Monthly Archives: July 2010

New Kindle

There’s a new Kindle out, which I just ordered. I love the Kindle — even more than the iPhone 4. On my iPhone I do the same stuff I do on my computer, just mobile. The Kindle helps me to read and my life has been more enhanced by books than any other medium I’ve experienced. I’ve bought probably 10 since they came out for me, friends, and family, and sold 100+ to other people. (Before the Kindle came out I randomly got a demo of it from Jeff Bezos at the EG Conference, and it was love at first sight.)

Centered Twitter Backgrounds

I don’t usually make public feature requests and I know our friends at Twitter are dealing with crazy scaling issues but I would like to register one simple request: the option for centered backgrounds. Background: Twitter lets you upload a background image, but it’s always left-aligned which means unless its tiling interacts awkwardly with the main centered window. But with a single line of CSS, background-position: center, you could use the width of Twitter’s content window (763px) to create something beautiful and exciting that dovetailed perfectly with the main content area. If you’re feeling crazy afterward, allow a different background to be specified for single-tweet permalink pages, which would also make Blackbird Pies even tastier. If your name is Ev Williams, Biz Stone, Dick Costello, Ryan King, Kevin Cheng, Mark Trammell, Doug Bowman… pass this on to someone. (And help me verify the WordPress account.) :) I think a whole new Twitter design community could flourish. And I could forgive you for using a table for layout. Update: This is getting some nice pick-up.

Mena Suvari Mystery

Yesterday in front of my building in Montreal I ran into (almost quite literally) Mena Suvari. There’s been a large filming crew hanging out the past few days and they relabeled the building from 400 Sherbrooke to Nottingham Hotel. None of the movies under production on her IMDB page seemed likely candidates and in the news she’s mentioned arriving in Montreal but for unknown reasons. I finally talked to a member of the crew and it turns out they’re filming a made-for-TV movie called No Surrender, but I was unable to confirm this or find any more info online. I’d like to see it when it comes out since I might be in one of the shots. :)

Why Intelligent People Fail

1. Lack of motivation. A talent is irrelevant if a person is not motivated to use it. Motivation may be external (for example, social approval) or internal (satisfaction from a job well-done, for instance). External sources tend to be transient, while internal sources tend to produce more consistent performance.

Read Why Intelligent People Fail from Michael Anissimov for the other 19. Hat tip: Paul Kim.

Grand Unified Theory

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

A quote from Thomas Jefferson in an oldie but a goodie essay, especially relevant given all the talk about GPL-based business models the past few days: The Grand Unified Theory On The Economics Of Free by Mike Masnick. (Before anyone says it: the GPL doesn’t say you have to give away anything for no-cost. However as a businessman myself, I think it’s an excellent approach sometimes regardless of license.)