I'm all for naming the 2000-2009 decade "The Naughties" (spread the meme), but is a grassroots movement necessary? A guru? What the hell? The beauty of the Naughties name is that it's quick, fun, and if you want to look, actually has context...odd Flash movies with gurus and messaging goes against the intent of the name.
Tired: squabbling webloggers. Wired: not mentioning squabbling webloggers on one's Web site (oops).
An excellent article at Salon about how companies get their names...and more often than not, how they get their horrible names. I've always thought that jibberish names like Agilent, Navistar, Telegy, Telegent, Verbex, Azurex, and Aquent were *absolutely horrible*...and this article confirms my suspicions. Companies pay multi-millions of dollars for these names...what a waste of money.
I don't want to be a grown-up.
On King of the Hill tonight, Boomhauer mumbled something about JenniCam. On the X-Files, Mulder and Scully finally kissed. Which event is more culturally significant?
Tell me a story from your childhood: 1.877.218.0260 x358 (toll-free).
I don't know the origin of my affinity toward "best/worst of"-type lists, but I sure do love 'em. John Scalzi is running a series of "Best of the Millennium" articles for the months of November and December. Topics include Best Lopsided War (Spanish-American), Best Crackpot Religious Leader (Rasputin), and Best 15 Minutes of Fame (TBD). I hereby nominate the pencil as the Best Thing to Put in Your Mouth When You Don't Have Gum or A Cigarette. Most men might disagree with that, but I digress.
A Day Without Art is fast appraoching. The Web site is a little confusing on the subject, but basically the idea is for people to place a DWA banner on their site on Dec 1 as a way to get visitors to your site to think about AIDS. Some people even take down their site for the day. If you want, you can even use the banner I made.
Molly and Drue are in town for the holiday. It was Molly's birthday yesterday so we went and celebrated a bit. Molly even found time to update her Web site for the first time in like ever.
I have 30 more free minutes of voicemail time on my account @ ureach.com. If you're bored, leave me a message....and make it sassy. Toll-free: 1.877.218.0260 x358.
Derek at the fray wants to know what you are thankful for.
Expecting to (finally) see a Web effort by graphic designer David Carson at davidcarson.com, imagine my suprise when I instead saw a Web effort by graphic designer David Carson. You know, the one from Minneapolis. Bwa?
A short usability study for a Web design class yields some interesting results. Of the eight sites tested (scroll to bottom of page), Jakob Nielsen's useit.com was one of two sites to fail the test completely. Do what I say and not as I do?
Saw Dogma on Tuesday. I was slightly disappointed because I expect so much from Kevin Smith these days. Read my epinion of the film. Sidebar: I tried using the word "crap" in my review and Epinions marked it as an "ojectionable word" and wouldn't let me subit my review until I changed it. So, I changed it the the word "shite". Fixed their wagons.
Also, Kevin Smith went out and protested his own movie in New Jersey...unnoticed. He was even interviewed by the local news. That's some funny stuff. All those protestors out there and they didn't even recognize the name they were protesting against. Hee hee.
I also rewatched 2001: A Space Odyssey and Election, both on DVD, of course. Both really great films. Kubrick is quickly becoming my favorite director (if he isn't already) and a personal hero of mine. Election is one of the best films out this year and will definitely make my top ten films of the year list.
Happy Thanksgiving....if that's your thing.
A discussion of the origins of and the differences between the terms "geek" and "nerd". Interestingly, "nerd" seems to have been derived from a Dr. Seuss book. For the record, I'm of the school of thought that "nerd" is a somewhat derogatory term while "geek" has been taken back by the people whom it describes and is now a positive thing, much like "fag" and "dyke" with the GBL crowd.
First snowfall here in Minnesota. As a general rule, I enjoy snow....it's the cold that gets me. I also don't care for when the snow gets all hard, crusty, and brown. That's no fun at all.
Playing along. And where the hell is my link, Greg? Huh, Greg? Sheesh, Greg.
Nichol and I have decided that we're not going to celebrate Christmas this year. Instead, we're going to exchange gifts for December-related Holiday (patent pending). It's great....with December-related Holiday, you can get in the holiday spirit without adhering to any particular religion or culture. If I want to spend my Christmas morning spinning a dreidel and learning about African culture, I can. December-related Holiday: all the capitalism with none of the guilt.
On a similar topic, I looked around briefly for a place to give your confession online, and I couldn't find anything. You'd think it would be fairly easy to set up: a simple form to enter your confessions which returns X number of Hail Marys for you to do. It would cut down on the time the priests have to spend in the little booth.
Next week's topic: setting up a secure system for tithing. Give your 10% over the Web....and put it on your Visa card!
Search of the day: "naked boggle".
People seem to think the webcam is about me entertaining you. That is incorrect. The cam is all about me establishing myself as a major Web microstar. I can't be a Web microstar if no one knows what I look like, now can I?
I went to check out the Leonid meteor shower last night. Two things resulted:
I got into a car accident with Ariana. No one was hurt, but it was a bummer.
I didn't see any meteors. It wasn't dark enough and it was a little too early in the evening. Again, no one was hurt, but it was a major bummer.
Buy your very own Carl Steadman cookie. Seriously.
Dan Bricklin is at Comdex and is delivering behind-the-scenes pictures and commentary. An interesting coversational tidbit by Bill Gates at the keynote after-party-thingie:
[Gates] waxed nostalgic about when he last got to write real code (including the TRS-80 Model 100 and Color Computer I think he said) and had to wring the last 1KB out of his work by various hand-coded machine code tricks. (He kept looking my way to find a face that understood from experience what he was talking about.)
I will be attending the American Center for Design "Design's Role in E-Commerce" seminar in Chicago on Friday, Dec 3rd. Is anyone else out there attending? I don't know how long I will be in Chicago (maybe for just Friday, maybe the weekend), but if any Chicago-land kottke.org readers are interested in getting together, email me and we'll see what happens.
Amazon has announced the results of their "Best of the Millennium" poll (a year early, of course). The winners are: Star Wars for Best Video, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for Best Album, and Lord of the Rings for Best Book. The results show that the teeming masses haven't totally taken over the Web...the "geek" vote is in evidence with the selections of Tolkien, Star Wars, Pink Floyd, and The Matrix. The teen chick vote is also quite strong, with the selection of a Backstreet Boys album as the 3rd best album of the millennium.
I watched the movie eXisteZ last night, and I want that 97 minutes of my life back. Touted as better than The Matrix, eXistenZ was almost too bad to describe, although I have this nagging feeling that I was missing something...like I wasn't getting that crucial something that the film maker wanted me to understand in a nudge nudge wink wink sorta way. Of course, that feeling quickly passed and was replaced by the thought that the movie was just plain bad.
Uploading has launched. I don't quite know what it is, but I imagine you can find out at the site. Also, Web.geeks all look the same.
Bloat! presents weblogger rankings and commentary is pretty funny. I wonder if my #4 ranking will improve or decline with this reciprocal link.
Now you can satify your voyeuristic tendencies and surf kottke.org at the same time. I added a link to my webcam in main site navigation.
The cam is also available in a convenient popup, auto-refresh (every 30 sec.) mode as well.
I added an Epinions link to the navigation as well.
I hereby resolve to stop talking about Epinions so much. Jeez...I look like some sort of micropayment linking whore or something. (And you're thinking: "Well, duh.")
Also from the OSF guy: an Epinion on how Minneapolis is a figment of Hollywood's imagination. I'm living in the Matrix!
The guy from One Swell Foop is randomly all over the place...which I like. Sort of the Justin Hall of the weblog crowd.
Can you create instant credibility to your site with just a link? Apparently so...all the "techno" design sites out there have some sort of a link to Shift, Born Magazine, Kaliber 10000, and Digital Thread. Very clever actually: visit these sites and you know what to expect from this one. Of course, there's a whole other class of Web site that depends on that same principle.
Just for fun, here's a list of the top hostnames that access kottke.org (number in parenthesis is the # of unique visits so far this month):
I know some of these people, but not all of them. Do you belong to one of these hostnames?
Whoa! I have no idea how, but Glassdog is offering up Epinions now. Wacky shit. Don't just sign up for Epinions, sign up for Glassdog Epinions!
Lookie, lookie! Peterme and Ben Brown have Epinions sub-sites as well.
Ok, I finally figured it out. Here's my Epinions affiliate site. To make your own affiliates site, go to your member page and click on the "Become an Affiliate" link on the bottom of the page.
Old school Web: I remember Heather Champ's site from way back. She designed one of the first interations of CSotD (with the Conan O'Brien look-a-like Cool Kid) back when Glenn Davis was still running it. Jezebel is still a nifty little personal site.
Turns out that I'm a knob. My comments on patterns in dates were inaccurate. After Feb 22, 2000 (2222000), the next occurrence of the pattern is Feb 2, 2111 (222111).
Checkout.com has The Iron Giant on DVD for $17.49. And, and you get a collectable animation cell with your purchase. I just ordered my copy.
There are a ton of DVDs I want to buy right now. I want a site that has a simple wishlist functionality that then links the items on my wishlist to the cheapest price out there (including the shipping and handling costs). That way, I don't have to go check 800.com, Amazon.com, Reel.com, B&N.com, and Buy.com to see who has my movie at the best price. Or better yet, my mom doesn't have to go check all those places.
Is this Roger Ebert's account page over at Epinions? Entirely likely considering the early date at which this user signed up.
Today's date: 11111999. Neat. The next time this pattern happens? It happens twice more in just three months: 222000 (Feb 2, 2000) and 2222000 (Feb 22, 2000). The next time after that? 222200 (Feb 2, 2200) and 2222200 (Feb 22, 2200). After that, it doesn't happen for another 800 years or so, until March 3, 3000 (333000).
Saw Princess Mononoke last night. What a great, great film. Man! I enjoyed myself so thoroughly that I might have to go see it again. Read my Epinion of the film for more gushingly uninformed commentary.
I've got a webcam, but I'm not going to tell you where it is yet. Nyah nyah. (Like you care.)
In the mood for some cheesy (and therefore highly humorous) love poetry? Your Love, Your Cup of Hot Chocolate is a favorite. Oh, doctor.
I attended the AIGA MN design show last night. It was OK....B-Swing won an award for NetRadio.com, which is pretty cool I guess. Something to put on the resume. Interesting tidbit from the panel discussion: there are fewer clients these days...a lot of projects, but few clients.
The MSN beta site: could they pack any more text into a smaller area? I do like the Slate headline about halfway down the page though: "How much worse can things get for Microsoft? Much worse."
Interesting theory from Bovine Inversus regarding Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufmann:
"This is my theory regarding Andy Kaufman: Keeping in mind that Jim Carrey made his first film appearance in 1984, the year that Andy Kaufman died - Kaufman faked his death and underwent extensive plastic surgery in order to look like Jim Carrey. Knowing that he had it in him to become a famous actor (again), he anticipated that he would star as himself in Man on the Moon, which opens Christmas '99, at the premier of which he will, after 15 years of fooling everybody, announce that he is in fact Andy Kaufman."
Went to a Macromedia Generator seminar this morning. It was mildly interesting, but Generator itself has some promise. Most people probably think of it as a tool for making dynmically generated Flash files (which it does), but it can also generate jpegs, pngs, and gifs. Think: I can generate all the title graphics on my huge Web site without having the intern do it.
The charting capabilities were pretty sweet as well. One could make one hell of a Web stats report Flash app with Generator.
Buy Matt's car. I'm pretty sure shipping and handling would be your responsibility.
I'm not sure if this is unique or not, but Emigre is now letting you preview a bit of text in any of their typefaces.
On the topic of Emigre, they could have a lot more cred and visibility on the Web if they updated their site with a look and feel more consistant with their boundary-stretching magazine design. This topic comes up about every six months or so in the letters to the editor section of the magazine, and their stance is (and continues to be, as far as I know) that the site serves its purpose and is just fine for what it needs to do. That's fine, but does it accurately portray who Emigre is to the site's audience. I'm not sure it does. I'm not saying it has to be an over-designed graphics fest like some sites, but I would like to see what Emigre would come up with if they applied their design talents toward a Web site.
It's nearing the end of the year and people will want to be making their end of the year lists. I myself am going to make a list of my 10 favorite movies of 1999. To that end, Epinions should have an end-of-the-year subcatagory in each of the media catagories (movies, books, music, etc.) so that people can make such lists. These lists would be a good traffic boost for the site I think....people love to read them.
Epinion usability problem: the movie reviews have the spoiler information at the bottom of the page. This information belongs at the top of the page...I want to know right away whether my movie experience is going to be ruined by the review.
A nice story about life's defining moments and meeting one's childhood hero.
Sorry, Fox, but Futurama's online store sucks. The designs on the t-shirts are lame, they are expensive, and they are all long-sleeved. How about a nice, simple, white, short-sleeved shirt with Bender doing something goofy on it? That's all I'm asking.
The Smoking Gun has a mugshot of Bill Gates from when he was arrested in 1977 for a minor traffic violation. Seems apropos considering the recent ruling about the nature of Microsoft's monopoly. Bill looked a lot like Eric Foreman from That 70s Show, didn't he?
I went to see Being John Malkovich last night. And all I can say is, "Wow". Well, I guess I can say a little more than that. Do yourself a solid and go see this film.
More Minnesota.web: Pixelbaby. I found this through her page at Epinions.
A nifty little article on sans serif typefaces on the Communication Arts Web site. For fun, go to the Swiss Modernism section and rollover the various weights of Helvetica quickly. It's neat to see how the letterforms change as they go from UltraLight to Black. Jason's a big fan of the sans serif type.
More Minnesota.web: I've been using this best practices document for a project I'm working on, but I had no idea that Dack Ragus was from Minneapolis. An interesting (renaissance?) mix of booze, web, golf, and the stock market. Very cool.
Sweet fancy Moses. CitySearch has finally launched their Twin Cities offering, supplanting Microsoft's dearly departed Sidewalk. Will it be as good as Sidewalk was? I'll get back to you on that.
Wow, I missed a day for the first time in...well...a long time. I've got lots of good stuff to share, but I just don't have the time these days. <sigh>
I've gotten about 10 messages on my voicemail since I posted the phone number, but no naughty messages....with the exception of a co-worker's reading of an excerpt from Nabokov's Lolita. Come on gang, you can do it: 1.877.218.0260 x358 (that's toll-free in the US!).
The Cluetrain Manifesto will soon be available in book form. More evidence that Web sites are all fine and good, but it doesn't have an impact unless it's dead wood sitting on a shelf.
The Muffin Manifesto. Coming soon?
My mind tends to focus on small areas of interest and the insights held within. Leslie, on the other hand, gathers up bunches of small things and extrapolates broad trends. Recently, she discussed the types of sites quickly propagating across the Web and how those sites are diseminating information at such a rate that in a short time, all the information that can be consumed will be consumed. A related essay from earlier this year is available as well.
Another new 'log, from frequent link contributer and visiter to this site, Rogers Cadenhead.
The Hobbit, condensed down to a minute's worth.
Dan Bricklin, inventor of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program and the application upon which the entire rest of the personal computer industry was built, is running a weblog. Not too much there now, but it might make for some interesting reading.
And just to continue on the above slightly, weblogs by people like Dan Bricklin add another dimension missing from your ordinary 'log. Dan not only lived through an important time in the development of all these computing machines that we are using, but he contributed to it in a significant way and influenced others making significant contributions. That sense of history, type of viewpoint, and genuine authority is missing from most, if not all, weblogs.
It is almost as if Dan is writing a book about the beginnings of the PC revolution, except we are getting the unedited version, with more techical and personal information that gives the story more substance that it would normally have. Above all, it's current. A book ceases to be current the moment it's published....with his 'log, Dan can continue to publish new insights on old thoughts and compare others' new ideas with old paradigms.
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