Posts from April 2003

White Flowers Picture

little white flowers

Yellow Flower Picture

yellow flower

NewsHour Weblogs

According to TVEyes, today's NewsHour on PBS has a story about weblogs. And here's the RealAudio of the story.

Orange Flower Picture

orange flower

Winged Migration

I can't wait to see Winged Migration, it looks fun. I hope it hits a theater nearby. Here's a trailer.

More Amazon Hacks

I'm glad I can finally talk about Amazon Hacks. I've received several great hacks via email already. (Thanks everyone who sent something in. I'm still checking all of them out. Keep them coming!) And it's great to hear general excitement about the book. This email made me laugh out loud:
...That machete makes your Amazon Hacks cover the most TERRIFYING COMPUTER BOOK COVER I'VE EVER SEEN...
Maybe O'Reilly is trying to scare people into buying it. ;) Though I do think it's one of the best tools you can literally "hack" with; out of all the hacks covers so far. How else would you get through the Amazon jungle?

Things I learned at eTech

Some things I learned at eTech:
  • FOAF is on everyone's mind. It came up in just about every session I attended.
  • Latent Semantic Indexing could improve information retrieval (and information context) with a bit more development.
  • Alan Kay and Clay Shirky both showed that it's important to study the history of your industry. "Learning from experience is one [step] up from remembering." - Shirky
  • Small, simple bits of software working together can be more powerful than a top-down, engineered solution.
  • People use social software to connect with each other, not with the space in which they're gathering.
  • Technology has a strong emotional component. "I'd like my work to touch people."
  • Social rules can't be baked entirely into the software.
  • Geography is finally starting to be mapped virtually, with an emerging ability to "annotate space".
  • If RDF could be made a bit easier to work with, great things could happen.
  • There are great tools that help publish more to the Web; no great tools to help us consume more of the Web.
  • Hacking hardware is an accessible art.
  • DRM (Digital "Restrictions" Management) software in conjunction with the DMCA circumvents current copyright laws. (Goes far beyond copyright's intended restrictions.)
It was a fantastic conference.

More eTech photos

I added a few more photos to my eTech gallery. (I'm back in Oregon now. Luckily the drive up was uneventful!)


Here are some photos from eTech so far.




Battle of the Blog Builders: "The company behind one of the weblog world's most popular tools is preparing to launch a new service which will attack market leaders head on." The new tool will be called TypePad. Congrats Ben, Mena, and (now!) Anil!

Amazon Hacks

So the cat was let out of the bag today at the eTech Amazon Workshop. I'm working on a book for O'Reilly called Amazon Hacks. They distributed a confidential draft (actually printed in block letters across the top!) printing of a chapter from the book to everyone, and I attempted to talk to everyone about a couple of cool hacks that are in the book already. (I'm not so great at public speaking...but I hope I got something across beyond the fact that I was nervous.) They didn't have enough copies of the sample chapter to go around, and I even gave up my copy to someone who didn't get one the first time around.

Now that the project is public, I'm going to step up my efforts at finding code for the book. If you have a bit of cool Amazon hackery, let me know. It doesn't have to be anything formal, hence the word Hacks in the title. If you've written some unusual way to work with Amazon, let me know! (Or let me know if you just have a dream Amazon feature...maybe it could evolve into a code hack.) You can submit a hack at the O'Reilly site if you want to go the official route. Or just send me an email directly. Like the other Hacks books, contributors are fully credited and have a bio in the book.

World as a Blog

The World as a Blog. Interesting combination of Geo-info, RSS, and You can see posts as they're posted in their geographic location on a world map. [via irc #etcon]

Train Pics

Even though it was a short trip, here are some pictures I took...

Train Pictures (click for more)

I didn't take any pictures on the bus ride, even though there was a beautiful sunrise as we were passing Mt. Shasta. It's hard to enjoy anything on a bus.

Off the rails

Hitting the rails didn't go nearly as well as expected. I got on board in Albany, OR around 4:00pm. A few hours later I was enjoying the ride as the train was leaving civilization and climbing into the Cascades. Just before I went to the dining car for dinner around 6:30, the train came to a complete stop. This isn't unusual...sometimes the train has to wait for a freight train to pass. That usually takes 10 minutes or so. During dinner we overheard the crew saying that somwhere up ahead a freight train derailed. They were saying it was one car, it would be cleared, and we'd be on our way in about an hour. After dinner we still hadn't moved.

Next, an engineer let us know that four cars had derailed ahead, and that we would be turning around and heading back to Eugene. But first, we'd need to move the engines to the front of the train. This ordeal takes an hour or so, during which there is no power on the train. We eventually made it back to Eugene around midnight where they herded all of the passengers onto buses. So my trip ended up being by bus.

I normally love traveling by train, and this is the only problem I've ever had. But it's a big problem.

I hear that lonesome whistle blow

I'm about to hit the rails for a trip to CA.

the illmatic

Kim Jong Il (the illmatic)'s Journal. Why do these always show up on LiveJournal?

BlogFodder on a Japanese Site

BlogFodder: Big in Japan? (or mocked in Japan?)


Holy crap, this is cool: Freevo! An open source TiVo clone that runs on a PC. (Thanks, Nate!) Check out the screenshots.

Also: mythTV. [via Slashdot]

The World

The world—
Like an elephant's tail
Not passing through the window,
Although no one is there
Holding it back.

- Dogen

Corvallis is neat!

Magazine ranks Corvallis in top 10
"Using 34 variables from cancer rates and cholesterol levels to air and water quality to access to major airports and major cities, Men's Journal magazine in its May edition listed Corvallis as one of The 50 Best Places to Live among U.S. cities with populations between 50,000 and 500,000."
My research ranked Corvallis at the top too. That's why I moved here. Go Corvallis!

eTech is coming

The Emerging Technology conference is coming up this month. They have a 30% discount going on right now for friends and family. You are friends and family!


Here are some notes I jotted down after eTech 2002. I was wishing for a ping service to track weblog posts last year, and this year it exists in the form of trackbacks for every session. Sometimes wishes come true. With trackbacks, a centralized note-swapping place might not even be necessary if everyone attending the conference has a blog (and they're willing to post their notes there).

Who else is talking about the conference?

Tree Balance

Some photos I've taken in Mariposa Grove.

Sequoias Fall

Two Giant Sequoias Fall in Yosemite

AP Photo

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA, 2-APR-2003: Park ranger Deb Schweizer discusses two fallen giant sequoia trees, Wednesday, March 5, 2003 in the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park, Calif. For more than 1,000 years, the two giant sequoia trees thrived in the Mariposa Grove, eventually towering 30 stories into the sky. When they fell, a hole the size of a jetliner opened in the forest canopy.
[Photo by Gary Kazanjian, copyright 2003 by AP and ClariNet]

be back soon

can't blog. busy.

but want to point to self evident by ani difranco anyway. she rocks.

Fox should buy al-Jazeera

Instead of the government spending hundreds of millions of dollars on creating an Arabic al-Jazeera competitor, they should just let News Corporation (Fox) buy them. Their programming would change dramatically. In fact, maybe Fox will be able to soon—the FCC is about to give even more ownership latitude to the big ten. It reminds me of the immortal words of Princess Leia, "The more you tighten your grip [Big 10], the more star systems will slip through your fingers." (Though I'm pretty sure News Corporation owns that quote.) [first link via]

Breton for sale

André Breton objects for sale. It's sad to see his life's private minutia and collected objects cataloged and auctioned off. But at the same time it's fascinating to go through. Maybe Breton wouldn't mind. As he once said (in translation), "The legs beneath the fruit-bearing cloud travel all along the greenhouse."

And I now know that Duchamp had hair well ahead of its time. And that's worth something.

I love this photo of a sunflower by Man Ray. And this painting by Marie Toyen. So much to see there.

Second Superpower Googlewashed

What is the meaning of the phrase The Second Superpower? [via Scripting] An interesting look at language on the Web, and the heavy influence certain weblogs have on Google.

The phrase (in its early meaning) was altered slightly (The Other Superpower) and used on the cover of The Nation recently.

Keep an eye on googlewashed. (Sure to be googlewashed?)


The NewsHour on PBS continues to have the best television war coverage and analysis I've seen. To get a sense of the current rift between the military and politicians, check out this segment from last night's show. (or realaudio.)

Remember Usenet? has quite a few AFP photographs of current events. They're bigger than the versions you find at Yahoo! news.

matt has mophos

Matt has mophos. Here's how he does it with 3 servers, 7 clicks, a secret email account, a weblog CMS, and a script that checks the email account every 10 minutes. My setup for mophos is pretty much the same sort of rube-goldberg scriptery. Someday this will all be easier. (I'd like to see a "publish" option on my phone.)


It was bound to happen: GooFi.