No Blogging This Weekend

April 27, 2007

No, really. I’m going to devote this weekend to having an intense relationship with my Hawkins Machine.

Come back Monday.

Play with all the old posts in the meantime. Nicely.

And go buy Raskin’s book for your mom.

Note To Self: Stop Looking At Shoes (They’re Ugly Anyway!)

April 27, 2007

If you want to persuade a woman, look straight at her

There is a considerable body of research showing that eye contact is a key component of social interaction. Not only are people more aroused when they are looked at directly, but if you consistently look at the person you speak to, you will have much more social influence over that person than you would if you averted your gaze.

The problem arises when you address a group of people. How do you pick who to engage visually? Most public speakers are encouraged to look around the room, alternating eye contact with individuals in the audience. But there’s no way to look at everyone at once — so some of your potential social influence will by necessity be lost.

Now, a team led by Jeremy Bailenson has figured out a way to get around that limitation. In a virtual reality environment, there is no need for the representations of other people to be consistent. Since each individual’s virtual experience is generated separately, in a “room” full of people, each person could experience the phenomenon of everyone else looking at them. Everyone can be the center of attention, all at the same time!

–linkswipe via reddit

We Will All Be Poor And Starving Thanks To Greed And A Lack Of Bees

April 27, 2007

Jeremy Grantham: All the World’s a Bubble

“The bursting of [this] bubble will be across all countries and all assets, with the probable exception of high-grade bonds,” Grantham warned. “Since no similar global event has occurred before, the stresses to the system are likely to be unexpected. All of this is likely to depress confidence and lower economic activity.”

Related prior coverage in this blog:
The Looting Of America Continues…
When Science And Reality Wave Bye-Bye To One Another…
All That Free Money And I Never Knew The Party Was Going Down Or Even Got An Invite. As Usual!
First Cracks, Then Crumble, Then Crash
The Answer Is Yes
When An Economy Crashes, Baby, There Are No Airbags!
And Then Google’s Stock Finally Thank You Jesus Crashes And Takes The Entire Global Economy Down The Toilet, Thank You Science!
The Road to Great Depression 2.0

New P2P Tool To Help Kill The RIAA And MPAA

April 27, 2007

Akamai Releases FoxTorrent 1.0 – Firefox BitTorrent Add-on

Red Swoosh (acquired by Akamai for $15 million earlier this month) released v1.0 of FoxTorrent today. This is a fully functional BitTorrent client for Firefox that works cross platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) and has a very cool additional feature – the ability to stream files as they are downloading.

At some point I will have to try this…

The Fall Of Ken Kutaragi

April 27, 2007

PlayStation Creator Resigns As Chief of Sony Unit

TOKYO — Ken Kutaragi, who created Sony Corp.’s PlayStation videogame business, resigned yesterday, giving up his leadership role at the company at a time when his biggest technological gamble to date — the PlayStation 3 — is lagging behind rivals.

The electronics company said Mr. Kutaragi, the 56-year-old chairman and chief executive of the Sony Computer Entertainment unit, will leave his post in June, though he will serve as honorary chairman and support Chief Executive Howard Stringer as senior technology adviser. In a statement, Sony said Mr. Kutaragi “decided to pursue his dreams beyond PlayStation.”

Translation: I am three to five years ahead of everyone this time, but Sony is impatient. This would not have happened under other leadership. Patience is lacking at Sony in these desperate days. Desperate days which are hardly my fault. Sony would likely not exist today if my original PlayStation hadn’t been built! I shall return. With victory!

I believe in you, Kutaragi. You will be vindicated! By the way, see my prior post about the Hawkins Machine. Is that just made for a CELL chip or what?

Previously in this blog:
Take Heart, Ken Kutaragi!
Ken Kutaragi: The World WILL Catch Up To Your Genius!
Mother Of Mercy, Is This The End Of Ken Kutaragi?
Wii Wiinniing Buuzz Baattle
Kutaragi Will Rise Again
PlayStation 3 Mania

You Can Now Play With A Hawkins Machine!

April 27, 2007

I think the term I’m coining will be remembered and used in future years as much as Turing Machine has been.

Palm Infocenter reports that Tech Center Labs has created a wee program based upon the brain/mind research of Palm Computing founder Jeff Hawkins, as detailed in his book On Intelligence and as recently released by his company Numenta, Inc.

I’ve personally been waiting for something like this for years. Although it’s not my ideal input UI, I’m going to pound on this thing during the weekend and see what results.

Go grab a copy — it’s free! — and use your imagination.

By the way, since my LifeDrive is not yet among the living, I’ve loaded this baby on my antique Sony CLIE S320and it runs fine! Excellent programming, TCL!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!

SoHo Apple Store Today April 27 2007 @ 4PM: Joel & Ethan Coen

April 27, 2007

Holy cow.

I should have read my email earlier!

The brilliant Coen Brothers are going to be at the Apple SoHo Store today at 4PM!

Joel and Ethan Coen
Hear Oscar-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen talk about their filmmaking experiences, including how they used Final Cut Pro to edit their films Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers and the upcoming No Country for Old Men. (Special Event)

Goddam. That’s gives me like ten minutes to decide if I should shut down the blog and haul ass…

…thirty-second think: No. I’ll have to skip this. It’s bound to be packed. People will already be there. I don’t have any desire to stand on the sidelines.

Blogging resumes…

…but if you can get there ASAP, go!

I Like Personal Manifestos

April 27, 2007

Especially this one:

August 22
Profile One

You are self-centered, careless person. It is amazing how you don’t give a shit about anything or anyone. You have absolutely no interest or you show no interest in anything or anyone. That’s what people who know me say about me. That’s how they describe me. And the sad thing is – it’s the truth. That’s what I am. I’m a monster. Idon’t remember anything important and I don’t congratulate people and I’m not considerate of others. I only think of myself and my own well-being. Being all that – what can I say about it? What COULD I say? I’m a selfish prick. Deal with it? I could say that al this is not entirely true about me… but that’s just MY point of view. Mostly I trust my people and I trust their judgement. So I guess… making a goal of becoming more than human, I guess I’ve lost quite a lot of humanity and become less humane. But does/has that in any way affected my creation? To be honest – I think that being cold and numb towards human emotions is rather a turn-off in ways of inspiration and creativity. Or is it? I think I’ve achieved quite a bit in my life over the last few years. Artistically… professionally (?) but lost a lot personally. My friends and family have suffered. I know. Cause deep down I can feel them and I can see what I’m doing is wrong… But I don’t know how to make it right again… can I? It’s not like I “forget” everything… I just fear that holding on to my past wont let me move on to my future. And the further back into my life I look – the less of myself I want to see. See, I think I’ve become a better person… guess who should think again. Back when I was an asshole – everybody liked me. Now… now they say I’m an asshole. The fuck is all this about!? But this is not a life-changing moment here. Nothing’s going to change. Same shit – different day. I’ll keep on trying… to be a better person and to be a better artist… I’ll keep on fighting inside over which one I should really be… and see what comes out. The truth is that noone owes me anything. I am the king on my self-made throne of shit and it’s my responsibility to deal with it. I don’t know about you…and I most likely don’t care… but all the shit that I AM in is all my own creation. Drink to that, motherfucker!

I also like this post (I won’t spoil the surprise with any quoting):

February 18
I need a volunteer…

–linkswipe via Warren Ellis

Help Out The Excellent Band OttO Vector!

April 27, 2007

Read carefully and obey:


This is the last week to vote for Otto Vector on MTV University’s Best Music on Campus Contest. Voting will end this Friday, April 27th, at 5 p.m. If we win we will recieve a full recording contract with Epic Records and the band will be revealed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien! There still will be one more round after the top 15, so help us at least get that far. We appreciate everyones help.


MTV U voting link

I’ve mentioned them briefly in past blog entries. I hope to do a writeup of them (please cooperate, Renee!) at some point.

But right now, go help them out!

They’re an excellent band and you can sample some of their work at that voting link as well as at their MySpace page.

There are just a little over three hours to go as I post this. Click the link, click Vote. It takes seconds, but it’ll show The Man! Next year you’ll be asked to vote for Presidential candidates who are all multi-millionaires who haven’t personally stepped foot in a supermarket in years. You think your vote will really matter? That any of those candidates will really be grateful?

Here’s a chance to cast a vote that really counts. Do it now!

Previously in this blog:
Playing With Pandora, It Scores A Hit!
Next Month, March 2007 = RIAA Boycott!
Someone Please Wake Up OttO Vector!
Girls Don’t Cry: Pianos, 2/15/07

M. Dylan Raskin Returns To His Homeland!

April 27, 2007

Originally, I planned to see M. Dylan Raskin at Barnes & Noble but when I saw there was no direct subway service, I didn’t think I’d be able to go.

But Richard Perez, author of the excellent novel The Loser’s Club, emailed me with two important points: 1) there was a connecting bus, and 2) the reason why this particular Barnes & Noble was chosen is because it’s Dylan’s homeground, the very area he wrote about in his two books! Perez even reminded me of the White Castle out there.

That settled it: I was going!

Every writer wants to go back to where he started and (at least figuratively; although in my case it would be more than literally!) thumb his nose at his detractors. I had to see this.

My God. It took just over two and a half hours for me to get out there.

While I was still on the bus (the slowest goddammed bus I’ve ever been on!), I glanced out the window and there it was:

White Castle Bell Blvd

— the very White Castle Dylan mentioned in his books! Shooting through a filthy bus window, this is the best picture of it. Although the wee photo makes it hard to see, that street sign says Bell Blvd! This was exciting!

And then, finally, there was the Barnes & Noble:

BN Bell Blvd

MDR poster

By the time I arrived, the reading had finished and people were already lined up for autographs!

LNYB Tshirt

Now there’s a fan!

Dylan seemed to know many of the people who came to see him. Since he treated them all well, I can only surmise the cretins who infested the Bell Boulevard strip in his past travels had no idea of his presence (not that they’d be the kind of people who would read to begin with!).

I’d been so pressed for time this week, I never even got around to re-reading my own Raskin entries in this blog. And I’d also completely forgotten that his first book featured a photo of him on its back cover. I came having no idea what he looked like.

Well, here he is!

MDR 01

I got to speak with him for about ten minutes. Shockingly, his publisher had printed out my blog entry about his first book and sent it to him! He was pleased by it — he even remembered that I mentioned Morrissey in it! We had great fun ragging on that shithole most people know as Chicago. Writers love to bond over mutual hatreds!

Dylan’s a genuine guy. It was great to speak to him. No, sadly, he has not been to England (hello to his publisher: send him! Look at what being in England did for Bill Bryson, dammit!). He’s currently living in the locale mentioned in his second book. He’s contractually obligated to do a third book, but won’t begin until he’s lived the material itself.

Here’s what pisses me off greatly: Sales of his second book aren’t doing as well as his first. They should, dammit!

Listen, all of you Out There: How many times have you wanted to be able to gloat to your friends that you discovered a writer well before he became a huge success? Well here’s your chance! Go out and buy Dylan’s second book. Buy one for yourself, and buy one as a gift. Buy one for your mother, dammit. She’ll love it. No son ever had the dedication to a mother that Dylan displayed in that heartbreaking book. Mother’s Day is coming up; it’d make a perfect gift. Here’s the amazon link from the publisher’s page — they even offer gift wrapping! Is that convenient or what?

Charles Bukowski is dead. M. Dyland Raskin is not. Raskin will be, I believe, the Bukowski of the 21st century. But he needs more sales! Show his publisher that they should invest in him because you want to read his work! And you people in Chicago: You especially need to do penance, so I want to see the book sell out in your city. It’s the least you can do for him!

Despite missing an extremely-rare opportunity to see and hear Raskin read his own work, I was glad I went. All of you reading this should have gone too. I blame myself. I should have made the time earlier in the week to get the directions and tout them in this blog. By the time I got Perez’s email, I had just fifteen minutes to haul ass off of Satan Island and I’d already shut down the blog and the PC. Next time I’ll do better.

Now go get Dylan’s books!

Previous mentions of M. Dylan Raskin in this blog:
Reference: Google Maps And NYC Subway — bad map, bad!
Reminder: M. Dylan Raskin In NYC This Thursday April 26th 2007
Photo Album: Ralph’s — mention, re: NYC nuked
M. Dylan Raskin Shows His Face In NYC April 26th — initial B&N announcement
Writer Max Barry Touring America — mentioned in passing, re: Chicago
More Bad Photos — mentioned in a photo caption
M. Dylan Raskin – Part 2 (of 2) — my blog entry about his second book
M. Dylan Raskin – Part 1 (of 2) — my blog entry about his first book
The Most Dangerous Place in NYC — I encounter his second book
Go Home! Stay Home! — I quote the opening to his first book
Hemorrhaging the Neural Net — I encounter his first book