Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

August 13, 2003

When I was leaving Ireland, I tried to render all of my Irish relationships with a Visio chart (I know, how much of a geek am I?). The point was to illustrate just how insular the Irish software industry was. It was difficult to do, because there were so many links among people. I eventually tried to group them by company, and that kind of helped. Then my laptop melted, so that project went bye-bye.

Ben Discoe (if that's his real name, he's so lucky) has managed a similar yet fair-more-impressive achievement with his (massive) Friendster network. Check out the cool chart he generated.

My Friendster network is pitifully small. I sent out some invitations a long time ago, but hardly anybody accepted. I'm thinking now that the meme is a little more mature, I might try again. Anybody want in my network? Email me and let me know.

11:45:54 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet

From BoingBoing, we have a report about that baseball legend Ted Williams has been cryogenically frozen (major league comeback, 2076, anyone?). That's interesting, but what I really like is the ambiguity of this paragraph:

The operation was completed and Williams' head and body were preserved separately. The head is stored in a steel can filled with liquid nitrogen. It has been shaved, drilled with holes and accidentally cracked 10 times, the magazine said.

Do they mean his head or the tank? Presumably his head was shaved, but was it drilled with holes and accidentally crack 10 times? I guess so. Presumably the holes are to permit the liquid nitrogen in? Can any bio-chemists comment?

10:20:16 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Mixed Bag Technology

This is really big on Blogdex at the moment, but it's so impressive I figured I'd reference it too. These are a series of images that Greg Apodaca has worked on. If you've ever questioned what blemishes can be cleaned up with PhotoShop, you won't anymore.

10:12:53 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet The Arts

Though I've never acted, I've got a background in theatre and film. So, I've known plenty of actors, held lots of auditions and seen lots of plays and movies. Freakgirlspew, who's doing some freelance work for a casting agency, reminded me of a few thoughts I had on acting the other day.

There's a tremendous gender imbalance among actors. In my experience, there's probably 1 man for every 8 women who are interested in acting. Furthermore, as we all know, there generally tend to be more roles for men than women. What does that mean? Most of the male actors I've known who have even a modicum of work have, by the age of 30, established themselves. That is, they're getting regular paying work. They're not Brad Pitt, but they've made a profession out of acting.

For the women, this is, unfortunately, a rare thing. Which is tragic, in a way, because generally the women are better, more committed and more thoughtful actors than the men.

9:35:56 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies The Arts

CNN reports that, surprise, surprise, most people are unhappy with technical support:

Of the estimated 8 million computer users who seek technical support from software manufacturers every year, about a third never get the help they need, according to a survey in the latest issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

The March survey of 10,000 computer users found widespread dissatisfaction with the level of service offered by U.S. software manufacturers. Quality has been the victim as companies cut corners to cut costs. As a result, the magazine put software tech support among the lower-ranked services that it's rated in the last 10 years -- slightly worse than the customer support offered by cell phone carriers and just a little better than that provided by cable TV companies.

The article goes on to say that people are turning to tech-savvy friends and independent geeks-for-hire to fix their problem. This coincides with two recent, excellent articles directed at unemployed programmers. They recommend working as a geek-for-hire for family, friends and small businesses.

I think this is a totally viable way for your average geek to make some extra cash. Admittedly, they'd have bath themselves and be friendly, but there's plenty of money to be made. I speak from experience, as I help out friends and family (for free...so far) all the time.

(Cross posted to Capulet Speaking).

9:28:31 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet

I'm not much of an art connoisseur, but I'm a fan of Henri Rousseau. Unfortunately, his paintings seem to be spread all over the globe. In particular, his most famous works are in Paris and New York and Copenhagen and Lord knows where. What I want is IPDB.com, the Internet Painting Database. I just look up an artist or painting, and it tells me where it's located. Of course, if a work of art is in a private collection, it could just say 'private collection, contact this art dealer for more information'. Why doesn't this exist already? Could somebody get on that?

9:19:36 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    The Arts