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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, July 15, 2000. Saturday, July 15, 2000

The revolution 

DaveNet: The revolution will not be televised.

Gil Scott-Herin: The revolution will not be televised.

Yes, it's subjective 

Tom von Alten says that to say Ballmer was fatherly at the Dot-Net rollout is a subjective impression, and I agree. It goes without saying, imho.

I look at a picture and see one thing, everyone else sees something entirely different. Every impression comes from a point of view.

In fact I think all human debates, when reduced to their core, revolve around this simple idea: my point of view is valid.

It is. Two words that spell relief. You can relax, no matter what other people say, every point of view is just as valid as any other. (Even if others don't recognize it.)

To illustrate this, I've taken a picture from the Dot-Net rollout, cropped it and upped the contrast a bit, and then I wrote my caption, with an invitation for others to write theirs.

Really try to be honest, what do you see in the picture? How are these people relating to each other? Are they aware that there's an audience? How do they feel? And how does this make *you* feel?

The more fantastic the better.


I was interviewed this morning by NHK, a Japanese radio network, for a special they're doing on business process patents. Here's a summary of what I said.

We need competition. With business process patents there will be no competition. Businesses should win based on superior service, performance, and timeliness of their products. Monopolies are bad for competition, even in mature markets. To grant legal monopolies in an industry that is in its defining stages, is to kill the industry.

Further, as in the music industry, the software industry has too many middlemen. By allowing legal monopolies, lawyers will take over the high tech industry, and product developers, such as Stallman and myself, will find it impossible to create new products without designing them in conjunction with lawyers. This phenomenon can already be seen in the WAP market.

Another point, any country that provided a free innovation zone, would attract developer talent from around the world. It would be wise for Japan to adopt a patent system that is substantially different from that of the US and Europe, if only to provide an incentive for developers to locate there, and to give an advantage to developers already in Japan.

FBI email snooping 

Wired: It's time for carnivore spin. "It plugs into a hub in passive listening mode. All the traffic in the hub goes through this thing," says an aide who attended the closed-door briefing. "As (communications) comes in, the (software) looks through the traffic and if it looks like the filter criteria, it goes to a Jaz drive."

Carnivore: "Any of various predatory, flesh-eating mammals of the order Carnivora, including the dogs, cats, bears, weasels, hyenas, and raccoons."

More TLDs? 

Dan Gillmor is at the ICANN meeting in Japan.

They're talking about new top-level domains, or TLDs. The current TLDs are com, net, org, edu, gov, mil, uk, de, to, etc. They want to add a lot more. Why? Is it safe to ignore them? Is anyone asking for them? Is it a big feature request?

Survey: Should we have more TLDs?

Separated at birth? 

AppleInsider: Sources reveal rumored Macintosh Cube.

This site is served from a Cobalt Qube. (Created by ex-Apple engineers.)

Articulating Dot-Net, ZD-Net 

Mary Jo Foley: "Microsoft's partners, customers, competitors, not to mention Microsoft itself, all seem to be floundering in terms of being able to articulate what Microsoft .Net is and what it will do."

It depends on who you listen to.

I don't know which partners, customers and competitors she's referring to, but UserLand, which is a California corporation, with thousands of users, shareholders, employees, offices, press releases, publications, in other words, everything that could possibly qualify as a real company, has articulated the Dot-Net vision, not only in prose, but in software.

Microsoft is confused, so it is spreading a confusing message, but at least they're trying to figure it out. The press has its pinky in the corner of its mouth, complaining that this is More Microsoft Megalomania, or whatever, failing to realize that the vision for Dot-Net came from outside of Microsoft.

As it always does. Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson didn't work for Microsoft (or IBM, which was the Microsoft of their day). The bucaneers who developed the original Macintosh didn't work at Microsoft. And Tim Berners-Lee, who created this powerful medium, didn't work at Microsoft.

Let's face it (as Michael Miller might say) Bill Gates is a newbie at the vision thing. He's mastered the distribution side of the business. All the ideas that have fueled Microsoft's growth came from outside. That's why you're seeing floundering, because you're looking to Gates to explain it, and articulating vision is not Bill Gates's thing.

One of the reasons I write (not the only one) is that there's no other way to get these ideas out. If the press would do their jobs, then guys like me, who love to develop new walkie-talkie sets, could spend all our time making it work, and then doing verison 2.0, 3.0 and so on.

Dan and Jesse 

I've known Dan Farber, the editor in chief of ZDNet, for a long time, going back to when he was one of the founding editors of MacWorld. I spoke with him yesterday. He says I should work it out with Cooper.

Get real Dan. I'm an accomplished software developer, with a strong track record. Start there. I'm not going to debate the wording of the intro of a single DaveNet piece. He made his comment, I made the correction, it should have ended right there.

Instead, I'd prefer if you would thoughtfully study my work, evaluate it on the basis of what I really do. That's how the conversation should begin. If, then, you don't like what I'm doing, or if you have questions, I'll be happy to talk.

Last year I asked DaveNet readers to talk about what it means to them. Jesse Berst, a ZDNet columnist said: "I appreciate the value of Dave's pioneering contributions to my profession."

Thanks! Let's work both sides. Let's make the software work, and the writing too. Microsoft can help, for sure; so can ZDNet.

Maybe UserLand will disappear, no longer needed (in bootstrap fashion), or maybe this is the beginning of a new direction where our industry lives up to the UserLand name.

Who does he think he is? 

All my life I've been hearing this question.

I've always been puzzled by it, because it's not really a question, it's a feature request.

I am who I am, get to know me, it's pretty much what you see is what you get.


Last update: Sunday, July 16, 2000 at 8:42 AM Eastern.

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