Friendship: Nick Denton recommends Trillian

: Nick Denton recommends Trillian — the UberIM that handles AOL, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, and IRC all at once. I just started using it today and so far, I concur.

Nick also put up a screenshot of his chattin’ buddies and I’m flattered to see my name there.

But I can’t say anything about it. That would be tacky. Nick also says it’s not Etiquiettely Correct (EC) to thank a blogger for a blogroll link (and so even though I’m honored to be part of his selective list, I won’t say a thing, not a thing).

Wonder who’s on his speed dial.

: Which leads me to a whole new calculation of friendship in our modern age. Want to rank the people you really care about and vice versa? Add up these points:

– 1 point if the name is in your email address file.

– 2 points if the name is in your IM buddy list.

– 1 point if you gave them your secret, personal, nonwork email address.

– 1 point if you have what they tell you is their secret, personal, nonwork email address.

– 1 point if you bookmarked their blog.

– 2 points if you blogrolled their blog on your blog.

– 2 points if they blogrolled your blog on theirs.

– 1 point if you know their home phone number.

– 1 point if you gave them your home phone number.

– 3 points if you gave them your mobile phone number.

– 3 points if they gave you their mobile phone number.

– 10 bonus points if they ever sent you money on PayPal.

Now add it up and see who your true friends are.

Vote for me!
: I’m announcing my candidacy for President.

I’ve been thinking about the post below (ever since I posted it, 2 minutes ago), about Fox’ new reality show that will pick a presidential candidate.

And I’ve decided to run for your support as the candidate of the Blogosphere.

The rules say that I have to fill out questionnaires and submit a video and present the testimony of 50 members of my community who will support me.

Well, this is my community. Will you support me?

My qualifications? I’ll fill you in later. My policies? Ditto. I’m media-savvy; that’s what really counts to get started, right?

Vote for me!

(Or if you don’t, I’ll throw my support here or here or here or here but not here, cuz he’s a ferner.)

: Here’s one vote.

The guy who eats the sheep testicles gets to rule the world
: Variety reports that Fox is going to create a reality show to pick a presidential candidate.

“It’s like a cross between ‘The War Room’ and ‘American Idol,”‘ [producer R.J.] Cutler told Daily Variety. “We will be making available to every American who is qualified, by virtue of the Constitution, the opportunity to run for president.”

Just as “American Idol” went searching for undiscovered musical talent, Cutler said “American Candidate” will be on the hunt for untapped political and leadership skill.

“We’re trying to see if there’s a young Abe Lincoln out there, somebody whose vision could turn on the public in an exciting way,” he said.

The series will be seeking “the Jesse Venturas of the world, finding messages people want to hear,” added Kevin Reilly, FX’s president of entertainment. “Hopefully, we’ll find some very qualified civil servant who lacks a power base and maybe also a plumber from Detroit who (tells) it like it is.”

To land a slot on the show, applicants will have to fill out questionnaires, provide videotapes in which they explain why they would make a great president and put together a group of 50 supporters from their community who will serve as sponsors….

The number of semifinalists will be whittled down each week, based on a point system that will factor in competition results, live audience response and telephone/Internet voting. Each episode will originate from all-American locales such as Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty.

The final episode will be an “American Candidate” convention, held on the National Mall in Washington around July 4, 2004 — about the same time the Republicans and Democrats will be prepping their conventions. In a live episode, viewers will then determine the winning candidate from among three finalists.

The winner will then decide whether to launch an official campaign. If he or she decides to make a run, a series of “War Room”-like specials will be produced following the candidate through Election Day.

This is brilliant. No, really, it is frigging brilliant!

This will help set the agenda in the next presidential election. Every big-party candidate will be compared with the candidates here; every “issue” will be contrasted with the issues discussed by the real people on this reality show; every American who wants to vote for “none of the above” will now have a candidate running on that slate.

It makes a statement about democracy (and its openness) and our parties (and their failures).

It is truly democratic.

And it will surely be entertaining (especially when, yes, scandals and skeletons are found in the pasts of the TV candidates, too).

You’ll hear pooh-poohing about this. Ignore it. This will be the best thing that could happen to democracy.

The Digitallenium
: On NPR this morning, a guy who’s trying to preserve artifacts and memories from an Indiana piano-turned-gramophone factory noted that the 19th century was the first that was photographed and the 20th was the first that was recorded.

And this leads to the obvious:

The 22nd century is the first to be digitized.

Nearly everything we do — our media, our communication, our memories — can be stored and searched and analyzed.

How this affects our lives will be the subject of NPR reports in about a hundred years.

Wag nags: Mags’ flags sag — gag! — as rags snag Dag bags, mailbags lag
: Here’s an embarrassingly naive piece complaining about how magazine cover design has fallen.

There’s one reason and one reason only: Newsstand sales. Yes, celebrities sell; that’s why they’re there. Yes, coverbillings sell; that’s why they’re there. It’s marketing. It’s business. This is the same sort of person who whines about movies being in color. Hey, progress hurts.

Nonetheless, the piece does give us a nice sampling of some beautiful old covers.

If you want to see (and buy) lots of great old covers (from my employer, Conde Nast), go to [via BoingBoing]

: VNU reports that Nokia warns of a new trend — warspamming:

Another problem that has presented itself in recent weeks is that of ‘warspamming’. Simply by logging into an unprotected wireless network and finding an open simple mail transfer protocol port, spammers can send their messages to 10 million names while remaining completely anonymous, as well as avoiding heavy bandwidth costs.

[via Corante]

: Wood s lot is doing off the air. No idea why. Maybe the amazing Woodman needs a life or a meal; he found phenomenal stuff, excerpted it wisely, and designed it beautifully. Damn. [via Follow me]

Great moments in pop culture
: I can’t tell apart their smokey, been-around-the-track voices but either Courtney Love or Houston the porn star just said on Howard Stern that her dog died from eating her sample breast implant.