here be dragons

look here be dragons

not only have i added a bajillion photos from this summer’s photographic efforts to my new photo home, i have also finally updated the cms for new features include a link from the at the top of each page, friendly text links, and a new, semi-b0rked rss feed. so to paraphrase house of pain, click up, click up, and click around, click up, click up and click DOWN. and, yes, i am painfully aware that commenting is still not enabled. it will happen very soon i promise! also new this week, i have been guest blogging over on hackaday. at least there you can leave me a comment (but beware of the nasty comment trolls, over there, there be dragons). *smile*

[photo above: random strangers at the jardin des plantes in paris pointing at a dragon built of recyclable materials]

you should be a creative commie too

[photo collage on the greenhouse effect by fipsy]

i was slogging through the backlog of blog posts on my rss feed reader (ah two months offline it’s a wonder i survived without rss feeds *ironic tone*) when i found that a few people left comments on my flickr photos to note they had used a photo under the creative commons license. the best one is shown above, a gorgeous remix (my photo was used for only the ocean part, be sure to click through for all the annotations about cc photos used for the collage) and check out the website with annotations about the greenhouse effect using this huge collage as illustration. i get a kick out of every time someone uses one of my photos as is or remixes it! creative commons may be one of the best uses of a hyper-networked and hyper-blogging society. thanks eliot for clueing me in to the beauty of cc a couple of years ago.

[pictured below: eliot sporting a cc logo shirt on a recent visit to berlin]

creative commie under a blue umbrella

and i'm back.


…on the interwebs of doom!0101!! has it been crazy being away for almost two months after 24/7 web usage for 2 years? hellz yeah, but frankly i didn’t miss what i thought i would miss. what i wanted the most were online how-tos (aka how the heck do you make A work on B). the irony of that is that i haven’t had time to write any of those for the last year, so yeah, i now realize that is the most important “feature” of teh interwebs: writing the unwritten manuals. this past week i was communing with nature, migs, and hackers. it was a rocking time, you should have been there. if you were there, then you are probably glad to have re-found civilization and a hot shower by now.

if you are wondering what a massive net outage for two months would be like based on my personal two months away, it would likely cause:

A. mass book sales

B. people to horde documentation, digital and otherwise

C. mesh networks for local communication and file transfers to be popular

D. cellphone use would go up (if cellphones networks aren’t also down, but they would likely fall along with bank networks and other stuff so the scenario of just web servers going down isn’t realistic in the least)

E. mass panic

i think i may go offline for a few weeks at a time every year, i think it took a bit of the crazed edge off my addiction. my advice is that you do the same.

cutting the cable

stencil up close

I will be back here again in two months (explanation here), if there are postings before then, they will be made by a trusted cohort. Remember that the internet is always on, but that you don’t always have to be on it. It should be interesting to see if anything in my daily life changes (other than the fact that I won’t know anything about current events, current internet flame wars, or current product releases). I will be sure to let you know how it all went when I get back. Until then, cut the cable once in a while, and resolder it to something new.

flickr censors germany

shedding flickr tears

it seems that flickr has started some serious censorship with the new language update that was rolled out today. the problem is that flickr usually allows you to set your own filters for photos that might not fit in with your personal tastes (i.e. photos that are sexy or graphic). well usually even if you have the “safe filter” turned on you can choose to click through to a photo. the choice to click through was taken away today from flickr members whose yahoo id’s are from germany, singapore, hong kong, and korea. members in those countries can only view photos that are deemed safe and can never opt out of the filter or click through to see a photo that has been flagged as not safe. the official word from yahoo about this non-ability to pass through the safe filter even if you are a pay member (aka pro member) of flickr is located here. heise wrote (albeit in german, english auto translation here) about the backlash that is in full force on flickr as i type this. this happens one day after flickr’s “24 hours of flickr in berlin”, (flickr tag here) part of a series of parties around the world and one day after yahoo’s shareholders (yahoo is flickr’s parent company) decide that it is ok for yahoo to censor sites in china.


silly is as silly does

in a week (starting on june 16th) i will be unplugging. that means no surfing, no rss reading, minimal email reading, no chat, no irc, no online news feeds directly to my brain, no blog reading, no blog commenting, no keeping up with the joneses of teh internets, and probably no blogging for a while (until i pass info that warrants blogability via a third party who will post for me). why? well the net has filled the dark, dank, black hole that was left when i threw out my tv in 2001. also, in august it will have been two years since i was first hired to blog for money. that has opened up some fantastic opportunities and i don’t regret blogging my little heart out, and i certainly have met a bajillion fantastic people via the net and blogging,
but along with the good comes the bad. trolls, addiction to news, spam, splogs, sockpuppets, gaming the system, and all that nasty internet cruft. the photo posted above is there to represent the happy times, those i want to remember, and i know there will be many to come, but i feel as though me being on the net 24/7 is impairing some of that crazy creativity i tend to adore.

i will probably plug back in at the earliest during or after cccamp. if you are freaking out about getting in contact with me, you probably have my email already (which i will check probably once a week) and/or a real voice phone number for me, or you will see me at cccamp (or before at a barcamp i will attend in paris on june 23rd).

if you are someone who is expecting some hardware to be hacked by me (you are numerous), this unplugging is largely for you, i will still be in contact with you and unplugging will give me the time to solder and tinker on the devices you have so graciously sent to me, handed to me, or described in enough detail that i can make interface cables. even last night allowed me to work on a buffered jtag wiggler cable that wasn’t completed from my workshop at ph a few weeks ago (pictured below).

jtag wiggler cable

what unplugging does not entail: i will still be using the net for cvs/svn sources, and via a second person for documentation if i’m really in a pinch. unplugging also does not mean i will be turning off all electrical devices. the point of this unplug is so that i can get some hardware and other projects done and in working states. many computers and soldering irons will be on and in constant use. when i come back i intend to have the large part of those unfinished or unstarted projects documented and will share them back here on this blog. i’ve also been asked what about flickr and knitting!!???!??! i will still be taking photos, if they get uploaded before i plug back in, that will be by someone else to my account, and the same goes for knitting. i do know that my sp10 pal is rockingly awesome, and i will let you know who that person is when that person reveals themselves to me this month. there may be some updates about sockapalooza here as well, also posted by my trusted person-that-is-not-me but lives with me. *smile* in any case, this is not adieu, but a toute a l’heure. i’ll be back in mid-august. until then, don’t forget to be silly.

netscape: one year, ftw!

ichat background

yesterday was my one year anniversary hire date for the new Netscape project. on monday, on the penultimate day to my hire date, we launched a new blog called NewsQuake! which is a blog for those of us at Netscape to write about news-related topics, create commentary, and create original content. an article i wrote about how it feels to be in France is up on NewsQuake! for your perusal.

[the photo above is from our launch in june of last year and was one of the rare awesome moments where our whole editorial team was in the same place as we are all work-from-homies or on-assignment-peeps]

ugly ads

i want to see the picture

multimedia is great and everything, but wired can you please not allow popover flash ads on what is essentially an annotated slideshow? not only was the ad long (and yes i own more than one mac, but no i don’t want a popover mac ad), it refused to disappear. i had to click back and then forward again on the clunky “next image” navigation to see the picture of the awesomely cool robot in image number eleven. it’s a shame that wired allows this sort of ad, i tend to freak out if we have anything that pops over content at netscape. the sad thing about all of this is that wired’s content is about BLDGBLOG‘s science fiction and the city panel (and it was covered by annalee [whom i interviewed]), so you know it has to be great content. why do you have to plaster that with ugly ads wired?

p.s.: wired i’m not so sure i like your new homepage either.

frenchified = flowery?


so it has been bugging me lately that when certain francophones pass articles my way to read, i can’t parse the language.

basically, if you know me, i speak fluent french. this isn’t me boasting, i learned french before english, just ask my parents. why is written french so distanced from the spoken dialect?

perhaps a small clue can come from some of my ex-coworkers at ircam in paris a few years ago. when i asked how to spell french slang no one knew because on n’ecrit pas l’argot [one doesn’t write slang]. my current language partner (she is helping me with my german) speaks with a fantastic accent in french, but can’t understand a darn thing i say en francais parle’. i like to think of myself as a sort of word snob in english, so why am i not that way with french?

i could go the route of saying that obscure cultural references and my lack of post 1970’s french pop culture is the culprit. i could say i’m lazy and that my french is rusty or never was that intellectually inspired. i could mention that i firmly believe that my brain houses french and english in two separate lexicons. or i could simply gripe about french run on sentences with their grandiloquent use of vocabulary and old fashioned poetic undercurrents that would undermine even the most rambling of american journalists while still evading the dispassionate swipe of an editor’s cursor resisting instead to exist in the realm of gorgeous but unreadable prose meant to evoke fields of supercilious coquelicots in a red not-quite-vermilion bowing their heads in a ripple of silent percussion from an errant zephyr.

…or it could be i absorb massive quantities of written-by-americans news each day.