See also Webfolio, Whimsy, + I Art Wert

May 30, 2000

Thomas L. Friedman in today's New York Times:

"I believe in the possibilities of the new technologies as much as anyone. But it seems that while we started by surfing the Web, the Web is now surfing us. Technology is making life more complicated, not less, and we haven't found the balance yet."


May 29, 2000

From the Things I Always Wondered About Department: The em dash — this thing — is so named because it's as long when typeset as a capital letter M. (William Safire's essay on the dash is particularly well constructed and subtly clever.)


May 26, 2000

BlogBowl was a rousing success and a lot of fun. My account is over yonder in the essays box (and here too).


May 24, 2000

Weblog geeks unite! We're going bowling tomorrow night as a little blog-community gathering to show Brig a good time while she's in New York. Cameron has posted details on his web site; you can RSVP there too.

Gawd, I feel so cliquey. This must be what it's like working for Pyra.


May 23, 2000

Michael Sippey has a weblog. Has it really been two years since the last Filtered for Purity?


May 19, 2000

"In truth, the only players who are overpaid are players you don't like."

I don't normally let my baseball and hockey fanaticism spill into this space, but Ray Ratto's piece on the real concerns of the everyday sports fan speaks volumes about what drives interest and ire in professional sports.


May 18, 2000

The restaurant inspection site I mentioned yesterday (thanks, Adrienne) got a splashy story in the New York Times this morning.

I'm developing a pet peeve against publishers (including my employer) that change headlines when stories migrate from print to web. The Times' print article had a decent headline: "Site Listing Restaurant Inspections Starts a Feeding Frenzy on the Web." Yet the article blandly states, "Inspections of Kitchens on the Web." Why? Changing the headline only makes it harder for someone who reads both to cross-reference articles.


Seems I'm not the only one who finds the Palm Pilot to be more trouble than it's worth. Great quote:

"Living wired ... doesn't take away your need to remember things; it simply replaces one mental 'to do' list with another. Buy fresh batteries. Key in that lunch date. Find a contraption that will let you carry your Palm. ... The yellow stickies reappeared. I put one of the inside of my Palm's cover: "Check Batteries!"


May 17, 2000

I was afraid to poke through the NYC Department of Health's new restaurant inspection information web site, sure that I'd get nauseous and never eat a meal out again. But it's actually fairly enlightening, and many of my local haunts run a pretty tight ship.


Wednesday's cache/cachet example has been fixed. I'm going to pretend the Ideapad had something to do with that.


May 16, 2000

Next entry in the Dumb URLs Contest: Drop the NT to lowercase and read it again. Jeepers.

Know of a particularly bad URL? Now that I've seen several this month I'm going to compile a list. Email me your favorites.


J&R, the superb electronics retailer in New York, has a decent (if ugly) web site that is well geared toward good usability. In their product descriptions, assorted technical terms are linked to pop-up definition windows, so non-gadget-heads can decipher weird acronyms like TFT and DTS. But what's so great about it is that someone had the foresight to include descriptions for such esoteric, technical mumbo-jumbo as TV and music.


May 15, 2000

Today's grammar lesson:

cache is a hiding place or storage area, pronounced "kash," often mentioned in relation to Web browsers.

cachet is a mark of distinction, pronounced "kah-SHAY," used to denote importance or relevance.

The more people heard about "clearing the cache of a web browser," the more they mispronounced "cache" as "ka-SHAY," which has led to the use of the word cache where cachet should appear. If you know which one's right, seeing it wrong -- which is happening more and more often -- can make you cringe.


May 13, 2000

Axl Rose = oral sex. Why didn't I know this when I was in high school?


May 12, 2000

Why I've always harbored a secret desire to work for MTV, part one:

"We are looking for real young women ... who are outgoing, crazy, fun, love to party, and are open about their sex lives. MTV wants to follow you. .... You must be open to meeting new guys and talking about your sexual relations on MTV."

That casting call must make for some amusing interviews, and no doubt explains why Carson Daly always has that "I can't believe this is my job" look on his face during TRL.


So long as I'm ruining my good name to promote real young women who love to party, I should share The Breast Chronicles: The Life and Times of a Pair of 34DD Breasts as well. I know, I know. (via Evhead -- blame him)


May 11, 2000

I just came across a big collection of John "Dr. Dirty" Valby MP3 files. Buzz off, Metallica, Napster kicks ass.

Of course, I could buy Valby CDs, but the fun is not just in ownership. It's in the discovery, in re-obtaining something I once had, lost, and figured I'd never find again. Who knows, maybe I'll buy a Dr. Dirty album now that I've been re-exposed to his music.

And speaking of Metallica, if you're a fan and you know what Lars Ulrich sounds like when he talks you should get a kick out of Napster Bad!, a mildly amusing animated parody that contains a priceless moment or two.


May 10, 2000

A novel concept from Jimmy Guterman in the current Industry Standard: "Maybe the purpose of the Net isn't to buy and sell things."


May 8, 2000

I use Yahoo! Messenger to talk to my brother on and off during the work day. Occasionally we get deep into discussion, and Jeff, tired of explaining himself in text, decides to call me. Only he never has my number handy, so he ends up asking me in IM for my phone number. An instant after I hit Send, my phone rings.

I can't tell if we're really taking full advantage of communication in the Internet age, but it tickles me.


"I don't wanna sound like the people who sound like me."

-- Fatboy Slim, making a good point about creativity in general, discussing the recording of his new album (due out around Christmas).


I'm pretty sure that I don't have a Tyler Durden in me. A little John Blutarsky, perhaps, on a good day.


What a terrible URL. Domains are getting tougher and tougher to find, but come on. The fact that no one can spell "fuchsia" would be a terrible reason to buy "," much less throw VC behind it. What's worse, the URL with the proper spelling of gesundheit doesn't resolve to the phonetic one. Dumb.


May 4, 2000

athena_metalchic asks: What do you hope to accomplish with this lawsuit?
metallica_lars_live: The ideal situation is clear and simple - to put Napster out of business.

In the meantime, donations are still being accepted.


ZDNet: Five Ways to Turn Your Office into a Sweaty Disco. Useless article, priceless headline.


May 3, 2000

I like James (not Jim) Fallows's article on PR spam not because of his pointers on being a good spammer but because of his minor point about calling him by his proper name:

"In naming, as in other matters, language reflects amazingly subtle social nuances. ... Informality implies some prior contact, and we are as carefully attuned to misuse of those cues as we are to violation of our personal space."

Right on, James!
Sincerely, David


May 2, 2000

I used to disdain Michael Wolff and his look-at-me-I-had-a-startup-in-1996 attitude, but I've really grown to like his writing style. Some nuggets appeared in his latest column for New York magazine, on fetish-oriented businesses, where he successfully makes spanking a metaphor for vertical portal plays:

"On the Web, of course, having a fetish is a big advantage. ... This is beyond pornography. This is an open window into the human psyche -- and a pretty good indication of unmet demand. ... The economics of the Web favor fetishism, i.e., specialized subjects with limited but obsessive audiences."

An interesting end-around, but true nonetheless. Yet Wolff's best line comes much later in the piece (halfway down second web page):

"Honestly, the Web weirds me out."

Amen, brother.


Also in New York this week is a nice profile of Jim Romenesko, the minor media-world deity behind MediaNews and the quirkier Obscure Store. I'm a long-time fan.


May 1, 2000

Nothing like a billion-dollar game of chicken to throw off your prime-time viewing schedule. I imagine millions of annoyed Port Charles fans are already jamming the phone lines. Far as I'm concerned, the two media conglomerates can squabble all they want so long as order is restored before the Stanley Cup finals get blacked out. Unless my stock takes a hit, that is.


Quick! What's the most wired country in the world in terms of Internet access and mobile-phone usage? Hint: it's not the country in the headline.


Unlike me, Matt Haughey was smart enough to take a screen shot of the great typo mentioned Friday.


So a group of ravens is called an unkindness. That was, no doubt, coined by one smart ornithologist. (Discovered on Memepool)

Read April or see netWert home

Copyright © 2000 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.