It's looking like we will be able to webcast tonight's meeting, Murphy-willing. We have the server runing and recording, now we're trying to figure out the URL for the webcast. If you have an idea what it might be, please send me an email. My next mini-project will be to get IRC installed on my laptop. We got music now, playing Channel Z right now, just played Start Me Up. The webcast is working and the IRC is running. (Postscript: The 40MB RealAudio archive of tonight's meeting is here.)
Taegan Goddard: "Don't expect a landslide."
Washington Post: "The Acacia case highlights why a growing chorus of corporate and government officials is warning that the US patent system is broken, threatening to stunt technological innovation."
Lance Knobel: "Much of the commentariat has passively accepted the conservative's characterisation of Dean, without examining the evidence."
BBC: "Reports that Google's cache -- which keep copies of websites for records and can be used to bypass government restrictions - was no longer available to some web surfers in Iran first surfaced at the end of last week."
As always, when I'm using Scripting as a guinea pig, you see posts like this: "Testing. Please ignore." Good that worked. Now to see if it updates properly. It did. Gloryoski. The update should happen faster now. And it surely did. Now I have to give this item a title. 1.2.3
Another test post, this one destined for a different location. Holy guacamole. It worked the first time!! Wow. You gotta love this. Now can I make it show up in the other location? Pause. Nope. Back in a minute or two. One more time. Arrrgh. I think I found the problem, really obscure. When editing text in a textarea I'm getting back a blank whose decimal value is 160 instead of 32. That's why when I stare at the code that does the string comparison to decide if it should be routed to the other location, it looks so right. Okay, now I'm going to add code that changes all 160s to 32s and see if it works. Yes, that did the trick. Maybe someone can explain why I'm getting 160s but right now I don't care, I want to catch my breath and get ready for 7PM. As I re-read this I think I've turned into Russell Beattie. The software is ready for the demo, I didn't write the backgrounder, but tune in to the webcast if you want to hear about it.
An article about news aggregators from a lawyer's perspective.
Some things are starting to fit into place.
Boy it really pisses me off when Republicans compare Howard Dean to George McGovern. That swaps in memories of Watergate and dirty tricks, and a Republican vice-president who resigned in shame, and the Republican president who followed him, and his successor, also a Republican, who pardoned him. And what about the Republican attorney general brought up on charges, convicted, who served time. And he wasn't alone. The chief of staff and a top advisor also did time. So, was there actually an election in 1972? Something to think about. Was there a complete meltdown of the US political system? Absolutely. Was McGovern honest? Without any doubt.
One more thing. When I was sixteen, I worked for the McGovern campaign. I canvassed door to door in Queens, handing out literature and talking to voters about the candidate. I addressed envelopes, and on election day helped people get to the polling place. McGovern was the last campaign worth working for, imho. The Republicans, in my lifetime, have never nominated a candidate worth working for. So when the Republicans boast, at this early stage, they may make it a matter of pride for some who are ambivalent about Dean and the rest of the Democrat field. We vote, we have money, and we care about our country, much more than Agnew, Mitchell, Nixon, Haldeman, Ehrlichman and the rest of the Republicans who "won" in 1972.
Some things are starting to fit into place. From the article above, it's clear now that the difference between readers and aggregators isn't new, it goes back to the difference between My.Netscape and My.UserLand. In the former, each feed was considered its own independent thing; My.UserLand flowed all feeds into one flow. (My.UserLand migrated to become the aggregator in Radio.) To me (and I've said this before) the My.UserLand approach is more leveraged for the human, because the former approach still makes you go somewhere to find the new stuff. True, the "somewhere" is all in one app, but it's still work you have to do, instead of the computer.
Then another dichotomy is exposed. Quite a few Movable Type bloggers start things called linkblogs, or remaindered links, whatever you call them, they're working around the model of longish posts with lots of visual overhead (a model also implemented by Blogger, Manila and Radio, so this isn't a dig on MT). What if you just want to link to something, should that require a whole post with all its attributes? It's a matter of user interface in the end. If MT made it easy to post and update a news item that was link-blog-like, people wouldn't need to invent a way around it. But that would break the relationship between the feed and posts. Oy what a mess.
Now look at this page carefully. See how posts of all sizes mix? It seems to work. The only thing missing is titles for posts (you'll see why I need them, in some cases, later today). But a right-click menu makes it possible to give a post a title.
This morning I'm listening to Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones. What an excellent song. Man. It's so weird that Microsoft chose this as the theme song for Windows 95. Wow. I think they chose it because they wanted us to think about the Start Menu. But ohhh you make a grown man cry. If you rough it up startitup startitup don't make a grown man cry. She's my fave-fave-favorite shape. Never never never stop. I take you places you never never seen. Never never never stop. Start me up never stop. Start me up never stop. You make a grown man cry. You make a dead man come.
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