News.Com: "US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she will release her widely-anticipated ruling at 1:30PM PST on Nov. 1."
Oh my god. I got a voicemail from Rudy Giuliani, urging me to vote for Bill Simon for governor. At first I thought it was my brother imitating Giuliani. I thought to myself. "That's a good imitation." Then I realized it really was the former mayor of NYC, the hero of 9-11. He didn't leave a number for me to call him back at. I'm starting to get pissed at all these political spam voicemails.
Kevin Werbach, the blogging world's expert on spectrum, is very bullish about the speech FCC Chairman Michael Powell gave yesterday. "There are plenty of qualifications in Powell's speech, and the hard work of turning these ideas into policy has just begun. But if we do succeed, we'll remember this speech as a turning point in the fight to open up the airwaves as a fountain of innovation."
Dan Shafer: "A single outline blog of an entire baseball game gets unwieldy." Not true. This is where outliners shine. A large outline is no more difficult to work with than a small one.
Andy Hertzfeld: "Vista is an experimental prototype whose purpose is to quickly explore various design and feature ideas for Chandler, our networked personal information manager."
Amy Wohl on the agony of blacklists.
News.Com: The Google Gods.
Jeremy Bowers reports that Freenet no longer has meaningful XML-RPC support.
Computerworld has ten new RSS feeds. If you're a Radio user, be sure to get the nifty RSS Explorer tool, and then click here to choose the Computerworld feeds you'd like to subscribe to. It's a pretty nerdy pub, but they can probably tell you what IBM is up to and Unix and wireless stuff, and Microsoft.
Now, while we totally appreciate Computerworld doing RSS feeds, they don't validate. And of course, most popular aggregators don't care, today.
I just ran my first scan with the improved Radio aggregator (not released yet) that knows about Weblogs.Com for RSS. I haven't added code yet to quantify the performance improvement but it feels quite substantial. Out of 119 feeds that I'm subscribed to, 28 are pinging weblogs.com, which means that I can find out if 28 of my feeds have updated with a single HTTP request. If they all supported the new method, I would only read a feed when it changed, never to find out if it changed. (Postscript: After putting in timing code, this optimization appears to have shaved about 30 percent off scanning time. Of course it matters how many of the optimized feeds updated, so there's no precision to that number. Also, after this scan, 30 of my feeds now support the feature. Heh.)
IBM's new CEO explains their new strategy.
Have you been to Googlism yet? Try it with my name and see what you get. Pretty interesting. I wonder how it works.
Come on Eileen. I swear. What he means. You're so dirty and lean. I said come on. Eileen.
Important note for developers who have implemented support for Weblogs.Com for RSS in a non-UserLand environment. Two important changes were made today. 1. We switched to a faster server that's carrying a lighter load, and 2. We are using a category element at the channel level to point to the changes.xml file. If you have any questions, post them on the XML-RPC discussion group. Sorry for the change in direction, but now was the time to make the change before it was too widely deployed.
What's going on at Google?
A surprising turn of events in US politics. Vice-president under Jimmy Carter, and presidential candidate against Ronald Reagan, Walter Mondale, 74, is taking Paul Wellstone's place in the Minnesota Senate race. Talk about seniority, but if he wins he'll be the junior Senator from Minnesota, the state that brought you a professional wrestler as governor. God bless America, land that I love.
News.Com: "In a case of strange bedfellows, Dell Computer has started selling Apple Computer's iPod portable music player."
Jeremy Zawodny on Yahoo getting Slashdotted.
Sometimes I get support questions about RSS 2.0. This can make me grumpy. Why? Because we have a mail list for that purpose.
There's a great movie called Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Hopkins plays a know-it-all philosopher professor, who teaches about courtship and romance and writes kids books. He thinks he's got it covered until Winger comes along. "I like a good fight," says the professor. "That's great," says Winger. "But when's the last time you lost?" Later in the movie he talks about how inquisitive he is, in a boastful way, and she sets him straight. "When was the last time you asked a question you didn't know the answer to?" Learning never stops. People who know all the answers, or pretend to, have simply forgotten to ask questions they don't know the answers to. BTW, it's a beautiful sweet movie, and even though we pity the Hopkins character, in the end he has great courage, and does the right thing.
Did you watch the season premiere of 24 last night? Of course I did. Finally The West Wing has some competition, as last season's candidate is now the President of the United States. But sheez, where 24 is great at the spy thriller stuff, they totally don't capture the spirit of the Presidency. They should do a bundling deal. Get Bartlet to play the President, and Toby and CJ to handle the press.
Jeremy Allaire has a list of video bloggers.
Doc likes my definition of SOAP. If it's going to become official, I'd like to add Richard Stallman to the list of people we don't have to pay taxes to.
Gene Ragan writes: "Did you try the four finger salute? Press each one of the buttons surrounding the jog dial and that will force a hard reset. There is a well know bug that causes the iPod to wedge if you let the battery drain."
Well, it worked. Doing the four finger salute got my iPod back up. The Web is so cool. Now I can have music on my walk today. Yaha.
Chicago Sun-Times: "The aggregator found in Radio Userland is even more powerful, but then again things from Userland generally are."
News-Record: "If Internet page views were votes, US Rep Howard Coble might be quaking in his loafers."
Congrats to Peter Drayton who is joining Microsoft as a program manager on the CLR team. I read his weblog regularly to keep up on SOAP in the Microsoft world. It's great that someone so tuned into our world is going inside Microsoft.
Scott Andrew: "I am indeed an industrious little bastard."
PodNews 3 is an aggregator for Apple's iPod.
Ed Cone: "There is no doubt that the publicity Tara has received for and through her weblog caused the dominant regional daily to give this neophyte Libertarian equal billing in an article about her race with a nine-term GOP incumbent. Otherwise, we would have gotten an article about Coble being pretty much unopposed."
Jon Udell: "The Xopus demo is, indeed, an eye-opener."
Bob Haugen: "Does Creative Commons have plans for defending public rights?"
SF Chronicle: "It would have been a great day for a parade."
First, Ben Hammersley asks if he can use the original XML-RPC "ping" interface for Weblogs.Com to notify it of changes to his RSS feeds, and the answer is a qualified yes. There is an optional parameter to the ping procedure, that says what community the ping is for. It defaults to the main community, the one that's displayed on www.weblogs.com. The RSS community's name is (surprise) "rss". So if any of this makes sense, you can use it. I know that Phillip Pearson has already got it working this way.
Second, I believe it was a mistake to spec the new element as part of the blogChannel module, because, as we've seen, not all aggregators can handle namespaces. So when we update the Radio serializer, we're going to use a category element, with value equal to rssUpdates, and domain equal to the url of the changes.xml file. This is a detail that should mainly interest tool and aggregator people, but it's important, for them. To see how it will deploy for Radio users, check out the RSS feed for Scripting News.
Announcing Weblogs.Com for RSS. The beginning of a bootstrap to improve the performance of the RSS network.
Keith Devens has a one-line PHP script that connects up with Weblogs.Com for RSS.
The Christian Science Monitor now fully supports RSS.
BBC: "A government is saying to Google: 'we don't like that website -- so drop it from your database' and the company is acquiescing."
Lance Knobel: "The IHT is a poor excuse for a newspaper."
Phil Hewitt: Blogger XML-RPC Tools in VB.
Robb Beal: "OSAF smells like an attempt to not have to do the hard work of competing on fundamentals like quality, experience, price, etc. similar to Apple's and Microsoft's software tieing."
East Broadway Ron marched for peace in DC on Sat.
As did Miguel de Icaza.
Phillip Pearson started a blacklist for referer log spam.
News.Com: "A new version of the Freenet software, a program based around wholly anonymous Net publishing and distribution, is due out Monday after long silence from its mostly volunteer developer community."
Now it's time to move on and get back to some semblance of normalcy. Football is easier. The Superbowl lasts a few hours, it's really intense, then it's over. The World Series takes a week-plus if it's a seven game series. There was a point when we thought the Giants had won, in the seventh inning of game six. But it wasn't meant to be. Like the Boston Red Sox in 1986, the Giants gave up the win, and then lost in the finale. For me, 2002 was the year when the Giants got me. Next year I'll be rooting for them. Now it's time to get on with other things. I'm sorry this wasn't the year, I wish we were celebrating a great victory right now, but we'll be okay.
NY Times: Angels Defeat Giants and Win World Series.
On this day in Y2K: "The Mets are amazing, fantastic, a team with a philosophy. Let's go Mets!" Amen.
Bart Giamatti: "It is designed to break your heart."
Mitch Kapor begins to talk about his design process. Mitch's process is something to behold. And it's hard to imagine it working over the Internet. But it's worth trying. Mitch is the ultimate notetaker, very thoughtful. He talks about having a master outline for his design. Now this is new, I've never heard Mitch say he wanted to use outlines. My ears perked up when I read that. I have a bunch of things to do this morning, but I want to comment on this some more, a little later today.
Here's the October archive for the mail list Mitch talks about. Previously I had mindlessly clicked on the December archive and wondered where all the messages were. It turns out they were in October. Makes sense. Now why there's a December archive in October is another question.
My World Series Game 7 outline. This is guaranteed to be the last baseball game of 2002.
MSDN: The Argument Against SOAP Encoding. I have no idea what he's talking about, but he almost got the original intent of SOAP right. It's a simple way to call procedures running on other machines, on other OSes, written in other languages, using different economic systems, without being forced to pay a tax to Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Sun or the W3C.
Joi Ito: "When politicians who speak up against corruption get stabbed to death in front of their homes, you know you are in trouble."
I got shortcuts and macros working with my outliner and Movable Type, just in time for today's game outline. No neices today. They won the game yesterday, today, it's just me, my outliner, my buddies, Movable Type, and lots of prayer!
A disheartening Giants loss yesterday. The Giants led through most of the game, the Angels rallied, took the lead, and won. It's now a one-game series, that game to be played this evening starting at 5PM Pacific. Winner take all. It's doubtful I'll get anything else done today. I've seen some Giants fans give up. I guess that's part of being a Giants fan. Now is when it just starts to get exciting. Stay focused and don't forget to PRAY!
NY Times: "Baker's decision to cut short the most impressive outing of any starting pitcher in this series backfired tremendously."
Jake has figured out how to scan from TiVO to the Web. I must remember to ask him how he did this!
Yesterday I released two updates for Radio that, if the 'public pings' feature is enabled, ping Weblogs.Com, not just for the HTML version of the weblog, but also for the RSS version. As the hours and days go by it gets more interesting as people update their weblogs, the new changes.xml file starts getting full of updates. I'm going to keep my eye on this over the next few days, and if you're interested in bootstraps, you may too.
This goes somewhere, with just one addition to your RSS file that points to the changes.xml file, you can tell subscribers that they don't have to poll you every hour, they can just poll the changes.xml file. This reduces net bandwidth by an order of magnitude, and that kind of economy is what we need to make this sucker scale.
Ladies and Girls, Boys and Gentlemen, welcome to our coverage of World Series Game 6 of 2002.
Dan Shafer: "Well, I guess I'm officially addicted to this stuff. Despite the fact that my 'audience' has stayed away in droves and despite the fact that I probably miss an occasional play because I'm commenting on the last one, I've decided to blog the final game(s) of the 2002 World Series."
12:20PM: I'm doing some more work on Weblogs.Com for RSS this afternoon. It's going too slowly for my liking. I guess I've got baseball on the brain today. Anyway, here's the file that's supposed to be updating. If Scripting News shows up at the top of the list, something is working. It did.
The NY Times checked out the odds on who wins the 2002 series, and surprisingly, the odds favor the Angels, even though they must win both of the remaining games to win the series, and the Giants must only win one of two. Dan Shafer predicted a six game series, and now feels sure his bet is going to come through. I told friends privately that I expected a seven game series, and while I don't want one, I still believe the Angels are too good and gutsy to give up so easily. We're going back to blog baseball tonight, I missed hanging out with Dan and Scoble and Jake, it wasn't the same being at the game on Thurs (it was even better actually). My brother was in awe. He said I was at the best baseball game ever. Aw come on, no way. What about game 6 of the 1986 series. Anyway, today I feel lucky. I bet all people who are rooting for the Giants feel lucky today. Savor it, because there's a tiny streak of Mets in the Giants, I think that's why I like them. And there's one thing I've found that really helps the Giants focus and score lots of runs.. PRAY!
Two years ago on this day, after the Mets World Series loss to the Yankees. "Losing is part of what the Mets are about."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Paul Wellstone, an outspoken liberal Democrat locked in a re-election battle considered key to control of the Senate, was killed in a plane crash today in northern Minnesota along with his wife, daughter and five others."
Interesting change in referer rankings on Hack-The-Planet.
Rogers Cadenhead is trying to talk to Advogato from Java.
I'm getting emails from Blogger users about some kind of outage. Not sure what's up. Rob Fahrni, a Blogger user we trust, says "Yep, it looks like something screwy is going on." Danny O'Brien adds: "It looks like Blogger is under a serious hack attack, and MetaFilter is down, so it's hard for people to find out info." Danny has started a QuickTopic thread. Anil Dash has a thread too. And Pyra did the right thing (whew!) and took the server offline while they get a handle on things.
NY Times: "Investigators confirmed that the car in which they were arrested early [yesterday] morning contained the weapon used in the killings, a .223-caliber telescopic rifle."
What a game. Giants won 16-4. It was closer than it might appear. First 6-0. Then 6-2. Then 6-4. Everyone groans. Here we go again. Pray. Blow out. I've never been to a wilder more thrilling game. Kent came back. Aurilio, Lofton, Santiago, Bell, all heroes. Bonds, not that big a factor. The fans are great. The stadium wonderful. Had a great time with my friends Jake and Scoble. Awesome.
Dan Shafer had the Game 5 play by play, with comment.
NY Times: "If you analyzed Scioscia's revealing words before Game 5 last night, it sounded as if Bonds had as much of a chance as seeing a decent pitch in a crucial situation as he did of snorkeling with Jeff Kent in McCovey Cove." It's true they stopped Bonds. So everyone else on the Giants got on base, hit home runs, scored.
Jon Udell: The publish/subscribe Internet.
ETag support for Manila, for RSS and scriptingNews2 feeds.
For ten points, guess what this is the start of.
Please don't tweak the little white-on-orange XML icon. I'm seeing variations out there. That's not cool. Its value is diluted by varying it. If you don't like it, do something completely different. But a little change here and there, and eventually its value is gone.
RIAA: "The use of your digital network to pirate music, movies, and other copyrighted works both interferes with the business purposes your network was built to serve and subjects your employees and your company to significant legal liability."
Dan Shafer: "Baseball is attractive because it is a thinking man's game and I am a thinking man."
News.Com: "The ultimate promise of Web services -- delivering software as a service -- is at least a decade away from being fulfilled, according to a report from IDC." Bah.
Ernie the Attorney: "I love outlines."
AP: "Two men wanted for questioning in the wave of deadly sniper attacks were arrested early Thursday."
From JY comes a French radio network that uses our own Radio.
A couse in Ireland teaches Web publishing with Radio UserLand.
John Foster has pictures from outside last night's Game 4.
Rob McNair-Huff confirms that he can edit Radio outlines in OmniOutliner on the Mac, through OPML; and vice versa. This is a big deal.
Here's a copy of my email to Larry Lessig on open source, Mitch Kapor, software creativity, getting credit, getting paid, etc etc.
1. I have been a leader in releasing source code. Frontier, first shipped in 1992, ships with much, but not all of the source. This was before there was even a concept of open source. I have also been the beneficiary of source releases. As a grad student in the 70s, I learned to code reading the source of Unix. Again, before there was any concept of open source. Part of my objection to the hype is as if it's something new. It is not.
2. If you can figure out how to get us paid to do development, and not in some socialist sense, but in a free market sense, with dignity, I'm all for it. I've even proposed such methods, something akin to Nielsen Ratings. On the other hand, with my source out there, all of it, I don't see how I can get credit, in any way, for what I've created.
3. I've seen this over and over. The open source community has little respect for creativity. If I don't patent my creations, I've learned, they will erase me from the record. This may be the biggest obstacle to gaining the trust of creative people. It's as Bowie predicts for music, but as usual we're a decade or so ahead in the software world.
4. I look forward to Mitch's creation. I know better than most what he's capable of because I worked closely with him in the past, we learned from each other (maybe not enough of that) and competed. I have great respect for Mitch. But I also am concerned, like Don Park is, as any reasonable person should be, that it will be impossible to compete with Mitch. I don't like that idea.
A woman friend who (I think) is watching the World Series this year because the men around her are so interested, writes to say her seven-year-old son seems, to her, to have a very special liking for the sport, and she posits that it's male hormones at work, and this set me thinking. Is it? Maybe, but probably not in the way she thinks.
Baseball may be the male equivalent of a sewing circle, but like Yiddish concepts converted to English, something may be lost in the translation. More accurately, baseball may be the equivalent of the great tales told at a campfire by hunter-gatherer man. Our team is our village. The stories of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Cal Ripkin, Barry Bonds, are tales of great warriors, who, even if they lost on the field of battle, did so with great honor and courage. There's also Pete Rose, the fallen hero, Charlie Hustle, the most successful batter in the history of the game, who is not in the Hall of Fame (a mistake that must be corrected while he's alive). And Baker and Soscia, the chiefs, the elder statesmen who lead today's courageous warriors into battle, with dignity, strength and honor; and take their place among the great chiefs of all time.
Baseball is nothing if not history. That's why the business of baseball is so disconcerting, it spoils the illusion that it's some greater cause we support. When one stops and thinks, really, there is nothing going on, but why does it feel so good? So important?
It may be male hormones that makes us such suckers for the schmaltz, or it might be the male heart, that loves the greatness of his gender and finds today so few ways to express it. Some argue that there are no real differences between the genders, but it's impossible to argue that baseball isn't a male thing; and while women may enjoy watching, it really is ours alone. Nothing wrong with that.
My notepad for World Series Game 4. As with yesterday's game, the comments section is open for partisanship, rooting for the Giants, damning the Angels, tech support, etc etc. If you're blogging the game, send me a trackback ping, why not, let's have fun! Hey even if you're not blogging the game, ping me. What the heck. Still diggin!
News.Com: "A proposal to let copyright owners hack into and disrupt peer-to-peer networks will be revised, a congressional aide said Wednesday."
Brent took steps to regain control of his computer. Got a new mail client, browser, and nuked Flash. No more spam, popup windows and annoying ads. Sounds pretty good.
Best wishes to the family of Stavros's friend Rick, who died today, from injuries sustained in the Bali terrorism, earlier in October.
The Giants lost last night, but we won. The outliner works very nicely with Movable Type. Today I'm doing the hard user interface stuff. But the proof of concept worked yesterday. Yehi. I sent an email to Lessig with a screen shot of the editing environment. He's both an outliner user and a Movable Type user. So is Howard Rheingold, I believe. As is Mitch Kapor. See where I'm going? If the gurus won't come to the outliner, then the outliner will come to the gurus. Stewart Brand is on my list too. I promised him an outliner about a year ago. I intend to keep the promise, even if I'm a little late.
Scott Loftesness: "If you're trying to choose a place to locate your business, let me suggest you think about the jetBlue cities! As United fades, jetBlue succeeds."
One year ago today Apple introduced the iPod. Yesterday I discovered a new feature in my iPod. It's so small I don't have to choose between a Walkman and the iPod. I can take both. Then when they do their annoying pledge drive on KQED-FM, I can switch over to Bach. I did that yesterday on my afternoon walk. What a nice feature.
George Vecsey: "Let's go to the World Series. There's not a better place than right here in downtown San Francisco."
The NY Times says The West Wing is running out of gas. WTF? It's the best TV ever. Actually after reading the review, I agree with it. They are getting preachy and a bit more knowitall than usual. Something the NY Times might do itself, occasionally.
Vote for your favorite RSS Validation badge!
John Robb: "Snow!"
I called both of the creators of the RSS Validator yesterday, Mark Pilgrim and Sam Ruby, to congratulate them on a very nicely done piece of software and to thank them for making a very positive contribution to the success of RSS.
It's worth taking a moment today to pause and reflect how far we've come in just a few weeks. We have a new version of RSS, version 2.0. People aren't debating that anymore. We have the best validator now for RSS, better than anything we've had before, I'd wager better than any validator for any XML format. We also have a relatively tightknit community, so I think this means that the quality of the feeds is going to improve a lot. It's still early. With Bill Kearney in the loop, that'll make a difference too. He's been the single most active person working for quality in the RSS base.
When I talked with Mark yesterday I said that the validator was the next step in RSS coming together. The next thing on my plate in the RSS community is scaling and non-HTTP methods of notification. This is going to prove important soon, I believe, because the stage is now set for big growth. We've taken some steps in the last few days to improve the scaling situation, but they were just steps. I'll be writing more about that shortly, Murphy-willing. In the meantime, mazel tov to Mark and Sam, and thanks!
My notepad for World Series Game 3. Go Giants!
Okay, my project for today is to rewrite my weblog outliner so it works smoothly with Movable Type, so I can blog the World Series game tonight in the most natural way, just typing and saving, with comments and trackback. It'll be a Ben and Mena Technology Expo night. So far so good! I have the outliner saving, although the formatting is really sucky. It'll be less sucky by tonight. Adam Curry emails to remind me that he wants this to work with Radio and Manila. Of course of course. But first I want to make it work with Movable Type. Everyone will expect that it will work with our own blogging stuff. The chance to blow people's minds is to show it working through the open interface of a competitor's product. This is how we show web services working, as they were always supposed to, eliminating lock-in, allowing us to enhance each others' products, and to take the fear out of serving our customers. The BigCo's don't get this, they patent stuff and have powwow's among execs who have no idea what the software is used for. Heh. In the meantime us little folk are building a market. How about that.
7/6/01: "Who wants to be locked in the trunk today?"
4/4/01: "There is a difference between riding in the car and being stuffed in the trunk."
7/27/01: "Who wants to help Bill build another sub-campus in Redmond?"
Thomas Boswell: "It's possible, oddsmakers be darned, that these are the best teams in their leagues, not merely underdogs who need Rally Monkeys."
Chuck Shotton: "The flaws in Don's argument are manifold."
I'm testing the new RSS Validator from Mark Pilgrim, Sam Ruby and Bill Kearney.
The following feeds validate: Scripting News, Dave's Handsome Radio Blog. One of my feeds did not validate, I don't want to say which one, but when I went to read the spec, the validator was right! Yay.
The announcement is on Mark Pilgrim's weblog.
The static server came back online about 1:30AM. There was probably some dust on the connectors between the disk and the motherboard.
The other bit of hardware that went down at the same time (Praise Murphy!) was the motherboard of the oldest computer in the cage, Superhonker, a dual processor 550 MHz machine. It was far from the fastest, yet it had the name of honor, because it was the oldest of the honkers. Thanks for serving us so well for so long.
The replacement for Superhonker came online about 4:20AM, a little over an hour before I'm writing this.
Bootstrap: How to Redirect an RSS Feed. "You've just moved your weblog or news site, and the RSS feed has moved too. You want people who are subscribed to your RSS feed to automatically start reading the feed at its new location. This document explains how to do that."
10PM Pacific. Two simultaneous hardware outages at our Santa Clara facility. Sites effected include www.weblogs.com, radio.weblogs.com, static.userland.com, NY Times RSS feeds, www.userland.com, backend.userland.com,.many of the static images and gems for UserLand-hosted Manila sites. ETA late tonight, or early tomorrow. We're sorry for the outage. We're getting the servers back online as soon as we can.
Jeremy Bowers looks at using Freenet to distribute RSS.
I had a few cycles to spare this afternoon, so I decided to write a script to ping a Movable Type trackback server for geeky Radio and Manila users. How to. 1. Download the script. 2. Open it in Radio or Frontier. 3. Scroll to the bottom, edit the test code, fill in the URL of one of your posts, and your blogname, etc. 4. Click on Run. 5. It should have pinged this message on my MT site. 6. When you want to ping another site, change the pingurl. 7. For extra credit, do a great Tool-based UI for this. Heh.
Don Park: "What I am afraid of is the erosion in the sense of value for software. If OSAF succeeds, consumers will have access to a wide array of high quality software for free. Most likely, every PC will start to ship with them preloaded. Every time a new OSAF product ships, a market segment will dies. OSAF paints a picture of the future where consumers are expected to pay for contents and services, but software is free." People have been dismissing Don's arguments, but he makes a valid point.
News.Com: "A federal judge ruled Friday that Southwest Airlines does not have to revamp its Web site to make it more accessible to the blind."
Mary Jo Foley: "Goodbye, Web browser front end; hello, hefty smart client."
NY Times: "In a highly coordinated move, armed local and federal officials engaged in the hunt for a roving suburban sniper converged on a white minivan parked at a pay telephone in a service station outside Richmond this morning.. But there was no suggestion by the police that any of today's arrests were connected to the sniper case, in which nine people have been killed in the Washington area since Oct. 2."
Geoff Allen: "Much has been made of the Rally Monkey recently, but the Rally Monkey is just a distraction from the real secret weapon of the Angels: Troy Percival."
WebReference has another sample Radio chapter from the O"Reilly blogging book. This one is about the technology, the object database, scripting language, networking, content management, XML, SOAP and XML-RPC support, and upstreaming. Thanks!
Doonesbury & weblogs. "Don't you have something to say?"
RSS Explorer gets three new lists of feeds. Adam Curry, The UserLand Top-100 and The New York Times. The popup menu can be upgraded independently of the software. Every time you launch Radio it's refreshed from the server.
Over the weekend I implemented, on my machine only, support for HEAD requests in Radio's aggregator. I have not released this yet. In fact, I'm thinking seriously of not releasing it at all and instead going with ETag support. Simon Fell has an excellent and brief Busy Developer's Guide to ETags. They're sexy, better than the HEAD-based protocol, because they only require one call to the server. This gives servers who are getting pounded by aggregators a really clean way to respond. If your server doesn't support etags, upgrade to one that does. Postscript: I have it implemented here. 88 of the 107 feeds I subscribe to supprt ETags. Very good.
Jenny is blogging a librarian conference.
Well, there's a bright side to yesterday's Giants loss. It means that there will certainly be a Game 5, barring earthquakes or other Acts of Murphy. I have a bleacher seat for Game 5 on Thursday, with Jake.
Good morning mail fiends! I cannot keep up with all the mail lists I'm on. Lots of stuff going on in most of the communities I'm part of. Excellent. Please, if possible, help each other. I can't do all that's being asked of me.
I'm outlining Game 2 of the World Series on Movable Type using My Weblog Outliner. You can leave me comments over there if you like. Tomorrow maybe I'll do the play by play on Blogger. Let's go Giants. See you back here after the game.
My longtime friend Dan Shafer is in the broadcast booth on his Radio weblog. I believe you can communicate with Dan through the comments feature in Radio and through IM.
Don Park: "Its great to hear that Mitch Kapor has a blog and wants to build a better PIM."
Paolo: Uploading a Radio Weblog on .Mac.
On this day in 1999: "Did the Mets win? They did not."
A fascinating tour through Mitch Kapor's mind in 2002. Mitch was the founder of Lotus, I worked with him many years ago at Personal Software. He is recreating Agenda, apparently, in some fashion, entirely using open source technology. Mitch is one of the great software designers, so it might be well designed. In a brief review of his site I find a lot to like, but the proof will be in the software he creates.
A fascinating tour through Phil Ringnalda's mind in re Joel Spolsky's comments on RSS expiration and bandwidth usage, which is about to become the hot issue du jour in RSS-Land.
My notes on World Series Game 1. Giants win! 4-3.
A screen shot of my editing environment.
The World Series starts in less than two hours. Like Dan Shafer, I'm totally psyched. I think we're going to see some great baseball, followed by the first world championship for San Francisco, ever! We have a lot to be thankful for here in the Bay Area, that's for sure, but our economy and spirits sure could use a lift. The Giants winning, now, in 2002, would be very good. They're a team with a huge heart, and the Bay Area loves them. So Go Giants all the way.
Kevin Werbach: The New Wireless Paradigm. PDF.
Mitch Ratcliffe was interviewed about bloggers and ethics.
Stavros the Wonder Chicken, usually a high-strung but light-hearted weblog by a Canadian expat living in South Korea, has turned to the plight of his friend Rick, who was seriously injured in the Bali terrorism last weekend. Stavros and I have had our differences in the past, but it's time to put that aside, and see if there's a way to lend support through the Web. It's a good medium for giving.
Register: "Microsoft has yanked another of its fraudulent user testimonials, in this case a fictitious twelve-year-old boy raving about a fictional homework assignment and the indespensable insights he received from MS Encarta Reference Library in preparing it."
On this day in Y2K: Transcendental Money.
Beta: RSS Explorer Tool. A nice check-box interface for discovering new RSS sources. It's a beta, which means there could be bugs, and more features and fixes are probably coming. But it's pretty darned useful right now. For those who don't have Radio yet, here's a screen shot.
I got a really nice letter from Howard Rheingold, along with a copy of his new book Smart Mobs, in the mail today. Thanks, it goes on my reading list. I also got the form for the Wired Brain Trust. I can actually nominate up to three people, in three categories: innovator, rebel and visionary. My due date is November 1. Interesting assignment.
Marketplace.Org: Millionaire Quiz.
Tomorrow is Game 1 of the 2002 World Series. I will not be going to Anaheim. That's okay. I've got a bleacher seat with Jake for Game 5 in SF. I'd love to go to other games, but I'm happy to go to just one game. In the meantime I'm praying for the Giants. This is a big year for baseball in the Bay Area. I can feel it in my bones.
Wired: "PopTech, now in its sixth year, attracts an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs, inventors, CEOs and academics from around the country."
Paul Boutin is at PopTech, and points to other bloggers who are there.
Last year on this day I won the top award from Wired, their Tech Renegade of the year, for the work on SOAP with Microsoft. They liked the way I used Microsoft's power to undermine Microsoft. I admired them for admiring me for that. I admire Microsoft even more for wanting that. I thought then that we should have made hay with it, but they were in the middle of rolling out XP. Too busy I guess.
On this day two years ago the Yankees won the American League championship, setting in motion one of the more hohum World Series, made slightly more interesting because you could take the subway between the two stadiums.
Phil Ringnalda sees the need for another RSS element that says "this channel is finished, please unsubscribe now." His example isYahoo's beta test of financial feeds, which is now over. Another example are the feeds for discussion threads. They wind down quickly, but everyone stays subscribed unless they go 404.
BBC: "Microsoft has reported far higher than expected profits, helping to restore investor confidence in the battered technology sector."
Last night a new feature in Radio, comments in RSS feeds. If you have comments turned on in your weblog, when Radio generates your RSS feed, it includes the new (in 2.0) comments element, that links to the comments for the item. It works both ways. When Radio reads an RSS feed that contains links to comments, it shows them on the News page, so if you read something there and want to comment (and the site supports them) you can just click on the Comments link and you're there. Jake added the feature last night. That's the reason we did all the fussing with the new 2.0 format, so we could bring new features to the users.
Congrats to Daniel Berlinger on the release of Archipelago 2.0, a Macintosh desktop editor for Manila and Radio sites, and tools that conform to the Blogger and Metaweblog APIs.
Mark Paschal has Radio and Python talking over AIM.
Scott Rosenberg: "Think of that $40 billion as one big Windows replacement fund."
Dan Gillmor: "Innovation is almost dead in desktop software, where Microsoft has sucked the financial oxygen out of the system."
A milestone today. I released my first beta since May. It's a brand new piece of software, written with absolutely no cigarettes. My secret is to keep a jar of Planter's unsalted peanuts in the kitchen. Whenever I need to pause and think before implementing something I get up and get a handful of peanuts. The little walk is important for some reason. When I come back I eat the peanuts one at a time. It takes about the same amount of time as a cigarette. I used to smoke to set a pace. Now the getting up and peanut eating does the job. Anyway, I'll link to the beta tomorrow, it's the RSS Explorer Tool. It's going to build a new kind of community, and should get more exposure for feeds that aren't in the top 100.
Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen: "At one point, Acrobat was known as the 'roach motel' of data formats -- you could get data in, but you couldn’t get it out."
Frank Zappa asked "Is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?" Good question then, good question now. Is our presumed upcoming war with Iraq a real war or a Sears war? Clearly the latter. Everything Bush and Blair have said so far about Hussein says he's like any other nasty man with big weapons. He's using them as a deterrent. I'd like to know if we plan to go to war with every dictator who has nukes. That means we have to invade Pakistan for sure. And North Korea, we learned yesterday. It all depends on your point of view and what continent you live on, and whether the despot has oil.
Don Park posted a note about big binary objects as RSS items. I suggested he look into enclosures in RSS. If you have Radio running, there's a page of prefs for enclosures. The feature was introduced in RSS 0.92. Enclosures are powerful but brain-dead simple. Read up on them, there's a new distribution model, one that gets rid of the click-wait for large media objects. Adam Curry turned me on to the idea over deli food in NYC. It's brilliantly simple. Virtual bandwidth. (BTW, I got a note a few days ago that ESPN is using RSS enclosures in a new app. So the feature didn't go completely unnoticed. )
The NY Times posits that an All-California World Series is good for the stock market as long as it's North-South. "In 1989, the two Northern teams squared off, with the Giants losing to the Athletics. So intense was that competition that the ground shook, and the series was delayed by a severe earthquake."
4/24/95: "I'm a mystic when it comes to baseball. Living in California, I'm also a mystic when it comes to earthquakes."
What is Ridiculously Easy Group Forming?
Kasia is a software engineer at tickets.com, where World Series tickets were supposedly on sale today. "The pipe to the net just couldn't stand the traffic," she says. "It wasn't the servers, it was somewhere before that."
News.Com: "Tickets.com spokeswoman Melissa Zukerman acknowledged the problems."
Don Park: "I hate XML Namespaces."
Bing! Jake got two bleacher tickets for Thurs and offered me one. Excellent. So I'm going to at least one game (unless someone sweeps, it's game 5). There's also a possibility of a seat for Saturday in Anaheim. I'll do that too.
Bret Fausett: "In preparation for the Shanghai meeting, Thomas Roessler is aggregating all of the icann-related weblogs."
Scoble: "All tickets for the World Series are now sold out."
John VanDyk: "I'd be interested in talking privately with anyone who is using RSS successfully within a knowledge domain. I'm putting together a session for a national symposium in April on RSS."
Douglas Bowman: "One user wants one thing, another user wants it the exact opposite." I've noticed that too.
Mark Pilgrim: "Seamless inline editing (like WYSIWYG HTML mode in IE/Win) is apparently being held up by an internal flame war among the Mozilla developers."
Okay I gotta say it. I'm looking for four tickets to any World Series game at Pac Bell Park. Failing that, I'll take one ticket to any game. I really want to go the Series this year. I'd like to take three friends. We can't afford the scalper prices. We can probably go as high as $250 per seat. So if you appreciate Scripting News, and want to help out an old baseball fan, send me an email. Thanks!
Wired: "A controversial portion of digital copyright law will get a public airing next month."
Markoff: "At this year's Agenda conference, traditionally an upbeat gathering of the computer and Internet industries' elite, attendance was low and the mood even lower. Executives engaged in a hunt for the bottom of the decline with few seeing even a hint of new growth on the horizon."
Here's my pledge to growth in the Valley. I'm refinancing my house and taking out a bit of extra money, and I'm going to use $2,000 of that to buy a new multi-gigahertz laptop to run some software that Bill Gates has never even heard of. It's mission-critical for me, and it would love more gigahertz.
In Andy Grove's Valley of Death they only buy software from Bill, and he ran out of new ideas when he drove Lotus out of business. Or was it Novell? What our industry needs more than anything is software to soak up those cycles productively and not just for games. But there have to be features that drive adoption. Markoff's story concludes that it may have been the music industry that sparked the doldrums in computers. That, and Microsoft's software monopoly. Moore's Law continues to rage on, but there's no software to soak up the cycles. Or is there?
Kevin Werbach and Dan Shafer said it so well yesterday. It's so recursive. It's staring you in the face. Get a weblog and do your readers a favor, let them know where the next round of growth is going to come from. Andy Grove, it must be great to have so many accomplishments. Encourage the young people at Intel to get out more and stop looking to Microsoft for all the new software. Fund the resurrection of software in the Valley. You need us to sell more hertz, and that's what you sell. Right? Let's pop the stack back to the 70's when we did technology in Silicon Valley. Software, software, software, that should be our mantra.
Dan Shafer: "My new favorite sport is Race the Aggregator."
Werblog: "Blogs are hitting the mainstream in the way the Web did in 1994-95. It's a different economic environment, so we're not going to see a rush a blog vendor IPOs. But don't ignore what's going on because of that."
Very weird situation this morning. I'm getting huge flow on yesterday's archive of Scripting News, more than I'd get if I were being Slashdotted, but the hits appear to be coming without referers. I don't think it's a robot (I don't want to explain why) or a denial-of-service attack, but it's so weird that so many hits would come without referers.
Doc Searls: Blogo Culpa. Doc acted for the benefit of the jungle, paid a small price (not really) and gained a deeper respect from his readers.
John Gruber: "Bad marketing is one thing. Bald-faced lying is another."
Matt Neuburg explains Tinderbox.
Duncan Wilcox had the full Microsoft ad in his cache, including all the images and the style sheet.
10/15/01: "In the future, a man helping a woman, or a woman helping a man, may be seen as a sign of people being kind to each other, and nothing more (or less of course). Not a statement, not something that requires correction or explanation."
The Age: US press ignores Australia's pain.
I got that pointer from an Australian in the US. I linked it into Scripting News early this morning and got more complaints from Aussies in the US about how screwed up we are. One email said that bloggers were bad too. So I let it percolate before answering, and this is what I came up with.
There are plenty of Australian weblogs. The Web is worldwide. Cover it, explain it, grieve it, if the US press isn't covering it, route around them. Use the tools.
Jonathon Delacour: Our volatile, dangerous neighbor.
Dody Gunawinata: "The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, said 'For the rest of Australian history, 12 October 2002 will be counted as a day on which eveil struck.'"
The St Louis Cardinals are a great baseball team.
But today they're not the best, that position is held by San Francisco's baseball team, the Giants.
In the last couple of weeks they've been playing Great Baseball. This is the stuff we love, it's the reason we put up with strikes and lockouts, and overlook the enormous salaries and arrogance of the owners and players. The Giants opened their hearts and found that they could win, in the most dramatic, most inspiring way.
Two down, bottom the ninth, score tied 1-1. A run scored ends the series. A single. Another. On the first pitch another single, runner rounds third heads for the plate. Throw from right field is wide. Run scores! Game over. Oh man.
Now I think you can recognize this even if you love hockey, basketball, gymnastics, or ski racing. This is the sport played at its best, people in flow, not thinking, just doing, with spirit, excellence and love. The Giants won the game, the series, the championship, and stole our hearts. Now bring on the Angels, it's going to be a wonderful World Series. All-California. By hook or by crook I'm going to at least one game. Go Giants!
There's been an active discussion in response to the note I posted here about XML-level redirect in RSS. Perhaps predictably, the RDF folks are saying we need to use RDF to do this. For what it's worth, I don't believe the solution to this problem requires RDF.
Further, as a tool developer, I think this is going to be hard to explain to users. It's not the kind of thing we can easily do a dialog interface for, so they must understand it. So extra concepts must be edited out. Sorry, no RDF.
If we're going to try to work together, the RDF and non-RDF folks, we must stop dictating and start listening. This was all amply explained in the thread on Phil's weblog. Respect starts with acknowledging. In so many ways, they depend on the fiction that we don't exist. Well, we do exist. To this day 0.91 and 0.92 are the most popular flavors of RSS, dwarfing all others. 2.0 is simply an upgrade for those formats. No RDF.
Extensibility in RSS 2.0 is an olive branch. Now it's time for the RDF folk to extend their own offer for peace, and understand that we have not all decided to adopt RDF, and if their goal is to get us to do that, the best way is to step back and stop trying to force it on us.
8/12/97: "As boys grow older and become men our view of the world changes. We learn that we are not the greatest primate in the jungle, that other people have greatness too. And if our youth was productive, we learn that we have a stake in the bigger picture. We learn to love the jungle, we want it to survive, we develop an appreciation for chaos."
There is a medium ground.
I'm blogging Game 5 of the NLCS in the outliner.
"After eight years as a Macintosh owner, I switched to a PC with Windows XP and Office XP. Why?"
BTW, she's not a real person. Thanks to Jim Stegman for the pointer to the Slashdot thread where it is revealed that she's a model in a stock photo database. You'd think Microsoft could at least find one real person to say they made the switch from Mac to Windows and were happy about it. (Postscript: MS nuked the page. Should have taken a screen shot. Damn.)
Bing! Niklaus Gustavson grabbed a screen shot before they took it down. I love the Internet. John Foster sent me one too. Mike Donnelan had the HTML source in his cache. Paul McJones points out that it's still in Google's cache.
News.Com: "Did Microsoft suddenly find open-source religion? Hardly. It was dragged there kicking and screaming by its customers."
Rogers Cadenhead: "I enjoy Slashdot, but how can a site once valued more highly than the New York Yankees be touted as a success because it makes a little money selling T-shirts and soap?"
So, is your brain really hierarchic? I think it is. Here's the informal demo. Suppose I asked you where to find Q-Tips in your house. Where is the lighter fluid? Your Federal tax return for 1998. If you're like me and many other people, each of these things has a "place" where they belong. Where I live, the Q-Tips are in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom off the master bedroom. The lighter fluid is outside next to the briquettes under the overhang by the patio. The tax returns are in the cabinet under the bookshelves in the den. Now think about your whole house, and how many things there are in it, and for almost every thing in your house there's an equivalent place in your brain where you store knowledge of how to retrieve the object. That's a hierarchy. A house is divided into inside and outside, inside is divided into rooms, rooms into fixtures, and then the fixtures break down into compartments with different names depending on whether it's a refrigerator, book case, medicine cabinet, etc. Now of course there are non-hierarchic links, that accounts for serendipity or daydreaming, but when you want to get a job done, hierarchies do the hard work of organizing for quick retrieval.
ZDNet: "The United States Copyright Office is launching a rare round of public comment on rules that bar people from breaking through digital copy-protection technology on works such as music, movies, software or electronic books. Regulators aren't looking to change the law, but they are looking for public suggestions on what kinds of activity should be legalized in spite of the rules."
Mitch Ratcliffe notes that some bloggers took money from Microsoft for travel expenses, and apparently didn't disclose that to their readers. "There are people at every company paid to create favorable coverage of the company -- bloggers are an emerging and ripe target for these people," says Ratcliffe. His piece is important. Thanks to Michael Fraase for the pointer.
Scott Mace is blogging the Parks Associates 15th Annual Forum 2002 from the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco today.
Thinking about thinking. That's the difference between outliner users and everyone else. They think about thinking. They're aware of their own process. Only people who think about thinking get to a place where they can invest in being more efficient in their thinking. Maybe "only" is too strong a word. Some people say they don't think in outlines. Yeah yeah. But hanging information on a hierarchy makes it easy to forget it and focus on new ideas and relationships. It's a good way to relax intellectually.
In 14 hundred 92 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
Dan Gillmor: "I'm at Agenda 2003, a considerably downsized version of the ones from the past."
WOO HOO GIANTS FANS EVERYWHERE ARE HAPPY TONIGHT. "Great fcuking baseball," says Uncle Gravy. "New York Yankees fans, eat my shorts," he continued.
NY Times: "Far away from the buzz and the glamour, Slashdot survives and thrives."
Rob McNair-Huff: "With my PowerBook away to be repaired for the first 10 days on this month, I found myself using Mac OS 9.x and even Windows in between shifts of using my wife's PowerBook. Here is what I missed most about having my own OS X-based machine to work with.."
A screen shot of the RSS Explorer tool, a work in progress.
Steve Zellers: "Shouldn't people opposed to the upcoming Iraq war, in their off days, march against fundamentalist hatred?"
Joshua Allen: "Carter invented the most formidable technique known to peace-prize contestants this century: Kissing Dictators."
Kevin Kelly: "As Jack Valenti, the chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, has pointed out, digitizing films is expensive. 'Who is going to digitize these public domain movies?' he asks. I have an answer: movie buffs."
120 days no smoking today. I still want one. But I can't visualize myself as a smoker. Last week I hung out with a couple of smokers. I even stood next to one while he smoked. I couldn't believe how strong it was. It made me cough just to stand next to him. I didn't want one then. Isn't that funny.
I started work on a new tool called RSS Explorer. It'll be a very fine piece of software. It allows you to browse another Radio user's subscriptions, and click checkboxes to subscribe. You can add a lot of feeds very quickly. I started with my own subscription list, and then tested with Jon Udell's and Jenny Levine's. If you have a collection of good feeds, and don't mind sharing with other Radio users, please send me a pointer to your mySubscriptions.opml.
Jeff Cheney: "I subscribe to over 200 RSS feeds, mostly individual weblogs rather than traditional media outlets."
Also, I realize there's a need for a RSS module for redirection. I noted that Jon Udell needed it, and that Rogers Cadenhead needs it now. Not everyone can control their server enough to program an HTTP-level redirect. Would someone like to propose a module? It should be easy to program Radio to support it and we can evangelize it to other aggregators. This could be a first experience at really working together, with no flames. What do you think? Is it time??
Yes, the weather in California is very fine today, but we're watching the NLCS, Giants vs Cardinals. With any luck it'll be an All-California World Series. The Angels have the lead in the ALCS. (The usual disclaimer applies, the American League is, of course, not a "real" league.) Postscript: Great game, but the Giants lost. Big 3-run Bonds home run. Lots of hits, lots of errors. Giants lead series 2-1.
Real-time comments, on my Radio weblog.
Lessig wrote up his experience arguing Eldred before the US Supreme Court.
What is Tag Soup?
Brian Foote, Joseph Yoder: Big Ball of Mud.
Another voicemail last night from President George W Bush. He wants me to file an absentee ballot. He wants me to vote for what he calls "great Republican candidates." He didn't leave a callback number this time either.
Time: Invasion of the Robo-Editors. "Google delivers a surprisingly high-quality product that's just as relevant and up-to-date as the human-edited news outlets with which it competes."
BlogStreet's Top-100 is good source for RSS feeds.
According to the Times, NYC mayor Bloomberg wanted to march in the Columbus Day parade with two actors from The Sopranos, Uncle Junior and Tony's psychiatrist. The sponsors of the parade said no, and filed suit against the mayor (only in NY). The mayor withdrew, instead he's going to have a nice Italian dinner with the two in the Bronx.
Carter wins Nobel Peace PrizeOnly the third US President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, after Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter had an imperfect presidency, followed by a lengthy career as an ambassador for peace on behalf of the United States. His political fortune rose in the aftermath of the two humiliating defeats for the US, the war in Vietnam, and the Watergate scandal and Ford's pardon of Nixon. Carter was the first presidential candidate I voted for. Like many others, I came to see him as a weak president, but in later years came to appreciate his values of honesty, hard work, and an uncompromising sense of what's right. It's unfortunate that his award was tainted by politics from the awarding committee, but the award stands on its own. As an American I am proud that Jimmy Carter, who represents what's good about my country, is this year's Nobel Laureate.
NY Times: "Former President Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his 'untiring effort' to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts and to advance democracy and human rights." BBC report.
White House biography of Jimmy Carter.
ABA Journal: "Ernest Svenson is a blawger."
Dan Shafer is looking for help displaying his RSS feed.
Mark Pilgrim has a new innovative use for RSS. He accumulates inbound pointers to specific articles on his site in an RSS 2.0 feed. It's so twisty it drives my mind crazy. In a few minutes this comment will appear in his feed.
NY Times: "The Senate voted overwhelmingly early this morning to authorize President Bush to use force against Iraq, joining with the House in giving him a broad mandate to act against Saddam Hussein." I hope it's a bluff.
Wired: "Wired News looks a little bit different today. OK, it's a lot different."
Apple: XML-RPC vs SOAP.
Brian Jepson is blogging the Sells Brothers Web Services conference.
News.Com: "In a letter sent to more than 2,000 university presidents, the RIAA, MPAA and other copyright owner trade groups told university officials that large numbers of students were using college resources to violate federal law."
Mary Wehmeier: "Yesterday explosions lit up the bottom of the old Moline Public Hospital Building."
Rogers Cadenhead: "I think Dmoz is a pretty amazing accomplishment -- 52,000 editors, 13 million sites, not $1 in income, and yet it's the best directory on the Internet."
Werblog: "Andy Oram doesn't get it."
Aaron Swartz: Mr Swartz Goes to Washington.
Ernie the Attorney: "Lessig did a great job, but the larger forces are against the argument that he advances."
Steve Zellers: "I'm getting ready for my first real vacation in about 14 years."
John Robb: "Without 14.4 modems, there wouldn't have been a Internet boom."
In today's NY Times, David Pogue reviews Microsoft's new entertainment PC spec and OS, awkwardly named XPMCE.
Two years ago today: "Someday there will be new explosive-growth technology, like PCs, graphic user interfaces and the Web. When it happens we'll know it. Unfortunately wanting it isn't enough to make it happen. The time has to be right. And there has to be real new value, something inefficient that's routed around, and nothing that can be done to stop the wheels of progress."
Almost needless to say, another kickass West Wing last night. It's like a great movie, every Wednesday night. I mean a really great movie like Any Given Sunday or Fail Safe. Best line. Camera zooms on McGarry after hearing that the Israeli Foreign Minister's plane was shot down over Lebanon. "Now why didn't I see that coming?" Runner up. CJ says that Ritchie would have to set his podium on fire to lose the debate with Bartlet. (She actually says it in the inverse, he wins if he doesn't set his podium on fire.) And of course, the closing line, where Bartlet gets ready to drill a new one for Ritchie, the twinkle in his eye is what makes you want to tune in next week. What a great show.
Yesterday we released changes that allow script writers to catch namespaces in RSS 2.0 feeds. This is part of a pass we're doing over UserLand's aggregator to add features, performance and depth now that RSS 2.0 is deploying. This feature is part of the depth.
Here's how it works. You can, by adding a script in the right place, have a script "catch" an element of any namespace. When it appears in a feed the user is subscribed to, your script runs, it can store the information in the compliation table for the feed, or act on it in any way it wants (it could download a file, play an MP3 file, make a phone call, anything a script can do).
Here's a screen shot that shows the built-in module drivers. Of course there's also a user-table that allows you to override the built-ins.
What does this feature mean? At the very least we'll be able to support different ways of saying the same thing. We hope this part isn't necessary, that implementors of RSS 2.0 feeds use the core elements whenever possible. But the expandability is there in the format, so the expandability should be in the aggregator. The next step is to add the balancing feature in the UserLand RSS 2.0 serializer, to allow geeky users to easily add their own elements to their RSS 2.0 feeds.
It's even worse. Look at the taxonomy for that category, it's under RDF, under Libraries. There are so many things wrong with DMOZ (it's even worse with Yahoo), they all trace back to one thing, unlike the Web, the directories don't admit competition. Once someone owns a category it's theirs until they give it up. To cure the problem every section should have at least three editors to be sure you don't have political outages. And the name of the editor should be public information. And it should be possible to organize the data in different ways so you don't end up with an important category like news aggregators deeply buried in a niche. Libraries are important, but news is for more than libraries.
Postscript 10:50AM Pacific. The system works, sort of. Radio is back in the news readers category on DMOZ. Apparently it had been there before previously, but the editor took it out. Radio never stopped being a news reader, so it's not clear why it was taken out of the category.
Slate: "First movers get creamed more often than not, but they leave behind much-beloved corpses."
NY Times report on Eldred v Ashcroft.
Jim Seymour, a long-time contributor to PC Magazine, died yesterday. Best wishes to his family and colleagues.
Here's a new version of Doc Searls's RSS feed, it's based on the OPML version, and it should work, fingers crossed, knock on Murphy, praise wood.
InfoWorld: Microsoft eases copy protection in XP.
Microsoft's XDocs product, announced sometime this week, sure is confusing. Isn't stuff like this supposed to happen in the Web browser, so it can be cross-network, cross-browser and cross-platform? A News.Com report doesn't shed much light. eWeek reports that XDocs comes from NetDocs, which we remember hearing about a couple of years ago before it was swallowed up in the Office group at Microsoft. Screen shot of XDocs on Microsoft's website.
Don Park: "Microsoft's XDocs sounds very similar to the product I have been building."
Organica crawls weblogs and "makes statistics on what's popular right now, related sites, who links to who, which tools are being used, webservers being used for weblogs and so on."
Alan Reiter: "The hardest substance on Earth isn't a diamond, but the thick, dense skulls of wireless data marketing executives at cellular companies."
Thanks to TiVO I was able to catch up on the season premiere of Law and Order. The new District Attorney is played by a sitting US Senator from Tennessee, Fred Thompson. A real politician playing the role of a politician. Hmmmm.
BBC: "The number of users taking advantage of illegal file-sharing on the net is on the rise, according to new figures from analyst firm Jupiter Media." Illegal?
NY Times: "ABC, CBS and NBC may not have covered the president's speech in Cincinnati on Monday night, but it was still one of the most-watched television events of the evening."
Lots of great suggestions for the software designer nomination for Wired. Thanks.
My parents had two friends Alice and Ralph (not their real names). Alice was from Missouri and Ralph from France. They were married and had three kids, two boys and a girl, and lived in the same apartment complex we did in Queens.
Ralph was a wannabe magnate. He was going to pattern his family after the Rothschilds, who like Ralph were from France and Jewish. Now I was just a kid, but I thought he was silly bordering on pathetic. I wanted to tell him, hey schmuck, you live in an apartment in Queens. You aren't a Rothschild. You aren't the alpha male in a dynasty of rich French Jews. But I didn't say it, because who was I to piss on his dream. I was just a kid. Back then they slapped kids with attitudes. Heh.
I hadn't thought of him in this way for many years until I was reminded by another almost-broke Jew with dreams of grandeur. It's okay to have dreams, but don't get arrogant about it until you achieve them, and even then, there's nothing worse than a sore winner.
DaveNet: What is a News Aggregator?
Interesting pushback. A reader says Google News creams news aggregators. That hadn't occurred to me. I tried Google News. 4000 pubs all reporting the same story is 4000 times more boring than one. Didn't interest me one bit. I'm spoiled, I've got my own virtual newspaper.
Register: "Google loves the weblogging community, because it creates useful content and helps us categorize the web."
Jon Udell: "What would it be like to Google your email?"
Mark Pilgrim: In praise of evolvable formats. "If it were April Fool's Day, the Net's only official holiday, and you wanted to design a 'novelty format' to slip by the W3C as a joke, it might look something like RSS 0.9x/2.0." A beautiful essay. I laughed out loud a dozen times reading it. If you aspire to design real-world formats and protocols, or if you just want to understand how they evolve, this is a must-read.
AOL's Ted Leonsis: "I'm like a cockroach that survives the nuclear winter."
Le French localization of Radio is ready.
Slashdot readers interview Dan Gillmor.
Last year on this day: "Mets fans take the long-term view."
This year I'm part of the Wired Magazine Brain Trust -- a group of people who choose the nominees for their annual Rave Awards. Ten people choose the nominees in each of fifteen categories. We don't know who the others are, and we don't meet. I just turn in a name and Wired Mag takes it from there.
My category is Software Designer. At first I thought this would be too difficult, there hasn't been much software design in 2002, but then I carefully read the instructions, and it doesn't say anything about this year. So broaden the question, who would we like to honor for most wired software design over all time.
I thought of Doug Engelbart, of course, but he's won so many awards. Same with Mitch Kapor, another software designer I admire. I thought of nominating someone who's very young, but software design as an art seems to have skipped a few generations. However if there's some fantastically well-designed software out there, please let me know about it. It doesn't matter (to me) if it has a billion users, I'd like to discover a diamond in the rough and help it rise.
Another possibility -- someone famous who isn't usually thought of as a software designer. An example, Tim Berners-Lee, the designer of the World Wide Web. We usually think of TBL as an inventor not a designer. But he was a great designer.
Anyway, the point of this post is this: if you have a suggestion, please let me know. Thanks.
Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for defeating the Atlanta Braves this evening and advancing to the National League Championship Series against the St Louis Cardinals. What a cliff-hanger, what a surprising ending. And thanks to Dan Shafer for blogging the play by play. That made it even more interesting.
Eight years ago on this day I wrote my first DaveNet essay. It would lead to all the things I do today on the Web, including this weblog, and the CMS in Frontier, Manila, and Radio UserLand. I wrote DaveNet retrospectives in 2001, 1999, 1997 and 1995.
10/7/97: "I'd like my legacy to be that I helped people be kinder to each other, to find more fun in other people, not to be so threatened by the differences between people."
Werblog says farewell to Teledesic. A sidenote, Werblog has become one of my favorite subscribed-to weblogs. I have a high expectation that I'll quote Kevin whenever I visit. Now, as Kevin can testify, when I just read his stuff in occasional big think-pieces in Esther's newsletter, I found a lot not to like. Getting a couple of thoughts every few days from Kevin has helped me see what a smart guy he is.
A sample chapter from the new O'Reilly book on blogging.
The Italian version of Radio is localized and ready to use.
Dan Shafer: "Does anyone know of Weblog sites that perform services for Webloggers?"
Common misperceptions. 1. Movable Type is open source. 2. You can't edit the template of a Radio site. First, MT provides source, but it is not available under an open source license. You can't republish it, for example, as you could with Python, Apache, Linux or other open source software. Radio is not open source either (nor is Blogger) but we provide the source to much of the functionality, but not all. In practice very few users use this capability, but those who do appreciate it. Second, you can most definitely edit anything in a Radio weblog. It's totally editable. You can even use your favorite text editor if you don't like doing it in a browser, the templates are stored in files in the www sub-folder of the Radio folder. To edit, double-click the icon in the Finder or on Windows, in the Explorer. Make the change. Save.
Mark Pilgrim says he tuned into Scripting News this morning expecting to see what I thought of the W3C's change in its patent policy. Since I had no advance knowledge of the decision, it took me some time to figure out what had changed, and honestly I'm still not sure. Anyway, here's what I think -- the W3C needs the money from the BigCo's and they do patents. But the Web can't tolerate having its standards controlled and taxed by companies. So the W3C is being stretched, and I don't think they can pull it off long-term. It would have been better to forgoe the big budget, tell the BigCo's to take a hike, and say no patents, without any exceptions or qualifications. I would have supported that. Anything short of that is giving comfort to the enemy. Does that answer the question Mark?
NY Times: "According to a lawyer for the record industry, the programmers in Estonia who once possessed a copy of the program's source code told a judge there last week that they no longer had it, but they would not say where it was."
News.Com: "Content Management Server 2002 will retail for $42,000 per processor."
If you're puttering around looking for something to do, and have HBO, at 6PM Pacific on HBO Family, they're showing a really great movie, Regarding Henry. It's about a life that changes in a good way as a result of something most people (including me) would think of as a disaster. I saw it a few weeks ago and can safely say it changed the way I think in a deep way. Not many movies do that.
Newsweek: "Larry Lessig admits it: he’s nervous."
I got a voicemail yesterday from President George W Bush. It wasn't really a personal message. He'd like me to support his candidates. He didn't leave a number to call him back at. If he had, I would have thanked him for the call, and would have told him that I did not plan to vote for his great Republican candidates. I guess it's kind of rude to leave a voicemail without a number. Maybe he assumes I already have it. What do you think?
Faisal Jawdat notes that the President has a Web site, with a page of contact info, including several phone numbers. It's not clear which one he picks up. We're getting closer! Perhaps I'll get to talk with him. I'm beginning to get an idea of what we'll talk about.
Zeldman froths over Microsoft's use of the font tag, which is legal HTML, though it's been deprecated by the W3C.
Jon Udell: "Utah CIO Phil Windley will be speaking at the digital identity conference next week in Denver."
Is there a list of people with weblogs who will be at the conference in Denver next week? If so, please add Scripting News to the list. Thanks!
Mark Pilgrim: "Google has made some major changes in their most recent update."
Danny O'Brien on Google News: "Clipping services are going to have to find some added value, very very quickly."
Two years ago today I had dinner with Doug Engelbart.
Jeremy Zawodny: "Is it just me, or is RSS really, really close to critical mass?"
Dr Mike Lance, a professor at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, says they're teaching RSS in New Zealand too. The students write their own aggregators, and the fact that there's lots of great content in RSS serves as a motivator. He adds "The different RSS versions also add the the 'joy' of the exercise for students." Coool!
Yale Law: Revenge of the Blog. 11/22/02 in New Haven, CT.
News.Com: "Maybe it's the location, maybe it's the water, maybe it's just good karma, but there's something about the building at 165 University Ave. that seems to breed successful tech companies."
Werblog: "The crash has now lasted as long as the bubble."
Dinner last night was fun with Chris Locke, Denise Howell, Halley Suitt, Kevin Marks, Robert Scoble, and my brother Peter Winer (no weblog, yet). We didn't cover that much business, talked a bit about outliners and QuickTime (not related) and sang a new blog song, sung to the tune of the Meow Mix theme. The words go like this. Blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, etc etc.
Kevin, who works at Apple, says we should wire RSS up to Rendezvous. Basically when someone pops on the network who has an RSS feed, this info would be available to all people on the network. Of course as a Windows user I wanted to know if this would work for me. We're going to look into it.
Denise, who is an attorney, asked me if I knew Ernie the Attorney, and I said I sure do. I asked what we can do to help build the network of attorneys with weblogs, and she told me about a conference at Yale in November, on just that subject. Okay, I gotta be there, or maybe John Robb (or Jon Udell) can go.
And many thanks to Halley for opening up Harvard to the bloggers. I had some great talks with the Harvard people, and of course had a few comments during the sessions. They seem quite curious about weblogs, and that's good. I think the combination of business schools and the new communication tools are a natural fit. Our economy needs the kind of boost that only new technology can provide, and weblogs and news aggregators are ready and waiting.
Now some notes on the conference itself. The speakers and panels were excellent, the conference was very academic, not really a surprise I suppose. The highlights were Clay Christensen's thought-provoking talk about innovation that works and doesn't; a panel of IT people from huge companies (GM, Jet Blue); and the closing session by Gary Loveman, the COO of Harrah's. He's a wonderful presenter, and had a great story (except the part about their patents, yuck). Andy Grove was mostly impossible to understand, speaking in a muffled voice, and when we could make out his words, he came off as aloof and princely. Dan'l Lewin from Microsoft was pure advertising. Scott Cook chairman of Intuit, uninspiring, a spin doctor. The VCs were so stupid, who cares what they think anymore? Not me. Net-net the professors and customers were interesting, the industry was not.
Onion: "The Recording Industry Association of America filed a $7.1 billion lawsuit against the nation's radio stations Monday, accusing them of freely distributing copyrighted music." Heh.
MusicDish: "In a shocking statement made by Back Street Boy, Kevin Richardson, he testified that they have never received a royalty check."
Just heard Aaron Swartz on NPR's Marketplace talking about warchalking. Good job.
Register: Microsoft buys Liquid Audio DRM patents.
Shitty season? Fire the manager.
NY Times: "The 70 percent decline in the share price of AOL Time Warner since the merger has reduced Mr Turner's personal fortune, once more than $9 billion, most of it in company stock."
AP: "AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case expressed confidence about the troubled media conglomerate's future on Tuesday, and indicated that he sees his role at the company continuing."
Reading this article about Microsoft's strategy for Web Services, something clicked. What if the telephone had been positioned by Microsoft as a tool for business process automation. It would be hard to argue that it wasn't that. But is that all it is? Of course not! (And what's so weird about this is that Microsoft made the most money selling productivity tools, and OSes to run the tools, unless I missed something in the last twenty-five years or so.)
Another angle on the same subject. Yesterday on NPR's All Things Considered, a report on a college town in the state of Georgia that's installing WiFi over the whole downtown district. The college is paying for it (only $85K). Of course this is a great idea, it'll make the college much more attractive and the town more useful. But they totally have the wrong idea about what it will be used for (or ATC asked the wrong people). It will be used for email, instant messaging, reading news, and blogging (and probably porn too). It's not just about finding out what's happening in the town or at the college -- it's about what's happening in the world, and creating stuff that's part of the world. People still think of the Internet as something like TV, so by extrapolation of course town-level WiFi must be like local TV, but geez folks, get a clue -- the Internet is two-way not one-way.
Jeremy Zawodny is blogging the O'Reilly OS X conference.
Halley's Comment: When Two Syllables Just Won't Do.
Chris Gulker's friend Clark Atkinson bought a nice $8,000 dog house. In 1965, my parents bought a nice three bedroom people house for $32,000.
Adam Curry on his new TV show: "Showing me blogging about the show is kinda like inhaling your own exhaust." Coool!
Daniel Berlinger on progress in RSS: "It seems like breakage will be nil, and extensibility preserved. This is a marvelous outcome."
From Central India comes this shocking news: "The NDA government at the Centre is run by RSS."
Looks like Google changed their ranking algorithm recently, maybe yesterday. To give you an idea what happened, in June if you searched for Dave I was number one, then I slipped to number two, now I'm number four. I still think this is ridiculous, I rank higher than The Dave Matthews Band. Hello. They're famous, I'm an iconoclast, at best (on a good day). But I'm irked that Scripting News isn't on the top page when you search for weblog. I think it clearly belongs there. Bottom-line, I think Google's algorithm is quirky, or the implementation is buggy, or both. When it first came out it was a miracle. Now I expect more. It's good if they're fixing bugs. When people say they're taking food out of their family's mouth, I think they should get a real job. Depending on the vagaries of an algorithm programmed by engineers at a VC-backed Silicon Valley dotcom-vestigial company is not a good idea. A bit of friendly advice.. Don't tell the loan officer at the bank that's how you're making your mortgage payments.
BTW, I tried changing the title to Scripting News Weblog, and then Dave Winer's Scripting News Weblog, as hints for Google, but it didn't make any difference in its rankings under Weblog or Dave. Getting lots of email on this. Some of it pretty nasty. Amazing what people get upset about.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.