I pointed out a link to Larry Staton the other day, and he pointed back at Jon Udell has been talking about for some time, and I’ve seen mention of it in many places where I go, but I had yet to give a shit. Larry put it in the right context: distributed bookmarks.

My bookmarks are not organized, will probably never be, and keep getting reproduced on each machine I inhabit. In 1998, one of the things I implemented at I.M.A.G.E. was using the Domino LDAP directory to back Netscape’s roaming profiles. I did this again at Thaumaturgix with the iPlanet Directory Server. People liked it; their bookmarks roamed.

With Foxylicious, and as the backend, and tags on the bookmarks, my bookmarks can not only be in two places at once, but organized. However, I will still be adding items to this blank slate, not importing my existing collection.

Tourist Attraction

The Journal News reports that there’s a new reason to visit Brewster, New York.

The gray structure sits opposite Kobacker’s Market and houses several other tenants, including Design A Sign, a graphic-arts company; the American Center for Chinese Studies, a martial-arts instructional school; and Studio One Dancesport, a dance center. The top listing on the building’s roadside sign, though, is Verona Performing Arts — an entity with the same telephone number appearing on Club Verona‘s Web site.

Kropkowski said the village code basically prohibits the operation of an adult-entertainment business within 600 feet of a residence, school or church. He said he was researching whether that standard applied in this case and whether the statute, which specifically lists businesses such as tattoo parlors, pool halls, adult bookstores and movie theaters, can be used to shut down a nonalcoholic bar featuring nude women. Some residents are advocating for that result.

Unwanted Behavior is the sort of thing that will keep zoning codes from being reduced. Someone will have a hard time imagining that perhaps a more usual ordinance would be able to have the same effect.

The Tax Man Cometh

It’s almost that time of the year again, as Ken Jennings recently forgot when he lost on Jeopardy. The IRS has published the 2004 tax guide.

In its history of taxation on this side of the pond, the Treasury concludes

the depreciation provision also means that the Federal tax on business has resumed its evolution toward a consumption tax, once again paralleling the trend in individual taxation.

Which brings us to this link from Jeff Darcy to the Bishop of Liverpool‘s article in The Guardian on using resource consumption as a basis for taxation.

Shifting the burden of tax from labour to resource in today’s world would mean that the most successful businesses would be those which deployed labour as creatively and innovatively as possible so as to use the minimum amount of original material in their products.

In other words, the more successful would be service industries, like telecommunications and prostitution, though I think the U. S. Treasury was thinking more of consumption of goods, not resources.

Amazon Theater

Amazon has introduced the Amazon Theater,

a series of five original short films available exclusively at as a free gift to our customers.

I’ve only watched The Tooth Fairy so far, but it was funny enough that I want to take it home to show my wife. Luckily, I can. Amazon uses these films to sell products used in the films, and are thoughtful enough to let me download it.

Amazon Theater builds on’s long history of teaming with artists and authors to offer exclusive content to its customers. Amazon Theater also makes it easy for customers to discover new products that are featured in the films. Customers can add featured products to their Shopping Carts via clickable product credits at the end of each film, as well as peruse special artist boutiques featuring content from Amazon Theater celebrities Minnie Driver, Daryl Hannah, Chris Noth, Blair Underwood, and Tony Scott.

Not being satisfied with anything, I would like to be able to send it my TiVo for display on the Bigger Screen, while I watch from the Comfortable Couch.

Back Talk

Phil Windley asks,

Have you ever listened to the Gillmor Gang and wished you comment on something that was said?

I have that problem with Morning Edition and other shows. But it’s not so much “commenting,” as screaming at the radio while I’m speeding my way to work. In fact, just this morning, I yelled at Julie Rovner as she kept insisting that health savings accounts do not cause your contributions to go poof at the end of the year.

Turns out that the kind of flexible spending account we’re offered indulges in that particular variety of theft, but the newer health-specific plans do not. (On this topic, see also the Internal Revenue Code section 125, and IRS publications 502 and 969.)

Scarsdale Parking Garage

David Sucher, builder and author of City Comforts, likes to say that urban planning begins with the location of the parking lot, and regrets that more attention is not paid to parking garages. The Village of Scarsdale has a parking place to be filled with a mixed-use parking structure. After an unsolicited proposal restarted the project, the village issued a formal request for proposals and has narrowed the selection to two finalists, Hines, Inc., and Ginsberg Development, LLC. Copies of the proposals are on the village’s website.

I like the pictures in the Hines presentation.

A Trail of Crumbs

I haven’t noted a path to things I find recently, but I found a couple of interesting things on the road last night.

From Jenny, The Shifted Librarian, to Peter Rukavina, then up, because I like the style of his site, and down to this discussion on tract-wrapped candies, wherein a reader links to an article on candy canes at Christianity Today. But it’s from another magazine, Christian History & Biography. Now that’s a topic I’m interested in.

Trading Blocs

John Robb observes that the conflict in Ukraine appears to be over which trading bloc to join, then mentions the growth of the ASEAN bloc, after China joined.

With the rapid rise of the Chinese bloc, its amazing how quickly the world is dividing up. I think we are going to find that the economic integration will go quickly (trade, currency, passport, etc.) but the political integration will bog down (and may never happen).

The United States accepts new members, but strangely enough we haven’t had any successful applicants in a number of years. Membership in the Union is both political and economic.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the massive increase in Federal power, or just with the end of our republican Manifest Destiny.

Federal Telecommutation

c|net reports that Congress is threatening the nomenklatura again.

The provision, authored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), requires several major federal agencies, including the Commerce, Justice and State Departments, to permit their employees to work from home or “telework.” If they don’t, the agencies could lose a $5 million slice of their budgets.

“With all the advances in technology today, there is just no reason to strap yourself in a metal box every morning only to drive to an office where you sit in front of a computer all day,” Wolf continued. “Off-the-shelf technology even allows for face-to-face meetings via video conferencing. So not being able to talk — or see — co-workers on a regular basis is no longer an issue.”

Foreign Policy Questions

George Will has some good questions for the nominee for Secretary of State. Aside from questions which highlight the tremendous irony of her needing to defend an interventionist foreign policy, I like this one:

The European Union, the product of “pooled” national sovereignties, will soon have its own foreign policy, foreign minister, embassies, ambassadors and diplomatic service. Why not replace France with a single E.U. representative?

How will the European Union change representation in the United Nations?