September 2004 Archives


This looks very interesting.

1. What is LionShare?

LionShare P2P is an innovative technology that will facilitate legitimate file-sharing among institutions around the world through the use of authenticated Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking. LionShare technology (which is currently under development) will provide tools for the exchange of academic, personal and work-related materials on an officially sanctioned and secure P2P network among participating groups and institutions around the world.

Additionally, an authentication/trust model between institutions is being developed that will allow an authenticated P2P network user at one institution to search and access resources at other participating institutions. This will extend LionShare's capabilities to a global scale by creating collaborative networks that will enable individuals from a diverse range of institutions to connect to the same secure P2P system.

Re-read that stripping out the focus on academia and institutional uses. Mix in community access services/portals (Michael, listening?), "legal" file sharing applications (Creative Commons?)... some "Sharing Economy" pixie dust (hehehe)...


Nevermind what pirates might do with it.

Lost in connections

Just noticed that in his track "God Only Knows" off of Fantasma, Cornelius samples, or rather, covers a piece of, The Jesus & Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey", which is the closing track of Lost In Translation as the credits begin to roll. In those credits, A Bathing Ape (Bape) are credited as fashion consultants. (The orange camo t-shirt that Bill Murray wears is Bape.)

Finding links for this entry, I realize that the #1 hit on Google for "Bathing Ape" is a link to an article on "A List Apart" (a webdesigner's staple, run by Jeffrey Zeldman) written by buddy Adam Greenfield, who organized the 1IMC, which is one of the reasons I went to Japan last year and where I ended up meeting Joi. I had met Adam in Joi's comments and then in person at SxSW 2003, where I also briefly met Zeldman...

Arrrgh! ;)

Tack this onto my previous entry titled ... omg... this is ridiculous... I couldn't remember the exact title of the post I want to link to here so I googled an approximation of it and add my handle at the end... and guess who comes up.

The mind reels...

Ah here it is: "Meshing storylines from my life".

One hour well wasted. ;)

Addendum: I should add that it was also at the 1IMC that I met a bunch of really great people whom I am very happy to call friends: Jim, Ado, Dav & Mie, Pete, Gen, Jane, Justin...

(I am NOT name dropping!! Just tracing lines!)


I just essentially inhaled ten sheets of finely sliced imported italian prosciutto. I had intended to *do* something with them...

Well, I sure did *do* something... hah.
Now I want more... Snort.

Albert's wisdom

"I'm all for good judgment, but bring on the bad decisions!"

"When in doubt, make a mistake."

"Oh yeah? You wanna piece of me? I'm not afraid of you; I'm a REAL fast runner..."


What am I listening to?

Update: Until I find a more stable way of including the list, it's gone. Damn.

So following the boss's... er... endorsement(?), I've had to figure out a quick way to include / audioscrobbler data on a webpage...

Joi does a good job of explaining what that's all about.

Ok, so if you look in the left sidebar on my weblog, under the "most recent photoblog entries" block, you'll see what I am listening to in iTunes. Rather neat, methinks.

How this works quickly:
The audioscrobbler "app" runs in the background on my computer and tells my profile what iTunes is playing. provides an RSS 1.0 feed of the last 10 entries. With a bit of PHP, I grab and parse that RSS and display the list here.

Now this is only the tip of the iceberg! allows me to have a little "player" which would allow you all to actually "listen" to what I am listening to. (This is the feature I think you want me to implement for you, right Joi?) Also, once I have provided it with enough of an "idea" of what I am listening to, it will start suggesting stuff I may like to check out. Also, seeing stats on what I am listening to is way cool for me, but also for you. Gives you one more look at "me".

Of course, i didn't really need to know that Joi's favorite artist seems to be The Smiths... ;)

Anyways, furthermore, if you start digging in the stats, as more people join up and "populate the database with data", you get a VERY interesting picture of what is popular...

I agree with Joi. This is not only way cool, it is damn smart. These guys are sitting on something HUGE.

A9 leveraging Amazon

Shopping on Amazon to "cash in" a gift certificate, I notice an awkwardly shoehorned ad at the top...



Boris, since you've been using recently, virtually everything at is automatically an additional π/2% (1.57%) off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout (it will happen whether you use the shopping cart or our 1-Click Shopping®). You don't need to do anything to get this discount except keep using as your regular search engine.

Sweet! Suckers! I just checked it out once or twice really... ;)

We don't advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they'll find out. All they have to do is use as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit.


While the π/2% discount is a good additional reason to use it isn't the best reason. licenses its web search results from the industry leader Google, and then supplements those results with Amazon's Search Inside the Book™ results. The coolest feature is that keeps track of your search history for you on the server side. To see how this works, do some A9 searches from your computer at work and then sign in to from your computer at home.

Wow! Like frikkin magic! Hahahahaha!

How can we afford this additional π/2% discount?

Pray tell!!

Sponsored links revenue -from the small text-based ads on and search results pages -will help offset costs we incur through the Rewards promotion. With our automatic π/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.

Pfffffaaahahaha... Zing! Right over my head! Whatever! Give me my 1.57% off you stingy bastards.

Please use and tell your friends.

Ummm. NO. Oops. i just did...

Thank you

No, no, please! Thank YOU.

Now if only there were some way I could get a cut of everything you all may buy because of this post...


Creative Commons Activists and Activism

I'm thinking that one of the things the folks at Creative Commons haven't done yet (perhaps it is in planning or discussion?), is provide a way for people who are so inclined, and so disposed, to "spread the word".

Activists, evangelists, et al. The so-called grass-roots.

While the Creative Commons website provides loads of information about CC (animations, cartoons, explanations of licenses etc ... all VERY well done!), I can't seem to find a resources center and a community support network for people to get really involved beyond choosing a license and applying it to their work - provided they get it and they actually produce stuff.

There are loads of people who don't read weblogs, or WIRED magazine, who not only don't know that they as creatives have options, but also don't fully realize the cultural lock-down they are living in. Ignorance of rights and responsibilities is the death knell for freedom, choice, democracy...

So, an example: the previously mentioned POP Montreal Festival starting this week. A music festival promoting mostly independent musicians trying to get exposure and "make it". They get more established acts to come and play and hook them up with smaller bands as openers to give them exposure. That's the basic idea, as I understand it.

Now, say I wanted to promote Creative Commons at these events. I am not a musician, but I know some people involved in the POP Montreal organization who would probably be interested in all this stuff. Where do I get materials I can show them? Materials I can print up and distribute, or a clear, concise statement of purpose, for this context, I can yell in someone's ear over a rock song as they stand in front of me and I hand them a flyer/sticker/whatever? A package I can hand to each of the bands performing at the festival, to get them thinking about all this?

I am looking at the Dean techy diaspora, busy at work creating community building tools such as CivicSpace. Take a look at this: "SpreadFirefox". A grass roots, organized effort to Spread the Word about Firefox (the popular-but-not-popular-enough-yet Mozilla based web browser).

This effort needs to be waged on many fronts, right? Not just the artists themselves, not just politicians (who don't act so quick as when they have a fire under their ass), not just the all-to-rare leaders of industry who get it... but the people, hitherto known as the consumers, as well.

I think this needs to be talked about...

La Lune de Gorée

Gilberto Gil - La Lune De Gorée

Gilberto Gil, performing "La Lune de Gorée" ("The Moon of Goree") at the Creative Commons Benefit Concert in NYC on Tuesday night.

International video and electronic art manifestation


True to its in situ diffusion approach, it is under the theme of the DESERT that Champ Libre presents its 6th edition of the Manifestation Internationale Vidéo et Art √âlectronique, Montréal which will take place in an urban and industrial site currently under transformation. The site chosen for the upcoming Manifestation is the inspiring des Carrières incinerator situated in the Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough of Montreal. The site will be occupied and set up to receive an interdisciplinary program and multi-network presentation drawing from the fields of video, architecture, urbanism, literature and electronic arts.

I can't make the vernissage, but I hope to catch this before it packs up.

Too much music

Pop Montreal starts next week.

Looking at the schedule and the roster of musicians, I am paralyzed. Recognizing maybe 4 names, I'd be hard pressed to pick something to go see...

... other than the sold out Franz Ferdinand show ...

I think I shall have to ask some advice, or just let myself be led astray by those who know better. :)

(Seven words - Nardwuar the Human Serviette punks out musically... Nardwuar is the dude who when he asked then Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien about protesters getting pepper sprayed got the classic reply: "For me, pepper, I put that on my plate.")

May I ask you all for a small favor?

So, I have NO idea how many people actually read this weblog thing of mine. My stats are wonky and imprecise, and aside from a handful of regulars, I get very little feedback. I would love to know who's out there watching me!

Please, leave a quick a comment on this post. A "hi!" with your name would suffice. Feel free to make any comments of course as well... about the site, my insanity, whatever...

If you want to remain anonymous, that's cool too. But a pseudonymed "yo!" would be cool too.

Or email me. There's a link at the bottom.

Either which way, I'd REALLY appreciate a shout! I feel so alone sometimes you know... ;)


Memories of perceptions

Guildenstern: What's the first thing you remember?
 Rosencrantz: Oh, let's see... The first thing that comes into 
              my head, you mean?
Guildenstern: No--the first thing you remember.
 Rosencrantz: Ah... No, it's no good. It's gone. It was 
              a long time ago.
Guildenstern: No, you don't take my meaning. 
              What's the first thing you remember after
              all the things you've forgotten?
 Rosencrantz: Oh, I see... I've forgotten the question.

"Rosencrantz & Gildenstern are Dead" - Tom Stoppard

My early childhood memories are very scarce and generally fall into the category of "environmental realizations", and more specifically "all is not what it seems/do not rely on mental images" and "justness is a rarity".

All is not as it you may think it.

Growing up in a somewhat isolated area, filled with forests, I would often take a shortcut through one to visit my friends. Sometimes I'd emerge at the Roach's, sometimes at the Reyburn's. This perplexed me no end for a while, until one day I actually watched the path I was on only to realize there was a fork halfway down it.
"Always be aware of your environment. Dummy."

We are not all born under the same star.

Riding on a bus from Port-Au-Prince Airport to the Club Med Haïti through villages built of corrugated sheet steel, watching children bathe in the rain and roadside ditch puddles.
"How can this be? Why do I not live like them, and they not like I?"

Wading about, water up to my nostrils, in the Galt Ocean Resort swimming pool in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I watch an older white boy repeatedly dunk a younger black girl under the water, despite her cries and pleas. I feel a swell of indignant rage as I pluck a tennis ball floating by and bean the sonofabitch square in the forehead. He rushes over and without ceremony punches me in the mouf.
"Hmmm... not quite the resolution I was looking for."

As for this one:

Rosencrantz: Whatever became of the moment when one first 
             knew about death? There must have been one. 
             A moment. In childhood. When it first occured to you
             that you don't go on forever. It must have been 
             shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet, 
             I can't remember it.

Amazingly I DO remember the moment. However, it was in a dream, or rather a nightmare. "That thing is looking right at me and it is gonna end me." Though it was not shattering and not all that marking, thus did begin a lifelong walk along the fine line between my conscious and subconscious.

Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.

This all culminates in a far more recent memory from ten years ago. I often tell this one to try to relate the confusion that happens when you separate meaning from symbol...

I was working as a dish pig/delivery boy for a Szechwan restaurant that summer. After miraculously navigating my way out on a delivery, I stood at the door of the client, bag of steaming chinese food dangling from my left hand, holding up the delivery slip in my right. The symbol on the paper (the street address, 25) looked very much like the one on the door (also 25), but I just didn't get it.
"These scribbles... they mean nothing to me at this moment..."

*Ding dong*

Just one word: plastics.

I find myself cringing, internally and externally, as did Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate", when confronted with that bit of advice.

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you - just one word.
        Ben: Yes sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
        Ben: Yes I am.
Mr. McGuire: 'Plastics.'
        Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics.
             Think about it.
             Will you think about it?
        Ben: Yes I will.
Mr. McGuire: Shh! Enough said. That's a deal.

Except today it's "marketing", not "plastics", and the advice giver is Ben, and not Mr.McGuire.

I cringe at the inherent evil in any such enterprise: pursuing so unnatural an affair, just because you know you can capture and corner a market by making a widget no one else has thought of.

Unnatural how? Marketing is the plastic of culture. And just as now we have things that could not be made of anything other than plastic, we now have cultures entirely made up of marketing. It's an oily, greasy, dirty, fake, duplicitous affaire... and I don't like it one bit... but sacrebieu can it make me some moolah...

More thoughts on Björk, Medúlla and the music biz


  1. Previous Björk entry: Björk's Pirate Flag
  2. Bjö Medúlla Interview
  3. This Blog Sits at the: Björk: Shapes, not patterns
  4. - Le chant des possibles (fr)

First of all, Med√∫lla is still standing at the gates of my ear, ringing the bell hoping to get into my head. Melodic, yes; beautiful, yes; easy to digest, no. ;)

Second, as far as being "Avant Garde" or "fresh and new" or "on the cutting edge", lest it be noted that many have done technically the same thing (produced music from "found sounds"), not least of all Björk collaborators Matmos, before and for years now. (Recent discovery - for me - Matthew Herbert produces amazing stuff entirely 100% based on samples and live sound recordings. Check out "The Mechanics of Destruction" for a really conceptual opus.) Of course she may be the first "mainstream" (or ultrapeer) "recording artist" to do this, and she did a sweet job of it too.

The leading edge of culture is like an expanding bubble. Depending how near or far from the perimeter you are, the more or less "new" the artifact seems.

This is not my reason for posting this, mind you. It is just a lead in. ;)

So, we have this person who goes on a family camping trip for her grand parents' diamond anniversary. For fun, around the fire one presumes, they start singing songs; folks songs, pop songs, what have you. "Hmm" she thinks, and she proceeds to get family members to "sing" various instrumental parts of pop songs. Musta been a riot.

Back at the studio, she composes a few songs, pulls out a few she's had lying around, asks various friends to visit and sing little parts and stuff. Thank you! Lock the doors and edit it all together in ProTools (Apple's Sountrack at $199 could do the trick too) for a few weeks...

Now, the only reason Medúlla is sitting on store shelves, in Amazon's database, at the iTunes Music Store, is because it's Björk and that means two things:
a) she has major distribution deals via record companies
b) she has authority as an ultrapeer (established identity, voice, recognized output quality, etc... she's a celebrity)

I am NOT talking down to this. Credit is due and deserved! Totally.

What follows is not influenced by any purple kool-aid I may or may not be drinking at the behest of my current professional environment. It's just a thought. :)

In the above "context" list linked french article, Björk is quoted as saying essentially that she slightly regrets not fully exploring the potential of the process she employed.

Well... "Get back in there girl!" I say.

Take a break from contract requirements. Put some stuff together and start a new project, to further play with all this. While doing that, keep a journal, live on the web (cough weblog cough), have friends contribute to it as well. Keep a photo journal too.

When done, put it online. Seed Torrents, drop into NewsGroups, share it on Kazaa & Gnutella... Slap a CC license on it and let folks download it for free. Put up a PayPal "donate" link, and a few bucks may come back too.

"Why the hell would Björk want to do this?" one might ask. "Why the hell would she not?" I'd answer. Legal issues aside (the only fly in this ointment), it would be an awesome experiment. An extreme test of emerging music industry business models. While hundreds of struggling musicians are trying to use current tools to GET a voice, what happens when someone who HAS a voice uses them? Is it not the point here to get as many people a copy of one's work?

It would be Björk actually waving her pirate flag.

Easily distracted

Despite my best efforts, I had quite a productive weekend avoiding doing the work I needed to do!

Macs were big on the agenda the last few days as I prepared and delivered my old G4 PowerMac to my friend Kim, fixed Ms. S's, and reinstalled Panther from scratch on my Powerbook. I wrastled with hard drives, "Apple to VGA" cable converters, USB chain issues, corrupted MBOX files and other such monsters.

The plan as I awoke today was to work on a certain site... oops, I need to rebuild my local dev environment! Download and install PHP and MySQL, yutz with my httpd.conf... Ohhh look! BBEdit 8.0! I need me some of that! Wow, I am hungry.. I should get some food. Café first. Bah, I don't feel like eating out. I'll just get some groceries.

And what do I do then? I make chicken stock, so that tomorrow I can make a leek and potato soup. Oh yes.

With the dishes done, the laundry not done, and the apartment half vacuumed, for some god-unknown reason I attack my MP3 archive. It just sorta "took me". It's again 4a.m. and I realize that I have more MP3s than anything else in the world. In terms of hard drive space, my archive takes up twice as much as my entire system, applications and files of all stripes. As I type, my unsorted/uncleaned "pile" of music weighs a whopping 32Gig. The cleaned up ones weigh in at just under 20Gig. To put that in perspective, those cleaned ones were cleaned slowly but surely over the course of YEARS. I think I shall give up on organizing my music... ;)

Sigh... and I am navel gazing here again. :p

Nokia & 6A

Six Apart: Nokia and Six Apart Announce Mobile Web Logging for Content Sharing

"Nokia Lifeblog is further evolving into a great tool for life sharing. Thanks to the collaboration with Six Apart, a shaper in the blog community, users will be able to upload multimedia like photos, videos, text messages, and multimedia messages to their TypePad account," said Christian Lindholm, Director of Multimedia Applications, Nokia Ventures Organization. "With the Nokia Lifeblog application and TypePad from Six Apart, we can help operators and other service providers to offer their customers the best possible mobile blogging experience."

I have to admit this caught me totally by surprise. Goes to show how much I isolated myself this summer.

Talking cats in hats!


Sillyness. :)

Smaller and smaller

Reading the IHT article on Ars Electronica, mildly surprised (not really) by how much verbiage Joi gets in it. ;)

Then, last paragraph:

Marc Tuters, a young Canadian who had been wandering Europe helping set up political and artistic networks for several years, was on his way back to Montreal.

Who? Hunh? Google search. Hmmmm... locative... that sounds familiar. Duh, they had a set up at ETCon in San Diego back in February.

Unclear on the concept

If there is one thing weblogs ARE, it seems to be "hard to grasp".

A month ago I posted this "moblog" entry (which is just a weblog entry with a picture which was posted from a mobile device) showing two cans of Korean-market Japanese sports drink "Pocari Sweat" (click that link... it is a HOOT), which I got here, on the other end of the planet, in a Korean grocery store.

Ok so the Google rank on this is a bit whack but whatever. (As of right now that entry is listing number 8...)

This morning, I get this in my email:

Subject: request pocari sweat
Date: September 5, 2004 5:49:05 AM EDT

Dear sir,
our company intersted in buying pocari sweat.
It would be grateful for us to buying from your firm.Could you please tell us the prices of one box.
it would be apperciated for us to become your contribution if you like.
with our best Regards,
Almas Trading Sahar Company

Good god, I'll be rich!


Shall I tell you about the guy in Punjab who tried to comment this morning on a 9 month old entry over at Smartmobs pertaining to some sort of online gambling/lottery scam in the Netherlands? He wanted to know when he'd get his money, and offered up his full name, address AND CREDIT CARD NUMBER. (Ok there is more to it than that, way more, but this guy really offered up his digits... )


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". ;)

What are your convictions?

Convictions are good for locking ourselves up in little cages.

This should be good

Still wobbly from three days of flu (again...), I am about to leave for my best buddy's wedding.

Due to the fact that I could barely see straight the last few days, I am stuck making due with what is left in my closet.

Damn. Forgot I threw out all my white shirts...
Damn. Forgot I kept these terrible suits I bought 30lbs. ago...

Oh Anders & Natalie.. forgive me for showing up however I will show up.
(T Minus 30 minutes to departure and I have NO idea what I am going to wear. I feel so... so... argh!)

I shall bear the shame of a patchwork wardrobe. Lots of nice pieces, few working together... at least not as formal wear.
Oh and I have NO ties. Sweet.

Update: And angels sing...
With 5 minutes to go, I glance over at the pile of clothes sitting on one of my kitchen chairs. It is a pile of stuff I inherited from my dad 5 years ago and that I had put there 6 months ago for delivery to the Salvation Army.


With M85 playing "In Church" on iTunes, the skies clear and I see a vision. Oh yes.
Now, black and blue and VERY hard to mix but, I think I may just pull this off with sheer "gooood cut"...
Black slacks, fit like a glove.
White Paul Smith shirt, textured light/dark blue ring stripes (hard to explain, bought in Shinjuku). I look like a runway model in it. ;)
Daaaaaark blue Nino Cerutti jacket my dad bought at TipTop probably sometime in early 80's, with dark red and grey pinstripes.

I will either look retarded. Or fit in with all the other hipsters... ;)

Off I gooooo! Watch the photolog!

Pre Announcement

So I am running late on this little "thing I wanna do" so I am going to make a quick pre-announcement here right now.

Basically I am starting a small "Weblog Services" business. (who saw that coming?!) I will be offering a full spectrum (oooo marketing!) of weblogging-related services, such as setups, upgrades, customizations, design, migrations, hosting, maintenance, etc.

Now, as you may know, Six Apart just released MovableType 3.1, as well as the PluginsPack which contains the equally much awaited MT-Blacklist 2.0. These upgrades are really great, with loads of new features. With new features comes new technical challenges though. Now, no it isn't rocket science, but it can be a bit daunting for the non-tech inclined amongst us. Luckily, folks like myself have the know-how to help out!

Wheeee! ;)

Here's the deal:
I will upgrade your installation of MovableType, install MT-Blacklist, configure both with options that make sense for you, and throw in a special template or two here, a configuration tweak there... (sorry, hafta be vague here for now, but I can say, some stuff which makes dealing with Comment Spam a little easier).

Get in touch if you are interested! Seeing as this is a pre-announcement, I'll be offering this at a "special rate" (until i can get my act together and offer a full services and price list!).

Like they heard my prayers

daikini released "Photon" the other day. Not a week ago I was hunting around and trying various tools that would allow me to easily create photo galleries in Movable Type, in my inimitable picky style. The best I found was daikini's iPhotoToTypepad plugin for iPhoto, but it only worked with TypePad. All the others didn't allow me to select a category, or how I wanted the data uploaded i.e.: what goes in what fields... important for template hacking... (I don't want my links to images to stored int eh database, only the filenames. I want to "hard code" the <img> tags myself in the templates.

Photon does just that. Simple simple simple too. I pick my category (or create one!), one per "gallery", e.g.: Trip to Tokyo, and I set Filename > keywords, "Comments" > Entry Body, etc...

For $10.00USD, definitely worth it.

Bye bye Gallery with yer ridiculous ways. (Complex installation, customization, crappy comments, etc...)