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Friday, July 07, 2000

The Ugly Secret Behind Top Media Sites
In the long run, it's likely that more and more media sites will build (or contract out and supervise) their own solutions, built around standards like Java Server Pages that aren't dependent on one company for development and support. Since all the packaged systems need so much customization, you might as well build your system in your own idiosyncratic image from the start. It's where you're going to end up anyway.
Will Joel's company PaxDigita provide an answer to this problem? They seemed to be aimed at that market. Perhaps someone as smart as Joel can create a packaged product that meets needs instead of creating problems.
IP, the P.O. Box of the Future
In fact, we are running out of IP numbers. Today's domain-name system will reach its limit at roughly 4 billion IP addresses. About half have already been allocated, and experts project the Internet will gobble up the other 2 billion before 2010.

Thursday, July 06, 2000

Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit:
I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullshit, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analysis. I shall not consider the rhetorical uses and misuses of bullshit. My aim is simply to give a rough account of what bullshit is and how it differs from what it is not, or (putting it somewhat differently) to articulate, more or less sketchily, the structure of its concept.

Wednesday, July 05, 2000

I finally got a new driver's license today after my NY license expired in December. I got pulled over last week for speeding, and although the cop was pretty kind to me and let me off with a $35 ticket, I thought I'd better go ahead and become a legal driver again. So I spent the afternoon taking the written AND the driving test, waiting in lines, running home for proof of my SSN, and finally getting my new license. I try not to smile for ID pictures, but Beverly tricked me into it.

old license:


new license:


If you look, you can see that my glasses are taped. Next errand to run: new glasses.
Monday I watched the recently released DVD of Harold and Maude, a movie for which I have a great weakness. The DVD is worth a watch for 3 reasons:
  1. It sounds fantastic.
  2. Seeing it wide screen is a revelation. I cannot bring myself to watch videos chopped down to TV aspect ratio anymore, but I have never before had a chance to see H & M wide screen. It is wonderful to see the full width of the picture as Ashby intended, especially since the composition of each shot is so striking.
  3. The DVD includes two theater trailers which contain alternate takes of scenes in the movie along with numerous shots that didn't make it in the final cut. Highlights: Harold at the amusement park looking lost and asking "where's my old lady?"; Harold and Maude embraced in a kiss; Harold and Maude watching a sunset on the shore of San Francisco Bay with a large "Fuck War" wooden scuplture on the horizon. There is something thrilling about such outtakes; seeing even brief glimpses into the world of the movie that don't exist in the actual release gives the film a strange illusion of reality. It's not rational of course, but it's as if the outtakes corroborate the story of the movie.


Monday, July 03, 2000

Pagman, built with Mozilla! technology. (Mozilla really should have an exclamation point, shouldn't it?)
OJR Editorial: Some Guidelines From One of Online News' Walking Wounded
Look three to five years ahead, take broadband access as a given, and then figure out what the news of the future will look like: a totally interactive, digitally immersive experience, having little resemblance to today's news on the Internet. We're at the point now where film directors were at the start of the last century, when they were aiming their cameras at theater stages. It will pay to be at the forefront of technology development.
While I'm linking to retrospective sites linked by Zeldman from Astounding Web: Truth in advertising - vintage cigarette & tobacco ads.
I haven't had a lot of time to spend at the brand new Astounding Web, but the times I have been there I have found it to be an enjoyable place with some good links to be had. It would be my preference if they removed the threaded discussion and just let the conversation run in a single thread chronologically, but I suppose that is a minor quibble.

A couple of finds:
  1. Astounding Web Co-Founder apartness reminded me of the wonderful Art of Art Frahm piece in the Institute of Official Cheer,
    where old pop culture is subjected to our patented Re-Ironization Process, and converted into chipper, spiffy, feather-light postmodern commentary on commercial culture.
    If you haven't spent any time at the Institute, it is a highly recommended trip. Don't miss the Hot Dog Aspic!



  2. I Am Bald features some wonderful DHTML experiments and other assorted stuff of interest to the web geek. Here are some of my favorites, with my names:

    Pushing walls (this one reminds of a conversation we had last night on economics and Christianity)
    HTML color picker #1
    HTML color picker #2
    Memory tester
    Video game
    Swinging bar
    O patterns
    Eyes magnifier
    Cursor Trail
    Sand Dollar
    And many, many more...
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