Sunday, November 4, 2007

Paula Radcliffe Airborne @ Mile 14

Paula Radcliffe Airborne @ Mile 14

Paula Radcliffe Airborne @ Mile 14
Originally uploaded by epc

I got this amazing shot entirely by luck. It's Paula Radcliffe (who would go on to win) just passed mile 14, completely airborne. More pictures at my ING NYC Marathon 2007 set on flickr.

flickr posted this at 20:38 GMT on 4-Nov-2007 from Long Island City, NY. , Comments [1]

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sunset Over Lower Manhattan

Sunset Over Lower Manhattan

Sunset Over Lower Manhattan
Originally uploaded by epc

Took this while on approach to LGA last night

flickr posted this at 23:29 GMT on 8-Nov-2007 from Queens, NY.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dozing Dogs

Dozing Dogs

Dozing Dogs
Originally uploaded by epc

I'm in Amagansett for the next couple of days working on a non-profit's web site. The dogs had to come of course. They collapsed in this little heap in front of the porch doors taking in the late afternoon sun.

flickr posted this at 00:25 GMT on 14-Nov-2007 from Amagansett, NY. Source, , Comments [0]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oops

I apparently had the template for this page set to only list 14 days' worth of contents. It magically rebuilt some time in the last few days and promptly went blank since I have had nothing of value (to me) to write.

I've been working with a non-profit's web site on and off for the past couple of months. I find the whole situation somewhat depressing because at the end of the day we're still hacking HTML 10, not quite 15 years (for me). I've got the staff using Microsoft Word now to update some of the pages, but even that required my editing the pages in emacs first, and then importing to Word, and then paranoically checking across multiple browsers. The solution should be a simple CMS, but most require more server-side support, and more tech hands on on a recurring basis than I think should be necessary.

As a result, the dogs have been commuting to East Hampton, NY every couple of weeks. Just over two weeks ago I drove out at 6:00 a.m. and absolutely flew until I got to the Shinnecock crunch where NY-39 is under construction. Tonight I drove back and spent nearly 90 minutes driving from Amagansett to Riverhead where I pulled over to ge something to eat.

Sailor still does not like riding in the car. She pants, sometimes heavily, and trembles as soon as she gets into the car, but she gets in, she doesn't splay her legs across the door anymore. Lately she will get up on the back passenger seat and wait for me to put the car in gear before shuffling around and under the seat cover I bought. She crawls into a little den for herself behind the passenger seat. This is freaky the first time you hear it happening (assuming you're driving and looking in the direction you're driving, which is not necessarily the case in NYC). But she seems calmer when she does this, still pants but the trembling cuts back and on the drive back from Washington, DC last weekend she actually seemed to sleep a little. Unless the snoring was just "acting".

There's little news on the Frisket front. She was quite frolicky with Sailor over the weekend, and I caught her munching a little bit on le corpse d'seagull on Indian Wells Beach this afternoon, but otherwise she's been healthy (watch me regret typing that as she returns her foul fowl tonight).

Upcoming Travel

We're heading to Illinois the weekend of the 14th so I can see my family (as much as possible over four days) and take some friends to Alinea to congratulate them on their engagement.

Almost immediately on returning from Illinois I'm packing the dogs, the togs, the tevas, and whatever else will fit in the MDX for a marathon drive to Miami Beach. We'll be in Miami Beach from the 21st through 28th (at least that's the plan).

In early January we're flying to London for a long weekend including seeing Ewan McGregor and Chiwetel Ejiofor at Donmar Warehouse.

NextNY Event: MatchUpCamp on 28 November 2007

Tomorrow night (the 28th) (god this is totally a random collection isn't it?) is MatchupCamp, another NextNY event which describes itself as matchmaking for startups – is all about startup networking, creating a place for ideas and talent to meet. I plan to go and offer free grumblings from an old web codger, or something like that. But if you're into startups in the NYC area or just want to meet other people and find out what's going on in the web space in NYC, please come. Sign up on that page I just linked to, it's from 7-whenever at For Your Imagination, 22 W 27th, Manhattan. Occasionally beverages are consumed after these events.

Go see No Country for Old Men

While we were in Amagansett we saw No Country for Old Men. I thought it was a great movie. Definitely violent, but not gratuitously violent in a SAW XXXVIII: The Sharpening sort of way.

The Feed Purge of 2007

Apropos of nothing in particular, I reorganized my Google Reader subscriptions (Oh, joy, he's going to tell us about RSS feeds again). At one point I had over 800 feeds, most of which I read at most weekly if at all. I trimmed that down significantly to under 400 feeds, which is still a lot to read daily, but not so bad weekly. And I don't really read everything, I skim headlines (woe unto ye who writes a lousy headline like Oops) and then Star the ones I want to read later if I don't pop them into another tab. I eliminated any partial feeds which had such brief summaries that I always had to read the full article to find out what the article was about in the first place (Good Bye CNN's feeds). I eliminated feeds if I couldn't recall a substantive article or lead from the feed in the last few months (yes, this was completely arbitrary). I deleted a whole mess of SEO and Search related feeds: there's only a few blogs of value in the space, everyone else seems to either whine about Adsense, whine about Matt Cutts, or whine about not getting linked from the alpha blogs.

I found maybe 100 feeds were 404'ing and purged those. Don't care if you moved to another host/service/feedblaster. I purged feeds related to things I was interested in 2-3 years ago but am no longer.

And I reorganized everything from a incredibly messy collection of over 200 "folders" down to about 20, collapsing maybe 10 NYC related folders down to just "NYC", all business related feeds (regardless of source: blogs or the Faux Street Journal) down to just "business". Am still getting used to it, and believe I lost some feeds I didn't intend to due to Google's silent error handling of bad lines in my OPML file.

The method I used was kind of brutal: I exported my subscriptions into an OPML file, then deleted ALL of them. I also deleted all of the folders and tags. I then munged the OPML file on my Mac, removed all of the folders/tags from it, eliminated duplicated feeds (if a feed is in multiple "folders", Google will export it multiple times, once for each folder). Ran curl on the feeds to eliminate the 404s. And then reassembled the mess into a new OPML file and reimported into Google. Multiple times. Google Reader apparently choked on data it had just exported (and when it fails there's no error message, it just stops importing).

I wish this sort of thing were a bit easier, returning to my information noise/glut/whatever theme of earlier this year: I don't think we can handle all of the crap, digital or physical, we can now accumulate and cart around. Digital tools should include the means to make it easy to purge older cruft. Perhaps force me to pick and choose and assign value to individual messages and digital artifacts.

30

Eh, I have a couple more things to write up but they can wait (mostly: I’m looking for a replacement for my Nokia E70). Sailor's glowering at me so it's either walkies time or I'm supposed to be in bed so she can use my knee as a headrest. Look back here or on my flickr site for some pix of the dogs today at the beach.

e.p.c. posted this at 04:40 GMT on 28-Nov-2007 from Brooklyn, NY.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A pile of blog-like items to end the month

  • Update: Apologies for the del.icio.us links spammage in the feed. Apparently my understanding of "no more than once a day" differs from feedburner's
  • I think this sums up NYC's response to the latest news about Giuliani: Rudy got laid, New York paid
  • Bank of America tried to tout its newly acquired local sensibilities in Chicago by featuring the iconic Sun-Times building in a full page ad: What's wrong with this picture?. Unfortunately for them (or their ad-agency), the Sun-Times building was torn down in 2004.
  • Interesting essay Digital Reading, Subpoenas, and Privacy at O'Reilly Radar by Peter Brantley asks: Are you prepared to respect and reassert in a digital age -- an age in which the act of reading is inherently recordable -- the individual's control of privacy that has been maintained over the last 700 years?
  • An essay by Sean Ammirati User Centric Identity: A Call To Action, which reminds me I need to write up something about Defrag. Related is this announcement for a Workshop: Computing in the Cloud by Ed Felten at Princeton University 14–15 January 2008.
  • If you're American, it's unlikely that you've heard of the electoral upset in Australia over the weekend, where 10+ year Prime Minister and Chief Bush Buddy John Howard was kicked out of office (ok, upset implies that it was a surprise, and as far back as August when we were there it was clear that Rudd would likely win the election). One of the refreshing comments as the Australian government changes is that Rudd wishes to drive a culture shift across the bureaucracy to promote a pro-disclosure culture. People need to remember that their governments serve them, at least in democracies or alleged democracies. There is very little information which reasonable needs to be hidden from citizens. You'll hear but what if the terrorists learn shouted in reply and justification, and what if they do learn something that could potentially be exploited? Is that absolutely, necessarily worse than allowing the government to become secretive, to create "secret laws" and to detain citizens without due process? At what point do we (or did we?) accept living in fear of our government over the fear that potentially someone could do some sort of harm to us? (forgot the link: Not just the law but the culture needs fixing from The Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Essay by Joshua Porter on Facebook’s Growing Design Problem (and a proposed solution) where he points out that his […] main concern was that Facebook and Blockbuster were talking at all. Made me recall the ACLU Ordering Pizza in 2010 campaign on government surveillance from 2002. I think Facebook has totally fucked up on balancing user privacy against the desire to collect and make money off its users. The bigger question is whether FB's typical users notice or care about such things?

e.p.c. posted this at 23:00 GMT on 29-Nov-2007 from Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Waiting

Waiting

e.p.c. posted this at 14:26 GMT on 30-Nov-2007 from Brooklyn, NY.

Slightly acerbic and eccentric dog walker who masquerades as a web developer and occasional CTO.

Spent five years running the technology side of the circus known as www.ibm.com.

More about me here.

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