Archive for January 7th, 2004

iPod Wins Hands Down


early consensus on Apple’s new mini-iPods seems to be that there
is not enough bang for the buck: Why pay $250 for 4 Gigs when $50 more
will get you 15 Gigs? Sure, the size is smaller, but in a device like
one reaches a point where smaller is no longer more practical, but
– harder to operate and manipulate, easier to lose or sit on.

The original iPods, however, are dominating the market.  We don’t
know if this is the case in other local markets, but in Boston Apple
has bought the advertising rights to entire subway stations, so that
major nexi in the public transportation system that last year had 40
or 50 different companies advertising on big posters and panels, along
the walls and on partitions between the tracks, today have only one.
  Advertising only one product.  The iPod. Awesome advertising

An interesting article in tomorrow’s New York Times reviews the proliferation
of portable audio choices….

At the big DataVision Computer Video store in Midtown Manhattan, personal
digital audio players were one of the holiday season’s best sellers,
said John A. Griffin, the store’s sales manager, and iPods were clearly
the players of choice.

For every one of the other players we sold people bought 70 to 80 iPods," Mr.
Griffin said one day recently as shoppers ogled a store display of
more than 50 different models of players ranging in size from cigarette
to small jewelry boxes.

from the New York Times

Aggregator Envy


RSS continues
to open doors into interesting new spaces as people figure out new ways
to create, consume, manipulate and share feeds. Dave
has come up with a unique and tres cool mechanism for sharing
aggregator subscriptions.  After registering at the
site’s Home Page
, you can
post the OPML of your aggregator, see
what streams
scads of famous
and interesting bloggers
are reading, see who
is reading each of the members
and see who (among the users registered at the site) is subscribed
to your

This reminds the Dowbrigade of the speculative piece he wrote on syndicating
and selling subscriptions to a live feed of Glenn
Reynolds desktop (InstaFeed
You can’t do that yet, but you can see what Adam Curry, Dave Winer, Joi
Ito, Jeff Jarvis and others are reading on a daily basis.

Our only gripe is that the limited capacity of our aggregator and our
limited ability to check it on an hourly basis in turn limit how many
we can subscribe to.  My current measly total is 44 streams, and
the capacity of my aggregator means that the stories are shoved out the
bottom of the bin in about 4 hours. Which means, of course, that unless
we check our aggregator every four hours, we start to miss stories! What
if we miss the key to the universe?

And think, if we were like Dave, who subscribes to 260 feeds, or Scott
Adams, who reads 534, each story would only last about 20 minutes in
my aggregator. As unlikely as it may be, should we ever approach the
stratospheric level of all-time record holder Jay
, the Human
Aggregator (1001)
, the stories would only stay in cache for about 5 minutes.

To deal with this problem, we have created two specialized aggregators
which run parallel to my main aggregator.  One just handles the
New York
Times feed
s we read, which linger almost exactly 24 hours at
the regular rate of flow, and another which just includes the regular
contributors to the Thursday Evening Meetings

Why does aggregating feel so natural and useful?  Maybe because
that’s how human consciousness works, by aggregating the information
streams from our five senses, mixing with a little intuition, and weaving
it into a multi-media experience..

Mad Cow Spurs Rush to Bison Meat


(Reuters) – The first case of mad cow disease in the United States may
encourage carnivores to consider putting meat from bison, the largest
land mammals in North America and beloved symbols of the West, on their
dinner tables, meat industry officials said.

The commercial bison meat industry, which dates to the mid-1980s, has been
through ups and downs but last year started to see a rebound due to
increased interest in high-protein diets.

Bison are fed grass then corn or potatoes for 90 to 120 days before they
are slaughtered when they weigh around 2,000 pounds. They are not fed antibiotics,
growth hormones or animal byproducts. The use of cattle remains in certain
animal feed was blamed for spreading mad cow in Britain.

from Reuters

Ma Dean: We Always Treated Servants Well


Democratic presidential front-runner Howard Dean may have grown up
on tony Park Avenue and summered with the swells at East Hampton’s
then-whites-only Maidstone Club, but his mother, Andree Maitland Dean,
insists her son’s roots are practically working class.

“Howard didn’t have the least bit of a glamorous upbringing,” Ma
Dean told the New York Times last week. “When I was growing up, we
didn’t even treat the servants like servants.”

Sitting in her humble multimillion dollar upper East Side digs, Mrs.
Dean told the Times that every time she had a baby, she’d be forced to
convert the dining room into a bedroom for the newborn. In fact, space
was so tight there was barely enough room for baby Howard’s live-in