there are 18 posts from June 2007

June 30, 2007

We found this hobo on the subway. on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

We found this hobo on the subway.

June 30, 2007

Twitter / jennyholzer

OMG, Jenny Holzer is on Twitter.  PLEASE CHANGE BELIEFS.

June 30, 2007

short attention span theater

Marc Andreessen on short attention span theater:

The obvious conclusion is that most Internet users have not yet even heard of social networking, much less adopted it, much less decided that it has hit some kind of “natural saturation point”.

June 30, 2007

rich kid

Valleywag: Rich kid gets declined at the iPhone counter.

June 30, 2007


Purchased and installed: an HP L7580 color all-in-one. Printers keep getting better, faster and cheaper…but not inks, for some reason.

June 30, 2007

marketing 101

My six year old, drawing up a sign for a lemonade stand: “They have to be able to understand it. If they don’t understand it, they won’t buy it.”

June 30, 2007

kottke on f8

Jason Kottke on Facebook.

Eventually, someone will come along and turn Facebook inside-out, so that instead of custom applications running on a platform in a walled garden, applications run on the internet, out in the open, and people can tie their social network into it if they want, with privacy controls, access levels, and alter-egos galore.

June 30, 2007

illegal tying?

Paul Kedrosky wonders if there isn’t some illegal tying going on.  “Why can’t I have a better iPod and a nice wifi device without having to subsidize rapidly-obsoleting and declining-margin voice services from AT&T?”

June 29, 2007

currently reading

Currently reading: Falling Man.

June 25, 2007

nytimes on tmz

Following up on the centrality of Paris Hilton, The New York Times today profiles TMZ.

“There are times, like with the Paris Hilton story, where we’ve set the agenda for what local news and national news are covering,” Ms. Estey McLoughlin said. “Paris Hilton leads every newscast.”

Oh, be sure to click through to page 2 of the story where SHOCKING TRUTHS are revealed – publicists for the stars “leak” tidbits to TMZ!

June 22, 2007

kedrosky on hilton

Paul Kedrosky has a great post on the centrality of Paris Hilton, inspired by the fact that more of the demonstrating companies at the Supernova Tech Innovators panel mentioned her than things like, say, AJAX.

I have diddly use for Ms Hilton and the 24x7 coverage of her brief jail visit, but there is a deeper import here. A bunch of blogs that I don’t read, like TMZ, are newly winning the traffic wars. What such sites generally have in common is that they don’t even have passing acquaintance with technology, geek-ish stuff, and early adopters. Instead, they are oriented toward the sort of inane pablum that fills supermarket glossies, 7pm TV shows, and such. They are, in other words, all about celebrities, gossip, and entertainment.

If you haven’t already, go read the whole thing.  And if you’re not the “reading type,” just scan for the fantastically illustrative chart which tells the whole story.

June 21, 2007

nicely done, firefox

As has been covered here before, as a rule, I hate application chrome.  I especially hate browser chrome, since the browser isn’t supposed to be about excessive toolbars and tabs and menus – the browser is supposed to be about the site you’re visiting.  And yes, I’m this crotchety about most things.

Nosearchbox So a couple of days ago I’m tweaking Firefox to kill as much of the chrome as I can, leaving a single row of buttons, an address bar and a set of menus.  In doing so, I removed the little search box, just to get more pixels for other things.  Now, if you’re not only a no-chrome-allowed minimalist but also a mousing-is-for-the-weak keyboard shortcut junkie like I am, you build muscle habits quickly…habits that are hard to undo.  My two particular Firefox keyboard habits are CTRL+L, which puts your cursor in the address bar,  and CTRL+K, which puts your cursor in that little Google search box in the upper right.  CTRL+L is for going somewhere, CTRL+K is for searching for something.

But here’s where things get fun.[1]  Let’s say you remove that search box from your browser’s toolbar.  What happens then?  Not to worry – Firefox does the right thing and instantly navigates you to and drops your cursor in the search box.  This absolutely surprised and delighted me the first time it happened, so much so that I had to interrupt several of my colleagues who were busy with actual work and demonstrate this remarkable behavior to them.  (To a soul they each nodded their head in that slow kind of way that indicates that they’re merely humoring you.)

Now there are plenty of other things that drive me nuts about the Firefox UI.  But this little detail made my day.  Since Firefox is open source, I could go figure out just how large the codepath is to enable that surprising and delightful behavior, but I’m guessing it was small.  But there was a conscious decision made at some point, by someone, to just do the right thing and respect the intent of the keyboard shortcut (“I need to go search for something”) even if the search box wasn’t visible to the user.

And since I know this will come up somewhere, somehow, I can’t figure out if IE7 even allows you to remove the search box in the upper right.   I don’t think you can.  But I’ll give them this – IE7 did a much better job at conserving vertical pixels, creating a larger default canvas for browsing.  This has probably come at the expense of usability for normal humans (I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched people hunt for the home button, or worse yet, the file menu), not to mention a pretty big design inconsistency when you compare IE7 to Office 2007.  But I digress.

Nicely done, Firefox.  May minimalist-browser-loving keyboard shortcut fanatics everywhere unite in song, singing praise of your CTRL+K goodness.

[1] If you define fun the way I define fun, in which case we really should hang out more often.  Seriously, what have you been up to?  Let’s have lunch.

June 20, 2007

spore delayed

msippey: spore delayed.  insiders say that market research has forced EA to include a “creationism” mode in the product, which has significantly delayed development.

andy baio: Short game!

andy baio: “Click once to create light.”

June 20, 2007

at supernova on wednesday

I’ll be at Supernova 2007 tomorrow, and am preemptively very excited about having a hallway conversation with you.  See you there!

June 11, 2007

wanted: sms to home display

So I’m stuck on the BART platform with train delays, and while I could call home to let them know I’m running late, what I would really love is a mounted display in my house that I could send an SMS to. It would be useful for low impact but reasonably time sensitive messages like “BART excitement, big delays” or even just little notes to the kids throughout the day (“Hi, munchkins!”).

June 07, 2007

well edited breakfast tacos

Via Ben and Mena, this outtake from the Sin City DVD of Robert Rodriguez cooking breakfast tacos is the most well-edited cooking video I’ve ever seen. You’ll never again want to eat store bought tortillas after this.

June 06, 2007

i say it here, it happens there

From this very blog, just one week ago:

I wish this plane had a screen in the seatback in front of me showing one of those neat real time maps.  But instead of showing progress at the state or nation-state level, it would show progress at street or near-street level, so that instead of having that “Wow, this flight is taking forever” feeling, you could have that “Holy shit we’re going incredibly fast” feeling.  It almost goes without saying that this Holy Shit Map(tm) should be toggle-able between map, satellite and hybrid modes.

From, JetBlue Airways Announces Partnership With Google Maps to Provide Real-Time Flight Tracking Feature:

JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq:JBLU) today announces a partnership with Google Maps to provide customers with a real-time flight tracking channel on its signature seatback televisions to map the aircraft’s route.

Maybe I should blog more often.

June 01, 2007

congrats to google on feedburner

I’m incredibly happy for Dick, Eric, Steve, Matt, Don and the rest of the folks at FeedBurner…and congratulations are definitely in order for the corpdev team at Google, who with the acquisition signal both the strategic importance of RSS to Google, and the extraordinary talent of the nice midwestern team who in three short years defined the state of the art in syndication services for publishers large and small.

I’ve known Dick and Eric for nearly ten years now – I first met met the pair when Mr. Lunt and I were on the advisory board for a Miller Freeman Web 1.0 conference – and I’m proud of being even marginally affiliated with the company and services they’ve built.  I gave them a little bit of advice over beers when they were leaving the Spyonit technology in the hands of 724 Solutions and thinking about what would come next…I don’t quite remember what I said, but I’m fairly certain they rightly ignored whatever I told them.  And then nearly two years later, after I had landed at Six Apart, it was a natural fit to help make it easy for TypePad users to burn their feeds and flare their blogs…because by that point some crazy number of our customers were so in love with the FeedBurner service that they were doing it the hard way themselves.

Like Anil, I’m a bit concerned about Google’s gravitational pull on talent  (I mean seriously – Veen and Norton and Costolo and Lunt under one corporate umbrella? The mind reels…), but I’ll worry about that on Monday.  In the meantime, I’m hoping there are some nice meals being planned in Chicago.