25 October 2005

If Chaucer wrote the lyrics to Shaft

A Townie's Tale: "Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte!"

More here.

24 October 2005

EX: A vocabulary for describing former relationships between people

Insane specification, or RDF geekery? You make the call.

The other week, I found RELATION: A vocabulary for describing relationships between people. It's a proposed language, in full RDF glory, with definitions for "siblingOf" and "knowsInPassing" and helpful examples of encodings in HTML.

I passed it along to a few friends, and one of them, who runs the Questionable Utility Company created "EX: a vocabulary for describing former relationships between people".

noLongerOrientedTo -- property

No really, I'm glad our relationship helped me realize that I'm really gay/straight/furry/celibate. Because you're great! And if something so good didn't make me happy, it must have been something about me. It's not you, it's me.

More here.

16 October 2005

Cassette belt buckles rule

In the Flickr discussion of the bgirls pic in my previous post, several people thought the gold cassette belt buckle was particularly hip.

I tracked down several sources for this crucial fashion accessory.

First, there's Billabong, with a lovely die cut and embossed cassette belt buckle of some random metal for under $10.

Then, there's the White Trash Boogie Cassette Buckle for $17. Note to aspiring bboys and bgirls, do not purchase fashion items with the words "WHITE TRASH" stamped on them.

Never content to leave well enough alone, the same source has a Cassette Player Belt Buckle. OK, now that's cool, but only if I can play my Devo mix tape while walking around the office.

Finally, Urban Outfitters lists a discontinued recycled cassette buckle. For the DIY crowd, they include a picture that shows how it's done.

Urban Buckle

Human beatbox flutist

This is somewhere between wonderful and weird. I was looking at this picture of two bgirls and searched on the "Fillmore Rocks," the name of their crew.

From this, I found Tim Barsky's page. He's associated with Fillmore Rocks. He's a human beatbox and flutist, and he does both simultaneously. Check out his video (mov) or his mp3.

More wonderful weirdness is here on his downloads page

08 October 2005

It's made of people!

Soylent Web
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
Stewart Butterfield (Flickr) gave a presentation at Web 2.0 in which he used the line "Web 2.0, it's made of people." He said he got this from Ross Mayfield.

Stewart asked the audience if anyone knew where the phrase originated.

From my seat, I said "soylent green".

Here's the soundclip of the original use.

Teens and online shopping

Teen panelist, Web 2.0
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
During the teen panel at Web 2.0, the interviewer asked this panelist "do you buy shoes online?"

She said "no, I'd go to True in the Haight."

For most of the panelists, the web wasn't a place to shop. And when they did, they used comparison shopping tools like Froogle. There was almost no mention of Amazon.com, and only some reference to eBay.

07 October 2005

Scott Cook on the secret of Intuit's success

Scott Cook of Intuit at Web 2.0
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
Take something complex, and make it simple. It's sounds so obvious, but great businesses like Intuit have been built on it. Certainly, simplifying the US tax process isn't easy, but when you can do it, you get a huge and loyal customer base.

Bram Cohen, BitTorrent's creator, on the Internet OS

Bram talked about the Internet Operating System (a big buzzword) and the overwhelming unsolved technical challenges it faces, ranging from OS misfeatures in the most common platforms, to hardware, to little things like entire states going offline due to power outages (how does a distributed OS deal with that?).

Mena Trott of Six Apart at Web 2.0

Mena Trott talked to John Battelle at Web 2.0 about how Six Apart got started and how they're doing now. They set out as a services platform and now have around 10m in VC funding.

Sergey Brin of Google at Web 2.0

Sergey Brin of Google at Web 2.0
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
Sergey Brin was a surprise speaker at Web 2.0. John Battelle interviewed him and asked, if Google is now really a portal site, among portals it's #4. Does this make Google the underdog?

Sergey responded that Google's cafe probably is in the top 100,000 and that there's room for improvement.

It's pretty clear -- others want to measure Google as one thing, while Sergey views it as another.

06 October 2005

Philip Kaplan of ... Adbrite!

Philip Kaplan of ... Adbrite!
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
I met Philip Kaplan of Adbrite at Web 2.0 in San Francisco. Philip's mantra for Adbrite is openness - ad buyers know what they're getting and what Adbrite is doing, and site owners have more control over what gets placed on their property. Compare this to Google's Adsense, where no one really knows what's going on, and the whole thing is supposed to be secret (Google forbids site owners from sharing performance details).

I first met Philip shortly after he started Fucked Company, and I still have his autograph ... on a Pets.com visitor parking sign.

05 October 2005

Mashups session at Web 2.0

Mashups session at Web 2.0
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
The topic of this session is "Mashups, what's the business model." But we all really wanted to see the cool mashups. Some of the neater ones:

Analygis, Google Maps Mania, Yahoo maps mashups, Ebay + Google Maps, SimplyHired, London terrorism maps, and Trulia real estate search

Data on the move: Web 2.0 session

Data on the move: Web 2.0 session
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
The panel for "Data on the Move" talks about the data - what it can tell us, who has it, and some of the issues around using it and making it available.


Originally uploaded by ptufts.
Musicbrainz is a free and vetted source of information on music and bands. It's the non-evil alternative to Gracenote's CDDB. Here, Robert Kaye, one of the prime movers behind Musicbrainz talks at the Microformats session at Web 2.0

Tomi, Tom, and Esther at Web 2.0

Tomi, Tom, and Esther at Web 2.0
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
Tomi Pierce, Tom Gruber, and Esther Dyson at the Web 2.0 conference. We talked about organizing information by time and place and how to give users a sense of order and narrative to all the things they might want to see.

Web 2.0 discussion

Web 2.0 discussion
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
Kaliya Hamlin, Danah Boyd, and two others meet outside the Web 2.0 morning sessions at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco.

01 October 2005

Search & Destroy and Kenka, St Mark's Place, New York City

I took this picture while traveling in New York. I walked around the East Village and St. Mark's Place and found this. Upstairs is Search & Destroy, a punk rock clothing and accessories store. Downstairs, with the weird raccoon-like statue (a tenuki) is Kenka, an Izakaya-style neighborhood Japanese restaurant. I had never seen one before -- it's neither a sushi bar nor a tempura / noodle place. Instead, it's a kind of casual get together with friends and have a good time restaurant. They have lots of odd appetizers, beer, and you get a cup of sugar at the end of the meal and pour it into a cotton candy machine. How cool is that?

I was in New York for a wedding and reception earlier in the day, and found this restaurant after getting some amazing pierogies at the wonderful Veselka, just a few blocks away, so there was no way I could fit another meal in. Next trip, though, I will certainly come here.