Shockwave 3D Has Balls

Danny Kodicek (author of the fine book Mathematics and Physics for Programmers) noted this morning on the Dir-3d listserv that IBM is sponsoring a Shockwave 3D application right off the home page of the Wimbledon web site.

IBM Wimbledon Pointtracker

To see it in action, select a match that has already begun (or ended) that has the little PT lozenge next to the players’ names. The Pointtracker application replays the games in the match, showing the serve and return speeds, the score, and the trajectories of the ball from just about any angle — you can move around while the game is on and go back to manually play portions of the match. An interesting piece of recorded near-real-time data integration.

Kos Twists My Arm

As you can plainly see from this photo, Kos (on the right) has me in one of his dreaded KosLocks, which is how he enforces homogeneity on the liberal blogosphere.

David Brooks Pulls Up the Plank Behind Him

The Rude Pundit quotes David Brooks’s scribbling on Markos Moulitsas Zuniga from Friday: “In just a few short years he has achieved a level of self-importance it took those in the pre-blog political class decades to acquire.”

Well, I had a horrifying realization the other day when I saw that Brooks is just a couple months older than I am. According to Wikipedia, he was born in August, 1961, so — despite evidence that he’s an old fuddy-duddy –he’s just about to turn 45.

He joined the Weekly Standard in 1995 at its founding, when he would have been 34. That’s the same age Kos is now. At that point, Brooks had already been an op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal, where he’d worked for nine years (since 1986). That means he was 25 when his “first post at the Journal was as editor of the book review section”.

So somehow David Brooks, by the time he was Kos’s age, acquired the innate knowledge of the American political landscape that gave him the perspicacity to edit the opinion pages of one of the nation’s most influential papers then one of the leading magazines of conservative political opinion. But Kos — for some undefinable reason — cannot.

Third Time’s a Charm?

In two hours, I’m going to be sitting down for my third shot at getting on JEOPARDY! The first time was almost exactly ten years ago, and I didn’t make it past the first screening, but they were still holding the tests in the studio where the show’s taped. A couple of years back — during the Ken Jennings reign — I tried again and made it to the second round, but was never called to be on the show. The tests that time were held in a hotel in LA. This time, they had an online first round, and the second rounds (where you actually play a mock game) are being held around the country; in my case, Portland, in a hotel right across the street from where I used to have an office.

McCaffrey: Slip of the Tongue or Slip of the Freud?

Retired General and former Clinton drug czar Barry McCaffrey — a staple on NBC’s networks — subbed this week on Meet the Press when General George Casey, the current commander of US forces in Iraq, decided to just do FOX News Sunday.

My favorite point in the show was his response when Tim Russert asked him to explain a comment he’d made about unsustainable troop levels and public support for the war. The transcript reads:

GEN. McCAFFREY: Well, if we had 10 years to work the issue, there’s a 99 percent probability we’ll achieve our objective.

That leaves out a word he said, though, which you can hear clearly in the video clip linked from the image (Quicktime, 900K).

The actual quote was:

GEN. McCAFFREY: Well, if we had 10 years to work the issue, there’s a point 99 percent probability we’ll achieve our objective.

Just an unintentional gaffe, I know, but there is a difference between 99.00% and 0.99%. A big difference. Out of the mouths of retired generals…

Overall, McCaffrey said what he’s been saying for a while. Sunday (June 11) he said:

We’ve got a couple of years here to make it look like it’s going to work.

Nineteen months ago on the same program (December 12, 2004) he said:

Give us another 24 months and we’re going to start damaging the strength of the U.S. armed forces. The turning point is the coming 24 months.

That should be coming right up, then.


Margaret Baker, 1918-2001

For my family, 2001 is memorable for an entirely different reason than it is for most other Americans, and 6/11 is an earlier date we’ll keep in our memory. Because that’s the day a guy against whom police had refused to enforce a restraining order broke into the house of my 83-year-old grandmother’s caretaker, dragged her from her bed, and killed her with a shotgun. Her name was Margaret Baker.

Not the Last

So I guess I didn’t take the last Director job ever to be offered in the Portland area, after all…

Successfull candidate will have the following well-developed expert-level skills:
Extensive Scripting using various authorware especially LINGO. Expert working knowledge of Macromedia Director. Expert level scripting in MS SQL, PHP, etc.; Adobe creative suite and other Macromedia development software suites using BOTH Mac and PC Development platforms.

MAX Announced: Shockwave and Awe Update

The dates and venue for the 2006 Adobe MAX conference have been formally announced:

When: October 23-26, 2006
Where: The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada

As some of you may know, I’ve been working on plans for a small, one-day Director conference (Shockwave and Awe) on the day before MAX begins as a way of plugging the gap left by the diminishing number of Director sessions at MAXs past.

What response I’ve had has been enthusiastic, but there hasn’t been much so far — in part because I haven’t been able to make any kind of formal declaration before the MAX venue was announced (I’ve known the city for a couple of months but just found out about the hotel a week ago).

I’m looking for suggestions from you about what you’d like to hear discussed, what type of format you think a small Director conference should take, what you think a one-day conference tacked onto the beginning of MAX (but non-affiliated with MAX) would be worth, and — most importantly — whether you’d plan on attending either Shockwave and Awe or MAX or both. And if you think that the whole idea sounds stupid, or is doomed to failure, well, I’d like to hear your thoughts on that, as well — I haven’t signed a contract for any meeting spaces yet!

If you’re in the Vegas area and you have some ideas of a good (i.e. one that’s not going to bankrupt us if things go south) meeting venue near the Venetian, all the better.

Send any suggestions to dplant at!

And a big shout-out to Skip Kinkel at the Director Podcast for putting the name of my co-worker on show #18. I just caught up to it yesterday after being buried in stuff for a couple of weeks, and posted it on the company server, which made his day. I promise not to be so lacksadasical in the future.

Russert Interview with Kos and Jerome

There’s this little-known cable channel called CNBC, and — like every other NBC property — Meet the Press‘ Tim ‘Punkinhaid’ Russert has a show there. On Saturday nights he does the Charlie Rose thing and has a guest or two on in front of a black backdrop. It’s all very low-key (and presumably low-cost — except for Russert’s salary — because they don’t provide transcripts on their site). Last week, though, Kos and Jerome appeared to promote Crashing the Gate, without much fanfare or advance notice at Daily Kos. A lot of people seem to have missed it and I haven’t seen any clips posted anywhere, but I managed to catch it in time for the West Coast and plug it into the DVR with minutes to spare.

This clip is from the end of the first segment (Quicktime, 4.6MB), where Kos and Jerome discuss the relative success of the parties at maintaining a national presence.

Tim Russert / Markos Moulitsas / Jerome Armstrong

Overall, I thought the interview went pretty well, although Russert was in his full-fledged “amuse me” mode and I just can’t get my head around the fact that he couldn’t manage to pronounce “Moulitsas” either correctly or consistently. It sort of reminded me of Glenn Beck’s (and virtually every other wacko pundit’s) mangling of the name of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I say, if you don’t know enough about the subject to pronounce the name correctly, you aren’t well-enough informed to have a valid opinion. The same goes for “nuclear”.

Anyway, all of the pieces of the Kos/Jerome interview are up. They’re Quicktime, 18-23MB each and about six minutes in length, commercials cut out.