Paying For ‘Free’

The privacy costs involved for consumers who pay for ‘free’ services by consenting to invasive surveillance of what they say, where they go, who they know, what they like, what they watch, what they buy, have never been made clear by the companies involved in big data mining. But costs are becoming more apparent, as glimpses of the extent of commercial tracking activities leak out.

And as more questions are asked the discrepancy between the claim that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ vs the reality of sleepless surveillance apparatus peering over your shoulder, logging your pulse rate, reading your messages, noting what you look at, for how long and what you do next — and doing so to optimize the lifting of money out of your wallet — then the true consumer cost of ‘free’ becomes more visible than it has ever been.

The Online Privacy Lie Is Unraveling

Shameless Self-Promotion

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Last year, I got it into my head that I could write a book. Check that, I’ve known I could do it for a long time. Last year was when I finally figured out that, in order to be a writer, one must write, instead of thinking about writing. So, I sat my ass down four or five days a week and banged out a first draft. I then inflicted the book on friends and family. Many revisions and tweaks later I felt I had something polished enough to begin shopping it around to literary agents. The literary agents, so far, do not agree. I chose to go the traditional route for publishing a book because it is still a valid business model. But, following the traditional route, unless an author is picked up by an agent, said author’s book remains a lonely file on a lonely computer.

Well, the hell with that!

This is the 21st Century. I have other options, which, in lieu of traditional publishing, I am choosing to exercise.

I wrote a book. It’s called Impact Winter. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story set about a year after a meteorite impact with the earth. Dust from the impact has shrouded the earth and plunged it into a winter that will last for years. In this bleak setting, humanity struggles to survive. My book is now available for purchase as a Kindle eBook. As soon as the legal stuff is taken care of, it will be available from iBooks and other retailers.

My book! Mine. I love writing those words. Check it out. Also, many thanks to Daily Exhaust Mike for the cover art, as seen above.

9/11

As soon as the day ended, I knew that date would be stuck in my head forever.

I walked to work—from the East Village down to Mercer Street in SoHo. The weather was 70 degrees, zero clouds, zero humidity. It’s sadly ironic, but whenever I feel perfect weather, I think of 9/11.

I watched the towers fall from my boss’ roof. I could feel the ground shake when each tower fell. In the distance you could hear people screaming. When I left work later in the day, the streets were deserted. Lower Manhattan felt like a movie set. No cars. Very few people. It was surreal.

My girlfriend, who would later become my wife, lived in Queens and since the subways had all been shut down, I couldn’t get to her. So I put on my rollerblades and rollerbladed from East Village, over the Queensboro Bridge, to Astoria Queens, about 5 miles. Every now and then a police car would pass me coming from Ground Zero, tossing dust and debris in my face. For the next month, the smell of burning iron swept through my windows.

Below are some photos I took on my walk to work 11 years ago today.

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Intake

This site, for the most part, is for thoughts I have to get out of my head. Hence, the ‘exhaust’ in Daily Exhaust.
If you’re interested in what I consume during Intake (if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, familiarize yourselves with the 4-stroke cycle of an engine), check out my Pinterest feed. Pinterest is great and gives a home to things not deserving of a post on this site. Expect to find lots of images of cars, vintage graphics, gadgets, cases for gadgets, beautiful posters, t-shirt graphics, some more cars and books I want to read.

No Longer

You think you’re past it. You no longer sit bolt upright at 2:00 AM, asking yourself what you could have done to save the marriage. You no longer worry that your kid will become a junkie because her parents divorced. You no longer imagine the neighbors finding your dead, naked body in a room full of flies, cats, and pizza boxes. You no longer dread your lawyer’s call.

Zeldman has a lot of guts writing so openly about his divorce.

Goodbye, Dirty Boulevard*

After 12 great years living in New York City I’m moving out. Tomorrow morning I, my wife, and my dog get on a plane and head to our new home in Los Angeles.
Thank you, New York.
Thank you for giving me my Dad, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Middle Village, Queens.
Thank for letting him discover my amazing mother, and marrying her.
Thank you for letting me cross your George Washington Bridge growing up to see my Nana in Queens.
Thank you for reminding me, on those trips to Nana’s, to spot the Keith Haring mural on the handball court on the side of the Cross Bronx Expressway and telling my parents from the back seat of my dad’s Chevette, “Crack Is Wack!”.
Thank you for my job at Dan Miller Design, where I met the woman who’d become my wife, Gina.
Thank you for Uncle Otto who rented me his 2-bedroom, rent-controlled apartment on 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A from 2000 until 2005 for $800/month.
Thank you for making me street smart.
Thank you for letting my brother Mark take over said apartment in 2005 when I got married to Gina and moved out.
Thank you for showing me how one man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure.
Thank you for teaching me how to drive like Han Solo through traffic (sideways).
Thank you for our shitty, cold winters and subsequent amazing springs when the whole city comes alive.
Thank you for making me nostalgic for Nana’s house, when I smell the ‘city air’ in the spring. I’ll aways love the smell of New York air. Always.
Thank you for runs around the Reservoir in Central Park.
Thank you for getting me drunk a lot.
Thank you for your awesome restaurants.
Thank you for your art.
Thank you for your attitude.
Thanks for all the amazing friends I’ve met here.
These thank-you’s could go on for days, but I’ll stop it here.
Thanks for everything, New York. You’re always going to be ‘The City’.
* The title of this post taken from one of my favorite songs by Lou Reed

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