Another Cool New York Times Hack

Robert Langman left a comment on my previous post about meta-data at with a link to a couple of cool mashups that use keywords on the older archive of New York Times material, the paper from 1851 through the early 1900’s.

Check it out here.

Ballpark promotions gone horribly wrong

As we slide into the World Series we remember Five Ballpark Promotion schemes that went wrong. Includes gems such as the Cleveland Indians 10-cent beer night

Management forgot one small detail: drunk people get restless. More than 25,000 fans showed up for the event, most of them already tipsy at the gate. Among the more tame incidents was a woman who flashed the crowd from the on-deck circle, a father-son team mooning the players (good bonding experience, I guess) and fans jumping on the field to meet shake hands with the outfielders. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians tied the game, but never got a chance to win. Fans started throwing batteries, golf balls, cups and rocks onto the field and one even took the glove of the Rangers right fielder. As the player rushed into the stands to get his glove back, fans starting swarming the field to stop him and threw chairs to block his way.

Full list at Mental Floss.

Open Sourcing the New York Times

The New York Times has a blog about open source projects and today they shed a little more light on all the wonderful metadata that they make available for folks like Dave Winer to build upon. I sense an open source news hack day coming on.

Current Events

Wafer-thin LCD Screen

Samsung ultra-thin LCD display

40-inch display, 1080p LCD announced by Samsung is less than half an inch thick! You could probably use a glue stick to mount it on your wall.

Full story on engadget.

Widget Summit, a conference done right

Widget Summit 2007 Badge

Earlier this week I moderated a panel at Niall Kennedy’s Widget Summit. It was the second year for this event which he co-hosted last year at the same time, right before the Web 2.0 Summit to take advantage of all the people in town. I want to give a public shout out to Niall for hosting an excellent conference that paid attention to a myriad of little details that often get looked over at other conferences.

Turn-by-turn directions, complete with Google Street view photos to help out of town drivers.

A great web site for the conference. Links to each speakers’ Facebook and LinkedIn profile was really handy so you could get in touch with folks you didn’t get a chance to exchange cards. Adding the MyBlogLog badge was to my page was a nice touch too.

The location (UCSF Mission Bay campus) was beautiful. The building was brand new and the colorful scheme made for a great backdrop for portrait photos. Lane Hartwell, the local flickr superstar, was the official photographer and has a great set online.)

Two-sided conference badges. How many times have you spent an entire cocktail party wandering around only to realize that you’ve been going by Mr. Blank all night because your badge had flipped over. Apparently the design of the badge was inspired by a spirited discussion on a Flickr photo somewhere about badge design.

Peet’s Coffee in take away paper cups. No fiddly china.

The dinner for the speakers at the Slanted Door was an excellent choice and a great way to get the people that are helping define the widget space together. Thanks Niall!.

A job board on the site because you know the widget companies are all looking for talent and they were all there.

Thanks again to everyone that was there for making it an enjoyable two days. See you all next year!

Mary Meeker Tidbits from Web 2.0 Summit

I always enjoy Morgan Stanley analyst, Mary Meeker’s view into the internet industry. Her presentations are chock full of facts and figures and it’s the closest thing to a Harper’s Index for the Internet that we have. Here are some highlights from her list:

91% of mobile users keep phone within 1 meter reach 24×7

Market Cap of Chinese Internet companies is projected to grow from $5B in 2003 to $50B by the end of 2007. That’s 76% CAGR.

A total of 21 billion minutes were spent watching YouTube, that’s just in August! By contrast, people spent 15 billion minutes in Facebook and 3 billion minutes on Wikipedia.

Technology/Internet Trends, October 18, 2007

Related Posts: Mary Meeker at AdTech, April 2005 


Go on, cheat a little

NY Times Crossword Promotion

Yahoo has joined up with the folks at the New York Times crosswords to promote the new Search Assist feature with a contest. The idea is that you fill the puzzle out successfully and you too can be entered into a drawing for one of five trips to Hawaii. Thing is, this thing is a gimme. Next to each clue is a link to a “Hint” which runs a search in the pane below against Yahoo’s Search Assist which will serve things up for you right there and then. It’s a great way to show off the new Search Assist and may give you a new reason to work on your crosswords with the browser handy.

I found out about this via a new group on Facebook. Join Yahoo! Pilot if you want to find out about the latest stuff going on at Yahoo! I can’t believe I found something not written up by the folks over at Yahoo! Cool thing of the Day, my usual source for tweaks and trivia about Yahoo – must have caught them asleep at the switch!


Yes, but ours go to “11”

Yahoo goes to 11

If you haven’t checked out the new Yahoo Search Assist, by all means do. Someone’s finally got the clustered search and suggestive results thing right. Type something into and hesitate just a bit and the pane will come rushing out with suggestions.

On a lighter, Ryan Grove, one of the engineers who worked on the enhancements, points out that our search results now go to “11”

Current Events

SkyMall Mashups

JR Conlin always does these great write-ups on items of interest that he pulls out of the SkyMall catalogs that you always find tucked into the seatback pocket on airlines. In homage to JR as well as a wink to the mashup culture of silicon valley, here’s my version of the genre.

“What would happen if you cross the mashup culture of Silicon Valley with the fanciful gadgets proferred by the fine folks at SkyMall?”

Stress Relieving Wristband Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

Stress Relieving Wristband (74140j) and the Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor (EW3039sj)

Automatically send soothing biofeedback massages whenever your blood pressure trips over a preset limit. One minute you’re arguing you’re point, the next you’re fast asleep.

Smart AC USB Travel MugThree Station Buffet

SmartAC (WGN109j), USB travel mug (ECA139j)

Keep your coffee warm while on the go. Combine with the Three Station Buffet (hlgbcs997j) and you can cook your chili beans, refried beans, and fajitas as well. Stuck in morning traffic? No problem!

Fresh SaverCat GenieSolar Powered Talking Bible

Fresh Saver bowl for cats (lor102j), Cat Genie dome with sidewalls (ptn102j), remote controlled mouse (mtc121j), laser beam cat toy (315261j), and Solar Powered Talking Bible (4110tgh)

Perfect for those long, European vacations. Take the entire Summer off and know that Spots will be taken care of. Food, Shelter, Entertainment, and even a little spiritual enlightenment will keep any family pet safe and sound when you and your family are away.

Laser Guided Pool CueGPS Tracking KeyChild Locator

Laser-Guided Pool Cue (72641j), GPS Tracking Key (tk1101j), and Child Locator (sva114j)

There’s something here, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

Further SkyMall reading for your enjoyment: