there are 45 posts from January 2010

January 27, 2010

the savior for zero marginal cost products

Delivered just in time, Apple’s New 10 Commandments, from Jeff Reine. “Thou shall not steal hardware…but if thou stealest a little music now and then I shall turn a blind eye because you know… bits want to be free and all that… I mean it’s a zero marginal cost product. C’mon, now.”

January 27, 2010

the ipad is the family computer

My quick take on the iPad: this really is an entirely new class of device. Not because of the form factor (neat!) or the technology (fast!) or the vertically integrated content distribution channel (smart!). Instead, the iPad is something new because of its intended use. I see the iPad not as the next evolution of the personal computer, but instead the beginning of the family computer.*

It looks like a great machine to travel from the living room to the kitchen to the kids room to the bedroom. We’ll search the web on it, read the news on it, the kids will do email on it, play Brushes and Bejeweled on it, and it’ll be the perfect complement to the Sunday afternoon TV football ritual. We’ll use it to control the music in the house, and do some quick bet-settling during dinner. I’m sure we’ll eventually enjoy some multiplayer “board” games on it, or read a book on it, or watch a TV show on it. And the kids will argue with each other over who gets it next. (Dad will.)

Essentially, this is already how my iPhone gets used when I’m at home. So a family iPhone with a bigger screen? Sign us up.

* To be clear, I define “family” in the most expansive How Berkeley-Can-You-Be kind of way. I thought about using the term “social” computer, but the term “social” has been so deeply coopted to imply “social networking” or “social media” that it just doesn’t fit here. Yes, of course you’ll use the iPad to do those things, but that’s not what I mean in defining the device this way. Thus “family,” which implies lots of things, including multiple individuals living under one roof, sharing things with one another. It’s my lens, and I’m seeing through it.

January 27, 2010

i didn't actually vomit

Jason Chen, in the pre-game Gizmodo liveblog of the Apple announcement: “We’re still about 10 minutes away from the event starting. I wonder if the guys backstage are vomiting from nervousness. I would be.”

I didn’t actually vomit, but yes. That’s the feeling. And thinking about it now makes my palms sweat and my stomach churn, a year and a half later. What got me through it was the support from the fantastic people at Apple, who I’m thinking about today.

January 25, 2010

i wrote this blog post in one take

At GeekWeek, Mike Le offers up his 20 greatest extended takes in movie history. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, but you’ll be on that page for a while.

The one on that list that slays me every time I see it is from Children of Men. (Le has it at #4 on his list.) Don’t watch if you ever plan on seeing the film; it’s spoilerful, and the experience of seeing it in the middle of the movie is mind-blowing.)

Alfonso Cuarón reportedly used digital effects to stitch that scene together. Via Wikipedia comes this piece on the film at Animation World Network. I’ll quote at length, just to turn this into a continuous shot blog post:

The shot was filmed in six sections and at four different locations over one week and required five seamless digital transitions. Moreover, the camera records the action with a continuous movement that would actually be impossible to create in reality. …

The plates were shot from a “doggy cam” shooting through the cut-off roof. The director, the cinematographer and the camera operator were actually seated on top of the car, thanks to a special rig, while the vfx crew and other technicians were hiding out of camera range around the traveling car. …

Given the length of the scene, the team opted to use as much of the original plates as possible, re-timing, warping and painting to reposition actors and parts of the vehicle where they didn’t quite line up from section to section. Photographic textures of the entire interior of the car were taken to create a 3D model that could be used to align the 3D tracking data for each section of the shot. The roof was replaced throughout the entire shot, while the dashboard, windscreen and parts of the front doors had to be created in CG in several instances to allow for a smoother transition between plates. …

The live-action ambush was greatly enhanced by CG Molotov cocktail, a shattering digital windshield, a bullet hit and blood spurt and even a CG biker and motorcycle to augment a stunt performed during plate photography.

Frankly, for me all of this digital post production makes the shot more impressive. Cuarón and his team had to know what’s possible with the technology, and plan, shoot and stitch together accordingly. Hitchcock (whose Rope comes in at #19 on Le’s list) and Welles (Touch of Evil at #2) would have loved to have the tools that Cuarón has at his disposal today…

Related point. I’m not a big music video watcher, but three of the ones that have stuck with me over the past couple years are from Feist: 1234, My Moon My Man and I Feel It All are all one take vids.

January 22, 2010

that's a really long time

Via clusterflock, via (links! they’re for clicking!) is this bit from Seth Lloyd’s book Programming the Universe.

The probability of a monkey typing out a phrase with twenty-two characters is one divided by fifty raised to the twenty-second power, or about 10^-38. It would take billion billion monkeys each typing ten characters per second, for each of the roughly billion billion seconds since the universe began, just to have one of them type out “hamlet. act i, scene i.”

Added that to my wishlist. Worth reading?

January 22, 2010

probably both

Best line from the much linked to OK Cupid blog post about the myths of profile pictures: “Maybe women want a little mystery. What is he looking at? Slashdot? Or Engadget?”

January 22, 2010

p&g on twitter and facebook

Great post from David Hornik at VentureBlog after spending time with Procter & Gamble at their “Innovation Outreach Venturing Day.”

To P&G, Twitter is a great broadcast medium – it is best for one to many communications that are short bursts of timely information – but as good as it is for timely information, the P&G folks do not view it as particularly relevant to what they are doing on the brand building and advertising side. For those things that Proctor & Gamble thinks are most interesting and important, they do not believe that Twitter will ever approach the value they can get out of a Google or Facebook.

Worth reading in full.

January 20, 2010

tom tom magazine

Cool Hunting profiles Tom Tom Magazine, “a print publication for, about and made by female drummers.”

CH: What is it about drumming that makes it such a male-dominated pursuit? And why do women drummers need more support?

MA: Well, drums require a certain degree of physical stamina. They’re big and they’re heavy. They have lots of moving parts. In my opinion, women could use all the encouragement they can get because we’re just not encouraged to do it, and we’re not promoted when we do in the same way that guys are. If you pick up a drum magazine, there aren’t any women in there. And women should play the drums because it’s an empowering instrument. It’s therapeutic, it’s powerful and it requires a lot of confidence—all of these are great skills to have.

I grew up playing the drums, and now with two girls I want nothing more than for them to have kits to bang on. (Now, to find the space and the sound insulation…) There was nothing better over the holidays than watching the five year old pound away to Beatles Rock Band, keeping the beat and doing her best to keep up with the track.

The magazine looks fantastic; I’m especially fond of the one question, one drummer feature, which includes this bit from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss:

We got a lot of media coverage the ten years I was in Sleater-Kinney. We were very careful about how we were photographed … we made sure we weren’t portrayed as weak, or helpless because we weren’t. We never liked sitting down in photos, or looking passive. Photographers often wanted us to be playful and sweet, and to style us in clothes that weren’t ours like we were dolls. I’m not sure guy bands get that same kind of treatment. We wanted to look like the Stones, to be cool, to be tough, to be heroes. Why don’t women get to be heroes?


January 20, 2010

i know everyone's tired of ninjas, but...

I can’t decide if the best part of this is the one jumproping with the USB cable, or the one flying through the air with the wall wart stuck to his foot.

January 19, 2010

robertson on apple and lala

File under: stating the obvious. Michael Robertson ( guest posts in TechCrunch an outline of essentially the same online music strategy for Apple / Lala that I blogged about last week.

January 19, 2010

ribbon hero

An interesting project from Microsoft Office Labs: Ribbon Hero.

Ribbon Hero is a concept test for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel 2007 and 2010, designed to help you boost your Office skills and knowledge. Play games (aka “challenges”), score points, and compete with your friends while improving your productivity with Office.

It was developed in conjunction with Dan Cook, author of the Lost Garden blog (I’ve blogged about him before). Cook has a great post up about how game mechanics can help users learn systems that support “more complex interactions than typing a word in a plain vanilla search box.”

If you start with the idea that users are learning machines, all our observations about usability tests snap into place. Of course, people stumble when they use an application for the first time. They don’t understand the interface because it is new to them. And users will stay at that inexperienced level if we do not make an attempt to teach them how to improve. We’ve diagnosed a burbling baby as a hopeless invalid, blind to the fact that babies grow, learn and flourish.

Worth reading in full. And if I were running Office on Windows I’d be playing the game.

January 18, 2010

wireless power. literally.

This is the craziest thing I’ve seen in a long time: a device from RCA that harvests energy from the WiFi signal.

(Via GeekWeek.)

January 18, 2010

jim ray on real time reporting

Jim Ray on newspapers adopting Twitter and Facebook for real time reporting:

At the end of the day news operations are being rebuilt around a company or two that seem largely disinterested in those very operations. To put it another way, imagine if there were only one network for email and one, albeit pretty cool, company controlled that. Would we be so excited about newspapers jumping on that trend?

I’d love to believe that this is a shining example of news orgs finally abandoning the very annoying “not invented here” habits that have hampered them for so long but they seem to be doing it by chasing a trend without much thought.

January 18, 2010


If you’re playing Foursquare, check out FoursquareX for your Mac (requires Snow Leopard).

Foursquare X

The map view of all your friends will make you feel like Chloe.

January 18, 2010

fake on lanier

Caterina Fake responds to Jaron Lanier’s piece in the Wall Street Journal. First, for context, the salient bit from Lanier’s piece:

It turns out that millions of people are ready to contribute instead of sitting passively on the couch watching television. [But] we made a huge mistake in making those contributions unpaid, and often anonymous, because those bad decisions robbed people of dignity.

And with that, here’s Fake:

Systems such as Wikipedia, Flickr, Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, Hunch and various parts of the open source movement are based around small contributory systems, bodies of work in which there are incremental improvements by multiple contributors, or exposing small actions that would be insignificant in isolation, but are meaningful in the aggregate. These types of software and platforms are specifically designed for conversation and contribution. That is the point.

Emphasis mine.

January 14, 2010

will the oscars(tm) be this good?

Good all the way through, but really good at the end.

January 13, 2010

pop software and the future

Guy English on Pop Software.

The people who are consuming software now are a vast superset of the people who used to do so. At one time, especially on the Mac, we’d see people chose software based upon how well it suited their requirements to get a job done. This new generation of software consumers isn’t like that – they’re less likely to shop around for something rather they shop around for anything. These are people who want to be entertained as much as they want to have their requirements met. They’ve not bought into a tool they’ve bought, either financially or emotionally, into The Future. The Future is never about the most practical and useful outcome, it’s about flying cars and cute robots who shit talk but will still mix you up a killer G’n’T when you need it. The Future isn’t a service that’ll send you a text message when you’ve been out too late on a work night, The Future will get you laid on a Tuesday and make excuses to the boss the next morning.

January 13, 2010

feeling it

Recommended: today’s Fresh Air interview with producer T-Bone Burnett, especially the bit about 45 minutes into the show where Burnett describes the process of recording with Roy Orbison. Orbison wouldn’t wear headphones in the studio because he didn’t need to hear his own voice in the mix; he had spent so much time on the road without a monitor mix that he didn’t need to hear his own voice over the band…he could tell if he was singing on pitch based on the vibrations in his jaw.

January 13, 2010

dash on graham

Anil Dash on Brad Graham:

Before meetups and tweetups and mass political movements organized by bloggers, Brad recognized that not only were there real humans interacting on these sites, but that all of us who shared our thoughts online were part of a creative community every bit as legitimate and unifying as his work in theater.

January 12, 2010

your favorite nexus one review for the next 7:40

You’ve probably already seen this. But it was new to me.

Via i to one.

January 12, 2010

yes, that's very much a new approach

Google’s David Drummond, in a post titled A new approach to China:

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all.

The whole post’s amazing. The first half describes an attack on Google’s infrastructure, and while he doesn’t say it explicitly, the implication here is that the Chinese government was responsible for the attack.

January 12, 2010

since we're all dreaming about new apple products...

So what if on January 27th Apple announced that the iTunes and Lala teams have been merged, and have been hard at work on some exciting new things for online music.

  • Introducing The iTunes experience is now extended out from the client out to the web, where tools for media discovery, sharing and browsing feel more natural. They demo Facebook and Twitter integration.

  • If you were a Lala user, welcome! You can now sign in to Lala with your iTMS credentials. If you have an existing Lala account, you can merge that with your iTunes account. The standalone Lala downloader / uploader is now just part of iTunes, no need for a separate application.

  • All of your music is now available in the cloud. iTunes will now scan your library and make everything you own available to you for streaming on demand from anywhere online. This process is now integrated with the “Update Genius” process, and happens in the background, automatically.

  • Introducing Genius Radio. Heralded as a “new way to discover music,” Apple launches personalized online music radio that is clearly “inspired by” Pandora. But instead of being based on the Music Genome Project, it’s built on top of Genius Playlists; it learns from the music you listen to in iTunes, your iPod or your iPhone.

  • You can stream your library to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Lala’s long-awaited iPhone / iPod Touch app finally ships, delivered as an update to the default iPod app. You can now stream music from your library to your device anywhere. It’s limited to wifi only (so as not to further overload AT&T’s network), but deploys intelligent caching (your own local Genius Radio station?) to give you access to the tracks you’re loving lately.

  • Today music; tomorrow everything. At launch will support buying, discovering and enjoying music, but eventually it will be the place where you discover and enjoy all types of digital content.

Which would be the perfect place to transition to, say, the introduction of a tablet-like product.

Two obvious bugs in this vision.

First, they already have iTunes; why shift to the web? I think Apple’s been surprised and caught a little bit off guard with the rapid spread of the social web. (Remember the Twitter acquisition rumors? And why do you think they bought Lala?) In the short term, the browser is a more natural way for them to hook into that ecosystem than trying to bridge the web experience with the iTunes experience. And while Apple might not interested in delivering a Chome OS-style web only future, I think they’re smart about the netbook market and what it signals about the long term trend of personal computing from locally-installed client software to well-featured apps in the cloud.

Second bug: Flash. It’s probably a bit too early for them to commit fully to an HTML5 implementation of streaming audio and video, but it’s not too hard to imagine a Safari 4.x (for Macs, Windows and Apple mobile devices) that supports streaming of protected content to the browser based on iTunes music store credentials. So Flash in the near term, HTML5 in the long term.

January 12, 2010

knight on deitch

The LA Times’ Christopher Knight on the difference between the art market and museums

The problem is that the market represents a very narrow slice of a vast art-pie. Art commerce gets out-sized press because the public, although generally unfamiliar with and incurious about art, is familiar with and curious about money. In modern capitalism, art and popular culture intersect in the market.

Museums, on the other hand, are places where popular appeal should be irrelevant. Unpopular but potentially revolutionary art ideas need places to be seen, heard and debated. Depth, not breadth, is what matters. That’s what makes the American system of art museums conceptually unique, even if it doesn’t always work out that way in practice.

The appointment of Deitch is like a piece of art in and of itself; the MOCA board of trustees couldn’t have picked a more interesting lightning rod.

January 11, 2010

tyler green's interview with jeffrey deitch

More on MOCA’s new director: Tyler Green scores the first in-depth interview with Jeffrey Deitch; available at Modern Art Notes in three parts.* It’s worth reading in full to understand how Deitch sees the transition from private dealer to public institution…

I don’t feel that I am going into a completely different world, but a lot of the same people, same principles. … It’s obviously quite different going from the private sector that is commercial-sector, to the public sector supported by contributions and some revenue streams that have nothing to do with the commerce of art. But I feel that what I’ve been doing at Deitch Projects is in a way running my own private institute of contemporary art. I’ve just been using the market system to support it rather than contributions to support it. I’ve run a program that has non-commercial historical exhibits, historical exhibits with little or nothing for sale. [I’ve also done] projects that engage a large, young community like Michel Gondry’s mini-film studio, which cost a fortune to produce but with no chance to get any commercial revenue.

* Score one for the bloggers; Green’s interview scoops not only all the major art pubs, but also the Los Angeles (and, for that matter, the New York) Times.

January 11, 2010


NEWSFLASH: People unhappy with new smartphone, especially re. performance of cellular data network, turn to online forums and Twitter to complain.

January 11, 2010

rumpus on facebook

This Rumpus interview with an anonymous Facebook employee is making the rounds; this is the bit that struck me…

Rumpus: What’s the most bizarre [Facebook interaction you have had]?

Employee: I found a fake account created from Berkeley that used the profile picture and information from the brother of one of my very good friends. We looked up the guy who created the original profile, and he had never ever heard of him, never ever met him, obviously had never seen him. But this guy had evidently added him as a friend, and sadly he accepted it, but literally stole all of this guy’s information, created a fake account, and was communicating with himself from the fake account. He was writing on his wall and posting back to the “other person’s” wall. We found out the guy actually had about fifteen fake accounts that he created, stealing other users’ pictures and information to create the accounts, and was actually communicating back and forth with himself. Just to try to make himself appear cool, I guess?

January 11, 2010

note to self: dress the part

Roberta Smith weighs in on Deitch going to MOCA: “Mr. Deitch is not just any art dealer. For one thing, despite running a free-form, often funky art gallery — sometimes as a nonprofit, as others have noted — he has always looked like a museum director. His hair is always in place; he wears almost without fail a dark (bespoke?) suit and French cuffs.”

(My favorite part of that quote? The parenthetical question mark.)

January 11, 2010

hill on boyer

Dan Hill writes up Bryan Boyer’s April 2009 talk at Postopolis! LA at City of Sound.

January 11, 2010

green on deitch

Tyler Green at Modern Art Notes on MOCA hiring Jeffrey Deitch.

In a haven’t-I-read-that-before piece on New York magazine’s website, Jerry Saltz pulls out this cliche: “[B]ear in mind that MOCA desperately needs to think outside the box…” Actually, no it doesn’t. It was thinking “outside the box” (namely: profligate spending) that got MOCA into trouble in the first place. MOCA needs to continue to do what it’s done well for most of the last 30 years: collecting contemporary art and launching smart, historical, revisionist exhibitions and programs that define the period.

Emphasis mine. I’ve written about both of them here before, but MOCA put on two shows in the early 90s that really formed the way I look at contemporary art today, and how museums put on shows: Helter Skelter: LA Art in the 1990s and Rolywholyover A Circus. More like those, pls.

January 11, 2010

et tu, ken marks?

File under “the things you do for love,” but we took the kids to see The Squeakquel over the holidays. It was possibly the worst movie I’ve ever paid to see in the theater. But The New Yorker’s Ken Marks disagreed.

The visages of the rockin’ rodents are, in fact, remarkably expressive, the jokes are reasonably funny, the lesson of sticking by your pals is not too corny, and the battle-of-the-bands finale, in which Toby accepts some grownup responsibility and finds love in the process, is surprisingly moving.

/me puts head in hands.

January 11, 2010

don't pity the dead

Paul Ford, Just Like Heaven.

But don’t pity the dead. They have time on their mouldering hands, and all they do is think of ways to vex us. They watch we living go about our dirty business—lying and cheating; penis-pumping; pirating pop music—and smile, amused, cool, indifferent, they’re like high-functioning heroin addicts, or cats.

January 08, 2010

just one question

John Brockman is the master of the one question interview. This year’s question is How is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? With answers from Danny Hillis, Stewart Brand, Clay Shirky, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Kevin Kelly, Brian Eno, Marissa Mayer, Esther Dyson, Douglas Coupland, Terence Koh, John Markoff, Linda Stone, Virginia Heffernan and others.

January 07, 2010

triggered delivery

Just got the receipt email for my digital pre-order of Daniel Suarez’s Freedom (TM) (the follow up to Daemon), which means that as I type this sentence the novel’s making its way to my Kindle in the other room. Automatically.

If you’ve read Daemon, you’ll understand the irony in this.

January 07, 2010

tool creation

Adam Mathes digs up a great interview with Paul Davis from Select Magazine in 2001.

every bit, every representation, every piece of information in a computer is yours to f— with. and the potential always exists for you to acknowledge that a computer is completely programmable in every aspect and that it’s most powerful function is to facilitate tool creation.

He didn’t really say “f—”.

January 06, 2010

what does a bottle of water mean?

Amazing comment/post on Metafilter from Dave Green (aka turducken), the writer / director of the documentary History of the Joke, about Gallagher.

The stuff I find most fascinating is Gallagher’s interaction with his audience – e..g, his genuine desire to set kids on the straight and narrow, his put-downs of hecklers, and his seemingly Job-like ability to endure physical and psychic humiliations that would cow or creep out most open-mike punters – which IMO has nothing to do with comedy, and has everything to do with being a 63-year old guy with several ex-wives, grown children, and a heart attack under his belt who can’t stop working, and is terrified of what happens when he does.

And if you haven’t read it, his interview with The Onion’s AV Club is remarkable. Here he is responding to a question about how he’s interrupted his opening acts to give them advice on how to perform.

They don’t pay attention to what they’re wearing or how they’re standing. And so we don’t really have a high level of performance in America, or even a demand that people onstage have studied, or pay attention to the performing arts. You can actually take a drink now during your show! You know, George Burns performed smoking a cigar, and never needed a drink of water on a stool. But now this has become a tradition in America. They more or less have a stool ready for you and ask, “What water ya want?” To me, as a visual artist, everything that’s in the picture should have meaning—what does a stool and a bottle of water mean?

Emphasis his.

January 06, 2010

i'll take a team tavi shirt as well, please

One of my favorite blogs goes ga-ga over one of my other favorite blogs. Bad at Sports on Style Rookie: “Clearly, there are some in the fashion world who don’t like it when young women talk back, in this case by taking fashion and making it personal, something that’s wholly their own.”

January 05, 2010

yeah, baby!

I’m slackjawed at this Gilbert Arenas thing. TMZ reported today that the gun he had was a gold-plated Desert Eagle handgun.


If that particular weapon looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same one used by Austin Powers. Kaboom!

Update: is about as far as I’ll go. Because now my liberal tendencies start to click in and the gun culture thing makes my skin crawl and holy crap what the hell. Seriously.

January 05, 2010

wolff on carr

Michael Wolff on David Carr:

The tablet’s magic—which you have not experienced—will “lie in replicating that intimate offline navigation” of the iPhone. Indeed, this not-yet-existent tablet is, you say, an “iPhone on steroids.”

Leaving aside the issue of your prose, let me deal with your loving trust in Apple. It’s become a common condition among media people, the belief that Apple will save us. But how come? Again and again, Apple has shown that it is only interested in what it can control. That it regards content as a low-priced commodity to fill its machines. Your suggestion that Apple and iTunes have saved the music business would be news to anyone in that dying industry stuck now with Apple’s pricing.

January 04, 2010

two quick delillo notes

First, Richard Rayner posts an appreciation of White Noise on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Perhaps DeLillo came back to America and so soaked up the assault of its teeming everyday, its wondrous and paranoid present, that he couldn’t help but enclose the darkness of the future. “White Noise” won the National Book Award in 1985 and quickly became an inspiration and influence. Without it, writers such as David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith and Richard Powers (who provides an excellent introduction here) don’t happen – or don’t happen in the same way.

And Mark Athitakis has a copy* of the upcoming Point Omega and finds it lacking:

It’s fine if DeLillo chooses to abandon the tone he pioneered in White Noise. What’s disappointing is the loss of sure-footedness that’s come with it.

* Want. If you know any way to get me one, I’d love you forever.

January 04, 2010

heads i win, tails you lose

Here’s an out-there-on-a-limb tech prediction where I’d be happy to be proven wrong: Apple will not announce a tablet on January 26th.

You see, I really just ghost blog for David, who makes a compelling case (i.e. he said it over IM) that it will “just” be a MacBook with a touchscreen. To which I unimaginatively added a fold around hinge like the tablet PCs, but where you can use your fingers instead of a special pen. Oh, and some nice content distribution deals and a new packaging format for magazine-style content, a la iTunes albums. Seriously, though, I’d be very happy to be proven wrong on this.

January 04, 2010

r.i.p. brad graham

His August 8, 2000 post, Disappointment:

Is there anything more disappointing and frustrating than having driven a great distance to a drive-through fast food restaurant, ordered, paid for and received your lunch, then made a return trip to your office, only to discover that your requested condiment – the very horseradish sauce that defines the sandwich experience – was not included in the sack? (Aside from the betrayal by a lover or global war and strife, I mean.)

Yes. Yes there is.

January 04, 2010

great list

Rex Sorgatz posts his 30 best blogs of 2009 list. (Emphasis is on purpose, click through to read why.)

January 03, 2010

regale future generations with stories about the aughts


Via Sam Pratt and

January 02, 2010

james fallows on thinking tools

James Fallows is a fantastic blogger, and has a history of doing great reviews of software “thinking tools” like outliners and Ecco and The Brain, etc. He’s back on the thinking tools warpath these past few days; pointing folks to Thinklinkr (a web-based collaborative outliner) and digging up some screenshots of GrandView, the DOS product that “many buffs consider…the best outliner ever invented.

Call it a new year’s fetish, but I’m trying to get back into thinking tools. And it’s depressing, because leaving aside the slew of everything buckets out there (all falling into the two- or three-paned note taking metaphor), there really hasn’t been much advancement in tools that help you capture, organize and interlink random bits of data since, well, The Brain. Or am I missing something?

January 01, 2010

fireworks, freezing water and facepaint

Alan Taylor has cooked up an amazing Big Picture to kick off 2010. Huzzah!