Photo tour of North Korea, 1996
Saturday, Mar 13, 2004
A photologue of a Japanese student's 1996 visit to North Korea.
Cherry blossoms were so beautiful,
but they only doubled our confusion.
Top 5 cancelled shows?
Friday, Mar 12, 2004
If you could 'uncancel' any 5 TV shows of all time, assuming that the show would come back today with the original cast and writing, all at their original ages, which shows would you most want to resuccitate?

I'm still working on my list. Right now the only three I'm pretty certain of are Firefly (duh), Babylon 5, and La Femme Nikita.

What would you save?

Is Apple thinking about a new Newton?
Friday, Mar 12, 2004
Though Steve Jobs was adament that PDAs weren't Apple's forte when he axed the Newton group just weeks before they spun off, there are now signs that the winds may have changed at Infinite Loop.

Following the success of the iPod, the slow PDA-ification of the product (adding contacts, memos, and calendar functions via iSync), and the potential for a rich-media player on the horizon, convergence seems to be leading Apple to a destination Steve didn't anticipate five years ago.

Consider Palm's announcement that their forthcoming Palm 6.0 OS won't come with Mac integration, and that since the PDA race narrowed to Palm and PocketPC, innovation has slowed drastically in the PDA realm, focused mostly on the wireless aspects of these devices.

As PDAs move down both wireless and rich multimedia paths, they come closer and closer to Apple's core competencies, and an 'everything handheld' with iPod, video, wireless (wi-fi and/or cell), and PIM integration could be exactly the kind of product Steve Jobs loves: a product that completely redefines an already established market.

There's been a lot of speculation in recent months about all of the above, fueled by Apple job postings for people proficient in mobile video delivery systems, as well as rumors of an 'iBox' mega-TiVo that would serve as the 'new digital hub', of which a rich-media device would be a natural spoke.

New promise comes today in the form of a survey being passed around by Stone Multimedia asking for opinions as to why the Newton failed, and gauging interest in a revised Newton. There's also a related discussion at MacRumors. This might seem like idle research, except that the company responsible for Newton's branding and marketing a decade ago was also called "Stone." Sadly I can't find that company's full name, so I can't verify that they're the same, but it's intriguing nonetheless.

I'm so sad that mobile numbers are portable now.
Friday, Mar 12, 2004
What would you do if you randomly were assigned Chris Rock's mobile number?

Kudos if you're half as cool as this lady.

400GB drive. So?
Thursday, Mar 11, 2004
A lot of tech blogs are linking to news of Toshiba's new 400GB hard disk drive.

So what?

Maybe living in internet time has jaded me, but back in 1995 I got a 1 gig drive for $700 and frankly I thought it was the shiznit. A few years later drives bloomed so large that I could take the 'the' and 'zni' out of my former opinion, because 1 gig was suddenly very old hat.

Since then, and well before, hard drive sizes have followed Moore's Curve (not Moore's Law, since that has to do with transistors on a microchip, but the curve is the same). Hard drive capacities at a given price point double every 12 months.

It's been true since I got my 5meg (yeah, meg) serial drive for my Mac 128K in 1985, and it was true until over two years ago, when 200 gig drives were mainstream.

Some time in the last two years, however, Moore seems to be slacking off, and what's more, nobody seems to be talking about it. So why the buzz over a 400 gig, 7200rpm drive? There are already plenty of 7200rpm drives out there (heck, there are 10,000rpm drives at Fry's), and 400 megs is just incremental over the 300gig drives on sale all over the place.

Where's my terabyte drive?

Loving your music: Death by iPod
Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004
A woman in Memphis killed her boyfriend by striking him with her iPod 40-80 times after he admitted to erasing the 2000 songs on teh device. Apparently he accused her of downloading music off the net illegally for months and the only copy of her tracks was on the iPod.

Of course, if she'd been buying her tracks off of the iTunes Music Store, she might be similarly mad because she'd have spent $2000 on the music, and Apple won't let you re-download.

Lessons to be learned:

(yes, it's a spoof)

Bike to work day!
Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004
No, it wasn't a sponsored event or anything, but the weather's beautiful, Rachel was an angel a few weeks ago and got my bike tuned up, and I was craving some exercise, so I took my bicycle to work today.

It's only 3 miles to work, and is mostly a straight-shot up Shoreline. In a testament to alternative transportation, Mountain View has plenty of bicycle lanes [1.9mb PDF], including lanes on every street on my shortest route.

Rachel saw me off, and less than 20 minutes later I was at work, feeling totally energized. Woo-hoo! This is definitely going to become a regular thing.

Silent treatment?
Saturday, Mar 06, 2004
First I stop posting but everyone keeps commenting, now I start posting again and everyone's all hushy, even though more of you are reading than ever!

In Malibu for the weekend for my Uncle Alan's birthday, back tomorrow. I love airplanes.

Friday, Mar 05, 2004
Wired has an interesting article on lack of attribution in weblogs, and how many large blogs 'steal' ideas from smaller blogs without giving them attribution.

This certainly happens, and with the rising popularity of RSS feeds, it's easier and easier to read a few hundred blogs a day and pass along the interesting content, without attribution. For many sites, like Metafilter and BoingBoing, this is exactly the point, though Cory (Boingboing) does an exemplary job at citing sources. Since I'm currently working on building out my own 'meta-site' this is a subject of particular interest to me.

The argument's failing, and I freely admit that I need to dive deeper to determine whether it's a weak point of the article or of the underlying research, is that it assumes webloggers predominantly get their content from other weblogs. While that's often true, it's certainly not always the case.

Take for example the 'furry germs' example given in the Wired article: The author claims this is an example of a blog meme with a point blog source and dozens of copycaters blogging it on their own site, without attribution to the original blogger. This is absolutely not the case.

Having blogged about the "plushie microbes" four weeks ago myself, I know exactly where it came from: A monthly advertisement sent out to Think Geek customers. The Wired article's argument is that the specific term "furry germs" is a unique identifier, proving that any two bloggers using the words have the same blog source. In fact, the term "furry germs" is a fabricated example for the article that, at the time of this writing, doesn't exist anywhere on the web except for in the Wired article and in this one (so far as Google can see). More likely the actual example is the term "plush microbes", the term that is used in the marketing email, and on ThinkGeek's site itself.

It's small wonder that bloggers would use the same term when writing about the product, and isn't any evidence of 'blogstealing'. On the contrary, this example raises awareness that we, as bloggers, use the whole world as our source, and that often the same part of the world is shown to many of us at the same time (e.g. through advertisements, the news, terrorist acts).

It's only natural that advertising would raise awareness of a new product, and the far more accurate implication that bloggers don't feel compelled to cite a source when the source is an advertisement that shows up in their inbox is much less insidious than saying we all read each other's weblogs to pilfer content and self-aggrandize.

Just for fun, it might be interesting to have 'attribution week' in the blogosphere, where we carefully document the source of every idea we blog, in as detailed a form as possible.

I propose the week of April 18th, when we're all done with taxes.

[thanks to Amit Asaravala at Wired News, a member of the Terra-Lycos Network]

The Orkut Song
Thursday, Mar 04, 2004
You know you've hit the big time when they write a song about you.

So spot-on, funny, yet critical, I link you to The Orkut Song (1.3meg MP3) by the Mighty Mighty Spatchtones. [mirror]


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

I also have a resume.


I'm co-founder in
a fantastic startup fulfilling the promise of the Internet of Things.

The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.

Find out more.

We're also hiring.


I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

©2012 Kevin Fox