Weblog Archive >  2001 >  September Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, September 30, 2001. Sunday, September 30, 2001

DaveNet: Patents and the W3CPermanent link to this item in the archive.

I got a note from Adam Bosworth at BEA. They voted against the new patent policy. Bravo.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wes: "Patents and standards don't mix." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Slashdot thread on patents and the W3C. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ted Kuster's report on the Seybold panel on Wed. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Brent Simmons: Tips for Frontier and Radio DevelopersPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Mark Pilgrim has glue that connects Python to Manila. This is a big deal. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

My Jamaican uncle poses in front of a picture of my Russian great-grandfather. Yeah they're related. Can you tell?  

Weblogs.Com corner-turn continues Permanent link to this item in the archive.

OK, today's focus, Murphy-willing, is getting ready for the Weblogs.Com corner-turn. I gave a few people advanced tips on how the XML-RPC handler works and there's already been some development and discussion on various weblogs.

XML-RPC: Weblogs.Com Interface. New spec.

John Robb explains, from a users' point of view, the potential of this new approach.

Bill Humphries has done PHP and AppleScript clients.

I released a client for Frontier and Radio last week.

Dries Buytaert wants to do a distributed updates crawler, and I support this. Ultimately that's how it's going to scale to cover hundreds of thousands of weblogs.

I started a mail list for announcements and technical discussion and a companion Manila site for docs and philosophy.

Mike Krus is working on NewsIsFree and Drupal.

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, September 29, 2001. Saturday, September 29, 2001

AP: "Barry Bonds hit his 69th homer Saturday." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "Falling victim to the collapse of the dot-com bubble, the At Home Corporation, a once-mighty Internet portal, said that it planned to file for bankruptcy protection." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

If you're taking Computer Science 417 at Rutgers you have to answer questions about XML-RPC. Let's see if I get it right. a. Explicit. b. Encoding and decoding XML. c. No lock-in. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The Poynter Institute posted an internal NY Times publication (in PDF) with some interesting stories first hand from Times staffers of the WTC attack. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dan Gillmor: "We need to recognize what Farber and the webloggers implicitly grasp -- that our readers, listeners and viewers collectively know more, vastly more, than we do." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Tamara Shelton: "Suddenly, I wasn’t trapped alone in my little house watching this one-way box." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

John Robb: "Talk about a bad time to file an IPO." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Since Exodus is bankrupt, we're again looking for a new place for our servers. I've started a mail page with current co-lo advice from experts. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ed: "I put the 'Ed' in Ed's Garage." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

In these uncertain times when no one knows which end is up, simple little statements make me feel good. I imagine there's someone out there who will object to Ed making that claim, but I want him and everyone else to know that back him one hundred percent! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Zero tolerance for racism, part II Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A conversation with a friend. He heard that Muslims in New York had been warned to stay away from Manhattan on the 11th. I groaned. I said shame on you. Not only should you not be passing on that kind of BS, you should be dousing it.

People with minds have to use them, if only to balance the numerous people who don't.

Radio 7.1 leakage Permanent link to this item in the archive.

OK, I'm going to start leaking about Radio 7.1 now.

First, it'll be priced competitively with Groove. But unlike Groove which is a closed box, Radio 7.1 will be totally open. Easy to replace. Its purpose is to manage static sites from your desktop. The cursor moves out of the cloud and onto your desktop.

We've been building new light cloud-level services, using XML-RPC and SOAP of course, minimal stuff, easy to replace, and we'll specify all the interfaces. We'd love to see clones develop on both sides. This is what open means to me.

One more bit of leakage -- there will be a Mac OS X version as well as a classic Mac version. Our roots are showing. Heh.

A cloudy morning Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Have you noticed that my first posts in the morning tend to be a little dark and crufty? I have a theory about this. I have to spiritually clear the deck to get started working in the morning. Irritations. There's so much good news in the world. Yah. Time for more coffee!

Apple Computer describes "how to use Apple Script and the Apple Event Manager in Mac OS X to make remote procedure calls using the XML-RPC and SOAP protocols."

In their docs they refer to UserLand as a "third party" without naming us. Fascinating. Just shows that the term means nothing, because in this context, if anyone is, Apple is the third party. Words. I noticed the other day that I keep saying how much I like two-party systems. Amen to that. Glad to have Apple on board, glad Microsoft and IBM are on board too. It'll help keep things balanced.

This morning I got an email from a reporter at a BigTechPub asking if I worked at Microsoft when we did the design for XML-RPC. It's not true, I worked then as now at UserLand. There is a published report somewhere that Don Box and I were MS employees. Is that a job offer? LOL. They would never hire me, because if they did, I would insist on my title being CPP, which stands for Chief Poison Pill.

Disclosure: I Hate Big Companies.

How do you know you work at a BigCo? Your company doesn't have a culture of reciprocal linking on its sites. What is reciprocal linking? It's a hat-tip, a hand-hold. Thanks for the pointer. Back at ya. It's a basic good business concept, applied to the Web.

Have you noticed how the tech development mail lists are coming back to life after the biggest outage of all time. It wasn't of course a technical outage. The wires still worked, as did the servers and the workstations. It's the minds that were out, looping infinitely over a major security issue.

The first posts on the lists are mostly saying "Hi I'm still here." The irritating people re-introduce themselves by saying irritating things. The worker-bees say hello by re-starting their projects. There was only one protocol hijack attempt during the processing period. It failed miserably. I guess people weren't being childish while their adult-selves were busy trying to figure out if anything made sense anymore. It's good to see everyone back at work, it's disheartening to see that much of the baggage survived the outage. Hey we'll probably get another chance. Maybe, in some ways, terror is good for us?

Permanent link to archive for Friday, September 28, 2001. Friday, September 28, 2001

Good morning sports fans. And thank you to the world's terrorists for not blowing up anything overnight. 

Charles Deemer: An Open Letter to the Peace Movement. "I believe there is no middle ground here: You either fight or you don't fight, and doing nothing amounts to surrender." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Sneak preview of a fun new feature coming soon for Manila. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Henry Norr reviews Mac OS 10.1. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Economist: Is globalisation doomed? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com: "Record labels have long sought technology to curb the practice of ripping, and they are on the verge of success with some new copy-protected releases." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dan Gillmor: Journalism 3.0Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Doc Searls: Amateur RulesPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Scoble: The Bay Area Weblogger User Group.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adobe is doing something new with XML, but it's hard to figure out what it is from the press releasePermanent link to this item in the archive.

Two years ago today I asked: "What if SOAP or XML-RPC connected Linux and Mac? You'd get PhotoShop connected to Zope. Dreamweaver and PHP. Quark and MySql. AppleScript and Apache. Don't forget Director, Illustrator, BBEdit and WebSTAR. Think different." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now that Apple has adopted XML-RPC and SOAP, maybe Adobe should just get with the program. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's a sign of Silicon Valley getting back to its roots. Centralized productivity tools is a good first step for Yahoo. Then let's work to upgrade the user experience of writing for the public Web. Microsoft must protect Office, so this is a good zig to their zag. It's a sign of things straightening out. Two-party system. Good. Note to Yahoo, make sure it's easy for users to get a copy of all their data on their desktop computer.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

ToDo is a browser-based outliner. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A time capsule Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Due to a DNS outage of some kind that just cleared I was not able to read Brent's site for a couple of weeks, and now as if by magic, I can.

Brent said quite a few things in the last couple of weeks that are worth quoting.

Like this. "Gandhi was fighting opression with civil disobedience, with peaceful means. But his enemy was the 20th century British. They could be shamed into being their better selves."

And this. "I heard that the passengers on the flight that crashed into the Pennsylvania cornfield voted on whether or not to try to overpower the hijackers. They voted! Americans to the last. Voting, it's like an instinct with us, even when the most horrible thing is going on, we stop to vote. You can't kill democracy, you can only kill people."

Check this out. "My kitten lives in what Sheila calls his 'safe happy kitty world.' He knows nothing. He just wants to play with his green yarn and curl up in the sun."

Life goes on, for now.

Let's do Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was interviewed by a BigPub yestereday, at length, about the role that amateur journalism is now playing. I sense a real change in the professonal's view of amateurs. Please don't see us as a threat, see us as allies in getting ideas and information from people to people. The Seybold writeup of the session on Wednesday suggested that amateurs have less integrity than the pros. I think it's provable that this is not true. But let's not go there. That's fear. Let's find ways to get the information flowing to and from places where it doesn't. Let's draw an accurate picture of the world, and expose places where inaccurate pictures are being drawn. That should be our common goal -- amateurs and pros, working together.

She asked how the events of 9-11 changed us. I said it was pretty obvious. Go look at the archive for 9-10. I released a piece on open source in 2001 that I had spent a couple of weeks preparing. I even took a couple of extra days to work with Bryan Bell on a beautiful graphic rendering of my hand-drawn graphic. I fully expected that I would rewrite the piece in September 2002. Now things are moving so much more quickly. But again we're getting to work on technology and that's good. We've learned so much in the last couple of weeks as our systems have stretched on both ends, and there's a new can-do attitude in our community. That's what I've been waiting for. So let's do.

Corner turn in weblog-land Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday I reported on the coming corner-turn in the implementation of Weblogs.Com and the Updates page on UserLand.Com. Today I have the first result to show you.

Here's an XML file that's being maintained by rpc.weblogs.com of the participating Manila and Radio sites that updated in the last hour. As people update their software the list will become more inclusive. Today I'm going to rewrite the Updates page so that it displays data coming from this XML file. (Caveat: Do not write apps that depend on this file until it is documented. I can already see changes coming.)

This is a multi-step rollout. We will publish a spec that allows any blogging tool or CMS to particpate in this network. I'll probably start a mail list for this soon. There's already a website ready to take the place of www.weblogs.com. One step at a time. We're signaling this corner-turn slowly, we want the transition to work for everyone, and to be able to increase the flow of news to the growing community of weblog-lovers.

Don't give an inch to racism Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lots of email this morning. Notably one correspondent who requests anonymity says that Jorn Barger is not a racist. I must be missing something. In what other context is it necessary to say that the Deputy Secretary of Defense of the US is Jewish? Yesterday I pointed to a person I respect and wondered if it was necessary to say that he's Jewish. See how the poison spreads.

Then I remember how much shame I felt as a child growing up in post-war NY, having school bullies blame me for the death of their uncles and fathers in WWII. I was just a child, so I believed them. Their parents said it was the Jews' fault. I'm Jewish. OK, can't blame the kids either. As an adult I do not give one inch to racism. I never thought I would live this again. My grandfather warned me. I have zero tolerance for racism. I hope you do too.

The way I choose to fight this, now, is by finding and promoting positive visions of Jewish culture. Albert Einstein is a good example. You'll see more of those as time goes by.

Postscript: Amitai Schlair suggests that it's also racism to promote positive visions of Jewish-ness. My values are different. I posted a picture of Pakistani women saying no to terrorism and war. That they're women and Pakistani are relevant facts. That Einstein was Jewish is relevant too. He even went on the record about it. You can't be a survivor of racism, as Einstein was, without saying something about it.

Maybe another way of saying this is that Jews demand equal protection. We all seem to agree that being anti-Muslim is not smart or in any way supportable. Jews have a long history of being left to fend for themselves. Enough of that. As I said to Amy Wohl the other day (is she Jewish, probably) you can't love us without loving our home.

Perhaps that adequately explains why Israel exists, and why our country supports it, but that does not absolve us of the responsibility of being loving and careful of the Palestinians who also have a great culture and a long history of not being respected enough, and are searching for security in their homeland, which is something we all must understand now.

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, September 27, 2001. Thursday, September 27, 2001

Heads-up to all our users. We're beginning a transition to a new implementation for the UserLand updates page, starting shortly. There will probably be some outages tomorrow, but Murphy-willing we'll fix them quickly. This is the beginning of a big corner-turn for Weblogs.Com, believe it or not. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

About the change that's coming, the new version of Weblogs.Com will not depend on polling. To participate a site must be able to send an XML-RPC or SOAP 1.1 message to weblogs.com, and that will schedule a poll event for sometime in the next hour. Our server will only read sites that claim to have updated. This change is necessary in order for Weblogs to scale to support the number of sites that it now works with. In other words, as so many people already know, it's already outgrown itself.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another BTW, the new version will not have a user interface. It will only produce static XML files that can then be picked up by search engines, and user interfaces running elsewhere, including Radio 7.1 (coming soon). I've been exchanging email with Daniel Chan, the developer of Daypop, and he plans to support the new feeds. This can make his excellent just-in-time search engine even more responsive. He can read sites that he knows have updated, and re-index them immediately. In our own small way this will be an upgrade for the Web, and a boost for serious bloggers, and an incentive (perhaps) for Google to upgrade their already wonderful service. (I love two-party systems.) Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I also love that the Web has become so much smaller with all the dotcom distractions flushed out, it's easier to see who's alive and doing interesting stuff. Watch the lights come back on. Still diggin. Totally 1.0.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BTW, I am intrigued by my TiVO, and pretty overwhelmed by it too. So much stuff to watch. Who has the time. One thought occurred to me though. I wish it had a built-in 802.11b compatible HTTP server built-in. I'd like to access the TV schedule via my laptop web browser and be able to program the TiVO from anywhere in the house. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

As if from heaven. "The Tivo Web Project is designed to give you a web interface to your TiVo using Open Source software." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Today's song: "So if you're down on your luck, and you can't harmonize, find a girl, with far away eyes." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jabber.Org: "The Jabber-RPC spec has been approved as a Draft protocol." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Tom Brady: "While several participants expressed satisfaction about Web sites’ abilities to post stories quickly, especially compared to the Web sites of major newspapers, one audience member warned them not to gloat. 'It’s easy for you to say you can put up stories on the Web faster than The New York Times,' she said, 'but they have issues of integrity, accuracy and legality that you don’t have.'” Hmm. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Albert Einstein: "If relativity is proved right the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist. If relativity is proved wrong the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com: Exodus battles to keep customers. This site is hosted at Exodus. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Paul Boutin: "People talk about how we reacted online in the past two weeks, and how independent voices augmented and even corrected Big Media. But until we can link to some Afghan webcams or bloggers in Baghdad, there's a big hole in the conversation. Our use of the word we doesn't really mean all of us." Yes. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The FBI has pictures of the hijackers of the four planes. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lance Knobel: "Some US commentators are suggesting that any questioning of US actions now places the critic in the enemy's camp. This is absurd." I agree. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lance's point of view is especially valuable because: 1. He's in London. 2. He's an American. 3. He has a mind and uses it. We have so many more great minds on our side, we have to use them if we want to win. And until and unless we develop confidential idea processing systems, we have to use the public airwaves. The only choice is defeat, imho. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I could write a piece, I think, entitled How to Win The War On The Internet, but it would be a very simple adaptation of How To Make Money On The Internet, which I wrote in February 2000. Bottom-line, it's worth building out the Internet, now, so it reaches individuals in Central Asia, so information can flow, person-to-person, between Europe, North America, the Far East and Central Asia. We win if we can get the information to flow more smoothly. We're the open alliance, the bad guys depend on privacy, we thrive on open access. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

More thoughts for Davos. Globalization must go forward. However -- we have a bug to fix. When the network extends into new territory, we must not threaten cultural differences, as much as possible. Good worldwide communication is as important as universal suffrage. However, we don't need to push our fantasies on cultures who may not have much experience to understand that Baywatch, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and CNN are not the west as it really is. The bedtime stories we love so much introduce a lot of disconnects. It's so interesting that we first share our fantasies. Perhaps the disconnect in the west about terrorism is just as severe as the image we project of ourselves. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another idea for Davos. Finally create a virtual Davos that's year-round and does not require plane travel. Facilitate communication between the minds 365 days a year, this way when they come to a meeting, they'll be better prepared to do real work. Davos is unique, in my experience, that it reaches into minds and doesn't numb them, too much. Now it's time to do more. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Let the circus begin.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Karlin Lillington: "A doctor, a lawyer, a rabbi, a priest, an Irishman, an Englishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar. The barman says: 'What is this, some kind of joke?'" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dylan Tweney: "In the hours and days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, millions of phone lines went silent, but e-mail and the Web continued to work." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I heard a report on NPR that 14 people have been killed in a Swiss government building by a disgruntled citizen. It wasn't the first item on the news. What is going on in the world? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Reuters: Gunman storms Swiss local assemblyPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Scoble: Does your Intranet suck? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Three pictures from London of a post-apocalyptic NY. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yup, there is a racist blog. I've watched Jorn creep up to the line and said nothing. In the last few days it's gotten much worse. Lots of links about how bad Israel is. An Israel-divestment campaign that somehow got my name on it. OK, he's got a political opinion and has buggy software. But now his cowardice is reaching new levels, it's not just about Israel, now he's got a thing about Jews, even American Jews. Racial hatred in America is not cool. I sent him a picture of Albert Einstein making a silly face. Einstein was a Jew and a great man. I hope Jorn finds the answers to his questions without resorting to race hate Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Andy Edmonds is optimizing the user interface of Mozilla. 

Last night I worked on a DaveNet piece while I was sleeping. I'm not kidding. I didn't let myself wake up until it was finished. Unfortunately I don't remember what it was about but I think I can figure it out. The mind is really weird.  

 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, September 26, 2001. Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Good morning. It's going to be a very light day. I'm going to San Francisco to moderate a panel at Seybold, and have a few meetings and schmoozings. Scoble is going to blog the session in real-time.  

Four years ago today I got an email from Bill Gates about privacy and the Internet. "I am spending a lot of time on this - calling Congressman and Senators. However the FBI and the administration are suggesting that restricting the software industry is key to fighting criminals. Of course they don't say that criminals will still find it very easy to pre-encrypt the information they send." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Zimran Ahmed: "I was at a Microsoft presentation today where they spoke about their .NET strategy and XP." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com: Sun alliance targets Microsoft's PassportPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Infoworld: Sun, others to issue competitor to Microsoft PassportPermanent link to this item in the archive.

The Onion is back.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, September 25, 2001. Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Content-Wire: "OPML is an XML format that allows exchange of outline-structured information." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'm listening to Fresh Air's interview (requires RealAudio) with Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, about the connection between the Taliban and Pakistan. Great stuff. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Reuters: "Sun Microsystems said it would announce a 'digital identity' initiative on Wednesday, a move that appeared to take aim at an old foe -- Microsoft Corp and the software giant's Passport system for Internet commerce."  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NewsMax: "Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., warned Monday that the US is vulnerable to nuclear attack by terrorists who may have access to as many as 60 briefcase-sized tactical nuclear weapons now missing from the former Soviet Union." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

David Rieff: "Bin Laden wants to eradicate Western modernity, not liberate Palestine, and the US has no choice but to fight him." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Joe Zirilli: "I have an existing application writen in VB6 and we now have a Linux Beowulf Cluster that we would like to use to speed up the application. I would like to strip out some of the application and port it to the Linux environment and then call it from the VB application using XML-RPC. What will I need to do this and how is it done?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Sam Cohen: "My offhand guess is that the majority of Americans couldn't care less how we 'do in' the Taliban and bin Laden and company" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Amy Wohl on being an American. "I'm frightened -- for all of us -- but I am sure that we have to simply go about our business and let our government go about its business." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

CNBC: Market ends slightly upPermanent link to this item in the archive.

BBC: Bush sides with the doves. "So far, the evidence is that Secretary of State Colin Powell is winning the policy battle. His philosophy is to build international support, to hold back US forces until they can be used decisively, to focus the effort." CommentsPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Edd Dumbill: "All releases up to and including version 1.0 of XML-RPC for PHP have a serious security vulnerability, allowing hostile remote clients or servers to execute arbitrary code on your machine." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: US Says No Plan to Topple TalibanPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Today Apple did a better job of announcing support for XML-RPC and SOAP in the latest version of Mac OS X. They still didn't get it quite right, XML-RPC is not part of the W3C, and the SOAP support they implemented is SOAP 1.1, which also didn't come from the W3C. It's kind of like saying the Mac user interface came from Microsoft. Oh well, it's still grrreat that they're moving forward here. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

"thinkusaalignright"Paul Boutin: "Installing the Code Red patch isn't enough. Netcraft's latest crawl found nearly half of all IIS servers still have a WebDAV configuration known to be vulnerable. Cross-site scripting is still unsecured on one in five machines, with many other long-known security holes still turning up on one in every five to ten sites pinged by Netcraft. And it looks like admins who install the Code Red patch often fail to remove the root.exe program the worm adds to the machine. What Code Red didn't do with it, a future worm will." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Joel: "Gartner seems to suffer the common but moronic falacy that new or 'completely rewritten' code is somehow less buggy than old code." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Robb Beale has discovered a new source of Great Energy on Mac OS 10.1. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: NY Crime Has Plunged Since AttacksPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Zeldman: "When I hold my woman we seem to fall under a spell, as if it is up to us to begin repopulating the earth." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Michigan State University session on reporting of the 9-11 disaster. "Area journalists and faculty members of the Victims and the Media Program respond to questions and comments from students and members of the MSU community about news coverage of the events on Sept. 11." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

WSJ: "Online-advertising spending has plummeted since Sept. 11, raising new doubts about the business models of Web companies like Yahoo Inc. that depend heavily on such spending." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Register: "Redmond is telling its sales channel that a rewrite of IIS is underway for version 6.0." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Screen shot of today's NY Times home page. The same page, two weeks ago, on the day of the tragedy. Here's a question for tomorrow. Does the Times archive their home page? GIFs are nice, but HTML would be better. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

John VanDyk: "The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 could land you life in prison if you don't have a firewall. Suppose someone launches an attack from your machine and you can't prove it was not you? Zip...you're in the slammer." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Reuters: New 'War Vote' Virus Deletes Computer FilesPermanent link to this item in the archive.

DaveNet: Seybold 2001 -- Publishing In CrisisPermanent link to this item in the archive.

A personal note of thanks to the people at Seybold. As always, they're the best conference producers I work with. They do their jobs with courage and excellence, and they never second guess me. I appreciate the amount of trust they show in me, personally (that's why this is a personal note). At one point in the discussions last week I said -- "Let me do this, it will work." And of course they said yes, and they swung into action and we recruited a fantastic new panel. We've now got a string of great collaborations dating back to 1997 and that's worth noting. Thanks! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's a question I'm going to ask tomorrow for people who keep weblogs, who didn't cover the attacks and the aftermath. Why? (Don't consider this a challenge -- it's a straight question.) If you can, respond on the Seybold mail list. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jason Kottke: "Doing a little research for the panel on Wed dredged up the following links." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Doc Searls: "If this had happened ten years ago — and given the technology involved, it easily could have — the mainstream media would have told the whole story. Some small percentage of the rest of us would have written letters to editors or something; but the prevaiing wisdom would have been almost entirely received." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adam Curry: "I once was late filing tax papers and awoke to find all my money gone, transferred out of my accounts to the feds." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "Napster said that it had agreed to pay $26 million to settle a copyright lawsuit with songwriters and music publishers, and to make royalty payments once it started a for-pay service." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Highlights of a 60 Minutes piece on brain fingerprinting. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lance Knobel: "I spent two days last week in a brainstorming session about Davos 2002. Rightly and inevitably, our discussions were dominated by the events of 11 September and their aftermath." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Oliver Wrede: "I am not Anti-American. I am Anti-Bush (or rather against the politics he represents)." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

About Love Manila Month -- September is winding to a close, and great lists are still coming in. Thank you. So I hereby declare October as Love Manila Month II. Keep the good vibes, and the great wish lists, and we'll keep adding features and fixing bugs. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Bush and the doves Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Supporting my President all the way. No problem here. BBC says he's going with the doves. He's a smart guy. Thinkin before dusting Uncle Osama and his troop of know-it-all assholes.

We want the support of the Afghani people, and Muslims everywhere. Good idea. And what a brilliant move it was to choose Colin Powell, one of the leaders of Desert Storm, to head the State Department. No hotheads calling the shots at the BigCountry with a heart. Powell gets it better than any of our correspondents, and Bush, like any good exec, listens to the people who work for him, and saves the oral gymnastics for the press corps.

Net-net my country is doing it just right.

And one more thing -- it's been not-correct for most of my life for Americans to say we love our country. That's a big bug. We're the world's greatest country and we know it. I love the USA. It gave me life, an education, role models and a philosophy. And if you think we're stupid or decadent, just try fucking with us.

USA -- All The Way.

One more thing and then I gotta go Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'm on stage tomorrow at 8:30AM that means I gotta get up early, but first I want to correct an outdated assumption many people make about American role models in the 21st century. A lot of our critics think the ultimate American male role model is still John Wayne. That's cute, but that's not who we are now.

I gave it some thought this afternoon -- which movie actors do I admire most? I thought of Marlon Brando, for his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather and for the fat but beautiful NY psychologist in Don Juan de Marcos. Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets. Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, Scent of a Woman, Any Given Sunday. Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. My movie role models are men who think, who are crazy, and struggle to be great. They're not one-dimensional, they are rich and complex, like real people.

I also think of Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan. Einstein, of course, wasn't born in the US, and that makes him all the more appropriate as an American role model because so many great Americans were not born here. And Carl Sagan had the courage to confront our greatest fear, knowledge. He made it easy to understand that the universe does not revolve around us. It's very scary to realize that probably very little of the universe gives a shit whether our planet lives or dies. In all likelihood, they don't even know we exist, whoever they may be.

Where this goes is a subject for more thought and discussion over the coming days and weeks, Murphy-willing.

Morning notes Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Good morning. We had our first rainstorm of the season last night. What a thing to behold. Thunder and lighting. Huge. Power outages. Everything is wet. Lovely smells. Happy garden.

Permanent link to archive for Monday, September 24, 2001. Monday, September 24, 2001

Tony Kern: "Every American citizen was in the crosshairs of last Tuesday's attack, not just those that were unfortunate enough to be in the World Trade Center or Pentagon. The will of the American people will decide this war. If we are to win, it will be because we have what it takes to persevere through a few more hits, learn from our mistakes, improvise, and adapt. If we can do that, we will eventually prevail." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

MSNBC: WHO warns of biowarfare threatPermanent link to this item in the archive.

On Slashdot, Philip Zimmerman, the developer of PGP, says that the Washington Post misrepresented him in their article about software used by the terrorists. "This misrepresentation is serious, because it implies that under the duress of terrorism I have changed my principles on the importance of cryptography for protecting privacy and civil liberties in the information age."  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Salon: "The day the twin towers disappeared, ex-spouses, former crushes and old lovers reappeared in many lives. As if a voice from on high granted an across-the-board reprieve, people began dialing telephones with scarcely a thought for the consequences." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Infoworld reviews Jabber. "For companies not already using integrated collaborative environment solutions -- such as those provided by IBM Lotus and Microsoft, which already include embedded IM functions -- Jabber is clearly a solution to consider." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jason Kottke: "The Internet did not replace TV, newspapers, magazines, Sears, the US Postal Service, Barnes and Noble, or grocery stores in people's daily lives,.it augmented them." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Standard: "Most of the assets of Standard Media International were sold at auction today for a combined $1.4 million, plus assumed subscription liabilities." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wired: Why Liberty Suffers in WartimePermanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "Stocks rose sharply today after Wall Street's worst week in the markets since the Great Depression." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

SF Chronicle: "He was the California connection to Osama bin Laden's fearsome terrorist organization -- an architect of horrific acts of violence against his adopted country, even as he lived a quiet suburban lifestyle in Silicon Valley." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

SpaceRef.Com: "This morning at 1038 UT a powerful X2.6 solar flare erupted near the large sunspot 9632. A radiation storm (currently S2-class) is in progess and intensifying. The explosion also hurled a lopsided halo coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The Earth-directed CME will sweep past our planet late Tuesday or Wednesday and probably trigger geomagnetic storms." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Is this pic real or Photoshop? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Stan Krute: "Photoshop. Clues: lighting, contrast, focus anomalies." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Rahul Dave: "Photoshop, because the visitors platform didn't open till 11AM. Thank god for that, since 50K people used to visit the WTC every day. Photoshop, as the plane is too high compared to the building. Photoshop, as there is no way that camera could have survived." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The RAWA site is off the air. RAWA stands for Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. Omar Javaid sends pointers to alternate RAWA sites. Thanks! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: Travelers Warm Up to TeleconferencingPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Bill Seitz: "There were rumors of a second attack in the city for this past Saturday. Nothing happened. But it made more tangible to me the likelihood of future attacks. Which made me more pissed." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mike Krus loves New York (and Paris). Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Carey Hackett loves New York. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

It's nice to see that our Australian friends haven't lost their sense of humor. And the Brits too. Here's a pic of Uncle Osama at age 14, on vacation in Sweden in 1971, with 22 of his brothers and sisters. Lookin groovy! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com: "With the emergence of the Nimda worm -- the latest in a long series to attack Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) and other software -- Gartner believes it's time for businesses with Web applications to start investigating less vulnerable Web server products." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Gary Stock: Twin Towers Tenant ListsPermanent link to this item in the archive.

My philosophy Permanent link to this item in the archive.

OK, there's a lot of confusion. I shouldn't have to explain, but I want to be kind. First, I truly and desperately hope we don't have a nuclear war. But I also believe (as I've written) that there are loose nukes and I also believe that some are some already in US cities. What about that? Do you care more about Baghdad than Chicago? If so, you can't think of yourself as a friend of the US or depend on our help to defend you.

Now does any of this matter? I have no idea. But I like to keep my eyes open and think, and then say what I see and listen to what other people say in response. This is how I learn more quickly, and to me, that's very important to being alive. Now some links to stories that further explain my philosophy.

Carl Sagan: "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark."

5/7/97: "When a friend changes you can find the bond that's connecting you at a deeper level. The surface stuff isn't a good thing to depend on. Physical bodies change as they grow. So do emotional bodies and intellectual ones. Take a deep breath. People move, life is more like a wild dance than a ceremony. You just can't tell what's coming next."

4/24/95: "In baseball, like other things in life, eventually you have to choose sides. In baseball, someone has to lose. You can't have a win-win. That's just the way it is! You have to have an opinion. You Gotta Believe!"

5/6/98: "Over and over we learn the lesson that we're just little pups with grand visions, waiting to lead a revolution, wanting to be heard by someone, anyone, lest we die in anonymity. In the end we die, and who cares? Probably no one. It happens every day."

That's who we're up against. Not a terrible foe. Just a scared chihuahua who thinks his shit doesn't stink. He'll die, so will I, and the universe will probably go on. I believe in miracles, meaning I don't pretend to have any unique understanding of the purpose or intent of the universe. Live and let live. Do the best you can. Stand up when it's time to stand up.

Our friends will die Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's another assumption I've factored into my thinking, and it's time to say it publicly.

No matter what the US does, one or more of the leaders of friendly countries will be deposed and killed.

Here's a list: Egypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, ???

They're under tremendous pressure. So when you hear them stand up for freedom, even in small ways, know that they're being incredibly courageous.

Yes, I know they're not democracies. There are all kinds of reasons to despise them. But in all likelihood you will live to see their death, and they must know it.

Morning rant Permanent link to this item in the archive.

This comment from yesterday got quite a strong reaction in my mailbox. So did this one.

Mostly, people are responding to things I didn't say. I didn't ask for us to drop a nuke on Baghdad, I said I wouldn't be surprised if we did. People are saying our strategy is stupid, but they don't know what our strategy is. Hello. Earth to Europe, get a clue. The US is not weak or stupid. We're scared, but we're not giving up.

That so many paint us with a single brush and a single color says they don't understand what the US is. You watch too much TV. Get on a plane and come have a look at the real US. We're the world's country. Where I grew up, and where I live now, you see people of every race, every religion, on the face of the earth. We're the most open and tolerant BigCountry on the planet. We have a great philosophy. And everyone, everywhere on the planet has a relative in the US.

Some of the pushback says the reason people read my site is that I think for myself. I do, except in time of war. This is a new thing for me. I think of ways I can help my country survive and win. I listen to the President and wonder if he's up to the challenge. But what choice do I have other than to support him? I don't see that I have a choice. And, get this, I don't think you have a choice either. Forgive me for loving my country. I wish you loved it more than you do.

Earlier this morning there was a press release from the head of the Taliban saying that if we kill him we'll pay for it. He blinked again. He doesn't want to be killed. Hah. Gotcha. See we have more in common than you might think. He's not such an awful enemy. He's a little guy with a troop of assholes that want to make everyone like them. Yeah, where have we seen that before?

If we survive this, we'll be stronger for it. We'll learn how to use technology to exchange information and points of view, and we'll learn how to listen to others and ourselves, and understand the difference. I'm finished avoiding saying things that might evoke other people's fear. I was never a big fan of that way of life, and now I'm finished with it once and for all. I invite you to join me. Say what you think and let's have fun, while we still can.

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, September 23, 2001. Sunday, September 23, 2001

I had a phone talk with Dan Gillmor today. He's going to be at our session at Seybold on Wednesday. He told me about Larry Ellison's offer to provide ID cards to people in the US. Dan thought it was a horrible idea. When I read about it later, I didn't think it was horrible, given the times, but I also didn't think it would help much. But here's an important switch. In the past I didn't like that the leaders of the tech industry, people like Ellison and Microsoft's Bill Gates, treated our peaceful artform as a battleground for war. But now that's not such a problem. In fact, we should encourage their creativity. What could the US do to screw with our enemies. Ellison and Gates might really be able to help. So the answer to Larry -- try again -- keep on thinking of ways to make our country safer and stronger, and it's OK to have fun doing it.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Patrick at Zill: "If we wiped out bin Laden's top 12 lieutenants we would make it tough on their DNS system to keep up. Remember, in a good terrorist organization very few of the people involved know the full scope of the operation." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A personal note. Talking on the phone yesterday with UserLand's COO, John Robb, an ex Air Force pilot, I remarked that we have a Wartime COO. When we first started working together I was kind of horrified to see how calmly he talks about killing bad guys. "What did I get into?" I wondered (to myself) then. Yesterday I told him about this, I must have had some kind of premonition that we'd need to be able to calmly talk about warfare. He's certainly influenced my thinking, in a good way. Thanks John! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Stratfor says that the US is preparing to attack Iraq, not Afghanistan, and I think that's obvious. Make a list of mistakes that US has to undo. One of them was leaving Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq after the Gulf War. It would not surprise me if we dropped the first nukes since WWII on Iraq this week. I wonder why they're not evacuating Baghdad right now. The purpose of such an attack would be two-fold. One, the linear one, it will immediately get rid of one of the sources of world terrorism, the easiest and least defended such target. Second, the curve ball, it will send a message to our so-called allies that the "with us or against us" position has teeth. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mick Hume: "I am opposed to the war planned by President George Bush with the support of Prime Minister Tony Blair. The problem is that I find many of the arguments offered against America as incoherent as Bush’s war talk." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another angle. On the ScriptingNewsWorldTradeCenter mail list, Christoph Pingel quotes an article about global terrorism and Uncle Osama: "It's a loose network of individuals with the same ideology and the same thirst for blood. If he were taken out, the rest of the network would be in place. It's not clear that you'd dispose of the problem." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

That's daunting for sure, but a similar statement could be made about their enemy. "If you knock down one of their skyscrapers and attack the Pentagon, the rest of the network is still in place. It's not clear that you'd dispose of the problem." And of course we're both a loose network of individuals and a powerful army with nukes, and biological and chemical weapons, and we've got a pretty solid idealogy. BTW, we also know how to use the Internet, in fact, we invented it. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I guess my bitch with Europe comes down to this. Much of what you say about us is that we're stupid and decadent. One otherwise intelligent British person dismissed something I said by saying I was watching too much TV. Heh. You watch too much American TV. Hop on a plane and come to Seybold next week and participate. We're all scared shitless. But we'll do what we have to do to stay alive and free. I'm glad we won't go down without a fight. I'm not scared to hear what you have to say. I just wonder when you're going to finish, and decide that you want to stay alive and free too. Then something interesting will happen between our two continents. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

JD Lasica: What to tell children about terrorism and warPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Reuters: "The United States has warned its allies of a possible second round of attacks by the end of this week following the deadly strikes on New York and Washington, Jiji news agency quoted Japanese government sources as saying." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Pew Research: "Fully nine-in-ten Americans are getting their news about the terrorism attacks from television. As in recent years, more people are turning to cable TV news outlets (45%) than network news (30%) or local TV (17%). Radio, newspapers and the Internet all lag well behind television as a source of news on the crisis." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Thad McIlroy: "But after I'd watched the crashing planes and crashing towers 101 times, there came a point where I found myself asking (a la Peggy Lee) 'Is that all there is?'" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "For many Iranians, America is a country full of the scantily-clad, available women of Baywatch and MTV. First-time visitors to the United States are often shocked by the more spiritual and socially conservative side of America. 'What surprised me the most when I came to the United States was how many churches there were,' said Mohammad Atrianfar, the head of Teheran's town councils and editor of the daily newspaper Hamshahri. 'I certainly didn't know how religious Americans are.'" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now, from a US citizen who is fully commited to victory, to my government, now is not a good time to be trading off freedom in favor of corporate profits. It wasn't a fair deal before, now it's absolutely bizarre. I'm sure the proponents of this bill, some of the largest media companies, can find things to do that will better protect shareholder value now that realities have shifted. (For example, show the rest of the world what the US is really like.) To the government, save freedom-hits for things that matter to the nation's security. This bill is a completely misplaced priority. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dan Gillmor: Safety in spreading outPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Something netizens can do to undermine terrorism. Create a list of places informants can go on the Web to send anonymous emails to the FBI. Circulate their locations widely. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another thing we can do is build better communication systems, with replicated data. We've become pretty lazy on the Internet -- letting other people store our archives for us. This is a defense issue now. Decentralization is something we must become more conscious of.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's another thing we can do. Stop all discussions about evolution of SOAP now. To the BigCo's consider backing off SOAP altogether and use XML-RPC to build distributed systems. I watch the hair-splitting arguments that are still going on with increasing impatience, and wonder if these people have a clue what's going on around us and what a strategic advantage the free world has when we build powerful flows of information. Perhaps the egos of the BigCo's can take a backseat now. These technologies are essential to building effective distributed systems.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

"thinkUsaalignright"I'm glad I started this thread. Another takeaway. If it wasn't clear before, it should be clear now how indefensible Microsoft's architecture for Passport is. One bomb in a building in Redmond would probably knock out the network they're planning. Could we have the resources of the most powerful software company in the world applied to making the world safer and stronger instead of more vulnerable? And instead of executing three-year plans, think about what you can do for the USA, today. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

GlobalSecurity.Org: Afghanistan Military GuidePermanent link to this item in the archive.

This site also includes satellite imagery of terrorist camps. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Some good PR for the Taliban. Now to balance that, consider that until Vietnam, the US had never lost a war. We learned from that one. No more wars without the support of the people and clearly defined goals. I'd like to see the British press run some stories about what a terrific fighting machine the US is when we're provoked. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Christoph Pingel: "Thinking people all over the world are forced into a moral dilemma: 'Either you are for us, or you are for the terrorists.'" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "For the past few years, the government has interpreted the existing pen register and trap and trace laws, which were designed with telephones in mind, to allow them to swiftly garner certain information from ISP's about a suspect's e-mails -- for example, the to/from header information." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adam Curry: "I added a blogrolling list to my homepage template today. Seems that's the blogging way. To automate some of the positions I'm writing a macro for my Manila server that will place the BlogRolling links in priority order based on number of referers from each site." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I love it when two famous bloggers get together. Nice. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

And it makes me proud when one of our friends gets his college diploma. Wes says "At UT you're not just a number, you're a really big number." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I've started a new mail page with comments from Europe and the US, heavy-duty and light-weight.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

One thing's for sure, in the war between freedom and fear, our side is going to have better t-shirtsPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, September 22, 2001. Saturday, September 22, 2001

NY Times: The Search for Intelligent Life on the InternetPermanent link to this item in the archive.

A reminder that many in Europe and elsewhere do care about the US. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A Sunday (London) Times article on thoughtlessness and arrogance among Europeans in response to the tragedy in the US. Thank you.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Andrew Scott: "I don't think it's possible for us here in Europe to experience the depth of feeling that you Americans must experience over the attack on your nation. Quite simply we are not there." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Andrew, I think we could heal from the experience of 9/11, if there are no more attacks. But I think most of us know that there will be more and they will likely be worse. This is not like an earthquake or hurricane, acts of god, that we clean up from and move on. This is a war. Many of the Europeans I'm hearing from are not getting that. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now here's a fact that Europeans are going to have to deal with. Overwhelmingly this country supports its government, and its President. Ultimately you're going to have to too. Better sooner than later.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I think the terrorists made a fundamental mistake. It was too strong a wakeup call. They would have been smarter to have aimed lower. Now in the US we have little to lose.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

John Perry Barlow pushes back, and I return the respect.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Since I mentioned my grandparents by name in that piece, I'd like to show you what they looked like. Here's my paternal grandfather, Baruch Winer, playing with me as a small child. I wrote about my promise to him in a DaveNet piece in 1996. My paternal grandmother, Sima Winer. They came to the US in 1941, they were Russians; my grandfather had a soap factory in Rumania before they fled Europe.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

My mother's family, the Kieslers. From left to right, my grandmother Lucy, my father and mother, Leon and Eve Winer, my uncle Ken Kiesler (he lives in Jamaica now). Seated is my grandfather Rudy, in his lap my younger brother Peter, and all by himself in front playing with some toy, is me. My maternal grandparents came to the US in 1939, my grandmother is the younger sister of German novelist Arno Schmidt. My grandfather Rudy was NY garment district wheeler-dealer, the youngest of eight children from Poland, who scattered all over NY and South America during the war. He owned a string of factories in the southern US, his office was on 33rd Street between 5th and 6th, across the street from the Empire State Building. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Brent Silver: Be a FUD-FighterPermanent link to this item in the archive.

John Robb's thinking has changed over the last few hours, much as my own has. People are right when they say that the old world is gone. You can't reason based on the past anymore. None of our experience counts. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

WSJ: "Before last week, real estate was one of the brightest spots in the fading economy. Now, from Orlando to San Francisco, there are already signs that the terrorist disasters have had a broad — and remarkably varied — impact on housing prices." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Al Ahram: "Egyptian officials did not miss the opportunity this week to promote their decade-old call for organising an international anti-terrorism conference as the best means of stamping out terrorism worldwide." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

James Spahr: "Holy cow! You can easily fit Denver's Mile High stadium inside of the devastated area." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Today's song: The US Blues. "We're all confused, what's to lose? You can call this song the United States Blues."  

Lots more email from Europe. I gotta write about it. In the meantime, I encourage you all to look inside yourselves and make statements about that, instead of pissing on the USA.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Are you scared? Great. That's real. Are you scared of the power of the US? That's OK too. Now who scares you more, Uncle Sam or Uncle Osama? Guys and gals, our President was right -- it's time to make a choice, and decide what you stand for. From the US, it's damned simple. We don't want our cities to get nuked. It's probably going to happen anyway. Then, what? If not now, when?  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: NY Loves America. Thanks for the reminder! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I love New York. "New York gave me so much. An education. A philosophy. Role models. A sense of confidence that comes from being raised in the greatest city man has ever created." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Membership is open. You can create your own Love New York page. No problem. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Permanent link to archive for Friday, September 21, 2001. Friday, September 21, 2001

Today's song: Crazy Fingers. For no other reason than it's a beautiful song. I wish Jerry were here. What would he say? I think he'd laugh. What a long strange trip it's been. It's still going on. "Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know. See how it feels in the end."  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Charles Cooper: When Blogging Came of Age. "All in all, I’ve revised my earlier views about the usefulness of blogging, moving full circle from my earlier position. Yes, there's still a lot of chaff out there, and it's the reader's responsibility to sift and choose. But in the best spirit of grassroots participation, these new information gatekeepers are helping to rewrite the rules."  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Deborah Branscum: Small-scale heroics. "If Silicon Valley couldn't supply brawn during a national disaster, it could supply bits--and companies large and small did so with a vengeance." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Nick Denton: "The online news sites are useful for a quick check of breaking news, but I am looking for something more. And that I have been finding on weblogs. Some, such as Kottke.org and Dave Winer's Scripting.com, are well-established technology weblogs which have interrupted normal service to bring their take on the crisis." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

We're getting so much recognition. Thank you. Entertainment Weekly is out with a story about how the Web covered Time Zero, it's not on the Web, but they're discussing it on Metafilter. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Perhaps it's worth a review. Here are the archives of SN from the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13thPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Doc: "What we're witnessing here is the exposure of an economic imperative that has been there since the Dawn of Trade, but which we have lately forgotten." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Susan Kitchens: "Gee, for some reason, saying that today's the last day of summer sounds almost, well, apocalyptic." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

DaveNet: Time Zero? "The site of the tragedy is referred to as Ground Zero -- so then, is the moment Time Zero?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Steve Giovannetti: "Your 'Time Zero' comment brought the old movie Panic in the Year Zero right into my main brain register. Yeah it was a big time B movie but it is a classic. Any movie that puts Ray Milland and Frankie Avalon together in a post apocalypic LA can't be bad!, can it? Check it out and decide for yourself." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Google query for Panic in Year Zero. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dvorak: The Web of TerrorPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Variety: Hollywood on High AlertPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Julie Sirrs: A Visit to the Taliban’s Foreign TroopsPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Hijacker's story: "Then at that moment somebody hit me on my head and caught my hand. I thought that the plane exploded. But I opened my eyes and saw people just kicking and beating me."  

John Robb: "Here is a novel idea. Why not pay Pakistan to take out the Taliban and bin Laden." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Seybold stuff Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I changed the home page of the Seybold site to reflect the new charter. I'm psyched about the new topic. We want stories from publishers and production teams about how they are covering the terrorism, how they have changed as journalists, citizens and technologists. This is a great story. I'm sure we'll hear from lots of people. If you have a story to tell, help get things started by posting a message to the mail list.

Dan Gillmor: "My fundamental conviction in journalism these days has only been reinforced by the outrages of Sept. 11."

Thanks to Dan for kicking it off.

An email I sent to the speakers list for Seybold. Over 400 names, some incredibly powerful and influential people.

The new list of panelists is developing.

Here's your free pass to the Seybold session next Wedesday. It's a PDF, just print it out and bring it with you to Moscone.

Two new global shortcuts Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Two new shortcuts for UserLand-hosted Manila sites.

If you enter "thinkUsa" (include the quotes) in any page, you'll get the US flag with the word THINK! underneath.

If you enter "thinkUsaAlignRight" you'll get the same flag but it will be aligned to the right.

I think it's a beautifully simple graphic. It's the combination of love, strength and thought, which is the best of the USA.


Permanent link to archive for Thursday, September 20, 2001. Thursday, September 20, 2001

Sjoerd is working on something weird and wonderful. 

Mike Donnelan: "These guys are smoking acid-marinated, genetically modified super-pot day in & day out!" 

"thinkUsaAlignRight"Captain of United 564: "Sometimes a potential hijacker will announce that he has a bomb. There are no bombs on this aircraft and if someone were to get up and make that claim, don't believe him." It gets better! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Rudyard Kipling: "When you're wounded and left, on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out, to cut up your remains, just roll on your rifle, and blow out your brains, and go to your Gawd, like a soldier." Similar advice for any terrorists wounded in the USA. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The Tamim Ansary essay is important, that's why I chose to run it through DaveNet last Friday, but I had no idea how important it would turn out to be. Is it really major news that Afghanistan is a wasteland? Apparently. That's a sign of a couple of things. 1. The BigNewsCo's aren't being responsible, even now, in their coverage. Lots of bedtime stories, evil and good, no shades of gray, no perspective. 2. The citizens aren't paying attention.  

Here's the scoop. The Taliban believe they brought down the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and there's reason to believe they're right. I've read that they think "One down one to go." They think we're weaker than the Soviets (they're probably right). Every time they've engaged us, in Lebanon, Somalia, Saudia Arabia, we've run away rather than fight.  

A friend asked what's the big deal, let them have Iraq and Israel, my life will be fine. Uhhh, no, they want the US too, and they don't mind living in wastelands. In other words the stakes are clearly much larger than the average world citizen gets. I say world citizen, because the revelation in the Ansary piece was worldwide, not just in the US. I think many people must think the rest of the world is just like their hometown. Not so. 

On the other hand, the Taliban blinked. They're scared too. Yeah! Gotta love it. 

A reporter asked why Microsoft chose this moment to announce their use of Kerberos for authentication in their new network operating system (that's what the announcement amounted to). He wanted to know if AOL was "up to something." I said no, we're in touch with the AOL people, they're in NY, and their lives are turned upside down by all the crazy shit that's going on in the world.  

JD Lasica: A Scorecard for Net News Ethics. "Every survey shows that audiences continue to gravitate to the online news sites of trusted brands: MSNBC, CNN.com, nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com. But we're also seeing that supplemented by the rise of grassroots community-news sites (Slashdot, Kuro5hin, Metafilter) and Weblogs that let amateur journalists provide first-person reportage." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'd like to accumulate a list of news sites that did an excellent job of covering the news around the bombing of the WTC and Pentagon. It's a directory, and there's a suggest-a-link page. We're talking about doing a special session at Seybold about this next week in SF -- how the Web covered the terrorism, and this directory will help us gather pointers. Think of it as a new kind of survey.  

Coco Conn: "At Cel, and artist collective in SF, they have a television with a hand drawn sign taped to the bottom of it. It says: LIES." 

Carl Sagan: "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark." 

Perl.Com: "The first public version of Parrot was released." 

Scobelizer has a new look today.  

Cydney Gillis: Consumer nervousness, XP and Xbox

I'm talking with Microsoft people about today's announcement at 11AM Pacific. My key question will be user choice and developer lock-in. Will I be able to connect to Microsoft's users without running any Microsoft software on my end. Will users have choice? Will they be able to completely replace Microsoft's server with mine? Does my system have to support UDDI and WSDL, or is SOAP enough? Does Microsoft have any patents in this area which might limit competition? In general, how much opportunity is there for competition, and what assurances do we have that Microsoft won't change the basic behavior later, as they did with Smart Tags? 

I posted my notes from the Microsoft conversation on the Decentralization list. 

Register: "Although it might seem like everybody you know sends you email everyday, as well as lots and lots of people you don’t know, apparently you ain’t seen nothing yet."  

NY Times: Afghan Clerics Urge bin Laden to Leave

William Safire: "Why is there no Radio Free Afghanistan broadcasting the truth about the consequences of harboring the headquarters of terrorism?" 

Cathy Hall: "The great Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky, told the story of the time he was arrested by the czar and sentenced to die." 

Christian Science Monitor photo essay of life in Kabul. 

Mapquest aerial picture of the WTC site. 

Slate: Who's Who in the Terror War

Walt Mossberg: "The company has also turned Windows XP into a sort of Trojan horse. It has built in a bunch of 'features,' such as instant messaging, online photo printing and a "passport" to the Web, that are just blatant efforts to lure consumers into using a set of new Web-based services Microsoft is launching, while ignoring alternative services that may be better. The goal seems to be to trap users in a sort of Microsoft company store." 

Microsoft opens Passport? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was not briefed in advance of the Microsoft announcement, below, although they said that "federation" was something they planned to do at the NDA'd briefing in the spring. I have emails into MS's PR and AOL's team that's exploring this area. I'll try to get details, and find out what this means to independent developers.

David Coursey: "Microsoft says it wants Passport and Hailstorm, its foundation services for Web-based applications, to play well with others. So in a shocking move, the company is announcing today that Passport will be changed to use an Internet-standard security model and Hailstorm won't be the only place for users to store their personal information."

NY Times: "Microsoft says its software must operate with other kinds of online authentication software if Internet commerce is to develop rapidly. Microsoft executives said they wanted to avoid a rerun of the early days of automated teller machines, before common standards and a sense of trust, when each major bank had its own stand-alone network."

WSJ: "But the initiative is bound to generate considerable skepticism, in part because Microsoft has in the past been accused by rivals and some privacy groups of making additions to the Kerberos technology to maker it harder for companies to use non-Microsoft software."

Microsoft Q&A: "Federation allows businesses of any size, or any other organization, to maintain the control of their local resources while still being able to interact with people, organizations and software that are not under their direct control. The organizations that control a federated service interact across their normal organizational boundaries."

Innovation in OPML Permanent link to this item in the archive.

In the OPML version of Scripting News, each of these outline elements has a "created" attribute.

I was able to get Radio to do this automatically because the test version I'm using has a new callback that runs when a new headline is added.

My test callback simply adds an attribute.

This is the beginning of something pretty cool (globally unique IDs for outliner-edited weblog items).

We can buld all kinds of distributed systems around this simple feature.

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, September 19, 2001. Wednesday, September 19, 2001

DaveNet: Getting Back to Work

Saddam Hussein: "In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful." Etc etc. 

Daniel Pipes: "In early February 1995, newspapers around the world featured a photograph taken in Cairo, which showed, for the first time ever, the prime minister of Israel standing side-by-side with the king of Jordan, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the president of Egypt. These gentlemen ostensibly met to discuss the faltering peace process between the Arabs and Israel. Yet this unprecedented event of an Israeli leader in conclave with Arab colleagues sent another signal too: four leaders who share a common problem-fundamentalist Islam-are ready to work together. According to one account of the meeting, Rabin said that Israelis are the target of the fundamentalist attacks. Arafat jumped in and said, 'Me too. They have threatened my life.' At that point, Mubarak and Husayn both nodded their heads and said they too had personally been threatened by the radicals." 

Zaki Badawi: "The atrocity of September 11 is a violation of Islamic law and ethics. Neither the people who were killed or injured, nor the properties that were destroyed, qualified as legitimate targets in any system of law, especially Islamic law." 

Early this afternoon we released a defense for UserLand's server software, against the latest IIS worm, that is still running wild. The defense minimizes the impact on servers running Manila by quickly processing the intrusion, slowing it down, and counting the hits. Thanks to Eric Soroos for providing working code almost 24 hours ago. That UserLand took so long to respond is inexcusable. I apologize, and have made an internal issue of it, we won't be this slow to protect our users and customers next time. 

As you can see, Scripting News now has item-level permalinks. I made the improvement in a general way so that all Manila sites can benefit from the improvement if you use an outliner to edit your home page. I wrote a status report on this for Frontier developers so they can see how it works.  

As far as I know, James Spahr was the first to use this new feature! Coooool. 

BBC: Lost Moon-landing tape found. "The impetus to locate the tape came from Kipp Teague who runs an online resource of data on the Apollo Moon landings." 

Barry Cohen: "I saw a bumper sticker today: 'Forgive your enemies, it drives them really nuts.'"  

WorldLink: "Afghanistan is a paragon of an economic basket case. The country has seen almost no growth in 20 years. There is no industry. There are no crops. There is drought. The national budget is a paltry $82 million, half of which goes to the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. The money is said to go toward fighting the civil war. The development budget is a mere $343,000." 

Support tolerance, if only for pragmatic reasons. We need all the friends we can get. Let's keep the friends we have. 

Stan Krute, Emmanuel Décarie and others (including myself) are still pushing news through the Yahoo mail list that started last week. And Yahoo's servers have returned to their previous very fast turnaround, so there's more reason than ever to subscribe. 

NY Times: "In a sharp break with the past, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced today that his country's armed forces would actively support American reprisals for last week's terrorist attacks." 

Seth Dillingham: "I just received an email from a friend. He forwarded it to all of his friends. That's a bad sign. The subject was, 'The worst virus ever!' That's an even worse sign." 

NY Times: "Tourism in New York is reeling a week after the attack. Hotels, restaurants and much of the city's $25 billion tourism industry were already in a slump because of the softening economy. While it is not surprising that business would be bad a week after the attack, the drop was so sharp and the signs are so troubling that people in the industry fear that the problem may go on for weeks, if not months." 

FBI: "The United States Government is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden." 

Credit where credit is due. We have been harsh on the US government for not responding quickly enough. According to this NY Times article (heard elsewhere too) the decision to immediately ground all flights and close US airspace appears to have prevented two more disasters on Tuesday. Good work and thank you. Also note that because the would-be hijackers are still alive, there may be a chance to get clues and evidence that otherwise would have been lost. 

Mike Krus picks up the ball on my invite to use OPML as a syndication format, and I keep it moving. Today's Scripting News is part of the bootstrap. Does this give you ideas on how news can flow from authors to readers? Good. Write code.  

NY Times: "Clear Channel Communications, the Texas-based company that owns about 1,170 radio stations nationwide, has circulated a list of 150 songs and asked its stations to avoid playing them because of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon." 

Esquire, 2/99: My Name is Osama bin Laden

Jane's: "Israel’s military intelligence service, Aman, suspects that Iraq is the state that sponsored the suicide attacks on the New York Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington." 

Matt Bivens: "What happens if a suicide bomber drives a jumbo jet into one of America's 103 nuclear power reactors?" 

Two years ago today: Prefs Distribution through XML-RPC.  

Dries Buytaert is working on something similar for Drupal. 

TV Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Spent a few hours watching TV last night.

First TV I've watched in nine months. I haven't forgotten how.

The US is self-obsessed. Going to war. Hollywood is leading the way.

Outage note Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I lost access to the Web for six hours yesterday afternoon, so I'm in backlog mode. It'll take a while for me to get caught up.

Bootstrapping Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jeff Barr is bootstrapping a new syndication community site.

Bootstrapping is a good term to help us understand what infrastructure is, and how the US has an engineering culture that is capable of building things like the World Trade Center and Boeing 757s.

I was talking yesterday, during the outage, with my friend Craig Burton. Like me, Craig is lover of infrastructure. We get off thinking about new ways to string wires between tin cans to create new kinds of communication systems for people. Like any other thoughtful art, we pay attention to what came before, looking for what's unique in a newly framed question, and what's been solved before. When possible, steal from the best. This is bootstrapping. It's creativity with respect.

Now I'm not an aircraft or skyscraper engineer, but I'd bet ten dollars they do it the same way. Was there a little bit of Wright Brothers invention that crashed into an idea from the Woolworth Building on September 11? Of course. Maybe it makes sense to give this a name -- meta-infrastructure -- the infrastructure of infrastructure. How did these ideas spring to life? It was the work of several generations to create the two pieces that went boom on Tuesday.

Now, with a civilization that has enjoyed little or no war on its home turf since the Civil War, we've gotten good at this. The infrastructure of the US is a long-term suspension of disbelief that such things won't be exploded deliberately by people who don't create anything. On both sides, we create revolutions and disruption, it's just that we've become accustomed to the revolutions that engineers create, we seek them out and celebrate them, and the idea that a human being could deliberately destroy so much is foreign to the American mind.

Chicago Public Library: "The Home Insurance Building, erected at the northeast corner of LaSalle and Adams streets (on the site now occupied by the west portion of the Field building), is called the first skyscraper."

The High Rise Site: World's Tallest Buildings.

Google image search query for "Boeing Clipper."

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, September 18, 2001. Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Thanks for the pointers to stories about today's new virus. 

Today's big virus knocked me off the Internet at about 1PM. 

AP: "In late afternoon trading, the Dow was down 23.81 at 8,896.89 after gaining more than 90 points earlier and briefly climbing above the 9,000 level." 

Economist: "The notion of jihad, or holy war, had almost ceased to exist in the Muslim world after the tenth century until it was revived, with American encouragement, to fire an international pan-Islamic movement after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979." 

Caleb Carr, on the War of 1812: "The British gratuitously destroyed important structures in Washington (and killed many innocent people) because those buildings were obnoxious symbols of American values whose spread and propagation the London government feared would spell the disempowerment of their own. " 

9/4/01: "Lurking amid the false revolutions are the gems. That's what we want. Ideas like personal computers and spreadsheets in the early 80s, graphic user interfaces in the mid 80s, desktop publishing in the late 80s, or networking in the mid 90s." 

Given the events of the last week, would anyone like to speculate on what the next technology revolution will be? 

Village Voice: "This pleasant young woman who makes her home in New Jersey is the Taliban rulers' unofficial ambassador in the U.S., and their most active and best-known advocate elsewhere in the West." 

Frank Viviano: "American newspapers and television stations have all but abandoned any commitment to international coverage. The most powerful nation in modern history has become an ostrich with its head in the sand." 

Sean Palmer: What is the Semantic Web? 

3/21/97: Mullah with a Mission. "Omar is one of the most improbable characters in Afghanistan's tortured history." 

CNN: "The Israeli Defense Ministry says it is canceling all offensive operations against the Palestinians after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat reaffirmed his determination to honor a cease-fire." 

DaveNet: Don't open email enclosures

Survey: "Are you getting lots of huge email enclosures in the last few hours?" 

I'm getting spammed by some guy in Asia with huge enclosures. Oy. It's getting worse. The body of the email is empty. Here's a screen shot of the message. The message source. OK, now it looks like it's a virus. I got the same kind of message from another sender. Don't open enclosures on Windows. Repeat that 850,000 times.  

Jim Flannagan: "Looks like you're getting hit via the email vector of w32.nimda.amm. Check your web server logs too. My web server is getting a bunch of probes, starting this morning." 

OK basically email is useless now. I just launched ICQ. If you're getting hit by this virus send me a brief ICQ message. 

Lots of new links in the Central Asia directory

The performance of the Yahoogroups mail lists is back to normal. Thanks. 

11/5/95: Making Microsoft Safe for Capitalism

Doc: "Yes," Hans said after hearing all my excuses. "It's so hard to make friends, isn't it? And so easy to lose them." With that he climbed in his car and I never saw him again. 

AP: "Share prices soared in Tokyo today, with the Nekkei gaining 175.47 points to close at 9,679.88 as international investors shrugged off Monday's plunge on Wall Street." 

AP: "Microsoft plans to delay the launch of a new version of Flight Simulator, its popular computer game that allows players to fly airplanes over New York City and other metropolitan areas, because of last week's terrorist attacks." 

BTW, today I'm getting my TV turned back on. On Saturday I went through heavy withdrawal. I wanted to see the imagery. Then it passed. So I decided to go ahead and get a new DirecTv dish and receiver. Also getting TiVO. I'll try not to get too addicted. 

Hey it's Tuesday. Take a programmer to lunch. A Scripting News tradtition. Looks like I'm having lunch with Bierman today. He's a programmer. So am I. So we both qualify. If you're in the US, if you can, take a non-American programmer to lunch. If you're in a country where Americans are in the minority, take an American to lunch. Try not to talk about politics too much. Today would be a good day to talk about families with your programmer friend. This is a way of massaging fear. See how your new friend has a family that has stuff in common with yours.  

At least one reader took offense at the Country Joe song I posted yesterday. It's a historic song. When it became popular lots of young men in the US were facing a future in a box or a body bag for a cause no one understood and few supported. Yes, it's a funny song -- but the underlying subject was hugely fearful. That's why it was such a great song, and I guess it still is. 

Let me preach perspective. The wounds are not healing quite as quickly as one might hope. The number of flames I'm getting is going up. Remember the First Amendment of the US Constitution, it's one of our most precious freedoms. As you're writing the email telling me where to shove it, please put at the beginning something like this. "Freedom of speech is precious to me." If you can't say that then you don't Get It. 


Permanent link to archive for Monday, September 17, 2001. Monday, September 17, 2001

Chad Dickerson: The Rebuilding Process. "I ask that technology companies take a look at their excess inventories in light of the World Trade Center attack and immediately start shipping needed equipment to existing customers and non-customers in need. Work out the payment details later when government disaster relief and insurance will certainly make good on the payments." 

Today's song: "Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box!" 

MSNBC: Microsoft judge extends deadline. "Citing the terrorist strikes against the United States, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly extended the deadline for Microsoft and the government to file a joint status report detailing what processes they each are requesting for gathering new evidence and holding hearings, and offering proposed schedules for the new phase of the trial." 

AP: WTO Gives China Formal Go-Ahead. "Concluding 15 years of often acrimonious talks, Chinese negotiator Long Yongtu said Chinese accession to the powerful trade club would be an 'all-win situation'' unleashing the huge purchasing power of 1.2 billion Chinese and leading to a vast open market." 

A new Manila feature. You can optionally cache the home page of any site. This results in faster serving, and helps servers run more smoothly. Explained on Frontier News

A new Bryan Bell theme for Manila, built around a beautiful US flag. Staton is already using the new theme. 

AP: "The FBI stepped up its search for possible collaborators in Tuesday's terrorist attacks, detaining 49 people for questioning and casting a global dragnet for as many as 200 others." 

2/12/01: "The Middle East's most violent terrorists have agreed to a frightening megamerger in which they will pool resources to fight their common enemies: the United States and Israel." 

Listening to US Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) talk at a rally in SF it came home much clearer, they really plan to send US soldiers somewhere far away. In the meantime, our country is virtually without defense against attacks like the ones that happened last Tuesday. It seems virtually certain that we have virus-like sleepers here now. Shouldn't our resources go to rooting them out and neutralizing them, before going to a war far away. If we have a good defense, there is nothing more that we have to do. The Dawkins piece below is a real eye-opener. Listening to California's other Senator, Barbara Boxer, speak now. All the politicians are invoking religion. I'm sorry I don't go for it. My god doesn't tell me to throw it all away at this time. I think we can fix the bug.  

I wrote to a friend: "I feel like we're living in the last days of the golden age of the US. I am very suspicious of our govt and military, I think they aren't doing enough to protect us. They take us for granted, we hire actors as presidents, and let the companies run our country, just like they run the rest of the world. I think we were actually quite lucky. Had they sent the planes crashing into nuclear power plants near major cities the results would have been far more terrifying, much more devastating. I think this is some kind of wakeup call." 

President Bush: "When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive."  

Mark Twain: "Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." 

DaveNet: News sources in Central Asia

Richard Dawkins: "Testosterone-sodden young men too unattractive to get a woman in this world might be desperate enough to go for 72 private virgins in the next." 

US Department of State: "Powell emphasized that the aid is distributed through the UN and non-government organizations, and not to the Taliban or other warring Afghan factions." 

Billy Bragg: "A nation with their freezers full are dancing in their seats; while outside, another nation, is sleeping in the streets." 

Robert Fisk: Bush is walking into a trap

NY Times: "Nearly 40 years after it was conceived as a method of maintaining communications in the event of an attack on the United States, the Internet — long since broadened past that purpose — last week had the first real test of its original goal." 

ResearchBuzz: "News and Weblog search engine DayPop has added some new features to its new search engine." 

Mohsen Makhmalbaf: "If you read my article in full, it will take about an hour of your time. In this hour, 14 more people will have died in Afghanistan of war and hunger and 60 others will have become refugees in other countries." 

Guardian: "Before dawn yesterday seven Israeli tanks entered Ramallah, the capital of Yasser Arafat's administration in the West Bank, and shelled security posts and private homes, wounding five Palestinian protesters and killing a policeman. The Israeli military said one of its soldiers was also killed." 

Hindustan Times: “As Taliban comprises 50% of Pakistan’s retired army personnel who come from its middle and lower class families, the fallout could be immense if Pakistan decides to support the US militarily or allows a base to the US forces in Pakistan,” opines Maroof Raza, a defence consultant. 

Reuters: Stocks slide in early trading

Arizona Republic: "Hundreds of people across the Valley on Sunday mourned the slaying in Mesa of a Sikh gas station owner whose only crime, his loved ones say, was that he looked Arabic and wore a turban." 

Sterling Allen: "Last night my wife and I watched the video, 12 Angry Men starring Jack Lemmon. It was the story of twelve jurors who, through course of several hours debating, went from 11-1 guilty to unanimous not guilty verdict." 

This may be a good page to watch as the markets open. 

Reuters: Europe braces for Dow fall of 10 percent at re-open. 

The Hindu: "A 52-year-old Indian of Sikh denomination and a Pakistani were shot dead in Arizona and Texas in continuing attacks on ethnic immigrants, following last week's terrorist strikes in the US." 

The NYSE and NASDAQ re-open at 6:30AM Pacific. 

Mail starting 9/17/01

CNN: Fed cuts rates a half percent

Thanks for all the links to the Central Asian news sources. I hope people who read Scripting News will also read those pubs and send me links when they have something interesting or informative. This is how we listen on the Web. 

Dan Gillmor: America Getting Bloodthirsty

NY Times Magazine: Remains of the Day

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, September 16, 2001. Sunday, September 16, 2001

Robert Scheer, 5/22/01: Bush's Faustian Deal with the Taliban. "The [$43 million] gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the US the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that 'rogue regime' for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention." Hmmm. 

I started a directory of local news sources on war in Central Asia. Use the sugest-a-link feature to help build the directory. 

Imran Khan: "It's a no-win situation for Pakistan." 

Rahul Dave: "I am from Bombay, a city which expewrienced, in early 1993, a series of 14 co-ordinated bombs in the vivinity of 2 hours, killing about 300 people and injuring and maiming about 1200." 

I'm pleased to announce that Scripting News is now available in OPML, in addition to all previous XMLizations. And since I'd like to get some work done this week, I decided to make this the first item. Heh. I also posted announcements on quite a few XML-oriented mail lists. Getting the news out to people is part of what we do, so it's on topic, even though we're all still obsessing about all that we're obsessing about.  

In an email to Betsy Martens who says she failed at getting back to normal today, I said "I have a better idea -- let's not return to normal. What's so great about normal anyway? ;->" 

Mulle XML-RPC is a client/server implementation for Objective C by Marcus Müller. It's the 47th implementation

Jens Alfke: Jabber Client Developer's Cheat Sheet

BTW, here's an algorithm for getting out of the clutches of the disaster. Turn off the TV. Turn off NPR. Write some code. Cook some food. Don't call a friend. Hole up. Dig in. Have fun. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. 

Now as we ease into the hand-wringing and trial balloons, have a look at this picture from space of the eastern hemisphere of planet earth, from a southern perspective. Ain't it beautiful? What if this was all you knew about the planet. How would you imagine the beings on the planet spend their days? Do you think they worry a lot about a building on the other side of the sphere? How many people do you think live there? 25? 250? You might be surprised to learn that most of the people on the planet live in this part. Billions of people. Is it any wonder they're angry with each other? You would be too if it was so crowded!  

I live in this part of the world. Some people think we're the next target. Oh well. Still diggin! 

DaveNet: Warfare trial-balloons

Fredrik Lundh, a Swedish developer, compiled a list that gives me goosebumps. Yesterday I wondered why was there so much sympathy for the US, and said I don't trust it. Fredrik shows us that the WTC was part of the world, not just the US. 

Jacob Levy: "After we're done 'smoking out the terrorists out of their holes,' what then?" 

John Robb: "A simpler plan for airline safety: arm the mostly ex-military pilots. We all put our safety in their hands anyway, why not arm them?" 

The politics between India and Pakistan are bewilderingly complex. 

Here's another website we haven't been reading, but will. 

Physics Today: Nations Tackle Nuclear Terrorist Threat

Brewster Kahle: "The Internet Archive in collaboration with Alexa Internet, SUNY, the Library of Congress and the University of Washington, is archiving pages and sites relating to the terrorist attacks in the NY and DC." 

BTW, speaking of apologies, it seems the US government must have something to say to the families of the people who died on Tuesday. After alll the money we spend on defense, there was apparently no plan to protect the air space of NY and DC. This amazes me. In 1994 a private pilot crashed his plane into the White House. Hello. Anyone home at DoD? I hope it's not necessary to ask if there are defenses for our cities now. 

Today's song: We Didn't Start the Fire

Survey: "Do you feel fear when you hear the sound of a jet overhead?" 

A message from Pakistan on their relationship with the US. 

Welcome to DAWN, Pakistan's most widely circulated English language newspaper. 

Mike Krus did a synthetic RSS feed for Dawn. 

Debka is an Israeli weblog. 

Jerome Camus explains how the US is seen outside the US. 

Paul Hardwick has a lot of background pointers on Carnivore. 

Dan Gillmor: Expert Says Hold, not Buy, Shares Tomorrow


Permanent link to archive for Saturday, September 15, 2001. Saturday, September 15, 2001

Real-time essay: Warfare trial balloons

NY Times: "Government officials and financial leaders are eager to open the exchange and resume trading for symbolic, and practical, reasons. Millions of people do not know the value of their investments. Investors who want to sell shares, or buy them, cannot. The government is losing taxes every day the markets remain closed, and the exchange itself risks losing business to other markets, like the all-electronic Nasdaq, which is also scheduled to reopen tomorrow." 

United Airlines mechanic: "They've cut us all back to five hours a day. They're saying we might have to declare bankruptcy. The families are suing the airline - the families of people in the building." 

David McCusker: "Carnivore is a black box attached to your system's network to eavesdrop on all the traffic." 

A poster I got from Chris Pirillo, it says it should be circulated to everyone, and I totally agree. Let's keep all the friends we've got. No need to create new enemies, we've got plenty of those already. 

Is there an authoritative site that lists all the people who are confirmed to have died in the attack on 9/11? 

6:21 PM: Dave called from DC.  

BBC: "Those who make war against the United States have chosen their own destruction." 

Michael McCarthy: "Today mainstream Islam is under assault from the fundamentalist extremists, and are afraid to act lest they provoke more outrages -- but unfortunately it is clear that an Islamic hero is needed because they simply won't go away, die off, or become mollified." 

Wired: Amateur Newsies Top the Pros. "One of the most striking things about the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York was the outpouring of outstanding Internet coverage from ordinary citizens." 

Survey: "Do you favor a multi-year land war in Asia in response to the destruction of the World Trade Center, and the damage done to the Pentagon and the US financial system?" 

Jacob Levy: "Everyone is talking about the events of Tuesday as if it's a single event. I'm afraid this could be very wrong." 

Dan Gillmor: "I haven't seen anyone look truly happy in days, except some small children who are too young to understand why the rest of us are so grim. One very young boy ran through the terminal this afternoon. He was shrieking with evident joy. Maybe he was just delighted to be running on his little legs through this big new space. What kind of world will he inherit?" 

Mike Donnelan: "If America cannot even eradicate homegrown terrorists like Tim McVeigh from our own soil, then isn't Bush's call to wipe out terrorism nothing more than feel-good rally rhetoric?" 

Dan Gillmor called from the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. He's trying to get back to the US. His next stop is Frankfurt. 

Scripting News got a mention on this radio show in Canada. 

12:06PM: Dave called from LA.  

Rogers Cadenhead: "Tropical Storm Gabrielle moved into my area (St. Augustine, Florida) yesterday and knocked out our power for most of the night. It has been sitting on top of Daytona Beach all night, spawning floods and water spout tornados (we've had five warnings so far in my county). I have power now, but that may not last for long. This list could use an additional moderator, preferably on the West Coast, whose main task is to keep personal attacks and other strongly abusive behavior off the list. If you can help, send me mail." 

AP: "Tropical Storm Gabrielle sloshed across Florida on Friday, knocking down trees and power lines, flooding roads and spinning off tornadoes on a course taking it into the Atlantic Ocean." 

Jay Bryant: "You had asked the other day for photos of flags flying in front of homes. Here is my house in Plainsboro NJ with my dog Daisy." 

Zeldman: "Tonight, for the first time since Tuesday, we were permitted to cross 14th Street." 

Fray is running essays by people who were in NY on Tues. 

NBC: "As Jeremy and Lyz debriefed each other, he was beginning to see the diabolical plan — that he was not a hostage, he was strapped to a guided missile." 

Jeff Kandt's survey: "In our pursuit of the terrorists and their accomplices, is it acceptable for the United States to kill innocent people?" 

The Dalai Lama: "It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater interest of the nation and people in the long run." 

NY Times: "During the hour or so that American Airlines Flight 77 was under the control of hijackers, up to the moment it struck the west side of the Pentagon, military officials in a command center on the east side of the building were urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do." 

Jerry Falwell: "I apologize."  

London Times: "September 11 is a consequence of trying to impose world order, not a wake-up call to redouble the attempt. September 11 is a demonstration of what you can never achieve with armies, spies, coalitions, conferences and international muscle, not an argument for buying more." 

Guardian: "Searching for parallels to help them understand what has happened and what they should do next, Americans cite Pearl Harbour. A better reference would be the Cuban missile crisis." 

Dan Gillmor: "The exhaustion in the voice of the woman at the other end was evident." 

Jake Savin: "The scenario that played out at the World Trade Center on Tuesday, was debated at length in the Airliners.Net discussion area, last November." 

Michael Stern: NYC, Day 4

Don Marti: "The SSSCA would outlaw the software that powers the independent Internet." 

I started a new mail page

A new global shortcut for UserLand-hosted Manila sites. If you type "usFlag" you'll get a small flag linked to a larger rendering. 

Dave Jacobs' journey Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I spoke on the phone with my friend Dave Jacobs, who, due to a family emergency, is traveling from SF to Raleigh, NC, and then driving seven hours with a three hour ferry trip to Ocracoke, an island on the Outer Banks of NC. Murphy-willing, his trip will take him through Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington. Dave will see a lot of the US air system today. He says "There's an incredible sense of comraderie and calm at the airport, the lines at the ticket counters went out the door. There are hundreds and hundreds of people in the lines, but everyone is very calm, tearful eyes, everybody, a lot of talking among people of just how sad things are. Everyone has cellphones. Lots of families traveling with kids. I believe our air system is truly safe now, I'm traveling without any fear."

Dave called from LA and DC. He says that LA was very tense. Cops, army, everywhere. "Don't stand there sir, it makes us nervous," a cop said to Dave. The people he met in LA were the first wave from Asia, people who were stranded there. Lots of pilots. The Red Cross people are all in shock, many are crying. The flight attendants talk about people they knew who died. Obviously the DC airport is open (NPR is reporting otherwise) and quiet. Dave's journey continues, cellphones are great. I told him he has a lot of courage to do what he's doing, he's headed to a big mess in NC, but he's doing it for love.

Tech news Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mozilla 0.9.4 is released.

Sjoerd: "Beyond JS is a Javascript library that lets you write Javascript unlike anything you've ever written."

Talking into the Web Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday I described a service I would like to use. Several readers sent pointers to services and products that claim to do this.

Proteron: Recording phone calls to MP3 files.

Harry Saal: "I user General Magic's Portico service. Incoming messages are accessible from their website (or by dialing in with a standard phone), and show up as RealAudio files. You said mp3's, but otherwise it provides exactly what you are describing."

DoTell enables you to "broadcast streaming audio messages on the Internet from any touch-tone telephone."

IWW: "We present here a fully interactive tool to publish your labor and anti-capitalist news."

Disclaimer: I am a capitalist.

Love Manila Month continues Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Except for Tuesday, we've been busily adding new features to Manila, and continue the work on Radio 7.1. We're doing it because we can.

A new slogan Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Imho, if you're a US-based developer, and your projects are moving forward, you're doing the right thing for your users, customers, yourself, and your country.

I'm going to modify one of my slogans for this occasion.

Keep diggin!

Permanent link to archive for Friday, September 14, 2001. Friday, September 14, 2001

DaveNet: Palestinians, Mir Tamim Ansary on Afghanistan

Thanks for thinking of the US. 

Yahoo has collected over $7 million for the Red Cross. 

NY Times: "Despite President Bush's request that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hold peace talks soon, Mr. Sharon decided today that he was in no hurry to ease the Palestinians' political predicament in the wake of Tuesday's terror attack in the United States, and he canceled talks planned for Sunday without suggesting a new date." 

John Robb, an ex-pilot, says that a plan to make aircraft impossible to hijack, proposed by Steve Kirsch and David Coursey, could work. However, he adds, "Pilots would hate it and would fight you every step of the way. They would rather be sealed in the cockpit than let a computer fly the plane." 

It's possible that this email is a joke.  

Alex Simmons re Ansary's piece: "I suspect the Russians are going to help us get to Afghanistan through the back door." 

Independent: "Despite calls from US President George Bush to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for full support in the wake of the suicide attacks, Russia is making it clear that it will not back an American invasion of Afghanistan from bases in the former Soviet Central Asia." 

Dan Gillmor passes on an idea from Rory O'Connor. On Monday when the NY stock markets open, buy a few shares of stock to support the economy. 

Jerusalem Post: Palestinians rally for bin Laden

Stratfor: "The terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon Sept 11 practiced near-perfect operational planning, coordination and execution before their mission but left behind obvious evidence leading to other operatives who may have supported the hijackings. This begs the question of whether these evidence trails were intentionally left in order to distract U.S. law enforcement from other terrorists." 

Megnut: "I pulled an old college book off my bookshelf last night, The World's Religions by Huston Smith. I climbed into bed, proped up my pillows into reading position, and I opened up to a chapter I'd never read: Islam." 

Wired: "FBI agents soon may be able to spy on Internet users legally without a court order." 

NY Times editorial: "Since cell-phone technology first came into common use in the past few years, there have been instances where someone trapped, nearing death, was able to call home and say goodbye. But there has been no instance like that on Tuesday, when so many doomed people called the most meaningful number they knew from wherever they happened to be and prayed that someone would pick up on the other end." 

Another famous cross-country car trip by Amazon's Bezos. 

WSJ: "The New York developer who led the group that bought a 99-year lease of the World Trade Center said he is determined to help rebuild the complex." 

High-res image of downtown Manhattan before the attack. 

Harry Browne: "Our foreign policy has been insane for decades. It was only a matter of time until Americans would have to suffer personally for it. It is a terrible tragedy of life that the innocent so often have to suffer for the sins of the guilty." 

Kevin Boyd: "Crisis, no matter how traumatic or unsettling, creates opportunity." 

What you can do: Renew friendships with people who are considered enemies, but actually are not. Use the Internet to meet people with strange last names, and ask questions and listen to what they say. If they express anger, try to validate it, not negate it. Have the courage to go through your beliefs. 

The Red Crescent is the Palestinian equivalent of the Red Cross. I gave them $100. 

Something else we can do. Send less email. Mail servers are now becoming a critical resource. Yahoogroups is taking hours to deliver mail. If everyone cut their outbound email to new messages with new ideas and information, we'd be able to get more ideas and information transmitted. 

James Spahr: "I've been very hungry for news that will explain to me why this happened. I'm not talking about the failure of our intelligence community; I'm talking about the history of the US foreign policy in the middle east." 

Are you flying the American flag outside your home or business? Send me a picture. 

Flag pics: Buck's, Scoble

Much more mail

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. 

Dan Bricklin: "Having just flown in from Boston on a United flight the day before, the horror really struck home." 

Black Hole Brain is in memorial mode. 

Jeff Kandt: "President Bush now promises 'victory' over terrorism. This strikes me as incredibly naive, or cynical, or both. We can try to limit our exposure. We can turn ourselves into a police state, trading freedom for security. But how can you defend against someone willing to die for his cause?" 

Michael Klare: "The image of American aircraft and missiles bombing Arab states and producing massive casualties -- many of them, inevitably, civilians with no ties to terrorists -- will surely confirm the belief among many ordinary Muslims that bin Laden is right: that the United States is intent on tormenting and subduing the Islamic world." 

Christian Science Monitor: "If bin Laden is, indeed, the source of the attacks, US retribution is likely to be geographically complex and replete with risks that could lead to a wider war." 

AFP: "A young Palestinian schoolgirl clutches flowers during a demonstration in support of the victims of the terror attacks on installations in the US, at the Beshir al-Reiss school in Gaza City, the Gaza Strip. Both Palestinians and Israelis have shown support and donated blood for the victims of the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, DC." 

Lance Knobel: "In Britain, as across Europe, there was a three minute silence today at 11 in the morning. In my office, people switched off their computer screens and concentrated on private thoughts. What was extraordinary was the lack of sound. The bustling square outside our office was suddenly stilled, with no taxis or errant car alarms breaking the hush." 


File this under things Dave wants for Christmas Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was asking for a scanner for a long time, I got it, and it's revolutionized coverage of concepts on Scripting News. I have another dream. I want a telephone number that I can call that records a message, stores it as an MP3 on a static server, and emails me the URL. Then I would run a script that moves it to a UserLand server, and link to it from Scripting News. This would allow me to interview people. This is something I like to do. If we can find such a service, I'd like to buy some stock. There would be a per-minute charge. Reliability and service would matter.

Tech news Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Syndic8: Block diagram of planned information flow.

Rob Malda: "When many news sites collapsed under the load, we managed to keep stumbling along. Countless people have asked me questions about how Slashdot handled the gigantic load spike."

Internet News: "Companies don't want to appear too ready to get back to business -- at the risk of seeming insensitive. But at the same time, agencies and clients say they're eager to show the world that the nation isn't paralyzed by the news."

XML.Com: Pork Barrel Protocols.

Nathan Torkington: "Normal people blog their thoughts."

Eric Soroos's Love Manila list.

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, September 13, 2001. Thursday, September 13, 2001

Most interesting idea heard today, from Lee Thé at Fawcette. Even though Americans were victims on Tuesday, as soon as we get over the initial shock and pain, let's find out what we're doing wrong, and fix it. The US is the Microsoft of the world. We look to the left and right and see good people and don't understand that there's something wrong at the top. That's what the rest of the world has to deal with. It does matter who leads us. When we vote we don't use our power.  

People don't sacrifice themselves for no reason. Let's find out what it is. And if we did something wrong (no doubt we did) let's apologize, ask for forgiveness, and then ask how we can do better. It's clear now that when we screw up we're going to feel it. And let's not waste the unity in the rest of the world. We now have the attention of the leaders of all the other countries. We've got to find a better use for it than use it as an excuse to unleash our anger through military force. What a waste that would be. The rest of the world isn't stupid, and they probably don't like the way we've been dominating. I wouldn't if I were in their shoes.  

More mail

CNN: "FBI Director Robert Mueller said a preliminary investigation indicated 18 hijackers were on the four planes -- five on each of the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, and four each on the planes that crashed into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania." 

Doc: "What do we call Tuesday, September 11, 2001?" 

Detailed space image of destruction at the Pentagon. 

Awesome collection of pictures.  

Wired: Congress Mulls Stiff Crypto Laws. "For nearly a decade, privacy mavens have been worrying that a terrorist attack could prompt Congress to ban communications-scrambling products that frustrate both police wiretaps and U.S. intelligence agencies. Tuesday's catastrophe, which shed more blood on American soil than any event since the Civil War, appears to have started that process." 

JD Lasica: "Ray was on the 100th floor of the second World Trade Center tower. After the first tower was hit, he walked down 100 floors and managed to escape because he exited the south side of the building while the second plane hit the north side." 

ESPN: "A plane carrying 16 Seattle-area tourists -- fans of the University of Washington football team -- and three Mexican crew members crashed following a visit to Mayan ruins in the state of Yucatan on Wednesday. All aboard died." 

Rory Thompson: "New York's Financial District will be closed until Spring, at the earliest. The devastation to infrastructure and the surrounding neighborhoods is complete and utter. Once the search for victims is ended (which by itself will take weeks), then all surrounding structures have to be checked. Many will have to be demolished." 

James Spahr: "New York is so big, it makes understanding this tragedy very difficult. The area effected looks quite small when viewed in the context of the city. The area is not small, in fact it use to take about 5 or 10 minutes to walk from one side of it to the other when everything was normal." 

Paul Nixon: "This log is dedicated to presenting those graphics created to explain the terrorist act against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001." 

AP: "The NFL will not play its 15 games this weekend." 

Grace Suh: Views of the World Trade Center

Time photo-essay

PC World: Will attack hurt net privacy? "Writers of weblogs, or 'blogs' as they are called--a sort of interactive online personal journal--are debating whether security measures intended to ensure safety might turn out to be more of a threat to personal liberty than are terrorist attacks. Many tech industry old-timers are weighing in with their concerns." 

Steve Duin: "Our ingenuity is being tested. And the reward for our resourcefulness isn't the head of Osama bin Laden, or any other terrorist, but limiting the possibility of another incinerated city." 

Thomas Creedon started a site for posting memorials. 

Five firefighters, trapped in an SUV, were rescued from the WTC rubble. 

Chris Kwak at Bear-Stearns in NY: "We were just evacuated. Bomb threat." Alex Whitney: "They just cleared out Grand Central, Met Life which I look out on at the back, and my building due to a bomb threat; I walked home." 

Dan Gillmor is in Africa. 

Motley Fool: "The collapse of the Twin Towers may send a shock through the economy just as it sent shocks through the streets of lower Manhattan. It's too soon, however, to speculate what impact it might have on consumer confidence, and too easy to say consumers will be frightened into an economic shell. No one knows. In many ways, the economy is just as strong and diverse as New York City itself." 

USA Today: "Yarkoni said crucial mistakes were made Tuesday in the United States. The first two planes which hit the World Trade Center may have surprised the authorities, but he said the third plane should have been found and shot down before crashing into the Pentagon 45 minutes later. Israeli warplanes would have been airborne within minutes, he said, while it took the U.S. air force an hour to launch its fighters." 

Today's song: "Things ain't what they used to be." 

Peter Navarro: "We are in a recession now. The question is, will we go deeper into recession? The most dangerous problem right now is that the attack could further erode consumer confidence and perhaps discourage increased business investment. If it does that, we will have both a long and deep recession. The Fed and Bush administration can prevent that by taking certain actions." 

Jerusalem Post: "Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron today called on the Islamic clerics who have published fatwas (religious rulings) ordering suicide-bombings and declaring the bombers shahid (martyrs), 'to rescind the order and to call on the world to preserve the sanctity of of life, and to forbid large-scale attacks on innocent civilians.'" 

Wired: "An administrator at one major network service provider said that FBI agents showed up at his workplace on Tuesday 'with a couple of Carnivores, requesting permission to place them in our core, along with offers to actually pay for circuits and costs.'" 

Heard on NPR: US airspace will re-open at 11AM Pacific. 

Jim Roepcke: "I live a few miles from SFO. Planes usually fly over our apartment dozens of times a day. But not yesterday. And not today." 

BBC: "Police in the north German city of Hamburg have arrested a man in connection with the terror attacks on the United States." 

Moscow Times: A Muscovite's Frantic Descent from the WTC

Tehran Times: "Iranian President Mohammad Khatami condemned the kamikaze 'terrorist' attacks in the United States and expressed his deep sorrow and sympathy with the American nation." 

Guardian: "Shock, rage and grief there has been aplenty. But any glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process - or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world - seems almost entirely absent." 

9AM Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Radio script that automates link publishing to Web and email.

Safe computing tip. Remember viruses. Don't open enclosures. In the rush of email going around now it could be easy to forget. Be careful out there.

7AM Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NPR walked through their morning schedule. Psychologists will talk about how children process these events. From all different angles. Nothing about the international picture. Totally self-obsessed. Childlike. Bedtime stories. I'm an adult.

Please don't send huge PowerPoint enclosures. I don't run PowerPoint. Thanks.

The news is flowing to this site largely from the mail list that started yesterday. If you want the intense version of the flow, please subscribe. The people are totally kicking butt. While all this is going on I'm getting tons of ideas for how the software can work better to link people together in time of crisis. It's also a time of great opportunity. Keep your eyes and ears open, observe, and share what you learn.

6AM Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I want to shift gears today out of navel-gazing -- that fog lifted for me last night --it's time to decide what our goals are. The pervasive fear of retribution is a tool for the US president. Now I'd like to see an LBJ-like approach, let us reason together, how can we all win now. It's OK to think about the dead, but they're dead. Think about all the people who are alive now who will be dead if we go to war. American culture is so self-centered, now we're part of the rest of the world. Security in Europe is pretty heavy. So what. We'll get over it. Now how can we use our new unity to make some peace. This is our wakeup call. Wake up.

Non-WTC links Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Paul Nakada: My Manila Wishlist.

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2001. Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Today's Song: The Star-Spangled Banner

NY Times: "Many Americans have come to consider politics irrelevant in recent years. Now politicians matter again, and the president, in his role as commander in chief, becomes our focal point." 

The image of the firemen with the flag came from the Bergen County Record. This picture destined for the history books. 

NASA photos from space of the WTC smoke plume. 

US Senator John McCain: "We should demand that Afghanistan immediately extradite to the United States Osama bin Laden. We will know in due course if he is the architect of yesterday’s attacks, but we already possess sufficient evidence to have indicted him for orchestrating the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." 

London Times: "Both Egypt and Jordan still have Israeli Ambassadors on their soil, despite growing popular demands for their expulsion. President Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan are seen by Islamic radicals as American puppets, leaders who are unable to sway opinion in Washington and unwilling to confront America over its support for the Sharon Government in Israel." 

Jerusalem Post: "Peres said that if Arafat does not renounce terrorism, he will have to face the wrath of the world. The balancing act Arafat has played successfully for years in appeasing the Western world while harboring and sponsoring terror can no longer continue, he said." 

Thomas Friedman: "Hey boss, did you hear that? We just blew up Wall Street and the Pentagon and their response is no more curbside check-in?" 

Standard: "Phil Rosenzweig, 47, a director in Sun's software organization who had been with the company since 1991, worked in Burlington, Mass., and was on his way to Los Angeles, Sun said. American Flight 11 was the first flight to hit the World Trade Center, slamming into the north tower at 8:45 a.m." 

BBC: US computers networks at risk. "One day after the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, a congressional report has warned of the vulnerability of the country's computer networks." 

Standard: Markets Won't Open Before Friday. "Citing concerns over safety in downtown Manhattan, America's two biggest stock markets, the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, won't reopen for trading until Friday at the earliest." 

Salon: FBI: We know who they were. "Mueller says no arrests have been made, but the agency has identified most of the hijackers and their 'associates.'" 

A reader who requested anonymity has a plan for rebuilding the WTC in a slightly different form. Look at it twice and use your imagination. A very New York response. Gotta love it. 

Nadirah Sabir: "America is on alert and on the defensive. So, too, are American Muslims." 

Lockergnome: "The Lockergnome staff has come to the decision of officially postponing Gnomedex." 

O'Reilly: "We are postponing the Peer-to-Peer and Web Services Conference in Washington, DC." 

BBC: "It was the fire that killed the buildings." 

PayPal has "created a special fund to help PayPal members provide assistance to those affected by this tragic event." 

BBC: "The gloom which enveloped stock markets after the terrorist attacks in the US has begun to clear after a rollercoaster day for European traders." 

I started a new unmoderated mail list for news about the World Trade Center bombing. I suggest that it not be used to debate issues, or express emotions. If you find a story that you think should flow out through the weblog community, please post to the new list.  

BBC: "Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat expressed their horror at the attacks." 

Metafilter thread starting at 6AM yesterday, with photos. 

Chicago Tribune: Backups let firms keep running

Jerry Pournelle: "Jeremy and several other passengers decided there was nothing to lose by rushing the hijackers." 

Joseph Pistritto: "I think we can consider this confirmed. Another person on that plane's wife was interviewed on KGO radio this morning, he lives in Pleasanton, CA, and apparently he made a total of 4 cellphone calls from the airplane to his wife in California, who told him about the WTC airline crash which had happened a few minutes before." 

Jon Carroll: "There will be pressure to suspend our freedoms, to allow the government to invade our privacy and control our speech as part of the glossy new war. If terrorists force America to give up its freedoms, then they will have won." 

AP: "Maine Gov. Angus King said two suspects had flown to Boston from the Portland International Jetport, and left behind a rental car that was impounded in the Portland area." 

NY Daily News photo-essay. Warning, there's carnage. 

John Robb: "The response to this attack shouldn't be seen as getting even or going to war with the group that did this (most likely bin Laden). Rather, it should be seen as a wake-up call to the world: terrorism and the states that support it are not to be tolerated anymore. The world is too small, people are too interdependent, and the ability of an individual or small group to do harm is so great that terrorism in all its forms cannot continue." 

NY Times editorial: "There is a world of consoling to be done." 

Poynter.Org has a collection of today's front pages. 

NY Times front page for today. 

Empire State Building webcam screen shot at 8:35AM Pacific. 

Myers Carpenter has a war room. 

BBC: "The suicide pilots struck not only at innocent civilians, but at the heart of what has been buoying America's struggling economy: the innate confidence of the country's people. By undermining that, the terrorists hope to destroy much more than one of the world's tallest buildings. They want to bring down the Western world's financial system." 

Mail Starting 9/12/01

Jerome Camus: Did the world change yesterday? 

L3 Communications: "One of the greatest safety inventions for the commercial airline industry has been the crash protected flight recorder, more commonly called the 'Black Box.'" 

Salman Rushdie: "The worst-case scenario of crossing the road, after all, is that you'll be hit by a truck and killed. Yet we all do cross roads every day, and could hardly function if we did not. To live by the worst-case scenario is to grant the terrorists their victory without a shot having been fired." 

Lance Knobel: "Like so many people around the world, I had no appetite for work yesterday. I stayed in the office listening to the radio, then went home to watch the BBC's superb coverage of events (CNN, usually good in breaking news, was nowhere in comparison)." 

Josh Watts took a picture of the WTC on a nice day before it was blown out of the sky. 


Non WTC-links Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Survey: "If we had an easy gateway connecting Scripting News to instant messaging clients, allowing me to send news items out in real time, which would you likely use?"

XML.Com: "As an addition to the family of web technologies, SVG is a welcome arrival. It emerges at a time of new opportunity and challenge, as new devices and user communities proliferate. The W3C SVG Working Group has done a fantastic job with the development of the specification, and it's set high standards that other groups would do well to aim for."

LOCKSS stands for Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe. "The beta version is being distributed to over 40 libraries worldwide who will run about 60 caches. Beta test sites include major libraries such as the Library of Congress, and smaller ones such as the University of Otago in New Zealand. Four 'shadow' publisher machines at Stanford will mirror about 15 GB of content from real journals, and simulate brief failures and permanent outages." (Via Nathan Torkington.)

I've gotten several requests to point to Amazon's page for donating to the Red Cross. I won't do it. At some point the crisis will alleviate, and Amazon may have recouped its reputation with Web developers because of this association with charity. Amazon's policy on software and business process patents remains unacceptable. If they want my support they should release their patents, and then I will happily point to their page for charitable giving.

7/24/00: "The Internet which you and I use was built out of an open sharing of ideas. By erecting barriers, as Amazon has, and being aggressive about it, they are milking a cash cow they didn't create."

Note to our customers and users of our software. September is still Love Manila Month. And we're working on the next release of Radio UserLand. The power of easy content management is behind everything we do. When people ask how I'm able to keep up with so much the answer is simple. To update my website I just type into my outliner and hit Control-S. Anyone who can use a computer who has something to say can do it. It's easy.

Many thanks to Faisal Jawdat and Stan Krute who have been feeding me links for the last two days.

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Tuesday, September 11, 2001

DaveNet: To peace-loving people everywhere

NY Times: Web Offers Both News and Comfort. "At www.scripting.com, a site normally devoted to technical discussion of Web programming, people sent in pictures of the World Trade Center buildings collapsing and reports." 

Closing comments. Hat-tip to Bill Seitz for remembering the Empire State Building webcam. And we got first-hand reports from people who were there. There were real-time human touches that are hard to capture in a print pub with a lead time. There's power in the new communication and development medium we're mastering. Far from being dead, the Web is just getting started.  

Talking with Scoble this evening about this stuff, he told me about an earthquake web app in California that lets people report quakes and it aggregates the data and distributes rescue resources accordingly. Someday soon every home will have a weblog, and we'll have great aggregation tools that allow us to quickly assemble lists of loved ones who survived. A new button on cellphones that says "I made it" and it flows the fact to all your concerned friends. Today I learned first-hand what it feels like to worry about a family member caught up in catastrophe. That kind of information doesn't need a business model. 

Anyway, it's time for me to sign off for the night. Today I started at about 5:30AM, and typed and read and thought and felt every minute of the day. I'm wiped. I'm also lucky -- I get to come back tomorrow. Thousands of Americans aren't so lucky. Their families and friends won't sleep so well tonight. Say a prayer for all of us, and for the world. Those assholes fucked with a very powerful country. I hope we all survive that. Peace and love, Uncle Gravy. 

Survey: Have you been to the World Trade Center? 

Eric Soroos: "Buildings are designed to provide a few hours of fire protection for normal fires. But for extreme events (like the big earthquake), the design criteria becomes 'survive long enough to evacuate.'" 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird is this page

Lockergnome: Blogging is hogging mind boggling bloggers

Jeff Barr: "It seems to me that the work of Syndication can help in some small way to make the world a better place." 

Wes Felter: "I'm hearing rumors that gas prices have doubled and tripled during the day in some places. Has anyone witnessed that?" 

Wes says: "I didn't understand how they could have collapsed; the buildings didn't look damaged below the crash sites." NPR interviewed a Berkeley engineering professor, he explained what happened. Basically the steel in the top 20 stories got very hot and softened, and collapsed on the lower 90 stories. They couldn't handle that kind of load, so they collapsed too. 

John Robb on the knives used in the hijacking and the implications for America's future wealth. 

Great Buildings: The World Trade Center

Engineering News-Record: Dynamic Duo of Height

Historical anecdotes about the WTC. 

Eugene Pervago reports from Mexico. 

Reuters: Putin Expresses Condolences to American People

Editorials: Houston Chronicle, Seattle Times, London Guardian

Joel Spolsky: "Here on the Upper West Side, about 5 miles north of Ground Zero, I saw streams of people in business clothes walking home. I saw people planning to walk all the way up to the George Washington bridge and then across to New Jersey where they lived." 

US Attorney General Ashcroft at a press conference: Hijackers were armed with knives. President Bush will speak at 5:30PM Pacific.  

John Perry Barlow compares today's events to the burning of the Reichstag that led to the Nazi takeover of the German government in 1933. He said in a published email "Within a few hours, we will see beginning the most vigorous efforts to end what remains of freedom in America. Those of who are willing to sacrifice a little - largely illusory - safety in order to maintain our faith in the original ideals of America will have to fight for those ideals just as vigorously." 

These were not terrorist attacks. The Pentagon is the US military headquarters. It's an impossible stretch to see that as terrorism. If the targets of attack were only civillian targets, that's terrorism. This picture must haunt the military. Soldiers look helplessly as their headquarters burns and their colleagues die. The attack on the Pentagon was an act of war. 

Internet News: World Markets Plunge on US Terrorist Attacks

London Times: Quotes from a day of terror


Boston Globe: '''This is a price you pay for a weak response to the Lockerbie bombing, a weak response to the first World Trade Center bombing, a weak response to the bombing of the USS Cole, a weak response to the Africa embassy bombings,'' he said. ''We've allowed Osama bin Laden to go on with life, to be protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan.''' 

Brent Simmons: "CNN reports that the White House states that the explosions are not a U.S. strike." 

James Spahr: "The photo below is from my apartment and I have others. It will be a while before I can post them. 3 of my ISP's trunks where severed this morning, obviously these things are far from a priority right now." 

Jonathan Shapiro: "This act required logistic support and coordination involving hundreds of people, with major-league funding."  

Daniel Schorr on NPR: "With Pearl Harbor there was a return address." An important point as the cowardice of today's attack sinks in. 

FDR: "Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." 

Full text of FDR's Pearl Harbor speech. 

Google is caching major news sites today. (Screen shot.) 

News.Com photo essay

NY Times: "From the World Financial Center, another tall office building across the street to the west of the Trade Towers, employees watched out the windows in shock as the building fell. Angelo Echevaria, 49, said he had to prod fellow workers who were frozen with fear, urging them to evacuate." 

This is London: "An Arab journalist with access to Bin Laden said today that the terrorist leader warned three weeks ago that he and his followers would carry out an unprecedented attack on US interests for its support of Israel." 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Minutes earlier, a man who said he was a passenger on the plane told an emergency dispatcher in a cell phone call: 'We are being hijacked, we are being hijacked!'" 

Press release: "With great sadness, Akamai Technologies, Inc. today announced the passing of Daniel C. Lewin, co-founder, chief technology officer and board member of the Company. American Airlines confirmed that he was on board the Boston to Los Angeles flight that crashed in New York City today. Danny was 31 years old and is survived by his wife and two sons." 

My dad is OK. Just talked with him on the phone. He was in Grand Central Station when the subways shut down. He walked from mid-town over the 59th Street Bridge with thousands of other New Yorkers. He didn't know the planes were hijacked. What a relief that both my parents survived. And thanks for all the good wishes. 

Afghan News Network: "This is a terrible act of horror and our hearts go out to everyone involved in this heartless terrorist attack. This act is against the teachings of Islam and Muslim nations condemn this attack." 

Where to donate blood in the Bay Area. 

Check in here if you're alive in New York City or any other affected city. And if you see this guy walking around Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, send me an email.  

Still no word from my father. I just went outside and heard a plane overhead. On most days that would be a pretty normal thing. Today I wondered what was going on on that plane. A friend was coming to visit from Florida for the weekend. Now that's off. It's just beginning to sink in how much things have changed. Yesterday would it have made no sense to run a survey to ask if we are at war. Yesterday was a normal day. Today started normally too. I have a feeling that the takeaway from this will be There's No Time Like Now. Yeah, there's no time like now to start forgiving, to turn the other cheek, to show the world not that we're tough, but that we're commited to making the world a better place. Do I think our government will do that? No I don't. 

China People's Daily: "Chinese President Jiang Zemin here at midnight September 11 conveyed a message to U.S. President George W. Bush in which Jiang expressed sympathy to him and to the U.S. government and people for the disastrous attacks against the U.S. He also expressed condolences to the family members of the victims." 

CNN: Chronology of Terror

London Times: Attacks Celebrated on West Bank

Selenium: "I am only a block from the White House. There are currently two layers of security around the White House from what I can see. There is an outer layer has Secret Service and other police officers to turn back people and cars, and an inner on complete with road blocks." 

Jerusalem Post: Exclusive interview with WTC architect.  

Jerusalem Post: Israel evacuates embassies, Palestinians celebrate

Maurice Rickard: "I'm in Pittsburgh. A United flight (a 757) went down in a rural area 70-80 miles southeast of here, near Somerset. NPR has reported that one of the passengers called 911 on a cell phone, and indicated that the flight was indeed hijacked." 

Jason Levine: "I'm beseeching everyone in NYC to go donate blood over on Q; you may want to ask people to do the same." 

I just got an email from a Amy Harmon at the NY Times. She says: "I am working on a story about how people are responding across the Net to the news of today's terrorist attacks, and I noticed that you're devoting your blog to it. I wondered if you might have a minute to talk about the impulse to collect and share news and reaction and how the Net facilitates that." I can't get through to NY on the phone. I see this as an opportunity to cover a big news story, it's largely the same reason the NY Times home page is all about this. We want to figure out what happened, what it means, and where we go from here. The world changed today. It's still very fresh. Is there an opportunity for something good to come from this? I think so. Talking with my mother on the phone she's sure that Jewish people will be blamed for this. I asked can we hope for something better to come from this. Perhaps a new connection between peace-loving people everywhere? 

AP: New York City Shuts Down

A mailing list for discussion of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and other sites. 

Joichi Ito: "A Japanese military analyst mentioned on national TV in Japan that US forces have been issuing warnings and raising the level of alertness over the last week around the world and early comments from the analyst suggest that there was some warning." 

Rob Fahrni: "My wife informs me that there are still fifty domestic flights in the air and two international flights that cannot be contacted. This may not be over by a long shot." 

Joe Foss: "I have heard from one person (an in-law) who was on the 57th floor of tower one when the plane hit. He is now home safe. He said the emergency systems in the tower were functioning and it was the most orderly evacuation he could imagine under the circumstances." 

Cameron Barrett: "There is soot falling out of the sky outside my apartment in Brooklyn." 

My father was in downtown NY when the planes crashed. My mother saw the whole thing from a rooftop in Brooklyn. She had a camera. We haven't heard from my father yet.  

Survey: Is the US at war? 

All air traffic in the US has been grounded. The President who is in the air now is returning to Washington. A third plane has crashed into the Pentagon. 

Timothy Timlin: "A fifth hijacked plane crashed near Camp David, MD. There is a sixth hijacked plane circling around in Virginia airspace; it is surrounded by our aircraft at this time." 

Please post news and pointers to pictures to this discussion group. Email is fine, but let's use all the communication tools we have. 

One tower of the WTC has collapsed. (Update -- the other tower collapsed at 7:30AM.) 

Webcam photo of where the WTC used to be. 

Photo of the Pentagon burning. 

A dramatic picture that gives you an idea of what's happening in NY. 

Mirrored video of the tower collapses. 

Reports of a plane crash in Pittsburgh at 7:40AM Pacific. 

I've gotten email asking my position on Palestinian terrorism. Apparently I'm listed on some website as a supporter of such acts. Here's my statement. "I am Jewish, son of Holocaust survivors, first generation American. I am against terrorism, period. I support Israel, but understand and empathize with the frustration of Palestinians. I have a friend who is Palestinian. Jews who think all of them are terrorists are mistaken. They are more like us than they are different." 

Grace Suh, in NY, has a photo-essay of the WTC demise. 

Nando Times has lots of photos too. 

A screen shot of the NY Times home page at 7:21AM Pacific. 

Stories: Washington Post, BBC, London Times, Chicago Tribune, CNN

Scobelizer: America Under Attack

Bryan McCormick: "I'm at the epicenter. According to a neighbor everyone in WTC2 below the 90th floor got out alive." 

Adam Curry: "The US embassy in Amsterdam is now surounded by heavily armed guards and news crews. All flights to the US grounded at Schiphol Airport." 

John Robb: "What is amazing to me is that for an operation this large and closely coordinated we had no warning." 

Jim Biancolo: "I don't expect you to respond, but I had to take a shot at asking, since yours is one of the few news sites that's up. Have you heard anything about evacuation plans around the Pentagon - where they're sending the injured and uninjured. Trying to track down information for a friend whose husband works there." 

Richard Martin: "Tower two has collapsed. Pentagon has been dropped in on by an explosion on the helo pad. A helocopter has fallen on to the mall, the White House has been evacuated along with Treasury and others. This is deep. The two planes were a 767 from Boston (Logan) hijacked and the second was a United flight. The Sears tower is being evacuated." 

Ariel McNichol: "From London the news reports that 'The United States is under seige.' Now Tony Blair is on TV saying that the center of asking his people for empathy to the US, a place of carnage, with innocent people dead, etc...and now he asks all the UK to send a condolences, and he's going on about democracies of the world needing to come together to erradicate the evil terrorism of this world. He looks genuinely upset, and is planning an emergency return to London...HOLY FUCK! I really hope that you're safe over there in California. LOVE, LOVE, Love Ariel in London." 

I just tried calling my parents in NY. "Beep beep beep.. All circuits are busy." 

6:45AM: I sent out a bulletin

6:15AM: Bill Seitz reports that a plane has crashed into NY's World Trade Center.  

The Empire State Building cam provides a real-time view. (Screen shot.) 

Mike Donellan has a color picture and links. It was a hijacked United Airlines plane. 

Update: Two planes hit the WTC. 

Bush: It was a terrorist act. 

Reuters: A Palestinian group is claiming responsibility. 

NPR: American Airlines flight from Boston, a Boeing 767, hijacked. Heavy loss of life. 

Most of the news sites are too busy to get through to. Interesting, perhaps the Web isn't as dead as some say it is. 

Author David Bank will do readings from Breaking Windows in Berkeley and Menlo Park next week. 

Wired: Hollywood Loves Hollings' Bill

SchoolBlogs is offering free Manila hosting. 

Permanent link to archive for Monday, September 10, 2001. Monday, September 10, 2001

DaveNet: Open Source in 2001

InfoWorld's CTO: "When I grow confused about what Web services means, I read the XML-RPC spec and it makes sense again." Sweet! 

WSJ: Microsoft drafts settlement proposal

The Syndication mail list is starting to address the core issue of RSS: The link-title-description model doesn't work well for weblogs. Not only can weblog items contain more than one link per item (like this item), they can also reasonably contain markup. It's a written medium. In writing sometimes you want to italicize for emphasis, or to add a new voice, there are even formal rules that some publications follow to the letter. Further, many weblog items don't have an easily discernable title. RSS defines a rigid publication style, weblogs are less formal. Anyway, it's great to see the community get past the respect issues. I'm not sure where it's going, but the most important thing is that people are addressing each other as adults. With that, problems can be solved, and perhaps new formats and services designed and deployed. Mazel tov to the members of the Syndication community. 

Correction: The Allman Brothers came from Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. I know why I got confused, two of the brothers died in consecutive years in Macon. And they had a big album called Eat A Peach. (Georgia is the Peach State.) 

Steve Goodman is looking for a job.  

More Love Manila Month features & fixes on Frontier News

News.Com: "Great Bridge, a company that had hoped open-source software would allow it to take on database giants such as Oracle, has expired after failing to find investors or a company to acquire it." 

John Robb started a weblog for Singularity, whatever that is. 

Jeff Barr has some new RSS sources this morning. 

Peter Saint-Andre: "What is a technology revolution?" 

Dylan Tweney: How to Beat Corporate Alzheimer's

How to get Dubya's attention

Ken Dow does his part for Love Manila Month. My comment. People always ask for a one-step home page flip, but as a software designer this burns my braincells. A big step like that requires confirmation. There's no way to undo an accidental flip. But the feature shows up on the lists every time. What's a developer to do? 

Yeah-yeah, everyone says Do Undo. Uh huh. And where would you put the Undo command in a Web app so that people would actually see it and use it? It's not so simple folks. I'm just a little smarter than I look.  

Steve Ivy has the best suggestion so far. Do the confirmation in Javascript, and avoid a roundtrip to the server. This probably is the best compromise. It doesn't require a new subsystem in Manila, and gives Ken and others the performance improvement that they want. 

A new Bryan Bell feature request for Manila. 

NY Times: AOL Pursuing AT&T's Cable Unit

The first Talking Moose parody site. "Ask him if he would rather pay for content management software now or a psychologist and mood altering drugs later." 

On the XML-DEV list a debate is going on about whether or not MSIE 6 is an XML parser. Another how many angels fit on the head of a pin hair split. MSIE 6 is breaking the rules that Microsoft agreed to re conformance in XML, which was a very good idea. Now the Microsoft rep is spinning that it was never intended to be an XML parser. Hmmm. Next time a Microsoft exec gets up and says We Love XML you should be sure to ask which XML it is that they love so much. 

The problems with MSIE and XML that sparked the debate were reported by Elliotte Rusty Harold on his Cafe con Leche website. He doesn't maintain permalinked archives on his blog, so I can't point to his specific comments. He's a harsh critic for sure, uses too many adjectives, and impugns their motives (falling for the MS flamebait) but he's on the money this time. Microsoft can't have it both ways, say they support XML, and then ignore the core thing about XML -- it's absolute insistence on processors not accepting any variability in what XML is. This is the lesson of HTML that XML tries to learn, now with little hope of success, thanks to Microsoft. 

Also I know there are professional and thoughtful people at Microsoft. So why do they send their professional wrestler to talk with the people on the XML-DEV list? Could they possibly care less about interop? Questions questions. 

Nicholas Petreley: "Since it's a foregone conclusion that Microsoft will be littering its XML with pointers to Win32-based components, the best that can be said about its adoption of XML is that it will make it easier for browsers and applications on non-Windows platforms to understand which parts of the document it must ignore." 

Today's song: "Every other Christmas I would practice good behavior." 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, September 09, 2001. Sunday, September 09, 2001

I moved my History of Weblogs to a faster server, cleaned it up a bit, fixed broken links, found an archive of Netscape's What's New page (the one I had went 404). The first website, info.cern.ch, redirects to a modern page, luckily there's an archive of that too. (I wish historic sites were safer bets.) 

John Robb: "The answering machine can become a firewall." 

Tonight's movie: Shakespeare in Love. Sweet! 

It's a double-feature.  

NY Times: "Some of the leading state attorneys general in the Microsoft antitrust case said yesterday that they would press for tough sanctions against the software maker, including ones that apply to the company's new operating system, Windows XP." 

They're still fumbling the remedy. Talk with a few developers, find out where the choke-point is, and neuter it. I sent an email to the author of the Times article outlining the way to do it. Breaking the company up is unworkable. It would take a decade to do, they all work on the same campus, the thinking is so ingrained, and what good would it do. Office is an albatross. They need to rethink their apps anyway. You'd be doing them a favor by splitting Office into a separate company. 

Flangy News: "I've resigned my position at Microsoft." 

Bernie Dodge: "Wow, Dave. I've ego surfed my full name before, but it never occurred to me to search for just my first name until you did it. And holy shit... I'm the first Bernie!

More first name surfing. Gates is the third Bill. Raymond is the third Eric. Curry is the sixth Adam. Felter is the third Wes. Savin is the fourth Jake. Bricklin is the fifth Dan. Swarz is the first Aaron. Kapor is the second Mitch. Spolsky is the first Joel. Williams is the first Evan. Neuburg is the seventh Matt. Fleishman is the seventh Glenn. Ballmer isn't on the first page of Steves, nor is Jobs. 

Wired: "Music and record industry lobbyists are quietly readying an all-out assault on Congress this fall in hopes of dramatically rewriting copyright laws." 

Google translation of the Manila home page, in Spanish. 

Art News: Feminism's New Look

A woman's joke about the gender of computers. 

My favorite gender joke is still the one about the forest. "If a man is in a forest and says something, and no women are present, is he still wrong?" 

Ralph Hempel: "How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, just as well as a man, and it's not funny, dammit!" 

Ole and Sven go fishing Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ole and Sven went fishing on the lake on a hot summer day.

"Oh boy," said Sven, "It sure is hot today," as he reached to pick up a beer hanging over the side, and fell into the lake and sank like a stone.

"Boy oh boy Sven sure been in the water a long time," said Ole after ten minutes. "I'd better go rescue him."

He swam all the way to the bottom of the lake, where it is very muddy and dark, and felt a cold body. "Oh boy this must be Sven," he thought and grabbed the hand and pulled him to the surface and dumped the body into the boat and immediately began mouth-to-mouth resucitation.

"Oh you don't taste so good," Ole thought, about his brother Sven's breath. "It almost makes me want to vomit," he said.

He did this for five minutes with no success. Ole cried and cried, through the tears he said. "I love you so much Sven, why did you have to fall in the lake and drown like that and oh what am I going to tell Lena and come to think of it where did you get the helmet and the snowmobile outfit?"

Let's fix a bug Permanent link to this item in the archive.

OK, this part is not a joke, here's a bug I'd like to fix.

I pick up the phone. A woman's voice. "Hi it's me."

I have no idea who it is, I'm on the other line, and it's confusing.

And get this -- telemarketers are starting to do this too.

A friendly woman's voice says "Hi."

I ask "Who is this?"

"My name is Melody and I work with First Union Mortgage."

Click. Grrrr.

PS: My mother, when she calls, says "Hi, it's your mother."


Permanent link to archive for Saturday, September 08, 2001. Saturday, September 08, 2001

Proclaimed: September is Love Manila Month at UserLand.  

We're following the lead of Susan Kitchens and Bryan Bell, who patiently put together a list of features and fixes they want to see. We're also working on Radio 7.1, which is due out pretty soon (which means we haven't picked a date yet). Yesterday we released fixes for static rendering and calendars in Manila. Details are on the Frontier News page. 

EditHere.Com does commercial Manila hosting. 

New sample: "A guest database you can download that installs a simple Hello World responder in a Frontier server." 

Scoble loves Manila so much, he gets naked with it! 

More Googlish fun. We already know that the Talking Moose is the top moose. Today I learned that Doc is the fourth Doc, so I had to find out. Coool. I'm the third Dave. Hey. 

Apparently we've run afoul of some Network Solutions' policy with our WhoIs user interface web app

On this day in 1998 Mark McGwire hit number 62, breaking the one-season home run record set by Roger Maris. ESPN is tracking this year's home run derby. Barry Bonds is at 60. 

Here's a wacky idea. Let's have a Gender Balancing Summit. Equal numbers of women and men representing all social classes and countries. A five-day conference in Switzerland. Invite thinkers and visionaries of both genders. Negotiate and agree on positive steps we can take quickly to create a more loving and fair world. 

Permanent link to archive for Friday, September 07, 2001. Friday, September 07, 2001

DaveNet: Quid Pro, Microsoft? 

Reuters: "Two of the biggest states party to the federal government's antitrust case against Microsoft warned on Friday they might pursue their own sanctions against the software giant if they conclude the U.S. Justice Department is going too easy on the company." 

John Robb: "Why did the government give up its negotiating position so early?" 

Michael Williams: "I think you may be right that this is the initial execution of some agreement. The fact that MS is not crowing about their victory lends credence to this." 

Today's song: "Don't ask me to be Mr Clean, cause baby I don't know how." 

ZapThink: The Pros and Cons of XML

John Rhodes: Google 2.0

Speaking of Google, guess which site is number one when you search for moose? 

O'Reilly did something smart and merged all their weblogs into one flow. None of the individual blogs had enough to make me a regular visitor, but combined, it's more interesting.  

NY Times: Pendulum swings to Microsoft, but how far? 

Mail-This-Story for Manila Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I get to roll out a fun new Manila feature today. Like the ogre named Shrek it comes in layers like an onion. It's just a macro you put in the template for your site, but it gives your readers an important tool to spread news from your site. All the big sites have the feature, but this is the first time (as far as I know) that it's available for ordinary folk like you and me and it's pretty easy.

First the demo. Go to this page on the DaveNet site, and scroll to the bottom. You'll see a link called Mail This Story. Click on it. Enter your email address, a brief personal message, and enter your email address again. Click on Submit. Check your email.

The story is sent in plain text not HTML (we can do this because Manila is a content management system, we get the story out of the database, not by scraping the screen as others do). Links are extracted from anchor tags and replaced with numbers in square brackets. All the links appear at the end of the email. Bold text is surrounded in asterisks and italic text enclosed in slashes. Markup is removed. Breaks and paragraphs are converted to single and double carriage returns. Other whitespace is converted. We use the new string.htmlToEmail verb to do the transformations on the story text.

Now the docs. To add this feature to your UserLand-hosted Manila site, add a macro to your template, generally right after the {bodytext} macro is a good place to put it. The macro is {mailStory ()}. It takes an optional parameter that determines the link text. It can be an image if you prefer images over text. The link will only appear on stories and discussion group messages. On other pages the macro returns the empty string. This is the only configuration that's needed to add the feature to a Manila site.

Macros.UserLand.Com: mailStory.

Questions and comments on the Manila-Newbies mail list.

Tweak: The message now makes it clear that we don't know for a fact who sent the message, and we also include the sender's IP address, which makes it less likely this feature will be used in an abusive way. (There are some real sick people out there.)

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, September 06, 2001. Thursday, September 06, 2001

Survey: "Do you support the Bush Administration decision not to pursue the breakup of Microsoft for antitrust violations?" 

A cool new feature is coming tomorrow for all Manila sites, UserLand-hosted and otherwise.  

About the Bush decision to let MS off, I bet there's a settlement and this is the first stage of the execution. Microsoft wants some way to negate that they were found guilty of breaking the law re Netscape. The government dropping that part of the case gives them a way to confuse people later even though eight judges found them guilty. Next week there will be an announcement of a settlement along the lines the goverment laid out today. A behavioral remedy. Nothing too onerous for Bill and his BigCo. And a new reason to be cynical about government. Oy. 

Cydney Gillis: "Most companies have to pay for advertising. Not Microsoft Corp. All the world's largest software maker has to do is stage an event and invite the media." 

A directory of vision statements for Seybold. Thanks to everyone for participating. We're getting ready to mail to all the registered attendees. The room holds 2500 people. I want to fill it with minds on Sept 26. We're serious about building flow for these ideas. 

David Hess: "With this application, you don't write your story chronologically, from beginning to end. You write your story one memory at a time. The application takes care of inserting the memory on your 'memory map' based on the date it took place." 

Betsy Martens: Painless Mammography

I'm thinking about doing painless technography at Seybold. 

Here's the 46th XML-RPC implementation, for AOLserver. 

Michael Rose: "Electronic paper will combine the best that different media have to offer the written word. We will have the physical form factor of a notepad, which is great for writing or sketching at a cafe, or perhaps a book, which is perfect for reading in bed. And yet the words will be digital, network enabled." 

CFO.Com: "Linux software may be free, but does that mean you don't have to pay for it?" 

After a week without refrigeration, I'm enjoying an ice cold quart of Calistoga right now. What a pleasure! 

Just say yes (and shut up) Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Let's say you invite a friend to go to the amusement park. The friend says "I can't go because I've learned from experience that you have to ride a bike to go there, and then take the subway, and walk the last five blocks. I find myself once again bowing out of what could be a wonderful opportunity."

A scene out of A Confederacy of Dunces.

What's wrong with this picture? First, maybe I already know that the bike-subway-walk way is the right way to go, and planned to do exactly that. Second, even if I didn't plan it that way, is it possible that I might be willing to do it that way? Of course, if what I really want to do is go to the amusement park with my friend. Why not?

This is the foundation of a piece I've gotta write entitled Just Say Yes. Too much time is wasted not doing things. Like playing tennis with someone who always hits the ball into the net. Is your default answer always no? If so, there's an easy algorithm to spice up your life. When you're about to say no, for the eighteenth time in a day, think about it. Could you say yes instead?

PS: Fear is frozen fun.

No Microsoft breakup Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com: Justice Dept won't pursue Microsoft breakup.

AP: "The Bush administration, reversing the Clinton White House legal strategy against Microsoft, told the software manufacturer Thursday it no longer seeks to have the company broken up."

Dan Gillmor: "What a disheartening development."

BBC: US U-Turn on Microsoft break-up.

Net-net, this is bad news for independent developers.

Net-net-net, this is good news for independent developers because it gives us one more reason to work together.

Learning about ICQ Permanent link to this item in the archive.

In 1981 and 1982 I used CompuServe's CB Radio, which was early chatroom software, maybe the first, and for two years I actively participated in the CB Radio community. I had just left Personal Software, had plenty of money (for those days) and was writing and running LBBS and developing user interfaces that took advantage of the power of the personal computer. I did a program called CB Mama, which was a graphic app that allowed you to talk to as many as a dozen people at one time, each in a separate window. (Windows were the big thing then, the Xerox Star was hot, kind of like P2P was last year.)

We had CB Radio dinners in SF, just like the Scripting News dinners we have now. I wanted to run my BBS software in the CompuServe cloud, but they were deaf to such inquiries. Much later the Web would come around and open the cloud to everyone and now there are all kinds of connections between the Web and IRC, ICQ, IM, etc, all of which are descendents of CB Radio on CompuServe.

Last night I decided to find out what ICQ is like. My number is 130183294. It's supposedly the richest instant messaging software and community. Scoble, who was one of the first ICQ users (his number is 163561) guided me through the software on the telephone. I chatted for a bit with Aaron Swartz. And we looked all over the place to get a quick idea of all the things they do in ICQ today.

Anyway, I'm turning on my client now. If you want to chat let's give it a whirl. I can't promise I'll stay on very long, I have a programming project I want to do this morning.

PS: My handle is Uncle Gravy. Don't ask why!

Sun is back at it again Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A few months ago a document appeared entitled Java APIs for XML RPC. I sent an email to Anne Thomas-Manes, strenuously objecting. The document didn't point to XML-RPC, although it attempts to survey the landscape in XML-over-HTTP protocols. XML-RPC was the first such protocol, and arguably is the most used, with 45 implementations (including Java), a frozen spec, and a very active developer community.

Their lawyers got in the loop and claimed that they had the right to confuse developers and users, however, as a "courtesy to Dave Winer," they changed the document and the crisis was over. Yesterday Paul Nakada discovered that the document is back in its original form, with support from lots of companies you've heard of. This is disturbing. It isn't about me, forget the courtesy, try self-respect and support for independent developers.

People who work at Big Companies tend only to respect people who work at other BigCo's. We could help them stay in the market if they just worked with us -- instead they pick on us. Unbelievable.

BTW, I got an email from Anne saying she had left Sun to work at Idoox. Perhaps that has something to do with this nasty reversal.

Bottom-line, if you work at Sun, or work at one of their partner companies, especially if your company is listed as a supporter on that page, get in touch with the people responsible for this work and ask them to get in touch with the XML-RPC community. Instead of trying to roll us over (why?) -- work with us. We want a multi-party system. We don't want to get in the trunk with Microsoft. We want our independence, and for that, we want to see Java stay strong. Be intellectually honest. The term XML-RPC means something. Respect that, and enhance it. Thanks for listening.

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, September 05, 2001. Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Paul Howson: "Why not a revolution based around the idea of refining and simplifying what we already have?" 

NY Times: "No wonder that executives at PC makers are walking around with dilated pupils and moist palms, hailing Windows XP as the savior that will deliver us from the tech slump, the recession and probably world hunger." 

A new term entered my vocabulary recently thanks to David McCusker. The term is astroturf, it was used by John Dvorak in a 1998 article about Microsoft. Apparently the LA Times caught Microsoft simulating grass roots support, paying writers to sprinkle op-ed pieces around US newspapers that were favorable to Microsoft. Fake grass = astroturf.  

Telegraph: "Boys seem to tackle some types of problem using only one side of their brain, while girls use both." 

Justin Hall: "Wireless is undoubtedly the next revolution." 

Glenn Fleishman: "The wireless network means that the Internet is a service, just like cell phone access has become a service. It means that wherever we are, whenever we want, we can call on the resources of the Internet or our desktop." 

Charlie Jackson: "Voice control of devices, including computers, phones, handhelds, etc." 

Kevin Lynch: "The challenge for companies like Macromedia is to provide integrated solutions to enable customers to easily design, develop, deliver, and display dynamic Web content and applications that result in a great user experience. If we can accomplish this, our customers will be best-positioned to build the next generation of the Web." 

Seybold site: How to enter your vision. "Please edit your vision off-line and post it to the companion mail list where it can be discussed with other people who are interested in the future." 

BTW, it's OK to post more than one vision. I'm getting ready to post my first. It involves SOAP and cellphones and builds on the wireless vision as expounded by Glenn and Justin. 

Here's a feature request. The Seybold site is going to be seen by lots of people in the publishing industry. I'm going to make sure of that. Now, the design is less than optimal. I just used Bryan's Lemon-Lime theme. But I'd really like to have a lightweight design that incorporates elements from the official Seybold site, so they'll be proud to link to it, with less clutter. Just like 24 Hours sold both the idea of using the Web and created a pull-through for advanced tools for managing such sites, I want this site to raise the question "How are they doing that?" for the publishing people who see it. So if you want to show off your Manila skills, design me a new template that does this. Thanks! 

24 Hours: "A Celebration of Free Speech on the Internet. A Demonstration of Web Energy. And Neat Net Tricks! " 

John Robb: "Last night I got a chance to exercise my pilot skills." 

Kottke: "X-M-L-R-P-C, find out what it means to me." 

Is education the next revolution? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Scoble: A Tale of Two Classrooms.

Wired: "Today, the distance learning market continues to grow, but much of the momentum has slowed. Many e-learning startups have gone belly-up, realizing the enormous costs of launching efficacious courses online."

BBC: "In the slums of Delhi, an experiment has shown how illiterate street children can quickly teach themselves the rudiments of computers and the internet."

Adam Curry: "You can integrate Internet technology into education without it being about the technology, but just using the technology to improve basic skills, such as writing, presentation, structural thinking and communication "

Adam and Scoble have discovered a secret. I have a story to go with this of course. In the late 80s, a freshly minted millionaire, totally nouveau riche, I got involved with a project led by Stewart Alsop and various wives of rich venture capitalists to bring computers into education. They gave money to game designers to create educational games for the kids. I felt that we should use the money to buy computers to put in classrooms, with email software, and let the kids use them. I had seen my own writing skills zoom by using email in the 70s on Unix systems. When the only way to communicate is through your writing, then writing skills develop. That's how I became a writer. And of course it did eventually happen. Today lots of kids use email and instant messaging and cellphones. They invent their own language. They're much better writers than my generation, which was raised with paper, pencil and typewriters as the tools for writing.

Following that principle, then the role of computers in education is simple. Make the tools available to students, teachers, administrators and families. Teach them how to use the tools (there's something educators should be able to do!) and kick back and just let them use them. See what skills each of the tools develops and provide that information to the people who create the software.

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, September 04, 2001. Tuesday, September 04, 2001

DaveNet: Sept 26 in SF

Seybold site: How to enter your vision. "Please edit your vision off-line and post it to the companion mail list where it can be discussed with other people who are interested in the future." 

LinuxToday: Netscape lays off Mozilla Chief Lizard Wrangler. I met Mitchell Baker at the open source summit in July, and she gave a great speech in the Craig Mundie debate.  

IEEE Spectrum: An Engineer's View of Venture Capitalists

NY Times: "Cookies changed the Web from a place of discontinuous visits into a rich environment in which to shop, to play — even, for some people, to live." 

James Hong is one of the panelists at Seybold. 

Press release: "Exodus Communications today announced the appointment of L. William Krause, a member of the Exodus Board of Directors since June 2000, as chairman and CEO, succeeding Ellen M. Hancock who has resigned." 

I know both Hancock and Krause from work with and around Apple in the 90s. We worked with Krause's company, Storm Technology, on scripting interfaces for graphics processing software; and Hancock was a source of intelligence and maturity at Apple of the mid-90s. We also host at Exodus, and wish the new management much success, and offer best wishes to Hancock for a smooth landing. 

NY Times: Hewlett-Packard to Acquire Compaq. "Hewlett-Packard and Compaq said the merged company would be in a position to compete with IBM across virtually its entire product line." 

Register: "HP is essentially buying red ink, and a whole heap of trouble." 

Chris Cook: The Broadcast Web. "If digital TV broadcast instead of a TV channel the data encapsulated in a website the effect would be a stupendous increase in data dissemination." 

Tonight I'm writing code, just took a break and did a few laps. Swimming is the closest thing to flying. I can dive and surface just like the birds do in the air. By September, after swimming pretty much every day this summer, it feels really natural, but it's sad that swimming season will be over soon. The nights are already getting chilly. Hot nights means the pool stays warm. Cool nights, the opposite. 

Strange technical dream last night. Poking around the source of a popular scripting environment, a Scripting News reader found an optimization that got a lot of people thinking. In a critical piece of code that's executed a lot, they found that C, the speed of light, was being saved, squared, then the code would execute, and before returning, the original value was restored. This optimization had been in place for a few years, with no clear adverse effects on the universe. But what if one of the CPUs failed before the value was restored? A debate on Hack-the-Planet ensued. 

Pseudo-code that illustrates the optimization. (There would need to be a semaphore around the optimization.) 

Hey my strange technical dream tickled some funny bones at O'Reilly. Coool. 

Permanent link to archive for Monday, September 03, 2001. Monday, September 03, 2001

I've started a website and mail list in preparation for the Sept 26 session at Seybold where we will talk about The Next Technology Revolution. First an electronic discussion, lots of ideas, and pointers to individuals and companies that are working on it, and then a face-to-face discussion without boring presentations where we connect the dots and figure out what's next and hot. I hope the smartest Scripting News readers make a time commitment to this process. If it works it'll be a very profitable investment of a few weeks. 

Allman Brothers: Ain't Wasting Time No More. "Time goes by like hurricanes runnin after subway trains." 

MSNBC: Breaking down a male myth. "Most men are not as emotionally shut off as many people think they are, according to researchers who say that guys have long gotten a bad rap in the feelings department." 

Emotions are like the colors of the spectrum. As there are basic colors, there are basic emotions. Anger, sadness, joy, pain, fear and sexual feelings. They mix up in all combos producing new colors. Our culture only really accepts anger from men, but each person, male or female, contains the full range. So love is expressed with anger, as is joy and sexual feelings. To check it out, ask a man how he feels. See what he says. If it's something other than anger, see how you feel about that. 

Sherman-Williams: The Color Wheel. Nicely done! 

BTW, thanks to Evan Williams for the pointer to the MSNBC piece. He comes from Nebraska, where he says men haven't mastered the full range of emotions. I come from NY and have lived in California for 22 years, and see the same thing. 

Xmlhack lists recent developments in the Land o' RDF.  

Two years ago today: A Bright Future for Syndication

Recommended: Any Given Sunday. Watch it twice. The first time I thought the young quarterback was wrong. The second time it was clear that the old coach had to learn from him to make it work.  

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, September 02, 2001. Sunday, September 02, 2001

New Frontier/Radio verb: string.htmlToEmail 

Barrapunto: "Dave Winer, en un claro momento de inspiración, se ha liado la manta a la cabeza y ha dibujado el fastuoso y nunca suficientemente alabado diagrama de bloques del mundo del open source en 2001." 

Conspiracy theories about Flangy on Wes's DG. 

It gets better. Ingve Vormestrand thinks he's responsible for the disappearance and subsequent neutering of Flangy. 

Andrew Denney needs help with Hypercard animation. 

McCusker: "Each generation mistakenly believes the world is designed. The older generation gets blamed, as if it had some control. We control whether Santa Claus shows up, but little else. Living is a controlled fall and is never by careful design. Many youngsters stupidly believe the world is a product." 

He's right about life being a controlled fall. Last week I bought a new refrigerator-freezer. I was so happy! (The state of disgrace of old refrigerator was actually mentioned in Wired a few months ago.) The new refrigerator doesn't work. The fan whirs, the light comes on, but inside the refrigerator it's actually warmer than the kitchen. I called the store and the guy laughed. Hello. My milk is going sour. I can't entertain. I can't buy food, it'll spoil. And since it's the 21st century and not the 18th I don't have an ice cave to store all this stuff in. It's a brand new Whirlpool and it's as good an oven as it is a refrigerator. More evidence that it's even worse than it appears. 

Refrigerator: "An appliance, cabinet, or room for storing food or other substances at a low temperature." 

Speaking of entertaining, yesterday I had a group of seven women here. They came over after a wild woman breakfast at Buck's that happens every Saturday. I just found out about it last week emailing with Sylvia. I said she should come by afterwards and bring some of her wild women friends. It was fun! Not exactly gender balanced, hey but who's complaining. We talked for hours, at first about subjects raised in my gender piece, and then about bigger picture things and then about sex, which (my theory only) is all that we ever really talk about anyway. We also talked about software. 

Sally Richards hosts the breakfasts at Buck's. 

Press release: "NetObjects, Inc. today announced that it will cease operations effective today. The Company intends to sell its assets as expeditiously as circumstances permit." 

RSS -- one year later Permanent link to this item in the archive.

On this day last year: What to do about RSS?

"RSS, in its simplicity, is a breath of fresh air. You can understand it fully in a few minutes. You can quickly deploy an application with just a basic understanding of HTML and a bit of experience in a scripting language like Perl, AppleScript or Python. That is the reason it gained traction, while most other XML formats are still in the working groups or waiting for deployment. In the overworked world of Web development, there's no time to study, there's only time to do."

So one year later what happened there? Basically RSS went crazy and self-destructed.

To me it felt like being corrected by arrogant teachers, ones indoctrinated in a philosophy that was failing. I could see it, but they didn't. One year later, RDF still hasn't happened in any real way, it's still Tim Berners-Lee's dream, one I wish hadn't gotten in the way of the work we were doing in easy Web content syndication.

Traffic on the lists has dropped to a trickle, including the list for people using the RDF fork. Is one year enough time to try their experiment? If not, how much longer do they need to prove that the Web wants to be Semantic or even has a clue what that means.

But the RSS community persists. Jeff Barr is running the newsfeeds weblog and pointing to lots of new sources. Most of them are 0.91. We shipped Radio, which has a built-in RSS-based aggregator, and can be used to author RSS feeds, and it inspired competition.

Before last summer I was one of the sources of evangelism for RSS, maybe even the primary one, but after the persistent flamewars on the Syndication list, I couldn't recommend it -- to do so would require too many caveats and warnings about the mess people would be stepping into. This happened when the ICE group expressed an interest in RSS. I counseled against it. Stay away, don't get bogged down.

This should serve as a warning to anyone who invests in a standard whose authorship is at all in question. If I had it to do again I would have stuck with the XML format I invented and would have supported RSS, instead of joining my format with RSS and deprecating the old one. Then RSS could have gone crazy and we would have still been able to move forward.

RSS is an awkward state, half-alive, but it's not clear what it is. A lot of people have poured their hearts into it, but it's not clear now what good its done.

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, September 01, 2001. Saturday, September 01, 2001

Open source in 2001 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A new hand-drawn block diagram describing the open source world of 2001.

There's a circle in the center of the page which represents the idealogical firewall of open source. Describing that would take a short essay. But let's assume it's really there. Source code flows from inside the circle to the outside. Interestingly, none of the major open source scripting tools and runtimes are controlled by a GPL license, nor is Apache. So, for these projects, technology flows out of the circle without restriction.

Two circles intersect with the open source circle, one for BigCo's and one for Independent Developers. I made these circles separate because the two groups behave quite differently. Independents don't want to be everything to everyone. Even though I put AOL in the BigCo circle, interestingly, they behave more like an independent. But they are so big they must be in the Big circle. I made the two circles the same size, because I believe if all the indies work together (a big if of course) they're just as powerful (if not more so) than The Bigs. Two new additions to the Independent circle are VA Linux and CollabNet, both of whom are now mixed commercial and open source developers. UserLand is in the Independent Developer circle.

Inside the open source circle at the center of the page are the various parts that make up the idea of open source today: Leaders, Developers, Money, Press, XML, and Slashdot.

Leaders are the most visible, they're the handle by which most people pick up open source. They are quoted in the press, the VCs invested in them, they're linked to from Slashdot, and they have even exerted power in XML. The system is built on the presence of the leaders. People have said that we should ignore the leaders, but to have done so would have missed what's going on in the connection between money and open source and press. As the pure open source companies reposition, and the idealogical leaders scramble, we can see clearly that money played a big role, as it always does.

The developers inside the main circle are those who create open source without a business model. People who moonlight, teens who are in school, or people who otherwise do open source strictly for love. Source code flows out of the circle, created by these people, but they're very often unsung heroes.

Money fueled the hype, but that's now over. If we redraw this picture in 2003, it will not be inside the central circle. But the money is still floating around, it's not totally spent yet. If open source is to survive in the future, money will flow into the circle from the BigCo and Independent Developer circles.

The Press will take a lot longer to fade out. They present open source as the Enemy of Microsoft. In never-ending battle of Boy vs Boy, the courageous leaders of open source take on the Evil Empire. They will not be assimilated. It's David vs Goliath for the 180th time. A battle to the end.

Slashdot is different. It's the community voice of open source, with a lot of mealymouthed idiots thrown in at no extra cost.

And finally XML. When this picture is redrawn next year, I think XML is going to be much bigger part of what's going on. It's about open interfaces, choice, and no lock-in. It makes ideas flow through the firewall, even if apps are GPL-licensed. It's the lever under Stallman, and if we're smart and really courageous, it also routes around Microsoft.

PS: Robert Barksdale, a Frontier developer, did a rendition of my open source diagram in a Frontier theme.

PPS: Josh Lucas, who works at CollabNet, has some touching comments. He's a really sweet guy.

Pointers from John Robb Permanent link to this item in the archive.

These pointers are from John's weblog. He's the COO of my company, UserLand. We're lucky to have a guy who looks at software strategically as well as from a business standpoint. He's picking up the threads I started over the last few years. It's really starting to work. Thanks John!

7/8/00: "Apps apps apps. Ship apps."

Brandon Wiley: Freenet XML-RPC interface.

Say a prayer for the baby boomers Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Continuing the thread on age started yesterday..

When we're children we respect older people, that is, we listen to them. Childhood is a time of heavy software development. The computer inside us learns how to exist in the civilization it's born into. Think about it, the same evolution-created body can boot up in the 15th century or in the 21st, and be a part of either society, even though they're vastly different. Childhood can't work without a lot of listening. Then at some point we figure we've got all the info we need, and it's time to disconnect from the adults, and start creating our own world. This is called adolesence, the teen years. It often extends into the 20s and 30s and beyond. Listening cuts off dramatically at this point and the adults sometimes have a hard time dealing with this. (My father used to joke about how he would get smarter as I got older. Heh heh. Maybe so.)

We go through different kinds of adolesences, I don't think there's a universal experience, perhaps just a common one, and perhaps my view is skewed toward the male adolesence. No sisters, just a brother, no cousins, I had classmates of course, and I had a rough adolesence, rougher than most of my peers. I really wanted to make my own way, and the culture of the time encouraged that ("don't trust anyone over 30"). Some of my friends just glided through this period, went straight to college, and jobs and marriages, etc. I had to invent stuff. I was pretty driven, and guess I still am.

I'm a baby-boomer, born in 1955. The generations after mine are now really hard on us. I heard a report on NPR with interviews with post-baby-boomers, saying we're very self-centered, we didn't create any art, and we're filled with contradictions, and are basically a failure because we didn't live up to the lofty ambitions we had when we were younger. I also get a lot of that in email, pushing back on my writing. "Your generation is flawed," I hear coming back from younger readers. I interpret this as "I don't want to listen to you."

In defense of my generation, we did create some art, some important stuff. We don't have a Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Chagall or Picasso, or even Murrow or Cronkite; perhaps no one of us stands out as a creative genius, and we didn't overcome the admiration for wealth and materialism that we rebelled against. We still worship BigCo's and their leaders (a big mistake, they're not very smart or creative or even honest people, imho).

But the tools and writing style of the Web didn't exist before we came along, nor did videogames, we changed popular music, maybe not as much as we think, and medicine has made a lot of progress. It took a lot of creativity and hard work to make all that happen. It wasn't all done by baby boomers, but a lot of it was.

In good ways and bad, we're not all that different from previous generations. We like our SUVs, and condos at Tahoe, and we're struggling with our own mortality, and perhaps our breakthrough writers and composers and painters will make their mark later in life, if people are open to creativity from older folk. One can always hope.


Dave Winer Mailto icon


Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

Community Directory
A picture named folder.gif On this day in
A picture named folder.gif OPML Editor Docs
A picture named folder.gif Scripting News Archive
A picture named folder.gif TechCrunch reviews
A picture named folder.gif Amyloo's community car roll
A picture named folder.gif XML-RPC Directory
A picture named folder.gif Tim Post's Tomorrow
A picture named folder.gif LibriVox
A picture named folder.gif News.Com Top 100
A picture named folder.gif BloggerCon III Blogroll
A picture named folder.gif Public Radio podcasts
A picture named folder.gif iPodder.org directory
A picture named folder.gif Memeorandum
A picture named folder.gif DaveNet archive
A picture named folder.gif Scripting News sites
Click here to view the OPML source for this directory.

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

September 2001
Aug   Oct

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.


© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.