I am having problems with Quicktime and iTunes sound on Windows XP. The audio sounds bad: it “stutters”. I have restarted the computer, reinstalled iTunes, no luck. Any ideas?

I opened an account with Broadvoice (20$/month for a nyc phone nr using voip and unlimited calls to USA, Canada and a bunch of other countries including Belgium).

Setup surprised me. You just plug the tiny box they send you into your router (a wireless/router is like 20$ these days), plug in any standard old phone and it works! No setup. No websites to navigate to. No codes to enter. You don’t even have to turn on your computer. Pick up the phone and you get a dialtone, and call mom in Belgium and it works. Nice.

The WordPress people are doing a bulletin board. I’m looking forward to it! I have been very dissapointed with most existing solutions, and even Drupal isn’t really what I need (which is a simple board but with effective controls – I know, that’s not a spec). bbPress

I just made a small contribution to the tsunami relief effort through Amazon and it really only takes 6 seconds and it’s really easy so you could too.

Automated classification: in response to a question about Teragram Categorizer, which combines automatic classification with rule-based classification, Seth Earley wrote this on the SIGIA-L list, which (it seems) isn’t being archived anymore which is why I repost here:

“IBM spent a lot of time and energy developing Discovery Server which was supposed to do clustering, automatic categorization and taxonomy generation. The terms were machine generated and needed intervention by human indexers. The algorithms were supposed to learn from changes to categories and manual reindexing but this process tended to poison the algorithms. Training sets needed to be very large and have good data. I co authored a book about the technology (with Wendi Pohs of IBM). The technology was largely abandoned but some of the DNA is now part of IBM’s Omni Search.”

(I couldn’t find the book referenced.)

The common wisdom among information architects has always been that automated classifiers can be useful, but only if your data is fairly clean and structured (news articles are, an intranet usually isn’t), or if you put in a lot of work developing rules. Does this still hold, or has the technology evolved?

Amazon is trying yet another approach to the problem of scaling tabs. If you rollover the “see all 31 product categories” tab, you get a dropdown box listing all of them, plus a bunch of other links. It’s almost like having a sitemap at the bottom of the page, but at the top of every page.

I wrote before about different approaches to this problem, here’s another approach:

Looking for a PHP auth class. I have tried quite a few, but for some reason none of them really fulfills my needs.

– Mysql, and just a few files to include. No dependency on some adobd class or anything like that that gives me access to lots of databases that I’ll never switch to. I don’t like including 100’s of K’s of data in every page for something I really don’t need. So classes that require lots of other classes to be included are out.
– easy to use: easy to log user in, out, check for login. I can point it to an existing user table (I don’t want it to use its own tables), …
– “remember me” checkbox function and “forgot password” function.
– stable and mature.

A decent auth class in PHP is like sortable tables in HTML – it seems like someone should have done a decent version after all these years, but maybe they haven’t.

Address bar knows all: “Go up to the address bar in your browser and put up each letter in the alphabet.”

A is for http://amazon.com/.

B is for http://bloglines.com/myblogs.

C is for http://crule.typepad.com/, a videoblog.

D is for a dev site that’s not publicly accessible.

E is for another non-public dev site.

F is for http://www.flickr.com/.

G is for http://groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging/messages.

H is for http://hotmail.com/.

I is for http://india.poorbuthappy.com/.

J is for https://joker.com/index.joker.

K is for http://knowspam.net/, an anti-spam service for email that I really like.

L is for http://localhost/.

M is for another non-public dev site.

N is for http://www.nymosaico.com/

O is for (PDF!) http://www.oclc.org/dewey/news/newsletter/ddcnews200401.pdf

P is for my non-public weblog posting url.

Q is for (Quicktime movie!) http://qtss.usip.org/video/2003/colombia/open.mov

R is for http://ryanedit.blogspot.com/, another videoblogger.

S is for yet another non-public dev site (a wiki).

T is for https://www.typepad.com/

U is for http://uzipp.com/, my host for this site.

V is for http://video.poorbuthappy.com/watch/

W is for http://wordpress.org/

X is for http://x.nnon.tv/, another videoblog.

Y is for http://www.ysearchblog.com/

Z is for http://www.zend.com/php5/contest/contest.php

Which suggest that I spend most of my time reading blogs, using online services or developing my own.

Do you speak Frenglish? ~ Naked Translations:

“Coordinator: “Please write your ideas on the flip-chart.”
Celine: “Veuillez noter vos idees sur le… le…”

What’s flip-chart in French?? Don’t panic, don’t panic.

“Le… le…”

19 pairs of eyes are on me. I can feel drops of sweat slowing running down my cold forehead.

“Le… le…”

“TABLEAU DE CONF�RENCE!”, I finally blurt out, a bit too loudly. I’m sure I can hear a crowd cheering and chanting my name in the distance.

French client: “Tableau de conference? C’est marrant, nous on dit paperboard.” (That’s funny, we say paperboard).”

The filing clerk

James Melzer on the members only aifia mailing list (a good reason to sign up):

“In the hayday of bureaucracy, in the period during and immediately after World War II, central filing of all documents and communications was standard practice at most US government offices and businesses. “The filing room” handled filing and retrieval for everyone in the organization.

Every document and communication was produced in triplicate – one for the central filing system, one for the recipient, and one for the sender’s own filing system. This dual filing system – things on a person’s desk vs. things in a central file – provided both a personalized structure and a central structure that could be managed independently. Librarians called Clerks handled both categorization and retrieval from the central file. This was a crucial element of this system’s success.

During World War II, the city of Washington was basically one huge filing system in support of a handful of decision-makers. Efficient? Not really. Effective? You bet. The Depression made labor dirt cheap, so filing staff were a dime a dozen.

And then the personal computer and downsizing came along, and all that went into the toilet. People could create, file and retrieve documents from their desk – why would you need the overhead of a central filing room? Records managers literally resorted to waiting for people to retire and raiding their desks for files. The IT Dept became the new file room, but IT services were radically different clerk services. IT provides infrastructure; not filing; not retrieval.

And now an entire industry has grown around the need to build effective intranets to essentially re-create the functionality of the central filing room. Corporate librarians are being retasked to help out. Consultants are being brought in. IT is getting involved. Was money really saved by eliminating the file room? Can anybody find anything?”

Harrold Pollins: “I was in the Orderly Room, and my particular task was to be the filing clerk. There was little to do as only a handful of correspondence came into HQ and a similar small amount was sent out. It didn’t take long to accomplish my daily task. I had a few files, marked KVC (for K Lines Victory Camp) 1 or 2 or 3. Memory suggests that sometimes I got confused and some items were marked by me KCV. But no-one ever looked at them so it didn’t matter.”

A little stat: for a month, I ran a skyscraper google ad with 2 ads instead of the skyscraper google ad with 4 ads on a website. Clickthroughs went down from 0.4% to 0.3%. The detailed stats make me believe this change wasn’t a random fluctuation, but due to the change. (A change from 0.4% to 0.3% clickthroughs means a 25% decrease in revenue. )

Here’s Jay explaining how playlists work on me-tv. The idea with these is that our users create their own help systems by explaining how certain features work to each other, using video. The About me-tv playlist (keyword aboutmetv) will automatically pick up these explanations.

O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2005: (About Flickr an opening up API’s as a business strategy): “Capturing the creative energy of the hive can be scary. It requires giving up some control, and eliminating lock-in as a strategy.”

Opening up your API’s doesn’t reduce lock-in! If an ecosystem of applications develop that depend on your API, how exactly does that reduce lock-in?

I just bought 512M of RAM for my laptop. Can I keep the old 256M RAM in there and have a total of 768, or do they not mix? My laptop is an hp pavilion 5700 running Win XP. And if not, anyone want an old 256M RAM module?

Why on earth would a spammer make it super easy to filter them out by adding the unusual word “holdem” in every post? I don’t get it.