Scripting News via email should be working again, at least the sending part. Sorry for the outage. I've been doing a complete rewrite my content system, this is one of the last parts to come back online. If you're getting 80,000 copies of this message, remember, Murphy runs this show, not me.
Rockbox is "more intuitive" firmware for Archos boxes, which are famous for their awful user interface, or so I'm hearing. How bad could it be, he wonders. Out loud. Foolishly.
Thanks to Vitamin C, echinacea and lots of rest, my first cold of the winter appears to be over. I exercised today. Sinuses are clear. Generally feel pretty good. What a change from the old days when I was a smoker, when a cold meant a multi-week recovery. And, the premonition that winter had begun was false, today was a New Orleans winter day more than a Boston one. To celebrate, here's the season's first Christmas Tree. Ho ho ho.
Philip Miseldine explores Googlism.
Don Park wrote a great tutorial on BitTorrent. "A shocking ISP bill won't wipe the slashdotted smile off your face at the end of the month."
At the meeting with Dave Sifry and Kevin Marks last week, we had a long discussion about doing development in the open. I said that it was really important that we do so. I told Kevin, on the drive down to San Jose, that I feel we're at a turning point in the weblog world, either we're going to be like every other hierarchy that's ever been, with secret deals, lots of impediments to progress, eventual stagnation; or we're going to overcome that. I've been through this before, many times. The early days of the Apple II market held great promise, then the IBM PC, then the Mac, then the Web. And so it goes. Nothing ever seems to change. Either you're in or out, and if you're out, sometimes you can't even tell until it's too late. I don't want to be part of that. So if Sifry has competitors, I want them to know how to be compatible with me. Same if I have competitors. So what if it helps the other guy. There are worse things. Anyway, with that preamble, Dave and Kevin, check out the category element on this feed. It tells you all you need to know to understand the context. Here's a screen shot in case that link goes 404 (very likely).
There may be another law here. It goes something like this. When you meet in private with someone else to talk about something other people are interested in, we all lose. So, for example, if Pete should go to a private meeting where something relevant to Paul is discussed, and Paul doesn't know about it, Paul's knowledge can't be applied to the process. He may be off doing something that assumes it's not being done, and he may be wasting huge amounts of time, or may end up competing in an area he'd prefer to partner in. Now there's nothing that says you can't tell me something in confidence, I have to be able to accept that, but it's at the point of intersection, where we make Thing A work with Thing B, that open-ness is so important. That way a guy out in left field can break through. You don't have to know The Right People in order to be empowered to do something important. And left field is where The Good Stuff always comes from.
I'm gradually restarting my Channel Z development work. It's slow after a one week break. Today's project is to do category-level RSS feeds. For example, here's the feed for Mottos. Basically you throw a dot-xml at the end of the URL to get the RSS rendering. Don't subscribe yet, still diggin, breakage ahead, praise Murphy, IANAL, my mother loves me, etc.
I downloaded and installed BitTorrent, but I'm mystified. Where is it? How do I invoke it? I want to get a copy of a Beatles song (that I've already purchased on vinyl and CD, btw). How would I go about doing that? And if all else should fail, how the heck do I uninstall the thing?
Tim Bray did an investigation of BitTorrent.
I started a BitTorrent category.
According to Jason Shellen at Google, their new API will ship in about two weeks. "There is a light at the end of the tunnel."
Redhead: "Good grief, tomorrow is December."
Greg Ritter sends a pointer to the Archos Jukebox FM Recorder MP3 player. 20GB hard drive, records off the radio, speech. About $250. Looks like a great deal, better than the 256MB Creative Rhomba I wrote up yesterday.
BBC: "A Chinese student arrested for criticising the Communist Party on the internet has been released from prison."
Xiao Qiang told us about this weblog at the dinner in Berkeley on Tuesday. 10 million daily visitors.
Steve Gillmor: "A game at which Microsoft excels -- the waiting game. Clone, wait, collaborate, extend, wait, repeat, rinse, dry. But now comes RSS -- and the rules may have changed. First, the enemy is now scattered, behind rocks, in startups, open source, virtual coalitions that pop up on IM and video conferencing, and a myriad loosely coupled evolutionary steps forward." Sounds like Crichton's emergent nano-threat.
Chris Phoenix: "Imagine a horror story about baseball, in which the batter keeps hitting the ball hard enough to kill the fans. The story might be entertaining, but it's obviously unrealistic."
Don Park: "If your head gets too big, go stand in line at the nearest DMV for an hour."
On this day four years ago, Manila shipped.
NY Times review of CBS movie on the Reagans. "Anyone eagerly anticipating or dreading a hatchet job on the 40th president is bound to feel confounded."
Paul Boutin wrote the most concise FAQ on The Broadcast Flag so far. Thanks!
New header graphic. As with the previous header, a road in the western US, heading off to infinity. I took this picture on March 10 of this year, on the first day of my cross-country drive, and wrote about it on March 19. "It's got all the elements." Here's the original picture, before cropping and enhancement and adding the title. I added it to the list of header graphics.
This is the product I was looking for earlier this year. Ultra-portable MP3 player, radio, voice recorder, that can record radio. Under $200 for 256MB. USB port interface. On the other hand, I'd like it better if the same features were available in a 20GB hard drive-based unit.
Note to John Palfrey -- wouldn't it be great if this site had an RSS feed. And this one. It's funny how I had to go to Calif to clarify my mission in Cambridge. I now get it. We're meant to string virtual wire through all the campuses and to work with any group that wants to work with us. It's remarkable how compact and manageable the Stanford campus is compared to ours, which is spread all over the Boston area. We need connective technology more than most campuses. So it's getting clearer. The first stage was getting a blogging initiative going. Second stage is to upgrade the campus network to do syndication and aggregation. And at the same time, of course, string wire to our friends at Stanford and MIT. As we used to say and stil do -- Bing.
Halley: "Isn't time to stop holding back, and by stepping up to it, make one of these guys electable?" Amen. I found myself falling into the electable trap, when a Kucinich rep approached me at a party on my just-completed trip to California. I really don't like Kucinich, I've heard him interviewed on the radio, several times, and I think he's sleazy. That's just my impression. But if you go look at his policies, they're actually pretty good. But instead of saying "I don't really like the guy," I said "He's not electable," and thereby broke one of my own cardinal rules. At this stage it doesn't matter if someone is electable or not. We should be discussing issues now, investigating, digging, before we cast our votes next year. Any candidate that exposes issues worth talking about is doing his or her job very well.
I just got an alert from the National Weather Services's RSS feed for Massachusetts. "A band of snow showers across interior Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire." Where did the snow come from? Partially from "plumes of lake-effect-snow from western New York climbing over the Berkshires." It's not snowing in Boston yet, but it feels like it'll start any minute. I just got the chill walking outside. This is the beginning of winter.
Still sick this morning, but better. Pumping Vitamin C and Echinacea. Alka-Seltzer Cold Remedy, tastes terrible, but works wonders. Reading the latest Michael Crichton novel. I'm sure technically it's nonsense, but it's a good story. A good clue that it's nonsense is that he completely botches his explanation of recursion (a procedure that calls itself). Why don't they have technical reviewers of these books, before publication, so at least he could get the basics right and people could learn a little while reading a fun story.
Travel is never going to be the same. I stayed in a deluxe hotel on the peninsula, in a plush room that has to rent for $300 a night. But I paid $65 a night. This is because I used a computer network to do my bidding. In the past I'd have to call eight hotels to get their rates, and none of them would know that I was talking to any others, so I'd just get their average price. Or call a travel agent, and get directed to the hotel that gives them the best commission, not necessarily the best located hotel, or the one with the best deal for me. Now I can get multiple bids on the same hotel, even, and consider hundreds of options before making my decision. When people say the Internet wasn't revolutionary, they must not be paying attention. It gave us the power, where the industry used to have it. The power of better information, and that can translate into nicer accomodations for much less money.
An International Herald-Tribune report provides details of the stunning trip.
DaveNet: Thanks in the U.S.A.
My favorite piece of the year, it got me so much sweet email. And of course while the title says it's about beauty in women, it's really about beauty in general. We have so much in common. We all feel unappreciated, and left out. No one likes being talked-down-to by others, but it's especially humilating when a member of the opposite sex does it. Women have so much more power today than they did in the past, but do they use it wisely? We're getting close to the end of a year, which means we're getting close to a new year. When we flip the page, let's try to create more win-wins and not be so picky about who we get help from. If someone offers a hand in friendship, try to take it, even if it isn't exactly the person you wanted it from, or on exactly the terms you wanted it.
Don Park has a unique idea about selling laptops at retail.
Betsy Devine is cooking Thanksgiving dinner, a complex affair, back in Cambridge. I'm sure her dinner will be very cool.
Mark Cuban: "If we can't compete with some guy sneaking a camera into the theater, or a blurry, encoded, postage stamp-sized file, then please -- just shoot us."
Spent the afternoon with Dave Sifry and Kevin Marks talking about Technorati and Channel Z. I think it's going to be a very interesting collaboration. Steve Gillmor popped over to join the discussion for about an hour.
Paolo surveys the different blogging taxonomies popping up.
Here's how my blogging taxonomy works. I use the RSS 2.0 category element to specify the category, and a popup hierarchic menu to select categories, and an outliner to edit my taxonomy. Paul Boutin, at last night's dinner asked me to write it up whitepaper-style, and I wll do that very soon, probably next week.
Fortune: Can Google Grow Up?
It's looking like this is going to be the first Thanksgiving since I started writing on the Web that I won't write a Thanksgiving piece. I am very thankful for many things, I'm just very very busy driving all over the Bay Area, visiting, schmoozing, etc. The place is so beautiful, the air so clear, the temperature so comfortable. I knew it was a nice place when I lived here, but I lacked the perspective to see in what way it was so nice. This morning, driving to a breakfast in Palo Alto at Il Fornaio, I had a flash that this is like San Luis Obispo. A college town, but very compact, clean, and rich. Cambridge isn't like that, Harvard very different from Stanford. There are campuses all over Boston. Stanford is all in one place. Palo Alto has so many fine places to eat, and htere's parking everywhere. Couldn't be more different.
Larry Lessig is too kind; but we did have fun at Stanford on Monday. At the end of the talk Larry came up with a big grin, I guess his trademark pessimism is fading a little now that he's a new dad, and told me that Stanford is going to be hosting blogs for incoming law students starting next year. This is great news of course. We're going to connect our weblog networks in some really interesting ways, I hope. Along with another big university who's blogging program is just about ready to reveal. At dinner last night I sat next to Xiao Qiang, a fellow at UC-Berkeley's school of journalism, and suggested we do the same with their student weblogs. I would make the same offer to Jay Rosen at NYU. Let's link up our networks of bloggers. I told Xiao this is beginning to sound like the way the Internet itself started. Is a new network booting up, one built on ideas as much as technology? One where users are the architects. It could be that the university environment, with these new bright-eyed leaders, is the perfect petrie dish for new Internet culture.
Derek Slater, our young hero who took on the high tech company hiding behind the DMCA, who was let off the hook by Harvard, has now, apparently, been completely vindicated, as Diebold has withdrawn its complaint. A hearty bravo to Derek and all who stood with him. It's nice to win one, once in a while.
Bryan Bell's report on the EdBlogger conference.
Mary Hodder: "One librarian is simply stating regularly when there are no warrants, so that when there is no statement of anything, people will know there is a warrant that has been served."
Tonight's dinner, King Tsin, Berkeley, 7PM.
News.Com: "Eugene Kleiner, a pioneer of venture capital in Silicon Valley and co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has died at the age of 80."
BTW, talking with a colleague at Harvard a few days ago, he said he had heard a rumor that I had had a massive heart attack. It's not true. I had surgery in the summer of 2002 to correct a condition that was life-threatening, but I didn't have a heart attack. My heart is in relatively good shape, all things considered. I'm sure this was just innocent gossip, at least I hope so. Also, I finally was able to convince IBM to take my money, and I bought the new laptop, a T40, at a good discount. I'll let you know how it goes.
John Palfrey: "Copyright is not meant to be used as a weapon to stifle free speech."
Yesterday's talk at Stanford went very well. Larry Lessig was in the front row, there was a good mix of Stanford students, faculty, and Scripting News people. I talked for about twenty minutes, and then we had a discussion. They asked tough questions, one of which I declined to answer, but on reflection, I could have. I had said that lack-of-reciprocation is common in the weblog world, but rarely talked about. Person A delivers flow to Person B, but B doesn't point to A. I was asked for an example, but declined. I didn't want to take any specific person to task on this, my point would have been lost. But I could have talked about a class of websites that receive lots of pointers and rarely point back -- newspaper sites. Anyway, thanks to Larry and Lauren Gelman for inviting me to speak, and to Stuart Rosenberg for arranging. I had a great time. I think the door is open now for some new collaboration between our respective schools, and that would be great. And after a couple of years of emailing back and forth with Larry Lessig, and reading his weblog, and coming to have great respect for him, it was good to exchange ideas face-to-face.
I've spent a bunch of time with Scoble in the last couple of days. We went computer shopping on Sunday, and then he came to Stanford Law School yesterday. He has a story to tell about computer retailing and why Best Buy couldn't take the money out of my pocket and give me a shiny new laptop. He was listening, in a way that the salesperson at BB wasn't. And he knows what I want, an Ikea like experience. Make sure I find what I came for. That's hard to do, but that's what it takes.
NY Times: "Gen Wesley K Clark's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, which has gone for seven weeks without a campaign manager, announced on Monday that it had hired Paul Johnson, the manager of Senator Bob Graham's short presidential campaign, to fill that role."
Palfrey blogs Volokh's talk on Crime-Facilitating-Speech.
Powazek says the Globe got his quotes wrong too. It's a new world ladies and gentlemen. In the old days, the BigPubs would put words in your mouth, and what could you do? Today each of us have a platform to tell our own story, so when they screw it up, we can run a correction, immediately.
k-collector is an "enterprise news aggregator that leverages the power of shared topics to present new ways of finding and combining the real knowledge in your organisation."
The Crimson reports that Derek Slater will not be disciplined. That's great. Derek sent an email saying that he didn't even have to tell them about it, they found out by following his weblog. It's starting to work. Next step, getting the Crimson on board with RSS support.
Michael Jackson's newsroom, with a list of stories in reverse-chronologic order. He's starting a weblog so that his story can get out directly from the source.
John Palfrey on the Federal anti-spam law that just passed the House.
Jim Moore is looking for Iowa weblogs.
A picture of Uncle Vava in front of a picture of an ancient ancestor of ours from The Old Country. He's Hershe Schechter, from Ukraine. So much time passed, so much technology. Sent to me by my uncle's friend Clay Stratton of St Augustine, FL. My brother has a picture of our grandfather, Rudy Kiesler, wearing a cowboy hat, posing with some southern cops outside an old Eastern Airlines prop plane, from the 1950s. It's a total trip. I've asked that it be scanned for the archive.
Oy I was afraid when I spoke with Hiawatha Bray that he'd get it wrong. The direct quotes are accurate, I did say what he quotes me as saying. But when he paraphrases he puts words in my mouth that I don't agree with. I'm not scared Google is going to "crush" UserLand. What an ugly word. I think their approach is more likely to hurt Google itself than anyone else.
Bottom-line, I said Google screwed up by putting Blogger on the toolbar, a few weeks after promising they wouldn't do anything to favor Blogger. It made it impossible to trust them, and their business is built on trust. Google could have helped the whole blogging community, and it's not clear why they didn't -- it's not as if they make any money off Blogger, it's a freebie. They did the small, selfish thing. That's why I think they don't have what it takes to be a leader.
About Hiawatha Bray, the Boston Globe and professional journalists in general, this piece is a perfect demo why I hold them in such low regard. He's really writing a column, he thinks they pull "stunts" and "crush" small competitors, but instead of having the guts to say it himself, he puts the words in my mouth. He should become a columnist, write opinion pieces, or become a software industry leader, and test his ideas in the market.
First a disclaimer, I am Jewish.
Two Jewish guys were walking down the street and passed a Catholic church.
A sign out front says "Convert to Catholicism today and we'll pay you $100."
One guy says "That's it, I'm converting now."
The other guy says: "What do you mean, you'd throw out your faith, your people, just for money?"
He says: "It's a lot of money."
So he goes in the church. His friend can't believe it so he waits outside. When he comes out he says "Is it true, did they give you the money?"
He says: "Is that all you people ever think about?"
NY Times: "Some have said that Republicans were violating a presidential promise not to use the campaign against terrorism for political gain."
Adam Curry: "It's interesting to examine a culture that mounts cameras on smart bombs to view the kill on the 6 o'clock news, but freaks out if a nipple of a [female] breast is flashed on TV."
PocketRSS is a "Today Screen plugin and stand-alone application which allows a quick and easy method of displaying various types of RSS/OPML compliant data on your Today Screen."
Tomorrow I'm speaking at Larry Lessig's class at Stanford Law School about weblogs, the election of 2004, outliners, Hollywood vs Silicon Valley, what we're doing at Berkman, and anything else Larry wants to talk about. We've been having great productive email exchanges for about a year now, it'll be great to have a conversation in person, in front of a group of students. It's free and open to the public. 12:30PM. As people to help you find the Moot Court Room. Scripting News readers are welcome to participate.
Tuesday evening in Berkeley Sylvia Paull is hosting a dinner in my honor, this will be the first Scripting News dinner in the East Bay. King Tsin, 7PM. Again, this is open, but please send me an email if you're coming so I can forward it to Sylvia so she can reserve a place for you. I imagine that we can accomodate people who don't.
I didn't buy a new laptop today. The selection at Best Buy was abysmal. I didn't want to buy one at Fry's because there is no Fry's in Boston, if I need service. I did get to hang out with Scoble and Son, we went to Ikea, and had Swedish Meatballs. I ran into a Bloggerconner in the lobby of Ikea. That's the funny thing about BloggerCon, I keep running into people you met there.
Goooood morning from California!
This computer is almost completely hosed. I may have to go to Fry's today and pay retail on a new one. Oy. The dysfunction is funny -- text doesn't display in places you know it should. But then it's amazing that the most iffy bit of technology, Channel Z, is working just fine, praise Murphy.
It's been that kind of trip. The flight cross country was supposed to be jammed full but it was only 2/3 full, and the middle seat in my row was empty. They had a nice movie, which I didn't watch because I was reading an even better book. The guy next to me was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur from Taiwan whose company makes thin clients. Interesting stories. But when I got to SFO the car rental company, Thrifty, said I was a no-show and they had given my car to someone else. And they were sold out. So tired. I just stood there at the counter and said I wasn't leaving until they gave me a car. They gave me one. Drove down the peninsula and my hotel room is great. So it's been a yin-yang trip. If it holds up, the next one should be a goodie. Anyway it'll be a light day here for sure.
Two years ago: "How many Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
Today should be made a national holiday. John F Kennedy Day. He was the man who said "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." What a stunningly beautiful and simple nation-building idea. As they would say these days, He Got It.
Speaking of coffee, Outlook Express is toast, which goes well with coffee. I spent two hours this morning trying to get it to stop telling me it can't open a reply window because it was out of memory. I don't have MSBlast, I checked, running tools from Symantec and Network Associates. I even went so far as to re-install the browser and the mail client. Along the way I installed Firebird and reactivated my Yahoo Mail account and configured it to check my mail accounts. I had to use Firebird to upgrade MSIE because it would keep crashing on Microsoft.Com. Talk about irony. Anyway goodbye Outlook Express, at least for now. And Firebird does look as nice as everyone says it does. I'm going to use it for a while.
One of the things I'm going to do while I'm traveling is rearrange my blogroll, expand it, and group things. I've already begun. Now that I have an infinite amount of space and the potential for infinite structure, I'm able to think much bigger. So far I like it. Feels expansive.
I have no idea what Steve Gillmor is arguing with John Dvorak about. He (Dvorak) obviously hasn't checked his facts. Whatever. It's great to see Steve at his new gig at eWeek. Hey Steve, let's have a cup of coffee next week when I'm in the Bay Area. I gotta show you how all this category stuff works. Like Lisa said yesterday, we chop the meat up into little bits so you can eat it with chopsticks.
The plan for the new software, whose codename is Channel Z, is for me to burn in the editing tool for the next week while visiting the Bay Area, and if all goes well to start a very small beta group on Monday or Tuesday of the following week (December 1) and then offer it to all who come to the Thursday meeting (the 4th). Eventually it will be released broadly and we'll work with others to make authoring tools in other environments (such as OmniOutliner, Joe, Flash, WebOutliner) and back-ends (lots of places). On the back-end if you have code that processes RSS (with categories) and OPML, you're basically ready to go. We're gearing up to cover a big story and to be ready to cover one that may come along any day. The idea is to broaden the pipe, make writing for the Web more powerful and make the structures we build richer, have more lasting value, and integrate with each other in interesting ways.
Some have suggested that I go to the meeting of educational bloggers happening in SF today and tomorrow (I'm traveling today, but I'll be in Bay Area tomorrow). After giving it serious consideration, I've decided not to go. Here's why. UserLand has a new management team, five new people, with all kinds of experience operating technology companies, selling and marketing, product development. They're in rapid learning mode, talking to as many people as possible. I'm going to spend a lot of time with them next week transferring as much as possible of what I know about the product, the users, the potential. A few of them are going to the meeting tomorrow, including Jake. If I go, people may get the wrong idea. I want to help the new team, I don't want to steal their thunder. I want you all to learn how to work with each other, and the best way for me to do that is to step back and let it happen. So I send these very excellent people to you with much love. Go forth and make big things happen. Some of the best people in BloggerLand will be there today and tomorrow. So exciting.
New feature: Previous/Next links through archive.
Lisa Williams talks about the software I demoed last night.
Chris Lydon interviews Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi. Highly recommended that other campaigns at all levels listen to this interview. There's no reason you can't do the same. It's a fundamentally different philosophy for a campaign, and whether you agree with Dean's policies or not, whether he gets nominated or elected, we all have a stake in its success. After listening to the interview I believe Trippi would agree with that.
National Weather Service alerts are available in RSS 2.0. Bing!
I subscribed to the feed for Massachusetts. "There are no active watches, warnings or advisories."
I just did a total brain transplant on my CMS. Let's see if this shows up. It did. Now I'll route this to a category, Fun/Neat Net Tricks. And this post showed up. Amazing. I can't believe it. Now let's see if I can edit the cats. Yup. Now the directory shell. Try adding a movie. That worked too. Let's see if pictures work. Yes ma'am. Here's Joe Trippi's Diet Pepsi. Now I'm going to have to disappear for a bit to add code that does static rendering of the the HTML and RSS versions. This stuff isn't on www.scripting.com yet. Now it is. Have to hook up the static RSS feed. Testing. 1-2-3. All is good.
David Galbraith: "Things that aren't really search engines, like Amazon and Ebay, or the classification of species for that matter, would be useless without some kind of ontology."
Actually I agree with Galbraith on this one, now that I've read the rebuttals to Shirky's piece. I agree with Shirky about how shrill and offensive the priests of the Semantic Web are, but I believe in taxonomy, which I guess is the same thing as ontology. And I know it works for a different reason than Galbraith -- I wrote outliners in the 80s and 90s and am building on them now, and they are nothing more than personal ontology editors. So there. They key is to take the rigidness out of it, and to throw out the people who think everything anyone else invents is junk. Hierarchies are good, if you don't expect too much of them.
Scott Rosenberg: "What 'some are now attacking the president for,' of course, is not for 'attacking the terrorists' but for his foolhardy and foundering invasion of Iraq."
I was trawling various referrer logs, and came across Richard Stallman's personal site, where he points to something I wrote. We've certainly gotten into a few heated discussions, but when it comes to keeping the Internet free of ownership by media companies, we're on the same side. I like.
Simply Live Anywhere: "You need the power of a heavy jetliner to get an idea off the ground."
It took me a while to figure out who Moose is. It's Jessica the Librarian, a Thursday night regular. Moose?
Press release: "Weblog software leader Six Apart and NIFTY, one of Japan's leading ISPs, have announced a licensing agreement to provide Six Apart's popular TypePad weblogging service to over five million NIFTY subscribers in Japan."
My four year old Sony Vaio is too old, the CPU is slow, the OS is out of date, and it's thrashing awfully, and I feel like treating myself to something new. Dave Jacobs says I should get a ThinkPad, and after talking with a couple of other people I decided to buy one since I can get a huge discount through Harvard. I called their order line, and in ten minutes we had zeroed in on the unit. Fast, lots of memory, great warranty. The guy puts me on hold to confirm they have it in stock, and never comes back. Twenty minutes later the phone system offers me five choices that make no sense. I hit Operator. The guy has no idea, and unlike the first guy, who was pure IBM (competent) the second guy is like jello. Can't get him to help me. So I say goodbye and call back, and wait another twenty minutes. This would be a perfect IBM commercial. BTW, lots of the glitches are things that could be fixed if they hired a user to tell them how silly, repetitive and even contradictory the phone messages are. And the music they play, pretty sexy stuff. At IBM? The world has gone crazy. It's official.
Andrew's looking for a new laptop too.
Friendster user on Friendster: "...the fantasy that we are all rock stars, that everyone's ass looks great in leather, that everyone is sexy."
Today's song: "I want the world to change for me!"
Packed house tonight. This is going to be something, a beta group for a new software product at a university that meets once a week. Even in the old days, in the 80s, I never had so much contact with users. Off to a great start. BTW, I'd love to read other people's accounts of tonight's meeting.
My talk at Stanford Law School is at 12:30PM on Monday. Open to the public. Depending on how it goes tonight, I may demo the new authoring system I'm working on.
Bill Joy: "Open source doesn't assist the initial creative act."
Chris Sells explains how Longhorn SDK annotations work.
Dave Pollard: "I'm just trying to save the world. Someone else will have to save the blogosphere."
Jon Udell: Working with Bayesian Categorizers.
Fascinating map shows where each of the candidates' money comes from.
Just the barest hint of a clue over in Jack Valenti Land. Hey Jack, people are watching first-run movies on the Internet right now. But, this is a good sign, the entertainment industry is trying to market to customers, selling a benefit. But there's no benefit to copy protection, not for people who use the stuff, in fact it's a negative feature. Yeah I know the rationales, been there done that, went to Comdex, but in the end the customers aren't that stupid.
BTW, I know I'm really rude when it comes to talking about entertainment industry execs. No, I wouldn't like it if people talked about me that way in public. When I read someone saying Dave Winer has the barest hint of a clue, I think, yeah sure, what makes him so smart. Okay, I need to express my inner-arrogance. Many apologies to Jack Valenti, who surely is a fine human being, for using him as my foil. No kidding.
Now, on the other hand, Jack dreams of modifying our operating systems, hard drives, networks, routers, servers, you name it -- so that he can tell us which bits we can copy. This rewrite makes the Y2K corner-turn look tiny in comparison. The cost is incomprehensible. Does that make him an asshole? You bet.
Five years ago today: "How much thinking goes on on the Internet?"
Michael Feldman's tutorial is a great resource for people learning how to use Manila.
It's really great to see O'Reilly embrace RSS 2.0. The power of two growing platforms, Microsoft's Longhorn and Really Simple Syndication.
Tim Bray: "Jean Paoli called last week to tip me off about the release of the MS Office XML schema-ware."
I just noticed that Al Gore looks a lot like Robert Scoble.
Yesterday I met someone who had not read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. I expressed envy. I wish I had not read it so I could read it again for the first time. A delicious book. Then it occurred to me that some of you might not have read it either. You have no excuse now.
Here's the NY Times review, published in 1969. The book came up in conversation because it offers a reasonable and highly optimistic view of existence. No one is actually dead, they're just reliving the important moments of their lives, maybe the not-so-important ones too. A philosophy that suggests that you should pack life with lots of interesting moments because you're going to be experiencing them for eternity. In this view, deja vu is a little leakage in the matrix (as it is in The Matrix).
It seems Lessig and Jay Rosen would have a lot to talk about. Both of them understood where I was coming from in my request for candidates to take a position on keeping the Internet free of control of the media companies. I didn't mean, as some thought, to keep it free of the reporters employed by the media companies, I'm not worried about that. I am worried about devices like The Broadcast Flag and other proposals (remember Berman-Coble) that would give the entertainment industry the power to shackle the computers, and invade the privacy of computer users (even remove data from our computers). Now it may be hopeless, as both Lessig and Rosen have observed, and so what? My job isn't to figure out which of the lesser of two evils to vote for. It's still so early in the process, now it's time to identify the important issues, and then ask any of the candidates if they want my vote. They may all say no, this time. But I'm demonstrating how the electoral process will work after we've flipped it around. If you're reasonably young and healthy I believe you will live to see the day. I just put the stakes in the ground so I can laugh then and say I Told You So.
Every new piece of software I write begins with a document written by Bull Mancuso.
Hey the government of Canada has RSS feeds. They're pretty good, not bad at all, but they call their feeds 0.91 but use features only available in 2.0. I'm hesitant to criticize, because after all it's the thought that counts. But my aggregator will ignore the cool 2.0 stuff because it takes the version seriously. Best thing to do is to just change the version number to 2.0 and accept a hearty thanks from your neighbors to the south. And thanks to Lawrence for the pointers (he's Canadian).
Paolo: "Now: do we want to give all this power to a company?"
intraVnews is a "state of the art news aggregator that turns Microsoft Outlook into a news reader."
BloggerCon was like a fairy tale, a dream come true. I still review it in my mind every day, all the special moments, all the cool people who came. Charlie Nesson's convocation, the essential Harvard man, welcomed everyone with such love and enthusiasm. People don't know this about Harvard, but it can be a very very kind place, despite its reputation for great history and great achievement. I introduced some of my favorites -- Cluetrain author David Weinberger, my brother Peter Winer, Craig Cline from Seybold, the great designer Bryan Bell. I was so proud to welcome these people, esp my brother because our family has been through so much in the last year. Someone I didn't know before BloggerCon is Jay Rosen. His contribution is still bearing fruit. Every time I read a Rosen piece I'm cheering, yes yes, that's right, keep going. And there was a guy who came from Germany, who found out about the conference only two days before it happened, and he was consistently the jolliest fellow. He seemed truly delighted to learn about blogs, and to be at the Con. Well, today he sent a pointer to his new weblog, and it's as positive and cheerful as the man himself (whose name I don't know).
An aside. BloggerCon was not a summit. It never occurred to any of us to call it a summit. Conference promoters who use the term are telling you the opposite; they're leaving some important people out, and they hope you won't notice. A perfect case in point is the upcoming summit for news and XML. Where are the publishers and tech companies who use RSS 0.91 and 2.0. This, by most estimates, is over 75 percent of the market. Make-believe summitry. "In the world as we wish it looked this is who would be at a summit." There have been technology summits where not a single delegate was an active programmer. The word has been abused to the point where it's meaningless. It's time, in the technology business, for people to start setting realisitc expectations. Nothing is going to instantly change the world. A summit that's exclusive is not a summit. Open minds, open meetings, that's the way to go.
Jeremy Zawodny: Is Google The Next DNS?
Three years ago today: "Authoring a directory is a lot like maintaining a weblog. On a weblog you post on a timely basis, but links fall off the bottom. On a directory you save the valuable non-time-based links. There's the fundamental difference between a weblog and a directory. A weblog has the current stuff, and a directory has the permanent stuff. Connecting the two structures is an interesting user interface problem, and a social one. I have to prime the pump, to get people interested in doing their own directories, I guess I have to create directory envy."
NY Times: "Getting a job in the Valley is easy, if you're perfect."
SJ Merc: "Tech insider Dave Winer, an inveterate blogger and fellow at Harvard Law School, said he was surprised that Polese stayed at Marimba as long as she did."
Guardian: "Music blogs are free from the business plans and targeted readerships that determine the content of commercial publications."
Gotta play with this some more: GoogleRace.Com.
Jay Rosen: "Ed Cone explains exactly why Howard Dean's 'open style' of politics is a big deal--and a big story--whether he or not he wins. "
NY Times: "The swirl of interviews, documentaries and specials building up to Nov. 22 are not really about the 40th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. They commemorate the 40th anniversary of television: the day a young, vigorous medium was swept into power and forever changed American culture and politics."
It's a beautiful morning!
I am going to demo my new content system at the Thursday meeting, day after tomorrow. If you're in the area and want to see what's up, please be there at 7PM. I'll probably demo it Monday at Stanford Law School at noon. Boths sessions are free and open to the public. Weblogs, outlining, knowledge trees, RSS, OPML, XML-RPC.
Berkman geek Ethan Zuckerman has a script that scans news sites and counts the number of times each country is mentioned. He used the script to create colorful maps of the world where blue is cold (not too many mentions) and red is hot (lots). No surprises, Western Europe, China, Canada and Australia are hot (he didn't rate the US) -- Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and South America are cold. Ethan has a plan, to use blogging in the blue places to increase their profile. He gave a brief talk about this today at the Berkman fellows lunch.
Muscle-boy's fix for California's money woes -- get a loan.
Don Park: "Ebichu is a cute housekeeping hamster who is fiercely loyal to her undeserving master."
Daily Kos: Bloggers at DNC convention. "Handing out press passes to bloggers is a no-brainer, and something we could easily get from the DNC. However, we want to go one better, in effect putting together a convention-within-a-convention for left-leaning bloggers."
Good thing the convention is in the summer or else you might have to suffer through Kerry playing hockey. (Enclosed in the RSS feed.)
Andrew has questions about Apache and Windows.
Wired: "Microsoft plans to introduce a song-downloading service next year that will compete with similar offerings from Apple Computer, Roxio's Napster and others."
Ed Cone: The Marketing of a President.
3 News: "I stepped out of the serene lake of Sufi Shire and, a few days later, found myself in the deal room of a $100 million corporate acquisition. Talk about whiplash."
Idly.Org: Porn Sites Hiding Behind Blogs.
Another summit you weren't invited to.
Two years ago: "Of course if you don't even try to make software that other people use, it can't be very shitty."
Three years ago: "Dimpled chads."
Also on that day: "Dogma 2000 isn't worth to think about it -- it's just a behavior of well stuffed guys."
That was quite a day. Al Gore looks snippy and Dubya looks dorky wearing a presidential cowboy hat.
Last night I heard an interview with Zell Miller. Senator from Georgia, Democrat. He says because the nine Dems running for Pres don't have southern chops, he's going to vote for Bush. Man he must be the life of the party. And he says he respects Dean because he figured out how to raise money on the Internet. La-de-dah. Perhaps it's time for the Democratic Party to get just a little bit more picky?
Jon Udell: "Every major software system has, at its core, what Dave Winer likes to call a lizard brain."
Scoble says that MyWallop, Microsoft Research's foray into blogging and social networking, will support RSS 2.0. Another Scoble post that you shouldn't miss if you work at Microsoft. He's right. Microsoft should support RSS across all its websites, asap. It would be a communication revolution for the company, with key customers, developers, the press. The strange thing about it is that I know the day will come when they do this. When you know something, it's frustrating to have to wait.
Update on categorizing in my new weblog authoring setup. I'm sticking with it, because it's just barely easy enough. I would like it to be easier. This might be the perfect place for a voice interface, because of the limited vocabulary. How that might work -- for example -- put the cursor on the post above. Hit the Voice-Cat button at the top of the window. Say "Technology slash Microsoft. Pause. Technology slash Blogging tools. Pause. Technology slash Formats and protocols slash RSS slash General." Click the button again. Would that be easier? I'd have to try it and see.
BTW, to see the results of the categorization, click here.
Good morning spores fans. Pretty nice day. Drinkin coffee. Thinking about the day ahead.
I'd like to call your attention to an idea for the campaigns of leading Presidential candidates. I'd like them to stand up for the Internet, to say that, if elected, they will do everything they can to protect it from control of the big media companies. "Both Clark and Dean have raised prodigious amounts of money on the Internet. Now, how about using that money to keep the Internet free."
Jay Rosen: "At most five percent of Americans actually mattered to the operatives who ran the campaign. And what do the lucky five percent get? Ads!"
I had a mockup of an ad for McCain.
Bill Gates: "We've never been in any talks with Google about any acquisition thing in any way, shape or form."
John Robb: "Google's KPCB hype machine must just be clearing its throat for the IPO."
The possibility that talk of Microsoft buying Google was hype hadn't occurred to me until I read John's post, above. And I would have rejected the theory if I hadn't read another piece in the last few days that said that Netscape's bluster about killing Microsoft served KPCB, it made the Netscape IPO super-hot, and that made them billions of dollars. Previously I had taken them at face value, assuming their goal with Netscape was to build a real company, and that they were surprised when the stock took off, but why assume that? Maybe they were hyping all along and Andreessen was just following orders. In any case with Gates on the record saying there were no discussions about Microsoft acquiring Google, one has to wonder, how did the rumor start?
Arnold Kling: "If you're Jim Clark or Kleiner-Perkins, you can make a lot of money by convincing Wall Street that you are going to be the next Microsoft, even if you have no way of achieving that objective. So you 'moon Microsoft' to pump up the stock, and then sell it. I think that there was a lot of that going on with Netscape."
Doerr: "Believe it or not, the Internet is actually underhyped."
Nick Denton: "I don't want to see some VC's invest idiot money in idiot people at idiot companies."
Wired: Social Nets Find Friends in VCs.
Statistics on the growth of the blogosphere from Technorati.
Newsbot: Will it support RSS?
Adam Curry: "We produce the show entirely in Radio's outliner."
Calpundit explains how to point to NY Times articles without linkrot. "It's a bit klunky, but since we bloggers link to the Times frequently I thought I'd pass it along."
This idea is going to backfire. Better to send music CDs to record company execs, cut them in half so they can't re-sell them, and send an unmistakable message that the gravy train is drying up. Sending email with huge enclosures is a horrible abuse of the Net.
Des Moines Register on candidate weblogs.
Toronto Star: "It was a gift from the propaganda gods. Just two problems: It didn't happen that way, and the designated hero, Pte Jessica Lynch, refuses to say it did."
Screen shots of a three-pane aggregator, RSS Bandit.
Serious problems with the transfer of power from west to east last night, so we flipped the switch back, and will try again in a couple of days after some more testing.
BlogTalk 2.0 will be held in Vienna, Austria, July 5-6.
Tomalak's Realm is five years old today. Thanks Lawrence!
Today's song: "Gonna put up my antennae."
Mitch Kapor's weblog goes on hiatus.
NY Times: "During an election season increasingly defined by grass-roots organizing, Iowa is the hottest place to be for ambitious young campaign workers."
Lots of changes today, but ones with (Murphy-willing) very small impact on the user interface. In fact, unless they don't work, you shouldn't see any difference at all. Since this is Scripting News, and not Knitting News, we'll go ahead and say which switches got flipped.
First, www.scripting.com now resides on the east coast instead of the west. The new Monster servers, the 3GHz meat-eaters that climb skyscrapers, are now both managing the content and doing the serving for everything on scripting.com.
Second, a big change in the way the outliner works. We used to have to tell it how to format a day of weblog posts using Rules, a great feature if you want a lot of control over how things look, but a pain in the butt if every day looks exactly like every other day, as is always true in my weblog.
Third, this is going to be a product, not one that I plan to sell (although I may give it to UserLand and they might sell it). It's a new kind of outliner-based Web CMS, that does weblogs and all the other stuff you see popping up here on Scripting. I spent much of the day exploring ideas for how to package, test and then ship this. Should it be a Manila plug-in? Or something that's linked to Manila on a sort of peer basis? Or should it be completely independent of Manila? I want to deliberate on this decision, because I expect to live with it for a long time.
Diego Doval: "RSS is not anti-web, RSS is the web at its best."
Hey it's a lot of work to move just part of seven years of my Web content from Santa Clara to Cambridge. We've now transferred all the static content on www.scripting.com to Monster2. It was about 300MB compressed. The Search facility is back up too.
I read on Salon today (premium stuff) that the latest Republican talking points are that Democrats are shrill and nasty, overly critical of a President who's doing the best he can. Eye-opener.
Now you can subscribe to custom feeds that find new stuff for sale on eBay.
Morning coffee notes: Orlowski, Dowbrigade tennis, tools.
Adam Curry: "Yesterday Dave added a 35MB QuickTime video to his RSS feed that automagically popped up ready to play on my machine this morning. I will pay anyone who is willing to set up a similar RSS feed with daily enclosures of Letterman and/or Leno's TV show for my private viewing pleasure."
There was a frost last night. There's a white cover of ice on everything outside. The car, the grass, you name it. Of course in a month it will be unusual if there isn't a cover of ice on something that's outside. (Routed to Boston/Weather.)
Last year on this day: "I remain a smoker who doesn't smoke." Still am. I found myself reaching for the pack several times in the last few days as I've been programming round the clock. I still don't have anything to take the place of smoking. Except there's a pretty good chance I'd not be here if I were still smoking, so I guess life takes the place of smoking, in some sense.
On this day three years ago Clay Shirky wrote a guest DaveNet.
And around this time in 1999, Doc Searls started blogging,
On This Day In is back. It's generated from a dynamic OPML file. That's the theme of the new version of Scripting News. Everything snaps together through OPML. No exceptions. (Poke around, lots of other stuff works. I'll start writing about the broad strokes in the next few days.)
You can see how the category routing has been paying off (or not). For example, here's the Microsoft category. Not too much, but not too little. It's working. There will be an RSS feed. No doubt there's a ready market for this, people inside Microsoft who may find Scoble's fire hose a bit much, and might want an outsider's point of view. .
Screen shot: My hotsy totsy weblog editor has buttons that make rebuilding the RSS and editing categories single-button-clicks. A weblog item is routed to a category by 1. Right-click, and 2. Choose a category from a hierarchic popup menu.
Brent Simmons on fighting comment spam.
Here's a really nice development. Non-vendor-specific work by developers. Good work. Manila and Radio people should pitch in.
Scoble: "I guess Diego missed the fact that we had an RSS news aggregator built into Longhorn already." I missed that too. Tell me more!
Following Dean, Kerry opts out of the public finance system for his primary run. He's going to self-finance by taking out personal loans.
The second monster, a static server running Apache, is now hooked into the content flow. I know this doesn't look like much, but it's a step on the path.
Joi Ito: "I'm not (yet) asking to be allowed to participate in the US elections." Interesting thought. But Joi is already participating, more than most US citizens (being on the Internet advisory board of the Democratic front-runner is not a bad place to start). How can less-well-connected people can have a say in the US democracy. How can a brilliant, poor voice from left field inspire us?
Deborah Branscum: "Here I sit in Stockholm, planning a Thanksgiving dinner for in-laws who have never had one. I miss my family and friends, my old house and my old neighborhood. When people ask me if I'm going to become a Swedish citizen, I start laughing because it's such an odd idea."
Werbach: "This is just too cool."
Andrew Orlowski is trying a new career as a comedian.
Wired: "Fleshbot, the new blogging-for-bucks pornography venture of media entrepreneur Nick Denton."
Steve MacLaughlin: "Fleshbot's dirty secret recipe for promotion was to use a 'popular blogger' to report on something happening in bloggerville."
I started serious work on the first of the two new servers and thought to do something that I had never thought to do before. Instead of scattering my changes in various tables in Frontier.root, I'm creating a Tool, and doing all my customizations there. If I had done this when I started the Harvard server I'd be able to start with a much better hosting setup today. The reason this works is that Tools can hook into almost every nook and cranny of the Frontier runtime environment, and where they can't, I'll install code that comes from the custom Tool. Voila. Instantly clonable installations. Hey the logo changed, but I still bleed cactus juice.
It's at times like this that I love to hate Jeff Jarvis for hating Glenn Reynolds. And why do I hate Jeff? Because it's snowing in NYC. I told the guys at the Thursday Berkman meeting that it was going to snow in Cambridge tomorrow. Mark my words. The smell is in the air. And I say "the guys" with some confidence. Until Jessica showed up, it was an all-male Thursday meeting. I said "I knew there was a reason I felt so relaxed." Ba da boom. We talked about penis enlargers, of course. Michael Feldman had never heard an Ole and Lena joke. And next week I promised to take them on a tour of the object database for their Manila sites. I can't believe I've never done that.
Scoble: "Dave Winer has done more to get me to move away from the Web than a huge international corporation that's supposedly focused on killing the Web." Cool!
Congrats to Paul Boutin who's back at Wired for the next year.
Greenspun: "I'd like to find software that is good for preparing a photo collage."
Paolo: Categories to Topics.
I've got Frontier installed on one of the new servers.
Wesley Clark has a professional camera crew following him around. As an experiment I've linked to a Quicktime video of the candidate in NYC, riding the subway, appearing on a TV show, and eating a bagel, from my RSS feed, as an enclosure. If you're subscribed with an enclosure-aware aggregator it will download the 35MB video tonight, for instant viewing tomorrow.
Whew. Spent the morning fighting for a clean code design and think I got it. The problem: this is an exceptional page, it doesn't fit into the hierarchy. For the last three years I've been building hierarchies and linking them into Scripting, and haven't gotten anyone to care about them. This hierarchy has to contain Scripting, but of course it's at the top level of a domain. How do you get that to work? It took some baling wire to make it fit in. I fought for just one piece of baling wire, not 100. So far so good. Next time I work on the hierarchy I will be able to use the outliner, which was the whole point.
Another bit of philosophy. Weblogs have gotten so jammed full of crap like rolls of blogs, rolls of things I'm subscribed to, old software products, old friends, even dead people, you name it, lots of old stuff. So I decided to see what it would be like if I could have even more old crap, but not put it on my weblog. Make sense? It should be easy to get to, but why should it slow down every page load, and who really cares about all that junk anyway? I want to be able to find it, and I want you to be able to find it too, but it doesn't have to be on the page everyone's reloading all the time.
Another bit. Are you the kind of person who reloads Scripting 18 times a day? If so, why do you have to reload last Tuesday's news too? In the new design you don't. Just today, in reverse-chronology. But if you want to see a whole bunch at once, if you're an every-other-day reader, click on November at the top of the page to see all that's been published this month. This will only fail to work at the beginning and end of the month. At the beginning you might only get a day or two. At the end you might get 30 or 31 days which is a lot of junk you don't need to see. As always, trade-offs. On average this model performs better.
Huge caveat: As the directory starts to work, there's absolutely no chance that any of the links will work tomorrow or the day after. Point into the directory knowing that the link is certain to break. It's the nature of the beast.
In the continuing comment thread, a man named Patrick asks what was wrong with the cactus, anyway, to which I said, nothing, and that's the problem. You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. You can't stir the pot in an peaceful, easy way. We're going to build a new city, around the Presidential race of 2004. And you're going to help me do it. You just don't know it yet.
Goddard: "O'Reilly For President?"
Matthew Thomas: Security Snake Oil.
Feedster Builder lets you create an RSS feed for sites that don't have them. It pings weblogs.com too.
Michael Feldman's ten things you don't know about Google.
Reminder, here are the categories of the last week's posts.
When I was coming up to speed on heart medicine last year, I asked my cardiologist how they knew that statins, the kind of drug Lipitor is, worked. He said they were doing a big study, but early results had been so promising, even stunning, that they kind of knew it was a effective drug. Yesterday the Times had the report, now it's fully known, it basically halts heart disease. I've been taking it for over a year.
Bryan Bell's ode to the cactus.
Tomorrow morning Andrew is going to install the new servers at the co-location facility, and then I will move the Scripting News archive onto one of those servers, and pick up the work from there.
A NY Times report on a study that shows that Lipitor, a drug which I take, is very effective in preventing atherosclerosis.
Halley cleaned out her address book. I know what she's talking about. Every time I dial someone in my phone book on my cell phone I trip across my uncle's name. I keep meaning to delete it, but I just can't seem to do it. Too fucking sad.
Okay, this can't possibly work, but in theory the crumb trail at the top of the page is not a mock-up now. It's a real directory behind the string. It won't work. Pray hard. (Postscript: Didn't work the first time, worked the second.) I took the next step to see how the hotting-up of the trail works, and while my first guess was wildly wrong, they do actually hot-up, they just don't go anywhere. On this rebuild they should make sense, they still won't go anywhere, but now I see how the URLs for the directory structure have to work. See what's going on? A weblog page has a place in a hierarchy. So far the hierarchy that you can see is pretty boring. But there's more to wire up. And more after that.
Paolo: "Stay tuned." Ack.
Today's song: "We all want to change the world."
Bob Stepno has a great Art Carney story.
Great pics in the comments on this post.
Sean Gallagher is working on new designs, too.
There's now a totally dysfunctional cookie crumb trail at the top of the page. Now I have to figure out how to get it working for real. Now if you're looking for the grand vision, this is the beginning. When you click on World, at some point, you will actually get the world.
BBC: "TV and film star Art Carney, an Oscar winner for his part in the 1974 film Harry and Tonto, has died aged 85."
Jon Udell wondered yesterday if Microsoft really means to push the Web into a corner, pour gasoline on it, and light a match. This happens over and over. People can't believe it but Microsoft really didn't want the Web.
Back in the 80s Stewart Alsop was launching a new conference to compete with Esther Dyson's. Stewart was fiercely competitive. Everything about his conference was a response to Esther. He upped her, zigged where she zagged, in every way compared his show to hers. I found it fascinating because there clearly was room for a new conference, but I was good friends with both, and brainstormed with Stewart, seeing it as playfulness, not meanness. Now the cool thing about the competition was that they went to each others' conference, and seemed to genuinely be having a good time. I guess there's nothing like going to a conference that's a lot like your own, where you don't have to work. I mention this because now I have graduated to being a conference-giver myself. With BloggerCon version 1.0 under my belt I now go to conferences with a new eye, looking for ideas that I can use or adapt in my next show. It's in my blood, changes the way I think. And I remember how well both Stewart and Esther competed, how they made me, a person who went to both their conferences, feel. Neither ever tried to get us not to go to the other. Probably the most important symbol of this was that both were welcome at the other's conference. Bravo.
Wired: "A prestigious music school is encouraging musicians to swap audio and video clips of course material over peer-to-peer networks. File sharing is a cost-effective way to distribute the rich musical knowledge of the school, according to David Kusek, the school's associate vice president."
Scott Rosenberg nails it. Three-pane aggregators save you zero time, unless the issue is that your net connection is too slow to display HTML pages live. Otherwise you might as well read the news in your browser. He's correct that server-side aggregators have certain advantages (we offer one to our users at Harvard), but reverse chronologic updates are a huge efficiency. Otherwise you have to do the hunting for new bits. Let the computer do it for you, I say.
Got a couple of emails overnight saying that the new picture is either too big, or not work-safe. I want to acknowledge that, because there must be other people thinking that but not saying it. I appreciate that people are being so respectful. Here's what I think. Things are going to change here. It's gotten too static. I did something bold and unmistakably different from the past to set expectations. Look at it this way. Scripting News first popped up when there were no other weblogs. It was like a little outpost on the prairie, nothing but Big Sky and you could see light between the slats in the roof. No one would have complained about it being work-safe back then because (almost) no one was reading it. Now the prairie is a bustling metropolis, and my little house is on a block with shopping centers, schools, porn shops, you name it. Who cares about one little house with a leaky roof. I want to build a new city!
The last cactus snapshot. No doubt, everything is broken. The blogroll is missing. But some stuff appears to work. I can update. The flow is much simpler. And my editorial system is faster and easier (so it can get slower and more complex). What did we used to say? Still diggin.
BTW, I spoke with Jon Udell this evening to review the plan. He and I have been talking about this stuff for years. I'll be turning on more features tomorrow and Thursday and of course write much more. It's been a long day, and all kidding aside, everything seems to work better than I could have hoped for given how much has changed. Where are we heading? The tree of knowledge. What's our technique? Bootstrapping. Are we building The Semantic Web? No. But we are building tools for people to share and preserve what they know. As Engelbart says, augmenting human intelligence.
Washington Post: "George Soros, one of the world's richest men, has given away nearly $5 billion to promote democracy in the former Soviet bloc, Africa and Asia. Now he has a new project: defeating President Bush."
Ready or not, it's time to start flipping switches in the transition of Scripting News from weblog to directory for the World Wide Web. Some changes will be visible to the public, others will only be visible to me. By this time tomorrow the cactus will be gone. Everything will change, except one thing will remain constant. It's all still the unedited voice of a person. But it will be modular, and it will be possible for my voice to be mixed with others, in new ways.
Feeling mellow today, I picked up the phone and called Mark Pilgrim, and said we should work together. There's a story that's been circulating, it first appeared in a paper given by Matthew Rothenberg, a NYU professor, about standards evolution in the weblog world, and was picked up by Clay Shirky (who's also teaching at NYU these days). Mark and I both figure heavily in the story. One of the many lessons of the Rothenberg piece is that people want us to work together. I think it's a good idea. Mark is a smart man, and we have done some great collaboration in the past. When we both get on the same page, mountains move.
Announcing a Scripting News dinner, on Tuesday November 25, at the King Tsin restaurant in Berkeley, 7PM. Thanks to Sylvia Paull, doyenne of Bay Area geeks, for coordinating. This will be the first Scripting News event in the East Bay.
I've been friends with Sylvia for almost 20 years, going back to the early days of the Macintosh. She worked at a company started by Will Hearst called Software Ventures. They did a program called Microphone, the early leader in the Mac communications market, before the Internet caught on, when lots of people were dialing into Compuserve and MCI via modems. Anyway, Sylvia once said something to me that I'll file under Homilies, that made a huge difference a long time ago, but it has special relevance today. She said "I only go to parties my friends are welcome at." It's one of those mottos that makes sense from every angle, and it's a beautiful way to manage your personal relationships. Don't sweat it. If you're having a party, everyone is welcome. It's bad karma to try to split up friends. (It turns out it's just as bad to let yourself be split. You end up losing friends that way.)
A people hire A people, B people hire C people. Always strive for the most excellence. Never be scared to work with people who are smarter than you. Never be scared to let others be smarter than you. (Filed under Dave/Homilies/Mottos.)
This week is shaping up to be huge in NH, with Kerry, Dean and Clark touring at the same time.
Greenspun in Mexico City.
StateDemocracy.Com looks interesting.
The Church Sign Generator has great potential.
Tomorrow you will think I am a total idiot.
Wired: Clark Campaign to Debut Big Blog. Quotes Cam, Doc and myself. "A voter with a weblog is ten times more powerful than a voter without a weblog."
Let's do a demo of the Semantic Web, the real one, the one that exists today. Doc Searls has a question about the iQue 3600 hand-held GPS. It is sexy. They say it only works with Windows, but Doc thinks it probably works with Linux too. A couple of thousand really smart people will read this. I'm sure one of them knows the answer. Probably more than one. There's the query. Human intelligence is so under-rated by computer researchers, but when we do our job well, that's what we facilitate. Human minds communicating with other human minds. What could be easier to understand?
Crimson: "Slater received a cease-and-desist letter from Harvard on Oct. 31 after posting thousands of internal documents about an electronic voting machine manufacturer on his Harvard-hosted website."
Derek: "I will be filing a letter defending my actions and will go before a hearing if necessary. I will also use this opportunity, as best I can, to urge the University to reconsider its role in these matters and its DMCA policies in general."
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is my pleasure to present: several categories, for your viewing pleasure. All the posts in the last three days about the Dean campaign; the Clark campaign. And here are all the posts in the RSS category (it's the largest with 8 posts in the last three days, including this one (recursive)). There's lots more to do of course, but this is the milestone I was looking for when I began work this morning. Whew.
Glenn Reynolds demos what a Presidential campaign video should look like. In it he tells everyone to read weblogs. Perfect. So when do you think Glenn is going to officially declare his candidacy? I swear he's going to run. I'm so sure I started a category for his campaign. I hope he does. I also think Philip Greenspun should run.
Paolo compares RSS categories and ENT. Good job. I totally see my taxonomy as personal. Not trying to get anyone else to adopt it, at this time. Not even sure I'm going to stick to it. I have to start somewhere. I designed a bit of flexibility into the category element, but not too much. Getting people to agree on a taxonomy is a huge problem, that and user interface are the two looming beasts that keep this stuff from taking off. So instead of putting the cart before the horse, I decided to start pulling the cart myself.
Today's song: "They may be stupid but they sure are fun."
Nelson Minar: "Each of the individual applications using RDF I know of could have been done more easily with plain XML."
RVW is "intended to allow machine-readable reviews to be integrated into an RSS feed, thus allowing reviews to be automatically compiled from distributed sources."
Chris Lydon interviews Cameron Barrett from the Clark campaign. Special RSS feed updated. It's gratifying that Cam didn't fall into the hype about open source politics. That shows integrity. Open source is a term that means something with software, but it is meaningless in politics, unless somehow I can take over Wesley Clark's body, but I don't think anyone is seriously considering that, at least I hope not.
Today is going to be a breakthrough day on category support in the Scripting News archive. In a few hours I'll have a way to look at all the items on a per-category basis. I've been pretty good so far about assigning categories to blog posts here. For example, the Fleshbot post below is routed to Fun/Sex. This one is routed to Dave/Scripting News and Technology/Formats and Protocols/RSS. You can see all that by looking at today's RSS file. Also, to clear up some confusion, UserLand has had category support in Manila and Radio for years. This is the first time categories have been used in this weblog, and they're hierarchic, not flat. That is a first, as far as I know. When you see how the hierarchy works, you're going to want it. At least that's my evil plan.
Fleshbot, the "pornographic sister website of Gizmodo and Gawker."
A fascinating discussion started on this day in 1999 on evolution of RSS 0.91, including comments from Evan Williams, Dan Libby, Edd Dumbill. Cordial and professional, even statesman-like. Touched on many of the ideas that were later implemented in 0.92 and 2.0.
This hyothetical conversation between Bill Gates and Satan in 1998 explains why our world still doesn't run in Java.
Joi Ito is becoming a cranky old man. Welcome!
Jim Moore is at Dean HQ in Vermont. My two cents. Take the money. Let the voters tell you what the sacrament is. They drafted Dean. Like all successful boomtime IPOs, Dean just happened to be in the right place when the lightning struck. It didn't impart any special wisdom. What do you do? Relax and enjoy the ride. In other words, there's not much you can do. (Postscript: I suggested to Jim in a phone talk that they do something more creative with the money than buying television ads. Anything but giving the money to Viacom, GE, Disney, Fox, Time Warner.)
Marc Nozell blogs Joe Lieberman campaigning in NH.
Wired: "Linus Torvalds wants me to believe he's too boring."
I find this report really interesting. It shows where the readers of the Scripting News archive are coming from. The top two are domains at Harvard, I assume they're crawlers of some kind. Then crawlers from Teoma, Google, then users and more crawlers. It's been a while since I've had a clients readout.
SmartMoney magazine has 12 feeds.
Lessig: "It is ok to bend the truth, but only in one way."
I can't recall being as excited about a piece of software since I was working on Manila in 1999. Part of the puzzle is finished. The items in the RSS feed for this weblog can be routed to categories. Now to the back-end. As the page is published, we watch for items with categories, and route them to the appropriate place. So if you want to get caught up on all the news from the Edwards campaign, there will be a place for that. Now of course a grad student could be working specifically on news of Edwards, maybe even on the press bus with Edwards. Maybe two grad students. Maybe thirty-two. And maybe the student who's working on Boston weather comes across something relevant to Edwards-watchers. This shouldn't be a problem. I told my friend Adam Curry in an email, the idea is that I can write for 100 weblogs, and 100 people can write for a specific weblog. We can get the overhead very low. This is how we're going to scale up to cover the 2004 election. It's a moon mission. Each user will get some new software and an assignment. It'll be a project like 24 Hours of Democracy in 1996, a demo of neat net tricks and a way for people with weblog skills to make a difference. And of course if an event like 9/11 comes along, we'll be that much better prepared to cover it.
"When we were listening to the radio, we were part of the free world, if only for a few moments, whether the system we lived under liked it or not," says Simonyi, 51. "Rock and roll, culturally speaking, was a decisive element in loosening up communist societies and bringing them closer to a world of freedom."
The user interface for category routing is a right-click popup menu. Put the cursor on an item, right-click, choose a category, mouse-up. Repeat if necessary. My personal taxonomy is edited in an outliner, and exchanged in OPML. Now the trick is to use it, and keep the taxonomy up to date. And of course to build out the back-end.
Stirring Cory Doctorow piece on the evil Broadcast Flag.
NY Times: "Howard Dean became the first Democrat to opt out of the presidential public financing system in 30 years."
Changes to Scripting News RSS.
Today's song: "Let's all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born, though she was born a long long time ago."
Clark campaign: "We'll probably soft-launch the tools on Monday and label it a 'Public Beta.'"
Howard Greenstein's pictures of the lunar eclipse.
My copy of Cadenhead's Radio book came yesterday. I've read two or three chapters, and it's excellent. We've been very lucky in this community to first have Matt Neuburg's book, published by O'Reilly in 1998, and now an up-to-date book on the 2003 environment published by Sams. If you've been wondering about the programming and content management environment behind the blogging tool and aggregator; the object database, verb set, outliner, debugger, website framework, get this book, it's great. I'm really excited about this. We should see another boost of growth in the community. The timing is also good because the new management team is booting up, and instead of asking Lawrence and Jake lots of questions, they can RTFM.
AP: "In a historic move, Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean will skip public financing and the spending limits that come with it."
Berkman fellow Jim Moore is at Dean headquarters in Burlington today.
Wired: "Wallop is Microsoft's venture into the red-hot social-networking arena."
"Everyone now has got their guns locked and loaded at Howard Dean," said Rachel Gorlin, a Democratic strategist.
Reminder, here's an RSS feed for upcoming New Hampshire visits by presidential candidates. If you attend one of these events and post about it on your weblog, please send me a link. Even better if you have pictures.
The new archive now has a primitive Referers page.
Halley would like you to buy a copy of Penthouse. No kidding.
Excellent NY Times article about Web sites with information about ski trips.
Library Planet gathers comments on Shirky's latest.
Several changes today in the RSS feed for this weblog.
1. The beginning of category support. I now have a basic user interface in the outliner that allows me to route each post through a hierarchic set of categories of things that I am interested in. This maps directly on to the RSS 2.0 category sub-element of item. I'll post a screen shot of the user interface when it looks a little prettier.
2. Stopped generating the <skipHours> element. It was supposed to be a bandwidth-saver, but it confuses people who are emulating Scripting News, and I think Radio is the only aggregator that respects it.
3. Stopped generating the <ttl> element. The P2P network I was working on with Morpheus didn't deploy because I got sick last summer. When and if it ever comes back, I can uncomment the code that generates it.
4. Stopped generating the channel-level <category> element for Syndic8. This was intended as an olive branch, but they didn't reciprocate. If someone else is working on a taxonomy of feeds, let me know. Rule of Win-Win.
5. Changed <webMaster> and <managingEditor> to my Harvard email address.
6. In the <docs> element, point to the spec at Harvard, not at UserLand.
7. Add a channel-level <pubDate> element.
Weblog software is going to be like mail servers. Lots of ways to deploy, every niche filled. For the masses, services like Yahoo, MSN and AOL. Blogging servers for corporations, inside and outside of the firewall. For schools, for the military, specialized systems for lawyers, librarians, professors, reporters, magazines, daily newspapers. The next President will have a blog. Writing for the Web, the prevailing form of publishing in the early 21st Century, will come in many sizes and shapes, flavors and styles. It won't be one-size-fits-all. Open formats and protocols will make this possible. I'd bet on the formats and protocols we're using now, RSS 2.0, OPML and the Blogger API.
It's been a long time since I agreed with Clay Shirky, but this time he takes some clever shots at a sacred cow who just happens to be swimming in a nearby barrel. He describes the method of proponents of the Semantic Web. "First, take some well-known problem. Next, misconstrue it so that the hard part is made to seem trivial and the trivial part hard. Finally, congratulate yourself for solving the trivial part." Ha!
DNC: 2004 Primary Calendar.
I got a demo and a new account on Clark's weblog space (in beta). It's quite rough in its implementation but solid in its philosophy. Some of the ideas outlined in this piece are implemented. It's good because it will up the ante for Dean, Edwards, Bush, et al. Remember the Browser Wars when Netscape and Microsoft were competing to give us the best access to the Web. Now we have competition among the candidates to give us the best access to each others' minds. How much progress that is! They used to think of us as eyeballs and couch potatoes.
One reason I like Jim Moore is that he helps me do what I want to do. Of course I don't mind sharing, but I like it even more if there's something in it for me.
All Headline News is a new service that generates RSS feeds for publications that don't have them. I've been working with Jeff Brown for the last few days, getting his RSS in shape, and it's looking pretty good now. It has an important feature, explained here, that allows you to set up search-based RSS feeds. Very powerful stuff.
Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi is on The Connection today; and Gary Wolf of Wired and Ryan Lizza from the New Republic. Wolf says the other candidates won't be able to catch up with Dean on the Web. Hmmm. I think that's not true. That makes me want to help the other guys. I'm a Mets fan, not a Yankees fan. Dean has to watch out for that. He's got a big target painted on his back. Also, they say that Dean actually already has made his mind up about campaign finance, and that the poll of his supporters is certain to return the result he wants. But the interviewer, Gail Harris, missed the obvious question -- what is the predetermined result? Seems like Interviewing 101.
It's great to see Dan Gillmor take on the big media companies as he takes on software developers. These days it's hard to tell the difference, even a campaigns for President are creating technology. It's all mixing together. We have to know who has integrity, who is willing to keep their processes visible. That's the spirit of the weblog work we're doing. To try to lead behind closed doors is a contradiction. There are lots of cynics among us, people just looking to make a buck. Dan gets his paycheck from a big media company, so it's especially important that he shine the light into his context. Good work.
Werblog: "Google reportedly rejected a $10 billion buyout offer from Microsoft, and is now launching a product that puts Google directly onto the Windows desktop."
Doc Searls: "Cam Barrett showed me some of the community network stuff he's planning for the Clark Campaign yesterday, and I'm impressed."
Lots of great ideas at last night's Berkman-Blogs meeting. We spent a lot of time talking about how to get more weblogs started at Harvard. Bob Stepno turned it around, and asked how we could track news sites that Harvard already maintains without weblog technology. I love it when somone reaches inside the balloon and pulls it out by the inside and the problem gets simpler. Now the problem is to find all the sites that change every day with news generated from Harvard, and aggregate them on one easy to read weblog-style page. In other words, instead of telling everyone they need to start weblogs, decide that they already have.
Our plans for hosting fell through. We have two great servers that should be ready to deploy this weekend or early next week, and nowhere to put them. We're looking for two U's of rack space in an easy drive from where we are. Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Watertown, Newton, Lexington, Waltham. We can afford reasonable monthly bandwidth costs. These boxes will serve weblogs and special-purpose aggregators, and over time new stuff Andrew and I (and others) develop. If you have suggestions, please send an email. Thanks.
Two years ago today: "Use these motherfuckers with care."
Three years ago, the beginning of the crazy post-election mess of Y2K. Bush won't concede Florida, the headline read. Little did we know what was coming next.
Press release: "NPR will benefit from a bequest of more than $200 million from the estate of philanthropist Joan Kroc."
The Clark campaign is hiring various kinds of Web devs.
Jeff Jarvis report from Always On breakfast in NYC.
Yesterday's big insight was that it takes years for people to get to know you through your weblog. Today's (thanks to Ed Cone, below) is that weblogs are just part of the new political process.
Ed Cone: "So it's months before the NC primary, and a year before the election, and Dean has this network of well-equipped local volunteers working away on coordinated projects. The cost of this locally-run operation to the campaign is the cost of materials and shipping."
Feedable creates "the feeds that someone forgot."
Wired: "If you are an inventor, you had better team up with someone who is cunning and vicious."
David Pollard commends Business 2.0 for an insightful choice of social network software as the technology of the year, but (correctly) points out that personal content managment technology (weblogs, RSS) is a necessary companion.
I got an invite yesterday to do an academic-style talk at Microsoft Research, about weblogs. I said yes of course. It'll be in a big auditorium, with an open invite to everyone at MS. Curtis Wong is the host. I've known him for years, and he was also a keynoter at the PEI media conference last month.
Two years ago: "No matter where you live, in what time period, no matter who you work for, you can think for yourself."
Tim Berners-Lee: What's new in 92. For people curious about the origins of weblogs, this site looks like it might have been the first.
Howard Dean: "If we accept federal matching funds, our spending will be capped at $45 million -- and the greatest grassroots movement in the history of presidential politics will be stopped from raising money almost immediately and will reach the spending limit well before the end of the primaries. We will not have any funding until the Democratic convention at the end of July."
Jim Moore: "The Dean community has already raised nearly enough money to qualify for matching funds. Unless the community decides to move forward without federal funds, they must stop giving now, and return any money raised that goes beyond the cap."
Roger Simon asks the question they should have asked last night. "Which candidate would you most like to have smoked dope with?" He gets the correct answer.
The new servers arrived. Murphy-willing they'll be deployed and online in a few days.
Chris Lydon: The Blogging of the President 2004.
Chris gave a presentation at the NextMedia conference in Prince Edward Island. I took pictures. I was playing with the settings on my digital camera with an interesting result.
Jay Rosen: "How dumb should an ombudsman assume Americans to be? NPR's Jeffrey Dvorkin forces us to ask that. His answer: very dumb indeed."
Essay: "Candidates should use weblogs instead of becoming one."
BBC reports that MTV is preparing an online music system
I took the political compass test. I'm a leftist libertarian.
Check out how the Presidential candidates rated.
Greenspun: Should universities permit free speech?
PRSA: Pitching Blogs.
Andrew Grumet's new Weblog Outliner for Movable Type.
A funny thing happened -- I don't like Starbuck's anymore. Too strong. Is it because the nicotine is finally flushed out of my system? Yesterday I bought a can of Chock full o' Nuts coffee, and it's just fantastic coffee. Lovin it. And get this, I got the pre-ground kind, because it's too much of a hassle to grind my own beans. Maybe it's the west coast Reality Distortion Field flickering off. I think I'm officially an east coaster again? But people keep asking me if I was here last winter. Heh.
It comes and goes. Yesterday I had a badly infected tooth pulled, one that had been causing a lot of discomfort that I just lived with, and then started hurting, then the pain became unbearable. Remove the tooth. I feel great! All these horizons open up. It's all relative. Moods swing. Tah dah.
Sebastien Paquet: Structured Blogging.
Free Movable Type hosting.
GCN: "Long popular with Internet surfers, weblogs are getting a review by Defense Department users for project management."
Postscript on dentist visit. I was concerned that it was an impacted wisdom tooth. In fact it was a huge cavity in a wisdom tooth. They pulled it. My mouth, though bloody, feels marvelous. Three cheers for dentists! And I found one that does nitrous oxide. Nice effect. Wouldn't mind doing it again.
AP: "CBS announced Tuesday it was pulling 'The Reagans' miniseries off the air."
Jon Udell gave a talk about blogging to execs of "dynamic mid-size companies."
Adam Curry wonders if today's late start is because I'm developing software. Actually I have a bad tooth ache that I'm going to see a dentist about at 4PM in Lexington and I have a late lunch meeting before that in Cambridge. So it'll be a light day, not like that other light day last year, I hope.
Al Franken guest posts on Kicking Ass.
Here's what a whole month of Scripting News looks like.
From the archive: "It may be male hormones that makes us such suckers for the schmaltz, or it might be the male heart, that loves the greatness of his gender and finds today so few ways to express it."
Another: "Real men are not so perfect."
One more: "Some wise person said that our parents teach us so much, and the last thing they teach us is -- and there I have to leave it blank. I don't yet know what the last thing my father will teach me is."
Example of an RSS feed from the new Scripting archive.
Werbach: "Why not subsidize bloggers who create popular posts? Or creators of popular shareware? Or great CSS templates? Let's all get on the gravy train!"
Thanks Doc for looking into the Dean campaign's use of the term open source to describe their campaign. We seem to agree that it's not an accurate use of the term, that what they really mean is "open," which of course, is very very cool. Now maybe the next step is, in an open way, to throw this over the fence to Dean's Internet advisory board, which is staffed by many of our friends in BlogLand.
I'm getting pressure from Edwards supporters to point to his piece on Lessig's weblog. For what it's worth, I think this is just like Edwards in person. Cardboard, full of lies and deception. He's talking for the television cameras even when he's on the Web. I'm still waiting for the revolution, it's not Edwards, it's not Dean or Kerry or Gephardt, or Lieberman. I've explained who I am over and over. I am an idealist. Recycled stump speeches from the 20th century don't do it for me.
Berkman Center, where I work, recently received funding from the MacArthur Foundation to study alternative compensation schemes for media on the Internet. John Palfrey, executive director at Berkman, explains how the project will work. Note, I am not working on this project myself, I'm not even sure I agree with its goals. But that's the cool thing about working at a place like Berkman, we're still friends even if we don't agree on everything.
Dan Gillmor on last night's 60 Minutes segment on file sharing. As he noted, they completely presented the industry view of the situation, it was as if it were a Jack Valenti-written propoganda piece. No opposing views. No non-infringing uses. No users talking about how much more powerful music is on the Internet. Just an industry victimized. And much worse, no disclaimer from 60 Minutes that they work for a major media company with a huge stake in the outcome. That Dan Gillmor called them on this is very gratifying. This is the problem all media companies have, they report on themselves, they have become the story. They have an exceptional obligation to disclaim this, and none of them are doing it.
Every couple of years I descend into the Website Framework, the lizard brain of UserLand's content management system, deployed in 1996. It's still a nice design. And the docs are still scattered all over the world. At least there's Google now, which does a good job of indexing. I'm going slowly making sure that the environment I'm creating has many of the bells and whistles I've missed in previous ones. For example, today I'm making it so that every day in the archive of Scripting News automatically has an RSS rendering. And I'm doing a month-at-a-glance page, before I get to the real meaty project, a right-click menu that lets me route any item to any number of places. I'm thinking about what a power info maven really wants in 2004, not what he or she is willing to settle for. People like Jenny Levine, Steve Gillmor, Charlie Nesson, Jeremy Allaire, Joe Trippi, Jay Rosen. And of course myself. I try to visualize a Content Router and Idea Processor combined with the World Wide Web. Meanwhile Andrew Grumet is climbing another facet of the same hill, smoothing out the connection between outlining and non-UserLand weblog managers. Choice is super-important, as we all know. Even if they don't include us in their plans, we must include them in ours, to keep the door open for a win-win.
NY Times: "MIT announced that it would temporarily shut down its groundbreaking Library Access to Music System until the licensing rights can be worked out."
Ole Eichorn returns from Microsoft's devcon with questions about performance and reliability of the new OS code.
Diego Doval's tutorial on syndication.
Okay a reporter sends a link to an AP article that says lots of blogs are abandoned. Internet Littered With Dead Websites. That's just the beginning. "Her site remains frozen in time." Sounds terrible, until you realize they are no more or less dead than a magazine article that hasn't been updated since it was written (basically all magazine articles). Or even less dead than the archive of a newspaper that's been taken offline to make more money for the publisher. Or wait a year and come back and try that Yahoo News article. It'll be 404 by then. I have a few sites that I myself started with high hopes that nothing much happened with. Or others that have been useful and successful but still haven't changed in years.
Bless John Kerry, he bought some ads on weblogs.
Doc comments on the term open source applied to politics.
Very stimulating conversation with Jay Rosen yesterday. Two follow-up pointers, one a tutorial for professional reporters getting started with weblogs, and the other a long-running philosophical disagreement between myself and his NYU colleague, Clay Shirky. I'm sure Jay won't mind my making the pointers public. BTW, we had lunch at the 2nd Avenue Deli. I had matzoh ball soup, chopped liver, a kosher hot dog, and bobka. After, I stopped at a Starbuck's at 9th and 2nd for a large coffee. My mother told me that it was at the location of my grandfather's favorite old-country restaurant, the Kiev (or was it the Odessa?), where he would have perogies. Now it's just another Starbucks. Oy vey. PS: Rosen is going to Davos next year (lucky guy!).
Mazel tov to Full Professor Akma, sir.
Fox News (paraphrased): "Seek out stories that cater to angry, middle-aged white men who listen to talk radio and yell at their televisions."
Unknown developer: "We don't solve problems, we just talk about them."
I went to a party in Prince Edward Island with several hundred people, lobster, mussels, beer, great conversation, and one guy wearing a kilt. I drank a bit of beer, so at one point I had to go to the bathroom, and who would be in there, taking a leak, but the guy with a kilt. It was too much for me.
Woody Allen: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. "
Dean campaign response to "tag team attacks."
AP: "A comment by Howard Dean about Confederate flags and pickup trucks has embroiled the leading Democrats in Iowa's presidential caucuses in a name-calling donnybrook."
Edwards campaign weblog: "Outrageous."
I had lunch today with NYU journalism prof Jay Rosen and spoke at length with Chris Lydon about various ideas around academia, journalism, politics and weblogs. Noted that the term "open source" is being used to describe journalism and politics these days and wonder what exactly that means. In open source politics, a term which Joe Trippi uses to describe the Dean campaign, could I take a snapshot of their codebase (borrow the candidate) and fork the project? (Have him run for city council or dog catcher.) Or could I hijack the campaign, and take his place on stage, and introduce myself saying "Hello I am Howard Dean." I'm all in favor of open politics, I think it's a must. But open is not the same as open source.
Diego Doval's introduction to weblogs. Excellent.
Deanspace demo. Campaign as software developer.
Doc Searls blogs baseball philosophy. The Cubs have good philosophy. Not as good as the Mets of course, but pretty good. And now that the Red Sox are throwing it away, we're looking for a worthy opponent for the Mets to beat in the World Series.
Driving in to NYC last night, a delicious train of thought. Saw a sign for the Cross Bronx Expressway, which made me think of the Major Deegan, which made me think of Yankee Stadium, which made me think of how the the Florida Marlins kicked their butts in the World Series this year.
On this day last year, I made a set of proposals to developers who use RSS. I link to them today in hope that they will get a fresh look. I accept that some people think RSS should be replaced. That's a fixture of this community. In the meantime, the market is growing, new users are coming online every day, we have work to do.
Three years ago: "Defensive indifference."
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.