Happiness is

Happiness is, originally uploaded by netwert.

Levain Bakery and sunflowers. Miss you, Amy.

The geeks have inherited the earth

The geeks have inherited the earth, originally uploaded by netwert.

Steve Jobs of Apple makes a public stand against Flash, which has become the lead story on wsj.com.

Think about that: the head of a mobile phone manufacturer (responsible for just 16% of the smartphone market, which in istelf is 18% of the mobile phone market–roughly 3% of all phones) put in writing the company’s disinclination to use a piece of software from another company. And it’s front-page news on the Wall Street Journal, America’s final word on what matters in business.

It’s all in the telling

“Our vacation on the Vineyard was really nice. We had perfect weather all week (as always) and Nathan and Charley were both terrific. We hit every town as planned and found some great new restaurants and shops. Since we rented a house, we got to try the farmer’s markets up-island, and we enjoyed a kitchen full of amazing fresh corn and lettuce and nectarines. Nate had fun in the ocean, Amy got to the beach twice, and David got some quality grilling done. It was a shame we had to switch rental houses but we resolved that in half a day and our second house was great. Love Martha’s Vineyard. Already thinking about next summer.”
“Our vacation on the Vineyard was a mess. The house we rented reeked of mildew and we wanted to leave the instant we got there. We toughed it out for two days, freezing at night with open windows airing out the smell, then gave up and blew Wendesday house hunting and packing and unpacking. Our second house was really nice, but it was pretty remote, and so buggy since it was in the woods. The boys were well behaved but we didn’t get to sleep in or really unwind the whole week. Even our trips to the beach were only an hour long. It felt like we spent the whole week in our car. Love Martha’s Vineyard, but oy! what a week.”
The reality, of course, is somewhere in the middle.

NYC fireworks 2009

NYC fireworks 2009 (I) and (II), originally uploaded by netwert.

As seen from our seventh-floor window north of 91st Street. July 4, 2009

The Internet you didn’t know

Jurassic Web in Slate, subtitle: “The Internet of 1996 is almost unrecognizable compared with what we have today.”

What did people do online back when Slate launched? After plunging into the Internet Archive and talking to several people who were watching the Web closely back then, I’ve got an answer: not very much.

To which I say: bullshit.

The World Wide Web was an invigorating, compelling and, frankly, amazing place in 1996. Innovations were fast, furious and quickly adopted. Clever people did clever things and pretty much everyone noticed, because “everyone” was a rather small and curious community.

I know. I was there. Not “watching,” like the folks Slate’s reporter Farhad Manjoo spoke to, but creating. Designing. Exploring. Sharing. And, pretty much daily, blown away.

The Internet of 1996 was certainly nothing like today’s experience. But to suggest there wasn’t much to do is to ignore everything that was being done.

There was no iTunes; but there were MP3s, and .wav files, and sharing was just as exciting (and covert). There was no glut of information, not yet; but there were unbelievably good reads and finds, large and small, like Suck and HotWired and 0sil8. Tools for online creation were primitive, but that didn’t stop people like me from hand-coding HTML and slicing together animated GIFs frame by frame and putting amazing works online.

No Yahoo Mail? So what? I was sending email with Eudora over high-speed connections back in 1991. And I first used instant messaging in 1992, on an old Mac running OS 7, when young Farhad was still in middle school. Which is not to be a grumpy old man, but to make the point he misses: the Internet wasn’t hamstrung back then. It was just different.

I dare say 1996 was, in certain ways, more interesting online than 2009. The Web was still the great unknown. People didn’t know what to make of it, but they knew it was radical and fascinating. It was the future, happening in real time.

Today the Internet is a mature medium that has become more sophisticated almost non-stop since the early days of its commercialization. But to call its initial era boring is to miss the real story. The Internet has never been boring. Those of us who were there in 1996, shaping what so many people now consider normal, know the truth.

Assorted comments on the snow from my Facebook status updates page, morning of December 19

  • ready to brave the pending snow storm & frolic around the city – please note she will be complaining like a bitch once said snow storm hits as she is a wimp
  • Working from home and avoiding the traffic issues that this snow is going to cause.
  • Today will be an attempt to beat the snowstorm to boston.
  • Hoping that the 6″ of snow turns into 6′ of snow
  • It’s snowing Eggo waffle-sized snowflakes in Manhattan. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Would you believe Triscuit cracker-sized?
  • here comes the snow.
  • its dumping snow in new york city wOOt
  • I am in a snowglobe..
  • I love when it snows with conviction.
  • admiring the snow from inside, but wondering why the construction site next door is still drilling.
  • Watching the snow wonderfully blow down Broadway. It’s about time it snowed in nyc.
  • snowed in with the kids (2 out of 3, anyway).
  • loving the snow!