aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, January 27, 2007
3 second YouTube ads
The news is that YouTube will share ad revenue with those who provide video. Good. But what interested me more was the notion of a three second ad:
The audience of the YouTube website will not have to put up with overly long “pre-roll” adverts. Mr Hurley said a clip of three seconds length was one of the options, although the details had not been worked out yet.
I’ve been ardently opposed to pre-roll ads. But three seconds may be fair and reasonable.
Via Fred Wilson:
To date, they’ve showed a good feel for what will work in this emerging medium. We will soon see if they have a similar feel for how to monetize and compensate everyone in the ecosystem. As always, I am rooting for them.
Mark Cuban on Georgia & Genarlow Wilson
Mark Cuban has been an important and vocal advocate for Genarlow Wilson. Today he writes:
I wanted to thank and commend ESPN , The NY Times and our owh HDNet and others for great coverage leading to the introduction of a new bill aiming to right this gross injustice.
Personally, there is no chance I do business in the state of Georgia beyond the committment the Mavs have to play the Hawks until Genarlow is out of jail.
RouteSlip.com calls for developer assistance
Doug’s creating a bike route in DÃƒÂ¼sseldorf right now.
He’s sitting on the couch using RouteSlip.com. It lets you build a ride log, map out your bike routes in Google maps, calculate distances and - for those of you who, like me, grow concerned at the thought of steep hills - it will automatically create an elevation profile for each route.
Doug says, “This is such a great application. I just love it. I’m putting in the route that I used to ride all the time...to my swimming hole. It’s so easy.”
As much as it pains me to say it, RouteSlip’s gone beyond what I can support right now, and I feel I owe it to the community that has been so supportive and encouraging during the initial development of the site to not abandon it.
I’m only one person, and am stretched way too thin right now without even considering RouteSlip development.
Neither Doug nor I knows Java or PHP. If you do, please help!
Micahel Pollan on the Conspiracy of Confusion
In the Times Magazine this weekend, not yet out from behind the TimesSelect wall, Michael Pollan tells us we’ve gone from simple to complex, from clear to cloudy, from food to a new ideology of food.
Michael says, “Ideologies are ways of organizing large swaths of life and experience under a set of shared but unexamined assumptions.” And the food ideology we’ve been snookered into is.... NUTRITION!
[F]ish, beef and chicken through the nutritionists’ lens become mere delivery systems for varying quantities of fats and proteins and whatever other nutrients are on their scope. Similarly, any qualitative distinctions between processed foods and whole foods disappear when your focus is on quantifying the nutrients they contain (or, more precisely, the known nutrients).
This is a great boon for manufacturers of processed food, and it helps explain why they have been so happy to get with the nutritionism program… [T]he food industry set about re-engineering thousands of popular food products to contain more of the nutrients that science and government had deemed the good ones and less of the bad, and by the late ‘80s a golden era of food science was upon us. The Year of Eating Oat Bran - also known as 1988 - served as a kind of coming-out party for the food scientists, who succeeded in getting the material into nearly every processed food sold in America. Oat bran’s moment on the dietary stage didn’t last long, but the pattern had been established, and every few years since then a new oat bran has taken its turn under the marketing lights. (Here comes omega-3!)
By comparison, the typical real food has more trouble competing under the rules of nutritionism, if only because something like a banana or an avocado can’t easily change its nutritional stripes (though rest assured the genetic engineers are hard at work on the problem). So far, at least, you can’t put oat bran in a banana. So depending on the reigning nutritional orthodoxy, the avocado might be either a high-fat food to be avoided (Old Think) or a food high in monounsaturated fat to be embraced (New Think). The fate of each whole food rises and falls with every change in the nutritional weather, while the processed foods are simply reformulated. That’s why when the Atkins mania hit the food industry, bread and pasta were given a quick redesign (dialing back the carbs; boosting the protein), while the poor unreconstructed potatoes and carrots were left out in the cold.
Of course it’s also a lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a potato or carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over, the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming about their newfound whole-grain goodness.
YOU MUST READ THIS ARTICLE.
I’ll link when it’s out.
Robert Moses reconsidered
A bunch of exhibits in New York are billed as reconsidering Robert Moses‘ accomplishments. Significantly, Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker, the definitive biography of Moses and New York in that era is not invited.
I read the Caro book in the 70s and a well-worn copy has been front and center on my bookshelves since. He still makes sense to me. From the Times:
“The enduring legacy of Robert Moses includes magnificent achievements, which I celebrated in ‘The Power Broker,’ “ he said. “But it is also necessary to look at his overall impact.”
He cited the ouster of more than half a million people from their homes in the Bronx, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, in Sunset Park in Brooklyn and on Long Island farms for the sake of new highways or “slum clearance”: evictions that largely could have been avoided by using alternate routes and that in some cases helped create new slums.
“His highways and bridges and tunnels are awesome all right, but no aspect of those highways and bridges and tunnels is as awesome as the congestion on them,” Mr. Caro said. “Congestion was always going to be inevitable in New York, but it could have been substantially less had he only combined his roads with the mass transit suggested by so many planners.Ã¢â‚¬Â�
I enjoy Jones Beach as much as the next guy, I marvel at his bridges and roads, too. I learned from him that one way to move a project forward is to go ahead and start it without authorization because, once started, it can hardly be stopped. I can marvel at his imperious anti-democratic ways without minimizing his negative impacts from which the city is still recovering. None of those reconsidering Moses are disputing those negative impacts. They’re not even quoted as saying the good outweighs the bad.
In the Times’ article Daniel L. Doctoroff, the New York City’s deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding instead complains that “we haven’t been able to do as much is because people overinterpreted the lessons from that period of time.Ã¢â‚¬Â� But later he admits, “there hasn’t been a single project we have pushed through that hasn’t been approved.”
Those doing the reconsidering say the Caro book was a sign of its time; it looks to me like the reconsideration is a sign of our times. Just as Mussolini made the trains run on time, we look back on those autocratic, anti-democratic days through rose-colored glasses.