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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.

Reader comments

andrewJul 12, 2004 at 11:54AM

dig the recap, thanks

Kip IngramJul 12, 2004 at 12:10PM

I like the recap feature; it beats finding all those old entries and checking the comments by a mile (all in one place and pure Jason). So is this a “new feature” in the sense that you’re just writing a new kind of post, or did your system now have technical features that ease the creation of recap posts?

TomasJul 12, 2004 at 12:23PM

Great idea Jason, don’t understand why nobody’s done that before. Seems obvious now. ;-)

Andy BaioJul 12, 2004 at 12:28PM

Good idea! I tend to update my old entries when additional news breaks (like my Chatnannies entry), but nobody ever sees the updates except for search engine referrals.

I still maintain that the 8th grade exam isn’t real, though. Not because it’s not an authentic test (it obviously is), but because it was never given to students. It was a graduate-level exam for teachers.

jkottkeJul 12, 2004 at 12:44PM

I still maintain that the 8th grade exam isn’t real, though. Not because it’s not an authentic test (it obviously is), but because it was never given to students. It was a graduate-level exam for teachers.

The PDF I linked to indicates otherwise:

Two weeks later I received another email from Judy Lilly. She had delved deeper. This time she provided incontrovertible evidence that the “applicants” referred to in the exam were indeed eight-graders in Saline County, and that the exam had definitely been administered by J.W. Armstrong, as claimed in the Salina Journal article.

Apparently Armstrong wasn’t responsible for testing for teacher certification. The relevant passages are on pages 3-4.

olafJul 12, 2004 at 12:48PM

Just to be persnickety, although you’re probably aware of this, Centigrade is deprecated, it’s all about the Celcius now.

omitJul 12, 2004 at 1:20PM

Hmmm….Andy Baio’s onto something. How about a blog tool feature that allows updated entries to be displayed as new posts? Or even something on the sidebar or somewhere that contains updated posts?

Andy BaioJul 12, 2004 at 1:23PM

Yeah, I’d like to see some implementations. Basically, you’re trackbacking your old entries. I’m surprised that mainstream news sites haven’t found a good way to do this, since updating ongoing stories is a critical part of the reporting process.

As for the PDF, that’s fascinating. “The majority of students in J.W. Armstrong’s school district failed his graduation exam … leading to the firing of the superintendent and the recall of the school board.” So it was for students after all, although not representative of other exams of the time.

JeroenJul 12, 2004 at 1:32PM

Nice feature, maybe you can call it SlashBack? You might want to add links to your original post.

tiaJul 12, 2004 at 2:24PM

So it was for students after all, although not representative of other exams of the time.

That the most important point to glean.

gwintJul 12, 2004 at 2:35PM

The recap idea is a great one, jason!

jkottkeJul 12, 2004 at 3:09PM

How about a blog tool feature that allows updated entries to be displayed as new posts?

I do this occasionally on kottke.org. Using MTExtraFields, I added a “rank” field to each post that I can use on individual entries to override the date ordering and pop a post to the top of the front page. The problem with this technique is that a post stays at the top of the page until it is unranked, at which point it just disappears from the front page entirely (as opposed to being pushed down the page by newer posts). Not the ideal solution.

Early in the redesign process for kottke.org, I toyed with writing my own little blogging/publishing tool to make this sort of thing easier. I don’t want to get into data structure specifics, but in addition to the creation date, each post would also have one or more places in a queue (you could also say posts have one or more publish dates), independent of context (i.e. the queueing would work across all archive types: category, index, monthly, etc.). That way, individual posts could show up multiple times without any of those instances disappearing from anywhere (or anywhen, I guess). Add versioning and you’ve almost got a blog-like one-user wiki sort of thing.

KonstantinosJul 12, 2004 at 7:43PM

Updated entries come up as new posts in RSS readers, so this does the work for me (and for the millions of others who use them, I assume).

Also, Greece, baby, Greece!

AleksandarJul 13, 2004 at 5:51AM

If you like soccer, then forget about Greeks. They play the most boring football ever imagined. If you want to see football as it shoudl be - agressive, offensive, always on the outlook for scoring - then watch Czech. The game versus Holland (from 0:2 to 3:2) in the groups stage was one of the best games of the decade.

MarrijeJul 13, 2004 at 9:28AM

Oh, but the Dutch were good too, Aleksandar :-) (yes, I’m Dutch, and I assume you may be Czech…)

evanJul 13, 2004 at 1:43PM

Just as a heads-up, Spinsanity has a fairly thorough fact-check of Fahrenheit. Here it is.

Mike AperoJul 13, 2004 at 4:26PM

I don’t understand the issue with the hubub about Friendster and fakesters.

Correct me if I’m wrong about any of this:

—people got pissed/up-in-arms when they didn’t allow Fakesters in the beginning. How dare they tell me how to use their *free* service in a way that they don’t like! (crossing arms, stomping on the ground) It’s like when I sent those penis enlargement emails from my hotmail address…they were so pissed at me! I can’t believe them!

—tribe, orkut, myspace….they allow fakesters, yes ? How much fun can it be to have a hundred accounts named “Jesus Christ”, each with 400 friends ?

—social software blogs bitch everyday about these companies not having a revenue stream, then complains when companies try.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.