January 31, 2004

Thinker wanna be

John Robb has started a list of the various types of blogs. connection machine, name dropper, ideologue, thinker, topic owner, voice of outrage/affirmation, cool hunter. He talks about the details of each, and his comments area has many suggestions for other types that are out there.

Posted by jghiii at 07:45 PM | Comments (1)

J-Walk's list of online clocks.

Some fun online graphical clocks. My favorites:

Blocks Clock

The Writing Clock

Horizontal Clock

Note that the JavaScript Clock wouldn't run on my Mac using Safari.

Posted by jghiii at 02:36 PM | Comments (2)

Don't try this at home.

Some words of wisdom from a life lived with enthusiasm. Two of my favorites:

"Now that youíve climbed up there, itís a lot higher than it looks, isnít it? Dumbass."

"The cops never think itís as funny as you do."

[Thanks Boing Boing]

Posted by jghiii at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2004

They fixed it fast

I discovered this site cause one of their forums users was poaching bandwidth off of my site. I reported it to the guys in charge and they fixed it almost instantly. Good work, thanks.

If you own an iPod check them out.

Posted by jghiii at 02:23 PM | Comments (5)

For the record

Patriots: 27
Panthers: 10

Posted by jghiii at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

More on All-Star Survivor

No major spoilers in this CNN.com article:

"All-Stars" was introducing no novices who, at least initially, "are easy to manage and to strike fear into," Probst says with a chuckle. "This bunch arrived confident that they had anticipated every twist we were going to come up with."

Even before the 39-day contest got under way in November, they had put Probst on notice: They would be guarding against his interrogations at the "tribal councils," those torch-lit encounter sessions where players often speak more freely than they should -- right before ballots are cast voting one of them off.

"One by one, they e-mailed me or called before we got out there and said, 'I just want to let you know: I'm not gonna give you anything good at tribal council.'

"I went into the game thinking, 'How am I gonna get good stuff out of these guys?' And it turned out I got the best stuff I've ever gotten."

Posted by jghiii at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

Berkman Thursday Notes

BEFORE

The evening began, before the official start of the session, with Dave stressin' about the unexpected absence of Thursday-nite tech-meister, Jay McCarthy. Who's gonna set up the webcast?!

Jessica saved the day (at least as far as the webcast was concerned) by tracking down Jay on the phone, and they managed to startup the real audio feed.

DURING

Conversation was a bit free-form tonight. Michael Feldman's planned "how I blog" presentation was postponed to the future due to technical difficulties.

Two newcomers tonight prompted Dave to give a quick blogging basics demo.

Shimon Rura did an impromptu demo of his experimental blogging system, which he calls "frassle". He is exploring ways to make category organization of a blog's archive richer and more automatic.

http://frassle.rura.org/

Mike Walsh says he drove 250 miles from Coos County NH to see Jay. Apparently he was looking to get some techincal questions answered. (Mike if you're reading this, I'm not in Jay's league, but I can find my way around a lot of this tech stuff, and I'd be glad to lend a hand if you want to send me email: weblog at da4 dot com)

Michael "Dowbrigade" Feldman proudly brandished his new Macintosh iBook which he just bought that day.

Dave wants a quick conference to tell our side of what happened with the Dean campaign and the internet. Lots of discussion about what this would really be about (and whether SuperSunday was the right day to try and do this).

This evolved into an open-ended discussion about what the faltering of the Dean Campaign means to weblogs and the internet. Will the perceived importance of the internet to the early success of that campaign, cause blogging to take the rap for Dean's decline. (It's a much more complex issue than that sentence expresses. Dave and others (possibly even me) are going to be writing about this in the next few days to more completely express our view of this thing.)

Dean Campaign blog/internet guru Jim Moore seredipidously walked in during this conversation. He gave use some interesting additional perspective on the sea change that is happening in Burlington. I'm not going to try to even paraphrase his remarks here, but much of what he said he has posted here in his blog. I would characterize his attitude as, still a little shocked but cautiously hopeful that Dean's campaign, and the internet elements of it, will continue.

AFTER

Indian food. I don't really like Indian food, so I let others do the ordering. It was actually pretty good. But like the first time you ate sushi, you don't know what anything was called, so you have no clue how you'd ever repeat the pleasant experience.

I got to sit across the table from Dave, and we got into a number of the fundamental issues of blogging and the internet. Obviously Dave and I have different ideas about a lot of this. I think we're gonna have many very interesting discussions at future Thursdays.

Dave has thought deeply about this stuff for much longer than I have, so I expect that I'll learn a thing or two. Maybe he'll learn the occasional bit from me too.

Posted by jghiii at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

All Star Survivor

[UPDATE: Oops. As Beth points out in comments, this Globe article contains a few (mild) spoilers about the first episode. It doesn't reveal anything like challenge winners, or Tribal Council results, but if you're a purist, you might want to avoid clicking through to the whole article.]

Boston Globe:

But each of these "Survivor" survivors has already bared his or her modus operandi to the world during previous seasons. They cannot conceal their weaknesses or their strengths -- strength being a liability when the strong are the biggest threats. From Susan Hawk's shoot-from-the-hip aggressiveness to Amber Brkich's puppy-dog passivity, their games have already been fully exposed.

And that's what promises to make this eighth installment of "Survivor" one of the series's best, the "Survivor" fan's "Survivor."

Posted by jghiii at 11:15 AM | Comments (3)

Down but not out

Dowbrigade writes about the time, when he was 12, that he and a friend went to hear James Brown in concert:

Backed by a smokin' horn section blowing molten gold, Brown strutted and spat, growled and groaned, and it was beyond anything we had seen with out own eyes up to that point (although we were familiar with all the music from records).

Posted by jghiii at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2004

Feeds Top 20 Changes

This is a prototype for what I think might be a useful perspective on the Share Your OPML project. Changes over the past week to the Top 20. (One week ago #1 had 453 subs and #20 158.)

1/29 1/22 Feed
1. 1 Scripting News 473
2. 2 Wired News 418
3. 3 Boing Boing Blog 392
4. 4 The Scobleizer Weblog 342
5. 5 Jon's Radio 252
6. 6 Slashdot 250
7. 7 Jeffrey Zeldman Presents- The Daily Repo... 244
8. 8 Joel on Software 231
9. 10 Google Weblog 229
10. 9 Joi Ito's Web 222
11. 11 kuro5hin.org 218
12. 12 Dilbert 213
13. 13 Gizmodo 204
14. 14 dive into mark 201
15. 15 The Doc Searls Weblog 197
16. 18 MetaFilter 177
17. 19 Aaron Swartz: The Weblog 177
18. 20 Six Log 172
19. -- The Shifted Librarian 169
20. -- John Robb's Weblog 166
21. 17 Register
24. 16 CNet

Posted by jghiii at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

Odds 'n' ends

Obviously a very slow blogging day. Concentrating on the job search.

>> I'm headed to the Berkman Thursday meeting tonight, so I'll probably return all charged up -- like last week -- with ideas about the blogosphere.

>> I said I wouldn't whine about the weather any more... but I'm getting a little tired of it being cold out.

>> Final warning, I'm about to retire the hodgson at da4 dot com email address. When I finally abandon it, mail to it will bounce back to you. If we exchange email, then by now I should have sent you a new address to use.

Posted by jghiii at 03:39 PM | Comments (1)

January 28, 2004

Not that dumb

Here's a quote from an episode of The West Wing that first aired in October, 2000.

In a scene from before Bartlet was elected president, Leo McGarry has invited Josh Lyman to come to NH to hear long-shot candidate Jed Bartlet talk. Josh says,

"Leo, the democrats aren't gonna nominate another liberal, academic, former governor from New England. I mean... we're dumb, but we're not that dumb."
Leo replies,
"Nah, I think we're exactly that dumb."

Posted by jghiii at 02:14 PM | Comments (3)

Reading blogs in an aggregator vs. the original webpage

I've been making notes for a future post regarding this subject -- which came up briefly at last week's Berkman Thursday meeting, and which I hope we'll return to.

Jessamyn West at librarian.net beat me to th punch and she touches on some of my issues.

So I've been messing with my RSS aggregator for the better part of a day now and I have this to say: I enjoy reading sites in the aggregator whose only [or main] function is to provide content. In fact, in some instances reading blogs this way allows me to avoid some very busy pages and just read all their content as black on white text with nice blue links. This is great for news sites , pretty good for most blogs , and downright disturbing for more arty sites where the design is really part of the content, or accentuates the content in some important way.
Good stuff, but here's one comment.

She said, "I know the big push in good web design is to separate content from presentation from structure specifically to enable this sort of approach..."

The movement to "separate content from presentation from structure" was initially, and I submit still is substantially, done in order to separate the development of these aspects of the page. It was/is to enable and simplify the creation of pages, sometimes for multiple platforms, but not to disconnect these aspects. As I suspect Jessamyn might agree, good "layout & design" add value to the "content" of a message. And to arbitrarily disregard either content or look, will often change the author's intent.

Let's talk more about this.

PS. I like Jessamyn's blog subtitle, "putting the rarin' back in librarian", even if it is a little spelling-impaired.

[Thanks j's scratchpad]

Posted by jghiii at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

bemused, and sometimes terrified

Robert J. Murray, in a comment to John Perry Barlow's blog:

As a bemused, and sometimes terrified, observer in Canada I can't help wondering why American politicians make so much sense in retirement and so little while they are in office?

Posted by jghiii at 12:08 PM | Comments (1)

Joho's Dream

David Weinberger:

Last night I had a dream that I was trying to explain to John Kerry that the Internet is like free speech: Its value comes from its openness to possibility, and that the government should regulate it as little as possible.

Yes, I actually had this dream.

Posted by jghiii at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

No wonder he lost

Dowbrigade quoting Eugene McCarthy:

"Being in politics is like coaching Professional Football - you need to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it matters."

Posted by jghiii at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2004

NH Primary Notes

Around mid-afternoon I drove up to Portsmouth to vote.

The results are now almost all in. Senator Kerry won (again!), Howard Dean a not-close-enough second, Senator Edwards and Wesley Clark basically tied for third. Senator Lieberman is claiming part of the T3, but he's actually 3-4%age pts back in fifth.

The main takeaway here I think is that Dean didn't quite do what he needed to do, and Clark really dropped the ball.

Obviously Kerry is looking very strong now. But I can't shake the feeling that he's not THE GUY. His presentation at both tonight, and last week's victory speechs, was weak. I didn't feel like he was comfortable leveraging the power of his audience's excitement at the win.

To me he really feels like another Dukakis, I think that it is inevitable that he will make some mistake that will sink him.

I think Clark is the big story. He was highly touted when he first came into the race, he got the backing of a lot if heavyweight players like the Clintons and their machine. He skipped Iowa, he said, so he could work NH. Then he couldn't even own third place. Unless something amazing happens in the next couple of weeks, I think he's done.

Edwards is the wildcard. He must show strong in his home state of S Carolina -- which I think is next week -- but if he does win there, and if Kerry falters, which i think is inevitable, then things could change radically.

Stay tuned.

Posted by jghiii at 11:29 PM | Comments (1)

Say it enough, and it will be true.

Soon I'll be posting some comments on the results in NH. But I have to jump in here and smile at Senator Lieberman's shameless audacity -- in his speech tonight, and later on CNN -- in insisting that he didn't finish fifth, but that he actually finished in a "dead heat for third." Cute.

Posted by jghiii at 11:02 PM | Comments (1)

Campaign SIG

The sigs of many blogs say, "Posted by john smith". j Baumgart has changed hers to read, "I'm j Baumgart and I approved this message."

I like it.

Posted by jghiii at 10:32 PM | Comments (2)

Big day, not much blogging today

I'll be on the road today for meetings and errands. Of course the big news today will be about the NH Primary.

Although I'm deep into the process of trying to relocate to Boston, I am still a NH resident, so I'll be swimming back upstream to spawn, err, vote.

I've pretty much decided who I'll vote for. It's not so much a decision that he's THE ONE, as it is a display of support for a candidate who I want to see continue in the process.

More tonight.

Posted by jghiii at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2004

You wanna hear a joke?

You know why they only eat one egg for breakfast in France?

Cause in France, one egg is an 'oeuf.

[Thanks to an old episode of The West Wing.]

Posted by jghiii at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

The good old days

Macintosh System 1.0 Headquarters:

This page is dedicated to showing people just how revolutionary that operating sytem was, and will hopefully also show you just how far the Mac OS has come.



Posted by jghiii at 08:01 PM | Comments (1)

Gone East Picture Gallery

I lashed together a script that displays thumbnails for some of the pics that I've used in this blog over the past year.

http://www.jackhodgson.com/weblog/img/
http://www.jackhodgson.com/weblog/img/2003/
http://www.jackhodgson.com/weblog/img/2003/Q4/
http://www.jackhodgson.com/weblog/img/2004/Q1/

Posted by jghiii at 05:47 PM | Comments (5)

email pony express

I didn't quite get this when I first saw it described in Boing Boing, but when Gizmodo explained it (after they DID understand the BB posting), I realized that this is genius.

Gizmodo: "Absolutely ingenious method for bringing the Internet to rural Cambodia: a motorcycle with built-in WiFi that roams from village to village, wirlelessly picking up and dropping off emails"

Gizmodo, quoting the NYT:

It is a digital pony express: five Motomen ride their routes five days a week, downloading and uploading e-mail. The system, developed by a Boston company, First Mile Solutions, uses a receiver box powered by the motorcycle's battery. The driver need only roll slowly past the school to download all the village's outgoing e-mail and deliver incoming e-mail. The school's computer system and antenna are powered by solar panels. Newly collected data is stored for the day in a computer strapped to the back of the motorcycle. At dusk, the motorcycles converge on the provincial capital, Ban Lung, where an advanced school is equipped with a satellite dish, allowing a bulk e-mail exchange with the outside world.

Posted by jghiii at 03:07 PM | Comments (2)

Monk Pilot

Earlier this month I confessed to having just discovered the great USA Network show, Monk. I wondered how long it had been on, and no one offered an answer.

Last night I watched the the two-hour, pilot movie for the series. It was interesting to see how Shalhoub originally played the character, and it explained a lot about the backstory about his wife and his suspended police career.

My TiVo tells me that this ep first aired on July 12, 2002.

Posted by jghiii at 01:38 PM | Comments (1)

Just like Dan Gillmor

Dan reported his 2003 webstats: "I've been told by the SiliconValley.com folks that we had about 3.5 million visits (and 4.7 million page views) here at eJournal in 2003..."

Those stats are very similar to the ones for this site*. I've always been a little disappointed that my average pages per visitor is under two. Apparently that's not unusual.

* Err, I don't get quite as many visitors as Dan, but my average is the same.

Posted by jghiii at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2004

Jack Slept Here

SteveG pointed us to this little web app, presented by World 66, that generates a map of the U.S. with the states of your choice colored red.

Since I was little I've kept track of all the states I've slept in. That's what this map shows. Red equals I slept there.


Gone East pal Jo Ann and I have an ongoing debate about the definition of "sleeping in the state". To me it means spending a regular night's sleep. Sleeping in the back seat of the car, while rolling along I80 in Nebraska doesn't count.

Posted by jghiii at 11:27 PM | Comments (29)

What makes a blog?

As I worked on this posting I started to think that it may be a "rite of passage" in the blogosphere to write a "what makes a blog" article. This one is mine.

I've been thinking about these things for many months, but my first visit to the Berkman Thursday meeting prompted me to write down my thoughts.

Blogs are hot these days. Throughout the history of personal computers there has been one meme after another that excited the computer world, and was then imitated by others. Some of the imitators "got it", but many did not.

There were periods in the life our industry where it seemed like every product was described as "desktop", or prefixed with an e-, or an i-. The list goes on.

Today, it's hot to be a blog.

Many of these faux blogs are good and valuable web resources. But they're not all blogs.

Here are the elements I think you must have in order to call yourself a blog.

First let's be clear. This is not about ALL the things that blogs CAN be. It merely attempts to describe the things that this author think as a minimum MUST exist for a website to describe itself as a blog.

The short list:

  • Reverse chronological order
  • Individual/Personal
  • Linkage
  • Syndicated
  • "Permalinks"

    There are exceptions, but in my (not so humble) opinion, a website really ought to have all these things if it's gonna call itself a blog.

    Let me elaborate on them.

  • Reverse chronological order

    This is one of the most visible attributes of a blog. It makes the most recent, most timely, info the first thing you see. And it allows the reader to easily catch up on what's new, by reading from the top down until a familiar item is encountered.

    Reading blogs in an aggregator is the subject for another self-important screed, but I do want to observe here, that although most (all?) aggregators do display blog posts in reverse chron, the nature of aggregation might make this reverse ordering less critical. We'll need to think about that.

  • Individual/Personal

    A couple of my favorite blogs are written by groups of people. Boing Boing and misbehaving.net are great, and I acknowledge that they are blogs. But I submit that they are the very rare exceptions.

    A blog is authored by an individual. It is the personal perspective of one person. That's what makes it interesting. It has an individual character, its own voice.

    One person I read said that all blogs should have a bio of the author. I like it when there's a bio. It adds to the sense of personality. But I don't think it's a requirement. In a good, active blog, the archive of posts becomes a sort of implicit bio. You learn about the author by the things they write about, and point to.

  • Linkage

    Another of the things that make blogs powerful is that they don't exist in a vacuum. They are out there in the world. They inspire, and are inspired by, other web writing, and the events of the "real" world.

    A blog enriches itself by having links to source material, and other postings, about its topics.

    Website writing without links can be excellent reading. But it's not blogging.

    I also think that, more often than not, a blog should include excerpts, and quotes, from the linked material. It can be as little as a few words, or many paragraphs.

    Don't reprint the whole piece, but give the reader some idea of why the link is interesting, and motivate (tease) them to click-through.

  • Syndicated

    More and more readers are using aggregators to help them keep up with surging quantity of good blogging out there. Your blog must provide a syndicated version of itself in one (all?) of the popular formats.

  • "Permalinks"

    As I said above, linkage is a very important part of blogging. So your site must support a reliable, long-term way for others to link to your posts.

    I put permalinks in quotes, cause I think this is, technically, a tricky subject.

    Ideally the links to your blog would last forever. That's a good goal. But in reality it's not a trivial exercise to devise a scheme that will survive all the imponderables that can come our way.

    For example, one of the 'sphere's most devoted bloggers, John Robb, had all his links break awhile back, 'cause he had relied on the domain name he was writing under to always be his host. Beyond his control, that changed, and his links all broke.

    Dave Winer, on the other hand, recently changed the whole architecture of his blog, and in the process he made a big effort to keep all the old links working. He succeeded. But it's not trivial.

    What I guess I'm saying here is that this is a good goal, but "permanent" is a long time.

    So anyway, your blog should provide links to each of your posts. And we expect those links to work for the forseeable future.

    DaveW said there should be a Calendar into your archive of past posts. I'm assuming here that he meant the "month-at-a-glance" calendar that is a signature of his, and of others', blogs.

    There definately should be a way to browse through the archive. But whether it looks like a month-at-a-glance calendar, or just a list, or something else, is a design question. There are various ways that will work.

    ...

    Those are my requirements. There are lots more, cool, blog features, that make things nice, and more interesting, for the reader and the author. I'm not going to go into all of them here. Read the sources below for some ideas.

    But I do want to touch on a few things that didn't make my list.

  • Frequent

    I came very close to saying that a blog must have frequent postings. Daily, or every other day at least. But I'm kinda on the fence on this. I definately think that the best blogs are added to very often. But there are many sites that don't do "daily", and I can't say that they are not blogs.

    Also, one source that I read said that each blog entry must have a timestamp. I hadn't thought about that one. I'm not gonna call that a requirement. But, like a bio, it enhances the experience.

  • Distinctive Voice

    I was tempted to say that a blog must have its own voice. That it must regularly cover a certain group of topics, and speak to us in a writing style, that we can come to recognize. But I decided that this is another of those things that make a good blog, but is not a requirement.

    Readers return to a given blog because it talks about topics that interest them. And we also grow to value the "speaking style" of the author. Halley writes like Halley, and Dave like Dave, and Doc like Doc. That's one of the things that draws us back.

  • blogroll

    Does a blog need to have a list of other blogs? Most do have one, but I don't think it's a requirement. Many of these lists have become so long now that they are really not all that useful. OK, it is additional linkage, and that's good, but not a requirement.

  • A Comments Area? email contact?

    My blog has a fairly active Comments area. If I turned it off it would change the character of my blog, and probably make it less appealing. It works for my relatively small audience. But the very popular blogs can get so many comments that they become hard to read, and hard for the blog author to manage. As a result many good blogs have no Comments, or feedback area.

    I do think a blog should provide some sort of email address for direct feedback. But I'm not calling that a requirement.

    So that's my take of the things that make a blog. I'd like to hear what you think. Put you responses into a Comment, or write it up on your blog and link back to here. Leave a note about your blog in Comments and I'll link to you.

    ...

    After I wrote my first draft of this piece I looked at the postings which I've listed below to give me a "reality check" on whether I'd missed anything. They reminded me of a few things that I have added here. But they each include some elements that I, respectfully, believe are not requirements. Take a look, decide for yourself.

    Of these, the one that most closely mirrors my thinking is Meg Hourihan's "What We're Doing When We Blog".

    ...

    Michael (Dowbrigade) Feldman, 2003: What Makes a Blog a Blog?

    Dave Winer, 2003: What makes a weblog a weblog?

    Glenn Reynolds , 2003: The Good, The Bad, and the Blogly

    Dave Winer, 2002: What is a weblog?

    Meg Hourihan: 2002: What We're Doing When We Blog

    Dave Winer, 1999: What is a weblog?

    7/12/99 : What is a Weblog ? "A weblog is a new kind of website that's becoming popular and is easy to create and update. A weblog links to other websites, it's a collection of links, updated frequently, often several times a day, that represent the interests of a single web person. It's a neat way to share what you learn with other people who like to use the web."

    Posted by jghiii at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)
  • Humble

    Josh Marshall:

    At the press conference after the event Dean had what was one of the best one-liners I've heard about Bush administration foreign policy: the president promised a humble foreign policy. What he gave us was one not of "humility but one based on humiliation."

    Posted by jghiii at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Give them credit for honesty

    GoGorilla Media's philosophy:

    GoGorilla Media was founded with a mission: to bombard and overwhelm consumers with advertising messages as they go about their daily lives. In our view, there is nothing more regrettable than an empty space with no advertising printed on it. We believe that consumer must be told as often as possible which brands to buy and that they must be spoken with at every conceivable opportunity.
    [Thanks j-walk]

    Posted by jghiii at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

    Yet another sign that the world has gone crazy

    UK News Telegraph:

    Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and the world's wealthiest man, is to receive an honorary knighthood for "services to global enterprise".

    Posted by jghiii at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

    What does beta mean to you?

    By the way, below I said I was letting orkut.com get away some things cause it was only beta software. How things change.

    Back in the old days, when I was a software product manager, I insisted that "beta" meant: (1) feature-complete and (2) no crasher or data loss bugs.

    It seems we're a little bit more casual about it these days.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

    hanging out at orkut.com

    Last night I signed up for the new social networking site Orkut.com. There seem to be alot of people joining.

    I managed to make contact with a handful of friends, some current, and some who I haven't heard from in a long time. It is interesting to look through all the "communities" and see who has signed up, and also to see who other people's "friends" are. But the real test will be whether Orkut provides comfortable and useful ways for new and old friends to interact within the service. Right now this is in pretty short supply.

    The messaging and forums tools are fall far short of the standards for features and usability that we get now from other everyday tools, like email, forums, IM and irc.

    I'm willing to cut them some slack though, and see what develops. They say clearly that this is still "beta" so let's see where they go.

    If any of the team read this let me say that overall the user interface, although very attractive, is very awkward to use. It is extrememly "mode-y". Different commands are only accessible from specific screens that can be very confusing to find your way back to. And things are very sparsely labelled.

    And this firstname thing they have. I bet they're trying to feel friendly, but hey, I know more than one "Brian" so telling me a message is from "Brian" is not very much use. And right now I have to click on Brian's name and open his profile to see which one I'm hearing from.

    Anyway, keep working. A very large crowd of interesting people have arrived. I'm hoping we can find some fun stuff to play with.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:02 PM | Comments (1)

    This place looks different

    As improbable as it seems, the arrival or Mars Rover #2, "Opportunity", is progressing more smoothly than that of #1 "Spirit".


    Apparently the lander came to rest in a shallow crater. They say that won't present any problems to the Rover's movement, and it makes for more interesting terrain.

    Posted by jghiii at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

    Good job!

    Amazingly, and proudly, NASA has successfully landed the second Mars Exploration Rover on Mars.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

    January 24, 2004

    TiVo Tip

    Did you know that, while you are fastforwarding or rewinding, if you hit the skip to end/start button (see graphic to the right), the TiVo will jump forward or back to the next 15 minute mark? I didn't know this until just now.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:53 PM | Comments (7)

    Josh Marshall covered in Online Journalism Review

    OJR:

    Marshall, 34, is a veteran freelance writer and former Washington editor of The American Prospect , and a†center-left thinker who recently completed a long-delayed doctorate in history from Brown University. After starting his blog amid the vote counting in Florida in November 2000, Marshall has been on the front lines of several flaps over which the blogosphere has feasted, including Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott's racially insensitive comments in 2002 and the recent controversy over the White House's apparent outing of CIA analyst Valerie Plame.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:44 PM | Comments (2)

    Macintosh BCS Introduction

    SteveG found this article, from the April 1984 issue of Compute magazine, describing when Steve Jobs brought his Mac introduction to the Boston Computer Society's General Meeting.

    I was in the back row of the balcony of this meeting. I still have the signup sheet that was in the lobby that night, for people who wanted to be part of a BCS Macintosh User Group. We held our first meeting in April.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:50 PM | Comments (2)

    Amazing if true

    Reuters via Yahoo!:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday said she was satisfied with Microsoft Corp.'s efforts to comply with its landmark antitrust settlement after the company announced new steps, including free access to some of its Windows operating system code.

    U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said the 2002 settlement with the government was working and she brushed aside concerns from the Justice Department ( news -web sites ) that a key provision had failed to live up to expectations.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

    To get us all scared as hell

    I read Jerry Pournelle's blog-like website, called "Current View", for various reasons.

    (1) As a memorial to the glory days of BYTE magazine and his Chaos Manor column. (2) To hear his passionate, if often inaccurate, perspectives on personal computer products and subjects.

    I usually skip over his screeds on politics, and political analysis. But I believe there's some truth in this:

    There are ways to increase aircraft security, but in fact the 911 scenario of taking over airplanes and using them as cruise missiles won't work any more: some pilots are armed, cockpit doors are strengthened and locked, and passengers aren't going to passively submit. Yes, it's worth keeping guns off airplanes unless they are in the hands of commissioned officers or police; but they aren't going to take over airplanes with boxcutters any longer and we all know it. The purpose of TSA is to pay itself, and to intimidate passengers, and get us all scared as hell, not of "terrorists" but of being sent to jail for 15 years for saying the wrong thing. Or for that matter being accused of it. Speak up, don't mutter...

    Posted by jghiii at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

    Blogging of the President on Public Radio

    This must be the Sunday radio thing that Lydon asked Dave to plug at the Thursday meeting.

    [Thanks Ed Cone]

    Posted by jghiii at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Changing the World, One Person at a Time.

    20 years ago today Steve Jobs walked onto the stage and introduced us to the Macintosh. It changed my life.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:06 AM | Comments (4)

    January 23, 2004

    Wonkette

    A new weblog from the folk who brought you Gizmodo, Gawker, and Fleshbot. Wonkette:

    Wonkette provides an appropriately arch and irrepressibly giddy guide to the American political landscape and the Washington metro area social scene (such as it is). We like recall movements, illegitimate children of senators coming forward after 50 years, wrestler-style wild screams of rage and the endorsement of Dennis Kucinich by Grandfather Twilight (Look it up! It's true!).

    Posted by jghiii at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Looking out for the bad guys

    Marc's Outlook on Productivity found this sign at the entrance to his bank. My bank had a similar sign except it said, "remove sunglasses and hats."


    Posted by jghiii at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

    Biz Card Art from Gapingvoid

    Joi Ito:

    Hugh just sent me another one... ;-)
    Yossi was making fun of me for sitting here blogging blogging blogging...


    Posted by jghiii at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Opportunity to land late Sat night.

    Space.com:

    Early Jan. 25, at about 12:05 a.m. EST, NASA's second Mars Exploration Rover -- Opportunity -- will arrive on Mars. It's headed for a region known as Meridiani Planum, halfway around the planet from where its sister robot, the Spirit rover now resides.

    Posted by jghiii at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

    Supermodels and picnic food

    Bikini-clad models cavorting with multiple courses. How did SteveG miss this one?

    Posted by jghiii at 06:36 PM | Comments (1)

    Is that really her name?

    Story on the channel 5 news about women taking an exercise dance class that has a striptease theme. Here's their website version of the story.

    The name shown on screen of one of the women that they interviewed: "Ana Stasia"

    Posted by jghiii at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

    Are there ping pong balls in heaven?

    AP via Yahoo!:

    Bob Keeshan, who gently entertained and educated generations of children as television's walrus-mustachioed Captain Kangaroo, died Friday at 76.

    He used to read me the story about the steam shovel that dug the foundation hole for a new building, and then ended up staying there to heat the building and its occupants.

    He also read me the one about the cottage on a quiet country lane. And how as the years went by, more and more buildings were constructed, until the little cottage was surrounded by huge skyscrapers and traffic. Then the grandson of cottage's builder appeared, put the cottage on a trailer, and moved it back out into the country.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:30 PM | Comments (1)

    Drove off a cliff

    Josh Marshal:

    ...we'd all gotten accustomed to thinking that Dean destroyed the Democratic establishment in the Fall when he rocketed ahead of their candidates, developed a new way of fundraising, and bashed them silly for their feeble opposition to the president. But maybe that's wrong. Perhaps when he really delivered that establishment a fatal blow was in the winter when he got all of them (Gore, Bradley, Carter sorta, Harkin, McGreevey, Kamarck -- yes, we saw Elaine, we saw!) to endorse him and then, with them in tow, drove off a cliff.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:57 PM

    my email is broken i think

    I seem to be having email problems today, so if you need to reach me, try jghiii@yahoo.com. That's a temp address only. I hardly ever check it for mail, but I will today.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:39 PM | Comments (1)

    The Dean Scream

    I'm still not convinced that Dean's now infamous rebel yell wasn't poor judgement on his part. But I'm more and more convinced that it wasn't the result of uncontrollable anger. Dave Winer told this story at last night's meeting, and he's now put it on his blog.

    On the night of the scream, Dave was consulting with the web-guys at Dean's VT HQ. At one point in the evening, before the televised scream, he heard an astounding sound from the closed staff meeting.

    Several times during the meeting a loud crazy-sounding scream came from the room, everyone was doing it, and it was really frightening. The stuff of nightmares. This was before Howard Dean's rant. I asked Jim Moore what that was about, he said it's an Indian war yell or something like that, they used to do it in United Farm Workers rallies, and they adopted it at Dean For America. A few minutes later Dean let out the famous scream, it was the same scream I heard in the conference room.

    I was going to ask Dave's permission to retell this story, so I'm glad Dave did it first.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:59 PM | Comments (5)

    Happy belated blog birthday

    I only just now realized that yesterday was Betsy Devine's blog's first birthday. I'm a little embarrassed that I missed this, since although I've chatted with Betsy on IRC, I met her in person for the first time last night.

    Happy Happy!

    Posted by jghiii at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)

    Cool technology in the real world

    The oil burner stopped working the other night. It got a little chilly in the house that night. The next morning the service guy arrived to make us warm again.

    After doing a bunch of oil-burner-geek things to the furnace, he fired it up and began to tune it for best efficiency.

    He did this with a handheld device that had a long metal probe attached. The probe went into the chimney stack and he fiddled with the furnace controls while watching the LCD readouts.

    Of course, being a big geek myself, I was mostly interested in this cool handheld gadget. I knew that the final step of these measurements would be to print out the numbers on a small slip of paper, so I was looking at this device trying to see if there was a printer built into it. I couldn't see anything like that.

    I got to thinking about how he was gonna get this printout. It seemed that if he had to get out a printer, plug in a cable, and maybe power too, it would be pretty awkward.

    Just at I was thinking this, he reached into the carry-case and pulled out another handheld device. It was a printer. He held it next to the first device and pressed a button. A slip of paper slid out of the printer. It was a wireless connection! Very elegant.

    We've been hearing about these types of wireless connections for a few years now. Bluetooth cellphone headsets, having you digital camera talk to your laptop while it's still in your backpack, things like that. It's always seemed to me that these things were mostly geeky cool things, and not really all that worth the cost. But these oil burner devices are a great example of how short-range wireless connections can be very useful and practical.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:39 AM | Comments (2)

    Thursday meeting notes

    I enjoyed my first visit to the Berkman Thursday night meeting.

    I didn't do a headcount while I was there, but I think there were about 17 people in attendance. About 5 of them women. From my nose-counting at computer user groups over the years, that is a very good (high) female ratio. The age spread was also pretty wide, although that's the norm these days at other meetings.

    There were no overall introductions, but the people who I met, or whose names I got, were:

    Of course Dave Winer was there. I was flattered that he recognized me as I walked into the room. The meeting hadn't started yet so we reminisced for a few seconds as the room listened. He also gave me a few minutes at the top of the meeting to introduce myself as a newcomer. Fun.

    Hank Barry, former Napster president, now a VC interested in blogosphere business ideas. Seemed like a nice guy, had some interesting perspectives on blogging. His questions: "why do people blog?" "what is the 'value' of blog writing and/or reading?"

    Jay McCarthy, author of makeoutcity.com. I think it was said that he is 18 years old, and a student. He made a little presention about his home-grown blogging system. He reminds me of the high-school age Alex Rosenberg.

    Andrew Grumet is working on additional ways to look at the "Share your OPML" data. I told him of my ideas for "if you like this feed, you might also like these" and some sort of display of notable position changes in the list, eg. position changes, up or down, of more than a certain threshhold; and a periodic (weekly?) list of feeds that have entered or exited the top 20.

    At dinner afterward I spoke at length with Andrew, and Rick Heller, SoftPolitics, about the new economics of digital music.

    I met Betsy Devine in person for the first time. I hope that I'll get to talk with her more at future Thursdays, but she seems like a very pleasant person.

    Michael Feldman, Dowbrigade, was there. I didn't talk to him directly, but we seemed to be on the same side of a spontaneous discussion of the question of whether, and why, one prefers to read a blog in an aggregator, or in its original webpage. Interestingly, Dave was stumped as to why one would find the webpage preferable. We agreed to table this discussion for another night.

    Chistopher Lydon poked his head into the room on his way to the airport. He asked Dave to plug some radio thing that is happening on Sunday. Either Dave forgot to do this, or I missed it.

    At the end of the night I spoke for a few minutes with Bob Stepno who is interested in annotating, linking into, and generally digesting large quantities of audio.

    I'm planning some additional posts about some of the subjects that came up last night.

    Posted by jghiii at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

    January 22, 2004

    the algonquin blog table

    Off to the Dave Winer Berkman Thursday Night thing. I'll report back.

    BTW, the Berkman building looks just like the house I grew up in.

    Posted by jghiii at 05:35 PM | Comments (1)

    Pasadena, we have a problem.

    All kidding aside, this is disturbing. AP via Yahoo News:

    NASA's Spirit rover stopped transmitting data from the surface of Mars for more than 24 hours, mission members said Thursday.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:08 PM | Comments (6)

    No respect for the truth

    George Soros, in an interview with Josh Marshall:

    And there is another aspect that is coming into sharper focus to me, even since I wrote the book. That is that this administration has no compunction in misleading the people. It has no respect for the truth. This, I think, is a real danger. It is the danger of an Orwellian world. It's not new, because obviously, Orwell wrote about this fifty years ago. But what he wrote in 1984 , you know, the Ministry of Truth being the Propaganda Ministry, the use of words meaning the opposite of what they are meant to mean. The Fox News, "Fair and Balanced," the "Clear Skies" Act for permitting pollution, the "Leave No Child Behind" [that] provides no money for the legislation. All these things I think pose a real danger to our democracy if they succeed in misleading the electorate. And there is only one remedy: an intelligent and enlightened electorate that sees through it.

    Posted by jghiii at 10:06 AM | Comments (1)

    Happy Birthday Boing Boing

    One of my "daily must reads" is four years old today.

    Posted by jghiii at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

    January 21, 2004

    The Hump

    Longtime readers of Gone East will have noticed that I'm big on seasonal milestones. We've reached another one that I like. The Hump.

    Many years ago I came across a weather statistic that I liked:

    In New England the third week in January is, on average, the coldest week of the year. After that the temps start getting warmer.

    I call it "The Hump of the Winter". We're over the hump. Yay!

    Posted by jghiii at 04:40 PM | Comments (3)

    RSS Winterfest

    I spent the morning -- well actually from 11:30 to 3:30 -- listening in on RSS Winterfest. I only found out about this a couple of days ago, so I don't know how common this kind of thing is, or if I'm even aware of all its parts. But I would describe it as a live netcast/conference-call/industry conference, with parallel conversations going on in a weblog, a wiki, and an IRC channel.

    The general topic of the "conference" is: what is RSS, and what are its capabilities and limitations.

    I had the audio stream on all morning. I listened closely to the opening session with Dave Winer and others... and I listened to the RSS Futures Panel. The other sesions I kept on in the background and listened with half an ear.

    I also occasionally checked in on the wiki info, and the IRC conversation.

    Some interesting discussion about the actual uses of RSS and its potential.

    Also, this was an interesting medium for holding a conference. In addition to the "live" stuff -- that has ended for the day, but will continue tomorrow with the final day of this conference -- they are packaging up the transcripts, as well as compiling the contribitions from the parallel "sessions".

    Looking forward to tomorrow.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

    The Round Table

    Just websurfing and I came across this. I think it's interesting.

    The large wooden table in the Great Hall at Winchester dates from no earlier than the thirteenth century, when it may have been made at the command of King Edward III, who was considering a revival of the Round Table as an order of chivalry.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:53 PM | Comments (1)

    I didn't say this...

    Dowbrigade and Robert Wade, have compiled "The Rules According to Guys"

    Posted by jghiii at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Unaligned Dave

    Dave Winer: "I'm still not working for a candidate, or as Steve Gillmor says my candidate is RSS."

    Posted by jghiii at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

    January 20, 2004

    The Biometrics of a Patriots Fan

    Megnut (click through for a cool chart):

    Until this afternoon at 3 PM, when I strapped it on to monitor my heart rate while I watched the New England Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship, and a trip to the Super Bowl.

    Below you can see my heart rate during the course of the game, mapped against the score of each team and some key plays. Throughout the course of the game, I wrote down my data, the time, and what was happening.

    Posted by jghiii at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Dave is a REPORTER

    After months of refusing to jump on the internet-driven Governor Dean bandwagon, Dave Winer surfaced in Burlington a couple days ago appearing very much like he was finally drinking the koolaid. He was the point guy on the rollout of the new Dean campaign aggregator ChannelDean. At the height of last night's Iowa disappointment Dave posted Dean's "We came in third," comment on CNN, and caused a behind the scenes furor.

    The hardest part isn't the technology, not by a mile. It was a tough night at Dean HQ. We hit an impasse when Howard Dean, on CNN, said "We came in third." He said it very clearly and unambiguously, so I opened the editorial page and typed in the quote and clicked Submit. I thought the candidate had said something very weblike. At this moment no one had said it. Not Larry King, not Wolfe Blitzer, they had qualified the statement, where Dean acknowledged it.

    My post caused quite a stir in the Web bullpen and the post came down. At that point we all stopped posting. So Ed's commenter got it right. The show was cancelled last night. But in the morning light, the chance to open up the political process to the rare honesty of the Dean candidate, something the Dean workers had trouble accepting, was too good to pass up.



    I think Dave was right when he was supporting the PROCESS of candidates using the internet, but not the candidates. Dave is a reporter. And for the good and the bad, his voice is best untethered.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

    What's going on here?

    Josh Marshall:

    As Iíve noted in some earlier posts, the big question Iím trying to get a handle on (and Iím sure Iím not the only one) is just why Kerry is surging right now. Not just in Iowa, but in New Hampshire too --- which is really the bigger question in my mind.

    ...

    [Dick] Bennettís ["the guy who runs the ARG daily tracking poll "] theory is that this whole race is about who can beat Bush, and that candidates like Kerry --- until quite recently --- have been completely missing the boat by talking about their plan for the environment, or their plan for this, or their plan for that.

    What people care about is who can beat Bush. Beat Bush, they reason, and everything else will fall into place. So who cares what your plan is.

    Posted by jghiii at 06:19 AM | Comments (0)

    January 19, 2004

    Iowa Caucuses

    Kerry wins, Edwards strong second, Dean distant third, Gephardt disappoints. CNN.com.

    Kerry 38%
    Edwards 32%
    Dean 18%
    Gephardt 11%
    Kucinich 1%

    Posted by jghiii at 11:59 PM | Comments (1)

    Get 'Em While They're Hot

    They won't be there much longer, but Major League Baseball's online store is selling Alex Rodriguez's Red Sox home jersey.


    If it's gone from the MLB shop then check out the report on this at BostonDirtDogs' website.

    Posted by jghiii at 10:58 PM | Comments (2)

    Now that we have THAT out of the way.

    Now that the Pats are into the SuperBowl, we can focus a little bit on that other competition, the Presidential Primaries.

    According to the latest polls Senator Kerry has made some fairly amazing advances in Iowa, Clark too, but not as dramatic. I wrote Kerry off a couple of months ago, and chances are that that is still a safe position, but his Iowa accomplishments are impressive and earn him a bit of reconsideration in my book.

    Anita, my dear friend, the rabid Democrat from NH, has supported Congressman Gephardt since day one. She's said his strategy was to show strong in Iowa, and leave NH for the favorite sons. That strategy may be working or maybe not. I saw a comment in the past couple of days that Gephardt has gone to the well in Iowa one-too-many times. That the caucusers of Iowa won't support him this time.

    I'm not one of the first people you should listen to for political analysis, but it still seems to me that this thing is between Dean and Clark.

    SteveG, who has been talking up Clark, takes a Boston Globe reporter to task for what Steve considers sloppy and/or slanted writing about Clark in today's paper.

    The Iowa Caucuses gather at 8 pm ET tonight. Here's an interesting Washington Post piece about how the Caucuses work. Apparently we'll hear entrance polling at that time, and actual "results" later in the evening.

    Now this thing really gets rolling.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

    January 18, 2004

    Yay!

    Congratulations to the NE Patriots!

    Posted by jghiii at 06:17 PM | Comments (1)

    January 17, 2004

    January 17th Resolution

    I've decided that, starting now, I will no longer complain in this blog about the unpleasant winter weather. I hereby resolve to have a positive mental attitude about the cold and snow. Life is just as good here as anywhere else -- like the SF Bay Area, for example.

    BTW, spring training starts in less than 4 weeks.

    Posted by jghiii at 08:23 PM | Comments (2)

    Credit where credit is due

    I just had a good experience with Verizon Wireless.

    I got my new cellphone from them about a month ago. From the first day I've been receiving a daily -- 7am!! -- text message with a 5-day weather forecast. I really don't want this message.

    I stopped by the VW store and asked how to turn it off, and they told me to go to the vtext.com site to do that. Last night I finally got around to looking into this, and I couldn't find a way to make it stop.

    This morning I called *611, the VW customer service number. "Barbara" tried to be helpful, but it became apparent pretty quickly that she didn't know the answer. She could totally disable text messaging for me, but she didn't know anything about this particular message. At one point in the conversation she acknowledged that it came from a VW service, but later she didn't know which one.

    I pressed her for an answer and she referred me to the REAL technical support department.

    I called them, and "Shahara" was quickly able to figure out that the daily weather was coming from another text messaging partnership that VW has (had?) with MSN. She figured out that this daily alert was a remnant of the person who had this cell phone number before I did. She said she could turn off this daily alert, and that if I called back when I get my next bill they'd credit me for the incoming text charges. Mission Accomplished.

    [BTW, when I first called the REAL support number, their phone message system kept hanging up on me when I pressed the number for the kind of help I needed. I intentionally pressed the wrong number, and the person who answered was very nice and helped connect me to the right department.]

    I know this might sound like it was an ordeal with people who didn't know the answer and phone menu systems that didn't work. But I give a lot of credit to the ability to acknowledge the shortcomings, and figure out how to overcome them. Too often these days, this sort of support call can result in "sorry we can't help you", or infinite wait times on muzac hold. So I'm OK with the way this turned out.

    Verizon Wireless is no saint. They've given me trouble in the past. But this time they did the right thing. Good job.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:58 PM | Comments (5)

    That's sick

    Recent slang has the word "sick" meaning "good, impressive". I haven't quite embraced this new meaning. The old meaning, of course, had more to do with "defective, impaired".

    A lot of people around New England woke up this morning to the highest temps we've seen in many days. When my dad went out to get the paper, he said he thought it was actually kind of comfortable.

    I'm sure many New Englanders are like my dad and me, we looked at the thermometer this morning and thought, "oh look it's nice out, 25 degrees."

    That's sick.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:04 PM | Comments (6)

    January 16, 2004

    Ten Rules for More Effective Advertising

    American Research Group, Inc.:

    Use the following 10 simple rules to evaluate the advertising you encounter this political year. You may be disappointed, but don't be surprised when you discover that most advertising fails to follow any of the rules.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

    Segway X-Games

    Extreme Segway website:

    ...people using their Segway Human Transporter in a whole new way! First you saw it with Inline Skate, now with the new Segway Human Transporter its a whole new level! This site is being worked on the bring you the most up to date info on how to trick out your Segway to be used on vert and used to a whole new eXtreme on the black top!

    [Thanks Gizmodo]

    Posted by jghiii at 08:19 PM | Comments (1)

    F-F-F-Cold!!

    Temp chart for the past 24 hours. Overnite Low: minus 7 F.


    Posted by jghiii at 01:10 PM | Comments (11)

    January 15, 2004

    Good Quote

    Doug Clifton, editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has started a blog:

    As a lifelong consumer of the written word displayed on paper, the prospect of talking to readers by way of a "blog" is a little unnerving.

    I've decided to tip toe into these electronic waters because I recognize that to ignore change is to be consumed by it.

    [Emphasis added by me.][Thanks Buzzmachine]

    Posted by jghiii at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

    Explore and Expand

    Dan Gillmor's take, on President's Bush Moon/Mars announcement, is less cynical than mine. I like his better.

    We can quibble -- and we will, at great length, in coming months and years -- about how we should explore space. But I hope we'll come to some agreement with President Bush, who today endorsed a vital goal: the establishment of human colonies on the Moon, Mars and beyond.

    Bush's well-leaked call for a serious expansion of human space exploration deserves support. He sounded just the right notes, including this so-true line: "We do not know where this journey will end. Yet we know this: Human beings are headed into the cosmos."

    ...I'm jealous of the people being born today in at least this respect: If humanity survives its stupidities, some of them will be among the people who get to inhabit other worlds, to live, work and play. They will know the beginning of an era when some of us left this beautiful world for good, to do what people have always done: explore and expand. Given the risks we face here, and given our very nature as human beings, we have no choice.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

    C-C-C-Cold!

    I'm hunkered-down, indoors today. The forecast is to get down to like minus 10 degrees F tonight.

    I was planning on attending the Dave Winer Thursday night thing tonight. I've not been to one yet, and they sound interesting. But the forecast makes tonight's meeting sound possibly life-threatening. Next week I hope.

    I did make it out last night to the monthly BMac meeting. Fun recap of the recent MacWorld Expo from a couple of members who attended.

    After the meeting I had a nice talk with BMac president Jonathon Duke. Duke's been head of this thing since it rose from the ashes of the death of BCS in 1996.

    We talked a little about whether it made any sense to celebrate the 20th birthday of the group in May.

    This may be a little controversial, since it was BCSMac that started in May 1984, and some might say that BCSMac died with BCS in 1996.

    I've asked around about this, and I believe that BMac is the actual, continuous descendent of BCSMac, and that BMac can rightfully claim to have been founded in '84, and that it will turn 20 in May.

    It's all still very preliminary, but I'd like to see BMac have a cake and some kind of tschotchke to celebrate the milestone. I'm also thinking that a MacWorld Boston July party is in order.

    Anyway... as I hide out from the cold, I've been doing alot of work on my new web project. I hope to introduce it in the next few days.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Chinese Comfort Food

    Halley and son Jackson cope with the cold:

    I did NOT want to go to this restaurant -- it's a not so great Chinese restaurant near the center of town. My kid talked me into it. They have a buffet and that means they get a good crowd. This weather can make you so cranky, if not depressed, it was great to be out and about with a lunch crowd all bundled up and happy to have lots of hot steam tables full of Chinese food to choose from. We got egg rolls and hot and sour soup and spicy green beans and fried rice and noodles and sweet and sour pork and sesame cookies for dessert. Sometimes my son knows how to live better than I do. We both had a great time and went back in the deep freeze with a good bellyful of food.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Free WiFi as a sponsored promotional tool

    Starbucks and the Sundance Film Festival have partnered up on an interesting promotion. Take your laptop to a participating Starbucks. Connect to the internet via the T-Mobile system that most all Starbucks have. And get free access to Sundance FF short subjects.

    Interesting way for Starbucks to build traffic at their shops. Do you have to have a T-Mobile account to get access to this free thing? That would be a drag.

    But why not just make the WiFi free all the time, but paid for by promotional googaws, like these movies, that are only available if you're sitting in a Starbucks. Just an idea.

    Here's Starbucks' site about this.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

    I can't help myself

    The Boston Dirt Dogs site reported this quote from "BombersBlvd" on the nyyfans.com site :

    "Most people will kill me for saying this, and let me just preface that I hate the Red Sox, but there is no more passionate fan of an American sport out there than the fan of the Boston Red Sox. There may be some franchises and some cities that come close (Green Bay, Chicago Cubs, Montreal Canadiennes come to mind immediately), but in terms of historical significance, consistency, unity, level of expectation, level of pain, loyalty, intensity, degree to which the franchise infiltrates the community and vice versa, dollar for dollar, you can't deny that Boston fans are heavy into their baseball team."

    Posted by jghiii at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

    That which shall not be spoken

    This is the kind of talk that I'm worried about. Gonna jinx the whole thing. Bob Ryan, Boston Globe:

    This winning thing is easy to get used to, isn't it?

    To go from thinking that it would be nice to win, or hoping the team could win, to assuming the team will win is a huge step.

    But that's where we are with the New England Patriots.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

    On the road again.

    The Spirit Rover successfully wheeled off of the lander platform this morning and is now free to go exploring the surface of Mars.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

    President Bush Announces Plan for 2015 Moon Landing

    Uh... Wait... that's 11 years from now.

    In 1961 President Kennedy said we should go to the Moon. We didn't know how to do it, and all we had was technology that, by today's standards, was like from the stone-age. The truth is we didn't know if it was even possible.

    We did it in 8 years.

    President Bush announced that we're going to land on the Moon in 2015.

    Good going Mr. President.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:54 AM | Comments (3)

    January 14, 2004

    Cheesesteak gourmet

    Jeff "Buzzmachine" Jarvis, writes about the Cheesesteak sandwich that McDonalds is testing.

    I'm dubious about the McDonalds' version -- I confess, I haven't tried it -- but I like Jeff's standards for a good Cheesesteak.

    Posted by jghiii at 04:19 PM | Comments (2)

    The Sims Mafia

    Dowbrigade writes about a REALLY interesting thing that's turned up in the SIMS ONLINE world.

    He runs a band of thugs who'll gladly deal out ugly punishments for the right price. Chase, a 26-year-old resident of Sacramento, runs the Sim Mafia (thesimmafia.com), a gang of digital enforcers for a digital world. They lay down the law inside the Sims Online, a multiplayer computer game run by Electronic Arts. "Our job is to basically take those complaints from the normal citizens of the game, who can't go to EA because EA won't do anything about it, and do an eye-for-an-eye for them," Chase said.

    Posted by jghiii at 03:05 PM | Comments (1)

    Busy

    Not so much time to blog today. Maybe more later.

    Once again, Steve's got alot of good stuff. I especially like the new search site, the new news site, and the story about his ski trip. Check 'em out.

    Oh yeah, and tonight's the monthly BMac meeting. See you there. Bundle up!

    Posted by jghiii at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

    January 13, 2004

    NH Sen Sununu will file bill to protect Voice Over IP

    I'm not a big fan of Senator Sununu, but he's right about this.

    Sen. John Sununu is preparing legislation to keep federal and state regulators from interfering with the development of voice over IP.

    "I am preparing legislation to preserve the free regulatory framework that has allowed VoIP applications to reach mainstream consumers," Sununu, R-N.H., said in a statement. "VoIP providers should be free from state regulation, free from the complexity of FCC ( news -web sites ) regulations, free to develop new solutions to address social needs, and free to amaze consumers."

    Posted by jghiii at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush in 30 Seconds Winners

    Moveon.org has announced the winners. Congrats to ALL who participated.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

    Go get 'em Roger

    Gone East readers from last summer and fall will remember that I'm not very much of a Roger Clemens fan. But he rose a couple points in my book today. He screwed the Yankees.

    ESPN.com Baseball:

    After learning that Roger Clemens had officially un-retired on Monday, the Yankees made an immediate, internal decision to avoid a public squabble with the right-hander. Instead of debating whether they'd been lied to, executives specifically urged George Steinbrenner not to lash out -- advice that, for once, he accepted. The Boss issued a statement in which he benignly called Clemens, "a teacher and a leader".

    By the way, Roger's now in the National League. He gets to bat. I'm starting a pool on how long before Roger-the-headhunter gets a friendly little "welcome", from an opposing pitcher, to the league where there's no designated hitter to hide behind.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:10 PM | Comments (5)

    Quicktime VR panorama from Mars

    Via Boing Boing

    Posted by jghiii at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

    Priorities

    Josh Marshall:

    Number of days between Novak column outing Valerie Plame and announcement of investigation: 74 days.

    Number of days between O'Neill 60 Minutes interview and announcement of investigation: 1 day.

    Having the administration reveal itself as a gaggle of hypocritical goons ... priceless.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

    January 12, 2004

    Down for the (re)count?

    Dowbrigade ponders the fact that in recent U.S. history losing a presidential election results in, "ignominious and career-ending defeat":

    Recent American history has not been kind to losing Presidential Candidates...

    The bottom line is that Americans hate a loser. They don't like having them around, reminding us of defeat by their very presence.† Better to move on, to new faces, fresh meat, optimistic promises, and unrealized potential.



    I think there is some truth to what Dowbrigade writes, but let me suggest that other possible factors for this "disappearence" of losing presidential candidates are:

    (1) BOTH candidate in the general election are so personally savaged, by each other and the media, that it takes the bully pulpit of the presidency to repair the damage.

    (2) Related, the reality of this savaging leaves the loser unwilling to return to the fray for a second beating.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:06 PM | Comments (9)

    Bummer!

    Sheila writes about how the Girl Scouts let her down:

    The ceremony began.

    In a flash, when the first girl "flew up" and became a Girl Scout - the veil was pulled back from my eyes irrevocably. Horribly. I saw the teeny wing-badge, I heard her say the Girl Scout vow, and then I saw her step aside to let the next person go - and I realized that that was it . That was all the "flying-up ceremony" was going to be.

    Furtively, I glanced around the Multi-Purpose Room, hoping to see a big cardboard box ... a box which would contain the REAL wings ...

    but already I knew it wasn't there.

    It was never there.

    Sounds a little like Sherm's childhood.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:18 PM | Comments (2)

    What was I thinking?

    Just wandered down to get that second cup of coffee, and the weather forecast was on the TV.

    Why would anyone choose to live in an area where the forecast contains terms like, "arctic plunge" ???

    When I lived in the Bay Area, every couple of years, the papers would have a page one headline like this:

    Temps Plummet Into 40s

    Posted by jghiii at 12:28 PM | Comments (5)

    Too much good stuff.

    Lot's of good stuff this morning on Steve Garfield's Off on a Tangent.

    I'm ready for my second cup of coffee and I still haven't responded to all of it. Save me some work and go check it out yourself.

    Must move on.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:54 AM | Comments (2)

    Sherm's gonna have a field-day with this.

    SteveG urges us to post lists of some of the songs from out mp3 collections.

    Random 20


    • Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets), Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, Damn Yankees (1994)
    • Say Hay ( The Willie Mays Song ), Various Artists, Baseball : A Film By Ken Burns
    • Ghost Radio, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Guitar Slinger
    • Concertina, Tori Amos, KFOG Live From The Archives 7
    • Chapel Of Love / B. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Bette Midler, Divine Madness
    • One Toke Over The Line, Brewer & Shipley, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
    • Driftin, Eric Clapton, From The Cradle
    • KPIG Archives (Internet Radio)
    • You & I Both, Jason Mraz, Pacific Amphitheater Taping
    • Texas Flood, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Live Alive
    • Yours Is No Disgrace, Yes, Yessongs - Disc 2
    • The Remedy (I Won't Worry), Jason Mraz, Pacific Amphitheater Taping
    • A Drug Score - Part 1 (Acid), Tomoyasu Hotei And Ray Cooper, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
    • You Don't Love Me, The Allman Brothers Band, The Fillmore Concerts
    • Someday After Awhile, Eric Clapton, From The Cradle
    • Pretzel Logic, Various Artists, The New York Rock and Soul Revue - Live at the Beacon
    • Joe DiMaggio Radio Call, Various Artists, Baseball : A Film By Ken Burns
    • Galileo, Indigo Girls, KFOG Live From The Archives 7
    • Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight, Bob Seger, Nine Tonight
    • Rainbow's Cadillac, Bruce Hornsby, Here Come The Noise Makers (Disc 2)

    25 Most Played


    • All Along the Watchtower, Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead, Dylan & The Dead
    • asTimeGoesBy, Dooley Wilson,
    • Burn Down the Mission/My Baby Left Me/Get Back), Elton John, 11/17/70
    • Canned Heat, FreePlay Music, Blues Vol 1
    • Cocaine (Live), Eric Clapton,
    • Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Disc 1)
    • Hot Rod Lincoln, Bill Kirchen, Hot Rod Lincoln - Live!
    • Hotel California, Eagles, Hotel California
    • I'm Tore Down, Eric Clapton, From The Cradle
    • I've Been to Memphis, Lyle Lovett, Live in Texas
    • Makin' Whoopee, Dr. John w/ Rickie Lee Jones, Sleepless in Seattle - Soundtrack
    • Mandelbrot Set, Jonathan Coulton, http://www.jonathancoulton.com/
    • On a Slow Boat to China, Bette Midler, Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook
    • Oye Como Va (LIVE), Santana,
    • Purple Haze, Kronos Quartet,
    • Scences From An Italian Restaurant, Billy Joel, The Stranger
    • Second Star To The Right - , James Taylor, Stay Awake
    • stardust, Roger Williams,
    • Straighten Up And Fly Right, Diana Krall, Steppin' Out
    • Tangled Up in Blue, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. 3
    • The Future Soon, Jonathan Coulton, http://www.jonathancoulton.com/
    • Try A Little Tenderness, The Commitments, The Commitments
    • Uptown Blues, FreePlay Music, Blues Vol 1
    • Volcano, Jimmy Buffett, Feeding Frenzy [Live]
    • wburlive.mov (Internet Radio)

    By the way, if the RIAA is reading this, these are all legal files, so go ahead and sue me, make my day.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:43 AM | Comments (10)

    Here we go.

    The All Star Survivor contestants have been announced. I'm sure we'll be talking more about this.

    [Thanks SteveG]

    Posted by jghiii at 11:03 AM | Comments (12)

    January 11, 2004

    Is this the America you want?

    Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing:

    Why can't Homeland Security tell the difference between Al Quaeda and my six-year-old daughter?
    My six-year-old daughter is on the CAPPS (Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening) list as a security risk.

    Posted by jghiii at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

    That's my Dad!

    I've been surfing around some community sites about my home town of Melrose Massachusetts. One thing I found is something called The Melrose Mirror. It's a collection of pictures and stories about the town and its people, past and present. It's created by members of the local senior center.

    One story is called
    "Caning†and†Wickering†for†All"
    . It's an April 2000 piece about a class in furniture restoration at the center.

    My dad teaches this class.

    The story features photos and descriptions of the class members and concludes with this:

    "And then there is JOHN !! †John has been teaching this craft for close to 20 years. He is currently making furniture for an American Doll. I'm sure his granddaughter will love it. He is our teacher, our guru, our mentor, our inspiration, and the general Chief Cook and Bottle Washer."

    He still teaches this class every Thursday morning.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:54 AM | Comments (7)

    Spontaneous fan.

    In comments Sherm writes about the Patriots letting him down during his formative years.

    I'm not primarily a football person. When I lived in the Bay Area I rooted for the Niners cause they were the exciting local team. And I've always loathed the Raiders.

    But, long distance rooting for the Pats, the few times when they did well during that period, was a fun experience to share with my Dad. My Dad is a huge Pats fan.

    Now that I'm back here in New England, I am first and foremost a Red Sox fan. Most years I don't get at all involved with football until long after the baseball season is complete.

    But it's hard to not get caught up in the regional excitement of watching these Pats over the past few years.

    Yes, they really did suck when Sherm was younger.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:32 AM | Comments (2)

    January 10, 2004

    Eskimo Up! Time to shave our heads.

    OK, well I wasn't so good on the over/under, but I had the spread pretty good.

    The Patriots won 17-14 over the Tennessee Titans. Even though I predicted the spread, it really felt a lot closer than I was hoping for. But as they're saying on the radio, "Once again the Pats found a way to win."

    Next week: the winner of tomorrow's Indianapolis vs Kansas City game. Also tomorrow, Packers vs Eagles. I'm rooting for the Packers. I'd like to see a Patriots/Packers Superbowl.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)

    For the record

    The Patriots game starts on about an hour. All week the news here in Boston has been filled with stories and analysis about the fact that it is gonna be VERY COLD during the game. The coldest home game in Pats history was 19F at game time. Tonight will be ZERO or lower, wind chill in the minus 20s.

    I predict that if both teams are able to play to their capabilities it will be a low scoring, close game. It'll be the Pats by 3 or 4. Total points under 14.

    The wild card here is if either team makes a blunder as a result of the cold. One really bad mistake, a fumble, or interception, or even missing an easy field goal, could change the whole sitution.

    So that's my guess. Pats 10 Titans 7. No mistakes.

    Posted by jghiii at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

    Enquiring Minds want to know.

    Josh Marshall, the normally sober, and fascinating political and policy blogger, yesterday commented on President Bush's announcement for beefing up the Space Program: "And who gets the Martian reconstruction contracts?"

    Posted by jghiii at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

    You don't know her, but...

    One of the new friends I've made in the #joiito irc channel is Lisa, who writes the Boston based blog Cadence90.

    The irc gang has been anticipating the birth of Lisa's second child for some time, and Thursday morning she gave birth to Joe.

    Yay!

    Posted by jghiii at 12:33 PM | Comments (4)

    January 09, 2004

    Here we go again.

    Which Olsen Twin is for you?

    You best match up with Mary-Kate, the brainy good girl. She's romantic but particular, diplomatic but indecisive, and ultimately the one in control. She likes to have a good time going out but is equally comfortable staying at home and watching a good movie. She's all business when she needs to be, but can let her hair down after the work's done.

    155 days, 8 hours, 0 minutes, and 19 seconds until this actually matters.

    [Thanks LifeRants. (BTW this guy gives SteveG a run for his money on the Babes thing.)]

    Posted by jghiii at 03:02 PM | Comments (8)

    No kidding!

    BostonDirtDogs website: "Eskimo Up!"

    Posted by jghiii at 02:42 PM | Comments (1)

    January 08, 2004

    Don't be mean to the machine

    David Weinberger wrote:

    My GPS navigation system should arrive today. I forewent all birthday and Chanukah gifts from my family in order to build up a fund for the device, a Garmin 2610. It's a perky little number that sits on your dash and tells you, in a silky voice that forgives all your directional transgressions, how to get from A to B.

    When I was visiting RobH, my former roommate who now lives in Ann Arbor and is a major gadget geek, we went for a drive in his Lexus. He has one of these fancy GPS navigation computers built into the dashboard.

    As we started to drive he set it to give him directions to our destination. It thought for a second, and then, in a soothing, calm, female voice, began to give driving directions.

    "Turn left, 1/4 mile, anderson drive," she would say.

    Rob missed the first suggested turn, so she calmly recalulated the route and gave a new direction, "turn right, 1/2 mile, main street".

    He drove right by that turn too. She recalculated and gave a new instruction.

    Rob proceeded to ignore EVERY suggestion she would give. For like a dozen turns. If she said turn right he'd go straight, if she said left he'd go right. Each time, she would figure it out again, and make a new suggestion.

    She was so calm about this, and I was starting to get oddly embarrassed for the poor machine.

    I totally expected her to blurt out at some point.

    "Hey! Why did you ask me for directions if you were gonna ignore every turn I suggest?! Figure out where you really want to go, and get back to me. Maybe I'll help you out then." And then blank the screen.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:52 PM | Comments (6)

    January 07, 2004

    How Old?!

    Today is David, my brother who ran away to Vermont, it's his birthday.

    He used to be a degenerate ski-bum. Now he's a proud dad, lucky husband, and a slave to the american-dream of home-ownership. I want to grow up to be just like him.

    Posted by jghiii at 04:33 PM | Comments (17)

    Funny iPod graphic parody.


    [Thanks Boing Boing]

    Posted by jghiii at 02:31 PM | Comments (1)

    Too good to pass up

    Don't get me wrong, I kinda like Howard Dean as a potential Presidential candidate, and I don't like to gratuitously bash him. But this quote is too juicy to not repeat it.

    According to Dowbrigade, this was in the New York Times. Dean's Mom was quoted:

    "Howard didn't have the least bit of a glamorous upbringing," Ma Dean told the New York Times last week. "When I was growing up, we didn't even treat the servants like servants."

    Posted by jghiii at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

    Audio from MacWorld Expo

    The Macintosh Internet Radio program "Your Mac Life with Shawn King" is in San Francisco this week covering the expo.

    They are posting short audio reports from the show floor.

    Here's a clip (49 secs, 196K mp3 file) from King's Keynote wrapup. Listen to the entire report at the YML site.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

    Install the patch please Hal.

    Andy Ihnatko, my old friend who has too checkered a past to even begin going into here, posted this mini-drama which chronicles the delayed installation of an important security patch:

    "Hey, you upgraded to the 9000-series last week, right?"

    "Yeah. The new Photoshop ran like a pig on the old machine. Why?"

    "The last time it ran an Auto-Update, did it download an OS patch? Like, a really big one?"

    "Nope."

    "That's a relief. I thought there might be something wrong with mine. I keep getting a message from Auto-Update telling me that there's a 'critical' OS upgrade waiting to be installed, but when I click 'OK' HAL says that it's not compatible with his system configuration. So you're getting the same message, too?"

    [More...]

    Posted by jghiii at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

    January 06, 2004

    The Fifth Estate

    Doc Searls writes about how the traditional media is maybe being marginalized (my word not his) by the new journalism of the web.

    In a few hours, my own press pass will get me into the "media" corral at Steve Jobs' keynote at Macworld. If the room is set up like it was the last two years, the event will be broadcast live over Net media, but there will be no Net-connected wi-fi to allow those attending to write about the event in real time. In other words, the outside will be more inside than the literal insiders. Those watching the show from their own computers will be able to write about it long before the reporters who are on the scene. Interesting what that says about journalism, no?
    That's was us. In the #joiito irc channel comparing notes, gauging what was important, and soon after putting it into our blogs.

    Posted by jghiii at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

    Steve Jobs' Apple Keynote first impressions

    Steve Garfield and I had fun, with a bunch of other folks, heckling the keynote in the #joiito irc channel, while watching the video stream.

    I didn't take notes, so others things may come to mind later, but...

    (1) Steve said, This is the 20th anniversary of Macintosh. There will be many announcements throughout the year.

    (2) He announced that there are 9.3 (9.6?) million "active" Mac users. And that 40% of them now use OS X. An impressive number I think.

    (3) Announced a pretty cool new version of iPhoto. Handles more photos better. Up to 25,00 he said.

    (4) Music recording software. "Guitar Band" "Garage Band". Pretty nice, but the presentation of this was WAY TOO LONG. But he did have John Mayer onstage to help, which was fun. [Can this be used for regular sound recording and editing? Plug in a microphone?]

    (5) For the serious geeks: a G5 version of the iServer hardware.

    (6) The passionately awaited low-end iPod was major disappointment. Flash memory, $249. Too expensive.

    Posted by jghiii at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

    20th!

    It just occurred to me that this keynote is very much the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the Mac.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

    A hint?

    They're playing Elvis music during the Steve Jobs keynote's preshow. Is that foreshadowing of something?

    Posted by jghiii at 12:05 PM | Comments (3)

    The very foundation of democracy

    John Perry Barlow may be new to blogging, but he's not at all new to clear thinking and writing about important social, technical, and political issues. This post may turn out to be a very important one in setting the tone for the coming campaign.

    If we in the anti-Bush forces continue to bray about our moral and intellectual superiority, we will almost certainly piss off the troubled folks in the middle who will decide the future of America in the next election. Unfortunately, elections these days are more about style and policy. I think we're right on the policies - though more thorough and direct engagement with the other side will be necessary to put persuasive sinew into our arguments. But our style sucks. We are too often arrogant, hyperbolic, self-righteous, vindictive, and mean-spirited. Anger, no matter how justified, is not attractive to the unconvinced.

    Now would be a good time for us all to come and reason together, and I am grateful to the pro-Bush newcomers to this blog for their willingness to do just that.


    Earlier in the post he wrote:
    I originally started this blog with the intention of giving my friends a place to gather and respond to BarlowSpams, as well as attending to other matters of local community interest. I didn't really expect that I'd be getting thousands of hits a day from strangers who were neither friends nor even terribly likely to become friends. But I'm delighted it's turning out this way. This sort of discussion, conducted properly, is the very foundation of democracy.

    Posted by jghiii at 11:22 AM | Comments (1)

    "Hot Girls"???

    This may not last for long, but Steve Garfield's Off on a Tangent blog has Steve Jobs in its masthead. Oddly disturbing.

    Posted by jghiii at 09:56 AM | Comments (7)

    Who said President Bush is against free speech?

    SFGate:

    When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

    Posted by jghiii at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

    January 05, 2004

    Old News

    I find it odd that a Google search on "hodgson jack" produces, as the number one result, the ISBN author's record for the book that I co-wrote over 15 years ago. Maybe it's time to write a new book.

    Perhaps I should be more concerned that it also turns up references to "Casebook: Jack the Ripper", and the eulogy of a Jack Hodgson who died in 1977.

    Posted by jghiii at 06:46 PM | Comments (3)

    Apple Genius Bar

    Steven Johnson has a good experience with the Apple Store's Genius Bar.

    But as it turns out, when I finally call Apple the next day, they say: "Just take it down to the nearest Apple store and they should be able to fix it right there." So I hope into a cab with my 40-pound machine propped up on the seat next to me, and head into the Soho Apple store, and then lug the box up to the Genius Bar. Sure enough, they whisk it away for all of seven minutes, and come back with the drive reinstalled perfectly. No charge, no paperwork, no wait. The trickiest thing about the whole operation was trying to hail a cab in the middle of Soho on a Saturday afternoon with a $2,000 computer in one hand.
    I've had a couple occasions to visit the Genius Bar, and they've all been good for me too!

    Posted by jghiii at 06:40 PM | Comments (1)

    Pete Rose confesses

    A lot of people think this is a big story, and I guess it is.

    Up until this weekend I had been inclined to think that Rose got a raw deal, and that he should be forgiven. But in the clips I've heard so far he doesn't sound very remorseful. He's been kinda saying, it's not really my fault cause baseball's rules are too strict on this and they made me do what I did.

    Well, maybe gambling-addiction IS a disease, and should be treated more like alcohol and other drug addictions. And maybe baseball's penalties ARE unreasonbly harsh, and as a result create a strong disincentive to confessing.

    But Pete, you didn't just refuse to talk about this, you said you DIDN'T DO IT. You lied to us.

    At least pretend that you're sorry and want our forgiveness. You lied to us, that's the thing many of us are concerned about, not the bets.

    [Shelia O'Malley got me to thinking about this just now.]

    Posted by jghiii at 06:32 PM | Comments (10)

    Pop Quiz

    1955? 2004? You decide.


    NASA released 3-D images from Mars today. I knew I should have kept those silly glasses.

    Posted by jghiii at 06:17 PM | Comments (6)

    Stereo-opticon of Mars

    [NASA says that some REALLY COOL 3d and QuicktimeVR images are due soon, but...]

    I don't know if that's what it's called. But if you do that thing, where you stare at this stereo pair of images, and kinda cross your eyes, until the images overlap and come into focus, you can see a 3-D view of the Gusev crator.


    [Thanks Boing Boing and Nick Crossland]

    Posted by jghiii at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

    1993 CBC report on "A network called 'Internet'"

    Another BoingBoing pointer to this Canadian Broadcasting archive news piece. "For years they've been saying [computers] will change the world."

    Sorry, it's Window's Media, but worth the annoyance.

    Posted by jghiii at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

    "Bush in 30 Seconds" finalists

    Moveon.com has posted the 15 finalists to their open competition for "creative ads that will engage and enlighten viewers and help them understand the truth about George Bush". BoingBoing liked this one best, and I think I agree, although I like this one too.

    Sadly, Gone East friend Steve Garfield's entry didn't make the finalists, but big props go out to all who got involved and tried to spread the word.

    Posted by jghiii at 04:23 PM | Comments (6)

    They did a nice thing

    Wil Wheaton tells us about how the folks at gamer's site Penny Arcade organized a holiday charity program, called "Child's Play", that resulted in over $200,000 worth of toys for the kids at the Seattle Children's Hospital.

    Wil goes off on a rant about how the mainstream media didn't give Penny Arcade the recognition it deserved for this successful program, and he's probably right. But for today let's focus on this: A big round of applause for Penny Arcade and all the donors. Nice work.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Steve Jobs' MacWorld Expo Keynote

    Tomorrow at noon eastern time, Apple head honcho, Steve Jobs will present the keynote at the San Francisco MacWorld Expo. The speech will be streamed live, and can be accessed here.

    The SF MacWorld keynote has always been the biggest presentation of the year for Apple's new products and strategies.

    If you're not available to watch it live, it will probably be archived at the apple.com site for on-demand viewing later. Also BMac, the Boston Macintosh Users Group, plans to play the keynote on the big screen at their January 14 meeting.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

    January 04, 2004

    Not about Mars.

    Kevin Fury:

    It gets so quiet around here [the Fury.com weblog] this time of year... Traffic goes down by more than 50%, and comments down by even more, as the regulars are all off doing their vacationy and familylike things.

    Mostly I think everyone just gets quiet... I'm looking forward to next week when things pick up, Macworld Expo starts, and a whole new year opens up before us, like a long sunny valley revealed when the fog burns off the new years peak.

    Posted by jghiii at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

    The most important thing

    John Rhys-Davies, at at the Planetary Society's Mars Lander event in Pasadena last night:

    Tonight when there are evil people in caves plotting and scheming to destroy their fellow men, we have seen an astonishing display of man's creativity and ingenuity. Nothing that happenend on our planet today was more important than this. A tribute to the genius of the American spirit and all that is best in humankind.

    [Thanks Susan Kitchens, via Dave Winer, via Steve Garfield]

    Posted by jghiii at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

    One track mind

    Can you tell that I'm very excited about the Mars landing?

    I'll move on to some other stuff soon, I promise.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

    NASA TV needs a QuickTime stream

    Kudos to NASA for their support of the web, and their presentation of a lot of realtime, and near-realtime, info about the Spirit Mars landing. But I do have one complaint.

    I searched high and low last night during the landing and the wait for pics, and nowhere could I find a QuickTime stream of NASA TV.

    Although NASA presents a lot of static video in QT, all the live streams seem to be in RealMedia. The only good thing I have to say about RM is that it's not Windows Media, which is even more unpleasant.

    If NASA doesn't do it, then someone else should repackage NASA TV as a QT stream.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:12 PM | Comments (2)

    Mars Pictures

    One of the first images from Spirit. This is a mosaic made up of multiple exposures. The first color pics are expected this evening.

    Click on the image to enlarge.


    [Thanks Spaceflight Now]

    Posted by jghiii at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

    The Spirit has landed.

    The Mars rover Spirit has landed safely on the Martian surface, and is in radio contact with NASA JPL. VERY COOL!


    It's possible that there will be pics as early as 2am this morning.

    [UPDATE: Spirit did in fact take, and transmit home, some wonderful pics from Mars. When then become available on the net, I'll post links.]

    Posted by jghiii at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

    January 03, 2004

    It's next.

    Tonight, after 11pm ET, the NASA Spirit spacecraft will attempt to land on Mars. If your cable system doesn't carry NASA TV, you can watch the NASA TV stream on the web. Go here for numerous NASA rich media feeds, and here to go direct to their RealTV feed.

    [Thanks to SteveG for the pointer to TV4all site where I found the NASA feeds.]

    Posted by jghiii at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

    Still Early

    Dave Winer: "Something must be wrong with me. I just glanced out the window and it's snowing. What's wrong? It makes me happy to see the snow. I guess it's still early in the season."

    No Dave, the "problem" is that this is your first winter back in this climate. Wait until your fifth.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

    January 02, 2004

    Now it's hip

    Gone East friend GeorgeV sends along this link.

    I always knew I liked the Mini Copper. Check out the game that they have online. The great part is that the download version is only available for the Mac.

    http://www.miniusa.com

    George

    George owned a "mini" when we were kids. We always thought it was a kinda odd car. Now it's happenin'.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:54 PM

    Shaking my head sadly

    Yesterday Halley went bike riding. Today, it's snowing.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

    January 01, 2004

    Grumpy???

    Take the Snow White Test. Which business dwarf are you? I'm not wild about being called "grumpy", but the descriptions they give are pretty right on.

    [Thanks Sand Hill Trek]

    Posted by jghiii at 11:07 PM | Comments (2)

    Panorama of Times Square

    I love these Quicktime VR panoramas. A couple of times I've tried to assemble all the tools needed to create them. I should try again. [WARNING this link also starts background music. It's a very pleasant rendition of Auld Lang Syne, but it may not be appropriate in some environments.]

    [Thanks SteveG]

    Posted by jghiii at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Rose Bowl: USC vs Michigan

    RickF, my friend who is a devoted UCLA alum, once told me, "My favorite team is UCLA, and my second favorite team is whoever is playing USC."

    Well, Michigan isn't doing their part so far. USC is winning 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

    [UPDATE: Hey, I'm a baseball fan, not football, so I didn't realize that NE Patriots QB Tom Brady, is a Michigan alum. So that, and the fact that former roommate (mine, not Brady's) RobH now lives in Ann Arbor, the home of the Michigan "Wolverines" (did I get that right), well, all these things, reinforce my rooting against USC.]

    [UPDATE2: Another reason to root for Michigan: It is the alma mater of the characters from the classic movie "The Big Chill".]

    Posted by jghiii at 05:48 PM | Comments (1)

    Good News, Bad News

    I'm late to discovering the very cool USA Network series "Monk". I only started to watch eps a few months ago, so I missed all the early shows. Well TiVo to the "rescue", my recorder today grabbed about 12 hours of earlier shows. Gonna keep me busy.

    Posted by jghiii at 05:13 PM | Comments (3)

    Photo Lessons

    I'm posting this mostly so I can go back later and look at it more closely.

    [Thanks j-walk]

    Posted by jghiii at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

    It's Art

    Pictures of Pipes.

    [Thanks j-walk]

    Posted by jghiii at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

    It Flies! ?

    The Wright Experience, the folks who built the reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer that failed to fly at the Dec 17 First Flight Celebration, have posted a short video of a test flight, conducted on Dec 3, that they describe as successful. I guess this is the best we're gonna get.

    Posted by jghiii at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

    New Years Day

    Looks like it's gonna be a quiet day here on Gone East.

    I'm working on my Day in the Life pics. I took hourly pics from Noon to 1am on NY Eve.

    I'm also doing a lot of behind the scenes maintenance on Gone East. Some of that will make things better for you readers, but much of it is to make things work better (cheaper) for me.

    Posted by jghiii at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)