Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm mortified!

I'm mortified!

One of the "10 ten things on the Internet" (according to, Warren Ellis, who writes the absolutely brilliant FreakAngels weekly graphic novel, BLOCKED me on Twitter.

That's like . . . I don't know . . . Angelina Jolie arresting you for being a stalker or something!

Here's the tweets:

Official: I am one of the ten best things on the internet (?):


@warrenellis YOU'RE NOT EVEN IN THE TOP 5. Come off your high horse.


@jsteig ...okay. That was a weird response. Let me help you out with the block button there, strange shouty person
I laughed at being called "shouty person" and then I realized . . . he'd blocked me from his feeds on Twitter. Me, out of 12,000 something!

OK. It was a weird response. I'm sorry! I was joking like the inarticulate fool that I am, Warren, trying to say that really you should be in the top 5. I shouldn't have twittered that tweet. I really, truly think you're in the top 5! Nothing stops me from reading FreakAngels, nothing. I am terrified that somehow you could reach out into the Cloud and somehow block THAT from me. Please, please don't. A little help here anyone?!

How it's supposed to be done

To our Seattle, Bellingham and Vancouver friends and family who are suffering under about a foot of snow (30cm!), where the towns and cities don't even own plows, here's what it's supposed to look like: 6 am on the morning after a snow and even the sidewalks on a back street have had a sidewalk plow clear them out. Best wishes for warmer weather for you!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vancouver from Big Picture

One of many photos of the 2008 year, from This is looking out to Vancouver from Cypress Park, the mountain above the town where I grew up. The link is to part 2/3. Make sure you look at the other ones too. LINK

Honda FCX Clarity

The new Toyota Prius-fighter from Honda is already visible on the horizon. It's the Honda Insight (LINK) and it will be available in 2009. It looks a lot like a Prius and is supposed to be a little less expensive. I want one. But further out in the future is a much bigger innovation, the Honda FCX Clarity, a fuel cell powered car that's actually on the road today--if you live in the L.A. / San Diego area and were selected to have the right to lease one.

Here's a video of James May of TopGear driving this new Honda. Unfortunately, he doesn't really explain why the Clarity is so much more ground breaking than the battery powered electric Tesla. He keeps pulling up the strawman of cheap, little electric cars that take forever to charge and go hardly any distance before running out of juice. He only suggests but never clearly explains why the Clarity is the car of the future instead of the Tesla. What he suggests is that it's because the Clarity is more like the car of today. Instead of having to charge it up for several hours (minimum 3.5 according to Tesla), you can fill the Clarity with hydrogen in just a few minutes.

via Jalopnik (LINK)

Will we ever see hydrogen filling stations proliferate like gasoline filling stations? Or will we instead see fast electric charging stations or even stations for hot swappable, pre-charged batteries?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Facebook and social ability

When I was growing up, I wasn't friendless but I didn't have many friends. I was shy and wasn't very good at navigating the world of my peers. I think Facebook would have helped.

There's been for years a lot of casual talk about how "we don't talk to each other anymore" and "we're always on the computer and don't talk face-to-face". And certainly in some ways this is true. The "Creepy, Sexy Robots" post (LINK) by my Zygote Games colleagues is one example of how technology can be used to get around real human contact. But my experience is that Facebook and its ilk, blogs and the proliferation of online, consumer generated media content, and even the "old fashioned" tools of e-mail and mobile phone greater opportunities for real human interaction rather than fewer.

This has been further reinforced this week by my son. I introduced him to Facebook. Actually, I had to push him a bit to sign up. That was Sunday. Today is Tuesday, he has 45 friends and counting, and he's addicted. What does it use it for? Chatting. That and AIM, which he only signed up for the day before Facebook, have been his focus the last few days. He's online now whenever he can. Games like Runescape has dropped by the wayside. We've had to set down a rule that he has to do his homework before he goes online. And that's all cool. In the physical world he's always been a more social kid than I was. But he's still more like me than not. I'm both happy for him that there are these extra tools to enhance his social ability and also a bit envious that I didn't have them when I was an early teen.

Older, wiser parents may snicker at what they perceive as my naivete. We'll see. I think this will be on balance highly beneficial.

Addendum: What I should have emphasized here is that online activity has actually been shown to augment and in fact increase not reduce human interaction and at least in my observations, this is definitely true. I'll get the references . . . unfortunately, the Queen of this space, danah boyd, is driving across country or some crazy idea like that (in the middle of winter??!!) and off-line for 6 something weeks! But I'll mine her blog and pull some references.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My boys in cubicle land

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New world of transport

In the context of the probable demise of some or all of the U.S. auto industry, I found this picture of an IBM rep on a Worksman Cycle (made in New York) particularly timely. From the Worksman Cycles photo library (LINK) via the great blog, Copenhagenize (LINK).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why is Jon Stewart considered so great?

Here's why:

(And Huckabee is going to be a force in 2012. Level-headed, articulate and calm. Though I utterly disagree with him, that has to be said.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"the world is not divided simply into gay and straight"

"In the largely indigenous communities in and around the town of Juchitán, the world is not divided simply into gay and straight. While Mexico can be intolerant of homosexuality; it can also be quite liberal. In Mexico City, for instance, same-sex domestic partnerships are legally recognized. But nowhere are attitudes toward sex and gender quite as elastic as in towns like Juchitán in the far reaches of the southern state of Oaxaca."

NYTimes article: LINK

Posted via web from Joseph's posterous