that there are commons issues with digital content that aren't market-solvable.
- Comment on: Kindle: Great gift for Washington's Birthday? - Great comment: "I'm as technophile as anybody, but I've learned to be leery of proprietary systems--and knowledgeable of obsolescence. (I've got boxes full of floppies and stacks of Syquest cartridges to prove it. On the other hand, I've got books from mid-19th century Germany that still work just fine, even though the manufacturer went out of business during the Franco-Prussian war."
- Depth of Field and the Small-Sensor Digital Cameras - photo.net - A pretty good summary of how depth-of-field is affected by sensor size.
Friday, December 05, 2008
- Dynamist Blog: Depression Lust, and Depression Porn - "If anyone should fear a Depression, it should be journalists, who are already the equivalent of 1980s steelworkers. But instead, they seem positively giddy with anticipation at the prospect of a return to '30s-style hardship--without, of course, the real hardship of the 1930s."
- Understanding Google’s Strategy - I would need some time to really digest and think about the details but looks to be a rather thorough presentation about Google's business model and opportunities.
- Google Slows N.C. Build, Foregoing State Grant « Data Center Knowledge - Google apparently moderating the pace of its datacenter buildout.
- Creative Commons vs MIT OCW: Interpreting the Noncommercial Clause at iterating toward openness - MIT OCW takes an approach to defining commercialization which is much more in keeping with the normal meaning of the work in photography. If you're going to draw a distinction makes much more sense to me.
- What Drug Dealers can Teach us About Free « SaraD, That’s Sara + a “D” - Nice short piece (obliquely) about pure play open source models.
- Do you watch the DVDs and Blu-rays you buy? | The Audiophiliac - CNET News - Steve's spot on. I've really tried to wean myself off buying DVDs for the most part unless it's something like the Lord of the Rings trilogy that I really want to delve into all the extras. I've spent way too much money over the years buying movies that I watched once (or not at all).
- 25 Motivational Posters. | Village of Joy - Some of these are pretty good.
- Flickr: The Help Forum: Yet another CC Non-Commercial Thread- adaptivereuse.net using flickr photos - In a debate around CC-Noncommercial on flickr, I think this comment about sums it up: "Creative Commons is not designed to facilitate control, it is designed to facilitate sharing by giving up control. If any degree of commercialisation is an issue for you then shouldn't use CC at all, you should reserve all rights."
- Blame it on the polling location « - Evidence that suggests the type of polling location can affect how someone votes on certain issues.
- To Publish Without Perishing (Clay Shirky guestblog post) - Boing Boing - Wow. Great post. And I like Gleick's writing but I couldn't agree with Shirky more here.
- Fancy Cats - The Modern Materialist - OMG.
- Travel Tip: Make Your Pictures Pop - The Modern Materialist - This is sorta cool (obviously not for an SLR).
- Zagat on iPhone: 'A disappointment' die-hards will still 'love' | Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets - CNET Blogs - I give Zagat's *some* credit for not just giving away the store with the rise of the Internet. But it seems they could have done much, much more with their brand.
- Sears on my mind - Megan McArdle - An amusing tirade about Sears customer service. Personally I've been generally happy with their appliance repair although it's more or less a given that they will never show up the first time with the part no matter how accurately you describe the problem.
Every Who down in Who-ville likes "Grinch" shows a lot. But the critic, who lives just north of Who-ville, does not.
The critic hates "Grinch" shows! The whole "Grinch" show season! Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
Oh, all right, I'll tell you.
First of all: I love, truly love, the original "Grinch" show, by which I mean the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon based on Dr. Seuss' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It is 26 minutes of animated bliss, hilarious and silly and sneakily profound. It is, in fact, even better than the book; it has more (and more baroquely absurd) rhymes, a more satisfying ending, some small but sweet songs along with one very funny one, and, of course, Boris Karloff. Boris Karloff in a Christmas special - sheer genius.
But then came the abominable Jim Carrey movie, a bloated, vulgar exercise in Hollywood excess. And now comes the stage musical, about which the best that can be said is: It's not the Jim Carrey movie. That is, believe me, about as faint as faint praise can get.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
- Holophonic Sound: Interesting Thing of the Day - The spatial realism of a binaural recording first time you hear it is pretty amazing.
- Tweeter demonstrates how not to handle liquidation | Crave - CNET - Tweeter used to be a sorta premium (in a good way--good prices and better than average advice/service) A/V place in the Boston area. I'm not sure they ever figured out how to position themselves around big box retailers as they grew in prominence and the niche audiophile outfits.
- Our Vision for Generation 4 Modular Data Centers - One way of Getting it just right . . . « LooseBolts - Very detailed post on Microsoft's thinking about datacenter design.
- Ning to kill porn/adult/alt community sites Jan 1; Bianchi tells why - Susan Mernit's Blog - "The real money in adult has always been and will always be subscriptions."
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
- Partisan Cracks | Culture11 - "Bill Maher and Jon Stewart want to be both humorists and pundits. But they can't have it both ways." This is true with tech reportage and commentary as well. You can't be both an entertainer/provocateur on an ongoing basis and a serious analyst.
- Roger Ebert: The Death of the Film Critic is the Death of Society - The Screengrab - Will the film critic be yet the latest victim of media "unbundling"? For me, Roger Ebert has always been very accessible even if some film critics have had a tendency to go esoteric.
- MySpace ruling could lead to jail for lying online daters | Surveillance State - CNET News - Some of the commentary seems a bit overheated but does seem like a case of hard case/bad law.
- Open Source: The Model Is Broken - BusinessWeek - "The open-source business model that relies solely on support and service revenue streams is failing to meet the expectations of investors."
- tecosystems » What Would SOG Do?: Views on Sun - Generally agree with this analysis although I might be inclined to relatively emphasize different points. At this point, things like Open Office funding are pretty small potatoes in the scheme of things. Issue seems far more execution (including around the boring but profitable stuff) than strategy.
Monday, December 01, 2008
The specifics of the Lori Drew case are messy and emotional. The important fact is that there is no federal cyberbullying statute, so the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles turned to a novel interpretation of existing computer hacking laws to try to punish the woman. The general idea is that in creating terms of service, a Web site owner specifies the rules of admission to the site. If someone violates any of those contractual terms, the "access" to the Web site is done without authorization, and is thus hacking.As a result, we're seeing a huge divide between what I'll call the "silicon valley crowd" (even if lots of the plugged-in techies live elsewhere) and "everyone else" in their opinions about the case.
For their part, much of the commentary at places like CNET and Groklaw is apoplectic about the guilty verdict, even as a misdemeanor. The issue (which I'm sympathetic to myself) is that violating a Web site's term of service should not be a violation of the law. As a practical matter, we're not seeing the end of the Internet as we know it; no one is going to prosecute you for shaving a few pounds off your weight in an online profile. But it is a troubling precedent.
However, what's striking to me is the level of outrage of everyone else--even the "everyone else" that's actively engaged enough with online sites to leave comments. But this outrage is at the dismissal of the felony charges. What matters is punishing a person who behaved very badly with tragic consequences, not defending somewhat esoteric legal principles. In a lot of comments, I sense genuine puzzlement (and anger) directed at people who place the right to online anonymity higher than the morally "right" deciusion in this case.
If things remain as they are, this case provides an unfortunately good example of the legal saying that "hard cases make bad law."