October 31, 2006
Attended SF Tech Sessions last night and me oh my there are a lot of companies getting going in the Bay Area. Social Bookmarking was the theme of the evening and short rundown of attendees included...
Wists: Called "social shopping", lets you create sharable pages of
images from across different retail sites.
Kaboodle: Community shopping site which lets you create "collections" of products and share them with others.
Interesting Folks in Attendence:
SlideShare: "The Youtube of Powerpoint" hosts and lets you share presentations.
ZapTix: An online box office for small venues. Down with Ticketmaster!
Wifi Earthcode: A community driven directory of wireless cafes.
Lotta hot action going down. Might have to come back next month.
October 30, 2006
I have achieved a level of fame I am rather proud of. I am friends with people who some other people might recognize. And that suits me fine. Because I don't get strange emails from wannabe geek-boys (a few booky girls but I digress) and can still get into some neat places and get few trinkets thrown my way.
It's a good life.
I was thinking about this yesterday when my Sunday New York Times arrived which not only an essay from my friend Wendy McClure but a piece by Steven Johnson. Miss McClure and I became friends last year when both on book tour (hers beat mine into bloody submission and then pulled its pants down in front of the entire school). Mr. Johnson I've never met but would commit several acts unholy, up to and including window watching, if we could hang out just once.
The reason I bring up Mr. Johnson is I am friends (jeez, I sound like Perez Hilton) with his editor Sean McDonald, who was kind enough to send me a copy of The Ghost Map, SJ's new book which I've been eager to read.
It needs no more press here (see for yourself) so let me just say thank you to Sean for sending it my way, that I will be reading it soon, hello to Wendy and we should hang out, girl, Mr. Johnson, say the word and my bucket and squeegee will be right there and this level of fame is just fine. For now.
The run-up to next Tuesday's election is getting weirder by the day. First I found this NY Times story which has corporate America pouring donations into to the coffers of Democratic candidates in a classic case of trying to befriend the winning team before the opening pitch. At the same time, the Washington Post reports (via Davenetics) that Republicans are leaning on the last remaining crutches of the desperate. "It'll be worse with the other guys!"
I fail to see how it could.
Meanwhile, from Bob Garfield's blog at Advertising Age, the ads the Republican National Committee are running against Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford, who (no points here), is black.
That may be the slimiest thing I've ever seen. And I've been to a sploshing party.
October 29, 2006
- Even the conservatives think their own have gone off course. "The intellectual dexterity that once distinguished campus conservatives has given way to mindless GOP boosterism." And that's from an article in American Conservative magazine (via AL Daily).
- In the fund, flip and exit culture of Silicon Valley, is it possible to build a sustainable company? Here's a theory on how (via Kottke).
- Business Week has some thoughts on bridging the generation gap in the workplace. Here's my favorite part: "Be a Mentor, Not a Taskmaster." (via Susan Mernit).
- According to the Washington Post, 'Myspace is so last year' (like they would know) and teens are graduating to Facebook at earlier ages (via New Media Musings).
- NPR Interviews Bill Bryson about his new memoir "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid". I've read everything Mr. Bryson has ever written and will pick up this book too.
- Daniel Handler talks to Salon about the end of the Leminy Snicket series and what's next for him.
- In no-duh news, 7-Eleven has decided to stop selling an energy drink called Cocaine. Smart choice (via Davenetics).
Built in 1929 as LA’s first earthquake-proof apartments – modelled after Chateau Amboise in France’s Loire Valley, this “residence” hotel has quite a history – everybody who is anybody has stayed here. Infamous for being the spot where John Belushi died of a drug overdose and where long before that Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures, uttered the infamous and accurate phrase: “If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” And they did, all of them: Howard Hughes lived in the penthouse, Elizabeth Taylor brought Montgomery Clift here after his car accident, James Dean hopped in through a window to audition for Rebel Without a Cause. More recently, the Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded most of an album while in residence.
The hotel is a well-known hideaway for both those who live here and those who come in from around the world, and with all that comes an oxymoron – privacy and exposure in equal doses. The rooms and public spaces are a safe haven for people who are perpetually over-exposed, the building’s architecture and decor like a heavy drape to cloak oneself. The hotel is a little bit of paradise, a perfect stage set for the fantasy narrative we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are doing in this place.
On the city itself...
Los Angeles is like a mistress who cannot be fully possessed – beautiful, elusive, ever changing; the most thrilling of seductions. Languid, laconic, especially in summer, the humid haze lulls me into a stupor of attraction and desire. It can be experienced in a seemingly inexhaustible number of ways – think of the noirish world of James Ellroy, the decadence of Bret Easton Ellis, the urbane insight of Mike Davis and Joan Didion. It is a city of many cities, vast in its sprawl with great depth of cultures and fast becoming an international destination for art, music, architecture.
(via LA Observed)
October 28, 2006
- The Ballot is an online voter guide creation tool built by the League of Young Voters. I'm not exactly sure how it works in execution (you can create your own voter guide, but if you're not in complete agreement with the leauge, what happens? How do you create blocks with 50 seperate guides for the same election?) but I like the concept (via Eddie Codel).
- Having been a fan of CNET since the late 90s when they turned me down for four separate jobs, I'm hyper-curious about this article regarding their recent missteps. Since they seen to be on an acquisition tear (Consumating, Chow, Webshots, and TV.com in the last two years), I don't quite see it (via New Media Musings).
- The Village Voice looks at the evolution of downtown New York through the morphing of print zines to cyber culture. Interesting premise (via Tigerbeat).
- Roger Ebert's been recouping from heart surgery since July but, as he writes here, he's well on the way to recovery.
- The Hold Steady, my new favorite band, yaps it at the Onion AV Club.
Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School
by Kevin Smokler
Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times
edited by Kevin Smokler
The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles
edited and compiled by Jeff Martin. Essay by me on page 45.