The Gates and Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster)

Plenty of things to check out this weekend in the city. I started yesterday by checking out The Gates. Very neat stuff – It’s amazing they put up 7,500 of those things all over Central Park.

Then today I woke up and headed down to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year parade. It’s the year of the rooster, but I don’t think I saw any. It was all dragons.

I also learned how to figure out what day the Chinese New Year falls on (from Wikipedia):

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, one of the traditional Chinese holidays, is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, which falls on the day on which the second new moon after the day on which the winter solstice occurs, unless there is an intercalary eleventh or twelfth month in the lead-up to the New Year.

It’s so easy!

Of course I took plenty of pictures. I put up most of the picutures on Flickr, but here’s a few of the better ones I took:

The Gates

The Gates

The Gates




WordPress next / previous post links

I just added some next / previous post links to this blog. It was really easy to do it, and I think it is a very nice improvement. All of the functions are already built into WordPress, it was just a matter of finding them.

Here’s the PHP code to place where you want the links to show up:

<?php if($single) { ?>
<div class="nextprev">
<span class="prev"><?php previous_post('&lsaquo; %', '', 'yes', 'no'); ?></span>
<span class="next"><?php next_post('% &rsaquo;', '', 'yes', 'no'); ?></span>
<?php } ?>

And here’s the CSS I added to my stylesheet to get them to sit where I wanted them:

.nextprev {
    height: 1.5em;
.nextprev .prev {
    float: left;
.nextprev .next {
    float: right;

I’m not entirely sure they will stay. I might replace them with something different, like a “more posts in this category” or a “related posts” type setup. I like the idea of flipping through a blog in a linear fashion, and I think it suits this blog quite well since all the content is generally about interesting internet happenings or loosely related technical offerings.

Either way, it’s pretty simple to add them to your own blog, so enjoy!

What’s next for the iPod?

I just saw a post over on 37 signals blog asking whether the iPod is riding a wave of cool or a wave of usefulness.

… I’m wondering when the iPod will tip from cool to uncool. When everyone has something it begins to lose its luster. What can Apple do to ride the wave of coolness for as long as possible? Or is this product somehow immune because of its unique combination of coolness, usefulness, and stylishness? I wonder if the wave Apple is riding isn’t the “cool” wave afterall, but the “useful” wave masquerading as cool? Does anyone ever get tired of useful?

I see it like this: iPods are filling a gap that needed to be filled. People needed a portable way to listen to all those mp3s they downloaded from Napster, and the iPod was (and still is) the best way to do that.

However, I think the lives of all portable audio players are limited because cell phones are going to catch up soon. Why carry an iPod and a cellphone when you can plug some headphones into your phone and have all your music right there? Most new cell phones already play mp3 files, the only problem is storage, and that problem is becoming less and less every day as flash memory gets cheaper and bigger.

After that, we’ll see better digital cameras included in the phones. I’m not talking about replacing high end cameras, but have you noticed the flood of tiny cameras on the market? Nearly everyone I know has a tiny camera they carry around with them everywhere (not even including the cameras on their phones). Once these camera phones catch up to the little digital cameras, you have no reason to carry both gadgets.

Next comes the most interesting part: You start using your phone to download music directly from the iTunes store. Apple has already announced the partnership with Motorola, and I’m sure they understand that the life of the iPod is running out. Motorolapod Shuffle, anyone?

Now back to the camera: tons of people are already taking pictures with thier camera phones and e-mailing them directly to their friends, or posting them on the internet with sites like Flickr.

Why would I buy three different gadgets and fill up my pockets when I could combine them all into one? It’s only a matter of time before phone manufacturers add in more storage space for your mp3s, and hopefully they will stop blindly adding in mega pixels to their cameras and put some better lenses and CCD technology into the camera part of the phone.

UPDATE (02-14-2005): Sony Ericsson seems to agree with me, at least about the music part.