Jim Allchin: "Google's a very nice system, but compared to my vision, it's pathetic."
Google CEO Eric Schmidt is presenting at PARC on March 6. Wonder if he thinks Allchin's vision is pathetic.
The Blogger-Google FAQ. "The people at Google have done a great job over the years making sure their search results are honest and objective and there's no reason they would change that policy for Blogger or anyone else."
Paul Nakada points out that the Crimson archive goes back to 1873. Wow. Wait. It gets better. Esther Dyson wrote for the Crimson in the early 70s. Thanks to Brian Dear for that bit. It's one of the few publications whose archive goes back to the 70s, and it's utterly amazing that it goes back to the 1870s.
Tim Bray has a weblog. Good idea!
Ernie is keeping a list of attorneys with RSS feeds.
Ralph Nader: "The United States spends more than $1 billion annually to examine patents. Despite this expenditure, the Patent Office has become a glorified diploma mill, routinely granting rights that should never have been issued. The patents wouldn't stand up in court, but they're expensive to litigate. So why are we forcing developing countries to follow our lead when we don't do a good job ourselves?"
I treated myself to a beautiful new laptop yesterday. I'm setting it up now. Yes, it runs Windows XP. I'm now no longer an XP virgin. Okay Microsoft, you win. Uncle. Wish me luck. BTW, this is a replacement for my desktop computer. It's more capable. I'm donating my desktop to UserLand, so I can give friends some free Manila sites even if they aren't at Harvard.
I treated myself to a copy of SimCity 4 to play on my new computer, but Nelson Minar says it's not a very good piece of software. I used to waste so much time building cities. I'll still give it a try, but I suspect he's right based on my experience with other follow-ons to SimCity. (Postscript: I installed it, the program launched -- very confusing. Couldn't figure out how to quit the app. Ctrl-Alt-Delete worked.)
This morning, the Crimson, Harvard's student newspaper, has an article about what we're doing with weblogs. The author, a freshman named Sam J Lin, interviewed John Palfrey, Matthew Yglesias and myself.
One factual error -- we don't need to install servers all over the campus, the one server we already have can do about 1000 weblogs, so it'll be a while before we need more hardware.
I loved the closing paragraph, the author of the piece has a weblog, so he's a believer (I added him to the directory) but his editor must have insisted that he get a negative spin on it. Matthew of course, immediately blogged it, demonstrating the power of the medium. I wouldn't be surprised if Sam blogged it too. (Postscript: he did.)
Now of course I have to wonder -- does the Crimson have an RSS feed?
Writing about my cross-country drive is good for the soul. I talked about the northern route, below, now let's talk about the southern route. Stop in Phoenix where I have a dinner invite, catch some baseball, then cross New Mexico and Texas, swing into New Orleans for some gumbo with Ernie the Attorney, drive across the Florida panhandle and stop in to see Rogers Cadenhead, south of St Augustine and then dump my body in the Atlantic Ocean and body surf. That's the soul part. Then drive north up I-95 and do a North Carolina tour, maybe even have dinner with Howard Coble! Then on to DC, put on my warm winter clothes and head north to New York and swing into Boston.
Shed a few tears today for Mister Rogers. He's one of those guys you just take for granted until he dies. On NPR I heard a comment from a mother about the stressful lives her kids live, and how they found Rogers so relaxing at the end of a rough day at school. Now there's something that hadn't occurred to me. Rogers sure was relaxing. Thanks.
I read comments from Jason Kottke and Martin Schwimmer yesterday that changed my thinking about Google. Also two reports on News.Com, one about a new ad program on Google, and another on a new patent that has been issued to them, apparently their first one. Then I read the excellent Google Village commentary (that site is so good).
Put it all together, and Google has changed. Kottke is right, it is no longer a search engine. He gets one thing wrong, there is nothing more they can do to improve the search engine with Blogger content, unless they ignore changes.xml from weblogs.com, but I bet that's exactly what they're doing. I suppose it's not immoral, but get this -- it's not web-like.
Google started as a response to bloat and non-weblike-behavior among the search engines. At least that's what we hoped they were. They never actually said. This is what their success is built on, we perceive their love of the Web. Now it becomes clearer, thanks to Martin's comments, that they just want to put ads on our stuff. Why didn't I see that before.
Joi Ito sent me an email last night saying that UserLand should insist that Google include Radio and Manila (and Movable Type) sites in their ad program. I responded by asking Joi if he wanted ads on his weblog. He said no. I thought that was interesting because I don't want them either. I don't know why I don't want them, perhaps if I could make some real money doing it, but I don't think anyone is going to offer me that. And if they did, I would wonder what they want in return. Really, no kidding.
And in a way I didn't like to be asked the question about UserLand, because I'm going the other way. Google came out of academia, so did I, a generation before. Now I'm going back. What has become of the commercial world is a mockery of my dreams for it. It's going around in loops. Now what the world needs to replace Google is a Google like the one that we fell in love with, one that's working for the greater good, that points off site for no reason other than it's the right place to point to. Now with their patents, and their captured content, Google is no longer that. It's a loop because five years ago you could have said exactly the same about Alta Vista or Infoseek, after they became more than a just search engine.
Anyway, as with all middle of the night screeds, it's quite possible that I'll see the light in the morning and realize this was wrong or paranoid, or whatever.
Postscript: Another possibility -- we could just ignore the ads.
I've now got dinner invitations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. This suggests a northern route for my cross-country drive. There would be some closure to stopping in Madison on the way back east. When I moved to California in 1979, my departure point was East Johnson Street in Madison.
On my way out of town I happened to stop at a light and saw a former landlord. I gave him the finger. At first he didn't see it and he waved with a smile. Then he did and returned the gesture. So if there's any unity or balance, perhaps Bill Kozak will be standing on East Johnson when I drive back in to Madtown, with his middle finger raised, and when he sees me, he will smile and wave.
Newsweek: Blogman Becomes Harvardman. Heh.
Lessig: "American software developers will continue to choke on software patents."
Wouldn't you know it, just as I'm moving out of town, they add Jing Jing to the menu at Waiters on Wheels. Praise Murphy!
News.Com: Google's search for new ad revenue.
BBC: "A chain of UK internet cafes is offering low-cost wireless net access at its branches."
David Davies: Mobile blogging how-to guide.
Here's what Google can do for weblogs that would be a service to the weblog community -- classify and group them. Give me an accurate list of all the librarian weblogs, and all the lawyer weblogs, and all the weblogs of people who have implemented an XML-RPC stack. You get the idea. They have been able to do this with news stories, it seems they should also be able to do it with weblogs. This is the biggest unsolved problem I see in this world, and I don't know how to solve it, it's not what I do. Postscript: Tom Matrullo wants this too.
On this day two years ago Bill Humphries found NASDAQ feeds in XML. They're still there and they still work.
I'm giving a seminar at Dartmouth on May 9 entitled "Internet protocols for the Web as a writing environment." Interesting timing, because it was five years ago, to the day, that I wrote the piece that inspired XML-RPC and SOAP. "It's RPC over HTTP via XML. I believe it's the next protocol for runtimes."
It's striking how fast the new community aggregator is. It's only subscribed to 18 feeds but it usually completes scans in less than ten seconds. I figure this is because it's on a fast local network that's close to a backbone.
As with many "firsts" on the Web, the current moblog craze was well-explored last year and the year before and likely the year before that.
David Davies, last year, for example, blogged from the crowd at a football match, and from inside a plane.
The fact that so many things are new so many times is a good thing, even though to those who came before it can be very irritating to see people claim credit for inventing what you thought you invented. Here's why it's good. Because ideas get improved, and made relevant in new contexts. It's why patents in software are so dangerous and so unlikely to be deserved.
I explained it once quite concisely. "Everything on the Internet is just like something else. Or if it's any good it's just like everything else."
And I have a motto to go with this, of course. "Only steal from the best."
Reuters: Blog publishers stealing Web limelight.
I'm not pro-war, but all the estimates of what it would cost to win the war I've heard are missing one thing. We can pay for reconstructing Iraq by pumping oil. We can also pay ourselves back for the cost of the war.
I'm not pro-Microsoft but I'm listening. What am I hearing? A realization in Redmond that developers can read books and trial transcripts. We remember Smart Tags. Yeah Netscape was arrogant, but Microsoft screwed everyone by driving them out more viciously than anyone thought they had. I recall the work on SOAP interop that was flushed down the toilet, after telling Markoff at the Times that Microsoft understands why interop is so important, and won't screw it up this time. Well they screwed it up anyway. These days I hear a lot from Microsoft asking what will it take to get us to invest in them. The answer has become clear -- put some of your skin in the game. Implement our protocols and formats in your software, instead of trying to convince us to implement yours in ours. Been there, done that, lost, again and again. No more of that. Make sure that when you screw up, and you will, that you lose, not us. Then we can talk.
BBC: "Pioneer 10, the first of only four spacecraft to leave our Solar System, has sent its last signal."
Paul Boutin is moving to NYC this weekend.
Looking for a job in Spartanburg, South Carolina? It's now a weblog with an RSS 2.0 feed, a first, as far as I know, and a very valid application of RSS. Steve Ivy writes: "JobMart.com has RSS Feeds of each of their databases." Aaron Cope reports that the Perl jobs site has had feeds for "as long as I can remember."
UserLand is offering storage upgrades for Radio users.
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon was issued a patent yesterday pertaining to discussion group software.
Kottke: "When companies get big, do they just naturally turn into bullies or is it a conscious decision?"
Not enough people are using RSS aggregators. So far it's mostly been for people with a substantial investment in information, engineers, librarians, lawyers. A lot more people, even people with liberal arts degrees, would use the software, if they knew how valuable it is.
Back in 1999 the first aggregator -- My.UserLand, was very easy to use. There just weren't that many feeds that would appeal to someone with an English degree. Now that's different. We have the NY Times, BBC, the Harvard weblogs, and more on the way all the time. So I spent some time yesterday creating a prototype for something that I'd like to add to Manila, as a gift, no need to pay me -- an aggregator at the community level. Here's how it works.
Each Manila site has one or more managing editors, contributing editors, content editors and members. The ME's can decide how public the site is, it could be totally private, members only, or some sections can be private. In this model, the MEs decide what feeds the community subscribes to. Then, using the same aggregator that's built into Radio, every hour, Manila reads the subscribed-to feeds, and they come together on the aggregator page on the Manila site. Each site on a server can subscribe to any number of feeds. If two sites subscribe to the same feed, it's actually only read once each hour. This optimization was surprisingly easy given Manila's internal architecture.
Anyway, a rough prototype of this is up and running at Harvard. You're welcome to try it out, even bookmark it. I still have a lot of work to do here. I want to have a page that shows you which feeds it's reading. The Prefs panel hasn't even started yet. Lots of work to do, but it is usable. Now if you've been curious about what it's like to run an aggregator of your own, check out this one which we're running for you.
In the News.Com interview that ran yesterday, I repeated an oft-repeated mantra. "The corporate application of Web services is perfectly valid. There's nothing wrong with using the Internet as way of moving money and purchase orders around. But that's not all there is, and it's not even the most interesting application. The way I see Web services is as a way of connecting server applications with writing tools for the purposes of creating weblogs."
It really is very simple. SOAP is glue that connects apps with rich user interfaces to gutsy faceless back-ends running on the Internet. It unplugs the bathtubs so you don't have to get into the trunk while the big guys do the driving. You can ride up front with Bill and his friends.
BTW, News.Com says "Web logs" and the rest of us say "weblogs." When quoting myself through News.Com I take the liberty of correcting the spelling.
News.Com: Blogging Comes to Harvard.
ABA Journal: "I’ve started getting fan mail now,” says Martin Schwimmer, publisher of the weblog called the Trademark Blog. “It’s safe to say that I got virtually no fan letters when I was just a trademark lawyer.”
Scott Rosenberg's piece about the Davos reporter who got caught saying what she really thinks.
Sterling Hughes: "Overture, Inktomi and Google will battle it out, and Inktomi is going to get creamed."
Matt Brown of Macromedia shows how to use Dreamweaver with Radio, thanks to Paolo and eVectors. "Blogging is cool," says Matt.
This evening I got something working that I've wanted for quite some time. A community RSS aggregator in Manila. I'll explain it in the morning. I still have another programming project tonight -- to get Radio working with Audblog. We've got the wire we need on the server side, now I have to try to call it from the workstation and see if it works. Fingers crossed. (Postscript: Worked the first time.) Praise Murphy. And Jake has an announcement, but I'm going to let him make it first on the Radio UserLand mail list before pointing to it here. There's gotta be a reward for being in the loop.
Ars Technica: "We're probably Harvard's oldest blog, and we're certainly its most popular."
Microsoft's threedegrees sounds really interesting. I read about it in Newsweek, current issue. It's an icon on your desktop that you can drop MP3s on. Then every one of your friends will hear the tune. It's like a group jukebox over the Internet. And you can play games with the icon. All an attempt to get you to switch from AIM or ICQ to Microsoft's Instant Messenger, but with proper bait, a sexy feature or two. It only runs on XP, so I won't be running it anytime soon, unless I buy a new laptop, which I'm thinking of doing.
Daypop Word Bursts are "heightened usage of certain words in weblogs within the last couple days."
LA Times: Internet users drive South Korean politics.
News.Com: "Overture Services plans to acquire the Web search services of Fast Search & Transfer, another sign that it intends to compete more strongly on the Internet search market."
Phil Ringnalda has implemented the white-on-orange XML icon in the more politically correct PNG format.
Dylan Greene did the button in CSS, which is precisely as politically correct as the PNG version.
Evan Williams says: "I hope I'm not that cynical when I'm older, just because I've been around the block a few times," about me, quoted here. Heh. I could play the age card too, in the reverse direction, but I won't.
Google is cut from the same cloth as every other Silicon Valley company. They hire from the same talent pool. I saw that last year when we were coordinating on the Google API. They're actually a bit dumber than earlier companies because the dotcom thing was such an incredible distortion field, there isn't any prior art on how to coexist anymore.
So they think they're the center of the universe, and get a lot of reinforcement for that, but it ain't true. It looks like they're going down the predictable path. So what. If you got stock Ev you're going to get a lot of Kleiner Perkins money, and I hope you invest it wisely.
Okay there's a tiny little bit of reverse "age card" stuff. Please forgive me. I mean well.
Now to the substance of what Ev said. I only noticed it after I got rid of the dirty ageist bit in his post. Ev says "Blogger Sells Out, some guy says. Dave, of course, agrees. Sigh."
A lot of entrepreneurs who sell out have a problem dealing with it. Even though they sold out they don't think they did. When I sold out in 1987, I went through the same thing. I am going through it now, living in a house that I sold. Did I sell out? Yes I did. It was raining yesterday and I was thinking how much the garden would love the rain in a couple of months when the sun returns. Ah ah. It won't be my garden then. For all I know the new owner will have already torn down the house and turned the garden into a dirty mess. It's his garden now to do with as he pleases. I don't think he really cares about it, he might not even know it exists. That's how selling a company works too. I was paid a lot of money to give it up. I sold out. Just like Evan did. Fact, not theory.
I knew this about my company a few moments after signing the papers to merge it with Symantec in 1987. Immediately the mood changed. I was given an order. I gulped. It's so strange. Why is he giving me an order? Oh that's right, I work for him now. Oy. This will strike Evan at some point, and I hope he blogs about it. He would make history in doing so.
Imagine a News.Com or NY Times article about the deal we're talking about. I might be able to get a sound bite in there, but that would be it. There would likely be a transcription error, so maybe I'd be quoted saying something I don't agree with, and it would also likely not be my best quote. But most important, people reading the article would not likely find out what I really think. And if new information was revealed over time, or for some reason my perspective shifted, that would not be part of the article because they only do one article about any given news event.
Because I have a weblog, I can write about it at length, several times. I can write until I'm finished. If you don't care, that's cool too, you can hit the Back button. But I get to say what I want, and I can get it right, and if I don't there's a fresh empty page tomorrow that I'm going to fill, Murphy-willing of course.
James Duff shows shows how to add RSS 2.0
New high-water mark today on weblogs.com, 1731 weblogs, at 11:06:52 AM. People sometimes ask what the high-water mark is. Look at the page. See the numbers down the left side. The highest that number has ever been, since the inception of weblogs.com, is 1731. There was a point when I thought 100 was a lot. Now it's creeping up on 2000. By the time it gets to 10,000 it will be unusable and we'll need to have a new approach to change notification. By then I think the idea of a desktop web server, like the one in Radio, will be common place, and we'll have a proxy server in there, and the software will be able to show you updates for weblogs that you have clicked on a lot in the past. Basically the software will be able to learn as you go. In order to get that you will need something like Radio on your desktop, or pay someone to run a server for you, or wait until Moore's Law makes 200 gigahertz CPUs for under $1000. After cleaning out my garage this weekend, I have no doubt we're going there. In the 80s I would have been surprised at how big and fast today's machines are, and I was an optimist back then.
BTW, speaking of weblogs.com, way back in December (seems like a lifetime ago) at the SuperNova conference, Sergey Brin from Google asked if there was a way to tap into the flow of changes on weblogs.com. There is. Lots of cool stuff has been built on changes.xml. It's updated every minute of every day. Then and now, competitor or not, it would be an honor to help Google find the newly changed weblogs.
This weekend I'll be at the Stanford Spectrum Conference.
Don Park: Rebooting the Examiner with P2P Journalism.
Lance Knobel: "Demos, one of the most interesting policy think tanks in the UK, has created a weblog for its staff to note ideas and developments, called the Greenhouse."
Maybe the skirt story was a hoax.
I've heard people say they don't like self-indulgent weblogs, where people talk about feelings, so if you're one of those, look the other way. Today a huge wave of regret swamped me; about leaving California, selling the house, moving east. My friends, my habits, the things I got so bored with, all of a sudden seemed so dear. Nothing more to say. I'm sure it will pass, and the excitement will return, but today was a sad, rainy, sweetly melancholy day.
Paolo: "It's amazing how stable Windows become without more Microsoft code running on top of it." That's exactly my experience. Windows itself is stable, but the server junk they throw on top of it blue screens, probably because MS engineers don't feel that they have to follow the rules, and they have access to the OS source code. We don't have access, so our code may crash, but it doesn't bring the system down with it.
Doug Fox reviews Alan Meckler's new weblog.
Jamie Lewis of The Burton Group has a weblog.
Slashdot on blogging from a cellphone.
NY Times: "Mr. Valenti has long raged against the illegality of the swapping of unauthorized copies of movies by students on college campuses. But in a speech to Duke University law students today, he plans to shift his emphasis to more basic principles: 'duty, service, honor, integrity, pity, pride, compassion, sacrifice,' according to a preliminary text of the speech."
Valenti's case might make some sense to honorable people if he worked for a moral industry. But it's built around a lie, which he repeats often -- that we're taking money out of the mouths of artists if we don't pay for the music we use. We've already figured out that almost no money goes to the artists. If you reform your industry, your moral appeal might have some weight with honest people.
Thanks to Jake Savin and Jeff Cheney for helping load up dumpster #2 yesterday. Later today I'll order the third and last one. The garage is totally empty. I ended up keeping about five boxes of stuff from a big two-car garage loaded to the rafters with the detritus of 23 years in Silicon Valley.
Steve MacLaughlin: "Some bloggers think this is a big win for weblogging. As if Google's acquisition of Blogger should be viewed as a triumph for the weblogging medium. It's not. It's just one company deciding they can take out the little guy for some printed paper, and the little guy gets released from his silicon handcuffs. It's just another company that you thought was different proving that they're just like all the other sell outs."
My comment. Steve, anyone who knows anything about Silicon Valley knew that Google would be no different. John Doerr, a man who I consider a friend, is in the business of IPOs. He doesn't back companies for the good of the Internet, although I'm sure he doesn't mind if they are good for the Internet. But that's not why he invests. You never heard of Google before he gave them $25 million to buy all those great servers. They are going public, for sure, with the hottest IPO since Netscape (another Doerr deal), as soon as the market is receptive. I've tried to be straight about this, for a long time, but people didn't want to hear it. Part of the weblog phenomenon is opening up the back rooms so they're visible to the public. I've been an insider in the Valley since I arrived in Sept 1979. I had no illusions about Google. They were and are a wonderful search engine. Larry and Sergey are great technologists and entrepreneurs. And then as they grow, they hire out of the general talent pool of Silicon Valley, and become just like all the other companies here that you've heard of, that have come and gone. It's all one big thing.
We're burning in a new installation of Frontier 9 on a Windows 2000 server at Harvard, and after running for a while the server starts refusing requests. I have not seen this behavior before on other systems. Here's a narrative.
1. I tried to refresh the home page and got an error.
2. I tried again, and it worked.
3. I tried again and it failed.
4. I quit Frontier and restarted it.
5. Frontier's internal server didn't initialize. When I tried to do it manually I got this error: Can't bind to listen stream because TCP/IP error code 10048 -- Address already in use. This is the key to the problem. What does this mean? Is some other program using some resource that Frontier needs? When I quit Frontier did it fail to release a resource?
6. I tried quitting and restarting Frontier again. Same error.
7. At this point the server is not responding at all. So restarted the machine.
8. It worked, the server is taking hits again.
Now, obviously I'm not going to be able to restart the machine whenever it gets in this loop.
Has anyone seen this error before? Any ideas what the cause is? A workaround?
Your humble servant,
After I posted the note above, I did a search for the error message, and the top item was a thread on the Radio UserLand discussion group from a smart user who had exactly the same problem. Jake suggested a fix that worked. Net-net, next time this situation rears its ugly head on the Harvard server, we will try the fix in Frontier and see if it helps. If so, I'll add a startup script that makes sure user.inetd.listens is empty, and we can move on to the next deal-stopper.
Jason Levine hit the same problem, saying it was a "socket pooling" issue with IIS, and found a workaround. It's possible the whole thing could be nabbed by turning off IIS on the Harvard machine. I don't want IIS in the loop in any way. There's a possible difference between this server and the servers that UserLand runs.
It turns out IIS was running on that machine.
We turned it off.
That should nail it.
NY Times: "People with knowledge of the deal, which gave Pyra founders and investors shares in privately held Google, say it was signed without any real plan as to how the two companies would work together."
Jeff Walsh: Blogging and Journalism.
Don Park: "Blogspace is a massive ant colony."
Glenn Fleishman: "In representing blogs to a non-blogging audience, reporters seem drawn to sweep them into a single heap."
Cleaning out the garage, I came across a column I wrote for Infoworld in 1982. I just typed it into my weblog so I wouldn't lose it again. I find it really interesting to see how many of my writing gestures were already established 21 years ago. Yet it's very anachronistic, deliberately so. 256K chips were unthinkable in 1982. Heh. Projection screens were rare. But syntax errors are still with us.
Steve Zellers: "It makes me cringe when Dave talks about throwing out lots of junk."
Five years ago today, Vignette, a competitor, opened a demo app that rendered Scripting News in their environment using the XML format of the day. This was an important milestone on the road to RSS 0.91.
Nelson Minar: "Trillian Pro has an RSS plug-in that delivers blog content to your IM client."
According to Bruce Loebrich, Trillian only reads RSS 0.91, and not 2.0.
Joey deVilla, the accordian guy, exposes a new sexy thing going on in Japan. You won't believe your eyes, and you'd be right not to.
How did I miss the charity wet T-shirt contest among the blogging babes?
Yesterday I mentioned talking with Noah Glass, but I didn't mention that Noah is the owner and developer of the audio blogging tool I linked to yesterday. He said he was doing something called OddBlog. Hadn't heard of it. He said "you wrote about it on Scripting News." Oh shit Alzheimer's again. "I write about lots of things," I said, "my memory ain't what it used to be." He said "you wrote about it today." Gulp. It's really getting bad. I asked for the name again. He said OddBlog. I looked at the site. "Ohhhh AudBlog," I said.
There's problem number one, the name. It's descriptive, not memorable, and impossible to pronounce.
Problem number two, which I reported yesterday, is that it only works with Blogger. After talking with Noah, I understand why. Blogger is centralized, making configuration easy. Radio is not centralized, and further the user might be behind a firewall or NAT and unable to receive an XML-RPC call, which is how Noah's software works. One solution, and it's not a very pretty one, is to do a mail-to-weblog, or use instant messaging (AIM or Jabber), but then the user might not have the features enabled, or want them enabled. I suggested that we work this out with Brent Simmons, who has had to traverse many of these issues in his work on NetNewsWire. Probably for Radio users the only option that will work is some kind of polling in the opposite direction, or just send me an email and I'll do the copy-paste.
Of course, some wankers out there have given me shit for criticizing Noah's product. Comes with the territory. Alan Kay said that Macintosh was the first computer worth criticizing. I love Noah and he knows that. I've always admired his spirit, and AudBlog (change the name please!) reflects that. I want it to be a success so I tell him how I think it can be better, or in this case, made to work at all. To those who think they're better software designers, I quote Scoop Nisker. "If you don't like the news go out and make some of your own."
Ernie the Attorney: "Goddammit. I need a Macintosh!"
The sign guy at Shea was great. On opening day in the bozo years before 1969 after the first pitch he'd hold up a sign that said Wait Till Next Year. Everyone laughed. It was so true.
I got a phone call earlier from Noah Glass, I hadn't talked with him in a few years, but he's been reading Scripting News, and he says he got scared when I went in for my heart surgery in June. He followed my recovery, and worried if I was okay now. Thinking about it, I imagine that other people wonder too. I stopped writing about it because I stopped thinking about it. See how that works. My body is back to full strength, actually a bit more because my circulation is so much better. Bypass surgery, for those who need it, like me -- makes you healthier. So anyway, I do still feel a huge area of numbness where my heart is, it's going to take years for that to go away, if it ever does. That's how surgery works, I know this because this isn't my first surgery. Mostly I don't think about it, I just live my life. I have some kind of disability, but I've gotten used to it. End of story, for today.
MailEdit is a Mail-to-Weblog callback tool "that allows remote posting of entries to your Radio-managed weblog."
East Broadway Ron: "I am sure that in some culture there is either a good or bad omen if there is snow on your wedding day."
NY Times: "Sun's quandary is that its business appears to be alarmingly dependent on high-cost, proprietary hardware at a time when technology trends and customers seem to be headed in the other direction -- toward inexpensive, PC-based hardware that is more like an industrial commodity."
Scoble reviews Alan Meckler's new weblog.
Pam: "I've been hit up all day by kids wanting me to do audio blogs with them."
She uses an audio blogging tool from Macromedia.
Oliver Wrede: "The hierarchyTemplates Plug-In enables additional templates for Manila sites."
Doug Ransom: "Has anyone exposed an RSS feed from Microsoft Sharepoint Team Services?"
SF Chronicle: "The San Francisco Examiner laid off most of its editorial staff Friday."
Don Park: "It would be great if Examiner can be turned into an outlet for the best blogspace can offer."
What's new in Python 2.3.
Audblog sounds like something I've been waiting for. Uh oh. The sign up page says you have to have a weblog with one of the supported tools, but the popup menu only has Blogger in it. Ooops. Uhhh. Bummer. Guess I'll have to keep waiting.
It isn't exactly what I've been waiting for. I think they're doing too much, I don't want them posting to my weblog, I want them to send me a URL of the MP3 they create via email, and I'll link to it from my weblog. If someone with a weblog can't manage that, it ain't much of a weblog.
Joi Ito: "A story about how Ivan, a meme, is created by Alice and makes his way through weblog space."
On this day in 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay for me.
They're starting to show previews on HBO for the next season of Six Feet Under, which starts next weekend. I love that show. Here's something even cooler. Kathy Bates, is in the cast now. Excellent. Maybe she'll do a nude scene like the one she did in About Schmidt.
On this day in 1999, an essay that explains the breakthrough that led to Manila. "We're working on a new breed of content management software, putting the editorial tools right where the writers want them, in the web browser. When they're looking at a bit of text it's just a matter of clicking on a button to edit it. As a writer, this is what I've always wanted when working on the web. Remembering two locations, one for the browser and one on my local desktop, is too taxing for my mind. The flow stops, I have to use my brain to find the stuff to edit, and you'd be amazed how many times that extra work makes me forget why I was going there in the first place."
There was a screen shot included in the piece. I got an upset email from Jacob Levy asking if George Matesky knew I was broadcasting the fact that I was considering hiring him. Heh. There really was a George Matesky, but he died before I was born. He was a semi-famous anarchist who blew up phone booths in New York. One of the first terrorists.
2/22/01: "The art that comes from competition, once gone can't be synthesized, it must be recreated."
I got a little pushback, from a couple of people, about the idea of competing with Google, expressed in the current DaveNet. I think some people see competition as a negative thing, but I don't. I believe in its power. I respect my competitors. You can learn the most from competitors. They understand you better than your friends.
NY Times: In Utah, Nature's Skyline. I'm really yearning to get on the road.
A directory of Manila hosting services.
OJR: "I want to cry for Salon.com, but somehow the tears won't flow."
Scott Rosenberg: "It's this kind of careful vetting of sources that has made the OJR into the power that it is today."
ideaForest does Manila hosting for $6 per month.
Brian Buck channeling The Band: "Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free, take a load off Fanny, and you put the load, put the load, put the load, right on me."
Join Chris Gulker and wife Linda on a monastic retreat in rural Massachusetts.
Dana Blankenhorn: "Most analysis of yesterday's FCC decision on telephone regulation is 100% wrong."
News.Com: "Inktomi has lengthened its arrangement to provide search results for Microsoft's MSN Web portal, quashing speculation that the software giant would scrap the deal out of competitive concerns."
Twice in the last two days I've heard people say that Manila costs $900. Yes it's true, if you want to operate your own server, you can license Manila for $899 and host 1000 sites on that server, making the cost less than $1 per site. If you're not interested in 1000 sites, you can get Manila hosting from weblogger.com for $9.95 per month per site. They even do template design and static rendering. Compare this to hosting options for any other easy to use content management system. I think you'll find it's quite competitive. Let's compare apples to apples. Smart informed experts should be armed with all the info.
I had dinner last night with Gnome-Girl.
Two years ago today: "Last summer I fell in love with music again, thanks to Napster. I had my checkbook out, along with ideas for new ways to experience music using the Internet. Software, music, networking, playlists, writing and community. What a killer combo. Everyone was excited. People were talking about music in supermarkets."
Kevin Werbach explains what the FCC was thinking.
DaveNet: Comments on the Google-Blogger deal.
When I was cleaning out the garage I found a story I wrote in the early 80s, missing the first page, unfortunately. It was better than I remembered. I almost threw out what I thought was a random issue of PC Mag, until I looked more closely and saw it was the first issue, volume 1, number 1.
Marc Barrot is rendering RSS in an outline in a browser.
My first dumpster has arrived. I made a dent in the piles of garbage in just one part of the house, barely covering the bottom of the 20 cubic yard dumpster. I estimate I'll need four of these before the house is ready to move. Filling a dumpster is good exercise! Sweating. I like it.
Danny Sullivan: "Google has long said it has no intention of becoming a portal, but so far, it's hard not to see the acquisition of Blogger as adding a portal feature in the same way that Yahoo did when it bought GeoCities."
Douglas Rushkoff: "It's a little unsettling that Blogger is now a Google venture."
Jon Udell: "NewsGator is a fabulous hack."
It's so sad to see what's become of WebMonkey.
Business 2.0: "The Blogger hosting service will become faster and more reliable when it's moved to Google servers, and millions of people who have never given a thought to blogs will be exposed to them when they visit Google."
AP: "The practice of showing commercials before the start of movies defrauds the public and should be stopped, according to lawsuits filed against two movie theater chains." Bravo!
Ernie the Attorney: The three stages of blog-awareness.
Search Engine Watch: "Google is Marcia Brady, the family member who seemingly gets more attention than the others."
Paolo: "This morning I have learned that the father of my friend and partner, Simone, has suddenly died." Prayers to Simone and his family.
Ted Turner: "Only a bullet will stop me."
News.Com: "Require anything that has antipiracy technology built in to be clearly labeled and let consumers decide at the cash register." Makes sense.
InfoWorld: Microsoft acquires Virtual PC from Connectix.
Jeremy Allaire: "As RSS 2.0 gains traction and the content moves from being simple text content to richly tagged meta-data and more or less structured content, what's the proper productivity interface for digesting all that data?"
Megnut: "Beware the false blog software." Heh.
News.Com: "A Merrill Lynch analyst on Wednesday voiced concerns about Microsoft's response to the growing popularity of open-source software, echoing statements made by a former Microsoft executive last week."
Sterling Hughes: "Google is not a horrible monster, but it is also not an entity to be worshipped. It is a for-profit company that develops a quality product, and it isn't yet evil. That's a big accomplishment."
Mary Jo: Microsoft Tests the Blogging-Tool Waters.
Patrick Grote: "Google should be concerned about AlltheWeb."
TechCentralStation: "It's time to turn over part of the responsibility for Homeland Security to 'smart mobs.'"
Tara Sue: "Ladies, we must stop raising assholes, or at least stop having sex with them."
BBC: "Hundreds of large companies are being sent a guide by the music industry warning them that staff are downloading music illegally over the internet."
Don Park: "When you start a fight, make sure you have someone around to stop it."
Scoble: "My boss's boss tells me that weblogs are all the rage at the Demo Conference. He asked me to brief him on the topic."
Here's one for the history books. "For all intents and purposes, Google owns the Web, by virtue of its superior and highly popular search engine." I don't agree. Teoma appears to be as good a search engine as Google. Here's how the Web works. If Google starts claiming that they own the Web, and tries to foreclose, Microsoft will buy Teoma and give something away that Google charges money for. Then John Doerr will be forced to decide if he is willing to wage a cash battle with Microsoft. He will blink. Google will be history.
If I had to bet, I'd bet that Google is smarter. They're not going to make the same mistake Netscape made -- declaring victory. Instead, they will be humble, and self-deprecating, and set expectations low. (They may have a problem because everyone sees them looming so large.) They will figure out what the users want and give it to them. They may try to act like a platform vendor, and if they do, they will have a historic chance to do it right, one that neither Apple or Microsoft or the W3C has managed. (Or dead ones like Personal Software, Lotus, Borland, General Magic.)
BTW, anyone who believes that Google actually owns the Web should remember that Microsoft owns the browser. Google is a good search engine and blogging tool. We don't know how they will connect them yet. I bet they don't either.
Note to Teoma. If you want to compete with Google, you must have image search.
Forbes: Google Goes Blog-Crazy.
Online Journalism Review reports on a workshop at Columbia to teach journalists how to write for the Web using Photoshop and Dreamweaver, which are excellent graphic design tools. Weblog tools are more appropriate for writers.
Interesting times at Columbia. The president of the university, Lee Bollinger, was looking for a new dean for the school of journalism, but put the search on hold to form a task force to determine what "a preeminent school of journalism should look like in the contemporary world." That's good because journalism is changing. "A critical, but not exclusive, question concerns what and how future journalists should be taught," said Bollinger.
Here are the docs that explain how to add popup comment windows to a Manila weblog. I'm also asking Jake to add email notification for comment posts. We should be able to make that work for Radio as well.
Joi Ito goes blog-crazy too. "I'm enjoying dragging Doc and Dave around and watching the other blogs wiggle as they follow Doc and Dave around."
A list of "known blogs authored by known (or suspected) Microsoft employees."
I got a great email from Brigham Stevens who I knew when he was at Marimba in the mid-90s. He reminded me that I gave him $5 to buy an ad on his Commentary Channel, which was a futuristic application of Marimba's technology. He saved the dollar, until he hit some tough times and used it to buy lunch. Good deal. Anyway Brigham wants to know why I'm going to Boston. Fair question. If you've been out of the loop you might not know that I am now a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Brigham says he remembers parties at my house before the DotCom boom and bust. I miss Arthur and Sammy and President Kimmie. Those were the good old days. But there are plenty of good old days to come!
Mena Trott (co-author of Movable Type) on the Google-Blogger deal: "The purchase has made an already active space even more exciting and we can only imagine that there will be a flurry of developments in the upcoming months."
This morning we had a little ceremony where I signed the papers to sell my house. Tomorrow the money will arrive in my bank account. No more mortgage payments or property taxes. I have sixty days to vacate. Now the next big thing to do is to decide what to do with all the crap I've accumulated, then drive to Boston. Whew.
On this day in Y2K, Montana News Daily, a Manila site that doesn't update anymore, said: "I never thought of Charles Kuralt as a lady killer." Me neither. Voila, a perspective shift. The thing that weblogs are so good at. Guys if you want to get laid you can have an egghead as a role model. Nice. Relaxing. Girls, it's okay to love a geek, even lust for one.
One more. On this day in 1995, I wrote an essay that people still read, that predicted weblogs.
As my attention is turning to Harvard, it's also returning to Manila. It's a good piece of software but there are a few obvious modernizations needed. For example, the Discuss link on every news item really should be Comments with the number of comments in parens. When you click on the link a window should pop up, with the comments for that post. After you close the window the number should change. It's actually turned out to be quite easy because we already have Manila set up as a comment server for Radio. Jake is completing this tonight, and I should be able to test it this morning, Murphy-willing of course.
Wired: "Frugality is Oddpost's hallmark."
Denver Post: "It came as a shock to many Japanese Americans when Rep Howard Coble recently told a talk-radio audience in North Carolina that he agreed with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II."
Bob Frankston on Boston driving.
Gary Secondino: "The fun starts when multiple Goofy Space-Shot Asshole drivers converge into one spot."
Behold Oddpost 2.0 -- and thus the answer to the question -- What became of Oddpost? It lives.
Andrew Falconer: "The majority of United employees I spoke to over the last week seemed more concerned with explaining to me why the issue at hand was not their fault than attempting to connect me with someone who might possibly be able to help me."
Ed Cone: "Howard Coble has once again run afoul of the Weblog Nation."
Instapundit picks up the Coble story via Ed. That's great. It'll get the story distribution through the DC pundit crowd now.
BTW, I've been getting all kinds of emails saying that the Google rep did say the deal with Blogger is about synergy. It's also in today's NY Times article. I'm a little too close to this to say that Google has to be really careful about tying their weblog hosting service with their search engine, but it's true anyway. I've heaped praise on Google in the past for their integrity, for not selling placement in search engine results. Everyone is going to be watching to see if they tilt the search table to favor their weblogs. And even if they don't we really do need a second search engine, in case there's too much synergy.
Microsoft's Matt Williams compares Sharepoint to weblog tools. BTW, to Matt, UserLand's products run on all versions of Windows (and Mac). You don't have to use Unix. Also, both products, Radio and Manila, are also more than weblogs.
BBC quotes British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw saying it would be "very difficult indeed" to "take military action in order to disarm Saddam Hussein's regime if the British public opposed attacking the country."
I've always wondered if Mr Straw knows that his name is the title of a Grateful Dead song. This is why weblogs are so revolutionary. Just kidding.
Guardian on TiVo: "US subscribers have discovered that their box is automatically switched to the Discovery Channel two nights a week to download commercials and trailers and when they switch their TV on the following morning, it is tuned to Discovery." FYI, mine doesn't work that way.
Boston driving is like the Internet -- you have to take responsibility for your own survival and not rely on the benevolence of those between points A and B. Why do you think the end-to-end principle was developed here! Of course, now that I-90 goes to Logan even a visitor can find it. They gave both direction of the Ted Williams Tunnel the same name! It was so much fun to see people looking for the Sumner Tunnel which they took from the airport since you have to take the Callahan to get back. Ever since they changed the rules to give priority to cars leaving the traffic circle we've lost the edge. And requiring all cars to stop at stop signs -- what a waste. It wasn't that way when I took my driving test (really -- 2nd and 3rd cars didn't have to stop).
Just get a car, close your eyes and enjoy the experience. Just remember that green means proceed with caution, yellow means accelerate and red means look both ways for cops.
Dave Seidel has an amazing story of driving in Boston. I've been there. This time I walked and took cabs and let friends drive me. Works much better.
5:30PM Pacific -- Back in California. Hey it's good to be back. But driving back from the airport I got itchy to get on the road and do my cross-America drive. Having DirecTV is nice, but JetBlue is cheap -- you only get the crummy stations, all but one has commercials (the exception was playing a Phil Collins concert, not exactly my kind of music, but not bad). I would have killed for Turner Classic Movies. The crew is about as friendly as any other airline. Not sure why people rave about them so much. On TV, they had lots of meaningless nonsense about the upcoming war in Iraq. Good interview with Condoleezza Rice. She wants to ask the demonstrators what they want to do about Saddam. I gave this some thought. She'll never get a meaningful answer. The problem is, in the West we raise people on a diet of intellectual garbage, so when we need them to think, you just get garbage back. I heard General Wesley Clark on Meet The Press. Very good. He's running for President, no doubt about that. He's not even very good at the denials. BTW, one more peeve about JetBlue. There's no way to turn off the TV. Heh. (Postscript: You can turn off the TV, turn the brightness to zero.) Having a TV on in your face is quite a distraction. On the other hand, they could submerge a keyboard in the tray table, and voila, you got a nice laptop built into the seat. I'd like that for sure.
A few more thoughts about the Blogger-Google deal. People were chirping about Tripod validating weblogs (actually mostly Tripod) and I thought that was hooey. Now, on the other hand, Google offering weblogs, now that is some shit. I hope Pyra made a lot of money -- even better -- got some Google stock. I bet their bandwidth problems are solved now. I hope they keep their independence. I tried to imagine what Google was thinking, but we'll have to just wait until they tell us, if they do. It's probably a good thing for blogging, and probably also a good thing for Blogger's competitors because it's likely to suck in other Google-like companies. It's great that Google decided to buy rather than make. I wouldn't be surprised if the other popular blogging tools had similar deals cooking. Not much more to say at this time. Except..
One good sign. In all that I've read so far (not too much) about Google and Blogger, I haven't seen the dreaded s-word once. That's a good omen. I think maybe Google just wanted to help out the Internet, and saw that Blogger was struggling, and that it's a good thing, and that they should support it, much as they support Usenet.
Heading out for the airport I checked my mail and Doc has a bombshell. Google bought Pyra. Very interesting. That sure changes things in the blogging world, and in search engines, and in Google. Now all of a sudden Google has a stake on the content-creation side of things. I will of course be thinking about this on the long flight to California today. See you on the other side of the continent.
Google News query for Pyra.
Dan Gillmor has the details.
Doc's stolen laptop showed up at his son's school unleashing lots of good energy and not a little relief in Santa Barbara.
Weblogs At Harvard is the most interesting newcomer at Technorati tonight.
I'm fed up with American Airlines. I booked this trip in mid-January, and one of the criteria for the return flight was availability of a window seat. I just checked the reservation (I fly tomorrow), and it said I had no assigned seat. I called the airline and the best they could offer was that seat assignments are not guaranteed, and I might be able to get a window seat at the gate. So I checked with JetBlue. They have a window seat. $300 one-way. What the heck. I've heard good things about them. I hope they're good. I'll let you know.
News by a Nerd. It Just Doesn't Matter.
NY Times editorial calling for military intervention in Iraq.
A common response from across the ocean. Unlike the US, France and Germany know what war is like. There's the disconnect. Click here. Clue: That's not Germany or France.
John Robb asks a pointed question about France and their deals with Hussein's Iraq.
Paolo Valdemarin, who I consider a friend, responds to my War for Oil piece below. He strongly disagrees, but then says "Saddam Hussein has to step down." That's constructive. If Russia, France and China could get behind that simple idea, we might be able to avert war.
Joi Ito marches for peace in Japan. "I think it is definitely more fun to be against the war than for it," he says.
There was an excellent op-ed piece in the NY Times a few days ago, by Max Boot, that disassembles the theory that the US wants to go to war with Iraq to somehow control the oil.
First, he pointed out that Jimmy Carter, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who is opposed to going to war, says that he knows his country and government, and knows it's not true. Then Boot explains how we already control the oil, with our dollars. Hussein would sell us as much as we want. He doesn't have an exclusive on oil, and as long as that's true he has no control (that's probably why he took over Kuwait and was starting to move on Saudi Arabia, and went to war with Iran -- to get control of all the Middle East oil reserves).
And we all know what he does with the oil money -- he uses it to build nukes, missiles to deliver them, etc etc. He is one major asshole, a dangerous one. Why anyone would stand up for him is beyond me. Yet that's what the French, Germans, Russians and Chinese (and others) are doing. This makes no sense. (Unless you consider the possibility that they have conflicts of interest.)
Then in the last few pargraphs the author explained that the Germans and French and other European countries with long histories of starting brutal hypocritical wars over things like oil, sometimes even proclaiming themselves the master race, might not understand a country like the US where we're more likely to go to war to save the free world. Stupid ole US, no good deed goes unpunished. Of course. We knew that.
2/14/97: "So have a happy Valentine's Day, all you lovers out there in InternetLand!"
Mike Wendland: "I have spent my professional life gathering news and writing and reporting for newspapers, radio and television. These awesome tools and this whole blogging subculture they have created make everybody a reporter. After 30 years in the news business, I have never been more excited to be a journalist."
I listened to the UN report by the inspectors, and reps from all sides, including Iraq. I think the UK and US make good points that the French, Russian and Chinese didn't address. Do I think Hussein is serious about disarming? Come on, give me a break. I wonder what the French think will happen in the next few months that didn't happen in the last twelve years? Iraq tries to get away with whatever it thinks it can get away with. If you're okay with them having the bombs, missiles, biological weapons and gases, why not just say so, because that's what going soft implies. I'm still not sure it's best for the US to invade Iraq, but I don't buy the arguments our supposed allies are providing against going to war.
We started the day with 9 Harvard weblogs in the directory, and we finish the day, largely thanks to Denise Howell, with 21. I've started to note, in parens, what part of Harvard they're from and whether it's staff, faculty, alumnus, or fellow. Eventually we'll break it down into sub-categories, and this classification will help.
Spidie: "Still no chemo."
Redhead in Cambridge seeks fast mover.
Brent Simmons: "Parsing RSS is like walking across a field of broken glass."
This is fascinating. I wonder what it is?
Jon Udell: The Human Face of Microsoft.
Paolo: "Good people, good tools, good communication. Welcome to the real world." Amen!
The Harvard Law School Federalist Society has a weblog.
The Unofficial West Wing Continuity Guide. Very interesting.
Wow, something changed, and now Jim Romanesko's Media News is either pinging Weblogs.Com, or letting my poller-helper app through when it checks. Not sure which, but now his site is showing up in the list of recently updated weblogs, and I couldn't be happier. Before, Media News was not in my rotation because it wasn't present on Weblogs.Com. Thanks to whoever made this change.
News.Com: "Analysts say it's difficult to measure the extent to which open-source Java application servers, such as Tomcat and JBoss, have eaten into the revenue of commercial providers of Java application servers. But the growing popularity of the open-source application servers is undeniable."
Sergeant Red Thomas tells us how to survive chemical, biological, even nuclear attacks.
Daniel Brandt: Google As Big Brother. Mind-bending. Read it and think. Google may not be the friend we all think it is.
Don Park: "Google's popularity is a concern like a volcano growing in your backyard."
Is David Stutz leaving Microsoft? Doc Searls says he is. Here's his essay on parting, which is an interesting read. I would go further. It's not just open source developers that Microsoft must learn to work with. They often are just as arrogant and hell-bent on world domination as Microsoft itself. Better to partner with those who accept everyone's right to exist, who assume there will be no world domination, and try to make users more powerful by offering choice everywhere. This is the philosophy of inclusion. There's huge growth here for Microsoft. My foreword to O'Reilly's XML-RPC book remains my best manifesto on this subject.
Mitch Ratcliffe: "A blog-like radio program would have some readings from a blog each day, but it would also connect bloggers to argue and conduct interviews."
GrepLaw is a SlashCode weblog at Harvard Law.
Wendy Koslow is an adventurous redhead with a brand new Harvard weblog.
Another Harvard blogger, Charles Murtaugh.
Marc Barrot: "I've created a gallery to illustrate, with screen shots, how real Radio bloggers put activeRenderer to work."
B.Logman: "We know bloggers by their blogs, their views, usually by their names, rarely by their faces."
Last year on this day I asked if tables are really evil. Now one year later, I long for the simplicity of tables, as I long for the balmy spring weather of February in California. Sometimes things are so confusing you can't tell if something new will complicate or simplify. I'm going to remember this famous homily, no matter how great the pressure, in the future -- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Perhaps that motto works for foreign policy too?
6/7/96: "I wish DaveNet were a TV show so I could show you a clip from one of my favorite movies, The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando and eighteen other great actors doing their best work."
Jonathan Bartlett: "SOAP is an interesting technology for document exchange, but it's role in enterprise computing is highly, highly, highly overrated, and CORBA is a wonderful jewel that so many people overlook out of fear. But really, it's not that complicated."
Powazek: "I am neither fat nor old."
The latest Coble controversy, over interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, continues. Thanks to Ed Cone for providing the links. Coble, if you recall, had plans to open our systems to hacking by Jack Valenti's hired hackers. All this buzz about a Congressperson who tries to attract no attention. Seems the plan isn't working very well.
Technorati: Top 100 Interesting Newcomers. "A list of interesting blogs that you may not know about, but people are talking about. It is biased towards blogs that have a moderate number of people linking to them, but who have had some interesting original content in the last few days."
GovExec.Com reviews the last two episodes of The West Wing. I caught it last night but missed last week. Major news. There's now a Bartlet Doctrine. Basically goes like this. We don't tolerate genocide. I support that. How can I vote for him next time around?
We're trawling for Harvard community members with weblogs. Lance Knobel sends a pointer to Matthew Yglesias's weblog, who Lance finds very interesting. He is a senior, philosophy major; bio. I will, of course, include his site in the directory, when it starts.
Wired Mag: The Civil War Inside Sony.
Adam: "So far this week I've received two requests from respected TV news programs to comment on the 'growing anti-Americanism in Europe.'"
Clippy: "It looks like you're suing Microsoft."
Chris Pirillo started a Paypal account to get Doc a new laptop to replace the one that was stolen.
This Saturday in Los Angeles, Mark Frauenfelder, Heather Havrilesky, Evan Williams, Susannah Breslin, Doc Searls, Tony Pierce will be Live From The Blogosphere.
Wired: "The house is nice, but not ostentatious (well, as unostentatious as a house with a 20-game video arcade can be) with a great view over Silicon Valley," wrote Robert Scoble, who attended one Super Bowl party.
Back in NY, after a lot of waiting at Logan, got snowed in at Boston this morning. Flight got cancelled, but luckily the next one out went. Very cold in NY today. Great live session yesterday followed by Indian food. Donna blogged it. Bob Frankston stole the show as usual, even though I limited him to two comments. Sweet guy. Loves to talk. I got a great welcome in Boston, esp from Harvard, and esp from Berkman people. We're going to have a lot of fun. It's remarkable they haven't shut us down yet. Heh. Almost found a place to live. Next visit that's what I'm going to focus on. A few days now in NY with my parents, and then back to California to sign all the papers on the house sale and get ready for the other side of the big move. I want to drive cross-country, probably in mid-late March. Life is getting exciting. This afternoon I have an appt with an opthamologist to find out if this floater (which isn't really bothering me that much any more) is serious or not. (Postscript: Not serious. Whew.)
Dan Cederholm comments on last night's live session.
Dan Bricklin has pics of last night's meet.
Don Park: "The faces in Dan's pictures are carriers. Scary, huh?"
One of the subjects we talked about last night are rules for an academic institution about weblogs run by students, faculty, staff, alumni, etc. MIT has some rules. It's a good place to begin the discussion.
Aaron Johnson also blogged last night's event. In his email he expresses a hope that we'll do it again. We will. I want to do one a month as long as I'm affiliated with the university.
Scott Rosenberg writes: "Since you love spicy noodles I highly recommend the ones you can probably still get at the Yen Ching, right in the middle of Harvard Square on Mass Ave just next to Holyoke Center."
Washington Post: "Fox doesn't think it's cheating to hire a ghostwriter to compose your personal ad."
Some of you may be asking if we belong in space..
Michael Earl says Cambridge has spicy noodles. "I strongly recommend Mary Chung's Dun Dun Noodles (in Central Square, Cambridge) -- heavy noodles in a hot peanut-based sauce, shredded chicken optional. The Peking Ravoli and Suan La Chow Shao soup are also fabulous. It's a favorite of the MIT comp-sci culture, interestingly."
Weird report on CNN about Colin Powell, Osama bin Laden, the people of Iraq, Al-Jazeera and the US Congress.
Brent Simmons: "It’s times like this when I try very, very hard not to think of the classic DaveNet We Make Shitty Software. (With bugs!)"
Ed Cone: "Howard Coble ignored a request for a meeting with three Congressmen of Asian descent, who were distressed over remarks Coble made last week endorsing the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans."
Russell Beattie: "There are literally tens of thousands of dead projects out there on Sourceforge."
Please don't read further if you don't find teenage boy humor funny
Microsoft has filed a patent application for an "application program interface for network software platform." It'll be interesting to see when Microsoft claims to have invented this. We were creating APIs for a network software platform in the late 80s. We eventually worked with Microsoft on this stuff with the understanding that they had not filed any patents in this area. As I write this I'm sitting in a building filled with lawyers.
John Robb: "I don't want my data on a PC anymore, I want it on a portable hard drive/server. Simplify my life. Make my life portable."
A reminder, tonight we're having a live session here at Harvard. It's not an intro to weblogs for newbies. I'm going to say that right up front. If you don't know what a weblog is, you can hang out, and maybe we'll get around to explaining what they are, and maybe we'll only talk about other stuff. I have a few ideas. But we never know what's going to happen at one of these until it's over. Tonight's session starts at 6:30PM, at Lewis International Law Center 301 on the law school campus, and will run between 1 and 2 hours. After we'll go out and get some food somewhere (cheap) in the Havard Square area. It's a good chance to meet other people in the weblog world in the Boston area. We'll probably do these sessions pretty regularly through 2003 as the blogging activity bootstraps at Harvard.
Everyone is pointing to this BBC article, and rightly so. They are welcoming amateur journalists. This is so right on.
News.Com: "Moore's Law will continue for another 10 years at least, but the industry will have to develop new transistors and materials, says Intel founder Gordon Moore."
John Palfrey: "Of the Charlie Nesson audio blogs, my favorite so far is his Eldred lunch clip."
Papa Doc: "My laptop was stolen this morning. Pretty much my whole life was on it. I'm not even sure what to do next, other than go get a new pair of glasses, because they're gone too. Gotta restart somewhere."
Jon Udell: "I found James Gleick's article in yesterday's New York Times rather disappointing."
Charles Nesson, a professor at Berkman, has been doing audioblogs.
Harvard Law School has a project for structured discussion groups called H2O.
Good morning and welcome to day three live from the campus of Harvard Law School. The CSS puzzle was ably solved by Herman Duyker and Michael Zajac. Thank you. It's beginning to look pretty good. Now I have to work on the layout of individual posts, and font sizes and stuff like that.
I've gotten tons of great ideas on where to live. I bet I end up between the law school and Porter Square off Mass Ave, or in Arlington near the T station. I'm actually getting to know some of the terminology.
Last year I wondered if the P in P2P stood for the Pope.
Mike Donnelan's Web baby is approx 2 years old today.
Progress on the CSS for the Harvard weblog template for Manila thanks to Aaron Swartz, Simon Fell and Michael Zajac. Just a one more problem, now the links are at the bottom of the page instead of in the right column. I must have mis-typed something. For what it's worth, here's the OPML for the template.
Donna Wentworth: "I don't think I can express how excited this makes me."
Phil Ringnalda says to ask if weblogs are journalism is like asking if food is a vegetable. Well put.
Scoble is on a roll. About Microsoft. He says he won't post again for a week. I don't believe that for a second.
A friend told me something yesterday that I find hard to believe. He said that in Massachusetts it's against the law for insurance companies to price based on pre-existing conditions, or to even ask about them. I can't believe it. Is it true?
Apparently it is true. Frank Field sends a pointer to this FAQ from the Massachusetts Attorney General about health insurance. "Good Health Not Required. You cannot be turned down, or charged more, for individual health insurance based on your gender, health condition, medical history experience, genetic information or any condition arising from acts of domestic violence. Your premium rate may only be altered up or down a limited amount based on your age and geographic location. Individual health plans may apply pre-existing condition limitations and waiting periods for up to six months after enrollment, but these limitations can only be applied to persons who did not have prior coverage within 63 days of enrollment in an individual health insurance plan."
It makes sense. The state is going to foot the bill for the uninsured. Perhaps they subsidize the insurance industry. No matter what we're all better off, imho, if everyone has coverage.
My next problem is with CSS.
Here's a template that Bryan Bell designed for me last month.
I'm trying to adapt it to my new Manila site, but something isn't right. The background on the text is supposed to be white. But it's not.
I've sent a panic message to Bryan. If you see what's wrong let me know.
Postscript: Jorge Curioso suggests adding a div#newsItems [Macro error: Can't compile this script because of a syntax error.] to the CSS, and that does make it more readable, but it's still not quite right. He also makes suggestions that would make it more accessible, but I plan to pass this stuff back to Bryan before making the theme available to others, so this is just for appearances and to get the ball rolling. I find this all pretty daunting. I'd rather use tables. But then I'm a programmer not really an HTML afficionado.
Now that I'm working with Manila again, I'm remembering all the things that infuriate me about Manila. I can't for the life of me figure out how to get my new site to show me the Edit With Radio buttons so I can use the outliner to edit my templates. I refuse to edit the template in a web form. I will not do it! ;-> Anyway, I have gone to my own personal membership page and told the software that I have Radio and that it's running on port 5335. I've been to the prefs page for the site (I'm a managing editor) and made sure the pref is on there too. I look everywhere for the stinkin button, but it's nowhere to be found. I guess I'll have to resort to looking at the source code to figure out what I'm not doing that I need to do. Like all software, it's great when it fades into the background and you can forget about it. It's shitty when it's in your way.
Postscript. Found the problem. I had to enable the XML-RPC interfaces at the server level. Once they were enabled, the buttons appeared. It's hard to imagine that a user who is not well-versed in the Manila at the source level would be able to figure this out without asking for support. On the other hand, it's probably right that the XML-RPC interfaces are disabled by default.
I'm going to rent a place.
Should I go for Harvard Square? It's like student housing. I'm 47. I'm used to my creature comforts. I must have a hot tub. How about around the law school off Mass Ave? Might be more interesting. Rent a house in Arlington? Lexington? Newton? I'm definitely not buying something, I don't want to tie myself down again after wrestling free.
If you have any opinions let me know. I'm actually feeling homesick for Palo Alto right now. It's colllld here. Brrrr.
Postscript: Looks like I'll have to give on the hot tub. Based on email, people in Mass don't think of them as necessities. A hot tub seems as important as front steps, a kitchen sink or a toilet, to me. But then I've been living in Calif for 23 years and I guess it's warped my personality. Heh. Anyway, I just took a walk up Mass Ave towards Arlington, not too far, and it looks pretty good. I don't really care if there's a lawn. Being in walking distance to Harvard Square would be nice. A floor in a house would probably be enough. I must have a good net connection of course.
Clay Shirky does not understand weblogs.
The scaling equation for weblogs is, emphatically, not like BBSes, mail lists, not like the Well. The popularity of this weblog does nothing to interfere with the growth of lawblogs, or warblogs, or bizblogs, medblogs, governmentblogs, divinityblogs, you name it. Perhaps within each there may be some hierarchy because humans build hierarchies like other primates. No big news there.
This is publishing on a departmental level. Don't look to BBSes for prior art, look to desktop publishing. I've been saying this to Clay over and over. This is different. The Web is not like every other POS that's come along over the years. It's unfortunate that Clay doesn't actually have a weblog. Then maybe he'd get a sense of how they work.
To get an idea of what I'm talking about, skim Clay's article. How many of the weblogs he mentions have you heard of? I found that most of them were strange to me. So if we're hitting a scaling wall, why are these blogs becoming popular, even dominant, without any of us knowing about them? If we were all on a mail list together, believe me, we'd know the names of the people who dominate.
Coming to you live from the Berkman Center at the Harvard Law School -- it's Scripting News!
Henry Copeland: "If you can read this you can be a journalist."
We're working to get our new server up. Probably sporadic posts today. Also going to walk around Harvard Square to get a feel for the place. The weather is really nice, cold, clear, snow on the ground. By the end of the weekend we should have our first weblog up and running, and be able to create more of them at will.
3:40PM Eastern. It ain't pretty, but it worked.
Wow it's snowing like a mofo in NY. Brrrr. Cooool.
Tuesday's live session at Harvard will be at 6:30PM at Lewis International Law Center, room 301. Here's a map of the law school campus. Dan Bricklin will be there. Peter Rukavina is coming from Prince Edward Island. This is so cool. As always the Web brings people together like nothing else before it.
Derek Slater is a Berkman student who would like to see Harvard wake up to weblogs. Let's work together on that. (He'll be there on Tuesday too.)
I knew that John Robb would have something interesting to say about hand-held WiFi servers.
Guardian: "Outliners force us into a way of thinking that is actively inimical to creativity."
Larry Lessig is speaking at Princeton on Feb 20, webcast.
Paul Boutin: "The Islamic terrorist who exchanged emails with a Computerworld reporter for two weeks turned out to be Brian McWilliams, who admits to pretending to be 'Abdul Mujahid of Karachi' in emails to writer Dan Verton."
Scoble: "Who wants to make Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer richer without getting rich themselves?" No thanks.
Mary Jo Foley has a list of Microsoft weblogs.
Workspot is a Linux desktop in a Web browser.
Steve Ivy has a permalinked version of Colin Powell's UN speech.
Jon Udell: "This weblog has a shiny new look."
Tim Knip continues work on Groove/Radio interop.
East Broadway Ron has a picture of the snow in Chinatown.
This is not major earth-shaking news, but I have a floater in my left eye. I called my optometrist back in California and she said that unless I see flashes of light it's nothing to be concerned about. But it is totally annoying. I hate this thing. It looks like a big piece of hair is floating in my eyeball.
Paolo: "I want a WYSIWYG editor in my browser!"
Evan Williams: "Remember Tellme?"
Doc Searls and Chris Gulker pick up the discussion of the Washington Post. To Doc and Chris, both of whom wear both hats, professional and amateur, consider that many news reports are quotes and connective text, nothing more. The blogging world is just the quotes. You get to find your own authorities and instead of getting soundbites, you can hear all they have to say. Some reporters say it's revolutionary to publish the full text of their interviews on the Web but I say that's second best. When the reporter takes notes he or she is selective, they can't write down everything, and they introduce errors, incorrectly writing down what was said. Better to give the keyboard to the authority and let them say it in their own words. That's the premise of weblogs.
An example of a factual error in the Post piece. Weblogs.Com is not a reflection of updates of Radio users, it's open. You'll find lots of Moveable Type, Blogger, Manila, and various brands of weblog tools in the mix, including Radio. The Post said it was just for Radio users. I wonder if they had a source, or if they just made it up. These big self-confident (some might say arrogant) newspapers make mistakes in every article. Usually we just gloss it over. But it's over the line in articles that proclaim how superior they are at drilling down to the truth. Enough of that. Let's see how quickly they correct the mistake I just called them on.
Is That Legal: "North Carolina congressman Howard Coble has gone public with his support for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II." Ed Cone is calling this Coblegate. Coble is chairing a House subcommittee on crime and terrorism. Coble was one of the supporters of Howard Berman's bill that would make hacking users' computers legal for the entertainment industry. Tara Sue ran against Coble.
Ooooh ooooh hot product alert. According to Gordon Mohr, Sony is coming out with a 20GB hand-held WiFi file server. Think about it. Hehe. Hey that's awesome.
John Palfrey: "Harvard has always operated as a bunch of highly productive but rarely well-integrated stove-pipes."
I'm in New York now. Just had a visit with my dad, and surprise surprise, he's all the way back. He's really skinny, and looks old and white (lots of blood loss), I didn't recognize him at first, and he's still bound to a wheelchair, but we had a long conversation about everything that happened, and he's all there. He even cracked a couple of jokes. Excellent.
Mark Woods discovers that Radio on Windows can display Web pages on its enclosing window. Mark, you can get the plain display to come back -- you don't have to restart Radio -- just right click on the background and choose Back. The "normal" background is also a Web page. It's in a file named background.html in the Appearance sub-folder of the Radio folder. You can edit that file, of course. (But keep a copy so you can restore it. Mark is right, it can get awkward, but it's lots of fun to play with.)
People have asked how I sold a house in a down market in California, as I did, earlier this week. Pure luck. There was a ready buyer. We came to terms quickly, without brokers. California isn't putting up a fight. "Go East Young Man" the state seems to be saying to me.
On this day two years ago, My Handsome Radio Blog was born. Not hugely significant. The weblog tool in Radio is approximately two years old now.
BTW, totally by coincidence, my old friend Adam Green, the dBASE guru, and CTO at Andover, retired rich from the software industry, is now taking classes at Harvard to learn how be scholarly about the history of science. His aim is to be the first software historian. Adam is uniquely qualified to do that. He was doing his work, reading the ancient scientists, on his own, when people asked what he's doing, he'd tell them and they would look at him weirdly. Now he says he's studying the same stuff at Harvard and people's eyes bug out. I've noticed the same thing. Synchronicity.
News.Com: Patent scare hits streaming industry.
Washington Post: New Kids on the Blog. Another "gee aren't they neat" piece. Anyway, if the pros are so good at "established principles of fairness, accuracy and truth" why do they get the facts wrong, and skim the surface and repeat what has already said so many times? These pieces always set up the same question -- will weblogs replace traditional media, and they always conclude that it'll never happen. Somehow I wonder if that's not the purpose of these pieces. Don't the editorial people at the Washington Post care about this clear conflict of interest? It's like asking a Republican to review a Democrat, and passing it off as non-partisan. Still waiting for a professional review that treats our work seriously. Read Chris's story below. We're piecing together a new publishing medium. Someday you'll use it too Leslie as will the Washington Post. I'm sorry I did the interview.
Chris Gulker: "Locke and Galileo and Descartes began writing each other about their discoveries, and then scientific academies formed, where these letters would be read aloud to others who shared an interest."
Afterlife Programs: "With the help of terminally ill volunteers, our service is sending telegrams to people who have passed away."
Jon Udell reviews a Groove/Radio interop tool. Apparently it bridges Groove workgroups to Radio via RSS, which means of course it would connect to any other tool that works with RSS. Now Groove can be used in a publishing system. Nice. I hope the work here continues, and that Jon keeps explaining it. When technology is complicated you need both things -- pioneering geeks like Tim, and thoughtful explainers like Jon.
I'm a sucker for a picture of a cute kid (click to the right), especially when it's Sean Gallagher's little girl Zoe who loves to throw make-believe picnics, with coffee, in pajamas. It's great to be a kid because they don't have to pretend they're not crazy, like adults do, if you know what I mean. Hey I noted that Sean is blogging again. It's good to see him back. People come and go, and that's cool. When someone I like to read regularly pops up again that feels good.
Jeremy Allaire: "After eight years with Allaire and Macromedia, I've decided to move on."
News & Observer: A Web for your thoughts.
BusinessWeek: "The beef has arrived."
Scott Rosenberg: "I don't think broadband transforms the Web experience; it just fixes it. Broadband makes the Web work the way it's supposed to."
Megnut: "I've ended up with far more comprehensive coverage at a much higher rate than I wanted to spend."
Adam Curry reviews a new Michael Jackson TV special.
SF Chronicle: "Top investigators of the Columbia space shuttle disaster are analyzing a startling photograph -- snapped by an amateur astronomer from a San Francisco hillside -- that appears to show a purplish electrical bolt striking the craft as it streaked across the California sky."
Bloglet offers an "email subscription service for your blog."
On this day in 1998: "I believe we have the most to learn from the people we want to listen to the least."
Last night I signed a deal to sell my house. Later today I fly to NY. As I leave, I realize that I'm free to move where ever I want. Freedom is an awesome thing. It's not always so comfortable. I'll let you know.
NY Times: "Gene Kranz, the flight director who orchestrated the rescue of astronauts aboard the crippled Apollo 13 in 1970, said that from what he knew about the suspected tile damage, there was probably nothing that could have been done to save the flight. 'The options,' he said in a telephone interview, 'were just nonexistent.'"
Don Park is working on a new language that does some of what XML does, but is as simple as can be.
Richard Bennett: "Maybe what AOL/Time-Warner needs to do is forget about the Internet and broadband, and get themselves some nice Tivo-type property to really make the synergy work."
Nice redesign at Russell Beattie.
Question. When I get Slashdotted we get about 5000 reads. I've noticed that number is about what some Manila and Radio sites have gotten when they were Slashdotted. Now, according to Joel Spolsky he gets about 400,000 reads from a Slashdot link, about 80 times the flow. Now here's the question. Why?
News.Com: "Groove Networks on Tuesday released a revamped version of its collaboration software that ties the company closer to Microsoft and introduces compliance with Web services."
One year ago: "Congratulations, you've just created a Web Service."
IDG: "The European Commission has presented a draft directive that punishes copyright infringement for commercial purposes, but leaves the home music downloader untouched, infuriating the entertainment industry."
I was kind of hoping that OJR would look at how we covered the Shuttle disaster, but they focus on the "real" journalists, and lump bloggers into an amorphous blob. Maybe it's because there's only one letter diff betw blog and blob. Who knows. Maybe someday we'll get some respec.
Boston Globe: "Amanda created an alternate digital identity for her former boyfriend."
NY Times: "Harvard University said that it will return much of Jane Fonda's $12.5 million donation and give up its plans for a research center on sex and education."
News.Com reports on a new consortium to commercialize the Linux desktop.
Shifted Librarian: "The Corante crew just doesn't want to give up the RSS feeds, so I don't read a single Corante blog."
Mother Jones interviews John Perry Barlow.
How warm weather makes my body feel.
If you're in Boston, please mark your calendar for Tuesday evening, February 11, 6PM. We're going to do a live version of this weblog in a classroom at Harvard Law School (details to follow). It's open to anyone who has a weblog, not just people from Harvard. I'll start with a few comments, basically the kind of stuff you read here, probably something about how cold it is, and how thin my blood is. Let's figure some things out. How should we do weblogs at Harvard? Will the Red Sox ever win the World Series? How to use the technology in law, medicine, education, government, business. These sessions are always fun, they last about 1.5 hours or so, sometimes not so long, sometimes longer. No one falls asleep.
Don Park says the Dow will soon test 7500. Maybe so. But the day the war with Iraq is behind us the market will go up 2500 points. The market bearing a heavy weight of uncertainty due to the looming war. Alternate theory. The market, anticipating a resolution, will creep up, and go down by 1000 points when peace is achieved. Yeah that's probably what'll happen. Either way, I'm getting a feeling it's time to start buying again, soon.
Rich Karpinski: "I'm working on a story for InternetWeek on the recent activity in the browser 'market.' I'm most interested in what the browser has the potential to become. Clearly, it's an area that's been fairly stagnant the past few years."
Mark Frauenfelder almost fell for an eBay identity theft scam.
Chris Gulker took a picture of a sheriff's funeral in 1981 that was used in the opening sequence of Dragnet last night.
News.Com: "Hiptop developer Danger collected another $35 million in funding."
Wired: "Disney has invested in Sonicblue, even though it is also one of the outfits suing the firm."
Motley Fool: Quattrone Has Left the Building.
Entertainment industry perspective on FCC chairman Michael Powell's public love affair with TiVO. When I write about technology for entertainment, I often get emails like this, from people inside Hollywood's reality distortion field, accusing me of being stupid, immoral, or complicit. This is what happens when users talk back. And sometimes the head regulator is a user. I don't think there was anything more to Powell's comments. How refreshing. Thanks to Kevin Werbach for the pointer.
I'd gotten out of the habit of venting my spleen first thing in the morning. The last few days have been different.
NY Times rah-rah piece on Web Services. Except Works With Microsoft as the metric for interop isn't the way it's shaking out. This is a perfect example of a BigPub letting a small group of BigCo's define a new technology, or so they think. In fact, new technologies are already shaped when we discover them, making it a puzzle. The Big Guys were guessing wrong almost from the start. They need new windshield wipers on their glasses. Web Services are technology for gluing desktop applications to each other and to centralized servers over the Internet. It's the next layer on the Web, a little higher level than XML and HTTP (on which it builds). To see the furthest development of Web Services look no further than the weblog world, where new tools are being created in just this model, actually for quite a few years. I'm using one right now to write this. Even better, it's something a reporter can understand, because it's about what they do, research, writing and publishing. But a guy like Steve Lohr doesn't trust himself enough to break out of the grip of the BigCo's. He lets their PR people frame the article. So all the articles are cast the same way, and they're all wrong.
The way reporters cover Web Services is exactly the way they cover space, as a political thing. This morning on NPR they're still doing round the clock "coverage" of the Columbia disaster. They're talking about whether it hurts or helps Bush's planned war on Iraq, they looked at it from both sides. Then they had interviews with people at the "Ground Zero" in Houston. One woman said how great it felt to share her feelings with other people, to get and give hugs, etc. I thought to myself, that's true, I'm sure it does feel great, but what does this have to do with the story? I think they missed the big one. How about teaching us something about space and the universe. Seems like the perfect opportunity. They say we wouldn't understand, but I'm not sure they're right. I think maybe they're just lazy.
DaveNet: Moon Missions.
BBC: "NASA officials say data from the shuttle Columbia indicates it may have been losing heat protection tiles as it re-entered earth's atmosphere."
Today's song: "Two degrees in be-bop, a PHD in swing, he's the master of rhythm, he's a rock and roll king."
Google Village: "When we talk about Google we need to talk about which of its differentiated services we are speaking to have accurate reporting."
Johnson Space Center: "NASA has established a special location on the Web where Internet users may upload their media files to be reviewed by NASA."
Rogers Cadenhead shares a couple of links. Try this one. Beam Me Out Of This Death Trap, Scotty. He's talking about the Columbia. Another one. "It would never occur to a baby-boomer that anything associated with the shuttle could have historical significance." Great stuff.
Hey I'm on the cover of Geek Stud Mag. Nice.
AP: "Another avalanche in a region of eastern British Columbia killed seven skiers, all of them high-school students."
BBC: "Human remains have been found among the debris left by the US space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated just minutes before its scheduled landing."
CNN: "The space shuttle Columbia, carrying a crew of seven, broke up Saturday morning 200,000 feet above Texas."
Sacramento Bee: "Space shuttle Columbia appeared to begin trailing fiery debris as it passed over Eastern California early Saturday."
Glenn Reynolds: "Post 9/11 and with a war looming, we're a bit tougher about tragedies."
NY Times: "Like the space shuttle Challenger disaster 17 years ago this week and the attacks of Sept 11, the breakup of the Columbia unfolded in real time before a nationwide television audience, sparking many of the same unsettled feelings."
Radar image from the National Weather Service that shows the crash, vividly, in color.
Mail list post by a former NASA flight controller with the most common theory we've heard about why it happened. "The left wing was struck by External Tank debris during ascent." Thanks to Doug Kaye for the link.
Laurel Clark was a resident of Racine, WI.
Dan Gillmor: "Space is humanity's destiny."
Al Tompkins at Poynter.Org is doing a great job covering the disaster.
Please send me reports. Best way, post it to your weblog and send me a pointer. Second best, post in the comments here. Third, via email. Any of these ways is okay. Let's share information. Thanks.
It was barely daylight when the breakup occurred. On NPR they're speculating that it was metal fatigue. The engines aren't powered at this point in the flight. Seven people on board. First Israeli astronaut. Debris is being found all across north Texas. CNN has a series of photos showing the Shuttle breaking up. They were emailed to them from a man on the ground in Texas.
Ronald Reagan, 1/28/86: "We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers."
Kendall Clark: "I woke up to the sound of a very loud sonic boom over head."
Space.Com discussion group thread on the Shuttle mission.
Russian report with a pic of debris from CNN.
Indian report on India's astronaut, Kalpana Chawla.
Reuters: "The US space agency NASA lost contact with the space shuttle Columbia minutes before its scheduled landing and says there could be debris in Texas from the orbiter."
Lou Josephs: "Three people are still on board the International Space Station."
NASA statement at 8:30AM Pacific.
Andrew Juby: "My roommate has access to Goddard Space Flight Center's Orbital Information group server. He can pull up data on just about any non-classified orbiting object. We checked it this morning and pulled up some data on Columbia, and ran it by the aerospace major across the hall. It appears that at about 2 or 3AM, as Columbia was into its descent, it pulled up."
Washington Post: "..first Israeli astronaut."
NY Times: "It is not too much to say that along with an Israeli flag, Col Ilan Ramon carried Israel's dreams with him into space."
Scott Adams is accumulating links to stories about the Shuttle.
Google News search for "columbia space shuttle."
NY Times: AOL's Need: A New Vision.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.