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Bhavatu sabba mangalam.
"May all beings be happy."
Vipassana meditation.
• Who: Eric Case FOAF
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• Materialism: To be consumed

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« November 2003 | Main | January 2004 »

December 30, 2003


USA Today just posted a fairly comprehensive article about political blogging, including a few (snippets of) quotes from our own beloved Jason Goldman. The behind-the-curve, generalized and copy-edited mainstream never fails to entertain...

[via The Blog Herald]

Posted at 09:57 | TrackBacks (0)

December 27, 2003


Kevin Kelly: "In other words, from an outright profit perspective, you are better off loaning money to a Bolivian peasant than to the Bolivian government. Furthermore, there is now no doubt that Bolivia itself, and any other country, is much better off if investment goes directly to their poorest citizens than to the government."

He's talking about Opportunity International...

Posted at 09:24 | TrackBacks (0)

December 26, 2003


Fast Company, The Wal-Mart You Don't Know:

"Wal-Mart, which in the late 1980s and early 1990s trumpeted its claim to "Buy American," has doubled its imports from China in the past five years alone, buying some $12 billion in merchandise in 2002. That's nearly 10% of all Chinese exports to the United States."


"But here's one last statistic about bicycles: Roughly 98% are now imported from places such as China, Mexico, and Taiwan. Huffy made its last bike in the United States in 1999."


"Wal-Mart has also lulled shoppers into ignoring the difference between the price of something and the cost. Its unending focus on price underscores something that Americans are only starting to realize about globalization: Ever-cheaper prices have consequences."

Posted at 07:25 | TrackBacks (0)

December 25, 2003


Wired, How the Internet Invented Howard Dean:

Gary Wolf: "Three thousand is a small number. But all campaigns depend on a feedback loop, and 3,000 passionate supporters who are connected via the Internet are influential in a way that an equivalent crowd would never be if you had to gather it via direct mail or a telephone survey."


Howard Dean: "A lot of the people on the Net have given up on traditional politics precisely because it was about television and the ballot box, and they had no way to shout back," he says. "What we've given people is a way to shout back, and we listen - they don't even have to shout anymore."


Joi Ito: "You're not a leader, you're a place. You're like a park or a garden. If it's comfortable and cool, people are attracted. Deanspace is not really about Dean. It's about us."

Posted at 21:14 | TrackBacks (0)


The Guardian:

"Walk into almost any office, home, train or plane, or turn on the TV and watch Sex and the City and it's impossible to disagree. His transparent plastic iMac, the neat iPod, the iBook, the G4 Cube and the Titanium PowerBook are icons. They single-handedly remind us of the power of elegant, emotional design."

Posted at 21:05 | TrackBacks (0)

December 23, 2003

Homeward Bound

The itinerary:

Wednesday, December 24, 2003:
  • United Airlines # 140
  • San Francisco International (SFO) to Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
  • Departure (SFO): December 24, 9:00 AM PST (morning)
  • Arrival (ORD): December 24, 3:17 PM CST (afternoon)
Wednesday, December 24, 2003:
  • United Airlines # 1526
  • Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) to Port Columbus Intl (CMH)
  • Departure (ORD): December 24, 4:00 PM CST (afternoon)
  • Arrival (CMH): December 24, 6:22 PM EST (evening)
Sunday, December 28, 2003
  • United Airlines # 1459
  • Port Columbus Intl (CMH) to Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
  • Departure (CMH): December 28, 3:37 PM EST (afternoon)
  • Arrival (ORD): December 28, 3:59 PM CST (afternoon)
Sunday, December 28, 2003
  • United Airlines # 157
  • Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) to San Francisco International (SFO)
  • Departure (ORD): December 28, 7:00 PM CST (evening)
  • Arrival (SFO): December 28, 9:33 PM PST (evening)

Posted at 23:20 | TrackBacks (0)

Tip Jar

No, not for me. For Ottmar; he blogged the email I sent him a few days ago:

"Hey Ottmar- every now and then it occurs to me, on the spur of the moment, to burn a copy of one of your albums for friends of mine... How about a tip jar on your web site somewhere? That way, we (your fans) can 'roll our own' copies of albums for friends, and then we can immediately compensate you."
Sounds like he digs the idea, and is gonna take it a step further by making downloadable/printable cd covers available on the SSRI site. Welcome to the new era of musical distribution...

More artists should do this!

Bonus link: Ottmar's new moblog

Posted at 21:32 | TrackBacks (0)

December 22, 2003


Wow, evidently this is happening right now. I'm working at home this morning and haven't felt it, but all my mates at the office are feeling some tremors. Far out.

Update: More here, 11:40am/SFGate, USGS details, Google News, Wired News.

Posted at 11:32 | TrackBacks (0)


Ev is talking about how Amazon could out-Netflix Netflix. I feel the same way about Audible- I'm a huge fan of theirs, and I actually get through books quicker via 1.5 hours/day of listening/commuting than I do paging through deadtree on weekends. The user experience is brilliant- browse, buy, download, transfer to iPod, listen, all seamlessly.

But I want to link directly to the books I'm listening to on Audible's site (not possible). I want to be able to recommend them to friends, and have friends recommend them to me, with direct URLs. I want a public wishlist so people can buy me stuff to listen to (Audible wishlists are private). I want web services so I can do cool stuff with Audible's database. I want Amazon-level customer support (Audible doesn't even send me canned responses...). I want to open up browser tabs so I can do one-off browsing (Audible locks you into their site with some bizarre incestuous javascript linking scheme). I want an affiliate program (maybe the market's too small for this?).

Aaron Swartz echoed my sentiment a month ago: "You can also download it for $2.95 from, but their site is evil and won’t allow me to link to it. If you manage to get it through their awful site, you can put it on your iPod..."

Maybe Amazon could just buy Audible and make all this happen?

Posted at 01:17 | TrackBacks (0)

December 21, 2003


My friend Ryan, a roving tech consultant currently based in Palo Alto, recently compiled a list of free WiFi networks here in the Bay Area. Were it not for the food and the Washlets at work, I'd probably frequent the spots on this list.

Posted at 23:37 | TrackBacks (1)


The poisonous legacy of depleted-uranium weapons.

See: Campaign Against Depleted Uranium, Amazon search: depleted uranium.

Posted at 23:15 | TrackBacks (0)


You know the media is getting bored when they start writing articles like this one:

"The noted Internet search engine has recently installed digital toilets at its Mountain View offices... And not just any old digital toilet. Japan's Toto, the world's largest toilet maker, has taken a bidet and added an impressive array of high-tech wizardry to create the Jasmin Washlet, a remote-control, computerized toilet seat with more functions than your VCR."
Shellen's got a shot up of the remote control; I definitely look forward to using them every day...

Posted at 23:06 | TrackBacks (0)

Welcome To The Party

Chris Wetherell will be joining us soon.

Very soon.

We're stoked.

Posted at 22:53 | TrackBacks (0)

December 20, 2003

Bush In 30 Seconds

Check out all the excellent homebrew political ads over at, sponsored by MoveOn: "The winning ad will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York and will be run during the week of the State of the Union."


Posted at 16:17 | TrackBacks (0)

December 19, 2003

At Last

JPB finally started a weblog, I wonder what took him so long?

"Am I too old a dog to be learning these tricks?" he says. Not in the slightest, John. But more importantly, when are your daughters gonna start blogging?

Anyway, welcome!

Posted at 14:23 | TrackBacks (0)

December 17, 2003

Surf's Up

Woah, looks like some big waves are hitting (4 meg animated image) down at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay. Gotta check it out, I think I might be a bit late to work this morning...

Update: Sarah just called from HMB, "There's 3 jetskis and 18 dudes out right now, get your ass DOWN HERE!"

Posted at 08:17 | TrackBacks (0)

Keep It Stupid

Cory Doctorow: "When the CEO of Verisign says something as ghastly-stupid as 'We have to move the complexity back into the center of the network and remove it from the edge,' it's like waving a red flag before David 'Stupid Network' Isenberg."

Alex MacGillivray posted the best comment I've seen yet on the subject, via Wendy Seltzer:

"Painters buy white canvases for a reason. The Internet has succeeded as a platform for innovation because its architecture does not preempt its uses; instead, the stupid network offers a neutral background for line drawing, oil painting, and collage."
Brilliant stuff.

Posted at 07:53 | TrackBacks (0)

December 16, 2003


Like Biz, I had the good fortune to meet Joi Ito and Cory Doctorow earlier this evening at work. I've been an avid reader and fan of both their blogs for years now, it was great to chat about stuff with them. And Cory was really stoked to hear that a significant portion of my Christmas bonus went straight to the EFF.

Update: I've been BoingBoing'd, welcome folks!

Posted at 22:58 | TrackBacks (0)

Here Comes Santa

The Onion, Christmas Brought To Iraq By Force:

"Immediately following the press conference, high-altitude bombers began to string Christmas lights throughout the greater-Baghdad area, and Wild Weasel electronic-warfare fighter jets initiated 24-hour air patrols to broadcast Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" over the nation. Armored columns struck out from all major allied firebases to erect a Christmas tree in the town square of every city, while foot soldiers placed fully lit, heavily guarded nativity scenes in front of every Iraqi mosque."

Posted at 15:33 | TrackBacks (0)


He actually did it. Co-worker Jason Shellen has pimped out his blog to the Sony Pictures Marketing Machine. To be clear, my hard-earned $1 doesn't go straight to Shellen, but rather to a special fixture in our office... I'm sure we'll find a use for it some day.

Posted at 08:20 | TrackBacks (0)

December 14, 2003


Cory Doctorow: "Social people don't need social networking."

Right on.

Posted at 18:27 | TrackBacks (0)

December 12, 2003

Walkin' Down The Street

Jason Shellen: "Pretty women scramble men's ability to assess the future."

Indeed. Though for me, they tend to scramble all coherency...

Posted at 14:33 | TrackBacks (0)

December 11, 2003

The Finger "So while our brothers and sisters are off in the Middle East risking their lives and killing thousands of innocent Iraqis while securing America's fossil fuel future, H2 drivers are pissing away our 'spoils of victory' during each trip to the grocery store."

Do enjoy the user submissions.

[via But Here Now]

Posted at 21:32 | TrackBacks (0)

To Be Consumed

Apologies to my Blog Secret Santa, who probably fainted when confronted with my monstrous (8 pages/184 items) Amazon 'Wishlist.' See, it's not really a wishlist in the sense that I want people to buy me stuff on it. Rather, I use it to keep track of all the stuff people recommend I check out...

But you should still be able to find something on there that's < $15. <grin>

Posted at 00:40 | TrackBacks (0)

December 10, 2003


Mike Sieburg: "We will win. We must win. Our ideas our better. In the end, good ideas will beat the shallow appeal of the dollar any day!"

Posted at 09:01 | TrackBacks (0)

December 9, 2003

Positive "Despite being outspent 10-1 by his heavily backed Democrat opponent, and after only four months in the race, Matt energized a whole new electorate and managed to attract a large and diverse coalition of voters."

The results.

Posted at 23:43 | TrackBacks (0)


First this, then this. Heh.

Posted at 17:33 | TrackBacks (0)

December 8, 2003


Nelson Minar: "It's OK to kill thousands of Iraqi civilians, but not to say 'fuck.'

Re: this.

Posted at 23:50 | TrackBacks (0)


Steve Jobs: "We said, 'We don't see how you convince people to stop being thieves unless you can offer them a carrot -- not just a stick.' And the carrot is: We're gonna offer you a better experience... and it's only gonna cost you a dollar a song."

[via MacMinute]

Posted at 21:45 | TrackBacks (0)


Public Citizen:

"President Bush will make two stops in Maryland on Friday. The first is an exclusive, big-ticket fundraiser in Baltimore, where he is expected to add another million dollars to his massive campaign war chest. Then he’ll deliver a speech on the economy to workers at a Home Depot in nearby Halethorpe."


"Buried in two small paragraphs on page 710 of the massive, stalled energy bill is a measure that would lift a tariff on Chinese-made ceiling fans sold by Home Depot. The new language was inserted during the closed-door conference committee and had never been debated by either branch of Congress. According to estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation, suspension of the tariffs would cost the U.S. Treasury $48 million over five years."

[via Chuck]

Posted at 21:01 | TrackBacks (0)


Naomi Van Tol on this: "For a whopping £20 (or one medium-sized heathen soul) shareware fee, you’d think this festering heap of sanctimonious stinkbait would brim to its bubbling eyeballs with fun. You’d think it would even bestow such heady luxuries as, oh, maybe a “quit” option. But you would think wrong. And you won’t be able to turn your unrepentant back on the Lord THIS time, no sir — not until the WorshipLeader says it’s time to leave. Come the rapture, this app will still be running!"


Posted at 20:44 | TrackBacks (0)

December 5, 2003


Yahoo News: "In less time than it took a North Brunswick patrolman to write a ticket for an unregistered vehicle, the driver got his car registered online Thursday."

[via Nelson]

Posted at 17:39 | TrackBacks (0)

December 4, 2003


Good Morning Silicon Valley: "The sector you once dominated with such (middle of the road) ferocity, is now crowded with competitors, all of them seemingly far more savvy than you. Your $23.90-a-month basic dial-up service lost 846,000 subscribers in the last quarter, and 2 million in the past year. What do you do? You launch another money-losing promotion. Well, that's what you do if you're AOL."

Posted at 18:15 | TrackBacks (0)

December 2, 2003

I Wish I May

Paul Bausch: "Public Service Announcement: If you link to your Amazon Wish List on your site, you may need to change that link."

Posted at 19:34 | TrackBacks (0)


David Gallagher: "I headed off to work with my old phone in one pocket and the new one in the other, like some kind of postmodern gunslinger, and kept an eye on both of them throughout the day."

[via Anil, thanks Aaron]

Posted at 08:16 | TrackBacks (0)

December 1, 2003


This coming weekend, has arranged for The Truth Uncovered to be shown at over two thousand get-togethers around the United States. Though my copy was waiting for me when I got home from Chicago yesterday, I'm holding off on watching it until Jarrod [hopefully] arrives Tuesday. And since I don't have any furniture yet, I decided against hosting a house-party showing of the film. No worries, there are 9 viewings within 15 miles of my apartment. San Mateo County is obviously on the Cluetrain.

Posted at 22:33 | TrackBacks (0)


Scott Rosenberg: "President Bush's surprise Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad was certainly a good thing to do. On the other hand, it seems pretty clear that the whole thing was the political equivalent of what happens in Hollywood when the cast and crew are reassembled to reshoot a scene that the director realizes he botched. In this case, Karl Rove's "Mission Accomplished" footage from May, with its flyer-garb bravado, has now become an albatross around Bush's neck. The Bush campaign needed new political-commercial fodder. New location; same cast. Roll cameras. Only Bush gets to charge all production costs to the American people."

Posted at 21:23 | TrackBacks (0)