Friday, March 31, 2006

The art of marketing

The art of marketing consists of offering people solutions for problems they don't know they have.

The art of technology marketing consists of offering people solutions that don't exist for problems they don't know they have.

Friday, March 24, 2006

"... an instinct for the capillaries, not the jugular"

Josh Marshall posted a choice nugget from Kevin Phillips today. Phillips believes that Democrats and liberals this year have their best shot since 1992, but he worries that, "Democrats and liberals have an instinct for the capillaries, not for the jugular." Russ Feingold is trying for the jugular with his motion to censure, and has been met with the "instinct for the capillaries." Here's the way the Democratic establishment is playing it: Bush and the Republicans are on a path to self-destruction. All the Dems have to do to win, according to this strategy is not screw up or make the Republican base mad enough to come out and vote. And how are the Republicans playing it? They're running the only playbook they know: attack, attack, attack. "The government in your pocket... soft on terror... baby-killers... Adam and Steve... etc."

Once again, the Democrats will be cornered into proving that they've stopped beating their significant others.

Republicans can fire up their base with no help from the democrats. All they need to rouse the base is some referendum action about gay marriage or abortion. Add some of their well-practiced vote suppression in the districts that tend to vote left, some electronic voting machine back-doors, and Bush can continue to do the lame-duck waddle until the end of his term with no effective opposition in Congress.

Sorry, Democrats, the Republicans will not simply hand you the election. You'll have to open your mouths and say something to remind us what's a stake. Go for the jugular.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Props to Daily Show & firedoglake

The establishment line from the Democrats in Congress goes something like this: Censure and Impeachment are never going anywhere as long as the Republicans control both houses. Help us win and then we'll talk about it. If we say anything now, we might arouse the Republican base to come out and vote in the upcoming election. We wouldn't want to do that now, would we. So be vewwy quiet. I mean we'd love to do something about Bush, but we mustn't rock the boat (yet).

Why they don't care about arousing the Democratic base is a mystery. The Republicans will do quite well at arousing their own base through the hot-button issues of abortion and gay marriage. All they need to do is get a referendum up on the ballot and the wingnuts will come a runnin'

Meanwhile there's a solid plurality in the country for Censure. And (astonishingly) 29& of Republicans also support censure.

I'll throw to firedoglake to reinforce this argument with citations from Russ Feingold's appearance last night on the Daily Show (the clip is on Crooks and Liars). It's a simple case really: just stop calculating and stand up to do the right thing. Now.

More later...

Monday, March 20, 2006

"I got drafted" — Cheney

Josh Marshall has this quote from Dick Cheney:
I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I mean, I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted. And delighted to serve.
This from a guy who managed five deferments during the Vietnam War. As reported under George C. Wilson's byline in the Washington Post:
Cheney said that when he was between 18 and 26 there were periods when he was eligible to be drafted but had obtained student and marriage deferments from the draft for most of the period because "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."(April 5, 1989)
So the draft came 30 years too late for Vietnam, but he still got to shoot a guy in the face. Oh, and as George Marshall points out, it was Cheney himself who headed the search team that drafted him.

Just before I turn to another task

Too late. I'm already working on the, where was I? Oh...A quick link to Steve Levy's coverage of Linda Stone's ETech presentation on Continuous Partial Attention in the new Newsweek. Do we know what god consciousness is? Omniscient awareness of all. Of course not. Just because we can't pay attention to everything at once, doesn't mean we...hold it, my Blackberry just beeped.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

"...beyond the power of extrication..."

Last night on PBS, I heard Gore Vidal quote from John Q. Adams' speech on Fourth of July, 1821. Q's words were chillingly prophetic. I looked them up.
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.
Turns out, to our shame, that changing "from liberty to force" also encompasses torture. Not every son of a president who is distinguished from his father by a middle initial and who attended Harvard turned out badly. The first one turned out rather well.

An Open Letter to Senator Cantwell

Dear Senator Maria Cantwell,

In the matter of confirming Samuel Alito as Justice of the Supreme Court you took the same polite straddle that Sen. Lieberman took: you didn't support a filibuster and then you registered an ineffective "No" vote on confirmation.

Here's a chance to redeem yourself: Please stand with Sen. Feingold in censuring President Bush in the matter of illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying.

I thank you for your effective and persistent work in opposing ANWR drilling and the Bush plan to open our last remaining areas of untouched forests. Your voice should be as strong in opposing the Bush efforts to undermine our constitutional system of checks and balances. I hope you can understand that failure to oppose major power grabs by this president weakens your ability to keep ANWR and the forests safe.

An Open Letter to Senator Murray

Dear Sen. Patty Murray,

Please stand with Sen. Feingold and vote to censure the president for violating law and constitution in the matter of domestic spying.

The people are so far ahead of the party leadership on this, it's disheartening.

You voted to consider the awful motion of Censure that Sen. Feinstein brought after Clinton's blow job impeachment failed on Feb 12, 1999.

Surely now that we have a president who is staining the constitution and not just a blue dress, you will let your voice be heard.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

But it was the day AFTER it aired

I was asked what's so bad about revealing the ending of the Sopranos the day after it aired. Look, my company makes the Moxi Media Center, which includes a fine DVR. While I watched the ep on Sunday night, my roommate was planning on a delayed viewing. Until he saw Keith that is.

Worst. Person. In the World

Countdown with Keith Olbermann has been the one cable news show that I've watched regularly. Witty and relentless reporting on the Bush mischief, scornfully entertaining takes of Tinseltown's tabloid fodder, hilarious gadfly to Bill O'Reilly of Fox news, master of the Michael Jackson Puppet Theatre, Olbermann has earned a steadily growing audience during his three-year stint on MSNBC. Last night, however, he crossed a line that must never be crossed. And now he's off my Moxi series list.

In his opening billboard last night, with no warning, he revealed the shocking ending of the Sopranos premiere episode. That's it, Keith. You are now officially the worst. person. in the world. Nothing so egregious has happened on TV since Gene Siskel blurted the secret shocker of The Crying Game.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cory Doctow finds a teeny arcade cabinet

Over at Boing Boing, Cory D. has found a Liliputian Ms. PacMan He mis-identifies the gender, but at that size, it's hard to make out. Nano technology marches on. More photos here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

High Concept: Designer Chair Tattoos

Breaking new ground in tattoos: Skulls, roses, daggers, and portraits we've seen at bars, beaches, and bistros.

Lydia's historic tableaux we've heard Groucho sing about. But now, via Boing Boing, a link to to Nick Baxter's unique stylings in ink: Mid-century designer chairs.
Eames Classic Chair and Ottoman as a tattoo Why not? This classic image has appeared in books, magazines, refrigerator magnets, and the opening of Queer Eye. That makes less sense than this. After all, it is an arm chair. (pause for rimshot and groan).

Monday, March 06, 2006

D'oh! I've fallen for a viral marketing bit

So... it was the producers of the Simpsons who did the live title sequence linked to in the previous post. Filmed in Bromley, United Kingdom to promote the new season. Approved by Matt Groening. Read all about it!

YouTube Video: The Real Simpsons

Glenn Lambert sent this viddie my way. What if he's the only one reading this blog? How recursive would that be?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I've been hearing this complaint for years

Not that Wayne Bremser is the first to complain about the loss of liner notes. I've been hearing about this complaint from Glenn Lambert for years.

And what about those liner notes, anyway?

Wounded as the canvas shriveled in the move from LPs to CDs, the tradition of liner notes had a sporadic recovery in the form of informational booklets, but has pretty well evaporated again in the move to downloading and streaming digital music online. There's plenty of stuff (I think we have to call it metadata now) on the iTunes store, All Music, band sites, fan sites, and label sites. But it ain't the same. Anybody out there who can figure out how to make it pay to digitize the liner notes? I'd be grateful if you could. Short of that, there's the preservationist argument, well-articulated by Wayne Bremser

DVD Package of A Great Day in Harlem If you do link over to Wayne's essay, spend a little time on his site. It's a key to identifying and exploring the artists and music captured in the legendary Art Kane photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem."

The 1994 Jean Bach film of the making of that photograph has just been re-released. Available on Amazon.

Bunch o' Recos: Check these out

Here are some new things I encountered this week worth passing on:

CoverFlow Screenshot CoverFlow brings visual browsing to iTunes. It simulates the experience of flipping through album covers. If you have cover art, here's a virtual return to the days of hanging out at Tower and flippin' the bins. The app will even find and pull down art from the web. There's a bunch of CoverFlow screenshots on Flickr. (still in beta) (Does this mean I have to go fill in all the blanks in my cover art? Oy.) The killer missing feature? If only you could pull out the album, turn it over and read the liner notes.

This week's On the Media podcast has a good bit on how control of vocabulary and language tilts political debate—usually to the right. Don't get cynical on me and dismiss it as warmed-over Lakoff. But they're still doing it. It's still potent. A refresher course wouldn't hurt. (There's a bright note: Bush incompetence, mendacity, and inattention is rapidly becoming the ├╝berframe for everything.)

Michael Witlin called my attention to the superbly designed and executed We Will Not Be Silenced an audio-visual diatribe reviving the powerful peace and justice message of Dr. King. (hint scroll up slightly to get the competing animated ad for AIM out of your browser window.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Found on a Digby Comment by joopdog

"May I add, the falling apart of the Bush administration is the new black." —joopdog

Ben Bajarin's nod to Moxi U-I

Ben Bajarin's Tech Blog covered Apple's announcements yesterday commenting on the sure-footed, cautious inroads Apple is making into the living room. Along the way, he threw in some high praise for the product I've been working on for the past four years
TO DATE the Moxi Digeo UI is the best by far and in my opinion should start to show up on those stupid Home Theatre PC's instead of Media Center.
Thank you, Ben. Interesting suggestion.