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December 8 to 14, 2003
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Whoo boy, lots of new stuff in the world lately. Guess I'll just jump in:

"For Sale: The American Voter"
It's legal (and has been for years) in over half the states to sell your voter registration information - including name, race, email, street address, phone number, birth date, political affiliation, income range, whether you've owned a home, had children and more - to ANY third party without verification:
Why should you vote, if:
1) It makes you more susceptible to identity theft and spam
2) There's no auditing and evoting systems are highly insecure
3) The electoral college and/or Supreme Court really decide anyway
4) Thanks to large-scale gerrymandering, voters are no longer choosing members to the House of "Representatives" and politics are becoming even more polarized:
This Chinese video has been wildly popular this week: A great "new" way to fold your shirts (it's true, I learned too) the way professionals do in retail stores. You may be able to download it here (links for this are rare):
You should use Windows Media Player to view this, available at:
The Second Coming of Nick Drake
Thanks to (which made Jack Johnson popular) and frequent national touring, Alexi Murdoch is poised to be the Next Big Thing in music. His music continues where Nick Drake left off: acoustic, quiet, folksy, and Scottish. Last week he just turned down a major label record deal:
A good interview showing his thoughts on the music industry: "The response I've been getting from real people is so much more enthusiastic than those people who just wanted to manage my career..."
Alexi has become popular on the strength of his self-made year-old 4-song album on cdbaby, two songs off which have already been featured on national TV shows. Many college/independent DJs and major labels now scour cdbaby regularly for new music by independent artists. When Alexi played to a festival of 7,000 last year, he was surprised that everyone knew the lyrics to his songs already - and he had only seriously worked on his music 18 months before that point, had no manager, and did all the touring himself. Listen to some of the best new independent music at:
(I also note that the Honolulu Jazz Quartet is now on cdbaby)
I've mentioned cdbaby before, but it's becoming a force in the music industry to be reckoned with, thanks to the power of the Internet.

Steve Jobs - the Rolling Stone Interview
With great comments on the music industry:
The String Cheese Incident is taking on ticketmaster:
Details behind the first National Geographic cover story ever to be completely shot digitally:
New Tech
When Apple opened its first non-U.S. store in Tokyo, it created the longest line ever seen in the Ginza district, with 2,400 people spanning 10 long city blocks:
Business Week on "The Rise of The Indian" There are more IT engineers in Bangalore than Silicon Valley now. Startups seeking funds are now asked what their "India strategy" is:
A new way to filter out toxins from the blood has been invented. It uses magnetized nanoaparticles, and may revolutionize current dialysis techniques as well as eliminate certain classes of diseases:
The first 5 nanometer transistor has been developed.

This enables desktop-sized supercomputers and cell phones lasting 60 hours:
"Light brought to a halt in scientific first"
This is another technology that may help the development of quantum computers:
Cerritos, CA becomes the first entire city to go completely wireless:
"Motorist gets vehicle registered online during traffic stop"
A man gets out of a ticket using a cell phone and a friend with a computer:
Keiko, the killer whale that starred in "Free Willy", has died of sudden pneumonia, exacerbated by moves to Canada and Mexico:
It revives "arguments about the life of the world's captive killer whales, and what to do with similar creatures"... does anyone remember the story of Jumbo the elephant?
The Justice Department wants to brand Greenpeace as a criminal operation:
A Pattern Language for Sustainability
Ways to create a sustainable society:
And now, in complete contrast to the above... the Mushroom House, a beautiful handcrafted wooden house in Canada that took 22 years to make:
Advertising is now appearing on airplane tray tables:
A nice slide show on "Aging in America". For the first time in the U.S., there will soon be more people over 55 than 18 and under:
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