October 23, 2007

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Quote du jour

Paul Watson: Software may let you have 3000 friends but your brain doesn’t.

A few years ago, when Orkut was new and hot, Rael Dornfest demonstrated the standare social software friend-confirmation protocol by walking up to people, pushing his face into theirs and saying “YOU ARE MY FRIEND! YES OR NO!” Nailed it, that.

Fly smarter

10 Useful Secrets the Major Airlines Don’t Want You to Know, from TravelHacker, via Britt Blaser, whom I’ve never properly thanked for all those nice things he said on my birthday. (That’s a hint to myself to come back at Britt with the same in a few days.)

Fire news, cont’d

I’m just dumping notes here, as they come in (and I can get out from meetings and stuff).

KPBS is, commendably, staying on top of the fire situation, with a number of live streams. For yours, check this page here. Unfortunately, it all seems to be Windows Media. I can’t make it work on Linux (or even the Windows media stuff on a Mac), but your listenage may vary. (Could be they have .mp3 or other streams and I’m missing it.)

KPBS has a volunteer page.

Question: Have there been bigger evacuations than this one in California? Ever? I suppose Katrina and some of the coastal Florida and Texas hurricanes pushed more away from homes, but I’m not sure.

rimoftheworld.net is updating on the San Bernardino Mountain fires. Can’t get on it right now, but it’s there.

Unrelated, but we have turkeys in Boston.

Sheila Lennon on Paul McNamara on Jim Forbes’ Fireblogging. Many links and stories at all three of those.

BloggersBlog has lots of sandiegofire links.

twits: viss, hannabananna, numist, nateritter.

Fire map.

San Diego County Emergency page. It has maps in .pdf form.

Here’s the problem. For me, anyway.

I believe the Net is an open place. Same with the Web.

I also believe private walled gardens on the Web are fine things. Nothing wrong with them.

My problem is when the former starts looking and acting like the latter. And that’s why I’m already tired of Facebook. The “friend request” list (top item to the left there) is one I’ve whittled down from a much higher number. If I could gang-whittle them, I might be more interested, but the routine still involves declining to check off which of many different ways I met somebody (“both owned the same dog”, “set up by a mutual ex-boss” or whatever), and other time-sucks. Not to mention that the site takes many seconds to load, or to bring up email, or whatever. At least for me.

The big challenge for Facebook, as it has been for AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and everybody else who ever ran a walled garden, is to make their “platform” something that sits on the Net and the Web, not something that substitutes for it. Facebook’s mail, for example, is a substitute. If there’s a way I could get Facebook mail with my IMAP or POP client, I’d rather do that. (Can you, by the way? I doubt it, but I dunno.)

Anyway, lif’e’s too short, and this list of stuff is too long. If you’re waiting for me to respond to a poke or an invitation,or a burp or any of that other stuff, don’t hold your breath. Or take offense. I’ve got, forgive me, better things to do.

More fires

, the wildfire Incident Information System is following four California fires:


Grass Valley is northwest of Lake Arrowhead. Inciweb reports 113 structures lost and 1500 threatened. Slide is west of Green Valley Lake. So far 25 homes are burned and 400 are threatened. Road closures include all highways west of Big Bear Dam: 138, 18 and 330. Ranch is west of the Grapevine (I-5) and near Castaic. Here’s a fire perimiter map: a 41,000-acre oval surrounding Piru Lake. Former fires in the region (including, to the west, the Day Fire of last year) are expected to make containment easier that would otherwise be the case. So far 14 boats have been lost. The fire includes the Buckweed and Magic fires, which are converging with this one.

I’m guessing that Inciweb is not covering the San Diego fires because they don’t involve national forest land. But I’m not sure.

Meanwhile, where are the perimiter maps for the San Diego fires? What we need most are clear indications of which neighborhoods, which streets, which towns, are threatened or already lost. If any of ya’ll have that info, post it in the comments below. Thanks.

[Later…] My sister just turned me on to the latest from In the twinkling of an eye, the blog of Serge Rey, professor and chair of the Geography Department at San Diego State University. Here’s one of his latest fire maps. And another. Also these. Scroll down. Many maps there. Scary.

Serge also weighed in here, while I was posting the above. Got that last link from his comment.

That headline occurred to me as I was reading Jay Rosen’s Formula for Online News Success at MediaShift Idea Lab (via Ben Tesch), right after following the latest from Nate Ritter on the San Diego fire situation (tag: ), including his Twitter feed, which demonstrates Twitter as a kind of live news router. (As do Chris Messina’s Twitter hashtags.) The Union-Tribune is now also flowing news at sosdfireblog.blogspot.com. Found that via Nate, along with Cat Dirt Sez, another San Diego fire blogger. Also Brian Auer. And Califorinia Fire Followers Set Twitter Ablaze, by Michael Calore..

And thus the Live Web emerges.

[Later…] 4:32am PDST: This post shows up on a Google Blogsearch search for sandiegofire (sorted either by date or by relevance), but not yet on Technorati or on Google (where the top/lucky result is the http://s.technorati.com/sandiegofire).

[Later again…] Here’s the right Technorati search, to include all authority levels. (My blog doesn’t have high authority, at least not yet. And my search default was set for high authority when I did the search the first time, above. So my post in fact was indexed quickly and I just missed it the first time.)