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Permanent link to archive for Friday, May 05, 2000. Friday, May 05, 2000

SOAP announcement on Monday

We'll run a press release on Monday explaining UserLand's involvement in SOAP.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to Scripting News readers that our spin on SOAP revolves around The Two-Way Web vision, the web as a creative writing, design and graphic medium.

We're looking for quotes. I've already sent emails to people in the Web production business, and several analysts we respect, giving them a heads-up and asking for a quote.

"It's even worse than it appears."

Unfortunately, it's Friday evening in California, and the release must go out on Monday. We have no control over the timing.

If you're in the industry, or you cover it, esp if you have a Manila site, and even better, if you understand what Pike is, and even better than that, are around over the weekend, and have observations you'd like to share re the vision for the Web as a writing environment, please send me private email with your quote and your title and affiliation. Thanks!

Now to reward you for your patience, here's a little song. Just click on Mr Ed and he will entertain you.

Random news

Microsoft: Information on the VBS/Loveletter Virus.

CamWorld has the source code for the virus. I promise it's safe to click on that link, but you may want to say a prayer before you click on it, for all the bits it trashed.

Ken MacLeod tries an experiment in focused discussion, which I applaud.

Progress report on the ZopeFish project. Go go go!

Greg Galanos, former CEO of Metrowerks joins Softbank Venture Capital, alongside Heidi Roizen and Gary Rieschel. I should go visit them. I wonder if they read Scripting News?

Bill Burnham: Napster will affect a lot more than the music industry.

What does this mean? Does Mozilla now have XML-RPC support? Edd Dumbill says yes. Cooool! say I.

A new Frontier verb for 6.2, string.gigabyteString. Makes it easy to display sizes of modern disks and files in dialogs and Web pages.

Yesterday's Giants-Mets slideshow as a zip archive. 11.4MB.

Are you pondering what I'm pondering? If you didn't get the virus does that mean you have smart friends??

Firewalls in our minds

We hear so much about firewalls in the XML-RPC world. The people who love firewalls say that our messages circumvent the intentions of the firewall administrators. I don't think this is true. Ask people who try to run Pike behind a firewall. Oooops. It doesn't work. (Because we play by the rules.)

Further, did firewalls prevent yesterday's calamatous virus? No way. We have a global network now. Are there really any firewalls? User education is the only thing that can keep things like the I Love You message from inducing havoc. Don't send email messages with enclosures unless you really know the recipient isn't a civilian. And don't ever send Word documents as email messages. Never do it. Never! (And if someone sends you one, don't open it. Never.)

A NY Times article says: "The best way to avoid infection, experts advised, is not to open e-mail attachments from unknown sources.." That's wrong! Such experts. The viruses make it look like the message is coming from a friend. Oy, such bad advice.

File types that might be OK as email enclosures: HTML, GIF, JPEG, ZIP, WAV, what else? (See the point, the Web is a relatively safe environment. Email is wide open. No firewalls there. But even the Web isn't safe as long as you can download apps and run them. Do firewalls stop that from happening?)

Microsoft could help, they make the most popular and vulnerable emailer. Maybe the people at Microsoft who love firewalls (there are a few) could work with the people who love email. Email could be as safe as the Web, imho.

Web illiteracy

Last month, I had meetings with dot-coms in all stages of development. I spent more time South Of Market than ever before. I don't want to name names for fear of not being invited back. (As you read this section you'll know why I'm not worried that the people will guess who I'm talking about.)

One thing hit me, there's very little understanding in the executive ranks of how the Web works. Somehow a technological boom has happened, or is happening, or is getting ready to happen (I don't know) without any deep (or even shallow) understanding of the technology by the people who run the companies.

One person said, unfortunately, he doesn't have time to use the Web. I asked if he has time to use PowerPoint. Oh yes, lots of that going on! I said the Web is no more difficult than PowerPoint. The eyes glaze over.

A concept that should, imho, be addressed on each term sheet, is how Web-literate the key execs are. If not very, I think there's a problem that the shareholders should know about.

So I wonder if there really is a Digital Divide that Clinton talks about. Someone at these companies must get the Web, but it's usually not the top guys. If you're the CEO or an exec at a SOM company, send me an email. Let's start a network of Web-literate dot-com execs?


Last update: Friday, May 05, 2000 at 7:21 PM Eastern.

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