Friday, February 28, 2003


What Number Are You?

Find out if you are odd or even. Where'd that come from?

This girl.

Where'd she come from?

But I'm only guessing. And I should admit that I am a horrible guesser just in case she reads this and then wants to kick my ass.

Because I think she could. And I think she would like it.

She talks about droogs and shit which, if I am not mistaken, is from A Clockwork Orange. If she's into a litttle Ultraviolence then she could quite easily destroy me.

And how'd I find her? Buffoonery. He's right about Raymi you know

Blogging has been light today...because I've been in the light today. I actually went outside and spent the day with real live people...that talk. No cell phone. No computer. So refreshing. Had a chance to spread the word about blogs to my brother and even got him to start a blog of his own.

Remember when I mentioned The Reverse Cowgirl's Blog the other day? Remember that bit about the dirty pictures? Well, she has been encouraging folks to participate in some Photoshop shenanigans where her face is pasted onto some (remarkable) bodies. The demure selection you see above is one of my own creation.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Goodbye...and thanks.

In sad news, Fred Rogers passed away from stomach cancer.

There's an interesting conversation about it taking place at Cosmic Lattice.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Introverts of the World Unite!

We're not strange and unfortunate outcasts, we're a marginalized social class.

Doc Searls posted a link to a dissenting voice in the discussion of blogs and emergent democracy. Richard Bennet posts the follwing:

"Frankly, I don't think the people who like to fantasize about how blogs are changing government really have an interest in government either, because if they had even a passing awareness of how government really works they would not get caught up in such nonsense."

Personally, I don't think blogs will have a major effect on the way legislators interact. It will likely not change the mechanism of government. What I do see is the possibility for blogs to engage a citizenry that has lost interest in the process of democracy. I know that, at least theoretically, the power in our government lies with the people. That power has been abdicated slowly over time. If blogs provoke or excite the people to take a more active role, that will change government.

Mr. Bennett continues:

"So I'd like to suggest an exercise for our utopian technologists: show how your technology can affect the passage of a legislative bill on a measure close to your heart; then try to make it happen in real life, and analyze why your expected result didn't materialize. Then let's talk about world hunger."

I choose copyright and digital rights management.

Monday, February 24, 2003

No Bush

This is an interesting anti-war protest I learned about while reading Tom Tomorrow's blog. Seems like a fascinating idea.

A prodigious number of people are planning to give a reading of the play Lysistrata. The play, for those of you who are not familiar with it (as I was until 5 minutes ago) tells the story of women who attempt to put an end to war by denying their men sexual relations.

Anyway, there are 739 readings in 42 Countries planned. Find out if there is one in your area.

I'm All For One

You love DVD. You know you do. It has been one of the most successful consumer electronics devices ever. And do you know why? Because the manufacturers got together and ironed out the details of the format before it was released. Sure there wre a few amendments (DTS was added later...actual DTS titles came much later) but what was wisely averted was a VHS vs. Beta-esque format war.

Sure there were minor efforts that could have derailed DVD's momentum (remember the evil Divx?) but those efforts were widely criticized by early adopters and were never embraced by the public. For the most part, DVD was a well implemented technology that could be easily understood and enjoyed by the consumer.

But the manufacturers are up to their old tricks. Recordable DVD is already crushed by a number of confusing formats that can't play nice together. High resolution audio formats like DVD-A and SACD are keeping people on the sidelines.

Efforts are being made to ensure that DVD does not fall by the wayside when HD video finally takes hold. An HD-DVD format is being developed but the effort does not seem to be as focused as the original DVD implementation was. Formats abound.

A campaign is being developed to educate consumers and help convince manufacturers that a single format is desperately needed to ensure the success of a new DVD format. Otherwise another confusing and unfortunate format war may be touched off and consumers may get the short end of the stick. Again.

Come on guys. Keep it simple.

Powered by audblogaudblog audio post

Hands Free
Ian, a co-worker and passionate Mac supporter, pointed me to this remarkable piece of software for OSX users with an Ericsson bluetooth phone.

Not only does it allow you to use your phone as a remote control (great for presentations) but it senses your proximity to the computer and triggers actions when you go into and out of range.

I tried it on my machine and it works perfectly. I used it to control iTunes from 15 feet away. It did take a few seconds to recognize when I was out of range and when I returned, but I assume that is some kind of latency with Bluetooth. I doubt it's a problem with the software.

Want more testimonials? MacSlash has picked up the story.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

We're On The Bus
Tony Pierce was kind enough to include us (me and evil me) in his February links. He even got the name right.

You should go there.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Return To Sender
You've likely received unsolicited email promising you riches while you work at home, leverage the power of ebay, refinance your home. And so on. And so forth.

This story on ZDNet explains a new concept developed by an Australian company called that allows you to sign up (albeit for 36 bucks) and charge marketers for the right to contact you.


The system doesn't sound perfect but it helps introduce an important idea. With marketers saturating the environment with delivery vehicles designed to monopolize our attention at the gas pump, the ATM, online, offline, at home, in the car, in the bathroom and everywhere else they can think of, our ability to pay attention, to take it all in, is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Apply the same laws of economics that drive the marketers and it seems reasonable that the cost of an item should increase as its availability decreases.

Up to this point we've all been giving away our attention for free. In the case of something like cable TV we've been paying to be marketed to. We're only human. We can't take it all in. In order to protect our sanity we need to tune some of it out.

So if you don't want my cold shoulder, if want me to listen, I would be happy to lend you my ear. But it's gonna cost you.

From My First Issue of The EFFector

"Hollywood, in its attempts to outlaw digital technology, has been compared to a dinosaur shaking its claw at the approaching comet. Note to the Democrats: The dinosaurs got creamed." Read the whole story >>

Thursday, February 20, 2003

And I love this!!!

"my point is, you have hands, not dont eat shit for a living."

Words to live by. Thank you Mr. Pierce.

Slippery Slope
This is disappointing.

This is fascinating.

"But the philosophical war really runs deeper than mere resistance to government control. One way to understand this is to look at how the content industries talk about individuals as compared to how the Tech industries do. The content industries refer to "consumers." The Tech industries refer to "users.""

It get's better.

"But because the Tech Faction's approach to their customer base is different, they find the universal-DRM approach anathema. To them, the digital world is one in which users are generally empowered to do whatever they want with digital tools, except to the extent that copyrighted works are walled off by DRM. But to the Content Faction, the digital world isn't safe unless every digital tool also functions as a kind of copyright policeman."

I just joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation because of this.

Anyone paying attention has undoubtedly noticed the number of entries on this site is steadily climbing. I seem to be within what Ernie the Attorney calls the third (of three) stages of blog-awareness.

In response, Joi Ito wrote up a quiz that can help all of us determine if we are addicted to blogging. According to Joi, you are if you answer yes to three or more of the following questions:

Do you think about everything in terms of whether it will make a good blog entry?
I'm starting to. That is simply an extension of a similar question I have been asking myself for some time now: will other people find this interesting? Is Item X worth sharing? If so then this blog may be a good way to do it.

Do you keep your computer in standby mode beside your bed and wake up at 2am to blog?
My computer is usually on because I am still awake at 2am, but no matter. I would certainly consider emerging from sleep at some ungodly hour to write a blog entry, which is saying something. There are very few things that I find make getting up early worthwhile. Work barely qualifies.

Do you skip lunch and blog instead?
More of a combo. I can blog and eat at the same time. Generally, it's is a good time for me to read. There's so much good information to keep up with. Last night I was reading until 2. It's a little overwhelming.

Do you accept speaking engagements or make travel decisions based on whether they will make good blog material?
Not yet. Perhaps never. I can't say that I am really into the public, speaking, or any combination of the two.

Do you have your RSS newsreader open during meetings and keep hitting "refresh"?
This is where my inexperience becomes evident. I don't know anything about RSS or other blog features. Like Trackback. If anyone cares to explain it to me, please do. My Blogstreet Neighborhood is undeveloped.

Do you sit around trying to figure out how you can redesign your job so you can blog more?
I actually have spent more time trying to figure out how to redesign my blog so that it can help get me a job.

Do you think blogs will suddenly cause an emergent democracy and save the world?
I would say necessity is the mother of invention. We need a more democratic media, one that does not exclude voices because of unpopular opinions or insufficient funds. Dissenting voices, thoughtful and viable opinions, are out there but they just don't get the coverage in traditional channels. Blogs help minimize this and will get better at it as they become a more efficient mechanism.

Allan, the source of my links for the day, explains the allure of blogging quite nicely:

"...who isn't seduced by the thrill of discovery, learning, wanderlust and a good laugh?"

Not me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA and kindred spirit to Hilary Rosen would have you believe that Hollywood as we know it is hanging by a tenuous and increasingly fragile thread. In his estimation, broadband and digital media will compromise the viability of the industry if left unchecked. Why would someone invest a magnificent amount of time and money to create a work that could then be freely redistributed by pirates, thieves and scalawags?

That's why we need region codes and Macrovision. We need to shut down P2P networks. Take the Norwegian kid and his cursed DeCSS to court. We need to enlist the technology industry to help with Digital Rights Management. Extend copyright to last a century and a day. Charge massive royalties (Thanks for the link Allan.) Control distribution!

MIT grad student Raffi Krikorian wanted to see if Jack and Co. were onto something with their fears of piracy and industry destruction so he set out to discover if it was as easy as they say. He then sent his results to the FCC.

I guess it's not that easy, even if you study large, distributed, networked, and emergent systems at one of the premiere institutions in the country.

Perhaps Jack should meditate on the DVD for a moment. The device is small and convenient, more durable than a video tape, with better sound and video than laser discs at half the cost. They have tons of extra features. You don't have to rewind them. Then consider that it is the most successful consumer electronics format/device ever.

Maybe people are smart enough to recognize a good thing when they see it. Maybe they'll line up by the millions if you give them something worth paying for. Maybe by adding extra fees, proprietary devices and confusing protocols you make things more unattractive and compromise any potential for success. Just look at the train wreck that was Divx.

Maybe one of the elements that spurs piracy is the fact that an affordable version has not been made commercially available (look here and here.) How many bootlegs of the original Star Wars trilogy do you think are floating out there? How much has demand for such material gone up in light of the revelation that George Lucas does not intend to release the original versions on DVD ever?

Maybe industry leaders should work on serving the public instead of serving subpoenas.

Old News Flash
Two bits that have transpired in the not so distant past that, for vague and unclear reasons, may still be of interest to you.

First off, it seems that mention of this meager digest on Doc Searls blog triggered a blitzkrieg of hits. I don't know how many, traffic is not my primary interest. That may sound like an attempt to be noble but I assure you I could become a log junkie at any moment.

I did peek in at Technorati out of curiosity and noticed a prodigious amount of traffic being funneled here by some of the big names in blogdom. Shocking.

Many undoubtedly noticed that I have been the eMachines to bOing bOing's Apple. Hopefully they don't mind that I steal their material. It's all in the spirit of sharing. My heart's in the right place.

In other news, Iowa professor Kembrew McLeod may pursue legal action against AT&T for unauthorized use of his legally trademarked phrase "Freedom of Expression." From the press release:

"Yesterday, Mr. McLeod sent AT&T a 'cease and desist' letter, asserting that consumers might infer a link between the company and his anti-corporate publication, "Freedom of Expression,"" wrote Ives in a January 23, 2003 New York Times column. McLeod objects to the fact that AT&T, in reality, cares little for freedom of expression; he is also concerned with the way intellectual property law is accelerating the privatization of our culture."

Seems reasonable given the outcome of the Eldred case.

It's peanut butter jelly time!

I found a handy little doodad on geegaw for those of you who, like me, are still deciding what shape your blog will take. Seems like worthwhile advice to me.

I am personally a fan of #8. Look forward to impassioned pleas in the very near future.

.Mac Goes Wireless?

The folks at WAPMac seem to have created a way for you to check your .Mac email using your cellphone. According to the site:

"Simply point your mobile devices WAP capable browser to: and login using your address and your password. Our system connects seamlessly to allow you to check your emails very quickly."

You can pay for the privilege of replying and composing emails for a paltry 15 bucks, but I have enough trouble with a full size keyboard, let alone the miniscule keypad on my cell phone.

And, as you can see from my links to free music on my free blog, I think free is pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

It's Not Piracy If It's Free
Speaking of free music, Ace Fu has some Pinback songs posted:

Offline PK

You can also find Boo and Chaos Engine on the Pinback site.

If you enjoy them I suggest you pick up a copy. And no, I'm not an affiliate. Just a fan.

The folks over at Ipecac Records (a fantastic label by the way) have posted a hypnotic music video by Kaada called No You Don't.

They have some "Sneak Preview" mp3s posted on the site as well.

If you're always looking for music like myself, or Manuel at then it might behoove you to check it out.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Blogosphere Pays The Mollusk A Visit
Alan and Jonah were part of the cast that attended the LftB event and have been kind enough to give this modest page a mention and a link.

In the parlance of our time, "mad props yo."

Sunday, February 16, 2003

"Do you really want to Question, Challenge, Piss-off, Fuck with, or otherwise Bother, a forty-eight year old man who takes his Stuffed Animal, "Power Doggie" everywhere he goes..."

Um, no.

And on that note I have something to share with you:

The Best Switch Ad Ever!

I have been thinking about one of the questions that was posed to the panel last night: will the enthusiasm for blogs suffer the same fate as the enthusiasm for the personal web page?

Doubt it, although maybe that's naive of me. I am a newcomer so it's easy for me to believe that this is the technology that will finally change the world.

But, consider the dynamic nature of a blog. How many personal websites get updated multiple times a day? Or everyday? Or every couple of days? I have lost sight of a geocities page I set up years ago. It's still out there I'm sure but it has not been altered since its date of inception.

Also, personal websites seem to be inwardly focused, concentrating on aspects of a persons life that, quite often, are not relevant or interesting to an anonymous audience. Pics of a 5 year olds birthday party or a trip to an amusement park. A list of favorite movies. A resume and portfolio. These all likely generate little interest for the bulk of the population.

Blogs, in my limited experience with them, seem outwardly focused. The ones that I enjoy the most seem to operate in a spirit of sharing, of pointing out some of the strange, amusing or provocative niches one can so often view on the internet but so rarely find independently. They reflect a personal interest but seem motivated by the idea that others may share that interest. And when you're talking about the entire scope of the internet, finding a like-minded audience who will enjoy and appreciate the content/information/material in your blog is far more likely than finding someone who will check in daily with your personal web page.

We'll see how it all shakes out.

So, on remarkably short notice and with absurdly incomplete directions I made my way up to

in LA to attend "Live from the Blogosphere" - an open discussion on the development and current state of blogs and what their roles may be in the future of media.

Why do you blog? How do your behaviors change once you have tasted the awesome power that is blogging? Are there any rules for blogging? What can be done to make blogging better? Blogger's founder Evan Williams displayed a potential new trick/treat that would allow one to call into a central location, type in a password and leave an audio post. It was swell, albeit "experimental."

I stood next to him briefly.

I passed up the opportunity for conversation though since my knowledge of the blogging phenomenon would put me squarely within the ranks of the bandwagoner or the groupie. (You do know all the stuff I link to comes from Boing Boing right?)

Oh, and Evan's company, Pyra Labs, was just bought by Google. That seems huge.

If Google is able to provide an effective search of the world's weblogs then people will have reliable access to unfiltered, yet still relevant, information on a scale and with an immediacy that I have trouble grasping. Talk about democratization of the media. It's enough to give you hope for America.

Well, that and your Mickey Mouse gas mask.

Oh, and for those of you bewildered souls who head to Chinatown in LA to find Chung King Road, well, good luck and godspeed. I drove in circles for a half hour before I found someone who knew what I was talking about and where it was. Not one person, out of the five that I asked, thought I would need to know that it's not a road at all! It's this little pedestrian thoroughfare with galleries and stuff.

How the fuck was I supposed to know that?

Here's how the panel looked from my point of view.

And make sure you visit the reverse cowgirl's blog because the woman who runs it is always posting dirty pictures. She is also 13 feet tall.

Kitty Bukkake wins for most intriguing audience member. I didn't realize that "bukkake" and "shy" could peacefully coexist in the same sentence.

Yes, the blog bandwagoner gets to hand out audience awards. Shut up.

Hopefully I'll erode some of that title with the sheer monstrous force that is this marathon post. I'll keep at it though.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Thanks toThe Suki for the delightful rendering of yours truly.

So sometimes I think of potential band names. It just happens... here are the latest:

Jaw Trauma
The Mob

I also cast my life story sometimes. I don't write/edit the story. I just cast it. The head of the company I used to work for would be brilliantly played by an actor on CSI: Miami. Those of you who know G.M O'Connell should be able to figure out who I am talking about.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

So there was a young kid who worked at an Apple Store in North carolina that got torn up (i.e fired) for having screen captures of internal Apple software stored on his personal web server.

Seems there was no malicious intent, simply a little hiccup with security on his web site and a minor error in judgement. Anyway, you can read about his trials and tribulations here.

It's a good illustration of the good and bad sides of Apple's loyal fan base.

Check it out. Wish him well.

While we're on the subject...

Saturday, February 08, 2003

"...but it remains a central truth that democratic politics requires a democratization of information sources and a more democratic media."

-Excerpted from "Manufacturing Consent" by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky

Keep on blogging in the free world!

Friday, February 07, 2003

For you Star Wars fans, Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits has posted a passionate, albeit unfortunate, announcement regarding the original versions of the film on DVD.

Seems Mr. Lucas will NEVER release the originals in the format that we all know and love. Ever.

Obviously Mr. Lucas has lost touch with "the force" that made Star Wars the multi-million dollar franchise that it has become: the fans. As if the new movies weren't disappointing enough...

Oh yes...let me state for the record that I am an idiot. A luddite. A prehistoric boob of monumental proportions.


I finally, as of this afternoon, discovered the joy of online banking! It is magnificent and I should be ashamed for taking so long.

If you haven't indulged in this glorious technological gift, do it. Now. Even if it's 3 in the doesn't matter. It's online banking!

I can't wait until I get more bills that I can pay.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

As you may or may not know, I work for Apple a retail store. We make a lot of noise about the digital hub and digital photos and look how fast and look how easy...

I just got a note from my friend who just got married. I had used my digital camera to take pictures before, during and after the ceremony. I came home, dowloaded them to my computer and created a page on the internet using iPhoto. It took all of about 10 minutes. I sent my friend a link to the page when I was done.

They both really liked them. Turns out they were the first pictures that they saw of their wedding.

Got to love that.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

So I was watching CSI: Miami last night (I am a CSI/Law & Order addict) and I am forced to wonder: why are graphic images of violence more acceptable than sexual images?

I don't ask this because of some innate prurience on my part, I simply don't understand it at all.

Last night they had a GRAPHIC sequence where the police were examining a body in the lab (standard CSI gross out) but this seemed to go further than most. They sawed the hand off a dead body and PUT IT IN THE MICROWAVE to retrieve the evidence it concealed! This was not some Hitchcock-ian approach where the act is implied. There were 7 or 8 scenes where we are clearly shown the removed appendage.

Yet the second they show someone's ass on TV the "viewing public" is up in arms over it? This display of flesh is destructive. Perverted. Disgraceful.

Why one and not the other?

Are we really just a blood thirsty mob? Are we, in fact, the Romans? Do I simply want to see more boobs on TV?


Sunday, February 02, 2003

Cute little doggie!