Tuesday, August 23, 2005

change? shit....

i guess change is good for any of us...whatever it take for any yall niggas to get up out the hood.

so on that note:

goodbye philly!
pics

and hello grenada!
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the run-up to leaving the states was pretty hectic: my moving schedule was based on the assumption that i was going to the grand caymans on the 26th, but i found out that i got into grenada on wednesday the 10th (with classes starting on the 15th!). so with the generous help of fin fang foom, dj i have no friends, big brother is watching, one pretentious fucker, and a hand truck (that's an actual hand truck, not a blogger named 'a hand truck'), i moved out of my apartment in record time and flew down to grenada.

i feel like life changed the second i stepped off the plane. things slowed down to a pace that i probably haven't experienced since childhood...and it's been transformative. sure, certain third world inefficiences bug me to no end (all day lines at the bank for example), but it is this same 3rd-worldness (think a less crowded version of india) that shelters me from the nonstop hyperactivity and experiential overload that i have grown accustomed to...i'm basically relearning how to live life.

and so far, my life down here has been great! i'm absolutely in love with this place. my dorm is on a beautiful beach where we float on our backs and watch the incredible sunsets. and you can actually see the milky way down here on moonless nights! it's incredible! the people are great, teachers are great, and i already feel a tinge of sadness when i think about leaving. of course, i wish i my shits were even remotely solid -- and an ocassional steelers games here and there wouldn't hurt either -- but these are reasonable prices to pay.

i wish you were all down here on the beach with me...
all the best,
jesus henry christos, ms-1

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Southern Exposure

Dr. Frederick Douglass Crunk, MD, resident philosophe and occasional medical practitioner, has come out of semi, self-induced retirement to wish JHC a safe journey, as he emarks on the first steps of a (no doubt) illustrious medical career. Welcome to the jungle, motherfucker!

Technorati tags: grace under pressure, mucus, guts, blood, glory, great times.

Monday, August 01, 2005

information overload and speed reading aggregators

at last year's bloggercon III, robert scoble held a session on information overload. the session really got me thinking about ways to process information more efficiently, but since that time, i feel like very little has been done to alleviate the information downpour that many of us choose to wade through.

i've been trying to patch the leaks here and there by employing new technologies and judiciously pruning my feeds: filtering/funneling services like pubsub, technorati, del.icio.us, and myweb2 have allowed me to increase my signal to noise ratio, while moves like 86ing boing boing have been the blogistani version of abstaining from television.

but it's still not enough. at a fundamental level, we just need to start processing information faster...instead of a river of news, we need a neural implant of news. hopefully, digital reading technology will hold us over until my mindjack is ready, so over the past couple days, i've started work on a speed reading aggregator akin to trevor f. smith's speed reading java applet.

so go ahead and try it out and let me know what you think either via comments or email. the demo i put up uses canned post data scraped from scoble, udell, and rajesh jain that i stored on my server to circumvent the xmlhttprequest cross-domain restriction. (if any of you guys want me to remove your material, let me know).

so far, the speed reading aggregator (any ideas for a name?) uses straight up html, css, and javascript to do it's dirty work -- and the hackery is pretty filthy, believe me. tops on the lists of crappiness is the fact that i have to strip posts of all html. i do this because i'm too lazy to implement the logic required to smartly deal with multiple words enclosed in a single tag, especially when it comes to the highlighting code. but hopefully i'll get around to fixing this later this week.

next on the list of features:
  • allow the user to adjust the number of words displayed
  • display words over multiple rows
  • change display speed based on punctuation
  • additional keybindings??? (an emacs set to complement the vi set?)
if anybody has any further ideas wrt this project, please get in touch w/ me. i'm at best an average coder to begin with, compounded with the fact that i have zero html, css, and/or javascript experience, so i'll almost certainly need your input.

oh, and a thanks to a couple other developers: i'm using adrian zentner's string tokenizer and stephen cote's libxmlrequest...

jhc.

UPDATE: i totally forgot to provide instructions...
  1. click on one of the feed names in the top left corner (e.g., scobelizer, jon udell, or rajesh jain). this will fetch the post data and load it into the aggregator.

  2. now, either click on a 'speed read' link above the post you want to read, or just hit 'J' to advance the reader to the first post. the contents of the post will be displayed in the dark gray bar on the top of the screen in a speed reading fashion.

  3. you can change the post being presented by navigating with the 'J' and 'K' keys.

  4. further commands are displayed on the page, but let me know if you are still having trouble.


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