This is BrainLog, a blog by Dan Sanderson. Older entries, from October 1999 through September 2010, are preserved for posterity, but are no longer maintained. See the front page and newer entries.

December 2006 Archives

December 20, 2006

David Pogue's blog: Whatever Happens to Online Etiquette?

Other possible reasons:

  • The visibility of crazy (non-ordinary) people lowers the level of a room, such that ordinary people are already grouchy even when they are participating in conversation with other ordinary people. I've seen tight-knit online groups fall apart when a crazy person walks in and doesn't stop wailing. The ordinary people don't have to leave for civility to evaporate.
  • Many people don't know how to be civil in text. We learn civility in real life from interacting with real people and picking up on many subtle cues. Those cues are mostly absent from text-based communities, and it takes much longer to acquire enough social data about an individual to know how to communicate emotional overtones effectively.

The unlearned lesson is to be extremely, unnaturally generous in online discourse, even in the presence of crazy, grouchy or uncharitable people.

December 19, 2006 iPod Notes: Above and Beyond. I didn't know the iPod's Notes feature was so featureful. See also Apple's iPod Notes Feature Guide [PDF].

December 15, 2006

Microsoft releases free XBox/Windows game development tools.

DCRP 's review of the adorable new Nikon D40. Nice to see that the less pro-y of the prosumer digital SLRs are still pretty good cameras, plenty for web art and family photos.

December 14, 2006

Premiere Magazine: 20 Most Overrated. Negative reviews of 20 famous, beloved films, with rebuttals.

Lawrence Lessig posted the complete contents of the first edition of his excellent early book, Code, on a wiki, and asked the public to contribute to the second edition. Codev2 is now complete, Creative Commons licensed, online, and also buyable as a printed book.

December 13, 2006

Askville, by Amazon. Has the potential to be more fun than the other ask-and-answer sites for its game-like properties.

Ask A Ninja DVD, apply directly to your brain! Includes a handful of cool DVD-only extras, including commentary hosted by Ze Frank. 100 randomly selected pre-orders get signed and numbered.

Makes me wish I had a way to add this to my Amazon wish list, since that's all anyone knows about me any more.

December 6, 2006

11 Best Geek Board Games.

iBar is a bar surface that can display images and interact with patrons by detecting objects touching the surface and interactively changing its display.

Especially cool is their demo display, which draws glowing lines connecting the objects touching the bar. I love how the display flirtatiously implies you are somehow connected to other people sitting at the bar. It reminds you that even if you feel isolated or distant from strangers, you have a great deal in common simply by proximity. There should be more technology like this.

December 5, 2006

Griffin iTalk Pro, a long-awaited version of the portable voice recorder add-on for the new 5th-generation iPods. Works with Nanos.

The origin of Quake III's Fast InvSqrt().

December 4, 2006

Parallels Desktop for Mac gets incredibly awesome. Can boot from a Boot Camp partition. Can use a Boot Camp partition as a virtual HDD. Drag and drop files between Windows and Mac. Resizable main window. Improved graphics performance. And much more. All available in their free downloadable beta.

Where's the "get a refund for the 2nd copy of WinXP I bought for both Boot Camp and Parallels" feature? LAMP and the Spread Toolkit. Open source enterprise messaging with Spread.