January 30, 2003


Copyright "bendinantion"
Peter Lorre as 'Smeagol'
Old footage
A ferocious urBalrog

and you get a near masterpiece (quicktime req'd). Now, is this detournment?

Posted by esinclai at 08:41 PM
Review Me!

Dang it! Why hasn't my favorite comix reviewer taken the time to review this yet? I mean, it's from said reviewer's backyard 'n all!

Posted by esinclai at 08:28 PM

Direct from Florida!

The Whistlestop Tour!

Posted by esinclai at 07:10 AM
LotrR by Others

Ah, the Straight Dope. I used to devour the books, now I dip into the Reader's weekly run of the column.

Of course, like all good cultural ephemera, an online community has sprung up surrounding it. I'd seen the usenet stuff, but now there's apparently also a online forum board (less archivable than usenet, sadly, but that's the nature of things).

At any rate, within that board, as cited by Nobody's Doll, is the following thread of Lord of the Rings as Written By Others.

Hilarity ensues.

Posted by esinclai at 07:04 AM
January 21, 2003
The Mighty Ween

According to This Page (courtesy of boing-boing), the Mighty Ween were commissioned to write a jingle last year for Pizza Hut.

They didn't choose to use it. And I still don't eat there.

Posted by esinclai at 09:29 PM
Connectivity in SW Florida

Earlier I stated that I'd be interested in seeing how wireless connectivity shapes up in the broader world outside the major metropolitan areas. Well, in short, my fears were confirmed. In Southwest Florida, GSM/GPRS connectivity is spotty at best -- we spent the weekend in Fort Myers, a community of approximately 330K (most of this in overdeveloped gated communities), and at no time did my Sidekick think it was online. Now, granted, the Sidekick isn't trimode, so maybe that would have been the secret. But it was a harrowing experience, if I keep my tongue in my cheek.

Nor did I discover any WiFi hotspots in my voyaging.

A trip earlier in the venture to Lakeland, Florida did show connectivity; odd, because Lakeland (according to my contacts in Fort Myers) is not as advanced as Fort Myers. Having dealt with technology companies in the past based out of Southwest Florida, this does seem to be a common view. So the relatively more primitive infrastructure for Fort Myers would seem to be an impediment to a technology company success (hey, they must be successful - they had their sign on a building!)

Ponce de leGeek... - spoiled in the big city.

Posted by esinclai at 09:17 PM
Language Watch

Apologies to William Safire, though he's welcome to use this if he feels it's worthy....

In the New York Times this Sunday, in the "On the Town" column with Adrien Brody (lately of The Pianist), is the somewhat odd scene of Mr Brody in coversation with a Mr Sean "Puffy, P-Diddy, Puff-Monster" Combs. In this scene, the word MP3 is used in a manner new to me. Previously, I've heard MP3 used as a noun ("Hey, that's a great MP3 of that song") or as a simple action verb ("Hey, did you MP3 the John Peel radio show? I missed the My Morning Jacket Session"). But in this case Mr Combs says "MP3 that to me in Miami" -- a motion verb, incorporating the act of creation and the act of sending (presumably via email or some s00pr-s3kr3t website Mr Combs maintains).

Maybe I'm just old, or out of touch. I was called a curmudgeon today....

Posted by esinclai at 08:54 PM

Anne and I are back from our adventures. Some tardy log entries follow...

First update: I see that Mike has outted the new weblog from Mr Christopher J Dent, Esq.. Huzzah, Chris.

Posted by esinclai at 08:41 PM
January 15, 2003
Ubi Reading

I think in the past I've referenced Ted Nelson here. This morning I came across a Java implementation (LGPL) of some of his zigzag ideas (which were in turn released at the first ORA OSCon), under a different name, Gzz. It warrants a further review.

This came across my radar in a lengthy and "of the time" missive to the ba-ohs-talk list, which in turn will merit some review as I read Rheingold's latest work, Smart Mobs this week.

In essence, some of the ideas in Toni's note have been rattling around my brain, particularly as I experiment more with the always / near always on-ness of the Danger device (though minus expandability - a whole post to come there), and more of the WiFi madness becomes accessible. Of course, as we travel, we'll be able to experience the weakness of this - deployment, penetration, etc, not being what they will need to be outside the major metropolitan areas of the US.

Posted by esinclai at 07:40 AM
January 13, 2003
Redeeming Feature

Today I found one redeeming feature in the Sun-Time's offshoot the Red Streak.

Picking up in one of the areas the Tribune has mercilessly left behind, the Red Streak has started carrying the Hillary Price strip Rhymes with Orange.

When Anne and I first moved to Chicago, we enjoyed reading this every day in the Tribune, only to see it replaced after time by the likes of Sherman's Lagoon, Out of the Gene Pool, and even lesser strips (if you can imagine such a thing).

Admittedly, they still carry Trudeau's finest, and Trudeau's finest competitor / inheritor, The Boondocks. So there's some goodness in the funny pages...

Posted by esinclai at 08:52 PM
January 12, 2003
No Parfait in Sight

Mike's cited a piece about the rush to see Woz at MacWorld and the confluence with Ice Cream...

Well, back in October, Anne and I were at the taping of TechTV's The Screen Savers hosted by Wozniak and Mitnick. One of the production folks, at our friend Jason's prodding, snapped the shot below. Jason, as per usual, appears to have the most presence and comfort in front of the camera.... If I had the photoshop skills, I could even have eyes. Or Ken could have attended with us...

Posted by esinclai at 04:02 PM
Employment Tips

It occurs to me that, based on their comments over the past few months, Andy and Meg could collaborate to write a truly kickbutt book on the art of getting (and hiring for) tech jobs. Surely ORA could use such a guide...

No finder's fee necessary....

Posted by esinclai at 01:03 PM
Not Mr Smith, But Fine

The wonketry in me has been enjoying the series in the NYTimes about new freshmen congresspeople (the Times is following two, from each side of the spectrum, as they take in the first year in the House.

The most recent edition was run in today's edition, and is available here (reg. req'd, etc).

Related and on my reading list, courtesy the lovely Anne is The Truth of Power, regarding an academic's journey into the Clinton White House.

Wonka Wonka...

Posted by esinclai at 12:31 PM
January 07, 2003
Antique Computoria & Memex

As I await with abated breath the latest Steve Jobs announcement, perhaps I should be perusing this historical archive of pre-computer/antique computer information compiled by Ed Thelen...Antique Computers - Ed Thelen

Also of interest, this news.com piece about Gordon Bell's approach to creating a new memex is worth a read. I haven't done the clickthru research yet...

Posted by esinclai at 06:57 AM
January 03, 2003
Creative Copyright Conflict

Anthony Tommasini has a piece in the NYT (registration required) this morning on The conflicts between US and European Copyright law.

In essence, European protections are for 50 years, US protections are for 95 (there's more subtlety there, of course), and the European protections are expiring. So the (largely institutional) holders of rights are scrambling for both creative (partnering with former European foes) and legal (importation of items protected in the US is illegal, for example; encouraging the Europeans to adopt more US oriented laws).

A decent read for those interested in such things.

Posted by esinclai at 07:01 AM
Application Creativity

It may be more common than I think, but I was struck by the community and creative focus of the job application for a Software/hardware engineer with the Lafayette Project (a project organized by the Megnut and Nick Denton people (see also Gawker and Gizmodo)).

The job application process as outlined in the announcement includes writing a short (300 word) blurb on a particular topic (one is suggested, or of your own choosing). The goal is to help preseed that particular something that can make a small team work.

It may not be the first or only place that good hiring processes are in place. Pencom in its day had some, as did Ars Digita (or so I'm told). But each time I see these, I'm heartened for small business working as small communities as an admirable goal in our society.

[note: In correction to my congratulations to Mike I mistakenly stated that the position he had attained was full time. Technically, he informs me, it is not. But it does, like the above, sound like one being proffered in a decent manner. Huzzah.]

Posted by esinclai at 06:56 AM
January 02, 2003

For research, stashing away this link to a piece at Smart Mobs as a jump-point for the intersection of WER and other technology issues. Of course, this is not the first intersection point - would that have been Doug Engelbart and Brand in 1968?

Posted by esinclai at 07:04 AM
Full Employment

A quick but congratulations to Mike, who has announced that in this New Year he has ben able to retain some more gainful employment. From the looks of it, a position that is well suited to him, and to which he is well suited.

I'd lobbied some time ago for getting Mike involved in a company I was working for; as luck would have it my entreaties fell on mostly deaf (or distracted) ears, and several other people rolled through the position instead. In the fullness of time, though Mike would have been a great asset for the product we were rolling out when I started talking him up, in the shifts and turns that match would have become less and less sticky.

Woulda been great to have him at hand physically, tho'.

Posted by esinclai at 06:49 AM
January 01, 2003
The Hours The Books The Stairs

So last night Anne and I went off to see The Hours (admittedly, not the most cheerful of New Year's Filmic entertainment, but much enjoyed by both of us. The life of English Majors, or something.

Scenes in Virginia and Leonard Woolf's house. Books and manuscripts piled upon every flat surface - the desks, the chairs, the tables, the sidetables, the bed, the floor, the stairs.

Anne turns to me, whispering.

Anne: If we're not careful, we're going to end up with books all over like that.
Eric: We already have books everywhere.
Anne: Yes, but not piled on the stairs.
Eric: Only because we don't have any stairs.
Eric (internal): Maybe we should get some stairs...

Posted by esinclai at 11:40 AM

Everyone who's anyone is citing this (Mike did so a few days ago, for example). But Phil Gyford has begun putting online, daily (with RSS) the text of Samuel Pepys Diary.

I've had a (abridged) copy sitting on my shelf for about 10 years (a nice little Modern Library edition from 1921) which I dip into now and again. While I don't know that I would ever had had the stomach to read all 6 volumes (for some reason this review of a new Pepys biography made me even more timorous), reading through a day at a time will be a nice bitesize joy.

Thanks Phil!

Posted by esinclai at 11:31 AM