A retraction

While I’m on the subject, I have to apologize for saying that And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead’s “Relative Ways” “sounds a whole lot like really good Sonic Youth.” That’s not nearly specific enough. The intro and 4/4 / 3/4 guitar hook sounds pretty specifically exactly like the 5/4 middle section of “Wildflower Soul,” while the verse melody is highly derivative of “Teen Age Riot” (from Daydream Nation). Just wanted to clear that up.

Why Justin Hall rocks

Justin Hall: an information hustler (scroll down to entry for 5/9 for the article). I don’t always remember to point to Justin because his site doesn’t do RSS and none of his articles have permalinks. But he was the protoblogger back in 1996, writing honestly about his life and the stuff he was doing and the people he loved.

And this story brings out all that’s warm and real about Justin:

A friend at Deloitte & Touche asked me to talk with these kids about my career as a freelance writer. And so I stood up in front of them and shared – “I’m homeless, in debt, and my clothes smell because I live out of a beater car.” And they looked at me confused and a loud little girl with long thin braids in a bright pink parka down in front during the second section said, “Why should we listen to you then?” and I said, “because I do what I want and I love my life.”

28 May 2002: Updated with new Justin permalink!!!

Google galore

Dave points to new services from Google: Glossary, Sets, Voice Search, Keyboard Shortcuts. Cool tech. This is what differentiates Google from other past search engine failures. By now, if it were another Yahoo or AltaVista, Google would have launched six auction portals and a weather page instead of thinking of ways to make the user’s search experience more productive.

That said, I’m trying to understand where the hell they’re going and failing. I can certainly see how Glossary will be useful, but it’s slower than the main Google search. Sets? I can’t think of a practical application offhand, but if someone’s interested in the part of traditional Google searching that provides related links, Sets could be a good way to focus the results of such a query. Voice Search? Busy signal. Might be cool if it gave the results over the phone rather than making you have a browser. Keyboard shortcuts? Very cool, but I have the funny feeling that I’ve just used ten years of browser and markup development to recreate the Lynx experience on a Google search results page.

OmniOutliner as an AppleScript tool

Jesse Shanks: More AppleScript and OmniOutliner: OmniOutliner as a Script Analysis and Management Tool. Jesse emailed me Friday to ask if he could use my OmniOutliner2OPML script as the basis of the script in this article. It’s a good thing I was checking email in Bar Harbor! Of course, the server apears to have fallen over and died now, so I’m guessing I’m not getting a lot of traffic from Jesse’s piece, but welcome any new visitors anyway…

Recording rocks

The E-52s did their most amazing performance today for the mikes. We recorded our repertoire in a tight two hour session—a far cry from sessions I used to do with the Suspicious Cheese Lords that would take two hours to cut one song. Of course the standards were much higher at those sessions. Here we wanted songs for archival, memory, gifts to families, and possibly on line promotional purposes, which made the pressure much less and we had a lot of fun.


At home, breathing easier

After a weekend spent in the cold rain of Bar Harbor, I’m back in Boston this morning relaxing and trying to get myself used to my new free time. It’s not really free; I have to do a fair amount of work to get ready for our house-hunting trip in Seattle this coming weekend. But I have no cases to read, no classes to attend, and no papers to write. I feel better already.


I finished my last class yesterday, turned in my last assignment. I’m finished with my work for my MBA. No more MIT classes, alas. But on the other hand, no more cases to read. It seems unbelievable that it’s all over except for graduation.

It’s time to refocus on other things. Like, finding a house in the Seattle area.

$50K buys a lot … of free publicity

The MIT $50K competition held its award ceremony last night. Congratulations are in order to my classmate Jeremy Bender and his team, Ancora Pharmaceuticals, who won the grand prize. $50K may not be a lot as far as seed money goes, but it’s a spectacular win for Jeremy and his team. For the record, their team “specializes in the development of complex carbohydrate drugs,” according to the summary posted here.

New iTunes2Manila v 1.0.2

New version of my iTunes2Manila script out today. This little script, which posts the currently playing track in iTunes to your Manila weblog as a news item, now uses proper typography (curly quotes!) and includes an automatic wrapper for a Google search on the artist name.

Future to do: have a way to update a playlist message automatically, so that “currently playing track” can easily be included in your site template.