Not a New Year's Resolution, no matter how much it looks like one

This past couple of years, I've made numerous attempts to get myself to post regularly to this blog. As you can see by the time between posts recently, I've never managed to follow through on it.

Work and life provide me with far too many distractions and I end up with tons of half-written ideas and no time to get them in shape enough to post.

Once again, I'm going to give it a try.

Inspired by Noah Scalin's new book, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal I'm going to try to write something here every day for the next year. Whether it's a rant, a photo I took that day, fact-checking some crazy statement I read online, a list of tabs I have open in Firefox that I really will get around to reading someday, or something more substantial.

My experience doing project coordination and management tells me to always have a fallback plan. So, if I don't manage the daily posting goal, I am going to force myself to post something here every time I want to change my facebook status.

Monday, nothing...

A sad day.

Tuli Kupferberg passed away this afternoon. If you don't know who Tuli is, go to youtube or google and search for him or The Fugs. He was an amazing artist, poet and activist. (ok, I'll save you some time, here are links to some fun Fugs tunes, Kill For Peace | Morning Morning | Nothing )

He told me that they wanted to call the band the Fucks, but no record label would allow that in 1964, so they went for the Fugs instead. I had the opportunity to get to know him a little, while helping out with production work on his last book, a collection of his cartoons called Teach Yourself Fucking (the cover was an alteration of some old self-education book Teach Yourself Banking). I think that my life is somehow better as a result.

He was so excited that he was finally able to use the word Fuck in the title of something. His energy and playful spirit were really inspiring. He taught by example that activists and revolutionaries don't have to be angry all the time -- being silly is just as important.

time for a rebranding?

Via a facebook friend, I found out today that there's an oil additive that is sold under the name Sea Foam. Seriously, Sea Foam! Since we're busy dumping millions of gallons of oil into the seas, why not put some ocean in your tank?

I really want to meet the marketing genius that thought this one up. This product has been sold for decades, and no one has ever stopped to think "hmmm, maybe we're giving the wrong message here?"

Maybe they can use this image in their next marketing campaign: (not sure who to credit for this image of oil washing up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, if anyone knows please fill me in image via the Surfrider Foundation)

Router Swap, anyone?

In a reaction to Google's wardriving, I'm thinking of setting up a website to facilitate a mass swap-meet for people to exchange their wi-fi routers.

Google stepped a bit over the line (again) this week. This time, it was focused around a new effort to make it easier to geo-locate a web browser's location.

As they've been driving around in those cute cars taking images for the google maps Street View tool, they have also been mapping the identifying information of every available 802.11 wireless access point (wi-fi) and storing that information along with longitude and latitude information. I'm not sure how I feel about the image street views has of me walking down Central Park West after a meeting, but the idea that they have locative information on my wireless access point definitely upsets me.

Having been helping the folks at Open Greenmap with technology planning and development, I understand the desire to map this information. Most cellular devices (phones, iPhones, androids, etc.) are able to report their GPS coordinates when they request data from a web server. This allows for a site like to give a mobile devices information on interesting places in proximity to where the user is at that time (that's a hypothetical, will be able to do this soon). This is not possible for people using laptops (or desktops) connected to the net via a wired network or a wifi access point. Someone looking for interesting green locations from a coffee shop has to go through a few more steps to search the maps.

facebook community pages might need some rewording

By now, I'm sure you are all aware of the storm of criticism and concern about privacy that has come about in response to the badly thought out addition of Community Pages at Facebook.

Like many others, I've deleted a lot of information from my profile. I did not want to link my profile to these pages that are accessible to anyone on facebook, and in some cases anyone on the internet. After my initial freakout, I have calmed down a bit. It seems that by limiting my participation in facebook as a whole, I can keep a certain level of privacy.

One friend told me a story of a musician friend of hers who has been impacted by this new feature in a rather negative way. Her fan page is now overshadowed by the community page that has her name. Where she once had a place for her fans that she could moderate, most people now end up at the fully un-moderated aggregation of posts that mention her that is the facebook community page. They have essentially replaced a well defined relatively safe space with a free for all with content that would never have been allowed on her fan page.

Another problem is the text on the top of every community page. It assumes and implies that anyone who's liked the page or had their status update automatically posted to it have "a passion" for the topic.