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Permanent link to archive for Friday, April 04, 2003. Friday, April 04, 2003

A weather forecast in one picture.  

A fantastic weblog, with a video, from Iran. 

BBC: "The world of patents and intellectual property is shifting more and more towards intangibles and ideas and away from concrete products, and current structures may not be able to cope, according to Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan." 

7/24/00: "Imagine if you couldn't write a story because Dean Koontz had already written it. What if the idea were as basic as Boy Meets Girl? That's what's going on in another creative space, software." 

Does it snow in Cambridge in May? 

Watch out -- here's another Berkman blogger. Diane Cabell. I thought she'd be a tougher sell. Bing! 

Kevin Werbach notes something that I noticed too. Now both Harvard and Stanford Law Schools have women deans. A year ago I wouldn't have found that interesting.  

An unconfirmed report on NPR just aired that the US has found "thousands of boxes" of an anthrax-like white powder near Baghdad. 

Speaking of weapons of mass destruction, one of our sites is getting pounded by porn sites, in an unusual way. They hit the site just enough so that their site shows up in the top sites list in the referers report. It's spam, with a very small audience. It's also easy to defend against. All we have to do is program our server to filter out the offending sites. Done

A small bugfix in the RSS 2.0 spec. 

The interesting thing about Maxwell-Dworkin, a Computer Science building, is that it is zero-based. That is, the street level is Floor Zero. It's a joke, one that a programmer would get. Hey they even have a page for the room we met in today. Heh.  

I'm now reading third-generation spin on Andrew Orlowski's spin of Jim Moore's spin of the 2nd Superpower meme. I had never heard the term Andrew used until today, but it won't appear on Scripting News until someone else uses it. I think Andrew is trying to slip one by. This is a definition of a slow news day. We're all burned out on the Battle of Baghdad? 

Karlin: "Why do fanatical devotees of computer operating systems always miss the point?" 

Happy birthday XML-RPC 

Thanks to Archive.Org, the "Early April Coming-Together" document, which had been missing, is back.

Published five years ago today, it's the first public evidence of the protocol we designed with Microsoft that was eventually named XML-RPC. Thanks to Don Box, Bob Atkinson and Mohsen Al-Ghosein. What a great collaboration that was.

"All this is laying a foundation for a new namespace that Brent and others will build that will connect Frontier's object database to the new RPC mechanism, for Java and other environments, and all kinds of things we have just begun to think about."

Wow they have more stuff that was lost. Want to know what Betty is? It's running right now, on every Radio user's desktop, and behind every Manila site. From today's perspective, Betty is one of the layers of the lizard brain of UserLand's CMS. But we didn't see it that way in 1998. Then, it was the leading edge, so modern it made my head hurt (in a nice way).

BTW, Jon Udell got the soundbite on XML-RPC. Unfortunately it's gone. Fortunately Archive.Org has it in their database. Yaaay. I wonder if they were archiving the NY Times?

Postscript: Jon has a copy of the feature about XML-RPC too.

The Times will be missed 

NY Times piece on Harvard Law's new dean. I'm thinking maybe I should write a script that erases all NY Times links at the end of the day. I hate this. I depended on the Times.

Orlowski's rant 

Kevin Marks rebuts Andrew Orlowski's rant, yesterday.

In the rush of events yesterday (there was other stuff going on, like the NY Times taking their archive off-line, a really significant event for the Web), I didn't get to comment on the piece in the Register until now.

First, let me say that Moore has what it takes to be an A-team blogger. I could see that immediately as I watched him work on his new weblog on Monday. We share an office at Berkman.

Second, Google is a piece of software. Perhaps Andrew places too much faith in it. There's an obvious moral to Andrew's story. In matters of the intellect or good taste, don't delegate to machines. (There will be more data on this next week.)

A picture named doc.jpgThird, Andrew either doesn't understand how search engines work, or conveniently forgot. The initial piece apparently doesn't even use the phrase Orlowski mourns the demise of (thanks to Kevin for noting this). Moore did coin a new phrase, and like all good bloggers wanting to initialize a new meme, he repeats it over and over. This is not a new idea. Jake Savin was a music major at Reed College. He told me his composition teacher taught him that a good theme is worth repeating, many times.

But Orlowski did succeed at getting us to point to him, and that led to pointers on all kinds of weblogs, including Slashdot, and all kinds of flow, and new pagerank for Moore's piece, so if he's really true to his cause, he just hurt it enormously.

Last night's meeting 

We had the second in our series of weblog-writer meetings last night at Berkman. I had a great time, and I think most other people did too. There was a little romance, lots of demos, discussion, ideas. Jim Moore sat next to me. We're rapidly becoming good friends. When I showed features he liked he giggled.

I really appreciate having Chris Lydon there as our fearless newbie. Last night I showed him how to avoid losing his writing when writing in a browser, and how to do a hyperlink. It's so cool to see the sense of empowerment he got when the light goes on -- "I can do this too," he seemeed to be saying.

I explained RSS, and showed how aggregators work, and showed them that each of them has an aggregator in their weblog. Example.

A journalism student at Harvard, Tiscar Lara, had a question that was simpler than I thought.

These meetings are a great turn-on for me. We'll do it again next Thursday at 7PM. I'll post a reminder here.

BTW, today I'm going to a lunch for webmasters in a building named for the mothers of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.


Last update: Friday, April 04, 2003 at 2:27 PM Eastern.

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