Monday, October 18, 2004
I'm a permanent absentee voter in California. I'm sick of this
campaign, sick of the news, sick sick sick. So I voted tonight, and
will mail my ballot tomorrow. Then I can, in good conscience, ignore
all the sick blathering for the next two weeks.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be:
Who's on first?
I distinctly remember listening to Shearer's gang, The Credibility Gap,
on KRLA in the late Sixties. It was topical news comedy, like the
earlier TV show, That Was The Week That Was
(TW3 for short). It was truly remarkable radio, in AM no less. Great
stuff for an impressionable teenager. What I didn't realize is that
David Lander and Michael McKean (yes, Squiggy and Lenny) were part of
From the Harry Shearer site comes this RealAudio clip from his ooold
comedy group, The Credibility Gap. It's a clever play on the old Abbot
and Costello routine. I hadn't heard it before...... [Joho the Blog
I don't write much about my personal life, as I see this blog as an
extension of my professional persona. But some things I just can't let
go of without a comment.
We spent five years struggling with the realities of life with a
disabled child. While raising a developmentally-disabled youngster has
its rewards, it's a tremendously challenging experience, one that
affects every aspect of family life. Jean Safer's book, The Normal One, gives a sense of what happens to such families.
JJ was fortunate enough to have a talented, devoted one-on-one aide at
school with him for his last two years. Colleen bacame a second mother
to the little guy, and has remained a close and valued friend. After
JJ's death, Colleen was assigned another child at another local school,
an 11-year-old boy named Juan. She could barely handle him: he was
strong, big, just close enough to adolescence to be unmanageable and
even dangerous. And there was no communication: Juan didn't speak,
English or Spanish, and Colleen had little communicatation with his
parents, either. At the end of the year, Colleen was assigned yet
Colleen called this evening. Juan's parents couldn't agree on what to
do with him. His mother, burdened with being primary caretaker, wanted
to place him in a group home. His father insisted that Juan remain at
home with his family. On Friday, the father took his two sons out for a
Juan's mother took the opportunity to hang herself.
As a participant, and a relative new-comer to this UX thing, it's
difficult for me to provide a cogent review of last Tuesday's little get-together at Stanford. Fortunately, other more-qualified individuals have provided their feedback:
Bob Jacobson (I took the spelling from his business card) was indeed
enthusiastic. I should contact him to see what he wants to do next.
See also Luke Wroblewski's review, Who Owns User Experience?
A transcript of the evening's commentaries may be available at a later date; I'll point to, it if and when.
As it was a lawyer who made the mistake, will he sue the fax machine
manufacturer for providing inadequate instructions, or maybe for
allowing pages to be inserted wrong-side-up? He clearly has a product
Upside Down Fax Costs 100 Million Euros
People make mistakes all the time, but how often can you think of a
simple mistake that cost in the range of a 100 million euros? It's even
more impressive when you realize that mistake was putting important documents into the fax machine upside down
A lawyer (you wonder how much he was paid per hour) trying to fax a 100
page document outlining the European Commission's case against a bunch
of banks for running a cartel couldn't be bothered to look at the
instructions, and put the document in upside down. Since the court
ended up with 100 blank pages instead of an argument, they ruled for
the banks.[ Techdirt
Oddly enough, this piece was picked up by the Monterey County Herald and referenced by WWR in today's podcast blog. Why Monterey? Those folks are still in the last century. Where's the Mercury News on this?
LA Times article
on podcasting. "They follow in the footsteps of blogs, from which podcasts were born." [Scripting News
No, I don't think of podcasting as radio. Primarily because many
podcasts don't come from radio, are not repackaged radio programs. It's
not just timeshifting radio shows. It's something else. And no, it
isn't unique to iPods, but one of the things that makes it so
attractive to me is the way podcasts are automagically delivered to my
iPod. If I had to go looking for Internet audio, download it, move it
to iTunes, then upload to the iPod, I wouldn't do it. Podcasting makes
it (nearly) painless.
As much as I dislike being called a "consumer," that pretty much
describes my relationship with podcasts over the last few days. While
recovering from minor surgery, I sucked in, chewed on, spit out, and
digested numerous podcasts from some of the most notable purveyors of
the new format. Herewith my reactions:
So much for four days of podcast consumption. Side note: I started out using iPodderX software, which just flat stopped working after a day or so. So I switched to iPodder, which has worked well, although the automatic scheduled podcast-check seems problematic.
- Whole Wheat Radio -- fun stuff, I enjoyed listening to Jimbob and his daily rants, even when he was at his ranting-est. Jim tells me he used KPIG as inspiration for WWR's format, which shows remarkably good taste on his part.
- Adam Curry's Daily Source Code
-- interesting, sometimes entertaining, sometimes a bit long-winded.
I'm not impressed by his history with MTV, but Adam combines tech savvy
with an insider's knowledge of music. He could lose the built-in echo.
But I'll listen again.
- Dave Winer's Trade Secrets and Morning Coffee Notes -- boring, self-indulgent. I can handle Dave when skimming his blog, but I don't think I can listen to him regularly.
- Dave Slusher's Evil Genius Chronicles
-- like Adam Curry, interesting and sometimes entertaining, a nice
variety of chat, tech, and music, packaged at an appropriate length
(15-20 minutes). He gets a bit rambly at times, but I'm willing to
- IT Conversations --
delicious geeky goodness. One of the best things is I can usually tell
from the title of the podcast if it's something I want to listen to.
Like do I care about the future of online advertising? No. So I don't
waste an hour listening. Woz? You betcha.
- Leo Laporte's Airchecks -- I liked Leo on TechTV, but three hours of responding to call-ins is a bit much.
My other activities, while on my back in bed or in the bathtub, included reading Neil Slaven's biography of Frank Zappa, Electric Don Quixote;
listening to plenty of music on the iPod (mostly Zappa, oddly enough),
and checking mail and news on the PowerBook. I had set up my Airport
Extreme for access from the bedroom, but I still lost connection
several times -- seemed mostly related to regaining an IP address after
the several power outages (it started raining this weekend).
Oh, yes, I love the iPod. Thursday morning, I started listening as soon
as the nurses were through asking preparatory questions, and the lovely
little thing was still playing away in the pocket of my hospital gown
when I came to in recovery. Started off playing Philip Glass as
interpreted by Uakti (Aguas da Amazonia), followed by Glass's Heroes and Low symphonies. Just right.
© Copyright 2002-2005 Fred Sampson.
Last update: 5/21/05; 10:24:14 PM.
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