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Fame, makes a blog and takes things over

My name is Will.  This is what I clicked.

October 24 |

— I'm seeing the idea of "casual content creation" come up more often among Web thinkers.  The idea is that not everyone wants to be a global media star through their blog.  In fact most people don't, and lately a whole bunch of people who thought they might are figuring out that they don't either.  So there's a new focus on the casual user.  Remember that piece a week ago about all the cool kids switching to LiveJournal accounts to keep strangers away from their blogs? 

I think a similar attitude can be found in Kottke's explanation of what a is.

As long as we're learning new words, how about .

There are and then there are .

This is a weird item to pursue, but since I linked to the reverend criticizing the rampant spread of teen lesbianism (so rampant that his teenage son can't get a date) I felt some obligation to report that his son has in fact .

I suppose it's understandable that the Coburn Amendment didn't get more coverage considering it didn't actually pass.  We don't get a lot of news reports on failed legislation.  In the political blogosphere, however, it was a pretty big deal.  In short, it was the legislative parallel of all the pork-busting the blogosphere has been buzzing about.  Club for Growth blogged the matter extensively then .

"The latest broadband delivery system has seen researchers looking to the skies to provide super-fast ."

We no longer have to wait for women-specific news for there to be a round-up of perspectives from feminist bloggers.  There is now a .

In case you heard folks fussing on the Sunday morning shows about Colin Powell's chief of staff Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson and his bashing of the Bush administration, without the subscription wall.

; Wheels made up of just 60 atoms each — "Eventually the researchers want to build tiny trucks that could carry atoms and molecules around in miniature factories."  Unfortunately for American laborers, the driving of the trucks will be outsourced to .

— As you might have guessed, it's all in the brain.

"A growing number of cities in the US are treating high-speed internet as a basic amenity for citizens, like running water or the electricity grid. But as the concept expands ."

Commuter Click:  — A pretty lengthy article about a guy using an aerial camera mounted in his van to take ultra high resolution photos.

— The explanation makes sense to me, but I can't escape the feeling of skepticism.

explains the origins of the blog.

— (Another on this subject via reader Jon.  Thanks Jon.)

— This guy took the trend line for all of President Bush's approval polls and then compared the individual polls against the overall trend line to see which polls scored consistently higher or lower.

I finally got around to reading about the .  The idea is for people of non-trick-or-treat age to still dress up and basically do a little performance art for the benefit of others.  Could be fun if you're the kind of person who enjoys that, but try not to get arrested.

— (Yes, Starship Troopers is totally underrated.  The sequel was terrible though.)

— eBabies?

Cory Doctorow's has a feed that reads you a couple pages each day and starts from the beginning no matter when you subscribe.

You may have seen the headline about the 40 top magazine covers of all time.  I must have been looking in the wrong spot because none of the articles I saw actually showed all 40.  .

news translations from Lost Remote.

In the mailbag...

Where in the Delay Mugshot are the booking numbers and where is the profile?Also, are not most arrestees stripped of street clothes and photographed in jail garb.This looks like a HS graduation photo.—Neil

Will replies:  Dear Neil, I'm posting your letter here in the hopes that another reader has a good explanation.  I had the same question about the numbers.  At first I thought that maybe the TV folks had cropped the numbers off to get it to fit on their screen, but the mugshot on doesn't have numbers either.  My second theory was that you only get numbers if you go to jail.  Looking at TSG's , however, I suspect the answer is simply that different places do things differently.

As for your second question, he didn't actually go to jail, so no orange jumpsuits.

October 20 |

Looks like it's time once again to break out the hurricane links.  Here's the National .  No doubt we'll be seeing storm blogger links in the days to come.  But in the meantime, today's Video of the Day is a time lapsed video of .  The cool part is that it leaves each storm's path on the map so you can see just how busy this season has been.  If you prefer your storm tracking one at a time, .

made his new baby's middle name "Google" completely without encouragement or reimbursement from the company.

— If pork busting is just a short term gimmick, what's a better idea for restraining government spending?

Facts of the Plame case aside, it's relatively safe to say that Karl Rove is not the type of person to take abuse lying down.  If people in the administration do end up indicted by Fitzgerald, can you he'll incur?

Recently the decline in frequency and deadliness of wars around the world to the peacekeeping efforts of the UN.  looks at other explanations.

— A pretty lengthy look at the difference between watching TV shows and watching TV.

?  These stories are coming up with increasing frequency.

already.  It's amazing how quickly this idea is being embraced.

Everyone's buzzing about : "'We've found that the dots from at least one line of printers encode the date and time your document was printed, as well as the serial number of the printer,' said EFF Staff Technologist Seth David Schoen."  Coming soon to a CSI episode near you.

Commuter Click:  Jay Rosen hosts a big discussion of .  Looks like there may be some meaty discussion in here of actual change in the news business as opposed to more "bloggers v. mainstream" hairpulling.

The spreading of Lisa Rein's clip of has been growing all week.

David Copperfield says he plans to (No, with magic.)  Random note: I chatted with Copperfield once when he was on the Today show.  He tells a pretty funny story about having to when his props were lost on the way to New York.

I think this may be from the recent march on Washington.  Audio of a reverend .  Only funny if you don't feel particularly threatened by lesbians.  (Headphone note:  Naturally, you don't want to blast this to the office.)

It took me a while to figure out why was showing up with so many links.  It turns out it's the verse of the day today and some bloggers have the verse of the day display automatically on their site.  (.)  I wonder who chooses what the passage will be.

Businessweek writes about including whose curse filled video clips you may recall from this past summer.  Video games for older folks makes tons of sense.  They keep your mind sharp, they're interesting, they aren't strenuous and they can be a connection to a broader social world.

— I wonder if this will have an impact on street fashion.

I don't know if you've been watching Chris Matthews this week, but he is over the Plame investigation story.

"For the first time ever, Bloggers are invited to meet directly with House Members and ."  This event was today, so I'm a little late picking up on it, but it's exciting to see the development of what appears to be a blogger press corps.

— Free hosted WordPress blogs.

Josh Marshall reprints the funniest between Scott McClellan and the White House press corps over yesterday's Daily News article.

Kos reprints a lengthy piece on to the intelligence community.

— Tsk!  And after all that talk of preparedness!

— Not literal faces, but rather, personality types.

— The site lives up to its name.  It feels a little like looking through one of those airplane catalogs, but those are fun too.

"A Spanish judge has issued an over the shelling of a Baghdad hotel that killed a cameraman."

Gates dumps dollar for euro  Update:  Note: Though not exactly false, this item is based on old news.

to its hydrogen car prototype.  And it looks like Yamaha is working on (or at least, two wheeled things, some of which look like motorcycles.)

— Takes a couple seconds.  I passed.  (Note:  This is on the site of a company that makes hearing products, so take that for what it's worth.)

explain the equivalence of energy and matter.  (In English)


: 16 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog and Tips for Terrific Telephone Interviews

"Next time you sit down to , consider this: Most Japanese consumers can get an Internet connection that's 16 times faster than the typical American DSL line for a mere $22 per month."  I have a funny feeling that Americans will have universal broadband coverage before they have universal health coverage.

The best thing about claiming you've made a clock that will is... who's going to call you on it if you're wrong?

Looks like a New York Times article made a popular link today.


Hey Will:I just finished reading MSNBC's "" article and it made me think of for Clicked. The Web site is titled "It's the End of the World as We Know it, Again!"  The site creator has compiled a listing of doomsday prophecies from before the birth of Jesus all the way to modern times and written them in short passages reminiscent of Ripley's Believe it or Not. It's a truly hilarious site that takes days, not just hours, to read all the way through.—Robert Voitle

Will replies:  Thanks Robert.  Maybe if more doomsday folks checked out the site they wouldn't have to make up their own stuff.  It's too bad there's no way to hold to account people who want to attribute every bad thing that happens as holy punishment.

Related to the sleep links you have had recently.  Not released just yet, but pretty much guarantees a good night's sleep for the rest of your life by waking you up between sleep cycles.—Benjamin Johnson

Will replies:  Thanks Benjamin, that's a cool idea.  How does it know my sleep cycles?

Just a minor correction, but I didn't think anything of it when I saw the Eminem i-pod commercial on TV yesterday, until I saw your Clicked entry stating "Why was this Eminem video banned?  (root)."Not banned.  I think I had ESPN on, perhaps Fox . . . in any case, I'm pretty sure an NFL game was on when the commercial aired.  It was all just background to me while I tuned up my road bike, but since I like Eminem's music, I lifted my head at the sound of his tune, and saw the supposedly banned commercial.But I do share your question . . . why would it be banned?— Paul Thompson, Eugene, OR

Will replies:  You're totally right Paul.  That ad isn't banned at all, I see it all the time now.  I don't know what the story is, but I feel a little duped.  P.S. You have a TV in your garage?

A cool project for all those people with too much time on their hands...-David

Will replies:  Thanks David.  I've often wondered if something like this would be possible with transportation.  It would probably be a bumpy ride to have cars smash each other down the highway

Hi Will,This is for a site called .Basically it’s a project that is trying to develop a general idea of how much a major city’s influence is carried over into the ‘burbs. For example, do people in Connecticut consider themselves more influenced by NYC or Boston? There’s even a section that asks people their sports affiliations…Do residents of the “Nutmeg State” consider themselves Yankee fans or do they root for the Red Sox?  The project is still in it’s infancy but it’s fascinating to see that people in Montana see their biggest influence coming from Salt Lake City….three states away!—Cathy

Will replies:  Thanks Cathy, that's really neat.  I like that sphere of influence map.  I would be interested to see an overlay of TV network broadcast ranges.  I think a lot of people identify with the TV news they see and that usually comes from the nearest major city.

October 19 |

"This is the first music video in the world to be ."  A lot of folks seem real happy to link to this, but at the risk of offending someone, I have to say I'm not impressed.  The video itself is boring, but more to the point, why shoot video with a mobile phone, only to keep the phone stationary like a regular camera?  Isn't the mobility the whole idea?  Shoot a music video on a mobile phone while walking down the street or something.  Or give the phones to a bunch of people and they can all send them in and then assemble the video from that.  If you're going to use phones, do something phoney with the phones.

Today I clicked on about the spam plaguing, but I also clicked a couple from the .  Businesses and the folks in charge of speaking on their behalf would do well to take the lesson.

Video of the Day:  I'm having trouble distinguishing fact from farce with .  I gather, at least, that Lil' Markie is a character meant to represent an unborn child in an anti-abortion drama.

The link text I clicked to described it as "ghetto models," which seems kind of mean, but I can't think of a more polite word.  Do be sure to click through to the artist's site.

I was never a huge Dr. Who fan (though I had friends who wore the scarf and everything) but sounds like it could be really good.

Speaking of sci fi:

Speaking of sci fi titles,

"Time critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo pick the from 1923 to the present."

Here's something I hadn't considered.  In the event of a global pandemic, will the ability to combat the disease be ?

—  Short version: growing like crazy.  But only 13 percent of all blogs are updated weekly or more.  I think it's cool to see the spikes on the chart for major news events.  I wonder what percent of blogs are updated during those spikes.

I usually skip the , but this one showed up on blog lists AND it was IM'ed to me, so I guess it's spreading (even though it's over).

Josh Marshall has taken an interest in Judith Miller's .  Scroll up for his pursuits.

Speaking of Miller, on one of the Sunday gab shows someone called for the Times to review Judy Miller's past reporting the way they did Jayson Blair's.  Folks online have already begun doing so.  In this case, her .

One more...

For some reason the Worth1000 contests that involve the into every day scenes and objects end up being the most popular (in terms of links).

— It should be pointed out that the study was of the U.S., so it's not like this is the only country singled out for climate change.  Also, the study projects over the next century, during which time presumably a lot can happen.  So don't despair.  Or, despair and head north.

- "Open-access satellite images are revolutionizing responses to disasters. Yet the government of Pakistan has forced aid agencies to remove pictures of earthquake devastation from the Internet."  Do the benefits of hiding the satellite images from the public really outweigh the good they could do?

Though the Japan and Mexico videos are funny, I bet 50 cents ends in disappointment.

— Yes, I also thought the headline was talking about invisible body armor.  Really it's about bullet proof glass (but not made of glass).

— Or at least what you wanted to know (provided you have any interest in the new video iPod).

— "New products that represent benchmarks of engineering."  If you're in a rush, just check out 5 and 10.

— It's not a hoax, it's just in "private alpha" right now.  You know this is inevitable, it's just a matter of all the money makers repositioning themselves from old media to new.

(thankfully not codified in law)

has some poignant thoughts upon returning home to New Orleans.

"A senior British military police officer in Iraq involved in the investigation of alleged abuse of Iraqi civilians by soldiers has been found ."

— "It’s hard for me to give up on good ideas, but I feel that in order to do something great not only do you need a good idea to start with, you need to be able to focus on that idea and execute."

— This is a follow to the item yesterday about polyphasic sleep.

— An animated mapping of the military operations in Iraq for the past year.  I feel like we've seen something like this before, maybe from this same blogger.  I don't know if the military releases this information in a timely manner for the media to report on, but it might make the war there feel like it had a little more direction if it were put in the context of military operations like this.  At least it wouldn't seem like our troops are over there just driving around getting blown up by car bombs.

Anil Dash theorizes about a new generation of start-ups and "."

Al Jazeera cites Pravda in a story .  Not too surprising really.  What surprised me is the huge discussion thread mostly from Americans.  I wonder what percent of the audience for Al Jazeera's English language site is American.  I wonder how much of their Arabic speaking audience is peeking over to the English side.

", a zine about going places you weren't supposed to go. And next week, his definitive book on the subject -- Access All Areas: A User's Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration -- is being launched in Toronto, to the dismay of lazy security guards everywhere."

A couple mails:

Dear Will,Here's something to warm your heart.  It seems that , who is not very popular with the gaming community, recently made a to donate $10000 to charity if someone would create a video game with his specifications.  The basic premise: A tale of a father's revenge against the video game industry.  Well the folks at struck back by pointing out that their has donated more than half a million dollars to children's hospitals with the help of fellow gamers.  Jack obviously about that.  Then, someone made the game, and Jack of his promised donation, calling his original proposal a "satire."  So I guess that charity will never see that $10000 eh?  Well here's the punchline: The creators of Penny Arcade have to charity in Jack's name.  I think they just charmed a bigger donation out of me for their Child's Play charity.~Ajin

Will replies:  Thanks Ajin for that summary.  I'd seen Jack Thompson's name around a little while ago but skipped reading the story because, well, frankly who the hell is Jack Thompson and why should I care what he has to say?  But lately the links have been flying fast and thick, so I've been trying to catch up on what's been going on.

This is definitely not work-safe due to language.  Well, headphones would make it okay.  I had never considered , or that he even existed, though it seems obvious to me now.— Lonnie

Will replies:  Thank Lonnie, that's hysterical - though they do make you wait a while for the punchline.  Actually, I think the parting shot is the funniest.  Maytag repairman, move over.

October 17 |

Breaking booking:  I just heard back from a publicist at Columbia Records and Bette Midler is going to take some time to talk on the phone with me on Wednesday at 5:30 pm ET.  If you're  a fan with a question, to send it in so I can work it into the question list before the chat.

October 17 |

Two big stories kept the blogosphere humming this weekend.  The biggest was probably Judith Miller finally breaking her silence on the Plame matter in the New York Times.  There are two parts of the Miller story (and reaction to it).  There's the Plame story itself and the theories and guessing about what prosecutor Fitzgerald is thinking.  And there are the journalistic questions about what Miller knows, how she found out and how she reported it.

For the heavy theorizing and big picture assessments I clicked (who is also recommended by ).  I'm half way through and I saw round-up of posts so I skimmed that as well.  Hopefully once everyone recalibrates in light of the new info from this weekend there will be time to catch up before any further major developments.

The journalism issues are a little more compact so criticism on that front was easier to consume.  I first clicked this criticism.

And there's :

As the devastating Times article, and her own first-person account, make clear, Miller should be promptly dismissed for crimes against journalism -- and her own paper. And her editor, who has not taken responsibility, should apologize to readers.

Which is part of a from E&P.  Lastly, this afternoon a lot of folks are asking me if I've seen about prosecutors looking at Vice President Cheney.  (Obviously there's much more out there, but how much can a guy click?)

The other big story over the weekend was the Iraq election.  Omar at Iraq the Model made an interesting point about :

[T]his guy who used to believe in conspiracy theories and stuff like “what America wants is what’s going to happen” now feels that his vote can make a difference.

This time around there wasn't quite the same frenzy to round-up Iraqi blog reaction and display purple finger.  Which is not to say there isn't anything to click.  That said, Omar also pointed to .  I scrolled through the and has a lengthy writeup with some interesting perspective on the rumors that pass for news on election day.  (Maybe next time we can give them some of our exit polling.)  Allbritton's entry today about may be more relevant by now.

Video of the Day:  New Jib Jab:  

" is designed to establish and cultivate relationships within the Christian blogging community and to provide opportunities for Christian bloggers to think about their role within the broader blogging world."

— As best as I can figure, these are exactly what the title says:  long shutter speed, push the button and toss your camera in the air.

"The names of the president and the members of the presidential cabinet of their first and last names, and of their middle names when available."  (By the way, I used for today's subtitle.)

This cover version of is a must-listen.  Actually, I had a great time with the links on this guy's site, like this and his .  (And FYI he's .)

Speaking of fun with math, Slashdot is calling for you to share .  I imagine this is why I also ran into of such riddles.

And speaking of mixing familiar songs into unfamiliarity, this is a little old, but just for fun, .

.  I often skip poker links I see online, thinking they're just spam, but I guess some may have been part of this new tournament.

"Maybe we should adopt a convention of putting a star (*) in the subject field of any notice which is to be taken as a joke."  A workshopping of ideas following this suggestion on a message board led to the birth of .

Apparently the Wall Street Journal followed up on the Oklahoma suicide bomber — though .

Are we in the midst of a ?  And what can Google do to stop the ?

Speaking of spam, .  May he rot.

— This is about polyphasic sleep, which I think is something Kramer tried on an episode of Seinfeld.  The idea is to take naps of 20 minutes at a time so that you can stay up longer.  This blog has links to the journal of a guy trying it, along with further explanation.

Speaking of playing with sleep, this guy argues for sleeping , not purely quantity of hours.

An interview with one of the key figures in .

— Will "a new startup age" be more successful if it's led by geeks instead of businessmen?

Physicists discover a paradox: hydrophobic water

In this space we've looked at gamers paying low wage laborers to rack up points and other credits for them, but I don't think we've seen mechanical automation for that purpose.  brings us the story of a guy who hooked his joystick up to an oscillating fan to play automatically for him.

New York City from the .

Download this for free.  "This film is public domain due to the failure to put the then required copyright notice in the released print."

, surprise candidate for 2008, sure to capture the super-villain vote.

— almost.  They've added the ability for you to label pages for your personal use.  Many folks are speculating that Google will eventually allow users to share those labels publicly, which would mean an instant public tagging system.

Anil Dash points out "a little bit of ."  Does the homogeneity of the audiences at big Web conferences make them less likely to produce ideas and products that will appeal to the broader mainstream?

Is the Internet the ?  Basically asking, is the networking structure of the Internet better suited to help people than the traditional relief agencies?  This doesn't give the answer, just asks the question.

explains the strategy that went into coming up with the name Squidoo.  I agree with his advice not to use a placeholder name because that becomes the one everyone uses and then anything else sounds like it doesn't fit.  I've seen that happen with new TV shows here at MSNBC and also with naming children.


With apologies:  I accidentally deleted Kim Komando's mail, but I did retain the link.  She offers some on checking popular online haunts for young people to look into whether your kid is blogging.  Of course, your kid can hide if he or she wants to, but a casual look around can't hurt.  I would argue that there's even value in finding out if anyone online is talking about your kid.  The bottom line is that the Internet is dangerous for kids so pay attention.  Thanks Kim!

Hello Will,Since you've declared that you do not view self-promotion with a harsh eye, I'd figure I'd drop you a note about our podcast, called The White Collar Ruckus.  In short, it's a podcast about life in a cubicle and the material is devoted to musings about everyday office life.  Yeah, I know what you're thinking - but occasionally it is funny, or at least others think so.  I believe I have them fooled, yes I do.  Maybe it's the hip hop loop background music - it distracts them from realizing that I'm really talking about nothing.It's really just easier if you go to and listen to a few episodes (but don't start with #1, it's sucky like a pilot episode should be, although others may disagree).  You can also go to and do a search on 'white collar ruckus' and click on 'Details' which will give you access to comments that others have left about it.Thanks,The White Collar Ruckus

Will replies:  Hello Mr. Rukus.  I listened to number 12 so far and I think it came out really well.  Did you edit out the "um"s or do you really speak that smoothly?  A note to other readers, the theme music in the beginning has a curse-out-loud, so check your volume and boss/child/easily offended co-worker proximity before playing that one.