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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, March 01, 2003. Saturday, March 01, 2003

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. 

A picture named brett.gifThe 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. 

A picture named cory.gifBrian 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

If I get the microphone (I'm trying) I'm going to ask why it all won't be 802.11. I don't get what the alternatives are. I think it will all be 802.11. Postscript: I did get the mike. Thanks.  

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.  

A picture named xp.gifSuggestion 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! 

Three years ago today, a picture of Tim O'Reilly talking with Jeff Bezos about his stinky patents. It was right around that time we came up with the catchy slogan for Senor Bezos.  

Welcome to March 2003 

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.

Blogger wars? 

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.

A picture named guy.gifLet'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.

Of course I'd like everyone to support RSS 2.0 as well. And the MetaWeblog API. And I have some ideas about OPML. Please also use our feed of updates to weblogs. It's there for you to use. Please do.

My friend Lessig 

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.


Last update: Sunday, March 02, 2003 at 6:09 AM Eastern.

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