Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Sometimes I feel like I have a New York self and a California self.
The New Yorker stares down people who push ahead in line, is addicted to Page Six, and has a wicked collection of expensive pointy-toed shoes.
The Californian sits zazen, is writing a business plan for K-12 blogging tools, and shops at Target.
The New Yorker likes rap and Brazilian music, while the Californian likes electronica and acid jazz.
Both think that West Coast bagels suck and H&H Bagels is the solution.
Will AOL for Broadband Make its Numbers?
At the Software Developer's Forum yesterday, Miguel Monteverde explained how AOL was moving away from being an ISP ands becoming a content provider.
Specifically, Miguel explained AOL's vision of AOL for Broadband, a content and entertainment rich premium offering. This new service will run across cable
and broadband provider's networks into the homes of subscribers willing to pay an extra $14.95 a month for the AOL value pack of music and movie services,
integrated IM and multimedia email.
Miguel did a great presentation, with a wonderful concept videotape, but it left me wondering where AOL thought it was going to get these subscribers from.
Would households already paying hefty cable and DSL bills tack on the premium for additional services? Or will the primary audience for AOL for Broadband
be AOL's curent subscribers who are eager to hold on to their email addresses even as they move to DSL and cable modem?
My guess is that it is going to be hard to get a substantial number of consumers to pony up cash for the new service--but that AOL may be able to grow the
numbers for Wall Street through bundling and offering extended trials.
How much will AOL pay out?
On a seperate note, CNN reported today that AOL may have to pay $1B to settle shareholder suits brought against them.
AOL Spam-sifter or Spam-killer?
ZDNet UK reports that AOL is blocking up to 2B spam messages a day from the service. Considering that I receive at least 50 spam messages a day, this news is alarming.
Marc Benioff or Paris Hilton?
Wil Wheaton or Dave Barry?
Popbitch or Gossiplist?
Gothamist or Gawker?
Rub Runett of the New Media Federation of the Newspaper Association of America reports on the double-digit percentage revenue increases experienced by several online news sites, an outcome of focusing on
classified ad upsells, and national ad sales. As Steve Yelvington points out, Rob's study shows a year-over-year Internet revenue increase among publicly held newspaper companies, including the New York Times, Knight-Ridder, and The Washington Post.
More on newspapers and revenue in Steve Outings' E&P column.
And newspapers need more 'buzz,' to attract readers under 35, according to a recent study.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Well, I'm here in the Valley, and it feels great, 'cept it's been raining off and on since I arrived yesterday. Went to see The Dark Side of the Heart 2, a wildely romantic movie that reminds me of Anais Nin's stories and Ingmar Bergman's in its insightful, over-the-top romanticism. Directed by Eleiso Subiela, and set in part in a circus, the flick focuses on a poet and his quest for the perfect woman. The dialogue is poetry, the images are surrealistic, and the mood is romanticly wry.
The Gothamist has a wonderful photo from Trevor's photo blog.
Here's another image of the same bridge by Anders Goldfarb, part of The Bridge Project,dreamy images of bridges around the world.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Heading from New York to California early Monday morning. Will probably be offline most of the day.
Just found Steve Mallett's cool Emergent Report web log/news roundup.
Thanks, Steve...I keep looking for edited sites like this one.
Via Slashdot, the news
that the latest Star Wars flick will
feature Chewbacca, everyone's favorite Wookie.
Hollywood Reporter story here.
Saturday, April 26, 2003
One of the things I love about blogging is how it allows people to publish themselves--and their friends as well. Often, one blog leads to another in a fantastically arbitrary way. Read both of these today:
Tony Perkins, Always On Big Cheese interview: Eric Schmidt on why Google bought Blogger (from Always-On.com)
I believe that this notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big
wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail.
Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail, real-time e-mail.
...Weíre all still reeling from the fact that there are not homogeneous news sources anymore,
that the magazine and publishing industries are becoming more variegated, more distributed,
and smaller and more targeted.
The Internet, in particular whatís happening at Google now, is the extreme of this. This is not
necessarily all good, but itís clear that if you extrapolate this out, that there will be a million
weblogs of communities that are very distinct and very strong. And they donít favor one political
party or one particular view of life.
Jeff Jarvis hysterical snippet on the (not) naked Jeff, the naked Michael Moore, and the wonderful DC Pierson
You can tell Jeff is a born editor, because he is genius at finding things and at commenting on them.
See Jeff's coy naked item here
Find out why DC Pierson rocks here.
Find out what the hell this image is and who created it here.
Bill Grosso blogged me! We obviously don't share movie tastes, but we'll both be at the Software Developer's Forum Expo on Home Networking on Tuesday, April 29th in San Jose, CA. He invited me, and I'll be leading the closing panel.
If you are in the Valley, you should come--this will be a great afternoon and evening. Lots of networking and some really smart speakers.
Living it up: Our love affair with luxury, by James B. Twitchell: University of Florida English professor explores the power that luxury brand names have over consumers. A witty, personalized discourse on consumerism.
What Happy People Know: How the new science of happiness can change your life for the better, by Dan Baker, PHD, and Cameron Stauth. The director of the Canyon Ranch Life Enhancement programs offers inspiring stories and tips for coping with disappointment and holding onto your values. A bit trite in spots, amazingly moving in others.
In the Catskills: A Century of the Jewish Experience in 'The Mountains edited by Phil Brown. Jews of a certain ago remember going to the Catskills, or having their families go to the Catskills every summer and for lots of holidays. So much of the New York, urban Jewish experience was formed by the tummelers, the schtick, the tshuros, of those blue-collar mountain resort visits. This book si a must-read for anyone who enjoyed Tanya Grossinger's memoir, Growing up at Grossingers.
Art McGee points to an article by Paul Jones in Local Tech Wire that shows how the original group-ware functions for the CERN WWW browser were abandoned by the Andressen-led development group that produced Mosaic in 1993.
Jones writes "The team at NCSA lead by Joseph Hardin did a fine job, but the vision that had been provided by Tim Berners-Lee was depreciated greatly and the prototype Tim provided with his Nexus browser was largely ignored."
A screen shot of the Berners-Lee's CERN browser is worth looking at and shows the collaborative feel.click here to see.
Back in 1993, part of my job for Scholastic was to tune into what peple were doing that was interesting and useful--and groupware and collaborative browser tools where part of the list.
I went to Palo Alto to see what, Kevin Hughes and the folks at EIT were building as cross-network, multimedia collaborative tool for high bandwdith workgroup. Spent time at the University of California at Rohnert Park, where some folks worked on their own graphical browser with group capabilities, etc.
The current interest in social software and collaborative web spaces is an evolution of our earlier experiences online--most web creators started with publishing, distributing iniofrmation one to one or one to many, Ten years later, we are now moving into networking--information centers linked on nodes of friend of a friend (FOAF), work-group, community, affinity, etc.
Why the change? Peer to peer tools.
We can't ignore the power of music file sharing and instant messaging to move people into a mindset where everyone is always on somewhere and it's just a matter of plugging in and finding them. It's that spirit that makes wikis, blogs, and wireless networks so obvious right for now.
Friday, April 25, 2003
Moveable Type, the web blogging company, made several announcements this week that have filled the pages of web logs everywhere.
1) MT has launched Typepad, a hosted service (a la blogger, you can post your blog on their server)
2) Anil Dash, a wonderful blogger and very smart guy, is joining as VP, Biz Dev.
3) Joi Ito and Neoteny are investing, making 1&2 more robust, as they say.
What fascinates me is how excited the blogging community is--at least 5 of the top 10 links on Popdex, the web popularity index, link to some aspect of this news.
There are many, many links.
I can't wait to see how this all evolves..more business means more vitality and opportunity to bring blogging to more people...something I am very committed to.
Oh yeah, and Anil got called famous, too.
Gothamist has comments about Anil's new gig.
So does 601am.com, sorta.
And Anil weighs in:
"As of today, I've got the privilege of working with good friends for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect. And I get to work in the medium I know best, doing work I love. It'd be a dream job by anyone's measure. That the realm we're working in might actually turn out to be important makes it even better than a mere dream."
dieting, obesity, fatties
The blogosphere has noticed that definitive report that food can kill you. Countless folk are posting away.
Megan McArdle's Asymetrical Information highlights points from a Wall Street journal piece:
Stop Drinking Soda: Over the course of a year, one can of regular cola a day, at 140 to 150 calories, adds up to more than 50,000 calories, or about 15 pounds.
Write it down: Doctors have long been fascinated by people who claim to eat very little but can't lose weight -- people who blame their dieting problems on metabolism, for instance, or heredity. But for many people, researchers believe, the problem lies elsewhere.
Eat Big Food: A Pennsylvania State University study fed normal-weight women over two days. The women ate as much as they wanted of different types of high-calorie and low-calorie foods.
Pay Attention to Portions: Studies of the way children eat during early childhood show that our eating instincts can change. One study put large portions of macaroni and cheese in front of two groups of children. The three-year-olds ate normal amounts, but the five-year-olds ate most of it.
Monotony Works: Most dieters think eating a wide variety of foods is the key to a successful diet. They're wrong.
Rethink Exercise: Everyone thinks exercise is the only way to lose weight. But the truth is, it's a lousy way to lose weight. Working out gives you all kinds of health benefits, but weight loss generally isn't one of them.
health, cancer, obesity
Word's in that being obese (31BMI or higher) increases your cancer risk. 90,000 cancers deaths per year have obesity as a significant contributing factor. The report from the American Cancer Society, appearing in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, reported that overweight and obese men and women had a higher risk of death from most types of cancers, including cancer of the esophagus, colon, liver, pancreas and kidneys. Overweight or obese men had an increased risk of death from cancer of the stomach and prostate, and heavy post-menopausal women had an increased risk of death from cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix and ovaries.
"The association between obesity and cancer seems to be the rule rather than exception," said Eugenia E. Calle, lead author of the report.
More here at Chicago Sun Times Q&A
This is the moment I have to get serious about losing the 15 pounds I've gained back over the past 2 years. Eating cupcakes, fries, and cheese has just joined smoking as a 'Are you nuts, why do that ?' endeavor.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
After receiving more media hype than Anna Wintour, Radar hit the newsstands this week. Now that I've read the first issue, I won't feel a compelling need to read future issues. (Disclosure: I read The Enquirer, The Star, New York Magazine and The New Yorker every week, along with Time and Newsweek.) This one is just boor-ring.
601am reads Radar, too. Yawn.
You gotta love Popbitch and Gossiplist for delivering the skankiest inside dish, like this week's items:
On Popbitch, the Gay to Z of Popbitch this week, including:
Always denied he was homosexual - he just loved
his mother too much to get married. From 1977 57
year-old Liberace's live-in lover was 18 year-old
Scott Thorson, who wrote a tell-all entitled Behind
The Candelabra, which included how he was forced
to get plastic surgery to get plastic surgery to look more like "Lee".
Siegried and Roy
They live on a Las Vegas compound called The
Jungle Palace. It includes a cappuccino bar, with
a Sistine Chapel replica ceiling. They also have
a set of gold candelabras, given to them by
Liberace. Their white lions and tigers roam freely
around the house. Obviously, they're not gay. Oh no.
For a tour, click here.
A sample from Gossiplist:, where answers to blind items are revealed:
Kirstie Alley dirt
I love the new Pier One commercials featuring the
crazy comedienne Kirsty Alley. It turns out, she
really is crazy:
'I don't know how she's perceived by her peers,
but as a lowly intern I read some faxes from
Kirstie Alley to a production company that were
surreal masterpieces of incoherent paranoia and
free-floating aggression. One could only assume
she composed these bizarre missives under the
influence of some controlled substance.'
And don't forget: The Hilton Sisters Blog
When Nicky and Paris's true selves live online, can world piece be far behind?
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Cory Doctorow has posted a link to the bookseller that is offering all the boos relevant to the conference.. Click here and go crazy.
Have been working really hard this week on a consulting project and on pulling together materials and plans for two new projects that will launch in the next few weeks.
I'll be at the SDForum's Home Networking Expo in Santa Clara, CA, next Tuesday, April 29th, chairing the closing panel on Broadband adoption and the arc of the curve--and what it means for marketers and developers.
There are going to be some great people presenting--Marc Canter, the brilliant founder of Macromedia and head of Broadband Mechanics, author of one of my favorite blogs, Marc's Voice, and all around general whiz, is going to present at 4 pm; Tom Pollock, VP of Programming for Chaosmedia networks, is on a panel at 3 pm, and Miguel Monteverde, one of the key people in the AOL Broadband team, is coming out from the East Coast to speak about how AOL sees broadband adoption going. Plus, Matt Peterson, who is working with Tim Pozar on the San Francisco community wireless networks, is coming to talk about wireless and broadband.
Meanwhile, many of the people I know in the web and blogging communities are either at or heading out to the O'Reilly Emerging Technologiesconference in Santa Clara. But fortunately, since it's an emerging tech conference, much of the data is available on the web and in people's blogs.
Links to presentation files are here. Anil Dash, Cory Doctorow and many others will blog it.
Sunday, April 20, 2003
A web page in the first Mosaic browser, 1993
This Tuesday it's ten years ago that the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana released the first Mosaic browser. I'd attended an event at the Library of Congress the fall before the release and seen X-Mosaic, a graphical interface for Unix computers that allowed NASA to post and transmit astromomy images.
I worked at Scholastic at the time, and was building a Gopher/Veronica/WAIS site at the time--with Brewster Kahle and his company--and I hurried over the the NASA presenter, asking, "Is there going to be a PC release?"
"No, this is a scientific research tool," the official replied.
Then, in 1993, I saw one of the first releases of the new Mosaic for PCs. I came home that night and told my husband that the new graphical interface would change the way information was communicated from now on and this was my future. Raced into work and started learning the mysterious HTML tags. Read up on SGML to understand the history.Launched the first Scholastic.com web site that month. Just kept on going.
candy, Easter, fun
Last Easter, more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies were consumed by men, women, and children throughout the United States. I've never eaten one, but I love the colors.
"I love marshmallow peeps..."My so-called Lesbian Life
The Marshmall Portal
Worship at the shrine of Peeps
Peeps Fan Club
Lord of the Rings, performed by marshmallow peeps (Note: The original of this site was taken down under threats of copyright violation)
This is Mildred, James M. Capozzola's bulldog.
Here are 10 of 100 things about her
1. Mildred is what is commonly known as a "full-figured gal."
2. Mildred has had a problem, all of her life, with those "pesky 5 pounds."
3. Mildred's problem is, to tell the truth, with those "pesky 10 pounds."
4. Mildred's full and official name is "Mildred Pierce," from the movie of the same name.
5. Mildred says that if you haven't seen the movie, you won't get it. And you're missing a lot.
6. Mildred must be walked three times a day.
7. Mildred's "walks" rarely extend beyond one city block.
8. Mildred is one lazy ass dog.
9. Mildred burps, loudly, after most meals.
10. Mildred will barf if she drinks too much water too quickly.
(via The Daily Rant.)
Saturday, April 19, 2003
Frances McDormand should get an Oscar for her portrayal of Jane Bentley, the 50-ish, record producer mom with a 26 year old rocker boyfriend whose uptight and angry son and WASPy fiance return to LA for his medical internship.
Seems like many of the critics didn't like the movie, but I thought it was well-done, with particular kudos to McDormand and Alessandro Nivola, the talented actor who players her much-younger boyfriend.
books, fashion, reviews, style
Okay, I read it. Now I can complain with the rest of the journos about this book and how shallow and self-promoting it feels.
The Nanny Diaries is Mill Flanders by Henry Fielding next to this piece of frothy cheese.
USA Today: "...Instead of being fun and frivolous, The Devil Wears Prada begins to feel like a long, tiresome trek in a pair of too-high, too-tight designer heels. "
FashionWire Daily (via Excite Fashion & Beauty): "Overall, "The Devil Wears Prada" feels like the latest emanation from what should be called the Entitled Generation, twentysomethings who firmly believe one should never be humiliated in front of your peers for doing a bad job, people who are deeply convinced that their employers owe them affection."
Friday, April 18, 2003
CMS, content, management
"If we're ever to enter the promised land where every movie or song is available for download on demand, massive databases of analog material will have to be encoded digitally and organized for easy distribution.
--Jimmy Guterman, Content Management and Big Companies, Biz 2.0
Jim goes on to describe how IBM has cut a deal to digitize assets from Sesame Street, how this agreement opens the path for developing all sorts of burn your own CDs, VOD products, etc., and how every major publisher is going to have to find ways to get their assets into a catalogued, digital form to create next-generation digital products.
He's dead on. This is a good piece and a big issue.
War, politics, opinion
If "in my name" is the war's rally cry, what should we be taking responsibility for?
Here's Josh's powerful argument:
In my name, statues of a tyrant have been cast down, portraits of a tyrant have been stomped upon, and fear of a tyrant has dissipated. In my name, the courageous men and women of our coalition armed forces have largely been welcomed as liberators, not invaders. In my name, the residents of Baghdad shouted thank yous, "Good, George Bush!" and "Down Saddam!" to coalition troops. In my name, a Baghdad imam told a reporter, "I'm 49, but I never lived a single day. Only now will I start living. That Saddam Hussein is a murderer and a criminal."
Read more at Tech Central Station at Tech Central Station. Read and post comments here (there are already about 40).
BTW, according to TCS, Josh Chafetz is a graduate student in politics at Merton College, Oxford, the co-founder of the Oxford Democracy Forum, and the co-editor of Oxblog, a group blog by people as smart --and probably as ambitious--as Chelsea.
I'm very impresed with the eloquence of this piece...what do you think?
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Ever-thoughtful Anil Dash has a smart piece of writing today about breakfast cereal, Carmen Electra, and
how the whole world's a lie (at least before 11 am). Readers share their own confessions about things, including Vidiot's post. He writes:
This is kind of scary, but I heard that Madonna's new album sucks even worse than most of her other stuff. (I doubt THAT'S true.) So I googled for some of the lyrics:
I'm drinking a Soy latte
I get a double shot-tay
It goes right through my body
And you know
I drive my mini cooper
And I'm feeling super-dooper
Yo they tell I'm a trooper
And you know I'm satisfied
I do yoga and pilates
And the room is full of hotties
So I'm checking out the bodies
And you know I'm satisfied
I'm digging on the isotopes
This metaphysics shit is dope
And if all this can give me hope
You know I'm satisfied
I got a lawyer and a manager
An agent and a chef
Three nannies, an assistant
And a driver and a jet
A trainer and a butler
And a bodyguard or five
A gardener and a stylist
Do you think I'm satisfied?
I'd like to express my extreme point of view
I'm not Christian and I'm not a Jew
I'm just living out the American dream
And I just realized that nothing Is what it seems
Pure poetry, no?
"We have a team of researchers on top of every editor move and organizational change that impacts your organization. There are hundreds of updates every week." --Hot Media News, from Lexis/Nexis
I''ve never explained why I'm into cooking or why I post menus and lists of dishes I've cooked on SMB.
Here's the deal:
For the past three years, I was a dot-com exec for AOL. First, I moved cross-country to work for AOL. Later, I spent a year commuting across the country from Mountain View, Ca to Dulles, VA. Then, I moved back to New York from CA to do another AOL job. Then I commuted from New York to Virginia a few days a week and worked in NYC the rest of the time.
Translation: I was never home, I had no personal life, and I never cooked, like never.
When I got laid off in January, I decided to start cooking once more. Since then I've made five different Thai rice noodle dishes, worked my way through The Minimalist Cooks At Home, and become addicted to the dishwasher's Quick Wash --28 minutes and the dirty bowls turn clean.
So cooking is evidence that I have a life. That small personal things matter. That I'm fortunate to have people to cook for.
And hey, that food tastes good.
Gravlax (made it myself, thank you Mark Bittman!) with coriander and horseradish
Chicken soup with carrots and matzo balls
Roast chicken with bitter orange/cumin
Potato and onion kugel with pearl onions with rosemary and sage
Apple, sweet potato and carrot pudding (aka kugel)
Haroses with mango, dried papaya and grapes (okay, it was wierd)
That really sweet wine that gets you bombed after one glass
Macaroons: chocolate, plain, chocolate dipped and more plain
My writing teacher, the poet Robert Kelly, used to emphasize that we should look closely at things that triggered a strong reaction. If you hated something, it had as much power, as something you loved. The emotions in the middle, mild curiousity or indifference, were what writers should avoid..
In that spirit, I can say, this blog has just gotten it's first fan letter--only it's no wet kiss. Dana was outraged at my post about the response to Lauren Weisberger's new novel, The Devil Wears Prada. She writes:
you and your recipe-purveying, celebrity-gazing, blog buddies ought to get some sort of life.
lauren weisberger - stupid..yeh, real dumb....the girl writes a funny book,
manages to insult some holier-than-thou ny times suck-ups to the fashion industry
(posing as reviewers), and you're ready to burn her at the stake.
the jealously is overwhelming...why do you all take yourselves so seriously?
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
"I've been told that a way to achieve inner peace is to finish the things I have started. Today I finished two bags of potato chips and a chocolate cake
... I feel better already."
French photographer Guy Bourdin used to shoot fabulous German models for Vogue. Shiny reflective surfaces, bright lights, doll-like girls--this is the photography that set the mood for books such as Less Than Zero. Think Robert Palmer and everyone doing too much coke.
There's been a rush of Bourdin-influenced photographers in the past two years, and now a retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Bourdin... "magnified to centre stage dark fantasies, of lust, consumption and desire. The fundamental significance of his photographs lies in Bourdinís knowledge that it is not fashion but its image that seduces and fascinates us." More here.
See pictures here.
601am call and response: :
"the rent is high: small price to pay for the privilege of living in the greatest city on Earth
--people are mea: ignore them
--our mayor is annoying: ignore him∑
--crazy people bother you: ignore∑
--teenagers try to sell you a bag of M&Ms for $3:ignore∑
--the most popular tourist attraction is the WWE store in Times Square: ignore entire area∑
--drinks are expensive: happy hour 2-for-1.
The Gothamist, my new favorite blog, has an item on this topic, plus pix.
Jesus' Inspirational Sports Statues are for sale here.
More pix. Priceless.
The online catalog has about 20 statues--very distinctive gifts, no doubt.
I picked up 'Princesses Nubiennes,' the first Les Nubians album about two years ago, after hearing them on the radio on the West Coast. Now, their second album is out in the U.S. and getting far more promotion than the first. Why do I like them? Light, jazzy feel, with electronica, R&B, and African influences. Great voices. Interesting beats.
Their first album became the most successful French language record to hit the Billboard charts in the past decade.
Fan website is here.
One Step Forward, the new CD, for sale here.
PUBLISHING: Small can be beautiful
Monday, April 14, 2003
You on a fat pipe? Some analysts are predicting an increase in broadband users of 39% per year in the next 3 years.
They're also saying that AOL's dial-up service..."is losing ground. We are estimating they are going to lose 250,000 net subscribers this quarter and a million for much of this year," said FAC/Equities analyst Youssef Squali on Wednesday in a Reuters story. "What is happening at AOL will probably happen at MSN and EarthLink, too."
Leichtman Research Group (LRG) forecasts that the total number of broadband cable and DSL Internet subscribers in the U.S. will surpass the number of dial-up/narrowband subscribers in 2005 and will grow to nearly 49 million by the end of 2007.
--The top cable companies netted 67% of the broadband additions for the year, with cable adding 4.3 million broadband Internet subscribers compared to 2.1 million added by the major DSL providers over the same time period.
--The top cable operators now account for over 11.25 million Broadband Internet subscribers, maintaining a 65% share of the market versus DSL.
PAYING: From Netcafes to Microcontent
Instead AT&T will offer cards for specific providers, priced from $9.99 to $29.99.
Translation: AT&T is using its phone card technology to create some new products, but trying not to stray too far from its core busines of selling phone time. This reminds me of when newspapers became very interested in audiotext in the early 90s as a way to avoid jumping to the Web...it seems like a baby step solution (did my evil self say half-assed?)
Another story here.
Thai curry noodles with basil, sage, coriander--this may have been the best noodle dish I've ever made--thank you Mark Bittman!
Sauteed baby artichokes with onion and garlic
Fresh fruit and gingersnaps
Lauren Weisberger: Janet Maslin slammed the author of The Devil Wears Prada in a NY Times book review today, suggested self-promotion and arrogance are the drivers here, not literary talent. Gothamist, a smart NY web log, picks up the theme with a Gothamist Hates Lauren Weisberger post
Favorite quote: GOTHAMIST thinks that Weisberger is dumb as a brick for thinking she'd have a byline right out of school.
I searched Goggle for "I hate Lauren Weisberger" and "Lauren Weisberger sucks" links, but there are none--as of yet. I predict there will be a whole bunch by the end of May. Me-ow!
From my beloved Gossiplist: Someone doesn't like you #2
Can someone buy Paris Hilton some underwear? (Photo is not office friendly)
Did Steve Case and other AOL execs use "tricks, contrivances and bogus transactions" to inflate the company's share price--and was it insider trading? Officials at The University of California and the Amalgamated Bank's Longview Collective Investment fund filed a suit to that effect in Los Angeles.
In addition to Case, Vice Chairman Ted Turner, Chief Executive Officer Richard Parsons, former CEO Gerald Levin, and former Chief Operating Officer Bob Pittman were named.
Reuter's story here.
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Jeff Jarvis over at Buzzmachine highlights an item San Jose Merc News columnist Dan Gillmor ran yesterday in his blog.
Dan received a link from David Theroux of the Independent Institute, an alternative news distributor, suggesting that the free Iraqis and Marines toppling the Saddam statutue was a photo-op--in fact it was a propaganda photo-op, as he puts it.
Jarvis says "Consider the source. Consider it a crock."
Jeff, I love you, but you're too smart not to accept that was propaganda--the sort of propaganda that's a daily part of Americans' lives--hey, we don't think reality shows are real--or do we?
According to Joshua Micah Marshall's Talking Points, no Republicans voted to strike Representative Barbara Cubin's (R-Wyoming) remarks from the record last week when she implied that African-Americans are all addicts in drug treatment. When the house voted, the split was 227 to 195 against striking Cubin's remarks--with no Bush babies voting in the affirmative.
Considering the well-organized campaigns against Natalie Maines and other celebs who express their dislike of Bush, this is chilling.
COOKING: Planning the Passover Menu
Chicken soup with Matzoh balls and coriander
Roast Cornish Game Hens with Fruit
Sweet potoato and carrot kugel
Asparagus or a great salad
Haroses, bitt herbs, matzoh, Passsover chandy, etc
Reading: What's on my bookshelf right now
These stories succeed brilliantly at being swarmy and uncomfortable, like the flashy cousin you never really wanted to visit.
Ann Packer: The Dive from Clausen's Pier
A vivid, well-written novel about a young woman and her circle of friends and what happens to them when one of them, her fiance, is seriously injured in a foolish stunt that goes wrong. Great start, implausible ending.
Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose
Stegner is a brilliant writer and this is an amazing, ambitious book--charting the entire history of the West through a Zelig- like couple whose marriage spans more than 50 years and the paraplegic 60-ish historian grandson writing their history.
Alice McDermott: Child of My Heart
McDermott's light touch belies a more serious message in this entertaining novel about a precocious and focused 15-year old girl in a touristy beach town.
Po Bronson: What do I want to do with my life?
Okay, I confess, I haven't started it yet, but you you know all about this one, right?
Betsy Lerner: The Forest for the Trees: An editor's advice to writers
Serious, well-intentioned, and probably a bit too long for me.
Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Personal and Professional Life
Po Bronson probably read this one--carefully considered, luminous advice and sharing about life transitions and planning.
Robert C. Chope, Phd: Dancing Naked: Breaking through the emotional limits that keep you from the job you want
A fabulous, precise and intuitive book that approaches work from a psychological perspective. My friend Michael Fitzgerald is his neighbor and recommended it--thanks, Mike!
READING: Book It
Weblog BookWatch: BW tracks references to books on blogs, and highlights the most popular. Top books on BookWatch right now are Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, Smart Mobs by Howard Rhinegold, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixby J.K.Rowling.
Created by Paul Bausch, who wrote much of the Blogger script.
All Consuming: AC also tracks mentions of books in blogs, and then ranks them on popularity. AC's search script can also be used to search for a list of all the books within a specific blog.
For example, click here to see the books SMB has highlighted.
Created by Erik Benson, who works at Amazon.
Publisher's Lunch: This subscription newsletter and web site from Michael Cader books tracks publishing deals and who's selling rights to what to whom is well-written and easy to read.
Bookreporter.com: The first, and still the most complete web site devoted to books, run by my friend Carol Fitzgerald.
Saturday, April 12, 2003
WAR BLOGGING: Kevin Sites, CNN journalist and blogger, captured and released in Iraq
The media reported yesterday that Kevin Sites, one of the most CNN visible journalists in Iraq, was captured and held for four hours before being released. Boing Boing post here, CNN story in Kevin's own words here.
Apparently, CNN is still adamant about not cross-posting onto Kevin Sites.net.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Q: The fattest people in NY: where do they live? A scientific study from Time Out NY
A: Fatties are high-density in the poorest neighborhoods, such as East New York, Bed-Stuy, and Mott Haven. Folks on the Upper East side are the thinnest (Tom Wolfe's 'social X-ray"). Upper West Siders and Flushingites are both in the top 30% of lightweights.
JOKING: Top 10 Passover Pick-up lines
10. Let's make this night really different from all other nights
9. I'm going to have to search you for chometz
8. I could never Pass you Over
7. Did you just read we were in bondage?
6. I bet I could make you sing Dayenu!
5. After four cups of wine, you look like Cindy Crawford
4. Nice Hagadah
3. What will you do to me for two zuzim?
2. I hear that horseradish is an aphrodisiac
And the #1 Passover Pick Up Line is:
1. Maybe when Elijah shows up, we can make it a threesome
Ever Sparkle Industrial Co. Ltd. offers the Forward Command Post
Kids you love can occupy a Baghdad palace when you buy them this tricked-out battlezone set. $44.99
(Source:Common Dreams News Center, via Popbitch)
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Last week, AOL Time Warner submitted a petition to the FCC asking to be excused from the instant messaging interoperability requirements imposed by the Federal Communications Commission. According to Jim Hu's ZDNet story, AOL asked the regulatory agency to remove a restriction forbidding America Online from offering video streaming through its popular instant messaging services. The FCC currently requires AOL to open its IM network to competitors if it launches "advanced" high-speed IM services as a condition to approving AOL's January 2001 merger with Time Warner.
The petition argues that AOL's IM services, AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, face more competition from Microsoft and Yahoo, both of which have launched video conferencing features on their IM clients.
At the same time, University of Pennsylvania professors and former FCC officials submitted their petition to the FCC last week arguing that it was too soon for the FCC to lift the restrictions on AOL Time Warner, Inc.'s provision of advanced instant messaging (IM) services.
Gerald R. Faulhaber, who was the FCC's chief economist when the restrictions were enacted, and David J. Farber, the Commission's former chief technologist, wrote a brief--available here-- suggesting FCC guidance would be required to ensure that AOL does not lock up the entire IM market through proprietary platforms and denying interoperability.
Quick quote: "By denying its customers interoperability, AOL TW is denying them access to more than 40% of the IM market. The only reason it might want to deny these benefits is if by doing so it denied even greater benefits to the customers of its competitors."
Dave Sifry reports that on average, over 3,000 new blogs each day are created, in dozens of languages; Technorati, a service that tracks links to news sources, blogs and blog postings, has over 200,000 blogs in their indexing group.
Nevertheless, is anyone developing blog software that has the ease of use that will push blogs into a more mainstream audience, much as AOL software pushed the Internet to a broad range of consumers? I'm not seeing it, yet.
Moveable Type is elegant, but requires installation on your own server, which is a deal-killer for most people, Radio Userland, Diaryland and Live Journal are all growing services, with good consumer applications, but none of them have the marketing and relationships that indicate they want to go after a mainstream market--Diaryland and Live Journal seem to have tremendous teen and college followings, and Radio Userland seems more focused on the enterprise and group market if there is any market they are looking at. That leaves Blogger, and it is unclear what Blogger's distribution strategy is, if any.
Blogger now has the funding and support to build a base in a consumer market and strategies to acquire users, but will they? And if so, how?
As a friend said the other day, "Is Google going to put a blogging tab on the Google search box? And, if so, will people be searching blogs or writing them?"
To put it another way, there is a definite opportunity to have someone step forward and move blogs further into the mainstream by making the applications friendlier and more accessible.
There's a clear market opportunity to create and more importantly, market a product that can capture a large segment of the mainstream adult audience as well as be branded the blogspace of choice for teens and college students. Who's got the best chance of moving into this space? Who would you bet on?
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Does anyone besides the evil sixteen year old boys I am related to use IP-relay? Not to talk to deaf people, but to embarass the IP operator with the outrageous comments they are forced to repeat?
"...newspaper dispatches are merely a sideshow. The media keep telling us that the military difference between this Gulf War and the last one is technology. True. But itís the media difference, too. The change is the Web, and the people really following this war are following it online."
"Television owns this war. We have become an embedded nation...(yet) Reporters without camera crews, it turns out, can sometimes get closer to the action, or coax more revealing admissions from soldiers, and tell the tale through evocative writing."
How long can grubby kid keep this going? Dunno, but it rocks.
I hate the Hilton Sisters
I love the Hilton Sisters
The Hilton Sisters are hot!
Does dressing in every item of clothing put out by Hot Topic make a girl punk? Jess Zeitz wants to know.
These girls don't like her either.
Note: People don't seem to have the same concerns about Pink or Gwen Stefani.
Anil Dash posted a link to this item from bluejake by Jake Dobkin.
"My greatest ambition is to one day track down the world's sourest Asian candy--something so sour your face becomes frozen in the puckered position."
--Jake seems to have a great blog with excellent NYC pictures. He's also one of the contributors to Gothamist.
Want some Asian candy of your very own? Not near Pearl River? Buy here.
It took almost a year of meeting with one group and then another to get Active Buddy's Smarter Child up on AOL, but the company pulled the service down this past summer because it was expensive to run and had shown AOL it could scale to a larger number of users.
Now Smarter Child is being relaunched as a premium service across the AOL, ICQ, and MSN platforms.
News.com says "The decision to turn SmarterChild into a paid product was likely driven by AOL, which charges a fee to provide provisioning services (removal of 'warning' capabilities and character limits) to commercial bots running on its network." My understanding from talking with folks close to those involved (disclosure: I know the original start-up team quite well) is that the AB team never thought Smarter Child was particularly valuable as much beyond a demo, but that the user stats were impressive enough to encourage them to charge.
" SmarterChild was an accidental success so, for a very nominal amount, Steve Klein, the CEO told internetnews.com. "It was a demo. We never spent a penny marketing SmarterChild and it got out of control."
Ad Age ran a story yesterday outlining how AOL has agreed to pay what is estimated at $40MM a year to Time Interactive, to be disbursed to the magazine brands now carried exclusively on AOL.
Three things about the story caught my attention:
--There are no quote from any AOL executives. Another demonstration of the complete powershift over the past 10 months.
--There are numerous quotes from Time Interactive executives, many of whom have been working on the Time Interactive side for many years, but who have not gotten much attention in press releases or from media. Suggests Squires, head of Time Interactive, is demonstrating he has a real team there--one he has confidence in.
--Time Inc is basically asking AOL for its money up front. This suggests they may not be not confident in the ability of the interactive marketing group to sell eough advertising to make the margins Time Interactive wants to have and it's cleaner to have AOL pay up front, accounting the money as a licensing and content cost.
Given that Interactive editor-in-chief Ned Desmond is quoted as saying that the fee "covers a significant share of our expenditures online for those 14 titles," another way to look at it is that Time demanded AOL provide this payment so they could both cover their online expenditures and be guaranteed a certain revenue right upfront.
Interesting question: Wonder if EW and People, the two most popular of the TII brands on the web, are expecting a drop in traffic once they go inside AOL?
Sunday, April 06, 2003
"The war is almost too big to comprehend." Touching entry by BBC correspondent Hilary Anderson, April 6, reported in WAR BLOG -2003,THE HARRY TIMEZ/opedworldpress
/---Basra is cut off for most of us, all we can do is get close and watch, talk to the few who come out of the city and imagine what it must be like for the rest. Those like the Iraqis that Britain is trying to win over with war. The people caught between their own oppressors and the coalition soldiers. The Iraqis that, to most British soldiers, appear on the landscape as dusty, ragged children waving, and crying out for water as they drive by in armoured land rovers. Or the Iraqis in cars who have to be checked in case they are militia. Who sometimes are made to kneel on the ground in a pen by British soldiers until they are checked. ---/
My son IM'ed me this morning, saying "3,000 killed." He wanted to know if they'd found any weapons of mass destruction yet.
Does anyone really believe the US is being upfront its its agenda in this war? Whether you support the reasons for going in or not, it is obvious that the government is following its own agenda, one that has to do with killing, taking control of the oil fields, and feeling like a winner.
Saturday, April 05, 2003
The giant Mimivirus
The French have found a giant virus in a British water cooling tower. The virus lives in single-celled organisms called amoebae and may be able to infect humans.
The big squid
As reported by the BBC, an absolutely spectacular new specimen of a so-called "colossal squid" or Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni has been found on the surface of the Ross Sea. Previously only six specimens of this type of squid have ever been recovered.
(Source: Sci-Fi Today)
Jupiter has more moons
AP reports that six more moons have been found orbiting Jupiter, bringing the total number of satellites to 58.
"The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.
He had begun the evening by enjoying himself; he had enjoyed reading the good-bye cards, and receiving the hugs from several not entirely unattractive young ladies of his acquaintance; he enjoyed the warnings about the dangers and evils of London, and the gift of the white umbrella with the Map of the London underground on it that his friends had chipped in money to buy; he had enjoyed the first few pints of ale; but then, with each successive pint he found that he was enjoying himself significantly less; until now he was sitting and shivering on the sidewalk outside the pub in a small Scottish toen, weighing the relative merits of being sick and not being sick and not enjoying himself at all."
These are the opening words of ">Nevermore, a fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. Richard Mayhew is Nevermore's boy not quite yet a man but really cute hero, who soon finds himself on a mythical journey of discovery following his love, a noblewoman named Door (she opens then, ya see.) If you like fantasy literature, this one gets a solid B.
Buy the dress, read the book
The Quicksilver Clothing Company announced today that they were launching Luna Bay, a Roxy Girl book series for 8-12 year olds. Featuring five fifteen-year old girls who are friends and live live by the beach in Southern California, the series will focus on relationships, dating, friends, family, and buying the coolest Roxy Girl products, in the purest way possible, of course.
"These books are authentic. They're a great read, written by a good author."
--Danny Kwock, 42, co-lead of Quicksilver's entertainment division.
"We were sitting in the company cafeteria, talking to some girls who work here. Turns out they're all voracious readers, all members of book clubs and, of course, they all surf. They said they couldn't think of any good girls' fiction since those old series, like 'Sweet Valley High."
--Matt Jacobson, 42, Quicksilver Entertainment co-lead.
"This was unique. It was Kismet. Danny and Matt came to us looking for a publishing partner. I looked at these people, so passionate about empowering girls, so committed to their audience, and to the sport.... From my perspective as a publisher, this is extremely important. This series says to girls, 'I'm really passionate about this sport, but I'm doing it while I'm also balancing my life, my friends, my schoolwork -- all my other passions."
--Hope Iinnelli, editorial director, Harper Entertainment.
Too bad teens are going to read this drivel. Guess it means they're no better than their parents, but shame on the publishing company for shovelling this crap down their throats.
Source: LA Times
Google: Type in a phone number and get the address
(via Mark Graham)
Famous people's email addresses:
Email addresses for dozens of literary agents
Slate says Rumsfield is a poet at heart, and fashions verse out of his briefings on the Department of Defense site to prove it.
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
óFeb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.
And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.
óFeb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing
Friday, April 04, 2003
--Grown men on push scooters, $8 cocktails at high-falutin' restaurants, rude people with newfound wealth, sky-high rents and everything ending with ".com." Oh wait, that's what I don't miss. --Parker Gibbs, Noe Valley
Note: According to Google, Parker Gibbs used to sell ads for a web site called snackcake.com. Figures.
San Francisco, April 4--Arrived from NY last night and am staying with my friends Judy and Brent in Bernal Heights, a neighborhood up the hill from the Mission District. There are four coffeehouses, two nail parlors, a library and a yoga studio within a six-block stretch on Cortland Street, Bernal Height's main drag. Oh yes, and four parks, two popular with dog owners, the others popular with parents of small children.
Walking around this morning--between my first latte in Tom's Coffee House, and my second at Moonlight Cafe & Creperie, I thought about whether I could live comfortably in Bernal Heights with a husband, a teenager, and an 110 pound dog. --I think we'd very much enjoy this neighborhood.
As the school year winds down, my family continues to discuss whether we are better off living for our family to live on the East Coast or on the West Coast.
When we first moved back to New York after three years in Silicon Valley, we were eager to return to a town we'd lived in before, so we chose South Orange, a diverse suburb 25 minutes west of Manhattan. But one of the first things I noticed as I started walking around South Orange once again is that nobody looks very happy.
In fact, the everyday expression on many people's faces in South Orange seems to be of diffuse and free-floating suspicion and hostility. These sour faces are born out of the fear that someone might pull something on them if they don't watch out . At constant risk of being blown away, you've gotta be vigilant.
The flowers in front of all the houses in Judy and Brent's neighborhood, the sharply slanted hills, pedestrians who smile when you walk past them, the large percentage of cheap pho joints and taquerias--none of these are complete reasons to move across the country to California, but they're all factors. The smile factors, I suppose. The people on the bus don't scowl at you factors.
Truth is, even if we're not admitting it, we're moving. Somehow in the space of three years in Silicon Valley, despite all the newspaper we read, the bagels we devours, and the arguments about movies and politics, we became Californians.
Time to go home.
Thursday, April 03, 2003
For those of us who love fashion but are unsure what to buy this spring, fashion web site Net-a-porter offers their list of must-have style item.
Since their descriptions are a little hard to understand, SMB offers this list as a simultaneous translation from the fashionese.
Chloe: Black leather bracelet bag
SMB: Little black purse holds cellphone, cash
Alberta Ferretti: Tinkerbell beaded top
SMB: Display your tatas under this whispy little nothing
Joie: So Real cargo jeans
SMB: Williamsburgh hipster army-surplus style denims
Leflesh: Black gilet with ruffled cap sleeves
SMB: Beat me with your rhythm stick vest
Jamin Puech: The Japanese inspired print obi belt set
SMB: Duran Dura 80's-style wide belt, to be worn naked
Marahishi: The plum geodragon snopants
SMB: Snowpants for ravers
Albert Ferretti: The black beaded wide leg pants
SMB: Just like Cher's Bob Mackie pair
From the latest newsletter:
>> Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em <<
Admiral Keating: can't touch this
At the start of Gulf War II, US Naval Rear
Admiral Timothy Keating of USS Constellation
found a novel way to encourage his troops
on to war.
He got everyone together on deck, played
Queen's We Will Rock You really, really loud,
"It's hammer time!"
>> Celebrity parasites <<
No 34: the positioner
Mariah Carey has a "Positioner" on her staff.
He accompanies her everywhere, and his only job
is to get her into the right position every
time she's on camera.
(FYI: her correct "position" while doing interviews
is: leg nearest camera out straight, other leg bent,
one arm over chair/sofa, chest out, pointed at camera.
Watch next time and check)
Kevin Sites and the Blogging Controversy
CNN war correspondent was told to shut down his popular site, touching off an ongoing debate on blogging as a legitimate form of journalism
Read the full story here in the Online Journalism Review
Are Weblogs one more tool in the arsenal used by online journalists to report the news? Or does a blogís typically individualistic voice and unfiltered attitude place it outside the journalistís palette? These rhetorical questions have exploded into a raging debate among online journalism watchers following CNNís decision to force war correspondent Kevin Sites to stop posting items to the popular blog he created while on assignment in northern Iraq.
To blog or not to blog? The controversy has helped blogs jump up on the publicís radar screen, but it has also divided the working press into separate and distinct camps.
For more of this story, click here
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Via dave farber)
From: "Jon O."
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 11:08:41 -0800
Subject: SARS infected plane in SJ
I'm sure you have probably heard there is a plane with
at least 4 possible SARS infections on the ground in San
Jose -- two crew, two passengers. CNN just reported the
4 patients will be taken for treatment, the other passengers
will be allowed to *leave* with a card asking them to
call if they get sick.
This is the worst possible course of action. Two crew
possibly infected means they may have all had interactions
with many passengers (drinks, meals, etc.). Allowing
the other passengers to just leave will likely result
in them becoming ill, after infecting many other people
during the incubation period.
COOKING: Dinner last night
Fajitas--Mexican-spice marinated chicken, peppers, onions with clilantro and salsa verde
Chili and corn tortillas
. All the snickerdoodles are gone. :-(
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
I started blogging March 19th--that's almost two weeks ago. At the time I wondered if I would be able to keep it up, what I would write about, and if my blog would suffer because it didn't focus on one subject, such as media and content, cooking, or internet marketing.
I think the toughest thing about the blog right now is that the formatting looks ragged; it's not as nice and easy to read as some blogs, which is something I need to work on.
I'd also like advice on how to make more people aware of the blog, besides friends, and feedback on what's working for readers.
Madonna pulls her new video out of respect for troops fighting in Iraq; album drops April 22nd.
Geraldo says he's further inside Iraq than before, and no one is kicking him out, so there.
eBay is no longer letting AOL sell ads on the eBay web site; WSJ speculates this is a sign of a fraying relationship between the two companies.
More likely: now that eBay has an ad sales and partnership team in place, they don't need AOL as a middleman with advertising clients.
Hugh Grant tells Vanity Fair he wants marriage and kids. With Divine Brown?