Entries for January 2005 (February 2005 »    March 2005 »    April 2005 »    Archives)

 

Get on the busJAN 31

I'm a big fan of the Tube here in London, but I took a bus last night for the first time and I recommend the experience. You get a much better sense of the city than you do burrowing underground from place to place. If you can, get on one of the double decker ones (they also have the long accordian buses here, which I think are newish) and sit on the upper deck in the front. With the huge windshield in front of you (and not much else), you feel a little like you're floating around the city. Quite fun.

Steven Johnson on writing tools (as opposedJAN 29

Steven Johnson on writing tools (as opposed to just typing tools).

Quicken is "retiring" the 2002 version of theirJAN 29

Quicken is "retiring" the 2002 version of their software, meaning things like online bill pay won't work. It's ridiculous that a piece of 3 year old software stops functioning. If software companies are going to effectively "rent" software to people, it should cost a lot less.

Metacritic is aggregating year end top ten lists for moviesJAN 28

Metacritic is aggregating year end top ten lists for movies.

Man checks out photos of local pizzaJAN 27

Man checks out photos of local pizza joint on A9 Yellow Pages and finds himself in the photo. He and his family were probably returning from lunch in October. Nutty!

Off to LondonJAN 27

I'm leaving for London in a couple of hours. I'll probably be posting a bit while I'm there as time and connectivity permit...hopefully some photos as well.

Packing this morning, I came up with a list of the extra stuff that I need to do before going to the airport now that everyone's a terrorist until proven innocent** and the major airlines are all about to go out of business:

  • Clip my fingernails. With nail clippers verboten on planes, you need to do it before you leave.
  • Silence my electric toothbrush. Last time I traveled, my toothbrush turned on in my luggage and the battery was long dead when I got home. Luckily I can plug the power cord into the brush to prevent it from turning on, lest some anxious baggage screener thinks it's a buzzing bomb and/or illegal sexual device.
  • Leave ridiculously early. I am a single male traveling alone on an American Airlines flight to Heathrow on a ticket purchased not so long ago...I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get pulled aside for a "random" screening. My only hope: my summer tan has faded and I'm white as can be (Non-Terrorist White is the hottest color for pants at J. Crew this season)...come on, wave whitey through!
  • Wardrobe change. Gotta wear pants that don't require a belt and shoes that can be slipped on and off with ease.
  • Eat. You may get food on the plane, you may not. With random screenings come random feedings and I don't like my odds in either case.

** The Jan/Feb 2005 Atlantic Monthly has a couple of great articles on terrorism...here's a relevant snippet from Success Without Victory (subscribers only) by James Fallows:

Screening lines at airports are perhaps the most familiar reminder of post-9/11 security. They also exemplify what's wrong with the current approach.

Many of the routines and demands are silly, eroding rather than building confidence in the security regime of which they are part. "You can't go through an airport line without thinking 'This is dumb,'" says Graham Allison, the author of the recent Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, and the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at Harvard, which conducts many projects on anti-terrorism and security. "You have two people whose job it is to see if the name on your driver's license is the same as the name on your ticket -- as if any self-respecting terrorist would fail to think of that. You have a guy whose job is to shout out a reminder for you to take off your jacket and get your computer out of your bag. You've got one-year-olds taking off their shoes. It is hard to think of a way you could caricature it to make it look sillier." At the same time, the ritual manages to be intimidating, as a standing reminder of how much Americans have to fear.

Seems the cheerleader toss linked to earlierJAN 27

Seems the cheerleader toss linked to earlier is part of a web promo for a "silence your cell phone" movie.

More on this later, but for now: Saft rocks!JAN 27

More on this later, but for now: Saft rocks!. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get around to checking this out for Safari. The saving tabs feature alone is a godsend.

Some guys throw a woman through a basketball hoopJAN 27

Some guys throw a woman through a basketball hoop. No way this is real.

You can now get a cell phone for your dogJAN 27

You can now get a cell phone for your dog.

A9 Yellow Pages: Here's how we did itJAN 27

A9 Yellow Pages: Here's how we did it.

Amazon and A9 have created a visual Yellow PagesJAN 27

Amazon and A9 have created a visual Yellow Pages. Many listings have a photo of the location associated with them. Very neat.

I've added a bunch of films toJAN 27

I've added a bunch of films to my movies page...I'd been lazy in updating for the past few weeks.

rating: 0.0 stars

The Boondock SaintsJAN 27

This may be the worst movie I've ever watched all the way through. Highly stylized garbage. Not even Willem Dafoe as an openly gay FBI agent in drag could save it (I'm not one of those people that thinks that bad movies are good because they're so bad). The only reason I gave it any points at all is because I watched it with friends and we heckled and it was a bit fun to do so (but only a bit).

Spiraling Fibonacci Flickr circle madnessJAN 27

Spiraling Fibonacci Flickr circle madness. This one is worth looking at full-sized. Wow.

Color FieldsJAN 27

Color Fields. Find Flickr photos by color and brightness.

The loss of public social spaceJAN 26

John Naughton writes in the Guardian about the loss of public social interaction. He places a lot of the blame on technology:

It's not clear when all of this changed, but my guess is that technology - in the shape of the Sony Walkman - had a lot to do with it. As the Walkman de nos jours, the iPod is simply continuing what Sony started. But not even Sony could have single-handedly destroyed the notion of social space. The coup de grce [sic] was administered by another piece of technology: the mobile phone.

Living in NYC, I'm well-positioned to observe the effect that mobile phones and iPods have on public interaction, but I would guess that the main factor in people not talking to each other on the street as much as they used to (in America at least) is cultural rather than technological. People move more often these days so they get to know less people in their neighborhoods. The decreasing costs of travel have filled urban streets with non-locals. "Don't talk to strangers" is the prevailing attitude; we teach our children that strangers are to be feared. Living in the suburbs and heavy automobile usage have made Americans unaccustomed to casual conversation with strangers...we're out of practice. Life moves a lot faster than it used to as well. We don't have time for casual conversations with strangers anymore; our time is reserved for working, sleeping, interacting with people we already know (family, coworkers, friends, the gang at the bar), and getting to and from places where we do those things as quickly as possible.

The mobile phone, Sony Walkman, and iPod fit comfortably into that type of culture, but I don't think they're driving it. If any technology is to blame, I'd choose the automobile, the suburb, and the television over the three Naughton mentions.

A and C subway lines to returnJAN 26

A and C subway lines to return to normal in 6-9 months, not five years as previously said. Thank God.

People's faces, before and after using methJAN 26

People's faces, before and after using meth.

Steve Martin's letter to Johnny CarsonJAN 26

Steve Martin's letter to Johnny Carson.

More study is needed to determine whetherJAN 26

More study is needed to determine whether sex differences in math/science aptitude is biological or cultural (or both). Sandra F. Witelson had the best quote about the issue: "People have to have an open mind".

PBS has made quite a few FrontlineJAN 26

PBS has made quite a few Frontline episodes fully available for viewing online.

Krumping is hyperfast hip-hop clown dancingJAN 26

Krumping is hyperfast hip-hop clown dancing.

Narrowly avoided catastropheJAN 26

Several months ago, I spent an afternoon tinkering with rsync so that I could back up my Powerbook to my web server over SSH and vice versa. Got it working perfectly...or so I thought. The other day, I actually took the time to look at what was actually being backed up. The web server --> Powerbook backup was fine, but the Powerbook --> web server was trying to backup everything from August 2004 to the present. When I looked on the web server, sure enough, nothing had been backed up for months. After a few moments of panic, I found out I'd been using the "-n" option while doing the Powerbook backup:

-n, show what would have been transferred

So it looked like it had been working, but actually hadn't been doing anything. Anyway, all the files on my Powerbook are now whizzing their way to the web server and I shall once more be properly backed up. (You do back your files up, yes? You're not waiting until you lose everything to find religion, are you? If so, I say unto you: back thy stuff up now!)

Study shows that writers who get MacArthurJAN 26

Study shows that writers who get MacArthur genius grants don't produce much in return. "Crain's determined that 88% of the MacArthur recipients wrote their greatest works before being recognized by the Chicago-based foundation".

Some newsletters from the Homebrew Computer ClubJAN 26

Some newsletters from the Homebrew Computer Club.

When the heat death of the universeJAN 25

When the heat death of the universe occurs, here's a few ideas on how we might escape. If you're up on dark matter and M-theory, skip to the "Steps to leave the universe" section; my favorite escape possibility is "send a nanobot to recreate civilisation".

Gothic lolitaJAN 25

Gothic lolita.

A Flickr coincidenceJAN 25

A Flickr coincidence. "A guy from Scotland goes 5490 miles to Tokyo and takes a picture of a girl taking a picture. She turns out to be from England, 413 miles away from him" and then "he posts the picture he took on a Website (in Canada, irrelevantly) and within 6 weeks the girl in the photo finds it".

An ethnic dining guide; Wash. DC centricJAN 25

An ethnic dining guide; Wash. DC centric but with good general info. "Ordering the plain steak in Latin America may be a great idea, but it is usually a mistake in Northern Virginia. Opt for dishes with sauces and complex mixes of ingredients."

Restaurant Week in NYCJAN 25

New Yorkers, there's still lots of time to take advantage of Restaurant Week:

Enjoy special three-course, prix fixe menus at the city's best restaurants. The restaurants listed below offer $20.12 lunches and/or $35.00 dinners during Restaurant Week. Duration: Jan. 24 - 28 and Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, 2005; Excludes Saturday, Jan. 29 and Sunday, Jan. 30

I can personally vouch for lunch at 11 Madison Park (three full courses with five possible choices for each course and they gave me so much dessert) and have also dined favorably in the past at Artisanal, Blue Smoke, Craft, and Gramercy Tavern. The "lunch only" places are probably the best deals...$20.12 for so much good food, it feels like you're stealing from them.

How to get a reservation at TheJAN 25

How to get a reservation at The French Laundry using Opentable. "Watch your time.gov webpage. When 11:59:55 strikes, click 'reload' in your browser until you see either available tables show up or you see a 'No tables are available' message. If you see 'No tables are available,' sorry, but you lose."

Oscar nominees are out, Aviator leads with 11 nominationsJAN 25

Oscar nominees are out, Aviator leads with 11 nominations. It was the most accessible, big, good Hollywood movie out in theatres...makes sense that it got so many nominations.

Perfect, amicable, and sociable numbersJAN 25

Perfect, amicable, and sociable numbers.

Gothamist makes a pilgrimage to Per Se and isn't disappointedJAN 25

Gothamist makes a pilgrimage to Per Se and isn't disappointed.

A long New Yorker profile of Johnny Carson from 1978JAN 25

A long New Yorker profile of Johnny Carson from 1978.

Comparative MorphologiesJAN 25

Comparative Morphologies. "What looks like vintage natural history studies turns out to be, on closer inspection, images of computer and technological cords and peripherals, each slightly manipulated to take on organic characteristics--a fused or sprouting growth from a stem, a viral infection, or a radial symmetry."

Student photographer's expulsion from his dorm forJAN 25

Student photographer's expulsion from his dorm for taking photos raises questions about the rights and responsibilities of photojournalists. "Vega's pictures of partying, binge drinking, oral sex and, in particular, an alleged car burglary, thrust him into the center of a debate among photojournalists over their rights and responsibilities."

Discarded Titles for George Orwell's 1984JAN 25

Discarded Titles for George Orwell's 1984. "O, Brother, Where Art Thou? Oh Right, Everywhere"

The A/C trains are massively hosedJAN 24

The A/C trains are massively hosed up due to a fire over the weekend. The C may be out of commission for *five years* (wtf?). What a nightmare.

Speculation that Google might offer VoIP serviceJAN 24

Speculation that Google might offer VoIP service.

Stephen is using Flickr to identify airportsJAN 24

Stephen is using Flickr to identify airports that have available power outlets and wifi.

Video of Jobs introducing the Macintosh in 1984JAN 24

The Apple Macintosh turns 21 years old today and as a birthday present, the long-lost video of its introduction by Steve Jobs has been posted to the web by TextLab on their weblog:

Fear not, faithful Mac believers. We have found it. We have found what seems to be the only copy of a public TV broadcast on that very day. It was recorded and preserved by Scott Knaster, the "legendary Mac hacker", as Amazon puts it. Scott kept the tape (a NTSC Betamax III longplay) for 21 years since he keeps everything. Andy Hertzfeld saw it when he wrote the story "The Times They Are A-Changin'" on folklore.org. From there we followed the hints, and that's how we found it.

We worked with Scott to convert it from NTSC to PAL, we've polished it, cleaned it, huged it and digitzed it. Here it is. It goes back to the people who've made the Macintosh, and to the world. The complete material of about 2 hours is returned to Scott, Andy and the folklore.org people, and this weblog will report the story of the "missing 1984 video" in detail. We'll release other clips in the coming days, so bookmark and check back.

That page is super slow right now, so I've compiled a few links to the video (QuickTime, 20.9 MB). Enjoy:

Torrent file (use this if at all possible)
Torrent file (use this if at all possible)
preinheimer.com
cm.math.uiuc.edu/~staffin/
urbanmainframe.com.nyud.net:8090
ad.hominem.org
kappesante.com
brooksnet.plus.com
bluehome.net
afsheenfamily.com
kottke.org
cluecoder.org/~bene/
publicvoidblog.de
php-schmiede.de
mac-software-updates.de
homepage.mac.com/sdomanske/

Thanks to Peter for the pointer.

Ben Goodger, lead developer for Firefox, isJAN 24

Ben Goodger, lead developer for Firefox, is now working for Google. Hello, Google Browser?

My Audioscrobbler pageJAN 24

My Audioscrobbler page. Cripes, I listen to a lot of indie rock. This should be more interesting after a longer time period, when everything evens out.

The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan hasJAN 24

The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan has banned smoking in public and the selling of tobacco.

Get yer "Brad left Jen for me"JAN 24

Get yer "Brad left Jen for me" t-shirt while they last. Comes in women's and men's cuts.

The joys and challenges of using theJAN 24

The joys and challenges of using the web for linguistic research. "The web is filled with words intended to attract internet searches to gambling and pornography sites, and these can muck up linguists' results."

Maximum Starbucks densityJAN 24

Justin notes that he's got 43 Starbucks within a 5-mile radius of his apartment and now he's looking for the highest concentration:

I've got 43 Starbucks locations within a five-mile radius of my apartment. First of all, what the fuck? Second of all, and I can't help but to get competitive here, can anyone beat that?

Update: 162 is the new high (from the top of Regent's street in London).

My old work address in Manhattan (45th and Madison) has 169 stores within 5 miles. Put your address into the Starbucks locator and see what your Starbucks density is. (Note: to find the number of stores, scroll to the bottom of the search listings and find the "(Showing 1-20 of xxx Stores)" text.)

Exploring the law of unintended consequencesJAN 24

Exploring the law of unintended consequences. "The law of unintended consequences shows us how many innocent innovations like email, anti-virus and DRM can become something far worse than the inventors had ever imagined."

Craigslist and cottage industriesJAN 24

In NYC, when you don't have a car and you need to move stuff that won't fit in a taxi and isn't enough that you need an entire huge moving van, you call a "man with a van".** I recently used the services of a guy named Paul, recommended by a friend of a friend. After packing the back of his truck with my things, we set off for our destination, chatting along the way. He asked me how I'd found him and we eventually got to talking about craigslist.

Paul told me that these days, he got most of his jobs from CL and only one or two a week from personal referrals. I found that surprising and when I pressed him further, he told me that because of CL, he's been able to do pursue moving (which he really likes doing) as a full-time career. I can't remember the exact quote, but Paul said something to the effect that he can't believe he's getting away with starting a full-time business on CL without it costing him a single dime.

I'd never really thought about it before, but in some ways, CL helps lots of people build businesses cheaper and more effectively than more "robust", complex, and expensive enterprise software solutions. Movers are just one example. CL can help you find employees for your business. If you've got a van, you can pick up free furniture and electronics around the city, fix or refurbish, and sell it. You can start a business doing computer troubleshooting, piano lessons, buying and fixing up old motorcycles, or escort and sensual massage services. And if you need something done for your business but don't have the money to pay for it, you can always barter goods or services in exchange. These are just the obvious examples. Does anyone know of anyone using craigslist in more creative ways to make a living or other examples of people succeeding in business using CL?

** Don't know how this evolved, but folks in the "man with a van" profession like to rhyme the names of their businesses. My guy was "Call Paul to Haul", but you will also probably find "Chuck/Buck with a Truck", "Cory with a Lorry", "Schmuck with a Truck", "Call Jack to Pack", and so on. (Oh, I'd recommend using Paul if you need a man with a van...check here for his info.)

The Incredibles DVD available for preorder on AmazonJAN 23

The Incredibles DVD available for preorder on Amazon. Release date is March 15.

Patriots handle Pittsburgh and are in theJAN 23

Patriots handle Pittsburgh and are in the Super Bowl for the 3rd time in 4 years.

Fixing the poor animation in The Polar ExpressJAN 23

Fixing the poor animation in The Polar Express. Also a bit about Gollum, The Incredibles, and the uncanny valley.

Johnny Carson passed away at age 79JAN 23

Johnny Carson passed away at age 79.

What it's really like to be a homicide detectiveJAN 23

What it's really like to be a homicide detective. "Never trust a detective who dresses like one of those TV characters".

The One to One FutureJAN 23

The One to One Future. "In the future, companies will do their best to get their hands on as much of your original writing as they can."

Dammit, it looks like the Hubble isJAN 22

Dammit, it looks like the Hubble is going to die after all.

Man, I would have killed to haveJAN 22

Man, I would have killed to have access to the Doctor Who Wikipedia page when I was a kid.

Protesters burn an American flag during the inaugurationJAN 22

Protesters burn an American flag during the inauguration.

Paul Ford's three favorite computer games of 2004JAN 22

Paul Ford's three favorite computer games of 2004. Cat Ball Shaver is a quirky tour-de-force.

"Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, suggestedJAN 22

"Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, suggested the other day that innate differences between the sexes might help explain why relatively few women become professional scientists or engineers.". "But the best signal to send to talented girls and boys is that science isn't about respecting sensitivities. It's about respecting facts. The only people who don't belong in science, male or female, are those who would rather close their eyes-and yours-than see what's there."

Joshua Kinberg, the Bikes on Bush guy, (JAN 21

Joshua Kinberg, the Bikes on Bush guy, (finally!) had his case dismissed and got his bike and computer equipment back.

Man uses tortilla as a breadboard for making electronicsJAN 21

Man uses tortilla as a breadboard for making electronics. Great hack.

Johnny Carson occasionally writes jokes for LettermanJAN 21

Johnny Carson occasionally writes jokes for Letterman. Bet he doesn't send jokes to Leno.

google.co.ckJAN 21

google.co.ck. Tee hee.

Can you think better when you're typingJAN 21

Can you think better when you're typing versus when you're writing?.

"While there are essentially no disparities inJAN 21

"While there are essentially no disparities in general intelligence between the sexes, a UC Irvine study has found significant differences in brain areas where males and females manifest their intelligence.". Men's brains generally have more processing power while women's have more connecting power.

"There is no such word as 'theirselves' (JAN 21

"There is no such word as 'theirselves' (and you certainly can't spell it 'theirselfs' or 'thierselves'); it’s 'themselves.'". My brain is just not functioning well these days.

Awards voting and the catch-22 the movieJAN 21

Awards voting and the catch-22 the movie studios find themselves in. DVD screeners need to be sent out in order for the voters to see the studios' movies, but the process and end product are often so painful that some films find themselves out of the running.

Taschen is releasing a (pretty expensive) book about Stanley KubrickJAN 21

Taschen is releasing a (pretty expensive) book about Stanley Kubrick.

Ukrainian man hasn't slept in 20 yearsJAN 21

Ukrainian man hasn't slept in 20 years.

The Morning News is holding a tournament of booksJAN 21

The Morning News is holding a tournament of books. It's like March Madness, except with books and in February.

Girls, they like to eat the sandwichesJAN 20

Girls, they like to eat the sandwiches.

Photographs of signs enforcing racial discrimination fromJAN 19

Photographs of signs enforcing racial discrimination from the Library of Congress.

Oldish Gladwell interview on steroids, choking, andJAN 19

Oldish Gladwell interview on steroids, choking, and why he hates baseball. My review of Blink is coming soon. I hope.

37signals launches Ta-Da Lists: "simple shareable to-do lists"JAN 19

37signals launches Ta-Da Lists: "simple shareable to-do lists". It's a mini web app that they spun out of Basecamp.

Update and travelsJAN 19

Sorry for the lack of updates around here. I've been busy and preoccupied with other things, mostly just trying to put one foot in front of the other. I've got all sorts of things I want to talk about but just don't have the energy to do so. Justin sums up what it's like sometimes for those of us who have been putting their lives online for awhile now...the ways in which we can paint ourselves into corners using this still-new social platform without realizing it until it's too late. Justin pours much more of his life onto his site than I do mine, but enough of me is here that his video made me cry about my own experiences a bit.

Anyway, I hope things will be returning to normal around here soon...the remaindered links should continue as usual (more or less) since they're pretty easy to do. In the meantime, I'm going to be in London at the end of the month for a few days, an attempt to change my perspective a bit and get reamed by the exchange rate in the process. I'm considering a trip to SXSW in March. I haven't been for a couple years and it would be nice to see everyone again (and hopefully not get food poisoning this time). I'm also thinking about going to Thailand in March (which may kill the SXSW trip). My dad is there & familiar with the area and I've only heard good things the country. But we'll see.

The architecture of density, photography from Hong KongJAN 18

The architecture of density, photography from Hong Kong.

JavaScript, "the world's most misunderstood programming language"JAN 18

JavaScript, "the world's most misunderstood programming language".

Scott wonders if Jamba Juice really works in NYCJAN 18

Scott wonders if Jamba Juice really works in NYC.

What If...JAN 18

What If.... "[This chart represents] the ways my life could have deviated from its actual path".

The College Humor guys get the RebeccaJAN 18

The College Humor guys get the Rebecca Mead treatment in the New Yorker. "The friends finally arrived in New York last summer, and took up residence in a newly renovated, forty-two-hundred-square-foot, five-bedroom loft in Tribeca, which rents for ten thousand dollars a month -- a move that bears about as much relation to the typical postcollegiate experience as 'Sex and the City' does to the demographic it purports to represent".

Soderbergh and Clooney try to "combine artJAN 18

Soderbergh and Clooney try to "combine art and box office in Hollywood". And it's not working out too well.

Dan Barber on foie gras: "I'd ratherJAN 17

Dan Barber on foie gras: "I'd rather eat a force-fed duck than a Tyson's chicken".

Ten reasons to go to McDonald'sJAN 17

Ten reasons to go to McDonald's.

Bill Gates, Teen Beat centerfold circa 1983JAN 17

Bill Gates, Teen Beat centerfold circa 1983.

Great win yesterday by the PatriotsJAN 17

Great win yesterday by the Patriots. Nearly flawless execution of their game plan; they held the ball for 2/3 of the game, not allowing the Colts celebrated offense much time on the field.

Michael Jordan: "Has anyone so completely dominatedJAN 16

Michael Jordan: "Has anyone so completely dominated his sport and left so small a mark upon it?". "Jordan's heading toward a point at which he'll be only a chain of newspapers and an opera singer shy of being Charles Foster Kane".

The answer to "I'm coming to NYC...JAN 15

The answer to "I'm coming to NYC...where should I stay/go/eat/etc.?". I get this question a lot...it'll be nice to have somewhere to direct people.

John Battelle's looking for a subtitle forJAN 14

John Battelle's looking for a subtitle for his book, "The Search". How about "Solving the world's biggest problems and getting rich doing it"?

Ma new pimp name be "Brown Sugar Kottke Super Suede"JAN 14

Ma new pimp name be "Brown Sugar Kottke Super Suede". Sho nuff.

The earth is getting less sunlight thanJAN 14

The earth is getting less sunlight than it was 50 years ago. Global dimming may be caused by air pollution and could affect the earth's climate.

In Europe and Canada, some American brandsJAN 14

In Europe and Canada, some American brands are more American than others.

Beautiful evidence sample chapterJAN 14

Tufte has posted a new chapter from his upcoming book, Beautiful Evidence. Chapter is called "Corrupt Techniques in Evidence Presentations", some of the ugly evidence in the book.

MIT's European Media Lab is closing downJAN 14

MIT's European Media Lab is closing down.

The Numbers Guy is a great newJAN 13

The Numbers Guy is a great new WSJ column "on the way numbers and statistics are used – and abused – in the news, business and politics".

Timely spamJAN 13

Spam is like a broken watch. It's right about twice a day. A sampling from the past two weeks:

  • Need a change?
  • No more.
  • I cannot forget you!
  • Looking for cheap high-quality software?
  • IMPORTANT: this email address is circulating...
  • Now you can watch ON_Demand Movie channels
  • I cant live without...
  • Is it time for a change?
  • How Badly Do You Want To Exit The Rat Race?
  • Today is the first day of the rest of your life
  • relief from pain
  • Freee your mind and b0dy -- relax when you should
  • home alone
  • Feeling Depressed?
  • Spamed?
  • Relieve the pressure and anxiety
  • You pay TOO MUCH for meds!
  • one more time
  • silent. On a sofa
  • I hope this is what you want.
  • How are you? You could be better....
  • i need some company
  • suffered for so long,
  • Adieu.
  • It's for sure
  • you are lost

The Sound of DataJAN 13

The Sound of Data. Piping data files to an audio player to see what they sound like. Fun!

The Flybar 1200 is a $300 pogo stick thatJAN 13

The Flybar 1200 is a $300 pogo stick that allows one to reach heights of more than 5 feet.

Steve Jobs demos WonkavisionJAN 13

Steve Jobs demos Wonkavision.

When black holes spin, they twist spacetime up around itJAN 13

When black holes spin, they twist spacetime up around it.

Man swept out to sea by theJAN 12

Man swept out to sea by the tsunami survives for two weeks. He ate coconuts and built a makeshift raft.

A List of Actual Quotes Taken FromJAN 11

A List of Actual Quotes Taken From the Directions and Mission Statements of Organic Products Belonging to My Vegan Roommate.

Turn any iPod into an iPod Shuffle in 3 easy stepsJAN 11

Turn any iPod into an iPod Shuffle in 3 easy steps.

Six Apart has published a comprehensive guide to comment spamJAN 11

Six Apart has published a comprehensive guide to comment spam.

It appears that Justin Hall has stoppedJAN 11

It appears that Justin Hall has stopped publishing on the Web (his front page is blank except for a search box). Missing notebooks. Hmmm.

Answering wrong numbers for Ol' Dirty BastardJAN 11

Answering wrong numbers for Ol' Dirty Bastard.

Shots of NYC with a pinhole cameraJAN 11

Shots of NYC with a pinhole camera.

Look at MeJAN 11

Look at Me. A found photo project.

Great photo of a notebook torn toJAN 11

Great photo of a notebook torn to look like a topographical map.

The Indonesian earthquake decreased the length ofJAN 11

The Indonesian earthquake decreased the length of each day by 2.68 microseconds. More amazing is that man made features like the Three-Gorge reservoir can change the length of days and shift polar position.

Blogging and source confidentialityJAN 11

The EFF is doing important work in defending bloggers against Apple's subpoenas:

On December 13, Apple filed suit against "Does 1-20" in a Santa Clara court. The company obtained a court order that allows it to issue subpoenas to AppleInsider and PowerPage for the names of the "Does" who allegedly leaked the information in question. EFF is defending the publishers against these subpoenas, arguing that the anonymity of bloggers' sources is protected by the same laws that protect sources providing information to journalists.

"Bloggers break the news, just like journalists do. They must be able to promise confidentiality in order to maintain the free flow of information," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Without legal protection, informants will refuse to talk to reporters, diminishing the power of the open press that is the cornerstone of a free society."

The right of bloggers to protect their sources is an issue near and dear to me, and it's great to see the EFF pursuing it.

Sheet music for Super Mario Brothers' songsJAN 11

Sheet music for Super Mario Brothers' songs.

The Mac miniJAN 11

The Mac mini.

The iPod shuffleJAN 11

The iPod shuffle.

Photo of the new Mac miniJAN 11

Photo of the new Mac mini.

MacMerc is blogging MacWorld liveJAN 11

MacMerc is blogging MacWorld live. So far, iWork (Keynote + word processor), new iLife apps, Mac mini ($500-600), iPod Shuffle (small, simple mp3 player, 1 oz., 512 Mb for $99).

100 things we didn't know this time last yearJAN 10

100 things we didn't know this time last year. "Brussels sprouts have three times as much vitamin C as oranges".

The Library of Congress has made tonsJAN 10

The Library of Congress has made tons of maps from the US Civil War available online.

Malcolm Gladwell and James Surowiecki are discussingJAN 10

Malcolm Gladwell and James Surowiecki are discussing their latest books on Slate this week.

Hypertemporality is an online net art exhibitJAN 10

Hypertemporality is an online net art exhibit. Peter Baldes' Hypertemps is my favorite.

Listening with affection and excitementJAN 10

Brenda Ueland on listening:

I just tell myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, to be in their shoes when they talk, to try to know them without my mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. No. My attitude is: 'Tell me more. This person is showing me his soul. It is a little dry and meager and full of grinding talk just now, but presently he will begin to think, not just automatically to talk. He will show his true self. Then he will be wonderfully alive.'

I need to listen more and be listened to better. This is probably as good a New Year's resolution as any.

All ISBNs will move from 10 digits to 13 digits in 2007JAN 10

All ISBNs will move from 10 digits to 13 digits in 2007. I wonder how Amazon will handle old URLs with the 10 digit ISBNs.

The United States makes people fatJAN 10

The United States makes people fat.

Faking the Lomo effect, now with anJAN 09

Faking the Lomo effect, now with an updated link to the directions.

Cory Arcangel has a solo show atJAN 09

Cory Arcangel has a solo show at the Team gallery, Jan 13 - Feb 12. "The show at Team, for example, marks the launch of dooogle.com, a search engine which only yields results about Doogie Howser, M.D."

Redemption of a pizza stone scroogeJAN 09

Redemption of a pizza stone scrooge. "You guys are trying to make a pizza fool of me. That pizza she's making is a big fat round manipulation."

The previous two links courtesy of the 20JAN 09

The previous two links courtesy of the 20 Year Usenet Timeline on Google Groups.

1994 Usenet post from Jeff Bezos looking for developers for AmazonJAN 09

1994 Usenet post from Jeff Bezos looking for developers for Amazon.

Early eBay announcement on Usenet from Pierre OmidyarJAN 09

Early eBay announcement on Usenet from Pierre Omidyar. "All items are offered by the individual sellers, and anyone is free to bid on any item, or to add items, free of charge."

Good Daniel Okrent editorial on photography's place in journalismJAN 09

Good Daniel Okrent editorial on photography's place in journalism. "But the untruth - or, at least, imperfect truth - of any single photograph is inescapable."

Andre Torrez releases TKPal, a set ofJAN 09

Andre Torrez releases TKPal, a set of PHP scripts for DIY micropayments. Lets you charge small amounts for "unlocking" content like individual blog posts, a shareware download link, or to get rid of advertising.

Winners of the "I Look Like My Dog" contestJAN 09

Winners of the "I Look Like My Dog" contest.

A review of how predictive markets fared in 2004JAN 09

A review of how predictive markets fared in 2004.

Photos and descriptions of every Starbucks in New York CityJAN 09

Photos and descriptions of every Starbucks in New York City.

iHome appears to be a fakeJAN 09

iHome appears to be a fake. Font is wrong, box looks weird, ports look like those on the 12" Powerbook, etc.

New Apple thingie to be announced atJAN 09

New Apple thingie to be announced at MacWorld is the "iHome Media Center"?.

Some predictions for 2005 from David GalbraithJAN 08

Some predictions for 2005 from David Galbraith.

Fugitive lived in an abandoned Circuit CityJAN 08

Fugitive lived in an abandoned Circuit City for six months, watched Spiderman 2 on DVD and installed a smoke detector.

Photos of the retro futureJAN 08

Photos of the retro future. It's in Italian, but just keep clicking through to the next "pagina" at the bottom of each page.

The top 20 movie trailers of 2004JAN 07

The top 20 movie trailers of 2004.

Photographic studies in circles (3/4)JAN 06

Photographic studies in circles (3/4).

Odd essay by Bill Thompson on howJAN 06

Odd essay by Bill Thompson on how we need to dump the web for something better. People have been saying this for years, and yet here we are.

Book TV has streaming video of MalcolmJAN 06

Book TV has streaming video of Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker Festival talk on Blink.

All of Starbucks' drinks, explainedJAN 06

All of Starbucks' drinks, explained.

Fox is documenting the return of FamilyJAN 06

Fox is documenting the return of Family Guy with a weblog. Nice lack of permalinks. Freakin' sweet!

Kyle Van Horn sent a camera viaJAN 06

Kyle Van Horn sent a camera via USPS with a message on it asking the postal workers en route to take photos with it. The camera arrived a week later with 24 good photos.

Let Adidas know that you'd like themJAN 06

Let Adidas know that you'd like them to make a Team Zissou sneaker.

The Institute of physics commissioned a BMXJAN 05

The Institute of physics commissioned a BMX bike trick to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's miracle year. The "Einstein Flip", worked out by pro rider Ben Wallace and physicist Helen Czerski, is what the kids would call a backwards 360 tabletop (I think).

Design Within Reach announces the winners ofJAN 05

Design Within Reach announces the winners of their annual Champagne Chair contest. Contestants must make tiny chairs out of champagne corks.

Apple is suing Mac insider site ThinkJAN 05

Apple is suing Mac insider site Think Secret to get them to stop posting "trade secrets" and give up the names of their sources. Ick. I know how Mr. dePlume feels.

What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?JAN 05

To start off each year, a question is asked of the Edge membership. This year's question is: "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" Here are some favorite responses of mine followed by a couple of my own beliefs.

Rupert Sheldrake is Darwin's man and believes that all natural processes, even physical laws, have evolved through natural selection:

I believe, but cannot prove, that memory is inherent in nature. Most of the so-called laws of nature are more like habits.

The idea that something like the value of Avogadro's number is just a habit that the universe adopted after much practice is quite appealing.

Kevin Kelly thinks the DNA within in our body is slightly different in each cell:

I believe, but cannot prove, that the DNA in your body (and all bodies) varies from part to part. I make this prediction based on what we know about biology, which is that natures abhors uniformity. No where else in nature do we see identity maintained to such exactness. No where else is there such fixity.

Ray Kurzweil is trying to live forever and probably hopes to see the whole of the universe at greater than light speed:

We will find ways to circumvent the speed of light as a limit on the communication of information.

Kurzweil would probably disagree with Todd Feinberg's belief:

I believe the human race will never decide that an advanced computer possesses consciousness. Only in science fiction will a person be charged with murder if they unplug a PC. I believe this because I hold, but cannot yet prove, that in order for an entity to be consciousness and possess a mind, it has to be a living being.

Jonathan Haidt on religion:

I believe, but cannot prove, that religious experience and practice is generated and structured largely by a few emotions that evolved for other reasons, particularly awe, moral elevation, disgust, and attachment-related emotions.

Seth Lloyd on science:

I believe in science. Unlike mathematical theorems, scientific results can't be proved. They can only be tested again and again, until only a fool would not believe them.

I cannot prove that electrons exist, but I believe fervently in their existence. And if you don't believe in them, I have a high voltage cattle prod I'm willing to apply as an argument on their behalf. Electrons speak for themselves.

And George Dyson thinks their may be a connection between the language a raven speaks and the language spoken by the indigenous human population:

Interspecies coevolution of languages on the Northwest Coast.

During the years I spent kayaking along the coast of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, I observed that the local raven populations spoke in distinct dialects, corresponding surprisingly closely to the geographic divisions between the indigenous human language groups. Ravens from Kwakiutl, Tsimshian, Haida, or Tlingit territory sounded different, especially in their characteristic "tok" and "tlik."

Here's what I believe:

  • Human beings are not the only instance of intelligent life in the universe. When I think of how big the universe is, it seems impossible to me that humans are the only ones here to observe it. Also, it's damn arrogant.
  • The things we call "the soul" and "consciousness" can be explained scientifically and then could probably be duplicated given the proper technology (i.e. a machine could have a soul). I guess you could say I come down firmly on the Kurzweil side of the Kurzweil/Feinberg continuum.
  • Technology will outstrip humanity's ability to control it. I have no idea what form this will actually take. Bill Joy believes technology might endanger humanity to the point of extinction (many prominent thinkers -- Kurzweil, Hans Moravec, Freeman Dyson, John Seely Brown among them -- disagree to various degrees). I don't know if I'd go as far as Joy, but what makes me believe in this is 1) advances in technology consolidate more and more power in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals and, 2) culture moves slower than technology. That is, the potential for danger is rising faster than our ability to respond to it, and that could cause problems.

What do you believe?

Six Apart to purchase Live Journal?JAN 04

Six Apart to purchase Live Journal?. Ok, that's weird.

The Life Aquatic sountrack is worth aJAN 04

The Life Aquatic sountrack is worth a listen even if you didn't see the film.

rating: 4.5 stars

SidewaysJAN 04

In a recent NY Times article, A.O. Scott calls Sideways the most overrated film of the year. He allows it's "well written and flawlessly acted, funny and observant" but feels it doesn't quite live up to all the critical hype (i.e. having been named film of the year by critics' groups in LA, NY, SF, Chicago, Toronto, etc.). Even worse, says Scott, is that critics love the film (and other films like it) because the main character is a critic himself:

Still, the reaction to "Sideways" is worth noting, less because it isn't quite as good as everyone seems to be saying it is than because the near-unanimous praise of it reveals something about the psychology of critics, as distinct from our taste. Miles, the movie's hero, has been variously described as a drunk, a wine snob, a sad sack and a loser, but it has seldom been mentioned that he is also, by temperament if not by profession, a critic.

And furthermore that the film defends Miles' critical approach to life:

This makes him, among other things, an embodiment of the critical disposition, and one of the unusual things about "Sideways" is that, in the end, it defends this attitude rather than dismissing it. Yes, the film pokes fun at Miles's flights of oenophile rhetoric - all that business about asparagus and "nutty Edam cheese" - but it defies the usual Hollywood anti-intellectualism in acknowledging that, rather than diminishing the fun of drinking, approaching wine with a measure of knowledge and sophistication can enhance its pleasures. There is more to true appreciation than just knowing what you like.

I don't think Sideways defends the critical attitude at all...not any more than than it does Jack's hedonistic lifestyle. Neither character's life seemed any more fullfilling than the other's. You could argue that Miles seemed to grow as a person over the course of the film, indicating the triumph of the critic, but Jack didn't seem to want to grow that much. Jack knows he's got some issues, but being as self-aware as Miles, he's not only content to live within his boundries, but almost revels in it. And in the end, both characters find what they're looking for in a relationship. If the critical character wins in this movie, I didn't see it.

"This photographic series documents examples of theJAN 04

"This photographic series documents examples of the urban parking garage types".

Photos of an indoor tropical island south of Berlin, GermanyJAN 04

Photos of an indoor tropical island south of Berlin, Germany.

The top 100 artists in the worldJAN 04

The top 100 artists in the world. Picasso is #1 followed by Warhol.

Christo and Jeanne Claude's The Gates areJAN 04

Christo and Jeanne Claude's The Gates are starting to be installed in Central Park. The Gates project will be viewable in the park Feb 12-27 and will be the most photoblogged event ever.

Tonight on Nova: Welcome to MarsJAN 04

Tonight on Nova: Welcome to Mars. "Two rovers roaming the surface of Mars find proof that it was once awash in water."

Photos of airline mealsJAN 04

Photos of airline meals.

You can fly the US government's secretJAN 04

You can fly the US government's secret triangle craft with Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Observed personalities while completing jigsaw puzzles include "JAN 03

Observed personalities while completing jigsaw puzzles include "border obsessives" and "opportunists". Observing puzzle play may help our understanding of team collaboration.

A look at the Corgishoe collection, theJAN 03

A look at the Corgishoe collection, the world's biggest private collection of Nike sneakers.

The friendship of Kurt Godel and Albert EinsteinJAN 03

The friendship of Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein.

60 Minutes wrong again!JAN 03

This is a developing scandal folks...it threatens to bring down not just a bit player like Dan Rather, but all of network television. On the Jan 2, 2005 episode of 60 Minutes, internet search pundit John Battelle commented on Google employees not taking advantage of their newfound wealth because it's against Google's ethic:

If anybody got a Porsche or a Ferrari right now at Google, they’d probably be drummed out of the company

My sources deep inside Google (who shall, given recent legal jeopardy, remain anonymous) tell me that at least one employee has purchased a Porsche with the IPO monies and has not, repeat, has *not* been drummed, tubaed, celloed, or otherwise musically extricated from the company. If true, who knows what this could mean for the future of journalism as we know it!! The implications on podcasting alone are unfathomable at this time. More as it develops...

Update: Is this really Ben Affleck's Bentley in a Google parking space or is it some IPO bling? Who knows how deep what the press has dubbed "Googlegate" will go before we get to the truth?

Update #2: The car pictured in the photograph above may be a Rolls Royce instead of a Bentley. It's hard to sort through all the misinformation here...it's staggering.

Update #3: Confirmed: the car is a Rolls Royce, not a Bentley. But forget the car, I've heard rumors that both RR and Bentley are owned/manufactured by German car companies (VW and BMW). I'm working to track these rumors down, but if true, Germany's heavy investment in Google would be a bombshell.

Update #4: Matt, prominent media pirate, has video of the 60 Minutes episode in question. You can see their lies for yourself. No official denial as of yet from the German government on their outfitting of all Google employees with luxury motor coaches.

The Atlasphere is a dating service forJAN 02

The Atlasphere is a dating service for followers of Ayn Rand.

You've gotta be getting sick of them,JAN 02

You've gotta be getting sick of them, but here's another article by Jared Diamond on how civilizations collapse (or not).

New York's golden ageJAN 02

The NY Times recently asked a few New Yorkers which era they would nominate as New York's golden age. Like Greg, I thought Bill T. Jones' answer was the most penetrating:

Right after 9/11.

New York had a true reappraisal of itself at a tragic and introspective moment. New York had the attention of the whole world; it was a frightening moment. But the world was ready to follow, to assist.

It lasted a few months. We were vulnerable and open to the rest of the world, and we were ready for a change. There was a chance to ask questions, and it was a time when we were forced to do so.

But it didn't happen. There wasn't a true conversation about what America means to the rest of the world or about why New York was chosen. It was an opportunity. And then the politicians took it.

That last sentence is a doozy, isn't it? It saddens me to think that in times when we need to have open and honest communication to heal wounds and investigate opportunities, we instead let ourselves get caught up with the marketing of powerful men.

Hapax legomenon, noun: "A word or formJAN 02

Hapax legomenon, noun: "A word or form that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language". Looks like the Greeks invented the Googlewhack long before us.

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