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Saturday, December 14, 2002

Cold Talked

Beppe Severgnini, in discussing his book Ciao, America: An Italian Discovers the U.S. and cultural differences between the two countries: "In America, you use the refrigerator door to communicate. It's like the Internet. The refrigerator door is the grandmother of email." [via C-SPAN's Booknotes]

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Location, Location, Location

The fascinating Intel v. Hamidi case received this attention recently from the L.A. Times. [via CIS] Is there some point at which unsolicited email can pose a sufficient burden to privately owned resources to constitute a trespass? If so, is the sender's act nevertheless constitutionally protected? It's an analysis fraught with other implications, as the principles involved arguably can be applied, for example, to things like search engines. (Tangentially related: No Links Please, We're European, via Spartaneity.) As the Times article mentions, when the California Supreme Court decides this case it will be the first high court of a U.S. state to rule on the "trespass to chattels" theory as applied to Internet related actions.

Reuniting Man And Machine

I just added the donation button for the Doc Camera Fund to my sidebar so it won't fall off the page with the initial call for help. Please donate a few bucks and tell lots of friends. We're a long way from replacing the wayward device, but I'm sure every little bit will help.

The Revolution Will Be Litigated

Jury Service, a "gonzo post-human novella" by Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross, is in mid-serialization at Here are Parts I and II, for your reading pleasure. [via Boing Boing]

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Bob Berring Named Boalt's Interim Dean

My former legal research and writing professor Bob Berring has been named interim Dean of Boalt Hall, according to email I received this afternoon from Louise Epstein, Boalt's Assitant Dean and head of alumni relations and development. Bob Berring's a wonderful, highly intelligent guy I've mentioned here before. Here's the press release on his appointment, and more from Boalt's site.

More Video Cheer

So, one great thing about a Mac or Powerbook with a built in Superdrive and out-of-the-box iMovie and iDVD is they let you take that sloppy video footage you've amassed by pestering people with a camera in their faces (or elsewhere) at opportune moments (or otherwise) throughout the year and turn it into a pretty nice holiday gift. And, you can throw related photos on the selfsame DVD in slideshow format, synched to music; very slick. My dilemma, however, is that movie files exported for iDVD can get huge, fast. I coastered two DVD-Rs before coming to terms with the fact the 10.7 gigabyte file iMovie made for me simply wasn't going to fit on the 4.7 gig DVD-Rs that work with the Superdrive (the inarguable math wasn't lost on me, I just thought maybe the iDVD burning process would sufficiently compress the file without more work on my part). This is a 56 minute video that (1) I am not going to re-cut (too much work), and (2) believe it or not, the recipients actually will want to watch, as it stars their adorable children, among other bit players such as myself. I'm posting this in hope you Mac and QuickTime mavens (Kevin?) will confirm I've arrived at the best solution for this, or offer other suggestions. I need to compress this puppy, but it can still be a big file; up to 3 or 4 gigabytes I would think. I upgraded to QuickTime Pro (for the second time; grrr). I imported the 10.7 gig file, then, after trying and rejecting some of the smaller options, exported it to one of the two "2x CD-ROM" formats. This seems to yield pretty good quality in about a 550 MB file. (I initially thought MPEG-4 would be the way to go, but it comes out way too small and pixelated). I can go bigger than this and still get it on the DVD, but (1) the format has to be iDVD compatible, and (2) I don't see any better pre-formatted QuickTime options than what I've already done. I suspect I could venture into the custom settings and bump up the quality even further, while still slimming down my 10.7 gig fatty, but here, for me anyway, "there be dragons." Thanks in advance for any input.

Video Cheer

Cool, the donations for Doc are starting to come in. Keep it up!


Forget the calendar: spring is roaring in early this year.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Zapping Doc

Doc, on finding unexpected, free high-speed Internet access in his Supernova digs: "I love this motel." Doc got zapped in a less pleasant way when his Sony PC-110 camcorder didn't come home from a party last week. Having seen Doc in action with this thing, I can well appreciate how much he hates to lose it. Doc's camera rounds out his coverage of the many conferences and events he travels to and shares on his blog and elsewhere. He mentions a bunch of photos at that last link, and here are some additional ones he took at Digital ID World. I set up the following PayPal donation link in hope of restoring Doc's camcorder. If you'd like to help, please donate and/or share the link. I'll forward the proceeds to Doc at the end of the month as a holiday "thanks." (I looked around a bit to see if anyone had yet done this and came up empty; if I'm wrong, please let me know and I'll be sure to coordinate the efforts.)

Monday, December 09, 2002

Self, Meet Self

Just when you've gotten smug in your demographic-trouncing disparateness...someone comes along and shows you you're just another walking wallet. I sent the link to this Fast Company article -- Sophisticated Sell: Why are so many women interested in shopping at Anthroplogie? -- this afternoon to my three best friends, bemoaning that the jig is up, we've been pinned to the wall, boxed, wrapped and tied up with a bow. Seems like it's just in time for the holidays, but this outfit's been surreptitiously at it since 1992, apparently:
The Anthropologie woman is not so much conflicted as she is resistant to categorization. Her identity is a tangle of connections to activities, places, interests, values, and aspirations. She's not married with two kids: She's a yoga-practicing filmmaker with an organic garden, a collection of antique musical instruments, and an abiding interest in Chinese culture ( plus a husband and two kids ).
Ugh, there's more. If this is a shade too close to home, go on over there for a good laugh or cry -- your call. No, I don't have two kids. Yes, I do shop there, it's been like six years now.

Dare To Despair

I see that Doc already has blogged the 2003 "Demotivators" collection, but if it and its domain ( don't deserve to be linked to death I don't know what does. If you've never seen this line before, it's a cousin of the Successories products you always see in the Sky Mall catalog -- with the important distinction that these you might actually hang on the wall. Doc likes Flattery, which is understandable, and as a Linux fan he'd probably love Limitations, too. Individuality and Get To Work are battling it out for my favorite. The apparel line is great, too, right down to: "(front of shirt is not smaller than back of shirt) ... " Interesting how this came my way. A colleague at the firm is reading my blog, seems like fairly regularly (now that blows me away), and he thought this followed on well from Fast Company's observation that 2002 is the year of the cockroach. (Thanks PJK, this made my day!)

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Public Loss, Private Gain

Well dagnabbit, Phil Windley resigned as CIO of the State of Utah this week. He offers more thoughts on realities of public service and why he'd had enough. You have to hope this doesn't slow down the other bloggers linked from Phil's site -- Dave Fletcher, Bob Woolley, Dave McNamee, Joe Leary, Dave Willis, Al Sherwood, Q. Wade Billings and Craig Neilson -- though it's tough to see how it wouldn't.

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