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March 21, 2006

Trader Joe's is Bumrushed


Trader Joe's OPENED last Friday the 17th - but I haven't been inside yet because of 1 hour lines, shoulder to shoulder aisles - hey sorta sounds like nyc streets during rush hour huh? My friend told me that with 1/2 hour line just to GET INTO the store, they are only letting 10 people in at a time!

this weekend Kenyatta and I drove 1 hour to go the TJ in Long Island's Valley Stream. Yup folks - if you have a car, or a friend who has a car - it's time to borrow it. Looks like the TJ Line is going to crazy for a while. Here are some pics below from folks that did get inside.

Trader Joe's Opening Update: Still Waiting [Curbed]

Trader Joe's Opening Update: We're Inside [Curbed]

Trader Joe's Opening: Dry As a Bone [Curbed]

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Baby Got Back in Latin

magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri.
(Large buttocks are pleasing to me, nor am I able to lie concerning this matter.)
quis enim, consortes mei, non fateatur,
(For who, colleagues, would not admit,)
cum puella incedit minore medio corpore
(Whenever a girl comes by with a rather small middle part of the body)
sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos
(Beneath which is an obvious spherical mass, that it inflames the spirits)
(via del.icio.us/lectrick)

Following the Game Developers Conference 2006 online

Like Burning Man, Emerging Technology, Where, Maker Faire, WebZine or South by Southwest: Interactive, the Game Developer's Conference can be a good place to track the contemporary conversations in Interactive Media. Even if you're in the giant San Jose convention center, it can be hard to maximize your stimulation. Fortunately, the web provides a fairly rich virtual GDC experience:

  • Some GDC veterans have started a GDC 2006 Wiki for posting attendee notes and comments.
  • isual records, check the gdc2006 tag on Flickr

  • You can download and play many of the Independent Game Festival entrants
  • many of the entries from the cutting edge Experimental Gameplay Workshop will be listed and maybe downloadable online.

    If I find any other good GDC 2006 resources online, I'll post them here. Otherwise, add your own in the comments!

    Sun also open-sourced their "Niagara" processor

    Sun also open-sourced their "Niagara" processor which is a somewhat unprecedented move. I remain skeptical of open hardware in general.

    Sun finally launched their $1/CPU-hour retail grid.

    Sun finally launched their $1/CPU-hour retail grid. The manual has all the technical details.

    Books of The Times | 'Fantasyland,' by Sam Walker: Analyzing Baseball's Dream Dimension

    Sam Walker joined the major league of rotisserie leagues, Tout Wars, to see whether statistics alone can predict a player's worth.

    A list of the most-linked blogs in September 2000

    A list of the most-linked blogs from September 2000 (scroll for the notes at the end). Metalog and Metalog Ratings comprised the first weblog tracking/ranking system, predating most of the current crop by at least a year or two.

    Getting close to Rails 1.1

    I've just announced the first release candidate for Rails 1.1. After three months of work, we're almost ready to deliver. What a great feeling.

    When you live on Edge Rails, it's quick to forget just how much has changed since the last public release. And this time it's much worse than usual. Roughly five hundred new features, fixes, and other changes were recorded in the Rails change logs.

    Naturally, it's easy to fall in love with the big ticket items. Our new Ruby-to-Javascript compiler, polymorphic and join associations, integration testing, and you should. There's lots to love.

    But what I really like about Rails 1.1 are the hundreds of tiny patches. Wrinkles ironed out by software developers from all over the world. People who found something ugly and made it beautiful. The kind of deep polish you can only get when the barrier to entry for patching Rails is as low as it is and when you have such an incredible talent pool to draw the best insights from.

    I am more proud than ever of what we have been able to accomplish together.

    V for Vendetta: Book vs Movie

    V for Vendetta (the movie): pretty much Hollywood crap as usual. [Spoilers coming.] The first half sailed along but after Evey is taken into custody by the Finger it took too many shortcuts and liberties with Alan Moore's story and stopped being believable. These mushy movie types were hurt that Moore repudiated the film but good for him! Am re-reading the comic to get the movie out of my brain. Will post some key differences as I read, so this blog entry will change.

    In the comic, nuclear explosions have destroyed Europe and Africa. Fascism emerges in England after civil society devolves into chaos. Everyone is poor. Evey is a hooker-in-training and works in a match factory.

    In the movie, people have nice TVs and computers, with slick interfaces. Evey is an aspiring actress who works at a TV station.

    In the movie, V professes his love for Evey. (This is like a Tom Cruise movie--a heel learns the healing power of love.)

    In the book, V talks to the Statue of Justice. Says he used to love her, but now he has a new love--Anarchy! Blows up the statue.

    The whole "I will return in one year to blow up the Houses of Parliament" schtick is a movie plot contrivance. In the book V destroys Parliament in the first chapter.

    I did some important investigatory journalism today: burgers at the Shake Shack on opening day

    I did some important investigatory journalism today: burgers at the Shake Shack on opening day. Journalism has never been so delicious.

    Parallels between my living through two years of middle school and the two terms of the Bush presidency

    Somewhat related to this, parallels between my living through two years of middle school and the two terms of the Bush presidency.

    Affordable PC Dragon Dreams To Become a Reality: China's 1st Domestic 64-bit CPU

    CPU Godsen II Finally China will make use of its homegrown CPU chip (Central Processing Unit), Godsen II, to build Dragon Dreams, affordable computers at 1,000yuan ($125).

    After testing Godsen I and Godsen II for severals years, the Godsen II chip is equivalent to Pentium III and will be China's first 64-bit high-performance processor. Godsen II also supports Linux (yea!) and Windows X operating systems. Tax-control and server machines made by domestic companies have already started using the Godsen II chip since last year.
    People may wonder why China would create another processor when there is already is Pentium III and Intel. This goes back to patents issues and is reminiscent of the reactions in early March when China highly encouraged the use of homegrown codec AVS instead of using MPEG-4 and H.264. Therefore not only is this China's first 64-bit unit, but Godsen II is China's first wholly owned intellectual property rights for a CPU chip, therefore their Dragon Dream PCS will not be held to US patent royalties. Get it? Ahhhh yes anti-US imperialism working its ways! That is why the development of Godsen II was funded heavily by various sectors, from government agencies, universities to private companies.
    Now UN's Kofi Annan at the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) can contact China to roll those $100 computers out. Others have already noted how this affordable computer can now be used by the poor. Back in May 2005 the Director of Godsen II, Li Guojie, said that this will "enable 800 million Chinese peasants to afford PCs." So let's start working on rural education and development to make this quote come true. With recent funding directions announced at the China Development Forum 2006 and by the Premier, Wen Jiaoba, at the National People's Congress, it seems like we are at least heading in the right direction. The question is if Chinese peasants can afford these new PC's, what kind of information will they have access to online? In a top-down surveillanced world, these affordable PC's could be pre-built with monitoring devices that will track peasant's usage and control what websites can be accessed. Scary! The future of political activism may look like peasants learning how to hack into these Dragon Dream PC's to get around firewalls.
    UPDATE: Dragon PC is already on trial and may be produced on a small scale by June.

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    david lynch: daily weather report

    Google maps email traceroute

    A very nice Google maps mashup which visualises the route of any email and the Google map builder automates putting a customised Google map on your website.

    via coin operated

    Posted to

    Old Dirty Bastard in the Studio with The Neptunes

    Hornets in the Ninth Ward

    Liz Robbins of the New York Times took a bus tour of Katrina's wreckage with Byron Scott, Speedy Claxton, Chris Paul, Aaron Williams, and David West, among others.

    The most stirring sight for Speedy Claxton, the Hornets' veteran point guard, was the one word he saw spray-painted on the front of a desolate bungalow. "It said 'Help,' " Claxton said, shaking his head.

    One day before the Hornets were to play their third and final game in New Orleans — having relocated for this season and next to Oklahoma City — four players, Coach Byron Scott and his wife, Anita, and a handful of Hornets employees took a tour of the New Orleans areas that were hit hardest by the floods from Hurricane Katrina.

    They saw the dichotomy of their lives and the destroyed ones of their city's fans — scenes that made them question, uncomfortably, how basketball would ever have a place here. Suddenly, their eight-game losing streak did not seem as disconcerting.

    "We're fortunate enough to be in a situation where we make good money, and there are some parts of the city where people are living in trailers, tents, parking lots of Wal-Mart," forward David West said. "You don't feel at ease with that situation.

    "What we do in terms of our profession isn't that big of a deal when you got major life issues people are dealing with — it's quite a reality check."

    Forward Aaron Williams took pictures with his phone to send to his wife as the bus returned to the team's luxury hotel in the French Quarter.

    Obviously, I'm a big believer in the healing power of sports. But I wonder if something smaller scale, cheaper and more accessible to the public (high school and college sports, perhaps? Pickup ball? Streetball?) might be more in order for a city dealing with this kind of devestation. Something about bringing all that bling, security guards, and portable gaming systems tweaked to work in luxury hotels--right now that seems like a mismatch. Maybe it will all be a little better by this coming fall. I hope so.


    AmericanIdol.com invites video ads from users

    American Idol fans can submit :10 second commercials on why they love AmericanIdol.com and the top five spots will air on Fox in May. "This is a great chance for our fans to grab a little fame for themselves and help promote Americanidol.com," said Jeff King, VP Fox Interactive Media. Press release follows below...PRESS RELEASE -- Los Angeles, Calif. - March 20, 2006 - Americanidol.com, the official online community for American Idol fans, today unveiled "Video Chance for Fame," a user-generated video competition that invites fans to create and submit a ten second commercial on why they love Americanidol.com the website. The top five commercials, as voted on by the Americanidol.com online community, will air in May during an American Idol telecast, with the winning commercial airing during the highly anticipated finale on May 24 on FOX.

    "Americanidol.com is the online home for the millions of American Idol fans, and in true American Idol spirit, we wanted to give them an opportunity to have their voices heard," said Jeff King, VP Fox Interactive Media. "This is a great chance for our fans to grab a little fame for themselves and help promote Americanidol.com."

    Americanidol.com offers fans exclusive online content including hundreds of original videos, thousands of behind-the-scenes photos, downloads, original music, style columns, dynamic games, contests, blogs, and personal photo galleries.

    According to ComScore Media Metrix, Americanidol.com is the internet's most highly trafficked single television-driven show website with an estimated 6.4 million unique visitors for the month of February. This number is forecasted to rise to over 10 million unique visitors for March.

    Video Chance for Fame Rules

    Video length must be ten seconds in length, no more, no less, and focus on Americanidol.com the website. Videos touting the website cannot show favoritism for one contestant more than any other. Use of copyrighted music is prohibited. Only videos on MiniDV, DVD or BetaSP will be accepted. Deadline for submission is May 15. Send to: American Idol Video Submissions c/o Fox Interactive Media, PO Box 5533, Beverly Hills, CA 90209.

    Google Finance launches


    Type a stock symbol into a Google search box and a new option appears for more information: Google Finance.

    Set to compete with Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch and TheStreet, Google Finance includes dynamic, draggable and zoomable stock charts with pinpoints to news stories that broke about the company at certain points in time. A stock's Google Finance page also includes company information, blog posts and Google Group discussion items. Take a gander at the GOOG page to see Google Finance in all its glory.

    Comment on this post
    Related: StockDigg

    Atom as a Case Study

    This is adapted from my talk of the same name at ETech 2006. The talk’s sections were entitled Why?, How?, What?, and Lessons?; I’ve left out What?, the description of what Atom is, since we’ve had plenty of that around here. That leaves Why we built it, How we built it, and what Lessons you might want take away from the experience...

    'On Demand' Super Computing

    Later this week Sun unveil the Sun Grid Compute Utility. If you have the cash, and a web browser, you can have serious processing power at your fingertips.

    Banana shortage?

    GirlHacker investigates the worldwide banana shortage....

    Ring Up My Bill, Please

    Recently, American banks and wireless companies began developing mobile payment products that would allow consumers to pay for goods via cellphone.

    Las Vegas is testing out some high-tech gadgets, including fully-automated gaming tables with no chips, cards, or dealer.

    Las Vegas is testing out some high-tech gadgets, including fully-automated gaming tables with no chips, cards, or dealer. Doesn't sound like much fun...

    Google unleashes Google Finance

    (Google vs. Yahoo) We broke the news last August that Google Finance was coming. Well here it is: http://finance.google.com Here are excerpts from our story tomorrow. The site provides stock charts, news and chat rooms. It makes several improvements on the most popular finance site on the Web, Yahoo Finance. "It is definitely an improvement,'' said Charlene Li, an analyst at Forrester Research. However, the improvements over Yahoo aren't radical enough to confuse people who are already familiar with the way Yahoo Finance works, she said. ""It's not a mind-blowing improvement,'' she said, ""which is actually an advantage. You already know how to use it." Indeed, the trick for Google is being just good enough to force users people to try it out. While Google has begun to pull away from Yahoo as the dominant force in Web search, Google Finance is the latest product to compete with Yahoo's personalized offerings. For example, Yahoo has long provided a way for people to customize Yahoo Finance, so they can organize stock listings in a private portfolio and subscribe to financial news alerts. Millions of people already are comfortable using Yahoo Finance and other services such as Reuters, and many of them are unlikely to move no matter how stellar Google makes its service, analysts say. But the battle in finance is similar to others the two companies have waged in the past. They both offer an e-mail platform, an instant messaging service and personalized local news. Yahoo has been pushing a social networking strategy, providing people ways to share photos with Flickr, or to ""tag'' favorite pages with Delicious, for example. Google Finance appears to mimmick Yahoo's social networking strategy even closer … by providing a way for people to communicate with each other in chat forums about individual stocks. Google...

    Even Avian Flu Won't Stop The Rolling Stone's China Debut

    Rolling stone With SARS a threat of the past, The Rolling Stones will play their first concert in Shanghai, China on April 8th. After 40 decades of trying to get Chinese censors to allow them to play, they were finally granted a concert 3 years ago, but it was thwarted twice when SARS kicked into full swing. Ticket prices of the Rolling Stone's 2006 April Shanghai concert range from 300 yuan ($37.50) to 3,000 yuan ($375). 3,000yuan is a on the high end of a monthly middle income salary in Beijing.

    The band is not supposed to perform the following songs (links to lyrics): Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, Beast of Burden, and Let's Spend the Night Together. I am trying to figure out why these particular songs are problematic, considering there are plenty of other Rolling Stones songs that could be labeled as inflammatory. Here are my guesses for the "raciest" words that rendered each song banned for their concert performance.

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