Archives for February 2003

SMBmeta and rapid adoption

At the Harvard event I mentioned that I thought geographic search was still a hot topic, and how Dan Bricklin’s SMBmeta proposal was a good approach. Here’s what I wrote when I first heard about it. My main point got sidetracked into a discussion of how Vindigo delivers much value, but what I was coming […]

Bob Frankston

After the webloggers roundtable 14 of us went to dinner at Bombay Cafe on Mass Ave. I ended up sitting next to Bob Frankston, who, with Dan Bricklin (also in attendance) invented VisiCalc, setting fire to the personal computer revolution and effectively defining the very essence of “killer app.” I have a lot of respect […]

Rapid product development

These are rough thoughts and I’d be interested in your comments. Some of the discussion last night got me thinking (again) about product development and why sometimes it works really well and sometimes it doesn’t. For me, the key question is: When developing products, how might users specify what they want? It’s well-known that users […]

Weblogs at Harvard

Brett and I went down to the Dave Winer’s Harvard weblog roundtable last night and had good fun. A great group of creative people. Donna wrote a live blog of the event. And Dan Bricklin took a lot of great photos. I had nice conversations with Henry Copeland and Betsy Devine. Other good reports by […]


I just re-discovered this great collection of contract riders for touring performers. Touring is hard work, and the last thing you want after a long day on the bus is a cheapshit wine supplied by the low-budget promoter. But it’s pretty funny reading when it’s listed contractually. If my domestic arrangements were spelled out this […]

A play I guess

For two days I’ve had an idea for a performance that I can’t get out of my mind. Tonight I worked on it for a few hours and decided it’s probably a play, though one where music plays a central role. So maybe it’s more like an opera? Not sure if there will be singing. […]

Lack of context-shifting

Today, and Friday, I did quite a bit of Unix hacking. Mostly system administration-type stuff like upgrading two installations of WebEvent (in the same folder structure on the same machine), figuring out the multiple path names for each old installation then mapping that to each of two new installations, then merging the data together to […]

Matisse Picasso

I need to make plans for this exhibition at MoMA QNS in New York. February 13 – May 19, 2003. Entrance via $20 timed ticket. Or, groups of 10 or more can tour the Museum during nonpublic hours by arranging a one-hour private guided tour conducted by a Museum lecturer for $40 per. Sure seems […]

Low costs or high quality: pick one

Allan Karl checks in with a sickening story about how Clear Channel, the radio broadcasting megamonolith, has developed a database-driven “DJ” that can be programmed to deliver different song sequences to different geographic regions, reducing costs and satisfying FCC “local audience” requirements. They digitized a bunch of words and phonemes and can create sentences on […]

A Reverie of Will

While Lynne was testing her remote viewing capabilities this afternoon, I scanned engravings from the book “Paysages” by Albert Flocon and Gaston Bachelard. Flocon did the engravings (in copper) and Bachelard wrote phenomenological essays about them. You can read English translations of the French in The Right To Dream, a collection of assorted essays on […]


Lynne: “Before I left this morning I did some remote viewing. I didn’t get her looks quite right, but I nailed her personality, her essence.”

Train kept a’rollin’

One thing I love about Mac OS X is how reliable it is under heavy use. Yesterday, all day, I just pounded on it. Six or more Terminal windows ssh’ing to various computers; Internet Explorer; Safari; Mailsmith – I love Mailsmith; Acrobat; Word; Excel; Photoshop; GoLive; BBEdit – I love BBEdit; NetNewsWire scanning RSS feeds […]

The power of power laws

Clay Shirky has an interesting article on power laws. Most people know about power laws because of the “80/20” rule, or Pareto’s law. It turns out that power laws accurately describe any social system “where many people are free to choose between many options” – his example is the popularity of webloggers, but the theory […]