politics, whereslunch, magazines: an entry in three parts
Mood: awake
Posted on 2008-10-24 10:19:00
Tags: whereslunch projects poll politics links
Words: 410

Will Ferrell was on SNL last night as George W. Bush and it was pretty good (although maybe not "one of the best skits ever"). It still looks like Obama is way ahead. It warms my heart that someone who wants to investigate all members of Congress to see whether they're pro-American or not (hello, Joe McCarthy!) can suddenly find that most people won't stand for that crap. Obama makes a good fantasy football partner. Also, politics has always been sleazy - this is not a recent phenomenon.

Where's lunch:
This is my project for a google map of lunch places in Austin. It's kinda stalled out, because I haven't had a lot of free time and I can't decide what to do next. Right now you can view restaurants, rate them, leave comments, color the markers based on rating and some other things, and filter which markers are shown. (if you're interested in trying it out, drop me a line and I'll hook you up) Things I want to add at some point:
- letting people add restaurants themselves. This is kind of a pain to do, and raises some security issues and means I have to police the data to some extent.
- suggesting restaurants you might like based on other people's ratings. This isn't too hard to do but since there are few ratings in the system it won't be interesting for a while.
- add user profiles where you store where you work and you can limit lunch places by their estimated time for lunch (2 * travel time + time it takes to get food).
- putting ads on the site to make $$$
So, how interested would you theoretically be in these features?

Time vs. Newsweek:
When I was a kid, I had a penchant for stupid rivalries. We got the Houston Chronicle, a friend got the Houston Post so I immediately assumed the Chronicle was better, "rooted" for it, and was not exactly happy when the Post folded but I felt victorious. Same thing for Newsweek and Time - we got Newsweek and it was clearly better for no particular reason.

But now I'm wondering - maybe Time is the better magazine? I like some of the columnists Newsweek has (Fareed Zakaria, Anna Quindlen) but Time has Joe Klein, and I read a copy randomly this week and it was pretty interesting. I barely get through the magazines we have, so getting both is not a reasonable option. Which should I get?


Comment from cifarelli:

My parents got Newsweek when I was growing up as well. I read it an enjoyed it....and then I encountered Time at Andrew's parents' house and found I liked it better. I think Time's layout and article length are just better suited to the amount of time I have to read.

That said, I don't actually subscribe to either at the moment. However, whenever I find myself in a place with both, I will invariably pick up Time over Newsweek.

Comment from djedi:

Heh, that sleazy politics link is awesome! It's just the food I need for my cynical attitude. I LOVE the Harrison v Van Buren competition. Sounds like the 2004 election among others.

Comment from copperwolf:

Subscribe online. My parents have been Time magazine subscribers for many years, and the stacks of magazines pile up all over the place -- mostly unread, since my dad can't quite keep up with the weekly. I can't speak to which of the two is better; they are both good.

Comment from skimmerduk:

My vote for Newsweek is surely rooted in the same kind of irrationale you describe. However, I've at least tried reading Time and liked it; it just didn't overwhelm my Newsweek allegiance.

Comment from abstractseaweed:

I like the idea of letting people rate the restaurants, including how long it takes to get food during peak lunch hour. I'm generally against any site that requires "yet another password" to be able to do something. As long as it has the same search functionality that Google Maps normally has, it should be sufficient. Defnitely set the default zoom to as close as it can be, since restaruants tend to be clustered and the dots would not be very useful when they're on top of each other.

Comment from jenfrazer:

The Post had better comics, which is what I really cared about at that age. Although the Chron had Calvin and Hobbes.

The best was the year or so after the buyout when the Chron ran all the comics of the two papers combined — four pages of it on a weekday — until the syndication contracts began to expire.

Comment from medryn:

The Economist?

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