Archive for March 2005

Mitch Hedberg - Rest in Peace

Mitch Hedberg has died. The news is just now percolating across the web and details are tough to find, but this is extremely sad news to all who have ever listened to or met Mitch. Mitch was only 37 years old and the cause of death appears to be a heart attack.

Rather than write an unsolicited eulogy or anything like that, I’ll just say that Mitch was and is my favorite comedian ever, and I’ll leave you with these two clips from his two albums:

From “Strategic Grill Locations”

From “Mitch Alltogether”

Sony on Becoming iTunes for Film

Hmmm. Sony wants to do for films what Apple did for music.

Clagnut's Browser Stickies

An interesting javascript implementation of Stickies within a browser window.

If You Love Something Give It Away

I want to give away some iPod Shuffles. I’d like to give away at least one a month and possibly one every two weeks for the rest of 2005 if that’s okay with everybody. This isn’t some freeipods.com network marketing dealio… I just really want to give some Shuffles away.

The only problem is, I can’t think of a really inventive way to give them away right now. Earlier this year, I gave Isaac Lin and Jay Robinson an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and a Wireless Mouse in a haiku contest that turned out great, so I may go that route again, but I’m thinking there might be a better way.

In light of my lack of creativity at the moment, I’ve decided that the very first iPod Shuffle will go to the person who comes up with the best way for me to give the rest of them away. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when coming up with your pitch:

  1. Each iPod Shuffle will essentially be purchased by me online and shipped as a gift to the winner, so the contest cannot involve me personally doing anything with the iPod such as looking at a serial number and making people guess it.
  2. Entries should be relatively quick to complete. A haiku is a perfect example. I don’t mind if they take a few hours or a few days to do, but nothing ridiculous please.
  3. Entries shouldn’t involve performing any illegal acts.
  4. Entries can involve the written word, photography, natural media, or any other creative outlet.
  5. I am open to this contest changing slightly with each round, so the entry criteria don’t need to be exactly the same every month or week.
  6. If your idea for this giveaway involves a novel use of the internet that I hadn’t thought of before, it is likely to win.
  7. If no idea turns out to be better than the haiku contest, I will stick with the haiku contest and award myself the first iPod Shuffle. Woohoo!
UPDATE: Tons of tons of great suggestions so far! I think I’m going to have to pick 9 of them and do a different one each month. The people who came up with the ones I use will get iPod Shuffles, and the people who win the associated contests will get them as well.

sIFR 2.0 Is Almost Ready... Please Test

UPDATE: Version 2.0 is now available. See article here.

Alright, sIFR 2.0 is finally ready for release! Before Mark and I release it, however, we’d like sIFR developers to run through a short set of testcases over on the sIFR Wiki.

The testcases represent some of the more complicated things that are happening under the hood of sIFR and can be found here.

Since we’ve only added two small things (a tiny Opera tweak and the ability to show browser text while the sIFR text is loading), we don’t anticipate any problems, but these testcases are meant to insure nothing was overlooked.

If you have a free minute, please run through the tests and let Mark or I know if you experience anything out of the ordinary. The whole suite should only take a minute. If every seems to work ok, please also feel free to post a comment on this page saying something like “Win XP/Flash 7 — Firefox 1.0, IE 6, all tests passed.”

Many thanks, and sIFR 2.0 will follow within days.

The Fading Art Gallery

A collection of wall murals from around New York.

Moll: Practical typeface selection

A good guide to picking typefaces for projects.

Malcolm Gladwell: The Naked Face

More interesting thoughts about facereading.

PSP-to-Mac Synching

Why can't someone build iTunes music synching software for Treos?

Podcast: Brewster Kahle of Archive.org

A glimpse into tycoon/philanthropist Brewster Kahle's vision for accessible digital archives.

Shared
How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.

LiveSurface:

A fantastic app for prototyping your design work onto real world objects like billboards, book covers, and coffee cups. This seems like just as great of a tool for people learning design as it does for experts.

50 problems in 50 days:

One man’s attempt to solve 50 problems in 50 days using only great design. Some good startup ideas in here…

How to Do Philosophy:

If you’ve ever suspected that most classical philosophy is a colossal waste of time, Paul Graham tells you why you’re probably right.

TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us:

Stephen Brill follows the money to uncover the pinnacle of corruption that is the U.S. Health Care system. A must-read article if there ever was one.

DIY Dot Org:

A beautifully designed site full of fun and challenging DIY projects. I could spend months on here.

The Steve Jobs Video Archive:

A collection of over 250 Steve Jobs videos in biographical order

Self-portraits from an artist under the influence of 48 different psychoactive drug combos.

Water Wigs are pretty amazing.

David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.

Jonah Peretti's letter to BuzzFeed’s employees:

If you’re wondering what a excellent blueprint for a modern media company looks like, look no further than Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti’s latest email to his employees. In it, Peretti explains a lot of his company’s virtues, the most important being a relentless focus on always providing what’s best for the user. Vox Media (operators of The Verge) is the only other company I can think of which approaches this level of reform and execution.

The Covers Project:

I love this so much: a cross-referenceable database of cover songs, searchable by song or artist. Slowed down, acoustic covers — no matter the song — are so enjoyable to me that I wish it was a requirement to play one at every show. If you like them as much as I do, make sure to check out M. Ward’s Let’s Dance or Sun Kil Moon’s entire album of Modest Mouse covers.

“More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.”
- Tim Kreider’s denunciation of the cult of busyness is excellent. (via jimray)
The iPhone and Disruption: Five Years In:

Take your pick of about 20 great quotes from this Daring Fireball article. My personal favorite:

The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone. The iPhone is to cell phones what the Mac was to typewriters.

sirmitchell:

Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror

The precision and innovation that is required for space exploration just blows my mind. I did not realize that Curiosity will have to basically land on Mars completely unaided by man, but it’s so much more complicated than that.