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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, June 09, 2001. Saturday, June 09, 2001

Michael Fraase: "Recently Dave Winer wrote that America needs a corporate death penalty. Like Dave, I oppose capital punishment for humans, but agree that we need to be able to put corporations out of our misery."

NY Times: Intel Makes an Ultra-Tiny Chip. "At a technical conference being held this weekend in Kyoto, Japan, a scientist for the Intel Corporation reported that the company had successfully made a handful of silicon transistors no more than 70 to 80 atoms wide and 3 atoms thick. They are capable of switching on and off 1.5 trillion times a second, making them the world's fastest silicon transistor."

AP: Executions Around the World. "In one famous case at the beginning of last year, 17-year-old Morteza Amini Moqaddam, hands cuffed, tears streaking his face, was already in the noose and seconds from death when the victim's father told authorities to call it off. He had been moved by pleas from the boy's family and many of the 4,000 onlookers."

Matt Goyer's guide to Napster. He explains how to use a Napster server that's not run by Napster. In fact he's running one himself, in Canada.

From Tomalak, a pointer to a Register article from March that may explain why Apple is cracking down on developers of Mac OS themery.

Feature request. If you have a response to something here that's cool. But if you have a weblog, post the response there and send me a pointer. That way I have something to point to, and you can point back. The Web works better than email, whenever possible.

I posted a wacky idea that's been lurking in the back of my head. What if we could add viralness to content syndication.

Another little idea. I'd love to have a Walkman-size 802.11b web server with lots of RAM, takes two AA batteries, runs for six months. I have no idea why I want it other than to blow my mind.

A trip down memory lane. Here's message #10000 on the original DG. David Carter-Tod was the lucky poster. He made a speech.

Brent: "My grandmom is proof that some things run in families. She was a librarian for a local public school before retiring. She was a pioneer in the early '80s in bringing computers into the school and teaching kids to use them. She knew way back then that it was important, even when most everybody else around her thought they were just expensive toys."

Thanks to Dan Gillmor for the link to this Ed Foster article about Apple's pursuit of developers who develop themes for the Mac user interface. Interesting that at the same time both Apple and Microsoft are trying to put genies back in bottles. Same with the RIAA. (BTW, I just heard on NPR, to show how clueless I am, that there are Napster clones operating in Canada and Israel. I need pointers.)

I'm planning to speak at JabberCon in Colorado in August. It should be a lot of fun. I'm looking for ways we can connect weblogs to Jabber.

Microsoft: Developing Smart Tag Solutions.

After reading this article and thinking about the whole Smart Tag situation, a comment in the Motley Fool article struck me as making the point best.

"Technological advances cannot and should not be stopped, slowed, or even discouraged, but an invention such as Smart Tags should not be in the hands of a for-profit enterprise."
If this feature had not come from Microsoft, I think we would all be cheering. "Wow that's powerful," we'd say. The problem is we know Microsoft in many ways better than the people who work there, who may be good people, but they seem to put the blinders on when it comes to thinking about the people who run Microsoft. They don't create things, they own things. There used to be some neat stuff happening in Web browser software. Now everything that comes is moving into our sacred spaces, not Microsoft's.

I told a reporter yesterday that I would support Smart Tags if they allowed me to hack my links into Microsoft.Com, instead of the other way around. If you think this feature would gain support from independent Web developers, think again. (What a humiliating idea, for the Web, to even be talking about our independence from Microsoft.)

Maybe I have an advantage. I've been co-habitating the same industry with MS for over 20 years. And I also read David Bank's unpublished book on how the browser got sucked into the OS, from the Microsoft internal point of view. It seems there were a lot of Softies who stood up for the independence of the Web but Bill decided to go the other way and fully integrate the Web into Microsoft's product line. Bank's book is a total eye-opener. (It won't be out until August, but I'm hoping he publishes some excerpts before then.)

Another cool thing about Smart Tags is that people who take writing seriously, whether professional or amateur, understand the issue immediately. Read the Motley Fool article for that perspective. Writers are clear as a bell on this issue, where they were kind of off-balance when Mirosoft played the same nasty game with the Java developers who wanted WORA. (And the nasty shit came from the top, not the minions, who clearly liked Java, probably for many of the same reasons so many other developers did -- freedom from Windows. After working on a creaky codebase for a generation, there's nothing like a fresh start, but the top guys at MS didn't see the money, so the art died. Yuck.)

BTW, the link to the MSDN article came to me in an interesting way. I saw the link on Sjoerd's weblog, but it came from the synthetic MSDN channel, maintained by Mark Paschal's Stapler tool.

Weblogs.Com: Opting-out of the XML listings.

NY Times: "Even before the ink on his Napster deal was dry, Middelhoff was predicting that Bertelsmann would find a way to apply the file-sharing model to every form of media imaginable, from family photos to video games, digital films and television, even electronic books. Consumers would share anything that could be browsed or disseminated, probably paying a monthly subscription fee to participate."

Red Herring: "What's next: an 8-track store? How about an store to sell abacuses?"

XML.Com: "Several similar documents on XML Schema are already available. I discovered, however, that they're written by brilliant people who always drive things to the limit. They simply can't stop inventing cool tricks that even working group members can't imagine, and XML Schema is their new favorite toy."


Last update: Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 10:02 PM Eastern.

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