New release: Little Pork Chop v0.54.#

Today's background image is the earth rising on the moon.#

I just watched a video with every motherfucker Samuel L. Jackson ever said in a movie (there are a lot). Then this motherfucker happens. #

BTW, one more thing. I recently re-watched Kill Bill 1 and 2, and I found out that Samuel L. Jackson is in the first one. I had no idea. Kill Bill is on my list of movies I would recommend to myself if I were 20 today. If you want a spoiler, here you go. He doesn't say motherfucker in this movie.#

Tweets are ocean liners#

Tweets can have four pictures, each of which can contain several hundred kilobytes of image data. Each tweet carries with it all the info Twitter has about the author, including several renderings of the author's icon. Tweets are huge!#

News: Twitter has the ability to view tweets in tweets...#

Tweets are basically outlines now (the nesting makes them that) but what if we could make them real outlines, and if people really love the 140-char limit (I have doubts that many do) collapse them to 140-character headings. Then only people who were interested in the details would have to see them. That's why I made this post an outline, so you could get an idea of what a tweet could, should look like.#

Limits we've gotten past#

The 40-column Apple II display. #

Or before that, the 80-character punched cards out of which programs and data sets were formed.#

The 48K limit on Apple II apps. #

Or the 640K that programs used to have to fit in on the IBM PC.#

Limits like these hold back progress.#


After a while, Twitter's lack of a product runner begins to make it a farce. They can chip away at the edges, turning the little rowboat into a huge ocean liner, but it can still only carry a single passenger. Please it's time to retire the 140-character limit. #

We need critics#

I have to hold back my full criticism because now I have products that build on the Twitter API, and have ambitions to have them be influential in moving the platform forward. #

That's why we need critics, who have no conflicts of interest, who can watch these products, the same way a film critic watches the careers of actors and directors. Or a food critic considers the thread that is a restaurateur's career. #

Why did Larry and Sergey miss that Google Reader was the product they should have built on instead of Google Plus? Why did Twitter stick with the 140-character limit, which was (as I think it will turn out) the real factor in limiting its growth? These are all interesting themes, that could and will be explored in journalism and literature.#

A picture named simmonsBook.gif#

Everyone said you should get this book in paper or you'll miss all the funky footnotes. Let me tell you. Paper books SUCK. Especially 700-page paper books. When you're starting the book, one side has 699 pages and the other has one. Try to hold that while lying down. Plus you need a reading light. How barbaric. It just doesn't fit my lifestyle. I think I'm going to get the Kindle version and fuck the footnotes. Plus I don't like his style. He uses too many words, and never gets to the point. While he's being all folksy and stupid, my arm is practically falling off. Have a little mercy. All I can think of is why didn't they edit it down to 200 pages so it would be manageable. Or I'll just get the freaking Kindle version. Is there a Cliff's Notes version?#

Scripting News: Scott Adams is right.#

Scripting News: People need an online nest they own.#

Tim Carmody: The last of the great Twitter apps.#

Here's an example of an application of the idea of a personal nest. #

Little Pork Chop allows you to create a paragraph-length tweet, which it breaks up into 140-character packets that Twitter can process. #

I'd like to add a feature that creates an archive of your writing. So maybe someday you'd be able to review them all and see the progression of your thinking. Or possibly make them public, so they can appear in other places (such as your blog, or Facebook, or some new aggregator that might show up).#

Where to store it? Today's Little Pork Chop is a free app. It costs me nothing to run it, and even if it grows huge, it still will cost very little. It's good advertising for me, keeps my work on people's minds. Totally worth the effort for me, and almost all the code runs on your machine. My server just acts as a conduit to shuttle your ideas to Twitter's cloud. But adding permanent storage to this app makes it much more complicated and problematic.#

On the other hand, if you had an online nest, you could create a folder there, call it Short Ideas, say, and give my app access to it. Then when you post something, it would automatically deposit a copy, in a standard format, in that folder. Even if you stored it there for 100 years, the cost probably wouldn't add up to more than a penny. Today's servers are very good at storing small bits of text cheaply.#

However, we don't have such a place. So if I wanted to implement the feature, I would have to store the backup for you, probably in Amazon S3. It would work fantastically today, but wouldn't be much of an archive because I'm just a person. How long would it last? Not very long because people don't last so long, or they lose interest, move on, etc. So it gets expensive to try out a small idea, so we don't try so many, and progress slows, or only progresses in directions that allow startups to make money by aggregating data about us, or selling access to to advertisers. Seems silly to trade all that for a simple archive of your paragraph-length ideas.#

The nest approach would be easy. Any other approach would be, it seems to me, unworkable.#

Update: I added this feature to Little Pork Chop. I'll do the hosting of the RSS feed in my space. I wish it were in the users' space. #

I just got a link from United asking for my feedback on a recent flight. It so happens I have feedback. But first I had to answer questions I was unwilling to answer. So I decided just to post a note here. If they see it great, if not, no problem.#

The idea is about their wifi service. I basically always want to use wifi. The process of signing up for it was unbelievably tedious, and when I finally did get through, the service was unusably slow. It was only $3. I watched a movie instead.#

On the way back, I started the signup again, maybe the slowness on the wifi on the way out was a fluke. It wanted me to go through the whole signup process again. It hadn't remembered any of the data it made me enter, plus all the CAPTCHAs to make sure I'm really a person. That's ridiculous. I didn't bother.#

Here's the idea. 1. Let me use my frequent flier number to sign up. Because it already has a credit card attached to it, I wouldn't have to enter that. 2. Let me use miles to pay for the service. Isn't that consistent with the way they think about perks like this? Then the low quality of the service might not feel so bad. #

Scripting News: How many Facebook users know what RSS is?#

Little Pork Chop 0.53. Fixed a bug that was probably causing a lot of pain!#

If you're having trouble with Little Pork Chop this evening.#

Like everyone who was alive in the summer of 1969 I remember where I was when Neil and Buzz got out of the LEM and walked on the surface of the moon. I was 14 years old, on a trip with my summer camp to the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI. #

It was an amazing experience, in so many ways. I saw Muddy Waters, BB King, and Johnny Cash, and so many more (my memory is pretty weak) and then on the evening of the 20th someone put a small black and white TV on top of a VW microbus, and everyone left the show and gathered around, to watch, and even though we couldn't see much, we felt a part of something amazingly great. #

1969 was a pretty amazing year. The moon landing, Woodstock, the Miracle Mets. At 14 I didn't fully appreciate that life wasn't always like this. #

Lots of new features: Little Card Editor v0.60.#

Using a Google Font with Little Card Editor.#

The source namespace for RSS, supported by Fargo 1.64.#

The <source:outline> element is supported by v0.90 of River4.#

The pieces are starting to fit together. #

Scripting News: Movies for me at 20.#

Scripting News: I have more feeds than I can manage.#

1. Rex should read this post Mike wrote about cycling in Kansas. #

2. Scoble is missing his calling.#

3. The Facebook editor is dangerous to ideas!#

Including them here gets them into my RSS feed, much on-topic. #

Scripting News: How good is my mind?#

Scripting News: I like to RT. #

Documenting a bug that thankfully I found fairly quickly. #

Far West#






Las Vegas#





Great Plains#



North Dakota#


South Dakota#




New Jersey#

New York#











West Virginia#








New England#




New Hampshire#

Rhode Island#









North Carolina#

South Carolina#





New Mexico#


Please excuse the construction. #

Sorry for any inconvenience. #

Dig we must.#

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.#

Western states#






Mid-Atlantic states#

New York#


New Paltz#

The Hamptons#













New Jersey#




Scripting News: Why age in software is bullshit.#

Chris Dadswell how-to: Fargo Self-Hosted Publishing.#

Scripting News: How blogs create competition for pros.#

Why doesn't Google have a Share This Search button on their search engine? Didn't anyone ever think of it?#

Why are Muslim soldiers called militants by the western press, and not western soldiers? What does the AP stylebook say about this?#

I'm the last person to defend Comcast, but I just want to say that the behavior that Ryan Block documented in his taped conversation with them is industry standard. #

AOL and MSN both did it to me ten years ago when I wanted to cancel my accounts. I hadn't used either account in years. But I dreaded interacting with them so much that they got a bunch of extra money from me. It's part of their business model. #

I had actually never used the MSN account. It was set up automatically for me when I bought a laptop at Best Buy. I only discovered it when I was cleaning up my credit card statement and wondered what the mysterious charge was.#

It's great that people are tuning into this now. Let's clean this cesspool of shitty customer service up. Get the FTC involved. (BTW, to all the libertarians out there, this is what you get from a "free" market.)#

Minimal code for reading a river.#

Andy Sylvester: Minimal River.js Reader.#

Fargo 1.64 is out. A new style of outline rendering, exemplified in yesterday's post about JavaScript memory management. And a major addition to the Scripting News feed, the full source of the outline the post was rendered from. You'll see this show up in some innovation in the River of News format, coming soon (knock wood).#

A new feature in Happy Friends, the mailbox-style reader for Twitter users, helps you manage the flood of tweets. #

A picture named seriousPlatformStuff.jpg#

Western states#




Mid-Atlantic states#

New York#




New Jersey#

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.#

Scripting News: What's coming in WordPress 4.0?#

Today's background image is a section of a mural by Diego Rivera.#


© 1994-2014 Dave Winer.
Last update: Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 7:50 PM.
It's even worse than it appears.