Walter Cronkite: Speaking With the Enemy.
This XML feed contains the top five minutes of changes from Weblog.Com. Updated every minute. Cuts down on bandwidth if your app polls frequently.
New RSS power at Daypop from Dan Chan.
Change in perspective due to change in geography. Now when Doc writes about hotels in Silicon Valley with good WiFi my ears perk up.
Jim Moore: "There is an emerging second superpower, but it is not a nation. Instead, it is a new form of international player, constituted by the 'will of the people' in a global social movement. "
Busy morning. Got a Cambridge PO box, then opened a local checking account, and got my Harvard ID. It says, in big letters, OFFICER. I asked what that means. They handed me a piece of paper that says "Officer is a nineteenth century term used for academics, administrators, and professionals. It is the highest status Harvard offers." Yow. It feels heavy. The list of perks is impressive. I can use all the Harvard libraries, athletic centers, and can dine at the Faculty Club. They even have a website for all the bennies. Today I feel very well-taken-care-of. Thanks Harvard!!
New Manila theme, Swim Fan.
PHPmySubscriptions is "a simple tool to read the news of your Radio aggregator on the Web, when you are away from your Radio."
AP: "NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett on Monday, saying it was wrong for him to give an interview with state-run Iraqi TV saying that the American-led coalition's first war plan had failed because of Iraq's resistance. Arnett himself called the interview a 'misjudgment.'"
The Guardian tunes into John Robb. "In an earlier life, he was a USAF Special Ops soldier. He's not an armchair pundit." That's right. John's weblog offers a unique point of view with intelligence. A must-read.
How to delete a news item in a Manila weblog.
News.Com: "Segway's Human Transporter, the high-tech scooter that captured the nation's imagination two years ago, is proving to be an easier device to drive than to sell."
It's opening day of the 2003 baseball season and I find myself in an American League city. Those who are new to Scripting News may not realize what a potential disaster this is. The only real league is the National League. However, the Mets need someone to beat in the World Series. It might as well be the Red Sox. Disaster averted?
Lance Knobel: "To my untutored eye, it seems the British army's long experience in Northern Ireland is proving extraordinarily relevant in Iraq."
Ruzz: "The only thing I admit to doing wrong is buying all of the shares in Dave Winer's blogs so he couldn't buy anymore and what did it hurt? I drove the price for UserLand up to nearly $200 a share. Who suffers? Who!"
Caleb Crain: "Who says aesthetics has nothing to do with politics?"
Tariq Mohammed is blogging from Kampala, Uganda, where he is a United Nations volunteer.
Dan Lyke, editor of the venerable Flutterby weblog, has met his wiener boys, and wonders how to be rid of them. Here's how I did it. I shut down my discussion group and occasionally point to sites that have comments sections. If the wiener boys show up, no problem. Eventually the link scrolls off Scripting News. There's always a clever answer to the cowards, you just have to breathe deeply and let it come to you.
I've been using my camera again. Here's a picture of Russian-born software entrepreneur Vadim Yasinovsky, from Clear Software. Statues on Brattle Street, and a few pics of food at Mary Chung's Chinese restaurant on Mass Ave near MIT. I still have to learn how to turn on the flash on my camera, so I guess I have to go back once again to get a pic of their spicy noodles. Life is tough.
I hereby nominate Pete Seeger for a Berkman fellowship. And now that I've moved the truth can be told. I used to live across the creek in Woodside from Joan Baez, who is profiled in the same piece as Seeger. I met her once in the supermarket and talked on the phone once. She has a very nice house, with lots of cool people hanging out.
Bill Moyers: "I put the flag in my lapel tonight."
BBC: "The World Health Organisation expert who first identified the mystery pneumonia that has claimed dozens of lives has himself died of the disease, the UN agency has announced."
The Times reports on a Columbia University anthropology professor "who said at a campus antiwar teach-in Wednesday night that he hoped to see 'a million Mogadishus' -- referring to the city in Somalia where American soldiers were ambushed in a lethal firefight in 1993." Interesting that the Times reports this as a denunciation of the professor's remarks. Why not just report it as two stories. Why does the president of Columbia get the headline?
An update to last night's doctrine. "It's time to stick the tail between the legs and get the fuck out of there folks. This doesn't smell good."
BlogShares is a "fantasy stock market for weblogs."
Scripting News is an attractive buy at $14.08 per share.
Megnut gave a keynote in Illinois. Neat!
Welcome to Wendy Seltzer and her new weblog.
NY Times: "The most influential antiwar coalitions have shifted away from large-scale disruptive tactics and stepped up efforts to appeal to mainstream Americans."
I just heard that Henry Norr, who I've known for almost 20 years, has been suspended from the San Francisco Chronicle because of his anti-war views. There are quite a few articles about this. "I don't write about national affairs, I don't write about national politics, I write about things like spam," Norr said in an interview. "To me, in any normal understanding of what is a conflict of interest, I didn't have one."
Christopher Lydon reviews the "great writers who anticipated the contemporary crisis."
Note that the main weblog and all new weblogs sport a Creative Commons license. I think it's quite reasonable. Unless otherwise noted, all content may be freely reused, with attribution. I think everyone is protected, the author, Harvard, and the public. We found the right balance, imho. Lawyers and programmers working together. Power. Postscript: The lawyers asked the programmers to include the Creative Commons graphic. The programmers did it.
A new doctrine tonight.
Jeremy Allaire reports on Esther Dyson's interview with Google's Sergey Brin.
More work on Harvard weblogs today.
More from our ex-special-ops guy, John Robb. "We need to be able to destroy all six divisions in place simultaneously."
Listening to man-on-the-street interviews with Boston people demonstrating in support of the war in Iraq on NPR. A woman said "I'd like to see them demonstrate like this in Baghdad." Okay. Interesting point. BTW I'm sure Saddam Hussein, if he's still alive, would be happy to let them rally support for the troops (his troops). And then I realized what bothers me about this the most. Why should I care what happens in Baghdad? Isn't the US a big country? Shouldn't we go to war with countries of equal stature? How did anyone ever get the idea that we care about Iraq. I don't. I never will. Sorry.
At dinner last night with Adam Green, he said something disturbing. He said this will be Dubya's last war. I said that's right, because we're going to vote his ass out of office next year. Adam said the Democrats don't have anyone to run against him. I couldn't believe that. And then he started listing them, and damn if he's not right. Holy shit. Four more years of this bullshit? I never signed up for that.
Christopher Allbritton, former AP and New York Daily News reporter asked readers of his weblog to pay to send him to Iraq, and they did. He's reporting from Turkey today, on his way into Iraq. Bravo.
If the BBC reporters weblog had permalinks I'd point to some of the posts, especially the one about dolphins helping clear mines in Umm Qasr.
I didn't see the NBC news piece on weblogs, but Doc did. "Last night's seconds-long NBC news feature on Weblogs verged on the meaningless."
Last night's session was great. About 15 people. Lots of great discussion, lots of ideas where to go. We'll do it again next Thurs at 7PM.
Matthew Langham wants an outliner for his Pocket PC.
"thinkusaalignright"Well, with a little help from Murphy, it looks like I made my 7PM deadline. Later tonight we will start serving up new weblogs for harvard.edu people. Lots of other stuff happened today. I had a nice talk with Wayne Rosing, VP-Engineering at Google. I got some insight into how the deal with Blogger happened, and how they're working internally. We reaffirmed the love affair the blogging world has been having with Google. Okay, so now they do blogs too. We can still work with them. Let's hope for the best. What did Macromedia do that was so bold? They broke out of the browser. Now Flash is a browser on its own. We don't need no stinkin HTML, DHTML or whatever. And they support XML-RPC and SOAP 1.1. Nice. A no-fud-zone? Keeping our fingers crossed. I also got interviewed by NPR, so if you're listening to the radio this evening and hear a mellow confident booming voice boasting about how weblogs are taking over the world, that's me -- or Scott Rosenberg, they interviewed him too. Also, I'm told this time we will definitely be on NBC News tonight, but in the meantime I have to launch some blogs, so I'm outta here, see you later. Love, Dave.
Jon Udell on publishing a project weblog.
Martin Schwimmer: "I am very happy to make an RSS feed of this web site available to aggregators who make non-commercial use of the feed."
More work on Berkman weblogs today. The goal is to be open for business at tonight's meeting. In this context, open for business means automatically creating new weblogs for anyone with a harvard.edu address.
Later today Macromedia will announce a new product, one I've been wanting for seven years. I'll wait until the press release runs before explaining why it is so important, why it will be controversial, and why the controversy won't matter. Postscript: Sorry for the delay. I hit a few bumps in various projects that are underway. My comments on this announcement will probably have to wait till tomorrow. Sorry.
As a newbie to Boston, I'm glad to be here as they change all the rules about how the main arteries work. They held up completing The Big Dig until I got here. Good thinking. Now everyone is a newbie, not just me. How about that!
Presidential candidate Howard Dean gave a talk at Harvard last night. He asked an interesting question. Next year, how will we feel when China invades Taiwan because they think they have weapons of mass destruction? Has the new Bush Doctrine, pre-emptive wars, unleashed a philosophy of world power that we may not be so comfortable with?
Reminder, if you're in Boston tonight and want to learn how our new weblog service works, we're having a meeting tonight at 7PM at Berkman Center, 1587 Mass Ave. If you can't make it tonight, we'll do it again next Thursday and the one after that. If you have a harvard.edu mail address, we can create your weblog tonight, Murphy-willing, of course.
If you tuned into NBC News last night you would not have seen or heard me, or a story about weblogs. They called last night to say that it got bumped, and has been rescheduled for tonight. Unfortunately I will not be able to watch it (see above) so if some kind soul would record the show (I am without TiVo) and upload the result, that would be super.
3/27/99: "If you have a news site, a weblog, I encourage you to put up an RSS version of the content so we can flow it thru our templates and out to readers' desktops."
From the If-You-Ever-Doubted-There-Is-A-God Department. I just finished writing an email to a friend where I said: "I am glad I'm out of the real estate biz. I'm more comfortable in unreal estate." I then checked new mail. One message. Spam. Subject: "Be the next Real Estate Tycoon." Yes there is a god. And he or she is listening. And has a terrible sense of humor.
NY Times: "Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Harvard professor and four-term United States senator from New York who brought a scholar's eye for data to politics and a politician's sense of the real world to academia, died today in Washington. He was 76."
Warblogging.Com's new Index Of Evil is an application of Weblogs.Com. "EvilBot downloads every blog that's changed since it last downloaded the list and looks for words like Ashcroft, Hussein, Saddam or Osama."
John Markoff's obituary of Adam Osborne.
Don Park: "People like Sean [McGrath] are smart experienced experts whose criticisms should be carefully examined like rocks from a jade mine instead of focusing on flaws." Amen.
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools main website is a Manila weblog. What a gorgeous design, by Bryan Bell. He says: "We converted every department in the organizations and nearly all of our client schools."
Ed Cone: "If an Iraqi division was rolling up I-85 through Greensboro on its way to overthrow some hypothetical despot in Washington.."
I was interviewed this morning by one of the US television networks about weblogs and the war.
John Robb: "We don't want to go in. We can't go in."
Paolo's weblog is one year old today.
Hey is Doc hot, or not?
Happy Birthday Brent!
Brent says: "I want WebKit. I promise to use it for good and not for evil."
Another announcement. On April 8 I will give a presentation on weblogs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. The sponsors of the presentation have asked that I invite readers of my weblog. 4PM-5:30PM at the Faculty Dining Room, IOP.
I just started a mail list for developers working in the Manila content management system from UserLand.
Paul Boutin: "The BBC misspells me five times as Paul Boultin today, but at least they got it right in the URL. Coupled with Reuters' Paul Bottin citation last week, it's got me wondering how accurate the rest of the news is."
My old friend Randy Green has an interesting car.
Kottke: "The ball and chain is out of town for few days so I did today what every red-blooded American male does in this situation: I went shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond for fluffy, white bath towels and a bath mat."
Work continues on the hosting code for Harvard weblogs.
Sean McGrath: "By the time you hit the RDF triples, all but four people in the room are tidying the hard disks of their laptops or updating their blogs."
The Department of Media Sciences, Anna University, Chennai is hosting a national conference on blogging.
One year ago today: "My bet with Martin Nisenholtz at the Times says that the tide has turned, and in five years, the publishing world will have changed so thoroughly that informed people will look to amateurs they trust for the information they want."
Three years ago today: ManilaPalooza!
Would you like to be the reporter embedded with this story?
News.Com: "Instant messaging company Jabber on Monday said it secured a $7.2 million investment from Intel Capital."
NY Times: "Fears about a new respiratory disease deepened considerably today as all [Hong Kong] public hospitals reduced non-essential services, workers and students were told to stay home if they felt at all ill and one of the two top officials handling the outbreak was himself hospitalized."
Donna Wentworth is blogging the ILAW conference in Rio.
Michael Winser wants to hire a journalist.
Jon Udell: "Data moves from a SOAP service in Radio UserLand, through an auto-generated WSDL wrapper, into a database stored procedure, which calls out to the Web through a C# extension and stores results in an indexed XML database. Then an XPath-enabled SQL query gathers results, converts them to XML, and virtualizes them as a WebDAV resource, which Excel finally reads and analyzes."
Dan Bricklin's pics from Sunday at PC Forum.
Lance Knobel: "Embedding reporters might be merely a recognition of the reality that much of the reporting media has already embedded the coalition's assumptions into its work."
Interesting stuff on John Robb's weblog this morning. He says that Iraq could have taken Saudi Arabia in the last war, and their failure to do so led to their defeat. John also says that we don't have enough manpower in Iraq to control the country.
Karlin Lillington tells the story of a UK reporter in Iraq who is not embedded, and therefore "can say what she wants and is not restricted by the military."
"There are people dying in Iraq, said Peter O'Toole, backstage at the Oscars. "I'm an entertainer. My job is to cheer them up. If I can."
One year ago today, a text editing cheat sheet for Radio.
Adam Curry has a link to the Al Jazeera videos.
Adam Osborne has died. He was an early columnist for personal computer magazines, book author and publisher, and founder of Osborne Computer. Dan Bricklin has a remembrance of Osborne including an audio recording.
Ian Evans is blogging the Oscars on-site, backstage at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
Paul Boutin: "San Francisco is still lying around the house in its bathrobe, bitching about its lost dot-com job and demanding rent control while neglecting to take out the garbage."
Doc is blogging PC Forum. He says Tim Berners-Lee is a British Bob Frankston. "Speaking faster than most of the listeners can hear, yet at a fraction of the speed at which his mind works."
John Dvorak thinks Apple is getting ready to switch to Intel.
Great stuff on Microdoc News, aka Google Village.
Nick Denton: "The inhabitants of Bucharest were so crushed by decades of harsh dictatorship, that they emerged suspicious of each other, credulous of rumor, disorientated by the truth, seething with recrimination, and bitter, bitter, bitter."
Blogging at Harvard support. Every Thursday evening at 7PM we're going to have a live face-to-face session about blogging at Harvard. The sessions are open to anyone from the Harvard or Scripting News communities. The discussion is mainly how to do a weblog. Every week I'll try to present a feature or two, answer questions, etc. There will be a projected computer, making it easy to do demos. Sessions may or may not be blogged. At first we're going to do it in a large conference room at Berkman Center, Baker House, 1587 Massachusetts Ave. There's room there for no more than 20 people, and seating for only about 10. We can improvise. If more people come, we can get larger space. I'l post a reminder towards mid-week. Important note -- you do not need to be a geek to come to these sessions, in fact, we won't go deep on technology, because that can be so intimidating for non-technical people.
I'm glued to the TV and when I'm not doing that I'm glued to NPR. It's not a nice day. Very soon we're all going to have to decide if it's ethical or moral to view TV pictures of American prisoners of war, or Americans who likely were executed by the Iraqis as prisoners of war. Up until today the war hasn't effected my body chemistry, despite the awful news, I've been feeling pretty good. Today it hit me.
Friday and Saturday were good working days, I now have a form that accepts and validates the information needed to create a weblog. Once validated, an email is sent containing a link to a page, with a "code" param, where you click on Submit to create the site. You must be coming from the same IP address. The code is a hash of the harvard.edu email address and today's date. After I get the site-creation code working, the next thing to work on is the default site. I want to be sure it's set up optimally, so that the new Manila site is a news-item oriented weblog, with comments turned on and hosted in the discussion group for the site. My running commentary is here.
Here's an idea. Should Google take who's doing the search into account when doing its page rank work? For example, last night over at Bob Doyle's house, I said Let's go eat at that Chinese restaurant on Central Square that has spicy noodles. Bob said Okay, what's the name? I thought, How am I going to find the name? Aha! I put it on Scripting News for just this occasion. So we go to Google, click on Advanced Search, set the domain to this one, and search for MIT noodles. Two hits, the top one is the correct one. Then later (and here's the insight) I realized that Google could take note that I do that kind of search a few times a day. Clearly I think Scripting News is pretty authoritative, way more so than almost any other site. Can that be factored into the results they give me? I think perhaps I should patent this so no one else can.
Note to my lawyer friends. We should have a place to note new inventions, or things that occurred to plain old users, as defenses against patents in the future. I say that the idea of an adaptive search engine, one that learns about the person using it over time is just plain obvious. I'm registering that thought now with Google, whose crawlers index this site regularly. Later on, when they patent it, as they are sure to, let's be sure we can smack them hard with proof that it was a pretty obvious idea.
I live in a house without TiVo. I'm not happy about that. The people I rent from just have cable. Twentieth century style television.
Nick Denton is mapping the invasion of Iraq.
NY Times: "More than 100,000 New Yorkers marched down Broadway today to voice their opposition to the ongoing war against Iraq."
Tonight I went for Cambridge's equivalent of spicy noodles at Mary Chung's, down by MIT on Mass Ave, with Holly and Bob Doyle. We had a wonderful time. Even so, I much prefer the west coast noodles. I'll go back and get some pics of the eastern noodles. This afternoon I took a two-hour walk around Fresh Pond. I'll post pics of that tomorrow.
A silver lining to all this war misery. People are getting politically active. If you ever doubted that your vote matters, now all doubt should be gone. Remember that next time you get a chance to say who runs things.
Cyberjournalist: Weblogs and Diaries from Embedded Journalists.
Joi Ito: "If I stop drinking, I will be able to blog at night and catch Dave Winer when he starts blogging in the morning on the East Coast." Cooool.
One of the cool things about Cambridge is all the interesting people you meet.
I'm renting a house from a professor for two months, and the current tenants don't need the house for the rest of March, so I'm taking over starting today. I went over there yesterday afternoon, not expecting anything in particular, but this being Cambridge, and these being interesting times, a fantastic discussion ensued about weblogs, war, law school, doctors, hearts, more weblogs, the medical school, Mitch Kapor, more weblogs and finally to the reason I think I have a fellowship at Harvard Law School (at least from god's point of view, or Murphy's).
I wrote a follow-up email to my newest of Cambridge friends, a medical doctor. Here's what I said.
We all have to find people to trust in each others' professions. I put my life in the medical professions' hands last year. So did my father. I have a few law students at Harvard helping me out, and I can teach them how to be lawyers, but like all lawyers, they don't listen. ;->
Programmers are no different, but unlike the other professions, we're having trouble even existing. Yet our society runs on computers more and more every day. So let's figure it out. We are weird just like doctors and lawyers. But that doesn't make us bad.
Later it occurred to me that our lives are in the hands of the government. No one likes that, I bet even the government people.
BTW, they tell me I'm moving into Mitch's neighborhood. Hi Mitch! What a small world. I swear I didn't plan it this way.
Mary Jo Foley says that Microsoft is getting ready to woo ISVs. That's nice, but there are two problems.
First, there aren't any ISVs. So if you want to woo them, first you have to help get some going. For that love won't be enough. Think money. People have to eat while they're getting ready to ISV. They need medical insurance, and office space. And need to take a business trip once in a while. There's no money available for software now. Sorry to be the one to tell you this.
Second, they're thinking about it the wrong way. The article says they want to incentivize developers to put new Microsoft technology into their apps. No no no. That tells me they (Microsoft) have a problem, but you don't create new markets that way. This is what Apple was doing while Microsoft was eating their lunch in the late 80s and early 90s. Incentivizing developers to include new toolkits that provide functionality that users don't want. Oh what an awful strategy that was.
Instead, send your scouts into the field to find out what's hot, and back it with all you have. Lay off some of your internal developers, the ones who created the technologies that developers and users don't want, and give the money you were spending on them to developers who already have users who want more. That's how the software industry was meant to work.
Now, of course, Microsoft being the bureaucratic behemoth that it is, will never do this. They don't really exist to give customers what they want, the harsh truth is that they exist to keep employing more Microsoft people. Same problem Apple had. Ask Don Norman about this, I think he understands. Or Roger Heinen. Maybe even Larry Tesler. (Or Jean-Louis Gassee.)
Kevin Sites: "I've been asked to suspend my war blogging for awhile."
Pictures of a warm sunny spring afternoon in Cambridge.
BBC: "Shares on the world's stock markets have surged because of hopes of a swift end to the conflict in Iraq."
Scott Rosenberg: "These are the images the whole nation is taking in as representations of this conflict."
BBC: "At least two people -- including a policeman -- have been killed in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, at an anti-war march."
Technorati's new current events page. Annotated. Updated every 15 minutes.
Dave Polaschek reports that Apple changed the date of the worldwide developer's conference from May to June and changed the location from San Jose to San Francisco. The dates coincide with the MacHack conference, which Dave says "has Apple developers more than a little cranky this morning."
Today's programming project for weblog hosting at Harvard.
BBC picture gallery of British soldiers in Iraq.
Glenn Fleishman: "A plan to give away Real World Adobe GoLive 6 as a free PDF might cost me $5,000 to $15,000 in bandwidth charges because of, well, too much interest in the book."
My new camera is slightly larger than a cell phone. My old camera was an order of magnitude larger. I tend to take the new camera with me. It fits into a pocket. Yesterday I got pics of the demonstration at Harvard because the camera was in my pocket when I came upon the demo.
"thinkusaalignright"Scary interview on CNN by Paula Zahn with Tom Daschle, Senate Minority Leader. They played Daschle's speech prior to the war, where he said it was a failure of diplomacy that forced the war. Playing the speech now was unfair. As the NY Times editorial said, that was the time to ask how we got into this mess. Now that the war is on, Daschle has made a joint statement with Senate Majority leader Bill Frist supporting US and allied troops in Iraq. Then Zahn asked if Daschle could see how some would have seen his statement as unpatriotic. What an outrage. Zahn is a reporter, interviewing a distinguished member of the US Senate. She pressed him. If I were he, I would have gotten up and left the interview. Listen up. War is not an excuse to turn off your minds. We need our minds more than ever. Reporters don't lecture leaders. They report. Daschle voiced a concern that many Americans have, at an appopriate time. Once the war is under way, he and we are commited, like it or not.
Werbach: "Listening to Tony Blair's address last night on the radio, my wife and I couldn't help but feel that the world would be a better place if his home were #1600 Pennsylvania rather than #10 Downing."
Kevin Marks: "I find myself turning to media from England as well as weblogs, and thought I'd pass some links on."
Raph Levien: "I attended the noon rally at UC Berkeley."
George Tsiokos did a chart comparing versions of RSS.
BBC: Iraq invasion under way.
AP: "The very missiles Saddam Hussein fired at US forces in Kuwait appear to have been the same weapons he either claimed not to possess or agreed to destroy."
John Robb, ex Air Force special ops flyer, says "Excellent!" to US strategy in Iraq. "It looks like Bush stumbled into the right military strategy: decapitation strikes," he writes.
Pictures from today's anti-war protest at Harvard.
A place to comment on today's Scripting News.
BBC reporters are working weblog-style. Excellent.
Inside Ventura County has great war coverage.
I was interviewed by a wire service, asked how today's events compare to 9/11/01, from the weblog point of view. After a bit of thought, there's no comparison. Today's news is far away from sources accessible to bloggers. There was plenty of time for the big networks and newspapers to get into position. 9-11 was a surprise, blogs can mobilize more quickly, and we have more people in NY and Washington.
JD Lasica: "With advances in digital photo and video equipment, battlefield images will be available for online distribution almost immediately."
Paul Boutin, who we trust, fact-checked the Iraqi blogger, and concludes that he probably is reporting from Baghdad.
Debka expects the surrender of two Iraqi divisions. "They are the forces charged with defending the oil fields of region and represent two-thirds of the Iraqi army in the south."
Washington Post: "Shortly before 4PM yesterday, Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet offered President Bush the prospect -- improbable to the point of fantasy, yet suddenly at hand -- that the war against Iraq might be transformed with its opening shots. The CIA, Tenet said, believed it had a fix on President Saddam Hussein."
The Age: Saddam appears on Iraqi TV.
Entertainment Weekly: "President Bush and French President Jacques Chirac may not be phone pals anymore, but that didn't stop Chirac from discussing Saddam Hussein, the war in Iraq, and other serious issues with another famous American: Jerry Lewis. Except it turns out that the man who had a five-minute phone conversation with Chirac last week wasn't Lewis, but rather a Los Angeles DJ impersonating the comedian." Via Instapundit.
NY Times: "Mr Bush sought to tamp down expectations of a quick victory with few casualties by warning that the battles in the days ahead 'could be longer and more difficult than some predict.'"
BBC: "President Bush confirms the military campaign against Iraq is under way, after explosions rock Baghdad at dawn."
Reuters: "The strike on Baghdad appeared limited and there was no sign yet of the awesome display of force predicted by military analysts to stun Iraqi troops and sap their will to fight."
BBC: "Countries around the world have reacted swiftly to the start of conflict in Iraq."
Tim Rutten: "Cable news came of age during the first Gulf War. Online commentary -- or blogging, as it is known -- may have found its moment in this second campaign against Saddam Hussein."
Jake: "Two new server-level preferences were released today for Manila's News Aggregator feature."
BBC: "Three billion Suns would fit into the most distant black hole yet known."
Lessig: "One reply, from the representatives of the Kinks, demanded $10,000 for permission to reprint the line 'help me, help me, help, me sail away' from the song 'Sunny afternoon.'"
News.Com: "About a year ago, the New York Times signed a deal with Radio Userland, a content management software developer that produces a news aggregator, which allowed that organization to distribute RSS feeds." Radio UserLand is the name of the product, not the company. The Times feeds are here.
News.Com: "Networking giant Cisco Systems on Wednesday said it would buy Linksys, a manufacturer of networking gear for consumers, in a stock deal valued at $500 million."
Dave Aiello compares Feedster and rssSearch.
One year ago today, NY Times syndicated for Radio.
Carl Garland writes: "Never emailed you before but I think I have the only site on the Web that not only lets you make March Madness picks for your own groups but will let you retrieve User Picks, Leaderboards over XML-RPC. My site is kinda a mixture between Yahoo Groups, Blogging, and Creating your own contests. Anyway I have a short blurb about it in my overly weak blog. I hope you will be hearing more XML-RPC stories from me in future and thanks for all your work."
News.Com: ICANN names new CEO.
Grub "provides a free for download, free to run, distributed crawling client, which is used to create an infrastructure (database + volunteers) that will eventually provide URL update status information for nearly every web page on the Internet. Grub's distributed crawler network will enable websites, content providers, and individuals to notify others that changes have occurred in their content, all in real time." Via Evhead.
Chris Pirillo's pics of the Google-Blogger party.
Survey: Are you glad or sad we're going to war?
News.Com: "Apple Computer on Wednesday named former Vice President Al Gore to its board of directors."
Travel pics of cheesecake, the Taconic State Parkway, the Berkshires, Great Barrington and Butternut Basin.
Scott Rosenberg follows up on the Eve of Destruction.
Rich Santalesa: "While no one wants a war, there are things worth fighting for, which apparently the French and some others can't fathom. Freedom is one. Safety is another."
Morbus Iff reports that SourceForge is providing RSS 2.0 feeds for its projects.
NY Times: "Ted Turner is still not ready for his exit from AOL Time Warner, at least not while there is still an audience eager for his personal views and antics."
Ad Age: "Recent internal research by Procter & Gamble indicates that consumers who fast-forward through ads with digital personal video recorders such as TiVo still recall those ads at roughly the same rates as people who see them at normal speed in real time."
As you might imagine I got some strong responses to yesterday's DaveNet by Scott Rosenberg. There's nothing wrong with a strong response, but I am disgusted by thoughtlessness of many of the comments.
"thinkUsaAlignRight"I made a point of listening to the shock-jock shows on AM radio as I drove across the country. So the "arguments" are familiar to me. What I'd say to them if they'd listen -- read some histories of war, not the histories of starts of war, when everyone is full of honor, courage and conviction. Learn about the trench warfare of World War I. Or how long it took for the US to extricate itself from Vietnam. I recently read a history of the Civil War in the US. What a fucking mess that was. Sure a lot of piss and vinegar at the start. But the people in the southern US are still bitter about that war, 140 years later. A lot of people died, nasty deaths; and a lot of what people cared about was destroyed. All of us are too young to remember, that's why we have to study this stuff, and think about it.
Scott did change my mind, but I was almost there. You don't ever go into war thinking it's going to be easy. If it is, count your blessings, but assume it won't. Bush is not leading us well. We should have heard some thoughts about how hard war can be. It's like the disclaimers we get on cigarettes. Warning, these things can kill you.
I hear so much concern for the people inside Iraq. Come on. You right wing guys don't really care about them, do you? If so, why only Iraq? Why not take on civil strife, starvation and disease where ever it happens. I don't believe you really care about the people of Iraq. Sorry.
On the other hand, I don't agree with everything Scott said. He repeats an oft-repeated mantra of the left, that Bush wasn't elected, and this just weakens his argument. Bush was elected. No candidate is responsible for flaws in the system. Had the random outcome in Florida favored Gore, there's no doubt in my mind that he would have taken office without any hesitation.
Net-net, if the people who read Scripting News and DaveNet aren't thinking, there isn't much hope for the world. And by the way I have no sympathy for people on the other side of this disagreement who say nasty shit about the US. This is my country, watch what you say about it. Thanks.
Paolo Valdemarin: "After September 11 the US were leading the largest coalition of countries ever seen. Now, whatever the US administration is saying, they are going to a war alone." Actually the British are fighting with the US.
Lance Knobel: "I'd like to have seen an alternative to war, but that would have meant an international commitment to intrusive inspections, backed by the threat of force. In the light of French and Russian vacillation, it's very unclear whether that could have worked."
Megnut: "I'm uncomfortable with the idea of America unilaterally removing someone from power. And I am very disturbed by the approach the American government has taken to achieve its goals."
Karlin Lillington: "The Bush administration has been utterly hopeless and inept in creating a coalition abroad, in showing leadership overseas, in working towards consensus."
DaveNet: Eve of destruction.
Craig Cline, my friend from Woodside, has a new weblog. Craig is the editorial director at Seybold, the big twice-yearly publishing show. Craig is looking for someone to do a one day tutorial on weblogs. He offered me the job, but that's not what I do. Let Craig know if you're interested. It's a paying gig.
BBC: "Developers of file-sharing services have redesigned the applications to use random ports."
Reverse Cowgirl: "What is it about brown hair that just says, I'm armed and ready to kill?"
Here's the latest trick in marketing conferences. They created a personalized "site" for me. Yeah they got me to click on the link. But I'm not going to the conference. Sorry.
I have a confession to make. I never use regular expressions to parse XML. My programming environment has a very good XML compiler, very nicely integrated. It's much easier for me to use it than to hack together something with regexp.
Ray Grieselhuber blogged a cross-country drive with pics.
In Boston, when listening to NPR they say "WGBH in Boston." Of course, that's the public radio station in Boston. It's world famous. We hear about WGBH even in San Francisco. It's snuck up on me twice, making me giggle both times. I imagine after a while you get used to it. Not there yet. James Cham writes: "I'm a long-time reader, and I thought I'd mention that although WGBH is pretty popular, the public radio station that most people listen to is WBUR (90.9). It's more talk-y/news-y than WGBH's eclectic mix, that's the format that does well in these parts."
My lawyer in Palo Alto wants to do a conference call at 7:30PM Pacific. That's a bit late for me. I'm already on Eastern time. I can tell I'm going to have a problem here. Being a morning person worked in California. It doesn't work as well in Eastern.
Earlier: I'm on my way to Boston. I'm going to drive through the Berkshires, and approach from the west. When I was a kid we spent vacations there, there are a lot of memories for me on this route. Look for pictures tonight or tomorrow.
NY Times report on amateur photographers and the Columbia disaster. "A composite of the images, shown by NASA today, reveals that the shuttle shed debris even earlier than previously suspected."
Scott Rosenberg blogs something that has been on my mind. "Overconfidence breeds disaster." As I watched Bush's speech last night I was struck by his confidence, and have to say I liked it. Then I remembered another way of looking at it. "Famous last words." Or what Maude used to say when Walter said something over-confident. "God'll get you for that Walter."
NY Times editorial: "Once the fighting begins, every American will be thinking primarily of the safety of our troops, the success of their mission and the minimization of Iraqi civilian casualties. It will not feel like the right time for complaints about how America got to this point. Today is the right time."
Jeremy Zawodny notes that you can fly from coast-to-coast round trip for $300. It's true.
Woke up in the middle of the night with an idea I wanted to add to my weblog, so I went to my editorial site, looked for the Flip Home Page button, it wasn't there. Look at the clock, it's 1:45AM, do the math, that's 10:45PM in Calif, no wonder -- I decide to bite the bullet and switch my site to the Eastern time zone. Yet another piece of my safety net disappears. Wheeee!
The sounds of NY continue to impress. Far off in the distance a hot rod with a cop in pursuit. At least that's how I interpret it. I hear two loud engines, one with a siren, one without. Maybe they're racing to get someone to a hospital.
The idea I woke up to blog, came to me in a dream. Wes Felter you were in it. I had just walked onto a beach on a lake, and I passed a family that I knew, except of course none of the people looked anything like they look in real life. This was a dream. Everyone is leaving as I'm arriving on the beach. The sun is going down, but I'm going to catch a few of the remaining rays. Someone had been reading something our group produced, and Wes said that was an idea Dave came up with. Wes explains this to me casually. And then I had the thought I wanted to blog.
Do you add understanding to the world or do you add entropy? People who make good friends add understanding, or are good people to work with. Sometimes it seems that most of the people in the world are programmed to create entropy. And of course there are good reasons to have that too. People like Wes keep chugging along, not taking up too much mental bandwidth, but are reliable suppliers of understanding. I think there's lots of value there, underappreciated value. End of insight.
Scott Love tells the story of outliners.
We're going to start the transition to the new backend server for weblogs.com, now, at approx 2PM Pacific. Some things won't work at first. The three-hour queue will get flushed this one time. The changes file may not update for a few minutes. And it may take some time for the DNS change to percolate. But the backend will be faster when all this is done.
Update on the upgrade. The DNS remap has been done, the new server is taking pings. Next change, the new home page for weblogs.com is in place. The first update it shows was at 1:51 Pacific. Next change, we're now bridging RPC calls to the old server to the new server, so that until the DNS change fully percolates the pings should still be registered. Note that this is the slow server, if your pings go through this route, you'll still see timeout errors until the mapping is complete. Lawrence tested the ping-site-forms, and they appear to work. So far everything appears to work.
Tim Bray says XML is too hard for programmers.
More pictures from the cross-country drive.
David Davies is keeping a list of RSS search engines.
I asked David to keep it in OPML so I could link it in to the directory that I maintain, and he obliged. Now when he updates his list my directory will update, within one hour of his update, sometimes sooner.
I made good progress on the move of the backend of weblogs.com, until I noticed that the performance of the new machine was going to hell. I sighed aloud and started turning things off so I could figure out what the root of the problem was. Well, it turns out some idiot at 184.108.40.206 is crawling the Radio discussion group with a huge number of simultaneous threads. The new performance suckage has nothing to do with my new code. I turned him off every way I know how to, now we just have to wait for whoever it is to ratchet down his or her crawler and stop abusing our server.
Andy Edmonds has a neat Mozilla tool for weblogs.com with a twist. It only shows weblogs that are in the browser's history database, so it shows you sites which have updated that you have already visited. Very clever way to add prefs to the huge number of sites in changes.xml. (Andy sends a postscript, it can also be configured to work off your favorites, not just history.)
I saw a comment on a weblog last night (sorry I don't remember which one) wishing that the ping-server in weblogs.com could be federated. It can be. UserLand distributes the server app for no charge. It can run inside either Frontier or Radio. So the minimum cost to federate is $39.95. And you get a lot of other back-end services at no extra charge. In the meantime due to a change in Movable Type, people are seeing more timeout errors when pinging weblogs.com (but the errors don't prevent the pings from working). This is because the back-end is running on a way overloaded machine that isn't too fast to begin with. So instead of driving to Boston today, I'm going to stay one more day in NY and move the back-end app to a faster server. I'll need help from Lawrence on this.
BTW, in this context a service can be "federated" if more than one server can run the software. Apache, IIS, Manila, Movable Type are all designed to be federated. When Blogger licensed its software to Globo in Brazil last year, it was federated (before that it had not been federated). Originally the backend for Radio was not federated, because it's easier to develop something that's not, but around this time last year we lifted it up, and made it easy to install and easy to configure, so it can work on any number of servers.
Werbach: "Forget what you think about Microsoft in the operating system or PC application market. In telecom today, they are the good guys."
Rafe Colburn explains why Algol-like languages are far superior to Perl for working on large scale, multi-programmer, long-term projects. I'd go further. If you use an outliner to edit your source code, his multi-line Java example shrinks down to one line, just like his Perl example. If you don't program in an outliner I'm sure you have no idea what I just said. If you do, you're probably chortling and guffawing and pointing at the screen saying "See what I said."
Adrian Holovaty reviews Web NCAA bracket interfaces.
NY Times: "Laura Bush has nothing on her public or personal schedule for the coming week, when a war might well start. Her press secretary, Noelia Rodriguez, says that Mrs. Bush, in fact, has nothing on her schedule until much later in the spring -- a signal, perhaps, of when the White House expects a war in Iraq to be over."
NY Times: "A 20-pound carp about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner began speaking in Hebrew, shouting apocalyptic warnings and claiming to be the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died."
One more thing. Driving coast to coast with zero cigarettes was hard work. At every rest stop they try to get you to buy some. Believe me, I would have liked to have smoked a lot while driving. But I resisted. I guess I really quit. Whew.
Fast Company: How Google Grows.
Sorting and reviewing pics from the cross-country drive. This one struck me as emblematic. It's got all the elements -- a straight road stretching to infinity. A truck, barely visible far off in the future. Except for the road, no sign of human beings. The next three mountain ranges visible over the horizon.
Another emblematic pic of a small farm outside Salt Lake.
Another one of those ironic sign pics.
In Kansas they tell you where the Astronauts live.
And in NY they have tall bridges.
A good way to catch up after several days away is to click on the links at Daypop. I found out that reporters are using weblogs to report from Iraq, and that Jason DeFilippo is cloning the weblogs.com interface for blogrolling.com. It's good that his stuff will work with anything that works with weblogs.com, the not-good part is that he's only made it work with one blogging tool (which I think isn't even correct, how could his server know what blogging tool you're using and why should it care?). The philosophy of XML-RPC is pretty clear, don't know or care what the caller is written in. End of lecture.
Jason clarifies. Good, that's what I figured. But it was also important for me to make it clear to people who may not understand the technology. There have been examples of products and services coded to work with one app, when they could easily have been made to work with all. As the guardian of XML-RPC I feel it's my responsibility to stand up for its philosophy whenever I can. Jason is a good guy. I knew that before and I still do.
Wendy Koslow reads like Susan Isaacs.
Gnome Girl wrote to say that she used to live a few miles from the place I stayed in Pennsylvania. She said I should get out of there quickly. I heeded her advice and beat it out of town first thing the next morning.
Doc: "We had better than four inches of rain here."
BTW, I thought I should mention -- today in NY it's in the 60s. I clearly brought warm weather with me, because there are still little piles of dirty snow everywhere. It's been like that the whole way cross the country. I really did bring warm weather with me. As a result, everywhere I go people are in a good mood. I'm tempted to think it's because I'm looking good, great hair or whatever, but it's probably just the relief at the end of a long winter. I called Scoble a couple of days ago and he said a storm was coming in on the West Coast. I felt the relief of a former owner of many leaky roofs in Woodside, CA. "Nothing to worry about there," I said to myself.
Last year on this day Radio's aggregator got a driver architecture. I couldn't say it at the time, but we designed it so that Radio could read the NY Times feeds. Later, once the dust had settled in RSS politics, we quietly switched the Times feeds to RSS 2.0.
ScottGu explains why building numbers on the Microsoft campus seem haphazard to the uninitiated. This makes sense. I wish someone had told me earlier.
Four years ago today was a huge day in XML-based syndication technology on the Web.
I know I'm late to the discussion about Mitch and Groove and Poindexter, but I wonder if Mitch can guarantee that his open source software won't be used by the military to do nasty stuff he doesn't support.
Greetings from Belle Vernon, PA. Last night I was so exhausted I didn't even try to log in from Vandalia, IL. Took it a little easier today, had a boring but smooth drive through Indiana and Ohio. Tomorrow I'll drive across Pennsylvania and Murphy-willing, arrive in NYC in early afternoon. Looks like I'll be in Boston Monday or Tuesday.
Jake: "The News Aggregator feature for Manila allows server managers to offer a community aggregator for all of the sites on the server."
NY Times: "Mitchell D. Kapor, a personal computer industry software pioneer and a civil liberties activist, has resigned from the board of Groove Networks after learning that the company's software was being used by the Pentagon as part of its development of a domestic surveillance system."
Hey Chris Pirillo wrote an ode to me. Nice.
Books-On-Tape is worth it. I "read" two trash novels while driving so far, two mysteries, one by Rex Stout and the other by Susan Isaacs. Both were silly, but compelling. And they took a satisfyingly long time. The Isaacs book took me all the way from western Colorado to the middle of Ohio (with NPR and music interspersed).
Ziff-Davis article on WiFi at McDonald's.
Starbuck's isn't everywhere, but McDonald's is. If they went for WiFi access in every store, instead of just those in big cities, they'd have a new business model, and their coffee isn't that bad either.
Having a great trip, not doing very much online because the connection has been so unreliable. I need Earthlink 800-number access. I'm going to try to set that up now. Anyway, I'm doing fine, in Colby, KS. Really enjoying the driving, and the time away from all the michegas. The weather has been fantastic. I'm bringing warm weather with me.
Sprint, my cellphone provider, has really awful coverage. After leaving western Nevada, only in Denver and Salt Lake was I able to dial out or receive calls. There aren't many Starbucks. Only passed on, in Frisco, CO. In Green River, where I stayed last night, two motels advertised Internet access on their front signs, but only offered a wired PC in the lobby. Too bad none of them offer WiFi. If they only knew they could. Clearly enough of their customers want Internet access to make it a marketing issue in some places.
Blogging dinners while driving across country isn't really a viable idea. The drive is huge, and I have no idea how far I'm going to get in any given day, or what the weather is going to be like, and that's what drives the route choices. People in various locations where dinners might happen need to plan a bit in advance, and the drive doesn't allow for that. Also, hours and hours of driving doesn't leave me feeling like having dinners with large groups of people. It's a nice idea. But one that requires some more thought. I'm basically driving to NY by the route that makes the most sense to me, as I drive, hour by hour. It's hard work. To give you an idea, I've been driving for almost three full days, and if you take a map of the US and fold it in half, I'm still in the western half. Heh. Tomorrow I will be in the eastern half. Before lunch.
Anyway, I gotta sign off. The connection is very flaky. I'll try again tomorrow night.
DaveNet: Like MacArthur.
10:23AM. Logging off from California. 7:06PM. Logging on from Winnemucca, NV. Had a lovely drive today. I'm exactly where I want to be, in the middle of absolutely nowhere. A little bit of rain coming over the Sierra. It's warm here, in the upper 50s. Had a little trouble connecting via Earthlink, it's a long distance connect so I'll probably wait to upload today's pics.
CNN: Blogging Goes Mainstream.
NY Times: "Two weeks ago, after the federal government shut down 11 Web sites that trafficked in drug paraphernalia like bongs, roach clips and cocaine spoons, the Internet addresses didn't simply disappear from cyberspace."
Boston Herald: Blog expert sets sights on Harvard.
Dan Gillmor's anonymous correspondent says: "Little companies like Oddpost and ours could not raise a dime from investors to build a Mac version."
3/10/01: "Professional and ethical programmers are generous people by nature."
Remember what it was like on the day of the school play? We had rehearsed and rehearsed, then the dress rehearsal, then the big day. I remember lying in bed in the morning so incredibly excited. That day had a special quality no other day had. Finally the day I had anticipated for so long -- it was here! After this nothing would be the same. Today has that feel to me. The house that's so empty, still feels like my house, its emptiness feels like a betrayal, by me, of it. That looms large, I think because I'm still in it. I had enough years to explore every nook and cranny that I cared to explore. I wanted more adventure. Later today, around noon, I'll drive to Reno for the first leg of my cross-country drive. No more rehearsals, today it's the real thing.
Chris DiBona is driving cross-country, east to west.
Slashdot thread on a new search engine that's bound to raise the fur of Google's lawyers.
Dave Aiello explains how "Roogle" came into existence.
Ole Eichorn: The Tyranny of Email.
News.Com: "The tech industry badly needs a shakeout."
Jimmy Carter: Just War -- or a Just War?
Cameron Barrett is back with both guns blazing. He's been to Siberia, and now is in Austin. I don't agree about the US, but he states is point of view very powerfully. A must-read.
Here's a Google employee who's cutting me a new asshole for complaining about his employer. Of couse this is one of the cool things about weblogs, you can drill into an organization and find out what people are really saying, without having to filter through the PR suits. (In this case it's predictable, this is how Silicon Valley tech companies react to criticism and developers, wait until they have to deal with competition from Microsoft, they're even worse at that.)
BTW, the employee, Steve Jenson, is the guy who does their XML-RPC work. Oy. He got a lot of facts wrong. For example, I've been praising Google for much more than four months. And it's never been "suck up" -- that's disgusting. I don't think of them as "up" from me. Typical BigCo attitude. Yuck.
But here's the question that's been much on my mind -- where is Cindy McCaffrey?
She's the Google PR voice, and she's the best there is in her biz. Both Doc and I have worked with her. You always come out feeling great. So Google is acquiring companies, getting new patents, starting new businesses, etc etc and all we hear from are the soldiers, not the generals.
As my buddy Doc might say: What the fuck?
After many tries, I finally got Earthlink to work. The trick was not using the 800-number, which costs more. They don't warn you about this, and the error message doesn't say the reason it couldn't log me on is that I didn't pay the extra money for 800-number access. Anyway, Murphy-willing, this paragraph was posted via telephone. Wish me luck! It worked. Coool.
Now my next problem is to download a list of access numbers to my laptop. I don't want to have to make a long distance call to find a local number. It's not easy to find such a list. Postscript: I think I found it.
Chris Gulker: "The culture at Google is just not open and responsive to users."
NY Times: "Fadi doesn't see anything strange about using American self-help tapes to get a job at an American company, while at the same time harboring hatred of the American government to the point of self-annihilation."
I decided to go for a card for my new laptop that gives it a cell phone that's a modem that would get me on the Internet. I thought it was the most elegant way to ensure a base-level of connectivity while traveling. So I called the Sprint store in Palo Alto, and asked if they had the card. They said yes. I didn't think to ask if they would sell it to me. It turns out not. I already have a Sprint cell phone, and they have a rule that I can't have two numbers because my credit rating doesn't allow it. This, after eleven years making embarassingly large monthly mortgage payments, on-time, never missing a single one. A huge credit limit on my Visa card. Several months paying my Sprint bill. Nothing I could say would make them budge, so I left the store several hundred dollars richer. On the way home I stopped at Starbuck's and picked up a pamphlet on their 802.11b service. That and Earthlink will be how I get on the Internet as I cross the country by car.
Doc is reconstructing his house. Wow. I expect they'll have one of those house-destroyer machines here pretty soon. I'm glad I won't be here to see it.
John Burkhardt on FM Radio Station: "I like it!"
Simon Fell didn't like FMRS.
SocialDynamX: "FM RadioStation is a desktop application that enhances the Radio experience by integrating 3 applications: news aggregator, blog publishing tool, and web browser into a single, easy-to-use, unified experience."
Rogers Cadenhead is trying out FM RadioStation.
Don Park: "After just a few minute of using RadioStation, I can say I love it. Go try it folks."
Moving notes. I hate to take up space at the top of today's Scripting News, there are so many good stories and so much good news. So I'm going to write my notes down here.
Michael Gartenberg: Blogging for Fun and Profit.
Eric Muller, the blogger who's been covering Howard Coble's gaffe re Japanese internment, got a call from the Rep himself. Weblogs are becoming more a part of the political system.
David Maizenberg: If Bork Had Blogged.
Derek Slater has a question about Pressplay.
Worlds of Ends is a Cluetrainish manifesto by Searls and Weinberger. Of course what they write is right. The Internet is not complex and it resists being made complex.
A Seattle Times review of NoteTaker confirms that the president of the company is the same Scott Love who worked at Living Videotext. Scott understood outliners in ways that no one else did at the time, and I bet he still does. Very smart guy, doesn't cut corners. I'm sure it's a great product, worth buying a Mac to run. And it's nice to see that it supports OPML and can exchange outlines with Radio. Excellent.
I read this article about Google-Blogger and let it sink in over night. Sorry I don't agree. A Web app that tracks where I go is not creating a weblog.
Three years ago today: "I just realized something about Microsoft. To most people, including people at Microsoft, you're either anti-Microsoft or pro-Microsoft. Then thinking about it some more, this isn't just true of Microsoft. It's also true of Apple. And it's also true of Linux. And Open Source. And it's not just about computers either. It's pretty much everywhere. And it's total bullshit."
The house is empty.
The movers came at 8:30AM, and took seven hours to pack everything up and move it out. It was an exciting day that began for me at 2AM. I was moving everything around, making sure it would all go smoothly, and it did. Lots of activity. But when the movers left -- surprise -- a totally empty feeling. An empty house is not a good place to be. There's just a tiny amount of furniture here. A friend came over with a sandwich and a drink. We talked. I still felt weird.
Net-net: I may leave early.
PS: My dad is going home on Wednesday. He's walking. He got his mind back and his body. Bravo. He's a strong man. And lots of people prayed for him. Thanks everyone for all the good vibes.
PPS: Prayers to Don Park's family.
SimCity 4 was a disaster for me, but I'm falling in love with The Sims. Can't get enough of it. But I wish I could figure out how to get it to start over. I really screwed up The Goths. Hellllp. They're about to eat their daughter they're so hungry.
I tried going back to the Newbies, but not only does the clown come over for a visit, but the Goths do too, and they eat all the Newbies' food! That's so funny.
One of the things I like about The Sims is that you can write your houses to the Web. I'm not exactly sure what that means yet, but as soon as I figure it out I'll show you.
Hats off to Maxis for producing another totally addictive simulation.
Ben Edelman's account of action at the US Supreme Court in the case to decide if the Internet is to be filtered in libraries.
Leslie Walker reviews news aggregators and RSS.
Dave Aiello wants a pure RSS search engine.
The SJ Merc interview with Marc Andreessen (founder of Netscape) asks if he has a blog. "No," he said. "I have a day job. I don't have the time or ego need." People used to say stuff like that about email, believe it or not.
Patrick Scoble brought his father Robert over to visit last night. They both got some goodies. I gave Patrick a much-cherished statue of Giants slugger Barry Bonds, and a magic noisemaker from Game 4 of last year's World Series. That was the game the Giants won 16-4. Patrick tried to get away with my copy of The Sims, but I caught the little guy. Robert got the monitor from my Mac. I'm moving the Mac, but will get a new flat-screen monitor when I get to Boston.
Don Box gave a speech saying enough specs, let's focus on apps. That's something I can get behind. That's been my song for quite some time.
Warning -- if you install SimCity 4, keep the disks. It won't run without them. Arrrgh. I threw them away. Last night I tried to launch the app. It asked for the disk. Oy. I suppose I could go dig through the dumpster. But that would be humiliating. I guess the whole copy protection thing is kind of humiliating.
Click on the image of Worf, above to see what the actor looks like without makeup. Now, a question. I've always wondered what the actor behind Homer Simpson looks like. I don't even know who it is. Is it Hank Azaria? Or Dan Castellaneta? Or Harry Shearer? I should know, but I don't. And what does he look like? Can we see a movie of him playing Homer? Hello. Oh man it seems like that would be interesting. (Postscript: Castellaneta is Homer. Bo Williams writes: "Keep an eye out for a rerun of the 'Inside the Actor's Studio' that featured the cast of the Simpsons. I don't know which was more the mindfuck -- seeing Dan, this sort of scrawny little guy, belting out 'Doh!' and drooling 'arahrgahrgahgrahgr', or seeing the woman who does Bart's voice. Or remembering that Marge used to be on Rhoda." Actually she was Rhoda's sister.)
Pete Prodoehl: "What about a Google-Free Friday?"
BTW, I am making an effort to wean myself off Google. It's hard to do. To be honest I wish it wasn't the prudent thing to do. I'm using AllTheWeb. Also going to check out AltaVista. But I still think of Google as authoritative. And when I look in my logs, I see it's delivering the traffic, not the others.
There's an essay lurking in here, but I've been reluctant to write it. Here's what it would say. Up till now Google has done really well with the low-key, we-let-our-software-speak-for-us approach to public relations. But that method doesn't work now. People are confused about what Google is.
Now the vast majority of people don't know enough to know that anything has changed. So it's not really a problem, unless you believe that word spreads. That's how Google became famous, because people who really understood the Web understood how good it was and told their friends, and they told their friends and so on. But I don't know what to say.
I've seen Blogger as a respected competitor for almost four years. I've seen Google as a valuable utility, but never as a competitor. I have no words from Google to explain how they want me to understand that.
And as a user I'm confused. I thought of Google as a search engine, not a portal. I thought that was the point. Search is important enough to make a company that just does search. But hosting? Site creation? Blogging? I don't see the connection.
There's been so much speculation, but none of it makes sense to me. The Web doesn't require or even support this kind of integration. It could be that I'm missing something, but I don't think so. To think that Google would do something unweblike -- that's hard for my mind to believe. But there you have it. Confusion.
And to think that when I have chosen in the past to link to a Google query that I was helping a competitor against search engines that don't compete with us in writing tools, well there you go -- that's my motivation to explore the other search engines, and that's why I feel my trust was betrayed by Google.
Postscript #1: I've gotten a couple of accusatory emails from people inside Google. They insist I must have an axe to grind, that somehow what I've written here can't be what I really think. I hate to disappoint, but these are actually my thoughts, I haven't withheld anything important, there's no ulterior motive. I have had concerns about Google for quite some time, as I would about any Silicon Valley company that attains the kind of success they have. They were the last company I thought would turn into a competitor. I regret that I tilted the table to favor them over their competitors. I truly do.
Postscript #2: Paul Nakada writes: "I added this to my c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file, 220.127.116.11 www.google.com, made the change, restart. Now my Google toolbar and Google searches go right to Alltheweb."
It's finally sinking in that I'm moving. Tomorrow the movers show up. Then another couple of days with very minimal furniture. No TiVO. No dishes or silverware. No coffee maker. Only the clothes I don't pack. Meanwhile the land across the creek has been cleared. It's shocking to look at it. I guess the house will come down as soon as it's empty. I called the gardener and the pool guy to tell them not to come again. It's really happening now. And it's cold this morning. Brrr. I thought it would be fun to see what it's like in Boston. 30 degrees. I guess that's not too bad. Another snow storm on the way. Like I said it's cold here too. But later today it'll probably get to 70. Okay, no earthquakes in Boston.
Of course all this is a distraction. The US is going to war. Compared to that it's not a big deal that I'm moving and driving across the country or trying out other search engines. There are Americans, lots of them, in the Middle East, and on their way there -- whose lives are in jeopardy.
Our European allies say we don't need to go to war. But what do they say to the families whose kids are going there to die? They say that they love the American people but hate our government. They don't understand the US. Read the Constitution. Check out the first three words. It's our government. You can't like us and not like our government, and vice versa.
I'm a reasonable person, and I vote. I want to understand the European point of view. Tell me what you'd do here. You've drawn a line. You've said that Saddam must disarm or be disarmed. You did say that, there was a UN Security Council resolution, the vote was unanimous, not vetoed by France, Russia or China. Okay he didn't disarm. Now what?
Survey: "Assuming the UN Security Council does not approve war with Iraq, will the US go ahead with the war?"
Oddblog: "Do you ever agonize over the possibility that someone, somewhere is having a better time than you?"
It's true it's true -- the Jupiter people asked me to do the opening keynote at their weblog conference, June 9-10 in Boston, and of course I accepted. I'm going to help them put together a program, after I complete my drive cross-country. Let's make the most out of this and of course let's have fun. And let's have a party at Harvard, gosh the planets seem to be lining up really nicely. Time to take a walk.
NY Times: Online News Shakes Up Korean Politics. "Only 20 percent of the paper each day is written by staff journalists. So far, a computer check shows, there have been more than 10,000 other bylines."
Got a new camera today.
News.Com reports that Groove has raised more money, $38 million, and has laid off 20 percent of its employees. By my count, they have raised $140 million. How many dollars per user is that? How many dollars per employee? Imagine if Pyra had raised $140 million. (They could have bought UserLand, and still had some cash left over. Hehe.)
Dave Sifry says that Technorati knows about 100,000 weblogs. Let's do some math. If Dave had raised $140 million that would be $1400 per weblog.
I had a long talk with Justin from Audblog last night, and we decided to scrap the XML-RPC polling interface for a couple of reasons. First, it would be error-prone. I kept getting confused about what information was required, and I was writing the software. A user would be much more likely to get it wrong. Second problem, latency. If you had Radio configured to poll every five minutes, on average you'd wait 2.5 minutes before the post appeared on your weblog. It takes about 1 minute to run out of patience, and another thirty seconds to write an angry email, leaving another full minute to wonder why you bothered. And then sometimes it would take five full minutes. That's enough time to create and edit a blog post explaining how brain damaged Dave Winer must be to design such a system. Anyway, I managed to convince Justin that sending an email was the best option, and that some enterprising Radio programmer would probably figure out how to get Radio to automatically load the email for the 1 percent of the people who want it to work that way. I'm relieved because I don't have to write any software to create audio weblog posts. Back to getting ready for my move.s
Register: MS aims at Linux with $399 Server.
3/5/99: "If Linux is going to displace NT on the server, no amount of FUD from Microsoft will stop it."
Glenn Fleishman: "Dave, well, Dave fills up the room!"
Kottke: "You've got to hand it to the ancients."
Reuters: "The US Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether libraries should be required to filter out porn on their Internet-connected computers."
Just went to Barnes and Noble to buy a current Rand-McNally road atlas, and a bunch of books on cassette, including (of course) On The Road by Jack Kerouac, performed by Matt Dillon. I've now finished all the closets, picked a mover, and am starting to pack the car and mentally prepare to hit the road next Monday.
News.Com: AOL gets new technology czar.
LA Times: Apple online music service wins kudos.
NY Times: "Let's say you are the replacement for Jerry Garcia in the Grateful Dead. Your new job is to go in front of 20,000 fans and play music that they probably know better than you do."
Here's a pic of Mena Trott, myself and Ben Trott at the Sunday party. This was just after we had a great talk. These are nice and smart people who we can definitely work with. Jason DeFillippo is in the background, and to the right.
Marc Barrot: Outlined RSS Comes to the Browser.
A list of "known blogs authored by known (or suspected) Microsoft employees."
WiFinder enables "locations, companies and individuals to offer, use and profit from wireless LAN service."
Justin Hall: "I'll put my brain in Dave Winer's hands for a little while." Scary thought.
Glenn Reynolds: "The 'Raging Cow' campaign, I predict, will exude all the hipness of those 1970s-era Soviet rock bands. All the elements of hipness will be there, but somehow the whole will be less than the sum of the parts."
I'm working on the Radio-side of Audblog. Did my first post just now. Their XML-RPC interface works as advertised. I still think this is the wrong way to do it. There are lots of Manila users who will want this, and the Audblog people apparently don't think they're important. Of course since I use Manila I see it differently. Aside from that, there's no way I should have to do this work for them. I want a plain vanilla service that just sends an email with the URL of the MP3 file. That would work with everything. The gee-whiz part, that it posts to my weblog (if it happens to be on Blogger) is lost the minute you see that the post has no content at all.
Wired: "When your medical records are indexed in Google, something's wrong."
Guy Kewney: "If the answer to all the miseries of the universe is the filling in of automated forms, then of course we have to go along with it."
Last week I got a demo of the new Microsoft Office suite. Poor Jean Paoli, his hardware wouldn't cooperate, and every dozen keystrokes it would freeze up. Even so, I got the gist of what it does. I told him in advance not to expect much from me. Been burned by Microsoft too many times. Don't tell me it's open, because I expect, fully, that you will break anything I build in the next corner-turn. Anyway, no matter what I said, however begrudgingly, I think people will like and use the XML capabilities of the new suite. However, as a professional, I gotta say, it's not smart to do so. Microsoft's track record is really bad. It would be like booking a seat on an airline known for never making its schedule. Interop is not a feature you can sell if you don't honor past agreements. And Microsoft doesn't. And it's not the usual Evil Empire reasons. It's just corporate arrogance, the kind that plagued Apple in the late 80s and early 90s. Yup, today SOAP means "works with Microsoft" and that makes it no more interesting than COM was.
Lindon Parker sends a pointer to James Farmer's new education weblog, which reminds of Jenny the Librarian; and Farmer points to Anne Davis who in turn reports on what her students think of weblogs. "Every once in a while you have those teaching days when you know that this is why you teach," says Ms Davis. To which I say, this is one of those days when you know why you write software.
Yesterday Donna Wentworth linked to a Stanford project to help people in their community start weblogs. Right on. I say this all the time: Nothing is going to stop west coast schools from adopting weblogs. That's why I went east. If someone didn't get weblogs going there, it could turn become a west coast thing, like hot tubs, Esalen, massage, Buddhism, meditation, Jerry Brown, etc. Also note that it's important to have a Pied Piper. It's not enough to put up a server, you'll wait a long time before the weblogs start. Someone has to make it look interesting and fun and point to the cool stuff. That's what Jenny does for librarians, and Denise and Ernie for the attorneys. I always keep an eye open for a Pied Piper. I of couse am a PP myself.
Chris Pirillo sends a pointer to this MSDN article that explains how to build a desktop news aggregator. And they say Microsoft isn't paying attention.
Kevin Marks: "Plan your route so you pass an Apple store once a day, and upstream using their open 802.11 network. Plenty of bandwidth for photos and audio."
On this day in 1998, a DaveNet piece about XML-RPC. We were already working with Microsoft, but I wasn't allowed to talk about it. In 2001, a new trend: B2R. And for some reason I can't replay, every March 4, I seem to say -- it's a Spicy Noodles kind of day.
Okay here's a question Scripting News readers can help with. I'm thinking about how I'm going to connect to the net as I drive across the US. A few options. I could hop from WiFi network to WiFi network; in other words, chart my course based on where I'll find convenient or free net access via 802.11b. I wonder if that's possible in 2003. Other options. Get a cell-modem from Sprint. It's not fast, but it's probably fast enough for me to do an hour of web-writing a day (that's kind of what I have in mind). It's probably not fast enough for me to upload lots of pics. Another possibility is to activate the free MSN account that came with my new laptop. Presumably they have lots of dialup access numbers for that. Anyway if you have some ideas on this, please post a comment here.
Another question about my cross-country drive. I'm assuming that the war in Iraq will already be going on as I start my trip. This means that I won't be able to be an anchor on the coverage. That's okay. I assume someone else will do a great job, and I'll read them, and point to them. What I hope to do is somehow be a humble version of Charles Kuralt of this news event, traveling through the middle of America, talking to people, taking their pictures, very low key, and see what they have to say, and basically get them onto the weblog network, before they have weblogs.
I had a great talk last night with Ben and Mena Trott, the authors of Movable Type. It was the first time we had ever talked. I find that our values are very compatible, which is not surprising considering that they make nice weblog authoring software. We also seem to share a concern, a careful watch-and-see approach to the Google acquisition of Blogger. I said to them, as I said to Jason and Evan, that now is the time to establish conventions for working together after the arrival of the big companies. If we don't do it now, we probably won't be able to do it in the future. But nothing is certain, there have been so many surprises up till now, why should that change as we go forward?
Jeremy Allaire: "There's nothing stopping an RSS supplier from inlining ads, cookies and other things into the content." Scary thought. Haven't seen that yet. BTW, I don't see how the cookies would get in there. You'd need support from the aggregator.
I've spent most of today moving stuff from the house to the third dumpster. If the stuff in the house was that valuless, in a sense I was living in a dumpster. Most of the stuff I'm throwing away now, on shelves, in the house, had not been touched in years. I got a clue about this when I spent most of the last quarter of 2002 in New York. I did pretty well with a suitcase, knapsack, laptop and cellphone. There really wasn't much more that I needed, or much more that I could even use. When I'm traveling I find I watch very little TV, I always have a book I'm reading, nothing like the 1000 books I keep at my house, most of which I've never read and never will. (The ones I read invariably I give away, because those are the ones I talk about.) Then the last few days with all the talk about commons vs property, and I realize I probably would be happier with a really nice room, a large one, with a deck and a hot tub, bathroom and shower, and access to a kitchen for the rare times I create a meal, and that's about it. Having a car is nice, but I don't need anything on the order of the kinds of possessions that have accumulated in this very nice house-dumpster.
Duncan Wilcox: PageRank 2.0.
At last night's party, Chris Pirillo asked about a feature. He wants a news aggregator in the Start menu on Windows. I said I thought it could be done. This morning, before I resume my moving regime, I'm going to spend an hour investigating. (Postscript: I've got it working here. It was easy, just wrote a storyArrivedCallback and created a folder in Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\. Windows XP does a good job of keeping the menu in synch with the folder. However, coming up with good file names is going to be tricky. Unless the RSS has a <title> element, it's going to be kind of goofy.)
Amy Harmon's report on the two Calif conferences last week.
Observation at the Spectrum conference. The vast majority of laptops were Macs. Second place seemed to be Sony Vaios. Apple had a good idea in putting a backlit Apple logo on the top of each laptop. Makes it easy to see how many there are in a room at a quick glance.
Lance Knobel quoting Joshua Micah Marshall: "We publicly sold out the Kurds to get this deal. We really should have made sure we had a deal before we tipped our hands to the Kurds about the price we were willing to pay for it."
News.Com: "[Google] now it finds itself in the position that its own success has bred distrust because it's large and we depend on it."
Wendy Koslow: "If pressed, the entire Center could probably live in this house. We'd be smelly, but there's filtered water and pretzels."
On this day in 1998, we put up our first public XML-RPC application. It was a guestbook. The app isn't there any more, but it wouldn't take a lot of work to get it on the air now. Of course it wouldn't work with any of the toolkits out there. XML-RPC wasn't frozen yet in March 1998.
Wonderful party last night in Palo Alto thrown by Joi Ito and friends. Haven't been to a tech party like that since the early days of Wired. Had great talks with Ben & Mena, the Pyra guys, Doc, Cheyenne, Howard, Chris, Dave, Lessig, Anil, to name just a few. It feels like something is rebooting. There's also a sense of loathing that the bigs are coming and are likely to screw this up just like the screw up everything. Let's not let that happen this time.
Virginia Postrel: "Everybody has theories about what makes Silicon Valley special."
At dinner last night, sitting next to Chris Pirillo, who is fucking brilliant; and across from Doc Searls who is that and wise and loving, and across from Howard Rheingold who is all that and has a hit book out now, I designed a new industry. Chris Pirillo is a super-product manager. He's got so many great ideas that he is passionate about. His 29-year-old brain is racing at 150 mph. It's like an encyclopedia in there. A bunch of programmers work for him. He brings them Chinese takeout every night. Chris listens to the users during the day, uses the competitors products, and he tells the developers what to do. Of course they don't listen but he argues with them on behalf of users until they get tired of arguing and give him what he's asking for so he'll just shut up. When they give him what he wants he hits the ceiling and it isn't acting because he really loves this stuff. What do old farts like Doc and Howard and myself do? Well we kick back and enjoy it and help Chris any way we can.
David Davies: Mobile weblogs go multimedia.
According to Steven Levy, Dr Pepper is using weblogs to promote a new milk drink called Raging Cow. Doc Searls is quoted as saying it won't work. I suppose it's fair, I quoted their I'm A Pepper song for the title of an essay I ran saying it's okay to be new at something. My song goes like this. "I'm a newbie, he's a newbie, she's a newbie, we're all newbies, wouldn't you like to be a newbie too?"
Tara Sue: Terrorism Hits the Womb.
Okay today after listening to all kinds of talk about regimes in spectrum yesterday I'm getting back to the regime of moving today. If I don't get my ass seriously in gear I'm going to miss the whole spring semester in Cambridge.
But first some notes on the schmoozing at yesterday's conference. Yesterday I met Wendy Seltzer, who is also a Berkman fellow. She works at EFF in San Francisco, and manages the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse. We had a lot to talk about. I also finally met Dave Farber whose mail list I have been subscribed to forever. He's a very nice man. (I know I sound like Forrest Gump.) We took a walk together, and were joined by Amy Harmon of the NY Times. A beautiful spring night in California and what did we talk about? Bill Gates, of course. Go figure. One of the economists at my table at dinner last night asked if Silicon Valley had an obsession with Gates. I said yes. Then we proceeded to talk about him again.
Cory Doctorow did a kickass job of blogging the conference.
Back to Wendy Seltzer. There was something familiar about her face before we talked. Later I realized that there is a picture above my workplace at Baker House showing Wendy bundled up in warm clothes, a cute connection to the Chilling parts of the Clearinghouse. Silly pics really work. They're memorable.
Joi Ito has a funny Harvard joke (the first I've ever heard). How can you tell if someone is from Harvard? Answer here. Heh.
Okay next problem. I have to hire a moving company tomorrow. I need to have them here by Friday. I know that's impossible. But it has to happen anyway! Whew. But first, I have to go trawl for the news.
Tara Sue: "Once you realize you're just a human nutcase, life is golden."
3/2/00: The Two-Way-Web.
Two years ago today: "To this day they think the battle over Java was with Sun, when it was really with the developers. Microsoft says they love developers, they live for developers, and at some level I believe them. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I don't think they have a clue how their actions cripple the developers."
People with weblogs at the Spectrum conference. Scott Mace, Kevin Werbach, Cory Doctorow, Dan Gillmor, Lisa Rein, Joi Ito, Dave Sifry, Aaron Swartz, Matt Haughey. If you're in the room with your weblog, please send me an email.
The prize for the most on-topic presentation at the conference goes to Brett Glass. He made all the issues everyone else discussed, in the abstract, come alive. The best part was his story about Paul Allen and Metricom. I thought the FCC should make him the Commissioner of Homebrew Broadband. We should want people like Brett and his community to be successful with wireless.
Kevin Werbach did a kickass talk. Interesting, packed with info, passionate. But the rest of these guys are part of a fraternity, they talk about things that mean nothing to me. I'm a stranger here. I don't get it. Kevin came from this place to software. This is where he shines. Postscript: Joi agrees.
Mike Amundsen did a Blogger => SOAP bridge.
Harold Gilchrist interviews Noah Glass re Audblog.
Brian Dear: "I'm in La Jolla, but I have both a QuickTime high-bandwidth feed and a RealNetworks high-bandwidth feed going at the same time in different windows --- both have different video cameras, so I get to see two different views. This is the way conferences should be! I love it. Heard you get up and ask your 802.11 question."
Nat Hentoff: Ashcroft Out of Control.
Tim Bray, a longtime Web technologist who is a newbie blogman, discovers that things have changed. He says "Over the last 24 hours I learned a lot about how the Web of A.D. 2003 works, and it's not like it used to be."
Thanks to Dave Sifry, my comrade from Lawn Guyland, I now have a live connection at the Spectrum Conference at Stanford that so many other people are blogging. Most of this is way over my head. Much nicer to have a net connection while the experts are bantering.
Suggestion to Microsoft re Windows XP. Every time I restart the computer you ask me to get a Passport. I don't want one. Give me an easy and obvious way to tell you to stop asking. I think it is wrong for you to ask over and over.
Thanks to Guan Yang comes this story from the Seattle Times saying that the Harvard Crimson archive was entered by typists working for $65 a month in Cambodia. This caused considerable soul-searching, of course, in Cambridge. Thanks to Derek Slater for the pointers.
There's a bit of real news on today's Scripting News. Here's something even weirder. No one has sent me email about it. Did I bury too deeply?
John Walkenbach says he uses Front Page for his weblog.
Last year on this day I marked Brent's last day at UserLand. I didn't mark Scoble's last day, it was right around that time, he actually laid himself off. UserLand is still here, the servers are still running, new features and fixes are still coming. Scoble has a new job at NEC and is making trouble for everyone, and that's as it should be (he's good at it). Brent is shipping world class software for Mac OS X. And I'm getting ready to cross the country by auto. We all survived. Yehi!
It's going to be a long interesting month for me. At this beginning of the month I am a resident of Woodside, CA. At the other end, I will be a resident of Cambridge, MA. There's a kind of a duality to that, a balance. I think perhaps I should begin my cross-country drive, which is slated to begin a week from Monday, by heading west, not east. So I can touch the Pacific Ocean one more time, and then drive north or south, depending on which route is chosen. So many great emails and invites, from the east coast and west, midwest and deep south. What an amazing medium.
Next topic. On Wednesday last week at a meeting unrelated to weblogs, a Microsoft exec let it slip casually (heh) that the next version of FrontPage does blogging. I have my doubts, it's probably the same way word processors in the 80s did outlining, but the hype is already beginning.
Let's not let this be like the browser wars. Let's all support the 1.0 version of the Blogger API for the forseeable future. This would help me encourage Microsoft to also support that very adequate Evan-designed API, so that all the momentum in wizzy blogging tools will continue even while the BigCo's are slugging it out.
Today I will see Larry Lessig and I will shake his hand and thank him for all he has done for me. The door wouldn't have opened so nicely at Harvard had it not been for his enthusiastic endorsement. Thank you.
I will also ask him to read the section above about blogger wars, and say that this is what we need to work on, not whether or not someone chooses to release their source code. Neither Microsoft or Google, or Pyra or UserLand are open source companies. You'll find that the excitement in software is often this way. The open source implementations can come later, but people at the leading edge generally need to keep the source to themselves. No matter, if everything is working correctly, users still get choice, and have the ultimate power over what's created. It's only when developers breathe their own fumes and don't listen to users that we get in trouble.
Each time around the loop the users get a chance to remind the vendors not to take them for granted. Each time around the loop the users don't exercise that right. Nothing will ever get fixed in the software industry (which includes Hollywood now) until that happens. Larry, that's what we have to work on. We're coming to the top of a loop now. And interestingly, the tools we're working on empower users to speak. Heh. Will the weblog people go down in a war between software vendors? Not if I have anything to say about it.
Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.