Saturday, May 31, 2003
Future of Open Source Browsers aka Is the open web fu**ed again?
--O5O, OS Opinion writes:
Is the Microsoft-AOL Time Warner browser settlement the beginning of the end for open-source and alternative browsers? Does it represent a threat to the open standards of the Internet? What about the fate of Mozilla.org, the open-source group tightly connected with Netscape? All these questions are on the minds of alternative-browser industry insiders as the ramifications of Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) settlement with AOL (NYSE: AOL) began to sink in.
David Smith, research analyst for Gartner, quoted in Boston internet .com story: The IE-Netscape "competition has been way overblown in past couple of years. The two companies really only compete on the fringes," said David Smith, Microsoft analyst for research firm Gartner:
"Microsoft is a supplier of technology. AOL is a user of technology as a media company." To talk about browser wars now is ridiculous, he said. "It is so off the map these days and out of the world of issues that people have. Very few people use [Netscape], very few care."
Reuters News: Clock Ticks for Netscape...
Forrester Research analyst Rob Enderle said that, now, it's only a matter of time before AOL sells Netscape. "Clearly the clock is ticking for Netscape as a Web property owned by AOL Time Warner," he said. "This is an asset that has become nonstrategic in a company that is doing some massive cost cutting."
Netscape executives declined to comment. AOL Time Warner Chief Executive Dick Parsons shed little light on the company's plans for Netscape. "We're still exploring other opportunities with Netscape," he said in announcing the deal. Asked if he was planning to sell the unit, he said, "Not at this point."
National Post of Canada:
...This spells the end for Netscape, whatever it means for our ability to police our own homes and computers. There is no a longer a reason for Netscape to exist, with its market share dwindled to nothing, and with it not fitting into AOL Time-Warner's plans to refocus on media properties and their distribution.
And while no one has apparently noticed, the deal is also a strike against the open source software movement. AOL Time-Warner no longer needs to bankroll Mozilla, the nonsensical browser promoted by the evangelical fans of collectivist code. Without its support, that browser will languish, at best, and more likely founder.
Forbes: Microsoft clears the Netscape history file:
Microsoft has wound back the clock to 1995 and paid $750 million--in cash--for Netscape so it could put it out of commission.
Friday, May 30, 2003
Links from around the web
Marl Fraufelder is moving the fam to the South Sea Islands for a year and chronicling their experience at The Island Chronicles. I predict this will be as good as HBO!
Pets with their heads in bags of food, via Camworld.
CNN: Online divorces growing on popularity.
Pocourante: Wanna know who spelled it and won?
Thursday, May 29, 2003
BetaNews: Support for Mozilla will continue
AOL says it will not close its Netscape unit "at this point," which means development of Gecko and support for the open source Mozilla browser are likely to continue.
Will Microsoft buy AOL?
AOL has roughly 32 MM subscribers (a drop from 18 months ago), Microsoft has 9 million. AOL is owned by a media company that would love to have a business justification to cut it loose (my opinion), Microsoft is a technology company that has been trying to beat AOL in the online business for the past 7 years.
My prediction: Look for AOL and Microsoft to look for ways to develop stronger and more profitable partnerships, including teaming up or bundling on ISP access in some way., and watch for a possible sale announcement down the road.
The end of Netscape: $750MM sell-off
Now that AOL and Microsoft are best friends, the Netscape browser's in a tough spot.
Sold for $750MM in potage , AKA settlement charges, the browser--once touted as AOL's strategic alternative to Explorer--seems like a pretty lame duck product right now. Since AOL is going to continue indefinitely using IE as their core platform, is there a reason for AOL to fund Netscape and the Web properties team?
Back in the day, like 2000-2001, Netscape was going to be the bright hope for the non-AOL subscriber, the web alternative and flanker brand. But those days are long gone--Time, Inc content is moving onto AOL as a sop to the subscription price, AOL is facing hard choices about making their business work at the right margin, and Netscape's development path has slowed.
When you think that AOL purchased Netscape for $4.3 billion back in the day, the $750MM that AOL is getting from Microsoft in settlement charges is chump change--but if you're a cashed-strapped company, it's manna from heaven.
The rise of Mozilla?
As some of you know, I was VP for Programming at Netscape during the peak of the boom. At that time, hopes and plans for the browser and Netscape.com were bright. I was much more focused on Netscape 6.0 than on Mozilla.
But now I am running Mozilla with my news aggregator and strongly preferring it to Netscape and finding it better in some ways than IE.
Will one by-product of this AOL/Microsoft development be a backlash that pushes more people to Mozilla? With the development of Linux, and the move away from browser as the only web-based platforms, having an alternative browser may feel less critical than in 2000, and yet, having strong multiple browser platforms does matter.
I am going to watch and see what happens to Mozilla in the light of these announcements and see if the Phoenix will fly again.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Psychopaths who have committed murder do not equate violence with something that is unpleasant, UK researchers said Wednesday.
This relatively positive attitude toward violence was not seen in either murderers who were not psychopaths or other men with personality disorders who had committed different crimes, the authors write in the journal Nature.
Psychopaths, despite evidence of charm and skill, are commonly unable to maintain affectionate relationships with others, while routinely engaging in impulsive, amoral and hostile behavior unhampered by guilt.
And while psychopaths who commit murder may often claim to think violence is wrong, the current findings stem from the results of tests designed to measure people's underlying attitudes toward a concept, and not simply what they say they believe, the researchers note.
If you substitute deception and unscrupulousness for murder, it sounds like some business folks I've known.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Wynton Marsalis has a weblog
News: Rick Bragg Resigns from NY Times
Blogs & Social networks: Jumping the shark?
As some of you may know--and as everyone should know now, Friendster is a 6 degrees of separation hook-up service for friends of friends and their friends--and their friends, too, of course. Jonathan Abrams, the guy who started is, is an ex-Netscaper (I love keeping track of the legion of ex-Netscapers, they must number in the thousands by now.)
Times says Friendster is about dating, and it can be, but it is also about meeting friends of friends--something that also goes on at Ryze, another networking and social connection site.
I love Ryze, but I am neutral on Friendster--I have an account, but haven't really gotten in to it.
Department of Bizarre Synergies
Well, that very same Cargill's is the company that helped McDonald's roll out the flavorings for its new McVeggie Burger.
McDonald's new Veggie Burger ain't exactly vegan
If you don't think bacon grease should mix with your soy protein and veggies, you might not be as thrilled about the new dish.
Accoesing to a recent story in Veggie's Paradise, the McDonald's rep said the burger was "geared to the lighter side of McDonald's. It' s for people who are working on their weight. It's not intended for religious-based or serious vegetarians."
Furthermore, while the McVeggie Burger features a vegan patty made exclusively for McDonald's by Yves Veggie Cuisine , the bun and the patty are vegan, but the barbecue sauce contains egg yolks, chicken fat, beef stock, beef extract, and rendered beef fat. Not exactly vegan
AOL Launches African-American area
"We can't speak to all 30 million members in the same voice," says Belinda Hankins, AOL executive director for African-American business, in today's press release. "We want to be the brand of choice and provide compelling and relevant experience for African-American members."
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Whole lotta quaking hits the bay area
Rocky Roads: San Jose gets the prize
According to The Road Information Program, a lobbying group, San Jose and Los Angeles are tied at the top of a national list of which cities have the bumpiest roads, with 67 percent of their major roads delivering unacceptable rides.
Close behind are San Diego and San Francisco-Oakland, tied at third and fourth with 61 percent unacceptable. Sacramento is sixth on the list with 50 percent unacceptable. New Orleans, Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City also are in the top ten. New York, not even close!
San Jose: Buying a salt marsh as big as Central Park
The city of San Jose is planning to purchase an 865-acre salt mars, a plot about the size of New York's Central Park, for $13 million dollars. According to the Mercury News, " the 856-acre pond, ringed by levees and bordering Coyote Creek, is the same size as New York's Central Park. Its purchase comes two months after a $100 million state and federal deal to buy and restore 16,500 acres of Cargill's other bayfront salt ponds. "
I've done a lot of hiking around in the Alviso wetlands, and that area feels like one of the few areas in the Valley that hasn't been totally developed--thought the housing developments are rushing in. It's good to hear the city will protect those lands, and perhaps one day turn them back to marsh for wildlife.
Blair Snitch Project Update: Rick Blair, outta here
"I will take it from a stringer. I will take it from an intern. I will take it from a news assistant. If a clerk does an interview for me, I will use it. I'm going to send people to sit in for me if I don't have time to be there. It is not unusual to send someone to conduct an interview you don't have time to conduct. It's what we do.
"And this insanity -- this bizarre atmosphere we're moving through as if in a dream -- we're being made to feel ashamed for what was routine. . . . Reporters are being bad-mouthed daily. I hate it. It makes me sick."
AOLTW: Selling off the problem child
I've wondered all along if all the reorgs and layoffs at AOL were not destined to make the unit shipshape, neat and tidy for sale. There is no way to know, but I suspect there are people at Time Inc and CNN and Warner Bros who think the stock price mght go up if AOL wasn't part of the mix. On the other hand, the company is profitable, so, dunno.
Monday, May 26, 2003
Photo Exhibit: Black Panthers 1968 in Berkeley
Articles about the exhibit here and here., info from the museum here.
The photogs donated $1MM of their photos to UC Santa Cruz
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Zuza Glowacka, Jayson Blair's galpal, has published an essay in Newsweek about her relationship with Jayson and the Blair scandal.
I understand what Elizabeth Bishop meant when, in her poem “One Art,” she wrote, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.” In the weeks since I’ve had to resign from my job because a close friend of mine, Jayson Blair, was caught plagiarizing and fabricating, I’ve lost my privacy, my credibility and many of my longtime friends. A few weeks ago I was a young employee of The New York Times, one of the most respected newspapers in the world. Now I’m known to the world as the 23-year-old mysterious Polish emigre, caught up in possibly the biggest scandal in the history of journalism and certainly the biggest scandal in the history of my life thus far.
More here from this really persuasive and well-argued essay. Man, she's clearly not only smarter than Blair, but much more stable.
Drowning in information & Tracking the Flow
Translations from the Woof-ish: Sign in Vancouver
Department of Banned Books Foolishness aka deeply silly people
The book..." has poor grammar, poor spelling, poor content, and it's an extremely poor example of what I would want my student to learn," said Gayle Cloud, the school board member. "I think Dr. Seuss would be rolling over in his grave."
BTW, Riverside is the school district that banned the highly regarded The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier from middle school libraries in the Riverside, California, Unified School District after a district committee decided the book was inappropriate for seventh and eighth graders to read without class discussion.
Dream: Strings Attached
Dreamt I was living at the beach, with many other people, and we had a wide, gauzy silk crepe curtain across the big picture window; it was opened and closed by pulling on the thin strings in the warp of the fabric.
Second part of the dream was a flotilla of people gathering to demonstrate about something and they had these amazing mobiles floating in the sky, very intricate kites of birds, all attached together by thin white strings.
I woke up and went, "Wow, that was amazing, what does it mean?" and then I stepped back and said, "Oh, everything has strings attached. Hmmnn, that's a comment on my life."
Department of Trendy Reporting: Blog This
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Why do people in Japan have a thing about dressing their pets?
What is this about?
Ringtones: Gross & Yucky drive the business
Blairgate: Times suspends Rick Bragg
According to Howard Kunz of the Washington Post, an NY Times editor's note Friday said that Bragg had only briefly visited the Florida town of Apalachicola, from which he filed a story last June, and that most of the reporting had been done by a stringer. That freelance reporter, J. Wes Yoder, an intern, should have shared a byline with Bragg, the paper said.
According to the Daily News, Yoder, 23, spent four days in and around Apalachicola, on Florida's northern gulf coast, did much of the reporting and sat with his notes alongside Bragg when the staffer wrote the piece.
"I had offered to volunteer for Rick for the summer because I wanted to learn from him," said Yoder, who has since become a staff writer for The Anniston Star, an Alabama paper where Bragg once worked. Yoder said Bragg paid him directly for his work over three months, calling it an invaluable experience.
Gordon Gray, author of the CJR piece, writes:
While many national correspondents at the Times rely heavily on stringers, the paper’s policy on "dateline integrity" is that the bylined writer must "provide the bulk of the information, in the form of copy or, when necessary, of notes used faithfully in a rewrite." Had Yoder been given at least partial credit, it seems, Bragg’s piece might not have had any "dateline integrity" issues. The Times national desk policy of not giving bylines to stringers or freelancers is one of the areas a new committee — headed by assistant managing editor Allan M. Siegal and formed in the wake of the Jayson Blair plagiarism and fabrication debacle to rethink newsroom policies — will review. "It would have been nice for J. Wes to share a byline, or at least a tagline, but that’s not the policy," Bragg said. "I don’t make the policies."
Why am I covering this? Rick Bragg is one of the best "local color" writers in the country, if not the world. His memoirs and essays are outstanding.
It would be a shame if the Times trying to police itself slapped his hand too hard in the process.
Friday, May 23, 2003
Despite all my rage...
Subj: Read your blog...
Date: 5/23/03 5:37:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
Hi, Susan. I was curious to see who was linking to IP-relay.com, and I came
across this entry in your blog:
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
Thanks for making my job harder, you fucking bitch.
My fantasy is that this person needs reading glasses, or maybe classes in anger management, or perhaps both. Oh, no, I forgot, it's always best to shoot the messenger. Thanks, girlfriend, you have a real nice day, too.
Kazaa: Can't stop P2P
My son the teenager has a computer loaded with music he's used Kazaa to pull off the net, and I have a great time hanging out with him listening to to Squarepusher, Infected Mushroom, and remixes of 90's house.
Neverthless, Kazaa says that users have downloaded more than 230 million copies of their file-sharing program.
According to the San Jose Merc, "In just over a year, the software used to download free music over the Internet has surpassed all other applications distributed through CNet's Download.com site -- including ICQ, the predecessor to AOL's Instant Messenger, and WinZip, the software utility used to open compressed files."
Lucy Woodward: Fame is the AOL Homepage
In New York, a lot of people like to remain anonymous. They go there and they just kind of look down on the street all the time, and kind of keep their head down. So in New York, my hometown, I don’t even get that much recognition. Travelling other places, I act normal, and I kind of forget sometimes that, oh, yeah my picture is in the store, or I’m on the AOL homepage."
More on the evolving power of AOL Music here.
Gossip: Britney sweated in this
Now that Brit's browner, bigger, and older, she's past all this trashy pop-start stuff, no doubt. She says "“My mom wants me to get rid of all the major costumes, cause she doesn't want me walking around in that.”
More Goggle news on this here.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Gothamist does Jayson, too
Fight Club: Disgraced Journalists
A closer look at the picture shows that charges of plagiarism, fraud and misconduct don't always spell instant career death. In fact, some journalists have received little more than a soft rap on the knuckles while others, of course, have never worked in this business again
More delicious writing about this right here.
"I was young at The New York Times. ...I was black at The New York Times, which is something that hurts you as much as it helps you. I certainly have health problems, which probably led to me having to kill Jayson Blair, the journalist. I was either going to kill myself or I was going to kill the journalist persona."
More stories about Jayson Blair coillected at Google News.
Jayson Blair: The Pix
Jayson, Jayson, Jayson, you're on your way to being the Tammy Faye Baker of the the new millenium. Don't be shuffling and scraping, man, you worked hard and you screwed up--live with it.
Great article by Jimmy Guterman!
A new version of the Wall Street Journal Online takes its cue from some unlikely sources.
By Jimmy Guterman, May 21, 2003
Remember dotcom journalism and how it was going to change everything? Salon.com was supposed to make sense as a Nasdaq-listed public company? After numerous downgradings, it now trades over the counter for a nickel a share. TheStreet.com was supposed to render the Wall Street Journal irrelevant? Well, the editor of TheStreet.com is back at the Journal. Inside.com was supposed to render existing media journalism irrelevant? Now the Wall Street Journal Online has launched a promising service that successfully does some of what Inside set out to do.
That last development is the most interesting, and it shows how a few of the dotcom journalism models worth preserving are being incorporated into more venerable media ventures. As with WSJ.com's Health Edition, launched last year, the front page of its month-old online Media & Marketing Edition includes annotated headlines, links to related stories by WSJ-affiliated sources such as Barron's and the Dow Jones Newswire, and shortcuts to subject-specific areas on associated sites. For those wanting a quick overview of the day's media and marketing news, along with links to more detailed information, it's quite useful.
Full story here.
AOL 9.0: More here; software released.
Flying: No Terrorists please, but pigs are okay
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Writing: I used to write poetry--here's one
At the first class we learn to say
Di bobe zet der bon,
the grandmother sees the train.
By the end of the course
we will speak 1,000 basic words,
be able to read the Forverts
and hear the different gutterals
in Polish and Russian Yiddish.
Di bobe zet der bon,
are our first five words:
The grandmother sees the train pass through her village.
The grandmother sees the train,
her children are on it.
The grandmother sees the train come to take her away.
She is the only one left who speaks Yiddish.
More of this poem here.
AOL Client 9: Feels like CitySearch
As most of you know, AOL upgrades and releases a new client once a year. Last October, it was AOL 8.0, which offered much improved mail functionality, a new look and feel on the Welcome Screen, and a much strong integration of tools such as You've Got Pictures, Radio and the IM/Buddy tools such as Expressions.
AOL does updates to its clients throughout the year as well, (viz the new Broadband client release this April), but the big thing is the annual "new" client.
So AOL 9.0 is scheduled for sometime this Fall, and pictures and designs are starting to leak across the web as beat testing rolls out.
There's a whole set of screen shots at Neowin.
Some comments on 9.0 changes as represented by these screens:
1) Information management--New emphasis on suitcase and my stuff: Two items on the very top suggest AOL is going to integrate more with desktop tools and information management--a File command on far left, and as little suitcase icon at far right.
2) Downplaying channel content--No more channel bar on Welcome Screen. Does anyone go to all that content buried in the bar? AOLers have long discussed whether the real estate and the click-through for the left nav mar are merited--guess the answer is in these 9.0 designs.
3) Continued broadband strip below for those who don't have broadband client--that hasn't changed much.
4) AOL Dashboard replacing channel strip--Like the current AOL IM/Mail tool, this object can open and close, collapsing on command. What does it do? Weather, money, radio search and dictionary reference are the highlights.
5) Refreshing tabs and expanded views. Right now the Welcome Screen has little buttons you click to see new current features and news. This new design allows you to use a tab to refresh the view. Tabs suggested a focus on younger audience/premium content/key demographic groups. A tabbed series right down by the promos offers Music Sports Teen People(this is the teen channel now) Customize. Note that all these categories appeal to the 13-25 demographic, and that they are all key categories to offer upsells in the form of premium services. Further, the Customize tab suggests that AOL will be able to go beyond the current capability it has in 8.0 to offer users the chance to select one of 8 screens and allow users to switch some components in and out--adding some of the capabilities of My AOL and My Netscape to the main screen. (Yes, it's like RSS in a way).
Finally, doesn't the whole thing look a lot like Citysearch? Lots of commerce and transaction services, plus community?
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Poetry from Jayson Blair's student website
Life to go after Parade?
If they do move ahead, will the web site be AOL-only?
(Full disclosure: I ran the new media business at Parade before I moved to Netscape/AOL)
3 Month Anniversary! Blogalicious Habit
1) Have started a consulting company, 5ive, with four amazing guys.
2) Have consulting clients, and am enjoying working with them
3) Am working with K-12 education and blogging, two areas I am passionate about
4) Am doing more work with non-profits, another goal post leaving AOL
5) Have K-12 related business idea I am developing and it's going well.
6) Feel like my life is getting a new shape--on two coasts, no less.
Microsoft & AOL Bloggers
Further she points out how Microsoft's forthcoming FrontPage 2003 product can be used as a front-end blogging tool, as can InfoPath, how Microsoft's OneNote note-taking application (with its one-button "publish to Web" feature) can be a blog builder, and avid interest in building .Net blog plugins and tools.
Has anyone pulled together a list of AOLers with blogs? Given that Dave Winer says AOL has 400 techies programming blog software (so not true!), you'd think there'd be lots of bloggers, eh? The only AOL bloggers I am aware of who are actively blogging are Erin Malone, and Chris Johnson, though there are surely more. Netscaper Andrew Woolridge is into blogging in a big way, but it's not connected to his day job.
Big Biz & Innovation Summit?
Is it possible to have an Innovation Summit where a focal point is being able to talk to and run up against thje CEOs of really big, mature companies, people who might be able to give you a job, or throw your company some significant business?
Can big companies be innovative?
If the point is to get a lot of really smart people into a room and have them talk about innovation, I get that. Jon Miller is really smart and he's helped move AOL along from the mess it was in two years ago. There is no question it is now in a smaller mess than it was then.
But I wonder how much the " heavy weights all poised to be part of the always-on revolution" really understand innovation...or am I missing the point here?
Monday, May 19, 2003
Oldies and still goodies
Pet your roach, honey
Accordng to Reuters, "These gigantic cockroaches, officially called Macropanesthia Rhinoceros, grow as big as the palm of a hand, measuring about three inches and weighing just over an ounce. They are also known to live up to 10 years. "
Hmmn....maybe my cat would like one as a pet.
(Via Amish Tech Support)
AOL Broadband: Will growth slow?
The number of people with high-speed Internet connections to their homes increased 50 percent in the 12 months, but it looks like conversion to high-speed access is slowing down. Stories here.
Dirt: But Jayson Blair was a nice guy!
A piece in the Morning news about how nice he was to the writer.
Wash Post: I met Jayson Blair ten years ago...
Cuppa Tea: He was a nice guy
This guy should NOT profit financially from what he did!--But he probably will.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Dave Winer: If you want to be in Google, You gotta be on the Web
In an entry in his blog today, Winer points out how pages that are locked behind paid databases--like those published by the NY Times--get less page views than those out free on the web. Conclusion: if you want to show up in Google's search results, make your pages reachable by Google.
Winer: "Weblogs, on the other hand, are not only on the Web, but beautifully organized for search and retrieval. Google is just indexing what's on the Web. Most print pubs aren't there...There's basically a very simple rule. If you want to be in Google, you gotta be on the Web. "
Art: George Ahgupuk & Rockwell Kent
I also learned that a new art exhibit of Eskimo drawings opens this week in a summer exhibit at the Anchorage Museum of Art and History, and that one of the featured artists is by George Aden Ahgupuk,. Apgupuk is an Alaskan Inupiat artist whose mentor was Rockwell Kent, who discovered him on a trip to Alaska.
According to Russell Hartman and Dinah Houghtaling, writing on Native Alaskan Graphic Arts: Founding Artists , in 1936, American artist Rockwell Kent purchased some of Ahgupuk's drawings while on a trip to Alaska. Although the two artists did not personally meet, Kent proclaimed Ahgupuk a great artist and arranged for his induction into the American Artists Group. Kent also propelled Time Magazine and The New York Times to write feature articles about him, which led to book illustration assignments.
Kent, who feel out of favor in the 50's for his socialistic beliefs and curmudgeonly views about "modern" art (ie, he HATED abstractionism). An easy way to see why I like his so much is is read one of his books or look at some of his prints, woodcuts and paintings. Here are a few, all available for sale from the Aaron Gallery:
The most complete collection of Kent's work is in Plattsburgh, New York at the Art Museum at SUNY Plattsburgh. Good links to his work are at Artcyclopedia the Smithsonian Magazine.m and an Alaskan department of education page about his book Wilderness, here.
Here's a pix of the artist from the 30s--I was surprised at how contemporary it appears.
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Yummish: Foodblog & breadcoffeechocolateyoga
No RSS..too bad, I am still in love with my newsmonster reader.
breadcoffeechocolateyoga is also neat, First of all, this person likes coffee and chocolate, and second of all, they're into brazilian music and acid jazz..what could be bad?
AOL: Buddy Icons that don't suck
Star Kids: Securing those domain names early
Baby son Dylan's name is already registered to Michael Douglas@ P.O. Box 49054, Los Angeles, CA 90049, email@example.com
A quick check reveals that the domains for Rolling Stone kids JamesJaggar.com, Elizabeth Jaggar.com, and ScarlettJaggar.com are all unsecured.
Blogging: The T-shirt
If you want to show the world you're a blogger, or just have hip, amazing obscure slogans on your chest, check out Paul Frankenstein's Cafe Shop with assorted merch from Gawker, JaneGalt, and lots of other folks who hopefully didn't think this enterprise would pay the rent on the 1 bedroom.
Quwstion: Does Eizabeth Spiers wear the Gawker throng? Might be great shwag to send the Hilton sisters--Paris seems to always need new panties.
Missed it again: NYC Bloggers Bash
We're selling our house, and I had to go home and deal with getting it ready for the wave of realtors heading through the door today.
I think everyone who went there is still asleep--will point later to any cool pix that go up...and all the blog entries the folks have gotta post.
New Word: Blogeoisie
Thanks Luke Hopwood, dev/null
NY Times: Dating a Blogger story
Proof blogging is entertaining mainstream is Times covering it as lifestyle story, as opposed to Tech.
Blogger's Delight:new links to SMB!
Redheaded Ramblings: Shelia A-Stray, an interesting blog that is a combination of a personal diary and sharp observations--well worth reading; Travelers Diagram, a NYC blog with interesting notes--and phots--on art, the city, music & more; the rompe blog, from Germany!; Aron Bailey's 601am, a wonderful blog of morning NY goodness. Thanks for finding this interesting--we aim to serve it up hot, fresh, and delicious.
Friday, May 16, 2003
One Thousand (Cloned) Trees: Natalie Jeremijenko's Art
Today BoingBoing highlighted environmental artist Natalie Jeremijenko's new "One Tree(s)" project which involves planting 1,000 clones of the same tree in various places and monitoring what happens. My friend Steven Madoff has written about Natalie's work and had discussed it with me; great to see this getting play on BoingBoing, one of my favorite blogs (okay, maybe my favorite). The show is at Pond, info here.
A 1999 Rockefeller Fellow, Jeremijenko has done projects for MassMOCA and was named one of the top one hundred young innovators by the MIT Technology Review.Here's a link to an amazing paper (PDF) she wrote about product design, and a link to The Biotech Hobbyist, an online magazine she produced 1998-2001. This zine is "THE place on the Web for biotech tinkerers, builders, experimenters, students, and others who love the intellectual
challenge and stimulation of hobby biotech !" (a little conceptual art, mebbe?)
More links here.
I just realized that her initias are the same as New Jersey--NJ.
This must mean my brain has died but I am still typing. Uh-oh.
News: Teacher files against No Child Left Behind Act
The law requires that all public school students be academically proficient by 2014, and specifies penalties for schools that don't measure up. According to KCTV, Kansas, Kegerreis feels the law could is a barrier to providing quality education.
More stories here .
AOL: Colburne doesn't remember
Quote: "In his deposition, Colburn described a conversation he had with Joe Ripp, then AOL's chief financial officer and now the vice-chairman of the AOL division, and Keller. Colburn said he had "concern," which was shared by other "senior executives," that Keller was "not fully forthcoming" about a $12.2 million AOL transaction with Purchase Pro. Not long after that conversation, Keller was placed on leave. Colburn and a human resource manager notified Keller, but despite prodding from an SEC lawyer, Colburn testified that he couldn't recall details of that conversation. " (More here.)
News: Check this
DIA: Beacon set to open, with much press fanfare and rising real estate prices in town.
Beatle wife Heather Mills insists she would be "happy to live in a shed" with Sir Paul.
LA director Adam Shankman is suing Jennifer Lopez for $6MM for ripping off his idea of doing a big-screen adaption of Carmen with the singer.
Family ties: Giants coach Fassel reunited with son put up for adoption
34 years ago, then teen-aged couple John and Kitty Fassel put their out of weblock baby up for adoption. This week, the Fassels reunited with their son, now the father of four and a resident of Denver. The New York Times ran a heart-warming story on this event, including very generous an dloving quotes from Dorothy Rogers, the sons adopted mother.
More recent stories on this one here.
Pack and Go: Taking your yoga instructor on the road
"It's important to travel with someone you can depend on and trust, someone who helps you better your life. now more than ever...Even though taking a chef, trainer, Pilates, and sometimes a yoga instructor with me to St. Barts, the Hamptons and Europe is a way I nuture myself and take care of my health, it may sound frivolous to people who don't understand."
No, not really. We understand that your psychic is afraid to fly.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
AOL News, more execs & shareholder's meeting
Ned Brody, who was CFO at Looksmart, is joining AOL as SVP for premium services, reporting to Broadband head Lisa Hook, reports Business Week and CNET. An AOL release today quotes Lisa Hook, "I'm excited about the opportunity we have to reinforce the consumer relationships at the heart of our business and create incremental revenues by providing members with quality premium services. Already, we've made good progress with the recent launch of premium services in the voice, music and anti-virus categories. Ned is a first-rate business strategist and manager, and I know that he will be a great asset to us as we continue to build our premium services business."
Brody left Looksmart in 2001 and was replaced by Martha Clark. Shares of Looksmart fell 43% last week when the compant announced greatly reduced results for the most recent quarter.
In the past six months, AOL has added some very talented people to their team: Tina Sharkey, Deanna Brown both came from the NY media world; Ned Desmond was brought in from Time, Inc. AOL also recruited Joe McCambley from Boston-based ad agency Digitas to run the Studio division, where all the pages are built. Hopefully, these folks will help make some hits.
AOL's next shareholder's meeting, at which Richard Parsons becomes chairman, is this Friday. The Associated Press is predicting shareholder drama at the meeting, given that shares have fallen 30 percent since last year, despite leaders' vows to get thing back on track and assurances we've hit bottom. Since the merger was completed, in 2001, AOL TW shares have lost 70% of their value, as we all know.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Department of Scary Stuff: California Autism Rate Doubles
New Blog: Newbie Mind: blogging as a communications and learning tool
Test: New blogger tools
Business, California, Internet
According to a story in today's New York Times , eBay is buying a vast San Jose office campus for future expansion. This is big news in a town filled with vacant dot-bomb office parks and emptying apartment complexes.
"This gives me hope," says Mike Fox Jr. , chairman of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and president of M.E. Fox & Co. Inc. Distribution Co. "The most successful dot-com company in the world has chosen to stay here. That's good for the psyche."
San Jose Merc story here .
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
The new Gossiplist is out and it's a doozy. Blind items about John Goodman, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gavin Rossdale, Fran Drescher, Cameron Douglas and others are explicated with care, as we used to say in English class.
Is it all true? Who knows--probably not, but mucho fun to read.
Business: EXECUTIVE SHUFFLE: Kevin Conroy promoted at AOL
Read the announcement this morning that Kevin Conroy's been promoted to EVP and head of broadband for AOL. I remember when Kevin joined AOL to lead the music team back in 2001. He came from BMG, where he'd worked with Napster and took a unit that needed a lot of work and made it into a powerful force for consumers, and for AOL's bottom line. Kevin has always been one of the people at AOL who planned carefully to get things done. His move into broadband is a natural extension of his current role and his interests in live and recorded entertainment delivered digitally.
His promotion does make me wonder, however, how the AOL organization is going to shift once again. Will Kevin's entertainment teams move with him, reflecting AOL's continued--and new--emphasis on broadband content as their subscription revenue stream? If yes, that means a significant chunk of the programming group could move off the Programming EVP's bottom line and into another executive's organization.
Or, it's possible that Kevin will move and leave his Entertainment organization in place with a new leader, perhaps his second-in command, and be more of a virtual leader for both teams.
Either way, with Conroy's new role, the internal lines at AOL are redrawn in a way that puts one of AOL's most focused and driving executives into an even more key role..
More stories here.
Monday, May 12, 2003
Humor: Pesky the Rat
Pesky the rat and his friend Janet the Snake are the Archie and Mehitabel of today's blogosphere--they have their own blog where they comment on recent events. Most recently, Pesky and his snakey pal attended Blogger's Therapy because they are unable to talk without insulting each other. Before that, Persky commented on the flap at the New York Times over standards and assured his readers The Rat would not compromise.
News: The New York Times Doesn't Get It
It's going to take more than excoriating Jayson Blair to get the Time's to understand how new media models are changig. J.D. Lasica lays it out here in a terrific article about how the Times just gets it wrong.
Blogging: Promoting your blog
Okay, you're writing the damn thing. You told your friends, your mother, and your ex-colleagues from work. Now what? Short of publishing company secrets, how do you get anyone to visit your blog?
Shirley Kaiser of Brainstorms and Raves offers tips, including links to Volokh's Promoting One's Blog . Tim Swanson has a Link-0-Rama section on his blog that lists all the places that will promote, list, and syndicate your blog.Other links that have value: How To Get Your Web Site Content Syndicated by Kalena Jordan and DanThies.
One of the best comments in the above advice, however, is to keep at it . It's unrealistic to expect to build a large audience quickly, unless you are writing something very unique. Also, remember that most people unfaimilar with your writing will come to read a specific post, not your blog in general, so focus on alerting people to key posts and hope that builds up a repeat audience.
More tk on this...stay tuned.
The press and the blog worlds are going crazy with the revelation in the NY Times denoucement of Jayson Blair.
One of the best alternative views is from E&P's Greg Mitchell, who picks apart the tremendously lengthly, painstaking detailed story the Times published about what he called "The Blair Watch Incident."
SF Indymedia takes another tack in its story --that the Times is rotten to the core and demonizing young Blair for its own failings, including pressuring young reporters to write too many stories, wear suits, and smoke outside the building."
ChronWatch says "Jayson Blair is journalism's Andy Fastow."
Alternet's writer says "According to some critics, (Blair's) poster boy for the repeal of affirmative action...There are countless reporters of color with proven track records looking for new opportunities. The question is whether outspoken, honest journalists of color are a better fit than con artists like Blair."
Gersh Kuntzman at Newsweek filed a column today making fun of the whole brouhaha. Kuntzman writes:" What will no doubt become known as “The Blair Switch Project” is the greatest journalism scandal since the last time a journalist fabricated stories, became the toast of the town, crashed and burned in a public spectacle of second-guessing, disappeared for a few weeks and then emerged with a six-figure book contract."
Twenty-eight links to this story right now at Blogdex trackback.
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Jayson Blair: What is most amazing?
And what's with folk at the NY Times? Seems like Jonathan Landman was the only one who wanted to move the guy out.
And finally, how sad is this? Watching a promising journalist self-destruct his career is heart-breaking.
Good comments from One Minute Man here.
Mickey Kraus tears the Times a new one here .
Poynter asks Can this happen elsewhere?
RSS: Does it work?
PACKING IT UP AND TAKING IT ON THE ROAD: Going bicoastal, not postal
Only when Susan Mernit moves anywhere, it's never simple, nope. I'm going to move back West and continue working in New York. Yep, it's that bicoastal thing again.
Live in California, work everywhere. Come back to the City (NY is the only city that never needs a modifier) and see clients and get things done. Come back to the city a a lot. Work in California as well.
Am I completely insane? Well, I might be , but a bi-coastal work life won't be the thing that drives me round the bend--I've done this before. When I worked at AOL, I commuted cross country for a year--almost every week. (Yes, I have amazing miles). Then I commuted up and down from NY to VA, which seemed like a mere trifle after my 6,000 mile excusions.
Truth is, I am very excited about heading back to California-- at heart, I am both an editor/business person and a product developer. While NY is the world's media capital, the Bay area is home to so many brilliant product companies--I realy enjoy the creation that goes on in both places. And I know great people in both places.
So I hopefully will have the best--and worst--of both coasts pretty soon.
Tigers & Pigs: Why can't we all just get along?
"Sai Mai, a 26-month-old female tiger, plays with baby pigs at a zoo in Chonburi province, 50 miles east of Bangkok, May 7, 2003. The Royal Bengali tigress was born in captivity and breast-fed by a female pig for four months after her birth."
Saturday, May 10, 2003
"It takes about 20 minutes to print out a 300-page Wizard of Oz," says Kahle, "and if you have four printers, you can produce up to 30 books an hour. And you can do an edition of one, which is interesting. Harvard says it costs $2 to lend a book out, then put it back on the shelf, so it's cheaper to give them away."
More Guardian" Having proven the concept, Kahle is hoping that other people are going to take it up. The first Bookmobile has been spun off into Anywhere Books, which is a project of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation. Kahle took the idea to India, and that country now has two bookmobiles on the road, with another 28 to come. The Library of Alexandria, in Egypt, is planning to do one, with the support of Hewlett-Packard and the US embassy. China could follow. With World Bank or similar financing, third world Bookmobiles could even become thriving microbusinesses."
Brewster is one of the people who played a key role in my Internet life--and he has always done interesting and valueable things...way to go, B.
Met someone at a luncheon the other day who was interested in Microsoft Sharepoint as a blogging type tool. Comments by Eric Hancock here that I'll pass on to her. Short version: You use it, the borg owns you.
With my new newsreader, I can keep up with more sites, and actually read some of the blogs people keep talking about. I've followed the blogs of Joi Ito, Marc Canter, Nick Denton, Ross Mayfield, Meg Hourihan (a favorite!) and a few other closely enough I feel like the wanna-be watching the popular kids, but I've heard people talk about "Mitch" more than I've read Mitch.
Well, I've been reading Mitch today and hey, I'm going to keep reading Mitch.
Favorite items from today's reading: Blogging is not the same as journalism viz a snarky flap about investors flogging bloggers, and item on Marty Yudkovitz as new Tivo president.
And finally, the guy clearly reads. He's got some good literary comments in his blog and a clear sense of histroy..always a plus.
And finally, he's got a definite word on the squabbling about what is social software and who's entitled to call it that, aka "I'm the boss of this playground/office/clique" whatever. For those of us who weren't part of the blogging scene back at the dawn of time 3-4 years ago cause our heads were stuck up the butt of the web, these arguements--oh, I mean discussions--don't have the resonance they do for the old guard.
Anyway, check out Mitch.
BBC: Dogs and cats being farmed for skins in Europe and China. Story here
WSJ: Women think Bush is a hottie in a flight suit. Here .
BBC: Monkeys cannot write Shakespeare. Uh-duh.