Today’s phischbits

The Eternal Value of Privacy
“Supporters of wholesale government surveillance are fond of saying that only the guilty should be worried about spying. Let’s put that spurious argument out to pasture once and for all. Commentary by Bruce Schneier.”
Definite food for thought. This stood out to me:
“A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It’s intrinsic to the concept of liberty.”
Tags: , , – Company Ratings, Reviews, and Salaries
Employees can post reviews of the companies they work for, as well as salary histories. The thought is that you can research places you may want to go work to get a realistic expectation of what it’s like. I haven’t delved in to, but I can see the potential for it to become one massive bitch session for unhappy employees.
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Today’s phischbits

Doc Searls Weblog · Is Yahoo a better search engine than Google?
Doc Searls runs some search tests on his old blog, and learns that Yahoo’s consistently coming up with better results than Google.
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Breaking Bad Spending Habits
Good common sense advice that too many of us these days don’t use. One way I’ve changed my book buying habit is to buy books when they hit the sale rack at Barnes & Noble, or if new, at Costco where they’re deeply discounted. I’m also utilizing BookMooch a lot more.
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The myth of the white minority – The Boston Globe
Jeff Jacoby’s latest. As our impending adoption of a “Hispanic” baby looms closer (truthfully, any moment now), my wife and I found this fascinating.
Tags: , , – Engadget for your iPhone or iPod touch – Engadget
“So far in 2008, the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch account for some 95.8% of all mobile views on the site. We’re not even kidding.” So they decided to optimize the popular gadget/technology web site for the iPhone/iPod touch.
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Commuter Flights Grounded Thanks To Bumbling TSA Inspector – Aero-News Network: The Aviation and Aerospace World’s Daily/Real-Time News and Information Service
“This was an extraordinarily dangerous incident, folks. The TSA has neither the mandate nor the knowledge to inspect any aircraft for any reason.” Craig Hockenberry sums it up pretty well on Twitter: “So when the TSA actually causes a plane to crash, will we still put up with their s**t?”
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Today’s phischbits

Tweet Scan
Real-time search of the Twitter public timeline.
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TapeDeck. ▸▸ The tape recorder…fast-forwarded to Mac OS X.
“TapeDeck is a powerful and fun new audio recorder for Mac OS X Leopard. It’s just like your old analog tape recorder, only better. A lot better.”
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Don’t Check Your Valuables — Matt Mullenweg
I always carry my camera and computer gear on to the plane. Always.
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Dissolving Paper Shampoo | Uncrate
“Forget packing the tiny travel bottle on your next trip and instead opt for some Dissolving Paper Shampoo ($13). The mint-scented paper shampoo comes in packs of 30 inside a convenient plastic travel case…”
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“You can call me Al”

Like a lot of kids who came of age in the ’80s, I was not, and to this day am really not, a fan of Paul Simon. But every kid who came of age in the ’80s knew who Paul Simon was, thanks to this video:

I can still watch it just any ol’ time…

ATPM 14.08

The August issue of About This Particular Macintosh is now available for your reading pleasure.
Angus gets us started this month with a look at Microsoft’s latest attempts to market its way out of its Vista doldrums, while he’s very impressed with Microsoft Office: Office 2007 for Windows, that is, and notably the suite’s OneNote slice of software. If you’re wondering what this has to do with the Mac, read the whole column.
Mike goes a bit Billy Shakes on us as he recounts his tale of iPhone 3G acquisition, while storage is on Mark’s mind. As we go through the Great Room Reshuffle of 2008™ here in our home, storage is on my mind as well, but Mark’s thinking in terms of data storage. For Photoshop geeks, Mark also notes how to get the Pxl SmartScale plug-in working on an Intel Mac.
Gedeon Maheux, of the Iconfactory, twittered a couple of months back how he wanted a native to-do list app for his iPhone. He suspected that once the iPhone SDK was available, we’d see a “dev to-do list Thunderdome” of productivity apps. Judging from Ed’s roundup of Getting Things Done (GTD) applications for the iPhone, it looks like Ged’s prediction come true. Lee takes a break from the normal tutorials in this month’s Photoshop for the Curious to talk about when and when not to actually use some of the tips and processes he’s been teaching us on our photos.
This month’s desktop pictures are courtesy of Julie Ritterskamp, and features that sleepy little West Coast burb of San Francisco. Also, s the villianous legion regroups and remembers, the shocking truth about Cortland is finally revealed!
Linus has some fun running his photos through Comic Life Magiq, while Eric throws Knapsack over his shoulder for some trip planning. Finally, Lee thoroughly runs SmartMask 2.0, a plug-in for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, through its paces.
As always, ATPM if available in a variety of formats to suit your preferred reading habits.
The release of last month’s issue marked a personal milestone I failed to notice at the time of publication. I’ve now completed my 10th year of working on About This Particular Macintosh, and I’ve worn a variety of hats during that time. I have to thank Michael Tsai, our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, for giving me the chance ten years ago to be a part of something I believe to be very special. In addition to being the boss, Michael has become a valued friend.
ATPM is a second family of sorts. While staff members come and go, it is amazing how entrenched in one another’s lives we become. We have seen one another through a wedding, the birth of children, a reality television game show, Macworld Expo meet-ups, even one of our own getting out in public to sing the National Anthem at a ball game. Rob’s family, and quite a few of my own, is still amazed that Michael and I showed up for his marriage to Sandy; it was first time any of us had ever met in person. ATPM has delivered my best friend in the online world. Rarely does a day go by that Lee and I are not in touch, mostly by instant message.
Working on the publication has been an honor and a treat, and I extend my thanks to all of the staff members, past and present, for the privilege of working alongside you.


So today marks the eighth year I’ve done the blogging thing. I won’t go in to any great recap, as I did two years ago. (And I completely failed to note the seventh blogoversary last year.) Needless to say, some things have remained the same, and some things have changed quite a bit.
For one, I’m blogging less, mostly because of Twitter, and if you want to know what I’m up to, or what I’m thinking, in short snippets, you should definitely follow my Twitter account. For another, I’m paying slightly less attention to politics, which used to constitute a good amount of posts. Finally, some days, I just don’t feel like I have much to say in a blog form, so why bother with some drivel to the blog that’s better suited for the 140-character limitation of Twitter, or not for public consumption at all?
Still, I have hopes for more thoughtful posts. I just don’t know when those might begin appearing, though I can guarantee it will be some time in the next eight years… 8^)