Weblog roundtable Saturday in Boston

I'll be speaking tomorrow on a weblog roundtable at the Boston Public Library from 3 - 5 PM. It's some joint thingy between the Boston Cyberarts Festival and eNarrative. There's some information here but not a whole lot. I'll be doing a 15 minute presentation (don't know if others will as well) and then there'll be discussion and Q & A. I believe it's in the old building of the BPL. If you attend, come by and say hello to me afterwards.

BBC's weekly news quiz

I hadn't seen this before, but the BBC offers a weekly world news quiz. And they mean world. If you're limiting your news intake to Fox News, or even the New York Times, you might not be able to answer all the questions correctly. My showing was a pathetic 2 for 7. Granted, I've been head's down in development mode for the past few weeks, only coming up for food, sleep, and the NBA playoffs. But that's no excuse, I must up my ingestion of foreign news products at once! (Wait a this some sneaky BBC marketing ploy to make me spend more time on their site? And did I just totally fall for it?)

The social software hype

With a lot of references to last month's Emerging Tech conference, Guardian writer Jack Schofield examines the hype around social software:

Social software is the next big thing: everybody's talking about it. A lot of people are developing exciting new programs to aid social interaction. Social software is being massively overhyped. It's just a sideshow run by a few geeks with a tenuous grip on reality.

USA does Village People

Because I rarely post those totally goofy yet entertaining things that people send around in email, I will this time. If you haven't seen it, here's a Flash movie of Bush, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld doing the Village People. About Iraq. Honest to God.

Tribeca Drive-In

As part of the Tribeca Film Festival, there's a drive-in setup on Pier 25 (West Side Highway at N[athanial (not orth)] Moore Street) and they'll be showing movies Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. My childhood favorite Grease will be shown Saturday. Details about tickets, films, and start times are here. All shows are free, but you must have a ticket to enter. I jogged by this morning and they have a movie marquee at the entrance and everything, it looks fun.

West Village eats

MUG highlights Cornelia Street's array of moderate restaurants today. Though they sound tempting, I've yet to explore any of them except Home, where last October (on our visit to find an apartment) we stopped in for some comfort and warmth during a downpour after a brutal altercation with a real estate broker. Home was homey alright, alas Jason's macaroni & cheese had plastic in it. They apologized and gave us free desert and coffee, but the damage was done and our appetites disappeared. We slogged back to my cousin's apt. in the rain, wondering whether we had the stamina to live in NYC. I think I'll try Le Gigot if we dare eat on Cornelia Street again.

A new office for the LP

When Evan and I started Pyra, we worked in my living room for the first three months or so. While that was fun, there was something really special when we got our own office space and moved to SOMA. Somehow it felt more official, and I remember how my enthusiasm and productivity soared when we set up our new shop.

On Friday the Lafayette Project relocated to its new space (no longer on Lafayette St., is a name change in order?) and again I feel the elation and amazing sense of potential. Mark and I now occupy the end of a large loft, next to big old windows looking out onto the streets of TriBeCa. We have walls on which to hang our numerous diagrams, flows, charts, and models. We even have a meeting table! With my increased productivity, I may just have the whole thing built by the end of the day! :)

Goodbye Old Man

New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain collapsed some time on Friday evening and is no more. I saw the profile many times when I was younger and spent my summers hiking in the White Mountains. It was such a neat, familiar face looking out of the hills and it makes me sad that it's gone. But I suppose I also feel lucky that I got to see it so many times in person before its collapse.

Sorkin to leave West Wing

Drat, series creator and frequent script writer Aaron Sorkin is leaving the West Wing at the end of this season. The West Wing is one of my favorite TV shows, though I've been a little behind this season after missing some episodes while in France and when I was TiVoless in NY. The article says there were "reports of tension between Sorkin and the studio that produces the show, Warner Bros. Television." The supposed tensions relate to production delays and budget overruns.

The conspiracist in me wonders if there isn't some political pressure as well. Warner Bros. Television is of course owned by media juggernaut AOL/Time Warner. But in looking up their campaign contributions for 2000 (as AOL and Time Warner) and 2002 (now merged), I find that they contribute more to Democrats. I guess the conspiracist in me is wrong.

It's my birthday!

a birthday cakeIt's hard to believe but megnut (the site, not my online persona) is 4 years old today! The first entry was May 2, 1999. I can't believe it's been that long. If I had the time, I'd write a long eloquent post here about how blogging has improved my writing; introduced me to lots of wonderful people; gotten me jobs, presents, books (both to read and one to write!); exposed me to all sorts of new and crazy things, and basically all-around changed my life through the doing of it. But I don't have time for such a thing, so you'll have to just trust me when I say I can't imagine life without this site. Now let's all chant together: 4 more years! 4 more years!

Blogger Gary Hart?

Woah, Gary Hart has a weblog. And a blogroll too! Very cool. [via B-May]

Strawberry Festival Today

Walking to work this morning I passed the setting up of NYU's Strawberry Festival (scroll down page). Promising a "Big Fun DAY!", the Festival will take place on W. 4th Street between Washington Sq. and Mercer from 11 AM - 3 PM. It's free and requires an NYU or government-issued photo ID. There will be cotton candy (yippee!) and all sorts of other street fair delights, a DJ, and they promise strawberries. What's odd is that they must be California strawberries, or some sort of import. It's too early in the year for local berries, isn't it? Regardless, it could provide a fun alternative to deli sandwich lunch if you're nearby.

Are you crazy about CSS?

OK, before I lose my mind and tear apart everything on my desk, I thought I would turn to the wonderful world wide web for some help. I'm trying to do some CSS-based tabs. I want them to work in the major browsers (read: pretty much everything but NN4). I've read a variety of articles about this, including Mark Pilgrim's Pure CSS Tabs and Mark Newhouse's CSS Design: Taming Lists, and I'm stuck. Can you help?


If you're interested in seeing, fondling, or purchasing a new iPod in the NYC area, you'll have to wait until Friday night. The Apple store in SoHo (and I suspect the other stores as well) is having an iPod event from 6 - 10 PM with a "Live DJ, Free event poster, Limited-edition T-shirt. And more." You can also "win an awesome JBL sound system." I asked a salesman today why they didn't offer iPods at the store as soon as they were announced. He said they wanted, "to have everyone here, at once." While that may be fun (fun?) for the Apple store, it seems annoying for a curmudgeonly consumer like me. I don't want to pack into an Apple store on Friday night and hang out with a bunch of geeks and wait in a big line and be all crowded and bonked into. I just want to touch it before I buy it, and I can't do that online. Whine whine whine. I want an iPod now.

Update: Liz Phair will be at the SoHo store on Friday night. So maybe it *is* worth going! Tip from David.

Etcon 2003

Here's my presentation from the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, "From the Margin of the Writable Web" in your choice of Powerpoint [112 KB] or HTML. Enjoy! And thanks again to everyone who took the time to offer suggestions. I'll try to post all of those when I get a chance later this week.

Update: here are the collaborative notes taken during my talk by some folks in the audience using Hydra. And here are Cory Doctorow's notes from the talk.

Major Six Apart news

Six Apart: Six Apart Ltd. Announces Close of Series "A" Financing

Six Apart Ltd. Announces the TypePad Personal Publishing Service

Six Apart Ltd. Names Anil Dash as Vice President of Business Development

Wow wow and wow! Way to go Ben and Mena!

Introducing Confab!

Ludicorp has whipped together a really cool social space called Confab for ETech.

Confab is an ad-hoc conversation space mapped to the conference facility's floorplan which allows you to discuss and debate sessions live with other attendees, make contacts, send instant messages and create conversations to plan group meetings and activities.

It will be very interesting to see how well it works and what sorts of behaviors emerge during the conference.

Better coverage elsewhere

This conference has confirmed my inability to multi-task in anyway, shape or form. I can't even manage to take notes and pay attention, never mind blog a talk, and Google it, and ask questions, and everything else that other people seem to be doing. So I'll point you to Jason's ETech coverage. Who knows how long he can keep it up, but it's great while he's doing it. I think I'll resign myself to listening for know.

California I'm coming...

I'm going to see the folks I dig, and attend the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. None of my bags are packed, I'm not ready to go. But my presentation is all set and I can't wait. Yippee! And to everyone who I owe email (many going back months) I'm going to try and answer a bunch on the plane. Honest. Really. At least, I hope. That's the plan. Thanks for your patience.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic Park

It's getting on summer time and you know what that means -- time to plan some vacations! One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California. It's got boiling mud pits, sulfery pools, and an active volcano, all less than five hours from San Francisco! It makes a great weekend hiking getaway, and you can rent a house up there that'll sleep many (like 13!) for $300/weekend. I tell you this because I got a brochure today in the mail from the people I've rented from twice before, McGovern's Mt. Lassen Vacation Chalets. If you're looking for some good outdoor hiking fun, and an alternative to the crowds of Yosemite, Lassen's your park, and McGovern's chalets offer clean, cheap, and close access to some really spectacular sights.

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