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DaveNet: Distributed Membership and Preferences.

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WSJ: Microsoft unbundles Java. "Microsoft Corp. is quietly pulling back support for Java in its new products, dealing a new blow to a rival technology that played a starring role in the software giantís continuing antitrust battle with the government."

News.Com: "The FBI took a Russian encryption expert into custody Monday at his hotel in Las Vegas for allegedly publishing software that cracks a variety of methods used to secure e-books."

Joel Spolsky: Good software takes ten years. "Now the trouble comes when you can't think of any new features, so you put in the paperclip, and then you take out the paperclip, and you try to charge people both times, and they aren't falling for it."

Oy my phone line is totally dead, and the only option PacBell's website offers is that I call them. Oy oy oy.

Adam Barr: "What Microsoft is proposing is that people take information stored on their local machines (accessible for free), put it up on a server, and start paying money to access it. Does this make sense?"

Hugh Peebles: "During a recent move I came across two articles, published several years ago, with predictions and suggestions about the future of the Mac."

Benjamin Franklin: "Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."

Metafilter thread on TopText, a successor to Smart Tags for most insidious hack to the Web of 2001.

Harrumph: "When I was eighteen, I sat down and wrote a letter to myself, to open on the eve of my thirtieth birthday."

Dan and John 

Dan Gillmor on John Doerr's apology. Dan doesn't want to let John off the hook. But an apology on that scale is unprecedented. My values say you have to accept it for a a couple of reasons, one pragmatic, one philosophic. First the pragmatic. Perhaps it signals a bottom. If Doerr is willing to acknowledge his mistakes, then other VCs can follow, and just write off the crazy investments they made over the last few years. The local economy is still waiting. There are lots of companies with $10 million in the bank and no roadmap. When they finally fail they're going to dump even more people into the local looking-for-work pool (something Dan doesn't mention in his rant, but he does write for a San Jose paper, so this should be a concern). Maybe those companies that still have cash can re-tool and not send their employees out onto the street. This would be good.

Now the philosophy. We all have things to apologize for, but how many of us actually do it? None of us are perfect. What was Doerr supposed to do when the public went crazy for Internet stocks? (Another valid spin on the events.) Tell them no? That would have taken a lot of courage, and his partners would have encouraged an early retirement for John, no doubt about that. Look at how the Netscape strategy was focused on software sales and profitability before their landmark IPO. Doerr, as a director at Netscape, was applying earlier precedents to the valuation of the company. But the market valued Netscape for much more than their earnings and revenue. So he was just part of a ouija board, and when I go looking for blame I come up empty-handed. In other words, Doerr was being generous, and philosophically, when someone is generous, accept it and thank them. Yesterday I sent an email to Doerr saying exactly that, and also saying that the work that Netscape started is unfinished, and that might be a good theme for the restarting of the Silicon Valley technology engine.

5/4/95: "I forgive you!"

     

Last update: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 10:08 PM Eastern.

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