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Sometimes a log is just a log

The blogging backlash is upon us, but the strange thing is that what's set to replace blogs is... blogs.  We've already seen the popularity of Twitter and how closely it resembles early blogging (in functionality, brevity, and hype).  Today I was reading about Tumblr and what the heck a tumblelog is and really, this too harkens back to old school blogging.

As blogging has grown into a primary medium for reporting and commentary, its roots as a simple way to share little bits of information have been lost.  The real difference that Tumblr and Twitter bring is the emphasis on the philosophy of brevity. Sometimes you don't want to write a headline.  Sometimes you don't want to have to think of tags. Sometimes you don't care how well a search engine or aggregation service can find your writing. Sometimes you just want a place to jot some notes or, you know, keep a log.

Speaking of simplifying note taking and sharing, Keep track of your friends with The Coop - Still in the early stages, but the idea seems sound.  If you share stuff from the Web with your friends, shouldn't your friends list be part of what you're using to view the Web?  And wouldn't it be handy if you could gather your friends in one place even though they're all using different social networks?

Dave Sifry, who usually releases "State of the Blogosphere" reports has released a "State of Technorati" report. I have been using Google's blogsearch lately because I wasn't liking the results Technorati was giving me but looking at the reactions to this report makes me think I should give them another try.

I wonder how the New York Times decides who to assign to write stories...

I got this one in the mail with the cryptic description: "kid jumps with his head."  The real magic starts at 1:49 in the clip. (Thanks James)

These weren't necessarily meant to go together but somehow they feel related:

Speaking of cars, I was reading some of coverage of the New York Auto Show, mostly admiring the concept cars that'll never be built when I saw a piece about the Bugatti Veyron.  1001 horsepower, 0-60 in 2.5 seconds $1.5 million price tag.  The list of jaw dropping stats goes on and on. But the crazy part is that it's totally road legal.  It's a rocket with rear view mirrors and brake lights.

Cincinnati mayor's ridiculous pitch - I thought this might be too mainstream for Clicked but most of the people I asked hadn't seen it.  If you're ever called upon to do something like this, you really should practice.  You only get one chance to make a total fool of yourself.

Top Figures is an interesting game because, unless I'm not understanding how to play, you decide when it's time for you to move on to the next level.  If you try to do too much on one level, you lose.  It's also pretty hard.

The new Die Hard trailer.  I'll start lowering my expectations now so I really enjoy it when I see it.  It'll be hard to suppress my annoyance with the ancient "kidnapped daughter" plot device.

White chicks and gang signs

Real Estate Roller Coaster - The best rendering of information I've seen in a long time.  If you're able, watch to the end.  You really get a sense of how unusual the market's growth has been lately and because of the roller coaster model you get a real sense of "uh oh, this bubble's going to pop."

Pictures on layers of glass - It's a little hard to see, but I imagine the idea is that they're 3-D.

Commuter Click:  "A Columbia professor believes that converting skyscrapers into crop farms could help reduce global warming and make New York cleaner. It's a vision straight out of Futurama—but here's how it might work."  Is there any bigger waste of space than the rooftops of buildings in a city?  I always think they should be covered in solar panels or else I'm a fan of the green roof idea.  I'm not totally sure about farming but I could be easily sold.  Something I wonder about blanketing a city with organic matter is how it would affect the city's atmosphere - literally.  Would it smell like dirt?  Would the wind be gritty?  Would we start having to deal with mosquitoes and other bugs?  Would our rats climb up there?  Well, I'll read it and see how grounded (no pun) this idea is in reality. 

Actually eating the food from a skyscraper farm reminds me a little of this piece about a guy who cooks the animals he finds in his back yard.  I can see someone eating squirrel in the abstract, but it'd be hard to convince me that New York City rodentia isn't somehow tainted with pollutants.

VideoHybrid was crashed most of the day while I was trying to check it out.  Finally toward the end of the day I was able to get through.  I imagine being listed on TechCrunch as a great source for copyrighted video gave them a heavy traffic push.  After lots of dead links I finally got an episode of Weeds to almost load.  If it doesn't seem like it's cooperating it might be one to mark for return later when the buzz dies down. What did ultimately work was a copy of the movie 300 but it was a link to the DailyMotion version.  The utility of VideoHybrid is that when I went to DailyMotion I couldn't find the video I'd been watching on the other service. As with music piracy, video production is not going to be able to beat 'em so they'd better hurry up and join 'em so at least they have a say in the terms of how people watch online. 

Speaking of finding commercial video, it sounds like TV Guide may be coming out with a good solution.  Basically a video search engine that draws from a limited database to keep results manageable.

Speaking of TV moving online, gone (soon) are the days of Neilson families and ratings numbers of mysterious origin.  Online we can get a much more accurate picture of what's being viewed.  The new question is what measuring standard to use.  "In an attempt to go beyond page views and visits, today web stats company Compete introduced 'Attention metrics'."

Coldwell Banker To Sell Second Life Properties - I wonder if they'll eventually require licenses to broker virtual real estate.

Here's a neat idea:  People share their personal wisdom about blogging and those entries are aggregated into a big linkback fest.  In this case, sharing mistakes made while blogging. The big list of respondents is here.

This little rant about how offline web apps are only useful to people who fly on planes and the rapid rate of expansion of online access means offline apps will be that much less necessary that much more quickly turns into a huge comment thread about whether offline web apps are really necessary.

What do you do when your success ... sucks? - The Topix.com guy explains why they switched to being an aggregator to a hyper-local & user generated news site.  I used to use the Blogs channel of Topix.net to gather links for Clicked, so I preferred the old version but apparently they didn't feel like they were distinct enough in the field to compete well.

If We Taught English the Way We Teach Mathematics... - Not a perfect analogy, but a worthy shift in perspective on math - math as language.

Wonkette thought the camera pan from Cheney to Bush at the recent press conference at the White House was creepy.

Remember that item the other day about a weapon that inflicts fear?  Bizarre Human Brain Parasite Precisely Alters Fear - It's a parasite in cat urine that makes rats no longer afraid of cat urine.  Only cat urine.  Look for this one in an Intelligent Design argument coming to a blog near you.

I feel like we've seen The Pixelator before, but the photo of the one on a TV makes me think it's a good idea for if you like to have the TV on in the background while you do other things.  You can still listen without the distraction of the images (which are often superfluous anyway).

The predictions for 2001 of a 14-year-old in 1901. The funny thing is that he describes a city like in The Fifth Element or like Coruscant from the Star Wars movies.

Meat cake.  Of course you think of that Friends episode but really it doesn't look that gross.  It's just a pretty meat loaf dinner.

"A suspended Toronto elementary school principal has pleaded guilty to throwing feces (excrement) on a child." I love that they had to add that parenthetical clarifier for people who don't know what feces is.  The article is woefully lacking in details.

"On a Digg religion poll, out of a base of over four thousand votes taken, 45.56 percent are reported to be atheists.  This makes them the single largest religious group on Digg, followed closely by Christianity, at 29.08 percent."  The article talks about why geeks are often atheists, but for me that sentence is most significant because in the general population atheists represent a really small percentage - single digits.  (The number I read recently was 4 percent of Americans, which I grant is still a large raw number.) Given the number of atheist items on Reddit, we could probably guess that their statistics are similar. What I wonder is what the relationship is between Digg-like sites and geekdom.  When a site like msnbc.com, with an audience that is arguably closer to the general American population, sees the success of these social sites, should we consider the specificity of the audience as a warning that the technology may not have broad appeal?  Or are the characteristics of these sites purely a case of people of like mind being drawn to each other like any other online echo chamber?