Pew Internet: "44% of Internet users have created content for the online world through building or posting to Web sites, creating blogs, and sharing files."
Yeah, you kill all the competition and then the talent pool dries up. People were choosing computer science as a career because they hoped to be the next Bill Gates, not because they wanted to work for Bill Gates.
Howard Dean: "The quotes attributed to me by others in Howard Kurtz's gossipy rendition of the divisions in the Dean for America campaign are entirely false."
Diego Doval raises some interesting questions about RSS validators.
At first I thought I was looking at a horrible bug in my software, but it turns out the software was right and I was the one with the bug,
Steve Outing: "A Times reporter wanting to write a personal blog on bee-keeping might be allowed to do it, but the paper's policy is that even such an innocuous blog must be approved by newsroom management."
Slate: "Meet BitTorrent, the file-sharing network that makes trading movies a breeze."
James Robertson: "What tangible benefits does Sun get from Java?"
Clemens Vasters: "If you want to put your skills to work and you need to support a family, your work and work results canít be free."
Glenn Fleishman reviews the iPod mini.
Dowbrigade tunes into OhMy News.
Tim Bray: "Itís been years since I cranked up a first-person-shooter."
NY Times: "For men, arousal almost always leads to desire."
Joi Ito: "Marko may have been trying to get me back for feeding him snapping turtle in Kyoto."
AP: "RSS has been called the TiVo of the Web, the first 'killer app' of the anticipated automation of social and commercial transactions online using the Web's second-generation XML standard."
Fredrik Lundh spies on the Swedish Donald Duck. "I read twenty newspapers on the Internet and subscribe to dozens of RSS-channels," says the famous duck.
Phil Ringnalda on the synergy betw Google and Blogger.
Michael Watkins: Death Knell for the Delicate Experiment at HBS.
Crimson: "A junior faculty member at Harvard Business School is using his popular weblog to sound a warning that the schoolís prestige is in jeopardy, but HBS faculty and staff vigorously dispute his claim."
Watkins comments on the Crimson article.
Oceana today announced "that Yahoo, one of the Internetís leading search engines, has accepted two of its paid advertisements, one describing Oceanaís mission of saving the oceans and linking to its Web site, the other focusing on Oceanaís campaign to stop cruise pollution. The same ads created a major media stir last week when they were rejected by Google."
Boston Globe: "Is a movement about its leader or the person who put it together? That question is fueling a behind-the-scenes struggle between Howard Dean and his former campaign manager, Joe Trippi."
AP: "Hollywood is dog-eat-dog," said West Wing co-executive producer Llewellyn Wells. "And Washington is the complete reverse."
Rod Kratochwill is going to figure out what No Child Left Behind is about.
BBC: "The creators of internet search engine Google have joined the Forbes magazine list of world billionaires."
Planet PDF has an RSS feed.
Randy Charles Morin: "Dave Winer has passion."
Jim Moore's vision for blogging software.
A couple of announcements this evening. A new Berkman fellow starting in July -- the honorable and accomplished thinker of the Web, David Weinberger. A great deal for Berkman and an honor for David. Mazel tov. And we finally have our webcast act moderately together. A new omni-directional microphone makes all the difference. You can tune in the usual place., Tonight's meeting starts at 7PM EST, but the webcast and IRC are already going. The show kicked off with Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan. "Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters."
Dru Oja Jay: "Haiti is in crisis, and an entire society stands on the brink of economic and humanitarian disaster. This disaster is not the product of some unfortunate circumstance, but the direct result of policies carried out by our governments."
Dowbrigade: Where are the Haitian blogs?
Howard Dean is speaking in New Haven tonight.
Some announcements about BloggerCon II. We will have several sessions on journalism, politics and the campaign of 2004. We've scheduled the conference between the first part of the campaign, the primaries; and the next -- the conventions. The goal is to coalesce what we've learned in time to apply that knowledge in the second cycle. We will also have a session on weblogs and libraries, which is new. And if there's sufficient interest, we will repeat the sessions on medicine and law, and possibly add sessions for art, education, science and literature. Let me know. Based on the very strong response re visions for web writing tools, we will certainly have a session about that. We're also going to do a session on RSS. Technical people are welcome, but remember this is a user's conference.
Re discussion moderators, I have a few confirmations, and still have to send out offers. In general they are people who were at the first BloggerCon, but did not present. I want to rotate the faces every time to emphasize that the people who are in front of the room are just facilitators. There is some small prestige in being one of them, but it's also hard work (but rewarding, I hope). We pack each room with experts and leaders, and the job of the moderator is to assemble a story by calling on the people at his or her disposal. They're like a reporter putting together a story, but you get to hear, first hand what the experts are saying, in their own voices. Think of Dan Gillmor's adage that the people who read his blog are much smarter than he is -- that's the philosophy of BloggerCon. Don't be distracted by the face in the front of the room (as you would be in most conferences), it's the people to your left and right who know the most. And if you want to talk with them later, we'll be sure you get a chance to do that too.
To give you an idea of how this works, at the first BC, the moderators were great, for sure, but for me the two most memorable contributors were both in the "audience" -- Esther Dyson and Jay Rosen. I think there's something relaxing about not having to prepare, and in that relaxation, if you have a powerful and curious mind, can come brilliant ideas. That's what I want. That's why I love this conference, because brilliant people come to it, and share what they know.
The first invitations will go out by email in a day or so. Remember the cost to attend is $0. If you want to make a contribution so we can have refreshments or help fund the party, or contribute labor, we will welcome that. We're doing this by the seat of our pants, which is cool, it seems to be The Weblog Way to do things. Onward!
NY Times endorses John Kerry.
Hotel choices for BloggerCon.
Lisa Williams talks up a "chick blogs" discuss at the Con in April.
Why no comments about the weather lately? Because it's been so great. Highs near 40. Over the weekend they say it might reach 50. And it's still February. What's going on?
Don Park theorizes that Osama bin Laden will be killed or captured shortly before the US election in the fall.
We've got a date for BloggerCon II -- April 17.
Forbes: The Coming RSS Revolution.
Howard Rheingold asks, provocatively, why all blog comment tools are brain dead. The answer is that they aren't.
Adam Curry: Blog News Agency.
Is Joe Trippi is trying to reboot the Dean community?
Wired: The Complete Guide to Google.
Telegraph: "[Kerry] won easy victories in Hawaii, Utah and Idaho, giving him 18 wins out the 20 contests in the race so far."
Dowbrigade: "Ever get that feeling that something bad is about to happen?"
A vision for the next generation of blogging tools?
The hot story today is the President's call to amend the US Constitution to prevent gay marriage. You heard it here first: It won't pass. It can't. Homosexuality is becoming fairly accepted in the US. This amendment won't pass anywhere outside the Deep South. This is a political tactic. It's funny that the press won't let the Nader candidacy exist for one second before they question its viability. This idea is impossible.
BTW, I would endorse a constitutional ban on Donald Trump.
Elizabeth Drew: "This is no way to pick a possible president."
Steve Gillmor: "Maybe I should accept one of those Orkut invitations before I run completely out of friends."
Wired News interviews the author of the USA PATRIOT Act.
It's time to dump Sprint for Verizon. What phone should I get?
Rebecca MacKinnon: North Koreans cite John Kerry in positive light.
The opening act for Ralph Nader on Sunday's Meet the Press was California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was his first appearance on Sunday morning political TV. He was unusually frank for a politician, for example he favored a constitutional amendment that would allow him to be President (he wasn't born in the US, which disqualifies him). He was there to promote two California propositions related to the state's finanical crisis. He said over and over that the two propositions must pass. But he never said what they would do, and the interviewer never asked. So much talk about two propositions, and what they were about never came up. They did show a clip of Sylvester Stallone reacting to a hypothetical Schwarzenegger presidency. Life imitating movies. Reminds of the bit in Sleeper where Woody Allen asks how civilization was destroyed.
A Russian article called RSS For Dummies.
Olav Junker Kjaer is building a table of Unicode support in XML-RPC libraries. Thanks for doing this. It's good that someone is bothering to get the data instead of just making speeches.
A new feature on the Share Your OPML site, an Andrew-Dave collaboration, it lists people whose subscription lists are most like yours. Think of it as your personal echo chamber. It's an interesting way to discover new feeds you aren't subscribed to.
It's hard to imagine it getting much worse than this.
Rick Heller's scoop on George Steinbrenner's contribution to kill the Howard Dean candidacy in Iowa made it to Judy Woodruff and onto CNN. Candy Crowley on hearing the connection said "Wow," and John Mercurio said "I don't think Howard Dean is going to be a season ticket holder for the Yankees."
David Weinberger on echo chambers.
Dan Farber on what's up with blogging.
Four years ago today, an essay on how to win the Presidency on the Internet. McCain had just won Michigan even though Bush was the presumed nominee. In hindsight, we would have had a much more meaningful election had the Republicans nominated McCain. He had a kind of integrity that neither Bush or Gore do. BTW, I just heard a Gore aide accuse Nader of lying. Reminds me why I hated Gore as I voted for him. He stood for absolutely nothing. The perfect television candidate. Might as well vote for Bugs Bunny.
Joshua Marshall says Bush campaign manager Marc Racicot lied on NPR this morning about whether Bush volunteered for Vietnam. I heard the interview too. Marshall asked who's going to call them on this. Answer: we are.
Slate: Forget Nader. Draft Moore. "Moore refused to remove his famous monument to the Ten Commandments from his courtroom."
Andrew Grumet: "If you use AOLserver, give it a hug today."
Paolo likes Event Share Framework.
What's wrong with April 17? Could we schedule BloggerCon for that date, to avoid being one day before Easter and in the middle of Passover? The quickest way to find out is to ask everyone to look at their calendars. (Mike Walsh says April 19 is the Boston Marathon, meaning hotel rooms will be hard to get that weekend.)
Dare Obasanjo: "After we got back on the train from the winery tour the unexpected happened."
An important Lessig post on certifying non-control. "For most of the history of copyright law in the US, there were a million ways to forfeit your copyright. Today, itís not even clear that it is possible."
Dowbrigade had dinner with Julio in Columbia in 1975.
Mike Walsh: "The only drawback on this device is that it's so small and light I just know it will wind up in the washing machine one of these days."
A measure of how ineffective the interop work in SOAP was. "We have 3 dozen beta testers testing a new set of SOAP-based APIs and exactly one has made a successful call after 5 weeks." That's failure.
DaveNet: Ralph Nader's candidacy.
Oy. There is no such thing as a good date for a conference. We've tentatively chosen April 10 for BloggerCon II, and why didn't anyone notice that the next day is Easter Sunday? And Passover is April 5th through the 13th. I'm not changing the date, but I am re-opening the discussion.
"thinkusaalignright"Imho, Nader's run separates the people who "get" American democracy, and those who don't. If Nader is going to win the election for Dubya, then now's the time to fix the bug in the process. Kerry isn't nominated yet. Think. What's the problem that Nader exploits? What's so fixed about our political system that a minority independent candidate, who likely won't be able to register in many states, is going to spoil it for.. who exactly is he going to spoil it for? Think. Is this the America you imagined when you were a kid? Why can't we make it better? Why can't we have a dozen people running for President? By trying to hold back Nader (good luck) maybe you're preventing exactly the kind of transformation we need. I think Nader is a patriot. Give him a medal. And think instead of being part of the herd.
Here's a thought. Who could you find to run for President who would split the Republican vote? Come on. We've got some money. Who could you launch to take votes from the people you don't like? I'm going to give some money to Nader to thank him for challenging conventional wisdom. I'll give money to a Republican. If it's good enough for George Steinbrenner (who's probably a Republican, think about it) why can't I give some money to a Republican who's strategic?
William Grosso: "The number one response to Nader's entry is not about his ideas and whether they're any good. It's about how his entry impacts the (mostly imaginary) horse race."
Eric J: "It's that 'two party' mentality that keeps us locked into this 'two party' nonsense."
Andrew moves forward with RSSTV.
I'm having a great time with the program for BloggerCon. The second one is much easier. Man. Anyway one of the themes is going to be Nuking The Echo Chamber. I'm going to ask each of the moderators to find a way to work that into the discussions they lead. These conferences are stringing out into a series. This one follows the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conf, where the they identified this problem. How do we methodically and systematically overcome the tendency for echo chambers to form and self-perpetuate. There are some obvious ideas, once we know the problem is there, which we do now, thanks to the people who were at O'Reilly. Of course our conference will be totally wide open and webcast and IRC'd, blogged and wiki'd, we'll create a record, so subsequent meetings can work on the problems we uncover and hopefully build on the answers we discover.
CNN: "Ralph Nader, a consumer advocate and former Green Party presidential candidate, said Sunday he will run for president as an independent in the 2004 election."
Dan Gillmor column on anonymity.
NY Times: The Search Engine That Isn't a Verb, Yet.
BBC: "The consumer advocate Ralph Nader has said he will announce on Sunday whether he will join the US presidential race."
Nader is on Meet the Press this morning.
Euroresidentes: "RSS es un formato para la sindicacion de contenidos de paginas web."
Two years ago: "If I've inspired zealotry I've failed."
Telegraph: "Dr Dean told his aides that Sen Edwards would be 'the stronger candidate' to beat President Bush."
Rick has a big story, but it's gone unnoticed by other blogs (not here) and he's been exchanging email with a reporter from the NY Times, so it's likely to break there. Let's make sure he gets credit.
Jon Udell: "Steve Gillmor told me that he's feeling overwhelmed by thousands of unread items in NetNewsWire."
Rogers Cadenhead: "A good weblog is a conversation among friends that you can't tear yourself away from."
Julie Leung: How I got a geek boyfriend.
What's the scoop on microphones for PCs?
Adam Gaffin rounds up reviews of the new Yahoo search.
Dowbrigade yearns to blog the conventions. Me too. Should we have a session on blogging the conventions on April 10? I think so. I've asked Sanford Dickert from the Kerry campaign to come to the conference. He should be able to help, as should our new friends at Shorenstein.
Mike Walsh's report on the KSG talk we attended on Thursday.
In San Francisco, a judge has ruled that gay marriages may continue.
1. That was the only picture I have of that meeting. I have no idea how I got it, I just tripped across it in the archive and thought it was interesting and still do.
2. I don't think of those people as alpha males. Where did you get the idea that I do??
3. It's the flaws that make it interesting. That's why I like to read weblogs. They're genuine. I don't look like an actor, I wasn't posed for the shot, that's me as I probably look 99 percent of the time. If you don't like it, then you probably don't like me.
4. Okay you may be a better photo editor than I am. So what? Does that mean I shouldn't play, explore, experiment, learn, have fun? Just because you're better than I am? That's 20th Century thinking. This is the century of amateur journalism, Garage Band, digital cameras, etc etc.
5. I also like it because it makes Bucks look like an Old Master painting, and makes it look like we're engaged in deep interesting thought. But if you knew what was being discussed and how it turned out, you might think it's a bit ironic.
6. It wasn't a "publicity picture" -- it was just a picture. Like this.
See there's all that depth there that you didn't see. That's why it's art. You obviously felt a need to be critical, and that's okay. But given what you know now, what would you change about your critique?
BTW, I'm also a writer in addition to the things you list.
Rex Hammock: "I just walked out of the Old Executive Office Building where four other 'real people' and I sat down for a 25-minute chat with the President of the United States."
Washington Post: "The White House press corps yesterday scrambled to figure out why a hastily-arranged 'conversation' between President Bush and some regular Americans about the economy was suddenly closed to reporters -- and what went on behind those closed doors. Little did they know that behind those doors, one of the regular Americans whom Bush was meeting was a blogger."
BBC: "The most compelling use of RSS is that it lets users read dozens of websites, all on the same page. The sites can be scanned in seconds rather than have to be laboriously loaded individually."
Tentative announcement of BloggerCon on April 10. Please comment if there's a problem with the date. Experience has shown that people speak after it's set in stone when it's too late. If there's some reason we can't do it on April 10, please comment asap.
MIT tech blog: "There are a couple of different ways the general public can sort through the 'raw' images returned by the rovers."
There was a weather bomb in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Russell Beattie: "Atom needs the simplest solution that could possibly work and not all this headache."
Did Yankees owner George Steinbrenner fund ads to dislodge Howard Dean as the Democratic front-runner?
At dinner I participated in a lively debate over the death penalty. There's little I enjoy more than discussing something that's important with a smart person who disagrees with me. We're planning another BloggerCon, btw, either April 3 or 10. If there's reason, like a major holiday or sporting event, that prevents us from doing either date, please let me know asap. It's going to be a one-day conference, free (as in no cost to attend, contributions are welcome, and we will solicit sponsorships). It'll be Day 2 style, multi-track, with a focus on blogging and politics, although we will repeat the most successful sessions from the last Con. We will discuss ways to disrupt the Echo Chamber. Believe it or not we came up with a killer idea along those lines last night. Nothing like premeditated creativity. The party will be on Saturday night, not Friday. Keep your fingers crossed it might actually be nice weather in Cambridge in early-mid April.
I went to a seminar at the Kennedy School yesterday doing a postmortem on the Dean campaign. The discussion was led by a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and a political operative who ran a PAC that ran negative ads successfully against Dean in Iowa. He repeated that the only thing that mattered was winning. It didn't occur to me until this morning why that is wrong. Maybe it's true from the candidate's perspective, but it's not true from the voter's. What matters to the voter is getting representated. In the current political system that can't happen. Think about it this way. What if, in 2000, your main issue had been No Nation Building. Easy. Vote for Bush. What does he do his first week in office? Gets ready to do some nation-building. Did he know he would invade Iraq when he was running? You be the judge. In any case, as with most centralized businesses, the voters are a herd, not meant to be heard. At one point I leaned over to one of my colleagues and said "These guys are the enemy."
We're booting up the Thursday evening meeting at Berkman. We didn't get the new microphone so the webcast is certain to suck. However the IRC channel is probably great.
What is Exploit Boston?
Chronicle: "Google has become the symbol of competition to the academic library."
Kerry campaign: "We have finished experimenting with the RSS aggregator that was on this page and decided that it did not meet our needs."
Jason Kottke calls Jakob Nielsen an ugly name on his way to making an important point, that the general press doesn't review tech products in a serious way.
News.Com: "Manufacturers plan to start selling notebooks with integrated VoIP this year and plan later to offer notebooks with built-in cell phone capabilities."
It's fascinating to read the comments on Russell Beattie's post about the Atom API. His concern is that he won't be able to build a client that talks to a weblog server through his Java toolkit because it doesn't allow the HTTP methods the API calls for. Further, he notes that the spec, which was openly developed, has a restrictive copyright.
The best answer is obvious, imho, use XML-RPC because it already has been adapted to and debugged in all the environments where blogging APIs need to run. By cutting almost to the bottom of the stack you will have to redo everything that took years to do. I think it's going to take longer to redo because XML-RPC didn't need to get any Java toolkits to change, it treaded more softly than the Atom does.
There's a practical side to protocol and format design that's missing in the Atom API. The goal is to make it easy for developers to hop on the bandwagon and get them committed to developing for the platform. Putting unnecessary hurdles in the way unnecessarily limits adoption, and virtually guarantees either stagnation or massive breakage. I can't imagine that either choice is what Google is looking for.
XML-RPC was designed for what they want to do and it's stood the test of time. Learn to love the pragmatic, it's how you're going to win the wars with Yahoo, Microsoft and everyone else who wants to eat your lunch.
Jon Margolis: "The experienced national political reporters wondered why Howard Dean blew it. Up here in Vermont, no one was surprised."
News.Com: Yahoo dumps Google search technology.
Search Engine Watch: "Yahoo is rolling out a brand new search engine today, with its own index and ranking mechanisms, casting aside its long-standing use of Google-powered search results."
ResourceShelf: "We knew the switch was coming. However, we didn't know it was coming so soon."
The uncluttered interface for Yahoo search. Instant review. If they wanted to make the switch easier, as always, they should have made it work exactly like the competition, or as close as they can without invoking the ire of their attorneys. They put the tabs on the left instead of along the top. And the search results page looks different from the page you enter the query on. Doesn't reinforce the virtuality. I like that you can add and remove tabs. Google should copy this idea. Also, do they have the equivalent of the Google API? In any case, it's good to see Yahoo challenge Google. Even though I think Google is a shitty company (disclaimer) I'm pretty sure Yahoo is too, even though I have less contact with them. Two shitty Silicon Valley companies competing is a billion percent better than one dominant shitty Silicon Valley company. And you can quote me on that (as I'm sure my detractors will). Am I ready to replace the Google button in my toolbar? Not yet. But with a few tweaks, I'll be glad to do so. Other opinions?
Phil Ringnalda compares Google and Yahoo search.
Mark Bernstein: "Imagine what the tech side of the blogosphere would be like today if, when Atom kicked off, the Atom folks had felt strongly that the new standard should minimize disruption and avoid hurt feelings -- even the feelings of people they might not want to invite to dinner."
Russell Beattie: "Now Yahoo just needs a web API and it'll be perfect."
Russell Beattie: "Why would the Sun J2ME developers just simply leave out support for two basic HTTP functions? Because they're not commonly used."
An author writes to ask if its safe to only support RSS on his weblog, and I say absolutely yes it is safe. Look at it this way. Scripting News is a top-ranked feed. And I promise it will always be available in RSS as it is today, so as long as people want to read my site, the aggregators will have to support RSS 2.0. I can offer the same kind of safety that Lotus 1-2-3 offered developers on MS-DOS or Excel on Mac OS. If you did something the way they did, you were safe, because you could be sure the platform vendor would never break them. In this case what matters is if aggregators read the format. The day aggregators can't read Scripting News is the day your RSS feed will stop working. My job is to be sure that day never comes.
"Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning," a Dean aide told the LA Times.
Joshua Whalen: Paybacks are a bitch.
Wired: "A Democratic candidate buys $2,000 of advertising on a blog and gets $80,000 in campaign donations in two weeks. Was it a fluke, or the beginning of a new campaign cash cow?"
Jan Miner, the woman who played Madge, died. She was featured on Scripting News in 2002, and that's where the slogan "You're soaking in it" came from. When applied to software, the slogan means we're using the software we're talking about. For example if I were to write something about Channel Z, it would apply. What's Channel Z? You're soaking in it! Then if you really want to say something profound -- "It softens your hands while you do the dishes." That's the sign of goood software.
NY Times: Kermit and Miss Piggy Join Disney.
On this day last year I sold my house in Woodside.
Editorial about the weather. After a promising beginning this winter has been a major disappointment. One good snow storm in December. I thought "Gee this is fun but I bet I get tired of it by the end of the winter." Bzzzt. Not. Since then we've had flurries. Every week they predict a good storm, and every week it fails to materialize. I want my money back. Let's get it together. Snow now. Snow now. Snow now. Snow now!
Gary Secondino respectfully disagrees.
Kerry squeaks by Edwards in Wisconsin. 39 to 37. Dean distant third.
Betsy Devine wonders why she can't be more like Adam Curry. Hmm.
New header graphic commemorates the kind of meetings that are commonplace at Buck's Woodside. Pictured are Jamis MacNiven, Jimmi Johnson, myself and Marc Canter in 1999, talking about websites, or something like that. I was probably having a Chorizo Scramble. Jamis, who owns Buck's, picked up the tab. The food was good. The meeting ill-fated, like most of the meetings held at Buck's before the bust. According to NPR business is good again.
News.Com: "The RIAA picked up the pace of its legal attack on Net music swappers Tuesday, filing copyright infringement suits against another 531 individuals."
Howard Dean: "I still have some hope of being the nominee."
Yesterday I heard a report on NPR about Silicon Valley where they got two easy facts wrong. Facts, not in question, like Jamis MacNiven's name and what town Sand Hill Road is in. These mistakes would not survive on a reasonably high traffic weblog. And it makes me doubt all the more that the other information presented is accurate. I prefer getting news from blogs more and more, because of the lack of conflict of interest, and for the deep vetting that goes on here.
Paul Boutin: Inside Baseball vs Outside Baseball.
Lots of new feeds from Apple.
A poem in a picture at East Broadway Ron's.
Adam Curry's latest report from Iraq.
Pictures of Brent and Sheila taken last Wednesday from the back seat of their car while Sheila was driving.
Four years ago today Manila Express shipped. Here's a funny story about that. I had breakfast in Seattle about a week ago with Brent and Sheila Simmons. The waitress was something else, when I walked into the restaurant and said "I'm looking for some friends," she said "That's so cool!" I fell in love, on the spot. Anyway, Brent and Sheila weren't there yet. I picked a table. She said "That's a great table!" Brent and Sheila came and we talked about lots of stuff. Eventually somehow the subject came up that their faces were on the logo for Manila Express. They told me that when Ben and Mena met Brent and Sheila they said "Oh you're the people on Scripting News." I said I would put B&M's pic on SN so they could say the same thing to them next time. Done.
Thanks for those who sent good wishes on the WIRED nomination. It's great to know that there are some high-roaders in this community. It can be hard to hear them over the din created by the negativists. Onward!
The Rave Award nominees for 2004 are up. I'm nominated in the Software Designer category, for RSS, along with the designers of Friendster, Skype, BitTorrent and iTunes.
Observations about RSS. It's doing the job. It's right up there with social networks, VOIP, the latest in file sharing, and the Internet music revolution. It's the only XML format on the list. HTTP was good enough, as was HTML, and there's certainly nothing wrong with RSS, clearly, because it works, demonstrably. It's a great format, and of course some people don't like it, and that's their right. But it's a great day for us, the community of people who use and build on RSS. I love RSS, with pride.
The concept of friendship is much-discussed these days in the blogosphere. For a refresher, I turned to a couple of essays I wrote last September when my uncle died suddenly. We don't have many friends, true friends, people who will listen to anything we want to talk about. I was confused then, but not now. My uncle was a friend, and I still miss him, terribly.
BBC: "According to a new survey, UK women are now spending more money online than men for the first ever time."
AP: "Howard Dean revealed Monday that national campaign chairman Steve Grossman has departed."
Roy Neel: "There have been a lot of rumors around today about Gov Dean's intentions after the Wisconsin primary."
Several people sent a pointer to this page on the Feedster site, which is pretty clearly the source for the page on the Kerry site, below. They have similar pages for other candidates. What's interesting (and if true wrong) is that they've chosen weblogs that support the candidates to include in the synthetic feed for each candidate. What's the logic behind that? They might as well call the project The Echo Chamber. Aside from that, they have me down as a Kerry supporter? I don't recall making such a declaration. Would you say the NY Times is a Kerry supporter? We're getting confused here. At the same time Taegan Goddard is starting a political aggregator, but he's not including blogs, only pros. Oy. We need some philosophy here.
Something interesting is going on at the Kerry site? Hmmm. Some kind of aggregator. Crawling Scripting News among others. A Feedster app? Here's my guess on how it works -- any blog posts on any of the sites they subscribe to that contains the word "Kerry" is included on their page. If so, we can probably do better. For example, I have a category for Kerry, with its own RSS feed. That way I can deliberately route something to their site. (That's why I did it that way, anticipating this application.)
I bought a new microphone for our Thursday evening meetings. The webcasts should be much better, Murphy-willing.
Mike Walsh: "I decided to get a copy of my credit report."
Washington Post: "Will Google get steamrolled like Netscape?"
It's a bank holiday in the US. Happy birthday to Presidents Washington and Lincoln. It's an efficiency. We used to have two holidays, one for each. I think they collapsed them into one so we could have a January holiday for Martin Luther King. Good deal. George could not tell a lie, Abe freed the slaves, and MLK had a dream.
Postscript: It's not true that President's Day is the result of merging the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington. Nixon said it is the "holiday set aside to honor all presidents, even myself." Heh. I don't think anyone's celebrating Tricky Dick. I'd love to see a picture of Dubya with Nixon. Now that would be cool, even if it were a fake.
Caucuses and jury duty make you smarter. So do weblogs, if you use them the same way, to share ideas.
Snopes exposes the fake Republican picture of Kerry and Jane Fonda.
A rare unretouched photo of a young George W Bush visiting the Nixon White House around the same time John Kerry was appearing with Jane Fonda.
Newsday: 1971 Photo of Kerry Doctored. "Light did not photograph Jane Fonda on that warm June Sunday in 1971. The actress, who is reviled by many Vietnam veterans for her vocal stance against the war, did not even attend."
Tonight's presidential debate is at 6:30PM Eastern on MSNBC.
AP: "Howard Dean is preparing to abandon his race for the Democratic presidential nomination if he loses Wisconsin's primary, several advisers said Sunday, despite the candidate's assertions to the contrary."
Ferdig, Trammell: Content Delivery in the Blogosphere.
Alexander Svensson writes: "The German Constitutional Court now syndicates its decisions and press releases using RSS 2.0."
Jeff Beard: "Is Google crazy, or crazy like a fox?"
Mark Bernstein roundup on Atom. He asks why no one has developed a translator from Atom to RSS. There are a couple of reasons. First, Atom is a moving target. Anyone who gets on board now is committing to the twists and turns that are certainly coming. Second, it would really only work if it were deployed as a dynamic service and that's a long-term commitment with no joy. It seems Google, the big company here with the deep pockets, should do this. And if they contemplated it, it would lead them to the correct answer -- support RSS and end this miserable discussion. How unfair that they won't comment publicly on it, leaving us guessing as to their motive, what they're doing and where they're going.
Phillip Pearson has a feed normalizer that converts Atom to RSS.
Derek Scruggs: "There is no reason for Google to not support RSS."
Tracy Adams: "Why exactly is Google investing in Atom?"
Tracy Adams: "After 30 comments to my last post, no one even commented on why Google is interested in Atom."
Phil Ringnalda: FUD 101.
Dowbrigade: Big Tent Movement.
Clay Shirky: "Trippi comes this close to blaming the voters."
On this day in 1998, Fat Web Pages.
Adam is on his way to Iraq? Yow.
Yup it happens to me too. One of life's
I've been asked to review my new Bose headphones. Happy to oblige. First and foremost they work. Hop on the airplane, turn them on, put them on, it's much quieter but you still can hear plane noise. Put on some tunes. Sounds nice! They're lightweight, comfortable, but after a few hours it's time for a rest. A nice $299 treat.
The headphones work very well with today's song. "You donít need a weather man to know which way the wind blows."
New feature -- the Scripting News home page now shows the last three days. Not a mind bomb but nice to have nonetheless.
Wired: "These corporations have outlawed an art form."
A historic perspective on Google and its leader, Eric Schmidt.
Jeremy Bowers supports: "The most important thing is to keep the ball rolling." Amen brother.
Anita Rowland: "Dave did remember what I told him about Jack and me getting together."
Boston Globe: "Howard Dean's presidential campaign increasingly looks like it won't go on beyond Tuesday."
Jessica Baumgart on the value of an encyclopedia on CD-ROM.
Jay Rosen analyzes a Reuters story on Joe Trippi's talk.
NY Times: "The latest conundrum hanging over Howard Dean and his campaign is how to give up a serious bid for the White House without devolving into some obscure trivia question."
Phil Stanhope, in the comments on yesterday's post about Atom and UserLand: "Perhaps Mark will end up in the XML-equivalent of a $10 bill -- but my vote is for the more deeply thought out principles and approach of our modern-day Adams."
White House: "Adams was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1735. A Harvard-educated lawyer, he early became identified with the patriot cause; a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, he led in the movement for independence."
In the same thread, UserLand CEO Scott Young says: "We will continue to follow the development of the Atom spec to see how it maps with our product plans."
Microsoft developer network RSS feeds.
Dowbrigade discusses an idea that we talked about briefly at Microsoft, a new political party that doesn't nominate candidates. I know that sounds weird, but that would create a tent that's big enough to include conservatives and liberals, peaceniks and warmongers, me and Glenn Reynolds, gun nuts and dope smokers, just as long as you like discussing politics with your neighbors, you can be part of the new party (please leave the guns and pot at home). Let's call it the Rational People's Party, or RPP. We'd meet every month to talk about local and national politics, to start new weblogs and meetups, to broadcast our ideas and invite political leaders to pitch themselves. If they wandered off-topic we'd ask them to get back on track. If one broke a campaign promise, this would appear on a public list, for every local RPP chapter to access. Think of it as a nationwide caucus system, that's ongoing, and has a good database and lots of weblogs. We'd encourage our members to run for office, we'd even publish guidelines and howtos, but we wouldn't back them as a party. It's kind of like Hotels.Com, Travelocity or Expedia. They don't run hotels or airlines, but they help you choose one. And maybe they help you decide where you want to go, but are really okay where ever you end up going. Our only stake is having a good election, one where the voters get what they want. We'd rate each election on how well we did, and strive to keep doing better.
Crimson: "The Committee on College Life voted to approve a student-run magazine that will feature nude pictures of Harvard undergraduates and articles about sexual issues."
Massachusetts for Dean starts up, interestingly.
Scott Young, CEO at UserLand, asked what I thought they should be doing re Atom. Here's what I said.
Marc Barrot: "Atom support is not going to be a piece of cake."
Smalltalk: "Atom is nothing but a tax on aggregator developers."
Bob Doyle writes to say that if you image-search Google for "Evan Williams Blogger" the first two matches are pictures of me. Heh. That's so strange.
Wired: "Microsoft says incomplete portions of the source code for some versions of its Windows computer operating system were leaked over the Internet, but analysts caution it's too early to say how much damage the leak may cause."
Everyone's so worried about the Microsoft source leak. "It could open new security holes!" they say. But check this out, the source for Linux, a popular Microsoft competitor, has always been available, and this is promoted by its advocates saying it makes Linux more secure, not less. More programmer eyeballs looking for bugs. Maybe some white-hat types will try to check in some fixes for Windows 2000? Stranger things have happened.
Linus's Law (via Eric Raymond): "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."
Another face-to-face first in Seattle, I met Baiss Magnusson, who I've known online for over a decade. He was part of the first group of Frontier developers in the early 90s, a smart guy, very easy to work with, a generous and nice guy. He introduced himself at the end of my .NET group talk, and said he's been looking for a job for a while. He looked sad, so I said "You look sad," and he told me the story of how life has been for over-50 programmers in the Seattle area. The jobs are going overseas. I hate to hear that. Baiss is a good guy. I vouch for him. Give the guy a chance.
A Seattle love story. I met Anita Rowland and Jack Bell on Monday night at the pizza meeting at the .NET Developer's Association. To my surprise, it turns out that Anita met Jack on Scripting News. She had sent me an email saying she was looking for a geek boyfriend. I published it of course, on that day's mail page. Jack sent her email, they had coffee, and now they're married. How about that!
Thanks for the kind thoughts Paolo. I like to think everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, esp when you're reading their words on a screen, but even when you're meeting them in person. Paolo reminds me that the second time I met him, in California, I was afraid he and his wife thought I was being rude or grouchy, but in fact I was really sick. We're taught to be strong, that it's impolite to let a guest know that we're not feeling well, put a smiling face on it, do the best you can. So even when you have the benefit of real-world contact, it's nice to know that you may get the benefit of the doubt, and that the doubt is always there.
Bob Stepno found an interview with Len Apcar, editor in chief of NY Times on the Web, where he talks about blogs BloggerCon and the Times On The Trail site. "This will evolve. It still hasnít achieved my vision just yet. But itís off to a good start," says Apcar.
The Age: "Online search engine leader Google has banned the ads of an environmental group protesting a major cruise line's sewage treatment methods, casting a spotlight on the policies -- and power -- of the popular Web site's lucrative marketing program."
George Colony: Googlescape -- Are we headed for Bubble II?
NY Times: Microsoft gapples with source code leak.
Dare Obasanjo, who I met at Microsoft earlier this week, tries to make Yahoo work with Atom, after Jeremy Zawodny claimed yesterday that they had quickly created an Atom adapter (Zawodny works at Yahoo). Ninja networker Mark Pilgrim makes an appearance in Dare's comments. So -- did Dare's experiment work? Somewhat.
Adrian Holvaty reviews the terms-of-service at a scraping service and finds it lacking.
Interesting newcomer at last night's weblog writer's meeting at Berkman: Rebecca MacKinnon, friend of many of our friends, Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, bureau chief for CNN in Tokyo, and student of weblogs. She wants to know how they relate to professional journalism. Me too.
He says: "To someone who has read Scripting News since the start, but who is not involved in scripting or blogging, it has seemed to me that on occasion you have been forced into a grumpy mode. Sometimes words on a screen don't always convey the sense of the person underneath. Of course, the 'grumpy' that I saw, or thought I saw, comes probably from the flames all around you."
This is worth emphasizing. If you scan an email quickly and there's a bunch of nasty words with someone's name in the middle, the mind has a tendency to connect the words and the person. Unfortunately this is how people read on the Web. Charles noted that I'm a friendly person, in person. I like to think that's true. Sometimes it's hard to see that in the writing. I know.
PC World: "Microsoft is investigating rumors that the secret code underlying its Windows NT and Windows 2000 operating systems has leaked out and is available on the Internet, a company spokesperson confirms."
Notes from tonight's Berkman meeting.
Dinner tonight is at the Cambridge Commons, 8:45PM.
Steven Vore reports that Pepsi Blue has been cancelled. In a way that's bad news, but I liked the bottle more than the drink, and since this is the Web, the bottle is still here.
Andrew Grumet: "I can't believe that Google is letting Mark Pilgrim do their talking for them."
Don Hopkins pulls quotes from my talk at Microsoft on Monday.
After I appeared on stage with then Apple CEO Gil Amelio in 1997 one of the Apple people in the audience asked if hell had frozen over too. So when I saw that Shelley Powers planned to comment on a probably very sexist picture that Marc Canter had posted on his blog and then pulled, I figured she was going to trash Marc. There was a predictable chorus saying Marc did bad and offended lots of people, and even though I haven't seen the picture, I can believe it would be offensive, knowing Marc. But even more offensive, vastly more offensive, are the niggly comments from supposed blogging thought leaders like Joi Ito and Cory Doctorow (and others I don't know). Don't you get it that the power to offend is just as sacred as the power to please? In fact, even more so, because people are always trying to shout down the person with an original idea, because they're easy to shout at (they're usually alone). One of my best friends asks if I am scared of something and when I say yes, she says "Okay, cool, that's what we'll do." If you're scared of Marc's picture, or more likely, scared of the disapproval of an alpha male or female, you become the subject of discussion, and that's right, and mazel tov to Shelley for pointing there instead of the predictable place (a misbehaving male). She goes on to say that the best thing that could happen to many bloggers is to be cut off from their communities. I completely agree. Now I get to ask, has hell frozen over too?
NY Times: "As long as Senator John Kerry faces even nominal competition, President Bush's advisers will have a harder time getting equal attention for their political message."
Paul Boutin mourns the passing of WebMonkey.
My talk at Microsoft Research on Monday is now available on the Web.
At the end of my talk, Shira Silberman, a Waggenerette, came up and asked for a feature. She said -- "You know how, when you're looking at a book on Amazon, they say 'People who read this book also read these books.' How about doing that for RSS?" I thought about it for a second and realized we could do it with the data we're accumulating on Share Your OPML. So I dialed up Andrew on my cell, passed the phone to Shira, and asked her to tell him what she wanted. Today, we have the feature. Demo: People who subscribe to Scobleizer also subscribe to.
News.Com ran a perfectly awful food fight about RSS, again. I wish they'd give a damn about users, and stop putting so much energy into Mark Pilgrim. What has he done for anyone lately? Anyway, here's the only question that matters. Dear wheel reinventers. Please explain exactly what your format does that RSS doesn't and why it matters to users? If the answer is nothing, then just support RSS and let's compete at delighting users.
Larry Lessig will speak at Radcliffe tomorrow afternoon.
LA Times article about Dean quoting Berkmanites and others.
At dinner last night I gave my usual schpiel about how DaveNet started, and since I was dining with Microsoft people I emphasized the early piece I wrote about Bill Gates, and his response. I quoted Bill saying that the Internet wouldn't mean less sales for Flight Simulator or Encarta, and I said he was right but that wasn't the point. One of my companions stopped me there and said wait a minute, the Internet did mean less sales for Encarta. I was shocked. That's correct, and Gates got it wrong, and I wasn't enough of a visionary to see it. I got it wrong too. Who needs an encyclopedia on a CD-ROM when you have the Web at your fingertips? Someday some kid is going to ask you What is Encarta? That might be where you end up going today.
1/25/04: "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."
Rogers Cadenhead is digging into the changes in formats over at Google. He's right to be concerned, I am too. They're breaking users, including people who aren't using their software. There is a lot of implicit trust in the RSS network, an assumption that vendors will behave rationally and will care for users. Any participant can break us, as Google is proving. But I believe in the fabric of the community. Either Google will fail, or Atom will be the new syndication standard. But Rogers, don't look to the past for their motivation, that's not what it's about. I am absolutely sure Google has an aggregator in the works. And by taking control of the syndication format, and trying to eliminate RSS, they will control the whole blogging-syndication-search space.
One of the things I told the Microsoft people this week is that if they screw with RSS the way Google is, I will quit, permanently, and never look back. If the result of all this hard work is just another venue for the ongoing pissing match between Microsoft and Silicon Valley, I'm out. It occurred to me that I should say this publicly too. I mean it. The users now have enough data, and the tools to speak for themselves. That was the point of doing blogging software, so that we would never be held hostage to people who sit at the top of a pyramid and look down at us, their minions, and sigh when they have to kill our dreams. It doesn't have to happen. The political bloggers have been able to out Trent Lott, and now are working on Dubya. We've launched a Presidential campaign. We are powerful. Use your minds, and gather all the bits of data you can, and form an opinion. As Howard Dean says, and he's right, you have the power, not me. Tell Google to get with the program and work with the developers who brought you aggregators, publications, blogging tools, and other RSS apps. Tell Schmidt and Ballmer to view this space as not-theirs, not to be fought over. Make products for us, compete to serve us better, but if you try to break us, we'll break you.
In a comment on the Cadenhead site, a guy named Pete says: "Just a reminder, you don't have to use Google." Perfect. A good way to provide feedback to the Google people is to switch away from them. Let them make the connection that the day they started playing unfair is the day the users started moving away. Companies always respond to this kind of input. It's where users have the most power.
Andrew Grumet: RSSTV, Syndication for your PVR.
CNN: Kerry wins in Tennesse and Virginia. Clark quits.
A review of the new headphones. I'm going to try them out tomorrow on the flight from Seattle to Boston.
Most of the meetings at Microsoft yesterday and today were non-disclosed. Interesting stuff. Wish I could talk about what I saw and heard. However I can say this, as promised, I went to bat, repeatedly, for the open formats and protocols of the blogging world.
New toy. "Fantastic."
New Chronicle of Higher Education article on RSS.
Calpundit is digging into the Bush military record.
Dowbrigade: Why We Need Video Aggregators.
Wired: "Talking largely about Dean's presidential quest in the past tense, Trippi blamed rival campaigns and an irresponsible, hopelessly conventional news media for knocking the one-time front-runner from his perch."
Washington Post: "Did Trippi's aggressive ad strategy pose a conflict of interest?"
News.Com: "The Semantic Web is no longer a research project," W3C representative Janet Daly said.
Hey Hemos, thanks for the Slashdot.
Tim Jarrett blogged my talk today at Microsoft Research.
Chris Lydon has a new show on MPR.
James Joyce: Why C Is Not My Favourite Programming Language.
Star-Telegram: "'The point is, it's my driveway and nobody should be able to tell me I have to get rid of something because they don't like it,' Parsons said of an ordinance passed last fall that banned recreational vehicles from residential driveways."
Howard Beale: "I want you to go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'"
Economist: "When your neighbour loses his job itís a slowdown (or, if you dislike him, a correction); when you lose yours, itís a recession; when an economic journalist loses his, thatís a depression."
NY Times: "Despite impressive recent growth, social networking Web sites like Friendster face a challenge: how to make money."
Don Hopkins thinks MSIE should have pie menus.
Steve Gillmor: "Today Kan is dead, Joy is retired, Napster is a brand name, and Ozzie's biggest client is the Department of Defense."
After reading some comments on my last essay, it seems I should have spelled it out in more detail. If voters had a place to go to get a balanced story, one that had good news and bad news about Dean, and about other candidates, instead of the crazy stuff they put on television networks, his candidacy might have survived, or at least we'd be having a discussion about what we want in a President, instead of the stuff they talk about on TV. Did you watch the Sunday morning interviews today? The interviewers ask the stupidest questions over and over, hoping to catch the candidate saying something like "I'll drop out when this happens," or "I don't mind running for vice-president." The candidates just don't answer them, instead they view the time as free commercials, and just repeat their soundbites over and over. In the meantime Dean and Clark are both sounding like much better candidates than they did when they were stumping in NH, and Dean is right about Kerry, we don't know if he's any kind of a good candidate, because all we're getting from him is bluster and victory speeches. Anyway, the average discourse in the blogosphere is no better than television. It's all pretty lame I guess. Whatever.
Welcome to Seattle where it's warm and dark. Easy trip. Got about 1/2 way through page-turner thriller. Tried to watch a movie on my laptop DVD player, but the volume wasn't high enough to make out the dialog, not that the dialog is the key feature of this movie. There must be a way to amplify. Anyway, it feels good to be on the west coast for a change. Not nearly so cold here.
I'm also speaking at the .NET Developer's Association tomorrow night along with Scoble. Should be interesting. I might sneak in a little demo of my development environment, maybe show them SCNS, the object database, how I edit scripts (and my weblog), how the CMS works. Let's see how it goes. Maybe RSS will be enough. I'm also meeting with the other half of MS, but I can't talk about that one. You might figure it out. These guys are so much cooler than Silicon Valley companies. They're all full of who-does-he-think-he-is, and why-should-we-listen-to-him's. Microsoft culture, even though it's PFU, has always been open to other points of view. It's part of the genetic coding. You want to give us free ideas? Sure thing, says Billg's guys and gals.
Seattle weather for the next few days, highs in the low 50s, lows in the high 30s. Partly cloudy, no rain. That's good weather from my pov.
Reviewing the schedule for the MS trip, I see I have an hour with the head of the MSIE team. I asked for the meeting. I want to talk about how the browser can be made more useful to people who use RSS and who write weblogs. I'm going to ask for features that work for all blogging software and all aggregators, foolish me, maybe I'm the only one who thinks we all do better if everyone has a chance to compete. Send me email if you have ideas how the browser could work better for what we do.
Yesterday's Dean-Soapbar DaveNet is the outline for my talk at Microsoft Research tomorrow afternoon. Let's focus on applications of technology. For the last N years developers have been far too focused on technology itself. As a result we spend time arguing and spinning wheels over various engineering visions of the plumbing, missing that the revolution ain't at that level, it's in how the tech is used to revolutionize all aspects of the world we live in, and even better, to solve problems and make the world better. Yes, even after all the control freaks have taken their pound of flesh, I'm still an idealist. Takes a lickin, keeps on tickin.
Don Park: "Engineers are like blacksmiths without a hobby."
Dare Obasanjo: "This is the first step in fragmenting the interoperability on the Web gained by XML."
UN weapons inspector Hans Blix's quote of the day. If you're on a witch hunt, he says, "every broom in every corner is evidence of witches."
The Holy Bible is now available as an RSS feed.
Dave Pollard: "O Google, why have you forsaken me?"
NY Times: "Voters have wiped out several decades' worth of conventional wisdom about presidential primaries."
DaveNet: Howard Dean is not a soap bar.
Washington Post: Kerry wins Washington, Michigan.
Put down the cup of coffee and swallow before clicking on this link.
Dean Peters asks how many syndication formats he should implement.
It occurred to me today that I hadn't seen an update from Evan Williams in quite some time, so I went to his weblog to see if he had been udpating, and sure enough, he had. I guess they stopped maintaining his RSS feed. In doing a bit of checking for the Peters piece, above, I came across this concern: "...programs will express compatibility in terms of products, not formats. Then you'd have to use one aggregator to read BBC feeds, for example, and another to read SF Chronicle feeds." Well I guess we didn't have to wait too long for that to happen.
If you know anyone at Google, call em up and tell them this sucks. At the Thursday meeting Jim Moore, who apparently is friends with Eric Schmidt, couldn't believe he'd be nasty to the bloggers. I know Eric too, he is a nice guy. But here's the deal about nice guys. Sometimes they fuck you. And everyone says "But he's such a nice guy."
Mike Walsh previews the Bush appearance on Meet The Press tomorrow. "His handlers must be sleepless worrying that maybe he will say something unpresidential."
A new app for people who want to be sure their feeds are in good shape. You enter three bits of info, the URL of a feed, your email address and a subject for filtering. Periodically (at most every 24 hours) the app checks the feed and sends an email saying whether or not it validated. I have it set up to check the Scripting News RSS feed. This is mostly for technical people who are actively working on their feeds.
Jeff Jarvis asks a question that was behind much of the discussion last night. If the Dean campaign winds down, what becomes of the Dean weblog? Should it become a movement? Will people keep giving money? If so, what should the money be used for?
Greg Reinacker: "Our system is indeed standards-based -- except in those areas where there are no standards."
First there was a Cup of Joe, then Joe-Mentum, and now the Joe-Bitchuary. One can only hope that this is where it ends.
Jim Louderback: "This newsfeed service could turn RSS into a nasty walled garden."
Goddard: Dean Loses Grip of Washington.
Ryan Lizza: "I spent a couple of days at Dean headquarters to get a feel for how the campaign was dealing with this stunning turn of fortune."
Don Hopkins: "I hope these ideas will inspire more tool developers to contribute their programming skills to the Sims community."
They forecast sleet and freezing rain today. A few minutes ago I took a look and sure enough, that's what's going on. So I got my coffee, and continued work on my latest programming project, but then glimpsed out of the corner of my eye that the nasty weather had turned beautiful. Huge flakes of snow falling slowly, with almost no wind. The street just beginning to turn white. What a nice surprise. I had to get up and take a look. I wanted to tell someone about it. So I told you.
We had a fantastic meeting last night at Berkman. I'm sure a lot of people who were there will write up various parts of it.
Here's one little bit. We were talking about the money that Dean raised yesterday, Betsy Devine volunteered that she had given money yesterday. She gave for two reasons. I don't remember the first, but I do remember the second. Dean said either he wins in Wisconsin or he retires from the race. Betsy, an early Dean supporter said it's important that he bow out if he loses. Makes sense to me. One last push, if it works, great, if not, that's the end of the fight.
But this morning Dean is on the radio saying he didn't write the email, and while it was a great tactic to raise money, he's not personally pledged to get out of the race if he loses Wisconsin. While I'm not a lawyer, I think he either has to return the money or honor the pledge. It seems fraudulent not to.
BTW, the cool thing about Presidential politics is that unlike politics in the tech business, there is an end to it.
Last night Betsy told another story about the #joiito IRC channel, which I have never participated in because a lot of what they talk about is me, and they aren't fans, to put it nicely. Last night Betsy told us how, just once, on Joi's channel, she said "Dave is my friend and I don't want you to talk about him like this." It stopped. I'd like to see more of this, honorable people standing up for other honorable people. When you're cornered and alone there isn't much you can do. But if a friend will come and stand beside you, then the cowards melt. If you won't you can't say you're a friend, and in all seriousness (say this in a Worf-like voice) you have no honor. There's not much honor in the world of 2004, but the concept isn't totally dead yet.
Guardian: "To underline the point, Dean staffers abruptly halted campaigning in Michigan yesterday and relocated to Wisconsin."
Gene Smith: Six tips for better RSS feeds.
Jim Moore reports that Dean has raised $438,000 so far today.
What is OpensourceNovel.Net? "I want people to change it around."
I must be crazy. I forgot that Lessig is a lawyer. Oy.
Chad Dickerson touts the benefits of simple syndication.
States I've visited are shown in red on this map.
For the record, I wrote the RSS 0.91 spec from scratch, starting in June 2000, to document current practice. There was no claim of compatibility with the format described by Netscape's document, as practice had already deviated, and it was made clear, in public, that I had created a new document. Some say that I stole the spec from Netscape, replacing their copyright notice with my company's. That's a very serious charge, it's being taken seriously, and it's not true.
Mark Pilgrim: "Userland took Netscape's RSS specification, removed Netscape's copyright statement, made several incompatible changes, added a Userland copyright statement, called it RSS 0.91 and claimed that it was compatible with Netscape's RSS 0.91." Note, if you want to visit that page, you'll have to copy the URL and paste it into a new browser window, Pilgrim's server is configured to bounce links from Scripting.
Don Hopkins: "The Sims pie menus were something I whipped up one night and just checked into the code base, and then gradually evolved over time."
I heard the NPR interview with Ralph Nader yesterday, after leaving a long interesting meeting with two ex-Dean operatives. Nader is considering another run for the presidency. The interviewer asked repeatedly if he wasn't hurting Democrats by running, assuring a Republican victory, a repeat of 2000. After coming out of a meeting mostly about the press and how they manipulate us, I really felt for Nader. If I were him that kind of pressure would make me more insistent on running. Nader responded that those who call for him not to run are trying to censor him. I agree. One might argue that Kerry should shut up because every time he opens his mouth he might say something that would serve to elect Bush.
The Democrats should nominate someone who inspires. A person not a toothpaste. The Democrats are responsible for the tie in 2000. It should shame them into waking up that they couldn't beat a man who can barely complete a sentence, who inspires so little confidence that it took a national disaster for us to begin to see him as a President. I agree with Chris Heilman, below, that with Kerry as the presumed nominee of the Democratic Party, there's little to look forward to. Luckily, it's still not too late to fix this. And if we should nominate a Democrat as uninspiring as Gore, for all we know Nader's presence in the election will serve to inspire, and in turn get us better government. My friend Larry Lessig argues too linearly. No, Nader was not responsible for the war in Iraq. That's two levels too complicated. He wasn't even responsible for the tied election in 2000. But I love a good argument, so let's keep this one alive. I hope Nader runs for precisely that reason.
Last year on this day: "It's great to be a kid because they don't have to pretend they're not crazy, like adults do, if you know what I mean."
Six years ago: "If we could have let her live, even considering the horror of what she did, it would have made us greater. I feel deep shame at being part of a country with such a shallow collective heart, with such a brutal response to brutality, with no sense of forgiveness."
Boston Globe: "Howard Dean told his supporters today that he must win the Feb 17 Wisconsin primary or else he will drop out of the Democratic presidential race."
Chris Heilman: "Kerry won in AZ, and just about everywhere else. He's like Bush with shaggy hair, so it's 4 more years no matter who wins. On NPR, EJ Dionne said the only difference would be the judicial nominations."
I started my third corporation last week. The new company is called Scripting News, Inc. It owns this site and a few others, and some software I'm working on. It's a Massachusetts corporation. So I guess I'm going to be here for a while.
j Baumgart: "I'm j Baumgart and I approved this message."
Halley nails it on the missing element in the Dean campaign. They failed to arm the electorate with the best information. For a fraction of the cost of a state campaign, they could have deployed an information system for voters that would have made history. We'd be raving about how the Internet has made it possible to be a responsible voter for the first time. $40 million isn't a big drop in an ocean of television ads, but in the space of public information systems it's a virtually infinite amount of money. Next time we, as citizens, decide to endow a candidate with millions of our dollars, let's find out first what they plan to do with it. If they say "run ads" or hire expensive consultants, let's pass. A new term to go with this idea: Voter Support Systems.
Political Wire: More Evidence of a Divided Nation.
AP: Mass high court rules for gay marriage. Unfortunately this is going to be an issue in the 2004 presidential election. Kerry, the likely Democrat nominee, is from Massachusetts. Bush had strong language about this in his State of the Union speech. Even if you don't believe in gay couples' right to marry, certainly there are more pressing issues that should be discussed in this election cycle.
What is Infoworld.Feedster.Com?
CNN has a great table showing the returns from yesterday's primaries. Kerry won five, Clark and Edwards each won one. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Where Kerry won, he won with large margins. Clark's margin in Oklahoma was tiny, and while Edwards won by 15 points to Kerry in South Carolina, the rest of the field was left in the dust.
NY Times: "Edwards and Dean still have small windows of opportunity"
Ed Cone: "Is John Edwards the first North Carolinian to win a presidential primary?"
My new RSS validator now recognizes Atom feeds and gives you a nice badge saying your feed validates. Some people felt that calling it an RSS feed was confusing. I'm pretty sure users will end up thinking of Atom as a flavor of RSS. The validator still recognizes RSS feeds, of course.
Political Wire exit polls. Edwards++.
Bob Stepno has been following the NY Times election "weblog."
Rogers Cadenhead: Janet's Breast Throttled My Server.
InternetNews: Is Ad-Supported RSS the Next Big Thing?
Jim Moore reports from the Dean campaign. A couple of thoughts. I'd be more encouraged if the campaign were getting inspiration from new people "in the field" -- although that would reflect an imbalance in perspective. Second, how about doing something creative with the money? Now that we know how the 2003 money was wasted, what's going to change in 2004? What is the newly funded Dean campaign going to do to empower our minds? The rallies clearly didn't make a difference. Nor did the expensive collateral material or television ads. Wouldn't an Internet campaign make it easy for voters who care to find out what the issues are, in plain understandable terms? Activate and then empower our minds, that's the challenge. That way, should your guy become the front-runner again, we'll all know where to tune to get the counter-arguments when CNN and ABC go after him. Maybe Dean is the rare phoenix who gets to rise from the ashes. If so, let's get to level 2.
Last year on this day: "How about teaching us something about space and the universe. Seems like the perfect opportunity. They say we wouldn't understand, but I'm not sure they're right. I think maybe they're just lazy."
NY Times: "They're dead, but they don't know it yet."
Ross Karchner is doing a front-end for RSS validators.
Scott Rosenberg: "If US intelligence is broken, it's clear that the Bush White House broke it."
Three years ago: "How can the air be so soft and full of new fragrances while winter is in full swing in so many other places?"
BBC: "John Kerry's supporters are hoping for a knock-out blow with a clean sweep of seven states picking a Democrat presidential nominee today.
Scott Rosenberg wonders what's the big deal with Orkut. Lots of people are wondering, me too. Like Scott, this is the first one I've joined, although I've been invited countless times to join Friendster, LinkedIn, etc etc. Like David Weinberger, I'm not impressed. It's a puzzle, why would Google bother with this? Well, first, it doesn't have to be very useful for Google to try it out. They've launched lots of speculative services that have failed to find users. This one is finding users. So what can they do with it? Easy. It's their identity system. At some point they'll add a web services interface so our comment systems can connect to their back-end to validate users. Now you can go to one place to see all your comments. Then it gets better. Give it your credit card info, and then when you go to an Orkut-enabled e-commerce site, you can have one-click ordering (modulo a certain patent). Think about all the relationships Google has with sites that run their ads. Even I run their ads on one of my sites, and it's a pretty good deal, that one site pays for the bandwidth on all my sites. Anyway, that's a ramble. The net-net -- it's Google's identity system, and if you trust them, it can be yours too.
Michael Watkins: On Not Getting Tenure.
ActiveRenderer 2.0 has lots of new features.
Ted Goranson: Outliner User Interfaces.
For the record, I missed Janet Jackson's breast because I was writing something at halftime yesterday. Women's breasts are great. I think there should be a requirement that all women bare their breasts if they want to when they're on television. It should be a choice thing. I'm pro-choice. It might be more comfortable. It's unbelievable that Michael Powell is having a hissy fit over this. More breasts, not less. That's my opinion.
Dan Gillmor: "A farting horse?"
NY Times: "Did Mr. Kerry, class of 66, and Mr. Bush, class of 68, know each other at Yale?"
David Weinberger: "I am finding Orkut to be all maintenance and no value."
Andrew Grumet: "At BloggerCon this October several people noted an irony in the Dean campaign budget: they were rewarding the Internet, which had helped them raise unprecedented amounts of money in small contributions, by pouring the war chest right back into television."
All the Super Bowl ads on one page.
John Palfrey: "I couldn't figure out why it wasn't an issue ad."
Michael Gartenberg: "Steve Ballmer doing a Dean Scream?"
AP: "Downloading music online from rogue file-sharing networks got 14-year-old Annie Leith sued for thousands of dollars. Now it has landed her a leading spot on a national ad that will debut during the Super Bowl."
Back to politics. Taegan Goddard rounds up the latest polls that show that Kerry is gaining momentum. Not much of a surprise there. I'd like to see Dean hold on for a while because it's a guarantee of continued discourse. The other candidates haven't been so intelligent or straightforward, imho. Should Kerry wind it up on Tuesday, I'm concerned that's the end of the liveliest campaign in memory.
The Patriots won. It was an excellent game. There's fireworks outside. Amazing. Lots more issue ads. Congrats to Patriots fans!
Halftime. Three commercials worth noting. One borderline issue ad about kids downloading music for free and getting caught and prosecuted. Maybe they avoid issueness by promoting Pepsi and Apple's iTunes. An anti-smoking ad from Phillip Morris was totally an issue ad. I guess everyone agrees smoking is bad, I sure do, but it's still an issue ad. Would they have allowed someone else to buy an ad saying cigarette smoking makes you more masculine or feminine or sexy or makes people like you better. It wasn't so long ago that people believed that, or said they did. Anyway, the most fun ad so far is the "romantic" Budweiser ad on the sleigh. It's a territorial thing. The Super Bowl is a guy thing. The women can watch if they want. Do they think it's funny? I kinda doubt it. Hehe.
John Nichols: "What if we lived in a parallel universe where Howard Dean was actually treated fairly by the media?"
MoveOn couldn't broadcast a commercial about the Bush deficit, but Bush himself got a freebie on CBS, followed by an H&R Block commercial that asks how much of Bush's tax cut you want. An issue ad? Hmmm. I guess it's okay because he didn't have to pay for it??
Discussion of excerpted RSS feeds on the RSS-User list.
Chris Heilman: "The only two words I can think of scarier than President Kerry are President Cheney."
Telegraph: Blair and Bush nominated for peace prize.
Howard Dean was masterful on Meet The Press. What's remarkable is the tension the interviewer creates inside me, a member of the audience, who he's supposed to be serving. I just want to hear what Dean has to say, I'm not all that interested in the trivial contradictions you think you've spotted. Then immediately after, switching to Reliable Sources, where they debated whether or not the networks were too hard on Dean, then switched to whether they were accountable for letting Bush and Powell lie about WMD's, without any challenges, before the US went to war in Iraq. They roast Dean for trivia, brainwash anyone who's stupid enough to watch, and give the Republicans a pass as they lie on their way to war. We seriously need someone who's not in the press to ask the questions. And I'd like to see some approval-rating polls about Russert and Blitzer. Why are these guys so untouchable?
AP: "Dean spent more than $6.5 million on staff salaries and related expenses, and more than $2 million on consultants."
1/19/04: "Asked about last year's drug policy advertisement that linked drug sales to international terrorism, Mr. Franks said, 'Is it an absolutely perfect system? Absolutely not. On the other hand, the MoveOn.org ad wasn't even close. I didn't need to rewind that one in the VCR.'"
I came home mid-week to a house with some minor offensive odors. Sniff sniff. It's the garbage. Okay, get a trash bag, load it up. Seal it. Another day. Come home. Sniff sniff. Still smells. Take the bag, throw it on the outdoor porch where it's 12 degrees. Another day. Sniff sniff. Smells nice. Winter in the northeast. Outside it's colder than the inside of a freezer.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.