“I want you to play like you’re 7 years old at a recital. I want you to play like your mom’s in the room. I want you to play like you’re miles from home, and your legs are dangling from a boxcar. Or play like your hair’s on fire. Play like you have no pants on.”

Stuff Tom Waits says to his musicians to get them to play how he wants



On The Fence episode 2: Occupy Wall Street

On The Fence episode 2

Here’s episode 2 of the On the Fence podcast. Steve and I talk about Occupy Wall Street, and whether there’s any chance at all of Herman Cain becoming president. But here’s the thing: you can now subscribe in iTunes.

Posted: Thursday October 20, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment


Occupy Miami photos and video, October 15, 2011

occupy miami

Click through for my photos and video of Saturday’s Occupy Miami protests.


Posted: Tuesday October 18, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment [4]


Main thing I want to --and can't-- do on my iPad

Rate photos. I’m talking about the 0 to 5 score that can be stored in an image file’s EXIF data. I’m talking about getting a batch of photos previously synced to my Mac to the iPad (perhaps in a reduced size), viewing them in a Photos-like app that allows me to set the rating (and maybe make other EXIF edits, but that’s strictly gravy), and then sync the ratings back to the original files.

You have NO IDEA how badly I want this. I’m learning iOS development in hopes of building the app that’ll be able to do this (Filterstorm Pro comes close, but ends up failing I think). The reason: I believe that my photo library will outlast any single photo organization software. Hence the EXIF approach. It’s the reason I use Lightroom instead of Picasa or iPhoto (tho I’m considering just using Bridge exclusively). But for me, looking at photos and making judgements is 100 times more pleasant on the iPad than on a computer. On the Mac, it feels like work — like a chore. On the iPad, it’s practically a game. I don’t know why, but I NEED this. Eventually, Apple will make an amazing iPhoto for the iPad the way they did with GarageBand. But I can’t wait any more. Help!

Posted: Friday October 7, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment [3]


“Like a father fingering his Blackberry rather than playing with his kids, Congress shows us that we don’t matter.”

Lessig begins to lay out his arguments for reforming Congress.



Published yesterday, my rant at The Atlantic about text messaging fees and how the new iOS begins to do away with them.



Six things the iPhone and iPad still can't do

  1. Download an image from the internet, crop it, and upload it to a blog
  2. Post a video you find on Twitter to your Tumblr
  3. Download a song from a website and save it to your music app (or generally get music, or anything else, on or off the phone on anything but its “home” computer)
  4. Run Flash (and spare me, the $199 Kindle Fire does it)
  5. Check the weather from the home screen (or display any information other than the date: the calendar app customizes its icon with the current date, but no other app can do this)
  6. Adjust the size of text on a web page

Posted: Wednesday October 5, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment [5]


On The Fence episode 1

Here’s episode 1 of On The Fence, a hopefully weekly podcast by me and Steve of Obalesque. The not insignificant audio issues are all my fault, and will be reduced in coming episodes, I sure hope. An iTunes listing is pending.

Posted: Friday September 30, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment


William Pope.L prints for sale

william pope l

The legendary William Pope.L has three pieces up for sale at 20×200, one each for $50, $100, and $500. I have no idea where to send someone on the internet to first learn about Pope.L … maybe as good a place as any is this interview.

Posted: Thursday September 29, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment


Robb Wolf’s introduction to the Paleo diet includes a link to descriptions of 5 variations on the Paleo diet at Dan’s Plan. Cheese and alcohol remain points of contention.



Login names and passwords, right? What a pain. And “Connect with Facebook” is no better. Well, Jeff Atwood has an idea of what a long-range solution might look like.



The Amazon Fire tablet is released. Pretty much what we were expecting, except that the web browser sounds like it feeds through Amazon’s engine, which supposedly makes it super fast (and able to run Flash) but which is a little icky.



One guy’s not-so-optimistic opinion: “This economic crisis is like a cancer. … The governments don’t rule the world; Goldman Sacks rules the world. … Get prepared.”



Go read my latest article at The Atlantic, Why Amazon’s new tablet could beat the iPad. We’ll all likely have a completely different perspective on this tomorrow, after Amazon makes their announcement.



Lessig's new fight

Copyright activist Lawrence Lessig has given up the fight — he’s realized that before anything else, there’s a more fundamental problem that has to be solved: the corruption of congress by money. In this video, he does a remarkable job of outlining the problem. He does a somewhat less then perfectly convincing job of suggesting a solution. Specifically. Since congress is unable to reform itself, he has a strategy that would — eventually — lead to a constitutional convention, per Article 5 of the Constitution. Bold stuff. This guy’s serious: there is soon coming a book, and here’s his presentation at the Conference on the Constitutional Convention, which he organized, at Harvard, where he teaches:

Posted: Tuesday September 27, 2011 by Alesh Houdek · Permalink · Comment


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