Octo Surprise

IE8 beta 2 just came out.

I’m a critic of IE7 and now IE8’s UI layout, because it steals the worst parts of the new Vista organization, and the Vista organization is just not that good. (Short aside on the Vista organization if you missed it: menus are gone, except when they’re not. If you’re going to uproot things, go all the way because that’s the only way you’ll make it work. Also, many programs are now somehow web pages with flow layouts and links. That’s the closest analogy I can find, but it’s not perfect because it implies that IE should fit hand in glove, and it just doesn’t.)

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The Pit of Life and Death

No API? You Suck!

String Tokenizer for Javascript


This small class can easily parse a string, and generate different kind of tokens. It's very simple and straight-forward. It can perform as a base for other string parsing scripts, like templating engines, custom language interpreters, and many more.

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The Magic of Capturing Universal Moments

Jeremy Denk, a renowned pianist and sometimes-member of the San Francisco Orchestra, writes an outstanding personal blog. His writing is extraordinary: like all good writers (or sitcoms – think Seinfeld), he captures universal moments in life and talks about them. There is something magical about reading the lucid impressions of a regular person who has appetite for the little things.

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Blue Bottle

When the concert ended, a Chinese man drove me back to my hotel in a large black Towncar. All the way down Geary. There were Russian bakeries, Dim Sum joints, gas stations, spas, the whole beat hybrid of San Francisco deciding, block by block, whether it is a city or not. I called up a friend in Chicago, and she was getting stoned.

I dumped my bag, my music, my concert clothes in my hotel room and, with everything piled prosaically on the bed, took quick stock. There were empty hours ahead and I could make no comprehensive plan.

I went to Blue Bottle. This is a little coffee kiosk on Gough and Linden that I discovered, walking one morning, saw people waiting outside of it, fell in with the herd, and when I tasted my first sip of their filter coffee and bit into a chocolate macaroon, the sunshine itself seemed to be jealous. How is it that anyone can drink other, crap coffee? Every cup of Starbucks, for instance, I had ever drunk seemed a terrible, terrible mistake, even an amoral act. When something beautiful happens to you you sit still and work to appreciate it, you don’t mess around. I sat on a bench basking and sipping and when the coffee was finished I was not sad. I did not suck at the empty cup like the addict I am, but moved on to other enjoyable things.

So, I went to Blue Bottle, to get an afternoon cup. Their motto:

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Is Original Thinking Orthogonal to Cognitive Speed?

While locked in a hotel room in Delhi I had an interesting email exchange with Chris Yeh and another partner-in-crime who prefers to stay anonymous.

Chris posed the provocative question, “Is processing power / having things come easily detrimental to original thinking?” In other words, is original thinking orthogonal to cognitive speed?

Say there are four kinds of thinking as far as creativity is concerned:

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The Art of the Interview – How to Ask Good Questions

The American Journalism Review has an article in their October issue on John Sawatsky, a Canadian journalist who’s become a leading authority on the art of the interview. “His conclusion: too often we’re asking all the wrong questions.”

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