April 25, 2006

Jane Jacobs

Rest in peace


Posted by Abe at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2006

Shrinking Manhattan

Every time I read something like Finding Space for a Million More New Yorkers, and it seems to happen more and more often, one sharp little fact always pops up. Cause while New York City is about as populous as it's ever been, the population of Manhattan, while on a slight upswing since 1980, has basically be on the decline since 1910. And not some little thing, more like 1.2 million people. 1910 there were 2.7 million people living in Manhattan, 2000 only 1.5 million, that's nearly half as much. The question then really is not where to put all these hypothetical New Yorkers, but where exactly did they fit all the real ones?

Posted by Abe at 09:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 13, 2006

The YouTube Presidency

In 2004 the American political system began to come to grips with the internet era. They got the ecommerce bit down real quick. Howard Dean lead the way and everyone copied him before he could even finish shrieking. 2004 also marked the point where online media, blogs in particular began to make themselves noticed, although their overall impact on the results of that election is probably rather minimal. Here in 2006 blogs are pretty much taken for granted, although just what the impact of that will be is uncertain. And what's about to get noticed I think is YouTube.

Unless YouTube has taken it down, embedded below should be a clip poetically titled "President Bush pants like a dog". Not exactly what the White House media team wants you to watch is it? But like it or not this looks like the new style, the new format for video, and what sells on YouTube isn't exactly what sells on the 6 O'Clock news. I doubt it will have much impact on these upcoming elections, other than perhaps an outlier or two of sorts, but what happens in 2008? Instead of a president who looks good on TV are we going to have a president with the best MySpace profile and the ability to make the funniest YouTube clips?

Jokes aside, politicians are going to have to come to grips with the new way people watch TV/video. And that's not an easy task as TV appears to be in a bifurcation of sorts. On one hand people want to come home to longer and far more complex shows to play in their Tivos, and on the other hand they want the funniest and dumbest clips to watch on their desks at work. Is the YouTube president the one who avoids making the biggest mistakes, or the one who can constantly generate positive viral clips to feed the streams?

Perhaps the answer is to skip participating and just become the host. I thought up most of this post sitting is Steven Johnson's class where someone quite aptly compared YouTube to America's Funniest Home Videos, which I might add is much better than my own "like TV only worse". And if being the host is the way out and YouTube is really America's Funniest well then there is the answer to 2008, Bob Saget for president!

Posted by Abe at 06:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 06, 2006


Buckminster Fuller was apparently nearly blind, and when he need to get perspective on a problem he was dealing with he'd take off his thick glasses, let the world go blurry and get thinking. Glasses literally change the way you look at the world. Do they also change the way you think?

For the third time in my life I got a pair of glasses. I lost my last pair almost three years ago, it's a light prescription so I almost never wore them anyway. That basically means I've spent my whole life looking at a slightly blurrier world than most people around me. Does that also mean I think fuzzier? If I wear my glasses all the time will I slowly or suddenly find myself a clearer thinker?

Posted by Abe at 01:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 03, 2006

How Wide Can a Website Be?

The New York Times has redesigned it's website. It looks like the cross between a blog and the International Herald Tribune and that's good. Mainly cause the IHT has had one of the best designed sites on the web for years, but hey it's nice to see "MSM" acknowledging just who runs the internet news game too. More importantly navigation is a breeze, find things is no problem. Well you can't find the write up of today's Met's game in the sports section only on the front page, but I'll assume that's a glitch.

There is one real problem with it though, although I'm not sure it's their's or mine. The freaking thing is too wide, 975 pixels apparently. Web designers have been trying to grab all these extra pixels for years now, and with the Times it looks like management caved in to them in order to "take advantage of the larger monitors now used by the vast majority of our readers" and that's a mistake. Now I'm not some user bitching cause I have an antiquated machine with a tiny monitor, I'm actually a total resolution whore, I want as many pixels as possible, crammed as closely as possible. So much so that last I looked my 14" 1600×1200 pixel laptop was actually higher than anything then on the market, so much for progress...

So I have one of these larger monitors they are talking about, but I can't see all the content on the Times site, it's getting cut off on the right. Why? Well just because I have a large monitor, doesn't mean I want to give it all over to the New York Times. There are other things on my screen and I like them there. Designer's have always had a hard time grasping this, so it's always taken the clients to reality check their arrogance. But if there is any class that can best designers in arrogance hands down it's a TImes staff member, and now we have a deadly combo.

Except it looks like the joke might just be on them, cause just what is getting cut off in my browser window? Nothing I care about, no, what's getting cut off is all the ads! Maybe this wide site thing isn't so bad after all...

Posted by Abe at 05:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack