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Mike Walsh: Will Trade Beach House for Manila Knowledge

NY Times: "Microsoft said this afternoon that it would no longer grant stock options, relying instead on restricted awards of stock to help pay its almost 50,000 employees." 

A picture named halley.jpgOn July 1, Derek Scruggs requested something related to the harmonizer that I had already done, last year, the Web Bug Simulator. As you might imagine, it simulates those cute little web bugs, one-pixel graphics that help tally hits and referers. In RSS there is no such thing as a web bug. that's why we have to simulate them. By default all Radio users participate. And it accumulates a page of stats. Very useful. Very unknown. Maybe not any more. Yesterday I had a long talk with Jon Udell, lamenting that so many problems have been solved that so few people know about, and we spend all this energy arguing about changing things that honestly really can't be changed. How much better it would be if we had a business development, tech writing, tech support and marketing function for all this open development we do. Then it could make the world a better place instead of an angrier place. That wasn't idle talk, btw, we're seriously considering how to do it. 

A picture named chris.jpgIt's time for some pictures from Berkman. Chris Lydon, my very good friend and radio interviewer extraordinaire, is breaking free of the shackles of National Public Radio. How so? He's now a one-man interviewing machine. He bought a Sony mini-disc recorder, microphone and headphones, and now he does interviews and he does it all. No engineers. All Chris. Today he interviewed me. It was great. Here's what it looked like from my point of view. He says the interview will be on the Web by the end of the week. That's not soon enough for me, but it's progress. 

A picture named google.jpgNext picture. After writing so much criticism of Google over the last few days, I thought it would be a good idea to publicly demonstrate that no matter how critical I am, one only criticizes things worth criticizing. Alan Kay used to say that about the Mac, that it was the first computer worth criticizing. Good point. Well, I love Google, that's why I speak up when I think they can do better. Some people doubt that. So today I wore my Google shirt to the office, the one Nate Tyler gave me last June, a really classy black shirt with the multi-colored Google logo. When I wear it people always ask me if I'm really that cool, even at Harvard (which is a pretty cool place). Here's the picture, taken by Chris Lydon. It's a little trippy, we had been playing with the settings on the camera. If you work at Google, please go ahead and put it on the wall of your cube and throw darts at it. It's good therapy, I hear.  

A picture named fishing.jpgNext. To say it's hot and humid in Boston would be like saying, well it's too hot to think of something creative. I give up. As I was driving to work this morning I saw a boy and a man fishing in the Charles River at Watertown Square, and I thought this captured what the heat feels like. It was over 90 degrees at 10AM. In Yiddish the word for that is Oy.  

Last one. Here's a picture of the Spinners performing at Tanglewood on July 4. It was hot then too, but really cooool. Sorry, I had to say that. Please forgive me.  

Amazingly, Jason DeFillippo saw the Spinners the very next day, outside Pittsburgh, PA! Yow. 

BBC: Hi-tech babble baffles many

Betsy Devine found happiness in Prague. 

A picture named scoble.jpgSeattle Post-Intelligencer: "Before posting an entry in his personal weblog, Robert Scoble always pauses and considers how he would justify its contents to three people: his boss, his wife and Steve Ballmer." What about me? 

Here's something so cool. Today, for the first time, I ran my aggregator at the office with the harmonizer installed. Now, back at home, I have all these feeds that I used to only have at the office. I feel harmony. Hmmmm. 

Marketing Profs: 5 Key Questions (You’ve Been Dying) To Ask About Business Blogs

Phil Ringnalda usually gets his facts right but not this time. A simple search would have shown that both Radio and Manila support the Blogger API, so if Google wanted to do something truly great they could have, simply. Giving a little spot in the Google toolbar to blogging, not just to Blogger™ would have, imho, despite what Phil says, been the Not Evil thing to do. Would we expect it of Microsoft or AOL, if so, why not of Google? Further, while it may not be the norm in the search engine business to be inclusive, it is the norm for products to interoperate in this way in the weblog tools business. Should we set the bar lower just because Google is now one of the competitors? I was encouraged not to do so by John Doerr, one of Google's board members.  

There was an item here pointing to a site that was redirecting based on the referer. Simply, this means if you came to the site through Scripting News you'd see something vastly different from what I pointed to. So I took the link down. 

Philip Greenspun discovers a relaxing vacation spot in New England? I like the part about the water temperature staying in the low 70s all summer. What a thrilling idea. 

To everyone who sent email yesterday offering to help UserLand, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. What an amazing turnout. We're going to try to do something fun, unique, and powerful with UserLand's position in the weblog and content tools market, and we're going to try to include the community in the business, i.e. people will make money. To thos who have asked if I will return as CEO, I can't. I have a job that I love at Berkman, we're doing lovely things, the things I want to do. For me, the technology challenge is behind me, the next challenge is to apply the technology in activities that Harvard does uniquely well, and then bring the results to the constituencies that the university serves. That means there's room for a CEO here, and a management team; it also means it's possible that UserLand will be acquired. But we will only do it if it means continuity and growth for UserLand's customers. One thing hasn't changed, the first two syllables of the company's name. That's been constant through all the changes of the last fifteen years. 

On this day last year, the iPod was working. Thanks again to Rogers and the 32 others who bought me this wonderful gift. I use it all the time. That's saying something. There are few electronic toys that give so much and work so well. 

On this day three years ago, the first OPML application was unveiled, except it wasn't called OPML then. It's surprising to see the app is still running. I love it when that happens.  

To Jake, a Manila to-do item, asap. Implement a robots.txt function, subject to user prefs (user can turn it off if they've already got a robots.txt through custom programming). The first setting will tell the crawler to ignore the referers page on the site. This should get the referer spammers to stop using our sites to improve their rank with Google. 

Tim Bray: "If you care about building traffic, few things do it better than getting flamed every day by Dave Winer."  

Something for O'Reilly 

Tim O'Reilly is having a session at OSCON on user's and developer's rights and Web Services. He asked if I could join; I'll be giving my keynote at Sells Brothers on the same day, so I won't be able to be at O'Reilly's.

Two years ago today, just by coincidence, I wrote something on Scripting in response to a question from Rahul Dave that relates Web Services, open source, commercial development, and developer freedom. Here it is, in full.

Rahul: "How is commercial software any more inclusive then the GPL?"

My answer: Commercial software isn't a cause and it isn't the proponent of inclusion, although it can be a party to it. Commercial software is not more inclusive than the GPL. But other things, like SOAP and XML-RPC are sources of inclusion. They don't care whether you code in your pajamas or work for the DEA. Everyone can participate in the networks they define, regardless of economic philosophy or operating system choice. They totally subvert the locked-trunks. You can put any kind of service behind such interfaces, and it's hard to see what Microsoft or Stallman could do about it. And in Microsoft's case, at some level, they're commited to this. What about Stallman?


Last update: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 at 7:25 PM Eastern.

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