homeabout kottke.orgarchives + tags

Entries for July 2004 (August 2004 »    September 2004 »    October 2004 »    Archives)

 

Spyware Warrior is a weblog dedicated to fighting Windows spyware

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

Spyware Warrior is a weblog dedicated to fighting Windows spyware.

We Work Remotely

Search engines, immortality, and Gilgamesh

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

Search engines, immortality, and Gilgamesh.

Enter the 4th Annual Everyman Photo Contest

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

Enter the 4th Annual Everyman Photo Contest. Amateurs only, deadline is 10/4/2004.

Photos of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in Poissy, France

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

Photos of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in Poissy, France.

The Teacher’s Lounge is a wiki for

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

The Teacher’s Lounge is a wiki for teachers to share lesson plans. It could use some contributions…forward this along to any K-12 teachers you know.

The Peace Corps is looking for some

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

The Peace Corps is looking for some Web developers and designers. Volunteer or pass the word along.

Photo essay of Millennium Park in Chicago

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 31, 2004

Photo essay of Millennium Park in Chicago.

Google’s IPO site is live

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Google’s IPO site is live. Read the prospectus, view the Meet the Management presentation, get a bidder ID, and get information about the auction.

Technorati is getting some deserved bad press

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Technorati is getting some deserved bad press.

How to buy a TV

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

How to buy a TV.

Is the Bush administration capturing Al Qaeda

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Is the Bush administration capturing Al Qaeda operatives only when it’s politically convenient to do so?. I’ve seen many others wonder about a timely Bin Laden capture at the end of October.

NYPD critical response mobilizations designed to intimidate populace

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

NYPD critical response mobilizations designed to intimidate populace. Isn’t this pretty much what terrorism is?

The preservation of jazz history and the iTunes Music Store

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

The preservation of jazz history and the iTunes Music Store. What we’re losing in the mp3ing of all music.

Paleoclimatologist sniffs that he wouldn’t see The

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Paleoclimatologist sniffs that he wouldn’t see The Day After Tomorrow unless someone gave him $100. Usenet readers successfully take up a collection and send him to the theatre.

Debian project finds works governed by Creative

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Debian project finds works governed by Creative Commons licenses are not free according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines and “should not be included in Debian”.

My favorite fighting video game move is

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

My favorite fighting video game move is either the “Charging Carnival” or the “Beach Lightning Crotch Fairy”.

2004 Election Guide from the NY Times

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

2004 Election Guide from the NY Times. Great info-packed Flash presentation.

Craft and the Shake Shack

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Meg and I went to Craft earlier this week. The restaurant’s schtick is to present fresh food as simply as possible. The heirloom tomatoes were sliced, salted, peppered, and placed on a white dish with a wee bit of basil. The wild salmon came with a few onions, making it the most accented dish of the evening. The striped bass was served braised in its own juices with a couple of carrots. Plain sautéed hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. The lamb shank was served alone in its own juices, still in the container it was cooked in. Green beans, unbuttered. Mashed potatoes, lightly buttered. Cinnamon and chocolate donuts on a simple white plate. A single slice of brioche pain perdu with small pitchers of caramel and chocolate to flavor it. I enjoyed the no-nonsense presentation, but the tastes were a little too spare for my, um, taste. Verdict: The food was great, the novelty of the preparation was fun, but I don’t think I’d go again.

The next day, we checked out Danny Meyer’s new Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, located at the opposite end of the NYC food spectrum from Craft. We each had a Shack Burger with fries and shared a chocolate shake. The food came in a box and the burgers in little bags, reminding me of In-N-Out Burger. The fries were way too crispy, but the burger was one of the best I’ve had in NYC. (Good burgers are one of the few things I miss from California. Not that good hamburgers can’t be found in NYC, but it’s just not a hamburger town.) I’m looking forward to trying the Chicago-style hot dog (Nathan’s aside, give me a Vienna Beef dog any day of the week over a NYC dog) and the frozen custard on my next visit.

New species of worm discovered in the ocean

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

New species of worm discovered in the ocean. They eat the fat- and oil-rich remains of whales.

What if companies spent their money on

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

What if companies spent their money on improving customer experience rather than on marketing?.

The owner of katie.com (since 1996) is

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

The owner of katie.com (since 1996) is irritated at Penguin Books for publishing a book of the same name.

A Microsoft intern has dinner at Bill Gates’ house

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

A Microsoft intern has dinner at Bill Gates’ house.

Interview with Francis Crick

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Interview with Francis Crick.

Crick and Watson’s original letter to Nature

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Crick and Watson’s original letter to Nature on the structure of DNA. “We wish to put forward a radically different structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid.”

Time Magazine profile of Watson and Crick

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2004

Time Magazine profile of Watson and Crick.

O’Reilly has a page up about their

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 29, 2004

O’Reilly has a page up about their new magazine called Make. “This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.”

Swiss Army knife with USB storage

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 29, 2004

Swiss Army knife with USB storage. In the future, everything will have memory.

NY Times on Web diarist hoaxes and Plain Layne

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 29, 2004

NY Times on Web diarist hoaxes and Plain Layne. Includes a photo of Odin Soli, the man behind Layne.

Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, had died at age 88

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 29, 2004

Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, had died at age 88.

Reviews of the Lord of the Rings

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 29, 2004

Reviews of the Lord of the Rings book from 50 years ago.

Sam Brown, of explodingdog fame, has a

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 29, 2004

Sam Brown, of explodingdog fame, has a new book out in September called Amazing Rain.

New Yorker profile of Barack Obama

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2004

New Yorker profile of Barack Obama.

The Source is a neat info-sculpture on

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2004

The Source is a neat info-sculpture on the “floor” of the London Stock Exchange. “The Source will mark the start of the London markets every day at 8.00am, displaying an arrow to indicate whether the markets have opened up or down and giving the opening price of the FTSE 100 index.”

Review of Restaurant Tycoon, a restaurant management sim

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2004

Review of Restaurant Tycoon, a restaurant management sim. “One might assume that a game about restaurant management would be dull, but this isn’t. It helps if you’ve fantasized about running a restaurant, of course.”

Time Magazine on prediction markets

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2004

Time Magazine on prediction markets. Using markets, BP hit its greenhouse emissions reduction target *9 years early*.

Google IPO price per share

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2004

I’ve seen several references to the price per share of Google stock being priced too high ($108-135) for people to buy it, most notably in this article by Dan Gillmor:

At least, I wouldn’t consider [investing in Google] at the nosebleed-altitude prices that Google suggested to the world Monday. This is starting to feel frothy.

This is silly. If you buy 74 shares of Google stock for $10,000 and 352 shares of Microsoft stock for $10,000, your stake in each company is worth $10,000 even though you’ve got five times more MSFT shares. A more relevant question to ask is whether or not a company is worth its overall valuation…or better yet, whether it will be worth such and such a value in X number of years. There’s a pyschological factor involved here. People think they’re somehow getting more with a higher share price. Reminds me of stock splits…if a stock splits 2-for-1, you get twice the number of shares (woo hoo, I’m rich!) but at half the price per share (hey, wait a minute…).

Frank Gehry and the MIT Media Lab

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2004

Frank Gehry and the MIT Media Lab collaborate on a concept car. There’s a huge coat hanger on the top of the car.

Optimizing Perl, when Perl isn’t quite fast enough

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2004

Optimizing Perl, when Perl isn’t quite fast enough.

MTA is exploring corporate branding opportunities for NYC subway stations

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2004

MTA is exploring corporate branding opportunities for NYC subway stations. In 30 years, everything (individuals, pets, the beach, US currency, the atmosphere, national parks, Spain, etc.) will be branded by a corporation.

Google’s IPO information page

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2004

Google’s IPO information page. There’s no info here yet, but will be soon.

Odd tidbit of the day…both Keira

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2004

Odd tidbit of the day…both Keira Knightly and Sofia Coppola were in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. They each played one of Queen Amidala’s handmaidens.

The state of the report

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2004

Wired News has an article on the guerilla conversion of the 9/11 Commission Report (published by the government online only in PDF format) into various formats, including HTML, text, audio, and a more accessible PDF format. The HTML version I did of the executive summary is mentioned. On a whim yesterday afternoon, I googled for several variations of “9/11 commission report” and my site came up in the top 5-6 results for most of them (for instance). Usually a high ranking on a such a hot topic means lots of traffic from Google, but when I checked my stats this morning, there was almost nothing coming from Google for any of those search terms. So even though the book version is a bestseller, few seem to be looking for the online version.

Also, it looks as though Dave Winer might handily win his bet with Martin Nisenholtz of the NY Times…both kottke.org and Boing Boing rank above CNN, MSNBC, Time, and the Times in the search results for “9/11 commission report”.

The top 100 this-and-thats of the 20th century

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

The top 100 this-and-thats of the 20th century.

Photos of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

Photos of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. “I’ve never been in a space that is more in tune with the nature that surrounds it”.

Film titles by Pablo Ferro, including for Dr. Strangelove

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

Film titles by Pablo Ferro, including for Dr. Strangelove.

Last 100 posts, part 2

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

(This is a biweekly-ish wrap-up thing that I’m trying. Here’s the first installment.)

Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France, but you already know that. Enroute to victory, Armstrong tangled with an off-the-bike rival…or was it just smart game theory? Heather has photos (1, 2) from the final stage in Paris.

Ken Jennings is still alive on Jeopardy as the show goes on summer vacation. Tapings begin again in August. I see no end in sight to his reign. More Jennings links than you would ever want:

- Ken Jennings Wikipedia entry
- The various ways in which Ken has signed his name
- An enormous list of movies Ken likes
- Lots of discussion on the Jeopardy Forums. Jennings himself even participates in some of the discussions; here’s a list of his posts.

hello, typepad ties it all together in a post about Lance, Jennings, me, and (respectively) our continued dominance of the Tour, Jeopardy, and Google.

The discussion of the Fast Company article on Whole Foods is a reminder of why it’s so much fun for me to do this site. The thread contains both pro and con responses, including one from the boyfriend of a satisfied Whole Foods employee. What’s odd is that the article generated zero comments on the actual article page on FC. I wonder why?

Re: the HTML version of the 9/11 Commission Report Executive Summary I posted last week, here’s the whole report (HTML TOC links to PDF (FYI LOL)) with permalinks for each section. Should be a Wired article appearing soon about the guerilla reformatting of the report.

For the announcement of the new iPod, we were promised out-of-the-ordinary publicity. Instead, we got the cover of Newsweek. Boooor-ring. Does anyone have one of these bad boys yet?

I tested the wisdom of a crowd by opening up comments on the Wisdom of Crowds post. How’d the crowd do? Well, it would have been more interesting had any of the commenters actually read the book. I’ve thought of starting a kottke.org book club where I post what book I’m currently reading, invite others to read along with me, and then have a discussion about the book when we’ve finished reading. I’m not completely sold on the idea for a variety of reasons, but would there be any interest in this?

In response to my problems with MTAmazon, Adam Kalsey, the creator of the plugin, writes in with a possible solution (haven’t tried it yet, so I don’t know). He says it’s a problem with Amazon’s ever-changing API, which makes sense because nothing with my MT install changed to make the plugin break. Thanks to Adam taking the time to help and for making MTAmazon freely available. Amazon’s API aside, it’s one of my favorite plugins.

The DNC bloggers are gearing up to do their thing. (What “thing” that is exactly remains to be seen.) I’m a little irritated about not being there; I didn’t find out that they were letting bloggers into the convention until it was too late to sign up. Sounds like an interesting experience.

Other than that, last week was a hard week. I’m setting up a new server and, after 40+ hours of monkeying around with installation of software and configuring everything, the hard drive threw a wobbly. Luckily I got the data back, and I’m only out a few bucks and a few hours for my trouble. I’ve got it back to where it was (more or less) and am currently working on an rsync-based backup solution before I go any further. From what I’ve seen so far, rsync is quite a cool application.

The six degrees of the PBS show, American Masters

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

The six degrees of the PBS show, American Masters. See how Clint Eastwood and Albert Einstein are connected.

The band connector

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

The band connector. “A band is officially regarded as connecting to another if they both share a legitmate band member”.

Jim Kunstler lets fly about current events

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

Jim Kunstler lets fly about current events on his newish weblog.

Sir Laurence Olivier to star in all-digital

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

Sir Laurence Olivier to star in all-digital film, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

One man’s crusade against Big Oil

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

One man’s crusade against Big Oil. “They are taking advantage of people’s anxiety about the war.”

Very few among the conference-going crowd are

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2004

Very few among the conference-going crowd are using IE as their browser.

Third (or is it sixth?) Star Wars

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 25, 2004

Third (or is it sixth?) Star Wars movie to be called “Revenge of the Sith”.

Hello, Nintendo-playing shades-wearing dumbass

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 25, 2004

Hello, Nintendo-playing shades-wearing dumbass. Hey, it was bright in there!

The cult of Ken Jennings

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 24, 2004

The cult of Ken Jennings. Just in case you missed it the first time.

If you’re with a site that “enforces

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 24, 2004

If you’re with a site that “enforces compulsory user registration”, you’re required to register with BugMeNot. That’s some funny shit.

Jesse Friedman, one of the subjects of

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 24, 2004

Jesse Friedman, one of the subjects of Capturing the Friedmans, has made his own movie about the last day before his prison sentence started.

Rumors are true, Microsoft is looking to sell Slate

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Rumors are true, Microsoft is looking to sell Slate. Slate’s one of the best online magazines; I hope nothing bad happens to it.

In the 18th stage of the Tour

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

In the 18th stage of the Tour de France, Armstrong chased down an off-the-bike rival, forcing a retreat from the breakaway group back to the peleton.

Seven countries currently have more than one national capital

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Seven countries currently have more than one national capital.

How to detect if someone is lying

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

How to detect if someone is lying through observation during questioning. “Experienced interviewers know they cannot count on any one indicator to deception; the pattern is the key”.

Catwoman is getting horrible reviews

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Catwoman is getting horrible reviews. It’s currently hovering just above Gigli territory.

A brief history of the ATM

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

A brief history of the ATM.

Aggregating posts from bloggers at the DNC

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Aggregating posts from bloggers at the DNC. I had no idea so few bloggers got chosen to attend.

Evidence of rogue waves uncovered with satellite photos

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Evidence of rogue waves uncovered with satellite photos. Waves 80-100 feet high can form in otherwise calm seas.

Today is the last day of the

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Today is the last day of the Jeopardy season. Will Ken Jennings win and carry over to the next season?.

The year’s top brands and trends in branding circa 2004

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

The year’s top brands and trends in branding circa 2004.

Detecting fake digital photos is possible, but

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2004

Detecting fake digital photos is possible, but doesn’t work so hot for compressed images like JPEGs.

If you blow out the white on

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

If you blow out the white on the newly digitized Apollo photos, you can see the “missing” stars.

The first one is free

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

Interesting post over at Gulfstream (no permalink, sorry) about free software that doesn’t seem so free from a company called Sveasoft:

Sveasoft have produced a new firmware for a Linksys wireless router. The software, like the original software, is based on Linux, and is licensed under the GPL: once you own a copy, you’re free to give it to anyone you want. However, Sveasoft themselves will only give you a copy of “pre-release” version of their software if you pay to “subscribe” to this service. Ordinarily they wouldn’t be able to charge very much for their software, because once one person has a copy of the software, they are legally allowed to give it to all their friends. (They could also sell it for less than Sveasoft charges.) However, the deal with Sveasoft is that if you do this, they won’t sell you newer versions of their software. According to the FSF, this is quite okay.

Sveasoft will give you their pre-release software for free and allow you to distribute it, but if you do, you can’t get support or buy future versions of the pre-release software. When I first read about this, it seemed to run counter to the free software philosophy, but upon further reflection, I don’t see any real technical or philosophical objections to what Sveasoft is doing.

Are the days of the De Beers diamond cartel numbered?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

Are the days of the De Beers diamond cartel numbered?.

NASA posts newly digitized photos from Apollo 11 moon landing

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

NASA posts newly digitized photos from Apollo 11 moon landing.

HTML version of the 9/11 Commission Executive Summary

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

The 9/11 Commission released their findings today (WaPo PDF of the Executive Summary). I’ve created an HTML version of the Executive Summary with permalinks for each paragraph for easy linking and copy/paste.

9/11 Commission Report in PDF format

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

9/11 Commission Report in PDF format.

GD Library restores GIF read/write support

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

GD Library restores GIF read/write support due to expiration of the GIF patent. Was just there yesterday looking for this; must have missed it by a couple of hours.

Perhaps the Dutch tulip bubble in the 1600

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

Perhaps the Dutch tulip bubble in the 1600s wasn’t a bubble after all. Might have been caused by a rule change, not mass delusion.

NYC protestors accept march route (up 7th

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

NYC protestors accept march route (up 7th Ave) and rally spot (on the West Side Highway) for Republican National Convention protest. Not a bad proposal…they get to march right past where the convention is being held. I bet they’ll have a lot of touble keeping the march moving around MSG.

Self-portraits on Flickr

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2004

Self-portraits on Flickr.

idealist.org is holding a nonprofit design contest

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2004

idealist.org is holding a nonprofit design contest. “This competition seeks to promote excellence in design in the nonprofit sector and to reward and acknowledge those designers who move beyond limitations to create works that are functional and aesthetically powerful while also promoting social impact.”

Google AdSense saved this guy’s site from

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2004

Google AdSense saved this guy’s site from closure due to escalating server fees and he drew this cartoon in commemoration of the event.

Conversational cheap shots, how not to talk

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2004

Conversational cheap shots, how not to talk.

In NYC, even the opening of a

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2004

In NYC, even the opening of a new Target store is a big deal. The likes of Chloe Sevigny, Sandra Bernhard, and Maggie Gyllenhaal turned up to shop for Britta water filters and bathmats.

This electoral vote predictor is currently showing

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2004

This electoral vote predictor is currently showing a sizable win for Kerry. Data is taken from state polls.

Results of the 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

Results of the 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. This year’s “dark and stormy night” includes the phrase “like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp’s tail”.

The Economist on the invention of Unix and C

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

The Economist on the invention of Unix and C.

Fast Company on Whole Foods’ successful blend

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

Fast Company on Whole Foods’ successful blend of hard-core capitalism and social responsibility. I highly recommend this article…fascinating stuff.

kottke.org post on cheap food options in NYC

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

kottke.org post on cheap food options in NYC.

Favorite NYC cheap eats of the rich and famous

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

Favorite NYC cheap eats of the rich and famous.

New Your City cheap eats from New York magazine

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

New Your City cheap eats from New York magazine.

Camera fiends

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

Boy howdy, if this don’t sound familiar:

The appearance of Eastman’s cameras was so sudden and so pervasive that the reaction in some quarters was fear. A figure called the “camera fiend” began to appear at beach resorts, prowling the premises until he could catch female bathers unawares. One resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: “PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE BEACH.” Other locations were no safer. For a time, Kodak cameras were banned from the Washington Monument. The “Hartford Courant” sounded the alarm as well, declaring that “the sedate citizen can’t indulge in any hilariousness without the risk of being caught in the act and having his photograph passed around among his Sunday School children.”

These days, there’s talk of banning camera phones from anywhere you could possibly carry one: locker rooms, battlefields, subways, and movie theatres. Awake, citizenry! Our indulgence in hilariousness is at stake here! (via red)

Google search, circa 1960

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

Google search, circa 1960.

Make your own iPod speakers with Altoid

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2004

Make your own iPod speakers with Altoid tins and playing cards.

NYTimes on the new Prada “epicenter” in

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

NYTimes on the new Prada “epicenter” in Beverly Hills designed by Rem Koolhaas.

Beautiful fullscreen panorama of Apollo 11 on the moon

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

Beautiful fullscreen panorama of Apollo 11 on the moon.

It’s “weblog” not “web log”

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

It’s “weblog” not “web log”. Once more with feeling; today’s WSJ is the latest offender.

Matt Webb is writing distributed fiction in people’s comments

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

Matt Webb is writing distributed fiction in people’s comments.

Get a bunch of hopped-up hardbodies together

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

Get a bunch of hopped-up hardbodies together for two weeks of sex and booze and whaddya have? The Olympic Games..

Orders at a Missouri McDonald’s drive-thru go

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

Orders at a Missouri McDonald’s drive-thru go to a call center in Colorado and then back to the restaurant workers for fulfillment.

The top 10 weapons of mass distraction

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

The top 10 weapons of mass distraction. I’d like to see a conservative top 10 in the same vein.

Details on the new iPods

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

Details on the new iPods. Cheaper, better battery life, iPod mini “Click Wheel”, playlist creation, and adjusting the speed of audiobook playback.

Dick Cheney and Pat Leahy square off

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2004

Dick Cheney and Pat Leahy square off on the Senate floor. “Most of the rhymes kicked therein cannot be quoted in a family publication, but observers gave Mr. Cheney credit for his deceptively laid-back flow.”

Spiderman 2

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2004

Considering how much I didn’t like the first one, I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed the sequel. Still a few cheesy bits (the laughing mask needs to go), but the action, love story, and comedy were great.

The AI Web game designed to support

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2004

The AI Web game designed to support the Spielberg film was built by Microsoft. First person account from one of the game builders.

Manhattan by helicopter

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2004

For a friend’s birthday, her wife arranged for a helicopter ride and invited a few people along. Never having been on a helicopter before, I happily joined in.

The Statue of Liberty with Manhattan in the background

The ride up and down the Hudson only lasted about 7 minutes, but it was great fun. Reminded me a lot of flying with my dad as a kid. And seeing Manhattan from a different angle was a real treat. Here are a few photos I took of the ride.

Artist paints giant Google screenshot, points Web

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2004

Artist paints giant Google screenshot, points Web cam at it (meta!), and Google ends up purchasing it.

Cool MPEG movie of sand acting like water

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2004

Cool MPEG movie of sand acting like water. Movie was filmed at 1000 frames per second.

New iPods to be publicized in out-of-the-ordinary fashion

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 17, 2004

Think Secret says Apple is introducing the new models of the standard iPod on Monday (contrary to an earlier announcement). More interesting is this little puzzler:

Apple will not announce the new models through a press event, though Think Secret has learned that the announcement will be delivered through an out-of-the-ordinary publicity medium.

An “out-of-the-ordinary publicity medium”? Said medium is either a weblog (a new Apple blog? one of the many iPod news sites? Engadget or Gizmodo?), skywriting, with chalk from the back of a bicycle, or a free concert in Central Park by Prince.

Update: Or perhaps the cover of Newsweek? Not sure how that’s out of the ordinary. (thx Ryan)

Further update: Predictably, Gizmodo and Engadget both have the Newsweek cover as their top story. Can you tell which one of the gadget sites is which? (I’ve removed the logos from the screenshots…and this is a mostly rhetorical questions…I don’t need your answers via email.) And while we’re on the subject, based on the latest stats, how long before Nick moves all his Gawker properties over to porn? Fawker, Boinkette, and Jismodo anyone?

This Land, a Flash movie starring George

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 17, 2004

This Land, a Flash movie starring George W. Bush and John Kerry.

In the zone

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Until this evening, I’d never actually seen any of Ken Jennings’ 30+ appearances on Jeopardy. Now that I have, I sincerely believe that he cannot be beat. The man is a frigging machine. Unbelievable. I’m beginning to think this is actually plausible.

Odd letter from Martha Stewart to the

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Odd letter from Martha Stewart to the judge regarding her sentencing.

Albert Einstein’s FBI file

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Albert Einstein’s FBI file. “An investigation was conducted by the FBI regarding the famous physicist because of his affiliation with the Communist Party.”

The Complete Guide to Isometric Pixel Art

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

The Complete Guide to Isometric Pixel Art.

What George W. Bush is not

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

What George W. Bush is not.

A Pause for Hindsight from the NY Times

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

A Pause for Hindsight from the NY Times. “If we want Mr. Bush to be candid about his mistakes, we should be equally open about our own.”

Bobby Fischer detained in Japan and will

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Bobby Fischer detained in Japan and will be deported to US.

Blogger introduces WYSIWYG editing of blog posts

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Blogger introduces WYSIWYG editing of blog posts. With C. Wetherell’s keen JavaScript skills, Google is doing some very interesting things with rich Web clients.

Clear Channel reaches agreement with anti-war group,

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Clear Channel reaches agreement with anti-war group, gives them two Times Square billboards for the price of one.

Trekkies 2 available on DVD

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2004

Trekkies 2 available on DVD. Wasn’t released in the theatres so this is your first chance to see it.

July rumors bring August iPods

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

July rumors bring August iPods. Smaller, multi-colored, iPod mini-ish.

Ten stories the United Nations thinks the

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

Ten stories the United Nations thinks the world needs to know more about.

You a Web designer looking for work

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

You a Web designer looking for work in NYC? Check out this job at Rockstar Games, makers of Grand Theft Auto.

Possible Follow-up Songs for One-Hit Wonders

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

Possible Follow-up Songs for One-Hit Wonders. “How Are We Going to Get These Dogs Back In?”

Stephen Hawking says: “I have solved the

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

Stephen Hawking says: “I have solved the black hole information paradox and I want to talk about it”. Might lose a bet he has with another physicist by his own hand.

The cult of Ken Jennings

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

Various news articles have stated that Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy contestant who has won 31 straight games and $1 million, is back in Utah after taping the currently airing episodes months ago, implying that he lost at some point (neither Jennings nor Jeopardy employees can reveal any details about future Jeopardy episodes).

But what if the show is just on a summer break from taping? Perhaps Jennings is still the reigning champion and will remain champion for years to come. The nerdy Mormon’s appearance on television will become a part of normal life in America. Lincoln’s on the $5 bill. Sun rises in the east, sets in the west. Michael Bay’s movies suck. Ken Jennings is the Jeopardy champ. There are now three constants in life: death, taxes, and Ken Jennings.

In short order, the ratings of the now-live show go through the roof, singlehandedly propping up the dying network television networks. To placate the increasingly vocal anti-Jennings contingent of viewers, the producers start throwing all sorts of special contestants at him. Harvard professors, Disney Imagineers, Rhodes Scholars, a 10 yo genius from South Korea, Danny Hillis, David Foster Wallace, Edward Witten, and even Ben Stein. Jennings defeats them easily, deciding the games well before Final Jeopardy, much to the glee of Jennings’ burgeoning fan club.

Jennings, now making hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements (he’s under exclusive contract to Nike, promoting their sportswear geared toward the “intellectual athlete”) protests when — starting in early 2009 — contestants are allowed to use Google’s new S4 (Synaptic Semantic Search System) interface during the show to research answers, but still defeats all challengers. In 2012, the first contestants sporting genetically enhanced “buzzer thumbs” appear on the program. In 2013, the first computer systems to pass the Turing test are allowed as contestants. Jennings handles them all, au naturel.

Inevitably, a Jennings-based religion springs up. A young Mormon living a few blocks from the studio where Jeopardy tapes, reveals he has recently discovered a previously unknown book of the Old Testament. The lost book, coincidentally entitled “Trebek”, tells of a living God from “the land of salt, jazz, and many wifes Who shall smite His enemies with a magical rod and infinite wisdom for the amusement of His followers” and promises salvation and everlasting life for whosoever believeth in him. After the new religion’s leader appears on Oprah, the Church of Jennings becomes the fastest growing religion in the world.

And then, on January 17, 2026, Jennings loses to a young woman from Ohio (they later marry) by $1 on a Final Jeopardy question about the short-lived talk show Cooking with JK Rowling & Jay-Z. Many die. Upon seeing Jennings’ wager come up short, Alex Trebek suffers a massive pulmonary embolism on set. His last words were, “Alex Jennings…I like the sound of that”. The elderly, always susceptible to harsh conditions, are hit hardest; Jeopardy becomes the third leading cause of death that year for the 80-100 demographic. Network TV almost collapses (saved only by Survivor: Mare Tranquilitatis), and Jeopardy ratings fall well below pre-Jennings numbers. Jennings retires to Utah, now wholly owned by the Church of Jennings, Inc. And very gradually, people adjust to a world without Ken Jennings as reigning Jeopardy champion.

Update: If you’re looking for information about when Ken Jennings loses, try here, here, and here.

Flickr and Feedburner collaborate to offer feed splicing

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2004

Flickr and Feedburner collaborate to offer feed splicing. I’ve been doing this for months with my various types of weblog posts.

Wisdom of Crowds

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

“The problem with the global village is all the global village idiots.”
Paul Ginsparg

“You don’t do good software design by committee.”
Donald Norman

“There’s no justice like angry-mob justice.”
Principal Seymour Skinner

“A person is smart. People are stupid.”
Agent K

The wisdom of crowds you say? As Surowiecki explains, yes, but only under the right conditions. In order for a crowd to be smart, he says it needs to satisfy four conditions:

1. Diversity. A group with many different points of view will make better decisions than one where everyone knows the same information. Think multi-disciplinary teams building Web sites…programmers, designers, biz dev, QA folks, end users, and copywriters all contributing to the process, each has a unique view of what the final product should be. Contrast that with, say, the President of the US and his Cabinet.

2. Independence. “People’s opinions are not determined by those around them.” AKA, avoiding the circular mill problem.

3. Decentralization. “Power does not fully reside in one central location, and many of the important decisions are made by individuals based on their own local and specific knowledge rather than by an omniscient or farseeing planner.” The open source software development process is an example of effect decentralization in action.

4. Aggregation. You need some way of determining the group’s answer from the individual responses of its members. The evils of design by committee are due in part to the lack of correct aggregation of information. A better way to harness a group for the purpose of designing something would be for the group’s opinion to be aggregated by an individual who is skilled at incorporating differing viewpoints into a single shared vision and for everyone in the group to be aware of that process (good managers do this). Aggregation seems to be the most tricky of the four conditions to satisfy because there are so many different ways to aggregate opinion, not all of which are right for a given situation.

Satisfy those four conditions and you’ve hopefully cancelled out some of the error involved in all decision making:

If you ask a large enough group of diverse, independent people to make a prediciton or estimate a probability, and then everage those estimates, the errors of each of them makes in coming up with an answer will cancel themselves out. Each person’s guess, you might say, has two components: information and error. Subtract the error, and you’re left with the information.

There’s more info on the book at the Wisdom of Crowds Web site and in various tangential articles Surowiecki’s written:

- Smarter than the CEO

- Interview with Bill James

- Blame Iacocca - How the former Chrysler CEO caused the corporate scandals

- Search and Destroy (on Google bombs)

- The Pipeline Problem (drug companies)

- Hail to the Geek (government and information flow)

- Going Dutch (IPOs)

- The Coup De Grasso (fairness in business)

- Open Wide (movies and “non-informative information cascades”)

Playlists on Dick Cheney’s iPod

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

Playlists on Dick Cheney’s iPod.

It’s official, Shaq traded from Lakers to Miami Heat

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

It’s official, Shaq traded from Lakers to Miami Heat. The Lakers are correct in trading Shaq (past his prime), I just don’t know if they got much in return.

Six design lessons from the Apple Store

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

Six design lessons from the Apple Store.

Wil Wheaton’s new book is available

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

Wil Wheaton’s new book is available. Ensign Crusher on being a struggling adult actor, blogger, Linux nerd, and family man.

Mena steps down as CEO of Six Apart

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

Mena steps down as CEO of Six Apart. A good move…6A is a fundamentally different company than when it started and it needs different leadership.

Extensive critique of NYC food writers

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

Extensive critique of NYC food writers.

Colors of the Flickr rainbow

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

Inspired by Dana’s post about Flickr colors, here’s the Flickr spectrum, starting with the Flickr Homeland Security Advisory System:

SEVERE: brick, flag, carpet
HIGH: flower, sunset, kitty
ELEVATED: daisy, cab, fries
GUARDED: sky, jeans, hair
LOW: tree, wasabi, watermelon
couch, blueberries, flower
football, ice cream, hats
cat, tie, sky
sky, feet, chairs
tile, sculpture, polaroid
maude, bitch whips, pillow

The NY Times is not the paper

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

The NY Times is not the paper of record on the Web. They’re handcuffed by a deal with Lexis-Nexis. Shouldn’t the continued existance of a deal so unfavorable to their readership be evaluated?

How many links does it take to

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2004

How many links does it take to get to your site from Google.com?. Without using the search box, wiseass.

Diary of Hulk still going strong

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Diary of Hulk still going strong. “Hulk not allowed at library anymore. Hulk just wanted to help library woman keep place quiet!”

How I Would Protest At The Republican Convention

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

How I Would Protest At The Republican Convention.

Elephant

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Trolling around the Web for reviews of Gus Van Sant’s rumination on Columbine, I came across this anecdote from Roger Ebert:

Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

Some folks don’t cotton to Ebert, but I like him fine.

Slashdot, Blogger, MT all seemingly in violation

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Slashdot, Blogger, MT all seemingly in violation of Oracle’s content management patent. Will someone please patent the patent system and sue the damn thing into compliance with reality?

They’re put a bit of newsreading capability into Firefox

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

They’re put a bit of newsreading capability into Firefox.

Five tips for writing regular expressions

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Five tips for writing regular expressions.

Scambaiter gets Nigerian scammer to paint his

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Scambaiter gets Nigerian scammer to paint his breast red and send him $80.

Clear Channel won’t put up anti-war billboard in Times Square

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Clear Channel won’t put up anti-war billboard in Times Square. Is there such a thing as a tasteful ad in Times Square? They’re all pretty much in your face.

Positive review of Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Positive review of Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions.

Google moving into photoblogging?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Google moving into photoblogging?.

Philippe Starck has designed a mouse for Microsoft

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Philippe Starck has designed a mouse for Microsoft.

Problems with MTAmazon

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2004

Some of you may have noticed that the Wisdom of Crowds post disappeared from the front page. I’ve been having lots of trouble with the MTAmazon plug-in that helps power the books section of the site. The basic problem is that the cache is somehow getting corrupted and/or the Amazon API is down and the site won’t publish if there’s a book post on the front page, which pretty much renders the whole site useless from an updating perspective. It worked well for months and now, poof, it doesn’t…without any changes having been made in how it works. Several others on the MTAmazon-users mailing list are having the same problem, and up until today, deleting the cache fixed the problem (as suggested), but even that doesn’t work now. With the caching mechanism, you’d think it would fail more gracefully than that.

Anyway, has anyone run into this problem and discovered a solution?

Vote for the Gmail features you most want

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Vote for the Gmail features you most want.

Follow a guy on a Segway as

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Follow a guy on a Segway as he travels all the way across America.

51 page guide to creating product and company names

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

51 page guide to creating product and company names. Branding agency generously shares its process.

Michael Moore’s notes and sources for Fahrenheit 9/11

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Michael Moore’s notes and sources for Fahrenheit 9/11.

Limited edition kicks going for more than $5,000

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Limited edition kicks going for more than $5,000 fueling sneaker craze in NYC.

The Onion: Vast majority of Iraqis are still alive

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

The Onion: Vast majority of Iraqis are still alive.

Tom’s Petition, powered by Eyebeam’s ForwardTrack, adds blog-specific tracking information

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Tom’s Petition, powered by Eyebeam’s ForwardTrack, adds blog-specific tracking information.

A biblical view of the Grand Canyon

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

A biblical view of the Grand Canyon from a book approved by the National Park Service. “The vast majority of the sedimentary layers in the Grand Canyon were deposited as the result of a global flood that occurred after and as a result of the initial sin that took place in the Garden of Eden.”

Microsoft employee hacked into Altavista to obtain source code

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Microsoft employee hacked into Altavista to obtain source code. Suspect works on MSN Search.

Long piece from the NY Times magazine

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Long piece from the NY Times magazine about comics, graphic novels, whatever you want to call them.

Man downloads 100 millionth song from iTunes Music

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Man downloads 100 millionth song from iTunes Music store and wins Powerbook, iPod, and 10,000 free songs. Winning song was by Zero 7 and remixed by Danger Mouse.

Last 100 posts

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

(Trying out a new feature on kottke.org today in which I revisit the last 100 or so posts — about 2-3 weeks worth — and follow up on some of them. We’ll see how it goes.)

Ken Jennings is still 0wn1ng Jeopardy. He’s won 28 straight games and $920,960. If he ever loses, expect a book deal and a made-for-TV movie, I Was Never Really in Jeopardy: The Ken Jennings Story.

Apple has created a bit of a shitstorm with Dashboard. Cries that they ripped off Konfabulator have given way to the improper addition of new tags to HTML, improper namespaces, and even that a new round of browser wars are beginning. Does anyone dare try to add new features to HTML before the lumbering W3C can get around to it? (Yes, please.) Dave Hyatt is publishing lots of info on his site about Dashboard and Safari.

The whole Plain Layne thing continues to limp along. First noted here, it was eventually revealed to be a hoax. Odin Soli, the man behind the curtain, is still publishing as Plain Layne, but now that everyone knows it’s fictional, it’s unclear whether anyone will still be interested in reading it (I’m not).

Anil won the SEO contest and is all but blamed for cheating. My take: most SEO “professionals” are hucksters, scammers, and have a poor understanding of what makes Google tick.

Friendster, which can’t make up its mind about their priorities with regard to security, is allowing Dreamworks to create fake profiles to promote Anchorman (noted early on by waxy.org, a favorite source of Wired News stories), even after they raised a hell of a stink about the whole fakesters thing. No, no, this is different, says the company…there’s money involved this time. Friendster gets dumber every day.

Fahrenheit 9/11 has taken in $80 million so far at the US box office and will probably be the first documentary to break $100 million at the box office. People are fact-checking the movie and I’m sure there will be fact-checking of the fact-checking, ad infinitum, but with all the partisanship going on around this movie, actual facts will be hard to come by. On the plus side, I will never again forget how to spell Fahrenheit. Celcius Celsuis Selcius Centigrade is another matter.

The Atlanta Time Machine was a popular link and a reader sent in a link to similar then/now photos of Marietta, Ohio.

Got lots of emails that the 8th grade exam from 1895 is a hoax. Wrong. What Snopes actually says is the assertion that “an 1895 graduation examination for public school students demonstrates a shocking decline in educational standards” is false. That may be, but the test itself is authentic (PDF).

Greece prevailed in the final match of Euro 2004. If you missed seeing the game in the US (because it cost $20 on PPV), Fox Sports World is showing reruns of the quarters, semis, and finals. Check your local listings.

This is actually a Google recruiting Web site

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

This is actually a Google recruiting Web site. A correct answer takes you to Google’s Web site.

Long list of links to iPod resources

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2004

Long list of links to iPod resources.

Pennsylvania man gets flipped off by George W. Bush

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 11, 2004

Pennsylvania man gets flipped off by George W. Bush. Between this and the Cheney “fuck”, the current administration seems almost human.

Developers are already building Dashboard Gadgets for OS X Tiger

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 11, 2004

Developers are already building Dashboard Gadgets for OS X Tiger.

Ditching Monica, taking bribes, wrangling Naomi, and

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 10, 2004

Ditching Monica, taking bribes, wrangling Naomi, and other tales of being a hostess at a Manhattan hot spot.

Low carb, schmo carb, how you approach

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 10, 2004

Low carb, schmo carb, how you approach eating is as important as what you eat. The French paradox goes double for the Italians.

The John Ashcroft Video Project contest

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 10, 2004

The John Ashcroft Video Project contest. “Sexiest one minute video that includes a discussion of Attorney General John Ashcroft”

Yahoo! acquires Oddpost

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 10, 2004

Yahoo! acquires Oddpost. Yahoo! to get Gmail-esque GUI and a newsreader.

A pictoral history of the Apple Desktop Interface

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

A pictoral history of the Apple Desktop Interface.

The challenges of translating Harry Potter into Greek

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

The challenges of translating Harry Potter into Greek.

Dozens of War of the Worlds book

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

Dozens of War of the Worlds book covers from 1898 to the present.

Weblog about Polaroid’s branding from the guy who developed it

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

Weblog about Polaroid’s branding from the guy who developed it.

Antarctica has its own currency. Who knew?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

Antarctica has its own currency. Who knew?. Check out all the currencies from other countries as well.

What webloggers are reading this summer

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

What webloggers are reading this summer. You reading anything good?

Surowiecki on the new music payola

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

Surowiecki on the new music payola.

Profile of Marlon Brando by Truman Capote from 1957

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

Profile of Marlon Brando by Truman Capote from 1957.

If you’ve ever wanted to write Perl

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

If you’ve ever wanted to write Perl programs in Latin, here’s the perfect module for you.

Area man on an unprecedented tear on Jeopardy

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

Area man on an unprecedented tear on Jeopardy. Streak stands at 26 games and $868,960.

Nice profile of Phil Gyford in the Guardian

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

Nice profile of Phil Gyford in the Guardian.

It appears that “Plain Layne” is blogging again

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

It appears that “Plain Layne” is blogging again. The man behind the site is continuing his experiment in realtime fiction.

Random photos found on filesharing networks

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

Random photos found on filesharing networks.

Johnvey has written an open source API for Google’s Gmail

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

Johnvey has written an open source API for Google’s Gmail.

Wired News on blogger burnout

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

Wired News on blogger burnout. Couple quotes from me, including one in which I drop the f-bomb a la Dick Cheney.

A history of Times Roman and Times New Roman

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

A history of Times Roman and Times New Roman.

While NYC goes with Gotham for Freedom

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

While NYC goes with Gotham for Freedom Tower cornerstone, Jersey goes with Times New Roman for its 9/11 memorial. “Both Gotham and New Times Roman will suitably render the names of the victims of 9/11, and will do so with clarity and consistency.”

Typeface on Freedom Tower cornerstone is Gotham,

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2004

Typeface on Freedom Tower cornerstone is Gotham, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones. I told you 2004 was the year of Frere-Jones.

Explore the links between ExxonMobil and the

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2004

Explore the links between ExxonMobil and the funding of climate change skeptics. From the creator of They Rule.

I think this is either Gothamist’s new

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2004

I think this is either Gothamist’s new LA blog or a blog about Southeast Asians. Or is that laoist.com?

Anil puts all of the SEO kidz

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2004

Anil puts all of the SEO kidz in their place and wins the nigritude ultramarine contest.

A Windows security checklist

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2004

A Windows security checklist.

Security at Friendster either not a priority or a big concern

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2004

A small update on my recent policy post, wherein I quote a Friendster rep saying in a Wired article:

We have a policy that we are not being hacked. Security isn’t a priority for us. We’re mostly focused on making the site go faster.

A couple of readers pointed out that in the article I linked to, the text actually read:

We have a policy that we are not being hacked. Security is a big concern. We haven’t seen this problem, though. No complaints about it.

The statement I quoted in last week’s post was from the print version of the online article, which I suspect is the original version. At some point, it seems that Friendster realized the braindead aspect of the original and got Wired to change it. Does anyone have the paper copy of the June 2004 version of Wired to compare? Contact me if you do.

Update: Several people wrote in to say that the paper version of the article did indeed contain the “security isn’t a priority for us” version of the quote. Scott has a scan of the text. (Thx, everyone.)

Also, I got this dumb SuperFriends email from Friendster. Why are some small/medium-sized companies in such a hurry to act like big stupid companies?

Gmail and fuzzy whitelisting

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 06, 2004

Many feel that Google’s invite-only distribution of Gmail accounts is a shrewd marketing move designed to create artificial demand. More likely, they’re just rolling the service out slowly; it is still in beta testing after all and 40 million people at once would probably have been a nightmare for them to deal with.

But wouldn’t it be fun if the real reason that Google is distributing accounts the way they are is to build whitelisting into their system? With the Gmail economy that’s sprung up to facilitate the trafficking of invites (now somewhat curtailed), not all Gmail users are known by the people who invited them, but certainly some fuzzy whitelisting could be utilized to improve Gmail’s spam filtering.

The Tour de France blog is once

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 06, 2004

The Tour de France blog is once again keeping track of cycling’s main event.

Genetics, ownership, and open source software

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 05, 2004

Genetics, ownership, and open source software.

Getting started with Ruby

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 05, 2004

Getting started with Ruby. I should get started on something.

Nice NYC fireworks at Bluejake

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 05, 2004

Nice NYC fireworks at Bluejake.

Kobayashi eats a record 53.5 hot dogs in 12

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 04, 2004

Kobayashi eats a record 53.5 hot dogs in 12 minutes to win Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest.

Fantastically detailed illustration of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 03, 2004

Fantastically detailed illustration of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Zoom, zoom, zoom in to see details.

Wee pocket bikes all the rage in Cali

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 03, 2004

Wee pocket bikes all the rage in Cali. May the pocket SUV craze follow.

Google removes the definition links from their search results

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 02, 2004

Google removes the definition links from their search results. Noooooooooo!!!! I use that all the time! Update: the defs are back. Phew.

I have a policy that this will be the best weblog post ever

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 02, 2004

Somehow I missed this story about dating hackers in last month’s issue of Wired. Quite interesting. Near the end of the article is a bit about hacking social networking sites like MySpace and Friendster:

Moore’s buddy Matt Chisholm chimes in to tell me about a similar hack, a JavaScript app he wrote with Moore that works on Friendster. It mines for information about anyone who looks at his profile and clicks through to his Web site. “I get their user ID, email address, age, plus their full name. Neither their full name nor their email is ever supposed to be revealed,” he says.

Notified of the security holes Moore and Chisholm exploit, Friendster rep Lisa Kopp insists, “We have a policy that we are not being hacked.” When I explain that, policy or no, they are being hacked, she says, “Security isn’t a priority for us. We’re mostly focused on making the site go faster.”

“We have a policy that we’re not being hacked.” That’s my new favorite thing right there. No longer do I need to acknowledge any deficiencies in my life; policy will take care of that. I have a policy that I’m fabulously wealthy. I have a policy that I can dunk a basketball. I have a policy that I’m the the life of the party. I have a policy that I’m dating Nicole Kidman *and* Gwyneth Paltrow. I. Feel. So. Free. You really should try this for yourself. I have a policy that it’s great.

Encrypt your iChat conversations with iChat Barrier

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 02, 2004

Encrypt your iChat conversations with iChat Barrier. Why isn’t everything like this (IM, email, Web browsing, etc.) encrypted by default?

The problem of just-in-time media reviews

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 02, 2004

The problem of just-in-time media reviews. The blogosphere gets around this by attacking the problem from thousands of different angles.

Amazon.com Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

Amazon.com Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game. Way more fun than it sounds.

Driving lesson goes awry and SUV ends

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

Driving lesson goes awry and SUV ends up at the bottom of a swimming pool. Love the photo.

A trip to Danny Meyer’s new Shake

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

A trip to Danny Meyer’s new Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is in order later this month.

This summer’s best and worst album covers

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

This summer’s best and worst album covers.

The Capitalism of Soccer - Why Europe’s

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

The Capitalism of Soccer - Why Europe’s favorite sport is more American than baseball..

Microsoft-owned Slate recommends ditching Internet Explorer for Mozilla Firefox

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

Microsoft-owned Slate recommends ditching Internet Explorer for Mozilla Firefox.

On Oblivion: “David Foster Wallace has perfected

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

On Oblivion: “David Foster Wallace has perfected a particularly subtle form of horror story — so subtle, in fact, that to judge from the book’s reviews, few of his readers even realize that’s what these stories are.”. After the 3rd or 4th story in, I had the same thought: “DFW is writing horror stories now?”

The Photoshopping of the President

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

The Photoshopping of the President.

The mysteries of Wilco

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

The mysteries of Wilco. “The album is like an aimless, droning lecture by a guy who every 20 minutes does a magic trick that blows your mind”.

Play with the widgets that are turning

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

Play with the widgets that are turning up in OS X Tiger.

Man who was featured in Errol Morris’

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2004

Man who was featured in Errol Morris’ Thin Blue Line exectued in Texas.

Archives    June 2004 »    May 2004 »    April 2004 »