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Permanent link to archive for Friday, June 08, 2001. Friday, June 08, 2001

John Robb: 10 easy steps to get started with Radio.

Perhaps a little-known fact. If you know where to look you can see the channels that members of the Radio community are subscribed to. This information is used to produce the hotlist. These files can be excellent sources of ideas for channels you might want to subscribe to, not just in Radio, but in any personal RSS aggregation tool.

According to the plan, today is the last day for Tomalak's Realm. So I say goodbye to this great site, I'll remember it always, esp what I've learned from it, and wish Lawrence the very best, and look forward to what he comes up with next. (Update. The plan changed. Good news.)

News.Com: "The Java disputes are reminiscent of the wars of words between Unix vendors--and some of the same people are involved. Each Java vendor is primarily interested in selling its products at the expense of its rivals, which include the other Java vendors as well as Microsoft."

Sheila: "Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous."

Michael Fein: Yiddishkeit.

I didn't know that Thomas Edison electrocuted animals to prove how dangerous alternating current is.

WebReview reviews Atomz Publish.

Automatic Media laid off its staff. Joey Anuff explains.

More Smart Tags Permanent link to 'More Smart Tags' in archives.

Yesterday's DaveNet piece got a lot of response. It's great to know people are still out there, with opinions and hope for the medium. One of the things I learned is that there is the equivalent of the corporate death penalty, a company's charter can be revoked. Apparently this was more commonplace in the 1800s. A group of citizens in NY is trying to get Phillip-Morris's charter revoked.

Now, seeing comments in other places about "Smart Tags" there's a point a lot of people are missing. Microsoft is now not only a monopoly in operating systems, they are also a monopoly in Web browsers. Draw another line. Will we allow Microsoft to use that power to edit our content? Is a monopoly required to play by different rules than a company with competitors? We don't have any real choice, the vast majority of people who read our content read it through Microsoft's browser. As a result we have had to deal with their neglect of the browser. Now it gets worse. Where is the line?

I told Mohsen yesterday that I won't write for a Web where Microsoft inserts links into my writing. It would have no integrity. Mohsen works at Microsoft and is one of the few people who remain there that I trust. He supports Smart Tags, but I don't get it. To me it's way over the line. I told a WSJ reporter yesterday that Smart Tags are fine in Office, where the user is editing his or her own document. But what you're reading right now is my document. I did not and will not give Microsoft the right to modify it.

Register: "A reference, say, to a certain popular, white crystalline nose-rotting powder might inspire a Smart-Tag link to an advertisement for a certain carbonated water, sugar and caramel-color tooth-rotting drink known by the same name.

Eric Norlin: "Don't think you can 'just use Netscape' either. They're owned by AOL/Time Warner, and they just announced that Netscape intends to become a major media outlet on the web. That's right, Netscape browsers are being loaded with features that keep you in the AOL/Time Warner universe."

JY Stervinou finds a reference in the W3C Xlink spec that somehow relates to Smart Tags.

Standard: "Fortune missed a golden opportunity to question Microsoft's chances for convincing customers to begin paying for their software in perpetuity a radical idea on which the company is betting heavily. Fortune explains this away by arguing that Microsoft is in creative mode."

Motley Fool: Big Brother Microsoft. "There wasn't much of an uproar when NBCi started touting its latest feature. That's because NBCi doesn't have access to practically every computer user. Microsoft does."

I'm quoted in today's WSJ. Several people forwarded me a link to the article and I was able to read it, but I'm not sure how many times it can be viewed.

Deborah Branscum: "An innocent bystander might understandably believe that Microsoft is stuffed to the brim with anal-retentive control freaks who will not rest until every web page on every web site, every transaction through every e-commerce engine, every e-mail and every instant message lead inexorably back to Big Brother Bill."

All I gotta say to LinuxToday is Right On. Let there be silence when Redmond takes cheap distracting shots. We all know Microsoft is against open source. That's not news. And there's not much to learn by discussing it with them.

BTW, it just occurred to me that the Smart Tags thing might be another distraction. Why didn't they brief Web developers before they let it leak out through Mossberg? Look at how they managed the rollout of Train Simulator. They flew Scoble up to Redmond, wined and dined him, got feedback and sent him home with lots of schmata. (Yiddish for swag.) Now one has to wonder why Microsoft doesn't do the same for the Web developer opinion leaders. I think we're being taken one step at a time into the locked trunk. We'll scream at every step, and they'll ignore it. Something to think about.

Is the Web forking in 3 incompatible branches? Microsoft's, AOL's and ???.

Worse than it appears? Permanent link to 'Worse than it appears?' in archives.

Jan Tångring, a reporter at Datateknik 3.0 asks: "Could it be even worse? Technically yes, I think so. The way Smart Tags were explained to me, hypertext linking is just one of the possibilites.

"The action when activating a Smart Tag is fully programmable within Windows. Means anything: do a database lookup, order something, start a program, send a letter. Even rewriting the text of the document, expanding a name to a full address perhaps, or doing a spellcheck.

"That would make then the following scenario technically possible: Userland writes about Microsoft, the Smart Tag checks the text in the document, discovers your name, and Microsoft, and constructs a link to Steve Ballmer defending Microsoft against your views.

"Or technically they could replace your text with an ad. :-)"


Last update: Friday, June 08, 2001 at 6:59 PM Eastern.

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