Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ginsberg and Burroughs at Naropa Institute

Another something magical from the Internet Archive: This is a 1984 recording of an Allen Ginsberg class with William Burroughs.
Ginsberg begins by reading from Burroughs's work, including his book Nova Express. Burroughs arrives and discusses writing techniques, including the idea that "Life is a cut up." He also talks about why he became a writer, Laurie Anderson, rolling drunks, biological warfare, weapons and retreats.

qv: Internet Archive
Creative Commons license: Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

A Civics Lesson ON your Coffee Cup!

Pour in a hot beverage and watch your civil liberties disappear!

Mug features the complete text of the Bill of Rights, but pour in a hot beverage and see what remains thanks to the Patriot Act!

qv: Civil Liberties Mug
Thanks Rama!

The Man Who Shot Sin City

There is a great article in this month's Wired magazine about film maverick Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a spectacular example of someone following their muse, finding success, and charting their own course... outside of the Hollywood system.

How Robert Rodriguez, the one-man digital army behind El Mariachi and Spy Kids, brought an "unfilmable" cult comic to the big screen.
qv: Wired: The Man Who Shot Sin City

Catholic Doctrine on the End of Life

In an interview with NPR, Father John J. Paris, professor of bioethics at Boston College, delivers the most cogent advice I have heard to date on how we can deal with the end of life issues. He repeats a simple wisdom told him by his grandmother and her voice from the past brings clarity and direction. Bravo!

I am glad to hear islands of thoughtful conversation emerging from the rancor surrounding the sad story of Terry Shiavo's broken family.

qv: NPR: Catholic Doctrine on the End of Life

I'm Contributing at Corante... I think.

Not enough Phil in your life? You can read my professional observations on the world of podcasting at Corante.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm Too Sexy For My Blog!

Ok, so I'm not too sexy for my Blog, but I guess Xiaxue is too sexy for hers. She's become the envy of bloggers everywhere by turning her blog into an endorsement deal for a novelty t-shirt company.

qv: Local Brand

Podcast42 is in BETA

You'll probably recognize this guys voice. (If you don't, it's still me.) I have finally put Podcast42 out for testing. Give it a whirl. Let me know what you think.

get the feed

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ticket To Ride Europe is coming down the rails

We like boardgames. It's a great way to get family and friends around the table for fun and talk. It's very social, and I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite new games last year was Alan R. Moon's Ticket to Ride train game. It's a new take on the train theme and it turned out to be both fun and challenging.

On April 8th Days of Wonder will introduce a new version of the game which will include a new map, new rules, and an improved design of the cards. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but I am certainly looking forward to the new one. I've always wanted to take a train to Constantinople.
qv: Ticket to Ride Europe

Monday, March 28, 2005

Sirius "Lifetime" service has Serious Issues

First pay $500 for the Sirius "lifetime" service agreement, and then discover the fine print that only the vendor could love:
Transfer Fee: If you wish to transfer your Subscription to a different Sirius Receiver during the term of a prepaid subscription or committed subscription period, we may charge you a transfer fee of up to $75.00. You may not transfer a lifetime Subscription to a different Sirius Receiver.

I predict Sirius lifetime service subscribers will go to extreme measures to keep their existing receivers alive.

Picking a newsreader...

I don't know how other people pick newsreaders, but I know I picked Yahoo because it puts the blogs I read right in among all of the other news sources I consult. I can have news, weather, and blogs all on one page. Yahoo also makes it easy to place an Add to My Yahoo chicklet (like this: ) on your blog so that potential subscribers can add your feed to their MyYahoo with ease. (Is there any reason not to make it easy?)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Weekend America is Podcasting and Blogging

American Public Media launched a weekend newsmagazine show and started podcasting it immediately. Now, a few weeks later, they have started blogging as well. Each weekend the podcast delivers two one hour doses of public radio news, lifestyle and commentary to your digital audio player.
qv: Weekend America Blog
Podcast Feed: [Link]

The Real Meaning of Easter...

An article in the local newspaper yesterday mentioned that some people were upset by the commercialization of Easter. The article then attempted to prove it's point that the "real meaning" of Easter had been lost by pointing out that the holiday has become a buying frenzy of ham, flowers, and candy. I don't get it. If I buy ham, flowers, or even candy and to create a celebratory event with my friends and family, then I think I have done exactly not only what I think is important, but probably done something that is in alignment with what a lot of other people feel is important.

The Easter Holiday, or any holiday for that matter, carries with it only the meaning we and our forebears have endowed it with. It's well known that Easter is a synthesized holiday combining Christian and pagan traditions. (There is not much that's Christian in easter eggs or easter bunnies.) Those artifacts serve to remind us that for those with this tradition of observing the beginning of Spring, that the season is a time of renewed hope as a cold winter gives away to new growth. The day is sacred to us because we make it so.

In the manic state that America finds itself in now, we have decided that we will find our spring hope and celebrate that time with our families. The American mania gives us less and less time to spend with them, so when we get a break, we stop and spend some time with them. That sounds just about right to me. For those who can take a beautiful spring day and stop what they are doing long enough to spend time with their families, then they have adopted not the judgmental, moralizing family values we see on TV from our religio-huckster politicians, but we see real family values. The kind where we spend time nurturing the relationships with those we care about most.

Want to know what you really think the Holiday is about? Count up the dollars and time you spend on Easter. What were you trying to accomplish by spending that money or effort? The answer will be what matters most to you.

FoxBlocker - A Crap Eliminator for your TV

It's a V-Chip for thinking adults. Install this device and you can protect yourself and your children from Fox News.

qv: AP: Man Sells Device That Blocks Fox News

Outsourcing surgery to India - Medical Tourism

NPR's All Things Condidered discusses patients travelling to India for top notch surgical treatment. One patient reports that his knee replacement surgery, flight to India, and 21 days in a luxury hospital room cost $8000, less than half the cost of the surgery alone if performed in the US. McKinsey says medical tourism will be a $2 Billion for India by 2012.

qv: NPR: A Passage to India for Medical Treatment

The Dude Abides...

There is something mythic about The Big Lebowski movie. I guess that certain something invades all of the Coen brothers work. I never realized that there were so many other people who felt the same or that I could be attending Lebowski Fests!

qv: NPR: At Lebowski Fests, the Dude and Friends Abide

Religio-hucksterism Today

The religio-hucksterism surrounding the Schiavo case makes DeMille's Hollywood crusades look like amateur night. - Frank Rich

He's right. It's despicable. What's worse is that we have Talk Radio personalities creating wedges issues and dividing the country over this.

The Schiavo case is sad. I feel sorry for her, her husband, her parents, her siblings.

And while I hope for the good that might comes of a national dialogue on how we deal with those whose minds have gone but their bodies we can preserve, the political jockeying of our President, his brother, and senators too numerous to implicate is shameful.

qv: Frank Rich in NY Times

John Smart is thinking about the future...

From IT Conversations:
John Smart is a developmental systems theorist who studies accelerating change, computational autonomy and a topic known in futurist circles as the technological singularity. He is president of the Institute for the Study of Accelerating Change, a nonprofit community for research, education, consulting, and selected advocacy of communities and technologies of accelerating change.

If you like to think about what tomorrow might bring, and how you might prepare for that change, thinking alongside John Smart is a good place to start. :Listen (MP3)

qv: John Smart: Simulation, Agents and Accelerating Change

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Happy Easter

Guess how we'll be celebrating.

Happy Belated Birthday to Mr. Yuk

Somehow, I missed Mr. Yuk's birthday. He turned 34 years old on March 7. I didn't recall this, but he is nine months younger than my youngest brother. Mr. Yuk's distinctive look and song have been warding children away from poisonous substances since 1971. Thanks Mr. Yuk and Happy Birthday!

The national toll-free poison help telephone number is 1-800-222-1222.
qv: 2001 Mr. Yuk Birthday Announcement

36 Million Americans download music or video...

From the Pew Internet & American Life Project
About 36 million Americans—or 27% of internet users—say they download either music or video files

There is a ready base for podcasters...
qv: Music and Video Downloading Moves Beyond P2P

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Google Autolinks Discussion

Dave Winer mentions at scripting news that he sent a message to Brad Templeton at EFF about Google Autolinks. Autolinks certainly can raise some issues. Particularly if you remember Microsoft's attempt at smart links some time back. If you'd like to hear someone's considered opinion on the issue, I would recommend Cory Doctorow's conversation which I mentioned at the beginning of the week. Cory's opinion is well considered and I think he makes the point that the right precautions are in place. If Google's autolink can provide additional useful information to someone as they view a web page, without confusing the viewer, then they have done no wrong.

Yahoo joins the 1GB club...

Yahoo will soon be offering its free mail users 1GB of mail storage
space. Didn't they do this once before? Paid users get 2 GB.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush Denied

Today, Florida governor Jeb Bush was denied his bid to gain custody of the embattled Terry Schiavo. The governor is reported to have said that if successful, he would also have sought custody of two of the four Spice Girls and Bubbles the Chimp.

Kyrgyzstan President Resigns

Protesters stormed the presidential compound in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, seizing the seat of state power after clashing with riot police during a large opposition rally. President Askar Akayev reportedly fled the country and resigned.

The President has not been able to overcome the severe shortage of vowels that has plagued Kyrgyzstan. "It's Y all the time!" claimed one protester. "Y's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'd give my eye teeth for just one decent A, I, O, or U! How much Fryd Chyckyn can one person take?!?"

The Captain's Blog

Captain Morgan is rumming it up with a blog of his own.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

John Edwards Podcast is now available...

Move over Don and Drew, John and Elizabeth (Edwards) have now launched their first podcast. Get the feed.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Explore the Universe while driving, jogging, waiting in line - NASA now podcasts

A big shout to the space nerds at NASA for getting their podcast on!
The bad news? The first podcast was about podcasting. (Ugh!)

Get the feed, hear the stars:

Kemet Getting Ready to Sing a New Tune?

In the rather unexciting language of most personnel press releases, Kemet announced yesterday that Per-Olof Loof has been named as its new Chief Executive Officer. What the announcement didn't mention is that we should now expect a bit of excitement out of the "preferred supplier of standardized components."

The press release went on to mentioned that Mr. Loof previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Sensormatic Electronics Corporation, and held various leadership roles at Andersen Consulting, Digital Equipment Corporation, AT&T and NCR.

What the press release didn't mention is Per-Olof's penchant for the dramatic. It turns out that Per-Olof owns an electric guitar and is not afraid to use it. As President and CEO of AT&T Istel, Loof appeared as the lead singer and guitarist of AT&T's "All In the Family Band." The song was then distributed on a CD to all of AT&T's employees in the UK.

The breakup of AT&T did not deter Loof's musical aspirations, however. According to ZDNet UK, he landed at Sensormatic and in a new band with a new corporate anthem "We can do it again."
I told you we can fly
Reach up high
Nothing's too far
We're raising the bar
We've just broken through
That's how I know
Just check, the flow.

Apparently Loof did do it again. Sensormatic was bought by Tyco and Loof's recording contract was not renewed, yet again. If we follow the press release around we might expect a few more of his musical styling to be hidden about the web covering Anderson Consulting and Digital equipment, but really who cares? We are looking for the new Kemet anthem. What rhymes with tantalum?

qv: IT Anthems: We're AT&T!
qv: Per-Olof Loof Appointed KEMET’s New CEO

Monday, March 21, 2005

Flickr Photo: Eric Dewkiller

Eric Dewkiller
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

I added this favorite picture of mine to Flickr and had someone mark it as a favorite in less than five minutes. I think that is some sort of record for me. I've always rather liked the shot myself. (no full cans of Mountain Dew were harmed in the making of this photograph)

Do you Flickroo?

Yahoo is buying Flickr.

qv: Flickr Blog: Yahoo actually does acquire Flickr

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Is Google's AutoLink Evil?

Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow doesn't think so. A very lively, and slightly salty conversation between Doctorow, Robert Scoble, and Martin Schwimmer on who owns the way you experience the content in your browser.

qv: IT Conversations: Google's Autolink

Mashup: Beatles meet Batman - To The Taxmobile!

Beatles and Batman...both in one song!

via: Boing Boing

Podcasting is Dead? I don't think so, Tim.

I saw a press release today that proclaimed Podcasting is Dead! Long live Microcasting! I guess it should be no surprise that the press release then pointed the unwary to (no link here.)

I realize that my giving this particular bloviation even ten seconds of my precious mental CPU time might give further encouragement to bad behaviour, but I am pretty sure that this is idea is so awful that it will implode pretty quickly regardless of my attention.

Sure, we might need a new word for time delayed internet delivered audio that can be said in a single breath and doesn't carry someone's brand with it, but what I am sure we don't need is a misguided PR person monstering up some awful frankenword and then foisting it on us.

Just say no to Frankenwords!

My little Googlefight between the terms podcasting and microcasting yielded the results of 1.5 Million hits for podcasting v. 514 hits for microcasting. Worse yet for the new guy is that a good number of the microcasting hits had something to do with the filling of dental cavities.

qv: Google : Fight Podcasting v. Microcasting

Subversive, Cigar Smoking Easter Eggs

Smoking Easter Eggs DSC02947
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

It's Palm Sunday! Just one week away from Easter Sunday, the end of Lent, and the return of excess. I did not give up cigar smoking for Easter this year.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Bloggers to be treated as qualified journalists under Faster FOIA Act

On The Media reported in an interview with GOP Senator John Cornyn that bloggers, just like mainstream journalists, would have fees waived under the new Faster FOIA (Freedom of Information Act.) The Senator says "It is not government's responsibility to try to decide who is and who is not [a qualified journalist.]" He continued "They, as citizen activists ... need to be able to get access to information as well."

NB: On the Media is also available as a podcast.

qv: On The Media
qv: OTM: Sunshine Week (RealAudio)

This certainly give bloggers an uptick in reputation and responsibility as well as opening them up to additional liability. It becomes increasingly important for bloggers to figure out exactly where they can and want to exist in the feedback loop that connects people, the press, and government. Personally, I think the role as citizen activists fits perfectly. -PY

Tags on Flickr -- Face

Face DSC03103
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

I am really enjoying the photo upload service Flickr. It's a cute way to share photos with friends and strangers.

I have put together some off the face photos I have taken over the years and put the same tag on all of them.

You can then view all the photos with that tag as one slideshow or collection. It's fun. The secret to Flickr's success is simple. At every turn it delights rather than frustrates.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Bloggers are not journalists, they are guard dogs for the truth

Blogging is amateur journalism. It is not professional journalism. Bloggers are not held to the same standards as a broadcast journalist because they are not quite as invested in the journalistic process. No money is changing hands because the vast majority of bloggers are not paid. In fact it costs them money to produce their work. This means that most bloggers can't afford to do things we require of mainstream press like fact checking.

Even though there are credible bloggers with great credentials, most are simply guys (and gals) with an opinion and a keyboard. They are no more authoritative, nor likely to be accurate in their assertions, than any randomly picked neighbor. But that does not mean they should be dismissed.

As amateur journalists, bloggers serve an incredibly valuable purpose. Bloggers are sheep herding dogs who feel that their charge is to preserve and disseminate what they see as the truth. The truth, however they happen to see it, is their master and they guard it fiercely.

It works like this.... If bloggers sense that mainstream media journalists are not telling the whole story, they start barking. If other bloggers agree with the originally barking bloggers then they start barking as well. Then they're readers start barking and pretty soon the entire news neighborhood is awake and trying to find out first what the problem is and then how to make it go away. The effect is swift, and sure. Bloggers may or may not be right, but they are the perfect guard dog. They know there is a problem and want to make sure that everyone is paying attention to it. That is amazingly useful. In fact, I think bloggers, serving as an open feedback loop between the government, people, and the press might be the perfect tool for preserving an open democracy.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Jones Gap Photo on Flickr

Jones Gap DSC02432
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

Well, another first for today. I got the first comment on any of my photos on Flickr. I just started playing with it yesterday, so I guess I am moving right along.

The King Daddy of Blogs casts us a glance

Simple pleasures are the best. Today's pleasure was seeing that the Phil Says blog caught the attention of Dave Winer's Scripting News. Check out the bottom left corner of the pic. Thanks Damien!

Make your own Maker's Mark advert

Maker's Mark has been running an incredible series of adverts in Esquire magazine. This month's placement included a set of magnets from which you can assemble a Maker's Mark advert that will stick to your fridge. For those who don't subscribe to Esquire, you can (if you are over 21) create your own ad online, print it, and stick it on your fridge using your own magnet.

If you are having trouble being creative, the good folks at the distillery might recommend a dose of their tasty elixir before setting about the task.

qv: Maker's Mark Magnetic Ad

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

iPodder 2.0 Released!

The iPodder 2.0 Press Release...

The iPodder Lemon team announces the release of version 2.0 of its iPodder software. The application has evolved from its basic beginnings as the world's first podcasting software to a mature, fully featured application.

iPodder is the premier Podcasting application, allowing users to capture and listen to Internet audio programs anytime, anywhere. It allows users to select and download shows and music and to play whenever they want on their iPods, portable digital media players, or computers automatically, after specifying which music or shows they want to listen to.

iPodder has been downloaded over 125,000 times since its premier last August, letting users tap into the growing popularity of podcasts. There are now thousands of podcasting sites across the Internet.

iPodder continues to be free and cross-platform, playing on Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms.

Version 2.0 offers numerous new improvements:

  • Total redefined, fully-featured GUI (user interface)

  • New streamlined subscription process with an ability to check and uncheck items for download

  • New cleanup section allowing quick cleanup

  • History of downloads and click to play abilities

  • Proxy support

  • Threaded scans/downloads and resumable downloads

  • Import and Export functionalities (OPML) to enable easy transport of data between other applications

  • Many new smaller features including small add-ons like spotlight search,

  • catch-up functionality, coralizing, and shortcuts enabled.

iPodder continue to offer its unique features:

  • It's Free

  • Cross-Platform

  • Multi-language supported

  • GPL'ed -- it operates under a public license for the public good

  • Fast (even with a lot of subscriptions)

How to download?
To download iPodder 2.0, click the download link below and select your operating system.


John Edwards To Become a Podcaster

It says so right on his web page. Likely 2008 Presidential candidate, John Edwards will be launching his own podcast. Welcome to the club!


What's a Goat Rodeo?

Frustrated with the lack of coordination of a certain volunteer activity I was involved in today, I murmured (via email) to one of my fellows that the operation was a real goat rodeo. Afterwards, I was worried that he might not know what I meant. A goat rodeo is a messed-up, disorganized event. You can imagine watching someone try to rope a bunch of billy goats. Even if they get the job done, it is not going to be pretty. Looking for a more authoritative etymological source than my own musings, I found the following offical looking website.

qv: Double Tongued: Goat-Rope

Search This Blog

And now for a moment of peace and tranquility...

Buddha 2883
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

Take ten deep breaths and think of nothing except the little plastic buddha bobble...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Google Movie Review Search Engine

Those clever Google people continue to amaze and delight. Their movie review search engine may be good enough to make me give up my normal habit of first going to Yahoo for movie reviews.

Finding Neverland is coming to DVD on 3/22. I missed it in theaters, so I am looking to check it out then.

qv: Google Movies: Finding Neverland

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Queens of Cool...

The queens of cool live at PopGadget.

Gadgets, Culture, General Neophilia. For and by women.

The Ten Commandments of Blogging

It starts out like this...
1) Thou Shalt Speak in Thine Own Voice.

(Everyone has a natural voice when they write. Some people are cranky, some are funny, some are strictly business. All voices can be ok, just make sure to use your own voice. If you try to sound like someone or something you're not, your readers will spot the fake.)
and continues in the expected direction...

qv: The Ten Commandments of Blogging

I thought it would be useful to put down some of my thoughts on the subject and answer the questions I am asked most frequently.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Spring - A cautionary tale

One of the simple joys of living in the South is that the weather will be nice at least a few days of every month. I used to live in one of the frozen states where it clouded up in October and then the weather gods pummeled us with snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice until exhausting their fury in early May. This made the winter a time for stoicism and desperation. We’d throw logs into the fireplace trying to stay warm, but not too warm, for we were sure that we had not cut enough wood to allow us to be wasteful. Who needs 68 degrees when 66 and three wool blankets are sufficient?

Wasting firewood was the Devil’s sure path to an eternal frozen slumber. A person burning good firewood faster than God meant for them to might be found frozen in the spring by a couple of girl scouts selling cookies door to door. Don't do it!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Spring Part III

Not long after the daffodils bloom, the front yard begins to green up. It’s not that the grass is growing, oh no. It’s nothing as good as that. It will be at least eight weeks before the patron saint of warm weather grasses begins to bless our yard. Long before the grass begins to awake, my front yard turns green with a cash crop of wild green onions. My clever plan this year is to put a sign announcing their presence as a deliberate act in my front yard. “Free! Wild Onions! Pick and Eat!” This probably won’t rid me of any onions as the neighbors seem to have plenty of their own, but it should qualify my front yard as “agricultural use” and thus a lower property tax rate.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Spring Part II

Each year, the first plant to bloom is a bush right next to our front door which we have been informed is called Daphne. The plant produces miniature clusters of wonderfully fragrant, virginally white flowers. A cut bouquet the size of your thumb can be brought indoors to perfume an entire room. The plant is such a delight that I frequently wonder why some horticulturist would name it after the girl that had the hots for Fred on Scooby Doo. I know there must be some connection, I just can’t find it.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Spring Part I

We rather look forward to spring at my house. Well, at least I do. In truth, the cats don’t seem to care much. One bird species is as interesting to watch as another.

Winter only lasts a few months here, but it can be a bit dull in our yard. Our yard is made of some kind of warm weather grass that turns brown from November to April. It leaves our yard looking like we papered it with grocery bags. I shouldn’t complain. It doesn’t grow and therefore doesn’t need mowed. I make sure to give it a good trim at the end of the year, so it looks well manicured. It just doesn’t look alive. It’s a bit like when you are a kid standing next to the casket of a distant relative and your aunt comes up and says doesn’t he look good? You want to raise an eyebrow and say, “Yeah. I mean I guess… but He’s dead.” Yards, like many relatives, no matter how good they look, are just better somehow when they are not quite dead.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Working Dinobots Caught on Video

I hope these dinosaur robots are available for parties.
What kid would want a pony when you could offer dino rides?
Click title above to watch the video or visit:
qv: Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.