Forcing the connection

Posted in People, Tech, Web at 11 am

Trying to connect @t and @StevenF on notes/editing tools github.com/panicsteve/w2wiki tantek.com/2013/331/b1/lose-data-apple-ios-notes-five-easy-steps This should go out via Twitter and Facebook (once approved), and WP is pinging Tantek’s post. Trying to be indieweb.

Note to Tantek: Perhaps change to Indiweb rather than inDIEweb? I would hate for Jorn Barger to get a hold of this.


Each Night

Posted in Life, People at 11 pm

Each night as we put 14-month-old James to sleep, our routine usually touches the following steps:

1. A night cap of a small bottle of milk or formula or both. Followed by a knee bounce and back-pat till burped. This is done by the very dim light of a star lamp.

2. A story or three from the cardboard-page books. Goodnight Moon (a gift from family friends), I’ll See you in the Morning (which is beautifully illustrated) are two favorites. Our eyes are adjusted to the light so it’s dark, but we can make out the words. Most of them are memorized by now anyway.

3. A quiet “Goodnight James” and a kiss before taking off his cochlear implant. The CI goes on the night stand, and the star lamp is turned off. The room is now dark except for little LED dots and clocks scattered around. Amy goes to make preparations for the next day’s food and clothes and chores.

4. Then I rock him to sleep. But not like in a rocking chair, or even upright. After the bottle and starting with the books, we get in position. For this, I lay in bed and he lays on top of my chest, facing the ceiling, his head resting on my sternum. Then he rocks his head back and forth across my chest and I alternate lifting my shoulders a bit to make the rocking easier for him. I hold his hips so that my arms are just above level with my chest and he can rock back and forth between them.

The rocking goes on for 10 or more minutes. Usually by the 15 or 20 minute mark, he’s far enough asleep that I can lift him and place him in his crib. The room is almost dark except for those scattered LEDs from the TV, clocks and assorted equipment.

I wonder if we should be more aggressive about making him go to sleep without me being there. I wonder if we should ask on a mailing list, “Are we coddling him?” Should I ask my co-workers what they’ve done with their kids?

Then I realize that I don’t want to change those steps. I like rocking him to sleep. I will only have this for a short time. He will want his independence soon enough, demand it even. He will take it when he’s ready. I must give it when it is time.

I have until then.


WebVisions rides again

Posted in Design, Media, People, Tech, Web at 12 pm

While everyone else is getting ready for SXSW, the WebVisions board has been busy getting this year’s edition ready to go. I’m really excited that Jeffery Veen is back. His presentation (5 or so years ago) was one of the best ever and even though we usually don’t have return speakers, Veen is one of the few that I’m truly glad to hear again.

WebVisions: May 22 – 23, 2008 – Portland, Oregon

Media, technology and consumer trends visionary Lynne Johnson will join WebVisions to deliver the Thursday keynote address. Lynne is the Senior Editor and Community Director for FastCompany.com, a leading website and community for people passionate about business ideas that also offers the complete content of Fast Company magazine. She also writes a technology blog following web, media, and consumer trends for FastCompany.com, and guest blogs for techPresident and Black Web 2.0.

An internationally sought-after sage, author, and user experience consultant, Jeffrey Veen will return to WebVisions to deliver one of the event’s keynote addresses. Currently a Design Manager and project lead for Google’s Measure Map project, Jeffrey is returning to WebVisions to share his vision for the future of the Web.

At this point, WebVisions as an event runs really smoothly. We get a good set of volunteers returning each year, and my Tech Crews are always on top of things. I’m the stage manager and try to make sure that each speaker is prepared and comfortable, the audience is undistracted, and the volunteers understand that the audience members are expecting to have a great experience and we want to give them an outstanding experience.

WebVisions is incredibly cheap and for the quality of the speakers and the location, it cannot be beat. I hope you’re coming!


Who Are You?

Posted in Life, People, Web at 10 pm

From Jock:

Lemur-Labs – Who Are You?:
It is quite possible that half of the reason that people watch the various editions of CSI can be attributed to the brilliant choice to play The Who during the opening. The selection of
Who Are You? is especially brilliant. It speaks directly to the core of any criminal investigation: establishing identity.

It’s cool to listen in while the wizard makes up his latest spell… Even cooler when you get mentioned. : )


Price quotes for website, the quick way

Posted in People, Web at 12 am

Ben, another suggestion on how to respond to this question…

Q: “How much does a Web site cost?”

A: “How much does a book cost?”

This usually sets the stage pretty well since people start to understand the possibility that all web sites may not be the same size, even though they are viewed through the same browser window…. This tactic has worked well for me in the past.

(I didn’t think it was that pithy…)


Depeche Mode: Strange on LaserDisc

Posted in Media, People at 9 pm

If you noticed my Depeche Mode fandom it should not come as a surprise that I may have a bit of a Depeche Mode library. Having been an obsessive collector of Depeche Mode for a number of years (tapering off after the Ultra era), I still have quite a collection of releases, but there are a few items that have always been out of reach. One of those items recently became available:


Yes, the only non-VHS release of these videos up until the DVD era. Now here’s why this is important in a Depeche Mode collection: 1) it is laserdisc, which means playing it more than once doesn’t risk destroying the media (unlike video tape), 2) it is laserdisc which means, properly taken care of, it will retain a higher quality signal than the VHS release, 3) it has entire song and cuts of other videos that are currently unavailable on DVD.

The closest release of these videos on DVD was The Videos 86->98 DVD, which had the ‘single mix’ of most of the tracks (A Question Of Time, Strangelove, Never Let Me Down Again, and Behind The Wheel) which is a terrible thing, and a travesty when it comes to the NLMDA video because it cuts out NEARLY HALF of the original footage! Adding to the problem is the lack of the short inter-song connections and the the complete loss of the video for Pimpf. What makes Pimpf so special? It’s the only b-side that Mode has ever made a video for.

Strange is one of the best Mode releases, ever. Now I have it in the most pristine format ever released.

So, as of this week I finally have purchased (but not received yet) the Japanese laserdisc release of Strange, thanks to an eBay god, a friend of mine who goes by the handle “HighVelocityVav”. Vavrin, your are my hero, my fast-fingered-friend!

…And before you ask, yes, I do actually own a laserdisc player and no, I don’t even have to dig it out of storage.


Looking for Videos from WebVisions Wrap Party

Posted in Media, People, Tech, Web at 10 pm

I heard that someone got video of Michael at the wrap party for WebVisions at the Greek Cusinia. Please get in contact with me if you do. It will be the highlight of next year’s show!

UPDATE: YES!! Yes yes yes!


Angry Rage Monkey

Posted in People at 9 pm

Angry Rage Monkey: “Welcom Ross!”

Thanks Jock! it’s nice to be… there? here?

“In cyberspace, nobody has to be anywhere, since you’re already there.”


Zeldman on "Comments are the lifeblood of the blogosphere"

Posted in People, Tech, Web at 11 am

So at the bottom of Jeffrey Zeldman’s entry “Comments are the lifeblood of the blogosphere” he has set up a spam blocking question: “Is ice hot or cold?”

I think this is great! I can’t wait for the Spammers to break it.

Now let me be clear that this is not some call for an all out comment spam war on blogs, since that’s already in progress.

This is about getting ‘bots smarter.

Think about it this way: Spambots are getting better and better at decoding the existing CAPTCHA images. They are getting better at pattern recognition and the idea is that if the spambot builders can improve the abillity to decode these images, then we’ve actually taken steps forward in the realm of Optical Character Recognition, a fundemental computer science problem that has never been fully worked out, although great strides have been made.

If the general CS researchers could get their hands on the most advanced CAPTCHA-busters (that aren’t using a sneaky Mechanical Turk system) they would have the opportunity to learn from the ‘bots and improve the state of technology.

That’s why Zeldmans “Is ice cold or hot?” is such a wonderful question! Perhaps we are creating an economic system that actually rewards technical innovation with advertising revenues. Sure, it’s slimy; comment spam is a horrible horrible thing to deal with.

But on the other hand, if we get some sort of leap in artificial intelligence because someone builds a bot that can 1) Identify this as a question, 2) Parse the question into a set of component words, 3) Construct a logical model of the question, 4) Work through an internal or external database of knowledge that can find the answer, 5) Present the answer in a succinct manner, and 6) Successfully bypass not just this question’s challange, but also other simple and not so simple questions, well then we’ve just made a huge leap in artificial intelligence.

I think it would be worth the trade off. Then again, this blog doesn’t get nearly as many comment spams as someone like Z. So I’ll let him do the work. Sorry Jeffrey!


Richard Dawkins' jaw-dropping talk on our bizarre universe (TEDTalks) – Google Video

Posted in Life, People at 11 pm

Richard Dawkins’ jaw-dropping talk on our bizarre universe (TEDTalks) – Google Video

” Richard Dawkins is Oxford University’s “Professor for the Public Understanding of Science.” Author of the landmark 1976 book, The Selfish … all » Gene, he’s a brilliant (and trenchant) evangelist for Darwin’s ideas. In this talk, titled, “Queerer Than We Suppose: The strangeness of science,” he suggests that the true nature of the universe eludes us, because the human mind evolved only to understand the “middle-sized” world we can observe. (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 22:42) “