January 31, 2007
January 29, 2007
January 25, 2007
30Boxes continues to get better and slicker. I've been using Supermail for most of my day-to-day link sharing, and as they've said, it's "fun, reliable, and lightening fast."
I am continually amazed at the openness and responsiveness of the 30B team. There's only three of them, and really only two developers. They have a great vision for their product, but more importantly, they realize they can't possibly think of everything. They continue to rely on feedback from users, and most of the time bugs and useful changes are made almost immediately.
I can't pimp this product enough, so you'll probably continue to have to read about the greatness that is 30Boxes...
January 24, 2007
Since I missed the State of the Union speech, I've been avoiding the talking heads on TV and heading instead to the Internet. I plan to at least skim the text of the speech, but there are so many other fun ways to get the highlights.
First up, style.org's State of the Union Parsing Tool. I remembered a site that visualized word usage and compared the 2004 debates, so I went googling to see if they did the same thing for the SoTU (get it, posh? :). I still haven't found that site (hit me up in the comments if you know it), but I stumbled upon the extra-cool Parsing Tool.
As one friend put it: “Since it’s so obvious that the speech is ruthlessly curated before presentation, it’s interesting to note how often and where certain features appear.”
Rather than discuss the style or presentation of the Address, I’d like to take a comparative graphic look at two easily-measured features: sentence length and word incidence. (my emphasis)
The above link is to an outdated article/explanation of the tool; however, they do have last night's speech already entered into the database. Search for words or phrases, or compare the occurrence of two words. A good place to start is "September" and "terrorist".
Next up, the US Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud. Be sure to use the slider to browse through hundreds of Presidential speeches. Notably, but not surprisingly, the top word in every Bush speech since 9/11 is "terrorist," followed closely by "Iraq." The top two words in every Clinton State of the Union address were "families" and "economy." Interestingly enough, those were top in Bush's first address (pre-9/11).
Last but certainly not least is the State of the Union Heatmap. Pluggd’s HearHere™ technology allows you to jump to the exact position in an audio or video file where there is something you want to hear. Say what?
Pluggd is pitting President Bush's State of the Union Address against the Democratic response in a feature called State of the Union SMACKDOWN! Pluggd lets you search through both speeches simultaneously using HearHere™, allowing you to compare how both parties address issues such as the war in Iraq, health care, national security, and education.
Here’s how it works. Instead of listening to the whole speech, I only want to hear the President talk about families. I enter the search term (or click one of their pre-defined search link), and Pluggd then searches for instances of that term and related terms within the audio file. Relevance to your keyword is displayed on the audio timeline with a heat map -- sections of the audio most related to your keyword are red (hot), unrelated are blue (cold). Hover over any colored point on the timeline to see the terms that Pluggd determined were related to your keyword.
HearHere™ could revolutionize pod- and video-casting. Search their podcast directory and take control of your multimedia content!
January 23, 2007
AB just read Patrick Süskind's Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and upon finishing it said, "Someone should make this a movie." Well, someone did.
From the director of Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) and Dreamworks studios comes a movie that will hopefully be as gripping as the book (as reported by AB...haven't yet had time to read it). Great poster, and the web site is pretty -- typical movie fare... flash, hi-res imagery, music, etc. The best part is the soundtrack playing in the background.
From the web site:
Director Tom Tykwer, along with long-time colleagues Reinhold Heil (ex founding member of Nina Hagen's band) and Johnny Klimek (The Other Ones), also composed the score and based the entire pace of the film on the music. As there is no way to convey smell in the medium of film, Tykwer replaced this sense with music, evoking the moods and sensations that are created by the smells, making the music the key element of the movie.
Intent on providing the best musical support, Tykwer turned to Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic to record the soundtrack. It is highly unusual that the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras, to record an original film score. Simon Rattle conducted Patrick Doyle’s rousing score for Henry V with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1989.
Evidently the film has been in limited release since December 27, 2006, opening first in theatres like NYC's Angelika. It's now playing at the Metreon in SF. Will have to go, but must read the book first. Evidently the ending is...interesting -- AB wasn't sure how they'd deal with it in a film.
A story about the genesis of the film appeared in the Sunday, November 26 edition of the New York Times: “Capturing a Whiff of a Repellant Hero”. The reviews are all over the place, as evidenced by Rotten Tomatoes. If nothing else, it looks like it will be beautiful. Check out the image gallery at the web site...gorgeous locations.
Perhaps I'll be inclined to write a review if I ever get around to actually reading the book and seeing the movie. Or perhaps I'll invite a guest blogger for that task. :)
this is the first result at Google's image search for "state of the union." not quite sure what to make of it, and haven't yet visited the original site.
Update (Tues, 9pm)...
it's amazing how the major search engine's algorithms differ so radically. this image is nowhere to be found at yahoo image search (at least not in the first 20 pages).
January 22, 2007
January 20, 2007
anyone who has ever attempted the basal body temperature method for fertility monitoring knows it's a pain in the ass. not only do you have to wake up at the same time every day, checking certain fluids and what-not; you're also supposed to keep track of all the minutiae on an 8x11 piece of paper. kind of fun... at first. being a geek, i thought that perhaps a spreadsheet was the way to go; but again, no fun.
i was initially very excited that the fertility bible comes with software to help with the charting process. however, it is like working with lotus notes. dark ages.
fortunately, wherever bad design is lurking APPLE is there to fix it! enter... wait for it... iKonceive. come on. they used the cheesy i-prefix AND spelled it with a K??? anyhoo, i obviously haven't tried it (no macs in this house... unless you count the one permanently on loan from an unnamed friend who works for an unnamed SF web company that got bought by a much larger unnamed software company in san jose), but i'm sure that the UI is beautiful and would cure my charting woes.
lucky for me, said woes have been cured by a little white stick. it's the lazy woman's fertility monitor, and we'll see how well it works...
strangely enough, as noted by Chris Messina, two iFertility programs were released in the same week. only one of them is actually from apple, so no guarantees on the UI of iOvulate. at least it's a slightly better funnier name; but i wonder if they'll get sued.
January 16, 2007
PC Magazine profiles the heavy-hitters of Web 2.0. Event calendars, to-do lists, word processors, bookmark managers, desktop widgets, etc. Not too many surprises, but a couple of smaller companies make a big splash (congrats 30 Boxes!).
I'm happy to say that several of the winners are on my daily hit-list: 30 Boxes, Upcoming.org (I don't visit daily, but my upcoming events are pulled into 30B), Remember the Milk, Del.icio.us, Meebo, Yelp... even Pandora FM made the list!
while you're at it, check out Mike Arrington's list of web 2.0 companies he can't live without. [digg it!]
read more | digg it!
January 10, 2007
ok, this is the last iPhone entry. at least for a while.
just found these hump-worthy photos from Niall Kennedy (a bay area tech geek). he recently blogged about "The end of Apple Computer." get it? they changed their name to Apple, Inc...
i'm hoping to make it to the exhibition hall tomorrow. i've got my fingers crossed for that "one more thing..."
and in case you just can't wait until june, fool your friends!
January 9, 2007
"iPhone" on twitter -- watch this number grow as the pages get cached. unfortunately no way to search the public timeline.
"iPhone" on google blog search (searching only 1/9/2007) -- currently more than 4,500 posts
"iPhone" on technorati -- currently 3,327 blog posts tagged 'iphone'
and apple has updated their homepage and site navigation to include the big announcement. gadget geeks everywhere drool in anticipation...
- jobs's keynote this morning at macworld
- engadget blogged the entire keynote
- engadget highlight reel
- iPhone product page at apple.com
(yes, it's real! and holy crap they created some very cool demos!)
- The iPhone will use a revolutionary interface called MultiTouch, first seen in Apple patent filings over a year ago.
- The iPhone will run OS X, and be capable of running desktop-class applications.
- The 4GB costs $499 and the 8GB $599 (includes a 2 year contract with Cingular). It is shipping in June.
January 7, 2007
i'm always spidey. does that mean i'm peter parker, too? perhaps he is a "modern, cool nerd."
You are Spider-Man
Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...
January 4, 2007
Roughly two months ago, the vast center of this nation blew the way the wind blows and it just so happens the wind was blowing Left. Nancy Pelosi was rumored to be the heavy favorite for the next Speaker of the House, and within those first 24 hours came some big promises:
If you honor Democratic candidates with your vote today, in the first hundred hours of a Democratic Congress: We will restore civility, integrity, and fiscal responsibility to the House of Representatives. We will start by cleaning up Congress, breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation and commit to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending.Well, Madame Speaker, the countdown is on. I'll give you until Wednesday, January 10th -- you shouldn't have to work on the weekends, unlike the minimum wager with whom you sympathize. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the stream of lobbyists with suitcases, pouring out of Washington on the next morning. My grandmother has a doctor's appointment Thursday, so I know she's looking forward to Medicare taking care of those prescriptions. Oh, and if you want Congress to be more civil, you should probably keep Dick "go fuck yourself" Cheney off the premises.
We will make our nation safer and we will begin by implementing the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission.
We will make our economy fairer, and we will begin by raising the minimum wage. We will not pass a pay raise for Congress until there is an increase in the minimum wage.
We will make health care more affordable for all Americans, and we will begin by fixing the Medicare prescription drug program, putting seniors first by negotiating lower drug prices. We will also promote stem cell research to offer real hope to the millions of American families who suffer from devastating diseases.
We will broaden college opportunity, and we will begin by cutting interest rates for student loans in half.
We will energize America by achieving energy independence, and we will begin by rolling back the multi-billion dollar subsidies for Big Oil.
We will guarantee a dignified retirement, and we will begin by fighting any attempt to privatize Social Security.
Cynical enough for a Thursday?
Evening Update (and much less cynical):
MoveOn has a new petition available online calling for Congress to pass the "100 Hours Agenda" pakcage. They have also revealed that -- surprise, surprise -- corporate lobbyists have already been hard at work to defeat it.
To combat the new Democratic leadership, big oil is launching a $100 million dollar PR campaign —- as one of their lobbyists recently put it, "People are very concerned, and concerned on a lot of levels." The drug companies are gearing up their $100 million dollar a year lobbying operation. And top congressional Republicans are vowing to dig in their heels.Since I do believe that the "package" is a good start (I'm just unsure of the outcome) I have signed the petition and would encourage anyone reading this to do the same. The email went out a little more than three hours ago, and they've already reached 89% of their goal of 100,000 signers. Scratch that... in the last two minutes, the percentage has jumped to 91%. But this shouldn't discourage anyone from signing; the total signature count and some of the comments will be read aloud on the floor of Congress.
Also, they provide a good synopsis of the agenda proposals (much better than Pelosi's somewhat long-winded blog post).
The full list of the 100 hour agenda proposals:
- Good Government: Cutting off lobbyist gifts and restoring fairness and transparency in the way laws are passed
- Fiscal Responsibility: No more recklessly driving up the national debt.
- National Security: implement all of the 9/11 commission security recommendations
- Fighting Poverty: Increase minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, helping 15 million working families
- Health Research: Increased funding and availability for stem cell research
- Cut interest on federal student loans in half
- Clean Energy: Cut oil company subsidies and invest in safe alternatives
Click here for more details.
January 3, 2007
Just found this photo from Amit Gupta on Flickr by way of HorsePigCow (a great addition to anyone's blogroll, by the way). Despite living in NYC (or probably because I lived there) for several years, I never went anywhere near Times Square on New Year's Eve. However, this photo captures the essence of what I hope it would feel like.
Some resolutions/goals for 2OO7:
- do something community-based -- a class, ballroom dancing, etc.
- get preggers
- finally go on a "real" honeymoon -- i.e. a 2-week vacation where i don't check email or do any work
- take more photos -- one a day is too ambitious, but one nice long session a week sounds good
- eradicate "like" and "awesome" from my vocabulary
- exercise regularly; lose 10-15 pounds (may not be compatible w/ #2)
- ski 15-20 days this winter
- ski utah this winter
- get my hair cut every 6-8 weeks
- keep in touch with friends -- something that i'm not good at, despite being online 8-12 hours a day. however, twitter is already helping with this one. those of you who have ignored my invitations, be damned! ;)
Coming soon...the requisite "best of 2006" list.
January 1, 2007
i did a nice long photowalk through the mission district yesterday. the standouts are online at flickr.
some of the photos came out pretty well, but it's mostly due to the subject. it was a cloud-covered nothing of a day, but the mission is always so alive and vibrant.
i strolled around listening to some newly downloaded tunes and tried to take as many shots as possible. maybe a third were worth a second glance, and maybe a quarter of them ended up on flickr. not bad. if you visit flickr and are inclined to comment, i always appreciate the feedback.
happy new year. more about my resolutions soon, but one of them is to take more pictures!