Monday, December 29, 2008

Me and the Gas and the Music

iPod on shuffle, my eclectic music collection, and a hefty, happy dose of nitrous oxide, while two women whom I don't know all that well used sharp and spinning instruments in my mouth combined to give me a surreal and delightful two-hour cruise. Unlike Gilligan's crew, I have returned. I share with you the playlist. I assume you won't get the same effect I did, but it's the best I can offer without a license to practice dentistry.

Jimi Hendricks Experience: Voodoo Chile
Louis Prima: Angelina-Zooma Zooma
Louis Armstrong: Body and Soul
Carmen Miranda: Mama Eu Quero
Doc Watson: June Apple
Bob Dylan and The Band: It Ain't Me Babe (from Before the Flood)
Carmen Miranda: Weekend in Havana
Count Basie: Miss Thing
Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra: (Keep Your) Sunny Side Up
Bob Dylan and The Band: Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
London Sinfonietta: Lullaby of Broadway (this 15-minute modern stereo performance transcribed from the soundtrack of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street was the most surreal, thrilling, and endless passage).
The Beatles: Your Mother Should Know (the loopy version from Anthology)
David Holmes: Let's Get Killed
Red Nichols and His Five Pennies: Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula
Isley Brothers: Twist and Shout
Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers: Blue Blood Blues
At which point I was filled. Really filled.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

YouTube Needs Widescreen. But Not All The Time

In the same way as it has become a real time warning signal for such natural disruptions as wildfires, earthquakes, it was Twitter that first brought me news that YouTube was switching its native player to widescreen.

The first alarm came in all caps.


WTF, indeed. YouTube going wide sounds like a good thing. Everything's going wide, even the humble Flip video camera. It's not so much that they did it, it's how they went about it: abruptly, disruptively, and discourteously.

Overnight, YouTube's entire legacy of standard format (4:3) videos were needlessly bracketed with black pillars. Was it really necessary to throw everything into the same 16:9 player? It's software dammit, not that physical collection of toxic metals, glass, and plastic that passes for a TV in my living room.

While many cheered, others were upset. Here's YouTube contributor, Nerimon, railing against this and other YouTube changes.

Side notes on Nerimon's rant: If you're just a casual viewer, many of these issues will seem obscure. But most builders and users of software will recognize the pattern. Unnecessary, unwanted futzing with "ain't brokes," while annoying rough edges remain unsanded and unbuffed. Nerimon is smart, funny, engaged, and a passionate, successful creator of content. He's a great example of the kind of customer who can help guide a development team away from the rocks and toward greater product excellence. If you make any kind of software you should take an earful of Nerimon. Think of him as a younger, funnier Dave Winer. Like Dave, all he asks is that developers listen to and respect their users.

Why frame everything at 16:9? Surely YouTube can detect aspect ratios and put up a player with the right aspect ratio. I did it. And I'm just a marketing dink.

Behold: The same clip, but this time Nerimon rails against pillars that aren't even there.

Is that so hard, YouTube?

It's easy to see why YouTube has to accommodate widescreen. Rival is rapidly growing the internet audience for widescreen, even HD movies and TV. If there are big, Google-worthy bucks to be had in online video, that's where they lie. YouTube has already cut deals with MGM, CBS, and Fremantle Media (those wonderful folks who bring you Idol, Got Talent, Let's Make a Deal).

But much of the active community of vloggers works with 4:3 webcams. Their content is usually a single talking head. Does it serve them well to go wide? Remember what Fritz Lang said when confronted with Cinemascope. It's a great format if you're shooting snakes and coffins.

Community-generated content on YouTube now finds itself competing with corporate media, not only for audience, but for some courtesy from the mothership.

Mickeleh's Take: YouTube big-footed the change without offering a warning to their creative community or providing guidance on how to prepare uploads for widescreen. That was just rude.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is the Change We Need: Toughest Obama Commercial Yet.

Mickeleh's Take: I thought the last two were on the right track. This one pulls into the station and unloads a can of whup ass. McCain earned this one. As for the rest of us: let's get out there and canvass. Do you know how your neighbors are voting?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Keeping My Old iPhone (for now)

iPhone 2.0 software delivers 80% or more of the value of the new iPhone HW. I know uber geeks will need the HW upgrade too. They can’t take the embarassment of being seen with an iPhone with a metal back. (Hint: put it in a case. Nobody will know.)

The new HW offers some peachy improvements: faster network, more accurate location finding, improved sound (kind of important in a phone). There's a rude awakening though, folks are discovering that running all those new radios will give you shorter battery life than the first gen iPhone.

The truly revolutionary advances are available through a software upgrade: App store… push notifications… MS Exchange integration… Enterprise IT support… push synchronization with PC’s and Macs… and above all an SDK and developer program. (memo to self: come back and translate this paragraph to human readable language.)

As someone in Redmond said quite famously: “developers! developers! developers!

Mickeleh's Take: If you don’t have iPhone yet, the new total value proposition should give you plenty of reasons to consider.

If you have a first gen… you really don’t NEED the upgrade except to meet irrational urges. (But if it weren’t for irrational urges, life would be pretty dull.)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ethan Kaplan, Master of Irony

Dave Winer posts that too many blogs are chasing each other's tails with meta-commentary about meta-commentary and gossip about gossipers. He says, "the end is near" and there's a drought of original thinking. "Most people wouldn't recognize an original thought if it bit them in the ass," he says.

Then, Ethan Kaplan chimes in with: "Wow, I agree with Dave Winer completely on this." Was that an original thought? Or a meta-comment? Or just delicious irony? I vote irony.

Mickeleh's Take: I agree with both of them (and everyone else making this point). But there's nothing new or original in noticing it:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes, 1:10).
On the other hand, it is not true that Ecclesiastes said, "Of the making of many blogs there is no end." That was Sifry.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What I Learned Last Week

Here are some of the things I learned last week.
  • The Aurora Bridge in Seattle (over the Ship Canal on Highway 99) is the second most popular suicide bridge in the U.S. (behind San Francisco's Golden Gate).
  • Some of the jumpers don't wait till they get to the middle of the span where they would fall into the water, but jump from a point that's still over land so they fall into local parking lots, traumatizing the workers.
  • I'm a very bad prognosticator. I predicted that last week would be a "fine, fun week for Obama fans."
  • Three big shot tech executives (or ex execs) have signed on with McCain to bring us a third Bush term and a 100 years in Iraq. (Carly Fiorina, ex CEO of HP; Meg Whitman, outgoing CEO of eBay, and John Chambers (CEO of Cisco).
  • Steve Gillmor—whom I've only known as the wise and far-seeing tech oracle, impresario of NewsGang (a fine compendium of what's new, important, helpful, and interesting) and the NewsGang Live podcast— has also had a long association with members of the Firesign Theatre--and served as a producer on some of their projects (evidenced by the appearance of George Tirebiter on a recent NewsGang Live).
  • Dr. Bronners Magic Soaps include olive oil that combines the product of a grove owned by a Palestinian with that of a grove owned by an Israeli. (Yes... the hemp oil is still an ingredient; so is the peppermint.
  • The Prophet Jeremiah had an even harsher message and rougher reception than the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Mickeleh's Take: Given my record, maybe I should predict a rough week for Obama fans.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New on the Soapbox: Ferraro's Game of Market Segmentation

I keep two blogs, one mainly about marketing, the other about politics. But the two practices share a lot of commonality. What is a political campaign but an effort to market a candidate?

Over on the Soapbox, I offer Mickeleh's Take on what Former Congressional Rep. Geraldine Ferraro is up to. It's a nasty, cynical game. It's a game I know well because I play it professionally. She's not a racist. She's a marketer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Lord of the Ring: The Resignation of the Gov.

When did the terminology change from "call-girl service" to "prostitution ring"?

Mickeleh's Take: What's next: "fee-based social media platform"?


Monday, February 04, 2008

The Deaf Dissing the Blind and Other Super Bowl Ad Follies

Super Bowl XLII was one of the rare contests where the game was better than the ads. Uplifting arc: triumph of the underdog. Suspenseful plot: the outcome in doubt until the final seconds. Karmic Justice: comeuppance to a team that may have been unfairly aided by videos with such disruptive potential that the NFL felt compelled to borrow from the CIA playbook and destroy them. Great Play: From the opening, near ten-minute drive putting the Giants on the scoreboard first, to Manning's improbable escape from a near-sack to deliver a 32-yard pass to the vicinity of David Tyree who defied physics to snare it and hold it pinned to his helmet, and the even more improbable ability of the Giants defense to neutralize Brady's brilliance.

But I'm not here to talk about the game.

Coke had one of the best of the heart-warmers, featuring Macy's Parade beloved character balloons breaking their tethers to pursue a Coke balloon. (Spoiler alert: It might have been on-brand for Coke, but isn't it off-brand for Charlie Brown to actually win?) If only Coke had stopped there. Instead they shoveled a few more millions over to Rupert and followed up with one of the worst ads for the game, featuring two of the most unloved, repellant characters in politics (Carville and Frist) in a cliche-filled romp through Washington D.C. "Have a Coke and a retch." You gotta know when to get off the stage.

A couple of sponsors tried to buy our love by doing good. Badly.

Pepsi did a spot to honor the deaf. It was broadcast in silence, rendering it totally inaccessible to the blind. High-consciousness by a pandering soft drink company.

Dell tried to buy cool by supporting (though not mentioning) the elimination of AIDS in Africa. A guy walks through town getting butt-slapped, oggled, tousled, touched, mobbed, cheered and kissed because he carries a Dell notebook branded with (PRODUCT) RED. This is some high-minded town. In my town, I'll bet most people have no idea that (PRODUCT) RED is Bono's co-branding foundation for raising money to fight AIDS in Africa. And they certainly didn't learn that from this spot. All the spot offers up is a mysterious: "Buy Dell, Join (RED). Save Lives." (If you visit Dell's website—or if you saw the announcement at Davos—you'll know that this (RED) series is actually co-branded by Dell and Microsoft Vista. Microsoft, apparently, didn't chip in for the spot. Saving their pennies to buy Yahoo!?)

Anheiser Bush, as usual, dominated the ad buys with strong spots. But this year, all but one were sadistic Bud Light laff riots. The remaining one was the obligatory heart-warming Clydesdale branding spot for Budweiser.

Too many spots, however, were brand forgettable. There were cute dancing lizards promoting something or other. A talking baby bought stocks on a computer from some web site or other. Charles Barkley was obnoxious on behalf of some telephone company that offered a cheap way to let up to five people bother you incessantly at no extra cost. Fox is happy to take your money, folks.

Mickeleh's Take: The best spot of the weekend wasn't on the Super Bowl. It was on YouTube. "Yes, We Can." by, setting riffs from Obama's South Carolina victory speech to music.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New on the Soapbox: What Hillary and Barack Said about John's Departure

I have a new post up on the Soapbox comparing the statements that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have issued following the news that John Edwards is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination.

Naturally, both of them are intent on scooping up as many Edwards supporters as possible. Both have issued gracious statements saluting John and Elizabeth. But Obama's statement is masterful in its ability to both echo and embrace John's language, his passion, and his cause.

Mickeleh's Take: Dave Winer has latched onto a comparison that Chris Matthews used last week on MSNBC: Clinton is Salieri—a workmanlike technician; Obama is Mozart—an inspired master. Comparing what Clinton and Obama have to say about Edwards is yet another example of how apt the comparison is.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

MacBook Air: John Mayer Nails the Positioning

Just before he stopped blogging and deleted his archives, John Mayer posted a one line review of MacBook Air which nails the product's positioning:
"Macbook Air... Yes, it really is as cool as it looks. Lean, mean lifestyle workstation..."
(As of this writing, there's a clone of Mayer's site still available on

When I lived in L.A. I was shocked that for somepeople "working on my tan" is considered a career. But that career is just a by-water of the larger industry, "working on my lifestyle."

By calling it a lifestyle workstation, Mayer captures the essence of MacBook Air. It's executive bling. It's what every consultant would like to whip out at a client meeting, what every status junkie would like to brandish at a conference or executive airport lounge. So what, if features and functionality are compromised to squeeze it into a lust object? "You can't be too rich or too thin." (Google tells me that might have been said by the Duchess of Windsor, but it isn't sure.) Now that there are millions and millions of iPhones out there, you need something to turn heads.

Mickeleh's Take: I bought a New Beetle the first week they went on sale in 1998. It was fun to take a hot and rare product out in public. I'm still driving it and somehow it's not drawing quite the same crowds. But I have my memories. Do I really have to purchase another dose of coolness? I'm cool enough. I'd have thought Mayer was too. Maybe that MacBook post triggered a shock of sanity and he got out of the blogging business and back to work.

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Such A Review! Newsweek's Steven Levy Starts with a Mohel Metaphor

Three of the four popular press computer mavens have just published their reviews of Apple's MacBook Air. Surprisingly, they say more or less the same things that the bloggers said right after the keynote based on the specs. Go figure.

I'm sure that Ed Baig (USA Today) and Walt Mossberg (WSJ) have valid points of view on Apple's oh so thin sub-notebook. But only Steven Levy (Newsweek) is worth reading. Because only Steven starts his review with a mohel metaphor (Mohel is Hebrew term for ritual circumciser). I believe this is unprecedented in tech reviews.

Mazel Tov, Steven. I'm kvelling here. I want to give your cheek such a pinch.

Update, Turns out the fourth pezzonovate reviewer was actually first; David Pogue, devoted a piece of his Macworld Keynote roundup to MacBook Air last week. See comments.)

Mickeleh's Take: I know this is a just a short post. But if you rub a little...

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Dave Winer and Jason Calacanis at Gnomedex. Again.

Dave Winer today revisited his clash with Jason Calacanis at Gnomedex last August. I'll take that as an excuse to revisit it myself.

One residue of the long long years and late, late nights I spent trying to learn stand-up comedy is that I rarely take sides with a heckler. Except when it's a really good heckle. And last August at Gnomedex Dave Winer popped off with a pretty darn good heckle. Dave's timing was perfect. And he caught a good laugh. Jason was rocked back, but recovered well.

What followed was a heated series of back-and-forth blog posts between Dave and Jason that made it clear this was much deeper than an off-hand heckle. The ripples spread in one of those weekend Techmeme kerfuffles. In the aftermath, Dave and the TechCrunch20 conference parted ways, and then it died away.

Until late September, when Gnomedex host Chris Pirillo posted video of the Jason's session. With the video online, I've been able to confirm my memory—and my point of view—about the event. Here's how it played out for me:

Jason clearly created the opportunity for the heckle by mislabeling his presentation.

The title of the presentation was, "The Internet's Environmental Crisis." The description read:
"The internet is being destroyed by selfish polluters and we can stop them. Jason talks about all the garbage that is being thrown into our internet, and taking a stand against those spammers putting it there."
When Jason took the stage, he amplified that by saying he had asked Chris for the opportunity to speak because Gnomedex was not venture-capital-driven or press-driven event, but people-and-idea driven. (implication: I'm not here to pitch, but to share a POV). OK, I'm naive. And I don't know Jason Calacanis. So I took his title and description at face value.

The first eight minutes of content matched the labeling: a straight-forward historical review and a problem statement about how various Net applications were hijacked by marketers who polluted them with spam--beginning with email and moving through blog comments and search. What Jason called "selfish polluters" were folks who intruded on the user's intent to blast through their own message.

Up to that point, title, blurb, and speech were entirely congruous would have been a great setup for calling us to the barricades in some generalized solution: a movement, a technology, a platform that could end spam in our time (You know, "taking a stand against those spammers.")

But without warning, the grand cause of "taking a stand against those spammers" suddenly devolved into OK, now let me tell you about my new project, Mahalo." Maybe folks who know Jason, guessed that was coming. I don't. And I didn't.

I can't know if Dave was lying in wait for that pitch (pun intended), but he knocked it out of the park. The instant Jason made his left turn at Albequerque, Dave popped off, "what about conference spam?" Boom! there it is.

I thought was both funny and insightful (good funny is insightful, bad funny is just inciteful). From the laughs, the line clearly resonated with others in the audience. (I don't have polling to know how many others.) From the gasps, some folks were annoyed.

Jason seemed stunned and deeply wounded. Or as he put it in a post the next day, he felt "thrown under the bus."

I think I get why Dave's wise-crack hit him so hard. As he recounted, he had given this talk, in pretty much the same form many times before, but only when he had Dave Winer in the audience did he get slammed for it.

Except this wasn't a controlled experiment where Dave Winer's presence was the single changed variable. The context of Gnomedex was an even larger difference, as Jason acknowledged when he first took the stage. At a venture or press conference everyone would have gotten from the purpose of the event that Jason is here to pitch us.

And even at Gnomedex, had the talk been billed as "Here's Jason to tell us what he's been up to lately." or "Successful serial Web entrepreneur recounts his quest for the next big idea". or even "Jason talks about Mahalo, a new, spam-proof approach to search," we in the audience would have been fully immunized against Dave Winer's objections. I can't say Dave would have liked the talk any more. Given what he has consistently said about the product (including today), he would not.

But, he'd have been out of bounds to call it spam.

Mickeleh's Take: The lesson Jason took away was don't speak when Dave is in the audience. The lesson I wish had taken away was be upfront and call a pitch a pitch.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Good Career Move. It is So Scoble To Explain It All In Depth

Robert Scoble announced and explained his next career move: heading to Mansuetto Digital to serve as Managing Director of a new venture, FastCompany.TV.

Having spent more than a year at PodTech doing video interviews of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Robert chose not to start a new company but to continue being a wage slave.

What is most valuable about what he shared on his blog is a frank analysis and explanation of why he chose to hire on rather than strike out on his own. Mazel Tov, Robert, on the move. And thanks for the insight into how you thought it through.

Mickeleh's Take: To spend more time with my family" is usually the lie that accompanies a resignation. To say it and mean it in connection with a new job is very menschy. The lure (and lucre) of the startup is so dominant in Tech culture, resisting it in favor of just getting a job is sometimes the braver choice. "

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A New Apple Pricing Firestorm? $20 to Upgrade Touch

Keynote Good News: iPod Touch has five strong new applications which were previously iPhone exclusives: Mail, Google Maps, Weather, Notes, and Stocks. They're included, with a bunch of other enhancements, in all new purchases.

Bad News: If you're an early adopter, hand over twenty bucks to get the new apps. I'm picking up a little grumbling out there. Clint Ecker on Ars Technica says the crowd went wild--and not in a good way. "A unified gasp was let up as well as a rowdy round of jeering." Uncle Speedo on Twitter just gave Steve the Cheney salute. The comments on Engadget are seething.

Look, there's always an early-adopter tax in tech. Moore's law forces it. But with the iTouch app fee coming on the heels of the iPhone price drop, isn't Apple learning to be extra abrasive about irritating its fan base. I wonder if they could have skated with $10?

Mickeleh's Take: Don't gloat, fellow iPhoners, about having these apps for free. We're already paying Apple a monthly tax through AT&T. And we'll get our app fees for sure when the third party apps show up.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Macworld Predictions: What's in the Air?

So, Apple put up a banner in Moscone Center with the line: Something in the Air. In a refreshing blast of sanity, Macworld is still only number six on a Google search of the phrase (as of now, anyway). It's still beat out by an Australian soap opera and songs by Thunderclap Newman and Tom Petty.

Meanwhile, the blogosphere is buzzing with speculation about Wi-Max... really, really light PowerBooks... untethered services and movie downloads for Macs, iPods, and iPhones, and AppleTV.

Maybe. But I'm betting on one of these:

1. Steve Jobs will not appear in person onstage for the Keynote, but will webcast live from overhead as he buzzes San Francisco in the Gulfstream V that the Apple Board of Directors gave him in 2000.

2. Apple will finally offer an aerosole version of Steve Jobs's legendary "Reality Distortion Field." Spray it and get people to believe anything and buy everything.

3. Apple is going to bring us the great Tesla promise of electrical power transmitted through the air. We'll never again have to change or recharge a battery in any remote, phone, camera, toy, or iPod.

4. Apple will announce a strategic alliance with Wham-O to deliver MacBooks shaped like Frisbees. Steve will launch 50 of them out into the keynote audience. One will be caught by a German Shepherd.

5. Steve will have a vegan meal served to folks waiting to get into the keynote which will later induce the entire audience to re-enact the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles.

Mickeleh's Take: In the savviest co-branding stunt since he brought the iTunes store to Starbucks, Apple will join with Cirque du Soleil to replace all the Mac Geniuses with flying trapeze artists who will offer service and support while dangling upside down.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Turning off the Screens, Accoustic Version

Walking in the neighborhood, I saw an acoustic version of the briefly famous stunt blacked out some of the HDTV displays at CES.

My local prankster used hand-cranked methods to flip a bunch of bulletin-board postings face to the wall.

Mickeleh's Take: Not famous, but funny. BTW, the next day all the notices were facing out again.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Last Word on Gizmodo v. CES

Acres of big shiny glass—in the form of large-scale high-definition video displays—are the visual signature of CES.

If you were an anti-consumerist or environmentalist group looking to lodge a protest, make a statement and gain attention, contriving to turn that glittering glass black might get your cause some attention. Of course, you'd be ready to take the heat and proud to stand in the long tradition of civil disobedience running past Martin Luther King, Jr. through Gandhi, to Henry David Thoreau.

Oh wait... they opposed government actions. Never mind. Okay then, the short tradition of Robert Scoble scraping Facebook for email addresses of his friends. ("Mr. Zuckerberg, tear down this wall.")

But if you're a reporter for Gizmodo, you do it for the comedy and the bragging rights. If you're the editor of Gizmodo post video to the Web and wait for the laughs and applause. Some laugh. But the grownups are appalled. If you're the publisher of Gizmodo, you tut-tut the whole thing.

The Gizmodians pulled a dumb, hurtful prank that embarrased presenters, devalued the investment companies made in CES, and, naturally, sparked a Techmeme-storm that's now subsiding.

Shout out to Rafe Needleman and Shel Israel for getting the public shaming going... to CEA for responding well--reported by Rafe: No collective punishment for bloggerville. They guy who did it is banned... to Dave Winer for reminding us that the bozo pranker isn't a blogger but a reporter working for a publication. (He was right. Turns out Gizmodo actually had business-class press credentials, not the coach credentials afforded to bloggers.) For those who were alarmed that the stunt tarnished bloggers everywhere, I say, "Huh?" Might as well say it tarnished twenty-somethings everywhere.

Mickeleh's Take: For those who say, lighten up and get a sense of humor about a dumb prank, I say this: I'll tell you what it was. It was heckling, that's what. Two Gizmodians walk into a club—comped no less—and try to impress their dates by talking back to the comics. As Lily von Schtupp said in the old west, "Are you in show business? Then why don't you get your fwiggin' feet off o' the stage." (Madeleine Kahn, I miss you. Mel Brooks, please stick around.)

Personally, I took this up a notch from where CEA had it. I've unsubscribed to Gizmodo in my reader. Brian Lam, I'll miss you. Not as much as I miss Madeleine Kahn, but I'll miss you.

Related: an acoustic version of this prank.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bush Admin To Remake U.S. Currency

Ron Paul wants to return us to the Gold Standard. Bush & Halliburton have a better idea, move forward to a new monetary standard

Mickeleh's Take: Hats off to the folks at And to Scott Beale at Laughing Squid for Tweeting about this.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What's in the Daily News? Or Any Other Paper?

Kara Swisher, today, says farewell to print and embraces an online-only future. She explains that it's not just about saving trees, but embracing the virtues of the new medium of online journalism.

As if to underscore that drain-circling status of print journalism, there's an online access point for local newsapapers that calls itself a Newseum. (Images flash of Carl Akeley's exhibits of dead animals in The American Museum of Natural History. So lifelike. Except for their stillness.) Joni Mitchel said they put all the trees in a tree museum. Maybe this dead tree museum is it.

Coolest part of the Newseum is an interactive Flash map that lets you see the front page of newspapers around the country and around the world. (There's a faster but less cool list interface as well).

Mickeleh's Take: There's huge diversity in local papers. That diversity is on the endangered species list in the accelerating rush to consolidation. But if Kara is right--she usually is--we might have to file Newseum under "Last chance to See."

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