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  • Podcast: Petard from Tech Review's Twelve Tomorrows

    Here's a reading (MP3) of the first part of my story "Petard: A Tale of Just Desserts" from the new MIT Tech Review anthology Twelve Tomorrows, edited by Bruce Sterling. Read the rest...
  • How to respond to a bad review

    Stephan J Harper, author of a self-published ebook concerning crime-fighting teddy bears, makes a spectacular appearance in the comment section of Michael E. Cohen's review. [via]...
  • Mid Century rocking chair project

    Oliver Frantelle, from Paris, built this Mid Century rocking chair from the instructions in my book, Maker Dad. He says: "We had so much fun that I wanted to report. First, it looks real cool. Second,...
  • Take Five, the Dave Brubeck Quartet

    As fantastic to watch as it is to listen to.
  • Stonehenge was a circle

    Stonehenge's remains suggest a circle, but archaeologists have finally proven it after a drought revealed what lay beneath the grass.
  • World War II, the story of the 20th century

    World War II began 75 years ago today with Germany's invasion of Poland. A few years back, Alan Taylor did a 20-part photographic retrospective of the war for In Focus, which is well worth the time to...
  • Blogging

    I knew if I waited around long enough, blogging would be the hot new thing again: Sippey, Steele, Spiers. Tags: Elizabeth Spiers   Lockhart Steele   Michael Sippey   webl...
  • The new fashion: phones, Dres, and Insta

    This year, your back-to-school shopping may have included more devices and downloads than pieces of attire. According to the NYT, today's teenagers favor tech over clothes. One retail analysts explain...
  • Making plans is difficult nowadays

    A plan used to be simple: you would agree to meet someone at a certain time and place and then you would meet them there and then. Now, a plan is subject to all sorts of revisions because "cellphones...
  • Custom burgers at home

    Advice from Tom Mylan, The Meat Hook's head butcher, about how to create your own custom burger blend for top notch burgers at home. Don't believe the "bedazzled blend" burger hype. Using fancy cuts...
  • #115: Remembering Jody Sherman

    Jody never took a call by saying “Hello.” He always answered by barking his own name into the phone: “Jody.” As if that voice could have belonged anyone else. He was often in a...
  • #114: The Answer is Just a Click Away

    About twenty people walked into the room, sat down and slid their phones, iPads, and other devices towards the center of the table. It was the last session of the conference and the rules were simple.
  • Confession #113: Get Off My Stoop

    When news of the unthinkable comes, we all head for the front stoop. Today, that stoop is virtual, and the digital neighbors with whom we share the news of the moment communicate with us via tweets, s...
  • Confession #112: Screen Rage

    At five years-old, it’s no fun getting interrupted while you’re focused on something. As a parent, I compensate for that by employing a series of intricately planned measures to guide my s...
  • Confession #111: They Know You’re Reading This

    I was recently complaining to a teller at my bank that the another bank down the street had given my 3 year-old daughter a stuffed horse for nothing more than walking past the front door. I jokingly a...
  • Hiatus

    This blog is on hiatus, but you can follow me on Twitter and at DIY Drones, where I’m posting daily. I’ll use this blog for occasional longer pieces that don’t fit either of those two other spot...
  • The Long Tail of Travel

    For a recent speech to a travel company, we pulled together some data on the changing shape of travel due to low-cost carriers, online travel information and social-media driven word of mouth taking t...
  • Is this how the singularity happens?

    This was one of those freaky moments when the future sneaks up and smacks you. I was on a plane earlier this week and took a break from work to watch the movie while they served dinner. It was Termina...
  • Netflix data shows shifting demand down the Long Tail

    A team at Wharton did some Long Tail analysis on the Netflix ratings data the company released for its Netflix Prize. Although I don’t agree with many of the conclusions in their paper (like some ot...
  • A New York Times Bestseller!

    If you checked out today’s New York Times Book Review section, you’ll see that FREE made the list in its first week of eligibility. It’s #12, tied for #11 (that’s what that little asterisk mea...
  • Instapaper 4: Deciding to Read

    Introducing Instapaper 4.0 for iPad and iPhone The lede here is that my pal, Marco, has just released the stellar new 4.0 version of his Instapaper suite. This is fantastic news, and–as if yo...
  • Cranking

    1. Nothing wrecks your living room decor quite like a giant, rented hospital bed. The one my Dad laid in for a couple months in the fall of 1974 was an alarmingly stiff and sturdy affair, the frame...
  • Scared Shitless

    Merlin Mann - "Scared Shitless: How I (Mostly) Learned to Love Being Afraid of Pretty Much Everything" Download MP4 Video of "Scared Shitless" This is the video of a talk I did last month at Webstoc...
  • Nerdiest Interview Ever: MPU Workflows Part II

    MPU 046: Workflows with Merlin Mann II « Mac Power Users Download MP3 Huffduff It I have the life that I have because I've made a lot of weird decisions, and they've worked out well.
  • Fear

    So, yeah. I'll be speaking at Webstock pretty soon. Which is insanely intimidating. I think I may have my topic. ”Fear” was written by Merlin Mann for 43Folders.com and was originally posted on...
  • Moiré Paintings by Anoka Faruqee

    These moiré patterned paintings by Anoka Faruqee are mesmerizing displays of color that almost appear to be moving, depending on the viewer's perspective. Moiré is two or more sets of li...
  • This Party Is Exhausting!

    (Video Link)Getting tired and bored at a party? Shove a few noisemakers into the tailpipe of a car and rev the engine.Let's scale this up with vuvuzelas and a tractor trailer engine.-via Blame It on t...
  • Kids Who Totally Stole The Show On Picture Day

    Most kids don’t look forward to school picture days, the pictures are taken for their parent’s sake after all, but those wonderful kids who look forward to the experience are destined to g...
  • Steampunk Prosthetic Leg

    (YouTube link)Snell’s O & P has been in business since 1911, and Chris Snell is the fourth generation of his family to make orthotics and prosthetics. Chris recently made this steampunk leg...
  • Pay Japan's Apology Agencies When You Can't Bring Yourself to Say "I'm Sorry"

    (Photo: Rocket News 24)Let's admit that mistakes were made. We both made some inadequate choices, said words that were best left unspoken, and pantsed people in public when it would have been optimal...
  • September 1, 2014

    Happy Labor Day: Hourly wages have flatlined over the past five years. Sweden becomes the first Nordic country with a case of suspected Ebola—UPDATE: It’s been ruled out. About half of the...
  • August 29, 2014

    Obama takes flak for wearing a tan suit, but taupe need not be sad, nay can be sexy, shows Ryan Gosling. The recent, relentless waves of bad news lead people to overestimate the world’s awfulness.
  • August 28, 2014

    We all took an oath of office. And AIPAC, in many instances, is asking us to ignore it. Pro-Israel group may be losing support in Congress. Interviews and satellite imagery show the Yazidi religious...
  • August 27, 2014

    Ceasefire appears to hold in Israel and Hamas’s war of attritition—“an opportunity, not a certainty.” Russia and Ukraine to restart stalled gas talks, pleasing Europeans. The We...
  • August 26, 2014

    As a second strain of ebola breaks out, Japan announces it has an experimental flu drug that could treat Ebola. After receiving ZMapp treatment and showing signs of recovery, a Liberian doctor dies...
  • You don’t have to be pretty

    You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t o...
  • Priya Haji, 1970-2014

    How can we honor Priya Haji, a social entrepreneur, a mother, a friend, an inspiration to us all? She had such heart. Priya believed that everyone, from ex-Presidents to ex-cons, were worthy of respec...
  • Pulmonary Embolism & Advanced Directives

    A friend of mine died this past week, suddenly, of a pulmonary embolism. After she died, I learned that a pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot, typically from the legs, blocks one of the pulmo...
  • The Child and the Shadow

    My notes from Ursula LeGuin’s essay about Hans Christian Andersen and Jung, from her book “The Language of the Night”, “The Child and the Shadow” If the ego “is wea...
  • Which is more important? Being cool, winning, and engaging in consensus reality with other winners? Or catching a glimpse of something miraculous, unforeseen, strange or uncanny, full of chance and po...
  • What Jelly Means

    A few months ago, I found this strange white mold growing in my garden in California. I’m a novice gardener, and to make matters worse, a novice Californian, so I had no idea what these small white...
  • How We Got To Now

    Every now and then in life you find yourself in a situation where you have to pause for a second and ask yourself: what unlikely sequence of events has led me to this point? I had one of those moments...
  • The GovLab

    Several years ago, my friend and now collaborator Beth Noveck began developing a program that she called Peer-to-Patent, a software platform that allowed outside experts and informed amateurs to contr...
  • What Peer Progressives Really Believe

    If you have patience for this kind of online debate, The New Republic is now running my extended response to Evgeny Morozov's review (along with a new response from him). It cites a number of the misl...
  • Tilting At Windmills, The Internet Edition

    Evgeny Morozov has written a long and entertaining critique of my book Future Perfect in last week’s issue of The New Republic. It’s mostly an attack on the “quasi-religion” of “internet-cen...
  • Hamburger Helper

    Businessmen like Ray Kroc and Dave Thomas have secured their places in the annals of the fast food industry. But what about Harry Holly? He invented the hamburger patty molding machine in the kitchen...
  • QUOTE: Clutter is taking a toll on both morale and…

    Clutter is taking a toll on both morale and productivity. Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School studied the daily routines of more than 230 people who work on projects that require creativity. As...
  • PHOTO: Just took an Uber Black Car to the office…

    Just took an Uber Black Car to the office today and noticed that they round down the price and make it clear on the receipt. $21.00 is definitely more luxurious than $21.71. Nice touch.
  • Hybrid : How we took Basecamp multi-platform with a tiny team

    Yesterday we announced the official Basecamp app for iPad. Just like our other apps for iPhone, Android, and Kindle it’s a hybrid—a native wrapper around a mobile web core. We’ve written...
  • Our favorite recent reads on the web

    Each week, Know Your Company asks everyone at Basecamp a few questions, including one that helps us learn more about each other. Last week’s prompt was “What’s one great read on the web you&...
  • Resurrecting Sherlock

    Seasons 1 and 2 of the BBC Sherlock are genius, but Season 3 is...lazy. Can it be fixed? My latest....
  • A restaurant without tips?

    I worked in food service for about 10 years. I always made great tips, and I have no problem with the tipping system. But I found this article on running a no-tip restaurant compelling, particularly h...
  • Grandmothers and the food they make

    Grandmothers from around the world pose with their signature dishes. What beautiful women and what intriguing food. I have a hard time thinking about Caterpillar in Tomato Sauce, but the final dish do...
  • NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

    I'm not particularly nerdy, but I was still surprised that I've read only 23 out of NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books. (Tally your total here.) I enjoy both genres, so I'll use thi...
  • Why I Love UX Week

    Every year, San Francisco company Adaptive Path hosts a conference called UX Week, and I sometimes get to go for a day or so. This year, I was at the opening and the closing days of the conference, an...
  • Library

    A few weeks ago, I rejoined the Library and promptly put several books from my Amazon wishlist on the "request" list. They were sent to my local library (the Chinatown branch, which is near...
  • Sindy's 1972 -1976 Wardrobe

    Oh I love the Internet. I was daydreaming about my favorite doll growing up: Britain's answer to Barbie - Sindy, and I decided to see if I could find images of the outfits I had for her when I was you...
  • Jamie and Me

    This is classic procrastinator behavior. When I was in Ireland, fellow lazy blogger Dave and I made a pact that we would do two blog posts before the end of February, so what do I do? Two posts in one...
  • Tim

    We found out on Friday January 29th that my dad's scan had revealed colon cancer which had spread to his liver. By Monday, February 1st I was on a plane home. I just couldn't stand to not be there. I...
  • Minimum & Maximum Viable Civilizations,

    The physical constraints on the design of civilizations and how this relates to the Fermi Paradox. One of the features of any civilization is information transfer. In fact, this is the principal featu...
  • CERN Talk. Beyond WWW

    Cern talk. David Galbraith: Beyond WWW from divadwg Above is my talk at CERN for the 2013 Open days. It covers the cultural impact of the web. Here’s a video version on the CERN site: Beyond WWW...
  • The First Internet Company In Shoreditch

    In 1994 I started the first Internet company, Realtime Anywhere, in Shoreditch, what is now, 20 years later the center of London’s ‘Tech City’. What was London’s Internet cente...
  • Skunk Puppying: dealing with legal threats with cute animals.

    I registered designskunkworks.com, thinking it would be a good name for an Internet product company, not realizing that Skunkworks was a real, trademarked facility run by Lockheed Martin or that you c...
  • Seminudity of the daughter-embarrassing kind.

    It's been ages, and I kept promising myself I'd do a blog update, and then other stuff would happen, and somehow in there the blog never got updated.So. Right. Lots of stuff has happened since the las...
  • Why I am Smiling In This Picture

    One of the reasons I'm smiling so widely in this picture is I'd just been talking to the people in Azraq camp who run the child friendly space it was taken in. They were mostly from UNICEF. They had e...
  • How I discovered I had slipped into a parallel universe

    Here's things that people would probably like to know...This is the poster for TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS Reading Event at the Carnegie Hall (and it lists the other gigs too. I think there...
  • Important. Please read this now.

    I haven't blogged for a while. I suspect that's partly because I'm back on Twitter, and I seem either to blog or to tweet, and partly because I've been exhausted. Tweeting time comes out of dead time,...
  • In Jordan

    I landed in Jordan late this afternoon. I'm in my hotel right now. I'll be up for a 6 am pick-up -- I need to be at the camp for bread distribution, first thing in the morning.Since the start of the S...
  • My greatest triumph!

    Sorry. I can't resist. John Carson, a fellow runner from Canada, unearthed this photo from the archives of the Toronto Star. It's the finals of the 1500 meters at the Ontario 14-year-old championships...
  • Drug Development

    On Forbes.com, the drug industry analyst Avik Roy has written a comment on my piece "The Treatment" in last week's New Yorker. A few small points, in response. Roy is of the impression that...
  • Speaking Tour!

    I will be doing a short tour of the U.K. next week, speaking on a brand new mystery topic! I'll be in Edinburgh on Sunday May 9th, Oxford on the 10th, Manchester on the 11th and Newcastle on the 12th.
  • Pinker, Round Two

    In Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Steven Pinker responds to my description of him as occupying the “lonely ice floe of IQ fundamentalism”: What Malcolm Gladwell calls a “lonely ice floe...
  • Letting Igons be Igons

    From "Blowing Up," by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, April 22,2002...
  • The Semiotics of Like

    We don't do nearly enough to examine what it means when we perform common actions on our social networks. These aren't just guttural, reflexive responses!...
  • I Know Times Are Changing

    0:00 — 0:10 In the summer of 1983, Wendy Melvoin was just 19 years old. She’d flown halfway across the country from Los Angeles...
  • My Favorite Floppy of All Time

    After at least 15 years of debating whether I should spend money on this, I recently took the plunge and acquired one of my most-desired...
  • Let's Do More

    I've been trying to do more things that are unfamiliar or slightly out of my comfort zone lately. Here's a quick roundup: I got to...
  • Being Less of a Jerk About Faith

    One of my recurrent ruminations of the last decade or so is a bit of reflection on my relationship with religion. To be clear: I...
  • battery feedback loops

    iOS 8 to Include Battery Usage Per App: Along with the features that were demoed on stage, an iOS 8 graphic displayed some additional functions that went largely under the radar, many of which look...
  • four links, may 27

    Maciej's talk for Beyond Tellerand. "These big collections of personal data are like radioactive waste. It's easy to generate, easy to store in the short term, incredibly toxic, and almos...
  • not quite muzak

    Nate Patrin at Pitchfork has a great link-ridden piece on The Strange World of Library Music: If there's such a thing as ephemeral music, this is it—recordings that were meant for a certain mo...
  • metafilter & google

    Matt Haughey lays it all out re. the current state and future of Metafilter. There is a lot of heartbreak in his post; I haven't been active on Metafilter for years, but I appreciate and admire th...
  • a cell network for things

    MIT Technology Review: Silicon Valley to get a Cellular Network Just for Things: [SigFox] will use the unlicensed 915-megahertz spectrum band commonly used by cordless phones. Objects connected to S...
  • What could social journalism do for Ferguson?

    It took too long, but finally the attention of American journalism turned to Ferguson. Is the crush and focus of network cameras and big-paper reporters helping Ferguson or exploiting its struggle? Th...
  • What society are we building here?

    There is no single solution to the plague of trolls, abusers, harassers, lunatics, imposters, and assholes online any more than there is on earth: no one algorithm, no one company rule, no one regulat...
  • Unoriginal sin

    The amazing Ethan Zuckerman argues at eloquent length in The Atlantic that advertising was the web’s original sin, which really is just a corollary to the contention that giving away content for...
  • Absolution? Hell, no

    The good Reverend David Carr grants us absolution. “So whose fault is it?” he asks after chronicling the excommunication of newspapers and magazines from media companies casting off their...
  • Come reinvent TV news

    We’re going to reinvent TV news at CUNY on Sept. 19. Or rather, you will. Do you have a wild vision for what TV news could or should be? Send it our way and you would win $1,000 and present your...
  • September 1, 2014

    Happy Labor Day: Hourly wages have flatlined over the past five years. Sweden becomes the first Nordic country with a case of suspected Ebola—UPDATE: It’s been ruled out. About half of the...
  • August 29, 2014

    Obama takes flak for wearing a tan suit, but taupe need not be sad, nay can be sexy, shows Ryan Gosling. The recent, relentless waves of bad news lead people to overestimate the world’s awfulness.
  • August 28, 2014

    We all took an oath of office. And AIPAC, in many instances, is asking us to ignore it. Pro-Israel group may be losing support in Congress. Interviews and satellite imagery show the Yazidi religious...
  • August 27, 2014

    Ceasefire appears to hold in Israel and Hamas’s war of attritition—“an opportunity, not a certainty.” Russia and Ukraine to restart stalled gas talks, pleasing Europeans. The We...
  • August 26, 2014

    As a second strain of ebola breaks out, Japan announces it has an experimental flu drug that could treat Ebola. After receiving ZMapp treatment and showing signs of recovery, a Liberian doctor dies...
  • tumblr_ll1cw7Nw4t1qc7msoo1_500.jpg (480×360)...
    via http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ll1cw7Nw4t1qc7msoo1_500.jpg...
  • via http://somethingseven.tumblr.com/...
  • but does it float...
    via http://butdoesitfloat.com/...
  • Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe...
    via http://reform.lt/...
  • 80's Touch...
    via http://80s-touch.tumblr.com/...

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