Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RSS Terms of Use - Really?

I was perusing as usual in Google Reader and came across this interesting little tidbit -

Google Reader (1000+)
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

The Terms of Use are fairly tame, and seem mostly concerned with traffic - please don't "host" our article on your site and pretend it's your news. I can imagine that this is a concern but hardly think that this is the way to go about it. There also seem to be implications for feed aggregators or shared feed sites like social|median...many such services have pages with some (though not all) of the content, and a place for comments by users of the service. I only glanced at the terms of use, but that seems to inch pretty close to their concept of "misuse" at first glance.

This is where attribution licenses are extremely worthwhile. Although I can understand an ad-driven blog-o-palooza being concerned about impressions, this seems a ham-handed way to go about it. I'll update when I have more time to look at the Terms with my lawyerin' goggles on.

In the meantime, your thoughts?

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Content You Use Today May be Licensed Differently Tomorrow.

In Verifying the Commons, the Creative Commons folks point out the tricky subject of attribution licenses converting to traditional copyright. What happens if you used a photo under a CC attribution license and the photo was subsequently re-licensed as fee-for-use? How do you prove that you didn't pirate it? The post points out that there are multiple ways to timestamp or otherwise verify that you first utilized the photo during the license period (note that CC licenses cannot be revoked, so anyone who used content in the "open license" window retains the right to use the content):

As for the question of verifying whether a work was ever released under a CC license, the innovative ImageStamper.com can provide this exact service for flickr photos. We used ImageStamper to time stamp all 157 photos used in Jesse Dylan’s ‘A Shared Culture‘ so that we would have proof, going forward, that a particular work was released under a given license. WebCitation.org’s archive feature provides essentially the same functionality for any given webpage and also provides a permanent URL for the snapshot.

Useful to remember that we're not only responsible for attribution, but for verification of the license. Even in the goody goody world of shared content, you need to watch your back.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hidden Object Fun for a buck, lots of games half off at Big Fish Games.

Jay is Games noted on Friday that, until Monday, the 27th, you can pick up Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst for only 99 cents.

I'm not a gigantic fan of hidden object games, but the Mystery Case Files series makes a bigger effort than most at maintaining a cohesive narrative throughout the game. And, really, a dollar is the right kind of price in any event. If you try it and like the gameplay, you can Return to Ravenhearst when the title is released later this year...

Edit: Holy crows, I didn't realize until I dinked around on the site some more that Big Fish is selling a bunch of older stuff for 50% off, in addition to the Ravenhearst sale. If you just use the coupon code "Octoberfest" at checkout you'll get a great discount on the games on that page. If you sign up for the game club you can also get branded swag for buying the Oktoberfest games. I have to admit, the prospect of another coffee mug isn't going to make me any more excited one way or the other, but the sale is a chance to get game club prices without actually signing up. Always a good thing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

KlatchPDX Becomes Breakfast?

So I was thinking - this whole notion of a salon of sorts. Why can't we steal the momentum of the Portland Twitter Breakfast and make the "discussion of interesting things over coffee" into "discussion of interesting things over coffee and a variety of breakfast items"? We (well, three of us) are already having breakfast once a week - if we shrank it to every other week and slated topics, my work here is done, yes?

We'll make the most anti-Rotary breakfast-eating organization ever. And once per quarter Brambercaseyo will show up, and it'll be super big funz.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Governor of Poker

There aren't very many sites out there with a ton of Mac content, but Big Fish Games seems to be making a concerted effort to bring a lot of casual gameplay to the platform with a minimum of fuss.

My current addiction is Governor of Poker, a Hold 'em game that combines table skills with stake management, heads-up, tournament and cash games. You play a diminutive man or women who speaks softly and carries a big hat. In the game's "quest mode," you start with $300 and a dream, and by the end of the game (in theory) you own the entire state of Texas. The progression from dirt farmer to wagon-owning tycoon is very reminiscent of the old lemonade stand games, and is pretty dang fun (plus, duh, poker).

My only quibble is that I have yet to identify a marked difference in AI/computer play styles based on the difficulty level selection. The AI is fairly sophisticated (for example I have seen intelligent check-raises from computer opponents), but the starting hand standards never seem to get much better than "pretty dang loose." You have to account for that in your own play style, but on the other hand, that's probably excellent practice for all those charity casino nights or your Saturday game...

Thank heavens I'm free of my terrible Fairway Solitaire addiction, but now I'm afraid that Gov. of Poker will occupy just as much time and space...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

50,000 Divided by 30

1,666.6 repeating. That seems oddly satanic for a writing event, a celebration of right braininess, but in any event, that is the number of words you need to write per day if you're going to make it to the end of National Novel Writing Month with a 50,000 word fictional work. You could also go by rough number of double-spaced pages per day, which rounds up to six.

Rounding up is key. For example, if you hit 1750 words for ten days (a nice running start), you have effectively given yourself a half-day respite - you can have a day where it's just not in you to crank out the words. The biggest deal about the daily number is that you cannot fall behind too much or it just becomes impossible. The 25th of November arrives and you have to write for three days straight to get back into sync with the terminal goal.

This is half by way of pep talk to my #nanoPDX tweeps and partly to remind myself that, as the sun rises on Carmen's birthday and the candy hangover subsides, I have an assload of writing to do.

Good luck to everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Victory was Mine

So after much haranguing from east-siders, I ventured over the Hawthorne bridge to the Victory Bar (on Twitter as @victorybar) for some of this:

(Photo by DLReamer.)

That, my friends, is spaetzle. Baked spaetzle with gruyere and crispy shallots. And a tiny pot of very tart apple sauce. Very, very good. Texturally very similar to a gnocchi (less like mac & cheese than some have made it out to be), warm and toasty with lovely crunchy shallots. It was worth the trip, and because the Victory happy hour stretches to 7:00, it was a mere $5.

Not satisfied to report on only one thing, I also tried the jalepeno and cheddar hush puppies. You get three of them, with some house made ketchup, and they too were delightful. It was during the hush puppies (unabashedly fried but not greasy) that I was alerted to the George Foreman Fry 'n' Spin by Gizmodo. Thus my evening was complete.

Thanks @xolotl, @betsywhim, and @natronics for badgering me into crossing a bridge. :P

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fantasy President '08

Better than brackets, Peritus Pundit has a fillable electoral map allowing you to call the election. At the moment, the consensus is that Obama will win with 282 electoral votes, but of course that will change as others log their maps. The great thing - if your prediction is right (I'm assuming that means exactly right, plus multiple tiebreak methodologies, as there's only one first prize) Peritus will donate $1000 to the charity of your choice.

But who cares about that? We all know that the real point is to get all your friends to sign up and then talk trash about their decision to give South Dakota to Obama...

Now playing: MC Frontalot - A Very Unlikely Occurrence
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


So I know it's Fox Soccer Channel. I understand that that's, like demographically enticing to specific types of products. But what the heck are you doing trying to sell me: A) A Bowflex home gym, and B) stroke-inducing penis enlargement supplements in a single commercial break? I just want to know what happened in CONCACAF. I'm happy as a clam about my penis. I'm admittedly less happy about my physical fitness but I'm certainly not stupid enough to buy a home gym to remedy that (if I don't use the one that on the first floor of my building, what possible justification would I have?).

This is an open question to the universe - is the ad model for cable (satellite, whatever - specialized, small-slice TV) so far gone that the offers that automatically redirect into my Gmail spam folder are front and center on the tube? Are we at the place that entrepreneurship and mass media are mutually exclusive? What about bitchin' gadgets? Where are they advertised? If I switched to G4 would I not have to sit through the same fucking ads for Maxoderm?

And while we're on the topic. The only time "she actually got it for me" and "penis enlargement product" are in the same hemisphere is when you're advertising the aforementioned product. Pure fiction. I have it on wifely authority.

As I type this rant, I am treated to a Life Alert commercial. Y'know, fallen. Can't get up. Suffice it to say that the targeting is not exact. Lawdy lawdy lawdy.

Migration Imminent

CamiKaos has inspired me to make the Wordpress jump sometime pretty soon. Between her and this amazing post about plug-ins I don't figure I can go that wrong. Plus it'll finally give me a chance to give Thesis a whirl.

Of course, I'd be a lot happier about it if I had an @verso following my every misstep, but we'll just have to plow forward...

Now playing: MC Frontalot - Wallflowers
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 6, 2008


I'm having serious issues with the number of aggregators that I'm using to aggregate my activity on other aggregators...just saying.

Can't there be one central clearinghouse without everything becoming the competition for clearinghouse-status? Is this like really hard?

More later, just complaining.

Now playing: MC Frontalot - A Skit About Vocations
via FoxyTunes