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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 01, 2000. Wednesday, November 01, 2000

Economist: The music business's digital challenge.

Red Herring: "So what will new users get for $4.95 a month? Andreas Schmidt, president of BECG, said during Tuesday's press conference that users will get high-quality digital downloads, instead of files originating from users, which range in quality from high to lousy." I'll pay. Sign me up.

Upside: "Turning an enemy into a partner is a smart move that, in almost all cases, leads to a reduction in hostilities."

Village Voice: The Incredible Shrinking Internet. "The Internet we know was the fountainhead of diversity, competition, and innovation, where all traffic could flow freely and all points of view were available. That Internet is being hijacked by media monopolists from the cable industry."

NY Times: A wireless format takes hold. "The standard, first popularized by Apple Computer in its Airport line of wireless products last year, is now being embraced so quickly that it is touching off a wireless 'air rush' as start-up companies and telecommunication vendors vie to lock up valuable sites at airports, hotels and other public hot spots."

The discussion of Groove continues on the Radio UserLand DG. Excellent stuff, I'm learning a lot. Smart smart people.

Dan Bricklin has photos of the Groove event last week.

The baton passes at ZopeNewbies. Jeff Shelton steps aside, and Luke Tymowski gets on stage. The audience shifts nervously in their seats. Luke begins his speech.

Hey it's November! Yow. I saw the first Christmas music CD ad on CNN last night. Made me want to puke. Where can I go to escape this madness. I think I'm going to write an article for Fortune called Transcendental Christmas. Or If Christ Knew.

Running outside the browser 

Developers are leaving the Web behind. I've seen a couple of products under embargo, other than our own and Groove, that are building new functionality outside the Web browser. A year ago this would have been unthinkable, now it's almost defacto.

This adds confusion for sure. Each of the new environments continues the tradition started with Hypercard. Some are good at running apps, but have no developer tools. Some are pretty and others stark and colorless. No single offering does everything that's needed. They're all trying to do the same thing, imho -- be the next platform, or surface, to insert new code between the user and the Internet. Each has to deal with stiff competition from the Web, that can be easy to overlook. Too easy. The Web is the most enormous platform ever.

And even that is Hypercardish, which had to compete with the famous Macintosh GUI.

Defensive indifference 

Now in this context the excesses of the dot-com era are seen more clearly. Had Netscape grown organically, and carefully, with regard for Web developers (people who use HTML, not Java or XML), we'd have a two party system, and progress wouldn't have to happen outside the browser.

Instead the VCs played the hype organ, put figureheads in charge, people who know nothing about developer communities, or even anything about the Web. They made noises like they understood, and who could contradict that, people were making so much money, they were happy. But the technology died. The developers went nowhere. And Microsoft took over the market without opposition.

In the last game of the World Series in the 9th inning with the Yankees up by two and tasting victory, Bennie Agbayani took second base, and the Yankee catcher didn't bother trying to throw him out. I wondered how the scorekeeper would record this. Was it an error? A stolen base?

I looked it up. "Defensive indifference." I had never heard that term before. And that's exactly what Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech industry did with the Web. We let Microsoft steal the base and never put up any realistic opposition.

The Mac OS X plan 

Yesterday Brent and I talked about the plan for releasing our Mac OS X server software. The goal is to reintroduce ourselves to the Macintosh world, asking them to take another look at something that is radically different from what they knew four years ago. Experience has shown this can be difficult, so we're going to stage the rollout in such a way that it's impossible to miss the difference.

Share the flow 

This is a Manila SiteSpeaking of promotion, we have a new badge for Manila, and if you are running a free site on a UserLand server we ask that that you show it, with pride, in your site template. It's easy to do, just include "This is a Manila Site" where you want the badge to appear.


Last update: Thursday, November 02, 2000 at 5:42 AM Eastern.

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