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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, August 13, 2002. Tuesday, August 13, 2002

NetworkWorld: "Are Weblogs a legitimate business tool, or merely the Internet's latest vehicle for personal indulgence?" 

Bret Fausett, a lawyer who blogs, discloses an investment in an area he covers. Well done. 

Andrew Orlowski: "In the movie Memento, the Guy Pierce character suffers from a condition in which his short-term memory only lasts around two minutes. InfoWorld has taken the precaution of assuming that all of its readers suffer from an extreme version of this affliction: where the short term memory lasts only four or five words. That's why we need to keep being reminded what a 'server' is twenty three times an article." 

Illogicz: "A Rich Text/HTML editor for Flash MX, that fully utilizes the new TextField and TextFormat objects." 

Jake Savin is puzzled by the Flash editor, linked above. He wants to know where the Submit button is. Good question. If we want wizzy editing in Netscape and on the Mac for Radio and Manila, we have to get this info to Jake. 

The history of Michael Jackson's face. 

John Robb turns 40 in six days. As part of his review, he lists his near-death experiences. As far as we know John hasn't had any facial surgery. John would you care to comment on that? Here's the DaveNet piece I wrote for my 40th birthday, a little over seven years ago. 

Paolo: "Can you imagine Jeff Bezos thanking each Amazon's customer on his weblog? Well, I'm not Jeff Bezos, this is not Amazon and, most of all, I have a weblog!" 

John Robb: "That you can run it on your desktop is a hoot." 

You heard it here first, RageBoy is a now officially a BabeMagnet™. 

Two years ago: "For Gates, the issue was Netscape, a tiny village camped out in tents painted to look like a fortress in a gorgeous grove in the middle of the jungle. In comes Gates with flamethrowers and tanks. Air cover and spies. After the battle the grove is no longer gorgeous. It's useful, but not so inspiring." 

Sting: "Takes more than combat gear to make a man, takes more than license for a gun. Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can. A gentleman will walk but never run."  

On any given day: "Perhaps the old 'eight 8-ounces glasses of water a day' understanding is incorrect. In fact, you can even drink too much water." 

Eric Kidd on the proposed California Open Source bill: "I write free software for a living, and I would be adamantly opposed to any such legislation. This is bad strategy (it would only alienate potential users), bad policy (there aren't open source products in many important markets), bad politics (it makes the sponsors look like self-serving fools without even a chance of victory), and bad business (running to the government when you can't compete in the market is tacky)." 

Three movies 

Recently I've seen three movies that made a difference to me. I wasn't sure how to write about either of the first two, until I saw the third and was able to string a thread between them. Here are the three movies, in the order that I saw them:

1. Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? (1967); 2. Mildred Pierce (1945); and 3. Witness Protection (1999).

All three movies were interesting, even captivating. Katherine Hepburn and Joan Crawford won the best actress Oscars for 1 and 2 respectively. Great acting by the whole cast of both 1 and 2, and 3 was good too. All three highly recommended.

A picture named joan.gifNow, all three movies have a feminism angle, and this was surprising, because I didn't know that there was such a thing in 1945 when Mildred Pierce was made. Crawford plays a housewife turned entrepreneur, who builds an empire to win the heart of her daughter. Eve Arden plays her business partner. What was different about the feminism of 1945, at least expressed in Mildred Pierce, is that it was respectful of men.

A picture named hep.gifAnd the same is true of Guess Who, where the women get the answer that eludes the old man, played by Spencer Tracy (in his last performance, he died weeks after it was filmed). Sidney Poitier's mother gives the pivotal speech of the movie, castigating Tracy for forgetting the passion of his youth. The leading man of the 60s, even on his way out, had a brilliance, a twinkle in his eye. Tracy gets to give his own eulogy, and it's spectacular. People who were close to the filming of Guess Who speculate that his closing speech, where he remembers his love of Hepburn, wasn't really acting. It's a beautiful movie, a little dated perhaps, but that's okay. It was balanced. The women were smart, but that didn't mean that the men couldn't be smart too.

This theme came into focus when I saw Witness Protection last night on HBO (the others were on TCM). I tuned it in because I was curious how witness protection programs work, and boy did I get an education. Surprisingly it's a well made movie, with believable characters, including the fabulous Forest Whitaker, who starred in The Crying Game. Go see it. I'm only going to talk about a couple of scenes. First scene. The wife is beating her husband. Kicking. Hitting. He's in a fetal position. He's really hurt. Bleeding. For the rest of the movie his face is cut and bruised. A few scenes later. Water coming out the door of the bathroom. The wife bashes in the door. Finds the husband sitting upright in the tub. Razor in his hand and vacant stare. She kisses him passionately, petting, saying how much she loves him. Very bizarre. I try to imagine a gender reversal. I don't know what to think.

Morning coffee notes 

I have the cup here, sippin away, taking some meta-notes, or notes about the notes.

Three movies tracing feminism from the mid-forties, to the mid-sixties to the early 21st century.

The Web and movie reviews. We have to do better. But it's already pretty good.

What is the origin of the word "trust" in the context of "anti-trust" or "trust-busters." What does it have to do with the word trust, as in "trustworthy computing." (Martin Schwimmer explains.)

Had dinner last night with Dan Ruby. He went to the Microsoft meeting a couple of weeks ago, where they gave themselves a report card on web services. I went to the meeting two years ago. We compared notes. Interesting. It's a cute trick. I wish I had thought of it when I was in high school.

I'm going to outline the demo they should have done two years ago, and the one that we're all waiting for, so we can get out of the depression we're in and sell more hardware and software, and get excited again about where computers are and are going. Because Microsoft is a monopoly in web browsers and productivity software, they're going to benefit enormously from the growth that comes from it. But first we have to get their carcass out of the way. (Archie Bunker called it a keister, good word.)

We have a venue for the demo, Sept 11, in SF at Seybold. We've invited MS to participate, but haven't heard back from them. It's possible that Steve Zellers from Apple can do the demo. I'll outline it.

Postscript: The movie notes took longer than I thought. The other notes will have to wait for later, or another day.

     

Last update: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 at 7:59 PM Eastern.

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