Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Model 271 a hot seller

Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi broadcast journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush recently, has created a hot market. According to Istanbul-based Baydan Shoes, al-Zaidi hurled one of their products, model 271, at the neocon U.S. president and has since received tens of thousands of orders worldwide for the shoe, which it has renamed the Bush shoe. Durgham al-Zaidi, the journalist's brother, disputes the claim of the Turkish firm, saying he believes the shoes were made and purchased in Iraq. He also criticized people for trying to make money from his brother's act of protest.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, PC!

Without the personal computer, the status of liberty in today's government-dominated world would be much lower than it is. I'm sure there's controversy over when the PC was born, but December 19, 1974 is certainly a significant date in its history. On that day, the January, 1975 issue of Popular Electronics made its appearance with the Altair 8800 on its cover and caught the attention of Paul Allen and Bill Gates. The Harvard freshmen dropped out of school to write programs for the Altair and went on to found a software company.

Today's "This Day in Tech History" feature at Wired.com commemorates the Altair and that landmark issue of Popular Electronics.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Michael Crichton's "perfect writing environment"

Michael Crichton was a fascinating writer and I'm still saddened that he's no longer living, though I never met him. Amazon published a short quiz they gave him and I was particularly fond of one of his replies.
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: Small room. Shades down. No daylight. No disturbances. Macintosh with a big screen. Plenty of coffee. Quiet.
State of Fear has had 1,273 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of three stars. The breakdown is as follows:
1,273 Reviews
5 star: (381)
4 star: (246)
3 star: (170)
2 star: (171)
1 star: (305)
It blasts the environmental movement for its political character. The book deserves five stars.

It deserves five stars.