Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Oct 22 2007
I really enjoyed this video presentation by Michael Wesch on how we make, find, and share information in a world where we've shed the idea of paper as our sole medium for storage and communication -- where ideas can munge and mix freely, thanks to digital collaboration.
Now, of course, as a fan of paper for certain kinds of work, I always feel like jumping in at this point to defend our pulpy little friend from what sometimes turns into a blanket party.read more »
Merlin Mann | May 30 2007
"Email bankruptcy" was a term I first heard in the context of Lawrence Lessig deciding to throw in the towel by telling everyone to whom he owed email that he was starting over (and that important stuff should be sent again).
Last week, the Washington Post had an article on the practice that traces its origin (or at least its naming) to the end of the last decade:
The wonderful access to one another that email gives (or, put differently: that it causes us to cede) can be a great thing. But I have to admit that bankruptcy alone may not even be enough to save me (or you).read more »
Merlin Mann | Apr 7 2007
Way to innovate, Redmond. Once the period of EMI's exclusive deal with Apple has ended, this should make both Zune owners very happy.
Merlin Mann | Apr 5 2007
So far, Google Desktop for the Mac isn't moving me.
I like the idea of it a lot. Integrating my Google and local searches and theoretically improving on Spotlight's UI and indexing foibles are laudable goals and, to my mind, could be useful additions if they're done properly. But, based on, admittedly, just 24 hours' usage, it hasn't provided a lot of new usefulness for my own purposes that isn't better served right now by a combination of Quicksilver and Spotlight.
When people ask me (ad
Merlin Mann | Mar 25 2007
Since the new TV can handle video up to HD's 720p resolution, there's been a lot of speculation about whether the iTunes store will eventually start selling HD content, such as TV shows and movies. You can bet that the desire for that quality of presentation is theoretically out there (at least it is for this HD TV owner). The problem, as many folks have discussed at length, is that the file size for HD movies, in particular, may be prohibitively large for the garden-variety home broadband user.
As Greg Keene notes, "With simple math, we can extrapolate that a 2-hour movie would be about 3.9 GB." That's not only a substantially lengthy download for, say, a residential DSL subscriber, it also represents the investment of over 10% of the available space on the Apple TV's drive (as well as, it should be noted, an equivalent chunk of space back on your Mac or PC's disk).read more »
Merlin Mann | Feb 15 2007
The Blogging Church
A few months back, Brian Bailey asked me to contribute a short essay for his new book, The Blogging Church: Sharing the Story of Your Church Through Blogs (neat idea for a book).
As I'm sure Brian realized at some point, a lot of the advice in the book (creating an online image, deciding who the blog's for, and improving your blog over time) will also be of interest to small business and garden-variety bloggers. I enjoy Brian's writing and think he has a sound grasp on what makes blogs work (or not). Good stuff, and red meat for anyone thinking of taking their church (or their business or their kittens) to the web.
Here's an excerpt from what I sent him.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 12 2007
Two recent articles in the New York Times would seem to put to rest -- at least for the foreseeable future -- any hopes or speculation that the new iPhone will be allowed (nb: I did not say able) to run third-party OS X applications (previously: 43F Podcast: Snell & Gruber on iPhone applications and Let OS X developers at the iPhone. Please.)
Regrettably, the word on this one comes directly from the Steve's mouth (2007-01-12):
David Pogue's seemingly exhaustive iPhone FAQ also underscores what we'd been hearing via these drams of dolor (2007-01-11):
Well, there you go. Apple appears to be on the path to providing its iPhone customers with a pantry full of excruciatingly beautiful crockery and flatware that may never be set down for chow. (But you can bet we'll always know it's there -- even while we're eating takeout with our assigned spoons).read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 11 2007
Like a lot of my friends, I (probably naively) took the announcement to mean that, as on my own Mac, I'd be able to install Cocoa applications built to take advantage of announced features like WebKit, Core Animation, and so on. Sure, given the foreseeable hardware limitations, these wouldn't be the exact applications that we're each running on our MacBooks today, but, hell, I'd take "OmniOutliner Mobile" or "iTerm Lite" or "Textmate for iPhone" in a heartbeat. No question.
Yesterday morning, though, I started to hear rumbles about the "inability for users to install additional applications of their choosing." And then later, after Brian from Gizmodo got a hands-on demo along with a sit-down with official Apple honchos, he noted...
...and I died a little inside.read more »
Merlin Mann | Dec 31 2006
I've finally gotten around to reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It'd been recommended to me numerous times over the past few years -- most recently and publicly by David Allen during our podcast episode about procrastination.
I'll save a full review of the book for another time (hint: ala, Bird by Bird, it's a terrific tonic for procrastinating artists), but I can't think of a better way to welcome 2007 than by sharing this quote, which Pressfield borrows (p.122) from the Scottish mountain climber W. H. Murray:
Happy new year, kids. Start something cool.
Merlin Mann | Dec 8 2006
A recent NYT Magazine piece considers the trend toward compulsive gamblers being able to self-ban themselves from casinos and considers the discussions around what this sort of self-imposed "paternalism" might mean.
I don't have much of an opinion one way or another about whether this is good, bad, paternalistic, or what have you, but I was struck by a couple paragraphs that go straight to the heart of why many folks seek out garden variety "life hacks" in the first place:read more »
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