Sushiactive is alive

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Back in 1999 when I was hitting my sushi loving stride (having started to eat it only a few years earlier) and starting my website at the same time, I decided to create a site that matched pictures of sushi with a Mortal Kombat style voice over / description feature – basically an interactive menu that one could use to make sense of this strange and foreign culinary world that I was in. The site was to be like the paper menus that one sees in sushi restaurants, the ones with the photos of the fish and rolls along with their phonetic Japanese name and English name, except again with that booming voice over. For instance, you might see a crab stick fly into the frame and then hear, “Kani! Crab! Delicious!” I decided to name it “Sushiactive.”
Like so many of my great ideas, this one never went anywhere, aside from living as a flash trailer of sushi flying around that I developed and which then lived on my site for the past decade, that is before the Sevensquared to Keymaster Productions move when I took it down. My friends would ask me about it from time to time and while I would always say, “it’s in development” that wasn’t true. I gave up on developing the idea years ago.
Like so many ideas that were spawned during Web 1.0, this one was ahead of its time, a little over a solid decade to be exact. With the rise of mobile computing via “phones that are really mini-computers that happen to also make phone calls,” this idea was one that many people had. “Order Sushi Like a Native, and Know What You’re Eating” published back on 6/8/11 reviews phone applications that all mimic my idea. The last one mentioned, SushiGuru, is also the only one uses my VO idea. From the article:

Unlike many other competing apps, SushiGuru also has audio pronunciations. If you ever opted for a California roll simply because it was easier to say than Aburasokomutsu, a kind of mackerel, this is a worthwhile feature.

I like being ahead of my time but at the same time I am wistful and rueful that others have implemented it. I’ll need to review what other ideas I’ve had that I’m not acting on. I think it’s time to revisit my nascent “Little Classics” publishing model.


Rewiring Your Brain

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As you might know or gather from my previous 800 or so posts, I’m a web professional during the day. I write a lot of emails. I type a lot of documents. My fingers bother me tremendously by the end of the day. I’m 33. My hands feel 99. I really think that this prevents from writing more lately, because when I’m done with the day, I’m done – as much as blog posts flitter across my mind, I never get the nerve to write them down because writing hurts. Maybe that is why I’m listening to Trent Reznor’s new outfit “How to Destroy Angels” while I type this – I hurt myself today, to see if I still write.
In the latest issue of Wired, Nicholas Carr writes a very compelling article about how the ‘net literally rewires your brain, some for good, some for bad. It’s backed up by science and it confirms a suspicion I’ve had for a long time, because I got hooked on the ‘net in 1995 and therefore have been using it for 15 years now. “Even as the Internet grants us easy access to vast amounts of information, it is turning us into shallower thinkers, literally changing the structure of our brain.” I think that’s true for a lot of people, and sheepishly I think it’s true for me as well.
The article titled “The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains” goes on to say:

The ability to scan and browse is as important as the ability to read deeply and think attentively. The problem is that skimming is becoming our dominant mode of thought. Once a means to an end, a way to identify information for further study, it’s becoming an end in itself—our preferred method of both learning and analysis. Dazzled by the Net’s treasures, we are blind to the damage we may be doing to our intellectual lives and even our culture.

Yikes. Personally, I do not believe I’m there. I think that my attention span is scattered because my parents are selling my childhood home at the exact same time I am supervising a full house renovation in NJ while living in NY in a small one bedroom apartment with an 8 month along pregnant wife and a 2 year old while working a stressful full-time job.


Eighteen People You're Scared Of on Facebook

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GQ magazine has a great humor piece on the eighteen different types of people on Facebook that absolutely frighten you. We all know these people (and if we have an FB account have a few of them as friends):

  1. The Relentless, Disingenulously Humble Self-Promoter
  2. TheNew Parent Represented, Creepily, by a Picture of Their New Baby
  3. The Person Who Never Met a FB Quiz He Didn’t Like

These are just three of the eighteen. I’m sure you’ll recognize, and chuckle at, all of them. I sure did.


Phase 2 Part 2

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I am happy to report that almost ten years after I first launched and almost six years after I first posted to WGTCTIP2 two major developments have occurred at the same time: I have changed my host (from Buzix to GoDaddy) and my blog’s content management system (from Movable Type to WordPress).   You may have noticed that I have not posted in over a month and wondered, “Why the radio silence?”  Well, backing up and moving all of my site files (as well as my blog with its 750+ posts) was a time consuming though relatively easy process that is finally complete. is dead. Long live!
These two changes (host and CMS) are big for a number of reasons:
First and foremost, I now have unlimited space and bandwidth (for a lower yearly fee no less) which means that large PDFs, images, music and movies all can be stored and served by my site along with a super stable CMS that I do not have to troubleshoot and/or maintain myself. The next time my blog weathers a comment spam attack, its someone else’s problem, not mine.
Second, its been time for a change for a long while now and I’m excited to finally freshen things up ’round the ole site.  Everything and I mean everything will be getting a redesign and/or refresh (aka a face lift) and right away you will probably notice that my beloved blog looks a bit different.  I have a new font (Georgia) and a new design theme (Thesis – which gets a lot of fan and hate mail on the web – for me thus far it’s what I was hoping for) .  Two current annoyances are that I cannot figure out how to move the next / previous entry navigation to above the post (not below the post where the nav currently resides) and that I need to learn how to code my header so that an image (and not text) appears.  Also,  search engine results will no longer take you to the entry that is indexed as I’ve moved from a static html archive system to a dynamic php based system so I’m looking into how I can resolve this issue.  In the mean time, I’ve added a custom error redirect that will take you the blog’s main page so at least you’re not stuck on a basic 404 error page.
So, look forward to lots of cool stuff happening through the end of the year and the start of 2010.   I cannot wait to see what takes shape.


Africa – Acapella Style

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A friend sent me a link to a song by Perpetuum Jazzile that is up on YouTube. Who are they? Well, they are the only Slovenian jazz choir, are conducted by its artistic director Tomaž Kozlevčar and are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.
Their repertoire consists of an ear-catching selection of vocal jazz and pop, like “Africa” by Toto, which is what I was sent. The song is almost secondary to the amazing way that they create “rain” at the beginning – you have to hear it to believe it. Even the writer of the song loves it. The band posted this email below from David Paich, the aforementioned writer:

My name is David Paich. When I wrote Africa I never dreamed of hearing such an innovative rendition. All I can say is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am truly honored that you not only would arrange a choir version of the song but the time and effort into creating REAL MAGIC! I have NEVER received so many emails from artists friends and colleagues on a singular performance of a song.
My hats off to all of you.
I know my co-writer Jeff Porcaro would have shared the same feelings. I know my band TOTO does.
Again, thanks you for such a wonderful gift.I would love to meet everyone sometime soon and maybe work together.

You don’t believe me, or him, then listen to the clip below. Enjoy!

Via Pipi


Helpful Travel Info

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Maybe its because I have to go to Atlanta for the day (!) on Thursday but I am finally posting this helpful travel info that I found while on the island of Lanai in Hawaii. I don’t think enough people to read this blog (yet) to blow these “secrets” – I’m sure more people read the magazine where I found this info anyway…
If you want to know which airline offers the best itinerary for the lowest price, you can use either ItaSoftware, Which Budget or WeGoLo.
Seat Guru tells you which seats are the best per aircraft.
Last, if you use Priceline in conjunction with Bidding For Travel, you can know how much to bid because you know what bids PL has accepted recently for properties matching your criteria.


Current Web Usage Stats

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I use the Internet every day. I even managed to do so while on vacation in Hawaii using my T-Mobile data driven Blackberry Pearl so I’m curious if more people are like me or if I’m the minority when it comes to web usage. Therefore, I was happy to hear that Avenue A | Razorfish surveyed 475 consumers across “all demographics” in July and that they made available their findings. I think they show the usual divide between what the loud techno-elite minority cares about, as compared to the quiet mass-consumer majority is still in effect. It also shows which parts of the web are catching on faster than others. Take a look:
Overall Stats

  • Only 60% personalize home pages
  • 47% never share bookmarks
  • 44% never use RSS feeds
  • 65% never use tag clouds
  • Almost all read the “most popular” or “most emailed” items on sites

That being said, here are specific stats about a number of different categories and whether they are “big” or not.
Video: Big

  • 67% regularly watch videos on YouTube, etc.
  • 95% have watched online videos in the last 3 months.
  • 49% have uploaded online videos in the last 3 months [shockingly high–almost makes us discount all findings, or at least conclude that this is a highly web-literate and young consumer sub-set].
  • 85% have watched online movie previews in last 3 months.
  • 71% have watched a TV show online in the last 3 months [more than we would have thought].

Online Music, Photos, Blogs: Pretty Big

  • 42% regularly purchase music online
  • 41% use photo-sharing sites
  • 70% read blogs regularly

Online research when making product selection decisions: HUGE

  • 92%+ use the web when making product buying decisions (research, reviews, retailer location, price comparison, etc.)
  • 54% start their product research at a search engine
  • 14% start it at a comparison shopping engine
  • 30% start it at an e-commerce or retailer site
  • 55% rely on USER REVIEWS most when choosing products
  • 21% rely on EXPERT REVIEWS most.
  • After product selected, most important criteria when choosing where to buy are PRICE (38%) and SITE REPUTATION (38%)

Mobile data services: Small

  • 68% never use mobile phone to listen to music
  • 76% never use mobile phone to watch video.
  • 64% never use mobile phone to check headlines.

Via Silicon Valley Insider


Life from a Mainframe

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There was a joke about how soon a computer will boot up a web browser, not a desktop, and it was noted that my yearly internet access costs more then what I spent on my whole computer.
A co-worker then said, “And to get even more tangential, this makes me think of a computing model based on leasing vs. owning. Will I soon be able to get a free laptop after I sign a two year internet contract with T-Mobile? A connectionless computer seems pretty useless to most people nowadays.”
As more software moves online – see Adobe’s announcement its online Photoshop Express product, we are definitely moving towards a day, joke or no joke, when the only thing we may need is in fact a browser.


Web Crash 2007

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I had no clue the Onion is doing video until I saw the clip below and after watching it, I for one am going to start watching more of their Onion News Network. Prepare to laugh – alot – so get your beverage away from the keyboard. Sometimes I feel like control-alt-deleting myself too…

Via Chris


What One Senator Thinks About Net Neutrality

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Sen. Ted Steven’s (R – Alaska) comments on the issue of net neutrality might be old news to some but they are still very funny and post worthy. For those that don’t know, this sage Senator, who is charge of the committee that will decide the future of the Net as we know it, said that “The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s, it’s a series of tube.” Lovely. Watch Jon Stewart and crew rip him a new one. Happy Friday!