Problematic hosting

There continue to be problems with the box that's hosting megnut (and Metafilter, Blogroots, and my mom's site) so unfortunately, access may continue to be spotty until it can be resolved. :( Now, to post everything I've been saving up all day...

Blog*Spot blocked in China

It looks like China has blocked access to Blog*Spot sites. Hopefully this is only temporary and perhaps some folks can migrate to different hosts. When we were first developing Blogger I remember saying, "Wouldn't it be cool if people got blogs in China and even if the government tried to censor them, they wouldn't be able to because we'd have all their content here in the US?" Alas, that was pre-Blog*Spot, back when you had to use FTP to post to a site. What was nice about that was its potential for distribution -- you could have people hosted all over the Web at many different IPs. With lots of users on Blog*Spot, it creates a single point of failure and China simply bans the domain. [via Jason]

BlogFodder launches

pb's launched his newest creation, BlogFodder, "A daily micro-mail that contains a word, phrase, link, or image that could spark an idea that could lead to a train of thought that might someday become the seed of a weblog post." It will be interesting to see how many people actually post on the topic, and how similar the results end up being. One of my all-time favorite writing activities was a high school creative writing class where everyone had to write a story with the same title ("The Greatest Meal"). The diversity of stories was fascinating, (mine ended up being about an anorexic girl). I wonder if BlogFodder will spark something similar?

Oy poor disk

So there was a problem with the poor old server that hosts this site, hence the unanticipated downtime. Now that it's back, I've forgotten everything I was going to post today anyway.

Handspring Treo 300

It's bargin-hunting season here on megnut. Travis sends this pointer: apparently the Handspring Treo 300 is available for free today on (through Amazon). You just pay shipping and handling. Whoa. Update: looks like it doesn't work anymore. When you add it to your cart, the price goes to $299.99

Jason proposes Sherfari

Jason asks Why are Safari and Sherlock two different applications? following the release of Apple's new Safari web browser, and a rather visionless discussion ensues. For the most part, people seem stuck on the backend, technical nature of his proposal and not much on the UI or user experience. Where are the UI geeks on this? I see great benefit in a sort of "web services + browser" application and know I would use it more often than all the stand-alone applications.

Why does Bush want to kill innocent Iraqis?

Wow, this is an interesting transcript from a White House press briefing where a reporter asks Ari Fleischer point-blank, "why does [President Bush] want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?" And all this time I thought the press weren't asking any important questions. I guess they are, they're just not turning into stories. [via tom tomorrow]

T-Mobile Sidekick

The T-Mobile Sidekick is available for $49.99 on Amazon until January 27, 2003 [with service activation, you must mail in rebates, etc.]! It also qualifies for free shipping. If you're looking to get this gadget, now's the time to move. The price is so low because there are two different rebates for it, both of which will be gone by the end of the month. It even comes with the camera attachment, so you'll be photoblogging and moblogging in no time. [tip via Mena]

Greatest dog in the world

What could be better than photos of the greatest dog in the world? Photos of the greatest dog in the world frolicking in the snow. I especially love the one where his ears are flying out from the side of his head. He's got great ears.

Mona Lisa Smile filming

This morning as I returned from my run I noticed two things: one, no parking posters everywhere because some production company was going to be filming on my street on Monday. Two, lots of contruction in front of my favorite local restaurant. It's now been transformed from La Focaccia into "Cafe Verona Pandora" for the movie Mona Lisa Smile.

Celebrity spotting II

Point of clarification: the celebrity spotting post below was not made because I was all gaga for having spotted a celebrity in NY, having a) spotted many already and more importantly b) wanting to respect their privacy because the one time I was "celebrity" spotted, it totally creeped me out. It was because it was funny; it's funny if you see a celebrity and overhear him/her slagging his/her own movie!

Apple Safari browser

Of all the stuff I've heard about from MacWorld (Tom's got great coverage here), Apple's new browser, Safari is what I'm most looking forward to checking out. Alas, I still haven't upgraded to Jaguar and Safari runs on 10.2 or higher. Guess what I'm doing when I get home from work tonight?

Own your own Virgin Island

Haven't you always wanted your own little bit of paradise? Three parcels making up an entire island in the US Virgin Islands are for sale on eBay. Bid on one and own 1/3 of paradise, or go crazy and buy all three.

Celebrity spotting

Fun: spotting Matthew Broderick walking down my street as I returned from the market yesterday afternoon.

Funny: overhearing him say, in response to his friend's statement that he hadn't seen Inspector Gadget, "No, don't bother. It wasn't any good."

Litter Pearls

If you own a cat and do one new thing this year, let it be this: switch to crystal litter pearl cat litter (the link is to one brand, there are several). It's so amazingly good. First, there is no smell. Honest to God, no smell. Ever. Smell is gone. Second, the crystals absord the pee, so when you scoop, you only scoop the poop, which is faster and easier. And there's none of that clay clump breakage you get with the clumping litters. This is what the future is about. This is progress. Only twenty years ago you had to empty an entire pan of litter and fuss with trash bags, now the miracle of science has brought us silicon dessicant and litter pearls. I [heart] the 21st century.

Nagging Nora

The European Union, not to be outdone by the US and Bitchin' Betty, has a female voice of its own in the new Eurofighter, "a single-seat, twin-engine, combat aircraft."

Nagging Nora -- as the pilots have facetiously named the voice in the cockpit -- answers questions, such as the level of the fuel content. "Nagging Nora is a very effective way of passing on the information to the pilot," Neill said. "She's got a very strong English accent that is very good. There is also a male voice for easy things like non-flight safety critical aspects, but Nagging Nora kicks in when there is something really important."

I'm really not sure what my comment on this is, but it has to do with patriarchal military machismo and cultural assumptions that women instructing men is "nagging" or "bitching." :( [thanks Meg]

SUV Tax Break

On Friday I wrote about the popularity of Hummers in Marin County, CA. A megnut reader sends a link to surprising article, which helps explain the preponderance of SUVs in wealthy areas like the Bay Area. Apparently a loophole in our tax laws allows SUV and truck owners a big tax break:

Here's how the SUV tax break works:

Suppose a business owner wants to purchase a $45,000 luxury SUV for use in his business. He or she could write off $24,000 of the cost under section 179 of the tax code as accelerated depreciation. Then the buyer could write off additional depreciation of the remaining $21,000 under a five-year schedule -- 20 percent, or $4,200, in the first year.

That's a total $28,200 tax write-off.

The tax credit if you buy a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle? $4,000.

NFL play-off prep

It's Sunday, it's the NFL play-offs, it's only a matter time before controversy ensues. Why not brush up on the NFL Digest of Rules so you know who's right. While you're there, you might as well learn those crazy NFL Official Signals too. That's not Traveling, buddy, that's "False Start, Illegal Formation, Kickoff or Safety Kick Out of Bounds." (And what's Illegal Crackback? Is that when I lean over while wearing my low-rise jeans?)

Forgotten New York City

Forgotten NY, "the infrastructure of a lost metropolis," is a trove of wonderful old New York City-related photos and details. With topics such as, "Old Advertising" (which is always one of my favorite things to see on the side of a building), "Streetlamps," "Cobblestones," and "You'd Never Believe You're in NYC," it's enough to keep me poking around for a long time. Very cool! [via Gawker]

Boxy but good

I thought in the future cars were getting rounder but this Toyota Scion-xB, unveiled yesterday at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, is the squarest, boxiest, and ugliest "car" I've seen in years.

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