there are 69 posts from July 2007

July 31, 2007

spiderpig, spiderpig

Worth watching:  James L. Brooks and Matt Groening on Charlie Rose. (The show’s not online as of this posting, but will likely show up soon at that URL.)

July 31, 2007

madden on walsh

More on Bill Walsh.  John Madden is on the Bay Area’s KCBS every morning at 8:15; this morning he talked at length about the genius.  (Dear KCBS, I wish you had better permalinks for each of the shows.)

July 30, 2007


File under “the web creates unlimited column inches” and “where oh where have the editors gone” and “Q: How much do we love living in the first world? A: This much”:  The Washington Post does 746 words on Hillary’s cleavage, and Tidbits does 2,200 on something called SafeSleep.  (“Look, it’s 2007 and I’m a Mac user; if I can’t put my brand new computer to sleep and into its bag in less than 10 seconds, something is seriously wrong.” Emphasis mine.)

July 30, 2007

the genius

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Ray Ratto on Bill Walsh; worth quoting at length:

He was also a complex man, well-read, solicitous, and curious about things beyond the 6,400-square-yard box in which he made his living and his reputation. Yet, at his core, he was the prototypical man of combat. He loved boxing, he was an avid reader of books about generals, and believed in the inherent truths of competition. That flew in the face of his reputation, largely unfair, that he was an effete, ethereal poser, not made of true coach’s cloth.

Well, truth is he did like to cast the image of the grander thinker, the great conceptual artist, the whistled humanitarian, even the wry comedian. But he was very much a coach, with a coach’s eye for skills, both ascendant and waning; for personalities, dominant and compliant; for the separate pieces and the greater whole; for strategies and tactics, for grace and brutishness  –  all the things that separate football from a bar fight. He built, dissembled and rebuilt with cold, remorseless precision, and his ruthlessness did not always sit well with those pointed toward the door.

July 27, 2007

in heavy rotation

Recommended: The Mix-Up from Beastie Boys.  From Jason Kirk’s Amazon review:  “The Beastie Boys now bring what feels like their emeritus recording, a celebratory instrumental memoir of all of the influences (except punk) that brought them to their secure place among hip-hop’s fickle elite.”  And yes, they sell it at Starbucks.  In fact, I hope they sell a lot of them at Starbucks.

July 26, 2007

on crack?

I’m loving Cringely lately.  From his latest, about the 700mhz spectrum auctions:  “There is, however, an alternative motivation here beyond simple megalomania and corporate self-delusion: Google may actually be playing a game of poker.”

July 26, 2007


Crave (dot cnet dot com) reviews TypePad Mobile, the smartphone app we have for updating your TypePad blog (available for Windows Mobile, Symbian Series 60 and Palm devices).  “TypePad Mobile encourages photojournalism, which is what gives moblogging (I shudder at this every time) its edge.”

July 26, 2007

minnow v. whale

John Funk riffs on pmarca’s post re. working with whales: “When you’re a minnow, shouting, threatening, arguing, and getting pride confused with objectives gets you exactly nothing. You’ll end up with no deal, chewed up and spat out by the whale….”

July 26, 2007

into the clouds

Ken Norton, who PMs Google Docs on apps heading into the clouds.

When we launched a new version of Google Docs last month, the passionate response from users (both negative and positive) made it clear that our tool is an essential part of their lives, not just some toy they dabble with occasionally.

July 26, 2007

appreciating its beauty anew

I love A.O. Scott’s review of The Simspons Movie because he makes absolutely no bones about being an unabashed fan of the series. “Let’s keep things in perspective. ‘The Simpsons’ is an inexhaustible repository of humor, invention and insight, an achievement without precedent or peer in the history of broadcast television, perhaps the purest distillation of our glories and failings as a nation ever conceived. ‘The Simpsons Movie’ is, well, a movie.”  Worth reading in its entirety.

July 25, 2007

muscle memory

Muscle memory is a bitch. Especially when making the switch from desktop apps to web apps.

I’ve been alt-tabbing between applications for 15 years (1992 marked the introduction of Windows 3.1, the Version That Mattered). I’ve only been CTRL-tabbing between browser tabs for what, three years?  The mental model of “to switch applications, alt-tab” is deeply, deeply ingrained; ctrl-tabbing between gmail, gcal, gtalk and gdocs just isn’t the same.  My recent preference for web applications is bumping up against a decade and a half of repetitive motion learned behavior.

And look, here’s the comment bait:  I know I can’t be the only late-30something who’s having issues adjusting to our brave new world.  What’s blocking you from going all web all the time?

July 25, 2007

dishing on l.a.

Michael Bauer (SF Chron food critic) visits LA and manages to dismiss an entire city full of restaurants in 500ish words.  “In the Bay Area, food is the driving force of successful restaurants. But in L.A., instead of paying attention to what’s on the plate, just about everyone is rubbernecking to see who’s in the house.”

July 24, 2007


“The million-marker map is an experimental set of Flash and JavaScripts add-ons to the Google Maps API that allows you to display and interact with very large data sets on a regular Google map.”

July 24, 2007

really? the worst?

Richard Dorment slams Documenta 12, calling it the worst art show ever.  “Entirely absent from almost every work on view is a sense of emotional depth, ambiguity, or psychological or moral complexity.”  Ouch.

July 24, 2007

how much is too much?

Dick Costolo (aka The Wizard) answers the question How Much to Raise?

July 24, 2007

amc to myspace?

Calling all amc fans (and you know who you are). Gawker reports: Will Ana Marie Cox Be The “Anderson Cooper Of The MySpace Debates”?

July 23, 2007

this is awful

Chef Grant Achatz of Alinea has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. His statement:

I wanted to personally report that I have been very recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the mouth. I have consulted several prominent physicians and will likely begin aggressive treatment within the next few weeks. I remain, and will remain, actively and optimistically engaged in operations at Alinea to the largest extent possible. Alinea will continue to perform at the level people have come to expect from us – I insist on that. I have received amazing support from friends, family, and everyone who has thus far been told of the disease, and I look forward to a full, cancer-free, recovery.

July 23, 2007

slow news day

Worth reading.

July 23, 2007

Opsware to HP

HP buys OpsWare for $1.6 billion, and I read about it on Marc’s TypePad blog.

July 23, 2007

keen v weinberger

I saw Andrew Keen and David Weinberger go at it at Supernova, and it was highly entertaining.  The Journal has the full text of a “reply all” debate between the authors of The Cult of the Amateur and Everything is Miscellaneous, respectively.  Here’s Weinberger…

Andrew, the mud you throw obscures the issues you raise. Porn sites, silly posts, monkeys, cockroaches, toilet seats. This rhetoric isn’t helpful. In fact, in your attempt to be controversial, you’re playing into the hands of political and economic forces that would like the Internet to be nothing more than an extension of the mass media. If your book succeeds on the best-seller lists, but contributes to the Web becoming as safe, narrow, controlled and professional as the mainstream media, I believe you would be almost as unhappy as I would. It’s a shame because we need to be taking seriously the issues you raise. But to talk about them, we need to get past the notion that the Web is all dreck all the time and that it is nothing but a great “seducer” of taste.

July 23, 2007

double the price

The $24,000 add on to your Prius converts the batteries to lithium ion, lets you plug it in at night and ups your mileage to 100mpg.

July 23, 2007

daily affirmation

So Stars has a new album coming out in September, but it’s already available @ the iTunes music store.  This in itself is bloggable, but the thing that makes it esp bloggable is the fantastic title of track 12, “Today Will Be Better, I Swear!”

July 20, 2007

hopeless romantic

How come I hadn’t heard about 2 Days in Paris?  There really isn’t anything better than a Julie Delpy movie set in the city of lights.  Sigh.

July 20, 2007

cheap trick

OMG, book editors in England fail to identify anonymously submitted sample chapters and book summaries as being lifted from Jane Austen

“I was staggered. Here is one of the greatest writers that has lived, with her oeuvre securely fixed in the English canon and yet only one recipient recognised them as Austen’s work.”

This guy had a book he had actually written rejected out of hand, so he knew that over-the-transom work will rarely get read by publishers or agents.  So I’m filing this one under “cheap trick.”

July 19, 2007

housing shortage

File under irony: Berkeley Tree Sitters Accused of Vandalizing Trees.  “University of California officials are investigating whether tree-sitting protesters cut off the tops of trees on the Berkeley campus to give themselves more space.”

July 19, 2007


Michiko Kakutani on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows:

True to its roots, [the book] ends not with modernist, “Soprano”-esque equivocation, but with good old-fashioned closure: a big-screen, heart-racing, bone-chilling confrontation and an epilogue that clearly lays out people’s fates.

Can you imagine if Rowling had actually done a “modernist, Soprano-esque” ending?  She’d be run out of town by a ten million-strong angry mob of ten year olds screaming “WHAT DO WE WANT? CLOSURE! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!”

July 18, 2007

true or not true

Errol Morris is blogging at on photography, and kicks it off with a post on the relationship between photos, their captions and “truth.”

Truth or falsity “adheres” not to the photograph itself but to the statements we make about a photograph. Depending on the statements, our answers change. All alone — shorn of context, without captions — a photograph is neither true nor false.

July 18, 2007

the joke's not old yet

Anthony Lane on Judd Apatow:  “On the surface, Apatow’s films are about sex—obsessively, exclusively, and exhaustively. … But that is a clever feint, for their true subject is age.”

July 18, 2007

Sonnet Beatrice Butterfield

Yay, Sonnet!  You’re on the list, too!

July 17, 2007

black billowing cloud

The AP photo of the airborne toxic event in western Ukraine is beautiful and frightening.

July 16, 2007

pareles on pitchfork

Jon Pareles on the Pitchfork music festival:

Pitchfork draws what may be the most studious, even analytical crowd of any American rock festival. In the polite silence as the rock band Grizzly Bear tuned up between songs on Saturday afternoon, someone yelled a quintessentially Pitchfork comment: “You’re pretty good!”

July 16, 2007

carl kasell is now my friend

Someone out there is a genius:  I’ve just been friended by Carl Kasell on FB.

July 15, 2007

on lewitt

From Design Observer, Peter Good on Sol LeWitt:  “As soon as you think you have figured him out, he delights, surprises, transforms and reinvents.”

July 15, 2007

i love to hate you

From the best of Craigslist, Facebook: I love to hate you.  “First of all, you allow people from high school that I’ve never even spoken to add me as their friend. I dont know them other than the fact that we were apparently in the same homeroom together in grade 9 before I got the braces off. Its creepy that they remember the overalls and the plaid raincoat I was wearing the first day of high school. Please do not allow these people to seek me out.”

July 13, 2007

iphone and exchange

So say you’re one of the lucky few many who use Exchange for their work (or even personal) email, and you buy a shiny new iPhone.  And you go through the magic incantations to connect your iPhone to your Exchange account (mmmm, IMAP), and all is hunky dory.  You’re getting mail, you’re reading mail, you’re replying to mail, you’re deleting mail.

Except wait – you’re not really deleting mail, are you.  Because even though you’re deleting it on your iPhone (whoosh!), the next time you launch Outlook, the messages you deleted on your phone are still showing up in your inbox.  “What gives?” you ask.  “How the ** am I supposed to use this $600+ device to manage my inbox if it’s not actually deleting messages?”

So here’s what’s actually happening, and here’s how you can work around this current shortcoming. 

First, what the iPhone is doing is marking the message for deletion, and not actually deleting the message.  (For many Exchange types, this “marked for deletion” may be a new concept; I’d encourage those folks to read up on IMAP, but wow would that make for a boring weekend.) 

Second, Outlook acting as an Exchange client has no knowledge of this flag that’s set on those messages.  So even though you’ve deleted them on your phone, and they’re marked for deletion on the server, Outlook (again, acting as an Exchange client) just shows the messages still in your box.  They’re read, but not gone.

Here’s the workaround, courtesy of bigmo2940 on the Apple discussion forums.  It may bend your noodle a bit, but bear with me.

  1. Create a new IMAP account in Outlook that uses the same preferences as how you’ve configured your iPhone.  Yes, this means that you’ll now have two accounts in Outlook talking to the same mailstore: one via Exchange and one via IMAP.  (Yes, this is awkward and inelegant.)
  2. Navigate to that inbox in Outlook and note how now you can see those messages that you’ve marked for deletion via your iPhone.  Unless you’ve configured your message views otherwise, they should be gray and struck-through and look something like this.
  3. Go to Edit > Purge > Purge Marked items in Inbox.  Or, alternatively, Edit > Purge > Purge Marked Items in “account name”.  This will permanently remove / delete those messages that you deleted from your iPhone. 

You can then either manage your mail from that inbox, or navigate back to your primary Exchange inbox (which I recommend; after all, Outlook and Exchange were made for one another).  Once you’re back in your Exchange inbox you’ll note that all the messages you’ve just purged have been deleted.

Yes, this is a total hack, but a clever one nonetheless (thanks again bigmo2940).  But I’m hoping it’s a temporary one and Apple indeed has licensed Over the Air ActiveSync for Exchange (where “mmmm, IMAP” becomes “mmmm, push email and contacts and calendaring”) and ships it with an update at some point in the not-too-distant future.

July 12, 2007


Yep, bought one.  The headphone jack thing is very, very annoying.  Other than that, I’m pleased as punch.  Or at least I will be once my number finishes porting.

July 12, 2007


Robert Seidman, who in Web 0.9 published the must read newsletter The Online Insider (and with whom I had the pleasure of working while he was at Schwab and I was at Quris) is back (sure, he never really went anywhere, but it’s great to see him writing online again), with an insighful piece at on the Nielsen/Net Ratings shift to include “time spent” in its ranking of top web properties.

Over time, these new measurements will help us better figure out how to value Web properties, but there are many things to beware of when it comes to “top 10” lists. Minutes aren’t the actual measure of value unless you can make money with those minutes, and even within this, one must be careful.

July 12, 2007

a primer

In case you were wondering just how much Jennifer Love Hewitt has contributed to the Internet, A Cold Inclusive Primer is what you need.

July 11, 2007

you're doing it wrong

Jon Gruber on the reason 99% of email users will not live up to the Official Daring Fireball expectations for appropriate use of electronic mail:  “The fundamental source of poor email style is the practice of quoting the entire message you’re replying to.”  I used to care about things like this.  Then I stopped caring…right around the time I stopped caring about whether people sent me email in plain text. Life’s been a lot simpler ever since.

July 11, 2007

tony orlando = snake pliskin?

From Tim Goodman’s coverage of Death March with Cocktails:

Alright, so I’m just going to confess this. I thought Tony Orlando was dead.  Orlando: “I was canceled with a 32 share.” Great line. And probably true. I’m too stunned that he’s alive and breathing to look it up.

July 11, 2007

and a little bird said tweet tweet

Whoa, I think I’ve discovered an undocumented Valleywag API.

July 10, 2007

we love it

Seeing movie billboards in Los Angeles is a ridiculously meta experience, since you can only wonder what it must be like for Matt Damon to see himself at much larger than lifesize - on every third block - promoting his alternate identity as Jason Bourne. I mean, really, being a movie star must just completely fuck with your head.

July 10, 2007

perfectly threadless

Via Kathryn, of course, I listen to bands that don’t even exist yet.

July 09, 2007

the latest j.l.h. from c.i.

Scratch-Resistant, the latest from the Cold Inclusive’s ongoing series of posts on Jennifer Love Hewitt, one of the web’s early innovators.  “Jen closed her laptop and had the strongest desire to just let the glass go; throw it or let it fall and smash itself across the floor.”

July 09, 2007


Recommended for road trips with kids, Rubberneckers Jr: Fun for Backseat Travelers.  You can’t leave them plugged into the DVD player the entire time, and in this card-based game players score points when they spot something (like a police car, a tanker truck, a triangle-shaped sign, the number four). When we played this weekend, we required parental verification in order to keep the three year-old from spouting that she had just seen a skyscraper in the middle of California’s central valley.

July 09, 2007

no limit

Bill Gates at Harvard (via Anil):

When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been given – in talent, privilege, and opportunity – there is almost no limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.

July 09, 2007

my iphone is doing it!

With apologies to Merlin, the top five reasons this cartoon makes me want to throw up a little.

  1. Wife badgering husband.
  2. Wife badgering husband about mowing the lawn.
  3. Jeans in a hammock?  Plaid shirt?
  4. The way the iPhone joke was inserted into a scenario that is just dying for a New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption contest.  (Except Radosh would have to change the contest to the Time Magazine Cartoon of the Week Anti-Caption contest.  Which would make the contest a lot less fun for everyone involved.)
  5. The fact that one prominent blogger friend of mine who shall remain nameless (he told me this off the record) sees the cartoon as a form of insider commentary on a particular popular technology columnist.  I’ll admit, though, that he was probably being “ironic.”  Which is very un-iPhone, if you ask me.
July 09, 2007

hello, ollie!

Welcome to the world, beautiful boy! And don’t worry, you’ll soon be receiving induction papers into the Sippey family arranged marriage society.

July 09, 2007

devil in the white city

Currently reading:  Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.  “It was so easy to disappear, so easy to deny knowledge, so very easy in the smoke and din to mask that something dark had taken root.”

July 05, 2007

this american life parody

Via Very Short List (still highly recommended), Kasper Hauer Sketch Comedy and their pitch perfect parody of This American Life.

July 05, 2007


Dave Winer:

The API is why Twitter is a coral reef, and Pownce is just a shipwreck.

July 05, 2007

omt is the new wag

And the reign of Owen begins.

July 05, 2007

more on the goddamn iphone

Alex “The Rest is Noise” Ross has the most compelling iPhone review endorsement around.  Forget the feature lists and AT&T shortcomings; it’s stories like this that will sell the thing. (As if they’re having trouble with that; a quick flip through populous states at last night showed all red.)

July 05, 2007


The Cloverfield trailer is still up at Dailymotion, but was pulled by YouTube.  Slashfilm has a good roundup of the latest about the JJ Abrams project.  (Every report I heard from TED this year was that Abrams had one of the best talks (keywords: magic, mystery, storytelling, an unopened box); I’m hoping it goes up on soon.)

July 04, 2007

size matters

Short video clip comparing the relative sizes of the planets in our solar system to the sun, and the sun to neighboring stars.

July 04, 2007

revolutionary document

It’s worth reading again.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

July 03, 2007

this isn't a story i tell too many people

Matt Webb: this isn’t a story I tell too many people:

I’m shy of services like because I have a certain public image and letting people know I listen to Dire Straits isn’t exactly in keeping with that. Ambient drone and Balearic house on the other hand, I’m happy for people to hear about.  But how absurd! This is who I am! I got over identity issues and pretending to be someone I’m not in my early teens, like pretty much everyone. Hiding my musical preferences is like wearing a mask, right. I should just let it all hang out. Well, kinda.

July 03, 2007

the bryanboyer show

Looking for an interesting summer photo stream?  Look no further than Bryan Boyer, who appears to be traveling through Spain.

July 03, 2007


Was reminded tonight of Remem, the Rememberance Agent plugin for emacs.  Bradley Rhodes’ original paper was written in 1996; by now this should be a feature of every popular operating system.  Option a: this problem is harder than it looks.  Option b: this is a problem that the market doesn’t have.  Option c: this is a problem the market doesn’t know it has, until someone comes along and solves it for them in an elegant and intuitive way.  (Did I hear someone say “next gen Google productivity apps?”)

July 03, 2007

mmm, lobster

Currently reading:  Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, David Foster Wallace.  “To my lay mind, the lobster’s behavior in the kettle appears to the be expression of a preference; and it may well be than an ability to form preferences is the decisive criterion for real suffering.”

July 03, 2007

michael mina

From the Chronicle pre-opening review of Michael Mina:   ”It’s as if every other chef has been playing checkers and Mina is playing 3-D chess.”

July 03, 2007

future of small business

Intuit sponsored an Institute for the Future-authored report on the future of small business. Summary: “The report finds that social connectivity, wireless networks and mobile communications and computing devices are redefining the boundaries of presence and location, affording entrepreneurs the flexibility to do business virtually anywhere.”

July 03, 2007

creative destruction and feed slamming

The blog is dead, long live the blog.  I’ve been mucking about with a new-ish form at a new-ish URL, and it’s time to flip the bit.  The switch from /filtered to /unfiltered is an attempt to return to what I used to do at long long ago with “filtered for purity”: offer reasonably context-free nuggets of linky goodness.

The old stuff is still available, all the old permalinks still work.  But the new stuff will be here. In an act of what can only be called “feed slamming,” I’m about to update my Feedburner account and instantly subscribe everyone over to the new stream.  I wouldn’t exactly call it a bait and switch, since there wasn’t much “bait” at the old place lately.  But I do recognize that the change in editorial focus and frequency may freak some folks out …not to mention the flood of “new” items that I’ve been priming this with over the last couple of days.  Feel free to exercise your right to unsubscribe, but know I’ll be sorry to see you go.

Housekeeping things:  the design’s not “done” by any stretch, but you’ll get the thing I’m going for.  I’m sure there are bugs galore, and I know the view-source types will gasp with horror, but I optimized for ship date…and I didn’t want to bug any of the geniuses I work with to make it perfect.  There are, after all, only so many hours in the day.

OK, then.  Enough talking.  Onward!

July 03, 2007

confit byaldi

Thomas Keller’s recipe for ratatouille; the one they make in the film.  Would be a great project with the kids after we go see the flick.

July 02, 2007

rats demonstrate generosity

From, news that rats demonstrate generosity to one another:

Another strategy, called ‘generalized reciprocity’, is for an animal to assume that its most recent interaction with any other individual is representative of how the whole community usually behaves. In that case, an animal only has to remember its last experience. “It’s a simpler mechanism and therefore more likely to be evolutionarily important,” says Taborsky.

July 02, 2007

like butter

Cholesterol levels be damned:  if you’re after that perfect steakhouse crust, what’s wrong with a spreading a layer of butter on your steak?

July 02, 2007

harry reid

Harry Reid on Libby’s commuted sentence:

Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq war. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone.

July 02, 2007


I have iPhone envy, but not for the email and the calendar; only for the iPod component.  I want the full screen, touch navigation, photo showing piece.  Until they have ActiveSync OTA working (or until I’m no longer tethered to Exchange), the email / calendar / contacts syncing thing won’t cut it for me.

July 02, 2007

another iphone idea

Another iPhone idea, from a conversation with xantus.  Run a slimp3 in your house as a music server, use your iPhone as the wifi device inside the house as the perfect remote for controlling your music library.  That’s the near term solution; in the medium to longer term, you’ve gotta believe that the iPhone becomes the iTunes remote control for inside the home.