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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 06, 2002. Wednesday, November 06, 2002

New feature for Radio: Mail-From-Aggregator. "Some people like to read the news that the aggregator gathers in email. This can be useful if you travel a lot, or want to share news with a group of people who may not use Radio." 

News.Com: "Fritz Hollings will no longer head the Senate Commerce committee." 

Daniel Berlinger summarizes the differences in XML-RPC interfaces among the popular blogging tools. 

Diego Doval: "I don't like vaporware of any kind." 

Tomorrow we'll have another innovation for the Land O'Aggregators, a loop back to a feature of the centralized My.UserLand.Com in 1999. It'll change the topology, redefine the art, the technology and the market. Hehe. Cute.  

A small bugfix in the RSS 2.0 spec. 

In the past, a BigCo salesperson giving a presentation in Europe might feel safe that his words would never make it back to the US. Not true anymore. In fact, the words make it home in the time it takes to type them into a weblog

A picture named replay.gifKevin Werbach is at a meeting with lots of bigshot media execs in NY and reports that they love to talk about TiVO as a threat, or a competitive factor or something they want to sue out of business. One thing they never get about TiVO is the profoundness of the feature that skips backwards and lets you replay a snippet. I've come to want that feature in every audio and video device I own from the car radio to the walkman, my iPod (amazingly it doesn't have it), and even with people I'm talking with, both in person and on the phone. "You said that in an interesting way, now what exactly did you say?" Listen the same way I read. And would you tell them for me that I do this with their friggin commercials too -- when they're interesting or especially depraved. Maybe they'll get the clue that it's time to stop programming us with their commercials and start educating and entertaining.  

Congrats to the Republicans. Now they control everything. What a war we're going to have, and the Supreme Court is going to get packed. Let's hope there's something left to vote out of office in 2004.  

Who's the fool? 

Reading Scot Hacker's account of using a competitor's blogging tool for a course at UC-Berkeley I was truly puzzled. They were trying to make Movable Type behave like a news publishing system, where system managers and content engineers do the production work, and reporters and editors write and keep their hands off the editorial system. But but, if it's a weblogs class, that's wrong. They should all be doing weblogs, nothing more, nothing less. Maybe I'm missing something.

A picture named lessig.gifAnyway, here's what I would have done, assuming I had to use MT. Give each student their own weblog. If you must have a top home page, make that a weblog too (it's not a very webloggish idea, let there be competition for the "top" page). Open one item on the top home and link to stories as they come online on the satellite sites. Go with the grain of the tool. The hacks Scot describes are wrong, they go against the grain of the product he's using.

Further, a tool like Manila, which is very popular in education, has the concept of editorial roles, which come in handy in applications like this. No klooging necessary. Also with John VanDyk's Metadata Plugin, you can add arbitrary bits of info to each article with ease, and display it in the templates. (Note to John, did I get it right?)

John says: "Yes, you got it right. But the real power comes when you use the arbitrary bits not to simply display information but to make decisions. E.g. is the value of Workflow_Status set to approved? No? Then a request to display the page will fail. Is the value of Article_Type set to product review? Then include it in our index of product reviews. Etc."

Father update 

On a positive note, my father is getting better, and it looks like he will survive. He has a really bad combination, he lost half his blood due to a sudden stomach ulcer, then got pneumonia, and then sepsis. His health was declining rapidly, and at 73, it didn't seem like he could pull out and rally. But the signs are now going in the right direction. He's not breathing on his own yet, but they're pumping less. The infections are receding. All-in-all it appears he's going to pull through. Of course this is amazing news.

Unless there's a radical change this will be my last update on this topic. It's not the usual content here on Scripting News. Thanks to everyone for the prayers and good wishes. It appears they are working!


Last update: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 at 6:57 PM Eastern.

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