1. Zeldman with a warning

    jake on 2004.01.30
    at 01:07 pm

    Don’t design on spec points out the problems with doing work for someone before you get the contract.

    Posted in: Design · Web

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  2. Pixar and Disney Breakup, pull out the ice cream...

    jake on 2004.01.30
    at 12:51 pm

    I've always been a big Disney fan, but hated Michael Eisner. He helped bring about a revolution with Disney films form the early nineties. Then he got greedy and started the company down a horrible path. Now they look like chumps and Pixar is leaving their partnership once the current contract runs out. That partnership was arguably the strongest thing Disney had going for it. Now they not only throwing away their own animation studios, but lost the best 3D studio around. Good job Mike.


    Posted in: Art · Movies · Technology

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  3. Great Story on Trippi

    brian on 2004.01.30
    at 05:04 am

    I'm just in it for Howard, but behind every Howard, there's a Joe Trippi. I just wish the reporter who wrote the great story wasn't such an asshole, and let it shine through so clearly. Anyhow, most of it's thoroughly entertaining.

    Posted in: Politics

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  4. The Debate and the Shake-up

    brian on 2004.01.30
    at 03:38 am

    I was just watching the TiVo and its recording of the South Carolina Democratic Presidential Debate. Two things of note: One, wow, Sharpton really sounded like a serious candidate tonight. He definitely "won." However, if he was really serious about winning the race, he'd campaign to an additional 86% of the populace.

    Two, John Edwards definitely went up to Dean right after the debate, and I read his lips, and they said "Call Me." Dean shook his head, knowingly. If Dean had to pair up with anyone, as 1st or 2nd string, I think Edwards would be the best pairing. I can deal with Edwards, as he seems genuine (of course, they train you to do that in Law School). But I don't think he has enough experience in leading, well, anything. One term in Congress doesn't prove as much as, say, 11 years of balanced budgets on your record as Governor. Edwards would make a charismatic number two, though.

    As for the shake up, an interesting piece of thought on the state of the campaign. 625,000+ donating Americans aren't dead yet. especially with, oh, 92% of the delegates up for grabs. My opinion is that the Governor just needs to win the war of attrition, and I think he's the only one with the staying power to do so. Clinton took a lot more shit than Dean has. He made it through, and with a lot less conviction on his part, and enthusiasm on the part of his supporters.

    If Kerry's elected, he'll be ripped apart by Bush. He's the perfect punching bag (a wish-washy Massachusetts-elitist-liberal, who voted with the President, and as the winds blew!) The Republicans purposely said they wanted Dean to compete against as reverse-psychology. And its working. In reality, if Dean was the nominee, people would see he's not some whacko, have to actually look at his records and his stances on the issues. Once they see that he's what America needs the most right now, he'd run Bush through the ringer. I'd pay big bucks for even a bleacher seat for that debate. Dean would flatten him (with that afore mentioned ringer). God forbid we have an intelligent President.

    To recap: Dean can stand up to Bush, Kerry is a disaster waiting to happen. He won't even need buddy Michael Dukakis' tank helmet. He'll do it with his own hair-helmet. Look at the issues, and vote your hopes, not your fears. Think it through!!

    Posted in: Politics · Television

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  5. Miscellanous links that are filling up my tabs...

    jake on 2004.01.29
    at 11:49 am

    Posted in: Rant

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  6. ESPN Reporter Goes GaGa in interview of Stefan Lessard

    brian on 2004.01.28
    at 02:32 pm

    ESPN (uh, EXPN, for eXtreme! sports! EXTREME!!) reporter Mary Buckheit goes crazy when she meets Stefan Lessard, bassist for the Dave Matthews Band at the Winter X-Games. Not a bad article once you sort through they 'teenaged-girl-meets-hunky-hero-star' junk.

    [PS- Stefan loves his iPod and the iTunes Music Store...]

    Posted in: Media · Music · Web

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  7. Feedback on CNN's NH Primary Coverage

    brian on 2004.01.28
    at 03:04 am


    To the point: wow, Bob Novak is a moron. Dean, dead? Well, gee, wasn't it two weeks ago that Kerry was dead? Yeah, you guys are brilliant. How about less "commentary" and "analysis," which are really "biased opinion" (Novak, as a hard-core conservative sounds like he's writing Dean's epitaph since he's scared of him, and wants to convince Dems to defeat their strongest fighter. That way he'll continue to get tips from inside the White House so he can out more CIA operatives and endanger their lives and those of the Americans they work for. All while upping Novak's personal standing and perhaps wealth. )


    How about some more news? The candidates in their own words, not sound bites? How about investigating their claims, reporting facts? How did you guys let Bush off the hook for going AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard, but even tonight keep playing the Dean Scream? Is this Fair and Balanced? In the Fox News sense, absolutely. The "scream" is not pertinent. It's not news. You're skipping things that actually matter to Americans, and cramming junk down their throats.

    I'm happy for myself, since you're junk news reporting during the primaries turned me on to CSPAN. However, since most people don't even know what CSPAN is, I am scared for the future of America that only knows its news through your distorted lens. You've lost this viewer. And I tell all my friends.

    Brian Christiansen

    Brookline, MA

    [weblog note: I sent this right before posting it here. I don't feel like annotating it, in typical weblog style. It's likely all things you've seen before.]

    Posted in: Media · Politics · Television

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  8. My Day with Dean in Review

    brian on 2004.01.26
    at 02:56 pm

    As promised, here's the complete story of our Day with Dean. Pictures of our trip are here.

    We woke early on got on the road to attempt to catch Dean's "Women for Dean" Town Meeting on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University which started at 9:30am. Map Quest said it would take an hour to get to that part of Manchester (Hooksett). When we left Boston, the Saab said it was 6° Woohoo!

    The goal for the day was to see Dean in person, listen to him speak in person. We have recently cemented our support for the Governor, and had contributed our first money to any political campaign. Now we needed to see him in person.

    When we arrived at SNHU, we could see Dean people. Making our way to the venue, we saw the CSPAN crew, who were covering the event live. I was afraid the single digit temps wouldn't be healthy for my camera, so I kept it in my pocket. When we got to the door, we along with a crowd of others were told by an official-acting person that the room was full, the overflow room was overflowing, and that he was very sorry to have to turn us away. So many more people showed up than they had expected.

    We turned back with advice that the Student Center (large pic ) would have facilities for a rest stop. We also found it had a big screen TV and a plasma-widescreen TV, both which were quickly then tuned to CSPAN. We were one of the first in the room. Which was itself full by the time the event came on. Also in the room were reporters from CNN, NBC and some other outlet who was rude enough to participate in a conference call to his fellow media-ites while everyone was trying to listen to the speech. I hope this isn't what all reporters do when they're supposed to be listening to a speech and dutifully reporting back to the American public. It would however explain the major gaffes in reporting from Dean events: he speaks intelligently for an hour on topic, with ease, and they reference one obscure line, out of context, then replay the "Concession Speech."

    Dean's remarks were on "Women's Issues" but his best line was perhaps that Women's Issues are everyone's issues. We often forget that we're all connected. Howard outlined what steps he took in Vermont to address issues that need attention nationwide. Innovative, successful, almost obvious. But they're not obvious until someone with vision comes out to put them into action. His record in Vermont is solid: health care for children, dramatic drops in domestic violence, and of course more, all while producing balanced budgets in each year he was in office.

    Judy Dean was also great, if not brief in her introduction. Of course, she's not running for office, but we would be privileged to have her as First Lady. Her charm is evident, her bashfulness fits great with her intelligence. Unfortunately, she had to read her remarks from a Sony VAIO. Well, I'm glad she was able to speak anyway ;-)

    After the speech was over, we spoke with some others at the Student Center to discover Dean was going to meet with volunteers at the HQ on Elm Street in Manchester at 1:30pm. We were also offered VHS tapes of the Sawyer-Deans interview, which we had already seen. We broke for the car. A quick look at the atlas showed that we could get there easily.

    This was our first trip into Manchester. A nice little city. Clean and open. It would be a nice place to eek out a living. Elm Street is the main street of Manchester. We saw many candidates' signs, and more Dean people walking the street with their signage. We saw a few Kerry people, and even some LaRouche people. We ran the length of the main drag, and didn't see the HQ. We turned around to find the HQ's sign, hidden behind a coach bus. Ah ha. Parking (free, garaged parking in a city? That's unheard of to Bostonians!)

    We came into the HQ (big pic), and signed in. We were told by the weblog that they had too many volunteers. The people inside said they could never have to many. They wanted to send us out to canvass, that is knock on doors. I had no problem with the 'walking in the cold' part, but neither of us were comfortable with going door-to-door. We're not pushy people. We looked for another way to help. There was a lot of standing around for us. We spoke to a few people, asking for an alternative way of helping. To no avail. We decided to stay until Dean arrived, and if nothing reared its head, we'd get out of the way of the other volunteers. Karen Hicks took the stage to rev up the canvassers. She looked much shorter when she was on level ground.

    The hall was crowed with SEIU volunteers who had come from New York State (NYC, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo). Their energy was infectious. Student groups came from the University of Virginia, and Columbia. There was a small group of kids from Chicago, who had a grooving, hip-hop cheer for Dean. and a few random people from California, including a higher-up from the SEIU Los Angeles, and another guy in the crowd from Oakland. One guy from Oklahoma.

    Whilst we waited, by an enormous pile of Sawyer-Dean interview VHS tapes (big pic), we were approached by a news crew. They asked if we could be interviewed. We told them that we weren't locals, nor were we really being productive volunteers. They didn't seem to mind. They were from Nantucket, TV 22. I can't seem to find them on the web, though, which makes me wonder. Anyhow, it was a very nice interview, we both felt we did really well. Of course, I'm very comfortable speaking, since its part of my job (half retail, half tech training...). We spoke about why we came, what our political background was. That's basically none, other than being informed, and a little self-campaigning loosely affiliated with the Greens on behalf of Nader in 2000 while I was in college.

    The Dean people seemed to think we did well, as well. After the interview, Jeremy, one of the more official Dean volunteers came over to us. He explained that he was the media-minder. He said when the media swings by, they ask him if there's anyone around to speak with. We had done a good job, with a positive and friendly tone, and he wanted to know if we could be someone he could point the media to for more interviews. We said that we were looking for something to do to help, that didn't involve knocking on doors, and that interviews would be perfect. We were happy to help!

    He said to hang around, and as the media came in with Dean, he'd point people over to us.

    The hall filled to capacity when the time for the Governor's appearance neared. (big pic)We had to get on chairs to see the stage. The crowd was being warmed up by various campaign and Union people with chants and songs. Then the Governor came and the place erupted. (big pic)Very emotional connection between him and the volunteers. Judy seems to be getting a little more comfortable with the chants of "JUDY!-JUDY!" I guess someone could get used to that. Her quiet, supportive presence was felt, even though she didn't say anything.

    The Governor pepped up the troops, but in true Dean style, didn't gloss over the facts.(big pic) He said that we were in second place, and it was possible to make up the ground, but he wasn't going to outright say it would happen. He's a realist, and doesn't BS. This is what attracts me to him the most. He said if you can go out there and knock on the doors, we could make it, but it was up to us.

    After about 5-10 minutes of thank-yous and chants and pep, the Governor was swept away towards his next appearance. We stuck around to see if there would be any more interviews. The crowd poured out of the hall, many to board busses back to NY, and others to knock on more doors. The press left as well. After the hall was nearly empty, we took a few quick pictures (see the gallery), and spoke with Jeremy again. "It looks like the press left with the Governor." It seems our "calling" had been short lived. After getting the impression we could do no more, we decided to pack it in, and try to find some lunch. We hadn't eaten since 7am, not much at that, it was around 3 at this point, and we hit the road. We'll look to help out again, but not likely before the NH polls open tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get to help with the Mass for Dean movement, locally.

    Posted in: Politics

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  9. My Day with Dean in NH

    brian on 2004.01.25
    at 08:14 pm

    The Doctors Dean, hand in handI've just returned from New Hampshire, where I saw Governor Dean speak twice today, and once in person. I also got interviewed on TV. I've posted all of my pics from today, unedited on my dotMac account. You can see my unedited Dean in NH pictures here.

    I'll write up a more in depth story as soon as I can... look for it here, shortly.

    Posted in: Politics

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  10. Disney Auctions Site

    jake on 2004.01.23
    at 06:52 pm

    I had no idea they had a Disney Auction Site. I found this through Boing Boing and just wanted to archive the link for myself.

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  11. Raw vs. Jpeg

    jake on 2004.01.23
    at 06:17 pm

    PhotographyBLOG has 2 articles about jpeg vs. raw for digital cameras.

    JPG vs RAW vs TIFF: Get it Right the First Time by Ken Rockwell is absurd. He makes very few good points in the article. He actually believes that a lossy jpeg is just as good as a large raw file. Maybe for the Internet, or comp work.

    I just look at it by taking it from a similar musical subject. If I take a large mp3 and a wav file of the same very elaborate music (something with lots of highs and lows) and compare them, the mp3 may sound good, but it's definitely muddy compared to the full wav file as soon as you listen to it from a good system at a good volume.

    Bringing it back to the image, as is stated in the second article (which I'll link to in a second) as soon as you try to blow the image up, even with a good camera, you can notice the compression's effects on the image.

    Sermon From A Raw Convert by Petteri Sulonen is written from a more objective view point. He explains how Raw isn't always the way to go when you shoot, but in most circumstances it's flexibility raises it above jpeg.

    Posted in: Photography · Technology

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  12. RFID Chip in Soccer Balls

    jake on 2004.01.23
    at 05:31 pm

    Gizmodo posted about an interesting technology use. To implant RFID tags in soccer balls. Being a big soccer fan I find this very interesting. I wouldn't mind being able to see (online perhaps) a representation of the ball movement.

    Posted in: Sports · Technology

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  13. People Powered Howard

    brian on 2004.01.23
    at 03:36 pm

    People-Powered Howard Dean got $100 more dollars today. $50 each from Amanda and myself. These are our first political contributions ever! Additionally, we’re traveling to New Hampshire to cheer on Howard on Sunday. my friend Scott has a friend of a friend who works in the Concrod HQ, so we’re hoping to have an inside track on seeing the man in person. That’s awesome.
    Hop on board?

    Posted in: Politics

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  14. Why isn't this on the Nightly News?

    brian on 2004.01.23
    at 03:51 am

    Couldn't the media have gotten off Howard's case long enough to talk about the President, and his ribs? Note the link goes to the, the official site of our President. Actually, I would love some ribs, right now. How 'bout you, Stretch?

    [via MeFi]

    Posted in: Politics

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  15. Watergate 2004 & The Dean Interview

    brian on 2004.01.23
    at 03:28 am

    Yes, as if the Republicans didn't learn the first time, they had to try again. The question is, why did I hear about it first on a weblog, and not elsewhere? How come only this guy and the Globe heard about this? Why isn't the whole nation pissed off, instead of talking about Dean rallying the troops?!

    And yes, I wrote Primetime Live to tell them what awful treatment they gave the Deans, taking such a nice interview, and trying to frame it as if Howard's a crazy man. It's not journalism, it's a smear campaign. It's disgusting. Admit it, he's the only human in the race. And that scares the media, apparently.

    Posted in: Politics

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  16. Save money by "downgrading" a Creative Nomad Muvo2

    jake on 2004.01.22
    at 07:37 pm

    Creative Nomad Muvo2I found this link over at Gizmodo. Apparently you can strip out the microdrive from a Creative Nomad Muvo2 and replace it. Considering the price for a 4GB microdrive (what comes in the player) you actually save money by doing this.

    Posted in: Cool Info · Technology

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  17. Cool Perspective Chalk Drawings

    jake on 2004.01.21
    at 10:34 pm

    A young lady has posted some photos on her livejournal of perspective chalk drawings. They look pretty amazing.

    Posted in: Art

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  18. Brian For Dean?

    brian on 2004.01.21
    at 02:41 am

    I'm thinking about going to NH and helping out the Dean Campaign some. Iowa, plus this whole "State of the [pukes /] Union" has pissed me off just enough, apparently.

    Tomorrow, I think I'm going to contribute $25-50 to the Dean campaign, then see if I have a day off between now and the primary, to go up and help out somehow. I just see Bush being re-elected again [pukes /] and I like Dean the best (although, do note that Michael Moore has endorsed Clark), so I figure I'd lend a hand. I still feel that his network is the best in the country, and has the best chance of getting people out to the polls, and that's the only way to get rid of Bush. All those who benefit from him (and those who think they do, who of course, outnumber those who actually benefit) will be there. It's time for the opposition to show up.

    For our Massachusetts readers:

    For our Connecticut readers

    Posted in: Politics

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  19. People's Court Meets Web Design

    brian on 2004.01.20
    at 01:35 am

    It seems that a friend of mine may be making an appearance on The People's Court. (I refuse to link to the website, which just redirects to a contact form. Pathetic for a TV show that has been on since 1981, and developed a genre of show!)

    She has a web client who has not paid for her site. So, she has filed a grievance in small claims court to get her client to pay up.

    And yesterday, she received a letter in the mail... on "The People's Court" letterhead. That invited her to appear on the show to settle her case with her client. She suspects that perhaps the client, who's in the media industry in New York City, maybe knew the producers. Anyhow, she is considering the appearance. It pays, win or lose. Will it be good exposure? Does she want that kind of exposure? What kind of potential client would be watching The People's Court?

    Posted in: Web

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  20. O'Neill Gives Candid Account of Bush's White House

    brian on 2004.01.12
    at 03:23 am

    I wish I had the opportunity to watch this story on 60 minutes tonight. Paul O’Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury for the George W. Bush White House spoke about his personal experience working in the White House. It sounds scarily like how I envision it daily. why can’t other people see it this way? The White House is seriously not working in the best interests of the American people.

    I will look into picking up to this book, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill
    by Ron Suskind
    (which is not written by O’Neill, nor did he receive any compensation for his willing participation). Hopefully, he won’t get the same treatment as some others (namely Valerie Plame.)

    Posted in: Politics

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  21. Mars Rover Lands + Video + Pictures

    brian on 2004.01.04
    at 06:35 pm

    For the most part, the US news media has all but ignored the successful arrival of the US Mars Rover to the Red Planet.

    Find fascinating video from NASA on the preparation for the Mars Rover mission here, on their website. Watch as NASA engineers explain how the Rover was built tested, how it will travel and land to the planet which it then intends to explore.

    As a sidenote, the NASA video is spectacularly well done, and presented in your choice of QuickTime or MPEG format.

    You can also view the first pictures broadcasted from the Red Rover here: Press Release Photos and here, Unedited Rover photos.

    Posted in: Science

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