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If you haven't read this post by Chris Anderson it's worth reading as well as the comments. It's sending little ripples around the web as it calls out certain PR people out for what they are: spammers.

Joshua agrees with Chris.

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Near the bottom of this interview Trent Reznor admits to having been a member of OiNK.

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Ben Brown reveals a bit on how their point system worked (and didn't) on Consumating.

Points as currency always seemed too challenging to implement without a the checks and balances it'd require so I never did it on FP. Now I think it's too late. To focus on the points would change the way people interact with each other and the site.

I can't wait to see what else Ben writes in subsequent I Love My Chicken Wire Mommy Posts. It's a pretty interesting subject to me.

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Also from Neatorama: an excerpt from the book My Last Supper on Time's site where 50 chefs were asked about their last supper.

Mine would be a recipe my mom concocted for chicken. It's an adobo-like marinade that is a celebration of vinegar and spices. Filipinos love their vinegar. Yum.

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I was offered the chance to buy a Chumby in what they're calling the insider release phase of Chumby sales. I can't decide if I really want to get one. At just under $200 it seems like a very large expense for what would potentially be a second monitor on my desk.

If I'm not sitting at my desk at work I'm sitting on my couch with my laptop. And if I'm not at either of those places I surely will have my iTelephone on me. While I'd love to write something for it, I'd much rather take the new Leopard dev tools for a spin or work on some super-sekrit project of my own that I will own.

Plus there seems to be some kooky licensing issues with Chumby that seems to boil down to "I can only GPL my work or they own it". A Chumby right now seems like an extravagant attention sink with little reward.

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I'm not much of a conference goer. I find web conferences terribly frustrating as I sit in my seat and think "I should be programming" or "In the time we all talked about this we could have pair programmed something interesting." Conferences in general just make me anxious.

But this conference titled The Traveling Box: Containers as a Global Icon of our Era fascinates me to no end. I would so go to that conference. It even includes a tour of San Pedro!

found on delicious/straup

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This is terrible. TERRIBLE. Stop it. This is what hell is to me. A "punk rock choir" performing a Pixies song. I'm told they also mutilate Fugazi's "Waiting Room" as well.

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While packing for our trip I found my Lomo squashed between two books. I do carry an iPhone and can take thousands of 2MP photos, but I want another film camera simply because I still like using film. I enjoy taking a camera out specifically to go take photos, though, I'd happily switch to digital if I could find one as utilitarian and durable (mostly) as the Lomo. It just felt nice to use.

I would never drop $5k on this Leica, but I'd definitely go digital for something similar to that.

Related: Justin pointed me to the White Stripes branded Diana+ and Holga cameras. Eh?

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Here are two articles I read today. You might like them.

Technology Review: What Is He Doing? An article about Ev, Twitter, Blogger, and petting his cat.

A Paler Shade of White. I enjoyed reading this. Slightly related I still think that people who think music has gotten boring have gotten boring.

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These two posts (1 2) are just how I'm feeling these days. There are just too many good games to play. I can't deal.

I canceled my subscription to Gamefly simply because I have too many games at home already that I want to finish. Just look at MetaCritic's top XBox360 games by score. Jerks!

A couple of years ago everyone was hot about virtual worlds like Second Life or There.com, but it's games that you should be playing! Games both online and offline. It's probably great to walk around a virtual world and wear no clothes (tee hee) or have penises for eyes (seriously?), but give me a world with something to do and some achievements and I'll happily go right to work.

And when I say "something to do" I don't mean have sex with a unicorn you crazy perverts.

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Michael reviews some gel pens. I was a G2 user for a long time, but recently bought a big box of Zebra Sarasas and have been pretty happy with them, though they do tend to randomly give a little too much ink sometimes.

Add me to the list of people who gets happy when they go to an office supply store. I have more paper, pens, tape, and office doo-hickeys than food in my fridge. I may not survive the weeks following an earthquake but I could supply a small government agency for a year on my supplies.

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CLEANING OUT THE LINKS.

Wow, these are kinda stale. I blame our vacation. Thank god you don't pay for this crap. The W+K London one is cute.

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I was on vacation when Portal (and the rest of The Orange Box) was released, so I barely picked it up on Sunday. Adam says it best when he writes:

And the caring about quality - that's what I yearn for. I want to experience things that were designed well. That you pick up or experience and feel that the creators cared and were brilliant.

Portal the idea was pretty good, but Portal's execution was what made it one of my favorite games ever. Not too long, not too short, with enough surprises, humor, and balance to make it a truly perfect game.

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You know when you like this band and nobody else knows about the band and you're all hot about this band and OMG this band is the best you have to hear this band and then suddenly that band is ALL OVER the television and MTV and Billy Joel does a duet with the lead singer on his ranch in Utah and you're like WTF SELLOUTS I HATE THAT BAND...except for their old shit, that was when they were good.

Well this is nothing like that. The exact opposite. Julia Wertz' comics are and have been awesome for some time, and finally she has an actual book bound by machines that you can buy and have shipped to you by someone who is not Julia Wertz.

I'm really pleased to see book reviews and people talking about this book because BACK IN APRIL 2006 I WAS ALL INTO THAT COMIC. Oh yeah...this weblog-thing finally pays off!

(Sorry Julia for calling it a web comic. I didn't know any better.)

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This post sums up why I love LA so much and why I miss it. It also reminded me of who I was when I lived there, versus who I am as a San Franciscan. (thanks Omar).

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We're back in San Francisco after visiting Amsterdam and Brussels for two weeks. I have 500+ photos to sift through and upload, hundreds of sites to catch up on, and I haven't checked but I'm assuming several thousand work-related pieces of email. Federated Media loves its email.

But aside from all that data to digest I'm happy to be home and happy to be in San Francisco. It only took one 12 hour flight + a full night's rest to reset my clock.

I don't know where to begin on how supremely satisfying the last two weeks have been. Instead I'll mention the four books I had with me on my trip. I think they more than adequately describe where my head is right now: the very excellent A Brief History of the Crimean War, the very good (but not as good as Pattern Recognition) Spook Country by William Gibson, and perhaps the best travel map-books I've ever used (Amsterdam, Brussels).

I included the Knopf map-books because they were not just incredibly useful, but their graphic and information design was consistently good; so good I'd almost classify them as inspiring examples of how to translate a staggering amount of information into simple tools you can carry with you. That kind of attention to detail should always be noted and praised.

This is all a round-about way of saying the books I read inspired me to try writing again. Which, to me, is pretty wondrous news. More later.

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Taking a little weblog holiday. When I return I'll have wondrous news.

It's so wondrous I don't even know what it is yet, but it's always worthwhile to expect something outstanding. Otherwise, why bother?

Please leave links and bacon recipes for me in the comments.

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Jason linked to two parts of a three part series by Errol Morris about an iconic photograph taken during the Crimean War. (Part 1, Part 2). I read both posts on my ride to work and by the time I got into the office all I could think about was The Crimean war. Ooh, gotta get a book on the Crimean War! Reading all about the Crimean on Wikipedia. I'm crazy for the Crimean!

After visiting both Borders Books in Downtown SF I bought the last book between them on the subject. The last book between them turns out to be a condensed version which seems to be a good introduction based on the reader review. I'm hoping everyone read the Errol Morris posts and bought up all but one of the books on the subject—but I doubt it.

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Joel posts about that little sentence on every iPod. Poor little Microsoft can't catch a break.

This reminds me of something that bugs me to no end. The use of "Hollywood" to describe the movie industry. Everyone from Albuquerque to Albania thinks "Hollywood" is where they make movies. Where the ideas come from. Where the porn and violence are manufactured. The truth is "Hollywood" is so spread out and difficult to define that you'd be more accurate bitching about Culver City or The San Fernando Valley (porn).

The truth is, you'd be more likely to see some yahoo tourist from Albuquerque or Albania than an actual movie star on Hollywood Boulevard.

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I hesitate to post this simply because Hitler: bleh. But it got such a good reception when I posted it to FP I figure what the hey.

Hitler Banned From iSketch.

(iSketch is a crazy fun game loosely based on Win, Lose, or Draw)

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Oh jeez, this is so obvious and brilliant. Put all your credit card, phone, bank, airline, and other customer service numbers in your address book which ultimately end up on your phone if you're syncing.

Here's a bonus tip I do at home with my fire-proof lock box: I leave the key in the lock. If anyone came to steal it they'd just open it, see all I have is a passport and social security card and leave it. Nothing worth stealing in there.

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I totally missed this, but it looks like there was a contest to produce a free and open sourced version of the wildly under-featured for its price .Mac. For now both the server and client have to be running OS X, but people are already working on making the server Linux/Windows compatible.

Dude won $8,622!

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Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone. I take it everywhere. I use the alarm to wake up in the morning and while the shower warms up I scan my work email. I hit the news reader on the bus and devour podcasts like nobody's business. I cannot imagine using another phone/mobile computer any time soon.

That said, my god look at this beautiful, simple phone. It's the Motorola F3 (MOTOFONE) and it's not your typical mobile phone. Check out the Wikipedia entry to find out about the "electronic paper" display, the fact that its original target is developing markets, and that it runs a Linux variant.

The limitations are plentiful, but I can think of tons of people who would absolutely love this phone. If this was Apple's first entry into the phone market I wouldn't have been surprised.

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I love these two sketchbook scans: one + two.

Can you tell I am addicted to Monoscope by now?

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Great piece on version control and branches: "Without some sort of version control system in place, you can't reasonably call yourself a software engineer."

I don't know how Jeff does it, but he consistently puts out great articles every week. A must read for tech minded people.

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This book just made my heart flutter. Called "Everyday Engineering" it examines the engineering and planning that goes into the world around us. As a self-taught engineer this is exactly the sort of subject I spend hours thinking about.

A memory that always sticks out in my head about discovery is being a kid and sitting in the front seat with my dad as we drove along a paved mountain road. I had noticed the reflectors were buried beneath the surface of the road, with a slope cut in the direction the oncoming traffic so the reflector would be visible.

For miles I stared at these things until it finally dawned on me what they were for. Since I grew up in the middle of California's Central Valley, snow is not a typical occurrence. The reason the reflectors were buried beneath the ground is so that snow-plows can scrape the surface of the road without ripping up the reflectors.

It was incredibly pleasing to have come up with the solution, and I still spend a lot of time staring at structures to determine why and how they work.

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About a month ago I posted some theories on getting more traffic to your weblog. I give out this advice so much to people that I figured I should prove it by moving my (totally unverifiable, and random) Alexa ranking below 800,000. I didn't have any traffic goals, as I assumed they would increase by some percentage I couldn't predict.

First, I started opening my stats every day. Before this month I rarely looked at my stats. I write my weblog for myself first, and for friends second. My audience is intentionally small (plus I can look foolish in front of friends, I don't care). So the idea of watching stats was completely foreign, it's for the big blogs that have ads and depend on the traffic to live.

I attempted to exploit the positive feedback loop of staring at stats to make the stats go up and I think it worked. I would notice traffic falling off on the weekend and make a point to bookmark some items I might like to link to throughout the week.

Second, I had to set aside time in my day to really hit my feed reader. A quote from Google Reader's trends: "From your 193 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 10,432 items, starred 3 items, shared 0 items, and emailed 0 items." It's a lot of work staying on top of your feeds, and I had to force myself some afternoons to quickly flip through the big sites to see what people were talking about. It's hard work to stay ahead of the curve.

My new Alexa stat ranking: 619,546. Looking at the 1 week averages (since the 3 mo. averages include the months I was not driving the rating down) my Alexa ranking is 464,345. If I kept up my pace over the next year I think I could easily land somewhere in the 400's for good, high 300's would be swell.

The missing element here is quality. Quality is pretty much the only thing that will keep you in the big leagues once you get there. I can't speak to having a good voice or consistent delivery of quality content so I left it off my original list of things to do.

As some people have a face for radio, I tend to think I have a writing voice that makes a case to start a site with user generated content.

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Everything you've ever wanted to know about the Gadsden flag. Excellent marketing, United States.

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A good observation by Alex on the multitude of processes and systems that seem to bubble up every couple of months, and how one should approach them. I love to keep track of processes and distill the common sense out of them, but never follow them to the letter simply because I know myself better than someone inventing a scheme for me.

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