October 2003 Archives
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senorjosh.comOctober 2003
the eight
October 28, 2003
I had learned a little about chess on my own in the prior week, even before reading the chess books he'd included: enough to know the difference between tactics and strategy. Tactics were shrot-term moves to position yourself. But strategy was how you won the game. (229)

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Posted by senorjosh at 09:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
site b
October 27, 2003
last thursday i was given permission to take a new digital video camera into one of Cape Town’s poorest slums, to make a short documentary film of one man’s efforts to “bridge the digital divide”. at 9am friday i squeezed my head into a helmet and climbed on the back of my subject’s motorcycle. twenty minutes earlier, having realized that i had no idea how to make a documentary (other than “using the camera”), i had taken the advice of an online guide on “video for change: a practical guide for activists” and tried to make a storyboard. this is what i ended up scribbling in my notebook:
  1. talk to andy [the motorcyclist/digital divide bridger]
  2. talk to other people
  3. take pictures of the school
  4. do other stuff
afterwards i drew a bunch of arrows to show how i could creatively reorder 1-4 for dramatic effect.

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Posted by senorjosh at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
first quarterly report
October 26, 2003
submitted to the watson foundation 10/29/03

“What is the point of the Watson Fellowship?”

I hate that question. Everyone asks; everyone gets a different answer. The truth is, I don’t think a good answer exists. No answer is the right combination of informative and vague. Yes, I am here to learn – but what about? About the digital divide, about other cultures, about adversity and ingenuity, or just “about myself”? All of the above, I know. However, in deciding how to spend my time, all of the above do not always point in the same direction. So far, my biggest “progress, difficulties and triumphs” have been in deciding what to do with myself, and in deciding what I want to get out of the fellowship.

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Posted by senorjosh at 05:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
creature comforts
October 25, 2003
i am in south africa. i should have said that a long time ago. i have rented a room in a student house near the University of Cape Town, and have been living very well for the past two weeks. after two months of bouncing from room to room and hostel to dingy hostel, having some space to myself is irrationally refreshing. i have a desk, a bed, a broken fireplace, a dresser, a bathtub, a washer AND a dryer. at first i got a little overzealous with the creature comforts and searched the classifieds for a cheap used car. at one point i found an ad for an ‘84 toyota tercel, US$500, with the disclaimer, "body needs attention." all that mattered to me – i thought – was the engine, so i called the number. the engine, he assured me, was "ship shop. though i must warn you that the body is missing. you will, of course, need a way to transport the engine – that is not included in the price." i didn’t respond to any more classifieds.

i was told last night that "the city in the shade of half a mountain can steal your soul." it sounds like a clue in the mystic novel i’m reading (the eight, by the way – thanks ooh $.35), but i can feel it undermining my desire to be a vagrant traveler. apparently, cape town has become a cliché place to enjoy; i will risk sounding cliché and say that i think it’s a wonderful city. i haven’t taken many pictures yet, but here are a few:


the picture on the left is of the interior of my room; on the right is a view of table mountain (and the city if you look closely); in the center is a naghty baboon from cape point national park. that baboon’s cousin ate my lunch.

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October 20, 2003
He ties the last bag and takes it to the door.  Twenty-three.  There is only the young dog left, the one who likes music, the one who, given half a chance, would already have lollopped after his comrades into the clinic building, into the theatre with its zinc-topped table where the rich, mixed smells still linger, including one he will not yet have met with in his life: the smell of expiration, the soft, short smell of the released soul.

Continue reading "disgrace"

Posted by senorjosh at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
IMSA paper published
October 18, 2003
The team at Microsoft, with whom I worked last summer, just published a paper on the work we did, and were kind enough to include me as a co-author. The full citation is:

Gemmell, Jim, Lueder, Roger, Blumenstock, Joshua, Solomon, Evan and Bell, Gordon. Telephone, Television and Radio in the Home of the Future Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications (IMSA) 2003, August 13-15, 2003, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.


The home of the future will have an all-digital network for all media, backed by multi-terabyte storage. Users will be able keep an entire lifetime of personal media, and vast collections of media that may be of interest for future viewing, reading, or listening. MyLifeBits is a personal store for a digital life, designed to support efficient organization, search, browsing, annotation, and viewing. This paper describes the telephone, television, and radio components of the MyLifeBits system.

You can download the paper here: Word (2.5MB)  PDF (1.7MB)

Posted by senorjosh at 09:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
island in chains
October 14, 2003
A little further on we saw women chatting in little groups and children playing: we were excited to be approaching civilian life, the first we had seen in all the months since our imprisonment. As we trooped quietly past, the children started shouting at us: 'Kaffirs…coolies', and some even began to throw stones. One little boy of about five was standing on a small platform build in his yard, pointing a home-made toy rifle at us and yelling in his little voice: 'Kaffirs, ed skiet julle kaffirs, I'm shooting you.' (59)

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Posted by senorjosh at 07:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
henry V
October 3, 2003
editorial: does anyone else see any similarities between w. bush and young harry? not that bush will ever glitter o'er his fault, but it does seem too tempting to cast w. aside as a frivolous youth, when he is in fact much more intelligent and dangerous...

  Suffolk first died;  and York, all haggled over,
  Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteeped,
  And takes him by his beard, kisses the gashes
  That bloodily did yawn upon his face,
  And cries aloud, “Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk!
  My soul shall thine keep company to heaven.
  Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast;
  As in this glorious and well-foughten field
  We kept together in our chivalry!”

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Posted by senorjosh at 06:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

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