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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. 

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, 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.  

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.) 

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.  

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. 

As if from heaven. "The Tivo Web Project is designed to give you a web interface to your TiVo using Open Source software." 

Today's song: "So if you're down on your luck, and you can't harmonize, find a girl, with far away eyes." 

Jabber.Org: "The Jabber-RPC spec has been approved as a Draft protocol." 

Tom Brady: "While several participants expressed satisfaction about Web sitesí abilities to post stories quickly, especially compared to the Web sites of major newspapers, one audience member warned them not to gloat. 'Itís 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 donít have.'Ē Hmm. 

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." 

News.Com: Exodus battles to keep customers. This site is hosted at Exodus. 

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. 

The FBI has pictures of the hijackers of the four planes. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Let the circus begin.  

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?'" 

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." 

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? 

Reuters: Gunman storms Swiss local assembly

Scoble: Does your Intranet suck? 

Three pictures from London of a post-apocalyptic NY. 

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 

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.  



Last update: Thursday, September 27, 2001 at 9:21 PM Eastern.

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