Friday Fun: Overheard in New York

Guy: Yo, that Hamburgler’s a scary motherfucker, ’cause you never know what that nigga be sayin’. He be all “robble robble robble robble” and shit!

–23rd & 6th

Hobo: Spare some change?…Why are you so selfish?
Man: Why are you so poor?

–West 4th Street & 6th Avenue

Perceptive woman: Anytime you overhear people, if you only hear a second of what they say, it’s always completely stupid.

–Greenwich Village

The subway doors open. A hobo enters, holding a bottle of windex in one hand and a tube of toothpaste in the other.
Hobo: Which is the better time to read Dostyevsky? Winter?
He sprays the windex.
Hobo: Or Spring?
He squeezes toothpaste out of the tube.
Japanese girl: Spring!
Hobo: You are correct.

–F train

Virtual Earth V2.0?

I noticed on the Virtual Earth blog that they recently moved the JavaScript API source for version 1.0 from a generic URL to a URL under a 1.0 directory. Today Scoble announced an upcoming new release and Alex Daley, VE’s evangelist has also hinted something new is afoot. VE has a simple AJAX API that mimics Google Maps, although it is missing polyline (connected line drawing) support. Other than this however it is basically the same API.

If VE cleaned up the look and feel of the visual interface a bit and added just a little functionality to their API, thier service would be a serious threat to Google Maps, especially considering VE’s no restrictions use policy makes Google Maps restrictions look downright draconian. Google’s mapping service also has the restriction of not being able to work in the desktop environment which a big road block for anything other than web site development.

Of couse both have to compete with the new Yahoo Maps Beta, which IMHO, blows both VE and Google out of the water in terms of functionality. The only drawback being the lack of aerial imagery.

UPDATE Poly9 has a JavaScript library for drawing polylines on Virtual Earth maps. The line look identical to the lines you can draw on Google Maps.

Paris Burning

A snarky political shot across France’s bow to start the day always feels good.

“the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs.” President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the “conservative society” that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it “is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world.”


This reminds me of my trip to Europe in 1999 on which I was witness to a small riot in the streets of Nice between Islamic high school students and the local police. For me it left the impression that France was not on solid footing, that there was something brewing there just under the surface. It looks like things have continued to deteriorate since then.