Monthly Archives: January 2009

Troy Polamalu, Muppets, and Coke

The upcoming Superbowl is as good a time as any to see the Muppets’ great Mahna Mahna remixed as  a tribute to the Steelers’ Troy Polamalu:

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My sister and I loved singing the original as kids.  (Still do.)   Speaking of Polamalu, during the game he’ll be starring in a re-imagining of the classic Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola ad.  (UPDATE:  click here for the commercial and my thoughts — in short, it’s cute but doesn’t come close to the original).

President Obama and White House robots

I’ve written before about the Bush administration’s use of the robots exclusion standard to tell search engines and web archives to stay away from chunks of the Whitehouse.gov website.  As of last November, the robots.txt file was nearly 2300 lines long.  (Here’s a copy of it.)  In my opinion, such materials should be freely archivable for researchers and historians.  It’s appalling that search engines or the Internet Archive would be asked to stay away.

President Obama has been in office for barely more than an hour, and the Whitehouse.gov website has already been updated.  And the robots.txt file?  Not 2000 lines long.  It’s only two lines long:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /includes/

Much better.

UPDATE:  The EFF has a posting on presidential orders and memoranda regarding transparency and openess in government.  H/T to BoingBoing via Twitter.

Random Twittery thoughts

The Twittered Inauguration. Though I doubt President Obama will twitter from the podium tomorrow, many others at the inauguration will post tweets, photos, and videos at what the NY Times is calling a “wireless Woodstock.”  Although wireless networks are adding extra capacity, they’re still asking people to try to limit their wireless use.  No shock if Twitter comes to a crashing halt at some point tomorrow.

Twitter as a news source. I like to Twitter, but mostly to aggregate links of personal interest.  But Twitter is increasingly emerging as a powerful source of breaking news.  I turned to it during the Gaza invasion as well as after the safe crash-landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549.  (The most fascinating pic was taken by Floridian Janis Krums and posted through Twitter.)  Though Twitter isn’t necessarily authoritative or reliable, it’s a great way of getting the pulse of what concerns people right now.

You’re in Steelers Twitter Country. One last twittery thought.  Being from the Steel City, no shock that I’m a big Steelers fan.  Go Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII! But I gotta say: last night’s AFC Championship game was a brutal and exhausting four-hour marathon.  As Peter King put it,”If I’ve ever been to a game with more intense hitting, I don’t remember it. This was primeval.”  Like the players on the field, I was seriously worried for Raven Willis McGahee, who was carted from the field after a hard hit from Ryan Clark.  Although it was a physical game, this is not what you ever want to see and I hope he’s ok.  Many others shared that thought, and last night, McGahee was one of the trending searches on Twitter.  I was happy to see many well-wishes for McGahee from Steelers as well as Ravens fans.

Circuit City liquidation

I feel so badly for the folks at Circuit City who are losing their jobs due to the liquidation.  Before law school, I managed an Electronics Boutique store.  Retail management was actually a fun job.  I enjoyed working with people (another reason I love teaching) and it was great to be exposed to continually advancing technology (another reason I love IP).  But my wife wisely persuaded me that law school was a better path than retail management.  I hope things work out well for the folks at Circuit City.