Archive for January, 2005

Oakland District 2 Council seat candidate's night

January 31, 2005

A month or so ago my city council representative, Danny Wan, resigned to take a better-paying position with the Port of Oakland.
Justin Horner, the chief of staff for city councilmember Jane Brunner, is one of the candidates for the seat in the special election. He’s also a neighbor of mine. He came by knocking on doors a few weeks ago and we talked about the Dean campaign. He had hosted a houseparty as a volunteer for Dean and raised a lot more money than he had expected, which planted the seed in his mind that it might not be far-fetched to run himself.
I’d like to know more about the other candidates running, so this event I read about on the Well looks like something I should try to attend:

Another date to put in your calendar is Monday, February 28. Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church’s sanctuary will be the site of a District 2 Council seat Candidate’s Night to be coordinated by the League of Women Voters beginning at 7 PM. If you can’t attend that evening, the League is also hosting a debate later in the week at City Hall that will be broadcast on KTOP.

Iran polticizes social network tools

January 31, 2005

Hoder, who blogs in English and Persian at Editor: Myself says Orkut and Yahoo Messenger have become political footballs in Iran (Orkut, a hot political issue in Iran):

In no other country but Iran you’ll hear politicians use “Orkut” and “Yahoo Messenger” in their sentences.
Nasser Nassiri, a radical MP last week called for a ban on Orkut and Yahoo Messenger, both extremely popular among Iranians, and suggested the parliament will start work on a bill to officially ban them. As always, the reason was to destroy the ethical foundations of the society.
Now another radical but connected MP, Emad Afroogh, who is the chair of the cultural committee of the parliament, has officially denied that they are going to ban Orkut and Yahoo Messenger.
However, people’s comments have it that the Iranian Telecom has already filtered Orkut. OpenNet initiative guys have confirmed it in an email to me.
What a lovely dysfunctional and chaotic country Iran has become.

Mapping the sexual / romantic network of a high school

January 30, 2005

The diagram that illustrates research into the romantic entanglements of an entire high school look remarkably to my eyes like molecular chains. I realize that some of that is a matter of choices about how to visualize data, but comparing the smalelr groups to the giant daisy chain (the popular kids?) really gets across the idea that these smaller units link up to create the bigger ones.
I’d be interested in seeing a time factor introduced to these shapes. Also, shouldn’t there be some free-floating single atoms as well? (It’s been a while since I was in high school, but aren’t there always some people in any given year without partners?).

Post early and often

January 30, 2005

Duncan Riley from the Blog Herald has it right. Some the best ways to drive up blog traffic are to post in (or before) the morning (for your main audience) and post frequently.

Browsing a log of your own thoughts

January 29, 2005

In tomorrow’s Sunday Times, writer Steven Johnson discusses a program called DEVONthink and the general improvement in personal note-taking and idea-management assistance emerging in today’s tools and user-interface advances ( Books > Sunday Book Review > Essay: Tool for Thought” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/books/review/30JOHNSON.html?oref=login&oref=login&oref=login”>Tool for Thought):

But there’s a fundamental difference between searching a universe of documents created by strangers and searching your own personal library. When you’re freewheeling through ideas that you yourself have collated – particularly when you’d long ago forgotten about them – there’s something about the experience that seems uncannily like freewheeling through the corridors of your own memory. It feels like thinking.

(Note: There is no unrotting link available yet for the above article.)
As I’ve mentioned many times around here, the Mac program Voodoo Pad is currently the state of art for my own ad hoc, mostly text-based note-taking and mind mapping software. Blogs play a part for me as well, and I’m trying to get wiki and civicspace-style community sites going as well to provide similar knowledge accumulation for different sized groups of people (along with other communication and analytical and action-oriented services).

My arms are killing me

January 28, 2005

For a few months I’ve been wondering why my upper arms have been aching. Did I lift something? Is it referred pain? Today, it dawned on me. I’ve been practicing guitar and ukulele for about an hour or so a day for almost a year. No wonder! Now I don’t even mind. It’s just like the way you get used to the tips of your fingers burning.

Viewing your sexual history as a social network

January 28, 2005

OK, I admit that Who Banged Who is just a slick parody, but is it really all that far-fetched?

Upcoming conferences

January 27, 2005

I was syndicating the feed from my Upcoming public event calendar using the same blog plug-in I use to syndicate blog headlines nad descriptions, but my approach wasn’t generating proper links for the events. Then I noticed that George Kelly was using a service called RSS Digest to accomplish the same thing with properly functioning links. So I’ve gone ahead and updated the template.
The design of the sidebar box is raw, but at least it’s more functional now.

Technorati tags plug-in for MarsEdit

January 27, 2005

The divine Laura Lemay has given us MarsEdit users a great shortcut for adding technorati tags as keywords. I’m going to add some as I post this (from a bookmarklet) and then reopen the post in MarsEdit to activate the key words.
If and when it works, they will apear at the bottom of this entry as links to the relevant technorati tag spaces.
Currently playing in iTunes: Blinded By The Light by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (hell, if I’m using scripts today, why not use all that apply?)

It wasn't Flickr's fault

January 27, 2005

OK, my bad. I take it back. The various tools for uploading photos to Flickr seem to be working just fine. It was just a hiccup.
Then again I don’t like the random bunch o’ photos I get in the sidebar here as much as I’d prefer perhaps the most recent.
In other news, I posted a few images to my Mr. Spontaneous photolog and adopted one of the new photo album canned designs TypePad is offering over there. It didn’t re-constitute the original set of photos there and in fact they now display badly, so I may end up re-uploading them or something, but it’s a sleek little design.