In the discussion group, David Grenier remarks on the below observation about voting with one's wallet. "Voting with ones dollars assumes one *has* dollars to vote with."
Jamie Zawinski's diary of the early days of Netscape Communications has some interesting comments: "We had one of those 'we're going to win big' meetings today, where Jim and Marc wave their arms a lot and say 'these are not the droids you're looking for,' and we all sit there and nod enthusiastically and grin and say 'these are not the droids we're looking for.'"
Today, I've been spending alot of time on MP3.com, looking for interesting music to listen to. My previous experience with jumping into the genre top 40 lists rendered a lot of novelty songs with low playability over one listening. This time, I started out on Paranerd's page, looked at the 'other artists we like' sidebar, and found lots of cool stuff from there, such as Woodworm and Les Paiens.
There's lots of good stuff out there, but people need an opinion to start them off, so IMHO, community - lots of interlinked artists, weblog style - is the killer app on the web for music, not the top 40 lists.
The reason I'm doing this is to test a theory about whether the web can revive the 'midlist' - that is, books and other published media with circulations under 50,000 that are still viable. Or maybe just distribute that cultural force that is music/media consumption a little more evenly.
That, and there's a lot of great innovative music out there that I'm definitely not hearing on the radio.
JLG talks about Be in the new Be Newsletter. Did I mention that I still hate their new logo? Aargh.
The Amazon boycott seems to be spreading pretty fast - Slashdot mentions it in the same tone that they mention that the NY Times has "free registration req'd". The net may not be affecting politics in the electoral sense, but it seems that voting with your wallet is a more effective means in this day and age.
Issue #2 of subtext (an experimental print zine of ideas that I produce) is now online. This is one instance where I really like Adobe Acrobat - the file went from 11.1 megs in Pagemaker to 915k in .pdf. cool!
More colour changes, comments are welcome.
Dave Winer wrote a really fascinating look into the happenings at the World Economic Forum. Dave looks at the dynamics between people, which IMHO, is much more interesting than the speeches, etc.
Ola posted some thoughts about the radiohead website.
I'm looking for links to interesting material about gift economies and gift-based cultures. Feel free to post links in the discussion group
The Radiohead website is very worth checking out.. it seems that they've made it into one big piece of web art- by the same guy who does their album art. Impressive.
Funny, if a bit bizarre and confused: Republicans discuss the virtues of moshing.
Dave Winer gets interviewed: "There are so many beautiful women here in Davos. And so many very smart beautiful women here. The are probably great beautiful men too but I don't look for that."
One of the great things about the web is that when other people share your opinion, you don't have to take a lot of energy to express it. In this case, Kate sums it up on Real.com. I was trying to listen to MP3's with RealPlayer today, and it kept crapping out.. argh.
yeesh. where did all the time go?
Last night, I went and saw Fly Jimmy Swift play at Ducky's. It routinely amazes me that there can be bands with great songs and more talent, but never seem to 'make it big'. They played an amazing cover of some Pink Floyd stuff from the Animals album.
Paranerd has some new songs up.
The second issue of subtext was released to the general public today. There should be a .pdf version on the web by the end of the week.
Now I'm working on a grant proposal, so I can do research over the summer. the fun never ends
Interesting look and feel on the Mac-oriented Google
The Norwegian kid who released the source code to play DVD movies on Linux was arrested
Lack of updates due to hectic running around as if I was deprived of a head (and the coinciding brain).
It has been brought to my attention that the Open DVD people are doing interesting stuff, including a source code distribution contest. Whoever said the net routes around outages was spot on in this case - one guy encoded the code into a JPEG on his web page. Spread the love!
I got another email from Russ Jones at Millicent, and he says that the 'wallet' (client) software will be an average 3 meg download, available for IE and Netscape on Windows platforms. There might also be a network based wallet that doesn't require download - that looks like the most promising method to me - 3 megs seems a bit much. He also mentionned that they'd like to have an SDK for Linux, Mac, and the rest, but that won't be for a while yet.
Wired: "Being appointed to a federal advisory committee is a lot like becoming a mother-in-law: You get to tell everyone why they're wrong, but nobody has to listen."
Dan Fitch has a cool new design
Jeremy Bowers points out that with Millicent, my voluntary payment scheme would be easily workable. Now all we have to worry about is Millicent making all the steps really easy, and the software widely available.
Did I mention I'm pretty psyched about this?
I've been talking with Russ Jones at Millicent, and the word is that things should be working by April. I asked about client software, but no reply there, yet.
Jerry Pournelle has various methods of letting you donate money to him for the use of his site. They all seem pretty time consuming, though. What's most interesting, however, is the number of people that bothered to send cash. I'd say that's proof that donation-based payment systems can work.
I usually try to keep archives in the same category of new stuff, because it's usually more interesting (with the selective benefit of hindsight), but at the same time, 'just updated' has this irresistable appeal. Today I poked through the Barlow archives and found a fun little quote: "Since the Sumerians starting poking sticks into clay and claiming that the resulting cuneiform squiggles meant something, we've been living in the Information Age. Only lately did someone come up with a name for it. I suppose that was because we quit making anything else of value. Before that, they just called it civilization."
Another good Barlow article: Bill O' Rights Lite Short, but powerful.
In this discussion, Dan Lyke and Dave ignore one significant point - humans can't learn to write or communicate outside a social context, so whatever you do, your opinion/style is being coloured by other people. Now, what they're saying is that they've learned as much as they need to, and now they're going to cut themselves off from 'whiners'. I find this kind of strange, as it is pretty hard to learn and improve without outside input, whether it's whining or not. The first thing I do when I produce something (writing or otherwise) is find out what people think - not because I want to pander to their likes/dislikes, but to tap into their brainpower to improve myself and my work. If, to do that, I need to make a bit of bold text, why not.
This is figuratively speaking - I don't especially care for bold text, unless I need to distinguish between levels of concepts when explaining something. It's all very interesting nonetheless.
In recent news, Dave Winer calls me a 'whiner'. Whining (the word) seems to me to be a universally negative thing. However, commenting on things and questioning them seems less one-sided. Categorizing things/people in terms of whiner/non-whiner seems just a little limiting to me. another word?
Comments are welcome on my design modifications.. email@example.com
Slashdot takes on iSmell.
I never realized I generated that much content - The Ideas Page is now annotated, and generally ready for public consumption.
Slow updates today - I'm working on Subtext.
New page: I just compiled all of the (worthwhile) ideas that have appeared on misnomer thus far and put them on the ideas page
Mother nature just opened the biggest can of whoop ass in a 100 years here in New Brunswick. 70 centimetres of snow!
Interesting - The same storm hit Jason Levine when he was in NYC, on thursday
Back when I was a wee lad, I spent many hours designing a game that looks kind of like this. Too bad I don't have time for games anymore...they missed the window!
Scary: A whole day's worth of weblogging just disappeared from misnomer.editthispage.com. Time to start over...
It's Argosy night.
Salon: Pirate Radio Goes Legit The FCC approves microbroadcasting.
[more ideas] I posted a short piece I wrote for my Sociology class about the philosophical underpinnings of computer-based intelligence.
Transmeta's killer app: Low power, high performance. "[the chip] will consume an average of one watt compared to a typical Celeron processor that consumes between four and 10 watts."
Once again, the analysts (rent-an-experts) are more concerned with how transmeta will fit into the status quo. What about the possibility of a whole new class of portable computing - desktop speeds on a webpad. Sounds good to me. (nevermind increased battery life on PC laptops)
Over at iRights, Jeremy Bowers writes: "Jon Katz evokes a lot of different opinions from people; I tolerate him, there is a place for people who state what seems blindingly obvious."
Lycos is now slowing down my access to Wired news with links to stuff that I'll never use.
For some reason, my computer crashed the last three times I tried to update this page. Sorry for the dearth of content.
Wired: Microsoft vehemently denies that the sky is blue. "Proclaiming your virtue after a judge has dubbed you a noxious reprobate is not a trivial task"
[idea] My latest article, Enabling Goodwill on the Net is about gift economies and micropayments.
A Berst of hot air. I think a good indicator of questionable content is when the ads and nav bars collectively exceed the size of the actual 'editorial' in question. Where's the substance? This is sensationalist crap.
[this is not to say that patents aren't a serious issue, but this particular article is devoid of value]
I'm looking forward to using the BeOS again. "We estimate BeOS 5 will fit in somewhere between 40 and 60 megabytes -- about the same as many game demonstrations available today, and less than twice the size of a complete Internet Explorer installation." Jab!
Emmanuel Goldstein on trial for distribution of DVD copying software. "'We're trying to send a message to people who will circumvent our copy protection and people who provide access to technology whose only purpose is to circumvent copy protection technology. That's not acceptable,' says Mark Litvack, MPAA's worldwide legal director for antipiracy." Scary.
I think the MPAA and the RIAA need to feel the love just a little more often. Just my opinion.
Two english students go at it in a tandem story session. Probably faked, but LOL anyway.
Idea: I got inspired by Fatbrain's lack of inspiration, and wrote an article: Enabling Goodwill on the Internet - Rethinking Micropayments - in which I discuss the dynamics of paying for content, the benefits of giving it away, and how to do both.
Here's a comprehensive history of Mozilla. IMHO, Netscape should lose the bland corporate image and start using these images on their website again. I guess that wouldn't float too well with AOL Time Warner types, though. A definite must-see for anyone who remembers when Yahoo was hosted at http://akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo/ (via Camworld)
How to speed up your browser - Everyone who owns a mac should read this.
Garret Vreeland suggests designers look to women's fashion magazines for design inspiration. Elle has a neat little animated element on their front page right now - non-annoying, and kind of addictive...
On that note, I'd be curious to know the impetus behind the Shower Project.
David Carter-Tod posted something of a summarized manifesto about comparing learning between mediums on his Serious Instructional Technology site.
Note to Apple: please take Tog's advice, because it's the future useablity of my computer that you're messing with, dammit! Note to Microsoft, Be, KDE, GNOME, and the like - you, also, should read AskTog now and then.
Apathy has an interesting design, or content structure, anyway. Beware - the design element filcher cometh.
Hermenaut looks at loving music through objects, and the soul of punk rock.
Disintermediated! looks at writing for machines, among other things.
And while we're at it, here's an old DaveNet piece on disintermediation.
Coooool! Steve Dietz's paper, curating on the net provides a comprehensive overview of online art.
A story of net art in hypertext.
Wired News: the Slamdance film festival is showing films online this year.
Here's an old Tom Tomorrow on the fundamental problem people have with the WTO.
Cringely: "They want to know in advance what I will say on the air. Part of this audition is the producer (producers in this case) needing some quick education about what is going on, and part is their wanting to make sure that I am going to not only be interesting, but that I will say what they want to hear." It seems like people just accept the fact that news media only give their audience a very narrow side of the story. I find this sad and scary.
Thanks to slashdot's moderation system, some interesting comments can be read with little or no wading. "So really, the artist is irrelevant and has no rights of any description. They're all drug-addled perverts anyway. The only thing that matters is the guy with the checkbook. The customer is only buying the right to listen to the work, and certainly has no conceivable right to make copies or anything of that nature." But seriously - there's good ideas in those posts.
Goto.com: "List your site on GoTo.com for as little as $25 and start driving targeted customers to your Web site." I wonder if this is what Heraclites meant about driving the beast to pasture with a blow? Since when do customers need to be driven?
Weblog Madness has links to just about every bit of meta-weblog content I've seen. Well organized.
Scratch it! [flash]
The Matrix as a philosophy course
Those weblog IRC socials look kind of fun - the challenge is getting out of asynchronous time and remembering to show up.
I like being able to hear what people have to say when I have time, but I guess a little synchronicity never hurt anyone.
Jon Katz's Geeks hit the big time. This is interesting - when I read Geeks, I figured that it was a little early yet for mainstream acceptance, but when it comes out in February, it might very well work.
mini-review of Geeks: I usually find Katz's ramblings on Slashdot and elsewhere to be intellectually on the shoddy side, i.e. not thought out completely. However, with this book, he seems to have found time to absorb and process all the scathing criticism he recieved on /., and put it to good use. The story of the two geeks is told in a linear, cogent manner that is refined, yet simple. The book tracks the story of two rurally situated social outcasts who use then net to plant themselves into an ostensibly better situation out in the 'real world'. It seems to be aimed solidly at a mainstream audience, but (I think) will hold the interest of tech types as well. Besides a few clumsy uses of technical terms, it lacks all the partial, preachy rambling of Katz's essays. Instead, Geeks flows along more journalistic (even anthropological) lines, providing an honest glimpse into the lives of two Geeks, while remaining refreshingly free of rhetoric.
And my column is back! This week, I talk about the AOL-Time Warner merger. Keep in mind that I'm writing for the students of a small (2500) liberal arts university, but I think I keep it interesting nonetheless.
Via camworld: Bibleman!
Brent Simmons: "I'm trying to get some of my co-workers to start weblogs. They say the same things I said before I started this one. The standard reasons: I'm too busy and I have nothing to say. I thought the same things -- but I've found that running a weblog is a great way to be engaged with the web and the people who make it fun. I'm sure this is a topic I'll return to, soon." I'm still going strong after a month...
The rest of today's entry is an email I just sent to Dan Gillmor.
"Ten million small sites won't begin to have the reach and power of AOL Time Warner, which will not be a force for adventurous journalism or cutting-edge art." I'm curious as to why you think that this is true. I would tend to agree that the small sites can't move in unison or decisively as fast as AOL, but there is no way that AOL can react to emerging interests and issues, never mind muster up the collective expertise and wealth of interesting viewpoints that the net provides already. Just wait until the amount of people self-publishing on the web multiply exponentially and gel their organization. OTOH, AOL (or other big, bad corp) can always appropriate the collectively generated information/opinion. In that event, people will choose to go to the source (as Barlow says), and if they don't, media will already have been changed for the better. thoughts?
Dan: in your commentary on AOL-TW, you say
"Ten million small sites won't begin to have the reach and power of AOL Time Warner, which will not be a force for adventurous journalism or cutting-edge art."
I'm curious as to why you think that this is true. I would tend to agree that the small sites can't move in unison or decisively as fast as AOL, but there is no way that AOL can react to emerging interests and issues, never mind muster up the collective expertise and wealth of interesting viewpoints that the net provides already. Just wait until the amount of people self-publishing on the web multiply exponentially and gel their organization.
OTOH, AOL (or other big, bad corp) can always appropriate the collectively generated information/opinion. In that event, people will choose to go to the source (as Barlow says), and if they don't, media will already have been changed for the better.
Project Censored "Tracking the news that didn't make the news"
Wired News: FEED interview circa 1998. "What we're seeing happening with the editorial styles of the different publications will start happening with the actual underlying technical basics of how the medium works."
Zinos has a well-done eZine directory - categorized, and with a top 200 list.
Brooke Shelby Biggs in 1997: Media Misinformation - Some close parallels to the WTO protest fiasco. The Media keeps on doin' its own thang
Yesterday was the fast break news day for all the AOL - TW stuff. Now some more reflective, interesting stuff might start to show up.
Salon's cover story today is one of those.
Slate: did AOL pay too much?. "the difference between the value AOL Time Warner will create and the value AOL would have created on its own (and that includes whatever return it could get on the $184 billion it's shelling out) will be less than what AOL just paid for Time Warner."
Slate's Links page lists only pundits that write for major papers. There seems to be a fairly large perceptive gap here - on one side, people who accept non-credentialled opinions via the web on their own merit, and on the other, 'internet magazines' like slate who seem to dismiss them completely (or are at least utterly ignorant of them). Is there is a reason for this?
Why does Newsweek have a pop-up ad that says "try Time magazine"?
In the off chance you haven't heard the wonderful news, AOL and Time Warner merged today. In some cases, quick reporting has shown how self-contradictory and generally clueless some 'analysts' are. What should be interesting, though, is the second wave of pundits that will talk about it this afternoon and tommorrow - that's where we'll get a good snapshop of what people think the web is really about.
CNN: "It also gives birth to a new class of digital media company able to combine high-speed Internet access with powerful news content and video streaming capabilities that ultimately will redefine how Internet and media companies are structured,analysts said." ... "itís about coming up with all kinds of ways to use your computer in a very TV-like experience."
Funny. And I thought we had finally figured out that the web is the web, and not TV.
Wired: "It would allow the new technology titan to easily leap ahead of its rivals in traffic rankings, beating out Yahoo.com..."
News.com: "Analysts said that the Net landscape is likely to change rapidly over the course of the year as large capitalized Internet firms look to acquire media companies. Web portal Yahoo has a market cap of $107 billion--far greater than some leading media companies, including Disney, which has a cap of $64.19 billion."
Slashdot: "No more need to deal with Web sites that stray from the party line, take risks (and screw up now and then), or any of that other messy old-fashioned 'Internet as anarchy' stuff. To get online in the future, all you'll need to do is plug in your computer, turn off your brain, and enjoy!"
AOL: "By merging the world's leading Internet and media companies, AOL Time Warner will be uniquely positioned to speed the development of the interactive medium and the growth of all its businesses."
I wonder what exactly they mean by 'interactive'? Kind of like the TV-like experience described above? If they want truly interactive media, they should have bought Slashdot.
I don't care what Jon Katz says! No more video games! (may be offensive?)
Another idea: why doesn't someone (OS vendor) make a contextual menu command called 'store URL'. This would make the selected URL available for quick pasting from the same contextual menu, and wouldn't get overwritten by the next thing that was copied. The last five URLs would be always available with a right-click. IMHO, it's little things like this that make an OS 'web-enabled'. That, and notespace.
I'm running another weblog (more of an enhanced 'what's new' page) at CHMA. Question: if it's a news page with a human voice, is it a weblog?
I recently discovered that a classmate of mine has an online alter-ego: Paranerd, an electronic music artist.
Updates are slow again, because I've been working on the next issue of subtext. I've got twice the number of contributors for issue #2 than I did for issue #1. Things are looking up.
The CBC and CRTC are squabbling over budget stuff.
I wonder how long state-funded media will be around?
You can see an interesting cross-section of the web at Yahoo's What's New pages. 1000 new sites per day!
an idea: If companies like AOL - who send out millions of useless CD's - want to be hip and gain mindshare while spending very little additional money, why don't they use all the unused space on their junk mail discs to include tracks from MP3.com up-and-comers, or even shorts from independent filmmakers.
The internet is still too slow for big files, and it still costs to much for artists to distribute their work using physical vessels. Voila le niche
MP3Lit.com rates features spoken word MP3's from the likes of Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and how could they not have Henry Rollins? cool!
Here's YALLOWZ (yet another long list of web 'zines), this time, hosted by Webzine '99 (wired article). Alot of interesting ideas/design concepts. Also, it looks like a pseudo-weblog/zine community has developed in parallel to the eatonweb / scripting news / camworld universe.
How to make a web zine "two major ingredients to making an e-zine for free. 1. a computer with internet access. 2. something to say"
Slashdot interviews The Woz. I really like /.'s method of choosing questions from the readers - when people are actually interested, it's a much more thorough and effective method of getting the relevant information out. this is in stark contrast to the below quote on who has the "worthwhile content".
Dan Okrent (Editor-at-large at Time) speaks to the Colombia School of Journalism, and declares (halfway through), that print is dead. "Imagine a tablet, maybe half an inch thick, shaped when held one way like an open book or magazine, when turned sideways much like a single page of a newspaper. It weighs six ounces. Itís somewhat flexible, which makes it easy to transport." Is digital paper finally here? Dan claims he's seen it at Japanese research labs. I'm waiting.
What I find interesting is that Okrent delivers his argument in a distinctly non-digital way - his linear style of setting up the audience with his nostalgic sentiments of print could only be so well effected in the medium of public speaking, where the audience has no scrollbar.
Interesting: "last year, Time Inc., spent $1 billion dollars on paper and postage."
Obvious, yet scary: "And if you donít think advertisers influence the direction of American
mass media, you ought to talk to Tom Goldstein about the curriculum here at the J-school."
Arrogant, and not true: "Because we Ė the big media companies like Time Warner, the eight or ten major copyright oligarchs, as I like to call them, who control so much of the nationís supply of worthwhile content"
I've been enjoying Girlhacker's random log quite a bit in the past few days - she does pretty much what I'd like to do, a new idea every day. Unfortunately, my brain is a bit too clouded with classes starting lately.
I didn't know that Userland owned weblogs.com
Lots of Class Scheduling Angst today, so it's a slow day online.
I'm taking a class called Sociology of Cyberspace - every friday, we have what the prof calls 'asynchronous class', as in we all go to class (online), but not at the same time.
I really like Stewart Brand's Creating Creating - A short and sweet piece about art in new media.
David Noble in First Monday: Digital Diploma Mills: "...behind this effort are the ubiquitous technozealots who simply view computers as the panacea for everything, because they like to play with them."
Noble's article is interesting, but his open bias does very little to convince me that what he preaches is true. He says: "there has been no such demand on the part of students, no serious study of it, and no evidence for it". Well, if there has been no serious study of student demand (for online notes, etc), then how can you substantiate the 'no such demand' part?
I had no idea that Apple was doing that well. And they laughed when I said Apple was undervalued back at $25. Of course, I hardly had any money to put where my mouth was.
Bruce Sterling, whose writing I enjoy quite a bit, has penned Viridian Note 124 : The Manifesto of January 3, 2000. Looks interesting, though I haven't read it yet. (via slashdot)
Bruce writes: "You do not win freedom of information by filching data from a corporate warehouse, or begging the authorities to kindly abandon their monopolies, copyrights and patents. You have to create that freedom by a deliberate act of will, think it up, assemble it, sacrifice for it, make it free to others who have a similar will to live that freedom." Preaching to the converted, in my case.
O'Reilly now has Beta Chapters posted. Open source literature?
Nardwuar finds the numbers of famous people and conducts impromptu interviews. He walks the line between rude and obnoxious and funny. Bizarre.
A friend told me that when he was in university, the only time his room was spotless, his laundry done, and everything generally organized.. was during exams. Procrastination can be quite an ironic motivation. I think the same thing was happening to me when I started this blog. Now that things are back to a sort of steady grind, I don't feel quite as compelled to update four times a day.
Looks like Mnemonic has Linux binaries ready for download. Any Linux users out there want to try it out?
Salon: Annual Darwin Awards
Be seems to be doing exceptionally well with Wall Street, considering their position.
I saw Toy Story 2, and, like a true weblogger, waited until the end and saw Dan Lyke's name in the credits. My question is this: did the penguin character have any significance in terms of Allegory vis a vis Linux? I couldn't find any without the allegory being kludgy.
Yeesh. I was expecting to be able to update regularly when I went home, but it turns out Manila doesn't agree with Netscape 2.0 on my old IIvx. Other than that, I was busy running around seeing people before I had to hop on a plane back to New Brunswick.
Kim Stanley Robinson in Yahoo Internet Life: "...I suggest we nationalize [Bill Gates] and take all his money. Leave him with $5 million and tell him to sink or swim. Give $5 million to each of his employees and ex-employees. Give the rest to charities."
BTW, the rest of the Sci-Fi round table is pretty interesting. Especially Robinson, since he brings an environmental perspective to the technological world.
I've been enjoying the recent issue of YIL, but the online version is pretty bad - formatting errors, splitting of articles into little bits to sell more ads, and they still have that god forsaken X-Cam advert. There must be a serious shortage of good webmasters these days.
I find it interesting that Kleiner-Perkins has adopted the Keiretsu concept.