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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, June 10, 2001. Sunday, June 10, 2001

State governments in the US execute people almost every week, but every so often a high profile execution comes up and we re-focus on the issue, as a country. I remain opposed to capital punishment in all cases in all circumstances. I explained my reasons in several pieces around the Karla Fay Tucker execution in 1998. My uncle Sam was murdered, and I opposed the death sentence for his killers. Killing people in the name of justice is wrong. We do kill innocent people. A black man is more likely to be executed than a white man. Almost all the people executed are men. As a citizen of the country that is killing McVeigh, I am responsible for his death. That's cruel and unusual punishment, for me, and attacks my core belief of what it means to be human. Killing another person, for whatever reason, is not the domain of a civilized society. Our lifespan is determined by the higher power, god or whatever you call it. It is not our place to kill others, esp not in the name of justice.

Forgive Her: "Those of you who wanted death, you now have it. What do you say? Teach us. Does her death give you a sense of peace? Is your spirit at rest now? Do you wake up with a smile on your face knowing that a violent criminal got the punishment you felt she deserved? Do you forgive her now that she's paid the price?"

Or does more killing beget unease? My theory, whether you're for or against capital punishment, we all feel the pain of an execution. First pain, then shame. That's why we never talk about them after they're done.

Today might be a good day to survey the editorial pages of various newspapers.

Encyclopedia Britannica: The Sacco-Vanzetti Case.

NY Times: "The notion that independent publications could challenge established media concern because it costs very little to publish online has fallen on hard times along with the rest of the Web's early illusions." No way. They're ignoring weblogs and amateur journalism.

Dan Gillmor: Stand Up to Service Providers. Unfortunately for users the time to "stand up to service providers" was when there was lots of money for the service providers to invest in technology that distributes the data. UserLand was one of very few (possibly the only one) to do this. No one asked us to. Most companies think that locking users in is a good thing.

I've been emailing with Dan, and he wants to know what you think. How can we improve the situation and make it work for everyone, users, service providers, tool makers, investors.

Check it out. Adam Curry is doing what Dan is talking about. He moved his Manila site from our server to his. "Please bear in mind, I'm a DJ by trade, not a server admin or scripter," he says. (I would disagree, Adam is quickly becoming both.)

A little taste of Smurf Turf (codename for the server in the next release of Radio). Like Manila it has an Editors Only menu. But since this is 2001 and not 1999, we had to do it better. This time it's edited in an outline, of course, and can have nested sub-menus. This will make the software richer and easier to use and customize.

BTW, thanks to Lawrence Lee for the pointer to this article about the grass at Boise State's football stadium, which is called (you guessed it) Smurf Turf! Hah.

Hey Lockergnome has an RSS feed, and a nice white-on-orange XML button on the home page.

What is Dot-Net? I think I can say it more clearly now than before. It's a scripting environment that supports SOAP. How does it compare to others? What are the editors like? A list of features of the runtime? How does it connect to databases? Can applications access each others' storage?

Simon Fell says I'm full of it. "Dotnet is strongly typed and compiled, not like any scripting environment I've worked with."

It also occurred to me that the open source world doesn't have a clone of HyperCard in the works, does it? Thinking about the blogging tool for Palm OS, below, isn't it weird that there's no lightweight non-HTML scripting environment to deploy against Microsoft's? How small can Dot-Net get? How much RAM did HyperCard require? It must have been less than a meg.

Adam Barr wrote "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: What I Leaned in Ten Years As a Microsoft Programmer," which according to Barnes and Noble is "a reflection on a decade spent working at the country's largest software company."

Chapter one of Barr's book is on the Web.

Feedreader is a "freeware Windows application that reads and displays Internet newsfeeds aka RSS feeds based on XML."

webLog for Palm OS "allows you to use your Palm OS device to create webLog (blog) entries for a web site. The inherent portability of Palm devices means that you can jot down entries for your weblog practically anywhere. The included conduit allows you to upload the created entries to your web server when you return to your PC."


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

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