URLs Category Archive


Global Voices Online

After months of work, we finally launched the Global Voices Online redesign. This is just the beginning of many many more awesome things to come.

Many thanks to all who helped! and congrats to the whole GV community.


fluokids, kinda interesting DJ crew in france, seems to be made up of some funloving kids.

However, what I find the most interesting, is their awesome logo:


Made by Arthur Röing, a swedish teenager. He says:

Submission for graphic design contest arranged by fluokids, a french dj crew. I custom made a font by arranging circles and rectangles into different shapes, later evolving to the different letters in the logotype.

Beautiful job man.

Indymedia is a spam host

I've been receiving tons of spam blog comments across the networks I maintain all pointing to spam comments hosted on various Indymedia websites.

I have tried to contact them directly but I recently heard that their technical resources are ... technically non existant...

Seems they are incompetent as well. What to expect, it's Indymedia.


Wake up kids.

What's that movie?!

Help me out here...

Mid 80's, I think the main actor was a WWF wrestler (first guess was Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, but IMDB doesn't list any movies for him). Something about aliens already here, controlling society on earth via subliminal messages in advertising that only this main actor guy can see thanks to special sunglasses.


AHA! Thanks Mike! It was Rowdy Roddy Piper, and the movie is "They Live"

"Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued."

Why do I bring this up?

Because of this: "BBC News - Hiding messages in plain sight"

Japanese firm Fujitsu is pushing a technology that can encode data into a picture that is invisible to the human eye but can be decoded by a mobile phone with a camera.

The company believes the technology will have spin off implications for the publishing industry.

"The concept is to be able to link the printed page into the digital domain," said Mike Nelson, general manager for sales operations at Fujitsu Europe.

Aaron, get some yellow markers too!

"I should blog that"

I think it was sometime in 2002... I hadn't even started this weblog yet, in fact that stuff to me was still just personal websites. (that's all it still is to me, really)

On a lark one Sunday afternoon I remembered to search Google for the lyrics to a song I had heard too many times in my life without ever really getting what was said: "La grange" by ZZ-Top.

I found the lyrics (snore, it was a particularly lazy sunday), but also, I found the homepage of someone who later became my best friend. :)

(I can pinpoint the exact moment I realized, maybe two years later, that I cared about him too. Funny. And totally unique. I remember thinking "holyshit i hope he didn't go and do something stupid" as I ran out the door to try to find him.)

About a month ago, sitting at our favorite sakana-ya (fish place) in Shimokitazawa, he told me between bites of freshly steamed crab: "I'm stopping."

"Ah? Ok." Said I. The moment passed.

Wasn't till tonight that I stopped by his site only to see his farewell message. (Karl stopped blogging.)

Funny, I did the opposite. I stopped reading weblogs over a year ago. No joke. Once every few weeks I'll go poke around... but honestly i can't think of even 5 weblogs I really read with any kind of frequency. That includes Karl. And you, too. ;)

And that's why I don't miss Karl. Oh and the fact that he's my best friend and we talk everyday. :)


Amazon taps into otaku culture. Or what's left of it anyways.

from Metropolis (no permanent URI--"permalink". get a clue people!)

Now that otaku are the new trendsetters, you’ll be sure to find what’s hot in Japanese subculture wherever they congregate. The country’s largest online retailer, Amazon Japan (www.amazon.co.jp), has created a dedicated spot for these self-proclaimed nerds to go gaga over the latest video games, DVDs, figurines, graphic novels, magazines, cosplay gear and so much more.

The Otaku Store is organized by its own editors, ranked by popularity and reviewed by peers, making it the go-to place for all coveted items on the otaku radar. One way to browse it is by popular anime character names, among which Evangelion, Suzumiya Haruhi and Nodame Cantabile are the most widely searched. Otaku living overseas can also partake in the shopping, since the majority of these items (excluding video games) can be shipped internationally. With some 30,000 products currently listed, this new resource brings the chaos of Akihabara right onto your computer screen, in a more organized way.

Anyways, the term otaku much more broadly means anyone who's a geek for any interest, not just japanese anime, computers and robots and videogames... but whatever.

White Day


White Day is a festival that was created by a concentrated marketing effort in Japan. White Day is celebrated in Japan and Korea on March 14, one month after Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day, women give gifts to men; on White Day, men who received chocolate on Valentine's Day return the favour and give gifts to women. This holiday is starting to gain popularity in Hong Kong, where Japanese influence is strong.

First off, out here, on Valentine's Day, it's the women who give the men gifts, etc.

Second, any woman I love will know I love her every day, and not need a commercially sanctioned day for me to give her flowers or chocolates so that a whole caste of spoiled brats can live off of trust funds.

Third, sadly it seems that most people rather just get the flowers and chocolates than really be loved.

The line between freedom and captivity in love is very very thin. One may be able to see it but still waver back and forth over it wildly. Stabilize man, dammit.

Jonathan Livingston Frilled Shark

This story about the rare deep water shark found south of Tokyo brings to mind so many things.

- I'm going to soar higher and further than anyone ever has!
- We *must* try to communicate with the outside world!
- Am I dead? Is this heaven? (Imagine, you are elevated to a place with many times less pressure, more warmth and light. You feel light as a feather, warm and everything is glowing white because your eyes are not meant to deal with such brightness. The marine biologists in SCUBA gear seem like angels to you...)

I suppose such a creature, when sick might go against millions of years of genetic engineering and swim towards the surface. If dead marine life floated, it wouldn't be so rare and mysterious now would it? Which is why I am thinking more along the lines of an adventurous soul, thirsty to push the boundaries of their kind, prepared to pay the ultimate price.

Or just a crazy. You know, the "I can fly! I can really fly!" kind...

Pics are up

Over on flickr, the context remixer for photos..

As a set.

On a map. (or rather, the actual set/map cross-context mix view ;)

In a calendar.


twit (twÄ­t)
tr.v., twit·ted, twit·ting, twits.

To taunt, ridicule, or tease, especially for embarrassing mistakes or faults. See synonyms at ridicule.

  1. The act or an instance of twitting.
  2. A reproach, gibe, or taunt.
  3. Slang. A foolishly annoying person.

twitter twit'ter n.

Here in Quebec, calling someone a twit is quite a serious gibbing:
"t'est une ostie d'twit, colisse!"

Updated string 2 color

I needed to update my string to hexcolor function to also check the luminosity before returning a color cause I was often getting colors too bright to be legible when applied to text on a white background.

It now takes an optional $luminosity parameter. The default is 150 (0-255, the lower the darker).
It returns the first hexcolor that passes the test. If it runs thorugh all 5 possibilities without finding one, tough luck, it returns the first one in the array. (Ideally it should then test for the closest hex to the luminosity cutoff and return that but eh... I have other things to do! ;)


Just came across this:
What are the odds that two commenters leave the exact same comment (barring the capitalization of one word) at the same moment on the same photoblog post?

"Selena" and "Mojo â„¢" both said "LOL home!!!" at 10:48pm, March 29th, 2006, on this post.

My problem is why is a post dated March 14th, 2006 showing up in my GVO aggregator as "posted 10 minutes ago"... :p

Create a culture of design

This is exactly what I hope to set up around me, for my eventual team, modulo all the emphasis on games/gaming:

pasta and vinegar � Creating a culture of design research

1. Create a space that encourages design research: “the office space we inhabit is filled to bursting with games, toys, and other play objects”
2. Build a design research library: ” retail game titles, books and graphic novels, DVDs and videotapes, magazines (we have many subscriptions), board and card games, and toys of all kinds.”
3. Attend and create events: “GameLab has attended films, exhibits, conferences, and other events connected to games, design, and popular culture / we also host our own design research affair”
4. Let them teach
5. Encourage side projects: “We encourage our staff to pursue personal projects.”
6. Create contexts for experimentation: “from time to time we create opportunities for our staff to undertake experimental, noncommercial projects as a form of design research. ”

The original full text is here: Creating a Culture of Design Research - Eric Zimmerman

It's nothing new, and makes total sense: people need to be in envirornments that stimulate.


Ho. Ly. Hell.

This is just cool:

My question is: why is Karl surfing breakdance videos on YouTube on a Monday morning? ;)

Aaron on his situation at Conflux

(catching up)

Excellent article by Aaron about his visit to the Conflux thingy in NYC 2 weeks ago.
If you're into internets OR arts OR locations stuffs... it's something good to chew on.
(A couple of "Mike"s I know 'specially)

GVO has won the 2006 Knight-Batten award for innovations in journalism

Big congrats to the team.

This is a pretty big deal. The Knight-Batten awards were created by combining the existing "Batten Awards for Excellence in Civic Journalism" and a new endeavor by the Knight Foundation, of James Knight Batten, founder of Knight Ridder, to promote innovative uses of new technologies for journalistic endeavors:

Seventeen years ago, James K. Batten, the respected chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, urged journalists to adapt for the future and to "invent new ways to make the public's business rivetingly interesting -- and much more difficult to ignore."

"We need a fresh journalistic mindset rooted in our past," he said in 1989, "but shrewdly and tough-mindedly in touch with the realities awaiting us."

This bodes well since we're just getting into our stride, tech and design wise, with major new (innovative!) developments and total redesigns coming up.

Very exciting.

GVO is what I spend 80% of my time on. For us to win this award makes me feel warm inside. Thanks Ethan and Rebecca for the opportunity to be part of it, and the whole gang for all the hard work and dedication.

Couldn't help but noticing


Jan Chipchase draws a parallel between checking out of a Tokyo hospital and checking out of the U.S.

Amazing coincidence, the two photos share many many similarities as well:
- shades of green near center of image
- large area of "snow"
- angle of chopsticks and seat base on right
- rectangular surface at left
- grid backdrop
oh and of course the hand.

Nice job.


While eating my dinner (yes at my desk), I decided to spark up my old RSS aggregator and read some feeds I hadn't checked up on in a while.

It seems some months ago Maciej escaped the binds of Manhattan and slipped below the Equator... to Argentina.

I always enjoy Maciej's writing and his most recent post had me chuckling the whole way through:

To whet:

The Collapse of the Perito Moreno It was pandemonium this month at the Perito Moreno glacier. The Perito Moreno is a giant mess of ice that flows out of the mountains in the southern Argentine province of Santa Cruz, near El Calafate, looking for trouble. In a world of sissy nature that requires protection, handholding, wilderness reserves, careful study and constant medical attention, the Perito Moreno glacier is a refreshing throwback. This glacier wants you dead. It wants to come out and crush you under billions of tons of ice, carve its name into your face, and maraud out into the plains of Patagonia until it reaches the sea. You don't have to go into the mountains looking for the Perito Moreno - it's coming out of the mountains to look for you. It wants to come over there and mess you up good.

Felt good to get away from work. :)
Be well Maciej!

Vhat ze heck ist zis?

I'm not sure what to make of this series of new Volkswagen GTI commercials: "de-pimping your auto."

Part of me is laughing pretty hard, but another is cringing, especially at the racial/cultural stereotyping: ugly rigid "weirdo eccentric" german guy pulling "urban street style" crouched pose and VW handsign while saying: "Vee und Double You in ze house, rrreprezenting Deutschland."

Cringe. Funny as hell, but cringe nonetheless. Makes me not want a MkV VW GTI (as if the fact that it looks like a rice burne... ahem... Honda Civic, the arch-nemesis of the VW Golf line, wasn't enough... ;)

Not that I am looking to buy, mind you. My beaten up 5 year old Mk4 VW Golf 2.0l is paid for. Amen.

Raye in India

Raye In India

Stunning gallery of travel photos from Raye Fukuda, a web designer I met in Tokyo.


Damn... I'm on the verge of popping a reblog feed of Andrew's blog in my sidebar...

The Karl Rove situation is a litmus test for just how far the Bush administration is willing to go to cling to power and lie to the American people, and just how Bushwhipped the mainstream media has become. Bush should have already been impeached over the Downing Street Memo. If he attempts to gloss over this with self-righteous rhetoric, y’all need to take to the streets.
You should read the whole thing.

Equally stinging is Steven's remix of the US Department of State's "Consular Information Sheet" on Cuba.

Zingers, gentlemen, zingers!

You don't need $ to make a hot video as long as you have the right moves

A few reasons why this is one hell of a music video:

  1. Decent tune. It's in the current not-totally-mainstreamed-to-death-yet bracket. Barely.
  2. DIY. Cheap home camera, on a tripod or picnic table. Looks like iMovie for post prod, what post prod there was...
  3. Real. no set, no effects, no cliché scenario. Just four guys dancing.
  4. Coordination. What these guys saved on video expenses, they put into choreography and practice time.
  5. Four words: SINGLE TAKE. Holy crap.

via Ken, whom a year ago I told, in essence: "Ditch the goddamn $60k-videos-on-a-$20k budget. You have a digital video camera and a G4. Your expenses are covered. Go make some goddamn films!" (No I won't stop bringing that up. ;)

Del.icio.us hash

A month ago, joshua mentioned an easy breezy little addition one can do to one's site to allow users to easily del.icio.us bookmark entries on one's weblog.

In some cases though, you might like an easy way to see how many people, and who, has bookmarked an entry on your weblog.

But how!?

Del.icio.us hash, my friends, del.icio.us hash.

You know that little "and X other people" link under each del.icio.us entry? Click on it. See that string of weird string characters in the query string? That's an MD5 hash of the bookmarked URL.

What follows is the list of ideas -in sequence of how they came to me and I dismissed them - of how this could be implemented, and why each can't or shouldn't be. The last one is the best bet. I couldn't do any of these myself, except for one, since I can't code to save my life.

1- MT Plugin run from CRON
Hashes every permalink and checks it against del.icio.us, grabs the RSS feed for each and caches them "locally", parses them out for stats and outputs the numbers ("25 people think this is delicious!") into the templates via template tags.
The idea is based on Ado's excellent MT-Technorati plugin which does basically the same with Technorati. The problem is that del.icio.us is really really sensitive to "abusive behavior". Send it too many requests too quickly and joshua will hate you. Also, calculating that many MD5 hashes, retrieving that many RSS feeds and parsing them all and rebuilding them, every 10-15 minutes, puts a hella load on your server. Ferget it.

2- A simple MD5 hashed permalink link.
"Click here to see who del.icio.us'ed this entry!" style. No numbers, no fancy getting and parsing. Number of ways to do this, server side.
a) If you are running PHP you can just add a little call to it's built in MD5 function, feed it your permalink et voila.
<a href="http://del.icio.us/url/<?php md5('<$MTEntryPermalink$>');" title="is it delicious?">is it delicious?</a>
<a href="http://del.icio.us/url/<?php md5('the_permalink();');" title="is it delicious?">is it delicious?</a>

b) Abstract it away with some sort of plugin. In MT, this means that the MD5 hashing occurs at build time and is done by Perl. In WP's case, it's at page request time.

Problem: you have large amount of entries and lots of traffic. Every page request launches an MD5 hash request. System resources-wise, your server needs this like a hole in the head.

3- Client-side, Javascript baby!
Ohhh this could work. A simple JS function included in the header, called from the link:
<a href="#" title="is it delicious?" onclick="do_md5_link('<$MTEntryPermalink$>');">is it delicious?</a>
(any number of ways)

4- Client-side, AJAX/ScrumJAX baby!!!
Basically, do number one above but inline, in real time. On click, MD5 the URL, query del.ico.us for the RSS for the bookmarks of that URL, parse it out, pop a layer showing the number of hits and, whatever, say, the list of users who bookmarked it.

Any takers?

[thanks to Aaron for the hash and calling me a lazy pig-fucker.]

Shall wonders never cease?

Two words, people:

transparent duct tape.

Ok, ok, that's three words...

Bang on

MJ on the "Lifecycle of Bloggers".

While I don't for one second believe there is any such thing as "one type of blog/blogger", this sums up very nicely what many many go through.

I'm at step 12 myself. Again. Not the purging part, mind you.

Atmospheric stabilization in folksonomic tag clouds

Visual display of how choice of tags on a URL stabilizes over time on Del.icio.us.

I blame "suggested tags" ;)

Free Murakami short story

The New Yorker published a new short story by HARUKI MURAKAMI, and graciously posted it, in print friendly format, on their weblog...er... I mean website...

(Whaaat... they appear in "reverse chronological order" and have permalinks... ;)
(Oh and please do note the lack of any copyright notice on that "page".)

Thanks Gen!

Disturbing meme

"I find your lack of" disturbing -faith

 Reference Anh Vadertie Vader 02Vtcby

I Find Your Lack of Star Wars Tattoos... Disturbing I find your lack of wires disturbing I Find Your Lack Of Banjo Disturbing I Find Your Lack Of Cream... Disturbing I Find Your Lack of Pitch Disturbing I find your lack of pants disturbing I Find Your Lack of Spuds Disturbing I Find Your Lack of Chives Disturbing I find your lack of Art disturbing I find your lack of milk... disturbing I find your lack of safety restraints disturbing I find your lack of underpants disturbing I find your lack of cake... disturbing I find your lack of pepperoni.....disturbing I find your lack of knowledge disturbing

And to get really absurd:

 ~Dewar S Vader Darthsye6

I find your lack of George Forman Grill disturbing
The power to make this place spotless is insignifacant to the power of the force
We would be honored if you would join us for some cheese fondue
They must have hidden the recipe in the escape pod.

Picture 1

And I leave you careening off into the Organic Trade Federation... Cuke Skywalker! Obi Wan Cannoli! Chewbroccoli! Ham Solo! R2-Tofu! C3-Peanut! The Death Melon!

Aright, I'm already sick of Vader and EP3 isn't even out yet. :p

VW Mashup

This is sick, sick as in incredibly-insanely-cool-oh-man-I-want-it-so-bad.

Volkswagen Jetta // R32 - Daily progress reports

This project as you can see from these first pics is going to be a complete ground up build, I'm starting with a 100% straight and untouched 2004.5 Jetta GLI body with doors in PG.

Every part of this car is going to done from front to back top to bottom. The outside of the car will have the look of either a bone stock GLI or we have tossed the idea of making it look like a jetta R32 complete Jetta style R32 bumpers and sides.

Inside the car is either going to be complete R32 to include the R32 dash or stock 2004.5 GLI.

The R32 is a version of the VW Golf with basically an insanely awesome engine, 4 wheel drive and full-on tricked-out sports package (suspension, exhaust, interior/exterior styling, etc). The canadian market was deemed too small to warrant making it pass our safety specs so I couldn't get one up here. Then again, at that price point, I might as well get a BMW :p

Anyways, putting the R32 "package" into a Jetta means rebuilding the whole thing from the chassis up. Wow. Awesome car hacking project.

(thx Francis!)

"Meet the world" flags

 Home Flags Brazil
 Home Flags China
 Home Flags Columbia
 Home Flags Usa
 Home Flags Europeunion

We started to research relevant, global, and current facts and, thus, came up with the idea to put new meanings to the colours of the flags. We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.

A couple more here, and the designer's statement here.

Link via Stevsey.

I'm flying!

Whenever I imagine I can fly, I immediately think "Ok, so, where do i go? How do I get there?" I imagine myself bopping up and down, "zooming in" and "zooming out" until I find where I wanna be.

A lot like using Google Maps in satellite view. Only, Google Maps allows me to search for stuff too, aiding me in finding specific things... like... tourist style site seeing spots.

Explanation: the above link is to a listing of Del.icio.us'ed Google Map satellite views of a couple of "neat sites". Try Niagara Falls or Statue of Liberty. Or the BigO...


Google Maps application contextualizes real estate

This is stunning. By combining Google Maps and craigslist housing listings you get a very quick visual contextualization of the economic distribution of population for a city; which the affluent neighborhoods, which are less so.

Not that that is necessarily a barometer by which to find an apartment or a home, mind you.

What I find most compelling is ... well, let's say for argument's sake I had to relocate to San Francisco. With the rental listings visually laid out before me, I immediately have an image and an idea of where each place is. If you already know the city, then it spares you the effort of locating the place in your mental map, which is a very subjective map to begin with; but if you hardly know the city, bam, there it is. Enhancements would include "show me where these 5 contacts of mine live in relation to this listing" ... show me the bus stops, grocery stores, cafés with decent coffee and WiFi... ;)

And where to get a baguette...


Steven dreams out loud about where he'd like to be someday:

I managed to hitch a ride on the floating city 'GCS New Mosul' by agreeing to give my presentation 'Safeguarding your cyberprivacy - without slowing down your interface' at the S. Hussein Center for Social Justice, coordinates 7B (just next to the Cuisine Bangkok Thai restaurant). Holomsg me if you happen to be in town on board!

As I sit here in the helicab on the way to the port, I think back and can't believe that just 10 years ago, only the business elite and technorati were able to travel anywhere in the world on a whim. How did they go on about things like how the world was getting smaller or the "Global Village" when you actually had to have money to take advantage of it?

A fun, tongue in cheek, but not entirely impossible "blog post from the future". :)

I'm not gullible

It's just that when you don't believe anything, everything becomes plausible/possible.

Water on Mars
I hate Japan

Sound familiar?

"Attention Deficit Trait" caused by the technologies of constant interruption:

Clive Thompson via Techdirt has a fascinating post on Attention Deficit Trait, a related sydrome to Attention Deficit Disorder, according to Dr. Edward Hallowell.
"It has basically the symptoms as ADD -- such as an inability to concentrate on one task at at time -- except it's context dependent.

ADT is caused by the technologies of constant interruption in the modern workplace and the modern home, such as email, instant messaging, SMSes, mobile phones, and endless meetings (or endless preplanned children's sports).

The thing that makes the two conditions different, he says, is that ADD seems to be hardwired, while ADT goes away when you're on vacation or in a relaxing, non-hyper-stimulated place."

I guess "trait" is better than "disorder", but I am weary of it being so labeled. This behavior is definitely environmental - as our tools are part of our environment - and contextual. Also, referring to them as "technologies of constant interruption" smacks of luddite old-folk speak; it just sounds negative, when it not necessarily is.

Or maybe it is. Maybe we can't get used to - and function efficiently with - constant formatted data input. I don't see why not though. I mean, we process constant raw data input (5 senses, +?). Language processing, be it aural or visual, is a hack* of our mind and thus requires more resources, but we should be able to adapt no?

I guess that's what we are doing. Well... some of us anyways... ;)

*Looking at a page of text and reading are very different. Hearing a person speak and listening are very different. I have always considered communication to be an intrusion of sorts; an insertion. Words carrying ideas inserted into my mind like hot needles... as opposed to individual experience and deduction of environment seeping in and steeping. ;)

Folk taxonomies

Fun with Hierarchical Controlled Vocabularies
Very cool, and could be very useful when everyone cools down from "OMG tags!" syndrome. Tags are great, and "folksonomies" are neat but I think, and surely others do too, we will not truly see tags shine until we combine and integrate them with other data classification, storage and retrieval systems... including oh-no-so-rigid hierarchies... and oh-my-so-soft full content indexing...

Time to dig up that data management graphing project I was beating myself about the head with last fall...


Just came across Tagsurf. Haven't wrapped my head around it yet but having registered and logged in (the registration process is made difficult by a barely legible capcha), it looks to be very powerful.

I guess one way to describe what I *think* this is about is del.icio.us URL tagging + annotation + access control + Flickr style goodies + customization + filtering/custom views + RSS for everything... for "topics".

Seems brand spanking new so there isn't much in it yet. Gonna play for a few days see where it goes.

Update 1:
So I'm using it to annotate stuff I find, be it news articles, blog entries, neat stuff... URLs basically - and you all can comment ("reply") to my annotations, or trackback to them from your weblog. It's del.icio.us on steroids, and so much more. I can trackback to whatever it is I'm writing about (if the source accepts incoming pings), you can use it as a comment system for your own blog if you wish, or as a blog in and of itslef. You can track topics, discussions on specific topics or specific URLs, tag everything system wide or just for yourself, select a copyright license for your notes...

LOTS of features... and amazingly, with a totally spartan UI, it is still quite usable; you just have to play with it to "get it".

Ohhh... community trust meters! :)

Update 2:
Here is a Bookmarklet for easily adding stuff to Tagsurf.
Duh, they have their own Bookmarklets already done:

Google map this

Ok so we've all seen Google Maps in action right? Just for kicks (like I have time) I asked for directions from my place here in Montreal, to Aaron's in Vancouver.

Nevermind that it seems to be totally oblivious to the fact that we have the Trans Canada Highway which would take me clear across in one shot, and so it tries to send me down though the U.S. (fat chance!), but its distance/trip duration estimate is kinda funny...

3070 mi (about 1 day 21 hours)

Let's see, that works out to driving 68mph for 45 hours straight. Driving that fast for that long poses not only a serious health risk, but I imagine I'd get arrested a few times along the way.

Would Google care to factor in speeding ticket costs? ;)

Area bagel

or "What do Amazon, A9 Search, Yellow Pages, 90210, and the Mile End of Montreal have in common?"

Trying to see if I had a connection, I hit my A9 bookmark. It worked. Once there I noticed a prominent link to Yellow Pages (with a link under it saying "here's how we did it." That made me curious...)

First of all, it linked me to Yellow Pages listing for my last stored search on A9. Now it was asking me for a U.S. Postal Code or City/State. 90210 is the only US Postal Code I know. Pop that in, and replace the aforementioned search term with "bagel".

Impressive result. A listing of bagel shops in Beverly Hills, CA., complete with hotlinked map. And at the top of the list is "St-Viateur Street Bagels". Back in Montreal, St-Viateur Bagels is one of two most renowned bagel shops. It is located on St-Viateur Street, the same street where Open Da Nite is/was/will be (Fire!).


Not finished yet. Click through on that listing. You are presented with a strip of pictures ostensibly of the shop's storefront. Seems to be the wrong picture but FRET NOT... you can "WALK DOWN THE STREET" and find the right picture and TELL Amazon "this is the right picture of this business' storefront" (Best picture?).

Amazon is sucking reality into it's databases (somewhat warping it in the process...)



In broad terms, I posit culture is where the social - groups of individuals interacting - meets media/technology.

There are plenty of technologists with weblogs; the social sciences people jumped on board about 6 to 9 months ago (in force anyways, and from where I am sitting). Journalists got invited to a fight, and the marketing world has been flexing it's muscle lately as well.

What a joy it is to find the culture wonks getting in on the conversation!

More links to come!
(And thanks, Oblivia for the tip!)
(And Mr. McCracken, sorry for using the word "wonk". I should have said "cultural anthropologists". ;)

No... frikkin.. way...

WilliamShatner.com :: The Official Shatner Website - Bill's Space

That's right. The Shat has a weblog folks. Comments and all...

Showtime: no limits?

If you try to access the Showtime US site from outside the U.S.A. it gives you this lockout message:

We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States
(Thanks Steven)

If you go through Anonymization, you get through. (Merci Karl)

Only to see that Showtime's tagline is "NO LIMITS".

Ya can't make this kinda crap up.


FlickrBlog - The Underbunny

There was an IM/email buzz around our offices when a Flickr member with the handle 'Underbunny' posted this image, the hands of a 102 year old woman at an open casket funeral

Some, er, *nice* pictures in Underbunny's photostream... not for the weakly constituted...

Master pen twirlers

Ho-ly hell... (9.5Meg WMV)

Break it down for me fellas

Breakdancin' Deceptacons!

The Bottle

Great idea over at tokyo-genki.com.

Gonna try this.

Weblogging behind bars

Not sure if ClearlyCalm is real, but it sure is creepy.

One minute an average, middle-management accountant working for a bank. The next, sent down for 9 years for embezzlement, fraud and another 5 charges. I'm in Wormwood Scrubs. I'm in shock.

Good luck, mate.

Light through concrete

optics.org - News - Concrete casts new light in dull rooms (March 2004)

The days of dull, grey concrete could be about to end. A Hungarian architect has combined the world's most popular building material with optical fiber from Schott to create a new type of concrete that transmits light.

Watch your fingers

SawStop Videos

In our video demonstrations, we are cutting a sheet of plywood or particle board and place a hot dog in the path of the blade to simulate a user's finger. The SawStop system detects contact between the hot dog and the blade of the saw and stops the blade in approximately 5 milliseconds or less, resulting in only a small nick in the skin of the hot dog.

(I don't usually blog stuff I see on Boing Boing, but this is too cool. Table saws always scared the crap out of me.)
(Also just noticed Boing Boing finally switched to MT. Hallelulijah! Hey Cory! Who's yas got for the redesign? Hmmm...)

Emergent Volvoism

The Mystery of Dalarö

Thirty-two people in a small town in Sweden all went and bought the same car on the same day. A "documentary" about the "phenomenon".

It'd be interesting if they also provided information about how much Volvo advertising had been present in the town in the month leading up to this...

Appreciate the technique

I am not a big fan of dogs, or of stupid pet tricks, but this is really quite impressive. (WindowsMedia... of course... It's a dog's world.)

Historic Online Protest

Grey Tuesday

It's time for music fans to stand up and demand change from the music industry's copyright cartel.

Tuesday, February 24 will be a day of coordinated civil disobedience: websites will post Danger Mouse's Grey Album on their site for 24 hours in protest of EMI's attempts to censor this work.

Orkut versus

Clay Johnson over at DFA just sent me these Alexa "traffic comparisons":

Truly amazing. In the space of 3-4 days, Orkut went from off the radar (ranked greater than 100,000 most visited site) to number 772!!!
(At the moment, Friendster is 218, Tribe is 4,493 and LinkedIn, off the radar, is 125,816.)
(Also at the moment, Orkut is down for "improvements"...)

It may not be funny

smack the pingu!!!

but damn it's fun.

Classnotes Wiki

Mike's "Harkness Table" classnotes wiki is taking off!

Way to go! It'll be fun to watch this develop... and spread...

Son of a gun

Reuters | Oddly Enough

You'll Never Guess Who's Still Alive
Tue January 20, 2004 08:55 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - British war leader Winston Churchill's foul-mouthed 104-year old parrot refused to surrender to newshounds Monday after a British newspaper tracked the bird down and discovered it was still alive.

"They've been trying to get him to talk all day, but he's not saying much," said Sylvia Martin, who manages Heathfield Nurseries where parrot Charlie has lived for the last 12 years.

Charlie, who kept Churchill company during World War II, was famous for occasionally squawking four-letter obscenities about Hitler. But Martin told Reuters the bird has mellowed.

"He doesn't say very much anymore -- usually just hello and goodbye. But he does get so excited about music and dances to it. He's very fit."

Charlie -- invariably referred to as "he" despite being female -- is now owned by Peter Oram, the garden center's owner, Martin said. Oram's father-in-law sold Churchill the bird and was asked to take it back after the prime minister died in 1965.

Steve Nichols, founder of Britain's National Parrot Sanctuary, said that although parrots did not often live longer than 40 in the wild, some had lived to up to 110.

"It's obviously had the best life possible," he said.

Why... I don't wear... the bow-tie

Why tech firms are out of tune

While the above article is tucked away in the BBC's technology section, it speaks directly of something very political: democracy in the digital age. Ugh, can't believe I just said that, but it's true.

DRM (digital rights management), a misnomer if there ever was one, is not about the rights that matter, ours. It's about protecting the money of folks who ostensibly need it the least. It reminds me of Bush's "tax reform". Give every middle-class american a $1000 tax break so that they don't notice the fact that corporations and the super rich can hold on to billions more.

There is absolutely nothing democratic or even just about either. Monopoly in politics is called something entirely other and much more nasty: fascism. (My current favorite word it seems... ;)

There are so many issues common to both situations, copyright abuse and the brandying about of something mislabeled as democracy, that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all, much less write a blog entry to clarify my full thoughts and feelings on it. I can say this though: the tactics and methods currently being developed and deployed by the folks at the Dean Campaign to effectuate political change in America, can serve us well in fighting the whole copyright, DRM, entertainment industry debacle currently underway as well.

Time to mobilize.

Anti Virus

Submunition: heavy mojo

Japanese businessmen hold a service aimed at fending off viruses and glitches for their computers in a purification ceremony conducted by a Shinto priest

Brand memory


An attempt to evaluate the actual power of brands by making Austrian people draw a total of twelve logos (nine international, three typically European) from memory.

Things to note in this:

  • In most cases, if not all, some respondents drew older logos; the brands' previous logos. (Exposure length)
  • Complex "conceptual" shapes get simplified, distilled into simpler shapes and distorted (Mnemonic icons?
    e.g.: Toyota's concentric ellispese seems simple but is quite a complicated geometric image. As demonstrated, this causes distorion to the point where it is confused with Mitsubishi's diamond cluster and Mazda's... thing-a-ma-jig.
  • Simple "conceptual" and representative shapes/images work very well (easily remembered)
  • Logos with a left-right directional bias (text-based logos not withstanding) sometimes get "flipped" in memory.(a mirroring mechanism in memory?)
    e.g.: Lacoste croc, Apple's bite mark, Peugot's lion and the direction of the swirl of Eskimo's heart

Death by vodka

www.smh.com.au - Russian dies after winning vodka-drinking contest

A vodka-drinking competition in a southern Russian town ended in tragedy with the winner dead and several runners-up in intensive care.

Once every now and again

I find myself here.

Thanks Aaron.

At least Martha won't be alone...

Guardian Unlimited | Online | At home with the Führer

The story in the Guardian is as strange as the article it's about.

Trojan Games

Trojan Games

Quite something... watch the video coverage...

Dyslexia for cure found

Read Regular, a typeface designed to ease reading for dyslexics.

Persoanlly, I think most of us have some form of dyslexia or another, albeit most probably a cultural form, stemming from "too much too fast".

In any event, the explanation fo the design process of this typeface is interesting. Good job Ms. Frensch



Neat. Silly, unpractical, but neat.

Seeing double

Design Media: Are U drunk

This not only scews with my eyes and brain, but it also hurts to look at.
(Work safe - one of those vision/brain phenomenon thingies.. except using the face recognition part of the brain.. or so I guess...)

Velcome Vee

I'd like to welcome my old friend "Nika Vee" to weblogging.

Check out her Typepad-hosted blog, AD HOC.

She writes goo eh!? Fuuuunnay!



BBC NEWS | Africa | Congo's football officials 'go deaf'

Congo's football authorities have come up with a new idea to end mounting corruption at the turnstiles of its stadiums.

They have decided to replace the old officials on the gates with people who can neither speak nor hear.

... I am left.

It's just words...

Disgruntled Asian Tattoo Artist Inks His Revenge

Reads like an Onion article which makes me think it's an archived copy maybe, but definitly a joke.

Update: Joi tells me the tattoo on the girl's back reads "Yellow Cab".

Stats - beautiful, scaleable - stats


history flow

visualizing dynamic, evolving documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors

Aside from being quite beautiful, I find these rather fascinating. Context derived from patterns are central to how I think. Perhaps how we think? Hmm. More food for thought.


I also recently read a paper about "Digital Artifacts for Remembering and Storytelling" (Original PDF - Google HTML rendering) which reveals that essentially data patterns jog memories of social interactions and give one a whole fantastically deep wealth of context.

Pattern learning. Pattern thinking. Pattern recognition. Frequencies. Stimuli.

BBC Creative Archive

Taped at the BBC
Can the Beeb put its entire archive on the Web?
By Paul Boutin

For those of us still debating whether to shell out the 40-odd bucks for Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection on DVD, BBC Director-General Greg Dyke may have settled the matter this weekend. At the end of his speech to an annual TV industry conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, Dyke announced that the Beeb plans to put its enormous TV and radio archives online and to allow anyone to download them --free-- for non-commercial use. "Under a simple licensing system, we will allow users to adapt BBC content for their own use," Dyke said. "We are calling this the BBC Creative Archive."

This is brilliant. Oh joy!
CBC, do the same! PBS, you too!

In the style of

Don Hong-Oai

Working with the style and themes of traditional Chinese painting and photography, Don Hong-Oai blends multiple negatives to create these timeless, poetic images of the landscape. Hong-Oai's calligraphy accentuates each image in the manner of Chinese painting.

Brand communities

brandchannel.com | Brand Management | Brand Communities

"... brand communities exhibit three traditional markers of community: shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility..."

So where does that leave a company that longs for its own brand community to nurture and grow? The best bet seems to be in monitoring public discourse -- especially in such obvious places as Internet chat groups -- and watching for the early stages of brand community growth. Then the company can step in and offer resources while being careful not to censor community activities and discussions. A hands-off approach, coupled with consistent communication, seems to be the best way to create this unique but fragile form of communal spirit.


IKEA is swedish for...

brandchannel.com | IKEA Brand | Furniture Retailers

Ingvar Kamprad founded the company in Sweden in 1943. He named his fledgling business by using his initials and tacking on the first letters in Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the farm and village where he grew up.

Now you know.

Oh and this is probably the most genius-like aspect of IKEA:

Usually placed outside of urban areas isolated from other shops, IKEA has the customer all to itself, and it doesn't miss the opportunity to wrap the shopper in a 360-degree retail experience.


D'une beauté absolument émerveilante.

Merci Mme.Keiko, pour un site splendide.

Merci Karl, pour le lien.

Allez! Allez voir le site!


Well, cat's out of the bag. A bit early and a tad under the gun, but joi.ito.com 2.0beta1 is launched.

Joi Ito honored me with a request to help him clean up his weblog's look and feel and get it to validate. This launch is step one: i.e. I cleaned up *some* of the code and changed the stylesheets to make it look somewhat nicer. Also removed all (most?) table based layouts. (Bugs a need-a squashin'!)

I must re-iterate: this is STEP ONE. I know it doesn't validate. I know the side bar is a monster and it's information architecture is horrible. These things will be take care of. I promise.

We are requesting feedback/comments/suggestions on Joi's Wiki, if you are so inclined.

Joi, thank you again for this opportunity and privilege. I now have root on your server. Mehehehehe. ;)

Musical space invaders

This videogame, and it's player are almost as impressive as the japanese Tetris championship footage I have lying around somewhere.
(nota bene: 15meg MPEG)


Wirefarm : Rain rain rain and Things I find in my bed

Looks like I'll be getting more out of this trip to Japan than I bargained for... ;)

Media protest power

From "The Prandial Post" weblog:

So the media fought back by precisely not doing what they do best. As Ansar arrived in Parliament, everyone put down their cameras and notepads and just watched him, arms folded, not reporting on the events. Then they used their press passes to get access to the main chamber and stood in silence, holding aloft pictures of Couso on which they had written "assassinated". They got a standing ovation for a minute and a half - including, curiously, many of Ansar's own party.

Beautiful! The spanish media asked questions, nay, demanded andswers in the death of one of their own. The answers were not satisfactory, and so: the flow stops.

Oh how wonderful such a display would be in a White House press briefing!



Thank god! Let them keep their toxic shlock.


Been quiet lately. Spent the weekend in Toronto. Will write later.

For now, consider this: explodingdog 2003.

"cartoons drawn on the back of business cards"

by Hugh MacLeod


Roly-poly fish balls!

please.. make.. it.. stop... must... stop... laughing...

(see them all)

WarBlogging in Iraq

Kevin Sites Blog

CNN reporter in Iraq sets up blog. Can you say "career move"? Let's see if he's any good. Wish he'd picked Movable Type tho...

Do you want some freedom fires with that sir?

CNN.com - House cafeterias change names for 'french' fries and 'french' toast - Mar. 12, 2003
Are americans "idiot semants"? Has western culture really become so engrossed with "the word" that it supercedes not only sanity (the clear apprehension of reality) but reality itself?

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Weblogging in Baghdad

Where is Raed?
To follow.
(seen on Joi Ito's log)


Boiled Pork Dumplings to be precise

Oh I love these. I could live on only these.

Interesting to note: in Northern China they are called "Jiaozi", whereas in Japan they are known as "Gyoza".



This is apparently old news, but sooo much fun!

Hours of text-to-speech fun!

AT&T Natural Voices - Demos

Thick water film in space

Saturday Morning Science: Elastic Water on the ISS

I wish I could play with this!

"Computer, play me some Bob, please!"

macosxhints - A script to use voice recognition with iTunes

Oh joy! If only this was possible with the iPod.

Speaking of Nobel...

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Ignoble peace prize

Given the fact that previous nominees include Adolf Hitler and Henry Kissinger, can anyone take the Nobel Peace Prize seriously, asks Paul Hamilos

Which word connects Bono, the European Union, Jacques Chirac and George Bush? Peace, apparently. It has been announced that they have all been nominated, by the rather convoluted method by which these things are done, for this year's prize.

Bono? Sure! He's the only one of that lot who actually qualifies!

Massey Lectures

CBC Radio | Ideas | Massey Lectures

Chronology of the Massey Lecture Series, started in 1961.

Features such names as Northrop Frye, Martin Luther King, George Steiner, Carlos Fuentes, Noam Chomsky, John Ralston Saul and Robert Fulford.


By Joe Gregono at "BitWorking.org":

The World-Wide Web is the first stimeric communication medium for humans.
In order for an environment to support stigmeric communciation the messages must be readable by everyone.
In order for an environment to support sitgmery everyone has to be able to not only read it but to be able to write into it also.

Mr. Gregono breaks it down for us VERY nicely. All communciation of "complexe concepts" should be this clear.

Emergent Democracy (repost)

Round one, first pitch lobbed by Joichi Ito

Ok I just read the whole thing. I strongly urge all of you, no matter what your interests are, to read this. It not only discusses the possible effects of "weblogging" on democratic political systems, but also explains how and why.

I will comment on it further on my new, upcoming, separate, more "serious" weblog, when I get it going.

Mark Federman adds:

It is the effect of the medium that informs us of its nature and characteristics. [McLuhan 101: Medium = anything we conceive or create from which emerges change; Message = the changes or effects that so emerge. Medium = Message means that the nature of a Medium is precisely equal to the emergent changes. It has precisely nothing to do with the TV and its program...] The blog as a conversation (not as a "medium of conversation") means that a newbie to the blogging world will be as confused as someone who steps into the midst of a small group at a cocktail party in the middle of their conversation. One of two things will happen: Either the person will "pick up" the conversation and join in, or they will quit the group and move on - possibly to the buffet table to load up on more "content." While someone may, in context, recap aspects of the converation up to a particular point, few will take time to explain the rules of conversation, the context of conversation and so forth... at least during the party. However, there are indeed venues for such education, particularly when one is crossing into a different, and unfamiliar, cultural ground.
Relatively few in the general population know (or care) what a blog is, and the rest completely ignore the effects of the blog and the blogging community on our society. The same "rest" ignored the Web a few years ago, dismissing it as a computerish fad... But then again, most people march backward into the future, watching where they're going through the rear-view mirror.

Peace ralley photos

From around the world.

Of all of them, the Antarctica one I find is particularily touching.

Oh Zoë!


This gets better with every release! Now incorporates an RSS aggregator, supports the Blogger and MetWeblog APIs, AND SpamAssassin!!!

Where are you taking us Mr. Szwarc?! :D

When you start seeking patterns...

Artistic Sign Language

Yes, sometimes, just sometimes, patterns arise that DO have meaning.

Consider another "cultural" pattern: How many recent Hollywood films have you seen in the past 2 years that had the phrase "the war has begun" pronounced (solemnly) in them? I count at least 4. LOTR 2, XMen 2, StarWars 2, The Matrix 2. "Bush family war in the Gulf 2" anyone?

Comment to mikel

After watching the news shows

Hello Michael!

100% agreed.
Here's what I am wondering as well:
Since most of the political world agrees that Saddam must go (for whatever reasons), then why dear God do they need to bomb the place to smithereens? I am pretty darn sure that (heh, yeah like I can be sure of such things... but anyways) if they all agree "ok let's take him out", this could be done with ONE casualty.

I see ONE way for the Bush administration to save face at this point: all the massive troop deployments in the area and all the posturing et al are a smokesceen. Let Saddam think they're gonna destroy the whole place. Then, one night, send in the Delta Force, or the highly trained British Commandos, and *pop*. End of story. I mean hey this is what America is used to no? Hollywood tells us this is the way! Or were all those movies lies and we have to kill hundreds of thousands of people, destroy an entire nation (one of the oldest on earth I might add) to get one guy?

I would like to believe we are past the era of carpet bombings... the death and destruction of Dresden, Iwo Jima, Berlin, Tokyo.. and I don't even want to think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki...

Dammit Sly?! Arny?! Bruce?! There has to be ONE of you guys left with the balls to do this? We're all behind you! Especially if it means saving thousands!

No BlockBuster tonight my friends. :(

Google Zeitgeist: 2003 so far.

Always statistical fun.

Signs of dissent...

Some excellent protest slogans spotted in front of the UN last Saturday (Feb 15th).

To whit:
"Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot."
"Stop Mad Cowboy Disease!"

Rage on!


Brainwave Receivers, Multimodal Information management.

In Switzerland, scientists at the Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence (IDIAP) have developed a new technology which can roughly tell what a person is thinking about.


The record of the race [dive into mark]

Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, "memex" will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.
- Vannevar Bush, July, 1945

Eery views

"Look Paintings"

Been following Steven Mann's doings for a while. Awesome stuff.

Are you ready to be a cyborg? You most likely already are.

one man, one year, one world

V A G A B O N D I N G >Vagabonding.com

Something to add to my list of things I must do.

Telepathy: the ultimate social disease.

It's 5:00. Do you know what your Google results are? (Google Weblog)

Internet search engine Google is changing what we can find out about one another - and raising questions about whether we should.

Among many other VERY interesting parts in this article, I am particularily keen about Google's role in the collective mind e.g.: the Web / Blogs.

Sad but funny.

The Axis of Weasels - France, Belgium, and Germany

This poor sod is a shining example of how it can be sad that "survival of the fittest" doesn't seem to apply to humans all that much anymore.

However there is some funny stuff sprinkled in there. One can only laugh...

Apple's Keynote XML File Format (APXL Schema)

About the Keynote XML File Format (APXL Schema)
This Technical Note contains the schema describing the XML file format used by Keynote documents (refered to here and in later documents simply as "APXL" -- Apple Presentation XmL). It is intended for developers who wish to create or modify Keynote presentations programmatically.

Patiently awaiting summer

Advent of fall Photo Gallery by Christopher DeWolf

It is a strange feeling to go though someone's photogallery and see one's neighborhood.

Did you know?

Lorem Ipsum - All the facts & Lipsum generator

"Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit..."
"There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain...."

Photos de Paris

Merci Cécile Devichi

Dell Dude In Pot Bust

Dude, you're getting locked up.

Isn't this sort of like busting Capone on tax evasion charges? This kid should be locked up for life for perpetuating the miserly of millions of people by inciting them to buy Wintel computers!

Oh dammit all to...

"the sound of bells... halted by sunlight"

tomato preview (Quicktime 6 required)

These guys blow me away. Dammit. To hell with web... I wanna do video. Argh.

Tomato is one of the UK's top design firms. They rock. They rule. Two of the founders are international electronic music superstars (Underworld).

Sigh. If I have one unattainable wish in my life, it is to be tomato.



Yeah. Clever.

Tell it like it is, yeah!

Embrace file-sharing, or die
"A record executive and his son make a formal case for freely downloading music. The gist: 50 million Americans can't be wrong."

Oh wow!!!

Celestia: A 3D Space Simulator

This is a dream come true! I can't wait until this is super clean and perfected... but as it is, it is already a load of fun!

What ails America?

perfectly feasible possibility

Dissociation is a mental process which produces a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. During the period of time when a person is dissociating, certain information is not associated with other information as it normally would be.

Wakey wakey!

The Globe and Mail: Privacy under 'unprecedented assault'
Somehow I get the feeling that Washington is pressuring Ottawa.

At least we HAVE a "Privacy Commissioner" who can table such reports!


Data stored in multiplying bacteria

The scientists took the words of the song It's a Small World and translated it into a code based on the four "letters" of DNA. They then created artificial DNA strands recording different parts of the song. These DNA messages, each about 150 bases long, were inserted into bacteria such as E. coli and Deinococcus radiodurans.

Free books

University of California Press eScholarship Editions

350 volumes made publicly available. Some interesting stuff in there.

I guess it's time...

Learning to program

One more thing to add to my to-do list.

Yes, sniffles, I am faux-geek. ;)


Troll Touch Touchscreens

If this allows to write on the screen and have Inkwell do handwriting recognition, I am in love...

Strong Bad!

Animated funny-ness.

Thank you sniffles! :)

Oh Sony!

The Civil War Inside Sony

This is a brilliant article covering not only the turmoil of Sony, in it's unique position, but also of the entire IT and Entertainment industries.

The Cheeky Girls

'The worst act ever'?

Their mother scribbled the simple but catchy lyrics to "Touch My Bum" in half an hour: "I never ever ask where do you go. I never ever ask what do you do. I never ever ask what's in your mind. I never ever ask if you'll be mine. Come and smile, don't be shy. Touch my bum, this is life. Oooooh. We are the cheeky girls, we are the cheeky girls. You are the cheeky boys, you are the cheeky boys."

Pyongyang Dynamo Power Punch!

Kim Jong Il Unfolds Into Giant Robot

Too damn funny.

Forgive them Father,

for they know not what they do...

The Guilt-Free Soldier

GM: "On s'améliore pas..."
RB: Je veux pleurer.

"I am weak... and materialistic."

State of the Union... Not Good
Video cut-up of Dubya's State of the Union.

Human Spontaneous Involuntary Invisibility

Not sure what to make of this.

Any takers?

Long Bets
Related to The Long Now Foundation

It seems to me that many Californians have too much time and too much money. It also seems to me that so should I... ;)


Sony's New Day
Wild, beautiful... frightening as all hell.
Of special interest/concern, everything after "IN THE SONY ZONE".

Why the mixed feelings? Because it sounds absolutely wonderful.. until you realise that it is not meant to further humanity as much as it is meant to further Sony's bottom line.

It's been done!


Société des alcools du Québec

Musique to my liver

The great thing about living in a place where booze is regulated and sold by a governmental body is that I can go to their website and know that the outlet down the street from me has exactly 5 bottles of my favorite vodka in stock as of right now. The down side: it costs almost twice as much as anywhere else in the world... then again quebecers drink twice as much as anyone in the world too... imagine the money they make! and still we have the worst roads in the developed world.. sheesh.

What is this world coming to?

Feline dance classes...

Somebody please tell these ladies those are STUFFED cats... sigh...

Nevermind monkeys and typewriters...

Drunken monkeys hold a clue!

Biochemical studies from the St. Kitts colony also indicate that the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in steady and binge drinkers have altered functions, which may be exaggerated by chronic alcohol abuse.

"We tend to think that chemicals like nicotine and alcohol have reversible effects on the brain," says Palmour. "Once your brain has had a lot of experience with nicotine, it may not be the same brain that it was before.

Oh ca-risse! Ok, I gotta stop smoking and drinking NOW!!! Eeek! Eeeeeek!

BBC Auto-Personalisation

Great idea!

"Information mapping"

chez Jon Udell

Pattern mapping is something I LOVE.

Information design

Edward Tufte: Ask E.T. forum

Check out his books. They are wonderful.


Ashes To Ashes

They got a message from the Action Man
I'm happy, hope you're happy too
I've loved all I've needed love
Sordid details following

The shrieking of nothing is killing me
Just pictures of Jap girls in synthesis
And I ain't got no money and I ain't got no hair
But the planet is glowing

Engrish T-Shirts!



New CMS... PHP based... Looks interesting. Created by this fellow.

Did someone say "Library of Babel"?

William Gibson

Will comment later.

Later is now:
Broges' "Library of Babel" is "The Universe". ("The Library, which some call the Universe,...") Think of it this way: every particle in the universe is one of 25 characters and is recorded in any number of innumerable books. Not only that, but the 'life" of every particle is intimately documented in all possible languages (its movement, position, properties, etc...). Borges on top of that puts mirrors (he loves mirrors...) in every gallery of the library, essentially doubling infinity.

Don't dwell on it too long: it'll drive ya nuts. Just look at what happened to me... ;)

Case in point: I like to attach this view to the classic proposition that "nature is an unintelligible sphere whose center is everywhere and periphery, nowhere. The Judaïc tradition (I've seen it in Christian demagoguery) would replace "nature" with "God". Buddhists may say that Enlightenment or Buddhahood is the realization that this sphere is everything, us included (and that there is no sphere hahaha!). All is one and all simply is. Again, for christians: God is omniscient and omnipresent, God is within us all... ergo we are all one.

Ok ok enough of that.


Jesus 'healed using cannabis'

This "discovery" is not surprising in the least. Sadly though it will be derrided by well meaning brain-washees. Aw well.

"Yo Jee, don't bogart that joint!" Hehehe.. sorry couldn't resist... ;)

(p.s.: I don't smoke pot anymore. Only because it makes me nauseous now.)

juvenile geek moment

baby, I have l337 PHP skillz...
Ok, back to work...

Interfaces and data management

Karl, Francis; pour vous:

Haystack Prototype

The project started with an attempt to address the information overload problem seen too often on a computer user's local machine. With the amount of e-mail and documents increasing everyday, the personal information corpus becomes unmanageable. The aim was to make use of user-entered and machine-mined metadata that elaborates and augments the user's personal information to enable more sophisticated search with better accuracy of retrieval.

The Humane Environment

The Humane Environment (THE) is as easy to learn as a GUI (or easier) yet as fast to use (or faster) than the command-line systems we struggle to learn but love to use.

Thank you Michel.


Where do I order?

Get my mind out of the gutter.

Google Search: gay japanese DTP job

If my blog is a sort of extension of my mind, which it is, and it keeps coming up in really weird search results... what does that tell you?


They really know how to put a creepy spin on things these americans, no?

I actually I saw something somewhere else about htis.. apparently it's a modified Palm device and works horribly.

Wola... poking around this site a bit more... as scary as it is that the US military is researching this stuff, um.. erm... where do i sign up to join the research team? Damn.

Communicator? EARS? FutureMap? Awesome stuff, if you strip away the "Homeland Security" crap.

"Total Information Awareness"

Oh my god this is scary.
TIA is a great concept, here put to horrifying use.

Painfully funny

50†† ††Most Loathsome People in America, 2002
Oh god, my stomach is cramped...

"The right ones in the right order"

December 18, 2002 [dive into mark]
Excerpt from a Stoppard play. Love it, live it.

iSpeak It

"Reads" text into soundfiles which you can then load onto your iPod, etc...

Works incredibly fast. Just have to figure out if I can change the "voice" (should be prefs for this, but there aren't in the app itself). Nice nonetheless.

You won't find these videos at Blockbuster | csmonitor.com

"Video is taking over as the medium of choice for artists, reinventing the language of art."
I always thought that if it weren't web, I'd be in video. It's just time-codes I can't handle so well... sequenciality is foreign to me.
But you know... I think I hereby proclaim to endeavor learning more vid prod.


I tried LaunchBar for Mac OS X a couple of months ago and didn't "get it"... Now I "get it"... Oh wow. Type a few letter and it shows you just about everything on your hard drive that has those letter in it... within MILLIseconds.


Stop Nonoxynol-9!

Stop Nonoxynol-9!
I do pro bono webmaster work for the "Canadian Women's HIV Study". Every month they send me their "E-bulletin" to publish. This month's contains an article I think is important to spread around.

Endorsed by 61 organisations and 27 scientists to date, the Call was developed to address the fact that many individuals are still seeking out and using lubricants and condoms containing Nonoxynol-9 in the mistaken belief that they offer added protection against HIV and STDs. In fact, these products may increase the user's risk of infection.

Important to note:
  • The main three condom makers are still refusing to remove N-9 from their products. (why is that always the case? It costs them nothing, in fact will save them money! Damn!)

  • There's a condom brand called "Elbow Grease"! Yeeehaw!!!
Happy lovemaking y'all.

Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!

GPS Gallery
"Drawings" done by GPS tracking!

"Free as Air, Free As Water, Free As Knowledge"

Bruce Sterling's 1992 speech to the Library Information Technology Association

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a problem with showing Mr Franklin the door. The problem is that Mr Franklin was right in 1731 and Mr Franklin is still right! Information is not something you can successfully peddle like Coca-Cola. If it were a genuine commodity, then information would cost nothing when you had a glut of it. God knows we've got enough data! We're drowning in data. Nevertheless we're only gonna make more. Money just does not map the world of information at all well. How much is the Bible worth? You can get a Bible in any hotel room. They're worthless as commodities, but not valueless to humankind. Money and value are not identical.

What's information really about? It seems to me there's something direly wrong with the ``Information Economy.'' It's not about data, it's about attention. In a few years you may be able to carry the Library of Congress around in your hip pocket. So? You're never gonna read the Library of Congress. You'll die long before you access one tenth of one percent of it. What's important --- increasingly important --- is the process by which you figure out what to look at. This is the beginning of the real and true economics of information. Not who owns the books, who prints the books, who has the holdings. The crux here is access, not holdings. And not even access itself, but the signposts that tell you what to access --- what to pay attention to. In the Information Economy everything is plentiful --- except attention.

(stolen from boing boing

In case you were wondering...

What's A Weblog?
Numbers 9 and 10 are especially à propos

all noise - all the time

On Professionalism
RageBoy is quickly becoming a favorite read.

The 500 mile e-mail limit

Rather amusing if you know what sendmail is.

Way to go!

The Biobus Project - Press Release
I don't use public transport so forgive me for noticing this 9 months late. This rocks. I am very happy to see this. It is a step in a good direction, at very least.

"The Société de transport de Montréal is proud to be a partner in this biofuel demonstration project. In its scope, this urban mass transit project will be the largest such endeavour ever implemented in North America.

Bravo STM.

NORMOS: Internet Engineering Standards Repository

At first I thought "this is a great idea"!
I still think it's a great idea I just think they sadly did a poor job of it... (I won't get into keeping UI design out of engineer's hands.. sigh... the Eternal Battle.)

The Poetry of Programming

The Poetry of Programming
Looks fascinating. Will read later. Thank you Anders.

For absolutely no reason

Every now and then, I get this overwhelming feeling... for no reason really.. I am not particularily happy or joyful or anything.. just hyper...
Perhaps these thousand words express what I want to do right now much better than I possibly could.


"It's the little guy who suffers"

Anti-Spam Legislation Opposed By Powerful Penis-Enlagement Lobby

Some of you may have already read this but it's too damn funny. It appears that The Onion dropped it from it's database, oddly enough...

XFML for information architects

dive into mark/December 03, 2002
This has the data structuralist in me drooling! It's like having that pile of Lego in front of me again!

Over a quarter mill, eh?

727-200 Airplane home or bar for sale on ebay
Only slightly larger than a Winnebago... and with that you can always up and outta there when the neighbors get ugly.

News: IBM touts voice, handheld tools

Yes, TheFuture? Right this way please.

Potty humor

My apologies... but it makes sense, even if Dave yuks it up... ;)

There is a big enough consumer market to offer such a device to retail?!?

Arctic Twister Ice Cream Mixer

Oh Sony...

I am a mac person myself, but I LOVE the stuff they do. It is SO hard to resist buying into Sony.

Damn this thing is purdy!

Erm.. excuse me for a second...

Mobile High Speed solutions for Mac OS
I think I may just have made a mess of meself... ;)

Number one in germany for rez trans vibrator pics!

Google-Suche: rez trans vibrator pic

Ißt das das "Google-effect"? Oder eine "Google -bombe"?

Full body scanner

This is way cool...
A full-sized scanner on which you lie down... for about $20 you get a 4' X 6' printout...

(link by way of Justin)

Give this man a beer!!

John's Switch to Canada

Well done. Well done. ;)


cnn_iraq.jpg 640x480 pixels

Iraq has invaded germany!!!

Somebody's "idealistic" take on it...

Dreams, thoughts, plans.

Copyright shmopyright

Apple and the Pirate Everyman
Read it, and posted the following comment:
1- I have at this moment a 20Gig library of MP3s, 99% of which come from the 'net or friend's CDs. My computer is plugged directly into my stereo and I have an iPod for when I'm on the move (car stereo or headphones). A dream come true: all my music, anytime anywhere.

2- Everybody is always talking about music and movies when copyright is mentioned. Ironically many of the journalists and pundits are published authors... I want what I just described above about "my" music to also apply to TEXT media... I want every book I have ever read (and have yet to read) in digital format (preferably in some XML/PDF form) and fully searchable at all times. Writers think it's hard to make a buck now? Just you wait!

And awaaaay we gooo!

Segway Human Transporter on sale now at Amazon...

Must ... resist... urge...

Strings attached


Ok this kid has attitude, but scroll down and click on "See the lord in Action".. It's a 20Meg Quicktime .mov that is well worth the download... dancing marionettes! Wikkidly done.


Oh wow. I played with Userland Radio yesterday. Userland Frontier as well. Very powerful stuff, and very complex, but it essentially represents half of my Perfect Memory concept.

I'd go into details but I'm not here to document these softwares... ;)

In a nutshell, local personal CMS "upstreamed" in real time to a webhost. Blogs, bookmarks, outlines, stories, RSS subscriptions.

But it's so damn complex. I don't see how these guys can hope to make a commercially viable product.. From what I've seen, only hard core scripting geeks use it. Which is fine... they are refining the concept, which I'd say will go supernova sometime in the next 1-2 years...

Oh god I'd love to see Apple's take on such a system... Oh god I'd love to see Apple buy MY take on such a system... ;)

Yahoo! Top Stories - Not so Fab-io

Too damn funny

Now we're talking

O'Reilly Network: Speakable Web Services [Nov. 08, 2002]

Mr.Udell has the right idea, which is nothing new of course.

What I want is dictation though... way more than mere voice control.


c-1.JPG 650x898 pixels


It cause brain lesions you know...

Student Suspended Over Suspected Use of PHP


Oh, just to be there...

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2003

Would be damn nice.

I, Rowboat

The Onion | I, Rowboat

Now why did I not think of this?


Google's translation service does a half decent job.

Ok ok, half half decent... Half half half decent.

I especially like what it does with my haikus...

La fourmi et la sauterelle: Redux

A fairly accurate allegory of life in America.

i'd say.

Google Search: Rebel Flag Vibrator

I'm number one! I'm number one!

I am still waiting for someone to explain this to me...

Zed "haiku"


So that CBC show/website/multimedia hipster circus/zoo put out a call to submit haikus.

Here are my entries.

solid state circuit
board feeds quickly on
names, numbers.

electronic you.
attraction binds.

Google, a strange beast are you...

As a "web specialist" I have often been burdened by clients' requestes to get their websites high rankings on search engines, etc... Futsing with meta tags, massaging content to be spider-friendly, submitting and submitting and submitting.. always to medium if not mediocre results...

So I put up a blog, and I find in my referrer logs all kinds of search queries where I have high rankings. Must of us have seen this...

But this is what blows me away. My little page where I tried to sell my car... linked only from my blog and one or two VW enthousiast message boards... gets a number 2 ranking on Google for "vw golf for sale".

I don't understand... ;)

Oh... my... god...

game girl advance: Sex in Games: Rez Vibrator

I am ... speechless.. dumbfounded... no words can I find...

Shopping with conviction

Farha Foundation - ::Au Coeur de la Mode:: - Montrealplus.ca

Great clothes, great prices, for a great cause.

Blog Spam...

Oh-oh here we go

So Wired does an article about Blog Spamming. The article links to the above URL... a bit of poking around reveals that one of the culprits is located in Montreal.

François Lane, who blogs himself of course (he is even listed on Bill's YULBlog list, unlike me), bascially did this: set up a small simple database of blog URIs, wrote a quick script (anyone with basic programming skills could have done this) and ran it. It was a test he maintains. Bloody effective I'd say considering the hoolabaloo he's raised.

Reading some people's rants about this I feel a need to share what I was able to find out, corrolated with my knowldge of "where Mastodonte is coming from". Most of the ranters seem think that this kid (cause, well, my estimate is he's in his mid to late 20's) who just 2 weeks ago was whining about how nobody took his new 100% quebec-produced francophone blogging solution seriously, is some huge evil spam marketing machine that must be attacked with all resources available. Relax militant "internautes"... He's no threat. His idea may be, but it's too late to do anything about that.

It's interesting on many levels this thing: He studied a bit of electrical engineering, a bit of electronic music at McGill.. Then did partial certificates in marketing and management. A resteless soul, cause now he's scripting PHP blog systems for the company he's the president of (located in "bustling" Verdun, a dreary suburb of Montreal, no less). Makes sense that someone like him would apply a marketing concept to a cultural phenomenon by using accesible technology.

In some ways it's similar to my Doonesbury Blogger post of a few days ago, but I digress.

Also, if we look at the francophone marketing industry in Montreal... Well one gets the sense that much more is permissible.. try ANYTHING to get a message out.

So anyways, all that to say that I am totally 100% not surprised this came to be in Montreal.

Freedom of press

Reporters sans frontiËres - International

This is good. Interesting stats. I'd LOVE ot see the actual reports that generated these "grades" though...

Doonesbury Blogger

Hehe. This seems to be getting alot attention. Which makes sense considering the nature of blogging and news syndication.

A media content provider (Doonesbury/Garry Trudeau) makes a social commentary (today's strip) about a popular and rapidly growing medium (blogging). The purveyors of said medium (bloggers) are tickled and meme it to death.

Sort of like when a performer asks the audience to applaud itself... ;)

What da?

Somebody care to explain this to me:

#2 !?!?!


Halloween Flashers

THIS is utterly ridiculous. But SO funny.

And so Quebec.

I wonder what these folks do for X-mas decorations...

Life is tough sometimes...

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Father's surprise: call-girl daughter

Holy mackerel. Poor guy... poor girl... poor wife... all around crazyness.

Labels X

Labels X

Nice. A much missed fetaure from Mac OS of old... Finder labels... you know, color-coded files and folders?

It's All About The Mobile Internet

TheFeature :: It's All About The Mobile Internet

great site. well... interesting to me anyways.. what with my web/wireless situation.

Eric the LEGO man.

Eric Harshbarger's LEGO pages

Not only must this be the single coolest "job" ever, but I am ever so so so tempted to try my luck... Is the world big enough though? ;)

Eric, you rock. Plain and simple.



This is waaay cool:

The goal here is to do for email (starting with your personal mailbox)
what Google did for the web... The Google principle: It doesn't matter
where information is because I can get to it with a keystroke.
So what is ZoÎ? Think about it as a sort of librarian, tirelessly,
continuously, processing, slicing, indexing, organizing, your messages.
The end result is this intertwingled web of information. Messages put in
context. Your very own knowledge base accessible at your fingertip. No
more "attending to" your messages. The messages organization is done
automatically for you so as to not have the need to "manage" your email.
Because once information is available at a keystroke, it doesn't matter
in which folder you happened to file it two years ago. There is no
folder. The information is always there. Accessible when you need it. In

I can't hardly wait to try this out tonight!

Masters of War

Bob Dylan: Masters of War

These words are true in any and all times.

(I especially enjoy the Pearl Jam version of this song ;)

62 Choice Quotes

Out of control


Ooo I love this stuff!