Monthly Archives: November 2004

Tiger Tech Talk

I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I signed up for Apple’s Tiger Tech Talk. It looked like a sort of mini WWDC event, and since the first stop on their tour was here in Austin, it was a no-brainer to sign up. But would it be just a marketing-filled event with little real substance? Or maybe just rehashing of WWDC slides but given by less prominent developers?

I’m happy to report that it was a high-quality event. Apple was represented by such familiar faces as Xavier Legros, John Geleynse, Travis Brown, and George Warner. Extra perks included free continental breakfast (I should have shown up earlier), lunch, dinner appetizers, and drinks. The Tiger compatibility lab had about 10 G5s.

Most of the sessions were essentially repeats from WWDC, but the informal nature of the setting allowed for good questions. Apple said about 120 people registered, and there were four concurrent sessions after the overview talks.

Speaking of Mac developers, Panic describes the history of their Audion product.

The Incredibles

The Incredibles I saw The Incredibles last night. I’m sure I had a big smile across my face from beginning to end. What a great film. If anything could get me to stop thinking about politics, this was it.

There have been some interviews with Brad Bird and the other Pixar folks recently. The Luxo blog does a good job of linking to them.

After almost winning

red state See that little blue county in the expanse of red in the image on the right? That’s where I live.

Back in January, I said: “It’s about bringing more people into the process. But to do that right, we need a candidate who can speak passionately to the issues and inspire voters.” Kerry ran a good campaign, but I can’t help thinking that something was missing in both the man and the message.

Kos is calling on Dean to replace McAuliffe as head of the DNC. It’s time for the Democratic party to get back on the offensive. The last two years have been about building the groundwork for future wins — the internet infrastructure, the radio, the organization. It’s not there yet but it will be in 2006. All that’s left is to pick quality opposition candidates and to absolutely stop letting Republican’s frame every issue on their own terms.

One of the things that really bugs me is when Republican candidates run unopposed. This year, thanks to redistricting, our congressional district went from being all of Austin to a tiny strip of rural counties stretching from my neighborhood to Houston. The district was designed for a Republican win, and the Democratic party didn’t bother to challenge it until Lorenzo Sadun signed up as a write-in candidate.

There was no chance to win as a write-in, but he received 12% of the vote! 11000 people took the time to spell his name correctly because they wanted to send a message. And in the Houston suburbs, Richard Morrison came within 10 points of beating Tom DeLay, the closest contest DeLay has ever faced.

The truth is, we almost won. We almost unseated a war-time president who had 90% approval ratings after 9/11. We almost beat a party that used fear (terrorism and gay marriage) to get people into the voting booth.

We almost won, and all the hard work of the last 18 months will pay off big in two short years.

What just happened?

Based on the exit poll numbers and the supposedly record turnout, I fully expected that we’d know within a couple hours after polls closed that Kerry was the decisive winner. I was bewildered when Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin still weren’t called, so I went to bed.

I woke up off and on in the middle of the night, dreaming that I was browsing news web sites. At 5am I couldn’t stand it any longer and got out of bed for good, and now I’ve been deciphering what happened since last night.

The turnout was up, but even the current numbers seem low considering all the people who waited several hours in line to vote. And where was the young vote? I wasn’t the only one to predict they’d make the difference. Is the Republican get-out-the-vote effort just that much better?

Once again, the networks (specifically NBC and Fox) called states too soon. By giving Ohio to Bush, they were left in the sticky 269 situation, not daring to give any more states (like Nevada) to him lest they completely undermine the vote counting process. The networks promised more transparency in how they project a winner, but I didn’t see it.

Election day

ivoted.gif The daylight savings time switch has helped me get up earlier, so I easily made it to my voting location by 7am this morning. There was already a line of people (perhaps 50) stretching outside. It was cold, from the front that came in yesterday, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone too much. No one gave up and left during the 45 minutes I was there.

I’m optimistic.