Perceived Barriers

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Found via Blogebrity a debate between Anil Dash and Catarina Fake in regards to Flickr’s new interestingness concept.

Interestingness is a variation on online popularity, except that rather than links it’s based on an equation of number of comments, number of visitors, and number of times a photo has been listed as someone’s favorite. When you search on a specific tag, you can select either the most recent photos, or those listed as the most interesting. Of course, like all other rank systems, what goes into this are other factors such as how many people you have listed as your contacts, how many groups you belong to, and so on; as such, ‘interesting’ in this context may not be a universal truth.

Regardless, Anil points out that Yahoo/Flickr has added ads around photos that are listed as most interesting, and asks why Flickr/Yahoo isn’t sharing the proceeds of these ads with the photographer? Catarina responds that there are other rewards other than money, attention being one of them.

Of course, if a person chooses not to have ads around their Flickr-based photographs, they have a method to ensure this: they can designate that all their photos are ‘private’, in which case no one can see them, and they will never be interesting.


The theory of relativity explained

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I called Amtrak to ask about the mysterious extra hour in the schedule, due to Daylight Savings Time ending, and the very nice lady I talked to said that the train actually does stop around 2 in the morning, and waits for time to catch up.

So at 2 in the morning, somewhere in the badlands of North Dakota Minnesota, a lone train will slow and then stop–sitting for an hour on the tracks among the scrub and coyotes, the starry night and the cold, bitter wind.

(Which I guess goes to show that fact is stranger than science fiction.)