Saturday, February 10, 2001saturday funnies
i was watching jeopardy and remembering when the millionaire show came on that alex trebek criticized the outsized prizes and the undersized questions mostly because the opposite was true on his show. it was akin to the poor smart kid losing out to the dumb rich kid. but i was just thinking that jeopardy hasnt increased its prizes since it came back on the air about 20 years ago. maybe its time to goose the pot a little. im not saying its fiscally responsible, merely that it is time. and i will not rest until it becomes just so. right after i take a nap.
Eminem To Perform With Elton John at the Grammy Awards. hes on the road now with billy joel and he was a drug addled wife beater so i dont see any conflict here.
Friday, February 09, 2001elect few
waste consumer post
things must be shifting in my favor. i had been negligent on my credit card payments. i realized this when my kozmo request was denied about 2 weeks ago. finally knew it was ok when aol stopped asking me if i had moved..hint hint..we cant access your credit card..stopped flashing on the screen everytime i signed on to the high lord and master aol. so as i was succumbing to my latest bout of lassitude i noticed a ridiculous charge on my kozmo account that hadnt been there when i tried to order something two weeks ago. how could i have $60 in late fees on top of the $14 that had previously been there? the only possible explanation was that one of the movies had been chewed up a little by my machine and they were charging me for the movie. so i called the home office to find out and to plead my case. turns out i was charged for "the cell" (which sucked by the way). their policy was that they charge you for the entire movie albeit at twice the price at which they will sell you the movie if you keep it two weeks past the due date. problem is is that i dropped it in a box two possibly three days late while they claimed i had the movie just short of a month. so we are at an impasse. i wasnt fuming and the guy on the other end seemed reasonable. after a delay he said they had reviewed my case and since i was a good customer they would take my word for it and erase the fee. not only that but they erased the entire fee. i told him his decision was prudent. first, if i had to pay for the movie, why wouldnt i just keep it. secondly, why screw with a decent customer especially if my records show this to be an abberation. third, who knows how often this happens. ive been a little skeptical of their late fees before. now im even moreso. oh yeah, in my two week abscence theyve added flowers and beer to the delivery options. i wonder if theyve got the wam bam thank you maam valentine package ready to go. from flowers at the door to bagels at breakfast.
post consumer waste
"A Londoner is to destroy all his possessions in the name of art. Over the next two weeks, Michael Landy, an installation artist, will reduce everything he owns to dust as part of an exhibition called Break Down. Some 7,006 objects - including a Saab 900 car and rare artworks - will be destroyed in a former C&A store. By the end of the exhibition, all he will have left will be a cat named Rats and his girlfriend, the Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing. Over the past year Mr Landy has made an inventory of everything he owns, from odd socks and David Bowie singles. Each item will be placed on a conveyer belt in the Oxford Street shop and a group of 10 operatives will begin the painstaking task of meticulous destruction. Eventually everything will be shredded or granulated so that nothing but particles of the broken down material will remain. Mr Landy says the exhibition is an examination of society's romance with consumerism. "It's about the amount of raw material that goes into making objects and about the lifespan of things. But the title also reflects an emotional break down," he said. While many of the items will be worthless utensils such as kitchen equipment, Mr Landy will also be destroying his valuable art collection, which includes pieces by artists such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. The exhibition will run for two weeks from February 10 at 499-523 Oxford Street, London."
more to come
all this flap about al gores columbia journalism school class being off the record. seems like the guy cant do anything right or the sharks took another chunk out of his hide and go speak. gore wanted his classes to be off the record he would claim to engender a more free zone for the exchange of ideas. critics would claim he was only concerned with his own freedom of speech. i would commend keeping the media out of the classroom, its for students to learn not for vultures to prey. not that it couldnt be a fascinating exchange but then gore couldnt let his guard down or he certainly wouldnt. now the question is, can you muzzle or how much would you want to control the students talking to the media. as proto-journalists they will be drawn to reporters like moths to a flame but to sell any information would already compromise any fledgling intergrity they might have had. although the ethical question cuts both ways. at what point does restraining information from public view strain your credulity? meanwhile, the living breathing seething corporate media will nearly do anything for a story and bloviate ad naseum until the.......insert overblown metaphor here. press post.
"MR. RUSSERT: Congressman Watts, Congressman Rangel—before we go, Congressman Rangel, is
there any office space up there in Harlem that you can make available to President Clinton for his office
for less than $750,000 a year?" conservative pundit and natl review online editor jonah goldberg says the exact same thing on c-spans 2/9 edition of washington journal and says that he wrote it in a column last week although at first glance i couldnt find it. but if the claim is true is there any further proof needed for russerts induction into the clinton haters hall of fame? he is stealing lines from conservatives to bash clinton. michael wolff asserts that russert is a democrat, i think he meant to say demon rat. and while i agree that clinton slumming in harlem might have positive consequences for the neighborhood, it still comes off as a slur, if not against minorities than certainly against poor people. i would have told russert, that clinton will move uptown if russert comes with him or to similar digs in an area in dc.
Thursday, February 08, 2001i on america
look at me
thats what i want
"OTTAWA (Reuters) - Construction begins in California this year on a wired community where residents can book golf games, watch their kids in school or work from home over high-speed network gear from Nortel Networks Corp. (NT.N).
Nortel, the world's No. 1 supplier of fiber-optic network equipment, said on Thursday it will supply an initial $5.6 million in equipment for the planned community outside Fresno, creating what it describes as one of the world's most sophisticated wired communities.
Nortel will work with Rio Mesa Utility Services LLC to design and install a network for voice, broadcast video and data traffic for the first 500 homes.
``The focus of this project is really to deliver the high-performance Internet directly to the homes and businesses within this community,'' Nortel vice-president Greg Merritt told Reuters. ``We're going to do that really through a variety of technologies and obviously will include optical networking and other access technologies.''
The so-called e-village, expected to eventually include 30,000 homes on a 15,000 acre site, is being designed as a green community where employees can work at nearby Silicon Valley companies from their homes.
Planning officials and the California Transportation Department, which are also working on the community design, hope that will reduce traffic, congestion and smog.
Nortel will also supply networking software to carriers and service providers, allowing developers to link homes, schools, shopping centers and businesses digitally and offer customized information services.
That will allow data-heavy Internet services like video monitoring of day care centers, 24-hour reservations systems for local tennis courts and electronic bulletin boards to promote area events.
``We do expect that this is one of what will be an increasing number of these type of communities,'' Merritt said.
Nortel said a report for market researchers Cahners In-Stat estimated that the market to sell network equipment for multi-residential and business communities will be worth $4.8 billion in the United States in 2004."
a real survival game
the woodman had this speaker system hooked up to his imac. very nice look and sound from harmon kardons soundsticks. he also had the newish roadrunner/cable package. i was feeling the need for lots of channels and some speed. nice feature on the cable. as you are surfing the remote, the station and the show in progress are listed across the bottom of the screen even during commercials. he also had one of those new little nokias. it has a cool text message function which "understands" the word you are trying to type. heres what they say
"With SMS, predictive text input makes it fast and easy to write messages on the keypad of this Nokia phone. The phone contains a built-in dictionary, with support for three major languages (English, Spanish, French.) Each time you press a key this Nokia phone compares the word you have written so far with the words in the database and selects the most likely word. So you can write by pressing one key per letter, instead of two or three as with an ordinary keypad. If there are several possible words, you choose a new one by pressing the star key. You can also input new words and names into the database. This is a network dependent feature."
closed source code
That said, did you get a gander at the sourcing? Here's who Harris cites:
"people close to [Clinton]"
"Only Potus and the Veep attended the session, and nobody talked to Harris on the record. Ordinarily I write a snarky press item when stories are so thoroughly blind-sourced as this one, pissing and moaning about how corrupting the whole background/not-for-attribution/off-the-record journalism is. But when the dish is this good, even I am prepared to cut a reporter all the slack he needs.
"people close to both"
"one adviser to Clinton"
"a Gore aide"
"Some Democrats who heard descriptions from one or the other of the two participants"
"one Democrat close to Clinton and Gore"
"one adviser to the former vice president"
"Many Clinton advisers"
"A senior White House official close to Clinton"
"aides close to Clinton"
"one aide" (presumably a Clinton aide)
"many Clinton people"
"a Democrat close to both men"
"many Clinton supporters"
"one Democratic operative who has worked with both men"
"Some senior Clinton advisers"
"One Democratic strategist" who is then re-identified as "this Clinton supporter" "
That said, did you get a gander at the sourcing? Here's who Harris cites:
"people close to [Clinton]"
"Count one more major collapse in the online entertainment business: the much-hyped animation site Icebox.com. The company, which became notorious both for hiring major TV writing talent and also for producing edgy programming like the stereotypical Mr. Wong and Queer Duck, will cease operations on Friday.
CEO Steve Stanford said he is ''in the process of trying to sell the company as a whole,'' and is providing due diligence to prospective buyers. As for a valuation, he said that the company's last round of financing was at a post-money valuation of $64 million, but that the current value was well south of that (although still in the low eight figures). A total of 27 people will be let go, and two will stay on to wind the company down.
Icebox's demise is one of the final coffin nails in a space that has been decimated worse than any other since the Internet downturn began last April. Just in the last nine months, AntEye, Stan Lee Media, Pop, Dotcomix, DEN, Thirsty, Scour, Pseudo and iCast have gone under, and sites like Z, StreamSearch, Hollywood.com and the Hollywood Stock Exchange have struggled with layoffs and financing troubles.
Icebox's demise is one of the final coffin nails in a space that has been decimated worse than any other since the Internet downturn began last April.
Only two bright lights seem to exist yet in the space: the new Shockwave/Atom Films entity and IFilm. However, as former Shockwave parent Macromedia disclosed in its most recent quarterly filing last week, much of the new entity's future is tied up in an as-yet-unclosed round of financing. As for IFilm, it announced this week that it has closed $10 million in financing, but the company has also struggled with layoffs and a soft market.
For a long while Icebox seemed to be the darling of the industry, with heavy press coverage and deals with talent like Jonathan Katz (of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist) and Seinfeld creator Larry David. Rejecting advertising on the site, the company instead planned to make its money through licensing and syndication deals, most particularly offline. One deal was signed with Showtime for online syndication of the webisodic Starship Regulars; another deal was announced with Fox for a live-action pilot of Zombie College, but that deal quickly fell apart. Late last year, Icebox started to carry banner ads (at the exact time that the ad market was going soft), and at an entertainment forum in December CEO Stanford said the site was considering both subscription and micro-payment models for programs.
It is unclear what exactly will become of Icebox's library and its other tangible assets. The company is not expected to file for bankruptcy. It has already lost one major executive, president Gary Levine, who left in recent days to head up original programming at Showtime."
movie rentals by mail?
Wednesday, February 07, 2001frazier v ali
king of all media
"Hello, and welcome back to Super Bowl XXXV. I'm Greg Gumbel. In just a few minutes, the E*Trade Halftime show will begin. We're in for a treat here today, as the halftime program devised by Laurie Anderson and Robert Wilson, is titled, 'The Life of Francis Bacon, An Expressionist Canvas of Sight and Sound'. Here to supply color commentary is the New Yorker's art critic, Peter Schjeldahl. Peter, what must Laurie Anderson be feeling right now?"
ms PACman fervor
paging dr reich
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - All he was trying to do was ease her chronic back pain, but when Dr. Stuart Meloy placed an electrode into one patient's back, she groaned. Not in pain, but in delight. ``This is a direct quote -- she said, 'You're going to have to teach my husband how to do that','' Meloy, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said in a telephone interview. Meloy had stumbled onto an unexpected side-effect of the pain device he was using -- an ability to cause orgasm. He has just patented this unexpected use of the device, a spinal cord stimulator made by device company Medtronic. Now he is trying to talk Minneapolis-based Medtronic into marketing the device for this use."
is this spin or is it a movement? i guess the govenors are a more realistic lot than the congressional republicans. but isnt our resident-in-chief a former republican govenor? not to mention a former drug taker and convicted drunk driver. well, two govenors is hardly a stampede anyway but its a start.
youve got membership
"Everyone involved says winning an ambassadorship had nothing to do with Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris's dogged efforts to shut down the Democrats' continued recounts of the presidential vote. But is the door closed? Absolutely not, say Bushies. All of which makes her latest club membership more intriguing: She's just been elected as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the tony policy group whose members included the first President Bush."
across the atlantic sea
meet the depressing
Tuesday, February 06, 2001chopper 7
its hardly worth your time, but there is the occasional ray of light emanating from the tube when politically incorrect is on. this week they are in dc and have some interesting guests. ralph nader and the humanatee, michael moore, check in tonight.
strong to the hoop
"VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul (news - web sites) is considering naming Saint Isidore of Seville the patron saint of Internet users and computer programmers, Vatican sources said on Tuesday. Saint Isidore was nominated two years ago but the Holy See has yet to make a final decision. Saint Isidore, who lived in the seventh century, was believed to have written the world's first encyclopaedia, the Etymologies, which included entries on medicine, mathematics, history and theology. The Vatican first went online in 1996 with its Web site www.vatican.va which it has used to publish thousands of Catholic Church documents and Papal speeches. The site is powered by three host computers named after archangels -- Raphael, Michael and Gabriel. The Pope himself moved into cyberspace in 1998 when the world's one billion Roman Catholics were first able to hear and see him recite the Angelus prayers on Sundays and listen to his weekly audience on Wednesdays on the Vatican web page. "
the new new thing
Monday, February 05, 2001beetlemania!
Sunday, February 04, 2001on account
accountability in education. accountability in faithbased services.