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.
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