I love that Anil, Userland competitor, is wearing a Blogger tshirt in this photo. Competition? Naw, nothing but love between weblog software companies.
Restaurant, The JUL 30
I don't watch reality shows, but I made an exception for the The Restaurant, a show about the opening a new NYC restaurant...cause I like food and restaurants. About five minutes in, I knew it was a mistake. It's like they took everything I hate about New York & media and crammed it all into one show. Everyone was a jackass...I had to turn it off after 10 minutes. Should have known when I first heard about it via Gawker. Blech.
Busted for stealing Radiohead song: The BBC GREG ALLEN · JUL 30
The Kid Stays in the Picture JUL 30
The story of Hollywood mogul Robert Evans is reason enough to tune into this film, but the on-the-cheap special effects are notable as well. The primary effect -- building on Ken Burns' technique of panning and zooming across photographs to create the illusion of motion -- separates the subjects of photos from the backgrounds and then panning each at different speeds, creating a remarkably alive 3-D "scene", almost like Bullet-Time from the Matrix, only with photos.
I played a few games of 20 questions against a computer yesterday. The system learns how to guess more effectively from its opponents; the more people play it, the better it gets. It's pretty good right now, but needs a little work here and there. It guessed that I was thinking of "a computer game" in about 16 tries, but offered up the following extra information about computer games after its successful guess:
Uncommon Knowledge about a computer game
Does it have a handle? I say Probably.
Is it cold blooded? I say Probably.
Does it lay eggs? I say Probably.
Does it live in grass-lands? I say Probably.
Can it be worn by a person? I say Probably.
Does it change colours? I say Yes.
Does it beep? I say Probably.
Can you read it? I say Yes.
Can it swim? I say Probably.
Does it have a hole in it? I say Yes.
Do you open and close it? I say Yes.
Can it live out of water? I say Doubtful.
Have you seen one in real life? I say No.
Does it reflect objects? I say Yes.
Is it mechanical? I say Yes.
Does it usually live on a farm? I say Probably.
Did it conclude I was thinking of a video game or a cold blooded duck with a handle? Or, as a computer game itself, is it so deluded as to believe it can swim and lay eggs?
why didn't the UK build ships of GREG ALLEN · JUL 30
Budget cuts=no overniters for air marshalls, $4 GREG ALLEN · JUL 30
Budget cuts=no overniters for air marshalls, $4bn/mo in Iraq? It just don't add up!. Josh Marshall follows the money. Did I mention the hijacking warning?
You'd think that Yahoo! could do a better job in coordinating their advertising with their news content. screenshot of Kobe pic right next to Reebok "Whodunit?" ad
Pirate radio's all you get in Marfa, Texas GREG ALLEN · JUL 30
Pirate radio's all you get in Marfa, Texas. unless you have XM radio or something, but you don't.
Stare tactics: NYPD toodling around on Segways GREG ALLEN · JUL 30
Stare tactics: NYPD toodling around on Segways. so Segways aren't allowed on the street, and bikes aren't allowed on the sidewalk?
CT crime lab assembling global marijuana DNA database GREG ALLEN · JUL 29
Actual Phrases from My American History Textbook. A McSweeney's list
Well, Sippey's publishing stuff on Stating the Obvious again, offering up some possible next steps for Apple's iPod, including making it more like TiVo:
Imagine similar functionality on the iPod: when you sync your catalog with iTunes, the device uses iSync to fetch new content to insert into the iPod UI: headline news, sports scores, weather reports...as well as promotional content for the Music store, quick surveys, email program opt-ins, third party ads, etc. Give the user the ability to opt out of the marketing content, of course, but provide micro-incentives like Amazon.com's nickel-incentive trivia program towards song purchases at the Music Store.
Great idea and pretty much inevitable, but the suggestion of it makes me want to hop on a plane to SF and strangle the responsible party. I see ads when I pee. I pay to watch ads at the movie theatre. Most television programming is filler for advertising (which explains why most of TV sucks). Many magazines are mostly advertising. MTV is 100% advertising. The Post-It Notes on my desk are from Barclay's Capital. Clothing without prominent advertising printed on it is getting difficult to find. I am marketed to and advertised to everywhere I go. So now I'm supposed to sit through promotions -- while draining my battery, BTW -- each time I turn on my iPod?
Of course not...the user will have "the ability to opt out of the marketing content". Given that in the entire history of capitalism, this has happened very few times, I'm understandably more than a little cynical on that reassurance. I guess if anyone could pull off a good balance between the utility of such a system to the user (which could be considerable) and the annoyance factor, it would be Apple (or Google). But that's a pretty big if.
I'm an iPod owner. Owner. I own it. It's mine. It's not Apple's, BMG's, or Universal's. It's mine. I can put whatever I want on it, be it music or anything else that I can fit into its 15 gigabytes. As Cory found with his T-Mobile Sidekick, purchasing a device that relies on a service/interface/whatever that is controlled by someone else is not ownership. Such rented devices (TiVo springs to mind) can be extremely useful, but perhaps not so good in the long term (what happens when TiVo goes out of business?). If Apple is pushing me advertisements and marketing which I can't opt out of and are draining *my* battery while I look at them and taking up *my* hard drive space, is my iPod really mine or is it Apple's? Will there continue to be a market for hardware that the buyer completely owns or -- because it makes more money for the companies producing the hardware -- will everything I "own" in the future (telephone, DVD player, DVR, music player, cell phone, PDA, PC, refrigerator, television, washing machine, &c.) be dependant on a service for its continued operation?
Sun tattoo JUL 29
Late last week, I got a small cut on my chest that I covered with a band-aid. Before heading out to the beach on Saturday, I took the band-aid off and put on some SPF 15 sunscreen. After taking a post-beach shower, I looked in the mirror and noticed a mark on my chest. Somehow the skin where the adhesive parts of the band-aid had been affixed had burned a bright red, leaving the part where the bandage was, along with the rest of my chest, lightly tanned. So now I've got what looks like a band-aid sun-tattooed on my chest.
3mm photos of Paris, by street GREG ALLEN · JUL 29
3mm photos of Paris, by street. oh, and nine other French cities. via archinect.com
While picking out some orange juice at the market just now, I glanced at the expiration date. SEPT 11. Instead of thinking, "oh, that's a good one, that'll keep for awhile," I thought, of course, of 9/11.
Six Apart will be unveiling the features for TypePad this week. On the first day of TypePad, my CMS gave to me...
"Um, are you a dealer?" production groupblog GREG ALLEN · JUL 28
"Um, are you a dealer?" production groupblog of 'Buddy: The Musical'. neighbor spies piles of prop money. mild hilarity
Seabiscuit JUL 26
Pretty good, but a little heavy-handed in spots. Can Hollywood make a "serious" film without being heavy-handed?
Also, before the show, Mark bounded up to the folks waiting in the front of the line to get into the theatre and said, "are you guys as excited as we are to see Seabiscuit?" Instead of the proper response of laughing nervously, one of the guys yelled, "yeah!" We then laughed nervously.
Disney celebrates infinite copyright extension of 75yo GREG ALLEN · JUL 26
Disney celebrates infinite copyright extension of 75yo Mickey with big merchandising push. guess what's not on Lessig's Amazon wishlist
Sesame Street Fever OR Sesame Disco? Now GREG ALLEN · JUL 25
Sesame Street Fever OR Sesame Disco? Now you don't have to choose.. via TravelersDiagram.com
'little guy' stars of MPAA ads losing GREG ALLEN · JUL 25
'little guy' stars of MPAA ads losing jobs as studios move production out of US. est. impact to US economy: up to $10bn/yr
7.14.03 Matrix thread gains self-awareness GREG ALLEN · JUL 25
"Ghyslain, I'm your FATHER. Join me...in this lawsuit." GREG ALLEN · JUL 25
was Barry White's death REALLY an accident? GREG ALLEN · JUL 25
Pop!Tech 2003 JUL 24
The highly regarded Pop!Tech conference is coming up in a few months, October 16-19 to be exact. I've never been, but from hearing about from various sources (a list below), it sounds like an ambitious conference that tries to identify and discuss broad trends across politics, technology, culture, science, and economics...and largely succeeds in doing so. This year's roster of speakers includes Golan Levin, Tom DeMarco, James Howard Kunstler, the L Train, Bob Metcalfe, and Kevin Sites.
The organizers of Pop!Tech have been nice enough to extend a special offer to kottke.org readers. Register for Pop!Tech 2003 using this link and you'll save $200 off the early bird rate and $500 off the regular price. Who says kottke.org never saved anyone any money?
Oh and here's the promised links to coverage of past Pop!Tech conferences:
PopTech, The Blog (J.D. Lasica and Buzz Bruggeman)
PopTech 2002 coverage (David Weinberger)
PopTech 2002 (Ernest Svenson)
Conferenza Pop!Tech 2002 Report #1 (Shel Israel)
Conferenza Pop!Tech 2002 Report #2 (Shel Israel)
Conferenza Pop!Tech 2002 Report #3 (Shel Israel)
I returned home from the drug store last night ready to write something about the odd arms race that's developed among toothbrush manufacturers. A competition is afoot to make the world's most colorful, fat-handled, ergonomic, elaborately bristled, and, in some cases, motorized toothbrush. I was skeptical that any of this was in the service of making consumers' teeth cleaner, but merely for emptying our pocketbooks at a faster rate for the privilege of buying something that doesn't even fit in the toothbrush holder. But, I had to buy a new brush, so I selected the one that least resembled a cartoon spaceship and placed it in my basket.
This morning, I brushed my teeth with my new toothbrush. And damn if it didn't feel about 200% better than my old brush. The grip was very comfortable, and the way the brush was angled...well, it was just perfect. My teeth practically brushed themselves. The toothbrush arms race is paying off! Here's to toothbrushes with really big handles and 6 HP motors.
39 networks showing MPAA ad in primetime 'roadblock' Friday GREG ALLEN · JUL 24
39 networks showing MPAA ad in primetime 'roadblock' Friday. Conveniently, they're only owned by 8 companies. Viacom has 11.
Billy Blob: flash worth loving GREG ALLEN · JUL 24
Billy Blob: flash worth loving. Karma Ghost and Butterfly Effect rocked at Sundance
on the subject of flash sites: studio tanuki GREG ALLEN · JUL 24
video game incorporates sunlight into gameplay GREG ALLEN · JUL 24
video game incorporates sunlight into gameplay. Don't go outside, just open the window.
Rex reports from inside Minn. Flash Mob GREG ALLEN · JUL 24
Rex reports from inside Minn. Flash Mob. "Confusion is good." Agreed, but NY Cow Parade is still lame.
new NYC trend: mogul cons and ex-cons GREG ALLEN · JUL 24
new NYC trend: mogul cons and ex-cons. If you're indicted, you're invited.
Ridiculous over-the-top Flash site. This is why people hate designers.
Digital (not txt) Gutenberg. "The first book GREG ALLEN · JUL 23
Digital (not txt) Gutenberg. "The first book printed with movable type.". Ben and Mena are so modest
rent a cottage, get a passive aggressive landlord for free GREG ALLEN · JUL 23
rent a cottage, get a passive aggressive landlord for free. ancient (1997) Slate piece
"Minneapolis Flash Mob" sounds as right as " GREG ALLEN · JUL 23
whoa, Nelly. Gawker discovers comments GREG ALLEN · JUL 23
whoa, Nelly. Gawker discovers comments. daring people to keep talking about metrosexuals
Check for tainted music with RIAA Radar GREG ALLEN · JUL 23
On fashion JUL 23
Things that are in right now or have been in within the past year or so: velour & terrycloth sweatsuits, trucker hats, jeans that look like you've been wearing them to shingle roofs for 12 years but really you just paid $132 for them, mohawks (also fauxhawks and pomohawks), hoodies, and tshirts that are brand new but look like they are old.
Me? I'm biding my time for the day when unironed dress shirts, vintage Old Navy jeans, tshirts wrinkled from being folded in the dresser, and pants wrinkled from the hanger become fashionable. Then I will be money. So, so money.
Entering a "how many antenna balls are GREG ALLEN · JUL 23
Entering a "how many antenna balls are in this Chevy Trailblazer?" contest. Serious geekfest, surprise ending
The Helvetica vs. Arial fighting game. For the ...wait for it.... type of person that likes fonts *and* Street Fighter
A soup by any other name JUL 22
I have a soft spot in my
heart belly for soups derived from other types of food. I had a bowl of mashed potato soup (w/ broccoli and cheddar) yesterday. I've had cheeseburger soup (if only it had been bacon cheeseburger soup). Baked potato soup (w/ sour cream and chives). Macaroni and cheese soup. Tortilla soup. Salisbury steak soup.
Flavors I am not looking forward to trying: belgian waffles soup, peanut butter and jelly soup, eggs benedict soup, chicken salad on rye soup, liver and onion soup, or bruschetta soup.
Trailer for the Gospel According to Mel Gibson GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
Great review of the design of cover to Ann Coulter's book. "First of all, everything is centered. This is a gross misrepresentation of Coulter, who couldn’t be further to the right."
Hmmm, looks like John Robb's weblog did get axed @ Userland. Not cool at all
NBC pursuing LeBlanc for 'Friends' spinoff GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
NBC pursuing LeBlanc for 'Friends' spinoff. Matt, if a monkey's involved, RUN AWAY
Q I have a swarm of bees GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
BBC (rightly) praised for making stuff up GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
BBC (rightly) praised for making stuff up. unsung thousands of hours of original plays/movies/drama on radio
Passing Showerman GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
Passing Showerman. temporary savantism through transcranial magnetic stimulation
Tired of masturbating? Pizza prevents cancer, too GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
Metropolis interview with Gridlock Sam GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
Metropolis interview with Gridlock Sam. co-coined the term "gridlock," put up "Don't even think of parking here" signs
info-packed John Seabrook article on NYC traffic jams GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
Official "Leaving Brooklyn" signs unveiled, silly GREG ALLEN · JUL 22
Why We're in Business by Tim O'Reilly. from April 1992 O'Reilly internal newsletter
Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man. Jorn Barger and weblog as Wunderkammer
Some preview hacks from Amazon Hacks. But what's with the knife on the cover?
Turns out Wall St dude's $23m Hamptons GREG ALLEN · JUL 21
Turns out Wall St dude's $23m Hamptons pad is on a gay cruising beach. Now claims he was drunk and/or it was just a phase in college.
Secret Service Video Lending Library GREG ALLEN · JUL 21
Secret Service Video Lending Library. Of course, you must file a FOIA request...
Humorous Man Jaywalks in Seattle GREG ALLEN · JUL 19
Humorous Man Jaywalks in Seattle. Sounds like news to me. Seriously.
"Why, you're hairy, Potter!" GREG ALLEN · JUL 18
"Why, you're hairy, Potter!". out-of-context sexual innuendo from "The Order of the Phoenix"
Mariann Simms has won the 2003 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, "a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels". Her submission:
They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white...Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.
The contest is named for Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, a Victorian novelist whose opening to Paul Clifford is widely regarded to be just a bit over-the-top bad:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
When not winning contests, Mariann runs HumorMeOnline.com.
Some animals Photoshopped together with other animals. Cool, but needs more Jack Nicholson...see below
Gay or Eurotrash street quiz GREG ALLEN · JUL 18
Gay or Eurotrash street quiz. a pre-metrosexual-era classic
you lived the lie; soon, read the book GREG ALLEN · JUL 18
you lived the lie; soon, read the book. gayprom.com
Drudge: I know you are but what am I? GREG ALLEN · JUL 18
Drudge: I know you are but what am I?. White House tells Drudge that ABC reporter is Gay, Canadian
New White House email system upsets Jakob Nielsen GREG ALLEN · JUL 17
New White House email system upsets Jakob Nielsen. Does the "I have a differing opinion" batch get bcc'd to John Ashcroft?
"Next!" said the coffee & donut man (who I'll refer to as "Ralph") from his tiny silver shop-on-wheels, one of many that dot Manhattan on weekday mornings. I stepped up to the window, ordered a glazed donut (75 cents), and when he handed it to me, handed a dollar bill back through the window. Ralph motioned to the pile of change scattered on the counter and hurried on to the next customer, yelling "Next!" over my shoulder. I put the bill down and grabbed a quarter from the pile.
Maybe this situation is typical of Manhattan coffee & donut carts (although two carts near where I work don't do this), but this was the first business establishment I've ever been to that lets its customers make their own change. Intrigued, I walked a few steps away and turned around to watch the interaction between this business and its customers. For five minutes, everyone either threw down exact change or made their own change without any notice from Ralph; he was just too busy pouring coffee or retrieving crullers to pay any attention to the money situation.
If you were the CEO of a big business -- say, a movie studio, music company, or multinational bank -- you'd have been tearing your hair out at this scene. He lets his customers make their own change?!?!! How does he know they're making the correct change? Or putting down any change at all? Or even stealing the change? Where's the technology that prevents the change from being stolen while he's not looking? Surely there's a machine that could be invented to keep track of it. Bad, bad, bad! Unclean, unclean! Does not compute...
Hold on there, Mr. CEO, don't go all HAL 9000 on us. Ralph probably does lose a little bit of change each day to theft & bad math, but more than makes up for it in other ways. The throughput of that tiny stand is amazing. For comparison's sake, I staked out two nearby donut & coffee stands and their time spent per customer was almost double that of Ralph's stand. So, Ralph's doing roughly twice the business with the same resources. Let's see Citibank do that.
It's also apparent that Ralph trusts his customers, and that they both appreciate and return that sense of trust (I know I do). Trust is one of the most difficult "assets" for companies to acquire, but also one of the most valuable. Many companies take shortcuts in getting their customers to trust them, paying lip service to Trust™ in press releases and marketing brochures. Which works, temporarily and superficially, but when you get down to it, you can't market trust...it needs to be earned. People trust you when you trust them.
When an environment of trust is created, good things start happening. Ralph can serve twice as many customers. People get their coffee in half the time. Due to this time savings, people become regulars. Regulars provide Ralph's business with stability, a good reputation, and with customers who have an interest in making correct change (to keep the line moving and keep Ralph in business). Lots of customers who make correct change increase Ralph's profit margin. Etc. Etc.
And what did Ralph have to pay for all this? A bit of change here and there.
masturbation lowers risk of prostate cancer GREG ALLEN · JUL 17
masturbation lowers risk of prostate cancer. Gotta give those Aussie researchers a hand
FBI questions ATL man for reading FoxNews GREG ALLEN · JUL 17
FBI questions ATL man for reading FoxNews critique in coffee shop. i.e., someone REPORTED him for reading. via obscurestore.com
from the secret police files of mr Pablo Picasso GREG ALLEN · JUL 17
from the secret police files of mr Pablo Picasso. those crazy French.
Larry Wall's State of the Perl Onion address from OSCON 2003. mit Powerpoint slides!
The Tour moves on JUL 17
I have a very utilitarian bent. I think the things that people have ended up doing after death, however grisly, are great. It's good to be helpful to others. So there is that message, that you can be useful after death. I've gotten letters from people who've said, "Now I'm going to donate my body to science."
Particularly in the beating-heart cadaver chapter, I really came down strong on the side of being in favor of donating organs. It would be such a waste for someone in that situation not to donate with 18,000 people waiting for organs. But for the most part, it's meant just as a fun and informative read.
(And I apologize to all the cycling fans who thought this post was about the Tour de France. Visit the Tour de France blog, the 2003 Tour de France page @ Wikipedia, or follow the action live at VeloNews if you're into that.)
Bilbao, Rio, Taichung. Guggenheim announced for Taiwan? GREG ALLEN · JUL 16
Bilbao, Rio, Taichung. Guggenheim announced for Taiwan?. Zaha Hadid did the moving (literally) design. via Archinect
GameSpot reviews real life, gives it a 9.6/10. "combat actually isn't a major factor for most players in real life, though players are bound to engage in a few skirmishes early in their lives"
"Furthermore, if you’re going to spend GREG ALLEN · JUL 16
news link collection: stupidnakedpeople.com GREG ALLEN · JUL 16
news link collection: stupidnakedpeople.com. a steady stream of people sorely lacking in embarrassment. note: site title legible at 10 paces
Artist Manabu Yamanaka explores Buddhist notions of pain, age, disease GREG ALLEN · JUL 16
Artist Manabu Yamanaka explores Buddhist notions of pain, age, disease. aka, nude portraits of 90+yo Japanese women. probably not for work.
Author Is a Cop-Out MARY ROACH · JUL 15
So I wrote this book (buy from Amazon) about the bizarre, amazing, heroic things dead people have managed to achieve in their careers as research cadavers. And I find it all quite impressive and inspiring. You would think, given how I feel and what I know, that by now I'd have contacted the local medical school to fill out a willed body donor form. I have not. I'm a cop-out. I tell people it's because my husband is squeamish and would reather not picture me on a slab, in pieces. This is true, but it's not the whole story. You know what it is? I'll tell you. This is pathetic. I'm having a hard time with the thought of being old, withered, revolting and naked -- did I mention naked? -- in front of strangers. I don't mind their taking out my spleen, cutting off a leg -- none of that bothers me. I simply don't like the idea of healthy young people looking at me and being quietly disgusted by my withered flesh and dilapidated hull. (I mean, I'm 44, and already it's happening!) It's embarrassing. Of course, you can't be embarrassed when you're dead. I'm presumptively embarrassed -- the way I am when I come back from an aggressively hip party and imagine all the things that were said behind my back. Though I'll never hear them, and quite possibly they were never said, they're unsettling nonetheless. How disappointing to realize that even death isn't free from neurotic insecurity!
Very few people donate their bodies to science. I'm curious as to the reasons. What keeps you from doing it? Surely most people have better reasons than mine!
Welcome Mary JUL 15
The Virtual Book Tour is still chugging along and tomorrow (Wed.), author Mary Roach will be joining me as a guest editor here on kottke.org. She'll be talking about subjects related to her book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Welcome Mary.
On fame and graphic design JUL 15
On fame and graphic design. "[fame will] change you, and not always for the better"
midwest farm listings to pick your own fruits and vegetables GREG ALLEN · JUL 15
midwest farm listings to pick your own fruits and vegetables. via Gaper's Block
Bark Mitzvahs? GREG ALLEN · JUL 15
Bark Mitzvahs?. I swear, some of my best friends are dogs and/or Jewish, but this is inane.
poet Frank O'Hara killed in freak dune GREG ALLEN · JUL 15
poet Frank O'Hara killed in freak dune buggy accident on Fire Island, 7.25.66. there ARE worse things than wearing the wrong thing, so please, take care
ferry death from crystal meth on Fire Island GREG ALLEN · JUL 15
ferry death from crystal meth on Fire Island. no pun intended. via gawker
ultimately good Punk Planet profile in the Wash. Post. GREG ALLEN · JUL 15
EU orders farmers to give toys to pigs GREG ALLEN · JUL 15
EU orders farmers to give toys to pigs. from the EU's Euromyths collection
Using the Memex JUL 14
I've been reading a lot over the past few months, both online and in book form. Not unusual, but I've noticed that I retain a lot more from my online reading than from the offline. My recall of names, facts, circumstances, themes, and lessons from articles I've read online is excellent, but not so good when it comes to books. Part of it is that I approach book reading as a leisure activity and not as work or study, although I'm not sure the opposite is necessarily true for Web reading (partially perhaps, because I do use the web to brush up on design and programming issues -- work stuff). But the bigger reason for the difference is probably due to the nature of what the task of reading entails in those two media.
Books are self-contained. There are 332 pages in my copy of The Selfish Gene (incl. endnotes). There might be a bibliography, but unless you're in the library, reading up on any of the 200 or so references contained therein would prove challenging. Everything you get with a book is in between its front and back covers.**
With the web, you're always in the library. It's not always a proper library (some of the "reference" materials can be a little sketchy), but it's better than nothing. And the materials you want are very often hyperlinked right in the material you're reading for instant research gratification. Web reading is a deeper and more active type of reading. I can completely research a particularly interesting topic, jumping from site to site to Google to site and back to Google, hunting down exactly what my brain is jonsing for, and skim over the stuff I'm not so keen on. I'm not dependent on the author of the book to give me exactly what I want; I can "write" my own book of sorts, editing the subject matter as I see fit. It's this active reading -- researching really -- that I think is responsible for the much higher rate of retention with online reading.
** "Ha ha, not quite!" you're rightly saying to yourself. You've got your whole lifetime of experience and a healthy imagination to draw upon. Two covers my ass, books are as full as you want to make them. That's one of the drawbacks of reading on the web for me. My recall is excellent, but I typically don't stop to ponder like I do with books. There's always that next thing to click on or research. I don't have to work out for myself on which points Dawkins disagrees with Stephen J. Gould...I can just go and read for myself. I might recall more from web reading, but I think I get more from books. (Although, online research while reading a book is a very potent combination...if you remember to ponder before scurrying off to the web for easy answers.)
The internet is shit (seemingly arguing for libraries instead of the internet...like we should have either one or the other, but not both or the universe will explode)
The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive? (NY Times)
Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything (James Gleick)
Project Gutenberg (reading books on the web)
Report: Online Training 'Boring' (Wired News, "Studies have shown that onscreen reading retention is 30 percent lower than with printed material.")
Digital Divide (pbs.org)
As We May Think (Vannevar Bush, Atlantic Monthly)
whoa. Slate's freakin' me out with it's blog-like redesign GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
Matrix Reloaded thread passes 1000 comments. 931 in the old thread, 72 in the new one
Winged Migration JUL 14
A beautiful study of life and of earth by way of some birds. The cinematography in this film is amazing.
Canadian gov't now growing, selling pot GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
Canadian gov't now growing, selling pot. it's half the street price (is there anything national health care CAN'T do?)
Finding naked people, software will automatically find photos with large amounts of skin color. Can be used for porn filter
Vive Le... Minitel GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
Vive Le... Minitel. I can't believe this story is actually dated July 14. 2003.
Hollywood tykes wresting power through email, msg boards GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
Hollywood tykes wresting power through email, msg boards. fametracker.com, baby
(How the mighty have fallen) CAA tyke GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
(How the mighty have fallen) CAA tyke to Page Six' Elizabeth Spiers: 'I'll probably never use e-mail again'. Page Six' Elizabeth Spiers ??!!
"You read the script: 'Midget walks across GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
"You read the script: 'Midget walks across stage.' And that's what I did.". Bloodymidgets.com, via Obscurestore.com
"Gellin' like a ____" poised for rapid burnout GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
A bunch of behind the scenes stuff about Winged Migration. Great movie, btw
New sidebar links JUL 14
Movable Type is the new way to do absolutely everything, BTW. I use it for my weblog, my bookmarks, my grocery shopping list, and my address book. I no longer need TiVo or my email application...I run everything through MT. Going to movies these days is easy with MT. It checks my vision, does root canals, makes my travel plans, transports me back in time, and balances my checkbook. Even expensive hookers are a thing of the past with Movable Type (although it doesn't go down as often as Blogger does). Thank you MT, you've made my life worth living again!
So yeah, new sidebar links. Check out the new ones if you're into reading words and clicking links.
whey all ze french people at? GREG ALLEN · JUL 14
whey all ze french people at?. heads up: that man accosting you on that Manhattan street may be writing for the Times.
After 40-years, father-son team complete Zeus' family tree GREG ALLEN · JUL 12
After 40-years, father-son team complete Zeus' family tree. 3,673 figures of Greek Mythology, all related in a 20-generation family
After seeing elephants mate, Bush explains why GREG ALLEN · JUL 11
After seeing elephants mate, Bush explains why he went to war. If anyone's selling a create-your-own suggestive caption kit, I'm buying.
push push & George Bush GREG ALLEN · JUL 11
push push & George Bush. As close to sex as Republicans can handle. (safe, if you work at the Discovery Channel)
Music reveals your personality, AU study shows GREG ALLEN · JUL 10
Music reveals your personality, AU study shows. Frankly, sounds about as accurate as a placemat in a Chinese restaurant
Faith-based stick in the zoning committee's eye GREG ALLEN · JUL 10
Faith-based stick in the zoning committee's eye. PA man can't get permission to host concerts, opens Church of Universal Love and Music instead.
Ping pong, Matrix-style JUL 10
Ping pong, Matrix-style. This is the most fantastically amazing thing you'll see on the Internet this week...or your money back.
Clay Aiken fan impressed with message boards...and himself GREG ALLEN · JUL 10
Clay Aiken fan impressed with message boards...and himself. Remember Todd, with great power comes great responsibility
Anthropomorphic Taxidermy: it's not just for Victorians anymore GREG ALLEN · JUL 10
Anthropomorphic Taxidermy: it's not just for Victorians anymore. Maurizio Cattelan's sad, sad squirrel
Get your butt to Provence. Van Gogh's 1889 GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
Get your butt to Provence. Van Gogh's 1889 'Moonrise' will recur on 7/13.. Apparently, there's this 'Metonic Cycle.'
Kim Jong Il's favorite sushi chef publishes a book GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
Kim Jong Il's favorite sushi chef publishes a book. Great Leader wigs the guy out so bad, he says "Going out to buy some uni" and never goes back.
Counselors ran, bet on kiddie fight club at 4-H camp GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
Staged readings of really bad movies at GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
Staged readings of really bad movies at the Neo-futurist theater in Chi.. Damn. The Care Bears Movie was last week...
New York: Our trees grow faster than GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
New York: Our trees grow faster than your stunted, suburban trees. because of your suburban ozone levels. hah
Emergency removal of hard metal or ceramic finger rings. You have to break them with vice grips, not cut them
happy friendly tour of Pixar's studio GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
happy friendly tour of Pixar's studio. centralized bathroom, and a lot of hawaiian shirts. via Overmorgen
Making and trading custom maps GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
Making and trading custom maps. Good, but wordy. That Kevin Kelly could use an editor.
Super Free: Waseda Univ. gang rape club scandal GREG ALLEN · JUL 09
Message board for "Man Wakes After 19 Years in Coma" story contains 1000 messages. And new messages are being added at the rate of 10/minute
Animals preserved in anthropomorphic poses and situations. Be sure to scroll all the way down for the Napoleon chimpanzee
Phone Dial Web Browser JUL 08
This is neat, a rotary dial interface to a web browser:
A web browser that uses a rotary phone dial as a custom physical interface. To use it, one dials an IP address rather than typing a URL. Dots are entered by pressing a button, external to the dial.
SixApart owns blogs.com? JUL 08
SixApart owns blogs.com?. When did that happen and how much did they have to pay for it?
Satellite imagery expert spots new, secret Iraq-Kuwait pipeline GREG ALLEN · JUL 08
Bush re buzz- and US soldier-killing war GREG ALLEN · JUL 08
Bush re buzz- and US soldier-killing war movies: Bring 'Em On. Coming soon to a White House near you: Black Hawk2: Liberian Boogaloo
Maciej Ceglowski, Polish American on French-y Canadia GREG ALLEN · JUL 08
The Virtual Book Tour JUL 08
The Virtual Book Tour is off and running with author Mary Roach and her book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. The idea of the VBT is to have authors tour web sites much like they do bookstores. kottke.org is a stop on this tour (view the tour schedule)...Mary will be taking over the posting duties here next Wednesday, July 16.
Update: Keep an eye on the Amazon Sales Rank for Stiff to see if this virtual tour business directly affects sales.
Peter Jennings, Canadian American GREG ALLEN · JUL 08
Peter Jennings, Canadian American. finally drinks the Kool-aid from 'this noble container'
People who run JUL 08
Nonzero JUL 07
The main thesis of Nonzero is that social complexity of human culture has been increasing since the dawn of man and will continue to do so until forever. Wright argues that non-zero sum games are the culprit: societies get more complex (moving from tribes of hunter gatherers to mutli-trillion dollar global economy) because in order to play ever more lucrative non-zero sum games with an increasing number of people, that's the way it has to be. It makes a lot of sense.
WP chills with the NJGuido.com guy GREG ALLEN · JUL 07
WP chills with the NJGuido.com guy. "There are no subtleties in an environment like this."
The Fourth of July JUL 07
What Independence Day is all about:
- Making an appointment with the chiropractor because The Cyclone is a seriously dangerous relic that needs to be razed before it kills someone (me!). It's been three days and my neck still hurts from the whiplash I got from the first drop. Rollercoasters should seem unsafe but actually be safe.
- Going to the super-crowded beach at Coney Island to dip our tootsies in the water with half of New York City. As Steven observed in Prospect Park, the scene was the kind of multiculturalism you often find in NYC. Well, almost. Economic stratification is still alive and well in America's melting pot...the racial demographic resembled the subway much more than Central Park West. Jonah summed it up well when he quipped, "it's so crowded here, why don't these people just go to the Hamptons or Nantucket?"
- Fireworks. The display in NYC was fantastic...we saw several types of fireworks we'd never seen before.
- Watching Zoolander.
A list of MetaFilter in-jokes. In-jokes are one sign of a vibrant, closed community
For those who can't type 'co.uk': GREG ALLEN · JUL 07
The past of music JUL 07
Wired News is running an article this morning on a revolutionary Internet radio station that uses collaborative filtering to tailor streams for individual users. That revolution has already happened...launch.com was there in 1999:
You can grab songs for your playlist from real-life radio station playlists, from other LaunchCAST DJs, or by rating the songs as they are played. As you rate songs or choose DJs & radio stations that you "trust", the player learns from that and starts pushing you music that you are likely to enjoy.
Launch.com's product is still available at Yahoo!
God adds another Buddy to His list GREG ALLEN · JUL 07
God adds another Buddy to His list. Are there any famous Buddys left?
Pierre Cardin's trippy Riviera home available for private events, seminars, GREG ALLEN · JUL 07
Pierre Cardin's trippy Riviera home available for private events, seminars,. Like a birthday party, peut etre? Happy 81st, Pierre!
These folks are collaboratively translating the Harry Potter books into German. and will, sadly, probably get sued for it at some point
Sister Ping, tiny-yet-brutal Godmother of the biggest GREG ALLEN · JUL 06
A new interpretation of Stonehenge, from a British gynecologist GREG ALLEN · JUL 06
A new interpretation of Stonehenge, from a British gynecologist. If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
le Trottoir Roulant Rapide, for getting around GREG ALLEN · JUL 05
With 202 recipients, Maverick was the 813th most GREG ALLEN · JUL 05
With 202 recipients, Maverick was the 813th most popular boy's name in 2002.. Trinity jumped from 555 to 74 after The Matrix came out
Marathon diary of Venice Biennale opening at Artforum GREG ALLEN · JUL 05
" For depriving us in many cases, of GREG ALLEN · JUL 04
Gay Balfour, inventor, man of God GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
Gay Balfour, inventor, man of God. "One night, my wife said, 'Why don't you ask the Lord to help us?' The next week, I had this dream to catch prairie dogs with a huge vacuum."
How does JW Vanderpool, The Prairie Dog GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
How does JW Vanderpool, The Prairie Dog King, harvest his pups?. the answer's about 3min into the stream
BBC to Church: 'Where are the ... media-savvy performers?' GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
BBC to Church: 'Where are the ... media-savvy performers?'. Warning: Be more interesting than gardeners, or lose your airtime.
Arggh. Rem Koolhaas wins Praemium Imperiale, aka "architecture Nobel" GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
Arggh. Rem Koolhaas wins Praemium Imperiale, aka "architecture Nobel". The Emperor must've fallen for the Wired guest issue
Two bits of site news JUL 03
2. I closed the uber-Matrix thread (with a whopping 931 comments), archived the whole thing (as a 1.22 MB HTML file), and opened up a new thread (linked from the archive) so that discussion may continue if the participants wish. Not the ideal solution because it will probably kill the discussion (although it looks like it may be on the verge of stopping anyway), but something that needed to be done.
"Download Mac to your desktop" GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
"Download Mac to your desktop". BBC's Desktop McEnroe delivers live Wimbledon updates ("for PC ONLY running Windows")
1st Intl Moblogging Conf Sat. 5Jul in Tko GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
1st Intl Moblogging Conf Sat. 5Jul in Tko. day-of reg. still ok. pls send Joi Ito pix
Highway department store. Concrete factory apartment. Graveyard tunnel. GREG ALLEN · JUL 03
Highway department store. Concrete factory apartment. Graveyard tunnel.. that Tokyo architecture, it's crazy
Is President Bush a flamboyant homosexual? GREG ALLEN · JUL 02
Is President Bush a flamboyant homosexual?. cuz America's best Christian wants to know.
Diva chimp tries to spell U-T-O-P-I-A, spells T-I-T instead GREG ALLEN · JUL 02
Diva chimp tries to spell U-T-O-P-I-A, spells T-I-T instead. It's actually spelled A-R-T.
The Economist Style Guide GREG ALLEN · JUL 02
The Economist Style Guide. Cassandra's predictions were correct but not believed.
Lay-Z-Boy recliners designed by the stars of Friends. the Schwimmer one looks predictably ridiculous
Government warns of mass hacker attacks on Sunday ANDY BAIO · JUL 02
Government warns of mass hacker attacks on Sunday. Script kiddies trying to vandalize 6,000 sites in six hours
A weblog about the postal world. Who knew there was so much news about the mail?
Players of The Sims are creating narratives and movies using Sims characters as actors and the software's album feature as a recording media:
Players "go to a lot of trouble to get the Sims to do things they don't want to do," Wright says, explaining that players must keep their would-be actors fed, clean, rested and happy before they will even consider playing their parts. "So in that sense, it's almost like they're a director.... It's almost like a real movie shoot."
Asked about that, Service laughed and agreed. "I suspect real people would be easier to direct," she said. "There is nothing like trying to get two Sims to kiss when they are both not in the mood. Actors would at least pretend."
This reminds me of Jim Monroe's My Trip to Liberty City, a home movie-esque account of a Canadian man's visit to Liberty City in the game Grand Theft Auto.
New book about the saga of Wired magazine ANDY BAIO · JUL 02
Distributed couch potatoing JUL 01
Also, at next year's O'Reilly Etech conference, someone** will do something with iSight/iChat AV that will allow people attending one panel to tune into the other two concurrent panels (much like Hydra let people textally eavesdrop on concurrent panels last year). The really cool thing? The organizers of the conference won't have to do anything to make this happen, aside from providing the wireless network. No setting up a streaming, teleconferencing, blah-de-blah server, no renting of video cameras or microphones, no A/V people. Just give people a medium for communication & collaboration and they'll figure it out for themselves.
** Here's a suggestion: a presenter could mic him/herself, make the audio available over iChat AV, and make the presentation available on the web so that anyone who has iChat can follow along from anywhere in the conference area. Add in real-time stenography with Hydra and you can enjoy the conference entirely from the bar or one of the sofas in the lobby.
David Cross on the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. "I want to be eight and play drums with my family at nightclubs for hipsters who love me"
Netscape founder says browser innovation is dead ANDY BAIO · JUL 01
Could the IRS tax virtual income in multiplayer games? ANDY BAIO · JUL 01
Spin.com redesigns, now powered by PHP Postnuke ANDY BAIO · JUL 01
iBook problems JUL 01
It figures. Just after the expiration of the one-year warranty, my iBook starts having problems (Apple hardware has a history of this apparently). The right speaker now cuts in and out, but more annoying is the ticking sound the computer started making last night. Well, it's not a tick exactly, more like a pop. A popping tick maybe. Hard to describe. Sounds like a tiny spark leaping across a tiny gap, waiting for its chance to become a big spark and hose my whole system. Or the platter on my hard drive skipping against something.
Weird...it just stopped. It's not ticking anymore. It ticked/popped for about two hours and then stopped. Did it know I was writing about this? Maybe my iBook is haunted. Do they do exorcisms at the Genius Bar?
Update: After sleeping for 30 minutes, the tick/pop is back. Is anyone else's iBook doing this?