February 2003


In troubled times, it's always  #

In troubled times, it's always reassuring to remember that you can never go down the drain.


Penn Station, Manhattan. Everyone's  #

Penn Station, Manhattan.
Everyone's making fake Lomos (via Jason). Look out Quarlo. Actually this was far too much work.

Speaking of Jason, he's got Paris photos.

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Experiments in photosymmetry at pallalink.

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The non-real-estate office just off Flatbush that was seen here on 10.5.2001 is now a flower shop called "La Petite Fleur." It's good that I've been around to document these things as the neighborhood slowly goes to hell.


Chinatown, Manhattan. . .  #

Chinatown, Manhattan.

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I wrote this for the business section of today's NYT: Deal May Freshen Up Google's Links. It's some informed speculation as to why Google bought Pyra, makers of Blogger.

Bonus links:
-- Kudos to Matt for spotting the Google text ads on BlogSpot.
-- Wired News: Why Did Google Want Blogger? I don't understand the part about RSS feeds. Why would Google need feeds for Blogger weblogs if it's already got all of their entries?
-- I wish the paper had used this photo. Via the guy on the right.

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While I'm on the subject of weblogs, here's something I've had floating around on my computer for months that never made it into a story. These are some figures I got from Evan that show percentage growth in the number of Blogger weblogs at quarterly intervals.

9/1/00: 24,489
12/1/00: 52,162 (53% growth in three months)
3/1/01: 93,652 (44% growth)
6/1/01: 148,034 (37%)
9/1/01: 212,225 (30%)
12/1/01: 290,440 (27%)
3/1/02: 425,489 (32%)
6/1/02: 609,808 (30%)
It is by now conventional wisdom that the blogging craze really took off after Sept. 11, 2001. If that were true, you would expect to see a big surge in the number of new weblogs in the months after that date. These numbers indicate that while there was still strong growth, the rate of growth was actually down slightly from the previous quarter. Is the conventional wisdom wrong?

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I'm officially introducing an RSS feed after being assured by Tomas that this will not outrageously inflate my bandwidth bills. (What is an RSS feed?) Let me know if you spot any problems.


Dress suits to hire,  #

Dress suits to hire, East Village, Manhattan.

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Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 08:26:40 -0800 (PST) Subject: Ho Jo

from Paris, France

Hi David,

... I saw the "Howard Johnson's" line in the logs and felt like I HAD to tell you: I'm in love with NYC and the last time I came there in Nov 2002, I had breakfast at Ho Jo on Times Square, which is a unique experience... and that's it... I just can't imagine this little piece of america is going to disappear... attached is a picture I took there with my Lubitel2 camera...

All the best


I wrote this for today's  #

I wrote this for today's Circuits section in the NYT: Government Tells Vigilantes Their 'Help' Isn't Necessary. The government asks that citizens refrain from expressing their patriotism by mounting hacker attacks on the nation's enemies.


Entombed cars, Park Slope,  #

Entombed cars, Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Upper West Side, Manhattan.

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William Grimes dines at the Howard Johnson's in Times Square, which may or may not be closing. See also 2.17.02.

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I wish there was a Ziboy in Iraq.


Park Slope, Brooklyn. It's  #

Park Slope, Brooklyn.
It's been snowing.

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Just when I was trying to reduce my twin obsessions with Google and weblogs...

More on that later. In lesser news, I wrote a little thing for today's NYT business section: Dell's on the Cutting Edge, but It's Only a Movie. It makes fun of The Recruit, especially the part about Dell being a magnet for cryptography whizzes like Colin Farrell. (I didn't even mention the part about the virus that propagates over power lines.)

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Rion.nu has been extensively renovated. Slick.

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East West: Where is Riker's Island?


On a flight from  #

On a flight from Ontario, California, over Nevada and Utah. There are a bunch more of these over here. They've all been de-haze-ified in Photoshop.

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One of my photos of the TWA Terminal at JFK is over on Salon today, accompanying the "Ask the pilot" column, which discusses the evolution and devolution of airport architecture.

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The Love a Commuter Project. Invading the subways right now. Via Nonsense NYC.


Hey, has anyone seen The  #

Hey, has anyone seen The Recruit? If so, drop me an e-mail. This is story-related.

. . .

I just got spammed by the anti-spam company Spam Arrest:

From: Spam Arrest
Subject: ADV: Enjoy a spam-free inbox
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 21:56:56 -0800

You may remember recently sending an email to a Spam Arrest customer,
and receiving a response asking you to visit our website and type in
a word that was shown to you in a picture.

It was pretty easy, wasn't it?

Did you know that that one simple step stops virtually all spam from
entering our customers' inboxes?

You too can enjoy the benefits of a spam-free inbox...


Wedding reception, Palm Desert,  #

Wedding reception, Palm Desert, California.
Special guest photos by Ian.

That's Ian.

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The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Poll is out.


Palm Springs and Palm  #

Palm Springs and Palm Desert, California.
See also 9.8.2001.

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Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 17:25:44 -0000 From: Register.com Subject: It's time to renew your domain name at Register.com.

Dear David,

lightningfield.com will begin expiring on 28-JUL-2003...

Subtext: "Boy, we could really use some cash flow right about now."

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This guy has been Photoshopping himself into the photos of other Fotolog members. Compare this and this.


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway,  #

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs, California.

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I wrote a short item for today's NYT business section: Electronic Surveillance Spies a Perfect Gift. It's about the Total Information Awareness Gift Shop, where you can purchase a variety of products bearing the Orwellian logo of the Pentagon's Information Awareness Office.

Update: The proprietor of the gift shop writes, "Sales are now over $4500 (that's $2600 today) and $900 to the ACLU. I love this country. May we please not f**k it up."


East Village, Manhattan.  #

East Village, Manhattan.


Upper West Side, Manhattan.  #

Upper West Side, Manhattan.

East Village, Manhattan.

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The guy who took this week's Time cover photo from his back yard with a digital camera.

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It looks like everyone in Italy got a camera for Christmas and started a photolog. Uomonero is a good place to start following links. Also Sabrissa.

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A year ago: Flag glut. Two years ago: Chinese Mexican food.


Midtown Manhattan. Where is  #

Midtown Manhattan.
Where is your homeland?

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New weblog at Corante: Amateur Hour. "Today, the rapid proliferation of cheap professional-quality media-making tools, paired with the drastic decrease in the cost of content distribution, is leading to a quiet, but quite real revolution in the quantity and quality of 'amateur' content."

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At the incredible Cockeyed.com: The Price of a Gallon. Also Ultimate Shopper.
Also Reader Appreciation Week.

I could not be happier with the content on your site. This is what the internet was built for, well actually the internet was built so the Military could communicate with each other more efficiently, but that's another story.
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This was my favorite post in the Slashdot thread about my Carson Daly story.


Soho, Manhattan.  #

Soho, Manhattan.


Something I wrote for the  #

Something I wrote for the business section of Monday's NYT: Turning a Digital Database Into Local Radio. It's about Carson Daly, the robo-DJ.

The story was inspired by someone who filled me in on the workings of Carson Daly's radio countdown show, "Carson Daly Most Requested," which sounds pretty straightforward to the casual listener but is actually a big digital collage. This makes it possible for Carson to sound like he cares about, say, Nelly's dominance of Miami's top 10. It also makes it possible for Carson to sound like he's still counting down songs when he's actually in Aruba (see my favorite anecdote at the end of the story). The masterminds behind this scheme work for Clear Channel Communications, which might be described as the Microsoft of the radio industry.

Want to impress friends with your ability to predict the future? Check out this Clear Channel site. It's supposed to be password-protected, but someone forgot to tell Google. The site reveals that although Carson tells listeners the countdowns are based on that day's requests, the shows are actually spliced together a day in advance. If you're in a city that gets a customized countdown (New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, D.C., Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit or Los Angeles), you can find the page for your local Carson-carrying station and get a preview of tonight's top 10. Go T.A.T.U.!

More on Clear Channel and the controversial robo-DJ practice known as "voice tracking:"

-- Eric Boehlert's great stuff in Salon
-- NYT: Disc Jockeys Are Resisting Taking the Local Out of Local Radio
-- WSJ: Clear Channel Uses High-Tech Gear to Perfect the Art of Sounding Local
-- Wired News: 'Good Mornin' (Your Town Here)'

And this is supposedly Carson's old personal page. "I don't know really anything when it comes to computers."

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