Category Archives: Technology

Ex-LAist Editor Reviews LA Blogs

It’s been a while since Jason Toney stepped down as editor of LAist which to be perfectly honest is good news because I really like his personal site which was all crickets while he was on board over there. Since then his blog has picked back up again. I never felt that his voice was able to show through at LAist and it felt like whatever he was trying to say was getting smushed into the -ist mold so him writing more on his own blog again is a good thing for sure. I’ve never argued that I’m not in my own little world – I try to break out of it from time to time, but for the most part I’ve got too much stuff going on daily so it’s really great when I find a blog that I can relate to but that covers topics I wouldn’t be reading about otherwise. I’ve always felt that Jason’s Negro Please was one of those sites. Of course LA blogs are part of my world, which is why his post today reviewing some of the more widely read blogs in this city is so interesting. He includes Losanjealous (my favorite la blog that I’m not involved with), LA Observed, Angeleno, FishbowlLA, and of course LAist and even has some things to say about us. He also points out a list of blogs that he’s not covering because they are either too niche or solo projects, although he seemed to have missed LA Voice and LA foodblogging which are definitely staples IMNSHO. Jason and I had a bit of a stand-offish relationship for a while but I tend to think that was more the weight of the -ist network on his shoulders causing it because I actually think he’s a pretty good guy. That said, I was psyched to see he didn’t totally trash us in his review:

“I think they’ve really found their stride. In full disclosure mode, during most of my tenure with LAist, I thought we were the better local site. I always felt was scatterbrained and not really about LA. Often it was like reading the message board a bunch of friends shared to give tips or anecdotes that only those friends would care about. But in reading today, they were chock full of interesting information. Still anecdotal but much more oriented towards the audience at large instead of the contributors within…”

There is more to it than that but that’s the jist of it. One thing that I’ll be endlessly amused by is when people look at what we’re doing on or any of the Metroblogging sites and suggest that we be doing something different. Some people assume we’re trying (and failing) to be a local events listing, or alternative to the alternative weeklies, or even a round up of local news when in fact we’re purposefully not trying to do any of that. Our goal has always been to pool a few people in the city, and have them contribute their slice of life. There are plenty of sites out there that focus on events, or covering the news – if I want to know whats in the LA Times today, I’ll check out the LA Times. If I want some insight behind some of the bigger stories there is no question that LA Observed should be my first stop. We’ve never set out to be the end all be all for everyone (Hell, the Times isn’t even the endall be all for everyone), we write about what is interesting to us, sometimes that is interesting to other people too and that’s what it’s all about. Point being the web is a big place, with lots of people doing different things – no one is being forced to read but we’re happy that some people choose to.

NBC4’s NewsRaw… Vlogging at its best?

Steve Huff alerted me that after some folks at ABC 7 read my blog entry about his possible match in the case of 50 unidentified women (from here – original coverage here), they interviewed him for “NewsRaw”, their internet based news programming that, after a quick look, simply rocks.

I’ve been critical of NBC4 in the past (see my posts on Boobgate here, here, and here), but based on what I saw today, “NewsRaw” may have raised the bar and created a standard for video bloggers in L.A. and elsewhere.
Continue reading NBC4’s NewsRaw… Vlogging at its best?

Oh Blogger, Where Art Thou?

The always insightful LA City Nerd brought a word of concern along with his praise for the new and improved LA Observed in a post entitled “LA Observed expands to most of the City”:

I’m slightly frustrated that there is so little digital media coming from certain parts of the City. I would argue that Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village, Los Feliz, Downtown and Hollywood are well-covered….

…with the Exception of the one or two blogs down in San Pedro and the few on the West Side Coastal Communities, few posts come from folks south of the Rosa Parks/Christopher Columbus/10 Freeway (or those just north like Pico-Union).

A daily visit to the LA Observed eliminated my need to read the LA Times long ago, but the City Nerd’s point is especially well taken when you see that Roderick and company are covering the newspaper drama up in Santa Barbara, but don’t give a lot of attention to large chunks of our city.

But Observed can’t be criticized alone. Here at we’ve had multiple posts regarding Comic-Con 120 miles and two counties away in San Diego, and frequently indulge in Metroblogging Orange County’s territory of Disneyland.

I also noticed that on his personal site LAist editor Tony Pierce is considering soliciting non-Los Angeles based writers:

the hits are good at LAist but they could be better. plus id like a few more writers. im not even sure they need to live in LA. people shouldnt be punished just because they dont chill in the 323. (from the Busblog)

Is this a sign that LA bloggers have oversaturated the market, or do we (as writers and readers) just need to look a further out than our local ‘hood?

I know a few days ago Sean put a call out for other LA writers to add to our own blog roll, but are there really only a handful of bloggers from South LA? Are there any East LA bloggers out there… perhaps even blogging en Espanol? And if gangbangers are indeed swiping laptops from local coffee shops, are there any South Central bloggers or writers from other underrepresented area of Los Angeles?

Around The (Northwest) Metblogosphere

Everyone around me is pretty much sick of hearing me describe what summer is like back up in my hometown of Victoria, BC. It doesn’t cold enough to seriously snow in Victoria or Vancouver, yet the temperature also rarely goes over 80F in the summertime. I remember equating 30C with “very warm” (that’s about 90), but I had absolutely no clue what “really hot” meant. I have since found out that “hot” is much higher than 30C/90F. I have also since found out that heat totally exhausts me. I have no idea how most of America survived before the air conditioner was invented – especially the parts of the country that are unfortunate enough to have real humidity.

Therefore, to take my mind off the L.A. heat, I thought I’d check in with the MetBlogs back up in my home region of the Pacific Northwest, where we could afford to sell our extra hydroelectricity to California because we didn’t need it to run air conditioners. I’ll start in my old stomping grounds with Metroblogging Vancouver, where Jeffrey has celebrated the launch of Sacramento by calling it “the Victoria of California.” I actually think San Diego is more the Victoria of California, myself.
Continue reading Around The (Northwest) Metblogosphere


If you live in New York then you know all about Overheard in New York which is a endlessly entertaining blog that just posts snipits of conversations from all over the city. It’s a great idea has spilled over onto other blogs as well. They also have Overheard in the Office and Overheard at the Beach. You see the theme here I’m sure. Which is why the submission we recently got for Overheard in Los Angeles struck my eye. The anonymous submission said “Like Overheard in New York. But with pictures. And commentary. And fewer quotes.” But what is should have said is “Stealing the brand from the ‘Overheard’ sites but adding other stuff and putting in less of the one thing you actually want in an ‘overheard’ site.” This is so lame because they are trying to swipe the name someone else has tried hard to build, and then sucking on top of that. What’s even worse is it’s happening in other cities too. Hopefully the folks at the real Overheard have a lawyer and can get this crap taken care of.

The only heat post I will make this summer

to231rev01.jpgSo I’m sitting here in the EZ Bake Oven last night, wearing a shirt soaked in cold water, slaving away at the computer, and an ad comes on for this solar panel you attach to your car window that keeps the interior of the car a comfy something-under-120¬∫F when you park in the sun. They said this was not available in stores, but I found something similar at, here.

So my question is (a) do these things work and (b) if I buy five for my jalousie window in the kitchen, would it do any good?

(Boy, I’m full of questions this morning. Must be the heat…)

LAFD Hybrid Fleet on the Road know I’m a little late in picking up on this story, but back in May the Los Angeles Fire Department took possession of five prototype Mazda gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

I found this out in a rather backwards way, as I was driving to work on Friday and saw this car in front of me on Santa Monica Blvd.

A long traffic light allowed me to get a snap of it, but of course I never saw the side of it and couldn’t figure out who it was assigned to.

I’m just glad to see that the LAFD might feel just a smidge less pinch at the pump if they’ve got a few of these in their fleet. I can’t imagine what sort of mileage firetrucks get!

More about Mazda’s program here.

Busting Out The Heavy Artillery…


With summer in full swing, it’s quite befitting that the theme of the week, at least on the celebrity gossip websites, are bikini photos of female celebrities, such as Uma Thurman, Jessica Alba, Courtney Cox, Jessica Biel, Kristin Cavallari, and Lindsay Lohan (here, here, here, here, here, and here).

Expert analysis (said tongue in cheek, especially since it’s Friday) after the jump.
Continue reading Busting Out The Heavy Artillery…

Most. Naive. Hackers. Ever.

A couple of kids from NY were recently arrested here in L.A. for blackmailing MySpace (Information Week article here). Apparently, the two developed a code to steal users personal information from MySpace, and then leveraged it against the site. They demanded $150,000, in exchange for which they would NOT release this information to the rest of the population of crackers and script kitties in the pseudo-hacker universe.

So MySpace immediately called the joint local and federal task force in L.A. that deals with “cybercrime”, and then set up a fiendishly clever plot. They would lure the hackers out to L.A. by buying them plane tickets, promising to negotiate, and then arrest them! And, because I imagine that these were the sort of hackers that have better code skills than actual street smarts, they fell for it – and were arrested upon arrival at LAX.

I can only hope these are the jerks that released my MySpace password a few months ago. But even if they aren’t, MySpace should probably focus less on their secret concerts, and more on actually beefing up their security. This also reminds me to remind you all – MySpace is insecure, in so many ways. If you’re using the site, it’s recommended to keep a separate password for it than for, say, PayPal.

Most of all though, I hope that one of the TV channels makes a movie of the week out of this. Of course, that then raises the most important question out of all this: which hilarious GenX TV star should play Tom?