Posted at 10:33 AM on December 8, 2010
by Eric Ringham
"A glooming peace this morning with it brings," wrote Mr. Shakespeare, and things are indeed gloomy for many people this morning. Democrats in a mood to celebrate Mark Dayton's victory in the governor's race can't really pop the champagne corks, given the sad news about Elizabeth Edwards and the party's widespread despair over the tax-cut compromise. Republicans who might otherwise rejoice at the tax-cut compromise have to watch Tom Emmer give up his quest for the governor's office.
So in honor of all those who are sad this morning, here's the sweetest, saddest song there is.
Besides James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma, that's Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor performing the music of Stephen Foster. Now, go have a better day.(1 Comments)
A methane well at the Fargo landfill. (Photo courtesy the City of Fargo.)
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports this morning on a stinky problem: The city's landfill has lately been, shall we say, more odorous than usual:
"We kind of get used to it," said Paul Hanson, the Fargo landfill supervisor. "So when we can tell it's stronger than normal, then you know it's pretty bad."
The city isn't sure what the precise cause of the new stench is, but the likely culprit is wet weather this summer and fall, Hanson said.
Heavy rains washed away some of the landfill's dirt cover at 45th Street and Seventh Avenue North, exposing decomposing garbage and the smelly gases that come with it, he said.
The money line, for me anyway, is when the landfill supervisor says "Our biggest problem is that the city grew around us." If you've ever been to Fargo, you know it is not the most vertical of cities. 2,631 people per square mile in Fargo compared to 28,852 per square mile in NYC, according to US Census data.
The story as to why Fargo built out instead of up is similar to many American cities: cheap land. In the late 1960s, an urban renewal project in Fargo failed when a developer (who, ironically, was one of the original promoters of Fargo urban renewal), announced plans to build a shopping mall on the outskirts of town. The Forum dubbed it the "$15 million Bazaar on the Prairie."
The mall now anchors Fargo's retail industry, which attracts many Canadians and has turned the city into something of a regional shopping hub. New schools, restaurants and homes followed the trend out of building out of the old neighborhoods.
Let's just hope shoppers remember to plug their noses, in certain parts of town anyway, on their way to the mall.(2 Comments)
One of the top stories in the tech blogosphere today: Google is planning to send to a select group of guinea pigs a netbook computer powered by its Chrome operating system.
Seventeen months ago Google announced it would build a lightweight OS based on its Chrome browser as an alternative to machines powered by Windows and the Mac OS. With the Chrome OS, the Internet is essentially the operating system, and all apps will be Web-based.
You can apply to be one of the testers of the Cr-48. No word yet on when we'll see Chrome netbooks for sale.
Features of the Cr-48 include:
-Full size keyboard
-3G chip for Verizon data in the US, your carrier of choice internationally
-802.11n dual-band WiFi
-8+ hours of active use, 8+ days of standby
News Cut just conducted a Web-based chat on a Chrome browser with Houston Chronicle tech expert Dwight Silverman. Here's a transcript:
News Cut: Why should we care about the Cr-48?
Silverman: It's just one more attempt to create what techies have been wanting for years: A network computer. Only this time, it's got the King of Clouds behind it: Google. So, it may actually succeed where others have failed. The problem has been both one of available bandwidth and "real user" apathy. Techies love the idea. Real people may or may not.
News Cut: Cr-48, eh? What a poetic name.
Silverman: Cr is the atomic symbol for Chromium. Google calls its browser and this operating system Chrome. Chromium is the open-source version of both. Hey, it reminds me of Sony's naming convention, only with fewer letters & numbers.
News Cut: It's a stinky name. I don't care what you say. The pictures I've seen make it look as bland as its name, too. Why not a sexier design?
Silverman: It's a prototype, not really designed for commercial marketing. Eventually, you'll be able to buy Chrome OS netbooks from companies like Samsung and Acer, and those will be sexier. Hopefully. This really is a trial product. Google's getting the basic design into users' hands and asking, "What do you think?" It could end up being different if the feedback warrants changes.
News Cut: What will a Chrome-based netbook have going for it that I cannot get anywhere else? What is its reason for being, ultimately?
Silverman: If you're a heavy user of Google products, it should make it easier to access them. It will have built-in support for Google Docs, Gmail and a lot of Web apps being designed for it. These mostly live in the cloud, along with your data. There's not much storage on it and you'll work primarily when you're connected - which, with 3G connectivity from Verizon, could be all the time. But there's a downside to that, too. You really will need to be online to access your data. You probably can work offline to a certain extent, but it will be heavily reliant on Internet access. That may not sit well with a lot of people.
News Cut: Final question: On a scale of 1 to 10, what's your lust factor?
Silverman: I don't know that this invokes lust. More curiosity, I think. I don't know if I can compute in the cloud all the time - I like having native apps, they're far more powerful. I like the relative security of having control of my own data. But I'm open to new ways of doing things, so I'll give it a try . . . that is, if I'm picked as one of the applicants to receive this.