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Permanent link to archive for Monday, February 19, 2001. Monday, February 19, 2001

DaveNet: Internet 3.0.

Survey: "If I had a weekly or monthly Scripting News dinner in Palo Alto, would you come?"

Aaron Swartz: Apprentice Education. There's an interesting subtext to this. Aaron is the brightest 13 year old I've ever met on the Internet. It's not just bit smarts, he marshalls power very well and is persistent. Eventually you come around to his way of thinking, or he comes around to yours. These are the essential ingredients in good technology. We're looking for the right answer, not to be proven right, or to prove the other guy wrong.

Tomorrow my house is getting an 802.11b upgrade so I'll be able to do demos in the woods and in the living room and check my email from the kitchen. Nice!

From the Let Me Know When You Figure It Out Department. Now Microsoft PR says it was an oversight that they did not actually invite Dan Gillmor to the Windows XP rollout.

Give Microsoft's Jim Allchin 10 points for making a boneheaded comment about The American Way, and give every open source advocate and journalist 10 points for taking the bait. Net that out as a 10 points against Microsoft, and at least a hundred points on the other side. Perhaps when we're more evolved we'll have a Designated Microsoft Basher. "I'm busy, you take this one," Doc might say to Dan. Salon's Andrew Leonard, in an email exchange, said Allchin is "stupid". Oy.

The full Leonard quote: "The 'American Way' comment is rhetoric with extremely ugly connotations. I'm still amazed Allchin would be stupid enough to say that."

Do you have software that can read AppleWriter files?

White Mesa: SOAP for RPC NT Service.

It would be hard for this site to not achieve expectation. This one has loftier ambitions.

Proof that humor is possible, even in the Land O' Open Source. (I like self-deprecating humor best. Most of the humor in open source culture has been aimed elsewhere. I'd love to get some pointers to examples of Murphy-like amusement about open source, or as one of my critics says "Open Sores".) For what it's worth, the obvious play on words for UserLand is (oh this hurts) LoserLand. And forget about my last name, it's a total disaster. I can't even complain about it without evoking an evil smirk. Who was it who said "It's not like anyone gets out of this alive."

Solution to yesterday's non-technical puzzle (otherwise known as a "joke"). Never mind, I'll sit in the dark. (You might have to have a Jewish mother, as I do, to appreciate this.)

Now, how many Apple people does it take to screw in a light bulb? (BTW, this is the first puzzle that doesn't take a devious turn. There actually is an answer, which I can tell you without spoiling the delight. It's 1. And to solve the puzzle, to explain why a single Apple person is so powerful, you should think about the Apple of 1991, which is when this joke was circulating in the developer community.)

Now a comment for Dan Gillmor who has added to the fast-developing thread about The American Way and software. Dan gave us a couple of excellent metaphors. "The American Way is also about barn-raisings and volunteer fire departments -- group efforts for the good of the community, and no threat to capitalism even though we might (repeat, might) end up with better barns and more efficient fire-fighting by paying people to do it."

Yes, this is an interesting point. Generosity is an American value. Barn-raising and volunteer fire departments are wonderful concepts, but they do not map onto open source. There's an element of exclusion and segregation to open source that is also very American. And imagine if the volunteer fire departments went on a PR campaign against professional fire departments. And if you cut through the hype you'll see that joining the open source community is just as much a poison pill as becoming a Microsoft or Sun developer. You're captive any way you look at it. Their bathtub is as self-contained as all the others. (Until XML-RPC and SOAP fixed that. Heh.)

Hey the root of the word "customer" is "custom". What does that mean?


Last update: Monday, February 19, 2001 at 11:00 PM Eastern.

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