Monthly Archives: March 2008

Beautiful 2D Navigation

Love the browse-by-relevance feature. Why isn’t the History Channel’s website like this only with videos and maps? How come the people with the ad/subscriber revenue have a crappy experience and the donation-funded national archives has a super-slick, multi-dimensional and intuitive interface? Missed opportunities…

Photoshop Express (Px)

A lot is being written about this today so I’ll just offer two thoughts…

OK so clearly Adobe can pull off a fantastic RIA with tons of functionality – but not tons more than some competitors like Picnik. And what’s with the limited online-photo-sharing-site integration? Px currently offers integration with Facebook, Photobucket and Picasa… What about me, I use Flickr? (maybe I’ve chosen to align myself with a child of a corporate-parent competitor and I’m being punished)

The logical next thought regarding this lightly-featured (lightly by desktop application standards) RIA is: Why would I use this if its so easy to obtain the real Photoshop? Especially if I’m a Flickr user (as I’d be using Picnik)? I believe the answer is : “start kissing easy access to cracked or educational versions of Adobe products goodbye”. Seriously. This is the first step to further siloing power and casual users. Once casual users gets hooked on Px they have no choice but to purchase the new, future, very difficult to crack, very expensive, Adobe Creative Suite. They already do this to some extent with their Photoshop Elements offering – but the problem is that if people are going to go through the trouble of installing an applicaiton, they’ll jsut install the real thing. Bringing the lite version of their software online allows Adobe to further segemnt/partition/silo their user-base.

Illegal/edjucational software useage crackdown to follow in a big way.

Bush’s War

An AMAZING 2-part (2-hour each) Frontline episode chronicling the Iraq war from 9/11 to today. From the Frontline website:

From the horror of 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq; the truth about WMD to the rise of an insurgency; the scandal of Abu Ghraib to the strategy of the surge — for seven years, FRONTLINE has revealed the defining stories of the war on terror in meticulous detail, and the political dramas that played out at the highest levels of power and influence.

Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga unfolds in the two-part FRONTLINE special Bush’s War. Veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk draws on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism — more than 40 FRONTLINE reports on Iraq and the war on terror. Combined with fresh reporting and new interviews, Bush’s War will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation’s history.

Pata Negra

Pata Negra Tapas, NYC 

How are the hams cured?

The hams from the slaughtered pigs are salted and left to begin drying for two weeks, after which they are rinsed and left to dry for another four to six weeks. The curing process then takes at least nine months, although some producers cure their jamónes ibéricos from 18 to 30 months from start to finish, including cutting, salting, washing, drying and maturation. Depending on the weight of the ham the curing time may be longer. For shoulder cuts, which are smaller, the curing process lasts between 10 and 18 months, although larger pieces may take longer.

Salting of Jabugo hams is done with sea salt. Hams then undergo a natural drying and maturation process in a bodega for a total of almost 3 years, after which they are tested.

Legend has it that hams were created when a pig one day fell into a gully with very salty water, and drowned. Shepherds found the pig and roasted it, discovering that the meat – particularly the hind leg – had a pleasant flavor. Later they discovered that when the hind leg was salted it lasted longer without losing its flavor, and the method was thereafter perfected.

That would be the jamón ibérico de bellota. It was approved for importation to America last year — but it takes three years to cure and age under the conditions dictated for its Stateside distribution. It’s the ultimate pork product. And no one in America can get it until 2008. “I have waited all my life for this moment. I will have tears in my eyes,” Eric Ripert told the New York Post recently.

How Bad Is Dreamhost Really?

If you’re reading this post it means that finally, after over 20 hours of downtime so far THIS WEEK, dreamhost (my hosting company) finally got their ass in gear and repaired things. I get complaints all the time that people would go to my site more except that its sooooo slow to load. This has nothing to do with “heavy” graphics on my part (as my entire flash file is around 100k and this blog only loads the header as a graphic – the rest is HTML). It has to do with dreamhost sucking. A friend of mine who hosts his clients’ sites as well as his own on his dreamhost account told me to demand a refund (thats what he does because outages actually cost him money). Maybe I should. Maybe I should switch. I just switched from (MT) in the fall because I was on one of their shitty servers from many years ago and I was having outages with my squirrel mail at least twice a day for at least 20 minutes per outage. That was no fun, I don’t really want to go back to that. I’m not sure what to do. The worst part is that in the 3 month period after I became a dreamhost customer everything was super-zippy. I mean fast. And their IT support team was responsive. And everything was night and day different from (MT). And then something jsut switched. Dreamhost jumped the shark and now I’m in the shitty boat, floating in a sea of garbage. The South-Pacific garbage patch in fact. Do you think they can just switch you from good service to bad once you pass a time-threshold? Woah is

Muxtape is a super simple way to create and share mixtapes. So simple in fact that there are no fast forward/rewind/stop/play buttons on the “player” interface, just a list of songs in the mixtape. UI issues aside, I think this is a great little way of exploring new music in the form of a mixtape. Check it out.