netWert Ideapad

October 2002

I'm in London
October 30, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
...for a few more hours, at least. My employer's London office is fun. Great camaraderie amongst my coworkers, and lots of welcoming introductions the last few days.

Today I try the never-before-attempted feat of working the morning in London, flying to New York, and spending the evening (overnight GMT) moving out of my old apartment. Wish me luck.

What's it really worth?
October 25, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
My brother got me thinking about the cost-per-annum expense of the furniture and appliances I'm selling as I move out of my old place.

I lived uptown for five years, and my furniture at the most was that old (some pieces far less). Factoring in what I get back for the items, even as I sell things cheap, I make out OK:

Item                       Retail Resale Yrs CPA

Bed . . . . . . . . . . . . $600 $150 5 $90
Dining table and chairs . . 250 50 5 50
Wall unit . . . . . . . . . 350 150 5 40
Dresser . . . . . . . . . . 120 10 5 22
Microwave stand . . . . . . 100 25 5 15
Bedroom lamps . . . . . . . 110 45 5 13
Coffee table . . . . . . . 50 10 4 10
Vacuum . . . . . . . . . . 60 20 5 8
Foyer table . . . . . . . . 40 10 4 8

Even the expensive stuff, like the bed, comes out under $10/month. Not bad.

That $150 wall unit is a steal, by the way. And wait'll someone buys my $950 sofabed for less than three hundred bucks.

Blogger hacked
October 25, 2002 +
Just a public service announcement from here. Oh, and do yourself a favor and start using more than one or two passwords for the dozens of sites you visit. Access to your data is more vulnerable than you think.

You know you're mainstream when
October 24, 2002 +
Doonesbury has been covering the weblog world this week. The run has been amusing, and plenty linked in the blog world, of course. Tuesday's strip is the most pointed (and my personal favorite).

October 23, 2002 +
Fake copy application by Andre Torrez.

Living in the city
October 23, 2002 +
Eighty-eight comments (many of them useful) on Jason Kottke's off to New York thread. Oh, and Jason: Island Burgers. Must go to Island Burgers.

October 23, 2002 +
Kurt Cobain in a 1992 diary entry: "Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend."

"Ass-enter," indeed
October 22, 2002 +
Great piece: Branding in The Morning News, all about ridiculously avant-garde company names of the late 20th century.

"ëAquentí actually does have a meaning in English: Itís a geological term for poorly drained human-altered soils."

October 22, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
On Madison Avenue, at lunchtime, on the east side of the street, between 56th and 54th Streets: my friends' friend's ex-fiance, Peter, who unsurprisingly did not recognize me; a fair-skinned, red-haired woman adorned with a bindi; and Carlos Santana. It was an entertaining walk.

October 21, 2002 +
I will be in my employer's London office next week. Thus, I will be in London for a few days. Funny how that works.

I arrive Sunday morning, October 27, and stay until midday Wednesday. I hope to meet some of them thar Internet peoples while I'm there (already have lunch plans Sunday). Give a shout if you're there, too.

October 18, 2002 +
Steven Den Beste has an explanation of cell phone technologies with damning evidence against GSM.

Stewart Alsop writes an advocacy of CDMA as an eventual worldwide success.

Meanwhile, AT&T just introduced GSM in the U.S., calling it "is beefing up their mMode service."

Is my next phone obsolete before I even buy it?


Ah, Europe
October 17, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Brian, 12:34 p.m. "Why Charley?"

David, 1:29 p.m. "It's in honor of the Charlotte Inn, where we got engaged (and from where we returned to find out he'd been born). I wouldn't let Amy name a male dog Charlotte, so Charley it is."

Brian, 2:01 p.m. "Charley was also the name of the dog in 'The Final Countdown,' not the song, but the movie where the aircraft carrier goes back in time to Pearl Harbor. Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen and Charles Durning."

David's brain, 2:49 p.m. "DUH-duh-DEH-dah, duh-duh-DUH-dah-duh-dah-DEH...."

Latest column
October 16, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
Making a Timeless User Experience in Digital Web magazine. "One has to think in all directions to properly define smart user-centric design, then, apply those decisions in a timeless fashion."

Google's user experience
October 16, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
Good interview with Google's product manager by Mark Hurst on Good Experience. "All of us on the UI team think the value of Google is in not being cluttered, in offering a great user experience. I like to say that Google should be 'what you want, when you want it.' As opposed to 'everything you could ever want, even when you don't.'"

Smacking of hypocrisy
October 16, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
AOL is eliminating third-party pop-up ads, ostensibly because their users don't like them. So how come they're still using pop-ups for their own internal services?

Also fun in this press release is AOL CEO Jonathan Miller's use of the term "member experience" rather than "user experience."

The I-wish-I-were-you-right-then dept.
October 16, 2002 +
Chez Daniel by Rosecrans Baldwin in The Morning News. "Itís like going to a bachelor party where one of the guys drinking with you is a member of Sonic Youth, and he mentions, over your third or fourth beer, that heís read your Web site, and actually liked it. Well, okay. Yes: Heís a dude, like any dude at the bachelor party, and he even skips out on the karaoke part. But heís in Sonic Youth."

Once more with feeling
October 15, 2002 +
Please please please buy something.

Promotional message
October 14, 2002 +
I got promoted today—I'm now Web Design Director for The Economist Group along with my duties for Good stuff.

Calvin's dad
October 14, 2002 +
Via a Metafilter discussion came this fantastic list of Dad's responses to Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes comics. I also found a second quote list via Google. I miss Calvin and Hobbes.

C: How do they know the load limit on bridges, Dad?
D: They drive bigger and bigger trucks over the bridge until it breaks. Then they weigh the last truck and rebuild the bridge.

Content Management Summit
October 11, 2002 +
I attended the Content Management Summit yesterday and had a good time. Learned some interesting things. Among them:

~ The Internet is still a learning space. Different media sites have vastly different concepts of the best way to make money and present information. Marketing ploys are still widely created and debated. Ye olde Web is still a nascent sales venue.

~ Of the presentations I saw (from Technowledge, eMeta, and others), few actually said much about the products being hawked. Lots of explanations were given: here's why you need this service. With the exception of Microsoft, no one explained how said service would help my business.

~ The term du jour these days is "pay per drink."

~ No one can really agree what the heck a weblog is, and lots of people still haven't heard of them. John Hiler actually had the chutzpah (naivete?) to declare, "Weblogs only cover interesting things," using "interesting" to mean "technology and terrorism and not much else." Hiler also described his company, Xanga, as attracting "a lot of [age] 50-plus people because they have nothing to do."

I also enjoyed catching up with Cam and meeting scores of new people, including Nick Denton and several folks who thought I was the other David Wertheimer.

Jason Calacanis throws a good conference, and I am looking forward to Brian Alvey's next Meet the Makers assembly in November.

Friday surfing
October 11, 2002 +
Random bits:

Wired redesigns using XML and standard code. Nice.

Metaphors make for poor debate. Good points all the way through. I will start to eliminate them from my arguments. Right after my next Digital Web column is published. (via Kindall)

Hart Island in The Morning News. "Most people never think about it, but New York is an archipelago; outside of the Bronx, the cityís 8 million people live on a collection of 50 islands."

And of course, one more plug for my moving sale.

Yeah, but it's a big one
October 9, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
The 1 Percent Solution? in Clickz.

The most important line in this article is one the author glosses over: "There's nothing wrong per se with charging for online content, provided you charge for the right things and do so in the right ways."

The article then goes onto dissecting sites such as Salon, which charges users to not see ads, which is entirely counter to the basic ad-sales model, which asks for a definable viewing audience in order to proffer an effective purchase.

Still, an interesting read, and one worth considering for us media folks.

Entire apartment for sale!
October 9, 2002 +
Time to sell the old furniture and end my days as an upper east side resident. Want anything?

~ View my for-sale ad posted to Craig's List.

~ Contact me with inquiries! I will have an open house Sunday afternoon. . Photos available upon request.

On the dog
October 7, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Fun things to know about my new puppy Charley.
read more

October 1, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
The subject was a year in gestation, the process lengthy and educational. Seven months passed from the first phone calls until the event; for a while, we were delayed, and we weren't sure it would ever happen.

But on a happy dairy farm outside Montreal last weekend, Charley was waiting for us, and at long last, we have an adorable, incredible puppy.


September 2002




Copyright © 2002 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.