Modern boys and mobile girls: … I’m so glad William Gibson has a new book coming out.

The otaku, the passionate obsessive, the information age’s embodiment of the connoisseur, more concerned with the accumulation of data than of objects, seems a natural crossover figure in today’s interface of British and Japanese cultures. I see it in the eyes of the Portobello dealers, and in the eyes of the Japanese collectors: a perfectly calm train-spotter frenzy, murderous and sublime. Understanding otaku -hood, I think, is one of the keys to understanding the culture of the web. There is something profoundly post-national about it, extra-geographic. We are all curators, in the post-modern world, whether we want to be or not.

The blues: … Here’s hoping Morgan Freeman gets ’em, or doesn’t. Or something like that.

“We’re going to open sometime this summer, maybe in June, maybe in May, maybe not until in July,” he says. “I have a partner down there, and we’ve just built a restaurant that is really exciting and good. And because Clarksdale is what it is — we call it ‘ground zero for the blues,’ this is where the blues supposedly originated — we have people coming there from all over the world [saying], ‘Where can we hear the blues?’ There already are a couple of places there, but they’re not set — you may or may not get music on a particular night. So we’re going to open a juke joint, and it’s called Ground Zero.”

Exley marks the spot: … where activism rocks.

“If you have something interesting to put out there, then the Internet drops the physical barriers,” he says. “Anyone can publish a Web site, so what’s our excuse?”

Two from Wired: … on photography and networking.

“If you’re out in the street for a shot it’s pretty scary, man,” Maher says. “You could pretty easily get hit by a car or a bus. Buses are the worst. It’s always scary with traffic. You never know what people are going to do.” —–

Finally, connecting the new OS X machine to another Mac was a frustrating nightmare that cast a black shadow across an otherwise sunny day, although the solution to the problem turned out to be quite simple.

I turned on file sharing and AppleTalk networking on the new OS X machine and was able to see it on the network from the other Mac, but the OS X machine couldn’t see the Mac.

Getting this far was hard enough — it took me ages to figure out where the different settings could be found. Figuring out the problem had me stumped. Finally, a friend told me that I had to check an “Enable File Sharing clients to connect over TCP/IP” checkbox on the Mac. And I’d been concentrating on the OS X machine. Silly me!

Back in black: … goes the text for this man’s blog, ’cause that periwinkle / cornflower blue wasn’t cutting it.

Numbers on Napster: … may portend a return to the ethos of its early days.

According to data from entertainment research firm Webnoize, the number of Napster users on the system at any given time has dropped from 1.5 million in mid-March to 1.1 million as of Friday — a one-week decline of more than 25%. At the same time, however, Webnoize found that the average number of files shared by any one user, which had tumbled by 60% after Napster implemented its blocking technology, has rebounded from 71 to roughly 110 — implying that the users with the least files to share are the ones dropping off the system and that those who remain are renaming their files to avoid the blocking.

I’m not using it as much as I had, but that’s more a function of a 6-gig hard drive than other factors (discriminating taste, the pleasures of filesharing over AIM, all that time spent offline sleeping and eating).

My iBook’s on X-tacy: … Sitting in the cafe at the Berkeley Bowl, watching the sun through a solid scrim of grey clouds, flipping through a leftover copy of the Bay Area Reporter and blogging (whoo-HA!) on OS X via a preview version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1. Now, if enough people are distracted by the Oscars, maybe I can download iTunes and that preview version of AppleWorks …

Saturday afternoon’s all right for writing: … Recently acquired? Apple’s OS X and an optical Pro Mouse from ComputerWare on University Avenue. Missing in action? Four or five trees that used to grow out of planters at the southwest corner of Shattuck Avenue and Kittredge Street, by the once-and-future site of the Berkeley Main Library. It’s foul anytime trees disappear from an urban setting. Browsed? Issue No. 5001 of Seconds Magazine (w/Henry Rollins on the cover, Thomas Stanley watching as Cecil Taylor talks enough immaculate smack — “If I’m forced to analyze music when it’s being played, I know I’m in trouble” — to cause a case of … watch for it … my favorite instrumental pun ever … pianist envy, as well as Burning Spear, Marc Almond, Mark Mothersbaugh and a few other folks); the Spring 2001 copy of Bust (w/a home ec/crafts/domestic arts theme, a Sandra Bernhard cover, a one-page Deepa Mehta interview by Kathleen O’Grady, a few intriguing links and an Aimee Mann quote on “the female perspective” in pop — “It is highly irritating to be told your ideas and words and stories have no global value, no human application … as if a woman’s sense of loss or anger or happiness was qualitatively different from a man’s.”); issue No. 48 of XLR8R (featuring IG Culture and Dego Mcfarlane highlighting the West London jazz-fusion sound); March 2001 copy of URB — that’s Vol 11, No. 82 for those of you keeping score at home — with Daft Punk on the cover in robot garb. Oh, and the New Yorker — who is this Richard Kapuscinski guy, anyway?

Crossing borders, creating home:This earns the wife her latest byline.