Sublime Sherlock

by Michael Alderete on 11/10/2010 · 1 comment


Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular and enduring characters in all of English literature. In addition to the 60 original stories and novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, there are dozens and dozens of additional takes on the Sherlock mythos by successful authors—among them Laurie R. King, Michael Chabon, Nicholas Meyer, and Carole Nelson Douglas—with further adventures, alternative perspectives, and interesting new interpretations. More than 200 movies and TV shows (with 75 different actors portraying Holmes), radio episodes, and so on. To write that Holmes is beloved by many is a serious understatement.

The vast majority of the presentations, across all media, preserve the Victorian setting of the original stories, or at most advance the setting and the age of the detective. This Fall brought something new, a thoroughly modernized Sherlock Holmes who texts, blogs, and hacks into other people’s computers. And even up against modern CSI techniques, he still makes those around him look dim with his brilliant observations, deductions, and leaps of logic. (Some police call him “Freak.” To his face.)

Read the rest of this entry (422 words) »

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Thoughts on “Thoughts on Music”

by Michael Alderete on 2/8/2007 · 5 comments

On Tuesday, in an open letter Thoughts on Music, Steve Jobs responded (accidentally ;-) to my prior post calling on Apple to license FairPlay to other device makers. It’s a brilliant piece of writing, as all the best propaganda is, covering a lot of ground concisely and persuasively. Other people have analysed Thoughts on Music in more detail than I care to; I’ll confine myself to three points.

Read the rest of this entry (532 words) »

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

More dumbing down of America

by Michael Alderete on 10/22/2006

Some visual analysis at The Daily Kos vividly illustrates just how little news is being presented on the CNN home page. It’s not clear to me whether this is worse than deliberately false and biased news. Indeed, as the writer points out Xinhua, one of China’s top news sites, does not suffer from the dumbing down that entombs CNN.

In any event, your best bet for getting actual news of what’s going on in America will be from NPR or the international edition of the BBC.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

V for Vendetta

by Michael Alderete on 4/29/2006

Been meaning for a while to post that I saw the movie V for Vendetta, on the IMAX screen at the Sony Metreon. I enjoyed the movie immensely. It’s been a decade since I’ve read the original graphic novel by Allan Moore, so I can’t say how faithful it is to the original. Certainly there are departures, both in the basic plot and to update the story for 2006. But overall it’s a very well-written, acted, and shot movie. Stylistically, there are two sequences which recall the best parts of Matrix: Reloaded — the dominos sequence, and V’s final fight sequence — and these are thrilling enough in themselves that I’ll probably see the movie a second time.

Like the Matrix films, V certainly is the kind of movie that benefits from the extra detail on the IMAX screen. I highly recommend seeing it, even if you don’t have an IMAX theater in your area. But if you do, spend the extra money and see it on the huge screen.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Bush lies, New Orleans dies

by Michael Alderete on 3/3/2006 · 2 comments

I can’t say that I’m surprised that Bush lied to America about the disaster in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. I’m only surprised that there’s proof:

Video Shows Bush Warned before Katrina Hit
The Associated Press, March 1 2006

No wonder the administration doesn’t want to play the blame game.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Subscribing to Podcasts in iTunes

by Michael Alderete on 7/12/2005

Phillip Torrone’s Audible does Podcasts – the complete guide is a nice write-up of a new feature at that supports the automatic download of periodic audible content, such as NPR’s Fresh Air (probably the best talk radio show on today).’s features provide support for receiving paid content using the same process for subscribing to the free podcasts which have recently become very popular. Although his article uses the very nice iPodder application to demonstrate the features, there’s no reason why you can’t use the built-in podcasting features of iTunes 4.9, and skip the extra application.

Here are instructions and a couple of screenshots, which you can splice into Phillip’s article where he’s working with iPodder.

Read the rest of this entry (283 words) »

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Global Frequency ringtone

by Michael Alderete on 6/28/2005 · 1 comment

After a long and mostly fruitless search for a downloadable version of the Global Frequency ringtone, “hangfire snausage” was kind enough to share with me via email his MP3 of it, with the encouragement to spread it around. So for those phones that can play an MP3 ringtone, here it is:

Global Frequency ringtone (MP3, 12 kbytes)

Read the rest of this entry (101 words) »

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Get on the Global Frequency

by Michael Alderete on 6/21/2005

You are being asked to do the following:

  1. Search for the Global Frequency pilot TV episode. (When you find it, it might look something like this.) Download the torrent, and watch the show.
  2. Read some comments of the show’s writer/producer. You can read the front page of his weblog or just some of the most relevant posts:
    1. GF wow
    2. It’s a ‘Global’ Frequency Now…
    3. One Last GF Question…
  3. Await further instructions on this and other channels.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Rigos the neighborhood

May 12, 2005

GraceAnn Walden is probably our favorite of the SF Chronicle‘s current food writers, and her weekly column keeps up on the comings and goings of San Francisco restaurants, restaurateurs, and chefs. This week’s column had news that literally brought tears to my eyes: Pascal Rigo is opening a place right around the corner from our house.

Read the full article →

The iPod shuffle ad is genius

March 29, 2005

I don’t think you can fully appreciate the genius of the latest iPod shuffle ad until you’ve been watching the NCAA Tournament in a sports bar with a zillion TVs, and the spot is suddenly on 20+ screens all around you, especially if they have the sound turned up.

Read the full article →

2005 Tournament, round 1

March 19, 2005

After the first round, it looks like I had some great picks. One of my ESPN Tournament Challenge entries (labelled “Whimsical” in the graphic) is in the 100th percentile, just outside the top 10,000, of nearly 3 million entries. It looks more impressive than it really is.

Read the full article →

2005 Tournament predictions

March 17, 2005

Just a few tournament predictions…

Read the full article →