TechCrunch’s response to The Apple/Google Voice Fiasco

There’s an amazingly good post over on Slashdot that points out this article on TechCrunch regarding Apple’s rejection continuing review of the Google Voice application. The TechCrunch article does a good job summing up my reaction to Apple’s response to the FCC.
I feel that Apple has stumbled badly here, and is facing a public relations nightmare. Google is widely… well, if not adored, certainly respected (perhaps not by Steve Ballmer of Microsoft) – and while there may be legitimate reasons to be concerned over Google’s continued growth in the industry, making flat out lies about Google Voice (a product that’s getting enormous amount of attention) isn’t going to win Apple any points.

Mac photo editing software?

Mosaic at nightAs I continue my migration to my new Mac, I need to figure out how to fill in the holes for tools I’m used to having under Linux. At the moment, I need a tool to edit pictures.
iPhoto seems to be pretty capable for cataloging and uploading, but I’ll need photo editing. My default tool is Gimp, but I’m wondering what I should be using on the mac. I’m trying to avoid dumping hundreds of bucks into things like Photoshop (particularly when I feel Gimp is as capable as Photoshop). But is there a tool I should be looking at before I install Gimp?
I include the photo above as an example of spiffy pics I’m taking that I need to do minor editing on (this one needs to be rotated about 10 degrees).

I own a Mac. Hades Ice Skate Order placed.

I’ve blogged before about being tempted by Macs, and in some ways my iPhone could be considered something of a ‘first taste’ of Apple products. But until now I’ve fought hard against really going whole hog into the Mac world.
I has a MacBook
Until now.
I’m the proud owner of what can arguably be called Apple’s top of the line laptop – a Macbook Pro 13.
This is a huge step for me. I am not only investing a significant amount of money into a small device that could easily be considered a ‘toy’, but I’m changing over to an environment I only have a passing familiarity with – OSX.
I’ve owned it for about 24 hours, and I will say – I’ve never worked with a sexier implementation of high end computing in my life. This is by far the fastest computer I’ve ever owned, let alone as my personal workstation, but with all it’s screaming horsepower, it is beautifully designed, with an operating system and environment I find… different, but not irritating. There are things I don’t know how to do, but I’m figuring them out. I have not had a single “oh that’s just plain idiotic” moment. I’m sure they’ll come, but so far it’s just been a series of “Hmm, that’s interesting… what if I… ah, that did it. Cool.” moments.
I’m still installing things, and still setting up my tools. This machine will be my life and blood for the next 3 years, so there’s a lot of work to do to bring it into full functionality. So far I have mail and chat and web stuff working fine, next will be my development environment. After that, virtual machines for running some of the business apps I’ll be using.
A particular thanks to all the people I talked to while making this decision. There was a lot of fantastic feedback and good commentary. It helped me affirm that I’m making the right decision.
Now, off to download Eclipse and get things set up so I can work on CONGO !

Of Bikes, Lemurs and Balloons

As is common on one of those ‘weekends in Cohousing‘, there’s rarely a lot of ‘sitting around, relaxing, and being bored.’ Yesterday started out fairly domestic, with a Metric Buttload of mowing. The grass and weed around here are growing like… well… like weeds. High humidity, warm temperatures, and a lot of rain will certainly do that. Right now we’re at the “need to mow every 2 weeks” stage. Thank goodness for electric pushmowers and simple garden tractors.
Cat and I got about half the property mowed – with me planning on attacking the field today (though the weather looks like it might not cooperate). Right now I’m wishing for a decent battery powered mower. One of my fellow cohousers managed to cut through the power cord already. A simple repair, but managing the cord is certainly tedious.
Tim and Beth on the rideBut we’re not through yet! Under the backdrop of Zach being sick (he’s been running a low grade fever for 3-4 days – we’re taking him to the doctor this morning), Beth and Tim convinced me to go on a bikeride.
Now, I have NOT been keeping up with my riding this summer. Small jaunts on the Giant bike around the site and up the road a bit, but almost no long distance rides on the Haluzak ‘bent. My brother in law had done a full tuneup on it recently, so it was ready to go, I just hadn’t taken the time to get out there. The other factor was I wanted to test a route to work – with the goal of occasionally bikeriding into work. Google Maps gave a decent route that totalled 14 miles each way. Workable.
So we rode it.
In retrospect, it might have been a bad idea to attempt a 40+ mile ride on the first day out. I ended up NOT making the entire ride – clocking out at 22 miles, and asking for a rescue from Cat. She and Steph and all the kids met the 3 bikers at Kimball Farm for ice cream and dinner, and I opted to ride back home in the car rather than bike it. I was wiped out.
Still, I’m pretty happy with doing 22 miles without completely disintegrating. The route was fantastic, with only 2 Killah hills (one of which I hiked up). The jaunt from my office to Kimball Farm is very simple (about 3 miles), though was probably the ugliest of the ride (riding along Littleton Road is not particularly fun, but it was the shortest of the legs).
Particular thanks to Beth for motivating me to get off my duff and hit the road. Both she and Tim were really supportive when I was flagging. I drank gallons of water, ate some tasty ice cream at Kimballs, and slept like the dead last night.
Ringtailed Lemur!Oh, the title? Well, Kimballs was PACKED. But they had a lot of activities going on as well. As soon as Zach and I sat down while folks were getting food, I glanced over, and LO, this woman had a ringtailed lemur on her shoulder! She was part of an animal show going on, and was very friendly, but it was certainly not what I expected to see. In addition, there was a balloon set up in the next field over giving rides. Not a hot air type – the gas bag is sealed, and it was well tethered to the ground – it certainly had a steampunk look. It was quite surreal seeing it appearing over the tree line during dinner.Balloon over Kimball Farms
All in all, quite a day. Today we have a doctors appointment, and if the weather holds out, I’ll haul the tractor out into the playing field to get that cut.