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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Monday, August 21, 2000. Monday, August 21, 2000

Lots of news coming in 

On 2600 News, Emmanuel Goldstein posts his personal thoughts on the DeCSS trial. "The kind of honesty you get by having individuals who aren't afraid to express themselves has always been a threat to those who imagine themselves in power. Until recently, the net was the only place where individual opinion actually had a chance. If the media wouldn't tell your story, you could become the media and tell the story yourself. The whole world could be your audience."

The Napster briefing is on the Web, in PDF.

DeepLeap: "It's with a sad heart that we tell you the bad news: Effective Friday, Sept. 1, 2000, Deepleap will be shutting down."

Industry Standard: The Next Piracy Panic, Software.

Jeff Bezos likes Scripting News 

Hey, it's true I didn't expect a response, but I got one. Now, if you ever want to talk about software patents and intellectual freedom for software developers, let's boogie.

Red Herring: The fantasy world of Jeff Bezos. Maybe he shouldn't spend so much time reviewing sites?

Eric Kidd keeps rolling 

Eric Kidd talks about Unix xenophobia, with quotes and examples from Richard Stallman and Miguel de Icaza.

Eric reviews open source agreements.

Eric and I have been exploring what we can write about, the opinions we can express, without getting entangled with slimeballs who try to shut us down. Eric, I think most of the barriers are inside ourselves. The slimey slippery types can't actually stop us from saying what we want to say. Eric man, you're a total inspiration to me. Keep on truckin, and think, if possible, of ways to put names on the silent shadows in your stories. Who's really immune from exposure? No one. Read the First Amendment. Live it. Take it seriously.


David Davies has been reading the Radio UserLand XML files and has a dynamic website that shows you who's signed on, and what they're listening to. It's great that people are already developing on the Radio UserLand backend. It bodes well for the future, we haven't even started promoting the formats yet.

Brad Pettit is rendering Radio UserLand playlists with XSL.

RURemote allows you to "set up a remote copy of RU and use it as a streaming mp3 server. With RUremote, you get a playlist from the remote machine, build a queue on your local machine, then send the queue to the remote machine."

Mike Donnelan, a crazy man from Mississippi says about Radio UserLand: "A GUI face-lift could do wonders! Make John & Jane Q. Surfer lust to embrace it's power, without being scared to hold it! The 'engine geeks' mentality still comes to mind when I think of the community surrounding Scripting News... and hey, that's what we are!"

To which I say, help us trash-up the UI of RU! We need help. Jake does bitmaps, but no one does them like you Mike! Help help help. We need help. (You can quote me on that.)

EE Times: OEMs ready to roll on jukeboxes for Net audio.

Next stops on the Radio UserLand tour 

Jake is busy with chat, getting my one-day bridge-build to really work. Brent is connecting Manila to the nodeTypes structure (while David Brown is doing the same for Zope). Andre is working on MP3 streaming.

I'm working on turning Radio UserLand into a tool for building DMOZ and Yahoo-like directories. Not too many people realize how closed these systems are, one uses paid employees, the other uses volunteers, but both have just a single hierarchy and give absolute power to people we don't know, yielding outages galore.

We're going to open that up and let anyone organize any section and let there be lots of trees and let them join each other dynamically. Why should the Web just have two directories? There should be thousands, if not millions. (DMOZ came up in the context of Guha's RDF plans. I wonder if they know how he's using them? We'd work with them, but they have to get neutral on RDF for that to happen.)

One final note, we will not be releasing the Napster client code we developed for Radio UserLand. To us it seems just like another protocol, but to the lawyers, it's special. We're going to watch carefully to see what happens in the courts with Napster's appeal. I hate having lawyers define feature sets for my software, but that's the way it is in Y2K.

But Esther.. 

Esther Dyson: "Yes, itís wrong to steal, and yes, the music companies have legally binding copyrights. But the reality is that itís not good business to annoy both your customers and your suppliers -- especially if youíre an intermediary whose added value is questionable."

I sent Esther an email thanking her for the piece, but asking her to look at the equivalent situation in software as an expressive artform. Patents, esp those of Amazon, who she cites as helping the creative process, are the biggest threat to free speech in software. I am optimistic that Esther will hear me. (I cc'd Jeff Bezos on the email to Esther.)

What is RDF? 

Survey: What is RDF?

The Guha mentioned in the survey is RV Guha, former Apple person, responsible for HotSauce, which was Apple's answer to the World Wide Web, circa 1997. He went on to Netscape and Epinions, and boasts of eight patents on his website.


Last update: Monday, August 21, 2000 at 7:56 PM Eastern.

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