Commodity Media

October 31, 2006 | personal
One of the things that continues to amaze me as computers become increasingly ubiquitous is how entire industries are beginning to vanish because their product has become superfluous. Nearly everyone following the tech sector knows that the decline of the media cartels has already begun: increasing numbers of bands are bypassing traditional recording labels and posting directly to iTunes and similar services; amateur directors are posting videos on sites like Google Video and YouTube rather than...

Awesome! This makes it an impulse purchase!

October 31, 2006 | personal, technology
Sometimes, I have to wonder whether computers have a sense of humor. Yes, technically, it is a discount, but I think Amazon might want to consider not displaying the discount if it’s under, say, five cents.

WWDC Monday: Meeting the Savior

August 8, 2006 | personal
Amazingly, the woman at registration was right. I fell onto the floor got up at 5:30 AM, groggily showered, grabbed a bagel and some OJ at a patisserie that was apparently run by the bitter sister of Soup Nazi, was politely asked for “loose” change about forty-two times by people who admittedly looked like they probably needed it, and then went to Moscone to find a line that already arced its way around the convention center. Apple let us approach the Presidio in steps. First, at seven, they let...

WWDC Sunday: Preparing to Wait

August 6, 2006 | personal
Today was…long. The fun started when I got a call at 7:20 AM reminding me that my car was coming at 8. For some reason, I’d had in my head it was coming at nine, and so decided that I’d wake up at about 7:30, spend 45 minutes packing, take a quick shower, and be ready to go. Instead, I pretty much literally just dumped a wad of clothes into a suitcase, jumped into the shower, and proved that you can easily run with a 35-pound suitcase if you have enough adrenaline and don’t really care about who...

WWDC, Baby!

July 26, 2006 | personal
Because I’m working on somethingerother for Fog Creek Copilot (hint: rhymes with Pack Client), I learned yesterday that I’m going to be flying out to San Francisco to go to the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference! Which, of course, opens up the next question: will I be the first to legitimately call bingo? Here’s to hoping…

IMDB: Idiot-Manipulated Database

July 26, 2006 | personal
Good news: Benjamin Pollack is now listed as starring in Aardvark’d. Bad news: Banjamin Pollack is still listed, too. Great News: I apparently have been a writer, producer, and editor.

The Filmography of Banjamin Pollack

July 17, 2006 | personal
I have always had a hate-hate love-hate relationship with the media, particularly when I’m in them. On the one hand, it’s cool being in front of that many people, but on the other hand, the media’s success in actually quoting what I say and getting my name right has been fairly abysmal. One of my first TV appearances, for example, was made when WISH-TV, a local CBS affiliate, showed up at school one day and wanted to interview me and two classmates for our work on the Legacy Initiative, a...

Getting an Apartment in New York

June 5, 2006 | personal
There are lots of things to love about New York, but I’d like to think that even the most diehard New Yorker would admit that the housing situation is as easy to decipher as a message sent by an Enigma machine in Sanskrit, and about as pleasant to deal with a hungry Reaver. In recent days, I’ve been in a fight with various New York agencies as I try desperately to get permission to give them a ton of money. You see, I’m trying to rent an apartment on the Upper West Side directly adjacent to...

Gearing Up

May 21, 2006 | personal, programming
After a semester of virtually no coding, I’m preparing to return to New York to do more work for Fog Creek on Fog Creek Copilot. This will be the first time in my career that I’m returning to a code base that I haven’t seen in a bit over a year. In some ways, this is very exciting. Knowing that something I put so much time and effort into has proven to be truly useful to a large number of people is extraordinarily gratifying, and getting a fresh chance to fix all the little things that I ran out...

Return to the City

January 1, 2006 | personal
I love New York City. Sure, it has its flaws: the air reeks in summer, people are surprisingly rude and insensitive (and desensitized to people acting that way), the city whines, groans, and clanks at a painful volume, and the crowds move with all the speed and grace of a human mudslide. Despite that, I love it for all the things that it gets right: the superb mass transit, the unsurpassed arts, and the melting pot of worldwide culture that lets you wander in and out of America while staying...