October 31, 2004
links for 2004-10-31
Posted by esinclai at 11:16 AM
October 30, 2004
links for 2004-10-30
Posted by esinclai at 12:16 PM
October 29, 2004
Late to the Party Party

I may be late to this, but the intense work and effort that went together into the rx "Party Party" release is nothing short of astounding.

Certainly with computers this all is easier. But it is still an effort to get things like this to line up just SO well.

Bush. Samples. Lou Reed. U2. Sacrilege. Kerry. Brilliance.

Beware the inevitable Slashdotting...

Posted by esinclai at 10:10 PM
October 28, 2004
Chicago Computing Events

Now available, a calendar of local Chicago Computing Events . Includes handy RSS feed, so you don't have to leave the comfort of your own aggregator.

All it needs next is iCal export (or enclosures, if you swing that way...)

Posted by esinclai at 07:50 PM
October 27, 2004
Boys Don't Cry

When I heard about it yesterday, the death of John Peel came as a shock. I was taken aback at the loss, gutted as so many people have put it.

Looking down at my iPod, I knew it had hours of his programs ripped to it, but I also knew that if I gave in and started listening to some of them I'd become more of a wreck than I immediately felt, unable to get even a minimal amount of work done. So I proceeded apace, somewhat damp eyed but keeping it together. Periodically I'd dip into the news postings, the Peel list, and Barbelith, looking for a bit of community to hang my sad hat with.

Today I gave in and listened to Steve Lamacq's covering of John's shift, playing a selection of sessions recorded for Peel over the years (from the Faces to Smashing Pumpkins to Hefner and PJ Harvey, et al.), interspersed with readings from letters and messages sent in by listeners. Not a word from the man himself, just his influence playing out on the airwaves.

And somewhere in this process is where I stopped keeping it together so well. Tears seeped out, quietly. And though I couldn't explain my eye wiping to my coworker who stopped by to ask me a question, it was still OK.

It helped somehow, knowing that Peel regularly described himself as a weepy person (crying in the back rows of a movie theatre, for example, or listening to Eddie Jefferson's "When You Look in the Mirror").

The loss of Peel is a huge loss; Peel was a mensch in the meaning of the word as I have it - he gave, he was self-effacing, and he cared. He leaves behind a legacy that to my mind ranks among the best.

Where words seemed never to fail him on air (unlike the equipment perhaps), they fail me now.

Posted by esinclai at 09:42 PM
October 26, 2004
Ingenious Australians

Now that he's moved into the 21st Century Hardware world, I can point Mike to this remarkable tomfoolery without fear that he'll suddenly use this configuration for his mail server or something....

And as a bonus - a possible reuse for those old Quadras in the basement!

Posted by esinclai at 06:40 AM
October 25, 2004
Bill and Daisy

Originally uploaded by sugarfreak.
Back in the day, when AZ and I lived in Bloomington, we took part in an artfest of sorts. Along with the ECC (in a rather technology-interruptus performance), it was the unveiling of Bill and Daisy in what I think was one of her first public appearances.

Daisy was (is?) an animated cow skeleton, articulated and remote controlled. With somewhat of a stilted gait, Daisy walked through the performance space, did a little personal business, and was a real hit.

And here she is again at Flickr!
Posted by esinclai at 09:50 PM
more mashing

John Driscoll was kind enough to forward along a link to another Sim Sadler mashup/advertorial, this time a wishful combo of Bush and Cheney.

Posted by esinclai at 06:59 AM
October 23, 2004
pretty movie, funny movie

Escher (good)

Audi industrial design (often good)

Quicktime Movie combining the two in an advertisement - Good.


Post-debate spin alley: bad.

Inappropriate dog making jokes at expense of denizens of spin-alley: good.

Posted by esinclai at 12:11 PM
October 21, 2004
Anti-War, Anti-Bush Flyer at Rockwell

Anti-War, Anti-Bush Flyer at Rockwell

Posted by esinclai at 07:45 AM
October 20, 2004
autumn on Eastwood

autumn on Eastwood

Posted by esinclai at 07:36 AM
October 17, 2004
fall @ Bistro Compagne

fall @ Bistro Compagne

Posted by esinclai at 12:08 PM
October 15, 2004
Pirates and Emperors

Again, me with the videos. Thanks to a mention on BoingBoing again - Pirates & Emperors is a slick little animated video, an anti-imperialist version of the old Saturday educational cartoons. Fun.

Posted by esinclai at 06:30 AM
October 10, 2004
not food

not food

Posted by esinclai at 05:08 PM
Morning Glory on Ravenswood

Morning Glory on Ravenswood

Posted by esinclai at 04:44 PM
CTA mural (Rockwell Stop)

CTA mural (Rockwell Stop)

Posted by esinclai at 03:06 PM
October 07, 2004
Can't Stop Posting

When we were in London last month, one of the things AZ and I did was go to see the Pet Shop Boys accompanying that astounding work of Social Agitprop, Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin.

It was a fine performance in the rain, and much enjoyed by us.

Prior to the performance, there was a nicely produced socialist history of Trafalgar, working backwards through the anti-war protests, the more anti-war protests, the union protests, the anti-poll-tax protests, all the way back to the first worker's protests in the 19th century on that site.

If I'm not mistaken, the same narrator is provides the measured tones in this amazingly well crafted piece of slightly-paranoid agitprop about the Project for the New American Century. I'd be interested to confirm this fact, if I could only find more information on the pre-Potemkin work...

(first heard this on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code the other day, but it's also been picked up by BoingBoing)

Posted by esinclai at 10:26 PM
Molly Flickr's Her Eyelashes

Originally uploaded by esinclai.
I've been dorking around a bit again with Flickr (has it really been so long since I signed up?) again.

And what better way to test then the ubiquitous cat photo? Surely Danny can now come by and rate this....
Posted by esinclai at 09:44 PM
Tether, stretched to end thereof

In the mail today is the most recent issue of McSweeney's.



Posted by esinclai at 08:19 PM
October 06, 2004
ISG Reports, You Decide

If you don't have time to read the full document, it's still worth the time to read the 19 page "Key Findings" (PDF, 304KB) of the
CIA Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

It's a punchy and intriguing document that the Iraq Survey Group has provided. And there's something for everyone in it, pro-intervention-now and anti-intervention-now.

The core of the findings, in my own quick takeaway, are that.

  • Iraq's weapons programs were largely inactive, destroyed and/or ineffective under the sanctions, and since the 1990s
  • The Bush Administration can point to a desire on the part of Iraq (and specifically in Saddam Hussein, who held the entire plan in his head apparently) to resurrect these programs, and that Iraq had tried to lay what shaky groundwork they could to do so when sanctions ended.
  • But the focus of Hussein's desire was not the US, but Iran
  • Sanctions mostly worked, but were leaky in some troubling areas, including weapons sales to Iraq by our Allies, including the new Slavics, Russia, and Poland
  • We really haven't found much of anything that would pose a present threat
  • A lot of the intelligence we were fed by Iraqi refugees was pretty damn bad>/li>

A lot of facts in this summary are cleanly expressed, but there is a lot of soft language for the Iraqi programs "desired," "plans or designs," "intended to reconstitute," "ambitions," "intent," "intentions," or "intended to preserve."

The programs in chemical and biologic weapons (which we looked away from in the Iran/Iraq conflict, of course) appear to have stayed intellectually closest to the surface, and would probably have resurrected most quickly in a post-sanctions Iraq (though not for a period of years, most likely). Even those programs the ISG expresses a number of doubts about.

Posted by esinclai at 10:13 PM
October 04, 2004
more remix

On the heels of the Republican Convention (fear mix) video is the even more bandwidth friendly (but frankly less pointed and disturbing) Bush Debate Remix.

It's entertaining, but it's also cheap shots. Though often inarticulate or inexpressive of any internal questioning, piecing together the worst bits of his ~40 minutes of speaking into a ~4:54 audio track isn't entirely fair.

Well, actually, that's ~10%, isn't it, unless one performs deduping. Google, fetch me information on the percentage of any adult's vocabulary which is flavoring phonemes!

There's some belief (full article behind Nature's subscription wall, but summarized at yaelf.com that Uh and Um are more wordlike than not, and actually aid the comprehension of the listener... But no percentage listed there.

Any linguistics geeks in the audience? I've found various references that use large corpi of data, but I can't read the academic niche language to decipher if they approach my question...

Posted by esinclai at 07:34 PM
October 01, 2004
Quick Pick Hits

Some quick pickhits from recent days, though not by any means a catchup for the missing weeks.

Andy Lester has a fliparound essay on Bush as Programming Project Leader up at OReillyNet. I'm not sure I buy all of it, but I do buy a lot of it.

Slacker out on Criterion Edition

I've been loading my iPod recently with bits and pieces from ITConversations and more recently with stuff dumping in from IPodderX (so RSS 2.0 Enclosures feeding from Curry et al). IPodderX has issues still - I'm not sure I would have made it a 1.0 just yet (for example, file management is still crufty, silent modifications to your crontab is a bit squicky, feedback and progress isn't very granular yet). Thanks to katkins for pointing my toward the tool.

Also on my iPod - the BBC's audio rendition of Vanity Fair. I mean, with Stephen Fry narrating, how could I pass?

And like everyone else, I'm reading 43Folders every day...

Posted by esinclai at 06:33 PM