Early adopter, thy name is "chump"

$399 now? Seriously, a $200 price drop in 3 months? $200 is a lot to pay for 3 months of geek cred. On the other hand: 160GB iPod Classic will finally hold all of my music at the same time, something that's not been possible since, oh, 2003. And my birthday is in just over a week! I think the pain of Apple purchasing can be soothed by additional Apple purchasing.
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Karlie Rogers

The life of Karlie Rogers had only the briefest of intersections with mine. Introduced as my brother's girlfriend, she came to stay with our family in Trinidad in August of 1998. My memories of her are mainly of her making corny jokes -- she fitted right in with my family -- and the sound of her laughter. And that's all. I didn't know her well, and after she and my brother broke up we didn't stay in touch. On September 11th 2001, Karlie was in the north tower. We can never be sure, but the location of her office means that she probably died instantly, when the first plane hit. Having spent some time reading accounts of the conditions and the panic in the tower in the aftermath of the collision, I hope that it's true. She was not, really, a historically significant person. Just six years later, records of her are already beginning to fade from the Internet: she is in the list of UK victims; there are some articles of memorial, including two small, blurry photos which I nevertheless find haunting. And there...
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Do the Mash

It appears we have quietly launched Mash, our latest go at this social networking thing. It's sort of halfway between Facebook and MySpace, with some rather random additional features. Most notably, whilst MySpace will let you customize your profile with custom styles and colours, and Facebook will let you add random modules to it, Mash lets you do both those things -- but it also lets other people do those things to your profile. I'm undecided about Mash's potential. It's certainly a lot more fun than 360, which seems scheduled to bite the dust soon. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm having great fun randomly changing the skins of other people's profiles. If you want an invite, contact me directly or in the comments. And I don't think it's really a secret that the name is our second choice after somebody released something else with the same name. Update: So I made my profile look like this site, and then I started getting carried away. Oops!
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Hat Par-tay

Mission accomplished. I have so much beer left over. Oh my.
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One Laptop Per Child

There has been much publicity surrounding the so-called $100 laptop (often centering around the fact that it actually costs $188). But now the OLPC foundation has started full-scale production, and you can buy one -- either as a pair, one for you and one for a child (starting 12th November), or you can just buy one for a child in a developing nation right now. This is an idea that seemed great from the get-go. In countries where teachers are scarce and traditional reading materials -- even pens and paper -- are a struggle to come by, a laptop -- powered by a pedal-cycle, a hand-crank or mains power where available -- solves these problems. Even just on its own, it is a learning resource of reading and writing and drawing. But thanks to a clever mesh networking system, if you manage to plug even one of them into a modem or wireless network somehow, they can all get onto the network. Think about that. From a village in rural Cambodia, suddenly you're plugged into the whole Internet. Who needs teachers? Even...
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Stop press: hot monks in Burma!

So Burma is having unrest, and tear gas and rubber bullets are involved, so things aren't fun. But now we have a human face on the tragedy, and also human nice arms and human ripped abs. Stop the violence against the pretty monks! Update: Oh, ugh, things are a lot more serious now than they were when I posted this. Sorry, Burma.
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