See also Webfolio, Whimsy, + I Art Wert

August 30, 2000 +

Napster is a negative product. Napster hurts artist royalties. Napster promotes thievery. Napster discourages people from paying for music. Napster will destroy the music industry.
5:15 p.m. Aug. 28, 2000 PDT / LOS ANGELES - Shipments of full-length compact discs in the United States reached an all-time high in the first half of 2000, up 6 percent from the year-ago period, to 420 million units, the Recording Industry Association of America said.

One for the masses (and I'm not even a South Park fan): (via Metafilter)


August 29, 2000 +

So the United Kingdom trip has been tremendous thus far, thanks. Managed to get out of the London city limits for much of the weekend and have had a great time exploring.

Edinburgh is a fine city, and attending Fringe Festival was worth the long trip home (rain + hills + Scotland = landslides). Caught three Fringe stage plays, the best of which, Ecstasy, was truly excellent. If the show goes on the road, be sure to catch it in your local city.


Have I mentioned my experience in this space yet? I ordered three CDs through the site in July. As of today, one I received, one I have never seen, and one came to me as a jewel box with no disc in it, which had me ship back to them, whereupon the CD came separately with a "Sorry!" note attached a week later. So much for c2c transactions. Yet my desire for odd nostalgic items led me back into the direct-purchase realm again last week. I hope the average eBay seller is more responsible than the lazy yahoos hawking bad music on


August 24, 2000 +

So Microsoft has this thing lately where the "installer" portion of their software runs really quickly and the real installation occurs the first time a user runs the program that's been installed.

That's a perfectly fine idea, except MS puts their piracy-protection encryption system -- they refer to it on my Office 98 for Macintosh as an "Access Key" -- into the second step of the install, called First Run.

I am in London, trying to run Word on my laptop. But Microsoft First Run is asking for my access key. Which is on the installer CD. Which is in New York. Which I used five weeks ago and have since misplaced, so my coworkers rummaging around my desk can't find it.

So clever, those Microsoft install specialists.


Happy birthday, Mom!


There's something to be said for having kid hobbies as an adult. (via Derek, again)


I think one of my college buddies threw a pumpkin at someone once, but he didn't get arrested for it.


August 22, 2000 +

Having stepped down from his CEO position at Microsoft, what other fields is Bill Gates dominating? Well, he's a damn fine bridge player, for one thing.


I may hate my PDA, but at least I'm not like this guy.


August 21, 2000 +

Almost missed this one. Last Monday's Times had a tidbit on how women use the Internet. Methinks there's more to the results than the survey lets on, at least for Jupiter's analyst. Read carefully:
A new survey shows that women go online for practical reasons, like shopping, travel reservations and to seek specific information, and tend to be loyal to a few chosen sites. ... "Women are interested in a more efficient experience -- getting online and getting off," said Anya Sacharow, an analyst at Jupiter.

Blue. I wish my journal entries resonated like hers.


August 18, 2000 +

Killer rumor of the day: Viacom may shut down MTVi.

Rumor or not, it's still worth noting. The business world may be nearing the point where it keeps its web divisions to itself. Companies waving around stock option packages for business models that aren't sustainable in the medium term seem to be calming down; numerous pseudo-spinoffs have canceled IPOs. In today's environment it probably makes more sense for MTV to run anyway.

But if this is true, whither Sonicnet? Nicholas Butterworth may be having a rough week.

Afternoon update: Cnet is carrying an article on the restructuring.


Ever hear Soul Coughing's "Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago?" Ever wonder how that came about? Singer M. Doughty's explanation is on Soul Coughing's web site:
Once, tripping in the metropolitan capital of Illinois, I came up with this theory that everything outside my body was Chicago and all within was not. A nice simple way to look at the world. I would point at, like, a chair and say "Is Chicago," and then at my chest, and say, "Is not Chicago." This entertained me for a good twelve hours or so.
(Yeah, so the story's nine years old. I'm on a Soul Coughing kick this week.)


August 17, 2000 +

"Actually, I would be perfectly happy to sell out." -- Cliff Hall, a college acquaintance and bassist for a pretty good local band, 1995

I know little about Dave Eggers, but damn if his Harvard Advocate interview isn't the last word on artistic integrity. (via Derek)


He who hesitates is lost. Thus the new-look Ideapad (feedback welcome) with its swanky new third column! oooooh


August 16, 2000 +

Kozmo may acquire Urbanfetch. Talk about bad news. Urbanfetch has a better interface and better freebies. And one would think Kozmo has enough problems right now without burdening itself with double the hassles.

Outside of cornering the market, this seems like a terrible idea. At least Kozmo will continue to do a good job, though, unlike when the Citysearch-Sidewalk buyout obliterated the better web site.


Wonder why it rains so much in your city? Maybe it's your own fault. (Well, you and the million other people who live there.)


August 15, 2000 +

Nasdaq has started delisting underwhelming dotcom stocks. What's interesting about this is not the fact that it's happening -- no one is surprised -- but the relatively high-profile names that are getting the boot, including EFax, with and faux-dotcom K-Tel on the ropes.


August 14, 2000 +

Clueless tech workers are finding some odd silver lining in not getting paid.
"The balance of power has definitely shifted," [an unpaid worker at a New York content site] says. "No one's shy about asking for a week off anymore."
Well, duh.


Charles Strum on New Yorkers, in the Sunday New York Times: "We rush to cross the street because to stop at curbside is to violate a local law of nature that says moving bodies tend to lose value if they cease forward motion."


August 9, 2000 +

I spoke mildly with tongue in cheek on Monday as I celebrated Al Gore's choosing an observant Jew to be his running mate. But the more I read, the more I realize that as a history-defining moment, this is truly nothing short of phenomenal.

Of course, the same folks who are shallow enough to vote for George W. because he's photogenic, smooth and the son of a former President are probably the same ones who will use anti-Semitic slurs to keep Gore and Lieberman out of office. Look for the Anti-Defamation League to be much more active in the coming months.


"The decline in the share price of Computer Associates and Charles and Sanjay's part-ownership of the New York Islanders are not related in any way." -- Statement from a Computer Associates spokesman, who obviously has not read up on recent Islanders history.


August 8, 2000 +

Leaving town again. Next update after the weekend (unless I find ten minutes on Wednesday to post something).


August 7, 2000 +

Click! News dissemination mode: on.

Al Gore has chosen an MOT to be his running mate for Vice President! This is a first in U.S. history and, if nothing else, will get a certain disillusioned voter (read: me) to register soon and vote this fall.

(So you don't know what an MOT is, eh?)

Computer Associates' spinoff plans include CEO Charles Wang's reduced role. Onlookers overheard Wang mumbling to pal Sanjay Kumar that he couldn't wait to learn how to ice skate.

One likes to think that Sir Alec Guinness didn't die a normal death, but instead just vanished, his clothes falling empty to the ground as his light saber dimmed for the last time.

Click! News dissemination mode: off. More topical links tomorrow.


August 4, 2000 +

I love cross-promotion: If I work up 30,000 frequent-flyer miles on Virgin running back and forth to London for business, I can redeem them for a Virgin Air Balloons hot-air flight in the UK with champagne, or an introductory flying lesson from Acorn Air Sports in a helicopter, glider or fixed wing plane.

Richard Branson is my hero.


August 3, 2000 +

Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos: "We're not in this game for profit. We provide entertainment and make a statement for the city and the state."


Today's fun MP3 download recommendation: Queen's theme music to "Flash Gordon." Ah, that bass line!
dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun


August 1, 2000 +

Slight redesign tweaking -- more cellpadding, for you HTML folks, and numerous changes down the left-hand column.


The first of the month is payday and pay-the-rent day for me, so I'm thinking about Manhattan life today.

New York has an article on comfortable budgets in the city. My life lately is somewhat like Matthew, who feels he's living below his means: "Maybe the trick is to make more money but not live any different. But you feel like a jerk living in the same studio apartment."

Then there's this nugget, from Randy Kennedy's New York Times Magazine piece, which I don't agree with but can certainly relate to: "Part of what has always drawn people [to New York] is not just the promise of fame, fortune and excitement but also a brand of plain old masochism. We derive pleasure in proving ourselves against a place hard, cold, inconvenient, unfriendly and even treacherous."

I love New York.

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Copyright © 2000 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.