named worst site

PC magazine has published a collection of the ‘25 Worst Web Sites‘. Many of them are failed dot.coms (, or crooked ventures, or just bad ideas. But the number one worst site of all time is declared to be Aside from the possible dangers of predatory adults, they note:

Graphically, many MySpace pages look like a teenager’s bedroom after a tornado–a swirl of clashing backgrounds, boxes stacked inside other boxes, massive photos, and sonic disturbance. Try loading a few of those pages at once and watch what happens to your CPU. Watch out for spyware, too, since it turns out that MySpace has become a popular distribution vector for drive-by downloads and other exploits. And in a place where “U are soooooooo hot!!!” passes for wit, MySpace isn’t doing much to elevate the level of social discourse.

Meanwhile, the slightly more mature and sedate environment of has lowered its barriers for participation. It was formerly limited to higher ed students, and the qualifier was having a .edu email address. Now its open to many more communities, and nephew Austen has contacted me through facebook with a friends request. I was also invited to join a group in facebook called “my name is Robert Reed”.

criminal conduct on

The act of impersonating someone on a social networking site such as or is a criminal offense. It can be prosecuted under Florida Statute 817-568 Criminal Use of Personal Identification and Information. This is an identity-theft statute which addresses not only financial damages but also recognizes harrassment and emotional distress. Our UCF police department has charged some students with this activity.

I’m collecting information like this in support of a small grant I received to develop student instruction and orientation to social software as a part of UCF’s Information Fluency initiative.

Studio 60

Good show. I caught the pilot episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Its the latest from the producers of The West Wing and Sports Night. Although I grew a little weary of West Wing in its last season, I liked both shows a lot. And this new one looks just like them; same stable of actors, same repartee, same stunning sets, cinematography and timing. And its got the high paced walk-n-talk scenes, dubbed pedeconferences by fans.

IMDB has some links to recent reviews, but wikipedia seems to be outpacing the Internet Movie Database in currency and general descriptive content. Very interesting that development.

Singing update

Regretfully, I was passed over and was not cast in an opera production for this season. 😦

But I remain active, this week in particular. Tuesday evening is Gina’s first chorus performance with the WPHS chorus, and I will hustle from that concert directly to a rehearsal with the Winter Park Sunshine Jubilee barbershop chorus in preparation for a contest appearance in Jacksonville on October 7th. I haven’t competed in barbershop for a couple of years.

Wednesday evening I will miss my usual church choir rehearsal, (and I’m feeling needed there; recently I’ve been one half of the entire tenor section in that choir.) But I’ll be joining the barbershop chorus in performing that night at a retirement home in Longwood.

Thursday I am hosting an ad hoc rehearsal at our house with other singers in The Caroling Company in preparation for the coming season. I’ll need to brush up on the 30 carols I memorized last season, and learn 30 more songs in sets 4, 5 and 6. This season will start in earnest following Thanksgiving.

Friday night is the only night we could get everyone together for a Makeshift rehearsal at Seth’s house in preparation for our gig on October 6 at the University Club. We’ve got a couple new songs we want to get performance ready for that appearance.
In harmony,
Baritone Bob

Dying of the Highlight

I didn’t read this whole article, because, well, I don’t watch football.

Or highlight shows.

But I suspect I have at least two readers who should find this pretty interesting, about the licensing of pro-sports television rights, video editing of highlight reels, and broadcast network strategies.

Why football clips aren’t as good as they used to be.
By Robert Weintraub Posted Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006, at 3:51 PM ET

Once upon a time, I was a production assistant at ESPN, cutting highlight packages for SportsCenter and other studio shows. It was easy enough to simply cut together the scoring plays. But what separated a good highlight reel from a generic one was finding a turning point or trend that went a little deeper. (read entire article at )

Puppet theater

There is a fairy tale puppet theater in a shopping center that I drive by everyday on my way to work, and it always gives me a wistful pause. Several years back, Gina and I were together and noticed its grand opening announcement in the storefront window. Gina’s immediate and reflexive response was “oh cool, I wanna go!” But I could see a moment of hesitation in the middle of her exclamation, as it occurred to her that she just might be getting too old for such entertainment. She was in 4th or 5th grade at the time, right on the cusp when magical child thinking was slipping away, to be replaced by more palpable delights (and concerns) of middle school, peer approval, and adolescence.

We still frequent that shopping center on a regular basis, but the topic of the puppet theater never again came up. I see the theater storefront almost everyday and remember how we just missed it. If only it had opened a year earlier.