Damn those loggers

I have to say that I agree Dave Winer in this AP article:

“This thing has been blown so far out of proportion,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable to me.”

While I think Dave should have posted a warning ahead of time to users and can take steps to get the sites back online sooner, making this front page news at Yahoo.com (screenshot) is insane, not to mention the ridiculous headline.

Getting your gmail on

Is there any way to specify your default email app as a website in a Windows XP system? Currently, my office workstation has an ancient copy of Eudora I haven’t used in years, but whenever I need to email someone from my PC (I do all my email on a powerbook), I have to copy/paste addresses by hand and use my mac or use Gmail.

It seems like there should be a way to tell firefox my default email app isn’t an app, but is instead gmail.google.com.

update: a bunch of people sent me some registry hacks to make this happen. Seems that all you need to change is this key:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command]

Add the path to firefox and the URL to gmail, and it should work (I’ll try it out in the morning)

It’s all how you look at it

I spent some time with a conservative, Bush-supporting family member (in this recent interview I tell you why mentioning family names is probably a bad idea) recently and while avoiding discussions of politics altogether, I came to realize this person was enjoying benefits from the very things they were fighting against.

We were talking about the family member’s long-time opposite sex partner that they’ve been living with for years, but not married to. They have signed all sorts of paperwork making sure that one can visit the other in the hospital if the need arises and act as decision maker if the other one is incapacitated. They also share health care benefits, through a partner plan at one of their jobs. And then we started talking about medical benefits, and how this family member benefited from Medicare in addition to other health coverage, which made doctor visits and prescription fills sound both cheaper and easier than my own high-end health plan.

Then it dawned on me — this family member that supports a president that wants taxes low, gays not married, and totally privatized health care enjoys many benefits and rights that a gay couple can’t have (while still being unmarried themselves) and also has access to socialized medicine. I never really thought about it, but most people in this country don’t want socialized medical care for all, but everyone over 65 gets it. I know gov’t health care has its drawbacks, but while people throw huge numbers around about how much it’d cost, how much debt we’d incur, and how much we’d have to raise taxes, we already have socialized medicine for a large (and growing) subset of our population. It’s a strange world we live in these days.

Gmail contest winners

First off, let me just say I got a ton of response to my gmail photo invites thing and among the entries I got far too many good ones to pick just a few. I actually used gmail’s built-in tools to track everything. By labeling all incoming entries, I can see in one click that 118 people sent a photo link in. Of those, I put a star next to 36 I liked on first view. Of those, I narrowed them down to 31. Among those 31, there was something compelling about the colors, lighting, and/or subject matter and any one of ten could have had the top spots. I’m going with my gut reaction on first viewing but here are the three winning entries:

a kite photo, a net photo, & a sunset photo

It was really hard to pick the top three, as any one of these could have also been there. If I had more invites to give out, I would have thrown them all into this list, in no particular order:

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

I learned some things in this experiment. The biggest one is that when I said “send in your best photo” I figured that meant the best composition with the best lighting and most technically superior image. What most people sent was their finest memory captured on film, regardless of photo quality. It was eye-opening to me, and told me a lot about over a hundred strangers. I got to see many, many photos from vacations and untold numbers of sunsets. It’s a fantastic way to experience meaningful moments in peoples’ lives, by seeing these photos. I’ve been getting way too far into the technical side of photography for the last year or two and forgot that photography is first and foremost a way to record memories.

Overall, I got to see (and share here) many wonderful photos and memories from those that sent them in. I wish I had more invites to give and thank everyone for participating.

New Beastie Boys

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a couple weeks ago I got a copy of To The 5 Boroughs, the new Beastie Boys album. It’s not much of a growth for them, sounding a lot like their previous record Hello Nasty. Most of the songs are somewhat forgettable, but MCA gets props for the following rhyme in It Takes Time to Build:

We got a president we didn’t elect,
The Kyoto Treaty he decided to neglect…

I never thought environmental treaties would make it into mainstream hip-hop songs, but the Beasties proved me wrong.