Site update

I’ve added a few new items to the site navigation. A few new old items to be exact. I’ve finished migrating the content from my MIT web site, which will disappear in a few days, or a month if the guys at MIT are gracious.

Here’s what’s new on the site, and where:

A lot of this content originated on my first website, which was run out of Frontier on my old Power Mac 7200/90. The content was created in Frontier’s outliner and rendered to disk, then served by Personal Web Sharing in Mac OS (Classic) 8.0. You can still see the first site in the Internet Archive. The content was subsequently republished using a template designed in Adobe GoLive, with very non-standard HTML, according to a design by Jan Tschichold: the results are here.

Now all the content has come full circle; it’s back in a Frontier database, on this Manila site. The irony.

Good customer relationship management

We decided to do a night in tonight, so I went to the Blockbuster at the bottom of the hill for the first time. This in and of itself wasn’t so amazing. What was amazing was:

  1. I had my old membership card, originally gotten in the late 1980s in Newport News, VA, in my wallet, and subsequently added to membership databases in Charlottesville and Fairfax;
  2. The clerk was able to use the global Blockbuster customer database to import me into the store’s local customer database with a single scan of that card, despite the fact that I hadn’t used the card since sometime in 1995.

Now that is Customer Relationship Management.

Reputation worth 7.6% of price, UMich sez

Howard Rheingold caught this University of Michigan paper: “The Value of Reputation on eBay: A Controlled Experiment.” The authors find in controlled experiments that a high reputation score on eBay is worth about a 7.6% price premium. This is pretty low when you compare it to the price premium that eBay itself commands over other auction sites, such as Yahoo! (at least in the US), but it’s an interesting finding anyway.

Final score: Virginia, 48-22

What a game. After the third quarter, I figured there were no more surprises, but a few last minute rallies by both teams kept the excitement up all the way. Unbelievable running game by Virginia, particularly Wali Lundy, who had 301 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in the game. A first year, thank you very much.

Up early for football

So what could get me out of bed and blogging at 8 AM on a vacation Saturday morning, anyway? Why, the Continental Tire Bowl, of course! The inaugural game features Virginia vs. West Virginia. So far Virginia has scored three touchdowns—one as I was writing these words with an amazing interception and 69-yard run, one on fourth and inches, one on a double pass trick play. Heck of a game so far and well worth the sleepiness.

Social commentary at SAM

Stuffed after an ill advised dessert, we headed to the Seattle Art Museum for a quick turn around the permanent exhibits. I was excited to find they had a Cheri Samba painting in the “Hero/Antihero” exhibit. Ever since Samba’s appearance in the late lamented Raw comic magazine, I’ve been fascinated by his work, which calls out social issues in Africa, including the spread of AIDS.

Appropriately enough, on the floor below the permanent exhibits of African art were darkened in memory of the millions of people around the world, especially in Africa, who have died from AIDS.


Yesterday was kind of fun, in an all-American “burn lots of gas for the holidays” kind of way. We wanted to take my oenophile in-laws to one of the local wineries. Unfortunately Chateau Ste Michelle was a victim of the morning’s high winds and was on emergency power.

We took a quick vote and decided that if the winds were still this high, it was time to go have lunch in downtown Seattle somewhere where we could see high water in Elliott Bay. After realizing the 520 floating bridge was clogged, we made the long pilgrimage around to I-90, which was experiencing some high water on the eastbound lanes, and made our way down to Anthony’s Pier 66. I had to drop them off, park the car, then walk down to a Starbucks (thank God for Starbucks) to get change for the meter. Anthony’s was good—decent shrimp gumbo (though more soup than stew) with an Orchard Street Jingle Ale on draft.