Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daring Fireball: Tits and Apps:

The other thing that bothers me, and ought to bother Apple, is the obvious capriciousness with which these apps were removed. These apps were allowed for about a year and a half. Some developers were prospering by them. And then, boom, they were gone. The reason Apple ought to be concerned about this is that it unsettles all developers — even those whose apps and ideas for future apps were nowhere along the lines of girls-in-bikinis. What developers see here isn’t Apple managing its own brand. What developers see is that the App Store is a shaky foundation upon which to build a business. One day you’re prospering, the next day your app is gone. There are awesome iPhone OS apps that aren’t being built because developers don’t trust Apple not to yank the carpet out from underneath them.
GM Kills Hummer, Officially - Hummer - Jalopnik:

GM will officially wind down Hummer operations as a deal with a Chinese automaker stalled over Chinese environmental concerns You gotta love Hummer — a brand so quintessentially American, so brazenly gas-guzzling, that even the Chinese find it offensive.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mike Daisey Hosts THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW at The Greene Space 2010/02/24:

For the first time ever in its 114-year history, THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW will be made available to the masses when Mr. Daisey brings the show to a live studio audience at WNYC's The Greene Space.

This unprecedented opportunity to witness the live production of the heretofore clandestine radio programme will take place on March 12th, April 16th, and May 12th at 7pm. Audiences at home may also partake in this historic moment through a live webcast of the programme at

Launched in 1896 at the dawn of radio and still transmitted via Tesla Oscillator today, the programme was designed exclusively for Masons of the 3rd Order and higher. Long assumed to be the stuff of conspiracy theories, THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW is in fact the world's longest continuously broadcasting radio programme. Though only heard by a small number of individuals throughout history, those Secret Masters have been the movers and shakers who have shaped the world as it is today.

THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW features a blend of Mr. Daisey's masterful and poignant storytelling with news and interviews with the newsmaking people of our day: bold adventurers, scientists (mad and otherwise), wayward princesses, dashing rogues, and other colorful figures of Our Society. The show covers the latest discoveries in cryptozoology, telluric currents, and advances in both steam and electrical technologies, presenting them in a manner both accessible and informative. Expect trenchant analysis, penetrating wit, and social critique both acid-tongued and whip-smart. Now, at long last, the programme beloved by the Secret Masters will be shared with the world.

When reached for comment, Mr. Daisy said, "From the depths of its black and unknown tunnels to the blinding heights of its terrible skyscrapers, New York City is the best, last bastion of civilization's hopes and terrors. Sending my voice into its ether, night after night, in this impossible metropolis is both an honor and a privilege."

Long-time listener FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT said of the programme, "THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW is the most essential and clear-throated voice for liberty and civilization that can be heard in these dark times."

The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space is located at 44 Charlton Street (at Varick St.), New York.

Tickets are $25 per programme, available at
Empty shopwindow and reflections
Ten rules for writing fiction | Books |

Never ride a bike with the brakes on. If something is proving too difficult, give up and do something else. Try to live without resort to per­severance. But writing is all about ­perseverance. You've got to stick at it. In my 30s I used to go to the gym even though I hated it. The purpose of ­going to the gym was to postpone the day when I would stop going. That's what writing is to me: a way of ­postponing the day when I won't do it any more, the day when I will sink into a depression so profound it will be indistinguishable from perfect bliss.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Slashdot Apple Story | 'Obsessed' American Couple Wed At Apple Store:

"The Telegraph reports that an an 'obsessed' American couple, Josh and Ting Li, have become the first to marry inside one of the technology giant's stores saying "iDo" at the city's Apple store on Fifth Avenue, at 12.01 on Valentine's Day in a ceremony dominated with the company's products and references to them. A video shows that the pair, who met in the Apple store, had their priest, dressed as Steve Jobs, read their vows from their iPhones while the rings were tied to a ribbon wrapped around a first generation iPod. Mrs Ling, dressed in a strapless wedding dress, had her vows written on a card that said 'I love you more than this' followed by a picture of an iPhone. 'We got to know each other because Ting was looking to buy an iPod and I managed to strike up a conversation that way,' says Mr. Ting. 'I used to joke that the Apple Store is my church because I am not religious, and I loved everything Apple.'
Spotlight on Martin Dockery - News from the IT Awards:

Martin Dockery is a frequent performer in New York’s storytelling scene, appearing on the stages of The Moth, Speakeasy, The Liar Show, Told, Risk!, LES Stories, and Sideshow Goshko. His previous theatrical monologues (developed with director Jean-Michele Gregory) Wanderlust and The Surprise, received critical success in New York as well as in San Francisco, Orlando, London, Toronto, and Winnipeg and garnered numerous awards. Dockery was also a co-creator of the play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, which ran on Broadway as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (heard of it?) and is a seven-time finalist in The Moth’s bi-annual Grandslam Storytelling Championship.

This month Dockery returns to Off-Off-Broadway and we look forward with great interest to his newest solo work, The Bike Trip, debuting on February 25 at the Kraine Theatre as a part of the FRIGID Festival. Martin describes The Bike Trip as is his quest “to understand why the drug LSD has enthralled and terrified so many thousands of people.” On his search to uncover the nature of the psychedelic experience, Dockery journeys through the psychedelic scenes of San Francisco, India and Switzerland. To replicate history’s first ever acid trip, he recreates the bizarre bicycle ride of a Swiss pharmacologist 65 years ago that unexpectedly introduced the world to LSD and altered the way millions of people perceive the nature of consciousness. “The public perception of LSD is frozen in a 1960s tie-dyed haze, and yet its use is as prevalent - and as secretive - as ever,” Dockery explains.

The Bike Trip tells a very personal tale as it attempts to look anew at this most powerful of all psychotropic substances…like The Surprise, it’s an autobiographical storytelling show, performed without a script, making each night unique.” After FRIGID, Dockery will then bring to festivals in Fresno, Phoenix, Orlando, London, Winnipeg, Victoria, & Vancouver among others.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Clarice, the glorious city, has a tormented history. Several times it decayed, then burgeoned again, always keeping the first Clarice as an unparalled model of every splendor, compared to which the city's recent state can only arouse more sighs at every fading of the stars. . . . In its centuries of decadence, emptied by plagues, it height reduced by collapsing beams and cornices . . . the city slowly became populated again as the survivors emerged from the basements and lairs, in hordes, swarming like rats, driven by their fury to rummage and gnaw, and yet also to collect and patch, like nesting birds. They grabbed everything that could be taken from where it was and put it in another place to serve a different use . . . Put together with odd bits of the useless Clarice, a survivors' Clarice was taking shape . . .The order of the era's succession has been lost; that a first Clarice existed is a widespread belief, but there are no proofs to support it. The capitals would have been in the chicken runs before they were in the temples, the marble urns could have been planted with basil before they were filled with dead bones. Only this is know for sure: a given number of objects is shifted within a given space, at times submerged by a quantity of new objects, at times worn out and not replaced; the rule is to shuffle them each time, then try to assemble them. Perhaps Clarice has always been only a confusion of chipped gimcracks, ill-assorted, obsolete.

Italo Calvino

Latex, Leather and Nylon

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jobs of Apple Will Collaborate on a Biography -

A handful of presumptive biographers have, over the years, tried to tell the remarkable story of Steven P. Jobs: the youthful visionary who, after being ousted from Apple, the company he helped to found, triumphantly returned to lead a new era of high-tech innovation.

But those efforts lacked one important ingredient: cooperation from Mr. Jobs himself.

Now Apple’s chief executive is set to collaborate on an authorized biography, to be written by Walter Isaacson, the former managing editor of Time magazine, according to two people briefed on the project.

The book, which is in the early planning stages, would cover the entire life of Mr. Jobs, from his youth in the area now known as Silicon Valley through his years at Apple, these people said.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going undergound 8
A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook.:

A respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both "confusing and harmful" to the mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented risks of living in an "always on" digital environment. It's worth noting that Gessner, for his part, never once used e-mail and was completely ignorant about computers. That's not because he was a technophobe but because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press.

Worries about information overload are as old as information itself, with each generation reimagining the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain. From a historical perspective, what strikes home is not the evolution of these social concerns, but their similarity from one century to the next, to the point where they arrive anew with little having changed except the label.
Gawking at Gawker | Slog | The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:

It's curious that Gawker, which started as a (very good) New York and media industry blog, now has to outsource to hire a New York and media industry editor. Talk about losing your message. For the record, everything that I used to love about Gawker can now be found at The Awl.
Lost Kong
Health Care: Must-Read Of The Day:

AP reports that insurance companies in at least four states are raising their premiums for individual insurance policies (those that people have to buy themselves, because they don't get coverage from an employer) by 15% or more. To give you a sense of what we are talking about if these rates go into effect, a family of four in Maine (which is a relatively poor state) can expect to pay $1,876 a month--about $22,500 a year--for health insurance, starting in July.

And this is just the beginning of what we can expect to see pretty much everywhere


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Essentialism.. - Parabasis:

So first, Celeste Headlee asks the singers of the choir what it's like to sing Spirituals. And one of them talks about how he can't really relate to them on a personal level, but he enjoys singing them. And she's totally taken aback by this statement and has to ask at least one more time something along the lines of "wait a second, you don't feel a special connection to this music?" Now if the singer were white, this'd be nothing to write home about, but it's an interesting moment.

Then she asks which singer was the most exciting to share the stage with and the guy answers "Bob Dylan" and you can kind of hear her head explode through the other side of the radio.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Concessions - Film - Concessions - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:

Did you see the Super Bowl commercial with the beavers? It's about this beaver, see, and he plays the violin (WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?) out on his beaver stump in the swamp. But he wants more out of life, so he goes and gets his laptop (SEE ABOVE) and searches for "violinist" on, and apparently they advertise for street-busker positions (NO, THEY DON'T!), so he heads to the big city, delights passersby in the subway station, auditions for a panel of sour-faced old white people, plays Carnegie Hall or some shit, and then begins an interspecies sexual relationship with a blond tramp who probably just wants to eat him and wear his skin for a hat.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Towards A World of Smaller Books — Crooked Timber:

I think you can push this argument further. I would estimate that about 80% of the non-academic non-fiction books that I do not find a complete waste of time (i.e. good books in politics, economics etc – I can’t speak to genres that I don’t know) are at least twice as long as they should be. They make an interesting point, and then they make it again, and again, padding it out with some quasi-relevant examples, and tacking on a conclusion about What It All Means which the author clearly doesn’t believe herself. The length of the average book reflects the economics of the print trade and educated guesses as to what book-buyers will actually pay for, much more than it does the actual intellectual content of the book itself.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Live-Blogging Palin's Tea Party Speech - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:

9.30 pm. The first mention of the debt after half an hour. This is a brutal, take-no-prisoner attack on Obama. She's running for president.
my 10 cent world

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow
Black Playwrights Convening, part two: Isaac Butler reports | Upstaged | Time Out New York:

Well, I’d say the major frustration is that theater is still really fucking racist. This should surprise exactly no one. We all know theater is slow-moving with regard to aesthetics, but it’s slow-moving with regard to other things, too.

So besides the color slot, there’s the “treating the writer like you’re doing them a favor” problem. This is a problem that white writers complain about, too, but it has a particular flavor when a white theater is doing it do a black playwright. Another one is just kind of general disrespect stuff, like artistic directors not coming to meet ‘n’ greets. And then there’s the extra labor demands, where marketing folk expect black playwrights to do the work of marketing their shows to black audiences. But the most interesting frustration articulated had to do with the failure of black theaters to develop into a viable alternative. One former artistic director of a black theater summed it up: She felt that if a play was premiered at her theater, she knew it would never be performed again because white theaters had no respect for black theaters, and other black theaters didn’t want to do work that was on each other’s stages. And then someone who has lived his entire adult life in black theater said that black theaters subsist on the rejected commissions and development opportunities of white theaters. So the ecosystem goes: White theater commissions black playwright, develops their play to death, rejects it, black theater does it, nothing else happens with it.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Santa Fe Institute economist: one in four Americans is employed to guard the wealth of the rich Boing Boing:

Here's a fascinating profile on radical Santa Fe Institute economist Samuel Bowles, an empiricist who says his research doesn't support the Chicago School efficient marketplace hypothesis. Instead, Bowles argues that the wealth inequality created by strict market economics creates inefficiencies because society has to devote so much effort to stopping the poor from expropriating the rich. He calls this "guard labor" and says that one in four Americans is employed to in the sector -- labor that could otherwise be used to increase the nation's wealth and progress.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Marilyn Banner's Art Blog: Mike Daisey:

Mike Daisey is a genius performer. We saw him at Wooly Mammoth on Friday night, doing a two hour long monologue on money. Money as our religion. Not sure how to describe it. Heartful, brilliant, hilariously funny, dead serious truth telling in every line. Much of the DC audience was not laughing. Offended no doubt, as so many (I can't say "most" though that is my feeling) people in this area base their whole lives, actions, philosophy, everything on the idea that wealth and money determine human value.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Colorado Springs cuts into services considered basic by many - The Denver Post:

This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.

More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.

The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.

Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.

City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won't pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.

too much makeup..[explored]

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tinkerer’s Sunset [dive into mark]:

When DVD Jon was arrested after breaking the CSS encryption algorithm, he was charged with “unauthorized computer trespassing.” That led his lawyers to ask the obvious question, “On whose computer did he trespass?” The prosecutor’s answer: “his own.”

If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, you can stop reading now.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Holder's Betrayal - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:

The details of this critical report and the way it was handled at DOJ are little short of infuriating. Here is a critical report whose conclusions were already clear months ago: that Yoo, Bybee at al were guilty of flagrant incompetence in assessing the law in order to allow their political masters to torture at will. And yet, out of some sort of tradition, DOJ hands over the final version to a 70 year-old career Justice Department official who allowed former DOJ officials to dispute and review the report again and again, and then allowed its central conclusion to be watered down. It is one more sign - along with the blanket dismissal of the serious allegations of misconduct at Gitmo - that the Obama administration is circling the establishment wagons on defending Bush era torture and war crimes. They seem either a) incapable of understanding the gravity of what went on or b) deliberately refusing to tackle clear violations of the law out of the usual political cowardice.

Yes, they ended torture. But everything else they have done has been to protect government law-breaking, rather than to investigate, let alone, prosecute it. There is no other word for this but betrayal - betrayal of the people who supported them and betrayal of those patriots within the government who take the rule of law seriously. But this is how Washington works: