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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Sunday, March 23, 2003. Sunday, March 23, 2003

Adam Curry has a link to the Al Jazeera videos. 

A picture named osborne.jpgAdam 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.  

In 2001 Google acquired a company called Outride that implements something like the personalized search I describe below. I heard from two people who worked at the company. 

Working on Weblogs at Harvard 

A picture named yuichi.jpgFriday 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 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.

Good morning Internet! 

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.

A picture named paolo.jpgNote 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.

20th Century House 

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.


Last update: Sunday, March 23, 2003 at 5:08 PM Eastern.

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