I don't much like George

I don’t much like George Will or his sometimes laughable political positions. However, this article on the disarmament of another country in another time is quite powerful. Mr. Will argues in A Retrospective on Disarmament that countries were optimistic that they could multi-laterally disarm Germany after World War I. They were wrong and President Wilson was right: “Germany will deny. The governments will discuss. Public opinion will be divided, alarmed, nervous, and finally, the League unarmed will have brought to pass in the world not general peace but general uncertainty.”

FontLab, the company, recently released

FontLab, the company, recently released a new Mac version of FontLab, the product. It’s now “Carbonized” meaning it can run on the stable OS X platform and it’s very, very cool. The software allows you to design your own fonts — for the Mac, for PCs, or for anything in between.
Designing fonts used to be a job for Macromedia’s Fontographer program, which hasn’t been updated in years and is looking very unstable now (it runs on Mac OS 9). FontLab 4.5 allows you to build any type of font, including those in Hebrew or Arabic. Finally, there is a font editor and building tool that looks like it will work functional wonders. (My secret goal is to build a font that is even more beautiful, more legible and more useful than Verdana. Oops.)

There's a big-small rage going

There’s a big-small rage going on for the music of Jeff Buckley, a little known musician that has a magical, mysterious voice and a strange following of hipsters. I’ve heard a few of his songs (and NPR carried a story about him yesterday evening) but apparently the newly released Sketches for My Sweetheard The Drunk is all inclusive — his performances were supposedly spectacular. Jeff Buckley died at the age of 31 in 1997.

A lot of things came

A lot of things came across the wire today that worry me. These include Venezuela’s massive strike that has essentially shut down its economy, paralyzed its workforce, and prevented the poor there from having a chance again.
Yemen’s demanding its missles back is also slightly problematic. What do they need tired old North Korean SCUDs for when they have the whole U.S. D.O.D. attending to their needs? Once again, I argue that Yemen, Saudia Arabia, and its friends, are not.
Then, there’s Mayor Bloomberg, who says, “Prepare for the worst”. Not for terrorism but for a mass transit strike that will completely cripple this fragile city of ours. Good ol’ Governor Pataki “doesn’t want to get involved,” which is nice of him, since he did recently get elected by a vast majority of New York City voters. And Mayor Bloomberg says the city will function, even though the traffic (complete with four-person cars, which will make the whole city look like a clown-show) will be insane. 7 million people ride the subways and buses. Surely, the city, if it can singlehandedly figure out how to deconstruct the WTC last year, can solve a transit problem during this one.

Amazon.com (truth be told, I'm

Amazon.com (truth be told, I’m a very small time investor) has recently taken over the online ordering business of CDNOW. The latter company, started in a garage in Philadelphia (truth be told, from where I hail), was always kind of crapola — bad service and way more email announcements than any CD company should ever need in order to stay in touch with customers.
But philosophically, this is interesting. CDNOW is now Amazon, as is Target, BabiesRUs, ToysRUs, Marshall Fields, Office Depot, and a host of other smaller companies now sold through their “Apparel & Accessories” tab (including Old Navy, Land’s End, Guess, and weird company Spiegel). Take a look at the huge tabs Amazon.com has set up for these stores. It’s possible that Amazon.com will become the online shopping equivalent of Microsoft in a nice, comfy, cool sort of way. We’ll feel bad about shopping there and curse its monopolies. Or, on the other hand, perhaps Amazon.com will become THE outpost for all comparison shopping — a bright star around thousands of unique competitors, illuminating their lines and innovating the technology used to sell things at their online st ores.

TheStar.com – Latest attack on

TheStar.com – Latest attack on Jews brings a deafening silence This article is making the rounds right now. While the Toronto Star is a pretty weak newspaper, Ms. Dimanno makes a cogent and powerful argument about how Jews and the idea of Jews continue to be treated in the media and in world cultures. Few countries seem to care that much that a very small, very specific group continues to be targeted for destruction.

The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine had a great series of very questionably important articles about product design this Sunday. One of the articles that I found especially interesting is by Austin Bunn, called Not Fade Away.
Mr. Bunn, whose name is appropriate to an article about well-worn jeans, shows how the vintage jean market took shape (it was the Japanese that got it rolling) and how it has crested. He speaks with a few genuinely unique individuals who make jeans that look like you worked on the docks, in the farms, or at the factory for folks like me who work in front of a back-lit screen. Ironically, or not, the jeans pictured in this article online look way more worn (or vintaged) than they do in the printed version.

Qaeda Internet Claim Could Be

Qaeda Internet Claim Could Be Impossible to Trail I found this to be an interesting current events story in its intersection of technology, politics, and terrorism.
Two points: 1. I’ve seen very few articles explaining how Al Qaeda is able to communicate efficiently with its brothers-in-arms throughout the world. Are they really as fiercely Internet savvy as we or the government likes to think? Does any of the money that Mr. Bush authorized for the Pentagon go towards communication analysis? In pure flights of fancy, I wonder what would happen if we just pulled the plug on the Internet one day. I know this is heresy in some parts. But would that stop terrorists from their devilry? Nope. 2. I notice that journalists often put “hot” links to sites they want their readers to visit. In this article, there is a non-“hot” link to a Web site claiming responsibility for the Kenya attacks. This seems to me to be biased journalism — these folks are pure evil but why not make it easy for readers to see directly what sites journalists are talking about?