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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.
Jessica Baumgart: "The Winter 2004 issue of News Library News with the feature article I wrote about RSS is now online."
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?
John Gotze writes to say the Danish government has included RSS 2.0 in its "government interoperability framework called the Reference Profile."
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.
Two big stories yesterday: human cloning in Korea; and a brewing sex scandal around presumed Presidential nominee, John Kerry.
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.
Charles Herrera sent an email yesterday saying that he has a whole new impression of blogging after watching the talk I gave at Microsoft on Monday. It was a gratifying email for another reason.
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.
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