Archive for April, 2011


Dissociated Press Says Au Revoir

[ 3 Comments ]Posted on April 10, 2011 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.

It’s not the end of the world. But it
may be the end of Dissociated Press.

In part due to an incredibly light response to last week’s How Am I Driving? question, I’ve decided to go on an extended hiatus. But this is definitely not “goodbye”, this is more like “au revoir”.  After nearly three years of daily articles about Popular Media, Music, Politics, Lifestyle, Clean & Green issues, and my continual spewing of unsolicited opinion, I’ve simply become too busy with other projects. I’m nearly finished with a book called Why Everyone Should Wait Tables For Two Weeks, I’m working on a small “start up lab” called Amusing Enterprises (not much at that link as of this writing), and perhaps most exciting for me personally, I’m working with two partners on a long-term self-improvement “information product” that will involve seminars, books, DVD’s, and web content. Creating and maintaining a site like Dissociated Press is a blast, so I will almost certainly be back before long, and there’s a good chance that when I do return, it will be with a new brand, and some development partners (contact me if you’d like to be one of them). The name Dissociated Press is clever but too quirky, and doing this alone is just too much work for one person over time. Not to mention the fact that the era of the “web magazine” is at such an interesting juncture. While “dead tree edition” barely has had a chance to become a useful phrase, I think we’ll be seeing another shift that even makes sites like Salon, Wired, or Slate look archaic. Which is a nice segue into another little plug. The tablet and the mobile device are clearly the platforms to watch, and an old acquaintance of mine is light years ahead of many on this. He’s working on a startup called “Defrag”, which he’s calling an “Interactive iPad Magazine of Global Culture”. Learn more about the venture on his Kickstarter page. So as I said, this is not goodbye, it’s au revoir, and ’til we meet again, here’s a little song to keep us in each other’s hearts ….

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How Am I Driving?

[ 2 Comments ]Posted on April 2, 2011 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

While I take a week off, let me know what you think. And just for fun, you can even CALL, at (530) 763-3477. That’s (530) 763-DISS.

Yup. That’s a real phone number.

The motorcycle helmet was starting to feel heavy on my head as the waist-high weeds gave way to the bumper of the car, and the random locust buzzed through the non-existent windshield. “NOW?!?” I shouted, with sweat dripping into my eyes. I glanced over quickly as my brother grinned and yelled “GO FOR IT!”, and with the accelerator jammed to the floor, I flipped the wheel fast and hard to the left, sending the battered Hillman sedan flipping sideways. As a ten year old, few things are more exhilarating than feeling yourself catapulted up in an arc that soon has you upside-down, then right side up, then hanging from your shoulder harness sideways wondering if the sputtering engine is going to blow up before you figure out how to get out of the car. This is part of how I learned how to drive, and explains a little bit about my approach to life. I never did bother to get a drivers license. Even some of my close friends assume I lost it years ago in a drug-induced tragedy involving dozens of children and senior citizens or something. The fact is, I just think cars are stupid, so I don’t have one. I tend to apply this eager and ignorant approach to a lot of things. You learn a lot that way. And that’s part of the approach I’ve applied to this site for a couple of years. I’m enough of a nerd to know how to generate site traffic so that I can generate ad revenue – a business model that has wrecked the web, in my opinion – but almost three years ago, I thought I’d try something different. I thought I’d just try writing actual content, and see if it slowly drew an audience. The result? Well, it has sort of drawn an audience, but only about 10,000 unique visitors a month. If you know how these numbers work, you know no-one’s getting rich here. So I’m taking a few days off to ponder the direction of the site. I’m trying to finish a book, develop another venture (not much to look at right now at that last link) as well as working on a couple of other projects related to personal development or novelty ideas like this or this. So now’s your chance to tell me how I’m driving. I don’t usually LIKE comments, it just means I have to moderate them, and fortunately the only people that have commented much over the last few years were shills like these or Glenn Beck viewers like these or these who think they’re e-mailing Glenn Beck. So let us know what you think. If you’re new to the site, you can always check out our Best of 2010 or 2009 to get a feel. We’re trying to make this easy for you; you can contact us here, or leave a comment, or for maximum amusement, CALL US at (530) 763-3477. That’s (530) 763-DISS, by the way, and that’s a real number. If we get any juicy messages, we’ll post the audio files when we come back in a week. Oh, and to really show your love, you can always donate via PayPal. We’re not profitable, but we’re not non-profit either, so don’t get excited about your tax break. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Introduces “GMail Motion”

[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 1, 2011 by admin in Technology

Friday, April 1st, 2011

If your laptop has a built in camera, Google’s new GMail Motion adds a gestural interface to your computer, partially freeing you of the mouse and control pad.

We’ve talked a lot about the disappointing state of the user interface before; in fact we’re still a little underwhelmed by the iPad. Which is why we’re so excited about the new Gmail feature (still in beta) called GMail Motion. It adds an intuitive, gesture-based functionality to your computer, requiring only a camera, now pretty much a standard feature on laptops. We probably will continue to hem and haw about Google’s escapades, especially after the hilarious story circulating yesterday about how when Google cleaned up their content farm search spam problem, they wiped out their own content briefly, i.e. Google Places. The follow up was even funnier, when, after denying they were in bed with content farm Demand Media, Google execs partied on the Demand Media CEO’s yacht, named – no joke – The Adsense.  CEO Dick Rosenblatt’s followup call was even funnier, with his “dude, don’t talk about my yacht” demand. No wonder they call it Demand Media. But we digress. This new Google Motion tool is pretty cool, you can see how it works and sign up here, or just watch the vid below.

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