Announcing: The RadioPoint Tool. "It turns the outliner into a presentation authoring program."
A few notes on RadioPoint. As weblogs are showing up at conferences, it makes sense to integrate presentation software into the weblog software. Create your slides before-hand, link the presentation to your weblog so people can get a preview. No need to bring a laptop, just find a Web browser on stage, click on the link, and start talking. Next question -- can you control how they look? Yes, there's a template for all presentations, and any presentation can have its own template. I spent a full day working on the default template, studying ideas from the people who volunteered. It's CSS-based, but there's also a table. I hope people start exchanging templates. Paolo already has a template for people to use. Thanks Paolo, as always, a pleasure working with you.
A new macro and howto shows Radio users how to add a link element to weblog and category home pages, pointing to their associated RSS feeds. The equivalent feature is now available for Manila. We also have two changes to our aggregator in testing, when released, Radio will know how to process the link elements.
UC Berkeley has a class for Weblogs in the School of Journalism.
Thinking ahead to Sept 11, 2002. I'm giving a keynote on Web Services for Publishers at Seybold in SF. It's a 1.5 hour session. I want to do a bunch of demos of developers' products, especially Macintosh software (Seybold is a heavily Mac show, Apple has baked-in support in OS X.) If you have ideas, let me know. It's time to start planning this.
Brent has an interesting theory about Rumsfeld's visit to India and Pakistan. "Rumsfeld is letting those guys know that if they prepare their nuclear missiles for launch the U.S. military will take those missiles out." BTW, I think they're sending Rumsfeld because Powell struck out in the Middle East.
Adam Gaffin: "Welcome to Network World Fusion's exclusive Superblog. Starting Monday, June 3, Edge Managing Editor Jim Duffy and Senior Editor Tim Greene will use this new medium to post news updates, analysis and comments directly from the show."
InfoWorld: FBI gets new Web searching powers.
Sam Ruby: Beyond Backlinks.
Mike Chambers: "The Flash community has been getting pretty excited about Flash and RSS lately."
Reading Ted Nelson's rant yesterday, I found myself nodding my head. "He's right about that," I said to myself a few times. But then, after sleeping on it, I realize he missed the point. Hypertext doesn't exist to validate Ted Nelson (or Tim Berners-Lee, sorry). It belongs to the universe. People find this stuff useful, even exciting, as Jon Udell explains. Can't argue with the people Ted. They like it. It worked.
Interesting piece about "blogonomics" -- but it's not about advertising. It's the inverse of advertising. The economic revolution of blogging is about manufacturers giving up on advertising and going direct, talking to their users, and their competitors' users, as if they were people and not abstract beings (aka "consumers"). And that won't be enough either. They'll also have to listen to the users. (BTW, that doesn't mean they have to do what the users tell them to do, nor is that always a good idea, it's not so simple and linear.)
Real-time weblogs: "Include users in your idea of what the press is, listen, and tune your message, and your marketing automatically gets more efficient. There's not much time to waste, professional journalists are learning about and adopting the new technology. Any technology vendor that isn't also using these techniques to market is going to wake up in a very strange world in a couple of quarters."
Jennifer Foote Sweeney: "What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?"
Today's survey: "What are you looking for?"
Ted Nelson: "Today's nightmarish new world is controlled by 'webmasters', tekkies unlikely to understand the niceties of text issues and preoccupied with the Web's exploding alphabet soup of embedded formats."
Preview screen shot of tomorrow's release. It's the connection between the Radio outliner and presentations, flowing through the lizard-brain content management system in Radio that dates back to 1996. This will make sense only to the most geekish who have been around for six years. As Krusty the Clown says. "Oy." Tomorrow hopefully (praise Murphy) it will make sense to people who merely want to do browser-viewable presentations authored with Radio's outliner.
Paolo: "I'm managing 13 weblogs from a single window."
Extra credit: "What will you settle for?"
Here's a good idea. Danny O'Brien has a weblog. He's a writes for the London Sunday Times and NTK. He's also famous for being the guy-on-the-right in the pic on my personal page (the guy-on-the-left is John Foster).
BBC: "Controversial rapper Eminem's latest album is topping the US charts, but he has made an unwanted entry into a chart of computer users."
Alan Reiter: "Many WiFi experts think the U.S. is the WiFi leader. We're the leader in software development and new business models, but not in hotspot implementation. In Korea, there will be 25,000 hotspots in perhaps a year. In the U.S. we now have 1-2,000 hotspots."
My session description for the Open Source conf is up.
Boing Boing has an RSS feed. I'm subscribed.
After reading Cory's comment on Boing Boing, I decided to mirror tinsel.swf on scripting.com, to help spread out the bandwidth cost. Millions of people should see the cartoon and sing the song. I've already listened to it at least 35 times. It's okay to brainwash yourself, btw.
Based on yesterday's survey results, I hope we can put to rest the debate about weblogs wiping out the pros. Zero people chose that one. Hey it was a kind of one-sided debate, and perhaps points to a bug in the pro's process. Not everything is a fight to the death.
Interesting. Nick Denton's three favorite TV shows happen to be my three favorites, in fact they're the only shows I like. Last night The West Wing wasn't on after last week's fabulous season finale. What a shame. I didn't tune into this show until its third season (I think) and there are so many episodes I haven't seen. Why not find some way to monetize this, I'd happily pay for it. As I've said many times before, there aren't enough ways to spend money on things that bring pleasure.
Maybe Nick is a member of my karass?
John Robb: "Now I can publish to Italy and the US by clicking a single check box below my editing screen."
Susan Kitchens is touring Kennedy Space Center, with pics.
Brad Wilson: "Can you imagine what a cow the RIAA would have.." Why?
Yesterday I heard three-time Pulitzer-winning NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Disclaimer: I hate Thomas Friedman. He became "part of the story" when he suggested to the Saudi prince that he go public with his peace plan for the Middle East. He did make a good point, which I managed to hear through my seething hatred. In the Far East, the political leaders traded democracy for prosperity, and fifty years later, they have democracy too. (Is he talking about Singapore?) In the Middle East, the leaders traded democracy for fifty years of war with Israel. No prosperity. The Arab people, most of whom are under 30 (seventy percent!) are not happy about this. Makes sense.
Maybe Friedman is a member of my karass?
There's lots of September 11 "news" in the news. Memorial Day. The FBI thing. And they're finishing up at Ground Zero (I actually thought that had already happened). Anyway, there was a report on NPR this morning about a woman who lost her husband in the disaster. They found his car, it was parked in the garage, and was mostly undamaged. They called her, and she came down, for a ceremony to open the trunk. There was a present in the trunk. September 11 is her birthday.
Keola's Take On NetFlix. "I gave up on them after only two months (one free and one paid). It wasn't their fault, but it just took too darn long for some DVDs to get here. Some got here in three days, others took close to two weeks (we're in Hawai'i)."
Guest DaveNet: The New Economy.
Survey: "Will blogs wipe out professional journalists?"
Red Hat is getting some patents, and while they disclaim using them against open source developers, they reserve the right to use them against other developers, even ones who pose no patent threat to them.
JD Lasica. "News percolates up from weblogs into the mainstream media." Oy.
"On May 25, at 1:58 PM EST, YACCS received its 1,000,000th comment!"
There are a million blogs in the naked city.
Jon Udell: "[Radio's] built-in RSS aggregator has changed how I process information in a dramatic way."
A birthday poem for Craig Burton from his granddaughter.
Doc: "Fifty-two degrees. Rain. Wind."
I get my news of Groove from Jeroen Bekkers. I read his site every time it updates. They're doing some wild and crazy things. Notably, connecting Groove to Radio Community Server and OPML. At first I thought -- oh my god -- I'm going to have to serve all those Groove users. Then I relaxed. Let's give it a try. It wasn't how I initially thought we'd connect, but if it works, let's go for it.
Blockbuster Takes On Netflix: "Blockbuster claims to have locations within a 10-minute drive of 64 percent of the U.S. population."
Brian Yoder: "For several years the bigcos have been asking What is the role for billion dollar companies in the Internet media market? and the correct answer Almost none."
Henry Porter: "For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear war is not a distant threat but a real possibility and the lives of 12 million people are at risk."
Wired: Besieged ISP Restores Pearl Vid. Although I do not want to watch the video myself, it should be available to those who do. The FBI had no basis or right to ask for its removal. Thanks to the ISP for standing up to the govt.
Chuck Shotton demonstrates the power of the Web as a whistle-blowing environment open to all citizens.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, tell all your friends about the CBDTPA!!
BTW, a note about the CBDTPA and what you can do about it. Signing electronic petitions is pretty easy, and therefore pretty powerless. Call your congressperson. Send a snail-mail letter. But more important, tell your friends, especially people who aren't in the computer industry. Tell your barber, your high school friend, call a radio talk show. Tell them that the government is out of step with the people. We love the Internet, and we want it to get better. The EFF cartoon is wonderful, charming, and truthful. Disney and its cronies are hiding behind the mouse. They paint warm and fuzzy pictures that lull us to sleep. We will lose the power to communicate. This a far more basic right than their power to take our money. We can have fun while we fight back. Tell your friends. Make the CBDTPA a new fun song. C-B-D-T-P-A. And when they call you a pirate tell them that's just plain wrong.
Guest DaveNet: A Personal Look at Blogging.
Steve Gillmor: "At the intersection of two disruptive technologies lies the Bermuda Triangle of the Digital Age. Wi-Fi (802.11 wireless communications) and Weblogs (the untethered journalism of the immediate) are comingling to produce an intoxicating blend of chaos and innovation."
David Hyatt: "The single biggest contributor to Mozilla 1.0, and without a doubt the driving force without which Mozilla would not have been possible, is AOL."
Survey: How do you find new stuff to read on the Web?
Daniel Berlinger suggests I might be happier with an iPod. In some ways I agree. I like that Apple solved the problem that I have. I'm sure it's a great music player. But. Does it have an FM receiver? I was disappointed that the NEC palmtop does not. Why not make the device accessible only over TCP/IP, with WebDAV or something like that as the synchronization protocol. Is the hardware prohibitively expensive? Does it add too much overhead? The perfect product would be one that didn't care if I used a Mac or PC. I'm tired of devices that only work on one machine or another, or require that I install software on my desktop to be able to connect to it. I like the idea of a palmtop that's optimized for personal stuff like music. I'm not interested, yet, in a palmtop for reading email or browsing the Web.
Worth mentioning as an aside. Someday when we design products on weblogs by thinking aloud and stating our wants, some company somewhere is going to make the product we want and make money doing it. Please read the above paragraph with that in mind. That is imho, the business model for weblogs. (Do I make money when someone makes a product I want? Yes, in the sense that instead of spending money for a product that is something like what I want, I spend the same amount of money and get exactly what I want.)
A sign of the times. There's an iPod weblog, and it's good.
Meta Linker: "The future of the internet may be reciprocal linking, the semantic web, a whole self-organising mesh of information that encompasses everything. But let's be honest - it's not going to happen tomorrow."
Jon Udell: Social networking in Radiospace. Great job Jon. Very interesting stuff.
Derek Powazek: "Writing on the Web can be more like conversation than performance."
Real-time weblogs: "So many new ways of flowing ideas become possible when the audience members have voices. They cease to be an audience in any recognizable sense."
Matt Mower: Creating communities from thin air. I spotted this before seeing Jon's piece. Amazing how these thing synchronize.
Larry McVoy: "I've never bought into the open source model as a self sustaining model for all software."
Tristan Taormino: "I don't want any state legislature telling me how I can or cannot come."
New software. Radio 8.0.8 is out. If you're running a fully updated Radio, there's no need to upgrade, you've already got all the parts. And a new macro for editing a blogroll in the outliner. Jake is coordinating, and observing. I tried it out on my Radio weblog.
I keep forgetting to remind everyone about Tuesdays and what you do then. Take a programmer to lunch. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is probably nice enough to eat outside. Look at the flowers. Listen to the birdies sing. Ask a few questions. Listen to the answers. Make a feature request. Eat. Drink. Teach. Learn.
I want to do more guest pieces, let's spread the flow, and get more voices talking about the new power of people who use the Internet to create and publish, not just read and consume. BTW, today's piece is the 1000th DaveNet. Started in 1994. Still going strong. Takes a lickin, keeps on tickin.
John Robb: "Individuals, armed with the Internet, will continue to chip away at the old moats and barriers corporations have erected in order to gain pricing power."
At my request, Paolo published a Mac OS X script that keeps Radio running.
Two years ago on this day -- pics from Paolo's hometown.
Last year on this day: "In ten hours, just enough time to make your butt itch, you can travel over the top of the world from London to San Francisco and form an instant comparison. California is paradise. Not saying Europe isn't great, but it ain't California. Nine times out of ten I'm glad to be home."
Part One. Over the weekend, Robert Scoble, who now works at NEC, brought me one of their palmtop computers to try out. I have one immediate application for it, I want to put MP3s on the computer and listen to them on my daily walk. I also like the idea of listening to audio books. The setup sounded ideal. When you dock the palmtop, a folder shows up on the desktop. Any files you copy into the folder are copied to the palmtop. This is called ActiveSync. So this morning I plugged it all in. It started out pretty well. A dialog popped up. New Hardware Found. Do I want to search for the driver. OK. Inserted the CD. It found it. Excellent. Install. Restart. I looked all over the place for the folder. Nowhere to be found. Opened setup.exe on the CD. It wants to install Outlook. I don't want Outlook. Scoble says I have to install it. Grrr. OK. Midway through the install it says it can't find a file. Do I want to Cancel. No. Can't find the file. Do I want to Cancel. No. Can't find the file. Do I want to Cancel. Yes. The first two letters of the activation code, ironically, are FQ. I should have had a clue what was coming.
Part Two. Called Scoble. Got some good advice. Unplug the device. Restart the desktop machine. Follow the install instructions exactly. I did. Bingo. It works. So far. Fingers crossed. (It seems to matter that the device be unplugged at a certain point in the installation. The prompts don't say this.) Also, I did not need Outlook.
Postscript. Why did I think it would work if I did what the software told me to do? Because I was trained by the Macintosh where things like this just work.
Next step: Figuring out how to play music on the palmtop. Does WinAmp run there? How do I get apps onto the thing? Of course I want to know how I write apps for it too.
Marc Barrot's outline weblog keeps getting cooler.
Alex Cox: But who are the real pirates?
Buzz Bruggeman wonders (out loud) if there's a way to visualize 802.11b traffic at a conference.
Ken Dow: "I'm happy to announce another series of Manila courses this July in Toronto, along with the first session of my new 'Weblogging with Radio Userland' course."
Andrew Orlowski: "On balance however, we'd rate the likelihood of an Apple iBrowser as pretty outstandingly remote. Despite the sound technical and political advantages we've outlined above, it's a long-term commitment that only the brave would make. A temporary insurgency can turn into a full-scale Vietnam, if you're not careful."
I had to look three times at the URL of this blog.
This morning I did an initial pass on code to algorithmically generate a time-to-live element for a new RSS version of Scripting News.
Nick Denton: "Anyone else noticed how the two whistleblowers of our time - Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Sherron Watkins of Enron - are both women?"
Jeremy Bowers is close to getting Radio/Win to run on Linux with WINE.
Paolo started an Italian version of his weblog. Buongiorno a tutti!
Paul Andrews: "Macromedia's bloggers want to have it both ways. They don't want to be seen as shills. At the same time, they are loath to bite the hand that feeds them. As one Macromedia manager told me, he would never criticize the company or tout a competitor's products on his blog, 'or I'd probably be fired.'"
I had longer comments here earlier, but here's a demo that makes the point much more concisely.
A hypothetical reporter: "Seattle Times reporters want to have it both ways. They don't want to be seen as shills. At the same time, they are loath to bite the hand that feeds them. As one Times columnist told me, he would never criticize the company or tout a competitor's products in his column, 'or I'd probably be fired.'"
If you hold your mouse over one of the permalink icons above, you'll see that the permalinks are less random. In the past, we used an MD5 encoding of the text in the item to generate the permalink. People said they looked weird and corporate, but they worked, unless I edited the text of the item, which would change the value of the permalink and break any incoming links. So..
The new way of doing permalinks required a hook in Radio's outliner that attaches an attribute to each headline that says when it was created. When generating the permalink, we use this, if it's available, yielding a shorter and human-meaningful permalink. And now I can edit the content of an item without breaking incoming links.
This is part of an overhaul I'm doing of my own content management process, allowing me to generate a clean RSS representation of what's on Scripting News.
The NY Times tells the riveting story of the last hours of people who died in the World Trade Center.
Washington Post on Radio: "The program, its templates and other elements work smoothly, and you can go from downloading the program to publishing your thoughts on the Web during a coffee break." Thanks!
Wired: "Some [ads] even crawl over content, forcing you to simply wait helplessly for the nightmare to end."
Jeff Barr gathered statistics on the use of various elements in RSS feeds processed by his Syndic8 service.
If Mr X says A, he must also mean B.
This is an example of inference in conversation.
But look closely at "must also mean" before you hold X responsible for B.
If your own filters, your point of view, lead you to the inference, it's probably wrong.
Never has this been more clear when the only form of communication is electronic.
Likely facts: The two parties have different points of view. Mr Y, the observer, has a different set of experiences and expectations than Mr X.
So if we want to get somewhere, avoid concluding that B follows from A.
As Dan Gillmor says: "If your mom says she loves you, check it out."
Software and standards work requires this discipline.
"You can't lie to a compiler."
A dozen stories beautifully woven together. A stage play as the backdrop. Fantastic music. An ill-fated love affair. The characters ooze integrity. The president makes the right decision.
The best line when the president meets his adversary. "I decided to kick your ass when you said.." We cheer for President Bartlett, as we would have for Bill Clinton, had he faced Dubya in the Y2K election.
New characters enter left, and old ones exit right. We are in awe. Simply put, the season finale of The West Wing was the best single hour of television ever.
Good morning sports fans. Another local story. Went to the grocery store to get some coffee and food and wine. At the checkout counter the clerk says "Oh the tourists." I said "Tourists? I didn't know we got tourists here." It turns out we do. They stop in and ask if there's anything to see. She says "Oh yeah, there's highway 280, go check it out."
I had the same experience on the other side when I came to Silicon Valley for the first time in the late 70s. I kept driving around looking for something to see. There's nothing to see. A lot of freeways, Denny's, and not a whole lot more. Stanford has a couple of museums. Winchester Mystery House. Lots of geeks. Ask Scoble, he was born here.
My trip to Google on Friday was great. First I took the tour. Lots of geek toys. Lots of press clippings. A nice graph showing flow. Then we sat down and talked software. This is not Netscape. They're playing long-term, they've got real technology (Netscape's was all quick hacks). I pushed six things and gave them a heads-up on an seventh. Here they are. 1. Spell-checker web service. 2. Pings from CMSes for more currency. 3. Google On The Desktop. 4. An API to access page rank. 5. OPML and directories (instead of two or three directories, millions). 6. RSS feeds for their news flows. 7. Gnutella as a decentralized distribution method.
I had a great talk this afternoon with Darrell Smith, the CTO of Streamcast, the company that makes Morpheus. When we get together we talk for hours. Darrell just bought three Mac OS X machines. He said it felt like a homecoming. He's been looking for another platform to support with his software. Anyway, we went far and wide and swung around to desktop websites, a subject near and dear to my heart. He wondered why more Mac developers weren't using the combo of PHP and Apache that comes bundled with every Mac. I think it's just a matter of time before Unix developers get there. Users like apps that run in the browser. When I read Brent's idea for an app that walks through different parts of the Unix underneath the Mac desktop I thought "that's a pretty natural application for Apache and PHP."
A Forest Gump-like moment. Waiting in line at the pharmacy this morning. A short 70ish woman was getting instructions on how to use an inhaler. She was confused, after getting it to work (it took a few tries), she said she felt dizzy, and left the store. Another person asked if that was Shirley Temple Black. I thought "no way," but the clerk behind the counter said it was.
Buzz Bruggeman tells his side of the PC Forum real-time weblog story. "I kept checking the guys’ blogs, only to note that the whine factor from Nacchio had been turned up about 8 'Nacchs', and here I was reading where he had sold about $337 million of Qwest stock while it sunk like a stone."
I've started a new mail list for review of the Radio UserLand chapters in the O'Reilly weblog book. Some of the initial comments on the radio-dev list were quite alarming. I don't have the time or will to get deep into this, but I wanted to provide a venue for people who care to help Scott and his editors get the story right.
I'm only pointing to this page because it's on a Manila site.
JD Lasica: AOL Time Warner: Time to Grow Up, Fast.
Thomas Beutel: Browsing Recursive URLs in Outlines.
Matt Goyer: "Telling someone to draw on their CD with a pen could mean you'll spend the rest of your life in jail."
Sony: "Burn data, music and images on CDs or watch DVDs at home or on the go."
RIAA member list: "..Sony Broadway, Sony Music, Sony Classical, Sony Direct, Sony Discos, Sony Masterworks, Sony Music Special Products, Sony Music US (Latin), Sony Portrait, Sony Wonder.."
Scott Johnson: The Radio Chapters for the O'Reilly Book.
This evening Wes Felter posted a link to an EE Times article where Intel expresses its disbelief over plans to cripple computers and turn them into "dumb terminals". Wes's comment on the link: "Looks like Intel is firmly in the pocket of the entertainment BigCos." I asked Wes where the smoking gun is. He pointed to a page in his archive for 3/21, which included a link to this joint statement by Intel and AOL, which clearly says they want to turn over all our computers to the old supply chain, where "consumers" use computers to watch stuff produced by the entertainment industry. These systems, presumably, would not be capable of competing with that industry. In the world they're envisioning you'll be watching simulations of people posting to weblogs, instead of real people. Awesome.
To remind you what their reality is like, I quote Flangy News. "Have you seen the new Denny's ad? The one with Kermit and Ms. Piggy? Denny's is having a deal on the Grand Slam Breakfast, the muppets get all excited, and order them. Kermit and Ms. Piggy order Grand Slams. A Grand Slam is eggs, pancakes, bacon and sausage."
Peter Rukavina did an airline browser, much like the one I did for Google. You start at an airport (I entered SFO) and it responds with the airports you can get to from there. Click on one of those and repeat. He has a navigator for the Star Alliance (most of the world) and Air Canada. This is an interesting thread.
Anita Roddick takes issue with Google's ad policies. "It began on Monday when I posted a short comment on this site about Malkovich's public threat to shoot Scottish MP George Galloway and Independent reporter Robert Fisk. In that three-sentence notice, I called Malkovich a 'vomitous worm.'"
John Markoff: "The video game industry is in a remarkable boom."
New Scientist: "All around us are tiny doors that lead to the rest of the universe."
Steve Jenson started a RSS Best Practices wiki page.
Jonah Goldberg: Attack of the Blogs. "Depending on whom you believe, blogging is either having its 15 minutes of fame right now or these 15 minutes actually constitute the opening scene of a new thousand-year bloggian reich." Yeah but the 15 minutes has been over two years.
Microsoft may yet get me to install Windows XP. I'd choose the "non-Microsoft" configuration because I'm a conscious software user. When given a choice, I prefer to use products created by independent software developers because I know that I depend on competitive markets for new features that are responsive to my wants. Too bad they have to be dragged into court and drag the industry through a debilitating process to get them to do what they should have done in the first place, offer choice to users. Also, to be clear, this doesn't go nearly far enough for me. I want the browser separated from Microsoft. They have too much control of the Web. The Web is too important to be owned by one company.
Scoble wonders how I post so early. Why do the birds sing? Why do the roosters crow? (One of my neighbors has roosters.) The sun comes up, strrrrretch, coffee, post. Bing.
Three years ago today I wrote a piece called Edit This Page, where I outlined what we were doing with Manila, which was in development at the time. I had just done a demo for Dan Gillmor. Dan would become one of the poster boys for browser-based journalism. Here's the key quote: "Writing for the web is too damned hard. It turns you into a bookkeeper. I've got files all over my hard disk and their counterparts on the server. I can't keep track of them! When I'm reading a web page that I wrote, if I spot a mistake, I have to execute 23 complicated error-prone steps to make the change." Today we take it for granted that editing starts in the browser, but in 1999 it was a new idea.
But if you think that piece had strong energy, check this one out, written on this day four years ago. "What better way to have fun than to laugh at the funky body you have?" Uhhh huh. Hey. Pocky. Way.
Dude. I own Hey Pocky Way on Google. Without a doubt.
The Grateful Dead covered the song.
Feel good music. In your soul. Gonna make your body rock and roll. Oh yeah.
Fodder for the wiener boys! Hey guys, you can dance too. It ain't hard. Lalalala.
Cooooool. Aieeee. Bees in my hair. Wheee!
Wouldn't it be great if weblogs had music. If only we could all dance together.
I'm working on getting space for 125 bloggers at Stanford for a half-day blogathon. We'll dance then for sure.
And we'll figure out how to fill a room with people with minds and great energy for new software for the revival of Silicon Valley.
Bring your Bibles and get ready for some thumpin.
Or Bing you Bibles and do some humpin.
DaveNet: Real-time weblogs.
Wired: "The FBI has ordered an Internet provider to cease distributing the unedited video of journalist Daniel Pearl being brutally murdered."
Aaron Swartz: "Google's API is great, but it's missing the really juicy information: a page's PageRank." Agreed. I'd like to use it on Weblogs.Com. Also, I'm having lunch at Google tomorrow. I'll be sure to mention this. And if you're at Google tomorrow, look for me and say hi. I'll be the guy with a Vaio looking for a power outlet.
After talking with Doc this morning, I want a comparative review of laptops for blogging conferences. What's the ideal computer for real-time weblogs? I found the Sony Vaio wasn't really the right laptop. Short-lived battery. Doc says the Apple TiBook is wide, and that makes a big difference. Lots of screen real estate, it spreads out on the lap more easily than a smaller computer. The 802.11b support is dreamy, says Doc, when it comes on it latches on to the strongest signal. No control panels to fuss with?
Paul Andrews: News by the People, for the People.
Business Week: For Venture Capitalists, Paradise Lost.
Washington Post: Open-Source Fight Flares At Pentagon.
Did JY have an epiphany?
Ben Hammersley is taking notes on the evolution of RSS. He's also got space for comments on that page.
Snewp "indexes almost 6,000 sources every day, continually gathering news headlines from around the globe to provide a distinct twist to the standard search portal."
This note is about the SOAP interface for Radio Community Server. It's a little complicated if you don't know much or care about how Radio desktops connect to centralized services like file storage, referer tracking, etc.
Radio connects via XML-RPC, that's is how all the Radio users connect to the community server. In the rush to get Radio 8 out late last year, we broke the SOAP interface.
Luckily, the breakage was easy to fix. We just had to change the name of the parameter on one of the entrypoints. Since XML-RPC doesn't use named parameters, there is no breakage issue, which we have confirmed by deploying the change.
This news is probably only of interest to SOAP developers who want to connect to Radio Community Server. A small possibly null set, at this time, because the interface hasn't worked since late last year.
Sam Ruby, a developer on the Apache SOAP implementation, has offered to do WSDL files for the SOAP interface, that's how we discovered the outage. Thanks Sam. We like fixing bugs almost as much as we like creating them.
"It's even worse than it appears."
News.Com: "A legal fight that has pitted file-swapping software companies Kazaa BV and StreamCast Networks against big record labels and movie studios is collapsing as the small companies run out of funds."
NY Times: Netflix IPO Raises $82.5 million.
Last week I spent some time talking with Ben Hammersley, the British tech journalist who's working on O'Reilly's book on XML-based content syndication with RSS. Yesterday we emailed back and forth several times. My last email to Ben yesterday attempted to answer this question, how does RSS 0.9x evolve?
Gina Barton: What is a Journalist?
Sean Gallagher: "So what's the future? Smaller magazines. More niche publications. More magazines with a limited life span. Fewer issues, with content online to keep readers hooked in between. More web, less frequent hardcopy."
CNET reviews Netscape 7 Preview Release 1.
More idea flow from Jeroen Bekker on opening Groove to the Web. "Investigate simple solutions to publish selective content from a Groovespace you would like to make available to a broader audience."
Jenny the Librarian: "And I wouldn't necessarily have to leave my current session in order to be part of a second, concurrent one. I could monitor the blog, chat session, or video stream. It would be a conference version of TV's picture-in-picture." Exactly. And let's go further. You wouldn't even need to be at the conference to do all that. Linear thinking asks "Why would anyone want to go to the conference then?" I know because I was pushing two leading conferences in the software industry to open up, just to have real-time weblog-style reports on the conference website so people who weren't attending could know about the new stuff announced at a conference. (My efforts failed, btw.) I believe conference providers could raise the prices for attending in meatspace, if the public could attend virtually for free. Being there counts for everything. If you're not there, you can't make any news yourself (kind of self-evident). The first conference that fully opened up via the Internet would be historic, and wildly successful, imho.
Jim Zellmer observes that Microsoft has recently acquired two companies, Great Plains and Navision, that have excellent developer communities.
Megnut: "Reading weblogs has made me greedy for access to a constant stream of nuggets from the brains of those I admire." Amen.
Ed Cone: "The elders of the blogging tribe are generous with their links."
Two reasons I don't generally link to Andrew Sullivan. He rarely points to other bloggers, if ever (today he disclaims it). Second reason. No permalinks. Today he discovered them. Hope! On the other hand, I totally agree that we have no obligation to point at anything.
BlackHoleBrain: "Round, naked, mindless, boneless, fried chicken blobs."
Wired: "The mole turned out to be one of the show's most trusted characters."
On Metafilter: "If only Nina could have killed Jack at the end." That would have been cool.
I'm thinking seriously about wiping the template for this weblog and starting over. I'd make it look like DaveNet looks now. A more serious look. Easier to read perhaps.
I just had a phone talk with Jon Udell, who I saw at last week's conference. It had been a few years since he had been to Silicon Valley, and was not prepared to see the devastation of the economy here. I live here, and it snuck up on me, although some of the changes were sudden and unmistakeable. Part of me is very glad to see all the For Lease signs on office space. For so many years those buildings were filled with people spending public money on projects that couldn't go anywhere. Now at least there's space available, and presumably people, if and when the lights come on again. I encouraged Jon to write about this. There's space available in DaveNet and Scripting News for ideas and perspectives that get technology flowing to customers.
Steve MacLaughlin: "It's easy to draw a big bulls-eye on the record companies, and to rant and rave about how they're screwing the artists."
A remarkable article in BusinessWeek about Mac developers and Apple. A constant theme in the early days of this weblog and my column. And, it's even worse than it appears. Sometimes Apple says it has matched a developer and taken over its market, when it's not even true. Everyone loses, the platform, the developer, and the platform vendor.
Amelio's Apple was no better. It's Internet strategy was OpenDoc, Cyberdog and Quicktime. Terrible strategy. Developers were leading in content management, totally ahead of Windows.
The article is also remarkable because it cites Rob McNair-Huff's weblog. Nice. One more thing, it's also cool because, according to the article, small commercial developers exist. This has been a big outage for quite a few years.
Perhaps Microsoft could have the same epiphany about its market. Sometimes small developers break through where the platform vendor is clueless. I've seen it happen.
Five years ago today: "Microsoft does the developer game absolutely as well as they can, but they should be easy to compete with. Realistic developers understand that Microsoft is a growth machine, so if you're lucky enough to build a bonfire within Microsoft's reach, even a small one, they're going to try to build one of their own, just like yours. They have to do it, it's in their genetics, it's in their business plan."
Five years ago Microsoft had the best developer program in the business. Today, after a series of utterly stupid gaffes in developer relations, they're losing to Apple, and that's ridiculous, because Apple is everything that a developer company is not. Microsoft fell into the trap of believing it was the whore (quoting JLG) when the only viable developer strategy for a company as large as MS is to be the flashiest pimp on the block. That Apple can make such serious inroads with developers is testimony to the disarray at Microsoft.
How did this happen? First the browser wars, then the Java wars, then the confusion over the .NET strategy, and the icing on the cake -- the antitrust conviction. Of course it's not over until it's over. I ran into David Stutz of Microsoft at the O'Reilly conf and talked with him about this stuff. He said some high-level people at Microsoft are saying what I've been saying. I said let's set up a meeting. There's no time like now to get the developer thing working again.
Thomas Friedman: "Let's make a deal: We won't criticize the administration for not anticipating 9/11 if it won't terrorize the country by now predicting every possible nightmare scenario."
Another idea for conference surfing. You can log into a session in realtime. An IRC channel for each session. And one for the whole conference. So you can say "Hey my session is boring, are any of the others interesting?" Could lead to a mass exodus. Clearly we've just begun to explore the possibilities.
Tonight is the finale of 24. After last week's episode (don't worry I won't spoil it in case you haven't seen it) I was surprised that I am looking forward to watching the whole series again from the beginning. I wonder if it will be like The Sixth Sense, where once you know what's going on, you see a lot of things the second time around that you missed the first.
6/11/00: "One day the trend may be trend-free. That will be an interesting day, as we all struggle to prove that our software is 100 percent pure and free of all trends."
An idea worth passing along. On Ecademy, pwainewright says: "[O'Reilly] could have encouraged these real-time bloggers to subscribe RSS feeds of their blogs to an aggregated 'event blog', effectively pooling all the commentary and attracting more participants into the feedback process." Good idea. Perhaps we can try this at the Open Source Convention in July. A simple registry open to all attendees. Give us the URLs of your RSS feeds. An aggregator runs once an hour, reads all the feeds, and spits out a communal event-based blog, with pointers to the originals. Easy to implement with current technology.
USA Today: "Morgan Stanley estimates that US companies threw away $130 billion in the past two years on unneeded software and other technology."
Eric Alterman starts a weblog on MSNBC.
Reuters: "Technology buffs have cracked music publishing giant Sony Music's elaborate disc copy-protection technology with a decidedly low-tech method: scribbling around the rim of a disk with a felt-tip marker."
Hossein Derakhshan: "There are about 1000 Persian weblogs."
Internet News: "The United States Copyright Office on Tuesday rejected an arbitration panel ruling on Webcasting royalty rates, a decision that is sure to rankle the recording industry and bring smiles to the face of Internet radio executives nationwide."
Keith Teare received a letter from Microsoft, which he published on his weblog, which among other things, demands that he stop publishing his weblog.
A new multi-author weblog by three lawyers, for lawyers.
Ben Hammersley has a story about weblogs in the UK Guardian today. A good trend, another BigPub piece that isn't dismissive of amateurs, and doesn't predict the end of the world for professional writers.
Tim Jarrett quotes Justin Hall: "A friend at Deloitte & Touche asked me to talk with these kids about my career as a freelance writer. And so I stood up in front of them and shared. 'I'm homeless, in debt, and my clothes smell because I live out of a beater car.' And they looked at me confused and a loud little girl with long thin braids in a bright pink parka down in front during the second section said, 'Why should we listen to you then?' and I said, 'because I do what I want and I love my life.'"
This article by Ed Cone about blogging is worth pointing to a second time. An insightful review of the blogging experience by a professional reporter.
Rich Salz had a really good idea which I'm thinking about adding to my list of ideas for evolving RSS (with credit of course). This is what Rich said. "If you 'recommended' that the
802.11b: "It's been more than a year since home users started buying Wi-Fi in huge amounts, and the software cycle still shows an orientation towards the techiest-of-the-techie. And even we can't figure it out."
Rich Salz examines WSDL.
Doc: "What do you call a blogger who won't link?"
John Robb: "Patriotism is the last defense of cowards."
Jeroen Bekkers, a Groove developer, reports a breakthrough. They can now post from a Groove space to a Radio weblog using the Blogger API. Bravo!
Jesse Shanks on using OmniOutliner to edit AppleScripts.
Ideas for RSS Evolution: "Sjoerd Visscher and Rahul Dave both offered the same convincing argument for global IDs instead of local ones, so I flipped it back."
A puzzle unfolds on Google. "The Google Labs Sets demo is an experimental system that allows a user to automatically create sets of items from a few examples." Huh? Less mysterious: "The Google Labs Voice Search demo is an experimental system that allows you to carry out a Google search by voice with a simple phone call."
News.Com: "Microsoft plans to announce on Monday revamped software that could make it easier for businesses to build portal Web sites."
Rick Klau is looking for an OPML displayer for his Palm.
Alan Cox, one of the leads of Linux: "Things like XML-RPC, SOAP and the stuff on top of them are designed to 'interwork through firewalls'. A better phrase would be 'go through the firewall like a knife through butter in a way that prevents the companies involved monitoring the activity.'"
Here's my (new) standard response: As one of the designers of SOAP and XML-RPC, imho, they were designed to make it easy to connect applications using the Internet as the transport. In practice, messages are often sent between apps running on the same machine. This is an important technology for people who develop software for users, it allows us to substitute easy to use graphic tools, where appropriate, for browser-based interfaces.
Quiheng Hu: "Microsoft is a highly respected Corporation in the world as well as in China."
News.Com: Paid content comes to Kazaa.
Last year on this day: Faking a death online.
Richard Doherty: "By Christmas, Microsoft could become the nation's fourth-largest phone company."
One of the topics at last week's conference was the shadowy Broadcast Protection Discussion Group, a collaboration between Silicon Valley and Hollywood to make our personal computers work the way Hollywood wants them to. Dan Gillmor tried to get into the discussion group, but was turned away. Cory Doctorow works for the EFF and maintains the Consensus At Lawyerpoint weblog to cover the BPDG. He urges us to get in touch with Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel, etc and encourage them to keep making the kinds of computers we like, ones that copy our material from our desktops to servers, or include them as email attachments, or move pictures from our digital cameras to our hard drives (or servers) or distribute them through Gnutella. Anyway, I wonder if what's going on in that discussion group is legal. What if I wanted to start a computer or chip or OS company to compete with Intel or IBM or Microsoft that didn't follow their rules? If I can't, it seems they have an antitrust problem. Our legal system is set up so that no group of competitors that form a major portion of a market can meet and erect barriers that keep out newcomers. Intel is not a legislative body, neither is Time-Warner. I am not a lawyer, but if they want that kind of power, it seems they should get the laws changed first.
The best defense is to flood the network with clearly non-infringing content, to follow Dr Lessig's lead, and make sure that all the good First Amendment bits are in the mix, ready to be shut down when these laws pass.
Jake: "If we're too lazy, numb, frightened, or self-censored to ask the important questions and share what we learn with each other, we might as well sign over what's left of our civil rights right now. It will be a lot easier to lose them, than it will be to get them back." Amen.
Madhu Menon: Why I love pop-up ads.
I'm back to work on the slideshow stuff. Glad I took a breather. After seeing lots of PowerPoint slideshows at the conference last week, I find the HTML stuff functional, but pretty plain-jane. Then I thought I should allow for the possibility of Flash renderings of slideshows. I need a Radio script that takes an OPML file and turns it, somehow, into a SWF file. Here's an example, if anyone wants to give it a try. I think it's actually a pretty important connection. Wouldn't it be great to have a boring technical slideshow on a background like this one.
NY Times: "Last month Mr. de Icaza learned that Mr. Fox's government had signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Microsoft to train 23,000 computer technicians for the first round of community centers going online with e-México."
Ed Cone nails it. A professional reporter gives blogging a try, and becomes a better writer for it. Bing!
Now, I wonder if the blogging universe can solve the Microsoft problem. We need a remedy that works. The judge doesn't like the one the states proposed. I didn't either. Too complicated, too messy. Imho, the only remedy that works is one that gains separation of the Web and Microsoft.
A fantastic demo of triangulation. A bunch of Dot-Net developers have weblogs. One of them spotted something happening with the Mono project. Would I have a clue what it meant? No way. I watched the news percolate from one developer to another and they're all ack'ing it. So now I know something is happening. In the past, without such verification, I wouldn't have a clue.
Three new ideas for evolution of RSS, pubDate, guid and ttl.
Jon Udell's much-touted piece about RSS has appeared, and (oy) RSS is being cast as a proponent of REST. Let me say it again. Oy. It's just XML. Simple stuff. Easy to understand. No need to drag religion into it, but people always want to. The price of success I guess.
A candidate for best named blog of 2002.
An important medical alert from Adam Curry.
What kinds of computers were last week's conf attendees using?
Scott Johnson is seeking help from Mac Radio users.
Victor Ng's capsule review of Attack of the Clones: "I'd rather be chewing on tin foil."
Business 2.0: How to go head-to-head with Microsoft.
Paul Andrews: News by the People, for the People.
NY Times: "Look, they've shown us that the book business can be a very nice, profitable business online," said Mark J. Rowen, a senior Internet analyst at Prudential Securities. "The only problem is the book, video, music market is limited, and ultimately if Amazon is going to justify its market capitalization, it is going to have to show that other categories are viable on the Internet. So far, they have not shown that sales of other merchandise can grow rapidly and be profitable."
On this day last year: "We think we see something very valuable that few others do. The desktop computers of 2001 have a lot of untapped power. Couple that with the comfort level that people have with Web browsers, and that leads to a single point, that no one else seems to be aiming at." Smurf Turf was the codename for Radio 8.
I'm going to be on a Canadian TV show, Dotto's Data Cafe, today at noon Pacific, with host Steve Dotto. They just called. I'll be on at about 12:15PM for three seven-minute segments. The show will not be webcast, however, if you're in Canada and want to scan it, send me an MP3 after the show and I'll put it on the site. I asked, it's OK with the producer. They're calling from Burnaby, which is near Vancouver. I told them we have a UserLander from Vancouver and he has a weblog. While the show is on the air they'll be showing the readers around on the Web. I expect I'll update one or two times to show the viewers that it's just me and I can put whatever I want here.
John Robb: "Did the Internet enable a new economy? I think the latest evidence says that it has. But it isn't the new economy corporate America expected."
John Sumser: "Small businesses create capital that is given to banks so that large companies can multiply it. Like lawyers, large organizations are risk mitigators whose challenge is not creation but maintenance. This is a task that small operations routinely fail. Small organizations make large gains possible. Large organizations thrive on the incremental."
Paolo Valdemarin: "Having access to this world of information will do no good unless we provide the tools to decode and understand this huge amount of data that the new economy helping us to create."
Wow. Look at all the Danish weblogs. What's cool about this is that even though the list appears on my site, it's edited by Guan Yang, a Danish programmer who I met last year in Copenhagen. How did I know to look there? Thomas Madsen-Mygdal mentioned it on his weblog which pings weblogs.com. It's quite a worldwide knowledge network we have.
Essay: Ideas for standards work. Draft.
Mark Pilgrim posts a Python method for monitoring Google term ownership.
Adam Wendt: "Its May 18th and it's snowing in southern New Hampshire."
Peter Rutten: "We sued the tobacco companies. One day we will sue the media industry. For half a century worth of lies and violence that they've showered upon us. For what they've done to human dignity. For how they became the story, instead of just the people reporting on it."
NY Times: "The judge overseeing the Microsoft trial appeared highly skeptical today of a proposal made by nine states on how to enforce the tough antitrust restrictions they are seeking."
Last year on this day: "So if it takes three tries to get it right, why was Lotus 1.0 such a big hit? Because it was really VisiCalc 3.0."
Register: "When Napster was underground, it was king."
Elvis Costello: "I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes."
Wired: "The movie studios win again."
William Grosso nails it. "I've become something very close to a single-issue voter. Diane Feinstein, my local senator, is on Disney's side. She is a co-sponsor of S. 2048 and that means I probably won't be voting for her in the next election." Amen to that. Same here. These people work for us, they need a reminder.
A sweet blurb from Marc Hedlund who spotted me at the conference this week. I wish we had had a chance to talk Marc. Next time!
Earlier today I asked for a RSS browser in Flash. It's humble, but it's a beginning.
My new favorite soft drink is Sanpellegrino Aranciata. I can guzzle the stuff. So much sugar, I allow myself one can for every trip to the store. Very sweet, slightly bitter, and delicious.
AP: 1999 Report Warned of Suicide Hijack. That no one cared is no surprise. We weren't paying attention. After Sept 11, people found all kinds of reports on the Web, in public, that warned what Al Qaeda was up to, before the disaster. Hey we're back asleep again. The reports could be out there, but we wouldn't see them. The issue isn't with the government, it's with all of us. We don't want to hear bad news.
Monday: "Tomorrow we're going to release a new tool.." Sorry. It didn't happen. Soon.
Sometime in 2002 we should have a conference with premeditated (not ad hoc) bloggability. On stage four bloggers in a panel. In the audience, bloggers with tables, power strips, laptops. A microphone on every desktop. Projected on screen the blog of one of the people in the audience, the designated official blogger. That's a hard job, btw. Doc is good at it. I found out I'm not particularly good at it. I write too much. I get too distracted. I talk too much too. When I'm in the audience I'm a lean-over-and-whisper type guy. Occasionally I'm willing to line up at a mike (I did it once at this week's conference). To continue the fantasy, we'd all get in free, and our hotel bill would be paid, by sponsors who want to sell us stuff. This year it would be a bit of a gamble for them. Next year, a sure bet. If you've got a product to sell you want the bloggers to know about it. Even better, you want to listen to the bloggers to find out what kinds of products they want.
News.Com: Bertelsmann buys Napster for $8 million.
GARBO is coooooool.
A Flash weblog from Matt Rice.
It's great to see all the Flash weblogs come online. Of course the next thing is a weblog that's rendered in Flash. It's like Charlie the Tuna. Starkist don't want tuna with good taste, they want tuna what taste good.
Chris Kaminski enters the slideshow-design sweepstakes. He says his template is designed for Gecko-based browsers, but it looks pretty good in MSIE/Windows.
John Sumser: A dozen things we know about blogs.
Yesterday Creative Commons was announced. I just browsed the site quickly looking for a spec describing the XML format they're using. Megnut suggested that if blogging tools make it easy for people to declare their intentions and automatically generate the XML, that would be a good thing. I'm into helping if I can. First I gotta find the spec. Postscript: Matt Haughey sent an email saying they're still working on it.
It's all about point of view. Two bloggers can look at the same event and see two different things. That's why it's good to have a variety of views of the same event. Think of it as triangulation, a technique I learned from a friend who was into hacking AM radio in the 70s. He put a transmitter in the trunk of his car and sang along with the music on his car stereo. He'd jam WABC in NY, which was the top teen station then (it might still be for all I know). The FCC had a hard time finding him, because they use a truck to find radio hackers. How to draw it. Put a dot on a piece of paper. That's the pirate radio station. Put another dot on the paper. That's the FCC truck. Draw a line from the truck to the station. Now move the truck to any other point, it could be just a few blocks away. Draw a line from the truck to the station. Bing. You now know where it is. But this assumes the station didn't move. Oooops. Rob Fahrni explains this visually. My friend thwarted them for some time, and it was a low power transmitter so you had to be close to where he was driving to hear it. I don't know if he ever got caught. Now in blogging, we like triangulation. You can see the yin and the yang. Find out what developers think and what the users think.
Werbach: "The piece was dumbed-down in the editorial process, which commonly happens when writing for monthly magazines."
Dr Lessig tells a story. He wrote a scholarly paper. He launched a copy of Morpheus and put his paper in the shared folder. Went home for the weekend. On Monday he comes into the office and his computer is disconnected. Stanford security had paid him a visit. "That's illegal," they said. Heh. He's the expert on what's legal. He wrote the stuff. He wanted to share it. Gotcha.
Paul Simon: "Every where I go I get slandered, libeled. Hear words I never heard in the Bible."
I just searched for the lyrics to the Costello song above, it's called Red Shoes, but every link on Google is broken. Looks like ASCAP or RIAA have been sending demand letters? Let's try the Paul Simon search. No problem there. Lots of matches. Paul Simon is cool. Elvis Costello is.. Uhh, I can't bring myself to say it.
Frank Sinatra: "It takes a long time to heal a broken heart. It's happened to all of us and never gets any easier. I understand, however, that playing one of my albums can help."
Here's an asshole who actually likes spam. Yeah, the Net is becoming TV. The good stuff, Elvis' lyrics are going. But the pop-up ads are getting worse and worse. OK, according to the asshole it's a commercial medium. That's a watch-phrase. Pretty soon they're going to be saying that if you want to use the Internet you can only go to the bathroom while reading content.
Kizna is "dedicated to creating secure solutions for improving communications between individuals and beyond the corporate firewall."
NY Times on the Dutch election. "The party of the slain populist Pim Fortuyn elected a former journalist as its new leader today, after its followers turned out in force in parliamentary elections on Wednesday that gave Dutch politics a startling push to the right."
EditLive for Java "empowers business users with an easy-to-use, intuitive interface for creating and publishing web content."
Colin Faulkingham: MetaPresentation Service Description.
12:03PM, getting ready for lunch, my session was blogged all over the place. I'll go look for pointers. In the meantime I'm sitting at a table with Joey deVilla, the accordian guy; and John Draper, grey-hat security guy. John just pitched me on his new security product, which is called CrunchBox, which is a funny name because John also goes by the name Captain Crunch. John says "You can try it out for free."
News.Com: Kazaa finds friends in file-swapping fight.
Here are my slides for today's talk. Short and sweet. And easy for me. When I get to the room, in about 70 minutes, I'll go to Scripting News, click on the link, and introduce myself and quickly introduce the topics for discussion by stepping through the slides. That should take about five minutes. The remaininreg forty minutes are for discussion. One of the first things I'm going to say is that this is a two-way session. If you have something to say, or a question to ask, just raise your hand and I'll try to get the flow to you. It's like a weblog, but face-to-face, and even more fun. If you're at the O'Reilly conf, I look forward to seeing you at 10:30. Let's have fun!
Sorry for not more blogging. Rohit just gave a kickass presentation on SOAP routing, now I'm a last minute addition to a panel where we're debating the merits of REST vs RPC. I have good power on stage. That's where I'm blogging from. Spacebar on this laptop is still really flaky. If you have question send me an email.
Paul Prescod is speaking, what makes HTTP work. If we were going to start again and invent the web, what would the design document look like. Do Web services have anything to do with the Web? Lucas Gonze is speak. I'm a pro-REST guy. He froths at the mouth for REST. When you're building applications you want to know how everything works. Try to avoid trouble whenever possible. HTTP is a gigantic spec. A design style. Wacky. Wireless just died. I'll keep blogging. Rohit is speaking. I am handicapped. Interesting. Rohit has senioritis. Sam Ruby wants to explain REST. Good idea.
We had a big outage here. Long discussion. We did get to the nugget of the disagreement, it's whether or not you want to wait for the W3C roadmap du jour to settle down.
At one point during the Schneier session, I noticed the person in front of me was blogging with Radio.
To the left, another person was reading Scripting News.
I leaned over to Reed and said "It doesn't get any better than this."
In many of the discussions, on stage and off, a theme that's been pervasive for years.
All arguments about software are about Microsoft and other BigCo's, and open source.
What about the middle? Small commercial developers. To many, esp those in the O'Reilly sphere of influence, there's nothing else, commercial developers other than the Bigs simply don't exist.
I point this out. These days people can hear it. "That's where all the innovation comes from," I say. No one argues about this.
The sooner this outage clears, the sooner we can return to an innovation-driven industry.
I tried to live-blog some of the sessions, but by the time I had it all set up, my battery ran out.
Great day yesterday. Talks with Steve Gillmor and Mike Vizard of InfoWorld, Jon Udell, David Stutz, Paul Andrews, Daneese Cooper, Mike Chambers, Dan Gillmor, Cory Doctorow, Danny O'Brien, Evan Williams, Ben Hammersley.
Met Sam Ruby, talked with David Reed (more on that later), and attended sessions about blogging. That seemed to be the topic of the show. I'm giving a talk at 10:30AM, but not about weblogs, about the technology underneath, which I summarize as Distributed Content Management.
Comments on Bruce Schneier's talk about security. Good talk, not a technical one, he says that security doesn't happen until the CEO is on board. Too much bashing of Microsoft, to me this is wrong. Security is the one issue we shouldn't get pissy about, if we're all professionals, our interest is in the safety of users. Microsoft has lots of them. If you want to wear the white hat, imho you have to leave the usual industry politics out of it. During the Q&A period, Daneese Cooper, who works at Sun, took the mike to bash Microsoft, but she didn't say she worked at Sun. I was appalled. I know Daneese, she's a fine ethical person, probably caught up in the moment, I stood up and interrupted. "She works for Sun," I said. The place erupted. Later I saw her in the hall and said "I love you Daneese," and gave her a big hug, but I don't think other people understood. It's part of a theme. Everyone makes mistakes. That doesn't end friendships.
During Schneier's talk I was sitting next to David Reed, who I quoted here on Sunday. Schneier took a really cheap shot at SOAP, one that I've heard repeated often -- that it was designed to circumvent firewalls. He said it in a really obnoxious way, he said that SOAP is compatible with firewalls in the same way bullets are compatible with skulls. The audience snickered. I didn't. I know that SOAP was not designed to circumvent firewalls, it was designed to be compatible with scripting environments, which, at the time the decision was made, 1998, generally had HTTP support baked in. We wanted make it easy for them to add SOAP support to their implementations. Later in his talk, Schneier said that firewalls were basically useless because they were never configured properly. I took the mike myself later, and called him on it. He said "I think we have some SOAP experts here." Oy. He made a mistake, that can be forgiven. But security, which is such a crucial issue, should not be mixed with other messages. Jon Udell, who I respect enormously said that Schneier was the leading authority on security. My impression, and it's just an impression, is that this kind of praise has gone to his head.
When I took my seat, David Reed said something to me privately, that was more important than anything anyone had said at the session, it bears repeating. "We should just be able to help each other," he said. Amen to that. When you've been through all the nasty battles and survived, something Reed can claim, this is what you end up wanting. If Sun wants to look good, they can go out of their way to help Microsoft. If Schneier wants to be an authority on security, he can't use that to bash Microsoft (which is probably where the dissing of SOAP was coming from). Even if people don't have the experience to know the person on stage is misleading, these kind of arguments create discomfort and distrust. A security expert must be almost perfect about deserving trust, or else who do you look to for advice when security becomes an issue. I have fresh experience with this, from the outages earlier this month. I got help from a lot of people. No one used the occasion to pitch their pet agenda. This philosophy helped us dig out of the hole. There were a lot of things in Schneier's talk that rang true, and for that I am grateful. But I am digusted by the side agendas he brought into the discussion, in areas where I know the truth, and the expert is lying, this breaks all trust.
Today will be a lightpost day. I'm going down to Santa Clara to catch the schmooze at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology conference. I'll be the guy with the Sony Vaio looking for a power outlet.
With Simon Fell's new widget you can post to Blogger using Microsoft Word.
Jake offers a glimpse of the new blogroll editor he's been working on. And a tease.
Adam Curry is covering the Dutch election today.
Jenny the Librarian on Left-vs-Right-Brain Blogging.
A PR firm with a weblog. Expect to see lots more of this.
Great dinner last night! Paul Prescod, the evangelist for REST. My old college buddy Sandy Wilbourn. Bill Humphries, the More Like This guy. Scoble. Scott Mace. Zooko and lots of ex-Open Cola guys, incl Joey and his accordian. And the blogging stars, Doc Searls and young Wes Felter and even younger Aaron Swarts. Wes is designing chips now. Excellent. Hey they even got me to go into the Apple store on University Ave. I had to get out of there quickly. Too clean.
Fortune has a virtually content-free article about the non-faceoff between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs is particularly clueless (assuming he actually said what he's quoted as saying, and that the context wasn't designed to make him look like an idiot). But the Hollywood guys come off even worse, and Fortune even dumber than that. I loved this quote. "So what we have here is a game of chicken. Unless somebody flinches, both sides stand to lose." Both sides? They forgot the users. If Silicon Valley could somehow give Hollywood what they want (it can't) the users would just get their technology from somewhere else. As long as we have a First Amendment in the US, they can't stop the Internet. That, by the way, allows me to close the loop on the lies Bill Gates tells in court. So far the courts have been pretty good, but not perfect, at protecting our freedoms. That Gates goes to court and lies, brazenly, says to me that he's not on the right side. With the executive and legislative branches of the US government acting so irresponsibly, the only thing keeping us from total fascism in the service of Eisner is the court system. Respect it Bill. It's good for us.
Werblog: "After taking off about a week to be with my new son, I'm now back at work. Give me a little time for active posts to resume on the Werblog, since I've got a whole lotta catching up to do."
Macrobyte: Transport Layer Security version 0.2.4.
NY Times: "The ABC network, which had a precipitous decline in its prime-time ratings this season.." I must be brainwashed because I got defensive reading that sentence. "Oh sure blame it on Napster." Well the article doesn't blame it on Napster. Good for Eisner, who owns ABC, for not running to Congress to solve all his problems.
Wired: Last Rites for Napster.
NY Times: "The chief executive of Napster and several of its top executives resigned today, a move that may foreshadow the imminent bankruptcy of a service that became synonymous with the free exchange of music online."
News.Com offers a fascinating peek behind the scenes at the BigCo's, esp MS, in re Web services.
Looks like John had a glass of wine before posting this.
Pro-With-Blog: Network Computing Magazine.
Niklas Gustavsson did a presentation with CSS and SVG.
In town tonight? Spicy Noodles at 7.
Yesterday I was interviewed by Smart Business, a Ziff-Davis pub, about the significance of the Google API. I told him it was significant, three weeks ago. Now we're waiting for more. He asked if I knew of any other companies that had Web service interfaces. I told him UserLand did. He laughed. I asked why he was laughing. He didn't answer. No follow-up questions.
Eric Norlin: "Journalists (speaking generally) don't think that 'web services' can be, or are being done by anyone other than IBM, Microsoft, BEA and (maybe) Sun."
Byron Fast: "Journalists and newspapers and the TV aren't going to change how they report news, so just get used to that. It's not a perfect world. This doesn't mean they are irrelevant or dangerous, it just means you have to listen to four blind men describe an elephant and create the correct mental picture yourself. The wonderful thing about today is that you can read the opinion of dozens of blind men and women in weblogs, and although the spelling may suck you can make a clearer picture of that elephant than people have ever had opportunity to do."
Doc is blogging the Apple press conference. Wes is blogging the O'Reilly conf, and blogging Doc blog Apple. By the time the Times has their article, it will all be old news. So much for Steven Levy's thesis that we're doing what he's doing. We're not. This is new. Sorry.
Uncle Gravy's instant analysis of the Apple announcement. Remember how they talked last week about features on the desktop that will drive the RIAA out of their minds (a good thing of course). I bet that the new server has the complementary features on the server side. Think about it this way. Macs are used to create big media objects. A single Photoshop doc is bigger than the combined works of Shakespeare. It's only natural that Apple's server provide a distribution mechanism for the things Mac users create. Of course Hollywood runs on Macs, top to bottom. A nice back-door sell. Create the tools that excite the creative people, drive innovation from the bottom-up. One more thing. Apple's pioneering support of SOAP and XML-RPC pays off when deploying servers. The desktop apps can be GUIs, not just HTML-based apps. Nice!
John Morris and Josh Taylor: "You'll see pitches that result in a hit, run, or out, along with wild pitches, pick-offs, passed balls, stolen bases, and the like. Basically it's baseball for those suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder." It's also like skipping the commercials on a TiVO.
Wired: Apple Bundle Creates a Rumble.
Yesterday I asked for help with a CSS-based template for presentations. I got one, but it was not a presentation template. A chance to show off your CSS skills. Let's give it some more time.
Andrew Zimmerman sent two CSS-based slides, both derivative of the design of my template. To be clear, the designs do not have to be derivative. They should look like a presentation, but you can make them more beautiful than mine, but don't make them more complex. They should look like slides. But there's nothing sacred about the layout I've done. Colin Faulkingham did a couple of slide templates. "A fun diversion," he says.
AP: No Injuries in San Fran Bay Quake. "It was the worst one I've ever felt,'' Sharma said. "The whole building was shaking and there was just this rumbling sound. It was a bad quake.'' I can testify to that. It was a shaky quake but there's no apparent damage.
Doc was driving a rickety old Subaru in San Jose during the quake. He's going to Apple's press conference today. Hey Doc, tell Steve about Manila. Runs on Mac OS X, it's a server app. (You use it to edit your weblog.)
Yet another paranoid BigPub article about weblogs. It's awesome how they only know one story. So much for Friendman's hidden thesis (see below) that the US press tells a balanced story. Is Newsweek any better than The O'Reilly Factor? Nahh. It's all professional wrestling.
BTW, postscript to Steven, back in the heady early days of the Web, a blogger-to-be (the term didn't exist then) took a job in an ink-stained shop. That lasted about 1.5 years, until the guy got fed up with the dumb-it-down philosophy that says the readers are dumb so we have to skim the surface and never tell them what's really going on even though we think we know. My prediction, if the bloggers that cross the line in 2002 can revolutionize the organizations they work for then you'll keep getting your paycheck, but then you'll be writing a blog, and I'll win the bet with Martin. If not, if they have any soul, they'll be back writing for free, what they know and what they believe. It's kind of an either-or thing, imho.
Paolo: "After yesterday's post on the new registration architecture I have received more than a dozen messages from interested developers. Honestly I did not expect this much."
Thomas Friedman writing in the NY Times complains that the third world believes everything they read on the Internet. Now with all due respect, they shouldn't believe everything they read in the NY Times either. And Ed Cone reports that the US is still part of the third world. He lives in one of the Carolinas, where they're debating evolution, on the Internet, of course, where most of this day's discourse takes place. The solution is lower the barriers to participation, so more lies can spread faster, and develop in our species the introspection and skepticism it needs to survive the challenges ahead.
Tomorrow we're going to release a new tool for Radio that allows you to generate presentation slide shows authored in the outliner. I know everyone thinks I hate CSS, but I don't, I'm just a newbie. So if you want to help, take this slide, view source, and send it back to me (or post it to your weblog) using the most beautiful CSS rendering you can conceive. Then I can release the new tool with a fantastic CSS-based default template so everyone can be cool, me too.
Meanwhile, we have a new feature in the pipe for Radio and RCS that brings new ease of use and power to blogrolling. And get this, you'll be able to use it even if you use one of our competitors' products to edit your weblog. It'll be worth the $40 if you take blogrolling seriously.
Tomorrow is also Apple's server announcement. A reporter said "I don't quite get why they need to enter a commodity market." To which I responded. "It's not quite a commodity market, there's some stuff that runs on Mac OS X as a server that isn't available on other flavors of Unix and is pretty cool."
But wait there's more. Tomorrow night at 7PM in Palo Alto we're having a Spicy Noodles Festival in honor of Wes Felter who is attending the Emerging Technology Conference in Santa Clara. You're invited too. Total geekfest.
Progress report on tcp.im. We had a three-way conference call today to talk about remaining issues. Jeremy now has custody of the framework, and has passed a copy to Eric, who will make AIM work in it, while Jeremy makes some changes to the framework and finishes the Jabber adaptation. We'll rendezvous, with the next goal being a pass-off to me, so I can write my sample app, test, document, and hype.
If you liked Adam's last piece, you'll like this one too.
Buzz is a Python outliner that groks OPML.
Aaron Swarts visited Google today. "I asked them what their new top secret project was. They didn't tell me, but they said it would be introduced on Thursday."
News.Com: "Time Warner Cable's upcoming set-top boxes will not include ad-skipping features but may carry technology designed to protect copyrights for TV programming."
Steve Outing: Publishing Systems Squash News Design.
Time: "We'd love record labels to just go away," [Matt Goyer] says. "They're great for a Britney Spears, but I don't see them providing a lot of benefits for smaller acts."
Paolo Valdemarin takes an important step in getting a commercial developer community going around Radio and Frontier. Money. The flow of. Go go go.
Jon Udell: "As technologists, we hold all sorts of knowledge that is tacit. We ourselves don't realize that we possess it, and we don't realize that others (most others) don't. Radio does a remarkable job of delivering an out-of-the-box experience that doesn't depend on too much tacit knowledge. When you try to go further, you're on a slippery slope, but this is true of all software." Amen.
12/22/00: "A friend who had been listening to me gush about how great it was asked if he could try it. Hesitantly I said yes. I launched the program and we switched seats. I tried to say nothing as he wondered what to do. The software didn't have anything to say. 'What should I do?' he asked. I thought to myself 'I have some work to do.'"
NY Times: The Yahoo Privacy Storm That Wasn't.
Andrew Orlowski on RealNames: "Venture Capitalists - who, by nature, are dumber than rocks, and like to think the rest of us are even stupider than they are - and all told, $100 million of capital poured into Real Names."
Via Haughey, a great quote from Pascal inventor Niklaus Wirth: "People seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication." Tatoo that on your forehead, post-it on your monitor, send it to the editors of XML.Com, and to the leaders of the W3C.
Simon Fell's Pocket XML-RPC is "an open source XML-RPC client COM component for the Windows family based on James Clark's excellent Expat XML parser and the HTTP transport from PocketSOAP."
The first Radio weblog to get Slashdotted? The author, Dusty Rhodes says: "This is a great example of the potential power of blogging. Besides the countless eyeballs on the Slashdot story and the thousands and thousands of hits here, it’s very possible this story will get picked up by Wired, C/Net, ZDNet or one of the other tech news outlets in a few days, then hit the wires. And all from one little story in one little blog."
I'll probably point to this first-hand account from the former CEO of RealNames a few times. The story came to me on Saturday evening. Sometimes that's how it goes. I'm not saying Microsoft did anything wrong. But it's rare that the full detail of a deal with MS comes public. If you spend any time thinking about how the software business works, study the piece, there's lots of info there.
Brett Fausett's ICANN blog has picked up the RealNames story. That's where it belongs. It's cool, we're starting to get coverage, with experts ready to dig in on some of the stories that come our way.
Eric Hancock: "This company would still be around if there was a competitive browser market. In fact, this company might be thriving if there was a competitive browser market."
More RealNames links and comment at Denise Howell.
NY Times: "Sharman thinks that the creators of Kazaa Lite are cravenly hiding in Tokelau while Sharman itself operates in the open in Vanuatu."
Keola: "Irony is like an onion. Peel away the layers and you find more irony."
Adam Wendt: "This is a test of the Emergency Weblog System."
Yesterday I wrote about Gurshuran Sidhu, an Apple engineer who rose through the ranks and took control of all Macintosh collaboration software, including that created by developers.
David Reed, who was at Lotus at the time, comments.
"Sidhu was against any kind of open APIs, but I think it is because he always felt that his solution was 'optimal' and everyone else was less than perfect.
"At Lotus we offerred to work with them to create a cross-platform, open, public, and extensible standard for collaboration and component development that would work on MS platforms, Apple platforms, and Unix platforms. This was based on the idea of extending and opening up Notes infrastructure, and integrating some of the best technologies from Apple that developers liked. After positive interactions with Sculley and some third party Windows developers, Sidhu singlehandedly nixed it.
"Compared to working with MS, working with Sidhu was a nightmare, because he could never get out of the way of his own ego. Sometimes Gates and crew can."
Benjamin Franklin said "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
The past is past, nothing we can do about it, except learn, and not repeat the mistakes.
Here's a missed opportunity. If Lotus had called me instead of Sidhu, we could have worked something out.
This was the mistake that Mac developers made in the late 80s and early 90s. Everyone was going to "meet with Apple" and we were all getting blown off. At the same time, UserLand had a proposal for developers that we work together to make our products connect, so that word processors and databases, outliners, page layout programs, picture editors, email programs, etc could all be glued together by power users and system developers into apps that viewed each product as a toolkit.
In my humble opinion, every developer should have a developer program and we should work together. Had we done that Sidhu could have been worked-around. It still happens to this day, it's why I'm so irritated when people say that of course Microsoft is going to drive web services, so we'll work with them. Wrong. Work with me, and then when each of us visits Redmond we'll have choice and power. Look what happened to RealNames when their only partnership was with Microsoft. Caveat developer.
A term that should be banished from the vocabulary of every person in the software industry.
Think about it. When you call someone a third party developer, what do the first two words add?
The term is an anachronism, dating back to the mainframe era, when every computer system was a major project, involving engineering from the customer (the first party) and the computer vendor (number two). In unusual situations, they would use software produced by a third party, an outsider to the deal. It probably wasn't fair then, but I don't know about that, it was before my time. That the term survives is not a good thing because it breeds disrespect. If you have a platform and want developers, fade into the background, make them the first party if you need parties at all, or just drop the concept and call them developers.
The thing that swayed me was that it had passed John Robb's bullshit detector. John isn't a personal friend of Adam's, as I am, he only knows him through his weblog. I wanted to know how close Adam really was to the situation. John said he had seen Adam talk about Fortuyn on his weblog, before the assassination. Even so, I had to talk with Adam on the phone before I would run the piece and attach my credibility to his. Adam didn't mind, in fact it made him happy. He said "You're fact-checking." That is what I was doing. I had to do the equivalent of look my friend in the eye and ask, bluntly, "Is this real?" I also had to ask myself if I believe it. I do. I've seen the press at work, glomming onto a single angle and never questioning the basic assumptions.
After running the piece, I was happy to be able to balance Adam's piece with a different view from someone else who I trust, Lance Knobel. Like Adam, I've only met Lance face-to-face a few times, but I've listened to him process the same events I do for almost three years, I've seen him extend his trust to me, in very meaningful ways, and his point of view made sense as a balance to Adam's. I said in my comment on Lance's concise rebuttal, "While both my friends share the horror of the death of Mr. Fortuyn, they have opposing but balanced views, and between them, provide a framework for the truth. Fortuyn was both a person and a leader. Adam talks about the person. Lance asks who he was leading. Whoever they are, they are still there, the question is still open, as is the future of the Netherlands."
Now I listen to every report on NPR about the Fortuyn event. They're running them frequently now. I heard Daniel Schorr, NPR's political analyst, a man who oozes credibility, who isn't perfect (he's a Democrat, and likely to overlook their shortcomings, and does some spinning for them) but get this, he used to live in the Netherlands. He says what everyone who knows anything about the Netherlands says. This isn't right. At the same time, the right-wing label has stuck, and there has been no more information revealed about why the assasin killed Fortuyn.
One more thing that reveals the power of weblogs in establishing the credibility of a voice.
Navigate through the calendars.
I just spoke with Keith Teare, the former CEO of RealNames. He explained that the company will shut down on Monday, and explained how it happened. As I read the account, I could see both sides. In the US, RealNames didn't really catch on. But in Asia, it's become important, says Teare, because it allows people to enter names of websites in their native language. I was pleased to see that Microsoft is being sensitive to how they use their power in the Web. And at the same time, I share Teare's concern that they used RealNames to bootstrap their own equivalent service. I asked what he hopes to accomplish by going public with the details of the breakup, he would like them to reconsider, he wants to keep going forward with RealNames, he doesn't want to shut the company down.
More heat on Adam's blog this afternoon.
Pro-With-Blog: Mitch Wagner.
Scott Johnson is downloading the new Star Wars movie, with some help from News.Com.
Today's song: "Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal, I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel."
Steve Zellers: "I have every reason to believe that the APIs to access the AddressBook in future versions of Mac OS X will be public."
Onfocus: "Other corporations could learn a lot from Macromedia."
NY Times: Old Personal Computers Never Die.
Ed Cone: "Last night I dreamed about blogging." Gotcha.
I can add some more info now. We are not doing RPC over IM. One node can send a message to another. The framework returns immediately without waiting for a response.
We've been down this path in asynchronous XML-RPC. Inevitably you want callbacks so the app layer can control when you give up waiting for a response. As long as there has to be code at the upper level, we keep it simple and allow the apps to implement request-response on terms that make sense for the app.
We encode the message using the XML-RPC serialization format. The other choice was to invent a different serialization that did the same thing. So we used the tried-and-true format. But this is not XML-RPC, it is not even RPC.
I wrote this up a couple of days ago on my worklog for this project. I wasn't sure if many other people were interested so I didn't point to it. Now I'm glad that Julian thinks this is cool. I do too. For many people it will be their first experience writing code that runs on a server.
DIY Web Services was a step on the path, but firewalls and NATs get in the way. Imagine a Chatbot folder for Radio, that works like the Web Services folder. I wrote a couple of chatbots myself this week, and they're usually just a few lines and they're fun!
More progress to report. Eric Soroos, who is working on the AIM support, released a new version of ftoc.root, with an important fix, and talks about doing a chatbot that posts to a Radio weblog over the Blogger API.
Comments on the Microsoft story in News.Com yesterday. They need us. Independent developers are bootstrapping web services, delivering results, getting users interested. The Google API was a milestone, but there's lots of other stuff going on. With Microsoft or without, it will go forward. Now can we maneuver Microsoft so it's helping rather than interfering?
Microsoft defends its right to kill developers, this is such a huge mistake, they should be courting developers. They should be helping us. As the dust clears it's obvious that they never knew what they were doing. They had some ideas, sort of "If You Build It They Will Come." Keep dreaming, because that's not how software works. At the rollout of Hailstorm Bob Muglia was asked what it will do for people. Hem and haw. I listened to him and said This guy doesn't have a clue what this stuff is used for.
So let's see where we're at. Microsoft says we'll cut off the air supply when we want to. OK, that translates to "We can do this alone." Now it's clear they can't. The court is their smallest problem. How are they going to get out of the way so that news of developer innovation can reach the users without interference from Microsoft.
And to the press and analysts who gave control to Microsoft and other Bigs, your air cover is gone. You should have at least been questioning Microsoft's ability to deliver and looked at alternatives. Now the alternatives are what's left, and it's good stuff. We'll keep moving, shining the light on Indies and individuals, who are creating software for the Two-Way-Web, which is what's really going, by the way.
Software, done properly, is more like gardening than it is like warfare. Plant a seed, nurture it, show other people how to plant seeds, encourage them to plant them in your ground, always be thankful, and split the profits.
A software developer sells hardware and a platform vendor sells developers' apps. Recognition goes two ways. The developers appreciate the platform and the platform vendor thanks the developers. When the platform vendor resents the developers, or worse, kills them, the platform disintegrates.
The classic example of software-as-gardening was the initial 1984 Macintosh. It came with two apps, MacWrite and MacPaint. Some cried foul, but it was the right thing to do. Then Apple, whether through wisdom, overwork or incompetence (or a combination of the three) didn't upgrade the products, the developers filled the void. Apple played the role of Pied Piper, they showed developers how to create products for the Mac, taught the users what to expect, and a couple of years later it was a thriving software market. For just a couple of years, because like Microsoft, Apple got confused, and started to act like a developer, and screwed the whole platform.
Earlier this week I pontificated about Apple and chat clients. It's OK that they bundle a chat client, as long as they do it with open APIs that allow the independent developers of chat clients to compete. Apple-of-the-past didn't do this, and it didn't work out very well. If you were around then, tap your memory bank for the name Sidhu and the product was AOCE. It was supposed to clean out the Mac email market. It didn't do that, but it did get rid of the developers, the ones who could have seen the Internet coming and made sure that Mac users continued to be supplied with the best email software out there. A big fat Oooops for the pre-second-coming Apple.
(An aside, while Apple was doing AOCE, Microsoft was doing MAPI. Both were scams to get the world to coalesce behind a company. Neither worked, but Google says they even tried to do a deal to stem the tide of the Internet, in 1994. Heh. We know how that turned out.)
There's some concern that Apple is not allowing the chat client vendors to access the system address book. If so, this is a repeat of the Sidhu mistake. It will end badly for the developers, but it will also end badly for Apple.
Guest DaveNet: The Big Lie, by Adam Curry.
Lance Knobel: "This is idiosyncratic, reactionary politics."
And Lance's pushback begets more.
Press release: "Adobe was found to infringe all three Macromedia patents."
Must-read News.Com piece on MS's Web services strategy.
Matt Drudge: "More than a week before the movie's release, unauthorized copies of the next Star Wars episode have hit the Internet!"
Eugene Volokh: Cheap Speech and What it Will Do.
Denise Howell: Law Meets Blog.
Jack Schofield: "The Internet replaces the us-and-them relationship (creative people broadcasting to couch potatoes) with a network of conversations, which is all markets are."
Scott Rosenberg on weblogs. His initial premise that there isn't an editorial process for weblogs is incorrect. Yesterday's Scripting News was a collaboration with Ben Hammersley. And today's was a collaboration with Adam Curry. There are so few general statements you can make about weblogs. Basically it's a new technology for public writing. It does yield to a process, if you want it to. However the process may not be one that a professional writer is comfortable with. But the Web was never about comfort, imho.
Steve Pilgrim: "Regardless of religious background or persuasion, people need a plan, a place and a purpose. More often than not those are found in some area of service. I find that the periods in my life where I have not been serving others are the most miserable periods I've faced."
I had separate phone talks today with Eric Soroos and Jeremy Bowers about the instant messaging framework for Radio and Frontier. Eric has been working on a module for AIM, and Jeremy on an implementation of Jabber. I spent a couple of days this week building a shell that theoretically either IM protocol could be connected to. Working with Eric and Jeremy over the next few days I hope to get this toolkit in shape to adapt the Instant Outliner to use it. Eric is working on a way to post to a weblog through IM using the Blogger API. Between the three of us there are lots of ideas for chatbots.
Wired: Blogging Goes Corporate.
Why is Dave happy this afternoon? We just closed another deal like the one with the NY Times. Yes we can dance with the BigCo's. Details next week, Murphy-willing. More great content for the Radio aggregator. Yehi!!
Here's some exciting cross-pollination. Ben Hammersley, writing in the Guardian, explains how Web services are the province of the little guy. Analysts who follow the BigCo's, please read this piece and consider the point of view. Blogger's competitors (including UserLand) have adopted and even extended the Blogger API, so the same tools can be used to create content for the centralized Blogger app, or for Radio running on the desktop. This is the process by which new technology enters our culture, also known as bootstrapping.
Radio 8: Multi-Author Weblog Tool.
I'm pleased to report that my last essay is rising on the Daypop Top 40. Blogging tools don't know or care if they're being used by an amateur or professional; just like word processors or page layout programs. They're just tools. The philosophy of the Web creates a different kind of writing environment. We should all be using it, whether or not we get paid for writing.
In the piece I promised to help pros-with-blogs get flow. Here we go. Dan Rosenbaum, who has written for NetGuide and Time Digital, and covered my company for MacUser in the 80s, has a Radio weblog. Welcome!
Many years ago, in 1994, I started writing for the Web, about developers and platforms. These are just symbols, of course, for me to write about human relations, which is what everyone is writing about all the time every day.
In one of the two seminal DaveNets published in 1994, I theorized that a platform is like a Chinese household. I had just read Amy Tan's novels about Chinese culture in the US, and was convinced that she also described developer culture. Even though most developers are men, in relation to platform vendors, we have the needs and wants of Chinese wives. And in the strange world where applications are also platforms, if we're successful, when working with our developers, we are the husband, the provider and protector. The dual roles help us do both jobs better.
UserLand is a developer. We create software for the following platforms: Windows and Macintosh. SOAP and XML-RPC. HTTP, SMTP, and now (in development) AIM, Jabber, ICQ, and other instant messaging transports. We are also a platform vendor, other people develop software that runs in our environment. We hope to see more of that. We also promote platforms that we also develop for. Like OPML, RSS, SOAP and XML-RPC.
A few days ago as Apple was announcing Jaguar, I read a comment on Rob McNair-Huff's weblog about the problems it creates for Mac developers who push the envelope in chat clients. I wanted to give Rob and other Mac users some advice then, based on what I've learned about developers and platforms, but waited a few days to let the dust settle. Here's the advice.
First, accept that Apple has the right to bundle a chat client. Even welcome it, if possible, but you must accept it because it exists. And at the same time, double your support for the independent developers. Pay the shareware fee. Send them encouraging email, let them know that you appreciate them. Don't make feature requests in these emails. Just say thanks and include a check.
Developers have simple needs. They need to feel appreciated and heard. They also need money to make payroll.
And if Apple wanted to build positive energy in the developer community, they would also send a similar message to the developers who created such amazing tools for their users.
"Look at these great developers," Apple would say. "They pour their passion into our platform."
Last night we released a small change to Radio that may have big implications for syndication technology. Here's the scoop.
radio.weblog.writeRssFile is the bottleneck in Radio that writes RSS files. This is the place Jon Udell and others experiment with new stuff they'd like to see in the XML version of their weblog.
Yesterday we released a change to this core routine that allows the user to completely replace writeRssFile in an update-safe way. Before generating the RSS, we check user.radio.callbacks.writeRssFile. We loop over the table, calling procedures, passing the parameter list we received. The first one that doesn't scriptError gets to speak for us. (If the table is empty, we proceed as we normally would.)
This allows people to experiment with different formats and encoding, and see how those changes interact with aggregators, including the one that's built into Radio. This makes it possible for developers to experiment, learn, and perhaps will allow the formats to evolve. This new hole-blast pairs off nicely with the aggregator driver architecture released in March.
We also added a change that encodes names of categories in the output feed.
Daniel Berlinger says this is "More oxygen from Dave." I guess that's the opposite of cutting off the air supply.
AP: "Opinion polls predicted his party could win sufficient votes in the May 15 parliamentary election to have a deciding voice in building the next coalition government. He was seen as an outside contender for prime minister."
John and I talked earlier today, about a bunch of things, including the Pim Fortuyn assassination, and Adam Curry's role in the reporting. John said that Adam had nailed it. Fortuyn was not a clone of France's Le Pen, although that's how it's being reported in the US. He was against immigration, but had a solid reason for being against it. The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe and is singular in its liberal philosophy. Fortuyn was openly gay. Many of the immigrants are Moslem. Holland is a democracy. If the electorate gets more conservative due to immigration, there goes what makes it so special. John points out that in some Moslem cultures they kill homosexuals. Other things to consider. Adam was a supporter of Fortuyn, and in the Netherlands, I understand that Adam's support means something. I think of him as a friend, not so much a celebrity. I can't say what it means to the Netherlands, it sure sounds scary, and I bet it's got Adam pretty freaked, is he next, and that gets me freaked, as his friend. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out how to approach this. I sent Adam an email earlier (it's 3AM in Europe as I write this), offering to run his essay through DaveNet. We'll see where this goes.
Edd Dumbill reports on Tim Berners-Lee's keynote at the WWW conf in Hawaii.
Scoble: "Berners-Lee is hard to quote. He starts a thought, then goes off into another thought, and melds that into another thought."
Jon Udell: "In the long run, the problem is not with Google, but with a world that hasn't yet caught up with the web. I'm certain that in 10 years, US Senators and Inspectors General will leave web footprints commensurate with their power and influence. I hope that future web will, however, continue to even the odds and level the playing field."
It's a two-Udell-quote day. "If the REST folks want to call the SOAP people architecture astronauts who don't appreciate the simple things that made the Web great, then they probably ought to play that RDF pedal a little more softly."
Joe Jenett has a new Radio 8 theme.
Brent Simmons: "I propose, to all the icon makers out there, a website for open source icons."
Jonathon Delacour: "What makes the photo booth pictures (formally) interesting is that they are framed as mirror images, except that the women have changed places so that each appears in the foreground of one photo and the background of another. The real interest is, however, in the pair rather than the single images; in the juxtaposition of two portraits of two women, happily mugging for a camera without an operator, as it records a tiny sliver of 'the endless variety of the objective female world.'"
Adam Curry shares what he learned in the Netherlands in the aftermath of the Pim Fortuyn assassination.
AP: FAA OKs Boeing Internet System.
Sean Gallagher: "Lowering the average quality of Web content daily."
Is business the purpose of our civilization, or does civilization have some other purpose that business supports?
Do our lives have any meaning beyond that which we produce for sale, and that which we purchase for consumption?
It's not a visionary question, I'm asking about the world we live in right now.
In one model, developers create products and convince us to want them. In the other model, they figure out what people want and compete to sell it to them.
The entertainment industry wants the first model. In fact, for much of my life, they've had their way. With other industries it's not so clear. Software went through this, and came out devastated. Perhaps the only way to rebuild is to adopt the other model. Learn what people want to do, and create products that satisfy the wants.
If the entertainment industry followed that model (these need names), they wouldn't have hesitated over Napster. It was clear the people wanted it. Now figure out how to give it to them.
Two fundamentally different approaches. Long-term only one works, imho.
On this day in Y2K we handed SOAP off to the W3C.
John Burkhardt: "Is it just me or does the dream of interop seem very tenuous?"
During the day people from Microsoft told me they wanted to move SOAP into the W3C. I thought that was a bad idea, because SOAP wasn't fully baked and I had no faith that the W3C process would be able to do the baking.
Today, SOAP and the W3C are uncomfortable with each other. The baking process was a total failure. Adopting XML-RPC as-is is still the best idea, imho. Interop debates over how to do attachments are raging. Geez, what's so complicated. Use MIME, and don't bother with attachments, send them as parameters, or send a URL to the attachment and read it, and decode it, and please just use MIME because it works and it interops and that's why we do this stuff.
Of course Microsoft is pushing the theory that interop means Works With Microsoft. The rest of us should just reject that without discussion. I'm perfectly happy to get interop with Everyone But Microsoft. They have an uphill battle to get developers to adopt their tools. Sure some developers will go anywhere Microsoft wants them to go today. More power to them. But for the rest of us, the more Microsoft isolates itself, the more appeal our technologies have to developers who value independence.
On Tuesday nights I watch Fox's 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland. It's an episodic show, each Tuesday another hour in a very long day for a group of people trying to save the lives of Mr Sutherland and his TV family. It's getting really stale. Only two more episodes, and Fox is promising that we'll really be surprised by the ending. Heh. I doubt it. Anyway, the show starts at 9PM, but I don't start watching until 9:30, because I want to be sure I don't have to watch a single commercial. No bathroom breaks for Dave. Anyway, while doing this, I thought of the Turner CEO who did that fantastic interview and thought of a solution to his problem. Run commercials that aren't even increments of 30 seconds long. Or run commercials that fit in the bottom third of the screen while the program drones on above in the upper 2/3. Just some friendly ideas, not that I care, because almost everything on TV is dumbed down to such a low level as to be completely useless to a person who has a mind.
I mentioned Mike Chambers' Flash weblog several times at Stanford today when people asked how you make money with a weblog. It's not so linear. Macromedia wants to develop relationships with new developers. So they start a set of weblogs and see what happens. Mike, who works at MM, has been updating regularly. That's the way you communicate, steadlily over time, and let a community gather.
Pet Rock Star: "Live365.com is implementing new policy: they're shutting down any broadcaster than has a link to corporations such as amazon.com; they say these stations are 'commercial operations,' regardless of whether or not they've never made a cent from their broadcasts."
Jon Udell: "Just a little experiment with my RSS feed."
Followup on the Pim Fortuyn assassination at Adam Curry.
Tidbits covers Apple's new Mac OS X, codenamed Jaguar.
Nick Denton: "I am looking to sublet, rent, or even buy an apartment in New York."
Breakfast with Doc Searls today. Chorizo scramble, bagel, orange juice, water, and coffee. We'll talk about Macs, P2P, of course Steve Jobs, open source and commercial software (hot and cold), wiener boys and flamers, etc etc.
Five years ago on this day, I wrote a piece that nails it, as far as I'm concerned, on programmers.
On this day in 1998, a DaveNet piece that deconstructs the Microsoft argument that innovation is best served by leaving them alone.
AP: "The reason it is not replaceable is that Microsoft does not allow it to be replaceable, correct?'' Schmidtlein asked. "Correct, it is an integrated feature,'' Averett testified.
Eric Norlin interviews Microsoft's Charles Fitzgerald.
DaveNet: The Role of Professional Journalists.
A note of thanks to Eric Soroos, Jeremy Bowers and DJ Adams, all of whom are partners on my current project, even though they don't know it. I guess now they do. A new architecture is on the way for Frontier and Radio, tcp.im or something like that. It's going to take a few days, I'm doing it carefully of course.
AP: "Right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, whose anti-immigration party stunned the public with its strong showing in local elections last March, was shot six times and killed Monday as he left a radio interview."
Register: "A new media service called Rendezvous automatically discovers other Mac users and drops their shared playlists into iTunes' Source panel."
Radio's Outliner: "I want to do a corner-turn that will link up the Instant Outliner (on Mac OS X and Windows) to AIM using Eric's code."
Incoming AOL CEO Richard Parsons: "We're the No. 1 movie company, the No. 1 online company, the No. 1 premium cable network company, the No. 1 cable network company, No. 2 cable company, No. 2 music company, " he said here in a panel discussion at the cable-television industry's annual convention. "Well, what am I missing?" Developers.
Jon Udell: "In an InfoWorld article published today, I predicted that users of Flash MX would soon find a way to call web services directly, without going through the ColdFusion-based gateway. Jeremy Allaire wrote me to point out that this has already started to happen."
Eric Soroos: "Frontier-TOC is a Frontier implementation of the AOL TOC protocol, one of the two that is used for AOL Instant Messaging." Bing!
Gary Robinson: "Over the weekend we sponsored Aaron Swartz to add RSS enclosures support to the Python version of Orchard."
I now have a Movable Type weblog.
MacCentral reports on Apple's WWDC announcements.
Apple: "Code-named Jaguar, the next major release of Mac OS X will delight you with the innovation, elegance and ease of use you’ve come to expect from Apple."
Powazek: "Little pictures and chat bubbles? Yeech. Have we learned nothing since 1997?"
Lots of links today on Mac Net Journal.
Mike Chambers: Integrating Flash and Radio.
Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference starts today.
MacInTouch: Top Macintosh Development Issues.
This is a really annoying question, but I need an answer or I'll go out of my mind.
I just read this rant on Joel Spolsky's site and nodded my head and thought "The wiener boys have showed up over at Joel's." It seems it's just a matter of time.
Jadine Ying: "Many people see weblogs as a supplement, chipping in what old media lack in irreverence, personality and interactive flow."
One of my favorite DaveNets was written on this day in 1998.
Look at how much more readable InfoWorld was in 1998.
The premise of this piece is born out in blogland.
This News.Com piece is right on-topic for today's DaveNet. The reporter surveys BigCo's to find out if they have anything as concrete as the Google API to offer, and draws a blank. Yet there are two directories here and here, containing concrete examples of web services, some of which have more utility than the current Google API, which is a good tease, but to be truly interesting, must have follow-through.
This is why the pro's argument that they can do deep research is flawed. The News.Com piece is probably the most penetrating feature written so far, by a pro, on web services. With all possible humility, they haven't even caught up with the pieces I wrote three weeks ago about the Google API. And while I'm doing that, I'm also writing software, fixing outages, and negotiating deals with partners. What's going on here? Why can I do all that? Because I have been researching this area for over 20 years. I would rather not have to do the writing, btw. I would prefer if the pros did their job, and dug in, and reported the news, so I could focus on doing what I really like to do, writing software. If the individual reporters don't have enough technical depth to do that, they should be replaced by people who do. There are lots of unemployed bloggers. If you run a professional tech news shop, try mining the weblogs for people who can write, and know their stuff, and don't cut corners and quote Giga Research analysts who know bupkis about this stuff. End of rant.
BTW, they also quote ZapThink, which mostly does understand the technology and doesn't cut corners. A rare beast in the world of analysts.
One more comment. There's an important thought in the News.Com piece that I shouldn't overlook. "Though most initial uses of Web services are being built by corporations and might solve esoteric problems the public may never know of or care about, Google has taken the Web services concept and made it real for the software development community--an enviable task amid rampant confusion over just what a Web service is supposed to be." Bing!
Except one thing, it's based on a false premise. A more accurate statement would be "Though most initial uses of Web services are being built by companies we are willing to recognize and might solve esoteric problems the public may never know of or care about.."
The web services we've defined, and the ones Blogger defines, are transparently useful, and not esoteric.
James Snell works on web services at IBM: "Speaking only about one BigCo, the intention is not to directly provide Web services, yet rather to provide the tooling customers need to implement Web services."
The NY Times picks up the Dallas Morning News deep linking story. And they found a weblog angle, noting that Belo, the owner of the DMN also owns the Providence Journal, where Shelia Lennon runs a weblog. Weblogs do a lot of deep linking. Nice!
Reminds me of a story we broke here when the RIAA was trying to sue Napster out of existence. At the time the AOL-Time-Warner merger was still pending. We found that a division of AOL was running a search engine that was just as good at finding MP3s as Napster was. Time-Warner is part of the RIAA. After reporting it here, it went to Upside, and then to the WSJ, and the search engine went off the air. It must be hard being a BigCo and having a philosophical battle both in court and internally.
CableWorld interviewed Jamie Kellner, CEO of Turner Broadcasting. They asked "What if you have to go to the bathroom or get up to get a Coke?" Kellner gave them a straight answer. Their system does depend on people watching the commercials.
Phillip Pearson: How Radio talks to a Community Server.
NY Times: "Spider-Man, which opened in theaters last Friday, shattered the box-office record for any opening weekend, taking in an estimated $114 million. That far exceeded the previous record of $90 million set last fall by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
Dear Reader: "If you are reading this column in the newspaper, but did not read every article and look at every advertisement in previous sections, stop now. You must go back and look at all of that material before continuing with this column."
News.Com says that Sony's promotions on the Web created the buzz for Spider-Man, but I went to see it last night because the outage had cleared, and lots of my friends on the Web had seen it and gave it positive reviews.
More discussion of centralization in blogging tools.
On this day five years ago: "Man I love this planet!"
Another NY Times piece on weblogs, this time in the Books section. The author, as usual, is looking at a slice of the weblog world and drawing global conclusions. If I could do a sit-down with all the Times reporters and talk to them for a half-hour, I'd talk about the scientific method. They need to tune into that. Here's a quote. "Numerically speaking, blogs pose no threat to 'the media,'' however liberal or conservative. If blogs steal readers, it is from political magazines, themselves so minuscule compared with mainstream outlets that their importance is more psychological than quantifiable." She's reading Andrew Sullivan and the warblogs, and maybe a few others. Oy.
Tomorrow or later today I'm going to write a piece about the role software magazines used to play and can play again, whether they are done formally by the print world, at IDG or what used to be Ziff-Davis (where is it now) or where ever. They used to run reviews of categories of software. At its peak, Michael Miller's InfoWorld had formal per-category reviewer guidelines. These reviews provided structure to competition. When done thoughtfully by people who cared about the categories they were covering, they helped everyone compete, and helped software move forward. We got one of those kinds of reviews on Friday, in WebMonkey's survey of weblog tools. I've already read the review three times, and I'll read it three more times. All of a sudden I have a much better idea of what my competition is doing and of course they have a better idea of what I'm doing. Ms Shulevitz and others (like JD Lasica) argue against a point that I don't make. I say if the pros won't do it, let's do it for ourselves. That doesn't say they can't do it. But in technology, the confusion of the dotcom years left a wrecked landscape, not just in the industry, but in journalism too. If we want to move forward, let's move forward. I welcome the WebMoneky survey. To get back on track, they should do it again in six months after the market reshapes because of their review. And again and again. We're lucky we have a category that's moving. That can be a bootstrap for more movement in more categories. For the last few years the pros just wrote about battles to the death. A category-level review celebrates competition. A big difference in philosophy.
When East Broadway Ron updates I check it out and am never disappointed. Amateur journalism at its best. Dogma 2000 all the way. He takes me to my old neighborhood, New York City. He's right, I did ride the D train to the Bronx every day (except on days that I took the Q44 bus over the Whitestone Bridge to West Farm Square).
Another argument you hear in favor of the pros is that they do deep research that the amateurs can't. I don't buy this defense, and again ask why are they being so defensive. I don't buy it because if someone spends a life in New York City with a camera and an inquisitive eye, how does that not qualify as deep research? Another flaw in the dotcom philosophy was that it's all about young people. Ah ah. It's about middle-aged people too. If you've got some time on your hands, and some ideas you want to express, the Web is open to you, and it's getting more open all the time. No it's not about money. There's a pleasure that comes from making your point and being heard, and you'd pay money for that, why not, there are so few things that you can pay for that bring pleasure. The disconnect is deeper. We pay money to sit in a theater and watch marvels of technology and shallow pictures of human beings. Turn it around. Why not pay money to reveal real beauty that you see everywhere except in TV and movies.
I saw Spiderman last night. Best moment of the movie comes midway through. I lean over to young Patrick Scoble and ask if he likes the movie. He shrugs his shoulders. I lean over and whisper in his ear (in a loud enough voice for his father and our neighbors to hear.) "You're a baaaad kid!" Everyone laughs.
Anyway, the movie had its moments of exhiliration where I had to breathe deeply to calm down. I'm totally afraid of heights.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Suspension of disbelief: 3.
Use of technology for special effects: 7.
Sex: 1. (Kiss her already, loser!)
It's a Hollywoodized Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was a better movie, I would go see CT again before seeing Spiderman.
If you buy a copy of our software, you get our thanks. But you don't get control of what I say on this site.
Think about it this way -- suppose I buy an ad in the NY Times. Do I have an issue with them if they write something that's critical of me? Of course not.
So lighten up guys, enjoy life more, and don't bother fighting battles that you can't win. Make a contribution, do something positive, switch products if you want, but don't try to control what I say. It won't work.
Today we'll be watching for recurring outages, regrouping, planning out next week.
We basically lost a week at UserLand. We want to get back in the saddle, but first let's make sure the problems are behind us.
Outage update 2PM. The outage is cleared. Murphy-willing, this will be the last update. Notes taken in real-time.
As a way of saying thanks for all the good will coming our way in the last week, we doubled the storage allocation for Radio users from 20 to 40 megabytes. Thanks!
NY Times: "A crucial question is where Mr. McNealy will find a strategy for growth in an increasingly competitive corporate computing market. Microsoft's .Net software strategy is aimed at the heart of the Sun customer base, while the I.B.M. Web services software and revitalized server business is a growing threat at the high end of Sun's business. The commodity Linux server threat is eroding the company's margins."
Justin Rudd on Spiderman: "2 thumbs up."
Glenn Fleishman: "It's actually good."
Jim Roepcke: "It was worth waiting 10 years for."
Flangy: "Spider-man was good."
Scoble: "It isn't Star Wars."
Sam Gentile: "Spiderman rocks!"
I had the same idea once, it doesn't work.
A very good parody of a very bad one.
Doc Searls: "Most of the Internet radio stations worth saving run MP3 streams."
Ben Sullivan: "Internal documents show that Microsoft in the late 1990s planned to attack rival RealNetworks much the way it targeted the Netscape Navigator Web browser."
Yale Law School: Top Ten New Copyright Crimes.
Outage update 3:48PM. The static server was offline between 1PM and approx 3:15PM, as a precaution. Details.
WebMonkey: "Radio manages to create a dynamic environment for the exchange of information without asking too much of each individual user."
Jon Udell: Blogspace Under the Microscope.
Megnut: "Imagine if your car used a gas pedal to accelerate, but depressing the same pedal on your friend's car sounded the horn."
Reuters: "While file-sharing services like Kazaa and Morpheus enable anyone with an Internet connection to access a huge library of music for free, experienced file sharers are more likely to actually increase the amount of money they spend on CDs, the report by research firm Jupiter Media Metrix said."
Shane McChesney: "It's finally starting to warm up here in Canada's mid-North."
SJ Merc: "A federal magistrate in Los Angeles has ordered SonicBlue to spy on thousands of digital video recorder users, monitoring every show they record, every commercial they skip and every program they send electronically to a friend." I have an admission to make. For the first few weeks as a TiVO owner, I didn't skip over the commercials because it felt wrong to do so. Now I do skip them. If everyone does this (I'm sure they do) does this mean the end of TV as we know it? Yes, of course. Should the courts interfere? No, of course. Should the entertainment industry adjust? They have no choice, imho. I talked on the phone with Adam Curry yesterday and told him this story. Adam said when he watches TV he skips over the shows and only watches the commercials. Heh. I'm sure he's not joking.
Bryan Field-Elliot: "It's completely absurd to call 'theft' the skipping of commercials using a PVR. By their logic, I suppose it's also theft if I go to the bathroom or fetch a snack during commercials. If so, I wonder how many billions of dollars in advertising have already been lost to such malevolent biological needs."
Jenny the Librarian: "I'm glad SonicBlue is going to fight this order."
Mark Paschal released Kit 1.0.1, a popular set of interfaces and utilities for Radio 8.
Jonathon Delacour informs me that I have been infected with a crude ad hominem attack. This is wonderful. A philosophical firewall. Thanks, no sarcasm.
We still haven't got the outage cleared. Yesterday we learned a lot about Samba and Windows 2000, but still haven't gotten the community server to "see" the static server. Still limping along. We're now regrouping and going to try a completely different strategy today.
Last year on this day: Lessons from a hard disk crash.
Hey there was a Happy Birthday thread on the Radio discussion group. A little girl named Emilia was born in Austria yesterday, fathered by a man named Thomas. To little Emilia, a message in a bottle. May 2 is a magic birthday. The weather is great all around the world, so people are in a good mood, and ready to party. Early May, in the northern hemisphere, is a time of renewal. Everything is waking up, gardens are starting to bloom, babies are being born in the animal kingdom. It's the best possible birthday, imho.
I want to thank the Radio users, and the weblog community in general for being so understanding, patient and supportive. We've gotten lots of help over the last few days, and lots more offers of help. Just a few complaints, but mostly from confusion -- once people understood that we had a meltdown, they've been patient. I think people understand that we're hurting over here. Yesterday Bruce Loebrich noted that we are software developers, not system operators. That's so true. When we get the system working again, we're going to be looking for one or more partnerships that allow us to offload big pieces of the system ops. There are organizations and people who have much more knowledge about this. We love to develop software, and we're really good at that. That's where UserLand's focus should be.
Now I'm going to move these outage comments under a separate heading and start a fresh day on Scripting News. The idea is to keep going, the best we can, with what we have.
Jake has a question for ipchains experts: "What command would I run on the Linux command line to determine whether ports 137-139 are accessible from a specific IP address, on a different subnet than the Linux server?"
Outage update, 11AM: I was able to string some baling wire, with the help of lots of scotch tape, and now have a very temporary workaround to the outage. Details.
Weblogs.Com is mirrored here, temporarily.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of the Web.
Bruce Loebrich: "So, odd as it sounds, the problems have actually improved my opinions of Dave, his company and their software." Thanks!
A few notes in outline form about various blogging tools that I am more or less familiar with, as they relate to issues of centralization.
Press release: "Macromedia today announced that a jury ruled in favor of Adobe Systems in its patent infringement suit against Macromedia."
Dear Mr. Murphy. "I represent Agfa Monotype Corporation and International Typeface Corporation."
Colin has connected to DGWS from Radio. Bing!
Andrew Stone: "I love OS X!"
Mesh on MX: "I am a back! Finally!"
Scott Mace: "The Internet changes everything – so they say. But does it change how things work in Washington, D.C.?"
Jon Udell on linking to SOAP-exposed resources.
A restful soap full of aromatic fragrance.
Tim Jarrett: "I think that the New York Times through their partnership with UserLand has shown a much more enlightened mode of operating—if you want to build a reputation, make your content more visible, not less. But then, that’s why they are the Times and the others are the Dallas Morning News."
Eric Norlin: Why Identity Now?
Outage update, 7AM. The static server is still not connected to the community server. Looks like we're going to have to go down to Exodus and rewire things so that the static machine is on the same subnet as the community machine. Jake didn't finish work until 4AM, so it's going to be a while before we get started on that. Between a rock and a hard place.
OK, with that said, there is something I can do to turn some of the lights back on. I just added a bit of code to weblogs.com to mirror the changes on a page on scripting.com. This is a temporary thing, don't bookmark it, we will stop updating it as soon as the outage clears. But in the meantime, if you're a weblogs.com junkie, as I am, you can get your fix from a different server.
Question for Samba experts from Jake: "How do we configure Samba so that the Windows computers in subnet A can mount a Samba share on the Linux machine that's running in subnet B?"
Outage update. The static server is back up, however not all functions are connected at this time. We are using a backup of the data on the static server, which was taken on Monday. This means that Radio weblogs, if they are to be brought current, may have to republish content that was posted on Monday, Tuesday or earlier today. We will post a howto explaining the process. In addition to the problems caused by the hacking, we also had a communication problem within UserLand that slowed things down.
I apologize for this on behalf of the whole company. The outage is something we have to deal with, and we did a far less than perfect job doing that. Our next efforts are going to be focused on assuring the security of the servers, so we may not immediately be responsive to user-level questions. Please try, if you can, to help each other out, and if possible, give us the benefit of the doubt. Thanks.
DaveNet: Coast vs Coast.
Ralph Hempel: Using CSS With Radio.
AP: "Ed Zander, Sun Microsystems Inc.'s president and chief operating officer, announced his retirement Wednesday after more than 15 years at the company."
Dallas Morning News: "If you operate a Web site and wish to link to this Site, you may link only to the home page of the Site and not to any other page or subdomain of us."
Bill Bishop, general manager of CBS MarketWatch, responds to today's DaveNet. "We are an online media firm that is going to make it, and we are based in SF. Viacom owns 34% of us, but we are an independent, public company. we are successful because we are not just trying to clone the Wall Street Journal on the Web; the Web is a fundamentally different medium than print, TV and radio (obviously) and we have worked hard to view it differently and also bring in the best and most relevant elements from traditional media. and nine million monthly readers show we can't be all wrong."
Press release: "Google's Award-Winning Search Engine to Power Search Functions Across America Online's Brands, Providing Consumers Easy Access to the Most Popular Search Engine Available."
Scott Johnson: "Am I the last FrontPage user out there?"
Paolo asks if the Web is becoming dangerous.
I caught myself singing the song again.
What's up with that?
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.