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  past petermemes  
  February 28, 1999
Though the paper is two whole years old, Ben Shneiderman's "
Designing Information Abundant Websites" is a worthwhile overview of strategies and considerations in large-scale Web design.

One of the leading lights of the MIT Media Lab is
David Small. Get lost in the various and sundry projects he's been involved with, many of which deal with navigating vast amounts of textual information. I had the fortune of having lunch with him last October, and not only is he super-brilliant--he's a nice guy, too!

From the Unclear on the Concept Department: After every story in The Fray, readers are asked to post their own stories. A Fray story about love for record albums, called "Vinyl Fetish", attracted a wonderful, and wholly unrelated,
reminscence.[Scroll down to last two posts.]

February 27, 1999
Family Circus Critical Theory, care of Amazon.com. [Scroll down to reviews.]

A unique perspective on the
illustrations for airline safety cards. Some illustrations are "inappropriate" for children.

February 26, 1999
file used by Cybersitter to censor sites "inappropriate" for children. Um. The link is "inappropriate" for children.

February 25, 1999
A meditative and entrancing
little applet...

ACLU of Virginia is opposing a bill that would slam spammers. In general I'm a fan of the ACLU, but in this case, I can't figure out what they think is the violation of "free speech." The bill seems to largely be about protecting ISPs from being charged if somebody uses them as a spam conduit, and for nailing spammers for falsifying email identities, both of which are fine by me. There is a clause about those who "sell, give, distribute, or possess software whose principal purpose is to facilitate unsolicited bulk e-mail," which might be the sticking point. If any legal eagles are out there who can help explain the situation, please email me.

"100% Free Pure Animal Sex Videos" and other search queries
await you...

February 23, 1999
Researching comics has pointed me to
Images Journal, a site that dissects popular culture from an annoyingly academic point of view. (To see what I mean, read the essay about Tarzan comics. Though, the article has a great simple design.)

"As a result, user loyalty and duration are fast replacing reach as the most accurate method of measuring portal effectiveness," from a
News.com article. Well, it's good to see that the supposedly all-important "reach" is finally being recognized as worthless (If I'm clicking through channels on cable, and stop at each one for 5 seconds, have those channels "reached" me? All you need is a single page view from someone to register them as "reach.") And it's good to see that user loyalty is being recognized as worthwhile (any good business will tell you repeat customers *are* their business). I'm a little iffy about "duration," though. As that article over there --> contends, it's often in a user's best interest to send them *off* your portal.

February 22, 1999
Todd Levin's Cool Site of the Year eBay shenanigans serve as the lede for
this piece on Web awards.

Teenwire, a site for teens to learn about sex, launches. A brilliant use of the Web--a safe place to learn crucial information that can be otherwise hard to get or embarrassing to seek out. And, the site rocks.

February 21, 1999
thoughtful article on the new breed of "smart" toys like Microsoft's Actimates and Lego Mindstorms. Includes quotes from Microsoft and MIT developers, as well as responses from educational and child psychologists.

I spent a good ten minutes reading
these nuggets. Most are mediocre, some suck, but quite a few are wortwhile.

Perfume or Supervillain? Christ, I only got 5 right.

Jesus Was Gother Than You. Shouldn't that be "Gother Than Thou"?

Rock Paper Scissors Spock Lizard.

Acne, creator of the 'funsite' Netbaby, is a Swedish all-purpose design firm (graphics, clothing, game consoles, video art, etc.) I dig the minimalist aesthetic of the site.

Comics! I've been researching Web comics, and have been pointed to some cool URLs. If you've got some good leads, please
email me.

Jonni Nitro is the story of a kick-ass chick assassin. It's a Flash movie digitized from actual video. Cool effect.

Hellboy: A Christmas Underground is a well-crafted comic that kept me reading through all four haunting episodes. Flash required.

February 17, 1999
More on evolution: the
talk.origins archive is filled with information useful for combatting idiots who proclaim Creationism. My favorite statement: evolution isn't a theory, it's a fact.

Principia Cybernetic Web is a way-nifty hyperlinked information space. I particularly enjoyed following the links in the evolution area.

It's a good thing to know you'll be able to
toast your bagels in the next millenium.

Is San Francisco too preservationist? The L.A. Times has
a pretty good piece on how the city's dogmatic love of the old might be turning it into a dated urban theme park.

February 16, 1999
Smart Frog features a parasitic business model--when buying from Amazon of CDNow, click to those stores through Smart Frog. Smart Frog gets the affiliate fee, and will, in turn, kick back 5% of your purchase to you. Seems like skimming pennies to me.

sneak peek at the Palm V. It doesn't bowl me over, but it's probably time to upgrade from my Professional.

"I Couldn't Think Of Anything Else To Do With It, So I Put It On The Web."

is the Web home of Ranjit Bhatnagar. I remember Ranjit's HTTP Playground from when I first got on the Web in early 1994.

Ranjit's Playground features a number of links from "the old days," including one to
Mark-Jason Dominus' current home--MJD once published The Temptation of Saint Anthony, a zine of random thoughts, that I quite enjoyed. MJD now seems to be something of a Perl god, if that's your bag.

A fun diversion is
Java on the Brain, which includes a collection of fast, well-designed arcade games written in Java.

February 13, 1999

Real-world surf: Paulina, a
film I reviewed after seeing it at the San Francisco Film Festival, is now being released in theaters nationwide (in San Francisco, you can see it at the Lumiere.) For more info, check out this long feature from the SF Bay Guardian. And if you have a chance to see this film, do so.

The Black Death is still among us. Read about
the plague at Medscape. [Free registration required... and worth it!]

February 12, 1999
Barbie as art icon.

February 10, 1999
Scott McCloud features an innovative Web comic on his
obsession with chess.

February 9, 1999
I've got total
object lust.

Need top tier graphic and information design? For all your communication needs, from print to Web? Then head over to
3Across, the design firm run by Jennifer Anderson. And tell her I sent you.

Search quicker:

February 7, 1999
An excellent interface design resource:
detailed lecture notes from a course on human-computer interaction, covering, well, damn near everything.

February 6, 1999
Physics is

Yours truly has a mention in the
latest issue of JOHO, which otherwise focuses on how getting knowledge can be achieved through telling and hearing stories.

http://my.buttcheek.com/, is a totally randomized news portal. And even though it had no knowledge of what I'm interested in, I spent 30 minutes reloading headlines. What does that say about personalization?

February 5, 1999
photo Web zine pieced together from submissions you enter. Really well-edited. I don't know how frequently it's updated.

online journal worth reading.

A tightly-designed and well-written Web exhibition on
classic arcade games.

Obtuse, goofy, psychedelic
art site. [Flash required.]

A cool personal zine site with nifty graphics and things to say.

Information explains the laws of physics. [Beware: high-minded thinking ahead.]

February 4, 1999
The magic is over. The
auction has ended prematurely. Still no idea exactly why.[Note: Since this was first posted, the auction has been re-instated! Back in business!]

Windowseat: A feature about how Minnesotans play "duck, duck, gray duck," whereas the rest of the planet plays "duck, duck, goose." (Scroll down a bit on the page to see.) Yes, Minnesotans are freaks. But we knew that.

I love regionalisms. New Yorkers don't stand "in line" for a movie, they stand "on line." Californian's say "right on," in response to most anything. Instead of "very", Berkeleyan teenagers and college students say "hella." Bostonians say, "wicked." If you've got others,
let me know.

Rykodisc, possibly the largest "indie" record label, has
just released 150 songs from various artists (including Frank Zappa, Louis Armstrong, and Bill Hicks) on MP3, available for download at $.99 per track.
Um. This is brilliant. And obvious. Pirating MP3s has become such a nightmare (how many FTP sites have you been turned away from?), that for the right price, people will pay.

February 3, 1999
Learn from others mistakes--search the
Woodworkers' Central accident survey. For the most interesting results, leave all fields blank except select 'need medical attention' for accident type and check 'get all reports.'

Cool Site Award report: the
award is now up to $5100. That's a good deal of money. I'm not bidding anymore.

February 1, 1999
The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things...
DIRK, An open-source cognitive web.

Webzine Smug has eBay's Cool Shopping Site of the Year Award
up for auction *on* eBay. I'm planning on bidding--how about you? If you want more information, head here (and make sure to click the link at the bottom to find out "what really happened.")

Todd Levin has a piece titled,
"Does That Make Me Gay?" which will ring true in the hearts of straightfags everywhere. I, too, have never learned to tap a keg.

The Washington Post asks writers to
refute truisms like, "a watched pot never boils." My favorite is "The Earth is Flat."