Josh Mack blogging at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and occasionally on; bicycles, politics, Brooklyn, parenting, crafts, and good reading. Currently helping to build a new NYC neighborhood news site - nearsay.com, that celebrates the voices that make our city. Subscribe to the daily newsletter it gives you what you need to know.
SIFR - flash based typography in pages. " Over the last several months, a small group of web developers and designers have been hard at work perfecting a method to insert rich typography into web pages without sacrificing accessibility, search engine friendliness, or markup semantics." Example page
Podcast tour of NY media landmarks. Produced by the Online News Association conference committee. Narrated by Adam Glenn. I'm listening to it right now. Actually Mark Crispin Miller and I created a somewhat more radical version of this two years ago for CityReads but never put it out. Would have liked this to have had a map, also for the sound quality (scratchy which I applaud) it should have been less than 25megs..
The Onion asked to stop using the Presidential Seal. They had a very funny parody of Bush's weekly radio address. I actually knew about the seal issue because of my experience with the Suskind site but the Onion is a parody as is this old favorite.
I have to admit I'm not much use right now as I wait for FitzPatrick to finish up.
A friend told me about flock.com which seems very cool, a browser which has a built in blog post app and a link to delicious for my favorites. I've also started using backpack. I love the idea of keeping my bookmarks, lists, other data online. For now I'm still downloading my e-mail from my web based mail but perhaps I'll join the g-mail revolution.
Brian Lehrer on WNYC interviewing Jimmy Wales right now on the wikipedia and wikipedia books and the college textbook market. Fascinating.
So the entire genome for the 1918 bird flu has been published online. Bill Joy and Ray Kurzweil explain and hope for it being taken down. Amazing in this age of dissapearing transcripts and changing history that, effectively, plans for a weapon are online.
On friday I saw Squidoo and it pushed me into a slight spiral of despair since I had been thinking about something like this for the past several months. I recovered quickly and Susan Mernit's comments from Seth Godin's keynote at BlogOn have done a great deal to cheer me up even more. One good thing did come out of the demo on friday, it gave me another idea.
Fred Wilson on MySpace and AOL. "AOL is an aging online business whose audience consists mainly of
people who have shown no desire to step out and join the roll your own
web that is emerging as the best place to be." Much more interesting stuff in his post.
"Internet media companies will need more than just content and
traditional distribution to attract the audience of the next
generation. They need the tools and platforms to arm their audiences --
ultimately the viewers/readers in charge of finding and promoting the
talent from within their own ranks - so they can distribute the content
through their social networks, blogs and connected links on the Web...."
What did Bush mean when he wrote, "ps: no more public scatology" on a birthday card to Harriet Mier's?
As readers know I've recently gotten married. (The wedding was fantastic, people had fun, we had fun, but that is for another blog) With marriage come presents, and with presents packing materials. Bags and bags full of packing materials. Occasionally the odd package comes in with the kind of packing materials you can easily recycle. Others come with the "peanuts" you can put in your tub and dissolve by turning on the shower. The majority however come with plastic. I'm fondest of "sealed-air" mostly because of the name, it is so literal. Next on my list is bubble wrap, popping it brings back sounds of childhood. I also like the fact that the bulk of both gets reduced by piercing as opposed to the peanuts whose bulk gets reduced by being taken outside or in our case given to our local mailbox store for recycling. Sealed-Air is not just the apt name for bags filled with air but it is also the name of the multi-billion dollar corporation that invented bubble-wrap in 1960. This deluge left me wondering what packaging was like before peanuts and sealed-air. Leave it to Dow Chemicals to have a handy history of packing materials. From this it looks like packing peanuts were invented in the 1950's and that they invented Saran-Wrap.
"Pre-World War IIEarly packaging materials:
Barrels and crates, filled with excelsior (curled wood shavings) to
wadded pieces of paper. Popcorn and corrugated cardboard were also
World War II to Present Electronic equipment was packaged with metal and canvas springs and straps. As a result of Germany's research into polyester-based urethane, polyurethane foam first appeared in the protective packaging industry in the 1940s. Rubberized hair (animal hair or vegetable fiber bound together by a coating of rubber) and expandable polystyrene beads (EPS) were developed in the 1950s which could be molded into packaging shapes."
I'm not sure what I would do if great quantities of rubber coated hair started coming through my door.
For those of you intrigued by the future of packing supplies I think that the PackExpo site which is the is the name of the packing convention will be even more interesting. I'm off to unseal more air.
The history of Columbus Day - or how it became a holiday that I don't remember until the Friday before.
Nice article about David Sifry and the web as an ongoing conversation in The Economist
Too bad Harper's magazine doesn't put most of their articles online as I really enjoyed Lewis Lapham's Editor's Letter this month. It is about how if we are going to become a fascist state we might as well be the best darn fascist state we can be. Harper's does however put their index online. Kind of creepy to think that we all have small bits of non-stick coating floating around in our bloodstreams. On he other hand as an aspiring homeowner it is nice to know that NY should come back into reach in a few years.
Folio article on the ripples started by Jon Stewart's appearance at ASME. Nice fee - 150k for the night.
...I would like to take a moment to remind everyone of the severe health
risks associated with schadenfreude toxicity (ST), in both its chronic
and acute forms. It doesn't take a lifetime of exposure to guilty
pleasure at the suffering of others. In rare cases, even a few hours of
euphoria watching poetic justice being meted out to evil-doers
can prove fatal. Today walking down Sixth Avenue, in fact, I saw
several apparently healthy and able-bodied Democrats just go poof! into
thin air. Even a few Republicans who just believed in good government
were taken ill. It can happen that quick. (TalkingPointsMemo)
Writing about the appointing power of the Executive, Alexander Hamilton explained:
"[The President] would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for
the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no
other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he
particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally
allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and
pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure." (via TPM CAFE)