Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Jul 28, 2005 5:53pm


Maciej's Audioblogging Manifesto notwithstanding, this comment on the recent New York Times article "Podcasting Hits Mainstream" is on the money:

Here's a success story for you: I'm now enjoying podcasts so much that I've begun taking the bus to work instead of driving to work, which adds about 45 minutes of communting and listening time into my day. Podcasts reduced my dependence on foreign oil. :-)

(from 37s)

My dad just read Kunstler's Long Emergency, and is all fired up about peak oil. I think there may be an interesting confluence between efficient information-foraging behavior and environmental harmony. Kunstler's main argument seems to boil down to one of human reaction time: given that oil is a finite resource (the only real point of debate is when it will run out), the most important variable is the speed and intent of civilization's rection. If we wait for the market to respond to decreasing supply, we will have waited too long. The book argues that peak oil is a manageable situation if we work to eliminate suburban patterns of living now - move to the city, or become a gentleman farmer.

Meanwhile, the mechanics of attention and connectivity are reaching a point where it's possible to live a rapid transit urban lifestyle, and have more leisure time to read & learn. I do almost all of my reading on public transit, and podcasting only makes sense to me in a context where I'm away from my usual speedreading environment.

Jul 23, 2005 12:47am

painting in public

My good friend Kelly is in the Chronicle today:

"If you don't have a gallery show and you don't have a job, then you do live painting,'' he said as he kneeled on one knee and began to brush the scene with bright oranges and deep blues. "It's a way of getting gigs.'' Porter is one of many young artists who are venturing out from the quiet solitude of their studios to paint before a live audience. While people chat, mingle or dance, artists are turning a blank sheet of paper into art, often inspired by the music of a DJ or a live band.

Jul 22, 2005 5:18am

more notes on look and feel

Last month I posted a small group of application fragments that I think are particularly good designs to emulate for an upcoming revision of Reblog, an RSS aggregator application that I co-develop with Mike Frumin at Eyebeam.

I just finished the first draft of a redesign based on those notes. Feedback would be very much appreciated.

Jul 22, 2005 5:18am

@#$% moveon

Why am I getting mail from MoveOn yelping about this week's milquetoast Supreme Court nominee, while this is happening?

Jul 21, 2005 6:16pm

mappr in businessweek

Businessweek Online has an article by Rob Hof that details several web services mashups, including our project Mappr. The "slideshow" illustration is a Mappr screenshot, and we're #4 in the list.

I know this because I've been getting CPU load warning messages on my phone all morning, and our traffic has increased by something like 1000%.

Also featured are ChicagoCrime, HousingMaps, and Alan Taylor's Amazon Light. A9 is an interesting inclusion, because unlike the rest of these "unilateral collaborations", it's an official project from Amazon.

Jul 19, 2005 10:52pm

america, fuckyeah

This morning I took the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance and became a citizen of the United States, finally.

Woo hoo!

Jul 15, 2005 5:50pm

emulating gmail conversations in mail.app

I use Apple's Mail.app as an IMAP client. It means that I can also check my mail via Pine or Squirrelmail, on any of the machines I use regularly. This is good.

Gmail has an awesome design feature called conversations, where your inbox and outbox are merged into a single message stream, and you can see a complete back-and-forth exchange in one place, instead of having to rely on sane quoting practices or constantly switch between mailboxes. I don't use Gmail for a number of reasons, mostly inertia and control-freakishness. I do want the benefit of conversations, though.

One method I've thought of using to duplicate this feature is to generate procmail rules to automatically route all of my non-list inbox mail to a "conversations" mailbox, and then use that as my outbox as well. This could work, but it feels like a serious hack that could have negative consequences down the line. Since I use Mail.app as my primary mail client, I think that OS X Tiger's new "smart mailbox" feature offers a nice compromise, where I get to have a conversation view in just one of my mail-reading environments.

So, by setting up a smart mailbox with just two rules, I've got conversations and I don't need to switch to Gmail to get them. The rules are simply to include all mail that's either in my inbox or my sent folder, nothing more. This handles 90% of the cases where I might want to interleave messages, with very few drawbacks.

There are two big problems with this approach:

  1. It only works in Mail.app. I can deal with this, since the conversation view is not yet a crucial feature of my reading.
  2. Mail.app's search feature doesn't seem to work within smart mailboxes. This is probably a bug on Apple's part, or at least a lame design decision for the sake of efficiency. Maybe they'll fix it in a future release.

Jul 12, 2005 4:33pm

panoramic photos from new york

I just returned from my five-day trip to New York on Sunday. I was in a panoramic photo mood, so here are four composite images. The first two are from Eyebeam's Chelsea space, and the last two are from my friend's warehouse space in Williamsburg where I stayed.

Jul 9, 2005 12:20am

we spoke at flashforward

Darren and I presented an hour-long Ask The Experts session at at Flash Forward in New York this morning.

Slides from our talk are available for download. There are also BSD-licensed demo files that demonstrate Flash implementations of various map projections and some helpful linear algebra.

Jul 8, 2005 5:32am

media futures

Five articles I need to read very soon, in Seth's Transparent Bundles:

  1. Media Futures: AUTOMATA: "The most exciting new Internet companies are focused on lead generation, behavioral targeting, co-registration paths (aka coreg) and domain name brokerage. I seem to stumble every day across some new firm propping itself up on the shoulders of Google, Yahoo! or others to take advantage of a current wrinkle in an otherwise perfectly efficient landscape."
  2. Media Futures: ALGORITHM: "An Algorithm is a set of instructions or procedures for solving a problem. In the same way that computer scientists 50 years ago focused on the single problem of designing a general purpose computer, there is a similar focus in 2005 among leading Internet service architects: creating a social media computer that leverages user generated content to automate the production of commercial content."
  3. Media Futures: API: "...But now, in tackling the concept of API, even as it relates to something familiar like Internet Advertising, I am intimated by the history of professional, enterprise computing...."
  4. Media Futures: ALCHEMY: "In considering Alchemy as it relates to the Internet, I have been spending my time trying to reconstruct my college readings of Walter Benjamin, the beautifully melancholy German essayist from the 30's."
  5. Media Futures: ARBITRAGE (II, III, IV, V): "Arbitrage is the fifth and final part of the Media Futures series. It has taken me a full month to establish enough contexts for the word so as not to reduce its meaning."

Jul 5, 2005 1:17am

new york again

Darren and I are heading to New York tomorrow, where we will host our "Putting Data on the Map" Friday morning Ask-the-Experts session at this years' Flash Forward conference. Anything interesting going on I should know about?

Jul 4, 2005 11:28pm

we spoke at where 2.0

Eric and I presented our MoveOn Virtual Town Hall project at O'Reilly's Where 2.0 conference last week.

Our talk went well, the whole conference was great fun. Slides from our talk are available for download. Elizabeth Goodman posted notes on the conference, including our 15-minutes segment - ours is near the bottom of that page.

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