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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, August 25, 2002. Sunday, August 25, 2002

NY Times: "These days, Internet users complain of a proliferation of Web sites that offer a peek up Anna Kournikova's skirt or that hawk pills to increase the size of their sex organs. The Internet was supposed to make people's brains bigger." 

A picture named flowers.gifRalph Hempel notes that there's a prominent broken link on Howard Coble's home page. Normally this wouldn't be a major surprise, most Representatives and Senators don't really use the Internet very well in 2002, but Coble is the Chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the Internet for the House of Representatives. One would think it would be a matter of pride for the House, his party, and Representative Coble, that the site be pretty good. Broken links, well, they happen to the best of us. Let's see how long it takes him to fix it. 

A fantastic weblog covering the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thanks to Shelley Powers for the link. 

Note: I had an idea how to get the two forks of RSS to merge, but then I did a bit more investigation and found it was a dead end. I was surprised that the top-level element in the RDF branch is not <rss> -- it's <rdf:rdf>. Oy. Too bad. I thought we could just come up with a "flavor" attribute that both forks had in common, but with different values. (Come to think of it, there was a version number attribute on the <rss> element prior to 1.0, why didn't the designers of 1.0 respect that? That's why we bother to put version numbers on formats, they're supposed to be carried forward. Okay I did a bit more digging and it all comes back. The designers of 1.0 wanted to forget that 0.91 happened. 0.91 had the version number, 0.90 didn't. There ought to be a law taught in Format Design 101. Include a version number. Rule number two. If version n-1 has a version number, version n must also have a version number. Rule number three. You can't ignore previous versions.) 

Aaron Swartz wrote a template for a letter to a congressperson that outlines an enlightened view of the mischief that Congress has been up to on behalf of the entertainment industry.  

I got a funky Russian greeting card with a monkey and even funkier music. If only I knew what it said! (Postscript: I've gotten numerous translations now. It's spam. Shucks. I was hoping I had a Russian friend who thought I spoke Russian.) 

To Michael Rogers who asks how frequently a person writing a weblog should update (I hate calling these people bloggers, as Rogers does, that's a trademark). My answer is As frequently as something happens and you have the time or inclination to write it up. Rogers then says something provocative: "The kind of article that a writer produces after a week of thought is fundamentally different than one produced after a few hours." True. But you can keep lots of ideas in your head, and think about them for hours, days, weeks, months, years or decades; and even repeat them and expand on them, and (rarely) change your mind about something. Even great writers like Hemingway repeated themes. People who blog do this even more. It helps fill the space. Every event is an opportunity to "prove" ones' pet theories. I do this a lot. It's okay because everyone else does it too.  

John Robb trawled the Web to find incumbents who were more likely to lose their jobs in the next election, and received big bucks from Hollywood, and supported one of the initiatives to hack the Internet for their contributors in California. If you live in the districts of one of these Reps, you have extrordinary power in November to change policy in the US for the better. Your vote, and your neighbors' votes, really mean something this time. BTW, it's interesting to see that the Internet issues don't appear on the candidates' websites at this time.  

Ed Cone, in today's News & Record, continues the discussion of the digital vigilante bill sponsored by his district's Rep, Howard Coble. It's remarkable, don't miss what's going on. A fairly random district in America's industrial South is becoming a hotbed for one of the most interesting faceoffs in politics, economics and the Internet.  

Dan Gillmor: "It's doubtful that Tara Grubb worries Hollywood's movie moguls or the people who run the record industry." 

Standing on the toes 

Sir Isaac Newton said "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

A beautiful idea, something like "Only steal from the best."

BTW, it might have been sarcastic, it turns out, but it's still a nice sentiment and a good philosophy for explorers, leaders and scientists like Newton.

Brian Reid, said "In computer science, we stand on each other's feet."

That's still true, to this day, and very unfortunate when it happens.

Blaze a new trail, start something different, take what we know and discover something completely new.

But be careful when you do that.

"No good deed goes unpunished."


Last update: Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 6:50 PM Eastern.

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