April 30, 2001 +

If I ever leave New York City to save money on rent, I know I won't be going to San Francisco: "The average rent for a newly vacant one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco the first three months of this year was $1,888 a month. ... The median price of an existing one-family home in the city was $573,530."

Of course, $573,000 for a one-family home is not so bad, when one considers that the same money in New York City barely covers a decent one-bedroom apartment. And a $1,900 Manhattan rental often comes without a bedroom.


Nokia has a rare usability misstep in the cell phone I own. When I switch modes from Normal to Silent, the phone gives a loud confirmation beep as it leaves Normal mode. But since I want the phone to be silent, isn't that a little silly? I'd expect the phone to go silent with that OK, not after it.

Not to mention that in order to silence my phone, I have to press
Menu button
Down arrow
Down arrow
Menu button (on Profiles)
Down arrow
Menu button (on Options)
Menu button (on Select)
just to shut off the volume. Oh well. It's still a sweet phone.


Boogie down, part two.


April 27, 2001 +

I love when editors let a journalist get away with a cheeky throwaway. Exhibit A: The Standard's Cory Johnson covering CNN's hiring of Andrea Thompson, which is generating flack due to her previous history as an actress unafraid of nude scenes:

"The decision to hire Thompson ... quickly drew fire from within CNN and the broader journalism community. Media critics decried what they saw as a naked attempt to boost ratings at the expense of CNN's vaunted journalistic reputation."


April 26, 2001 +

Toying with one of those choose-it-yourself link-opening thingies. With javascript turned off links will no longer open in new windows. See options in the sidebar.

-- Oh wow oh wow oh wow. I'm in harmony heaven. (found via Fountains of Wayne's web site, natch)


Thought the Web was going to be strictly Internet Explorer-based in the future? Not if AOL gears its 26-million-strong user base to use something else. AOL did buy Netscape, after all.


April 25, 2001 +

And now we just wait for the day Bill Gates has to admit to himself: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."


April 24, 2001 +

The last day of, as told by one of its bike messengers. This reveals, among other things, the answer to the question, "What happened to all their leftover swag?"


I don't know about you, but this sure is high up on my hip-hop-star dream-come-true-o-meter.


April 23, 2001 +

Memo to Intel: If you offer me a job, I'll be more than happy to not take it.


Wanted: One pair Nike Air Terra Humara trail-running sneakers, men's size 6, in black/gray/orange. Contact me if you know where or how I can track down a pair.


Me, I don't explains 'em, I just finds 'em and links 'em. (I think this one was from Saranwarp.)


April 19, 2001 +

Poke the bunny. Poke. (via Fark. All hail Fark)

This, of course, is a nice complement to the old favorite Poke Alex in the Eye.

-- "There are people out there who feel completely comfortable using the phrases 'deconstructive interpretation', 'this modern/post-modern world', and 'disappointingly reductive' in the course of one two-minute conversation without a scrap of irony, even when a girl is somewhat awkwardly leaning over them trying to get to the goddamn bar."

And I know people like this. Ah, New York.


April 18, 2001 +

Has anyone else noticed how few outsized ads are showing up on CNet lately, and how many 468x60 banners there are instead?

I hear this from ad sales people all the time: Clients want innovative ideas, clients want to do something different, but clients wind up buying the same standard ads because that's the creative they already made.

I tell ya, without the biggie ads, is a really easy site to read.


April 17, 2001 +

I revamped the music section a bit today. Not that you're reading it (and don't give me that look, kid, I check my server logs, I know the truth), but the next time you get so bored that you want to see what I'm listening to, you'll have a nicer experience than the last time you meandered by.


More interesting editorializing from Jason Calacanis: could succeed -- as a membership service.

Yes and no.

Yes: Because Costco and Sam's Club have made a fortune charging folks for the privilege of shopping there. People love the perceived discounts, the free samples, and the 40-ounce bags of Chex Mix. Folks with memberships end up shopping there exclusively, thinking they're onto something good, and Kozmo could certainly pull off a similar level of elitism.

No: Because people abuse the privileges that come from such a delivery service. Of course, you could charge varying rates for varying services, like banks do with checking accounts, and everyone would be happy.

Given a few years of experimentation, the online-ordering-and-delivery method is not dead yet. I wouldn't be surprised to see Blockbuster try it sometime in the next few years, especially since video on demand is currently DOA.


Interior Desecrators is priceless. The captions are just perfect:
"Reflective ceilings don't have the same appeal they used to have."
"If you lived here, you'd be laid by now!"
"When you want your decor to remind everyone of their coke habit...."


You too can clear your nasal passages with a good orgasm. In case you were wondering.


April 16, 2001 +

"450 employees? Why?" take two: 24/7 Media has 50 offices?


My friend David listens to WQXR in his office via a RealAudio stream. At least, he did until the station nervously shut down its radio feed last week. Broadcasters nationwide are running scared due to potential online advertising conflicts.


April 13, 2001 +

Virtual car racing. This is the most fun I have had on the Web all month. Vrooooooom (or should I say, zzzzzzzzztt)!


April 12, 2001 + shut down today. Leaving me to -- gasp! -- shop standing up in retail stores again, lest I want to pay an extra $3 to ship a $14 compact disc.


April 11, 2001 +

I maintain an instant and unabashed respect for people who take the effort to deliver business materials (resumes, proposals, invoices) in PDF format.


XBlog today links to a web page that declares, from colloquial example, that bottom-nav usage can amount to two-thirds of a particular site's navigation. XPlane went so far as to incorporate this theme into its redesign.

Delve deeper, though, and the surprise wears off. The site in question has a huge site map at the bottom of its pages and a rather lackluster, unintuitive navigational scheme at the top. The one long, tiny, text-wrapping row of links entitled "shortcuts" and "other websites" is hard to decipher and comes across as rather useless.

Of course people are navigating with the bottom map -- this site has regurgitated all its guts on every page, making it easy to use. Of course, it's also inelegant, wastes space, and forces users to scroll to the bottom of each page. Given a more usable nav at the top of the page, perhaps this would be superfluous.

The real conclusion? People appreciate an alternative to a bad system.

(Disclaimer: Old designs of the site in question may have included other since-discarded navigational systems. This mini-essay will be amended should more information become available.)


The Industry Standard covers Blockbuster's present and future, including the reality that video on demand isn't going to replace the retail store anytime soon. I could have told them that months ago.


The 100 dumbest moments in e-Business history. Can't argue with much of this.


April 10, 2001 +

The Standard redesigned its web site. Looks like they took a few cues from a certain other worldly business and technology publication.


April 9, 2001 +

How to email like a CEO. "If your e-mail messages are late, unevenly capitalized and sloppy, you could be C.E.O. material. ... Bosses tend to have the poorest spelling and worst grammar, conveying the sense that they have better things to do with their time." Time for me to start making a mess.

How to fake being a real New Yorker. "Jaywalk. This is very important."

How to invent a brand name. "Whatever your competitors are doing, don't do that."


Salon's got a nifty article on music personalization services and the future of finding new artists.

I got a kick out of Mubu the Music Buddha this morning and have already found another CD or two to explore. One can never find too much new music.

Still with a place in my heart is the Similarities Engine, which did (by hand, alas) what all these services promise to do. David Whiteis, if you ever pick up the baton again, drop me a line.


April 6, 2001 +

All for one, one for all, and all that, but if I were one of 48,000 employees at a huge technology company, I'm not sure how I'd feel about "taking one for the team" with an involuntary 10-percent salary reduction. Especially when the "temporary" cut could last six months.


April 5, 2001 +

Sports day here at the 'Pad.

Just like last year, the Masters golf tournament web site is phenomenal.

Today I've created a custom player list -- my brother has me following a Masters pool -- and I'm keeping track of a dozen players' scores, hole by hole, on a screen that contains a live and unreal Course Cam. I'll be able to see the glare off Jesper Parnevik's pants from my computer monitor in real time.

And to top it all off, I'm going to the driving range this afternoon. Ah, spring.


Chuck Knoblauch (who had a nice play last night at the Yankee game) on being Chuck Knoblauch. "[Luis Sojo has] such great hands and confidence, he makes playing the infield look like a day at the amusement park. That's something I hope I can do again, to play with that kind of easy, loose confidence."


And what to make of a boy named Espn, after -- yes -- ESPN?

Well, Rafe and I had some fun at his expense:
wert_d: Poor kid will go through hell in middle school
rafeco: imagine if the kid hates sports
wert_d: From the article: "When I say, 'We spell it E-S-P-N,' that's when everyone says 'Oh my gosh, how could you do that to your kid?'"
rafeco: he should be glad he's not named msnbc
rafeco: or cnnsi
wert_d: The bad names are endless
rafeco: with the growing number of cable networks, there are more and more names available
rafeco: just a few years ago hgtv and foodtv wouldn't even be on the table
Rest assured, the kid's mom says Espn2 is out of the question.


You should be listening to more Stevie Wonder. Boogie on, reggae woman.


April 3, 2001 +

Not to be too callous, but the more I see "[company] to lay off [x] percent of staff," I can't help wondering whether the media is overdoing the panic mentality. I prefer to see the announcements as rational moves required by the companies involved.

For one thing, many technology companies hired too many people in the first place. has 450 employees? Why?

For another, many of the ramp-downs are simply responses to the overzealous ramp-ups that should not have occurred in the first place. Of course Standard Media needs to lay off staff -- after all, the Industry Standard was never supposed to run 320 pages a week. Once the ad bloat came back down to earth, the publication was left with idle hands.

And, equally importantly, big fusses are made over little numbers. Salon laid off 13 staff members a few months ago, and the news media started sounding a death knell. Now, as a small company, that's a noticeable loss; but is the realization that your medium-income operation has a baker's dozen employees too many a horrible thing, or is it just an overdue reality check?


New York Times: It's suddenly hip to hate Alan Greenspan.

James Cramer in New York magazine: The reality is that Alan Greenspan is a genius.


I've always thought Ideapad was a pretty good name for what I do here -- far better than the too-cute "netWert," that's for sure -- but little did I know how poetic it was (or, perhaps, wasn't).


April 2, 2001 + Oh, my. (from Fark via my brother)


April Fool's! It's Cameron's site. It's my site. It's Cameron's site looking like my site. It's my site on top of Cameron's site.

It's also clever work from Cam. Neato. Kinda kooky reading his words in my layout.


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Copyright © 2001 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.