Posted March 31, 2005
Last night I visited the New York Auto Show. It pales in comparison to the Chicago or Detroit shows, but it still had some swanky cars. The one pictured above, which was beautiful in person, is the Ford GT Tungsten.
For the most part, I like auto shows because I get to see cars I'll never get to drive. I'm not in the market for a car, so instead of shopping I take note of cars that just look great. The show in New York had enough of that, which made me happy. My favorite car that I could afford one day was the BMW 330i (pictured here). My favorite car I could never afford is the Carrera GT (pictured here).
Something that blew me away was the Maybach 62. I can see why it costs over $300k, but it is totally ridiculous. Who needs a printer built into their arm rest? 'Zactly. The photo I missed but wished I hadn't was a group of high school kids sitting in a Hummer H2 with huge smiles on their faces. I fear for their lives.
I have a few more pictures than the ones posted or linked to above and they're all on flickr.
The Post Secret Project
Postcards with secrets sent in and posted.
This came together fast. Thanks guys!
Posted March 30, 2005
Jane at Gamegirl Advance reported on the slaying of a man over virtual property earlier today. As she put it, "The China Daily reports that a 41-year-old man stabbed an acquaintance who stole and sold his Dragon Sabre in the MMORPG Legend of Mir III." This could have just been the case of a crazy, obsessed gamer, but the fact that he reported this to the police first and was turned away changes all that.
Qiu, the accused, was told by the police that virtual property doesn't count, even though the sabre was eventually sold for $871. That sounds pretty real to me. It seems obvious that the police should have followed through and arrested Zhu, the man who stole the sabre, but I can see why they didn't. It's not very likely that they have someone on staff who knows how to determine whether it was stolen. This is aside from the preconceived notions they likely possess.
This is a great example because it is something quantifiable. If Zhu had stolen the sabre and traded it for money within the game, it would be much harder to rationalize for a lot of people. I would be curious what would happen if someone were to copy every music file I bought online and then deleted them from my computer. Forgetting about copyright issues, I would likely have to re-purchase those files but I doubt I would be able to file a report with the NYPD.
I also wonder if this would be connected to intellectual property in some way. I'm far from a lawyer, but it seems to be something else that has monetary value but can't be held in your hands.
A movie poster blog [via what do i know?]
David Byrne Radio
Sweet! Mr. Byrne has launched an internet radio station of his favorite music [via boing boing]
Posted March 28, 2005
Coolfer found out that McDonald's will pay you up to $5 everytime a song airs that mentions the brand. I think that's hilarious and potentially lucrative.
I wonder if this will begin to work like pay-for-click advertising (i.e. Google AdWords). If it does, I'm going to follow in the Asbestos Blog's footsteps and start a hip-hop group that talks only about the hottest/most desperate brands. Once we blow up, which we will, I'll start rapping about MTV2 and Dewar's. Before you know it, I'll start bringing in real money. Hell yeah.
Who wants in?
Pre-Order OS X.4 (Tiger) for $95
$35 off the regular price with rebate. Thanks Amazon.
Tale of a Graphic
Comments from newspaper editors about whether to run a brain scan of Terry Schiavo's head
Posted March 24, 2005
I broke down. I bought a PSP today. While staring it down at Virgin I realized that it was only a matter of time until I picked it up, so why not do it now? Before the part of my brain that deals with logic kicked in, my credit card was swiped and I was walking out with a PSP and two games (Wipeout and NFL Street, which I'll be exchanging for Lumines when they get a copy in).
As a result of my purchase, I'm going on the PSP diet. I've got to balance out my spending somehow. Until my birthday on April 14th, three weeks away, I will do the following:
- Eat out for lunch no more than twice
- Eat out for dinner no more than five times
- Buy the cheapest groceries possible
- Buy no DVDs and 1 CD (I need the new Beck)
- Go to no more than 1 movie in the theater
Obviously, that's not all food, but a gadget/media nerd knows that hunger isn't the only craving you have on a daily basis. If I stick to this, I won't feel as bad. I'll have birthday money by the time my diet is over.
In totally unrelated news, if anyone needs some freelance web work done, I'm looking.
The Credit Card Prank II
I love when draws the human digestive system
Zoe's Radio Show
Blog with podcasts from the 14 year-old DJ featured in Spin, as well as other places
Posted March 23, 2005
While reading kottke.org a few moments ago, I came across his post on stealing gallery space. It turns out an artist named Banksy installed his own artwork at MoMA and other major museums in New York. It's certainly an amazing story and better art than some of the stuff they display voluntarily. Still, the world should know that he wasn't the first.
Michael Hafftka did the same thing in 1981. I don't have too many details, but I know that he hung his art at MoMA sometime in the morning and it remained there until later in the day when he told museum security about it. Unfortunately, I could not find any direct evidence online to confirm all the details, but my uncle knew him fairly well at the time and told me this story a few years ago.
Therefore, I put it to all of you internet supersleuths out there to see if you can find an old article about this somewhere. Maybe it's on Lexis Nexus or something similar, but a few Google searches got me nowhere. In the meantime, I emailed Michael Hafftka to see if he can fill in the details of the story and provide an article or something discussing his stunt.
As I hear from various sources, I'll post it here.
Update (3/24/05): I just received a reply from Hafftka and it seems I was only partially right about the story. He explained, "As I remember it though I put a poster up in the MoMa to advertise my show in a space that a conceptual artist created as a project for other artists to contribute to. [...] At any rate as I remember it the museum objected and took my work down." Well, that seems less scandulous, but he also remembers another artist doing something similar. "I also remember years later there was another conceptual artist who put fake (photos of) electrical outlets and receptacles in the MoMa and other museums and called it art so that also is another strike against Banksy originality." Can any of you out there remember the artist's name?
Thanks Michael, for replying so quickly. It may not have happened exactly as my uncle remembered it, but it was certainly a precursor to Banksy's work. What's better is that Michael has art that was intentionally acquired by MoMA according to his bio.
The Most Expensive Album Never Made
The story of Axl Rose's Chinese Democracy
Posted March 19, 2005
If so, I'd like to ask for your help. I have a project in mind that I've been thinking about for over a year. Up until now I haven't done anything with it, but I'm feeling inspired. Without giving much away, it's going to be a concert listings site. There's much more to it, which is why I am seeking out some help.
I don't necessarily need someone who wants to work on the project with me, I just need someone to guide me in my database/hosting needs. I've never built a site that could potentially have hundreds of thousands of entries in a table and I want to make sure I get it right from the start.
There's a chance I might bug you down the road as I begin coding, but I mostly just need you to help me work out the database architecture and the hosting hardware needed to keep things afloat. If you can offer me a little bit of time, that'd be great. If not, I understand. I don't really have time to do this myself, but everytime I mention this idea to friends they get excited, which gets me excited.
If you just want to know more about the idea, you can shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thanks.
Posted March 18, 2005
I made it back from Israel alive. Some of my friends were genuinely worried, but they needn't fear as I felt completely safe. Well, when we were visiting IDF soldiers at security checkpoints in Jerusalem at night I was a little nervous, but everything was fine.
This was my second trip to Israel and the country is magnificent. If it had no historical or religious importance, I would want to visit again purely because of the landscape. There has been more rain than usual this winter and the desert was in full bloom, as you'll be able to see on my photo page or at flickr. Of everything I saw, I really enjoyed Masada. The combination of history and breathtaking views made for a memorable experience. I should mention that the Western Wall is easily the most amazing place in Israel, but I had seen that before.
Unfortunately, after returning from my trip excited to get back to work and talk about everything I saw, I had to delve into one of the most tedious tasks I'm responsible for. As of right now it is finished, but I couldn't exactly ease into my week. Now that it's done I can enjoy my weekend and get back onto a regular sleep schedule. Next week I'll get to put some of my newfound knowledge to good use.
Engadget On DLP TVs
Cool, and cements the fact that my next tv will be DLP
Posted March 11, 2005
It's day two of my trip to Israel. I'm here with work, Jewish National Fund, looking at the hundreds of projects we have in Israel. As you could probably guess, I won't be seeing all of them, but we've already seen some amazing spots.
My favorite thus far has been Sataf. It's an area that JNF, or KKL to Israelis, has turned into a historical irrigation system. The system is compelling in its own right, but I was more interested in the trees that had been planted. The seeds for these trees were created from 2,000 year-old DNA. We didn't have a chance to see them, but it seems like an amazing feat. My only question is about what diseases it might introduce, if any.
Although Sataf was technically interesting, what makes it and our other sites special is the amount of people who use them. It's very moving to see how the fundraising I support is put into action. It will certainly help motivate me when I get back to the office next week.
As it is Shabbat now, we are off until 7pm tomorrow (it's 4:30pm here right now). I'm going to see Masada and the Dead Sea tomorrow since I never went the last time I visited. I'm excited to just be a tourist.
Hopefully I'll have time to give another update tomorrow, but I can make no guarantees.
Sony Music Offers RSS Feeds
This is nice, but I wish there were some more interesting artists.
Posted March 6, 2005
If you ever transfer a domain name to 1&1, be sure to change your DNS settings on the new account before the domain transfer goes through. This was a piece of information that was not shared with me at any point during the transfer proccess. I had to dig through their FAQs before I could find any instructions about this step.
Of course, I called their support number when I saw their infuriating placeholder at my domain, only to have the customer service representative tell me that they had told the marketing department about this omission numerous times. The whole thing was very frustrating and not worth the few bucks I saved.
Posted March 2, 2005
Tonight, David Byrne presented I ♥ Powerpoint at the annual Marshall McLuhan Lecture to a whole bunch of excited New Yorkers. I was able to snag one of the free tickets and watch Mr. Byrne wax poetic about the PPT.
I'll be honest, although I was curious what he had to say about Powerpoint, I was more interested in gawking at him. In that regard, the presentation was a success. He was pretty awkward on stage, but in a cute puppy dog/little kid way. He would often laugh at jokes before he told them or without telling them at all. It detracted from the actual information he was presenting, but it made the event a lot more exciting.
His love affair with power point is two-pronged. Aside from creating art with it, he also is interested in its usage in both unusual and everyday scenarios. The slide you see above was something he actually found on the web, which is hilarious. He showed one or two that were built with humor intended, but my favorite stories were both related to NASA.
The first was about an astronaut with whom he was emailing while his friend was up in space. The astronaut sent him a PPT presentation that showed aerial photographs with krazy fonts describing them (i.e. showing a photo of Argentina and adding labels like "That's a glacier!"). Another was a Powerepoint sent from Houston to Cape Canaveral that explained why a certain mission was bound to fail (I think), but the presentation lulled them a bit and it helped to pacify the situation.
David Byrne is an amazing person, but I don't know if I would want him to be my professor. Still, his atypical demeanor resulted in an entertaining Q & A session when someone decided to turn their "question" into a bit of a rant. If you get the chance to see this talk you should go see it, especially if you are a Byrne freak, like myself.
p.s. the photo is one of the first I've taken with the s710a. It's not so hot in low light, but it was handy to have.
The Cost of Cool
"...when it comes to your website, what’s cool is giving people the info they want without making ‘em jump through hoops."
Posted March 2, 2005
For no particular reason, I am listening to 26 albums on my iTunes/iPod setup starting with an A album and ending with a Z one. I'm through H as of right now, which is why I'm coming to you. I don't have any albums by bands that start with the letter Z. This means I need to download/buy an album sometime in the next day or two to soothe my OCD tendencies. Let me know if you have any thoughts. I'll update the list as I listen to albums.
Update: Thanks for the Z suggestions! I'll probably use the Zutons, but I'm not even half way there, which means you still have time to sway me.
A: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead - Worlds Apart
B: The Beatles - Rubber Soul
C: Clem Snide - End of Love
D: David Bowie - Space Oddity
E: Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel
F: Final Fantasy - Has A Good Home!
G: The Grays - Ro Sham Bo
H: Hot Snakes - Audit in Progress
I: Imperial Teen - On
J: Jude - No One is Really Beautiful
K: K-Os - Exit
L: Low - The Great Destroyer
M: Muse - Absolution
N: New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
O: Of Montreal - If He is Protecting Our Nation, Then Who Will Protect Big Oil, Our Children?
P: Posal Service - Give Up
Q: Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
R: Roxy Music - Country Life
S: Superdrag - Headtrip In Every Key
T: Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
U: Ultimate Fakebook - Open Up and Say Awesome
V: VHS or Beta - Night on Fire
W: Wheat - Hope and Adams
X: XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus pt. 2)
Y: Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Z: The Zutons - Who Killed the Zutons?