September 2006 Archives

September 30, 2006

I've returned!

252423574_6af8656461.jpg
Flickr's not working right yet. Hmm. Picture taken by me.

September 23, 2006

a slight repose

I'll be out "fake camping" (in the woods in a fully-furnished cabin instead of a tent) this weekend so enjoy the pause in information.

Additionally, I just opened a new account with another host. Depending on when I get back in town on Sunday, you may see a completely new leftsider. Until Then!

September 21, 2006

Societal Meshing....a bad thing?

Real fear in virtual world

Well. What can you say about this? It's increasingly apparent that social networks, when exposed to each other, will have negative impacts if only one SN's ethical code is adhered to. We've got employers reading Myspace, online RPG's potentially blackmailed, Craiglist responses put on blast....each is an example of one (or more) set of understood rules being broken.

So how fragile are SN communities? Must there be a perfectly sterile environment to make these things work? Watch these stories; perhaps they will indicate how social networks will adapt and respond to these negative stimuli.

Aygoooooooo!

Autopia: Toyota Shrinks City Car

The market for extremely small cars is getting bigger as Toyota will introduce a two-seater called the Aygo in 2008, according to Edmunds.

Hahaha....am I the only one that notices this car's name is surprising ly similar to the Korean lament "아이구..."? With only 68 horsepower, perhaps it'd be prudent for owners to learn that phrase....

spiral dream


spiral dream, originally uploaded by **sirop.

Social Networks are everywhere!

September 20, 2006

Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect:

Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Clearing Hotel Security

Wow....security checks are encroaching more and more. Great questions, as usual, from Jan. One day I'm going to ask him where I need to go to learn to ask better questions.

Anger

For some reason, my site seems to be incredibly slow recently, and particularly when posting I've found it burdensome. Now, today, I've come to discover that as many as a half-dozen posts that I've done via bookmarklet (instead of from the site's CMS directly) have not even been saved. I'm not a happy camper. Changes are afoot.

My point, fairly precisely

Strange Horizons Articles: The Ten Stupidest Utopias!, by Jeremy Adam Smith

The Postwar American Suburb

Historian Robert Fishman calls American suburbia a "bourgeois utopia," whose hopes for community stability were founded "on the shifting sands of land speculation," backed up by racially discriminatory covenants and lending standards. The postwar American suburb, each a Nueva Germania of the soul, organized men's life around commutes and women's life around the home: the result was absent fathers, isolated mothers, and alienated children, who seldom knew anyone of a different race. In providing for the material needs of the growing middle class, the suburb created social and spiritual cavities that numerous social movements—from the 1960s New Left to today's Christian fundamentalism—have tried to fill.

According to census data, today the middle-income suburb is actually disappearing, drowning between the Scylla of racially exclusive gated communities and the Charybdis of ethnically diverse subdivisions. The poorest suffer from a lack of public services, lousy schools, and little in the way of parks or squares that might provide some sense of community. The most affluent suburbs are often populated by "relos," executive nomads who move every few years to keep their careers on track, never putting down roots, never investing in the community beyond the gated neighborhoods in which they own their homes. "There's no there there," said Gertrude Stein; the American suburb is still the definitive "no place," an empty parking lot sitting where our past and future should be.

The Last Mile

I Will Teach You To Be Rich: The Failure of the Last Mile

The last mile is what we remember. We know about Dan Rather's brilliant career, yes, but we remember his resigning in disgrace. And there are tons more examples.

Are Korea’s Mobile Carriers Overcharging You?

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Are Korea’s Mobile Carriers Overcharging You?

One thing I think that they are forgetting is that all Korean carriers give free incoming calls. All day long. That's a feature that, as I'm aware, only Nextel has ever offered.

As a result, a person on a 380-minute plan in Korea may very well need a 600-to-1000 minute plan in the US to keep from going over. And, making that comparison, the prices might be more similar.

September 18, 2006

Edit yourself

I'm not sure where people come up with the crap they speak.

Right now, An editor of a magazine is sitting in the office of my magazine's editor.....he's trying to argue a point. I'm listening to his booming voice and I hear him say:

"Study after study shows that the workweek is longer in the United States than any other place in the world"

Bull-loney. When I think of how much our friends in Japan work, usually with no overtime....what a load of croc. How can you be an editor and say unfounded information, even if it is off the record. I don't even disagree with what he's saying, but that's horrible. Did he just make that up or something?

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Fair enough....

I Will Teach You To Be Rich: Stop being cheap and go buy something valuable today

Instead of being guided by the invisible hand of stupidity, take some conscious control of your spending. Are you just spending on eating out? When was the last time you spent money strategically to try to gain something useful? Yes, it's actually good to spend money on things you value. Yes, it's important to spend money on things that will benefit you financially, intellectually, whatever.

circle humor

September 17, 2006

Procrastination hack

Procrastination hack:"(10 2)*5" | 43 Folders

Since I am the world's biggest procrastinator, this might actually work. One thing to look at, though: What to do about interruptions?

September 16, 2006

space


space, originally uploaded by Bright Tal.

as much as I love my buddy Janesdead, The backround image was wearing a little thin. Just one step in a long list of things I've been meaning to do....

iTunes, still on my bad side.

I have basically been converted to Mac, but I refuse to commit simply because some things really irk me about how Apple does some things. Here's a perfect example:

I've never been a big fan of iTunes. When transferring my PC's music library to my new iBook, files were copied in an unrecognizable sequence....which meant when the network connection hiccuped I got stuck with about 70 half-albums. In addition, it did not give me the option of controlling how my files were stored, as RealPlayer and WMP had....and turned a dozen or so compilation albums into about 50 one-song folders. I was not amused. To say we started off on a bad foot would be an understatement.

ITMS was initially guilty by association. If you sleep with the devil, you can't really be all that good for me. Later, as netizens bemoaned the DRM issues that prevented them from using media as they wished, I took it as a sign not to bother. iPod? No thank you. At this point my PocketPC and gig SDcard are suiting quite nicely. With that, I turned my back to popularity and was essentially labeled a hipster by many associates for my refusal to go mainstream.

Well this week we've got iTunes7, And one of the things that I found most interesting about the newest incarnation of the beast is that it would allow you to get album covers from ITMS--provided that you had an account. Refusing to hold a grudge, I decided to open one and see how well it did with my eclectic and very elusive music collection.

I followed the create account option in the menu.
It took me to the license agreement for getting an ITMS account.....in Australia (this MAY be my fault).
I clicked the link they offered to those of us who were from a different country.
It took me to a list of permissioned countries. I chose USA (tangent: do you think Korea will ever be ITMS-friendly? ha.).
The ITMS main page USA pops up. I hunt for the signup area, settling on "account"
The popup asks for my APPLE ID. Nice! I have one of those from the battery recall so I throw it in.
ERROR. My address listed is still of Daegu. And it's got credit card info.....how'd it get that?
I clear the credit card info and update the address. ERROR. No credit card info.

I don't really need to give credit card info just to sign up, do I? The cover art is free, isn't it? What's this all about? I decide that perhaps I'm at an area that is optional; after all, I was looking to create an account in the first place. Let's go back to the main page.

This time I notice the "Sign In" button in the top right. Click.
Back to the popup. But now I see there's a "Create Account" button in the bottom left.
Back to the USA ITMS license agreement. Agree.
Hey! they've remember my email addy and put it there for me! Nice! Add a password. Repeat.
ERROR. This email is already in use with an APPLE account.

So I'm actually thinking to myself, "Ok, so let me use another account and open up this....wha???? All this for some CD covers? This is SO not worth the aggravation.

So I still haven't become one of the many. Curse you, iTunes. Your forced compliance doesn't work with me. And don't get me started on your boy, iPhoto....

First woman gets bionic arm

First woman gets bionic arm - Engadget

Eventually, researchers say, the arm could even give Mitchell the sense of touch, with electrodes in the hand sending signals to her chest skin, which her brain would recognize as a sensation.

September 15, 2006

d u t c h

d u t c h t u b

Boundless Bathing! A fantastic idea. I can see this making someone a very popular camper!

September 14, 2006

Economist.com: Welcome aboard In-flight announcements

Economist.com: Welcome aboard

In-flight announcements are not entirely truthful. What might an honest one sound like?

September 13, 2006

double placebo

I have two pair of glasses that I wear regularly, though not daily. Funny thing is, I don't need glasses. That's right, I have two frames with clear glass in them.

I started this habit in Korea. I found myself in a world of stereotypes: Korean, ESL teachers and military all have their own idiosyncracies. I, however, was an anomaly; people were constantly trying to assume who I was and what I was up to. Their assesment, in my opinion, ran something like this:

Military: Teacher
Teachers: Source of marijuana (I kid; English teachers NEVER do drugs!)
Koreans: ........uh.......rapper? musician? african?.......wait, you're not a teacher, are you?

So I tried to buy custom sunglasses using my then-shoddy Korean and ended up ordering some glasses with a nice tint. To save face, I just bought them and would wear them on occasion. It was almost immediately that I saw the difference.....people actually believed me when I said I was a student learning Korean. No one asked if I was a rapper! And, for those who wanted to place me in a box, I now required more than just a first-glance assessment to be categorized.

The glasses became my tool for being fairly observed. They became a part of my real-world social networking system as they granted me access to a larger group of people. Ultimately, I lost those spectacles in Singapore, so I went back and bought trendier ones.

I say all this because yesterday, at lunch, my friend Marvin put me on blast as we were paying the bill. "Are those glasses even prescription?" He laughed.

"Uh, no. They're cosmetic."

"Did you see him?" He asked. "He put his glasses on to look at the receipt. Wh-aaa-t a placebo!"

He's right. I totally didn't do that intentionally, but the glasses have become such a part of my life now that I, as a perpetrator, assume the habits of people who are legitimate, like Marvin. I can think of other examples; I also carried my korean phone along with me and used its local games and apps despite the fact that it did not work in the U.S.

Sure, laugh at me now. But have you ever faked a phone call to avoid a conversation? Tried to look busy in the office when the boss was on a rampage? Have you ever put on a happy face to share in someone's joy when you really felt pretty crappy? Are these things all that different?

Anyway, It was interesting to observe the multiple functions served by my fake glasses.

metro


metro, originally uploaded by Frans Peter Verheyen.

don't blame the stingrays

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Irwin fans 'in revenge attacks'

Dead stingrays with their tails cut off have been found in Australia, sparking concern that fans of naturalist Steve Irwin may be avenging his death.

Losers.

Digg and Netscape: To Pay

Digg and Netscape: To Pay or Not to Pay?

Calacanis breaks the social news model up into three strata -- the 1% who oversee the majority of the site's content and who define the site's culture, the 19% who contribute stories and comment prolifically and the 80% who are solely consumers of the news.

Calacanis pays his 1%, which is what the debate is really about.

September 12, 2006

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) :

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Citibank Korea Chief Learns Another New Language

“Learning a language spoken in the country where I do business is basic business etiquette,” he explains.

Four U.N. Speeches to Watch

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) :

September 10, 2006

Currency current

This morning, while looking for my card reader, I rummaged through two of my bags and found coinage from six countries (U.S. included). It's incredible to think that I've done that type of travelling in the last two years; it's nothing extensive, but it is far more international travel than I could have imagined for myself ten years ago.

Still, looking at those coins did not make me feel accomplished. On the contrary, I felt that just as they indicated money I did not spend, there were encounters and experiences in these countries that I had not tasted yet. It also made me look forward, wondering when I'd next be able to spend this loose change--or when I'd be able to add another denomination to the set.

When does a person feel that they have seen/experienced enough? I once lived with an old lady who had spent her entire life (save one trip to Florida) in a 90-mile radius. She was completely happy with her experiences and had no want for new horizons. I, on the other hand, have already visited about a dozen countries and I've still a list of places I still want to see! Any ideas for a remedy for wanderlust?

Project Management Source: Lessons from

September 9, 2006

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) :Hines

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) :Hines Ward Pledges Continued Help for Korean Kids

His first visit to Korea earlier this year attracted much media attention, and he later announced plans to establish the Hines Ward Helping Hand Foundation to aid bi-racial children not only in Korea but in the U.S.

September 7, 2006

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, originally uploaded by Dale Anderson Mason.

Get ready....my favorite season is coming....

September 6, 2006

Life is a Journal or

Life is a Journal or Self Help and Personal Development for Lazy People.: 5 Tips on how to treat your life like you are still at school!

Interesting concept....not sure if it has been fleshed out well enough though. Why aren't we doing different things througout our lives? That really makes me think.

September 5, 2006

Voodoo in the cellphone

This weekend we were heading downtown to meet with some family from out of town. As we sat at a stop light, I noticed a car ahead that had an arm sticking out of the window....with a hand clutching a cellphone.

At first I thought that they were passing the phone to another car or something, but instead of passing it over, the hand raised it up, shook it around for about 5 seconds, and then pulled it back in the car.

Segue. Where do were learn how to use our mobile phones? We see people with them, the store offers them, and we buy them. But do we actually know how and why they operate the way they do?

When we passed the car, the woman was chatting amicably on her phone. My guess? Her understanding of how cellphones worked lead her to feel that by putting the phone in a higher, clearer area and shaking it around a bit she could "catch" some improved reception. I chuckled at this, but how many things do we do that we have no proven basis for? Hmmm...

My network vehicles

I've been talking a lot recently about people connecting, being together, being apart.....but I haven't really put my info out there so that people can be in touch with me.

So, here you go; the vehicles for my social network:

My status: Twitter
My thoughts: Leftsider (duh)
My music: Last.fm
My photos: Flickr
My Korean side: Cyworld
My links: del.icio.us
My chat: Gtalk (can you guess my username?)

I'm still pensive about sharing MY social network systems with the public...and with just cause. But I guess I need to put my money where my mouth is...seeing as bigger sites and more notable social web apologists are doing no less.

What are the elemental "sticks and glue" that make an SNS? Living beings and the things that they bond around! So the thing about social networking systems is that, in my opinion, they encompass so much more than a site you contact your friends on. SNSs have been around as long as there were people needing to connect.

It's something you do to fit in; something you use to stay in touch. It's a social lubricant and a relationship tool. It can be a drink in a bar, a campus bulletin board, dogs sniffing each other....like I said: all you need are living beings and something that builds a bond! :)

So what makes it so dangerous online? In every SNS there is a need for a certain level of security. There are people who take advantage of the church potluck and people who manipulate through Myspace pages. In every ideal community, we encounter those who have less lofty agendas. So, we learn to act and adapt accordingly.

So whether I'm sharing my info here, starting a business in second life, or reaching out to intelligent life in the galaxy, I do so with best intentions--despite a proven knowledge of the intentions of others--and hope to further understand the profitability and pitfalls of SNSs.

September 4, 2006

Most Koreans Would Choose Rebirth

Most Koreans Would Choose Rebirth Elsewhere: Poll

Most respondents in a recent poll by the image and video portal site Digital Inside said they would hate to be reborn as Koreans. Asked, "If you were born again, would you want to be born as a Korean?" 67.8 percent or 5,681 of 8,406 visitors to the site said they would rather be reborn as a citizen of another modernized nation.

September 2, 2006

Five quotes (kottke.org) Picking up

Five quotes (kottke.org)

Picking up the meme from Kottke's explanation, here are my five:

  • To believe in God or in a guiding force because someone tells you to is the height of stupidity. We are given senses to receive our information within. With our own eyes we see, and with our own skin we feel. With our intelligence, it is intended that we understand. But each person must puzzle it out for himself or herself.(Sophy Burnham)
  • Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.(Gail Godwin)
  • Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.(E. F. Schumacher)
  • Never try to tell everything you know. It may take too short a time.(Norman Ford)
  • Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.(Peter Ustinov)

MoCo Loco: John Deer, Rabbit