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February 08, 2006

task*pad.jp Imitation with Ruby on Rails

Open Comic Jam

Grandma Evelyn’s Old Fashioned Pudding Treats Wrestling Theatre is just about the best name for anything. It’s an online comic jam open to anyone who wants to participate. Each contributor adds one tier to the ongoing story. Want to add to the story? Go right ahead!

Apple touch screen video

(Thanks, Mike!)

Very cool video of some touch-screen applications that Apple has patented.

Yahoo testing new homepage

funny that this first appears on Flickr  

Net Aesthetics 2.0

Missed the Rhizome Net Aesthetics 2.0 panel in Chelsea a couple of nights ago because I had to w*rk. Too bad--really wanted to go. MTAA has a report. The distinction between the early vernacular web and the current more "regulated" web laid out in in Olia Lialina's article here serves as a good background for understanding the shift from net art 1.0 to version 2.0. Essentially it's the world of home pages, links, and artist-scientists vs the world of blogs, Google, and fast delivery of every imaginable kind of content (except the gallerygoing kind), with artists, scientists, and artist-scientists struggling to make sense of it. I have also pontificated on it, though not in product release terms. Another distinction I would make is between the anecdotal ('70s conceptualism in web form--what Sally McKay has called "long-loading, find-the-place-to-click-me narratives packed with theoretically correct reference to the body or lack thereof") and the purely experiential (entertainingly transgressive images, music, and video produced in a collaboration-friendly, peer to peer, non-Industry environment; deliberate confusion between professional and amateur [the vernacular thankfully hasn't gone away]; better sound and pictures generally) that broadband and googling makes possible.

Graffiti Rock: Treacherous Three Vs. Run-DMC

Sports Guy: Vince Carter is a Wus

The real story behind this Bill Simmons anecdote is that it's time to learn the name Quentin Ross.

Two weeks ago, I attended a Clips-Nets game two days after Vince Carter tweaked his back in Utah. Knowing Vince would play, knowing the Clips would stick Quentin Ross (aka, "Bruce Bowen 2.0") on him, knowing that Vince would probably struggle, I almost felt like starting a "When will Vince pull and Exit Stage Right during the game?" pool in my section. He came out firing (the back looked fine, by the way) before realizing that Ross would be hounding him all game. Eventually, he stopped going within 20 feet of the basket.

ere waiting for him to start stretching, wincing and doing all the other stuff that Vince does when he wants the crowd to know that he's thinking about packing it in for the night. At the end of the first half, he had one point. Midway through the third, he had 3 points and the Nets were down by 20. Then there was a 2-on-1 with Kidd when Vince stepped on someone's foot, landed a little awkwardly, waved to his bench as the whistle was blown, then kept right on jogging ... right into the runway and into the locker room. We never saw him again. Even better, we knew right away that he wasn't coming back. I just hope I get a chance to tell this story on "SportsCentury And Beyond: Vince Carter" some day.

BW Podcast with Rocketboom's Andrew Baron

Andrew Baron, co-founder of the Rocketboom video blog, is the guest on this week's BW's Cutting Edge podcast. He talks about Rocketboom's decision to sell advertising on eBay and its deal with TiVo.

Mobile Politics USA: Stuck in First Gear | Personal Democracy Forum



Living Portrait

GFPixel is a "painting" made of genetically transformed bacteria. The organisms are cultivated in about 4000 Petri-dishes that are arranged as a portrait. Like on digital screens part of the bacteria produce the green light – the Green Fluorescent Protein-gene is switched ON and in the other part the GFP-gene is switched OFF.

The works plays with the border between living world and the digital world, the portrait seems to be digital but it lives and dies during the exhibition. A work by Austrian media artist Gerfried Stocker and molecular biologist Reinhard Nestelbacher. More images (click "Gallerie und Details").

GPF Pixel can be seen at Medialab Madrid until April 2, as part of an exhibition of the most outstanding projects of digital culture which have won prizes in recent years at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. [blogged by Regine on we-make-money-not-art]

David Stern Badmouthing Blogs

Sort of. I mean, that's a bit of an overstatement. But read this. More on this later, I'm sure.

Incidentally, Stern and others were asked if they read Deadspin, and none said they did. I have heard anecdotes in the last couple of weeks of one All-Star, one executive, and one team owner reading TrueHoop. I hope someone asks Commissioner Stern if he reads TrueHoop.

Reblog 2.0 Beta 1 released

A fresh update to Reblog 2.0 has been released. Be first on your block to install it from http://reblog.org/#download.

This release includes a raft of enhancements, including better documentation for plug-in developers, slightly modified tag behavior that makes it easier to navigate your extensiv feed collection, experimental plug-ins for automatically publishing entries to WordPress, TypePad, Blogger and Del.icio.us accounts, and minor usability improvements too numerous to mention.

This BETA version has been extensively tested, and is recommended for most users. (1 comments)

Video: Pac-Man on campus

incidentally, these YouTube clones are popping up like weeds  

Flames Shower Curtain

I need

Songbird, a nifty new Web browser and media player -- and iTunes killer?

Michael Arrington pointed out last night that Songbird, the new Web browser and media player, was about to launch. So we went and looked, downloaded it, and sure enough, it works really well. First we scanned our desktop for files, and Songbird listed them all nicely. Then we played some. This has the look of something pretty cool. Some are calling it the "Firefox for Music." It is open source, and built on......

Lovebytes 2006

From -> Marjan van Mourik
Lovebytes 2006. Environments International Festival of Digital Art and Media 20 - 25 March Sheffield UK The 10th Lovebytes Festival explores the relationship between physical and digital environments. Featuring live music and multi- media performances, film screenings, workshops and exhibitions of new media work from around the world. Main events 23 ... [more]

Howard Stern Reviews "Brokeback Mountain"

Via the fanatic dedicated Howard Stern fan site:



Howard Stern is always full of surprises while at the same time is always predictable:

Howard Reviews Brokeback Mountain. 02/07/06. 6:50am

Firebird - Relational Database for the New Millenium

Yoshiki KURIHARA / HTTP-MobileAgent-0.25 - search.cpan.org

Fossil Finding Suggests Early Ancestor of T. Rex

A primitive crested dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago in China appears to be the granddaddy of all tyrannosaurs.

Your Thing Is Lame, Everybody Knows It

Joel Spolsky disses AJAX calendar hype: "I've talked about this before -- it's the Marimba phenomenon -- when you get premature publicity, lots of people check out your thing, and it's not done yet, so now most of the people that tried your thing think it's lame, and now you have two problems: your thing is lame and everybody knows it."

Goobuntu - Analysis of a hoax

I hope you have hear of the latest rumours regarding a Goobuntu OS supposedly being developed by google based off of Ubuntu. Well, if you haven’t, you haven’t missed much. Today (or yesterday) wasn’t the first I heard of Goobuntu.

Let me hazard a guess at how this rumour spread. A WEEK ago, I read this profile of Ubuntu/Mark Shuttleworth on the pages of an Africa-based website. That includes the following paragraph:

A key stage in Ubuntu’s growth will be persuading personal computer makers to sell machines with Ubuntu already installed. Google has developed its own version of Ubuntu, called Goobuntu. Shuttleworth says he is in talks with the city of Munich about creating an edition for them.

After reading thisI searched on Google (where else?) and found nothing (excpet a page in Japanese that I could not read) to report and so kept shut. However, I am guessing that an overactive imagination at Register must have made invisible connections between the rumoured google desktop OS and the mention of goobuntu in the article (which must have propagated through the feed-waves), to write this embarassment of an article. Among other things it has this to say:

Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project called Goobuntu, but declined to supply further details, including what the project is for.

Again, we run into “undisclosed sources” and a lack of “further details”.

I used to read the Register once in a while, and had stopped a few months ago - apparently such sensationalist and questionable reporting is what they celebrate the most.

We had to wait a day to hear a google technology spokesperson say that these rumours were not true:

Despite today being earnings release day, presumably a very busy time at the Google press relations office, technology spokeswoman Sonya Borälv responded very quickly to my query on the topic. She said that “[w]e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company.”

However, the best part of the fiasco was this screenshot!! Folks have a hyper-active imagination, I tell you!

The good that hopefully came out of all this is that a few geeks (like us) who can’t be seperated from their feedreaders and forums would probably now be stoked by the question, “so what is this ‘Ubuntu’ all about then?”. I hope a few of them come to stay. That google uses Ubuntu internally is a great thing - a seemingly valid endorsement of how Ubuntu’s development has progressed so far, towards a simpler, stabler desktop linux.

Make Your Own Oscar Pool

I'm voting for a Dukes of Hazzard sweep  

Boing Boing interviews Rob Lord on Songbird

the open-source iTunes clone launched today, though the site is totally crushed  

Werner Herzog Shot With Air Rifle

HerzogGerman Director Werner Herzog encountered the random violence of nature he speaks of so often as he was shot by a crazed fan during a BBC interview. In classic Herzog fashion, the 63 year old director stated "Someone is shooting at us. We must go." The interview continued, however, as Herzog's pants became stained with blood. Herzog commented, "It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid." Thanks Fabio! Link to Yahoo story.

UPDATE: Two days before being shot, a Jesus-like Herzog pulled Joaquin Phoenix out of a car wreck.

UPDATE 2: Listener Evan has found a link to the video of the shooting: start streaming video.

Is star-studded Google turning into the New York Yankees of tech?

Google is trying to do with brains what the Hunt brothers attempted with silver a few decades back: to corner the market. Of course, the very idea is preposterous, but they are running an unsettling surplus of gray matter. Rob Hof has a good analysis of Google's latest catch, this time the head of Amazon's A9 search operation, Udi Manber. Clearly, the bumps in Google's stock didn't spook him.

I'm thinking we should keep our eyes open for defections from Google, perhaps a leading indicator of its decline from dominance. (Or would it be a lagging indicator?) In any case, at some point, if it's not happening already, all these brilliant stars corraled in the same company are going to start stepping on each other's toes and getting antsy. Larry and Sergey have probably been too busy to notice, but they would do well to study the recent history of the star-studded and star-crossed New York Yankees.

Finns making sensible copyright moves?

Posted by JimH on #mobitopia (irc.freenode.net)

Text "Pride" for a daily SMS about those who have made a difference in African American history

corettamartingking.gif Sprint and The History Makers, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving African-American history through first-person stories, have announced the launch of "Moments in Black History," a series of daily "textoids" delivered via text message during the month of February.

Charity Navigator evaluates and rates charities so you can see how well your donation will be used

Charity Navigator evaluates and rates charities so you can see how well your donation will be used. There's room for improvement, but it's a good idea.

when is a search engine not a search engine?

Is it okay to remove sites from search results in response to lawsuits? Check out this search and make sure you read the disclaimer at the bottom. Then read about Google agreeing to censor their results in China, begging the question “Are censored results better than none at all?” Gmail and Blogger will also not be available to Chinese users of Google. As a quickie example, you can see the results for Tiananmen Square searches: US Google, Chinese Google, Chinese Google search using Chinese characters. The Chinese searches have the disclaimer “据当地法律法规和政策,部分搜索结果未予显示” or “In accordance with local laws, regulations and policies, part of these search results are not displayed.” This is all in addition to other blocking strategies, commonly referred to as The Great Firewall of China. However in this case Google.cn doesn’t just block searches for keywords, it blocks selectively sometimes without saying that it’s doing so. Slightly more explanation and intrigue over at Search Engine Watch, Google Blogoscoped and Google’s own official blog.

Why does this matter to librarians? Well, it’s obvious how it matters to librarians in China. It also calls into question the very idea of objectivity in search engines everywhere. As Google spends more time and effort currying favor with librarians trying to show how sympatico they are, this move is a departure from expanding access. People who search Google.cn for topics like Tibet or Falun Gong (or possible even other less innocuous topics) won’t just find an absence of results, they’ll find results that are skewed towards the Chinese government’s policies about those topics. That’s wrong. Pundits argue that this is a sensible move for Google from a business perspective, and I won’t debate that, but it does serve to starkly highlight the differences in saying “free acces to information” if you’re a for-profit shareholder-owned company. Any librarian who has had to grapple with a filter with an unknown blacklist will be familiar with the struggles that people on the non-filtered side of Google are going through trying to figure out just what is happening. [metafilter]

Cary Grant on Acid

Sublime Cinema Site

Michael Szpakowski, one of the core producers behind DVblog, has recently created 'Scenes of Provincial Life,' a new video blog of his own provocative shorts. The series started as a kind of 'moving image dream diary,' a few years ago, and already features a dozen movies. Each plays with simple juxtapositions of mostly appropriated material, and Szpakowski is slowly uploading his archive, intermixed with new work, at a rate of one file per day. The tones of the videos range from Kentridge-like sorrowful beauty to quirky and experimental fluxus framing. Szpakowski's mastery of remixing pop and historical imagery feels cautiously poetic--an inviting and watchful celebration of the ignored beauty to be found in everyday things. - Nathaniel Stern


Marvin Gaye Playing Basketball Vs. Don Cornelius

livedoor knowledge

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