Monday, June 30, 2003
Department of Family Ties 1: We're all wired world
Alec Klein: Like Father, Like Son
Klein fils is a Brown graduate who worked as a newspaper reporter, at the Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) the Baltimore Sun, and The Wall Street Journal, before moving onto the Washington Post.
On Alec Klein's AOL Book, "Stealing Time"
Jennifer Files, in the San Jose Mercury News:
"From the naive vantage point of 2000, America Online's $112 billion deal to buy Time Warner -- the largest merger in U.S. history and the subject of Alec Klein's interesting new book, ``Stealing Time'' -- looked like the New Economy's coming of age.
The Internet upstart would buy the old-school entertainment behemoth and reshape it in its own image. The Web had won: America's up-and-comers need never again wear suits to work, or wait, like their parents did, until they grew gray to grow rich. Silicon Valley had believed this for years, of course, but AOL Time Warner hammered home the point for the rest of the nation.
Today's AOL Time Warner symbolizes the opposite. The New Economy was largely the Fake Economy; thousands of failed companies and hundreds of billions of dollars in accounting write-offs proved that. People don't sneer at corporate dinosaurs anymore. They call them survivors. And investors want regulators to protect them because by now they know too much about how the era's fastest-growing firms did business.
The Miami Herald also says Klein "does the best job yet" of explaining AOL.
"In July of last year, Washington Post writer Alec Klein broke the now well known story of AOL's accounting irregularities. He uses this scoop as the centerpiece for his new book, which also recounts the history of America Online (with a few surprises, as above), along with a pocket profile of Time Warner and events at both firms leading to their furtive mating dance and subsequent merger."
Saturday, June 28, 2003
Department of Big Dogs Moving In: RSS Syndication standards
RSS and Echo. Well the big companies have finally made their move in the weblog world with Sam Ruby being directed by IBM to take control of an emerging syndication standard. Why now? Big publishing companies are starting to think about using RSS (really simple syndication) not only to automate the delivery of news to readers but also to automate the production of news. IBM is very interested in this given their longstanding and extremely lucrative relationship with the WSJ ($500m over the last three years) and other publishers. It would be against their interest to let a simple syndication standard emerge that didn't require lots of IBM iron and software expertise. RSS had to die. Also, if you small vendors or individual contributors think that you are gaining some say or freedom with the development of Echo, think again. The big companies are going to roll right over you as the push this forward over the next couple of years.
Department of Only in New York
Would that be professional or personal PR?
Thursday, June 26, 2003
New funds for NYC schools?
"Tens of thousands of students are placed in overcrowded classrooms, taught by unqualified teachers and provided with inadequate facilities and equipment," Chief Judge Judith Kaye wrote for the court. "The number of children in these straits is large enough to represent a systemic failure."
Media: Bonnie Fuller gets the last laugh
There's no question that Fuller is a brilliant and hard-driving editor who turned US around and that she is a perfect fit for Pecker's ambitions, but the really fun part of this is Fuller bucking proving herself to the old guard magazine world of Conde and Hearst and then throwing over that system to become the visionary for an ambitious tabloid company--it's too delicious.
Light blogging weekend
Back in force on Monday.
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Instructor & Three Graduates with Diplomas and Geraniums (Tuskegee Institute, Alabama)
Gelatine-Silver Print, circa 1905, 4 x 5.5 inches
Cassandra, via Steve Yost: "From the exhibition The Face of Slavery and Other Early Images of African Americans at the American Museum of Photography
Today's affirmative action ruling and a thoughtful post on the subject from mysterium got me thinking about racial inequities in our educational system, and how conditioned we are to glossing over them or looking to solutions like affirmative action, when actually the problem is far more complex."
AOL to go for speed
So many people I know have left the service, it's chilling. Only my friends and colleagues who have worked there seem to want to keep their accounts, and that's about everyone from the old job knowing your AIM and screen name, nut using anything inside the service.
Local History: The San Jose Acid Test
One of my soon to be neighbors in SanJo has been recalling the local pyschedelic scene back then.
In the 70's the Hog Farm had several different Downtown SJ addresses...I
stayed for several days at a house on S 13th and another on S 16th, (where
the bus was parked being fixed ,as always) , in the Fall of '71, one of a
string of homes from Oregon to New Mexico, all the way East to NYC and up to
northern...extreme northern...Canada was across the back fence...Vermont. A
network of literally thousands of people, if a bus broke down or someone got
popped or hurt, anywhere, the Hog Farm had a friend who would drive the 50
miles, put us up, help us fix it...if you had a phone you could always call
Louie or someone who could call Louie and he would get out the "Book" and
make some calls. Lawyers, doctors, mechanics, moms, ex-girlfriends as well
as musicians, artists, publishers, promoters, loan sharks, famed chefs with
fancy restaurants, actors and actresses, writers, filmmakers...everybody was
in the "Book" and help was on the way. Of course you were in the "Book" also
and would get your calls as well...
As to the SJ Acid Test...we were told by those older and wiser that the 16th
St. house was the "house", where the Tests took place, one, I was told, of
many (I will remind all that Friday comes once a week) weekly
occurrences..., so we tested it also, just to be sure the vibes were still
right...Of course the legend says house the Dead lived in was on S. 12th...
Also a couple of houses in LG, Neal Cassaday's and the spot on HWY 17, just
past Glenwood, where a small church is now shuttered...lots of Acid
Tests...after Wolfe and 60's the perception of it all changed, into some
party or somethin', too bad...so sad... I was on Haight St. after Garcia's
"Funeral", hordes of teensomethings in tie dye with candles in vigil, three
decades later. Long strange something, that's for sure...alas the true
History will have to be written by investigating police records, 'cause them
that was there, they forgot the addresses...as I did.
I am planning to move to S. 16th Street...wonder which house they're referring to?
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
New York City in July: Bikram yoga without the yoga.
Summer weather has arrived with a vengeance.
The Producer's Project student film screening was at the pier right next to Chelsea Piers, on a gently rocking boat. Many people's faces in the audience were red and sweaty because of the heat. After the event, we dove into a cab and soaked up the air-conditioning.
Hey, that's New York for you. Last Friday I was bitching about the cold weather and remarking on the high black boots so many New York women were clomping around in.
Now, I'm going to make snide remarks about the heat and intense humidity.
No, I'll skip them and let you imagine what I might say.
New York bonus posts (even wierder than I am):
via Gawker: Apartment share ad for out of work beekeper (are these people insane, or what?)
"There is one catch you should be aware of. I am a professional bee keeper. I maintain a rather large hive of Africanized honey bees. Due to the economic downturn and the reduced demand for honey I was unable to maintain my work studio and therefore I now work from home. The hive is located in the living room."
(via NY Times): Big bugs are gonna suck your blood.
Meetings in NY, then The Producer's Project
Monday, June 23, 2003
Marc North is great
Lily the Exhibitionist's blog
Hi, my name is Lily! This is the first part of a two-part guide for exhibitionists, and anyone interested in the subject. I've been showing myself off for years, and I'm using this as an easy way to share hints and tips, not to mention a few juicy examples, with anyone who can benefit from my experience. This volume includes ideas for basic-level exhibitionism. What the basic means is exhibitionism that's usually tamer than intermediate and advanced levels, but more importantly it always appears unintentional. Basic, intermediate, and advanced refer to the levels of risk in what's being tried, in other words how risky it is.
With basic exhibitionism, clothes become you're most important tool, besides location. This may seem to be the opposite of what it should be, but you don't have to be completely naked to show off.
More here. WARNING: This page gets very racy as you scroll down...
How People Hug (Tim Bray)
Tim Bray sat in an airport and studied how people hug or not.
People who are culturally non-huggers suffer for it; you will see what looks like a reunion after long separation between a grown daughter and a grown mother, and they will stand face to face, eyes full of tears, and almost quiver it seems.
Non-hugger displacement activity includes reaching out to touch the other only for a moment, and quickly turning to walk side-by-side.
Some groups cheek-kiss, one side then the other, the number of kisses can be two, three or even four, and there seems no doubt or hesitancy how many there will be.
Japanese people and those who meet them bow of course; those whove spent any time in Japan wont be surprised at how many shades of meaning and style can infuse a bow. More here.
Since it takes courage to hug, at least for me, this is interesting.
Addicted to the Blogosphere: Is my brain going to explore?
The endless run of interesting people and ideas is a fatal mix for someone like me, who worked in a library all through college, loves data, and is always seeking new ideas. Between the announcements of new cool projects, and the writing of new cool posts, the blogosphere feels like a virtual coffeehouses aka Library of Alexandria, with amazing ideas, facts and people around each corner--but with no good map to use to chase them down.
I'm lucky I have lots to do in the real world, surfing blogs could become as addictive as playing web-based multi-layer games.
I sit down at night and read my newsreader, catching up before I power down, and basically, I look at items and click into blogs until my eyes get too tired. But geeze, it's great--the energy, the ideas, the voices--bloggers are the musicians of the written word, putting their voices out there to be heard.
Mindjack: Next generation BoingBoing?
Neverthless, magazine looks excellent..maybe I can start reading this instead of Gawker in the morning. Lots of BoingBoing energy here, as well.
SocialText gets funding
Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn and former EVP of Paypal
Joi Ito, Venture Capitalist with Neoteny
Mark Pincus, former co-founder, CEO and Chairman of SupportSoft
Erik Josowitz, former VP of Product Strategy of Vignette
Freedom Technology Ventures
Let's see what happens next--the passion is definitely there--will the quality and ease of use of the products draw consumers and enterprise customers?
Sunday, June 22, 2003
Sleeping with the Sheep: Comptche Tales
"i'd just finished cutting this pasture... put a couple water containers
in it... the evening hay... and finally got all the ewes and lambs in
there. What a racket! If they don't all go together... the ones who miss
out (because they freak out) go nuts and take (what seems) forever to
figure out how the others got to the field out yonder. It can be
frustrating, but... its still great!
As you can see, the lambs are almost a big as the ewes. Shearing has
really changed the colors of the ewes... the browns looked mauve right
after shearing... now, its hard to tell what's going to happen to their
color. I want to go for more brown fleeces and thinking of getting a
moorit ram from someone (who specializes in 'browns') down closer to the
I'll keep both of the ram lambs this year because I want to see what
comes out of them. They are both black badgers which is black legs and
underbelly, white (or cream) on top with scattered brown markings/spots
(one more than the other) and badger faces. They both have 4 horns...
one has the fused double horns, like his father, the black ram... the
other has two horns growing straight up fron the top of his head, plus
horns growing out each side of his head... more or less straight out.
This ram lamb already broke of one side horn and one top horn, but they
are continuing to grow out, so he will look a little lop-sided... probably.
sheep sheep sheep!"
Her sheep look like little old men, village elders with amazingly individual faces, but all of the wizened, squinty persuasion.
Here's the picture she sent me--this is right outside her window.
Contrast this to my life in New York/New Jersey, getting on the train, driving through the Holland Tunnel, pushing past people on NYC streets (it's push or be pushed sometimes).
5ive: New business ideas
Sunday dinner: What I cooked
--Three-green salad with sweet onion, olives, red pepper, avocado
--Linguine with sundried tomato/baby spinach/fresh mozzarella with garlic
--Home-made garlic bread (Zack told me how to make this based on what they do at Arturo's Pizzeria, the coal-oven spot in Maplewood where he's working part-time.)
--Fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries tossed in balsamic vinaigrette--the balsamic vinegar brings out the sweetness
Sunday morning, still raining, plans for the day
Heading into Manhattan this afternoon to meet my sister and her family in Chinatown, where I will pick at lunch, then head over th The Firehouse Museum in Soho, which my 6 year old nephew should LOVE.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
Dept. of Getting & Spending
I'm a pretty dreadful photographer, and I greatly admire bloggers like Tony Piece and Mark North, who snap great street shots and post them, so I am hoping practice with this camera will improve my skills..I need it.
After that, it was on to Howard Street, where we went into Ted Muehling to look at the amazing jewelry this designer fabricates and sells. My mother-in-law bought some of his earrings about 20 years ago, and they've remained favorites, so this seemed the right place to look for a gift.
Short version, I wished I could buy half the contents of the store. Or, maybe I could have just moved in. Muehling's speciality is an exquisite, highly refined simplicity, with a sophisticated use of natural materials such as mother of pearl and shell. The word "organic" has been so over-used to be meaningless, but Muehling's earrings have names such as gnat, moth, shell, melon--and you can see why when you look at the curves, colors, and textures of the shapes.
We picked out something wonderful, which she should love, but I can;t say what it is cause she reads the blog sometimes--so Mom, you have to wait!
But here's a picture of one of Muehling's porcelain pieces, just to give you a feeling for his work.
Meanwhile, here's what I did NOT buy:
Muehling earrings for myself--$110.00
Fujitsu Lifebook laptop--$1700.00
Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life--$27.99 (!)
Friday, June 20, 2003
Alec Klein: Stealing Time
Here's the thing that was so interesting Klein's a superb reporter who uses silence and a cover of sleepiness to gather information. Although his writing is as sharp as it comes, Klein's persona that day was low-key and definitely naive.
Clearly, it was a tactic that worked, because in addition to the sweet feature he turned out on Jim for the Washington Post (unfortunately it ran the same day AOL announced layoffs of about 300 people), he went on to report on the company's financial and business practices, stories which led to investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
When AOL Let the Dogs Out
This author gives Alec Klein a run for his money (hey, maybe it is Alec Klein) in producing a well-written, carefully researched and pretty scaldalous account of how business was conducted. For AOL-watchers, a must-read.
Yep, this is probably by Alec Klein--his book Stealing Time, was just published in the UK anbd is getting good press.
Hollywood BoyToys go for Grown-up Gals
Ashton Kutcher, 25, is reportedly dating Demi Moore, 40. Supposedly, Justin Timberlake, 22, and Cameron Diaz, 30, have hooked up. Strokes dummer Fabrizio Moretti, 22 is dating Drew Barrymore, 28.
Blogging: The power of linking
Photodude picks up and posts about the link thing and adds his views. He writes:
"On Tuesday, I got one link from Instapundit during the sea of mockery over Bill O'Reilly, and garnered 967 hits that day. From that one link (Glenn's stats show he had about 85,000 visitors that day). Michele's link to the same piece brought 334 visitors.(BTW, Michele writes a mean About me...girl's got attitude in a major way--course, she's from Long Island.)...You don't have to be a professional writer or a journalist with the backing of a major newspaper ... to write a link."
My old friend, Nava, who now runs a marketing newsletter, blogged me, too.
Dave Sifry, the Technorati whiz who started this all--I posted on his site in response to an invite/query he was handling--has a great entry on the Times story, etc. today.
What's interesting is that when I talked to Catherine Greenman, two of the people/sites I emphasized were technorati, which I check at least twice a day, and megnut, because Meg Hourihan is my model of a good blogger and her book, We Blog, was a great help (which I told the reporter, BTW). Her comments here.
Wonderful kudos from friends on the mentions on The Busy Mom's Site.
If this seems like self-congratulatory navel-gazing to you, well, maybe it is, a little, but it's also the joy of people in a far-flung community connecting to one another. Many of us live far apart, have never met, and yet we send out voices out into the air--and this is a way to know we're linked and talking with other real people.
Broadband connections grow 49% this year
CNET is finally going to raise some money
They surf too much porn over at the IRSActress Kate Hudson, 24, is pregnant
Is Whitney Houston pregnant, too?
Harry Potter about to hatch; new book is best one. There now are 10,000 Harry Potter listings on eBay; Scholastic's order 8.5 MILLION copies for the first run.
Spike TV ain't gonna be--not till case is resolved.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
The Third Nigerian Email Conference
" I am Mr. Laurent Mpeti Kabila, a senior assistant leader of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone.
I present to you an urgent and confidential request: I request your attendance at The 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your distinguished colleagues, learn new marketing techniques, and spend your hard-earned money. Attending this conference demands the highest trust, security and confidentiality between us."
AOL and WSJ team up in IM data feed
The Wall Street Journal Online has launched a new feature on AOL Instant Messenger that allows you to get the latest news using this real-time tool.
By sending an instant message to screen name "WSJOnline," you can read continually updated summaries of top U.S. and global business news, and get updates on the markets and the technology sector. You can also access stock quotes, get the very latest headlines on companies and more. Links take you back to the Online Journal Web site so you can get full news and in-depth company research.
This is just another version of the Smarter Child/Active Buddy and the bot thing.
Today's Blogosphere Faves
Neva, Ms Feva, Blogging: Neva makes Portland seem as interesting as, say, New York. Now I know what Portland is really nice, and Neva's blog seems livelier than Portland. Sample:
Thanks to the Bookslut, I have been introduced to a new blog called Amazon World. It's a blog totally devoted to posting the best-of-the-worst Amazon book reviews.
JD Lasica: I'm kind of amazed that as the blogging world gets bigger and bigger (400,000 to 1 million active blogs, at last word), I seem to always know the people quoted in these articles. This one quotes my friends Susan Mernit (who began blogging earlier this year at my prodding), Meg Hourihan and David Sifry, and mentions Doc Searls. Looks like big media picks up on the blogosphere's small self-referential world.
Venture Blog: Know your burn rate, and what VCs look for in a company.
Sean's CheeseBikini: Do you now what flash moblogging is? Film right here.
"Here's photographic evidence of the flash mob's successful takeover of the Manhattan Macy's fancy-rug department, courtesy of moistandtasty.com (above). Visit that site, as well as Satan's Laundromat, for more photos.
New Yorkers used e-mail to coordinate a huge, instant gathering of people around a particular rug. Participants were instructed to tell questioning salesmen that they all lived together in a Long Island warehouse, and they were considering purchasing the item for use as a "Love Rug" back at the house. After precisely ten minutes the crowd dissipated."
Another event I missed (okay, that was a joke.)
Also: Matrix Mobs Take Osaka....more mobblogging in the real world.
A year in Rarotonga: Good luck, Mark!
"Two more days before we fly off to Rarotonga. At this point, there's not a lot to do besides wait. A couple of days ago, we gave Sarina's (our five year old) last remaining pet, a firebelly toad, to her friend, India. I told India's mother how she would have to drive to the pet store once a week to buy live crickets. I also gave her the "Cricket Corral," cricket food and "cricket hydrator" (which looks like globs of orange Jell-O). She was surprised when I told her the frog might live 20 years or more. "Don't worry," I told her, "it'll probably escape like the other one." More here.
Department of How the world has changed via blogging
This is a blog by my friend's son, a high-school senior, who has a blog and who has posted: This is why Susan Mernit rocks hardcore (she is Zach Jarrett's mom and i've known her for many many years):
Because she knows about my dying grandfather and because she is really sympathetic, she brought over food and made us a nice dinner tonight. Susan, you are awesome.
Now this made me feel really great, of course, but I also thought it was amazing that Matt has a blog.
And not only does Matt have a blog, but all l his friends at Columbia High School have blogs (I would give you the links, but they're pretty, well, high-schoolish, for the most part).
Then, last night I had dinner in Manhattan--Mesa Grill--with a friend. She said, "I like to read your blog to see what you're up to and what you're thinking."
So on one hand, this means that we can all read posts by one another obsessing about tests, and calories, and presents for relatives--things it might be better not to share--but on the other hand, we have this really cool, somewhat personalized, external communications tool.
Is this any different that the oersonal home page fad of a few years ago?
What do you think blogs are best used for? What kinds of blogs do you read?
If you feel like using this new comments feature I put in to add your 2 cents, please do so.
I made the Times!
Short version: I've got alot of quotes in that article. Very cool.
Jayson Blair-esque fact-checking errorL don't live in San Francisco, never lived in San Francisco, don't plan to live in San Francisco.
South Orange, NJ is my current place of residence, with move back to Silicon Valley planned for later this summer.
Oh wel,, no real complaints, just being a little snarky.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Preserving the technology past
One morning a few weeks back, I ran into Brewster Kahle at the SFO airport before an early morning flight. The 2nd such coincidence of SFO x Brewster, the previous event being last January. I was off to a sales call in Arkansas, and he was off to testify at a DMCA hearing in Los Angeles. We were both tight on departures, but that didn't stop Brewster from steering me to the nearby waiting lounge.
"You've got to see this, it's really cool." He proceeded to pull an aluminum-cornered hardcase box from his back pack. From the box, he lifted out an original VisiCalc package still in shrinkwrap. "Look at this, this started it all. They want us to destroy it. They don't want Libraries to preserve it!" (He also showed me a box of MS Basic for an Atari.)
Also, Before the Web, Taylor Walsh's wonderful oral histroy project has pre-Mozilla war stories.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Cruising the Blogosphere
Google vs. Ebay: Distribution channel rivals?
News flash: Overture sells AltaVista Search, a mostly enterprise little product, to FAST, Press release here.
Bunker Hill: Battle anniversary--and AOL 9.0 code name
Okay, boys and girls, the AOL 9.0 beta client has the internal code name "Bunker Hill." Does anyone in the class think that maybe AOL represents the Americans, and Microsoft are the British, and the Hill is actually the wallets of suburban Americans?
Yes, Johnny, you say that any consumer with his head screwed on straight isn't going to pay any of those guys for access, they all cost too much?Mary, yes? Oh, your Dad said that AOL had a bunker mentality because they still thought it was the glory days of 1998 and refused to believe anyone would pay an additional $14.95 for their add on broad-band service...
Spike, yes?...Never mind, son, we're not talking about TV networks now...
Helping out a friend
I lost both my parents within two years of each other, one to a lingering illness, the other suddenly, so I want to be as supportive of my friend as possible.
Today, that turned into buying 4 lbs of roast chicken, orange juice without pulp, bananas, crunchy granola bars and other things her family needs, then stopping by with the groceries and making them a nice dinner.
I've had a strong feeling her father is going to die the day of her son's graduation party; hope that's not the case. These difficult situations remind me how lucky I am to be in a position to help someone else.
Rowling to read Potter live on web
"A special Harry Potter event starring JK Rowling at the Royal Albert Hall is to be broadcast live on the Internet
The boy wizard's creator will read extracts from her eagerly awaited fifth book and answer questions from an anticipated global audience of millions.
The one-off London show will be held on June 26, five days after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits the shops."
One of the disappoints of thedot com bubble bursting has been the slowness for broadband and the web to develop a viable business model for live webcast events. Live events permit an interactivity with the audience that most TV doesn't support, and can be repurposed as VOD after the event, but media companies have been slow to embrace the form. While it's true the Rowling event is purely a marketing event, it's exactly the kind of live programming I'd like to see more of.
Monday, June 16, 2003
Anniversary: 4 month blogging anniversary
--Used lots more pictures in the beginning.
--Had this idea everything should be titled with active verbs: Reading, Writing, Thinking, etc. That was going to be a signature (didn't last).
--Wanted everyone to think I was really smart (got over that one).
As I told the New York Times reporter, this is a hobby, and a way to communicate. I've already published more that 20 stories and articles in media outlets with circulations over 2 million, and I've run one of the biggest portals on the web--so blogging is not about getting myself a platform I didn't have before, or couldn't have otherwise.
It's about the pleasure of taking one of the walls away from the people I write for, and about writing as a form of talking and communication, rather than a carefully crafted series of articles. With the addition of the comments forms, it's hopefully more of a dialogue as well.
Thank you for reading this, and hope it's worth your time.
Driving your SUV to the dump & other Bay area recycling stories
Paul Hawken: We have to be able to imagine a life where having less is truly more satisfying...I buy organic food, walk to work, buy used clothes, shop at Rainbow Co-op, and don't subscribe to newspapers,. I don't do this for moral or ethical reasons. I do it because I like to live this way. It's freeing, lovely, and exciting."
Googlisms: "He's just a big baby."
Bo the Wonderdog: A black Lab sniffs out drugs in Valparaiso
14-year old boy and his dad's girlfriend : He isn't violent or doing drugs; he's just a big baby. ..I want to send him to one of those Boot Camps. Does anyone know if those are any good?
Scottie Pippen: You've got the ever unsatisfied Scottie Pippen, who has proven that without Michael Jordan, he's just a big baby who's crying for attention.
Jack Nicholson, in About Schmidt
Good n' Plenty: Aphrodisiac and SARS-killer?
Yesterday, he confessed that the Good & Plenty was an experiment; he'd read an article that said that the smell of licorice, specifically Good & Plenty, boosted sexual arousal in women.
Dr. Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist at Chicago's Smell and Taste
Treatment and Research Foundation, conducted a study involving 30 women, aged 18 to 40, and discovered that while some men's colognes impaired women's physiological sexual responses, some food odors increased them. The winners? Good & Plenty combined with cucumber.
Did it work on me? I'm not telling.
In related news, an ingredient in licorice has shown to be successful in fighting severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), at least in the lab. German researchers, reporting their results in the latest issue of The Lancet, say that the compound, glycyrrhizin, was effective in stopping the SARS virus from reproducing, according to an Agence France Presse account.
More on that here.
San Jose Weekend: Food, house hunt, people
Fueling the hunt with some really good meals--bun ga (chicken with rice vermicelli) on North 1st Street at Pho Banc; bean curd with green onion, fish in wine sauce, baby bok choy and black mushrooms at Sheng Deng; chicken burritos and jarritos at a little taqueria on Park Avenue; more bun--with shrimp grilled on sugar cane--back on North 1st Street.
Everything freshly made, flavorful, and inexpensive.
In the process of house-hunting, I've noticed that people on the East and West coast approach these transactions differently. We spent much of the weekend talking to people about houses they owed and we he West Coasters see the disussions as a chance to interact and learn about the other people, very proicess-oriented, while the East Coasters are more focused on the transaction--ie, the result.
Saturday, June 14, 2003
READING: VURT by Jeff Noon
What Noon says
"But the main thing about how Vurt came to be, is that when Steve asked me to write a novel, I'd actually started to write a play called "The Torture Garden."' And The Torture Garden is a novel written in 1899 by a guy called Octave Murble. He was a kind of anti-authoritarian, anarchist kind of figure -- a bit like de Sade, but not as mad. Basically, he wanted to bring down the authorities, and he did this through satire. The Torture Garden is a garden in the middle of a prison, where every Tuesday, the bourgeoisie can go along and watch the prisoners being tortured. The garden is described incredibly well. It's beautiful. And the actual tortures are written about in a very lovely way -- reminded me a lot of Ballard when I read it.
And I'd wanted to do this as a play ever since I read the book, but I couldn't work out how to do it. And then, I was reading a textbook on virtual reality, and the introduction was by William Gibson. It was only about a one-page piece, but in it, he just throws away this line, which says that some of the characters where playing a game called "the Torture Garden."
And then it suddenly clicked to me that the Torture Garden is in virtual reality -- the rich people could visit virtual reality to experience this torture. And that's when I started to think this is what I could do to make this a play, and also make a play about virtual reality, which no one had done at the time.
So I put this idea to a director I knew, and he was into it, so I started to write the play. About half way through it, Steve turns to me in the bookshop where we were working, and says, "Write me a novel."' So, I started to write this novel, and forgot about the play. But it kind of grew out of the play, the novel did. I didn't realize it at the time, but when I finally finished the novel and went back to the play, there was so much in the play that went into the book. "
VURT--Music Noon listened to while writing
Higher Intelligence Agency
Guerrilla in Dub
What is Vurt about?
Some Australians run a gaming site called Vurt, and they say:
"Jeff Noon is perhaps one of the more iconoclastic SF writers of the era.
To call Noon's fiction cyberpunk is akin to calling anything by Terry
Brooks readable. His writing is apocalyptic in feel, describing a gritty
futuristic world in which dream meets reality. His first book "Vurt,"
covers the searching of Scribble for Desdemona, superficially a
traditional love story. But it has a twist: Desdemona, Scribble's sister
has been lost to the shadowy world of "Vurt," a psychedelic reality woven
from the desires and dreams of the populace, only accessible by vurt
feathers, drugs of mind-weirding quality."
What Noon readsNoon's top 10 favorite works of 'fluid fiction are
Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
The Annotated Alice by Lewis Carroll, edited by Martin Gardner
Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R Hofstadter
Digital Leatherette by Steve Beard
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Rock Springs by Richard Ford
The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus
The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven by Rick Moody
Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath
A Humument by Tom Phillips
I've read Borges, Carrol, Plath, and Ford, and some other Rick Moody, so this list can keep me going for a while.
Why am I going on about this?
Wonderul fresh point of view, powerful writing, sharp edge. The man's got something.
The first road trip
no windshield from San Francisco to New York -- 5600 miles, most of them unpaved -- in 63 days.
It was the first successful road trip across America, and the subject of a new documentary by Ken Burns.
Read the amazingly cool story in the Merc.
Check out Floridian Charles Wake--from Sarasota, to be exact--who will, along with family and friends drive two vintage Winton automobiles cross-country from San Fran to NYC to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first such endeavor, starting on June 17th, and ending July 26th.
See the show Horatio's Drive on public television in October.
Stripperella & Schlepperallas:Family of (Wo)man
Stripperella: Mad-ass mom Pamela Anderson is the voice of Erotica Jones, stripper by night and superhero Stripperella sometime right after that.
The Schlepperealla are two domestic CEOS, bemoaning eveything from teen angst to upper-arm flab. Stripperella is an agent for T.H.U.G.G. and a superhero who fends off nasty villains such as Dr. Cesarean, a plastic surgeon whose evil plans involve giving unexpected women explosive breast implants made of nitroglycerin, and Cheapo, a super-villain on a budget who makes his henchman share a gun. Seperated by 20 years and 60 lbs, whose to say they're not sisters under the skin?
Department of Celebrity Gossip
Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub ordered Lee to post a $500,000 bond in case the network wins the case. Lee says Spike TV trades on his celebrity and that's not right.
Suntimes and many other news sources report.
Like a Virgin: Affleck loves Lopez's innocence Jen's been with five guys in her life and I love her for is pretty much what peoplenews.com reports Affleck saying. "There aren't many virgins in their thirties,' Affleck reportedly said. 'Jen's about as close as you're likely to find, certainly in Hollywood.'
Dial up subscriber base continues sliding down the drain
Becoming bi-coastal, some thoughts
Five years ago, I was living happily in New Jersey, running the new media group for a very large publishing business, and having a great time in New York. So great, I thought I'd never leave.
Soon after that, I moved to California to run programming, production and design at Netscape, post-AOL acquisition, when the goal was to make Netscape the free "flanker brand" to the paid AOL service and the showcase for great services and information.(Yeah, I know, that didn't last.)
During my Netscape years, I traveled regularly to NY and Virginia to work with partners, go to executive summits in Dulles, get budgets approved, etc. Then, the year of 9/11, I accepted a job that meant spending a HUGE amount of my time at AOL in Dulles---even thought I was living in California and based there. During that year, I became a 1K flyer.
As much as I said I didn't want to do that level of traveling, I must have gotten used to it, because I've continued to have lives on both coasts.
There's my Bay area network, amazing people doing very interesting things, mostly with technology, RSS, blogs, browsers, information and data. Then there's the New York group, bright and productive, very involved with publishing, media, streaming, broadband, museums, retail, marketing and premium services. People involved with education and nonprofits on both coasts.
My hope is to spend more and more time working with coien
Friday, June 13, 2003
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
On the road: offline most of tomorrow
Puppylicious, the blog
Now Dog Tales: weird, inspiring dog tales, offers me a chance to read other people's blogs about their pets.
Blog Dog--photoblog by dogs for their masters
The Dog's Blog--Arlo plays Heaven on his Xbox, woof
Wwoof's Blog: 4-footed zen master
BOOKS: Just finished
A science-fiction parable set in the wilds of Scotland, not far from Inverness, Under the Skin, is as spiky and pointed as Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, but as modern as the White Stripes. It's not so much that I enjoyed this book as I can't stop thinking about it. Original, wonderful, and smart.
Making Peace with the Things in Your Life, by Cindy Glovinsky, CSW. I don't have a problem with organizing objects or throwing stuff away, but two of my best friends do, so I was curious to read this book by a licensed psychotherapist and organizer. It's pretty good, and seems like it could persuade even the worst hoarder to start double-bagging some of her excess.
being zen: bringing meditation to life, by eric bayda. Opening yourself up and finding inner piece by a man who seemed amazingly uptight and not open. Abandoned half-way through.
Baroque-a-nova by Kevin Chong. This first novel could be better, but I'm digging it. Set in Vaqncouver, it's the story of 17 year old Saul and the adults in his life, all of whom are wacky old hippies. Steve Urkel meets Running with Sissors.
Cruising the blogosphere this morning
Kevin Kelly, Whole Earth and high tech genius, has new Cool Tools (thanks BoingBoing) Kevin also has a great page asking questions of readers, right here.
Dave Sifry is my hero! I am already addicted to Technorati, and it appears that Dave created a full-text search for Technorati. Now you can search the complete text of over 300,000 blogs, and all matching text posted two hours ago or more will be returned. Link to the beta search is here. (Thanks again, BoingBoing)
Diary of a lost girl: Christine is 30-something, clinically depressed, home with an eating disorder , hella smart, and a new blogger. Girl, welcome to the world.
Silicon Valley/New York City : Job losses slowing?
According to a recent US Council of Mayors report, overall employment growth in the 20 largest metropolitan areas in 2003 is predicted at 0.1 percent with nine of the areas experiencing either no job growth or continued job loss. That figure is a significant downward revision from a January report, which predicted a job growth rate of 0.9 percent this year
Pizza leads to capture of San Jose child kidnapper
AOL: Does only the spam gets through?
Do I ride this out, or do I switch?
AOL mail seems laughably unprofessional to some folks, but my email address is simple and easy to remember. Plus, I've had it for 4 years. Also, I am enough of a rebel to enjoy the downscale aspect...Having an uncool email address feels cool to me, like wearing KSwiss and Puma sneakers before they came back.
Still, if folks mail can't get through...That's bad...Yet another reason to join friends leaving the service for cheaper utilities.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Monday and not raining
Not raining means:
1) Wearing a skirt--no chance of getting my legs splashed in a downpour
2) Not wearing black--it's not summer white, but at least there's no need to mask mud puddle splashes
3) Smiling--Less reason to feel sleepless in Seattle, or like a rainforest refugee
4) Better living through dog walking--Winston and I can go on long, meandering walks, and even head over to the woods, in between stints of work and life
Will it last? Nope, rain predicted for tomorrow.
Does it matter right now? No, it's sunny
Saturday, June 07, 2003
Social Network Sites: How hard to let go?
The blog stylings of
Megnut on food: French Laundry and former lit agent John Hodgman, yum
Joshua Allen: I Live in a Motel, in The Morning News. I am heading this way myself, it seems....
Dave Winer: Business as Publications: If I were starting a new company in 2003, I would put in the charter that, in addition to whatever else my company did, the new company would be a publication. I'd hire an editor in chief, parallel to the CFO and CTO. This person's charter would be to cover the company, much the same way the editor of the San Jose Mercury News covers Silicon Valley.
Dog News: What really matters
Jay Fienberg on The Planetwork Conference in San Francisco this weekend, via Marc Canter
12 weeks of weight: Can ya lose it?
Damn, when is the sun coming out?
Jen Chung: The nice Elizabeth Spiers?
Recently, I have been feeling that Gothamist was being unduly influenced by Gawker, and I've been a bit concerned about it--I don't want to have to read through the Gawker School of Blogging--that would be about as bad as having to read all the Iowa School Poets again. So it was great tonight to see this entry by Jen Chung about meeting Jeffrey Steingarten, the Vogue food critic and realizing that Gothamist will never really be like Gawker, because Jen Chung is just too nice. Elizabeth Spiers, the Gawker, editor, would never say anything nice about anyone who wrote for Vogue, let alone Jeffrey Steingarten, the one food-loving, well-padded straight guy on the masthead.
Who will stop the rain?
In a week or so,. New York's climate will lurch into summer gear: 95 degrees and up, humid, and smoggy. Everyone will be too cold on the subway and in the office, and covered with a fine film of aromatic sweat up on the streets. The beaches will reek of coconut oil and the sand will be filled with the rubbed-out ends of filter cigarettes and pop-tops. Everyone who can afford it will leave New York for the weekend, but head back in Monday morning to make their cash. The suburbanites will head home on the train, dreaming of air-conditioning, wishing they didn't have to mow the lawn, and anticipating the time the kids head off to camp. On Monday mornings, they will remember the week they spent on vacation in the Hamptons or Fire Island, and the sheer joy and exhilaration they felt every day at 10 am, when all those poor bastards their friends were at work and they were with the rich, at the beach.
The rain is saving us from all this, but it is also preventing me from going outside for any length of time, and enjoying the weather is one of the key aspects of my weekend. Arghhh. I am glad I don't live in Seattle...
Friday, June 06, 2003
...Will the end of Netscape mean the end of third-party browsers? No. It just means that the best one is gone and that Windows is now, for all intents and purposes, a non-MS-browser free zone. The only alternative browsers I can think of are Opera and Mozilla, neither of which I think about very often. There's nothing wrong with these other browsers, but nothing so incredibly right that I want to use them.
AOL: Where's the Bottom?
I remember being at a meeting in Dulles last summer when AOL convened the Top 200 Managers, as they called us, to gather in Dulles and met Jon Miller, who had just been appointed to run the service. At that gathering, Ted Leonsis ambled to the front of the room and told stories about the AOL crisises he'd weathered: the move to flat-rate pricing and the subsequent access problems, the need to get more network capacity, fast, the threats to the business from MSN and others eager to get their subscriber base. The stories were funny and inspiring, and at the end, Leonsis slammed his hand on the podium and roared, "The worst is over, we've hit bottom this time and we're only going up!"
By last fall, it was clear bottom was further down and we'd sink a bit more before we got to move up. I left the company in January 2003, and it seems clear that AOL perhaps has not yet found the bottom.
Back on line at last--thank you, Jason and Eric
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Blog Publishing has been broken for two days!
Story: If Netscape has survived
The settlement of the legal battle between Microsoft and AOL Time Warner means Netscape can now be taken off life support and the body harvested for any useful parts that remain.
The romantic in me says this is a terrible fate for a company whose Mosaic/Netscape browser changed the technology world so much. The realist in me responds that this only proves how overrated "first-mover advantage" really is. How many of the first companies to do anything are still in business when the industry matures?
Monday, June 02, 2003
Latest AOL 9.0 Beta Omits Realplayer, no blogging visible
The Neowin tester says that this build offers a different client interface, and
New member animation emphasizes secure connections for AOL email and a limitless filing system for mail; a PC computer checkup that will monitor your system for you (interesting), server side address book available with long in from any machine.
Other interesting things: Real Player doesn't seem to be bundled in--is this because AOL's team was preparing to support Windows Media player instead?There's an extendable bar on top, center, that mixes community/tech services with transaction services such as Moviefone.
A new area AOL has been discussing for at least 16 months is on the bar. Called "Buzzline" this is the "What are AOL members talking about right now?" data-display area, where quotes, polls, and other data are centralized for viewing pleasure.
No sign of any blogging tools on the Neowin screen shots, although I'd heard blogging might be included in the 9.0 release. Well, there's still plenty of time.
Reality Bytes: More high-tech CEOs now deciding to step to the side
Ed Zander, former COO of Sun:
''After running 40,000 people -- and maybe I wasn't CEO, but I was sure close to it -- it dawned on me that just going back and running a company, any company,
wouldn't be good,'' Zander said. ''If several years from now I have that desire, yeah, I'll do it. But right now I just don't.''
Bob LoPresto, president of the high-tech practice of Rusher Loscavio & LoPresto, an executive recruiting firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Palo Alto, California: "It's s no fun to be CEO of a public company anymore.''
More here. including quotes from Jim Barksdale, formerly of Netscape, Raymond J. Lane , formerly of Oracle, and Bob Davis, formerly of Lycos.
Sunday, June 01, 2003
Nemo & Six Feet Under
Dinner: What I Cooked
Artichoke dip and cheese on Portguese bread
Composed salad with fresh herbs and avocado
Basil Thai Noodles (one of the dishes I mastered this year, courtsey of Mark Bittman, my favorite cookbook author, is Thai Noodles. I can make Pad Thai, Basil Thai Noodles, Curried Rice Noodles, etc.
Vanilla ice cream with fresh raspberries, Scottish shortbread, and ginger creme cookies