Friday, December 31 - Photos and Videos from the aftermath of the Asia Tsunami.

I'm not 100% certain of the intentions of this website, but it could be a VERY good thing so I will reserve judgement and recommed it for those still seeking understanding. - Photos and Videos from the aftermath of the Asia Tsunami.

"... our mission objective is to bring you to you the latest in multimeida updates on the happenings of the asia tsumani crisis.

This site is updated hourly, sometimes every ten minutes with new content so check back often.

I am after any video footage or photos from the Tsunami and the aftermath, if you spot something else where which I dont have get incontact with me and I'll put it up here.

If you have personal photos which you have taken of the aftermath please get incontact with me, I'll host them for you free of charge."

It's extremely important right now that we have as diverse and rich a debate as possible and that everyone should have access to it regardless of their geographical or economic situations. Especially first hand accounts which humanize the situation as opposed to such abstractions as the little clips and slices shown on the nightly news. I'm really glad video blogging, bittorrent, and podcasting were here for this, they've done a lot of good, though it is very clear they have a very long way to go. We're seeing new kinds of interactions between the traditional press and new media. I just hope in the future there are more ways for the general public to contribute than just money. Make sure you donate through a credible source such as the Red Cross.

One last thought. The future is a, set up on the spot with not only rich media but several podcasting channels and original content and commentary from people on location. There's no reason a media outlet will not be able to spring up in the near future for individual incidents and then disolve when no longer necissary. Think of it as smart mobs for smart media.

Check out the site: - Photos and Videos from the aftermath of the Asia Tsunami.

NYTimes OpEd - "Are We Stingy? Yes"

"We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities."

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Are We Stingy? Yes

I believe I heard we are now up two $350 million and the first of our aid has reached it's destination.

It's about time the world governments learn that like real people you can't force countries to change for the better with a heavy hand. Fairness brings freedom and violence, tirany. Here we are completely preoccupied and entrenched in Iraq and very nearly missing the boat on other very important things going on in the world.

I have a visual in my head that I'd draw a cartoon of if I was a cartonist. It's of Uncle Sam in his big hat and beard spanking a little guy (Iraq), hand raise while looking over his shoulder with surprise to see the rest of the world powers with their hearts and muscle helping those around the Indian Ocean. I don't know what exactly it means or if it's right or wrong, that's just what popped into my head. If somebody is good with the pen they should feel free to ink something up and call it there own.

Tsunami 2004 and the videoblogging revolution

Some blog critics will no doubt see a Jennycam-type voyeurism fueling the intense interest in collecting and watching the tsunami videos. I'm sure that's a factor. But I see at least two signifcant public service aspects to the work of the videobloggers documenting the disaster:

First, it brings the uncut and unedited horror home to people around the world who might otherwise shrug their shoulders. And unlike, say, network news viewers who catch a glimpse or two of the disaster before changing the channel, bloggers rope in a community of online doers. Jordan and Kevin Aylward at Wizbang are urging readers/viewers to donate to charities assisting tsunami/earthquake victims and providing links. (As a proxy, check out's donation page: Internet contributors there have raised nearly $3.8 million so far! Stingy? Stingy?)

Second, these amateur video collections will no doubt be of interest and use to researchers, scientists, and disaster preparedness experts. It's an amazing contribution.


In a sense, blogging is so 2004. The next big thing will be videoblogs. You can fit a rudimentary TV studio in a suitcase -- a laptop, a camcorder, a few cables, and a nearby Starbucks with Wi-Fi you can leech onto to upload your reports...

He shoots, he scores. The next big thing is here. The blogosphere's video coverage of the tsunami disaster has been stellar. Cheese and Crackers, run by college undergrad Jordan Golson (who has apparently been blogging for less than a month!), has become a clearinghouse for tsunami home videos.

Site Meter - Counter and Statistics Tracker for Cheese and Crackers

Thursday, December 30

Amateur Tsunami Video Footage Summary

I've had some comments about links breaking as happens with large content this important and in demand. This also creates quite a bit of confusion and people downloading things multiple times. So, I've borrowed's excellent video summaries and am going to add as many mirrors as possible. Look for this post to update quite often for the next few hours as I add links.

Fox News Channel with Xeni Jardin on blog coverage of the disaster
katc.wmv (3.4mb) - KATC,com footage - perhaps the most amazing of the clips - people stand on a balcony just feet above the raging torrent.
"According to Metro TV the amateur video footage was shot in Sumatra's provincial capital Banda Aceh shortly after the tsunami hit. It shows houses submerged in mud and sea water."
More information: KATC
thai.wmv (1.6mb) - short clip of incoming rush as people stand on hillside grass, presumeably in Phuket
phuket.wmv (11MB) - shot from inside a restaurant, waves engulf older couple clinging to railing before flooding entire room
patong_beach.wmv (10MB) - rooftop view of two huge waves battering buildings along shore, then flooding of city streets
sri_lanka.wmv (7MB) - upper balcony view of hotel swimming pool area getting flooded as observers run away; woman asks "how high will it go?" before retreating
koh_lanta_thailand.avi (11MB) - shot on beach level; watch as first wave grows and crashes, before cameraman's frantic retreat away from shore
koh-lanta.asf or tsunami1.asf (6.2 MB)
penang_beach.wmv (783kb) - shot from wall above beach, three men are caught in battering waves
sri_lanka_resort.wmv (WMV 6mb or AVI 7.6mb) - upper level hotel balcony; restaurant, pools, and deck flooded as people cling to trees; two men narrate what they see
sea-spills.mp4 (1.4 MB) Low quality, but scary...

Please Donate has a donations page for Red Cross. They have already collected $6.8 million as of this writing. Costs are expected to run in the 100's of billions of dollars.

Podcasting Issues

If you subscribe to my podcast feed you will get a copy of all these videos if you have not already. Unforetuneatly there is only one piece of content allowed per post in the RSS "enclosure" format. It is a short coming I have not been able to find a workaround for and many people are working on it for future RSS specs. I as well as others are also experimenting with bittorrent podcasts which would alleviate having to post mirrors and alleviate bandwidth issues. If you're interested swing over and check out Torrentocracy's Podigem Project and offer them words of encouragement on their beta service. It won't be long now till we're all able to share such content openly and legally without fear of getting swamped on bandwidth or for that matter unwarranted legal threats.

Wednesday, December 29

Video: Koh Lanta Thailand

koh_lanta_thailand.avi (10.6mb)

Update: I have compiled a list of all related videos at the following url. mmeiser blog: Amateur Tsunami Video Footage Summary

More Video: NYT, Fox News, others on blogs and tsunami disaster

Fox News Channel with Xeni Jardin on blog coverage of the disaster (Real Video 4.1mb)

Alternate Format: Fox News Channel with Xeni Jardin on blog coverage of the disaster (WMV 4.2mb)

Via: Boing Boing: NYT, Fox News, others on blogs and tsunami disaster

Update: I have compiled a list of all related videos at the following url. mmeiser blog: Amateur Tsunami Video Footage Summary

Wired 13.01: The BitTorrent Effect

This article has just to many good parts, it's a must read. The big question here is; "What will a new media company look like?" I have some big thoughts on this. To much to say here, but I'll leave you with this. Distribution is dead, the new middle man is dissemination.

"Cohen knows the havoc he has wrought. In November, he spoke at a Los Angeles awards show and conference organized by Billboard, the weekly paper of the music business. After hobnobbing with 'content people' from the record and movie industries, he realized that 'the content people have no clue. I mean, no clue. The cost of bandwidth is going down to nothing. And the size of hard drives is getting so big, and they're so cheap, that pretty soon you'll have every song you own on one hard drive. The content distribution industry is going to evaporate.' Cohen said as much at the conference's panel discussion on file-sharing. The audience sat in a stunned silence, their mouths agape at Cohen's audacity.

Cohen seems curiously unmoved by the storm raging around him. 'With BitTorrent, the cat's out of the bag,' he shrugs. He doesn't want to talk about piracy and the future of media, and at first I think he's avoiding the subject because it's so legally sensitive. But after a while, I realize it simply doesn't interest him much."

Wired 13.01: The BitTorrent Effect

More clips of the tsunami

I just heard on the news the death toll has now been reported as high as 70,000.

patong beach (10mb WMV)

ALSO: 782k WMV

Update: I have compiled a list of all related videos at the following url. mmeiser blog: Amateur Tsunami Video Footage Summary

First hand videos of the tsunami in Sri Lanka

Update: I have compiled a list of all related videos at the following url. mmeiser blog: Amateur Tsunami Video Footage Summary

If you see any more footage that is podcast-able / download-able please email me. Any interesting video footage at all. Especially first hand accounts by real people, but also any local or regional news from the area.

11.7 MB video in Windows Media Format (you must right-click, control-click or option click to download video it is NOT viewable in the browser)
Video from Sri Lanka (8 MB Windows Media Format)

Tuesday, December 28

Unauthorized Campaigns Used by Unauthorized Creators Become a Trend

More press related the iPod fan-advert. NY Times calls it vigilanty marketing. That's sort of funny. It goes with their whole conspiracy approach though. I love that idea... the masses conspiring against the large corporations. Even our conspiracy theories are being affected by the bottom-up revolution. :)

Various people with diverse motives are behind the proliferation of vigilante marketing. They are freelancers and fans - even agencies - looking for accounts, and they have shown up this year to advertise or try to advertise products as they see fit.

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Unauthorized Campaigns Used by Unauthorized Creators Become a Trend

Home-Brew IPod Ad Opens Eyes

This Wired article is back from Deceber 13th. Since then I've seen this iPod ad cross my podcast feeds maybee a dozen times. The truth is I still pop it open every now and again. I can't get enough of it, it's even better then Apple's own ads. I expect it will resurge and be re-discovered many times as it crosses into different markets. It's just that good.

School teacher George Masters has the marketing world abuzz with a homemade ad for Apple Computer's iPod that is rapidly "going viral."

To some experts, Masters' ad heralds the future of advertising. Homemade ads will play a big part in marketing, just like blogging is shaking up the news.

...'It's a sign that consumers want to have a role in promoting a product they love,' he said. 'There's a real trend toward consumer-generated media. People are creating news, they're blogging. People will create marketing as well. This guy is a great example.'

Rubel cited the ongoing Spread Firefox campaign, a collective promotion of Mozilla's web browser that includes raising money to buy ad space in The New York Times.

Stories about customer evangelism abound, and word-of-mouth or 'buzz' marketing is seen as a big and growing part of advertising. But TV spots are new.

Read about it: Wired News: Home-Brew IPod Ad Opens Eyes

Watch the video(10.6mb QT)

You also might like to watch this funny holidays iPod Racing parody (9mb QT)

mmeiser blog "preemtively" names Jon Stewart man of the year!

Read it: mmeiser blog "preemtively" names Jon Stewart man of the year!

P.S. Since (while awesome) does not support "more" links for long articles and this article is long I have had to post this excellent article on my "backchannel" and then link to it from here. Enjoy.

Monday, December 27

Happy Bunny Spaz Juice

"Happy Bunny Spaz Juice is certainly the cutest drink of 2004. The drink features a yellow bunny rabbit and the sayings, 'drink this and feel less sucky' and 'All the energy you need to annoy everyone else'. Popular among girls and young women, the nearly ubiquitous Happy Bunny brand can be found on everything from apparel to stickers. The brand features the trademarked Happy Bunny who, despite her cute appearance, is known for saying rather mean things. Spaz Juice has a great blue raspberry flavor and the package is adorable. We're not sure if teenage girls really need the extra energy, but with so many brands targeted toward the young male demographic, it is refreshing to see one address young women. This product might have particular success selling in retail locations and other places where the Happy Bunny brand can be found. Overall, Spaz Juice is a very well-done and well-positioned energy drink with definite commercial potential."

Nuf' said.

From Happy Bunny Spaz Juice - The Review

Friday, December 24

Amazing computer animated music video for Aphex Twin

Sweet, I just stumbled across this awesome Computer animated video which appears to be an unofficial Aphex Twin video for the song "Vordhosbn". I'm not sure wether it's a fan video or what. If I find out I'll let you know. It's one of the most amazing pieces of video work that's crossed my podstream yet and I'm happy to be able to share it with you. Warning, it's big (56mb), but it's well worth the download.

Aphex Twin - Vordhosbn (56mb AVI)

*ADORU: Film: Aphex Twin ? Vordhosbn

Wednesday, December 22

The Sin City Trailer

I found this trailer visually stunning. I don't know how to describe it so I won't. I just wanted to share.

Sin City Trailer

A hell of a lot of star power too.

About the movie: Sin City (2005) - IMDB

Tuesday, December 21

The Long Tail - becomes a book and a blog

The long tail is becoming a book and is already a blog. This will probably go straight to the top of my blog reading list. I think the long tail theory is infinitely more important than any other "marketing" theories out this last year. Even that "creative class" stuff. It marks a significant new way of looking at a significant new cultural paradigm. And yes, "paradigm" is precisely the word, this is the cathedral and the bazzar, small pieces loosely joined, top-down to bottom-up. I predict that even before the book hits the shelves it'll be the biggest marketing buzz-word since "e-commerce". I just wish I'd have coined the phrase. ;)

"Yes, the book deal is now official. I'm delighted, but sadly all I can link to is this (in the book world, it seems, gossip columns count as hard news). Moving quickly past me, I was struck by the mention in the column that Hillary got $8m for her book (#880 Amazon sales rank). That's just $3m less than Bill (#40). Shouldn't the spread on that one have been a bit more?"

The Long Tail: In lieu of a press release

. . . Neither is Wired editor Chris Anderson, but sources say he managed to sell The Long Tail to Hyperion for just over $500,000. It?s a book-length version of a meditation he wrote for his own magazine about the end of the "mainstream" in culture. "Jaws hit the floor over how much they paid," says one source whose house was outbid. Watch for the Wired trend story: The tech-book boom is back! -Jacob Bernstein


Monday, December 20

Podcasting the music video for the Grey Album

5574693157170114Today I've been checking out some of the video bloggers online to try and get a feel for how many are out there, how many are podcasting their content, and what sort of stuff they're doing. One of the more interesting video bloggers is Eric Rice. He has a nice copy of the Grey Album music video that he has podcasted.

Watch it: Grey Album music video(Quicktime ?mb)

Read about it: Eric Rice Podcast: The Grey Video

Sunday, December 19

More on the Millau Bridge in France

BBC picture gallery
The Millau Viaduct is an incredible feat of engineering. The structure measures nearly 2460 metres long and was built with more than 36,000 tonnes of metal framework (which is five times the amount used on the Eiffel Tower). In addition to being extremely long, the bridge is extremely high (the tallest tower measures 343 metres - compared to the Eiffel Tower which comes in at 324 metres).

Article: BBC - Radio 4 - Today Programme International Report

The world's oldest mechanical gadget

General plan of all gearing, composite diagram from De Solla Price, Transactions of the American Philosophical
Society Vol 64 No 7 (1974).
This is a link to an article written for the American Mathematical Society's website back in April 2000 on the function of the Antikythera Mechanism (the world's oldest example of a mechanism with gears dating from 87 B.C.). The discovery of the mechanism surprised scholars because it was not believed that ancient Greeks possessed such technology. The article goes into a lot of detail and has working Java applets!

From the article..
The Antikythera Mechanism is the name given to an astronomical calculating device, measuring about 32 by 16 by 10 cm, which was discovered in 1900 in a sunken ship just off the coast of Antikythera, an island between Crete and the Greek mainland. Several kinds of evidence point incontrovertibly to around 80 B.C. for the date of the shipwreck. The device, made of bronze gears fitted in a wooden case, was crushed in the wreck, and parts of the faces were lost, "the rest then being coated with a hard calcareous deposit at the same time as the metal corroded away to a thin core coated with hard metallic salts preserving much of the former shape of the bronze" during the almost 2000 years it lay submerged. The quotation is from Derek de Solla Price's monograph Gears from the Greeks ... in the 1974 Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (Volume 64, part 7).

It is hard to exaggerate the singularity of this device, or its importance in forcing a complete re-evaluation of what had been believed about technology in the ancient world. For this box contained some 32 gears, assembled into a mechanism that accurately reproduced the motion of the sun and the moon against the background of fixed stars, with a differential giving their relative position and hence the phases of the moon. It is enough to know that there is no trace of anything like it until around 1000 A.D., and that when it was first published there were serious suggestions that it had been dropped into the wreck at a much later date or even that it was the work of alien astronauts.

Complete Article: antikythera1-1

Java based visualization: antikythera-animation

Saturday, December 18

mmeiser blog is now podcasting!

I have been experimenting for the past week with podcasting via The bad news is Blogger's Atom feeds in no way support podcasting. However, the excellent and free service does. (Huge shout-out to feedburner. THANK YOU, YOU ROCK!)

Please subscribe to my latest feed (link below) in your iPodder, iPodderX, or Newsgator client and let me know what you think, especially if you have any trouble. My first and only podcast as of this writing is appropriately my last post on the Italian Pirate TV Network called Telestreet.

MY NEW PODCAST FEED: mmeiser blog RSS 2.0 podcast feed - powered by

One note. Make sure you have your podcasting application set to download ALL media, not just mp3's. I WILL NOT be podcasting my own audio show as most do. As you may have noticed I'm interested in the academic exploration of the interrelation between media and culture. As such, I am using this podcast to mix my own media rich feed (similar to a TV station) of content throughout the web such as trailers, music videos, documentaries, adverts, things funny, wacky, weird, and all sorts of MOV, MPEG, DIVX and other rich media.

Some might call this videocasting to distinguish it from podcasting since podcasting is generally thought of as audio only. I personally think what I'm doing could be technically labeled podcasting as the word itself is not audio specific, but I realize there are a whole lot of differences between what I'm doing and what most podcasters are doing and I think a new terms such as "videocasting", "blogcasting" and "audiocasting" will evolve to distinguish between these new forms of broadcasting over the internet protocol or "IP broadcasting". ; )

Now that I trust I have thoroughly confused the issue I offer you the following differences between this and a regular podcast.
  • This is not an audio cast, most podcasts are specifically audio.
  • This is a rich media feed that may include MPEG, MOV, WMV, Real Video, and other video formats (and possibly images and photos as well).
  • This will not be able to be placed on an iPod or mp3 player like most podcasts unless it is a full on media player or PVR (Portable Video Recorder & playback device) such as the iRiver or RCA Lyra which support multiple video formats.
  • Unlike most podcasts whom create their own audio content I am producing NONE of the content (at least to start). The value will be contained in what I choose to post and in the words I choose to introduce it. Though in the future I am hoping it will be possible to create my own video clips that will string together others disparate video clips with my introductions, segue between content and perhaps news and information to create a cohesive show (similar to a TV news show) WITHOUT downloading remixing and then hosting other peoples content. At this point we would be talking true interactive TV, which while brilliant is a TALL order.) Right now I simply hope to successfully blog about cool trailers, music videos, commercials, viral ads, and other video based content.
  • I am hosting NONE of the content as I own none of it. Most podcasters host their own content as they own and produce most of the content. That I'm merely pointing to content already on line and not downloading it, remixing it and hosting it gives me SIGNIFICANT legal protection as well as ensures that the original owners can track, control and get credit for work. It also reduces my cost greatly and allows myself and others to offer scandalous comment and discussion on their works without any fear of legal recourse because there are clear lines of ownership and fairuse.
  • This will be merely a channel where I "point" to and promote other peoples creations as is typical of a blog, the difference is these creations I am promoting are not merely other web pages, but are in fact rich media such as videos clips and highres images. This will I hope not only create a more enjoyable experience, but also a richer more elevated debate.
Goals: I hope this will do several things including:
  1. create a richer and more enjoyable experience for those who read this blog
  2. elevate and create a richer debate
  3. inspire others to blog and/or podcast
  4. encourage the development of more specialized software to progress podcasting
  5. contribute in some small way shape or form to the democratizing of broadcast media which have been traditionally been accessible only by the few and the privileged. It's time broadcast media become a ubiquitous part of the mass communications ecosystem.
I will have more information on this later.

BTW, if anyone does have any information on how to get's Atom feed to work with podcasting please do let me know. Also, I have not seen any official specifications on defining enclosures in Atom. I'd really like to get both feeds working.

Also, I will be updating this blog as well as my separate back channel blog with the new RSS 2.0 feeds as the default feeds, and adding a list of my favorite podcasts.

Italian Pirate TV Network

A short documentary about the italian Telestreet movement, a network of over 200 pirate television stations which have appeared in the last ten years to counter the media monopoly of Silvio Berlusconi.

About: Program Details for Telestreet

Download the video: QT)

Via: unmediated: Telestreet - Italian Pirate TV Network

Thursday, December 16

Homeless man evicted from under Chicago LSD bridge

3992846 A homeless man was found and evicted from underneath the Lake Shore Drive bridge over the Chicago River where he had been living in the girders for 3 or 4 years. Amongst his possessions were a Sony Playstations, a Microwave and a 19-inch TV which he powered by taping into the bridges electrical system.

I can't believe I didn't catch this one sooner as it happened last Sunday. It is one of those events that sparks the imagination; the kind of event that makes you realize what a fascinating (if not wonderful) world we live in. I could not stop reading articles on this incident until I'd read nearly every article online. Indeed I may go back and read every blog post to see what others are saying. It's truly fascinating.

I have composed a whole lot of notations and quotes from sources below. There are some pictures and even a video clip from the local news, though it is in the (loathsome) Windows Media Player format. However, the best article appears to be the original Suntimes article at the following url.

Chicao Suntimes: City pulls plug on home in drawbridge

"Chicago is abuzz with the story of Richard Dorsey a 36-year old 'homeless' man evicted from a shelter he created on the underside of a drawbridge spanning the Chicago River near Lake Shore Drive.

Slipping through a 12x36' opening, Dorsey and a few other followers were able to wiggle down below the road level, hiding their shelter from below with blankets. Amazingly, Dorsey had a television, video game console, and other appliances hooked up to bridge electricity, living a relatively normal life regardless of the location. More amazingly, when the bridge would open to allow boats to pass, Dorsey would brace himself as he was slowly pushed forward into an upright position, something he described as like riding a ferris wheel after he got used to it."
- from: A Daily Dose of Architecture: File Under Amazing

"Bridge shack man evicted: A HOMELESS man who lived in a shack under a Chicago bridge has been evicted.

Richard Dorsay lived in a wooden shack built into beams and girders of a drawbridge that crosses the Chicago river.

Dorsay had tapped his hut, in a fashionable part of the city, into the bridge?s power supply and had a PlayStation, TV, microwave and heater"
- from: The Sun Newspaper Online - UK's biggest selling newspaper

"Dorsay's feat is quite a marvel of engineering and architecture and a definite resume-builder. He'd better get a patent because these 'drawbridge dorms' could be the new it housing option in Chicago; the new Lincoln Park or Wicker Park loft. Getting caught may be just what he needs to kick-start a lucrative career."
- from Chicagoist: Holy Crazy (Homeless?) Guy!

Video: Man evicted from hut on Chicago drawbridge (with Windows Media Video Clip)

Pictures: NBC 4 - Slideshow

The Chicago Tribune's original article: Chicago Tribune | Man's home: Chicago River drawbridge

Chicago Suntimes Follow Up: City checks bridges for more squatters

Tuesday, December 14

Swarmstreaming and a call for a Podcasting application that supports RSS playlists

I've posted a really big and hopefully worthy article on swarmstreaming and the call for a new podcasting application on my back channel blog. You should read it and let me know if it sucks or not.

Update: The below url was broken. Sorry, it's now fixed. Enjoy.

Swarmstreaming and a call for a Podcasting application that supports RSS playlists

Sunday, December 12

New VW minibus concepts at the Detroit Auto Show in January

westfalia_3What can I say, but cool. And I want. To bad it's only a concept, but hopefully we'll see a new VW mini bus in the coming years from Volkswagen.

Camping out in the Future: Verdier's Westfalia Concept : Jalopnik

FYI, Jalopnik is the new "car blog" by Gawker media. It appears to be exclusively sponsored by Audi. I like it.



Freeplay Jonta human-powered LED flashlight

jonta-2LED Flashlights are coming along nicely. This rechargable beauty will run for ten minutes with only 30 seconds of cranking. With 40 minutes of cranking it'll run for 24 hours. While i doubt anyone would crank it for 40 minutes (also comes with a wall charger) it does speak to it's efficiency. In fact with the durability of the LED lights it would make a great backpacking flashlight.

..:: FREEPLAY ENERGY Plc. Best In The World - Best For The World ::..

FYI, There are some other great hand charging goods on the freeplay site including radios, emergency human powered cell phone batteries and other solar charging devices. Pretty sweet indeed. Now, if only I could get a human chargeable mp3 player that uses a replaceable or commong battery type. I'm tired of having to carry a spare batteries with me everywhere, and it would seem unnecisary when mp3 players use so little power. If this flashlight can run for 10 minutes on 30 seconds of cranking then an mp3 player could be made that runs for 30 minutes on 30 seconds of cranking. Now that would be sweet.

Via: Treehugger: Freeplay Jonta human-powered light

Friday, December 3

Paper Peace Bombs over Thailand

From: The Guardian | Thai PM's origami initiative takes flight
"Having failed to quell months of escalating unrest in three southern provinces by force, Thailand's unorthodox prime minister is hoping plane loads of origami peace bombs will defuse the tension.

Thaksin Shinawatra has urged all 63 million Thais to make at least one paper bird in the next fortnight so they can be dropped on the three restive provinces on December 5 as a sign of goodwill to mark King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday..."

_40537753_ap_thaksin203From: BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Thai king in southern peace plea
"Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has come under mounting criticism for his failure to stop the violence, has launched a campaign to fold 60 million paper birds to promote a message of unity.

The origami birds, made by students, housewives and politicians across Thailand, are to be flown to the Muslim majority provinces on 5 December."

Bush Arrested in Canada for War Crimes

bush_arrestlNo need to worry. Scammers aren't the only ones spoofing domain names this holiday season. Someone has so flawlessly spoofed CNN using the domain "" that it made me do a double take. There is in fact no disclaimer on the page, nothing that indentifies this as a spoof or says who is responsible. It'll be interesting to see how long it stays online and how much press it gets. - Bush Arrested in Canada for War Crimes

It looks like the spoofed page was lifted from the following REAL CNN / AP article on Bush's visit to Canada. - Canada braces for Bush protests - Nov 29, 2004

In other somewhat related news

I'm not sure what the relationship but there is another spoof that was put up at: AxisofLogic/ Political Satire

The Inquirer has the scoop on the Axis of Logic spoof at the followign url: Bush arrested in Canada

Now, just before you get all settled down and your blood pressure returns to normal I want to point out this editorial from the REAL Toronto Star which openly ponders wether Canada should in fact indict Bush. - Should Canada indict Bush?

Finally, A quick tip. Spoofing a website or email for the purposes gaining trust, decieving and/or harvesting personal information is called phishing. For more information on phishing check out Phishing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, December 1

Broadcatcing - scott raymond's excellent introduction to Bittorrent and RSS

In reference to my very last post I was just rereading Scott Raymonds Bittorrent and RSS primer. There really is no better on all the web and I'm pretty widely read. Not even wikipedia has topped Scott's synopis and that's saying something. It not only explains the technology, but also why it's ao awesome.

Read it here: Broadcatching with BitTorrent - scottraymondnet 2004

BTW, Scott's article was written just about this time last year (Dec. 16th to be exact) and much of the promise has come true in the Azureus / RSSFeed Scanner Plugin combination as well in Podcasting applications like iPodder, IpodderX and Newsgator that are superb for transporting and automatically caching large amounts of rich media. I must say I've already thrown away the TV and am enjoying a far richer and a far more rewarding experience to. I never did much care for popular media anyway.

BTW, if you want to get up on using Azureus and RSS Phillip Torrone of Engadget fame has a great tutorial. While it appears to be long and technical, trust me it's not.

RSS & Bit Torrent - Content distribution gets interesting

A good primer by Karl Bode over at on the early evolution of Bittorrent and RSS including some name droping and pointers to some of the early adopters and innovators. It would appear to be written on or before March 12th of this year.

Many bloggers are thinking of combining these two technologies in order to create the perfect content delivery system. Since a Steve Gilmour column for Ziff-Davis last December, the discussion has spread like a virus among many bloggers (Techdirt, Ernest Miller, and even ex-Tech TV host Chris Pirillo, for example). However it's Scott Raymond whose entry best explains what has everyone excited:

"I want RSS feeds of BitTorrent files. A script would periodically check the feed for new items, and use them to start the download. Then, I could find a trusted publisher of an Alias RSS feed, and ?subscribe? to all new episodes of the show, which would then start downloading automatically ? like the ?season pass? feature of the TiVo."

...Despite ample discussion, one of the first practical applications of this idea has only surfaced this month. Programmer Andrew Grumet has announced the release of a beta version of an RSS+BitTorrent integration tool for Radio Userland's news aggregator, available (with additional detail) here.

broadband » News » RSS & Bit Torrent - Content distribution gets interesting

Ohio tally fit for Ukraine - more on voting irregularities

"Voter fraud in the Ukraine? Give me a break.

It has been a month now and we still don't have a clear count of the votes for our own presidential race from the state of Ohio.

For those who may have forgotten, Ohio supposedly assured George W. Bush a second term in the White House - only the most important job on the planet."

Read more New York Daily News - Politics - Juan Gonzalez: Ohio tally fit for Ukraine

Tuesday, November 30

On Dan Rather's Departure from CBS

You know, I'm actually going to miss Dan Rather. He was a far better personality and had far more integrety than 90% of the current day news personalities. It almost seems like an end of an era, I should be happy that bottom-up media is having an impact, but I don't want it to kill old media, merely shake it up and make it better. I guess you can't have a shake up though without a few heads rolling, but there will always be room for broadcast news, newspapers, and radio just as there has always been room for books and ukulelias.

"Of course, the guy has always been a little bit out there. There was his decision to sign off his newscast with the word 'Courage' for no apparent reason three times during a single week in 1985 as well as the bizarre 1986 incident in which Rather was roughed up by attackers who reportedly asked, 'Kenneth, what is the frequency?' -- a line later immortalized in an R.E.M. tune.

It also didn't take much to prompt certain peculiarities to exit Rather's lips, such as during my interview with him last year.

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather 1989
(RealMedia, 33seconds, 1.81 Mb)
Describing his love of CBS and CBS News, Rather observed in the interview last year: 'In my mind and the minds of the people I work with, this is a magical, mystical kingdom -- our version of Camelot. And we feel we are working at a kind of roundtable of King Arthur proportions. Now, it may be that this kingdom exists only in our minds. But that makes it no less real for those of us who live it every day.'

And then there was this: 'Ed Murrow's ghost is here. I've seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night. And I can tell you that he's watching over us.'

If Rather has been spending too much time of late yakking with the ghost of Murrow and too little confirming the veracity of his sources, maybe we need to cut the dude a little slack. He's earned the right to be eccentric by continuing the quest to be a real journalist when he didn't have to."

Article: Humble Rather earned departure fit for an icon

Video Clip: CBS Evening News with Dan Rather 1989 (RealMedia, 33seconds, 1.81 Mb)

Video from: InformativosTV

Blog is Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004

Blog was the most looked up word this year on Merriam Webster's website. Let the backlash begin. ;) - 'Blog' No. 1 word of the year - Nov 30, 2004

Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004

Googles crapping out (warning rant!)

While I love google's (the free weblog too that this site runs on) I'm having more and more problems with timeouts. is either simply not loading or taking forever to load. It's getting impossible to post anything. If I can't post something on a whim then this serve is useless to me. I cannot sit around and wait five minutes for the damn blogger page to load.

Bloging is suppose to be convenient and spontaneous not a freaking chore! You may have noticed the amount of posts dwindling here. There has been a lot of great stuff I've not blogged about because I simply can't sit around and wait for blogger to load.

Has anyone else been having problems with blogger loading slow or not at all? I hate to complain about a free service, but it's less than free if it keeps abusing my time and I have to say it's really starting to piss me off because it's a betrayal of the trust I put in google, an insult and disrespectful of my time. If google can't run this service right or is unwilling to invest the money in a few more servers than I'm going to have to go elsewhere! And I can't believe I've recommended them to so many people. They're giving me a block eye for recommending such a crappy service. This is not on professional par with or their gmail. They're turning some thing pleasurable into crap! And, if I have to spend the countless hours porting my blog over to another platform they're going to be forever on my shit list. Crapping all over your customers is inexcusable. This is a perfect example of "inhumane interefaces". The interface is about more than just functionality. Most obviously it has to first freaking show up, which is to say the page needs to load.

Oh, one last thing. This is also causing posts to appear multiple time on my blog. Meaning I have to go back and clean this crap up and it makes me look bad. This has happened before, but it appears to be happening more often and the timeouts seem to be getting worse.

Monday, November 29

The Long Tail of the Blogosphere

The "long tail" meme is alive and well on the web this week. It's scope and influence is still growing. You might say the original Wired articles made waves or turned on a great many light bulbs. A whole lot of people are suddenly "getting it" and a whole lot more are trying to apply it fruitfully (or not) to all sectors of business. What we have here is a little cluetrain manifesto stuff going on. You'll be sure to see more posts regarding this subject from me. That's for sure.

In his article "the long tail of the blogosphere" Steve Rubel, a PR strategist, talks about the need for marketers to embracing blogs and cites some examples of different sectors in the media that are already starting to do so. Below is his conclusion.

  1. Taken in all together, the result is that big media will increasingly adapt and embrace blogging in order to maintain their dominance. As a result, marketers too will need to adjust their strategies -- everything from where they elect to place their PR messages to where they allocate their media budgets. Here are several short-term ways the long tail is already causing the media to adapt:

  2. Publishers and advertisers are experimenting with unique custom blog sponsorships. The Art of Speed -- Nike's experiment with Gawker Media -- is one such collaboration.

  3. Some media outlets are openly embracing bloggers -- either by buying them out entirely or by signing them to joint operating ventures that include revenue sharing. Mediabistro, for example, recently purchased CableNewser -- a popular TV industry blog, rather than launch its own competing effort.

  4. The media will turn themselves into blog-like online aggregators that link readers to all relevant content in their area of focus, whether it's a blog or a news site. CNET's News.context, for example, already takes this approach.
Media Web sites will morph into social sites, employing comments, trackbacks, RSS feeds and other blog-like structures in order to create community. CNET and Variety are already pioneers experimenting here.

If the media are buying into the long tail, then the marketers should follow, right? I sure hope so, because those who ignore it may be forced to catch the tiger by the tail rather than by the teeth.

The Long Tail of the Blogosphere

Holiday tech purchasing trends:

"Holiday purchases of electronics dipping

Interest in holiday purchases of consumer electronics appears to be leveling off this year after peaking in 2003, a new survey found.

The demand for electronics gear is still healthy, but interest in high-definition televisions, DVD players, game consoles, PCs, digital video recorders, cellphones and wireless networking equipment all dipped a little, the Ipsos-Insight survey found.

From a list of 18 electronics items, only printers and satellite radio gained slightly, though the difference is still within the margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Interest in digital cameras, home theater systems, satellite TV, portable MP3 players, personal digital assistants and DVD recorders held steady.

About one in four surveyed said they wanted a new cellphone or PC, making them the most-wanted items, followed by digital cameras, DVD players, then printers.

The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Oct. 28 to Nov. 5."

From: The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Kazaa adds free Internet phone to file sharing

Friday, November 19

Neutered dog haikus

b_aIronic that I
should spend my cruel life chasing
that which was taken.

My contribution to ZeFrank's neutered dog haikus

Virgin Dachshunds Eating Grilled Cheese Sandwich - the grilled cheese Virgin Mary meme

0f_2This is just to "important" not to post about.

Spawned by the original post, which ebay removed, there is now a feeding frenzy going on over at ebay for virgin mary grilled cheese and/or toast oriented collectables. This is no joke. Some of these excellent and superb collectables are going for over one hundred dollars. Get yours now.

LINK: eBay item 5536484772 (Ends Nov-22-04 19:38:15 PST) - VIRGIN DACHSHUNDS EATING GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

View the complete line of Virgin Mary toast and/or grilled cheese products here: eBay - grilled cheese sandwich, Metaphysical, Weird Stuff, and Decorative Collectibles items at low prices

Thursday, November 18

When meme's cross - "Sorry Everybody" meets Ellen Feiss

se13539You're sorry, I'm sorry, everybody's sorry. Even Ellen Feiss is sorry. I so like it when a couple of good memes get together.

From: Sorry Everybody dot com

The backstory on Ellen Feis is still on, and the great Apple advertisements featuring her as pointed out in a recent post are on Errol Morris's site, though it appears to be down right now, likely do all the traffic.

Remember kids, old meme's never die. They just cross with new meme's to become extra super virulent memes.

Wednesday, November 17

BBC doing trial podcasting of several shows

Damn, the BBC website is a mess, it's impossible for me to decipher, but this much I know.

The BBC is offering mp3 downloads if not podcasting of several of its shows. This as opposed to the streaming real broadcasts. I could not find feeds of all the shows but I did find a podcast feed of atleast one of the shows. You'll have to manually download the rest unforetuneatly.

The MP3 trial runs till the end of the year (I didn't have anything to do with that, it's one of several MP3 download trials the department is running, and it's an enormous achievement for such a huge broadcaster. Very proud to be working here at the moment). But there are these folks writing software to make the whole audio-online experimence much smoother, the Podcast folks, could we give that a go too? And that's what today is about [I work in the BBC's Radio and Music Interactive department, btw].

Please let me know if you find any bugs/problems with our Podcast feed. I'll get em fixed. We'll be updating it once a week for the remainder of the MP3 trial (it's the same distribution channel really; no more or less information, no archives). The trials are being done because it's important to know what people think and how the MP3s will be used: Please share your reactions and give us feedback (if there's anything that needs addressing immediately, feel free to mail me too).

MP3 Available: BBC - Radio Five Live - Fighting Talk

MP3 Available: BBC - 1Xtra - TX - Download this documentary

PODCAST! BBC - In our time - Podcast

More info on the "In our time" podcast BBC - Radio 4 In Our Time - mp3 download

Via: cityofsound: Podcasting In Our Time

Tuesday, November 16

Errol Morris: Commercials - reliving a little apple switch

Errol Morris, film maker, has been building up a pretty amazing site full of materials in a blog type format. Here are a few of my favorite Apple Switch campaign ads, most of which didn't make it on TV.

My favorites:
Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell
Hot Dogs
Ellen Feiss
Ellen Feiss

apple_fraunfelder_70 Including this one with Mark Frauenfelder, that freak over at

2005 Stamps to Feature Muppets


"WASHINGTON-Nov4- It isn't easy being green. It isn't easy getting on a U.S. postage stamp either, but Kermit the Frog will manage it next year, along with his Muppet friends. New stamps also will recall the late President Ronald Reagan (news - web sites), singer Marian Anderson, actor Henry Fonda and songwriter Yip Harburg, notable scientists, famous Marines and sports cars, the U.S. Postal Service said Thursday."

Yahoo! News - 2005 Stamps to Feature Muppets, Reagan

The new sexier female Ronald McDonald from Japan

Classify this under weird and wacky.

Watch it (Win Media Player)

Download it directly, while it lasts (WMV 780k)

Via: Ookii Female and sexy

War & Culture - Fallujah & GI Joe (AP Photo)

us_marine_fallujah1-11142004A U.S. Marine of the 1st Division carries a mascot for good luck in his backpack as his unit pushed further into the western part of Fallujah, Iraq, Sunday, November 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Via Ookii G.I. Joe in Fallujah

War & culture - Fallujah & GI Joe

us_marine_fallujah2-11142004A U.S. marine from the 3/5 Lima company carries his "GI Joe Action Man" doll as he walks past the destruction in the restive city of Fallujah. (AFP/Patrick Baz)

Monday, November 15

How 'Dungeons' changed the world - Imagination and the D&D culture

I enjoyed this article by Peter Bebergal tremendously. To me it's about the power of imagination and the culture that supports it.

"To put it simply, Dungeons and Dragons reinvented the use of the imagination as a kid's best toy. The cliche of parents waxing nostalgic for their wooden toys and things 'they had to make themselves' has now become my own. Looking around at my toddler's room full of trucks, trains, and Transformers, I want to cry out, 'I created worlds with nothing more than a twenty-sided die!'

Dungeons and Dragons was a not a way out of the mainstream, as some parents feared and other kids suspected, but a way back into the realm of story-telling. This was what my friends and I were doing: creating narratives to make sense of feeling socially marginal. We were writing stories, grand in scope, with heroes, villains, and the entire zoology of mythical creatures. Even sports, the arch-nemesis of role-playing games, is a splendid tale of adventure and glory. Though my friends and I were not always athletically inclined, we found agility in the characters we created. We fought, flew through the air, shot arrows out of the park, and scored points by slaying the dragon and disabling the trap."

Read it: / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / How 'Dungeons' changed the world

Via: Boing Boing: How 'Dungeons' changed the world

More info: Dungeons & Dragons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturday, November 13

Firefox flies when optimized

I haven't even gottent a chance to test it out yet, but I will.
For those who feel the need for speed, Neil Lee may have the answer: a build of Firefox 1.0 optimized for the G5 processor.

Neil notes the optimized version is officially unofficial, and comes with no guarantee that it won?t harm your mother. Reader response indicates said build works beautifully and, notably, quickly. Those of us still running our trusty G4 processors need not sit idly by while our G5-toting companions have all the fun; Kai Rune has posted a series of Firefox builds optimized for the G4 processor.

Next I want a clairvoyant build of Firefox, that will load the appropriate page before I even realize I need to go there. Is that too much to ask?
LINK: Firefox flies when optimized - The Unofficial Apple Weblog -

Update: Well I've tried it out and I can attest to its speed. On my G4 500mhz tiBook it loads pages considerably faster that Safari. Although the application itself doesn't open quite as fast I'm very pleased. I may start using it more. It's got a couple of things like bookmarking whole sets of tabs all at once that make it really worth while. Now if only I could figure out how to switch between tabs with quick-keys?

Friday, November 12

God, I just wish there were a good toy blog

hellboy_largeToys are everywhere, we love them, we put stupid Buzz Lightyear dolls and action figures on our desk to keep us company as we work. For some of us they're our only real world friends. Toys are the biggest self propogating meme there is. So why are there no good toy blogs?

I mean, come on, we have infinite totally awesome blogs about gadgets (engadget, gizmodo) and Sweet design stuff (Pirotcar, Cool Hunting, MoCoLoco, Funfurde & Sputnik) and Mac gadgetry

...and Crazy Obscure Stuff, and those funny alaskans and crazzy Viennese and even Low Carb freaks, but WHERE ARE ALL THE TOY BLOGS!

Would someone please make me a damn sweet awesome toy blog already!

whiteis-tmI swear I will promise to look at it every day and I won't even complain about the advertisments. Hell I might even click on a few. Well, just as long as it's really good and really geeky. It's got to have awesome designer vinyl dolls, and Dino sitting on top of a live volcano, and happy StrageFunCo stuff and the wackiest and weirdiest stuff. But that's all and I swear I'll come and visit everyday. Maybe our friends at gawker media will help. God knows I'm to incompetent to lazy and to just to damn much of a talker to do anything about it.

So how about it peoples, bloggers, anybodies?

This post spurned by conversation at: Crusty Chump, last cranked at 2004-11-12 12:46

Thursday, November 11

Wishful thinking the new photo iPod into a video iPod

This is an update on a previous post. Aparently the people at engadget want a video iPod so bad they've decided to simulate a video iPod by stuffing the new Star Wars trailer on their Photo iPod and making a demo out of it. You can check out the video and read the howto. This is geekdom and it's best folks. I hope Apple is paying attention.

Watch the video! (12.7 mb QT)

Holly recursion Batman.

To top it all off someone put engadgets video on their iRiver (an actual video player) and made a playback video of it. You can check it out here: video_h340_playing_ipod.wmv (1.1mb, Windows Media Player)

How-to article: HOW-TO: Play 'movies' on an iPod Photo - Engadget -

Related Article: MacCentral: The New iPod Video... Almost

Wednesday, November 10

ex- CBS newsman: bloggers replacing journos like "parasite replacing dog"

Just hillarious.
The public is now assaulted by news and pretend-news from many directions, thanks to the now infamous "information superhighway." But the ability to transmit words, we learned during the Citizens Band radio fad of the 70's, does not mean that any knowledge is being passed along. One of the verdicts rendered by election night 2004 is that, given their lack of expertise, standards and, yes, humility, the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on.

LINK:CBS News | Blogging As Typing, Not Journalism | November 8, 2004 15:30:22

VIA: Boing Boing: ex- CBS newsman: bloggers replacing journos like "parasite replacing dog"

Video killed the radio star, video-casting killed the TV star

I don't see widespread evidence of it but I do see faint hints and glimpses from core people that they know the potential of podcasting is far larger than creating an alternative to radio broadcasting. This one isn't so subtle. Greg Reinacker creater of the NewGator RSS agregator has added the ability to compile video casting feeds (I've been using this feature in iPodderX for a few days now) and what's more he's even taking that content and casting it to his phone. He definitely is living in the future, or I should say the future is here it's just not well distributed yet.

Saturday evening's aggregator dinner was interesting. At one table existed about 75% of the RSS Aggregators. Jeff Clavier has the list of people who were there (that's not a complete list, just the folks who do aggregators).

Interesting thing that happened? Greg Reinacker, guy who wrote NewsGator, showed me his new Audiovox phone and explained that his aggregator can now listen for videos, in addition to podcasts, er audio enclosures in RSS feeds. He had West Wing on his phone. It compressed down to about 85 megabytes. Looked pretty good actually. He handed his phone around the table so everyone could get a look at it. I think he sold a couple more Audiovox phones right there.

Since Greg was sitting across from me, he also showed me the SmartPhone version of NewsGator. Gonna get that setup today.

Time will tell if I'm a fool or a genius and if video-casting will really do for TV what podcasting is doing for radio and what blogging has done for everything else. I've already said good bye to my TV not in anticipation either, but for what is here already. I guess we'll see what happens.

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

Video killed the radio star, video-casting killed the TV star.

Hmm... I think I'll start a video-cast tomorrow containing nothing but non-stop music videos. Perhaps Adam Curry would be interesting in being the host. I think there might be just enough music videos online already that it simply dwarfs the size of MTV's playlist. I think I could not only duplicate their linup but then add five more channels, cost, $0? ...perhaps a little free time. It's a scarry thought, yes it is...

Gadget news - Universal digital camera 12x's converter

'Instant 12x zoom fits any compact camera.'

Think your camera doesn't get you close enough to the action? Then think again. This brilliant optical gadget gives any standard digital or 35mm compact a zoom lens that a tabloid paparazzi would give his right arm for. Zoom-X is an ingenious12x variable-focus mini zoom that locates securely in front of the camera's own lens. As long as your camera's got a threaded tripod hole underneath (and 99% do), the universal mount will fit! It even works with your camera's existing zoom; a fast thumbscrew mechanism lets it slide to and fro. No circuitry is involved; integral solid state technology gives amazingly clear results every time. Includes mini tripod mounting, ideal for long exposure shots and astronomical photography.

This might come in handy in a pinch for my digital camera, but the question is, how much does it distort the image.

Innovations - online shopping - gifts and gadgets

Via: The Red Ferret Journal » Zoom, zoom, zoom.

10x10 an inovative experiment in information visualization

10x10 scans Reuters, BBC, and NYTimes news feeds for keywords and then displays photo representations of the top 100 keywards. By clicking on the photos you can actually view a larger image and read the news articles. I don't think this particular application is particularly usefull in a practical manner, but it sertainly is a rocking example of innovative information visualization.

Check it out: 10x10 / 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time / by Jonathan J. Harris

Via: unmediated: A 10x10 View of the News

Tuesday, November 9

JibJab video Grabs More Traffic Than Candidate Sites

A post election follow up on the Jib Jab animation. 10.4 million unique visitors in July alone. Sweet.

An online video released in July satirizing John Kerry and George Bush, reached substantially more visitors than both of the candidates' sites combined. The comScore Media Metrix analysis of consumer Internet behavior this month revealed that did in deed bring in more visitors than both President George Bush and Senator John Kerry's web sites combined. Why would a silly video draw so much attention? drew an impressive 10.4 million unique visitors in July, more than three times the 3.3 million Americans who visited and

"... took the Web by storm..." said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. "This is an example of just how quickly compelling content can spread in a wired world." At its peak, well over a million Americans per day visited, making it the focus of thousands of water cooler conversation across the country. If you haven't seen it yet view the video here

LINK: National News: Kerry Bush Online Video, JibJab, Grabs More Traffic Than Candidate Sites

Via: Video-Link - Web Streaming Video Blog

Chicago stuff - palmer house, urban coyotes and a retro lowes theatre?

Interesting post on about the new Chicago Loews theatre. I'm not quite getting the picture posted with it though. Is this supposed to be a picture of it? I ended up digging around the web looking for other imagery to know avail.

"... On the plus side, we got to see the newly renovated Loews Theater at 600 N. Michigan. Actually, that wasn?t much of a plus. In addition to not being math majors we?re also not Tribune Architecture Critic Blair Kamen. But even we can see that all the new design isn?t going to win one of the least-liked chain theaters any new fans."

Link: Chicagoist: Extreme(ly Bad) Makeover

Coyotes in Chicago?

Aparently Chicago is having a problems with a growing coyote population, not just in the suburbs but in the urban areas. This is the first I've heard of such crazieness. I suppose it's a lot better than rats.

"They're out there chasing rabbits by the ornamental bushes by your house while you're watching the 10 o'clock news," said Bob Bluett, a wildlife biologist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

There's even a pack in Lincoln Park, said coyote expert Stan Gehrt, a researcher at Ohio State University who has studied coyotes in Chicago for years, largely because the extensive county forest preserves make the area unique. Wildlife researchers also tracked one strolling down Michigan Avenue late one night.

Link: Chicago Tribune | Coyotes find that city life can suit them

Via: Chicagoist: Coyote Population Growing

... and finally the Palmer House Hilton is up for sale and Chicagoist has a great little post on it. It is Chicago's oldest and second largest hotel, was bought by Hilton in 1945 for $20 million and is expected to sell at $250 million.

Check it out: Chicagoist: Palmer House For Sale

Movies - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

This one looks like it might just be weird enough in the Big Fish or The Royal Tenenbaums fashion that I might like it. In fact this is Wes Anderson's first movie since he directed The Royal Tenenbaums and it stars Bill Murry, Owen Wilson and Anjelica Huston whom also stared in that movie.

I just notices Wes Anderson also directed Bottle Rocket. I have a sudden need to go back and watch that movie.

TRAILER: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou -- Zissou Archive (QT, Real, WMP)


IMDB - Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The (2004)

IMDB - Wes Anderson

Monday, November 8

File-sharing is now a torrent of bits - Are we heading for a tragedy of the commons?

Wow, you say our little internet revolution has outrun the tragedy of the commons with our glorious and fancy internet technologies that allowed us to stop shipping physical goods and switch to shipping bits and bytes? I say, maybe not. We may yet find the limit to how many movies, videos and MP3s can be pushed down the fat pipes of the internet before things start going very wrong.

Wired has picked up on the CaseLogic report which states that 35% of internet traffic is from bittorrent. More I should say Wired finally picked up THE Reuters article about CaseLogic. Wired has yet to write an actual article referencing the CaseLogic report which has now been out for over a month.

I have now blogged about the Case Logic report three times and this is my second post about the same Reuters article on the subject. I cannot express the significance of the Caselogic report enough. The big question it brings up (ignoring for a moment the obviously huge yet incalcuable scale of intellectual property theft) is will such open filesharing traffic eventually grow to the point where it will cause a degregation in general internet traffic?

The fact that 35% of traffic on the internet might be bittorrent traffic does not mean it is 35% of the internet's capacity. In fact capacity for the overall internet may be incalucuble but we may still see capacity problems between certain coutries and certain nodes. The point is the amount of traffic bittorrent is already generating is mind boggling and it will only continue to grow as it's market has not yet matured. The growth of bittorrent traffic may yet prove the tragedy of the commons. A torrent of bits, at least they got the name right.

"LONDON -- A file-sharing program called BitTorrent has become a behemoth, devouring more than a third of the internet's bandwidth, and Hollywood's copyright cops are taking notice.

For those who know where to look, there's a wealth of content, both legal -- such as hip-hop from the Beastie Boys and video game promos -- and illicit, including a wide range of TV shows, computer games and movies.

Average users are taking advantage of the software's ability to cheaply spread files around the internet. For example, when comedian Jon Stewart made an incendiary appearance on CNN's political talk show Crossfire, thousands used BitTorrent to share the much-discussed video segment."

LINK CacheLogic - Research Release

LINK Wired News: File-Sharing Thrives Under Radar

This may well be my most poignant post on this blog to date. I know even as I write it that I have not heard the last of this report. It has tremendous ramifications for the future of the intellectual property and filesharing debate. This report will appear in debate and will be weilded by the likes of the RIAA and MPAA and yet how can we even stem the tide of illegal activity without forever supressing the voices of those whose anonimity is the only guarentee of free speach?

I remind you, I have a comments board.

Sunday, November 7

The Exploding Whale - Wikipedia style

The "Exploding Whale", which I blogged about a couple days ago was featured on the homepage of wikipedia today! Exploding whales must truely be an "interesting topic". :)

There have been two real-life documented incidents of exploding whales. The better known explosion occurred in Florence, Oregon in 1970 when a dead Gray Whale was blown up by the Oregon Highway Division in an attempt to dispose of its rotting carcass and became famous when American humorist Dave Barry wrote about it in his newspaper column. Footage of the incident later appeared on the Internet and it became an instant hit due to the improbability and absurdity of the event. The other reported case of an exploding whale was in Taiwan in 2004 when a build up of gas inside a decomposing Sperm Whale caused it to explode while it was being transported to have a post-mortem performed. The explosion was reported to have splattered whale entrails over surrounding shop-fronts, bystanders and cars. In popular culture, exploding whales are a theme written about by several authors, mainly because their unusual, absurd and highly improbable nature makes them an interesting topic.

LINK: Main Page - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

LINK: Exploding whale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia serves up over 1 million copies of Eminem's Mosh Music Video.

The Internet Archive has a smash hit with Eminem's Mosh Music Video. produced a get-out-the-vote Eminem video that they uploaded to the Archive. While we have a gigabit connection to the Internet, even that is being pounded by this movie.

We are serving more around 2 videos each second at this point (that is about 500Mbits/sec between the US and the EU archives).

LINK: Internet Archive Forums: View Post

VIA: Boing Boing: 1,000,000 copies of Eminem's Mosh served by

Saturday, November 6

Postal Service (the band) resolves its conflict with the US Postal Service

Well the Postal Service keeps on moving forward with their grass roots success on the Sub-Pop record label. Not that I'm prone to blogging about music, but I've sort of been following this band for a while as I find them an interesting meme in studying bottom-up media since they are easily traced from their humble beginnings throughout the blogosphere and other online memepools into popular mainstream media. They definitely succeeded for not only their talent but because of an unconventional amount of word of mouth promotion. This is definitely a case of the "lengthening tail" of IP (intellectual property) economics that I've previously posted about.

According to today's NY times article they have not only sold over 400,000 albums since the release of their "Give Up" album in early 2003, but they are now Sub Pop Record's second biggest seller of all time after Nirvana's "Bleach". They've been all over in the press and the US this year touring this fall for the pro Kerry voting drive (you may have heard about it in reference to Bruce Springstein) and popping up in the oddest places, like on the TV series "The OC", the "Wicker Park" movie soundtrack, and the many times I've heard their music used as a segue for TV or radio news (though I lost track of the exact references). Now, to top it all off they have resolved their dispute with the U.S. Postal Service over the obvious trademark conflict. In short they get to keep their name in exchange for some promotion work for the the U.S. Postal Service.

Well if the Postal Service members Jimmy Tamborello, Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis are not really cashing in on their success some might actually consider this selling out. The whole thing is now getting blatantly and ridiculously commercialized. I typically don't have a problem with bands cashing in on their popularity if it doesn't affect their ability to make good music (i.e. Moby's music seemed to be featured in every car ad for years) so I'll try to reserve judgment until they prove that the Postal Service project was not just a flash in the pan by releasing a second album to some critical acclaim. The longer they put it off the harder it's going to be to compete with the spectacular media blitz "Give Up" has created. I sense implosion is imminent and I desperately hope they will prove me wrong. The Postal Service project did after all start as a side project from their separate previous full-time endeavors Dntel (Jimmy Tamborello), Death Cab for Cutie (Ben Gibbard) and Rilo Kelly (Jenny Lewis), which is to say they've all been around the block once or twice without cashing in, bailing out, or getting distracted. Speaking of which, Jenny Lewis is also an actress though I have no idea how that relates to The Postal Service thing.

LINK: The New York Times > Arts > Music > Postal Service Tale: Indie Rock, Snail Mail and Trademark Law

LINK: The Postal Service -