Archive for January, 2006

Links for 2006-01-18

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Celebrating ten years of First Monday

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

The journal First Monday started publishing IT-related articles on the Web in May, 1996. The entire archives of the journal have remained freely accessible to the public over the years. First Monday will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this coming May in Chicago with a conference appropriately focusing on issues concering open collaboration on the Internet. In line with the journal’s history and the meeting’s topic, the program and related materials will be available online for all to see. Submissions are due February 6, 2006.

Links for 2006-01-17

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

Links for 2006-01-16

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Writing with Flickr

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Gone are the days when you had to clip letters from different newspapers and magazines to get a mix of fonts. This nifty tool lets you write out words with letter images from Flickr. (I assume the images have to be tagged with a letter to be part of the pool from which the program draws photos.) If you don’t like a particular letter design, you can click on just that one to get a different image.

FLRadio City \CIMG3706kR 022

It occurs to me that perhaps this tool should be called Clipr.

Links for 2006-01-14

Saturday, January 14th, 2006


Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Oh-oh, my blog is becoming a mere link farm. Sorry, dear reader.

Here is an anecdote for you. I was in the AAA office the other day getting suggestions for a trip. The guy suggested I go through Milwaukee.* He mumbled something about a metamorphosis. I did not quite understand what he was saying so I asked: “What do you mean?”. He then simply said: “Oh, a change.”

This was cute, because it wasn’t the word metamorphosis that I needed clarified. I just hadn’t heard enough of the sentence to know what he was talking about. I guess it makes sense for him to then give a synonym for the word. (I could write lots of posts about things I have misundestood in the past. This is par for the course.)

When I hear “Metamorphosis” I usually imagine it with a capital M. I read Kafka’s play back in high school in German class. Yes, it was a pretty intense German class to be reading works like that in the original. The grand treat for the year was that our teacher took us to Broadway to see the play performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov as Gregor Samsa.** It was an amazing experience for a bunch of high school students. It likely would’ve been for people at other stages in their lives as well, but it seemed extra special then.

So much for hearing the word “metamorphosis” at AAA.

* No, traveling through Milwaukee did not make sense for this trip, in case any of my readers were curious about the final route.:)
** My family was living in the US at the time. We were spending a year in Storrs, CT.

Llinks for 2006-01-12

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Links for 2006-01-11

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

Links for 2006-01-10

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Links for 2006-01-08

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

Links for 2006-01-07

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

Apologies for the double posting of links in the last 24 hours. I’m still tweaking how and when I want these lists to appear on my blog. I think this should work fine now.

Links for 2006-01-06

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Conclusive evidence found: blogging has tangible benefits

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Birthday chocolates

It’s not hard to find discussions among bloggers (and others) about whether blogging has any benefits. Last month, I happily encountered a very clear material benefit to blogging: chocolates!

A kind reader of this blog noticed that my birthday was coming up and proceeded to send me some very yummy chocolates. Thank you, dear reader, ’twas a very nice surprise, and rest assured, the chocolates have been treated with utmost respect.

Links for 2006-01-05

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Disposable email addresses

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

If you have your own domain name and host it with a service that gives you unlimited email addresses then the following sites won’t be of much help. However, most people don’t have their own domains so these sites may be helpful.

The idea is that at times you may not want to give a site your real email address. These services give you temporary disposable addresses for use with sites that require an address for registration. Many people have junk email accounts that they use for nothing else but such registrations. However, at times it may be easier to cut all links with a site after you try it out.

The following sites help you with this.

Links for 2006-01-04

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

Links for 2006-01-03

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Matching sketches to photos

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Retrievr is an interesting experiment in matching up people’s sketches with photos on the photo-sharing site Flickr (granted, for now limited to a small segment based on interestingness). There is definitely room for improvement, but it’s an interesting idea even if a bit off the mark regarding the matches for now.

I tried the service by creating some sketches of Christmas trees thinking there should be plenty in the recent Flickr pool.


Of these four, only the last one yielded any Christmas trees as results (only one of which was not itself just a drawing). The other hits were pretty random both in terms of shape and color depicting anything from cats and birds to close-up shots of flowers. One architecture image did make sense since it really does look like a tree (as noted by its creator in the photo’s title as well).

I played around with the system a bit more and realized that it may be most interesting for retrieving pictures based on color distribution. A blue-orange square yielded photos dominated by related colors.


It’s easy to find photos on Flickr based on topic (e.g. using tags or groups), but less obvious to find images based on color combination (there are exceptions, but these modes are less widespread). It is perhaps in that realm that Retrievr holds the most promise for now.

UPDATE: Here’s a pretty neat match:

Eye on Retrievr

Flying on New Year’s Day

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

When I booked my flight for the morning of January 1st (on my way back to Chicagoland from NYC) I realized it wasn’t going to be easy. After all, I knew that I would be out and about until at least midnight. Nonetheless, it was the cheapest ticket (not surprisingly) so I went for it.

I did not realize that I was going to be out in the Village (NYC) sampling great (albeit really expensive) food until 4am. That part was fine. It was more than fine, it was fun and appropriate for New Year’s Eve.

More importantly, however, I did not realize the potential state of my fellow passengers on the flight. There was a woman in the row in front of mine who nearly got sick. Her partner held the plastic bag next to her during the entire flight. There was also a woman sitting right behind me who did get sick. It’s not as though the whole flight was full of such passengers. I just happened to be sitting in the row in between two who were.

It was a busy trip for the flight attendants. To their credit, they handled it very well. Next time I plan my New Year’s trip, I may decide to leave a bit more time for people’s recovery and get on a later flight though.

At least I had plenty of room for my legs.:)

Plenty of legroom