aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Tomorrow it will be a week since our friend Joseph, a contractor from Brooklyn, arrived here to help us do the floors. He’s been reading my blog and he’s appalled: only one measly mention of “a friend from New York.” That hardly counts.
He wants his own post. With photos. I’m embarrassed that he had to ask!
Joseph lives in the apartment upstairs from
ours the one we left in Prospect Heights Brooklyn. That’s the neighborhood bordering the huge Atlantic Rail Yards project that promises to overwhelm everything around it, including and most especially our old apartment building. His now apartment building. He hates the plan. He likes it here.
So he and Doug have been working steadily on the floors for a week and are nearly done. The floors look incredible. Now it’s on to painting. It’s almost midnight and the two of them are out there priming. When the painting’s done they’ll finish off the floors with another coat or two of polyurethane. They’ll be working through the weekend.
I will be forever grateful to Joseph for coming down here and helping us. When we started in the dining room we quickly realized we had bitten off more than we could chew. There was no turning back. Joseph, a professional and a craftsman, was willing to help us out.
Friends like that are hard to find. He’s a friend we treasure.
On Monday Yahoo claimed that it indexes more pages than Google. John Battelle at search blog noted yesterday that the claim “ruffled more than a few feathers across the web, and nowhere more distinctly than at Google:”
I spent an hour or so on the phone with a group of Google folks, and they shared a lot of information about how they measure index size, how they deal with issues of duplicate URLs and documents, and why they are baffled by Yahoo’s claim.
I asked Google to go on the record with their concerns about Yahoo’s index and whether they believed the news was in fact accurate, and Google agreed. The quote, which I can only attribute at this point to a “Google spokesperson,” is as follows:
“Our scientists are not seeing the increase claimed in the Yahoo! index. The data we have doesn’t support the 19.2 (billion page) claim and we’re confused by that.”
...the upshot of our conversation was that Yahoo stands by its number, that it agrees with many that size alone does not matter, that any claims that any one company can accurately estimate another’s index are simply not defensible, and that, in the end, the proof will be in the results.
Yahoo also acknowledged that it was certainly aware of the PR angle when it made its announcement, and that given Google’s home page claim regarding index size, it was hardly a new tactic to tout that number.
I think there’s more to this story than meets the eye, in terms of a major, multi-billion dollar tussle for the hearts, minds, and pocket books of millions of web users.
Lutherans consider same sex marriage
The Miami Herald:
Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America moved closer Wednesday to an expected showdown over same-sex unions and gay clergy after holding emotional hearings this week at their Churchwide Assembly in Orlando.
A vote scheduled for Friday morning will determine whether the five-million-member denomination will strike a compromise: maintaining its ban on the blessing of same-sex unions and noncelibate gay clergy while allowing congregations to make exceptions to those rules without penalty.
The recommendations from a 13-member task force formed in 2001:
If approved, the proposals will:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Encourage church unity amid disagreement.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Affirm a 1993 bishops’ statement that disapproves of same-sex unions but allows pastors to decide how to best minister to gay and lesbian couples.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Allow the church to ordain gays who are in ‘’lifelong, committed and faithful’’ same-sex relationships. Gay clergy must receive the approval of their local bishop, local elected church leaders and the ELCA’s Conference of Bishops. Under the church’s current policy, gay pastors must be celibate.
The proposal allowing ordination of noncelibate gays—which both sides call the most controversial—would require a two-thirds vote from the assembly’s 1,018 voting members.
A patent commons
Red Hat will fund outside programmers’ efforts to obtain patents that may be used freely by open-source developers, the top Linux seller said Tuesday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here. At the same time, the Open Source Developer Labs launched a patent commons project, which will provide a central list of patents that have been donated to the collaborative programming community.
The threat of patent-infringement lawsuits has long dogged collaborative development, leading some open-source programming advocates to turn against the patent system altogether. The initiatives signal a new willingness on the part of the open-source community to combat the threat of patent-infringement lawsuits more directly--and within the existing patent system.