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

In late September I did an interview with the editors of XML Magazine. I was in a boisterous mood and they encouraged me. This is primetime Dave, full of ideas and vigor and guns blazing. My favorite soundbite. "You know, big companies tend not to see the little guys. But the Web was created by little guys." 

Tonight I'm going to be on Jesse Berst's radio show for 45 minutes starting at 8PM Pacific, debating with some Ayn Rand guy and Jesse about the true nature of Microsoft. It's a syndicated radio show and is also webcast. 

Why don't they leave Pee Wee alone! 

Scoble: "Oh, OK, I won't tell you where I'm typing from now. Heheh." 

We've been tracking the number of pings coming from each of the three sources since the Weblogs.Com corner-turn, and here are the results so far -- XML-RPC: 87,926; SOAP: 1955; HTTP-GET: 38,086. 

Charles Leadbeater: "Participation websites will be part of the next stage of the internet's evolution. Destination websites are in danger of becoming the seaside piers of the information age: vast, beautiful and elaborate constructions, condemned to a brief life." 

WBUR: Al Jazeera headlines in English. "We do not verify the accuracy of these stories; this is merely what Al Jazeera is reporting; reports updated approximately 8PM." 

News.Com: "AOL Time Warner has joined a coalition of technology companies creating a common online registration and identity system to counter Microsoft's ambitions with its Passport service, an AOL spokesman confirmed Tuesday." 

Survey: "Do you think we should do awards this year?" 

Note: I was thinking we'd start with just a few categories this year, all of them about weblogs. The best-named weblog is one we're already getting into. Other ways of looking at it -- the best news-oriented weblog (Tomalak being the prototype). The best celebrity weblog (Wil Wheaton, Adam Curry, Dru Paul). And then the personality categories -- the best nebbish (look it up), pundit, journalist, chick. The best weblog done by an educator. The best weblog done by a child. This is really getting interesting! 

Adam Curry owns, great domain, and has opened it up for free Manila hosting. 

Karlin Lillington on Lawrence Lessig. "He was polite but quietly furious." 

Steve Waring writes that he has been working on an xmlStorageSystem clone. That's cool! 

James Kobielus on Segway: "They've invented a vehicle that's powered by sheer hype. Maybe it's a useful innovation, and good for the environment and all that, but it has arrived in a cloud of noxious PR fumes." 

Happy Birthday to BlackHoleBrain and 2020 Hindsight, Jeff Cheney. December is birthday month in EditThisPage-Land. 

Notes from the Berst show 

Hey I'm blogging while I'm on hold waiting for the show to start. Is Microsoft bad for the economy? Hmm. I don't know. I guess the other guy says they're not bad for the economy. I think if Microsoft weren't such a mean monopoly that would be good for the economy. Does that mean Microsoft is bad for the economy? I have trouble getting up for that. We'll see how it goes. I'm a little nervous. Are you all listening? Send me an email! I want some Testosterol! "I don't give a rat's butt about flattering your ego." How am I doing? We're doing a four minute break. We're back on the air now. This is a frustrating way to have a conversation. All these friggin commercials. Jrobb: "Also, the computer industry is too important to hand it over to a single monopolistic corporation." More commercials. What would I say to Congress? Well that's over. I had fun. Ended on a positive note. I know I interrupted too much. Oh well. Sue me. Time to watch The West Wing.

Detached from Attachments 

Email attatchments -- never open them. Bad for the health of your computer, bad for the health of the Internet, and a vestige of the computing model of the 1980s.

I never open email attachments unless I can see the extension and it's txt, gif or jpg, and even then, only rarely. I'm a computer expert, so I kind of know what I'm doing, but I tell my friends and loved ones who are not computer experts never to open them, and I think the point is beginning to sink in.

Now, as a software designer, this is an intriguing puzzle. What are people really doing when they send an attachment? Has anyone accumulated statistics on what types of documents are most frequently attached to email messages?

Email is getting more and more useless. Soon it will be time for the next thing after email. What is it?

Wes Felter: "What's after attachments may be personal Web servers like IBM's uServ (recently mentioned on decentralization). Of course, Radio is a pioneer in this area."

John Sumser: "In your essay about bootstrapping, you talk about the layering effect that happens over time. What you don't mention is the fact that the technical team gets so focused on the accomplishment of the current layer that they simply can not see the next one while construction is underway. My sense is that you are completing a layer and are starting the search for the next one."


For no special reason I told myself the story of my old cat yesterday on my daily walk. Living in NY in 1976, I decided I wanted a cat. So I looked in some NY newspaper, probably the Voice, and called a few classifieds, and ended up in an apartment in Manhattan, a small one, with hundreds of cats, and a woman who kept all these cats. I sat on the couch and she brought me cats and I checked them out. She pointed one out and said "This is the most amazing cat, look at how she's taking care of this other sick cat." I watched, and yes indeed, there was a sickly cat, being pestered by other cats, and the little cat was fending them off. "I'll take that one," I said. I named her Nurse, because that's what she was doing.

Later that year I moved to Wisconsin and Nurse came on a mid-winter plane flight a few days after I found a room in a house. Something about the trip really freaked Nurse out, and she never was the same. She got a hard edge, but she still was the most amazing cat. She'd go on walks with you, like a dog, and she had a litter of kittens, and she killed birds by the bushel. Then I ended up in a house that didn't allow pets, and it was time to put her up for adoption. A farmer from rural Wisconsin took her, he needed a mouser to live in his barn. I was sad to see her go, but I'll bet she was a great mouser.

Anyway, that was a long time ago, and cats don't live that long. By now Nurse must be gone, but I'll remember her spirit as long as I live. What a great cat!


Last update: Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 7:49 AM Eastern.

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