'Reading List' Category

Reading List :: Tuesday 25th October 2011

The internet has done its level best to plaster passages from the Jobs biography all around over the last few days. Being it that I prefer to read the thing, y’know, as a book rather than in 250 word chunks of recycled SEO-fodder, I’ve been limiting my browsing over the past couple of days. It’s the same process that I go through after most WWDC keynotes, not wanting the surprise ruined.

I happened across a real diamond on YouTube over the weekend, a 7-part Zappa video entitled ‘The Lost Interview‘. It’s about an hour long but is in 10 minutes segments, so that’s a clip a day for just shy of a week. Frank hated interviews, but they were a necessary promotional mechanism for his various wares. This, however, was not a promotional appearance. According to Kill Ugly Radio, the footage was Frank’s talking-head contribution to a documentary about cultural change from 1960 onwards. It appears totally unedited, the source is unclear, and it is absolutely worth taking in the whole thing.

GTA Five has appeared on Rockstar‘s homepage. Apparently there will be a trailer in a couple of weeks, which is very exciting indeed, although the announcement has already added more $$$ to my video game shopping list for Q4 (MW3, Halo, MGS), which is not so great. Trying to find some more info on the game, I ended up getting sucked into a Wikipedia vortex reading about the first GTA instalment from the ’90s, looking back fondly on a childhood spent stealing cars and running over pedestrians. I was also reminded that GTA III will soon be released for my shiny new iPhone 4S, so I can steal cars and run people over anywhere I like!

Reading List :: Sunday 23rd October 2011

Steve Yegge has posted a much more interesting followup to his reply-all Google+ critique post from a week or so ago. The fact that he trashed Google on G+ was tickling, and reply-all accidents are always entertaining. But underwhelmed as I am with Google+ it wasn’t exactly hot news. The follow up, a story from his time at Amazon about presenting to Jeff Bezos, is really good. I feel like Bezos is standing today where Gates once was – mythical, exalted, feared, respected – and this story is a decent testament to that. He might prefer a Jobs comparison (I don’t know), but I think Gates is more appropriate if Yegge’s tale is anything to go by.

On Jobs, what a remarkable piece of fortune related by Cringely this weekend. The classic 1995 Steve Jobs interview, the highlight of the uniformly excellent Triumph of the Nerds, an interview introduced with the phrase ‘Rivers of Blood’, has been discovered in its entirety. The full 64 minutes of an interview we’ve so far seen only about 6 minutes of is apparently going to become available in some form, and soon. Bob describes the footage as ‘essentially an unedited interview — definitely not the sort of thing you’d normally see on TV.  It’s me coaxing Steve into a great performance’. I can’t wait.

There’s a certain contingent of nerds who feel pretty bitter about Dennis Ritchie’s death being overshadowed by that of Steve Jobs, which has lead to some total horseshit commentary by a few free software assholes and some pretty thoughtless (and transparently biased) comparisons of influence. Now that those so inclined have got the blogger-BS out of their system, there have been some really nice and, importantly, balanced, professional takes surfacing on the influence of Ritchie’s work on the lives of billions across the globe. I particularly like the Economist piece, bookended with Jobs references for context. A fitting tribute.