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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, April 27, 2004. Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Michael Gartenberg is a ninja! You can be one too.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Gary Wolf: "There is a clear parallel between the excitement of the PointCast days and the enthusiasm for RSS today." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

For people wanting to reach me in Europe, I have a cell phone for the next week, country code 31 (the Netherlands) 622936637. Still not sure what the next stop is, but I got my Eurail pass validated and tomorrow I hit the (rail) road. For the next week or so I have no idea how or if I'm going to be able to update this site. I've started a temporary weblog that I can edit in an Internet cafe, in case Google IPOs or something else earth shaking happens.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I give up, how do you make a Eurail reservation? Can you do it on the Web? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ben Hyde: "Don't hand out a universal identifying token!" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ed Foster: "The spread of spyware is becoming a major headache for many IT organizations." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wired: "The unacknowledged father of Apple's iPod is engineer Tony Fadell, who created the gadget as an independent contractor. Apple wants the story kept under wraps, but little by little, it's leaking out." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adam Curry: "I was dissapointed that WAP didn't happen, but I'll be really pissed if the same happens to weblog syndication." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

As you can see, the style of Scripting's banner is catching on.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com.Au has RSS feeds, but you have to tell them who you are and agree to their agreement before they will tell you where the feeds are.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Reuters: "A Mexican man who got drunk, fell asleep on railroad tracks and was run over by a train slept through the entire episode and escaped unharmed, local officials said on Friday." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Charles Hugo: "Tonight I went to the Scipting News Dinner in Amsterdam, which was held at De Waag on the Nieuwmarkt." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Google is sued over the technology I wrote about two days ago.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Meanwhile they've apparently chosen the underwriters for their IPO. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A cautionary tale Permanent link to this item in the archive.

At last night's dinner I sat across from an entrepreneur who runs a company that makes content for cell phones. He told the story of WAP and WML and how they had splintered and reformed so many times, that now there are thousands of variations, and it's basically impossible to make applications that work over enough of the market to be economically viable.

This is a cautionary tale for the RSS community. When people say more formats, or varying practices don't cost, they are either naive or acting in their own interest, not ours. In all likelihood, RSS is going down the same path. But it's not too late to do something about it.

Yesterday Adam Curry, a friend of mine (a word I don't use lightly), said when he sees me write about RSS, he quickly skips to the next item, thinking "I'm glad Dave is taking care of that." Don't be so sure, I said to Adam. The people who want to splinter the formats just make my personality the issue, something they couldn't do if you joined me in fighting the splintering. If two people say no, it can't be about personalities, because we'd have to share the personality flaws. When you make me the only voice, that's what happens.

And by the way, having said that, you can't be sure I'm watching out for your interests. I get tired of fighting this alone. So if you like what you have with RSS, get up to speed on how it is falling apart, and stop it from happening before it's too late.

A picture named ninja.jpgSo Adam asked what he could do. I said you now own Joi Ito. Help him learn how he could help. He invests in lots of companies that benefit from RSS. It's time for him to do something good for RSS to balance the books. He's used it too well, his companies, particularly SixApart, have repeatedly undermined a coalescing of the format. Someone needs to talk wtih Joi about this. I've tried, and failed. Maybe Adam and Joi can figure out what Joi needs to get him on board. Then, after that works, we'll find someone else for you to work with, and then someone for Joi to work with. We'll start a world wide club of ninjas, fighting against the unfair exploitation of RSS and its users.

SMS is a cautionary tale too Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another cautionary tale from the dinner in Amsterdam, SMS is going down the same path as WAP/WML, what used to be a firm standard is being extended in incompatible ways. There will be eighteen brands of SMS, and you'll only be able to message people who use the same brand of phone. I don't use SMS, I don't think it exists in the US, but I understand it's popular in Europe and Asia.

I used to say this to Bill G when he started giving money to charities to help make the world a better place, presumably. I said that he had so much more leverage in the computer business, if he would just do a few things differently we could solve some of the biggest problems in the world by working together. He either didn't get it, or ignored it, or is insincere in his desire to make the world a better place, or something else I don't understand.

Working together in the users' interest, is by far the most important thing we can do, far more important than any one brand of software.


Last update: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 at 6:22 PM Eastern.

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