Monday, September 30, 2002
So I acted on a whim, and the fact that one of my favorite bookstores is across the street from my office, and bought Re-Thinking the Network Economy, which I mentioned yesterday. I read it on the annoyingly long MUNI ride this morning, because the nice thing about the annoyance of the MUNI, which I missed in my working at home year, is that I will now read again. I didn't read all of it, of course. It wasn't that annoyingly long. But so far, it's pretty good. Somewhat enlightening. The introduction was boring. And I disagree with some things. But I'll save my critiques until I'm done.

New Kazaa stealing referral links: "The newest version of Kazaa contains code which will rewrite URLs to sites like which allows affiliates to earn commission from sales they refer to Amazon. If you were to have this software installed and click through one of Lockergnome's book links to Amazon, Kazaa would end up getting credit for any sales that may have resulted from your visit to the site." Ugh. That's just so uncool. But then again, the software is designed to steal things. (And yes, I run it -- the "lite" version.)

Startup Control Panel. I've probably linked to this before, but I was reminded of it today. If you're on Windows and annoyed that every damn piece of software you install is arrogant enough to think you must have some process of it running at all times, you'll like it. It let's you control what programs are set to run on your system automatically, even when they're not in your startup folder or the other normal places you know to look.

In Spite of Years of Silence:
"'You seeing anyone?' he asked.

I took two quick sips and replied, 'I'm drinking vodka at 11:30 on a Sunday, do you think I'm seeing anyone?'"

Sunday, September 29, 2002
ZDNet Shopper Price Drops. Track price drops on stuff you want to buy. Interesting. reviews Re-Thinking the Network Economy: "Name a plainly superior technology that society has set aside not because of private cost or self-incompatibility, but because wide adoption was a precondition for its success. Not easy. Network effects do exist, and in principle they could work as the advocates of strong lock-in say, but in practice they have turned out to be far milder than e-commerce zealots supposed—in case after case, too weak to suppress plainly superior products." I think I would like to read this book.

Customers who bought that book also bought: Winners, Losers & Microsoft, in which, "two top economists punch some big holes in the government's antitrust case against the software behemoth. Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis argue that government lawyers are dead wrong to say that consumers are being forced to accept inferior standards and high prices because of Microsoft's hegemony. With some well-documented and original research, the authors conclude that Microsoft is as successful as it is for a simple reason: good products win." Hmmm...

PayPal Targeted by Scam Artists: "An elaborate E-Mail hoax is going around, aimed at getting account and password data from unsuspecting users of the online payment service." What a pain in the ass.

Friday, September 27, 2002
It's Friday.
No posting today. Just lots of talking. Now I am sleepy. Critical Mass just rode by, so that was loud.

Thursday, September 26, 2002
Three year old shoots father because he was afraid of vampires. This is wrong in so many ways. "This is all TV's fault, they do all those shows that mess with children's heads." The show in question, btw, Kiss of the Vampire, is the one Globo is integrating character blogs with.

Five Killed in Bank Robbery in Nebraska. Yikes.


Me. Hanging a sheet on a fence for a PowerPoint show. In the park. At midnight. [photo: Lane]

Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Till Bramble of Willowbottom is my Hobbit name.

Fuzzy Math (Aaron Swartz: The Weblog): "One of the weirdest things I heard when listening to the Cato Institute debate was an economist claim 'a tenet of my profession is that people won't pay for something they can get for free.' Someone objected, using the analogy of bottled water. There's a far better example: The New York Times."

But then: Bottled water isn't the same thing as free (tap) water, and isn't that same thing as The New York Times in print, is it?

(I love when clicking on NextBlog randomly brings some cool person into my browser I haven't seen in a long time and can now catch up with.)

Links. Leila comments on my link to her friend David's foot photo gallery, wondering how I happened upon that page (also suggesting a donation to get more of David's photographs online, which wouldn't be a bad thing, from the looks of them). Which is funny, because, the way I happened upon David's page, was from Judith's 20things, via Maggie. And I got Leila's email right after returning from lunch with Hillary (alas, siteless, though the DSL is on the way!), where I mentioned stumbling upon and linking to David's page, because of his photos from Cole to Breakers, which she was at, I remembered, because I had dinner with her that day, and also she was wearing the shirt. And also, I saw her friend Jason in David's photos, whom is apparently friends with David, as well. (Bonus: I saw Jason a couple weeks ago, while brunching with Bryan and Maggie.)

All these people I know from different circles, you see. Um...except the one I don't know at all.

In other news, Jane doesn't like the word blogger, which is unfortunate, since she hears it a lot (and yes, it is trademarked, but not for that usage). And since I'm pointing to that, I should point to this, just to say: I am Fabio.

So that's that.

And now for something completely different...

Microsoft PSP. I'm surprised Microsoft doesn't by Jasc for Paint Shop Pro. That would give them a decent-enough Photoshop competitor to sell the shit out of.

Foot Photos


Tuesday, September 24, 2002
lyndesquares <vis stuff, via Angus>

Blogs -- Only Half-Baked: "The catch is that links to topical stories aren't best presented in a time-based format...Until blog developers address the issues of archive classification and sorting, blogs can't possibly live up to their potential." Hmm..interesting take.

See also: Steven Johnson: "The collective future of blogs lies not in dethroning the New York Times -- but in becoming a force that can make sense of the Web's infinity of links."

Oops. Rudy hacked blogdex. (Just kidding. He did Blog*Spot maintenance this morning. And the "sorry blog*spot is down" page was my old site for a moment. And then it was one that pointed to On the plus side, Blog*Spot is zippier!

Monday, September 23, 2002
Just saw a SBC van advertising SBC Yahoo! DSL. The tagline was "The Internet that logs on to you." I'm not sure that that sounds altogether pleasant. Depends on what you're into, I guess.

It hurt my brain. Opening sentence from an actual published news story (okay, press release, but still):

Incorporated into Fitch Rating's 'BBB' senior unsecured debt rating for Sprint Corporation (nyse: FON - news - people) and Stable Rating Outlook (both of which have not been changed) is the expectation of continued improvement with the company's credit protection metrics throughout 2002.

Palm Tweaks Brand Strategy: "The Milpitas, Calif.-based firm said its two new trademarked product brand names -- Tungsten and Zire -- would highlight the differences in products tailored to different segments of the PDA market. Previously, Palm products either shared their brand name with their manufacturer, such as the 'Palm VII,' or were identified by a more obscure numbering convention -- 'm500' and 'i705.'"

John Hiler: "It pains me to witness the destructive power of ego as it lays waste to the blogging countryside. I don't think there's a lot we can do about that, but it's truly shaking my faith in the blogging medium itself." Reminds me of something I read in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance.

Oregon. 1999.

Sunday, September 22, 2002
Really Super Sucker. I've been silent on all the RSS hullabaloo this time around for a simple reason: I haven't given it any thought. Been too busy with other stuff to get properly educated, and it just hasn't been a priority. (Other people in my organization are more up on it, however.) If we can work at the business details, we have a project coming up that will make RSS much more important for Blogger, though. So, at that point, we'll decide what we're doing with the 1.0 and the 2.0 and the 3.0 and the 4.0. Or however many there are. And our criteria will be what is useful and/or neat for Blogger users. Meanwhile, Blogger Pro generates .91, and that's kinda neat.

Addendum: I'm not irritated.

Saturday, September 21, 2002
Kickball in Dolores Park. Sunday. 2pm. With TV cameras.

Access denied. I just finished a new feature for Blog*Spot Plus that allows you to password-protect your whole site or certain directories with a little form. Not terribly mind-blowing, in terms of web-hosting features, but I've been wanting to get around to offering this on Blog*Spot forever. I think it's pretty important, though it may not seem like it to many. The reason is, private blogs (as in, limited to a small group) are a highly useful thing that haven't been talked about much. And for most people, it's not clear at all how to set such a thing up. (And even when it is clear, it's a pain.)

The Power of Optimal Pricing: "A price-optimization program....plugs reams of data from checkout scanners, seasonal sales figures, and so on into probability algorithms to come up with an individual demand curve for each product in each store. From that, retailers can identify which products are most price-sensitive. Then they can adjust prices up or down according to each store's priorities -- profit, revenue, or market share -- to achieve a theoretically maximum profit margin for their goals." Neat.

What would you do with RSS? "If application developers are expected to care enough about RSS to develop compelling apps that consume or produce it, then I would argue there need to be at least a few use cases that go beyond 'read news story.'" Excellent question, Michael.


Tapas. 22nd and Valencia. 2000.

Friday, September 20, 2002
The power of pictures. Last night, after launching bSTATS, I posted about it both here and on the Blogger home page. This morning, I created a bSTATS tracker for bSTATS itself to see where the referrers were coming from. Going back to check later, I was surprised to see that Evhead was sending twice as many hits as Blogger. Obviously, Blogger gets many, many times more traffic. And, what's more, the traffic is more targeted. One explanation is that the description was much shorter on Evhead. I just said, "Look ma, I made something new." So everyone had to click. Much more important, though, it turns out, was that I included a graphic—the bSTATS [b]—in the Evhead post. I didn't do that on Blogger at first. Once I did, the referrers from Blogger quickly surpassed Evhead's. Perhaps not terribly surprising, but interesting to see the dramatic effect.

FastCompany: Hit Man. An interesting article about HBO's original programming success of the last few years. It illustrates the advantages media companies who's customers are their audience, instead of advertisers, have in creating good stuff—and, therefore, getting the audience that everyone craves in the first place. A quote: "When it comes to creating hits, there's TV -- and then there's HBO. The difference is that the last thing HBO programmers think about is making a hit. At the networks, it's the first thing (and, some might argue, the only thing )."

Thursday, September 19, 2002
bSTATS Look ma, I made something new.

the box : centralize your bookmarks!: "I patterned the system after an old web application called deepleap which managed not only your bookmarks but everything under the sun. I don't have the time or the funding that those guys had."

Logitech hot to jot with new digital pen: "About the size of a standard ballpoint, the Io captures and stores a digital version of a person's handwritten notes. These can then be downloaded, still in handwritten form, to a computer." Interesting. Seems like an improvement on the CrossPad idea, an idea I always like, although I didn't like the actual product that well. My main complaint wasn't the technology, but the pen. I'm picky about pens. (BTW, Hook, do you want your CrossPad back? :-)

A virtual 'to-do' list for tech projects: "A start-up run by a former Palm executive has unveiled a software package geared to streamline product development within large companies."

Wednesday, September 18, 2002
massless: In and Around Fray Day 6 SF: "I have tried to counteract the genuinely warm feelings of goodwill and acceptance amidst these perfect strangers by labeling each subject as if they were an evil sovereign leader of some kind. Enjoy!"

Rob Fahrni (a developer at Microsoft): "I don't like being embarrassed by security flaws any more than the next guy, and yes it's embarrassing. That alone will drive us to more secure software."

WTF is Weblog Marketing? I don't know.


Life update: Good. Great.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Dan Bricklin: Why Johnny can't program

beauty bar
Beauty. Bar.

Sunday, September 15, 2002
CriticalMAS: "Last night I created an ASP page that renders images. The script detects where the request is coming from and then pushes out an image. If the request is coming from my server it displays a good image. If the request is coming from a thief on an outside server, then I hand them one of PhotoDude's bandwidth images." Neat.

Jerry Seinfeld's Comedian Trailer

Nelson Mandela: The U.S.A. Is a Threat to World Peace

What I learned tonight: These kids are cool. XForms sounds interesting. And some other stuff.

Saturday, September 14, 2002
The truth is: Everybody likes the girly malt beverages. I'm just the only one who admits it.

Mozilla Calendar 0.8 Released. Did I mention I have a thing for calendars? (Yes. Yes, I did.)

adam store
A store. On a street. In Amsterdam.

Friday, September 13, 2002
Life update: I had a great day yesterday. A busy, loud, productive workday, with a couple breakthroughs. An epiphanous dinner. A lucky Scrabble game.

Today I've been kinda grumpy. The post office was in the wrong place. My falafel took forever. And some important relations are not going smoothly.

On the other hand, I found the orange bracelet. I just optimized a query. The office is tidy. And there's a fun evening ahead.

This weekend I shall code. I get grumpy if I haven't been creating anything. I'm working on something neat.

On the other hand... Dan says, "Apple's iCal: Why Was This Released?"

Density. I'm finding out everyone I know works within two blocks of me now. Okay, not everyone. But a lot of people I know in my day-to-day life and just kinda vaguely knew they worked "downtown" work right here. Neat.

Congrats to Jane.
Happy birthday, Lane.
I wish I had something else that rhymed...

Thursday, September 12, 2002
Interesting analysis of community-related keyword prices on Overture over time.

Tony Pierce goes to town on the L.A. Times for this blogging story—and not in a goes-to-town-with-love way. It's fun.

In case you were wondering: This (aka this) is what I was talking about.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002
METATAGGERS : Digital Graffiti: "This is a new media art collaboration presented by San Francisco artist group 47, DJ Spooky, and Shepard Fairey." September 14-22. SF.

The space.

iCal. This iCal stuff is really interesting. I have a thing for calendar apps. One of the apps we really wanted to build at Pyra way back when, if we got around to it, was a calendar app that sounds a lot like iCal—the publish-and-subscribe functionality anyway. Yet another reason to inch toward OS X (though I made a big move away when I sold my G4 recently).

LouisRosenfeld: Bloug

Rethinking time. Speaking of Adaptive Path, I'm going to their workshop in San Francisco next month. I'm excited about it. We've known we desperately need to rethink some web sites for a while, but have been a little close to them to know how to get where we need to go. I expect this to help a lot. (BTW, I think if you enter the code "PBLG" on the registration form, you can still get a 20% discount. Come join me. It'll be fun. There's a party, too.) This has not been a paid announcement.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Decodings from Jason Chervokas and Tom Watson. <via werblog>

Things that working downtown (as opposed to your apartment in Noe Valley) makes you want to do:

  • Get up earlier.
  • Dress better.
  • Get a pastry with your coffee in the morning (not all of them are good ideas).
  • Start drinking earlier.
  • Schedule lunches with friends (becuase, hey, we're downtown!)
  • Schedule drinks with friends.
    There's probably more, we just started...

    Monday, September 09, 2002
    Downtown. Pyra's main collaboration space (not quite a real "office" yet, in the normal come-there-every-day-sense) moved out of my apartment and into a cubby-hole downtown today. It's very exciting. It's not so much that we're "moving on up," so to speak—although, we are on the sixth floor. The place is smaller and cheaper than the space and the cost of my aparment (or the part the company was using of my apartment). But it has one very nice feature: It's not my apartment! So that's fun. And it's downtown, where bidness happens. And people walk around. Lots of 'em. And it's AP's old space, so it's got a good vibe. Yay.

    filchyboy: "I went to the meetup and met a girl."

    Sunday, September 08, 2002
    Sunday night. (that's Bret)

    HOT Blogs. Now with data.

    At last. What a great night. Congrats, kids.

    Saturday, September 07, 2002
    O'Reilly Network: Flash MX and the Bigger Picture: Lightweight Internet Applications

    (That picture was disturbing me.)

    My Life as an American Gladiator: "...if you are one of these rockin and rollin types with a band and all, please think about including needless parentheses in your song titles."


    You know who's really good to make fun of?

    Steven Seagal, that's who.

    When you make little snipey comments about him, it helps you to grow and develop as a person, because in spite of the fact that Steven Seagal could probably beat your punk ass into a quivering mass of tears and regret, there's no way he would ever know. You know what else is great? There is virtually no chance that anyone will admit to liking Steven Seagal movies enough to argue with you.

    And so on.

    Friday, September 06, 2002
    Strike on box

    Noe Valley. "It's primarily an urban mall for caffeine addicts and those who don't have jobs that require them to go to an office" That's where I live. Perhaps not for long.

    Neat. I'm pretty sure we had a puzzle of this painting when I was a youngster. It was spooky and fun. <via caterina>

    Funny answering machine greetings. I missed a call while reading these. via boingboing

    Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom cover shot. Wow. Now that's a book that would sell me with the cover alone—even if I didn't personally know that Cory Doctorow was a mad genius. Can't wait.

    Funny, I saw the same sign:
    changed priorities ahead

    Though it wasn't on New Year's Eve, I suppose it was also prophetic. Unlike this one, which seemed to have a lot more promise:

    humps for 200 yards
    ...until, of course, you looked a bit further down.

    Thursday, September 05, 2002


    I don't know how this started, but it's always a fun idea to have a big, fat permanent marker at a bar with a lot of drunk people. (I blame Sarahatter, even though none of those are her hands. Although, I'm not sure who the pie is.)

    We rhyme.

    Geek toy! The Airborne Express man woke me up this morning with a really cool thing today, but I don't have time to write about it. Will be doing so (probably to an annoying degree) later...

    Don't worry. I don't think the oil light will ever do damage. I mean, it might burn out, but it won't hurt anything. </snark>

    Wednesday, September 04, 2002
    KEN LAYNE: "Ain't no regime in the world strong enough to deal with an army of pissed-off teen-aged blogger girls."

    Those were the days. Remember when incidents arose from circumstance?

    self portrait
    Self portrait. July 27, 2001. Noe Valley, San Francisco.

    Tuesday, September 03, 2002
    Are Weblogs Changing Our Culture? By Kurt�Andersen�and Andrew�Sullivan: "I have entertained a retrospective fantasy about a kind of endowed blog model that would have been interesting to try with If we had put the capital we raised into Treasury bills, we'd have had $1.5 million a year in income, with which we could've employed and published our best dozen reporter-commentators forever."

    Pud's (formerly AmazonScan) now tracks Alexa traffic rankings, as well. Bitchin'.

    San Francisco library book sale. This week. 100,000 books. I remember the library book sales in Lincoln. I carried home a carload. What fun. I can't imagine San Francisco's. Though, the competition is probably stiffer.

    Miss Maia and an água de coco. Yummy.

    Topic: Commentary and Essays on Life and Events: "This Blog has run for over 70 years of continuous Print, Radio and Internet commentary. 'Topic' is a daily column series written and presented by Andrew McCaskey for radio broadcast and print without interruption since February, 1932." I met this guy's son in Iowa. He said his father has written 500 words a day since 1932. He turned him on to Blogger, and now he's putting those words on the web. That rocks.

    Sunday, September 01, 2002
    Cell phones wed digital cameras: "In Japan, more than 5 million people carry cell phones with embedded digital cameras, say analysts with Strategy Analytica." I want one. Hooked to Blogger.

    How to Write Like a Pundit

    Sub-$200 PC at Walmart: "Microtel Computer Systems Inc. is selling a PC equipped with a C3 processor from Via Technologies Inc. and the LindowsOS operating system from Inc. exclusively at for less than $200."

    Release 1.0: Personal Identity Management: The Applications: "It seems everyone in the do-it-yourself identity space plans to offer similar services: contact management, calendar, e-mail, Web-hosting, perhaps vanity e-mail addresses or domain names. But these are rapidly becoming commodities. Most of these basic services will be loss leaders, designed to catch an early audience � and their friends." Hmm...sounds interesting. ($80 for the issue.)

    My links were too far away.

    I don't know why I don't have any forks. I got lots of spoons.

    My nephew, Parker. He's 3 1/2.

    Parker: "Where we going, Dad?"
    Dad: "We're going to pick up chicks."
    <driving, driving, driving...>
    Parker: "Dad, are the chicks already dead, or do we have to shoot 'em?"

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