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Permanent link to archive for Monday, February 18, 2002. Monday, February 18, 2002

New pref: Only upstream after publish. Designed for people with slower CPUs who want to use Radio. 

I got a response from Google about my inquiry to develop to their XML interface. I will be sure to send them a *detailed* proposal. After hell freezes over. 

Evan Williams: "It's hard to believe there are people at Google who don't get the web." 

A picture of Jakob Nielsen making a funny face.Interesting coincidence. I got my picture taken today for an award I'm getting that hasn't been announced yet. I'm not gloating. OK just a little. Anyway, the two founders of Google are getting the same award. I gave the photographers my card to give to the Google guys (they're shooting them on Wednesday). I told them that I want to build new features for writers using a distributed architecture, and I want to experiment a little before even thinking about licensing terms. I asked them to tell Sergey and Larry this story. A little might get lost in the translation, but one of the photographers knows what XML is. The sub-message. This is just the Web, I don't mind if you make a gazillion dollars, and I know you're smart, but so am I.  

Jim Roepcke did an upstream driver for Conversant. Nice work Jim and thanks for the kind words about the docs. 

Bryan Bell started a CSS Themes discussion group. 

A picture named chiquita.gifSo many people I know bought California Lottery tickets last week. With the jackpot at $193 million, I guess people wanted a chance to make all that money. I wondered why, so I asked. "Oh I'd give money to all my friends," one friend said to me. "They'd hate you then," I said. She didn't get it. Perhaps it doesn't make sense at first, but then I heard a report on KCBS, they were interviewing people at the Half Moon Bay supermarket where one of the winning tickets was sold. "What would you do if a friend of yours won?" the reporter asked. "I'd kill them," blurted the woman he was interviewing. I'm sure she wouldn't actually kill the person, but the anger sounded real. I suppose if someone earns their wealth the hatred isn't as deep, but most people don't really think anyone earns that much money, not like you earn a paycheck or a diploma. And of course the lottery is pure luck. That much money divides you from almost everyone you know. In a sense, that's what money is for, to buy distance. That's why so many rich people are unhappy. 

KPIX: "The manager of an Albertson's in Half Moon Bay told Channel 5 that a local man in his late 50s came in Monday morning with his two daughters to validate the ticket." 

Dann Sheridan has another miracle, a real-time event viewer for Radio 8. (Screen shot.) 

Adam: "You can run webservices in TextEdit on OS X!" 

Faisal: "Some have lobbied for CSS use by suggesting it frees the designer from having to fight with the code to get it to work across all browsers. I'm no web designer, but I wonder if they've actually used CSS, since it appears to have all the same problems. It just shifts the compexity around." 

Doc Searls: "If it's a fact that most blogs suck, it is neither a useful nor an interesting one. Unless you're writing a story about why blogs suck." Amen. 

Public writing is one of the few areas, maybe the only one, where the pros judge the amateurs. Conflict of interest. Of course they want to trivialize the amateurs. I talked about that with the Wired reporter, although it didn't make it into the piece.  

Phil Suh and Cameron Barrett operate an excellent content management system mail list. 

Kelly White archives an email conversation we had about open source and snake oil, among other things. 

Eric Schonfeld: "What the *&%*$@!! Are Web Services? (And Why You Should Care.)" FWIW, I think Web Services the way Eric talks about them, are not worth caring about. Let the BigCo's slug it out. It's just another stinky industry slugfest. Borrowing a line from today's song, below. What's that I smell? Do I smell home cookin? No, it's only the river, it's only the river. I suppose you'd have to have lived next to the Mississippi River to get that one.  

Today's song: "Find myself a city to live in." 

More thoughts for certain people leaving the Bay Area, this time more gentle. First, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Silicon Valley and San Francisco are two very different places. I live in Silicon Valley. Urban folk are often surprised, when they look closely, at how beautiful the environment is here, if you get off the valley floor and venture into the hills. If you live here for a while, it gets into your blood. When I go to NY or London, two incredibly great cities, I miss the physical and spiritual beauty of this place. If I visited SV I would dream about living here. That's point number one. 2. If you want schooling in the art of technology entrepreneurship, there's no better place in the world than Silicon Valley. I came here in 1979, wanting to make great software products. This place is to software what Memphis is to the blues. It's a magnet. When I arrived here, the generation of 1960's entrepreneurs, the gray beards of that day, were here, and you just had to find them (took me a few years) and they're happy to share what they learned, for the sheer joy of intelligent ambitious young minds. If you came here looking for just another city, you'd find it lacking. But if you came here looking to shake up the world with great software, you'd find it vibrant, interesting, challenging, and the only place to be. 

Wired: Blah, Blah, Blah and Blog. The old quoted-out-of-context thing again. I said all the words he said I said, but I don't agree with the conclusion he put in my mouth. "Real talent" are his words not mine. There are so many great weblogs today. But I still think we're in the pioneer stage. I want to make it still easier, and then make it easier again. 

Also, without the supporting argument, I come off somewhat lunatic saying that the weblog world covers technology better than Dvorak and the other ink-stained pros. Here's the argument. Suppose there are 50 million PC users (there are probably more). Suppose only one percent of them can write and have something to say about technology. That's 500,000. Suppose only one percent of those are motivated enough to run a weblog. That's 5,000. In other words, the combination of writing talent, motivation and technical expertise are no longer so rare. It's time to make way for a new generation (Dvorak is of my generation) and it will work differently for them. 

Picture of Chris Pirillo.On TV last night I saw Chris Pirillo for the first time on Tech TV. He's very good. He takes calls that seem totally random and answers the questions in great depth. How does he know so much? He's young and brilliant. I was that way once myself. My old business angel Bill Jordan used to say (when I was Chris's age) "I've forgotten more than you'll ever know." I'm in awe of Chris's intelligence and enthusiasm and stage presence. A good half hour. Highly recommended. 

Russ Lipton, a man with a big heart and big vision, wrote a fantastic Radio 8 installation guide for not technically sophisticated folk. Thanks Russ!  

News.Com: "A federal judge late Friday told Microsoft it must disclose portions of the Windows source code, including XP and XP Embedded, to nine litigating states and the District of Columbia." 

NY Times: "Rather than spend time and money to patent the idea, Plantronics posted a description of it on, a Web site that enables inventors to establish an idea's legal existence a concept known as prior art in patent law. By putting its design in the public domain, Plantronics sought to prevent competitors from patenting it." 

NY Times: "Record companies have said that it's the artists who lose with services like Napster. Under the labels' new Internet services, however, the performers still don't get a dime." 

The Shifted Librarian is one of the best of the new Radio 8 sites. "My name is Jenny, and I'll be your information maven today." 

Googlewhack, Googlewhack, Googlewhack, Googlewhack. 


Last update: Monday, February 18, 2002 at 7:41 PM Eastern.

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