On this day seven years ago a weblog called Scripting News first appeared.
I heard about Google mail on Paul Harvey's radio broadcast, then it got a mention on the CBS radio hourly news. A fee gigabyte and integration with the search engine. That's cool. Raises the bar for Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, etc.
Arrived safely in Florida. It's sunny and warm, of course. No Internet in hotel, despite what they advertised. This time I forgot to pack something, the power adapter for my IBM T40 laptop. Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can buy one, but I'm not holding my breath. Basically have two hours of battery for the rest of the week. Guess that's good. I'll do a lot of reading. No battery required for that of course.
Berkman's Urs Gasser released a study of Apple's iTunes.
Russell Beattie reviews Diego Doval's Clever Cactus P2P app.
John Battelle details changes to Google, released today.
Note to people who are raving about FutureMe. It's been done before. We're going to move MTTF to a scripting.com server sometime in the next few weeks.
I was quoted in a Tampa Tribune article about Google. My quote didn't quite fit with their theme. Oh la. For the record, Google isn't suffering too much for being commercial. Although some of where Alta Vista went wrong is evident in their strategy.
Florida is a battleground state in the US presidential election this fall. Lots of Bush-Cheney ads on the radio on the drive here from Orlando. They paint Kerry as a taxer. They have an ad with a supposed Bostoner (he makes fun of his own accent) talking about how Kerry likes to tax, tax, tax. Made me think I should move to Florida until November, so I can vote for Kerry in the fall in a place where my vote means something. Bush makes me totally sick. Bush decided to create a huge deficit. Kind of like a tax.
Dave Pollard explains how to increase your weblog's traffic.
Andrew Grumet's plan for the Infrastructure session at BloggerCon.
Eleven new Boston Globe feeds.
I'm spending this whole week in northeast Florida. Hope to visit Kaye Trammel and Rogers Cadenhead. Take care of some of my uncle's business, visit some of the old stomping grounds, but mostly swim, walk, think, sun and read. It's a chance to clear my mind before the conference in mid-April, and to think about where I want to be and what I want to do after this semester.
BBC: "A handful of UK libraries are to offer wi-fi laptops to visitors so that they can browse the internet."
NY Times: "Prince's love-hate relationship with the mainstream music industry takes another turn today as he opens his online Musicology Download Store, turning his back on download services like Napster, Rhapsody and Apple's iTunes."
Andrew reports new feeds at LegalTorrents.
Went to the movies this afternoon, saw The Ladykillers, a harmless movie, nothing terrible about it, but then, very little that's great about it. Tom Hanks makes some funny cheesy faces and sounds. Most of the jokes fall flat. One great line about Buddhism. A Coen Brothers movie, which sometimes means great things, but not this time. Went to eat after in a bar, where they still allow smoking. Now I'm home, packing for the trip and I absolutely reek of cigarette smoke and hate the smell. Getting close to two years now.
Ed Cone won't run for Congress this year.
Dowbrigade: "Oy vey, we're getting too old for this."
Julie Leung: "Thanks to Dave Winer's blog I now know I can let my kids be creative with their snacking."
Here's a sign of hope. The Open Directory Project is going to do something with RSS, not sure what, but it's a good sign, if only just a start. Here's what I would like them to do. 1. Associate a feed with a level of the hierarchy, so someone can subscribe to a category, and anything that appeared in that category would show up in the reader's aggregator as new. 1a. Associate a feed with a level in the other direction, so that news can be routed to a category in the directory. So, to the left, you'd see the stuff that doesn't change often, and in a box to the right is the new stuff. 2. Let an author maintain a whole level of the directory with RSS. 3. What about more than one level? We thought of that too, it's called OPML. 4. After adopting RSS and OPML, implement inclusion, meaning you can point to an OPML file anywhere a node can appear and the content of that OPML is included in the directory as if it were part of the directory. 5. From there, the whole thing will be unbundled, let the search engines understand an OPML file and display the as Yahoo-like directories.
Another thing on my to-do list, write a how-to for aggregator developers on password-protected feeds. It came up in an interview I did with an InfoWorld reporter. I told him how Radio does it, he asked if other aggregators handle username-passwords in RSS feed URLs, and I said I don't know. What we did with Radio is use the standard way of including a username-password in a URL, and then looked for places where subscriptions are exported, and turned off exporting of those URLs. That's about all there is to it if your HTTP engine understand usernames and passwords.
More RSS stuff from Russia.
Aggreg8 is an "easy way of keep track of all your favourite websites without visiting each of them individually."
I had huge trouble dealing with Travelocity on my mid-March California trip, and unfortunately the trouble is not over yet. Got my credit card bill, and they double-billed me for the hotel. An extra $521.49 for them, from me. Called them up, waited on hold a half-hour (as usual) and they didn't have a record of the trip. A supervisor will email me on Tues with the status of the refund. This does not inspire confidence. The man on the phone insisted that he was helping me. In what way? I wanted to know. They took money from me, and I'm trying to get them to give it back. Helping me would be accidentally giving me money. Fat chance of that!
AKMA had a great idea, a bunch of bloggers each record one chapter of Lessig's new book and put it together into an audio book. It's a rainy day here in Boston, so I did chapter eleven, entitled Chimera.
I found a very nice sound recording program, it works quite well.
It's not exactly RSS that breaks through Chinese censorship, it's centralized aggregators that act as a proxy. Clever.
Dowbrigade, a good human being, has a crisis that involves cats. I'd offer a home for them if I wasn't traveling so much in the next two months.
Last night NPR's On Point focused on Google.
A key part of I-95 connecting NYC and Boston is going to be out for a few weeks. Week after next I'm going to NY for a couple of days, I was going to drive, but now I'm not sure. It's always high-traffic, but I take I-84, and except around Hartford, it keeps moving. But with I-95 down, my guess is it'll be bumper-to-bumper both ways all the way on 84.
Five years ago today: "If you've got a losing strategy, the best tactic is to admit defeat asap and get on with it."
Wired: "A draft bill obtained by Wired News recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee that would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof. The bill also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing."
It's soooo interesting that Microsoft is moving against Google using this BlogBot thing, which we assume is a search engine that specializes in blogs. I want to know more, because there really are ways to optimize a search engine for weblogs, I've written about it, even implemented it (using the Google API) but it's not like Google listens (why should they). Anyway, Google buys Blogger, and they don't even get a search engine that understands blogs. Should have used RSS instead of insisting on replacing it. Priorities all wrong. Maybe they have an answer and maybe we get a two-party system. That would be great, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Silicon Valley culture is foolish arrogance. Microsoft's is only steal from the best.
Google News search for BlogBot.
ZD Net UK has a gazillion RSS feeds.
I have some writing to do this weekend so I can spend next week in Florida. I bought several books today for beach reading. The big one is Ghost Wars by Steve Coll. It was recommended to me by a reader, and I had heard an interview with the author on NPR and thought it was interesting. I almost bought Richard Clarke's book, but I'll read Ghost Wars first.
Sooz may have found the place for our party for the evening of April 17. We're also going to have hosted dinners on the night before the conference at restaurants around the Cambridge area, or possibly at the Durgin Park restaurant at Faneiul Hall in Boston.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "MSN Blogbot."
Tim Oren eulogizes HyperCard, which was retired this week.
More Russian RSS.
Reuters: "Boeing on Thursday announced pricing for its Connexion high-speed Internet service that will soon enable travelers to surf the Web or send messages to friends or co-workers while cruising at 30,000 feet."
Steve Ballmer: "We have a lot of guys who are really smart about search."
Steve Gillmor to Steve Ballmer: "Steve, you need to support RSS."
"thinkusaalignright"Political Wire reviews how the White House is gunning for Richard Clarke. I've heard a half-dozen interviews with Clarke. He comes off as an intelligent, respectful, and not overly arrogant critic, not just of the White House policies re terrorism and Iraq, but also himself. Listening to his interview with NPR's Terry Gross, I thought -- wouldn't it be great if the White House offered up someone as thoughtful as Clarke, then we could have the kind of election some of us want, one where the issues are debated with integrity, and each of us makes an intelligent choice with our vote. No such luck, even if the White House spokespeople are intelligent (no doubt they are), they're acting like thugs and appealing to the worst in us. Shame. According to the Bush people, the only reason a man like Clarke would speak up is to sell books, to get a Democrat elected, or to get a new job. It might have all those effects and their criticism would still fail to address the key point of Clarke's testimony (under oath, btw), that the White House has diverted our resources and attention from defending against terrorism, before and after 9/11. That's the amazing part. There's some way to explain not focusing on terrorism before 9/11, but how can they explain that they're doing so little to defend the US against future acts of terrorism?
Reuters: "Noticed those little orange boxes on the Web lately with the letters XML?"
Frontier developers in Europe take note.
Phil Wolff: "I don't have time to try a million beers."
Ananova: "Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor."
Will Richardson: Blogging and RSS.
Andrew Grumet: "Control by a few gives you a chance at achieving conceptual integrity."
I take back what I said on March 12 about The West Wing. Wednesday night's show kicked butt. Glenn Close was an incredible casting choice, the acting was great, and the ending very gratifying, left me thinking this country could be great, that our system actually could support intelligence, creativity and courage. I watched the last twenty minutes twice just to savor it, and might watch it again. Great show.
Dowbrigade: "There are a number of computers strewn around the Greater Boston area which are busily downloading and compiling further digital detritus for our possible perusal, as we STILL have over 30 gigs of available space on our hard drive."
Tonight's meeting will not be webcast, but we are using IRC.
Important note for people coming to the Thursday evening meeting at Berkman -- it's in a different location tonight, in Pound Hall room 201. If you're facing Baker House from the front of the building Pound is the big building to the right (there's one other Georgian house between). Pound 201 is on the second floor of course. Bring your laptop with WiFi.
How to write for the BloggerCon site.
Jay Rosen describes the discussion he will lead at BloggerCon. "If you show up, you are a participant."
Scott Rosenberg: "Clarke's words exposed a deep emotional vacuum in the Bush administration's handling of 9/11."
Lance Knobel: "The article in The Guardian, which paints Atom as the solution and RSS 2.0 as the problem, does not indicate that Hammersley is parti pris."
Parti pris: "An inclination for or against something or someone that affects judgment; prejudice or bias."
Phil Ringnalda: "TypeKey isn't really about authentication, so much as a way to make comment moderation actually work."
US News and World Report supports RSS. Bing!
Rogers Cadenhead reviews the Guardian's latest article about RSS.
Barlow: "I did a little amateur actuarial analysis in Excel and found that the fatality rate among my 100 closest friends was right up there with rock stars and private pilots."
Scott Johnson reports that Feedster now supports enclosures.
BloggerCon: Shirky's Power Law.
I wrote this session description as an example for the discussion leaders, who will generally write their own descriptions, and refine them based on comments. Each description, as they become available, will be in a weblog post where people can comment. The sessions can begin long before the actual conference. I will send invitations to experts asking them to participate, even if they will not be physically present on the 17th.
Marcus Lillkvist, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is researching a story and would like to talk with non-technical people who use RSS, to keep current on subjects like gardening, travel, health; i.e. non-geek subjects. Please send an email if you fit the bill, and I'll forward it to Marcus.
Doc Searls: "They crush statues with every sentence they write."
Kaye Trammel: "If you are going to be in or around Gainesville on April 1, then consider coming to this free symposium." Believe it or not, I will be. What an amazing coincidence. Kind of like being in Charlottetown at the same time they were having a weblog conference on the other side of the island.
Reuters: AOL sees future in Web standards.
Fred Kaplan: "I have no doubt that Richard Clarke, the former National Security Council official who has launched a broadside against President Bush's counterterrorism policies, is telling the truth about every single charge."
Chapter 5 of Dan Gillmor's book is up for review.
Baby squirrels: "The Cluetrain says we should be more open and communicate. I've bought into that. So have the Trotts and their investors. If they have to walk on eggshells in order to communicate, they're going to do less of it. So try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and try to work with them."
People seem to like the Baby Squirrels piece. I thought I'd get flamed mercilessly for this one. Weird.
BBC: "Microsoft must pay a fine of $613 million for abusing its dominant market position, the EU has ordered."
Sean Gallagher suggests that the blogging world adopt Liberty Alliance, and that Google might use Orkut as their identity system. These ideas are not new to Scripting News readers. Sean says it would be a miracle if the blogging world adopts a pre-built protocol like Passport or Liberty Alliance, but those might be overkill for the comment spam issue. Aside from that, while I don't speak for UserLand (I need to remind people of this constantly, it's been almost two years since I worked there) I offered to implement Six Apart's scheme yesterday. My intererest is fewer ways to do the same thing, not more. It's the other guys who keep reinventing stuff that works. My sin is (often) creating the first implementations, when I've gone second I've generally followed the guy who went first.
Wired's story about the Rave award winners for 2004.
NY Times: "Phishing attacks, in which criminals send fraudulent e-mail to steal private information from people, are growing rapidly."
Blogger dinner in Chicago tonight.
Wired: Why RSS Is Everywhere.
David Galbraith: "Bloglines doesn't do what I want."
NY Times: "NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is resting on what was once a salty, rippling body of water, project scientists announced today."
Craig Burton: Yet Another Namespace.
Shelley Powers comments on Six Apart's new FAQ.
JetBlue's version of DirecTV is commercial television, the usual junk, with commercials you can't skip. Also, it's not particularly cheap these days. I paid $250 to fly to Orlando round trip a week in advance, non-stop on American Airlines. Via Michael Gartenberg, via Jared Blank, via NY Times.
Harvard is hosting the iLaw conference, May 13-15. John Palfrey, the executive director at Berkman says they want bloggers to be part of the conference. The conference costs almost $2000, so we're offering a few scholarships for people-who-blog with an interest in Internet law. If you'd like to participate, please send me an email and I'll forward it to the organizers.
Political Wire: Kerry owns five homes.
NewsWatcher is a "new free RSS reader for Windows that includes the unique Vision interface developed by Scopeware and Dr David Gelernter."
Thursday's meeting will be in Pound 201 at 7PM. We're going to test the new WiFi in preparation for BloggerCon, and also be sure everyone has an idea of what the facility is like. If you're in the area this Thurs, please come, we'll have more room than usual. Bring a friend and a laptop.
Lots of great info on yesterday's C-for-Windows thread.
I just wrote something in an email that bears repeating publicly. I did my first membership system in LBBS in 1982, twenty-two years ago. The most recent one I did was in Radio Community Server, in 2002. Before that I did one that's still in use in Manila, it's part of mainResponder, the underpinnings of several groupware systems built in Frontier.
If and when we get our hands on the Six Apart API, I plan to wire up the mainResponder membership system to that API. I would do this for the same reason I quickly implemented support for the Blogger API in 2001, even though we already had the richer ManilaRPC interface. The reason is so simple it's hard for some people to understand. When someone else moves, if you do it the same way you're well on your way to bootstrapping a standard, and having a standard is good.
The only reservation I have about Six Apart is past experience with Trackback -- they changed their mind a few times, and didn't evolve the protocol very cleanly, so it was extra hard to implement and the docs were confusingly out of synch with the practice. I'm encouraged that this time they're going slowly, presumably reviewing the protocol several times, and when it's finally released it will be something they're prepared to evolve from in a compatible (ie non-breaking) way.
BTW, at some point someone is going to say use LDAP. It also occurs to me that directory maven Craig Burton will likely have an opinion about this. And the PingID people. What do they think? Is Microsoft whispering sweet nothings into Six Apart's ear about Passport? And has the latest software czar at Sun made the call about using Liberty Alliance?
This ain't Kansas anymore Toto.
BloggerCon for Newbies. "No panels, no PowerPoints, no speakers."
The Bush spinners wonder why Richard Clarke waited till now to publish his book. Interesting timing, they say, right in the middle of an election. Anyway Clarke was asked that question on The News Hour today, and he said the White House put a security hold on the book for several months, otherwise it would have come out sooner. He also said he wouldn't serve in a Kerry administration, which takes care of another objection. Anyway, we now have triangulation, between Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke, there are two ex-Bush insiders with consistent stories on the nature of the Bush organization. One or two more and even the staunchest Bush supporters are going to wonder if we wouldn't be better off with Kerry.
Dowbrigade: Buy High, Sell Low.
I want to do some C programming on Windows.
To Mr Coates at Plastic Bag, yes, UserLand plays very fair and open. Why do you think there are so many aggregators, feeds and blogging tools. We invented XML-RPC and SOAP so that anyone could plug into our services no matter what platform their code is running on. I've never filed for a patent. I can't speak for UserLand, I haven't worked there for almost two years. I am a fellow at Berkman Center. Not sure what I'm going to do next term. If you have any great ideas, let me know, I'm kind of nervous about that.
What do you think of the new Scripting News header graphic?
5/11/03: Glue for Technorati API.
Wolverhampton Grammar School publishes a RSS feed.
I gave my annual $120 to the local NPR station, but I still want to know how they spend the money. And they still lie during the pledge drive. All my money goes for the news? A more accurate statement would be all the money that doesn't pay for executives and other overhead. And I wish they'd come up with a new way to distribute the content so I can download MP3s into my portable player and skip the pledge drive because I always pay and I don't need to hear how great they are (I find it offensive).
1/20/03: The "You Know Me" Button.
7/14/01: Distributed membership and preferences.
9/19/99: Prefs Distribution thru XML-RPC.
Congrats to Technorati on shipping their beta.
Can you still hate your enemy when she has a voice. "I want the Fifth Amendment right not to testify against Sarah, and to protect our private correspondence from subpoena, the same as other spouses."
Adam Curry says he says he disagrees with me about Iraq, but I'm not entirely sure we do. $100+ billion can go a long way to making people happy, even if some of their friends and relatives are dead, injured or homeless, and their country is occupied. We're spending money we don't have. At some point our creditors will tell us we've been living too rich and that Iraq is something we can't afford. I'd be surprised if they like us very much after we leave.
BloggerCon essay: "At any time the person being interviewed could press a button and the show would switch into Reality Mode."
The first BloggerCon II grid is up. "Experience has shown that people will take this the wrong way, as cast in concrete, and will make plans based on it, and will be very upset when it changes. It will change. It's for discussion purposes only."
I had two emails just bounce because somehow my IP address is listead at Spews.Org. Must have just happened. I'll deal with it in the morning.
Steven Levy: "Sergey Brin and Larry Page don't seem ruffled at all."
We all use Google, for sure, but we all used Netscape too. Google misses the same clues that Netscape did, and like Netscape makes enemies where they should be cultivating relationships. Google needs to transition into a leader, once Microsoft has made their move it will be too late.
Telegraph: "One hour into the six-and-a-half hour flight, and at 30,000ft above the Sahara Desert, Mrs Eduwa began to go into labour."
John's Jottings summarizes the discussion about Six Apart's TypeKey.
Shelley Powers calls it the Patriot Act of weblogging.
Idly.Org defends Six Apart from yours truly. Anyway, if TypeKey is anything new it's a breakthrough. I've been puzzling about this stuff for years. Some people say there's something brilliant here. If so, that's great, but until I understand how it works, I'm from Missouri.
Jay Allen: "With the TypeKey authentication services and other great features of MT 3.0, it looks like there will no longer be a need for MT-Blacklistís continued development."
MetaFilter thread on TypeKey.
The questions I asked yesterday are unanswered.
7/17/00: How to share a membership group.
Tommy Trussell: "For the next pair you buy, try the New Balance Factory Outlet at the former New Balance factory in Brighton."
NY Times: "The biggest punk scenes are in capitalist countries like the U.S., Canada and Japan. I haven't heard of any new North Korean punk bands coming out. There's no scene in Iran."
Went to see a really scary movie this afternoon. I hate movies about mountain climbing.
Complete list of ComputerWorld RSS feeds.
Questions for SixApart re their upcoming authentication system.
More questions from Jeff Jarvis.
Andrew Grumet: "RssReader is TiVo-resident software that displays the contents of an RSS feed on your television."
As a person who has heart disease, let me tell you, this story is a total eye-opener. I had the surgery they say I didn't need, but I also have radically low cholesterol, healthy blood pressure, and I quit smoking.
Two years ago today we offered New York Times feeds to Radio users for the first time. "Yesterday I said that today's news would be for people who love poetry, books, movies, art, education, food, fashion, health, travel and technology. I left something out. It's also for people who love The Mets."
About John Gray and his PhD. It seems he did get his degree from a mail order university and it wasn't a "real" degree, and to the extent that he claims to be a PhD (broadly) it does appear to be a fraud. His book is still good, and I'd recommend it even if he weren't a PhD. But I do admit that back when I thought his PhD was real, somehow it seemed the book was more substantial. Should he have pressed his claim through a lawyer? No, it was a mistake, because it was dishonest to claim a PhD in the first place. Look at it this way, if he wasn't ashamed about where his PhD came from, why doesn't it say where it came from on his bio page? That's the usual way you do it. I think Gray owes us an apology for claiming to be something that he isn't.
Don Park: "I got a chance to test drive Groove 3.0 beta today."
I bought a new external hard drive for backups.
A picture of my Massachusetts desktop. Water bottle, Diet Coke, cell phone; no ashtray. (1336 days no smoking.)
New Balance Quad-E size 11.5 walking shoes. Get some at Nordstrom in Palo Alto. Under $100.
Pictures from a hike in Redwood City on Tuesday.
Greenspun: "Maybe Linux really is secretly funded by Microsoft."
VarChars reviews Yahoo's RSS reader.
Fast Company: "Robert Scoble may well be one of the most powerful people in Redmond right now."
Dowbrigade is going to Peru and Ecuador.
Joe Trippi was on The Connection.
Gavin Sheridan has received a claim of libel from John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. The question is about Gray's PhD, which is mentioned numerous times on his bio page. But they don't say where his PhD is from.
7/22/01: "It can be hard for a Martian to listen when the Venutian is feeling bad."
BBC: "The spread of wi-fi is being hampered by increasing complex and incompatible products."
Ben Hammersley's article is up. I think it's better to put the past behind us and see how we can make more powerful software now and in the future, for users. BTW, the Guardian has a nice simple RSS 0.91 feed.
The Kerry campaign calls on the Bloggers of the World to unite.
Daily Kos: How to apply for press credentials at DNC.
Somebody had a great idea to do Poster Sessions. Anyone want to help.
John Stafford: RSS and the Military.
Zawodny announces ten new entertainment feeds from Yahoo.
It's articles like this that make me glad I can still subscribe to Evhead.
Steve Gillmor: "Three years after Ray Ozzie resurfaced with Groove Networks Inc, he's back with a sweeping redesign."
Chris Sells reviews four California theme parks.
Dan Gillmor interviews Mark Cuban about weblogs. I have a much higher opinion of Cuban after reading his comments. I saw the 60 Minutes profile of him, but it was not as interesting. Much better to hear what a person thinks, in his own words, esp if he's interesting, as Cuban is.
Miami Herald: "If Harvard Law School hosts a conference on some topic, it must be reasonably acceptable and mainstream, right?"
NY Post: "By putting information one click away instead of dozens, supporters hope RSS is the cure for RSI."
De Digital Revolutie: "RSS ken je waarschijnlijk wel van websites zoals Kranten.com en Krantenkoppen.be die altijd de recente nieuwskoppen van andere sites op hun homepage hebben staan."
One year ago today I completed my cross-country drive.
Four years later, it's still fun to blow up the Kingdome.
A discussion group thread from this day in 1999 about the (then new) RSS tester web app. Interesting to see who was participating in the RSS community five years ago.
8:55PM Eastern arrived home. What a contrast. Landed in the middle of a blizzard. It was in the 70s and 80s in Calif. Hot and sweet-smelling air. We're having a lite blizzard here in the Boston area. No drifts and not a big accumulatioin, but it's still strange. I'm more comfortable here than there, though. I get to wear enough clothes here. Over there, I felt overdressed.
Okay I know I'm late for this party, but I'm in SFO using T-Mobile wireless, did an aggregator run, downloaded my
Slashdot tunes into the elegance of RSS-plus-BitTorrent.
Ed Cone on running for Congress.
Mike Walsh schmoozes David Kay at a Harvard Square Dunkin Donuts.
Two years ago today: "Obviously there are differences between the genders."
Boston Globe: "A major late-season snow storm bore down on the region last night."
Jim Moore has a picture of the snow.
Halley's Comment: "And it's STILL snowing!"
Boston University has a really cool webcam. It's live-motion. The art in webcams has been moving unbeknownst to me. Anyway you can see the snow. Not so much as it sounds in the press or in the suburbs. (Halley, Jim and I all live in the burbs.)
News.Com: "On Wednesday, the Web search company will unveil Google Local."
Joseph Palmer: "Me, a marketing guy? I don't think so."
Political Wire quotes the Washington Post: "For many Americans, the election will be like a faraway war.."
Scott Rosenberg: "Those darn Spanish voters -- they just don't do what George Bush wants them to do."
I found a really nice Starbucks to check email and do a little lite blogging. It's on Ralston Ave in (I think) Belmont, CA, just off Highway 92 on the way to Half Moon Bay. Did a hike in an old favorite spot and had lunch with friends on the water in Foster City. It's official, this is a beautiful place, easy to live in. I found today that I miss my swimming pool. That's the first time I realized that since I left just about a year ago. It's funny you can come back to the place you left, and it looks different in some ways, and exactly as you remembered it in others.
According to this list I'm the 26th most influential blogger or reporter on the Web. Not bad. Postscript: In response to criticism, presumably from ink-stained folk and their fans, he did another ranking which pushes the bloggers way down the list. He divides the number of pointers by the number of posts, so the fewer posts the higher you go. Heh. Proves that trying to quantify influence pretty hard to do, and maybe not so important. Reminds me of the scene in West Wing where Amy kisses Josh for the first time. As she touches his chin she says "Enough of you with the talking."
The Boston Globe says they misquoted Kerry, but the Bush attack doesn't let up. The more they focus on the mistaken Kerry quote, the more it makes you think how it must look to foreign leaders. The US owes everyone a big mea culpa. We went to war, unprovoked, the first time in our history. Now the simplest way to say we were wrong, if Bush won't do it, is to elect Kerry. If Bush were smart, he'd change the subject, fast.
Robert Cox: "The New York Times has withdrawn its DMCA take-down notice and acknowledged that The National Debate's New York Times Columnist Correction page is a parody and therefore protected under the First Amendement."
Simon Carless: RSS and BitTorrent, Sitting in a Tree.
Jay Rosen: "A new study from the Kennedy School pinpoints what happened between Big Media and the blogs in the case of Trent Lott."
BBC: "It may be possible to build a technically better search engine but it will be difficult to make people love it."
Scoble: "I'm sure that tomorrow we'll be back slinging mud at each other, although I'm pretty sure that won't bring our customers any better technology."
Boston Globe: Dirty grout around tub can be scrubbed clean.
This discussion on Joel Spolsky's site showed up in my Referrers.
Congratulations to Bram Cohen on winning the Software Developer Rave Award last night. Steve Jobs won the Tech Renegade (top) award.
I got a sneak peek at next year's Danger Hiptop, with a built-in browser showing Scripting News. Their marketing guy (I think) has been at the last two the Rave Awards I've been at, and always has something interesting that he sneaks. It seems he just does it for me, but I'm sure he's just good at making it seem that way.
A storm is moving into the Boston area tomorrow through the end of the week. It seems totally impossible given the weather in San Francisco, that it could be snowing anywhere now. I fly back on Wednesday, it looks like the arrival might be a bit rough.
Wired: "A demo publishing system launched Friday by a popular programmer and blogger merges two of this season's hottest tech fads -- RSS news syndication and BitTorrent file sharing -- to create a cheap publishing system for what its author calls 'big media objects.'"
CNN: "It is called 'RSS' for 'really simple syndication.'"
A comprehensive list of all of CNET's RSS feeds.
Rebecca MacKinnon points to several reports that China is cracking down on bloggers.
Chapter two of Dan Gillmor's book is up. He tells his side of a meeting that I remember very well. As we were working on Manila in the spring of 1999, I was keeping Dan briefed step by step, but it didn't really come together until we had a demo at his office at the Merc. He, along with my uncle and Jamis MacNiven at Buck's became our first users that summer. Dan's class at the University of Hong Kong was among the first educational institutions, if not the first, to do weblogs.
Zylom Games has an interesting RSS 2.0 module. "To allow partners to construct their own pages, while still maintaining the flexibility of the gamelist and realtime player-numbers.."
Congrats to The Accordian Guy for being such a good sport, and super triple congats to BoingBoing for their three huge weblog awards. It must be a great feeling!
Ed Cone is considering a run against Howard Coble in the North Carolina sixth. I'd endorse Cone over Coble any day of the week. If nothing else it'll be a great moon mission for using the Web to run a local race.
Ben Hammersley, on behalf of the Guardian newspaper, asks a few questions about the peace proposal I made last week.
3/15/99: "Scripting News is the first site to support RSS."
Two years ago today, this is what "working together" looked like. No sarcasm. I've been telling people, and this is proof, that Evan and I used to get along fine, and as far as I'm concerned nothing has changed. He's a good guy, he was a competitor, but now it's really hard to see it that way since I'm not actively involved in UserLand and Blogger is part of Google.
Congrats to Tim Bray on his new job at Sun.
NY Daily News: "A cyber-gadfly, hit with a copyright-infringement charge by The New York Times, yesterday stripped his Web site of a Times parody and watched it pop up elsewhere online."
A.Word.A.Day is an RSS feed now.
I've arrived in SF a little worse for the wear and tear. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon with Tori, a very good friend from my massage days. She lives in Millbrae. On the ten minute drive from SFO to her house I was reminded why the Bay Area is so blessed. Such vivid colors, such pleasant surroundings. Everything is so clean and sparkly. I realized in an instant that I miss living here (even though I really like Cambridge). I've got a nice car, and a fairly open schedule. Staying in Fisherman's Wharf at a beautiful boutique hotel. Life is good. Looking forward to the Wired awards tomorrow and talking-up the new connection between BitTorrent and RSS that Andrew is cooking up. Adam says it works as advertised. Excellent!
An excellent Steve Gillmor rant about Scoble, RSS, Allchin, Microsoft and every other thing that's on Steve's mind.
Observation: Librarians often talk about search engines the way graphic programmers (used to) talk about the Web. Even though the browser has severe limits for users, and the dominant browser is owned by Microsoft, users still want software to run in the browser. Even though search engines point to Web sites, which can contain "illiterate chatter, propaganda and blasts of unintelligible material," users still seem to prefer them to using reference sources at a library.
I often find news of RSS through the Referrers page on the site that's home for the RSS 2.0 spec. The news I find is often routed to my RSS category, which of course has an RSS feed, which is mirrored in a box on the right of the site that's home for the RSS 2.0 spec. We've developed and continue to develop new ways to refine information using the tools of the Web. That's why (I think) librarians are so excited about weblogs, RSS and the Web in general. But we should listen carefully when they caution that the Web has not yet caught up with the pre-Web practice.
Andrew Cochran interviewed me at the NextMedia conference at Prince Edward Island in October last year. It's a 22MB MP3 file.
BBC: "Al-Qaeda has allegedly said it carried out the Madrid train bombings, the country's interior minister has said."
NY Times: "Google can be useful as a starting point to research or for superficial inquests," said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. "But far too often, it is a gateway to illiterate chatter, propaganda and blasts of unintelligible material."
Larry Lessig will speak at the 92nd St YMCA in NYC on March 23.
IDG in Poland does RSS.
Record highs in San Francisco today, high 78. Geez Louise. It'll cool off in the next few days with highs in upper 60s. Guess I don't need to pack the warm clothes!
Stephen Abrams: "We're in a room full of Lisas, but the world is full of Barts."
Steve Outing: "We've added an RSS feed for E-Media Tidbits."
Over 200 people registered for BloggerCon II, April 17, Harvard Law.
NY Times: "United States chip makers and computer manufacturers, along with foreign computer makers, have opposed the plan, saying that it would amount to an unfair trade barrier to require companies to comply with two vastly different approaches."
Law Tech Guru: "A unified specification that adopts the best of both standards while maintaining backwards compatibility is an incredibly good idea in my book."
Michael Watkins: "It becomes increasingly obvious that 'we was had' on Iraq, because we had faulty intelligence, or manipulative interpretation of it by the administration."
Wired: Bush Site Unplugs Poster Tool. "They sure smell like old people."
Andrew: "I've finished an initial version of a RSS+BitTorrent integration tool for Radio Userland's news aggregator. This is beta software."
Dowbrigade: "He seemed an unlikely Presidential candidate for an increasingly internationalized South Korea; he had no administrative experience to speak of, had rarely traveled outside Korea, and spoke almost no English. He was however, the first candidate. and now the first world leader, who understands how to write html."
Visual Studio: Build an RSS Generator Component.
Korea Times: "President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday compared domestic political environment with the US one by illustrating his favorite television program during his important news conference."
Jenny Levine presented on RSS and weblogs at the Computers-In-Libraries conference yesterday.
Globelogger: "It is often said that the Internet was designed to continue functioning even in the event of nuclear war. Recently, Google dropped on Atom bomb on the crowded marketplace of weblogging. Here's how the Internet routes around the damage."
News.Com: "McDonald's doesn't expect to earn money initially from its Wi-Fi service. It hopes instead to attract more customers and sell more burgers and fries."
Don Park: "While I was having dinner, Korean Assembly controlled by the corrupted opposition parties impeached President Roh."
NY Times: "There is no problem that cannot be solved by a dill pickle, a hot twin roll with soft butter, a freshener on your cup of coffee, a fat slice of cheesecake, a smile."
Yesterday's thread at Joho about gay marriage yielded a mostly-great discussion, there was a little gay-bashing, which sucks. Following is one of two bits that I wrote, lightly edited.
There are good technical reasons for disallowing marriage between relatives for genetic reasons. But if they chose to marry with the stipulation that there would be no offspring, why should any of us object?
I don't buy the arguments that people in hetero marriages lose anything by gays marrying. That's like saying that because someone reads a book somehow your reading a book means less. The two things have nothing to do with each other, and the fact that the opponents of gay marriage clutch at this straw shows that they don't have any valid reasons to block gays from marrying, just mystic reasons, which isn't good enough to stop people from doing something they want to do that hurts no one. Sorry control freaks, worry about your own lives, stop meddling in other people's lives.
We should allow gay marriage because it's going to be allowed eventually, our values are changing, some people stand up for this now, when in the past no one would and -- we have much bigger problems to deal with. Any time wasted on this is a distraction from global warming, loose nukes, hunger, and coming up with antibiotics to replace those that are becoming obsolete. While we're at it, let's cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes. And let's help kids whose parents abuse them, and alchoholics, and how about universal health care in the US, etc etc.
In other words understand this debate for what it is -- a political tactic to distract us from things that we should be worrying about and doing something about.
Two bits on NPR recently changed my point of view on two things: The West Wing and young people's music. First about The West Wing. I heard several interviews over the course of a week with David Chase, the creator and producer of The Sopranos, promoting the new season, which of course, like everyone else I am watching and so far really enjoying.
They asked him to compare producing for HBO, a cable channel, with commercial TV. He said the difference is over-stated, and most of what's on The Sopranos could be done on the big networks. Then he explained how The West Wing works and opened my eyes.
Without naming the show, he said they give the plot a sense of urgency and importance by making the characters walk fast and using a SteadiCam. Now I've watched for both, and imagined a not-moving camera and actors that stay in one place, and all that's left is stupid unbelievable overly dramatized TV crap. I can't believe I was so easily fooled. Was I, or has the bubble of belief just popped, and if so was The West Wing ever more than a quick camera and quick feet?
Second perspective-alterer. Yesterday on All Things Considered, a very young thoughtful and sweet analyst, Mikel Jollett, explained slowly and carefully why rap music is a way for us old folk to look inside ourselves and find our parents and grandparents, disapproving of us as we now disapprove of the younger generation's music. It finally happened, the young folk have invented something that proves us to the hypocrites that we are. What relief. (No sarcasm.)
Here's the deal. What is it with the young people's music these days, the drugs, violence, raw sex, perversion, explicit language. Back in our day music meant something, it was a cause, we were fighting back against a heartless system that was killing us, both spiritually and physically. We took drugs to turn on and tune out.
But it's not true, the young man pointed out. And he did his homework. He played a long section of an old 60s favorite, Everybody Must Get Stoned, by Bob Dylan. It's a great song, one of his most popular (and it's so stoned that's not even the title!). But was it really better than Maggie's Farm, or Blowin in the Wind? Of course not. But it's fun because it's about breaking the rules.
I just listened to Lola by the Kinks. "I'm not dumb but can't understand why she walked like a woman but talked like a man." And Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison -- some of the biggest heroes of our day died tragic deaths at their own hands. Did their music mean something and if so did we get it, or did it just make us feel like we too were living on the edge? Probably more of the latter.
Jollett's point is that youth wants to be corrupted, and if I remember correctly, that's true. I never did most of the things that were in the songs I admired as a kid, and it certainly freaked my parents and grandparents to hear what I was listening to, but of course, that was the point. Music for young people is a ritual that's still sacred. That we grimace and don't recognize that it's exactly like the music we loved when we were young, is validation that they're doing something new. And god bless.
1. What was the last song you heard? Stairway to Heaven.
2. What were the last two movies you saw? Secret Window, Jerry MacGuire.
3. What were the last three things you purchased? Coffee, coffee, gasoline.
4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Refill prescriptions, buy new jeans, pack, fly to SFO.
5. Who are the last five people you talked to? Paul Boutin, Randy Green, Starbucks coffee guy, Starbucks cashier, Starbucks cashier.
Lisa Williams: Some blogging principles.
Computerworld: "Microsoft executives introduced The SCO Group Inc. to the BayStar Capital investment fund, which then provided SCO with a $50 million investment last October, a spokesman for the fund confirmed."
Dave Pollard: What's This 'RSS' All About?
Stephen VanDyke: How News Travels on the Internet.
Reuters: "A letter purporting to come from Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network claimed responsibility for the train bombings in Spain."
CNN is reporting that Arab language tapes were found in connection with the Madrid bombings.
On Feb 24 I asked for visions of the future of weblog software from Scripting News readers, and got a huge response. At last Thursday's meeting at Berkman, I asked three people, Lisa Williams, Shimon Rura and Jay McCarthy to read each of the posts, collate them, group and summarize so we could make sense of what people were asking for. Lisa's summary is available for review now.
Andy Rhinehart: "Please, take RSS 2.0 and just build upon it. Because you've got a lot better chance of getting your local and favorite national newspapers to support one spec than multiple specs."
I got a nice email from Howard Dean about his meeting with John Kerry.
Mark Nottingham posted a draft spec for RSS 2.0 in IETF format.
Brian Jepson is hosting a southern New England geek dinner at a food court in Providence, RI, tomorrow night. It's Scoble-inspired, he says. Now you don't have too far west to get Scobleized?
Russell Beattie on the Madrid bombings.
How to submit a bug report.
Rick Klau reviews Big Fish.
Two years ago: "Aggregation: Is goodness. Think of it as a way of upping the bandwidth of people whose minds are sponges and want to learn as much as possible. In time of crisis think of it as the Web's Emergency Broadcast System."
Wired: "Salon.com will open a bureau in Washington, DC, and expand some of its operations."
BBC: "Pop star George Michael abandons the music business in order to release his songs online for free instead."
Boston Globe: "Greater Boston is on the brink of becoming one of the first US metropolitan areas where a majority of consumers are using high-speed broadband Internet connections instead of conventional dial-up services."
Doc Searls: "RSS isn't just highly branded at this point; it also means something: Really Simple Syndication."
Wired: "Boeing is set to launch what it says is the world's first broadband in-flight Internet service."
The BBC offers a commercial-free version of RealPlayer.
MCPmag.com RSS feeds.
I've been having fun exploring realtor.com. I've always wondered what it would cost to live in various places like New Orleans, Vermont, the east coast of Florida, Santa Cruz. Now it's really easy to find out.
Notes from last week's Berkman lunch on citizen journalism, politics and weblogs; three core themes for BloggerCon II on April 17.
Last year on this day: "Remember what it was like on the day of the school play? We had rehearsed and rehearsed, then the dress rehearsal, then the big day. I remember lying in bed in the morning so incredibly excited. That day had a special quality no other day had."
Chad Dickerson: "Feels like a tipping point to me."
Fast Company: "The cardinal rule at Google is, If you can do something that will improve the user's experience, do it."
Phillip Pearson: High performance XML-RPC.
NPR: "Astronomers today unveiled what they say is the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever captured."
NY Daily News: "Women are quickly catching up."
Library Stuff has a neat picture. Go get em librarians. We love you!
Sjoerd Visscher: "If you are doing liberal XML parsing, you are being inconsiderate."
NY Times: "Well-educated technology workers have long been at the forefront of American economic growth and innovation. But some of them can't find jobs."
TechRepublic and Builder.Com both have new RSS 2.0 feeds.
According to Rebecca Rippin, this week Portal Universia, the Hispanic world's largest university portal (over 700 partner universities across Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto Rico) has included RSS in its elearning section.
Every day it seems another monster application of RSS comes on line. Most of it is RSS 2.0, occasionally an earlier version, 0.91, 0.92 or 1.0. But usually it's 2.0.
My philosophy is that the time to make an offer is when you're strongest, because that's when it's most likely to work. It's also the time that tech people seem least likely to make the offer. For example, Apple finally became interested in working with developers, seriously, in its darkest moments in 1996. Same with Netscape in 1999, and then the Dean campaign in early 2004. It seems to be human nature to wait until it's too late, when the battle is lost, as a desperate last measure. But working together is a great way to cement victory.
Now that RSS is ascending so powerfully, I want to make an offer on its behalf. It would be easy to say that other formats don't matter, but even if I believe that, the community is better off if we have one format we're all promoting; as opposed to having continued arguments about whether "issued" is better than "pubDate". The truth is that neither is better or worse. If it works it's good.
So from this strength, I've outlined a plan to merge RSS and Atom, much the same way we merged UserLand's format with Netscape's format in 1999. By making this offer to the Atom people I'm giving them a chance to get out of conflict with RSS. I think it's something users can support. I hope they get together and make a serious counter. Why shouldn't they?
It's pretty clear RSS is over the top, no matter what the Atom people do. Google is powerful, but they're not so powerful that they can compete with the ever increasing mountain of support for RSS. And why should they pick a fight with RSS? It's a format. It's not stealing any revenue from them. None of their jobs depend on wiping out RSS. It makes no sense to fight with it. If RSS were weak, they might be able to capture it, lock up the new format with patents, but that just isn't going to happen. RSS is too strong.
So here's the chance to do something good for the Internet, something not evil. Let's go Google, let's go SixApart, it's time to bury the hatchet and move on. Joi Ito, you're famous for being an advocate of peace. RSS is here to stay and so are Google and Movable Type. Let's all acknowledge that and stop this fight now.
DaveNet: Harvard case study on blogging.
Seventeen new technology feeds from Yahoo.
San Jose Business Journal: "Spam McGriddles." Oh the humanity.
Steve Gillmor: Sun Adopts RSS. "Everybody's talking about it.."
Scoble blogs back at Sun's Schwartz. I agree with Scoble. It's nice to see Sun get that RSS can help them communicate with developers. It certainly can. But they're hardly in a position to teach Microsoft about this. And it's grossly inaccurate to say that RSS was created by the open source community. It's the old disease, there's only open source and Microsoft. RSS was created by neither. Time to recalc your assumptions.
Salon: "MoveOn.org's anti-Bush ads, which began last Thursday, were timed to counteract the president's own $4.5 million ad blitz that began late last week."
John Kerry, in Florida today: "I remember Spring Break. You could come down here, kick back, do nothing. The only place you can do that now is on the Bush economic team."
My cardiologist says stories like this are just drug company PR. I don't know what to think. I have the disease. My bad-cholesterol level is very low now, with drugs. The report says it should be lower. More Lipitor, more money for the company. I feel manipulated.
Borland has an RSS howto.
Just heard on NPR that police found the body of Spalding Grey in New York's East River.
I'm working on getting a discussion of Clay Shirky's Power Law thesis at BloggerCon. I invited Clay himself to lead the session but unfortunately he can't. I believe that there is a power law in weblogs, but is that bad news? Can you conclude that every medium is like every one that came before? History certainly doesn't support that. Consider the post just above this. I don't have strong feelings about Spalding Grey, beyond the normal sympathy and curiosity that a reasonably normal adult would have for a dead person who probably suffered, at least at the end of his life. But I know that some of the people who read this weblog have a deeper connection to Grey's life and work. So when I heard the news, and realized that it was quite new, it was virtually automatic for me to point to it. I know that I'm one of the A-list guys. I work at being that. It's been a goal for me because I want ideas that I think are important to be heard. Is that a bad thing? Of course I don't think so.
EContent: Can RSS Relieve Information Overload?
The Houston Chronicle reports that Presidential brother Neil Bush was married in Houston yesterday. "President George W Bush and Florida Gov Jeb Bush did not attend."
What is TV Freak? (in the Czech Republic)
Mike Walsh comments on last night's CNN special on the Dean campaign. I agree with Mike, Trippi didn't look like he was very involved in the campaign. Rather than focus on the website and compete with Dean for campaign dollars that aren't likely to come, take eight months and write a book, not so much memoir of the campaign but a vision for the future.
Good news for Democrats from Zogby via Political Wire.
Jay Rosen has written a chapter for an upcoming O'Reilly book entitled Extreme Democracy, a collection of essays from Adina Levin, Joi Ito, Ross Mayfield, Jim Moore, Howard Rheingold, Doc Searls, Clay Shirky, and Ethan Zuckerman. I had originally said it was a Jay Rosen book. My mistake. I didn't know there was a collection in the works.
NY Times: "Radio Perola is part of a mushrooming chain of small government-supported radio and television stations that are central to Mr. Chavez's efforts to counter the four big private television networks, which paint him as an unstable dictator."
Re-watched Jerry McGuire recently. It has one of the best lines ever, Rene Zellweger says to Tom Cruise: "You had me at hello." Nice story, sweet ending, leaves you cheering (if you're an sentimentalist like I am). Surprisingly like As Good As It Gets, but Rene and Tom are sweeter than Helen and Jack. Cuba Gooding is in both movies. One movie has a cute little kid and the other has a cute little dog. In both movies the leading lady is a single mom, and has an older female relative who lives with her.
Dear Bay Area friends: I am coming to visit you!
What is undergroundfilm.com?
I just watched the CNN special on Joe Trippi. One thing stood out, if they believed in the Internet why didn't they use the Web to pump out the video that CNN wasn't showing? What I saw briefly, ironically on CNN, was very compelling. Didn't they get that they had another channel to communicate with voters. Word of mouth might have carried their point of view. At least they could have tried. If they trusted voters they would have ignored what the press and the other candidates and continued to go direct. It's also clear they peaked too soon. He won. But then, what did he win? With a year to go before the election, in late 2003, he won the right to be the guy everyone else targeted. It's the same problem Kerry has now. Too much time with nothing to do but lose. (The best defense is to create a new flow of information, to keep the news networks from driving you down the predictable road.)
Andrew wants to launch an app with command-line params on Windows.
If you ask What Is Friendship on Yahoo, the first hit is an essay I wrote on friendship. I like being an expert on that subject. I wrote that piece at a weird time. I want to take another look and see if I can't do better.
Jeff Jarvis: "Scoble was vowing to try sticking to seven posts a day."
Time: "Senator John Kerry tells Time that he 'almost certainly' will send a team to Iraq 'within the next few weeks or months' to help him formulate his Iraq policy positions."
The Paint Research Association of the UK supports RSS.
Slate reviews President Bush's new television ads.
Variety, inside entertainment industry news from Hollywood, supports RSS. The hits keep comin!
Rogers Cadenhead: "Considering that the format specification isn't even described as a draft yet, I couldn't blame UserLand or anyone else for waiting until things solidify or users clamor for support."
TPM: "None of those 21,000 new jobs came from the private sector."
What do you say the day after your server is off the air, and all the users are very nice about it, and the good lord smiles on you and makes the recovery go smoothly, even if it does take 12 hours most of which involves sitting on the edge of your chair imagining the headline in the Register. "A year of Harvard blogging down the drain. Winer does the honorable thing and kills himself." So here's what you say. Oh great lord. Praise Murphy. Please let us use our server one more day. We promise to be good. I'm not worthy. I'm your humble servant. It's even worse than it appears.
Marc Canter wonders why TiVO hasn't taken off, Scoble offers an opinion. I talked with my parents about this last weekend when I was visiting NY. We were watching a movie, with commercials, if you can believe that. I kept telling them they were the only ones watching the commercials, everyone else was fast-forwarding over them (I know it's not true, but I was hyping). I said it many many times (basically every time I had to endure the insipid commercials). Like Marc, I couldn't understand why they don't get a TiVO. I offered to install it. But I don't think they understood what it does, or why they would want it. The idea is foreign. I can't get my dad to use an RSS aggregator even though he's a news junkie. No one there is scared of technology, which is Scoble's theory. It's something else. They don't see why they need it. It's funny, I've been having these talks with my parents for 25 years. First it was "Get an Apple II." My Dad, the ex-IBMer said he'd wait for IBM's. He eventually got an Apple II anyway. Then of course he got an IBM. Then Macs, laser printers, AOL, email, the Web, etc. Every time the same thing. They don't see why they need it. Then three years later they're evangelizing the tech they didn't think they needed. My mother, a psychologist, refused to accept interns who didn't use a word processor (in the mid-80s). She would arrogantly say "They're too stupid to work for me." There is an adoption curve. TiVO hasn't reached the masses yet. It surely will. The technology is just too rational for it not to.
Ethan Zuckerman: "I am, of course, not advocating electronic trespass or any other illegal activity."
Dowbrigade: "As soon as we are told we cannot do something we want to do it."
The weather in Boston is notable for its mildness. Read that twice. I went for a walk early this morning, and there was the unmistakeable smell of New England summer. It's weird. Last year at this time I was still in California, getting ready for the movers, and then to drive across the country. When I got here there was still a month or so of bitter cold. So winter isn't over yet, unless this year is very strange. But it feels like it is.
David Galbraith is quick to find fault with RSS.
Richard MacManus: "There is no End User."
Phil Ringnalda: "Reading in an aggregator isn't the only use for RSS." This sounds reasonable, but I'm not sure it's true (in a pragmatic sense, of course). Initially in 1999, there were two ways to use RSS, Netscape's and ours, and the two were quite different, but both were aggregators. It's true that the word syndication originally comes form the idea of including the content of a syndicated news source in another publication. But that really has fallen off. That's the "dark side" of syndication, as explained in this essay from 1999. People make fun of Jakob Nielsen, but he's really a very smart guy. He figured out the dark-side-light-side thing. I know a lot of people feel the same way about me, they would rather figure this stuff out for themselves, so if you're like that, more power to you. But if you like shortcuts, check it out.
The Harvard weblog server, blogs.law.harvard.edu, is back up. A 12-hour outage. We were able to restore from a backup with no data loss. The server is taking quite a pounding right now, so it's slow. But it seems to be working. Thanks to Jake Savin at UserLand and Hal Roberts and Jesse Ross at Berkman for their help in getting us back on the air.
BBC: "President Bush's team says the use of images from the terror attacks in campaign ads was 'tasteful', despite angry protests."
This guy wants to marry a tree. Fine with me. No problemmo.
Dick Morris suggests Bush go negative, and has a workaround for McCain-Feingold.
BBC: "Ms Stewart was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings."
Scott Young: "I have been asked some questions lately having to do with the direction of UserLand and its release plans. Though I have spoken to many of you personally, I thought it would be good to provide an ongoing dialogue through my blog."
We had another fine Thursday meeting last night, mostly talk about BloggerCon, but some talk about tech stuff. After dinner, walking back to my car, Andrew Grumet told me that he planned to integrate BitTorrent with RSS. A namespace, a couple of Radio callbacks, and it should work. I'm in awe.
Wired: "The most-read webloggers aren't necessarily the ones with the most original ideas, say researchers at Hewlett-Packard Labs."
A milestone case study from the Shorenstein Center was released today. It tells the story of Trent Lott, his talk at Strom Thurmond's birthday party, and how the news flowed through professional channels, to the blogosphere, and back, ultimately resulting in Lott's resignation as majority leader of the US Senate. I first met with Esther Scott, the author of the case study, in May 2003, and met with Alex Jones, the director of Shorenstein, who commissioned the study, a couple of weeks ago. A personal note, it's gratifying to see the study is available publicly, this makes it available for review by bloggers, as well as being useful in classrooms, and as a reference to scholars who will study weblogs in the future.
An idyllic picture from Woodside, CA, on this day in Y2K.
Jeff Jarvis: "30 percent of XM satellite radio, Stern said, is owned by, yup, Clear Channel."
A list of all BBC feeds in an OPML file. It's huge. 2.4MB.
A quick story from last Thursday's Berkman meeting. We were reviewing all the blogging tool ideas people posted on the BloggerCon site. Someone showed me a picture in that thread, with the suggestion "More beards, please." My jaw dropped. I said "You guys aren't going to understand how weird this is." The two guys in the picture are relatives of mine, my great grandfather, and my uncle. Now comes the really weird part. My uncle loved all the Internet arcania I showed him, like the Dancing Hamsters. He said he had no context to understand what they were. But that's why he found them fascinating. If only I could tell him, that in a small way, he himself has become a Dancing Hamster, of a sort.
Jon Udell: "Have you ever wondered what happens if you point a VNC viewer on one box at another box then launch a VNC viewer on the second box and point it back at the first?"
Wired: I'm Sorry, Dave, You're Speeding.
Werblog: "David's job is to be cantankerous and pick fights."
Village Voice: "My name is Whitney Pastorek, and I do not have a blog. I am not on Friendster, I do not live in Williamsburg, and I do not think Death Cab for Cutie is a particularly great band."
Jeeves spent $343 million for "greater visibility" -- which makes me think Oh Geez, couldn't they have done something more creative that costs less? How about optimizing for weblogs. (Hint: Index by the blog post, not by the page.) Implement the Google API, and then improve it and get rid of the limits. Then when people search for stuff on Google, and end up at a weblog (just ask the Register if you don't believe me) the first thing they'd see is "Search powered by Oh Geeze." Or change the name to Gezundheit, because the name sounds like a sneeze. Or give $5 million to Al Sharpton and kick back and watch him run nationwide ads. Why not give $5 million to Dennis Kucinich too. Hey they're still in the race. And you'd have $333 million left. Just some thoughts on a quiet Thursday.
Smug Canadian: "Eyeballs are bullshit." Amen!
How to write for BloggerCon.
Huge RSS support from Amazon. It just keeps growing.
Sebastien Paquet: Why write papers?
Tucows documents Blogrolling.com's OPML support.
According to a source close to the Kerry campaign, they will announce shortly that they have raised over $1 million through their website in the last 24 hours. This is apparently a record, at its peak the Dean campaign didn't raise so much in one day.
Bush's television ads are rolling out around the country.
Later, the Telegraaf feed is no longer available to the public. Hmmm.
You know how you play a song over in your head, for days, sometimes weeks. Lately my song has been a sad one from Fiddler on the Roof. It's the kind of music my father used to play when I was a kid. But it's taken on new meaning. The song is Anatevka, about the little town in Russia where the play is set. The townspeople have just been evicted by the Tsar. They sing: "Soon I'll be a stranger in a stranger in a strange new place, searching for an old familiar face, from Anatevka." Maybe it's so poignant because, as an Amercan, I have no place like that, no place where I know every face I see. I wish I did.
Tim Jarrett: What kind of death march are you on?
AP: "Because blogs bypass traditional media outlets, supporters say, they can provide unusual, unfiltered perspectives on politics."
SXSW is having a session on weblogs in education, March 14.
Don Park: "UI design is hard and insanely tedious."
Ethan wants to make room for the 3rd world in the 2nd superpower.
New header graphic on Scripting News.
The BBC now has an RSS feed for each of their Arabic News categories.
Very impressive RSS 2.0 support from Borland. Thanks!
The Boston Globe has new RSS support too.
Jeff Jarvis: "I have some suggestions for Bloggercon sessions."
Michael Gartenberg: "The vendors should heed the words of the head of Black & Decker, who once said that customers don't buy the tool maker's products because they need 1-inch drills; they buy them because they need 1-inch holes."
Welcome to Emily's List.
Rebecca MacKinnon wants to know about the American OhMyNews.
Philip Greenspun: "A man goes to see Mel Gibson's new movie, The Passion, and is inspired to take his family to Israel to see the places where Jesus lived and died. While on vacation his mother-in-law dies."
NASA reports that part of Mars "was soaking wet in the past."
Andrew Grument reports on the number of feeds people subscribe to.
Over 100 people have registered for BloggerCon II. Lots of West Coast people. Shaping up very nicely and quickly. Excellent.
On this day six years ago, UserLand explained why we were so excited about XML. Seems like a long time ago, but the reason hasn't changed. It's all about interop. Not elegance, not boiling the ocean, not making geeks happy. XML exists, imho, to give more choices to users.
Like Lance Knobel, I've been watching and listening to coverage about Haiti from the major networks and NPR, trying to figure out what happened, and almost no one is even trying to say. It's like the Meet The Press episode with the governor of California promoting two ballot propositions but never saying what they do, and not being asked. On Sunday I thought I heard US Secretary of State Colin Powell say that Aristide's crime was that he didn't appear to be supporting democracy (looking for the quote). All the talk about Haiti having a Constitution, when it comes time for a change in power, they do it the usual Latin American way.
A Jamaican columnist provides another point of view on the events in Haiti. It was written before Aristide left.
You are invited to BloggerCon II, on April 17, 2004.
The list of people attending is available as an OPML blogroll.
Eric Raymond rants about user interfaces. "You have to think about what the actual user experiences when he or she sits down to do actual stuff, and you have to think about it from the user's point of view."
Michael Watkins writes from inside Harvard Business School.
NY Times: "Students who tracked their lies for a week reported telling lies in 15 percent of e-mail messages, compared with more than a third of phone calls, 25 percent of face-to-face conversations and about 20 percent of instant messaging chats."
Mark Pilgrim: "I work for IBM now." Congrats.
Builder.Com shows how to parse the News.Com RSS feeds with PHP.
Rogers Cadenhead: "Does anyone still wonder why amateurs are creating their own media?"
It's getting to be time to figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up. My fellowship lasts through June, and then it's on to new things. I don't even know where I'm going to live. Most of my posessions are in storage in the Bay Area. I have a nice car, and except for the TV everything I'm carrying fits in it. Not sure I can handle another summer in the northeast. Where should Uncle Davey go? Yehi.
Yesterday's bit about Bill Gates and computer science is getting lots of pointers and comment. Either you hate it or love it. Funny, it's the kind of thing I'd say over coffee, a toss-away line, said then forgotten. On the Web, it reverberates and bounces; offending many, inspiring others. This is some kind of medium, and it's always changing.
Mark Mascolino is generating RSS feeds for WBUR's radio show, The Connection.
Four years ago today, a picture of Tim O'Reilly talking with Jeff Bezos on the phone. Bezos was explaining how his one-click patent works.
One year ago today I wrote about my friend Lessig. It's not a word I throw around casually. I think of friendship the way tennis players think of a game. I hit the ball over the net. My friend hits it back (the best he can). I hit it back (same thing). Now in some cases, the other guy deliberately hits the ball into the net. That's not much fun. Then there's the guy who you hit the ball to, he catches it, and runs off the court with it. And then there's the guy (the anti-friend, or enemy) who puts a stick of dynamite in the ball, then hits it back so it can explode when it hits my racket. I hate when that happens!
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.