Dan Phiffer Dan Phiffer is an Internet enthusiast based in Troy, NY

The Casio F91w digital

There is a specific model of Casio digital watches that supposedly has desirable qualities for bomb detonation. Anonymous LiveJournal user tongodeon has been following this story for over a year:

A while ago I made a big deal out of the Guantanamo detainees accused of owning Casio F91w wristwatches. In my letter to then-candidate Barack Obama I wrote that “Some have done far worse than wear a cheap digital watch. Some have done little else. In all cases the watches that they were wearing appear to have had nothing to do with anything. The tenuous link between this watch and terrorism is being used as an excuse to detain the innocent alongside the guilty; an excuse for the inexcusable.”

Of the 28 prisoners accused of owning Casio F91w wristwatches, 21 have been released, mostly under the Bush Administration. Prisoner #33, Mohammed Ahmad Said Al Edah, won his habeas petition but it doesn’t say whether he’s actually either been cleared to be released or actually been released. No info on the remaining six.


Rhizome’s Seven on

This one day conference at the New Museum sounds interesting.

Seven on Seven will pair seven leading artists with seven game-changing technologists in teams of two, and challenge them to develop something new — be it an application, social media, artwork, product, or whatever they imagine — over the course of a single day.

$250 registration ($75 for students) until the February 23rd early bird deadline.


International Year of Astronomy

Riffing off another of Jason Kottke’s linkages, these minimalist posters are at once timeless and retro looking.

Initially designed as self-promotional pieces, the posters eventually caught the eye of the IYA 09 organisation which approached him a few months ago to see if they could use them in their own promotional work.

International Year of Astronomy posters


The School of

Kottke recently linked to the first post in a series of articles meant to “give you a better feeling for what math is all about.”

I am a big proponent of this type of informal education and must share a related effort called The School of Mathematics. It’s a free, ongoing workshop that meets in a Brooklyn studio on Saturdays. From the most recent email announcement:

We will discuss probability: either its origins (what does it even mean?) or its applications (game theory).

Meeting at 11am, bagels at 10:45.


The Days of Miracles and

Greg Knauss travels back in time and has a conversation with himself about the future:

That’s why I wanted to talk to you, 1990 me. Your cynicism is important, even vital. God knows, there are times when it will seem like bunnies-and-rainbows optimism given what actually happens. Things get really, really bad for a while, and no amount of cynicism seems like enough.

But I also wanted to make sure that there are some things that are, in fact, awesome. The world’s been through a hell of a lot, and I’m not sure I trust my own eyes anymore.

Link via Daring Fireball

The second post

This is my second post here. That is, if you only count the longer-form stuff and ignore my prior attempts at blogging. I wrote a sufficient amount of explication in my first post, but I’m going to indulge just a bit longer with the meta blogging. I’ve been an enthusiastic blog reader for several years now and thought I’d look back at some other Second Posts of my long-time favorites. I’m hoping to ape these blogger-heros to the extent that I can.

(more…) takes top museum website

For the last year and a half I’ve been freelancing at MoMA’s digital media department, helping develop the front-end. In many ways it has been an ideal client for me: dependable pay, flexible terms, interesting work and people I get along with. I think I’ve done my best web development work here. So I’m very proud to see our efforts being recognized by Kunstpedia. Judith Dobrzynski summarizes the results on ArtsJournal:

The Museum of Modern Art takes the blue ribbon, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art not far behind.

Kunstpedia analyzed more than 680 museum websites worldwide, and ranked them thusly: “The scores are determined by comparing ranking data such as those of Google Page Rank, Alexa Ranking and Compete Ranking. Furthermore the number on-line references in the form of incoming links and references in user generated content have been analysed. The end score was determined by the sum of each individual score, given on basis of the position within the different data source which were analysed.”


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