Welcome, reality distortion field!
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005
It's Christmas in January. That's right, it's Macworld Expo and Steve's keynote is in eight hours!

Of course, they're not webcasting it this time (well, they're timeshifting the webcast 9 hours) so I'll have to rely on the rumor sites for the play-by-play, but it's always a cool day to be a Mac enthusiast.

Words that I keep forgetting whether they mean their opposite
Monday, Jan 10, 2005

Got any more?

TV more accountable than Government?
Monday, Jan 10, 2005
CBS today fired four staffers after an independent study found that they had a 'myopic zeal' to put forward those dubious National Guard documents detailing Bush's service.

It's interesting to me that this issue has resulted in the end of five careers (including Dan Rather's), but the Nigerian Yellowcake forgery fallout only resulted in Valarie Plame getting outed as a CIA operative, an incident seemingly perpetrated by two White House officials, and which still hasn't been fully investigated or persecuted.

Fear and loathing of the Internet, circa 1983
Monday, Jan 10, 2005
You know you're doing some serious web surfing when you stumble across predictions of the social implications of a 'world net' written by researchers in 1983.

Scroll down to the highlighted 'Fear and Loathing' message in the digest. While I believe most of their concerns proved unfounded, it's great to think that the concerns we have about the net and the world today might be similarly sidestepped to introduce new concerns (like net addiction and cyberstalking) that we hadn't considered before.

Amon Tobin at Bimbo's in February. Interested?
Monday, Jan 10, 2005
So for all I know about my friends, I'm farily oblivious to their less mainstream musical tastes. I for one am really into ambient, techno, trance, and trip-hop, in addition to more mainstream musical tastes, but these passions are typically only realized within tight-fitting headphones or my car (which I suppose could be seen as one big tight-fitting headphone). As a result I don't know who this announcement would interest, and so to the blog it goes.

Amon Tobin, techno DJ extraodinaire, is spinning a performace at Bimbo's 365 on Friday, February 25th ($18), and I'm itching to go with friends who are similarly interested. The last (read: only) time I've gone to Bimbos was to see Jolie Holland give a great performance which, very likely is the antipode of techno, so it'll be interesting to see the space in such a different way. Who's interested?

Stand By for Take Off
Sunday, Jan 09, 2005
So you're in an airport.

You're in LAX, one of the country's busiest airports, after 22 hours of intercontinental travel, waiting for the last puddle-jump that will take you back home.

Except the return flight is delayed two hours, and after watching The Terminal over the last hour on the Pacific flight and the first hour stuck in Terminal 8, both of you are punchy and in a weird airport headspace.

You also both have Nikon D70s, one with a 28-70mm and the other with a 105mm portrait lens. Huddled behind and under the departures monitors, what else is there to do but people-watch and document the event?

I've always felt that airports are strange, magical places outside of realspace. O'Hare and Denver remind me of the 'woods between the worlds' in Narnia, where each portal (gate) leads to another reality, and there exists no indigenous reality except a generalized amalgam of miniaturized chain stores.

This is Rachel's and my first joint album, but now that we are both so digitally-equipped, I'm certain that it won't be the last. We'd love to read your comments.

Flash-based iPod reportedly on-deck for next week's Macworld Expo
Friday, Jan 07, 2005
Talking with Ammy about user interfaces in general, I showed her just how off-base first impressions can be. Check out this iPod rant I wrote in 2001 right after it was announced.

The interesting part is that while I now adore the iPod (I own three) I still think these three-year-old points are valid, and that a 1 gig flash-based iPod is still the current best bet at a killer portable-music app.

Excerpt from the 2001 piece:

To me (and your mileage may vary) the more valuable iPod would be the one with 512 megs in RAM, not flash rom, but good ol' lose power and lose the data RAM. This, incidentally, would cost about $20 from the OEM as opposed to several hundred for the flash memory. (This is not the problem that it might seem, because you're talking about a device with a high-capacity fixed battery carrying redundant data. If the battery goes flat and dumps the songs, it doesn't matter because charging the battery by firewire-ing to your Mac takes an hour, while restoring all the songs will take only a fraction of that time over the same connection, and it'll happen simultaneously.)

512 megs would be enough RAM for over 8 hours of music (15 times more than my Rio). At the end of the day, when you plug your iPod into your Mac's firewire port, the computer can take a look at the music you listened to since the last sync, chuck those songs from the iPod, and randomly select more titles from the computer's iTunes library (toss 8 electronica songs, load up 8 fresh tracks, etc.).

Of course, if there's a song you listened to during the day that you'd like to keep on the player, you can always mark it with a button, to 'save until I delete' and it'll stick around. Further, you could, via the iTunes interface, choose specific songs or albums to be saved temporarily or indefinitely on the iPod. Basically, songs would be ephemeral unless specifically marked as eternal.

Think Different: Think TiVo. You get new stuff, you view (listen to) it. The next time: you have new stuff.

We'll see tomorrow...

'Crossfire' likely axed. Jon Stewart changes the world.
Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005
With the news that CNN is letting Tucker Carlson go, and likely shelving the show Crossfire, it's clear that Jon Stewart has the attention of 'big media,' no matter how much he professes to deal only in fake news.

CNN's US CEO Jonathan Klein, when asked about any influence from the well-publicised spat between Stewart and Carlson on Crossfire last October, Klein told AP, "I guess I come down more firmly in the Jon Stewart camp."

Despite running a 'fake news' show, Stewart has been championing a movement against politics-as-entertainment in the non-fake media, claiming that balanced news 'hurts America' and that just because there are two sides to an issue doesn't mean both deserve equal time and equal weight.

Appearing on his own program, "The Daily Show," the day after the tiff with Carlson, Jon told his audience, "They said I wasn't being funny. And I said to them, 'I know that, buttomorrow I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow.'"

Not for much longer, apparently. Thank you, CNN.

Happy Holidays!
Friday, Dec 31, 2004
Heya, Rachel and I have been gone for Christmas and the holiday break, but will be home really soon. I hope you all are enjoying your own holidays, and I'm looking forward to the coming year.

Take care, and I'll write more soon.

TiVo Giveaway
Friday, Dec 17, 2004
I've got a bunch of coverage about TiVo's givaway this morning. The lowdown is that Comcast has been promising their subscribers that they're coming out with a DVR box for about a year now, but they keep delaying and frustrating their customers, so TiVo stepped in and told Bay Area Comcast subscribers to bring a copy of their Comcast bill and a toy for charity and TiVo will give them a new 40-hour Series2 TiVo (service fees are still required).

They told people the line wouldn't form until 9am, and the giveaway would last from 11am to 1pm, or when they ran out of TiVos.

This morning I went to Flickr and searched for the 'tivo' tag and found a moblogger's on-site post. Since then folks have pointed me to a TiVo Giveaway Webcam and a photo album of the event.

At 1pm they'd given away more than 800 TiVos and at 2pm the line is still hours long. Justine is still waiting patiently in line, and hopefully they'll run out of would-be TiVotees before they run out of boxes.

Having given four TiVos to people as gifts over the last few years I'm familiar with the joy they can bring. I'm glad TiVo's spreading the cheer. With luck these folks will have their boxes set up in time to record 'It's a Wonderful Life' while they're across the country visiting with family.

Update: All the TiVos are gone, and some people left unfulfilled. For those who didn't get them, or didn't make it out to Alviso, TiVo's offering the Series2 boxes for $49 ($50 instant discount, plus $100 rebate) if you order before midnight tonight. If you don't have a TiVo, today's probably the best time to get one.


Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
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