iPhone Updates

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It seems that (a) Apple is pissed at Rogers data plans and is limiting its shipments of iPhones to Canada as a result, and (b) Rogers will let you buy an iPhone on your existing plan, without a data plan.

Now, *I* would think that you would have to pay a higher price for the iPhone, since Rogers is subsidizing them with their onerous data plans, but Sergey says that you will still be able to pay the $200/$300 prices. We will see, I suppose.

P.S. This is a “blog post” submitted via ping.fm , and I’m curious how it will look..

P.P.S. This is a second attempt. Hope I can delete the first one from LiveJournal..

Moments in Time

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This week marks Ronnie and Michael’s respective graduations.
Ronnie from Grade 8, Michael from Grade 12.

Next year they both head out to new schools, and both of them will be taking the TTC instead of walking to school.
They’ll both be in classes with completely new people, almost all of whom they don’t know.

This week was the last time both of them will be seeing many of their schoolmates.
And yet, they’re both somewhat unaware of all this.
mentioned Michael’s reaction,
and Ronnie’s — although perhaps a bit more elequent — hasn’t been much different.

I suppose it’s often the case that you can be unaware of some large changes when they resemble other, smaller changes that have gone before.
Ronnie and Michael are used to starting summer vacation.
It’s the end of that vacation that will really be different.

“Southland Tales”

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Southland Tales

I just saw “Southland Tales” which is a mind-warping SF movie.
It reminded me of “Charlie Jade”, “Repo Man” and “Johnnie Darko” (the last makes sense since it’s the same director).
But before you see it, be sure to read parts 1 to 3 in graphics novel format first.
The movie starts with “Part IV”.

It has some surprising names, for such an unseen movie.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (“Buffy”), Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”), John Larroquette, Christopher Lambert, and Jon Lovitz.
There is a bizarre musical in the middle starring Justin Timberlake, who plays a minor character.

My favorite comment on the new hi-res galactic snapshot

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spitzer galaxy shot

NASA has released
a HUGE image of the milky way galaxy (396,032 x 13,520 pixels!)
(yes, I downloaded all 16 full-res pieces — new desktop pics abound!),
and there was news that some of the spiral arms of the galaxy may be “demoted” from bring major spiral arms.
Shades of Pluto!

There was a very pithy comment
on slashdot:

“two minor spiral arms of the Milky Way may be demoted.”

I suspected something like this might happen, I just didn’t dream that they’d go so far.

I mean, you have to be just a little suspicious about whether all star-forming arms are on an equal footing when you look at the names. There’s Perseus and Sagittarius. Then we get to Scutum-Centaurus, and you have to wonder if the astronomers needed a leg up in the imagination department. And then all doubt vanishes when we get to the fourth arm…Norma. Yes, Norma. Like the girl who couldn’t wait to get old enough to disown her parents, legally change her name to Chantal and get a job at the brass-pole ballet.

You just had to know they were having their doubts about arm number 4.

On a more positive note, the same bunch of guys who just slammed Scutum-Centaurus and, um, “Norma”, are also telling us that they “obtained detailed information about our galaxy’s bar, and found that it extends farther out from the centre of the galaxy than previously thought”.

A bar that’s closer to the house than you thought can’t be a bad thing. Especially when you need to walk home.

I’ve calculated my velocity with such exquisite precision that I have no idea where I am.

Trying out “Disqus” for comments

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Let me know what you think of the new comment system.
I’ve installed if for all zero-comment posts (which includes all new posts), so old posts with comments still have the old WordPress commenting system.

This may involve you having to create a Disqus account, but the idea is that you can use that account across blogs.
I am also setting up Disqus on
Tech Tok
so you only have to create your account once for both places.

Leo Laporte has also set up his blog to use it.
Maybe it will spread everywhere.

The idea is that your comments belong to you, and Disqus makes it easier to follow people, as opposed to blogs.

gdb_stl_utils for Mac OS X

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Oh ya, this will have a wide audience..

There’s a very useful little utility for debugging
and it’s called

However, the Makefile that comes with it doesn’t account for multiple architectures like Intel/PPC on the Mac. So I updated the Makefile and posted the whole thing on
I’ve mailed the new Makefile to
the person who most recently updated it
in hopes of helping others use this very useful tool.

Most Romantic Books

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Not sure how I got there, but
this page
has a list of people saying what their favorite romantic books are.

A quick Perl script later, and here are the top books with the number of people on that page that mentioned them:

15 Gone With the Wind
15 The Bridges of Madison County
12 The Thorn Birds
11 The Notebook
8 Outlander
5 Wuthering Heights
3 A Knight in Shining Armor
3 Jane Eyre
3 Pride and Prejudice
3 Whitney, My Love
2 A Farewell to Arms
2 A Town Like Alice
2 Cyrano de Bergerac
2 Five Smooth Stones
2 Green Mansions
2 Joy in the Morning
2 Katherine
2 Love Story
2 Rebecca
2 The Flame and the Flower

So there you go.