IndyJunior dream

I use a neat little application called Indy Junior to map my travels. But apparently something's gone wrong with the XML file I output with Movable Type, because IJ still thinks I'm in the Caribbean, where I haven't been since early March. If only I were still on the beach. Thanks for the nice dream, Indy!

The amazing napper!

Since last Monday — no not yesterday, Monday April 5th — I have had a nap every afternoon lasting in duration from one to over two hours! That's eight straight days of napping, and frankly I'm about done with all the tiredness. I'm ready to get back to the business of living.

The Times on frozen sushi

Interesting article in today's New York Times about the common practice of freezing sushi fish, Sushi Fresh From the Deep…the Deep Freeze.

But because of health concerns and growing demand, 50 to 60 percent of sushi in the United States is frozen at some point in its journey from the ocean, according to wholesalers. And rare is the sushi restaurant that tells customers upfront that they may be eating fish that has been in deep freeze for up to two years.

Most would be even more surprised to learn that if the sushi has not been frozen, it is illegal to serve it in the United States.

I used to be a huge sushi fan, but lately I find the appeal is wearing off. After having it for dinner last night, I was even thinking, "I'm done with sushi for a while." Reading this article doesn't make me want to change my mind, I don't care how 'fresh' the fish still tastes. There's just something about frozen fish that I find totally unappealing. Even if that's the way I've been eating it all along.

Help megnut find a new home

For ages and ages now this site has been hosted by the very generous Matt Haughey. But the load on the server (it hosts Metafilter, among other sites) has been heavy from the beginning. And I think it's time for megnut to find a home of its own. So I'm looking for recommendations for great hosting plans.

My requirements are fairly straightforward: I need to host more than one domain and want the ability to create sub domains. I want Apache/Linux. I would like MySQL, PHP and Perl. I'd like something that's very reliable and can offer a fair amount of bandwidth. Oh yeah, and customer support that's not staffed by assholes. That's it. Do you have someone to suggest? Do you love your hosting provider? Is there someone you think I should avoid? Tell me.

1 for 2 with the New England teams

Well things didn't go as I'd hoped for the Sox opener (Pedro and the boys lost 7-2 against Baltimore), but at least the UConn women won against Minnesota and are on their way to the NCAA finals against Tennessee tomorrow night. Go Huskies! Watching the women play last night was amazing, and the improvement in the women's game even in the past five years is really something. Great ball movement, fakes, no-look passes — it's a pleasure to watch.

Kinja announcements

After 15 months in the making, I'm pleased to announce that Kinja, a new weblog reading tool, has launched today. We worked really hard on it and hope you'll check it out. On a personal note, I'm spending another month at Kinja and will be leaving at the end of April. I'm sure I'll have more to say about that in the future, but for now, check out Kinja and some assorted media coverage:

Nick Denton: Kinja is live

New York Times: Blog-Bleary? Try (What Else?) a Blog

My Kinja public digest (so you can read what I'm reading!): www.kinja.com/user/megnut

Hidden Tribeca

Neat stuff today over at MUG with Tribeca Pentimento. This essay highlights what I love about living in old cities, the hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) history that's everywhere. Working in Tribeca I know these spots and wish it were a sunny day for exploring the neighborhood rather than a cold rainy day for coding.

Situated software

Clay Shirky's got a new essay up on Situated Software, a term he's using to describe software, "designed in and for a particular social situation or context." I find his essay really interesting, and I wish I had time right now for a more thorough response, but my own application commitments prevent me.

One reason the situated software approach works so well is the clear definition of the end users of the system. It enables developers to build for a very specific set of users and features, which is a wonderful foundation for success. When you don't have business people requesting new features for some hypothetical user or situation, your software tends to do what it's designed to do better. In software development, the use of personas — each persona represents a target user of the system — is one way to address application focus and scope. But for some time now, especially with regards to social software development, I've wondered if that's sufficient. Later in his essay, Clay writes:

We constantly rely on the cognitive capabilities of individuals in software design…[w]e rarely rely on the cognitive capabilities of groups, however, though we rely on those capabilities in the real world all the time.

This gets to something I've been thinking about for sometime now, the possibility of using personas to represent groups rather than individuals. In fact, I even proposed it as a talk for the last O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference but it wasn't accepted. I'm still tickled by this idea of modeling the groups, because as Clay writes, there's a power in groups that you don't find when the same individuals operate in isolation. By creating group personas (groupas? grouponas?), perhaps we could better design and hone our software to utilize the group's power. Then we could create software that's honestly social and situated, and it wouldn't necessarily be at odds with the breadth and reach of a Web School application.