Enlightenment is an X window manager for *nix-like systems. I've never really been a party to all the Gnome vs. KDE vs. XFCE vs. XYZ battles, so I usually just use whatever window manager ships by default with the distro I happen to be using. I usually have the libs installed for Gnome and KDE either way, though, since I favor some apps that are KDE projects and others that are Gnome projects.
I'm totally window-manager-agnostic, since they are all very customizable - the most important aspect for me, since my various workflows are so peculiar / specific. In this respect, Windows Vista and Mac aren't quite prime-time enough for me.
Enlightenment E17 looks very nice, though. It embraces some design standards and philosophies which diverge a little from what I'm used to (though as mentioned, everything can be customized), and is still in heavy development, but I can see myself getting used to it.
Web designers, or even people who just dabble in web design, are well aware that it isn't always easy to get your site looking consistent across all the different web browsers that are out there. Internet Explorer, in particular has been a thorn in the side of anyone who's used to a standards-compliant browsers such as Mozilla FIrefox and takes for granted that everything "just works". The matter is made worse by the fact that you can't run Internet Explorer - the most common web browser out there - on anything but Microsoft Windows, while most designers are on
Apple or Linux Linux or Apple systems ;). Designers don't want to resort to emulation or virtual machines.
Here's a very quick and easy way to configure a workstation with versions of all the major browsers to test with.
Them: "What's the main ingredient in icing sugar?"
IM chat after an "unconference" session:
Me: "I swear, listening to someone pontificate about open source software from behind a Macbook Pro is like watching them sermonize about global warming while they're driving a Hummer."
Them: "A Hummer with a coal-powered air-conditioner and Amazonian Redwood body panels. And seat coverings made from real puppies."
Me: "And baby seal eyes for headlights."
Buying some toys for my nephews, waiting in line at the cash register:
Cashier: "Would you like to contribute a dollar from your purchase to the Sick Children's Network"?
Customer: "How much does it cost?"
Though I've left behind many of the traditions and customs that come with growing up in a church-going family, one that has always stuck with me is the idea of fasting for lent. Across different religions, the act of giving something up (usually food) for a pretermined amount of time is quite hip.
My Dad (Roman Catholic) and Mom (Orthodox) both grew up in Iraq with a strong understanding of the spiritual importance of fasting, which stuck on me too.
FON - the self-proclaimed "largest wifi community in the world - recently celebrated their 1-birthday by giving away 10,000 free "fonera" routers. I won't go into the details of how their business plan works, but rather focus on my experience setting up the router.
I think I was one of the last people to take advantage of this offer, as a few days later they removed the promotion page. Actually, I hadn't even heard of the promotion until Sascha tipped me off about it. I filled in my info and submitted the form, and then completely forgot about it until a package arrived about a week later from "Housing Components Company Of" (??) in Ontario. I was puzzled, as I wasn't in the business of building houses and / or dealing with companies in Ontario. :p
Last year at the 2006 Allied Media Conference, I had the honor to see alixa + naima - otherwise known as climbing poeTree. All I knew about them (through word of mouth and the bio on the AMC site) at the time was that they were multi-talented artists, most well-known for their intense spoken-word poetry set against a multimedia backdrop. I have to confess that I wasn't a big fan of the form back then; but one way or another, it seems to have really grown on me - these days, I go out of my way not to miss any noches de poesia (fun, informal gatherings of poets and artists) here in Montreal, and I spend lots more time listening to spoken-word poetry (which to me for all intents and purposes, is music). Of course, when the content is so striking and relevant to us, we can more easily gain an apprecation and understanding of the medium. .
Helping out a little with the current iteration of the AMC site, I was going over a list of participants and spent some time learning more about those who had an URL. I ended up at the climbing poeTree site. The flash site's background music is a captivating instrumental version of "Emmet" (based in part on the murder of 14 year-old African-American Emmett Till in 1955). After listening to a few samples - in truth, after listening to "Emmet" and "I wanna believe" I was already sold - I decided to go ahead and buy a CD - the second CD I've bought in about three years. They didn't charge any extra for shipping to Canada, which is already way cool.
Two days later, I get a package from Brooklyn, with only my first name and address printed on it. Inside, I find the CD inside the CD case (duh...), along with a personalized, signed, handwritten note from the artists.
That kind of extra touch - which took maybe a minute to do - makes all the difference in the world. On its own, it's a beautiful gesture. But when it accompanies an album as powerful, moving, and relevant as ammunition, it becomes something that immediately builds a rapport between the artist and their audience. I cease being a consumer, and start being a listener and a supporter. In the imminent Market Socialism economy, it's the little details like this that will set apart those who are truly masters of the their craft and doing what they love.
It doesn't hurt that every track on the CD hits very close to home for me. I'm loathe to try and define the musical styles that jump from track to track. Some tracks have an obvious hip hop leaning, while others have a much stronger eastern or latin sounding beat. If there even exists a line between music and poetry, it is blurred beyond all recognition on ammunition. Infectious tracks, major-label production values, perfect mastering, lyrics that come from the soul without pulling any punches - this is one of those rare albums that I set on repeat without ever growing tired of.
"... and yes - another goddamn poem about Revolution."
"Nike sneakers tied around my neck like a noose..."
"Carry... a rock in your back pocket just in case. And let him know who David was."
"We're all trying to redefine 'normal' in six different dialects."