Saturday, July 31, 2004
Brian Buck has been through hell, but he's still alive. Whew. He posted in May that his cancer took a turn for the worse, he was going back on chemo, and then, no updates. Every so often I wondered what became of him. Then this evening, an update!
Saw The Manchurian Candidate this afternoon. "This is rich people funding bad science to..." I liked it but I'm not sure how it ended. Really. If you saw it and know what the ending is, please let me know.
Ed, the Congressional Dems are all over blogs. That's probably why we were there. The local press doesn't cover their races. So they are doing what Scoop Nisker advises. "If you don't like the news go out and make some of your own." This is a very clever phrase because it captures the duality, making news is something news makers do, of course, but it's also something news reporters do. If the pros only want to cover the Presidential race, no problemmo, we can do it ourselves. To paraphrase a famous American patriot, The blogs are coming, the blogs are coming. They get it, they're excited, and we are too.
Longfellow: "Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,"
John Perry Barlow: Revolution with a Smile.
New Republic: "The national press corps spent the better part of 1999 and 2000 insisting that George W. Bush was a centrist, because he kept repeating slogans that suggested as much. Reporters could have avoided this misinterpretation had they spent less time following Bush around the country and more time sitting at their desks doing Nexis searches, where they could have unearthed old Bush quotes like this one from 1996: 'The Republican Party must put a compassionate face on a conservative philosophy.' Surely that would have told them more about how Bush was actually planning to govern than the number of times he described himself as 'compassionate' or was filmed with black or Hispanic children."
Goddard on Reagan on Bush.
Here's the interview I did with The Gillmor Gang on Thursday.
NY Times: "Political conventions are like 19th-century novels; they benefit from an omniscient narrator."
Here's a site we will certainly add to the rotation at the Republican version of Convention Blogers, coming soon to a browser near you.
The Campaign Institute trains people to be paid campaign staffers. They're doing trainings in Cambridge in August.
Tim Jarrett is doing a cross-country road trip from Seattle to Delaware.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Essay: What the bloggers should have done at the DNC.
Google's IPO bidding site is live. Does that mean the IPO process has started?
Oy I'm dealing with another round of spyware. Sometimes this stuff is amazingly insightful. Click on a link, up pops "Do you think marijuana should be legal, yes or no?" I don't dare click on that baby for fear of what will pop up. (FYI, the answer is yes, of course. Something like one-third of the people in prison are there for marijuana offenses. That's just ridiculous.) But get this I had clicked on the link to a blog whose author is certain to be a stoner. How did they know? And how do I get rid of these. I've run Spybot, Adaware, countless times. Updated Windows. Yeah I know, switch to a Mac. Use Firefox. But what does Microsoft, with all its fancy patents, think I should do? Hey now that we're friends, what does the DNC think??
Okay, let's critique one of the critiques. He didn't give us a list of blogs he read so we could see if his judgment was based on breadth, or maybe he was just too lazy, or picky, to find the good stuff.
Rogers Cadenhead: "Weblogs represent a mass consumer revolt against the giant electronic media and the bottom-line fixated, risk-averse, synergy-loving infotainment cesspool that it has become."
Jim Moore, not just a talking head, calls Kerry's speech a home run.
Okay reporters say the bloggers didn't break any news. I wonder if they read Micah Sifry's report on the money behind the Democrats that was hidden in plain sight. For a brush-up on how the mind works, try Don's Amazing Puzzle. It's amazing because it so clearly illustrates how your mind mostly sees what it expects to see.
The job of a blogger is to stay steady even when they say you're stupid, unqualified, inexperienced, irrelevant, biased or self-obsessed. Maybe even report on them saying it. Let the reader draw his or her own conclusion as to why they do this. I have a lot of training, because people in the tech blogging world say all these things about me, and have been doing so for years. In the end it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. My flow keeps going up, I keep getting better at what I do, and there's always more juicy bits to point to.
I'm at Boston's Logan Airport, using their WiFi. It's $6.95 for 24 hours of access. Two major irritations at modern airports I always forget to mention (because I rarely blog in airports I guess). First, people sitting behind you in the waiting area talking on their cell phones, saying very mundane personal things that I really didn't want to know, at full volume. I guess the conversations are especially irritating because you can only hear one side. You wonder if the person at the other end is really interested, or is as irritated as you are. The second thing that bothers me is how you get separated from your wallet as you go through the screening. There it is, sitting out in the open, waiting for anyone to pick it up. The guy in front of me complained about his $6000 Rolex watch being so vulnerable, so they went and got it for him. I mumbled my wallet is worth more than $6000 to an identity thief. Did they get it? Nahhh. This goes along somewhat with the lax security at Fleet, where people got in without any kind of matchup between their ticket and their ID. I'm not any kind of security expert, but I think we got off easy this week.
An observer noted that I tend to write Flint Center when I really mean Fleet Center. The former is the place where Apple Computer did its famous rollout of the Macintosh in 1984, an event surely as memorable as this year's DNC. Let history record that Fleet Center (whose name is likely to change now that Fleet Bank has merged with BofA) was where the 2004 Democratic National Convention was held.
Casting note. CNN's Tucker Carlson could play Young Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs, The Movie. No doubt this will be the bit everyone quotes from today's Scripting News.
Steve Rubel interviews convention blogger Matt Stoller.
Charles Cooper: "Most of the credentialed bloggers came off like cyberhayseeds in the big city."
Cooper quoted Rick Heller, without linking to the post he was quoting. Heller responds.
Something I noticed too. There's a lack of discipline among the pros which has deformed discourse in all areas including science, technology, economics, medicine (areas where accuracy really counts). The practice of quoting out of context, if you don't want to be made to look like a fool, turns opinions into mush. I got quoted out of context quite a few times this week, I knew it would happen when I posted the item about how boring the convention was on Monday. I published the bit anyway, because communicating with my readers is more important to me than potentially being made to look like an idiot by professional reporters. This is something I'd like them to look at. If you're really an idealist (and many pros are) you have no choice but to try to convey the meaning of the people you quote. To do otherwise would violate rule #2, saying something you know is not true.
Paul Krugman: "Somewhere along the line, TV news stopped reporting on candidates' policies, and turned instead to trivia."
Lance Knobel: Security 101 and the DNC.
Wired reviews The Manchurian Candidate, which appears to be must-see.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
As Dowbrigade reported, the net access from the blogger blockade on the seventh floor was pretty bad, so I went to dinner with Nico who I know from the Dean campaign, and then watched the speeches back at my hotel. I was less glued to the keyboard, and nodding out at times. It's been an exhausting week and it finally caught up with me. A few notes before signing off for the day...
First it wouldn't be a Democratic convention if we didn't run a picture of Michael Dukakis in the tank. I've been looking for a way to sneak that in. Gotcha. About the Kerry speech, it was so hard to watch. I wish I were watching it on TiVO so I could hit pause and catch my breath as he moved from topic to topic at utterly inhuman speeds. This guy is a very unnatural public speaker. It looks like they worked on getting him succinct, now they have to get him to work on the breathing. The crowd kept wanted to be part of the event and the candidate simply wouldn't let them in. Oh well, anything's better than Bush.
Jay Rosen writes that he is not an official RNC blogger, he's going to be part of the Knight-Ridder team. I suspect many bloggers (such as myself) will wrangle an invite in this fashion. I got the news from Jay while I was still in the press filing room. One of my deskmates who works at a BigPub said his organizatioin hadn't been contacted by the RNC yet, so there's still time. Good. I want to be there. It would be a shame not to be able to contrast the two conventions. One difference I already know about, there's a dress code at the RNC, apparently. I've been wearing jeans and nice shirts and shoes, which is pretty dressed-up for me. On the first two days I wore a blazer. That caused John Palfrey to gasp with surprise. Dave -- blazer? Well I actually own a few, but you would never know it based on how I dressed at Harvard.
CNN is waxing about how well Kerry spoke. Come on admit it. Those choppy hand movements were almost other-worldly. What was he thinking? Anyway, he's the only guy to vote for in 2004. Dubya? Only if you want more wars.
Jack Hodgson is blogging the Oshkosh air show.
Jay Rosen says, via email, that he's been given permission to blog the Republican National Convention.
Globe and Mail: "Bloggers are rushing in to fill a void, one that was once held by local newspapers."
Behind the scenes in the press filing room at the DNC. There's a point to these pictures. How different do these people look from people you'd meet at a blogger's conference? They have a passion for information, take pride in their craft, are competitive, and are always trying to do better. They laugh at the same kinds of jokes we do. Like the bloggers at the DNC, these tend to be the good ones, the ones who care.
Walking from Copley Plaza to Fleet Center on a hot Thursday.
The same walk on a sub-zero Sunday in February 2000. Today it was a bit warmer, in the mid-80s and quite humid.
2PM: Arrived at Fleet Center. Walked here from Copley Square, taking lots of pictures. As I arrived at the hall, Carol King was rehearsing for her performance tonight, singing You've Got A Friend. She's amazing. I got a couple of pictures.
From France: "Les bloggers, guest stars de la convention democrate."
Next event, my live interview on WHYY Philadelphia. I love saying that. It's what Terry Gross says just before (or after, I can't remember) Fresh Air, in her Jonathan Schwartz-like faux-sincere radio-voice.
Matt Stoller, a convention blogger, mildly criticized Democratic wunderkind Barack Obama, who gave a brief and totally uninspiring talk at the blogger's breakfast. Apparently, this comment caused the DNCC to "sever its affiliation with Stoller and remove his name from the blog of the committee's Web site." As a volunteer for the DNCC, Matt was instrumental in getting us to Boston, acting as a go-between for the bloggers and the DNCC. I don't know the details, but it's sad that such an innocent comment could be made so important. Obama was flustered when he spoke to the bloggers, Matt actually got it right, whether or not they want to work with him.
AP: "As a member of the traditional media, I don't believe I need to look for a new job yet." Same old story. Lead: Are bloggers going to change everything? Twelve graphs. Whew. Turns out my job is safe. But tell me this, why should readers care if your job is safe? And they say bloggers are self-obsessed.
Why can't the press get the URL of this site right? I've seen all kinds of variants in the last few days, some of which are real pages on one of my sites, but are not my weblog. In the write-up on the WHYY interview above they break new ground and list an address that's 404. Reminds me of the old days when we would typeset manuals, and the print designers would insist on typesetting the screen shots. Of course they'd introduce errors, and the users, who didn't use typeset computer screens, must have felt a disconnect. Eventually, I fired the typesetters and we ran actual screen shots. Advice to our brothers and sisters in print, radio and TV, you gotta test the URLs, and it helps to have a mailto icon that goes directly to someone respoinsible for the content so errors can quickly be corrected. Imagine the diligent WHYY listener who wants to visit my blog before hearing my BS. I suppose they would Google me. Okay that works. Sighhh.
Another dirty little secret from Kos. "One person collects all their credentials, walks out the Fleet Center, and returns with a whole new group. Lather. Rinse. Repeat." That's how the Fleet gets so over-full.
Matt Haughey notes that Fox only shows small parts of convention speeches, without context. They are able to do this because like all press at the show, they get advance copies of the speeches. Maybe this is why the Dems shouldn't distribute advance copies. All reporters have laptops. The whole thing could be webbed and distribution would be instantaneous. It would also defeat the Dewey Beats Truman stuff we saw yesterday. The Dems should go to a Steve Jobs event and see how they do it at Apple. There's an art to making dull announcements seem exciting. I bet Steve could have rolled out the program Edwards launched yesterday with a lot more sitting on the edge of the seats than we saw. (But Steve could probably learn a few tricks from the Dems. They have a lot more users.)
Want another dirty little secret? Of course you do. You can't hear what the speakers are saying from up in the blogger cocktail lounge on the seventh floor. It's all mumbled and fuzzy. Rebecca, Jesse and I read the transcript of the Edwards speech while he was giving it, he didn't deviate much, but he didn't read the exact speech either. All the other speakers were totally jumbled. To hear what they actually say I have to try to catch it on C-SPAN after the show back in the hotel room. This leads to my second feature request. How about a live audio webcast, on the LAN in the convention, so we can put on headphones and hear the speakers' actual words in real-time. We've tried using the C-SPAN webcast, and it works (though not well on the flaky WiFi setup) -- but here's the problem -- there's a five-ten second delay. So the crowd is erupting while we're hearing the buildup. Not very good. Eventually I gave up on that approach, and just tried to figure out the mood by watching and listening as best I could without technical assistance.
We got some excellent swag at last night's blogger's party hosted by Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader. Usually you get worthless crap but these guys know how to spend money. First a hand-held WiFi dectector, something I had heard of but never used. Instead of having to boot up your laptop to find out if you're in range of a WiFi router, with this guy you just press a button and if the light goes on, you have a signal. Very useful, goes in the knapsack for sure. The other cool thing is a little USB disk drive. How nice I thought, I wonder if they put any MP3s on it. Well they did, but not the Grateful Dead or Sting or Stevie Wonder. They put speeches from various Representatives. Okay it's not music but it is creative. Someone put some thought into it. Coooool.
One more time: The Blogger's Theme Song.
Minnesota Public Radio: Kerry Nominated.
Kaye Trammell passes on a cartoon from a pro who wonders about the qualifications of bloggers.
Danah Boyd: "More and more, journalists are thanking bloggers for new slants. The competition between journalists and bloggers for readers' attention results in more diverse and compelling coverage."
US Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
New term: Visibility whip.
The convention welcomes John Edwards.
This place is incredibly emotionally charged. More intense than a World Series game. When people say nothing happens here, no news, that's just wrong. Jesse, sitting to my right, says the place is so jammed he saw Rob Reiner and his handlers trying to talk their way into seats. Basically every seat in the place is filled and then some. Elizabeth Edwards is speaking now.
Micah Sifry: Hidden in Plain View.
Dewey Beats Truman. "Edwards hits the stage at Democratic convention to build up Kerry." Only one problem -- it hasn't happened yet.
Dowbrigade endorses Kerry -- The kiss of death?
Rebecca has a short audio blog post for Scripting News readers.
Al Sharpton didn't give anything resembling the vetted speech.
Command Post: "Al Sharpton was to have 6 minutesÖ he took 20."
Logical Realism: "Not sure if it carries through on TV or radio, but the crowd is really pumped tonight." True.
Random Wednesday DNC pictures.
Blogging pioneers Rebecca Blood and Jesse James Garrett visited.
PR Week: "Eric Kraus, Gillette VP of corporate communications, called the blog rumors 'an urban myth.'"
Senator Dick Durbin will be at the blogger booth at 8:30PM tonight for bloggers who are interested.
Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC are hosting Blogger Bash at Meze Estiatorio 10PM-2AM tonight. "Invitation only."
Mike Byron, a delegate and Democratic candidate for Congress (CA-49) is blogging daily on the Byron for Congress campaign blog.
Dan Bricklin: "Political conventions today are about transmitting a feeling and the press tries to filter that out, leaving something strange and unnatural." This is a kickass must-read piece. Dan is making an important contribution to convention blogging, the off-site guy who reads all the stuff and then thinks about what it means. Here, there is no time to think, there is only time to do.
David Weinberger: Objective Rhetoric.
I was just interviewed by Niharika Acharya of Voice of America's Hindi service , broadcast in India. Gaurav Dwivedi is the cameraman. Like most television crews they like you to contort yourself into unnatural positions so that you can't actually type accurately, but it looks good on TV for some reason. So that is exactly what I'm doing right now, as silly as it might seem!
Ed Cone: "Is Atrios going to be more credible, or more popular, now that we know who lives in the mansion above the Batcave?"
Jessamyn the Librarian wearing a Blogger™ shirt.
Today's audio blog post, began with a question from Teresa Hanafin from Boston.Com, and then drifted into setting the context for tomorrow's Gillmor Gang audiocast. Also look for a 20-minute discussion tomorrow morning at 10:40AM Eastern on WHYY Philadelphia.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer on two anonymous Microsoft bloggers.
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Welcome to Bloggers' Boulevard."
Betsy Devine: "I don't wear broomstick skirts or cowboy boots."
Dave Johnson: "I think that next week is going to be the week to really read bloggers."
Dave is right, I think. It's not just that time for writing is scarce (it is), it's also that the mood is pretty edgy because of the security. Last night I cut out early to have dinner with a friend who is not part of the convention. Took a cab down Commonwealth Ave. Downtown Boston is a military encampment. The uniforms were very strange, lots of weird colors, helmets, bullet-proof vests, handcuffs. A motorcade held up traffic, but I couldn't figure out who would be in such a large motorcade, and the special security was unbelievable. Heavy armored vehicles. Snipers on the roofs, armed guards at every public building, and this was several blocks from Fleet. As I left the convention area I felt a real sense of relief. If there's going to be an attack tonight I'm going to watch it on TV, I thought. I don't know how many other people feel like they're at Ground Zero when they're inside Fleet, but I feel it, even though it's not stopping me from having fun and doing new things, not knowing how it's going to come out is preventing me from drawing conclusions.
NY Times: "If there was anything Senator John Kerry's strategists were hoping to avoid this week, it was the image of a Massachusetts liberal in funny headgear."
Tim Jarrett: "Reading the convention blogs, one gets a feel of life on the FleetCenter floor that network TV may never again deliver."
Marc Nozell shot this picture of me on Fox this morning.
I'm up early to appear on Fox & Friends at 6:45AM Eastern.
Convention Bloggers is a Yahoo Pick today."This site's front page works as a news aggregator, constantly refreshing its content as convention bloggers update their sites. This site proves that a simple idea can produce an excellent resource for anyone interested in more convention coverage than the cable news networks offer."
Dowbrigade: "Our bus, like the majority of the others, parks as far away as possible from the fenced in protesters."
Jessamyn: "Having a women's room that never had a line made up for almost every indignity that we had to deal with."
Scoble: "The blogs are better than TV, but one problem is that I don't know where to go for the good stuff."
Talkleft: Name That Blogger.
Google: "This page is not yet ready."
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Centerfield: "I understand now why Tom Brokaw didn't seem to be paying attention to Clinton's speech last night."
Matt Gross: "Do you see the man behind the curtain yet?"
Dan Gillmor: Why not to bid on Google IPO.
Happiness is blogger buttons. 4 of em!
More pictures from the show floor. Peter and Paul of Peter, Paul & Mary. Judy Woodruff (CNN) and Dan Rather (CBS).
Pictures from the show floor, Wolfe Blitzer/CNN, the DNS office.
Audio interview with Minnesota candidate for the House, Patty Wetterling. I did the interview with Natasha Celine of Pacific Views. We're in the Democratic News Service; they are "dedicated to getting great stories for the bloggers."
Second audio interview with Don Means, senior political advisor at Meetup.Com. Again my co-hort is Natasha from Pacific Views.
Paolo Valdemarin: Calibrating Points of View.
National Journal: "Who would waste a cannoli?"
Michael Markman, a longtime reader of this site, writes: "It looks like the bloggers at the convention have very little to say except, 'Look! we're blogging at the convention. I just got credentials." I respond: It's just the second day, and the first convention. Of course the first comments are going to be It works! And maybe that's all there is to it. We'll find out. You can't hurry love.
Berkman exec director John Palfrey wonders, perhaps, if the bloggers may be sorry we asked for creds at the DNC, noting my "boring beyond belief" post. First, it got more interesting, and second, while it was really boring at 5PM, no regrets. I recalled watching conventions as a youth, probably the Ford-Carter conventions in 1976, and the ones that nominated Mondale and Dukakis. I go back as far as Nixon-McGovern in 1972. In all cases, you could tell, watching it on TV, that the people at the convention totally weren't paying attention to the speeches, even though the cameras were focused on them. I remember feeling, at the time, what a waste. Now the networks have figured that out and aren't bothering to cover the speeches that are so dull even the delegates don't bother. On the other hand it was a good move for bloggers to be included, and a good move for us to come. The convention proceeds at a pace that's more amenable to our style of reporting. We're getting the hang of it. I expect to be writing about this convention for weeks, months and years to follow, Murphy-willing, of course.
Lance Knobel pulls a quote from a Jay Rosen piece about political consultants at Harvard's Institute of Politics, and how they set expectations for candidates. There is something seriously wrong, if our political system were working, candidates would be judged by how well they represent the interests of voters, not how well they meet the expectations of political insiders. The tech industry went through the same thing, it was called a bubble, and it popped. This one will pop too.
Hollywood Reporter on convention bloggers.
Today's Boston forecast: "Highs around 70." Ahhhh.
On the bus back from the convention last night I sat next to two bloggers from The American Street, both from Oregon, which I learned is a swing state. I took some pictures but I have to get some coffee before I procede with processing.
Monday, July 26, 2004
NY Times: "The Republicans have temporarily transplanted their 'war room' to a bunker just two blocks from the FleetCenter."
They're giving out these cool blogger visors.
Michele Catalano of Command-Post is credentialed for the RNC. I'm jealous! I want to be there.
Jim Moore stopped by the blogger's desk for a portrait. That's Matt Stoller in the foreground. If you're in the neighborhood we're in section 319-20 on the 7th floor. Happy to do portrait photography. Don't expect great conversation. During the less interesting speeches I'm listening to music on iTunes, and sometimes I have much better background music than everyone else. I've got a great Tears For Fears song playing right now. Followed by Blondie singing Heart of Glass. We bloggers make our own entertainment. Then the Dems crank up a great tune, I Am Everyday People. Which is consistent with the blogging theme, which is We're Just Folks, Come As You Are. "Different strokes for different folks." Yeah. "We gotta live together."
Talkleft: "And the no longer anonymous Atrios is here!"
Hearing that I got out of my seat, introduced myself to the Talkleft blogger (she said on her blog that she's sitting next to David Sifry who I know, of course), she pointed out Atrios, I asked if I could take his picture, and he said yes. Now there officially has been news at the DNC. The uncloaking of a blogging super-hero.
Reinvented: What are the bloggers browsing?
By 7:30PM the floor is full, people are posed for a picture. Then they play Dancing in the Streets and We Are Family, and it becomes a dance floor. We're weaving and humming up on the 7th floor too.
Convention Bloggers has had 30K hits today. Not bad for a site that didn't exist three days ago.
Jim Moore: "These jets come out of the North American Defense Command, but are now under the direct control of the Secret Service."
New header graphic to go with the current locale.
Daniel Berlinger asks for a colophon of tools convention bloggers are using. Answer, for the most, they're using their normal laptops. I'm using my ThinkPad. Other stuff: The new Nikon Coolpix, USB cable for the camera, two mikes, two headphones, a Radio Shack line splitter (so I can plug in two mikes at once, but it doesn't work), a power strip, USB mouse, cell phone, business cards, and that's about it. I deliberately emptied my backback this morning, a dry-run yesterday proved I was carrying too much weight, no need to bring the iPod (my laptop has iTunes and all the music on the iPod). Don't need my crossword book, or my passport or checkbook and all the other miscellaneous michegas that's accumulated in my knapsack. Amazing how much weight all that adds up to. (PS to Adam, I got a big heavy-duty mike from Radio Shack.)
Well, the convention has started. It's boring beyond belief. It can only get better. Everyone on the floor is mulling around, chatting. Can't understand what the speakers are saying. It sounds like this: blah blah blah John Kerry blah blah Kerry Edwards blah blah values values values blah blah John Kerry blah blah blah standing at a crossroads blah blah. There's a din in the room. I had to go get a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee to stay away. Zzzzz. Blah blah K-E-R-R-Y blah blah Kerry Edwards and you. Thank you very much.
Some big news. My picture is on John Kerry's blog. Hey I'm smiling.
BBC: "A computer virus appears to have hit net search engine, Google, crippling its search service."
News.Com: "Major Internet search engines were crippled Monday morning by a variant of the MyDoom worm, rendering Google inaccessible to many users and slowing results from Yahoo."
NY Times: "The popular Internet search company, which is planning to sell shares to the public in an unconventional auction, said today it expected its shares to sell for $108 to $135 each."
Today's audio blog post includes an interview with Matt Gross, formerly of Dean For America, and now chief blogger for North Carolina Senate candidate Erskine Bowles.
Matt Gross has a picture of me blogging in the Fleet.
We just got a paper copy of the National Journal Hotline. Very interesting crib sheet on the news of the day from the Washington perspective. They're also on the Web.
Pictures from the blogger's breakfast in Boston.
WBUR: Bloggers in the Bullpen.
Barack Obama, who's running for the Senate in Illinois, spoke briefly at the Blogger's Breakfast. He's an up and coming star of the Democratic Party, according to David Weinberger, he'll be President in 12 years.
Patti Labelle just came on to do an equipment check. She's just awesome. There are bloggers all around me on the blvd, the connectivity kind of sucks, I'm the lucky one, I've got a line. Behind me Dave Weinberger says "I've got no signal."
I'm back from the blogger's breakfast, in the convention center, seated at a great desk on something called Blogger Boulevard. The breakfast speakers were Walter Mears, an ancient AP reporter who came out of retirement to do a blog of the convention, and then Howard Dean, who talked about how blogs were really important to the future of politics. There were two dozen print, radio and television reporters there, checking us out. I think we did pretty well.
Adam Curry: "If Dave had been working for a radio broadcast organization, and filed this report he would've been looking for a new job within 5 minutes."
Convention Bloggers is #1 on Blogdex and Daypop. Excellent. The aggregate picture is important, it helps people find what the bloggers are doing, as opposed to the head-pats from the bigpubs. And it helps the bloggers find new readers. Win-win.
Command Post has the DNC schedule of events that are open to press.
The official word on WiFi from Mike Liddell at the DNC.
WSJ: Meet the Bloggers.
BBC: Bloggers go mainstream at US conventions.
NY Times: Year of the Blog?
Josh Marshall: "The whole thing is mystifying to me."
Setting the scene over at the Fleet, we're way up high, in section 319 on the seventh floor. There's a section of seats that have been cleared out for the bloggers. We're told there will be tables and chairs so we can update from there. There is ample power, I brought a power strip. Last night Matt Stoller called to say that they had gotten the WiFi working. That's good.
This is the view of the stage from our space.
Right behind us, within touching distance is CNN's blogger booth. Not sure what they have planned there, I wish they weren't quite so close. I mean are they going to let bloggers hang out in their studio? I guess this is what you get when you aren't paying for the space.
This morning at 10AM is the official bloggers breakfast. From there we'll shuttle over to Fleet, wait in a huge line, go through security again, and then go upstairs to get set up, hopefully fully powered, with wifi.
A picture of Shea Stadium from an airplane yesterday as we were taking off from LaGuardia Airport.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Major major: NPR has RSS. I'm all over this!
David Appell: "There's no journalist on the staff of the Boston Globe or the NY Times whose take I'm particularly interested in hearing. They're all basically one and the same to me. But the bloggers I read--Dave Winer, Kos, Josh Marshall--have, to me, individual voices that, I'm realizing, I'm interested in hearing from. Even if they've covering the same old convention as everyone else."
Sunday Democratic National Convention pictures.
Today's audio blog post, recorded while traveling from the Westin hotel in Copley Plaza to Fleet Center. Interviews with people along the way. Some very rough audio at the beginning with one quite large silent spot, but some really good stuff I think. Designed to go with the pictures, above.
I'm in Flint Center, it's been an incredible ordeal to get in here. Lots of mazes to walk, a big security check, up on the seventh floor looking down on the floor of the convention as they're testing and rehearsing stuff. The WiFi doesn't work, and there's no place to plug in for power. I'm uploading this via a Sprint wireless modem. BTW, I remembered to bring a power strip with me.
Also thanks to Russ Beattie for insisting that I get the Sprint wireless modem.
I'm meeting Michael Feldman for dinner at 6PM at Mary Chung's in Central Square. Easy to get to, on the Red Line. It's the east coast version of spicy noodles (not as good, sorry). Let's make it a blogger's dinner, open to one and all. 464 Mass Ave. 617-864-1991. Spitting distance from the 8PM party. Maybe Wes Clark will come.
How to get your credentials.
Aside from adding a few more blogs to the Convention Bloggers site this morning, I also added a weather feed for Boston, and have added the NPR top stories feed, and one for WBUR, the local Boston public radio station. I am so pleased I can't possibly explain. So this is not only a software exercise, it's an act of curatorship. While this is the first time I've published an aggregated site, it's not an original idea. Jim Moore has been talking about this for a long time, and Taegan Goddard at Political Wire has been doing it. The cool thing about curatorship in RSS now is that there's critical mass. There are enough different feeds, different points of view, that it's possible to be artistic. BTW, the weather in Boston is going to be pretty good. This time of year it can be brutally hot. It'll be rainy, but quite cool. That's something to be thankful for, believe me.
BTW, part of the Convention Bloggers project has been pretty depressing. The variability in formats creates huge problems for users, on both sides. In this context, I am a user of RSS, of course. Then I see the NPR feeds and I'm smiling again. While the blogging tools vendors have generally played pretty dirty with the format, the pros and the big technology companies have played pretty fair. There are a small number of problems, but mostly their feeds just work. That's worth a lot.
Jay Rosen in Newsday on convention bloggers.
NT Times editorial: "If the delegates were not far outnumbered by the media, we would worry about why nobody wanted to come."
Matt Stoller and Westin Kreibel did a video blog post of the inside of Fleet Center. Then Matt did a photo tour. The amount of information I have about the convention just went up by 800 percent. Thanks!
WSJ: "The Boston Democrats' platform, which will be adopted this week without dissent, mentions President Clinton only three times, but the entire 37-page document is an ode to his record."
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Today's neat net trick: Pictures from Convention Bloggers. There will be many many digital cameras, so this is just a warm-up. There are already some nipples visible in the flow. If you're under 18, please avert your eyes. It's totally automatic, if a blogger's feed has an image in it and the post that contains it has a permalink, then we include the image on the images page. Click on the image to get to the post. It's a little incentive system to encourage the convention bloggers to include more pics.
Today's audio blog post, about developing the Convention Bloggers software, pictures from New Mexico and microphones.
Command Post blogged the big story of the day, not enough toilets for members of the print media at the DNC. "60 serious coffee-drinkers per toilet." Ow that hurts. Someone was obviously channeling this concern to Scripting News yesterday. "I think they should also look into shutting down the public bathrooms. Never know what could happen in a urinal."
If you're looking for me in Boston, this is where I'll be.
After much thought I decided to include the NY Times on the Trail among the feeds that are scanned at ConventionBloggers and included in the blogroll. Yesterday, talking with Len Apcar, editor in chief of the Times on the Web, he asked about including this feed. That raised an issue I wanted to think about. I care about their convention stories, I personally subscribe all the NY Times feeds, their methods are certainly different from the bloggers, but in the end thought it's better to be inclusive. If there are other professional news organizations covering the DNC and have a feed that's exclusively for campaign coverage, please let me know. It'll be a judgement call on each one, of course, as it is with the blogs.
Thanks to Instapundit, Bryan Bell, Political Wire, TalkLeft, Kottke, Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, Boston.Com, Tom Watson, Centrist Coalition, Majority Report, Command Post, The Guardian, Dan Gillmor, Jay Rosen and so many others, for linking to the new Convention Bloggers site. It's a community and its a blog, and it's great to see it getting so much support. Thanks!!
Ed Cone: "Will the GOP do anything at all similar next month?" Yes, I hope to do a Convention Blogger site for the Republican convention as well. There's nothing partisan about the software. Like the posters and ads you see around NYC with Ed Koch (former mayor, a Democrat) saying that the Republicans love NY and are welcome here. Same with blogging, same with RSS. Technology doesn't know any political boundaries.
NY Times: "The question that voters seem to be wrestling with now is not whether President Bush is a legitimate president but whether he is a trustworthy one."
Dowbrigade: "Downtown, less than a mile from our office, they are buttoning down the Fleet Center step by step. The Secret Service took control of the area last night at 8. The nearby train station and Green Line subway stop are closed."
A few unpublished driving pictures from last week in New Mexico.
Jeff Sandquist: XM Radio and XML Encoding.
Two years ago today: People with Good Hearts.
Jim Moore reminded us last year on this day that "The fiscal year 2004 Federal budget is $1,731 billion dollars." It's noteworthy, because a campaign for President costs much less, in the neighborhood of $200 million. $1.7 trillion "is a lot of Haliburton contracts," he said.
NY Times: "Microsoft is considering a sale of Slate because the model of creating a Web magazine of cultural criticism and political analysis to attract visitors to its MSN Network has little business salience in an age dominated by search applications. And the site's small size limits its ability to meaningfully contribute to Microsoft's revenues."
Jonathan Schwartz: "If you're running Red Hat, and feeling frustrated by their support, exorbitant pricing, or weak security, it's time to look at Solaris, on any of the more than 200 hardware platforms we support."
Schwartz is President and COO of Sun Microsystems, and uses his blog skillfully.
It's funny how a brief first trip to a foreign country gets you interested in things you never were interested in before.
Another thing that's funny is when you hear an old favorite song that you hadn't heard in years and can't get it out of your head.
Friday, July 23, 2004
ConventionBloggers.Com went live today. It's got the freshest posts from bloggers who will be on-site at the DNC next week, including delegates with blogs, not just the credentialed bloggers. I could definitely use some link-love for this site. It's built to take hundreds of thousands of hits a day, maybe more.
Thanks to Bryan Bell for a kickass theme design. It's a real eye-catcher.
I should have seen this coming. I'm a fan too. Now the question is, will it go to his head? (Yeah, of course it will.)
Techweb says that open wireless networks are a security threat. If they're going to shut down all the wireless LANs in the Fleet Center area, I think they should also look into shutting down the public bathrooms. Never know what could happen in a urinal. The pipes connect all kinds of buildings underground. Do you think a terrorist could take advantage of that? Think about it. Seriously.
Heart this: 1. Spend five hours converting a big piece of code to run in a new environment. 2. When done with the first pass, say out loud, What The Hell. 3. Click on Run. 4. It doesn't blow up in your face.
Lance Knobel: "Both America and the world would be far better for having a Davos man in the White House."
One of the early mottos of Scripting News was "Watching them watch us." It would go to ridiculous extremes, there would be times of Watching them watch us watch them watch us. That was before we had the term Echo Chamber to sum it all up. Well, as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter, There you go again. During the convention Dave Sifry from Technorati will be on CNN, helping CNN viewers watch us. Since I'll be there at the show, I won't be able to watch them watch us. So if someone else watching at home could watch them watch us, and report about it on their blog? And then I'll watch them watch CNN watch Sifry watch us. You see why blogs are so appealing to The TV Generation? There's lots of watching going on!
Jim Moore: "This is the first time such a move has been made by the US Congress during the actual committing of a genocide."
Wired: "A plan by TiVo to let its users transfer recorded TV shows to other devices is running into opposition from Hollywood studios and the National Football League, which fear their copyright content could get loose on the Internet."
Finally a great soundbite from John Kerry, I don't recall the exact wording, but I'm sure we'll hear it 18 million times before the election. "I don't think we should be building fire houses in Baghdad and shutting them down here at home." It's perfect. In the same report on NPR, they say Bush no longer wants to be known as The War President, he now wants to be known as The Peace President. Heh. Yeah sure, try to wiggle out of that one. BTW, it's even worse than it appears. Not only is Bush spending our money to build those Iraqi fire houses, he's spending money we don't have. We're going ever-more-deeply into debt for Iraq. If the Dems could find some way to get that through to the voters, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan, Ann Coulter, et al, aren't telling them that, for some reason.
On the first day of my New Mexico trip, I took a brief visit to the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. I had never been to Mexico. Unlike Canada, which looks like the US, this place was different. I told a friend it was like Toon Town in the Roger Rabbit movie, but then I realized that didn't quite cut it. It's actually like my spam-filled In Box. The communication is jumbled and low. If you had to live there, life would be dangerous and confusing. But since you don't, it's just very very strange. Later I found out, in a report on NPR, that they're having a serious murder problem there.
Ron Reagan, the former president's son, was on Fresh Air yesterday. He raised a question that should always be asked of a candidate -- What qualifies you to hold this office? He asked that question about the now-president George Bush, and came up with no possible answer other than he kicked an alchohol addiction. Asked if four years later he'd like to change his appraisal, he said no. He's speaking at the Democratic National Convention about stem cell research.
This morning's audio blog post.
Conventional wisdom says that nothing ever happens at political conventions in the US. I thought about it, then realized you could say the same thing about a lot of other things that command public attention. For example, the Super Bowl, or the World Series. Or the inauguration, or even perhaps Election Day. Because people say it, does it mean it's true? Well, in some sense, nothing ever happens. Just ask a Buddhist. I mean really. We live, we die, we assume it makes a difference, but how do we know? So the conventional wisdomers are asking a very deep question. While they're examining this, I'm going to go to Boston with my digital camera, microphone, outliner and content management system, take some pictures, and share them. The idea will be to show the grainy images, the small picture, not the big one. What does this look like in person-size chunks? What would it be like to be here? Nothing more than that. I did the same thing at Davos in 2000, by the way, and still like to review the stories and pictures from time to time. Same with 24 Hours of Democracy. If nothing else, we'll be able to look back and see what blogging was like in 2004.
On the other hand, this DNC could be a total anachronism. By 2008 everyone at the show will have a blog, just like everyone there this year will have an email account. Had you said in 1996 or 2000 that everyone would have an email account in 2004, they might not have believed you. So importing bloggers may be seen as a quaint concept, like bringing typewriter users in, in 1948, to choose a ridiculous analogy. So you use a blog, sonny? Isn't that cute!
BTW, the story of the 2004 election is: Will the election be a tie this year as it was in 2000? All indications are that we learned nothing, are prepared to nominate two people who stand for nothing (one has purple hearts, the other stopped drinking) and surprise-surprise, we can't make our minds up. If a substantial number of Americans had a vision for this country, we would have a Roosevelt, a Truman or even an Eisenhower or Johnson to choose from. Could Kerry be that? I really don't think so. I got the idea when I saw him at Davos in Y2K, standing around schmoozing. Everything he says is so World Economic Forum. We're voting for Klaus Schwab when we vote for Kerry. Lance will correct me if I'm wrong about this.
SEC: "The Commission will consider a staff proposal to accept voluntary supplemental filings of financial data using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)."
Thursday, July 22, 2004
The full 9/11 report is available as a 585-page PDF.
Jason Kottke created an HTML version of the executive summary of the 9/11 report, with permalinks for each paragraph.
In development: Subscription list for authors of convention blogs.
Note to aggregator developers: I'm doing a special aggregator for these feeds. But the list is open and will be maintained, so you can use it. It's a subtly different kind of subscription list, because it will change, you should subscribe to the OPML not to the feeds contained in the OPML. It's a chance to do a little upgrade among the aggregators for the DNC. I did it this way on purpose. It's the "neat net tricks" part of the barn-raising. There should always be a developer angle, imho.
BBC: America braced for 9/11 report.
Yesterday, flying into NYC from Dallas, I saw Ground Zero for the first time, from the sky as we were heading up the Hudson River on the approach to La Guardia. The view is immense, and the signs of healing, very clear. There's new construction all around the site, and it's paved over, and the smoke is long gone, of course. Then as the view of the city unfolds, you realize how much of NY remains exactly as it was before 9/11. Yes, it's harder to get in and out of buildings in NY than in any other American city. And I'm sure everyone who was here that day, has special memories (I was in Palo Alto). But life is moving on, the human hive seems to be doing okay.
Mary Jo Foley on a leaked HP memo about Microsoft plans, two years ago, to sue open source products such as Samba and Apache out of existence for patent infringement. No guesswork is required as to Microsoft's plans, Craig Mundie, a MS vice-president, clearly and publicly said they would sue developers who infringed, in 2001. As far as I know, they've never retracted the statement.
Wired: "Critics say the bill is the biggest threat to innovation in 20 years, letting Hollywood dictate what consumer electronics companies can do."
BBC: "A report predicts that people will buy more than 10 million players this year to listen to music while on the move."
Dan Bricklin: "Bloggers are different to me. They have a name and a history." I see it the same way. Put myself in a strange situation with a laptop, WiFi, digital camera, microphone, server, aggregator and umpteen thousand weird people. My job is to find something interesting.
Jay Rosen shows he "can blog like a normal person." Lots good insight and good links. Jay's going to do audio blog posts. Good move.
ElectionPhotos04 makes it "easier for convention bloggers to do some of the things that professional journalists' companies do for them: index and archive images and retrieve them quickly for publication."
Feels like 24 Hours of Democracy. "A Celebration of Free Speech on the Internet. A Demonstration of Web Energy. And Neat Net Tricks!"
George Burns: "Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs or cutting hair." It's still true, to this day.
Scoop: "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."
Today's song: "I know you're working for the CIA."
In a comment on a late post yesterday, Scott Fraer points to a Microsoft article that explains: "When you start Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, IIS binds to all IP addresses on the server, not just the IP addresses that are assigned to Web sites."
This, clearly, is the problem I'm encountering.
Now I'm running Windows 2000, and IIS 5.0, but the article says, midway down the page, that it has the same problem. A cure is suggested, but I have no idea how to implement.
So if you can illuminate, how do I get Win2K to let me use all the IP addresses on my machine? Any help would be much appreciated.
Postcript: The fix that worked.
Today there's a new header graphic. It was taken out the front window of a moving car on Interstate 25 just past Santa Fe going north, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, in late afternoon during monsoon season. You can see the day's thunderstorm forming behind the hills.
The previous graphic was a picture of my grandfather, Rudy Kiesler, taken (probably) in the 1950s, in a small Georgia town where he had a schmatte factory. He's the good looking guy on the left. About the other guys, one is a pilot of an Eastern airlines plane, the other goyisha is a local cop, and we think the other Jew is one of my grandfather's associates. My grandfather died in 1995. Eastern Airlines went out of business in 1991.
A list of previous graphics is here.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
The Wall Street Journal supports RSS. Bing!
Some brief comments on the new WSJ feeds.
Erskine Bowles is running for Senate in NC, has a new blog, mastered by Matt Gross, former blogmaster at Dean For America.
Hey I was invited to the guest on The Gillmor Gang, next week, live from Fleet Center. This has been my lifetime ambition. Now I can retire.
I want to run IIS and Frontier on the same machine. Lotsa luck!
I'm going to be in crunch mode on a big project for the next few days. I flew back to NY one day early to get one more day of programming time before the DNC. We're going to do something special, new technology, that could involve some or all of the aggregator developers. I bought a new server just for the occasion. In the meantime, Amy Wohl said something I've been wanting to say, so perfectly, that I'll just let her speak for me. There's a real opportunity for the blogging community to pull together on this one. From the Berkmanites, who got practice by blogging candidate appearances in New Hampshire, to geeks who can help tweak up RSS feeds, to people who can assemble sequences of images, and audio, to designers who can do templates for new sites that spring up, to Deaniacs who get a chance to do it all again (and the second time is always better). This is a chance to do another barn-raising, and it's been a while, and it can be fun. I'm getting charged up by the project. Haven't felt like this in a while. And it's just getting started.
BTW, I got a great email from Joe Trippi this afternoon. I'm going to run it tomorrow morning. I think we're going to be friends. At least we're going to get together in Boston to eat, drink and tell
I think it was Christian Crumlish (who is blogging the show) who said we're just going to blog this like we would any other conference. No difference, except it's about a billion times bigger and more expensive, and we (supposedly) get resources just like the bigtime journos. Imagine a PC Forum or SuperNova where you take over a major US city, and you get an idea of how overwhelming this is. It's just hitting me now. This calls for some new technology.
In New Hampshire, politics is retail.
Something is brewing at Technorati. Blogs all the way. We kick butt!
Jay Rosen on the new journalism at the 1960 Dem Con.
Anyone who's quitting smoking deserves support. Three weeks into it, the psychological addiction is so incredibly powerful. I felt like I was dancing with a seven-foot cigarette, saying Just Smoke Me, every waking moment, and sometimes in my dreams. Every time I wanted to solve a problem or think, I'd reach for the cigarette that wasn't there. There's no silver bullet, I've found. Over two years later, there are still moments of craving, sometimes insane, almost psychotic, craving. Instead of punching my hand through a wall (which hurts), I take five deep breaths, and say "I love you" to myself. It works. The craving passes, and often, but not always, is replaced with a sense of well-being. Also, no matter how much I crave, there's no chance I'll smoke, I cough almost uncontrollably sometimes just being around smoking. I think my body would totally reject the smoke. Anyway, best of luck, you can do it, and it's totally worth doing.
John Dvorak: Why Microsoft won't change. "The stock dividend and buyback are the result of not being able to buy companies fast enough."
One of Marlon Brando's least noted movies, but a real good one, imho, is Don Juan de Marcos. I wrote about him in this movie in Sept 2001. "My movie role models are men who think, who are crazy, and struggle to be great. They're not one-dimensional, they are rich and complex, like real people."
Brando was a dynamic actor. I bet you didn't think he could play a fat Jewish psychiatrist from Lawn Guyland. He was so versatile, I bet he could have played Rush Limbaugh, and made him seem to be the sad loser that he is. "I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a contenda." No you couldn't.
If I ever get another cat, and it's male, I'm going to name him Marlon Brando, in the same spirit that Brent & Sheila Simmons's cat is named Papa. I assume he's named after Ernest "Papa" Hemingway.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Twenty-three new RSS feeds from Reuters in the UK.
NY Times: "Microsoft announced today that it will bestow on its shareholders a windfall totaling $75 billion."
I listened to most of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity on AM radio today, driving from Santa Fe to El Paso. Sandy Berger sure gave them some ammo. After listening to them gloat for a total of three hours, in the end, I couldn't come up with a rebuttal. I agree with the caller who told Hannity the reason Berger did what he did is that he's a dishonest man. Exactly right. If you read this site during the Lewinsky scandal, or the Communication Decency Act, you'd know I won't go down the moral abyss with the Dems when they screw up. I think Clinton was every bit as corrupt and ineffective a President as Bush is. I don't buy the Limbaugh-Hannity idea that there's a great philosophical battle going on. That's a bunch of bullshit. Both parties are cut from the same corrupt cloth.
Josh Marshall: "Why didn't Sandy Berger step aside from his advisory position for John Kerry some time ago?"
Economist: Unix's founding fathers.
How Peter Rukavina applied for and got DNC creds.
Engadget: "Apple is now trying to convince everyone that there isnít a 60GB iPod around the corner."
How to dress the modern Convention Blogger?
Jay Rosen to Alex Jones: "Do your homework."
With all the lightning here in Santa Fe, I was wondering how I could take a picture that captured it. Chris Heilman figured it out.
The Democratic Party's official convention blog.
I'm reviewing all the convention blogger's sites, and surprisingly so far only one has asked for financial help to get to the convention (of course I might have missed one).
Of course as soon as I wrote that, I found another.
Monday, July 19, 2004
A community site for convention bloggers?
Hey it's a new name for the site, and this is the first time I've linked to it, but it already has one site in its Technorati cosmos. How about that!
Proven once again: "Some people say all the good domain names are taken, my experience is that none of the good ones are taken."
Salon: What bloggers bring to Boston.
I was going for a hike this morning and at the trail head, there was a car with a very interesting license plate. Watsu. Water shiatsu -- something I learned in massage school. Note the Dean sticker. Yeah, this is the right part of New Mexico. As opposed to the other part.
Scott Koon on eating in Santa Fe.
I took lots of pictures today, perhaps most typical, a hillside dotted with adobe-style houses, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rockies. Santa Fe is one of those towns, like Denver or Salt Lake City, that is right on the edge of the mountains, the southern edge. In the summer, every afternoon a big thunderstorm comes through. This is what the clouds look like in advance of the storm. You see lightning strikes all the time. Bold!
Okay here's a milestone. I searched for Britt Blaser in New York (trying to find his phone number) but tripped over something even more interesting. A New York Times article was the third hit. In all my years using the Web that had never happened. Looks like they're opening up their archive to Google. I wonder who else? What's the scoop? (Not that I'm a journalist or anything.)
Ed Cone: "This weekend Lisa and I were cleaning out an upstairs closet and in old box of junk that had not been opened since we moved out of New York in 1989 I found the long Garcia tape, plus interviews with Bob Weir and Bill Graham."
LA Times: "Both parties will have spent millions on their conventions in order to make their best case to the American people, and they hope that the mainstream media will simply turn on the cameras and step back."
Okay, suppose I'm not a journalist, and the guy who wrote the LA Times story is. So what's his source on that statement about the hopes of the two parties? Does he have quotes from the heads of both parties (I guess Bush and Kerry). If not, did he get it verified by multiple sources? I heard that's how real journalists do things.
I just realized that I know the author of that op-ed piece, Alex Jones, he's the director of the Shorenstein Center at KSG at Harvard. I had a very intense but interesting lunch with him and Rebecca MacKinnon earlier this year. It makes total sense he'd write it, he's a pro's pro, smart guy, but not very optimistic about citizen journalism, to say the least. I'm his opposite, I don't trust the pros to tell us what's really going on, I think they play footsie with the people they cover, and sometimes, they even cover themselves without saying so. Gotta keep an eye on those sneaky bastards, just like we keep an eye on the politicos, we citizens can help keep the pro journos honest.
Jones commissioned the study of Trent Lott and the bloggers, as noted on Scripting News, in March of this year.
BBC: "The new iPod is cheaper than previous models, while battery life has been substantially improved."
JiWire's Portable Hotspot Locator provides "mobile professionals with an easy-to-use software application to find Wi-Fi access points."
To William Safire, who says the lie that liberals are so angry about is the South Africa connect with Iraq about nuclear materials that Bush talked about in his State of the Union speech in 2003. Hmmm. What about the lie that there were WMDs in Iraq? And what about the lie that al Qaeda was allied with Iraq, that somehow our war in Iraq was part of The War On Terrorism? I thought the Times stood for discourse. He reduces our objection to something small and silly, and refutes that. It's kind of insulting to the reader's intelligence, which isn't something the Times does very often, which is why I like the paper. I thought Safire holds his job because he's smart, but he's acting dumb. I don't need the Times to publish this kind of school yard nonsense, I already get it from Rush Limbaugh.
Here's the kind of article that the Times is famous for. A new surgical procedure to prolong the lives of people with not much time to live. It's an incredible article, not for the squeamish, but for people with heart disease in their families, it's a must-read.
Tim Bray: "RSS works well in areas where information arrives at irregular intervals, like news and publications, in which you don't want to waste time looking for information."
Tim only acknowledges the flames. But I've been quoting him on Scripting News for years. Yeah I'm angry with him, no question about that. But I think we have to work together, kind of like the Republicans and Democrats. He led a really awful anti-Dave jihad. That always ends a friendship. He doesn't want to own up to it, be a man, and retract what he said. Okay, I accept that. But I also know that I've done a lot to help his ideas get heard by the influential and smart people who read my blog. And he's using all the work I did with weblogs, aggregators and RSS, and by the way, not giving me very much credit for that, either. Maybe I'm Chuck Berry and he's John Lennon, but I never heard Lennon say a bad thing about his teacher. I guess Tim doesn't like that. But maybe it's time for technologists to start behaving like artists, and recognize the people they steal from? I heard, through Britt Blaser that Mitch Kapor says he's spending a career implementing my designs. How about that. Now we're going to open source Frontier, to give Mitch a run for his money. He's got much more money of course, but I've got more source.
Britt Blaser: "I told Dave that Mitch had said that the software industry has spent the last 10 years following the trends that Dave Winer starts."
Hacking Netflix: "The link for Blockbuster's upcoming online DVD rental service, Blockbuster Online, was leaked to Hacking Netflix tonight."
Engadget: Netflix, Open up or die.
5/31/04: "It seems that Netflix would be just the kind of network service to give me an RSS feed I can subscribe to, where they would give me interesting articles about movies I just saw, or ones I'm about to see, or movies playing near my house that I would probably like, movies my friends liked, etc etc. They already do a bunch of stuff like that on their site, so why not do it in a feed?"
Wish-list item: A database that lives on my laptop, constantly updated, with WiFi access points. Doesn't just have to be free access points. This is a project Intel could fund, with contributions from the commercial access providers. It wouldn't be that expensive. I bought a Sprint wireless adapter for my laptop, it works (where Sprint is available), but it's far too expensive. See note above.
By the way, the WiFi was down at both Starbucks I went to in Santa Fe. I'd never seen that happen before. And the men's room had been vandalized in one of them. I said to the guy at the counter it's irresponsible to sell iced coffee without a working bathroom. I wasn't joking.
Sunday, July 18, 2004
A new audio, call it Interstate 25 Diet Coke While Driving Notes.
Roughly the place where today's audio was recorded.
I thought I had all the digital driving gadgets one geek could want, but Rogers has something I don't have but lust for: satellite radio.
Engadget is gathering data on Apple's new iPod.
Witness The Making of a Programmer by Adam Curry. He has the essential ingredient, determination. You must give up your pride, to the Programmer's God, who speaks to you (in mysterious ways) through The Environment. The high priests pat the user on the head "Don't worry, we'll take care of your soul." Haha says Adam. I want my features now. I have an itch. Must scratch. Me programmer. That's how all good user-oriented programmers got started. There are always people around saying you can't do it. Ignore them and go forward. In the early days of Radio I wrote a series of tutorials for newbie programmers called The Let's Go Crazy guide. The style was patterned after the hero in the movie Life Is Beautiful. When you're feeling sad and blue, give them a read.
Going Crazy With Macros: "I'm going to go very very slowly here, and even so, I'm going to strip the gears of people who have never programmed before. I can't help but do that, the only way to learn how to program is for you (sorry) to stare at the code and try to figure out what it does, and then stare some more. Basically that's how everyone learned to program. It's a strange world, but it's fun. But don't feel bad if it makes you feel stupid. We've all been there."
My new camera. I love it, it's taking some great pictures.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
I seem to have found a part of the world that is not wired up. Kind of refreshing. Anyway, I don't have enough bandwidth to download all my spam, so if you need to reach me in the next couple of days via email, I suggest sending a message to dwiner at yahoo dot com. Thanks.
I keep hearing that blogging isn't journalism. No no no. That's like saying the telephone isn't journalism, or word processing isn't journalism. It's true that not all blogging is journalism. But then neither is all the stuff you read in magazines and newspapers, or hear on radio and television. We seem to need to have this discussion every month, week or day. I'm sure they had similar discussions when automatic typesetters came online.
Dowbrigade: "The Dowbrigade is not easily intimidated."
Wired: "Jed McCaleb, founder and CTO of file-sharing network eDonkey, and Sam Yagan, president of the company, don't have to wonder whether the Hatch bill will affect their business. They already know that if SB2560 passes they'll be one of the first against the wall."
George Bush: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldnít do my job."
NBC News: "US military officials tell NBC News the unreleased images, show American soldiers severely beating one Iraqi prisoner to near death; apparently, raping an Iraqi female prisoner; acting inappropriately with a dead body; and Iraqi guards apparently videotaped by US soldiers raping young boys." Via Ed Cone.
Scott Shuda: "My system is set to update feeds at 47 minutes past the hour."
Something unusual about the picture used in the fantasy. There's another person in the picture. After staring at it umpteen times, and reading lots of fantasies about it, I don't think anyone, including myself, had seen the guy. He's right there in the middle, can't miss him. Amazing sometimes what the eye filters out.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Russ Beattie says we should be careful not to give the Republicans ammo to kill Kerry. I am sorry Russ, I'm not worried about that. I'm more worried that the Dems are too flustered by the hardball tacticts of the Reps to fight back. I am not a Democrat. I plan to vote for Kerry because Bush is a disaster. If the Republicans see the error of their ways and deny Bush the nomination I plan to consider voting for their candidate. I'm listening. I just won't vote for Bush, no way. He's a bad man.
"thinkusaalignright"Arrived at the hotel, super wiped-out, lots of driving, and it's hot. Watched William Safire on the News Hour, he's a senior NY Times columnist, Republican, defender of George Bush. Watching him squirm, he's a really smart guy, he was cornered, and resorted to the desperate story about how evil Saddam was, how he killed his own people, and how the US goes after guys like that. What a crock of shit. Let's make a list of all the despots in the world, and then check off the ones that the US has gone after, and while we're at it, add a star next to each one who we've funded while he was killing his own people. And we've stopped reminding losers like Safire about the supposed connection between al Qaeda and Saddam. No more letting him off the hook. He's got a job that you have to be pretty smart to keep. Don't let him play dumb.
1:23PM Central: Miracles of modern aviation, they have WiFi in Dallas airport. Was able to get my email, and even do a tiny bit of programming while waiting for the next flight. It's super hot in Dallas, not that that's a major surprise.
Apparently interment, a term I use below is not what happened to the Japanese. My mailbox is full of notes to that effect. I fixed it. I wrote that passage quickly while waiting for my ride to the airport this morning. No flames from LBJ or FDR or TBL. Whew!
Paolo says the STES conference was great. It's cool to see people experimenting with new formats. We have to try out new ideas now that we have blogs (everyone's a journo) and the rooms have WiFi, and the concept of "audience" is fading.
An non-nonsense guide to Semantic Web specs for XML people.
BTW, I read the guide above, the writing style is very clear and friendly. Bravo. Not even slightly condescending, I was a math major who focused on graph theory, believe it or not, so the technical concepts of RDF don't escape me, never have. Sad to say even after reading this piece, I still don't get why I should be interested in it. I don't think it's ever going to get built, no matter how much people's eyes glaze over when talking about it. I could explain why RSS was good, and even that took years of hard development work to make it take off. There's no pleasure pill buried inside this stuff. Until you learn what it will do for ordinary people, honest developers won't jump.
I'm taking an audio course in the Presidency in the 20th Century, produced by Barnes & Noble. The teacher goes through each of the people who held the office last century, starting with Teddy Roosevelt, skipping William Howard Taft (other than to say he was TR's hand-picked successor, and a man with no vision), going deep on Woodrow Wilson, skipping the three Republican presidents of the 1920's, then going deep on FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and I'm now learning about Johnson and Vietnam, from the historian's point of view.
FDR understood that he couldn't enter World War II until the public was ready. He did all kinds of half-steps, cash-and-carry, lend-lease, and sold it to them and they bought it because he was so cheerful and reassuring. Finally, after Pearl Harbor, the public was engaged, and wanted to get even. "A date which will live in infamy." He fed the frenzy, interning American citizens of Japanese descent, as a way to give the public a sense something was happening as he geared up for war. (History remembers this as a terrible thing, and it was, but the context is often omitted.)
While LBJ wasn't the first President to escalate in Vietnam, he was the one who decided to go to war. But when he did it, he never tested the public's support for the war, was warned that they wouldn't support it, ignored the warning, at the last minute he offered Ho Chi Minh a billion dollars, his own Great Society, was turned down, and the war began, quietly, with no announcement, no great speech. He used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution as his cover. We won World War II, which was a much bigger war, covering much more territory, with a much better equipped enemy; Vietnam was a disaster. In other words, try as hard as you want to be right, but if you haven't convinced the people to fund the war with their wealth and the lives of their children, it ain't going to happen.
I'm thinking of course of the great commander-in-chief of the Semantic Web, Tim Berners-Lee. Like Johnson, he had a vision for a great society, the HTML web, but let it languish while he fought a no-way-to-win war in Semantic Web Land.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Would you like to play a fantasy game?
Real Simple Shopping: "Why give away your email address to get your favorite marketer's promotions?"
Tim Jarrett: RSS roll-out continues across Microsoft.com.
I got a call today from Hank Barry, a VC at Hummer-Winblad. He reminds me that there are people in the Silicon Valley investment community who work hard to make a difference. He came to Cambridge to talk with our blogging group at Berkman earlier this year, and did as much listening as he did talking. If I were the CEO of a hot tech startup I'd take his call.
So here's the travel plan for the rest of the month. Tomorrow I fly to El Paso, Texas, rent a car, stay the night in Ciudad Juarez, then the next day head to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and make my way north to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, as far as Taos, then turn around to El Paso, returning to NY on Thursday. Spend Friday and Saturday in New York, then Sunday fly to Boston, where I spend the week at the DNC. Then the first week of August I'm going to Seattle, to chill a bit, and see the Scobles (Patrick will be in town) and probably visit with a few people at Microsoft. Planned for August, for sure, more time in NY, a trip to Florida, and then Europe sometime in early September (after Labor Day). Topping the list for the next year are still New Mexico and Florida, both states that can make a difference in the election. And I want to have time between now and Election Day to help lots of candidates, either party, to use the Web more effectively to represent their constituents.
Scott Johnson: Feedster Version 2.
Flickr and Feedburner in a deal about "feed splicing."
I found the original Quantum Light Breath tape from 1990, scanned it, and linked it into the Jeru site. "Existence is waiting for you to flower, waiting for your to dance your dance, to sing your song."
USA Today: Bloggers to join the mainstream at conventions.
Global PR Blog Week 1.0.
I booked my hotel for the DNC, now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get back and forth. Also, you can still book rooms via Expedia, but the prices are out of sight. One hotel is charging over $4000 per night, and it's not even a very good hotel. My hotel is two miles from the Fleet Center, so I can walk, if need-be. I'm paying $180 per night. That's much better.
Okay, our mission when covering the DNC is to figure out what goes on at a DNC. On the other hand, some portion of the 15,000 reporters at the DNC will be trying to figure out what we, the bloggers, are doing at the DNC. I suspect most of them will conclude that we don't belong there, in the same way most of the early articles about weblogs concluded we are not going to kill professional journalism. We may be like the original astronauts, just smiling for the cameras, but I kind of doubt it. We're not generally young or photogenic. And we say weird things. The NY Times today, in this editorial, wonders how we'll feel wearing badges. Somehow I don't think that'll be the biggest challenge.
InfoWorld: "Google added a new feature to its toolbar this week that allows users to navigate the Web by typing in a name instead of a URL."
Keith Teare: "Google rips off RealNames idea!"
BBC: "While the FastTrack network (which carries Kazaa) still accounts for 24% of all P2P traffic, the lesser known Bittorrent and eDonkey together account for 72% of file-sharing, according to CacheLogic's report."
Don Park: "Firefox's address bar stopped working today."
NY Times: "Last month, a [poll] found that 21 percent of voters had a favorable impression of Mr Cheney, compared with 39 percent for Mr Bush."
Had dinner last night at Sammy's with Mary Jo Foley. She covers Microsoft for Ziff-Davis. Great conversation. Learned that Sammy's has chopped liver. It was absolutely delicious. The steak was good too.
Zawodny reports that the NY Times has white-on-orange XML icons.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
NY Times: "Within an hour or so, Mr. Bush's team, at the campaign's headquarters in a corporate office building in suburban Virginia, across the Potomac River from the White House, had sent a release via e-mail to hundreds of journalists, supporters and campaign surrogates."
When I read the article above, I thought -- that's something we, in the blogosphere, can probably do better than they can. First, you don't have to be in Virginia, you don't even have to be in the same place. Just need to hear every word Bush says in public during the day, and post the lies, publicly, adjacent to something he did or said that contradicts it. And second, no need to route through only through journalists, and campaign insiders. Politics in 2004 is retail. Go direct, cut out the middleman.
Ed Cone: "Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq."
Today's audio blog post answers a reporter's questions about RSS. I usually do these verbally over the phone. This time I decided to do it via MP3. It's fairly well-rehearsed by now. On reviewing the recording I realize it begins with two outtakes. Oops. Luckily I didn't use bad language.
A new CEO at SixApart. Congrats to everyone!
Dan Bricklin: Software That Lasts 200 Years.
Dare Obasanjo: Is the W3C Becoming Irrelevant?
Neat public domain footage of an F4 jet crash test.
Political Wire: Kerry Leads in Battleground States.
Wired: "How can the mighty New York Times, which considers itself America's paper of record, be the paper of record in cyberspace when its articles barely show up on Google?"
5/18/03: "If you want to be in Google, you gotta be on the Web."
Looks like Borland is getting into blogs and RSS.
Six years ago today: XML-RPC for Newbies.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Dan Gillmor: "A book is a book."
Invisiblog, anonymous weblog publishing.
News.Com: "Microsoft's market leading browser has slipped slightly in popularity, a researcher says."
CBS Marketwatch: Web's convention plans top TV Nets.
LWN: Oracle patents content management systems.
Starting to think about the DNC, and what we can do to make sure we (the bloggers covering the con) can get online to update our blogs. We've heard that there will be WiFi in parts of the hall, but just in case that falls through, it would be useful to have a backup plan. So I wonder if anyone reading this blog in Boston has a networked office within walking distance of the Fleet Center who would be willing to let us come and go, if we need a place to get online?
I just booked my flight into Boston for the DNC. Now that is really weird. What city should I choose to fly from? It'll be easy for me to get in and out of NY no matter where I am the week after next. I still may go to California for the blogging conference, but I'm leaning towards driving south to Florida and back in time for the convention. I'm going to look at locating in three places for the next year: Florida, New Mexico, and California. The first two are the two battleground states that I think I'd like to spend a year in. I've already spent a lot of time in northeast Florida, and I know I'd like it, it's where my uncle lived for 25 years. I've not spent a lot of time in New Mexico, but it sure looks lovely, and it's got good skiing (in Taos and in nearby Colorado), and it's inexpensive, and it's got massage schools, which I'm leaning towards, because I want to get into shape in the next year. I also need a good place for programming. If I land in California, it'll probably either be in Berkeley or Santa Cruz, for the same reasons I like New Mexico. It's more expensive, but I know a lot more people in Calif. On the other hand, I can't say I like the software atmosphere in Calif. Still not a lot of emphasis on technology, mostly on get-rich-quick corner-cuts, which is fine, but it's not what I like to do, or be around. Still dreaming of Europe in the back of my mind.
Ed Cone: "Elizabeth Edwards drops by the blog..."
Today's audio blog post is about formats and functionality.
It doesn't take much time to see the mistake in Tim Bray's logic, but it does take some courage to say it out loud, because it means the Thought Police are sure to come down on you like ten tons of wet blankets. First, Tim, in the last paragraph, you mean "apple" not "atom." But that's the trivial mistake, the really big one is the idea that any substantial portion of the content of the Web is going to convert to XML. One has to assume that if it hasn't happened after six years, there must be a good reason it hasn't (yes there are reasons to do it, but not reasons that make sense to most of the millions of people who have learned HTML). HTML has frozen in its 1996 form, right around the time the standards gurus took over. If the alterative is N more years of stagnation, all of a sudden <marquee> starts looking pretty good, and <canvas>, with or without the colon (it's easier without) is just awesome, users will understand and appreciate it. Finally, the Safari-Mozilla-Opera guys are doing it the right way, reusing Microsoft's innovations where they exist.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Loosely Coupled: "The fact that Yahoo has bought a browser-based Outlook clone illustrates how big the threat really is to Microsoft's most lucrative products." True.
There's a blogging conference in Berkeley next week. Should I go? How will I keep myself from saying anything while I'm in this weird anachronism-like thing called an "audience." Do I trust myself? Oh man if I only knew what to do. Maybe I could get up and sing the blogger's theme song?
La Cie: $2199 1.6TB Firewire external disk.
NY Times: "Fans can subscribe to the NPG Music Club, which offers music to download and advance notice and discounts on concert tickets. After the Warner contract ended, Prince resumed using his old name.
Friday evening news: Yahoo buys Oddpost. Interesting deal.
This morning's audio blog post, a summary of the top three items on Scripting News at the time I spoke the post. These items benefit from intonation and more detailed explanation.
Now I get to say something nice about Movable Type and Joi Ito. I've been asking them to help get a solid coalesced version of RSS 2.0 out there, without much success. Until today. Here's Joi Ito's new feed for his Movable Type-authored site. Very nice clean non-funky simple RSS 2.0. It's very important to observe such good news. Thanks!
Daniel, if the Republicans ran a candidate who wasn't so un-American, who understood he has to work within the Constitution, not push it aside, who will commit to not start more wars under false pretenses (e.g. the connection betw Iraq and al Quaeda, missing proof of WMDs), someone we can trust with the incredible power of the US, I would consider voting for him. Kerry is not my idea of a great leader for the US, but you got it right, a lot of people will vote for him if Bush is the Republican nominee, solely because we are so scared what the US and world will look like given four more years of Bush. I am one of them. Kerry may turn out to be a disaster for this country, but we already know Bush is. If ever it was time for the lesser of two evils, this is it.
Steve Gillmor: "When Microsoft abandoned Internet Explorer development to concentrate on fixing the browser's security vulnerabilities, it opened the door to the emerging RSS revolution."
Bulgarian translation of the XML-RPC spec.
Great comments in yesterday's discussion about giving Bush the power to postpone the election. Betsy Devine adds a perspective not heard in the thread. "During the War of 1812, the British Army burned Washington and sacked the White House. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln campaigned for re-election and won. We managed to re-elect Franklin D Roosevelt during World War II."
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Newsweek: "American counter-terrorism officials, citing what they call 'alarming' intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the US this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack."
Do you think we should give Bush the power to postpone the election?
Talking with Steve Gillmor this afternoon, he got on my case, again. Where are your audio blog posts, he wanted to know. I said there was a technical glitch, but I think I've solved it. So here's a new audio blog post, thanks to Steve for the motivation.
VOA: "Bush has refused an invitation to speak at the annual convention of the United States' largest and oldest civil-rights group, the NAACP."
It has been observed that if you start an open collaborative process to define a new XML format or protocol, given enough time, it will turn into SOAP 1.2.
UCLA supports RSS. "The syndication of our headlines allows other websites to incorporate new alerts or announcements into their headlines without further work on their part."
Highly recommend listening to the first 20 minutes of the Gillmor Gang interview with Brendan Eich, who's been working on browsers since the early days of Netscape. He illustrates how a user-oriented developer looks at the Web. I agree with everything Brendan says up to the point where he says RSS and HTML are orthogonal. Take another look, RSS wraps chunks of HTML with useful metadata. Anyway, I think what they're doing is good, and if they stick with it, Microsoft may pay attention at some point. With the Kooky Buddy stuff, it appears maybe they've loosened up. What would be the harm in working with Brendan? Could he be someone's kook? (In a nice way of course.) BTW, Brendan might get the persistent storage system he's looking for when Frontier goes open source, Murphy-willing, later this year.
9/2/00: "To me, RSS is not just a syndication format, it's also a fork from the W3C process, a chance for XML to be widely adopted while the minds of the W3C working groups work out details of a network that will likely not be built." BTW, this wasn't just my philosophy, it was also Netscape's. They were tired of all the wrangling on the working groups and wanted to make software, without all the fuss. Reminded me a lot of the stuff Brendan said in the interview above.
Metafilter: MP3 Blog Roundup.
NY Times: "Can a quick release and a team of lawyers keep Fox from trying to shut down Robert Greenwald's new movie about Fox News?"
Outfoxed examines "how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a 'race to the bottom' in television news."
Lessig on Outfoxed. "Celebrate the freedom it represents."
Saturday, July 10, 2004
NY Times: "Here is a word of appreciation for an advance that already has me wondering how I lived without it. It is known variously as BPL for broadband over power lines, or as HomePlug."
Dave Kopel: Fifty-nine Deceits in Farenheit 911.
The Dowbrigade got credentials for the DNC. Now that's a good decision.
I started an MP3 audio archive for my teacher, Jeru Kabbal. I started with a scan of a tape called Sunrise of the Soul, one of the Quantum Light Breath tapes. It's truly an amazing process, if you clear a little over an hour, you can have an incredible experience that may stay with you for years. It's great stuff. "Remember today is a new day, a day that has never happened before and will never happen again." Yeah it sounds dorky, but it's true, and it reaches inside, and man, it gets me every time. iPod-compatible, of course. With much love, Dave.
"thinkusaalignright"Okay, the report from the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday told us something that everyone with basic common sense already knew. 1. There were no WMDs in Iraq. 2. The President knew that. 3. So did all the other members of the administration: Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, etc. 4. They all lied, many of them still are lying. 5. Bush gave a speech yesterday about how Kerry flip-flops, what a lot of nerve he has, on the same day a committee chaired by a Republican, with a Republican majority, confirmed that his pretense for war was a lie. A war in which hundreds of Americans have died. Now, at the same time, we're asked to believe that the announcement of a terrorist threat by this administration during the rollout of the Democratic ticket is just the normal course of business. Now, really, what's the probability that's true? 1 percent? 5 percent maybe? If you're a Republican, now that you know what you know about how the war started, do you believe in their integrity when it comes to terrorist threats? I think it's high time for the Republicans to clean this mess up. We're a deep troubled situation, and we need a regime with some integrity running the country. Even the staunchest Republican must see that by now? I don't get it. It's not too late for the Republicans to run someone else.
NY Times editorial on the Senate report.
News Hour interview with Roberts and Rockefeller.
New Gillmor Gang, with Brendan Eich, chief architect of Mozilla.
Chris Heilman went to the movies and I went to the beach, leaving at 7:30AM, returning at 10:30AM. No traffic, easy parking, it was a cool 68 degrees on the boardwalk, and for some reason the water was super-cold. I was expecting the opposite, that the water would seem warm. On the whole a very satisfying experience. The most parking is on Beach 94th, where the Cross Bay Bridge hits the peninsula, but I parked on 108th.
An unnamed friend of BK DeLong did a security walkthrough at Fleet Center, site of the Democratic Convention.
John Robb: "The fact that an extremely expensive security effort has shut down a major American city for a week, is a result al Qaeda would consider a victory."
Boston Globe: "Police pickets at the Democratic National Convention could jeopardize public safety."
A map of downtown Boston showing Fleet Center and major adjacent arteries.
Ralph Brandi says Joe Trippi does get it.
Republicans: Pat Roberts of Kansas, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Mike Dewine of Ohio, Christopher Bond of Missouri, Trent Lott of Mississippi, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and John Warner of Virginia.
Democrats: Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Carl Levin of Michigan, Dianne Feinstein of California, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Evan Bayh of Indiana, John Edwards of North Carolina and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
Friday, July 09, 2004
Essay: Does it matter how many formats there are?
I have a new feed for DNC blogging news. I'm going to route stuff to the feed that's relevant to people who are blogging from the convention. The idea is that perhaps we can pool resources, and help each other. This is a small offering toward that goal. I'm also displaying the contents of this feed in a box on the new DNC weblog (look in the right margin).
Tim Jarrett explains Microsoft's latest use of RSS and OPML. It's really deep, and really appreciated. I never thought I'd see the day when such a big company adopts community-developed technology, without screwing with it some way. And that Microsoft would be the one, well, that's incredible, but true. These guys are exceeding all expectations. Bravo!
How do I subscribe to ESPN's news feeds?
Scott Rosenberg: "Why didn't we go full-tilt after bin Laden in 2002?"
What drives standards: "Two words: Killer App."
AP: "Bloggers will join radio journalists with workspace in the FleetCenter itself, while other media will be in nearby buildings."
A debate between Ralph Nader and Howard Dean aired on WNYC-AM starting at 2PM Eastern. As you might expect, it was really lively, and there was a surprise appearance by John Anderson, third-party candidate for President in 1980.
NY Times: "The Central Intelligence Agency greatly overestimated the danger presented by deadly unconventional weapons in Iraq because of runaway assumptions that were never sufficiently challenged, the Senate Intelligence Committee said today."
Key point about the Senate report on the CIA. They should disclose that they did a deal with the White House that the investigation would not look at them. In other words, everything they're saying about the CIA probably fully applies to the President. If so, then the solution is clear, vote him out of office in November.
More pictures from Saturn from Cassini-Huygens.
Talking with a very smart 2.5 year old young lady the other day. She was practicing her power to say no. Would you like to go to the store? No. Would you like to go for a walk? No. Would you like some ice cream? Big pause. No. Is there anything you would say yes to? Giggles. Then tickles.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
A beautiful summer day at Rockaway near Beach 116th Street. No clouds, temperature in the low 90s. The water was wonderful. This is where we used to go in the summer when I was a kid, with so many family members. As you get older, and you can do anything you want, you know what you end up wanting? To hang out with people who are gone. This is where we used to go, where my grandparents and uncle lived, where my mother grew up. Today Rockaway is rusty, but still there. And the ocean of course is timeless, and friendly. Body-surfing isn't quite the adventure I remember it being as a boy, and driving home with sandy feet and everything all salty is still pretty yucky, but it feels great after a shower, putting clean clothes on top of a fresh suntan. I plan to go ocean swimming a dozen times this month, it's a soul experience for this boy of NY.
An email from the DNC to Jay Rosen, explaining why some bloggers were invited, then uninvited.
Aaron Bailey says no WiFi at the Fleet Center, apparently it interferes with television, and he says "perimeter access" isn't worth the trouble. My problem is, because I moved, and my mail is being forwarded, I haven't actually gotten my paper invite yet, I was notified by telephone, so I don't know if I have access to the hall, or am stuck outside. The one other blogger invite I have seen has perimeter-only checked. I called Rebecca MacKinnon, ex-of-CNN, to find out if she thought it was worth going if I didn't have access to the hall, and still am not sure. If you have a comment post it over at Aaron's.
Ben Adida: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.
Tommy Williams offers a pic of Microsoft's He Ain't Kooky poster.
Greenspun reviews Clinton's autobiography. "If you're exasperated at the mediocrity of our current President, this book is a nice reminder that George W has no monopoly on mediocrity."
CBS Marktetwatch: "The DC-based, trash-mouthed gossip and blogger will cover the Democratic National Convention for MTV News."
Betsy Devine: "Manila design gurus! It needs to be easier to delete unwanted comments." I absolutely agree. It should work like deleting items in Radio's aggregator. A checkbox next to every comment and a delete button at the bottom of the comment window. I agree with Betsy's other suggestions, but this one is the most important, there's too many steps to deleting unwanted comments in Manila. (Of course only the ME should see the checkboxes and button.)
Nelson Minar: "By taking this single word 'pessimism' and using it to characterize the Democracts, the Bush campaign brilliantly defuses any criticism of the Bush presidency. Even better, it shifts the blame to the opposition who is calling attention to the problems."
Microsoft poster: "He Ain't Kooky. He's My Buddy."
Dave Hyatt: "A few people have written me expressing concern over the extensions that Apple has made to HTML in order to support Safari RSS and Dashboard."
PR Week: RSS transcends the clutter of the inbox.
There was an interesting discussion at Zawodny's about Yahoo's ping-handler, but not much in the way of response from Yahoo.
Wired: "But usually," he said, "the angry e-mails are from people who just fundamentally don't like me."
Sun's Jonathan Scwhartz says "the web's full of good ways to engage in dialog," which is totally true. He made the right choice, imho. It's his pulpit, I want to hear what he thinks, people who want to comment can do it in their own space.
Geek News Central on blogger burnout.
Dan Gillmor will be blogging the Open Source Convention while I'm at the Democratic Convention.
A beautiful fresh spam-free Referers page. Won't stay that way for long.
Eric Rice offers ten free Audioblog accounts for convention bloggers.
A list of DNC bloggers. Some new names.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
It's official, I will be at the Democratic National Convention, July 26-29 in Boston, covering it as a blogger.
NY Times: "Providing Internet access on vessels and vehicles is not as simple as adding it to a fixed venue, like a restaurant or even a convention center."
Eric Rice asks if there will be WiFi on the floor at the DNC.
Daily Kos: Blogging the Convention.
Jeff Veen: "Most bands and labels are posting free MP3s of their latest music on their sites. Add to that an army of fans scouring these sites daily, then blogging what they find. The result is a constant stream of new music being discovered, sorted, commented, and publicized. But how to keep up?"
"No one was listening," said the NPR announcer, as she introduced the guy who posted the note on Tuesday morning about the new Edwards decals on the Kerry campaign plane. No one was listening, except for the people who were.
Joe Trippi, get a clue. Geez Louise. He thinks the role of the Internet in politics is to raise money so they can run ads on TV. Look at how much good all those TV ads did for Howard Dean. You think he would have figured it out by now. The election will happen here, not there. Probably not the Presidential election of 2004. Perhaps one of our goals for the DNC is to smoke out innovative uses of the Internet by Democrats, where they're doing more than raise money for TV ads. Put that one on the list for sure.
On the other hand, why aren't the Dems making more hay with this picture? If it were the other way around, and Kerry had Der Feurher sieg heiling on his main website, you can be sure that the Reps would be all over it. Come on guys, you gotta fight if you want to win.
If you're going to blog the convention, please post a comment here.
Taegan Goddard, one of my favorite political bloggers, writes to say that he's going to be at the DNC as well. Now I want to know who else will be there. This should be excellent.
"thinkusaalignright"As you might expect, we're hearing about it on the blogs. Jay Rosen of NYU got his credentials. Very good choice. So far they've picked at least three people who have enough independence to offer some perspective on the event. They didn't just accept political operatives. Goddard is a good choice because he doesn't spin, he's just curious about what's going on and passes along what he learns. Rosen has a free and creative mind when it comes to what's possible in citizen journalism. His essay on the convention is long, and insightful.
Reuters: MP3 Blogs Serve Rare Songs.
Scott Rosenberg: "Individual consumers want to buy their music and then do whatever they want with it: Put it on an iPod, put it in the car, burn new CD mixes, share with friends. It's what we've always done with our music, after all; we just have better tools today."
Dan Gillmor is on the front line in the battle against comment spam.
Paul Boutin: "Are you saying there were 100,000 clickthroughs to Dave's blog from one MSN article?"
Lance Knobel on the naming of the Freedom Tower which will replace the World Trade Center at Ground Zero. I still think it's a bad idea. Better to leave it as open space, a nice park, maybe a housing co-op, a few restaurants, a church, a temple, a mosque, anything but a skyscraper. Haven't they heard of Murphy's Law? Would you work in that skyscraper? I wouldn't go near it.
Henry Jenkins: "Within minutes of the Kerry announcement, the Republican National Committee put on its website a detailed set of talking points about Edwards."
There hasn't been enough of a response to the call for a Thursday meeting in NYC, so maybe we'll do it next week. I'm pretty sure I'll be here then.
Wired: "Gracenote has quietly become one of the most powerful companies in digital music -- but many of its users have probably never heard of it."
Paul Boutin notes, as I did, that MSN readers are uniformly polite and informative. Then I read a brief post from Tim Bray, who has been the opposite to me in the past, and he says he's seen the growth that is going on today in the weblog world, in the Web, ten years ago. This reminds me that Tim compared my contribution to that of Charles Goldfarb, the inventor of SGML, in a totally condescending post last year, and ignited a flamewar, and that's been his major contribution to this space, as far as I'm concerned.
I tried to explain to Tim then (not that he was listening of course) that RSS was just part of the picture, and to see it only as an XML format was to miss the point, that there were applications on both sides of RSS, content management software and aggregators, and lots of people, that made it really work. To think you could swap out the format was as silly as thinking you could swap out HTML or HTTP in 1994. Yet that is exactly what Tim and his colleagues tried to do. If instead there were a pause for thought, just a tiny bit of respect to balance the bluster, he could have saved a bunch of time and effort. He still could.
Steve Gillmor tagged Bray then as a master tactician, I guess so, but at least a little strategy should be behind every tactic. It's still not too late to get back on course Tim, I'll accept your retraction when you make it, but so far, that hasn't happened.
Like so many others, you came to conquer, and failed. Now what?
I once did a game project for Children's Television Workshop in 1980-something. I'm not a game designer. But they gave me a great one to work with. I coded up the prototype, he played with it, he gave me instant feedback, I tweaked the app, gave him the new one. We'd turn around new versions in fifteen minutes. It came out great. It was relaxing to just be the programmer. And I made a good money from that job. Moral of the story: Sometimes you do the best work when someone else provides the passion.
Yesterday, an absolutely gorgeous NY summer day, I took my walk with my iPod and Doc Searls.
There were two parts to the conversation, the first, a narrative biography about Doc, which was very useful, I didn't know how he came to be in Silicon Valley for example. The second half was fairly predictable Doc hype, open source and Microsoft ad infinitum, as if that was all there was in the software world, with a new rant about how SCO was screwing with Doc's life, something I could relate to, because my own life is being screwed with.
A short comment stuck with me. Doc said of fellow Cluetrainer, Chris Locke and his alter-id, Rageboy: "The most out-there and purposely offensive blog. He's a genius, it's brilliant stuff. It's hostile." Then he laughs.
I've heard him say this before, and I've also heard David Weinberger say the same thing. They find Locke's cruelty amusing. I agree that Locke's site is purposely offensive, I might go a little further, but I wonder if Searls and Weinberger would like it so much if they were the targets?
Locke directs his hostility at people. I watched as he humiliated an old girlfriend. How does he get away with this? I wondered. People still seem to be his friend. I didn't say anything for fear that he'd go after me. Then he did. How did I offend him? I honestly don't know.
The Golden Rule comes before The Cluetrain Manifesto. If you aren't trying to treat people as you would like to be treated, you can't possibly do good, imho. You guys have taken a big detour, I think you've lost your way. When I first read the Cluetrain I was cheering, it was exciting. Now it's degraded and sick. Time for an intervention. Wake up guys, people matter. I still believe you're better than this. Much.
Postscript: Searls says he agrees, but only with bedtime-story part. Someday perhaps Locke will turn on him or Weinberger. What happens then will surely be interesting to watch.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Today I unsubbed from the Industry Standard feed. Every item had an ad in it. I found this too distracting because I read each item as a unit, and my mind has to work too hard to split it in two. After trying to live with it for months, today I gave up. Also today CBS MarketWatch started putting sponsored links into their feed. They show up even when there's no other new items. I'll try it this way for a few days, but I have a feeling that the annoyance-to-utility ratio for this feed isn't good enough, I'll probably unsub. And this is okay. I've never had the option to unsub from spam in email, so I feel especially empowered here, in control, and okay with it.
On of the mysteries of my new iPod is why the Playlists menu doesn't appear on the screen of the iPod. I've set it up to automatically update all songs and playlists. I created a playlist. Then did everything I can think of to cause it to synch up. But over on the iPod, there is no Playlists menu. I've tried shutting it off and starting it up again. No luck. Any ideas, much appreciated.
This article on MSN, a reprint of a Slate article by Paul Boutin, has already generated 100,000 hits. The people who send me mails about my experience fighting adware are polite and informative. I never thought I'd place such a value on politeness.
Alan Kleymeyer: "I'm really excited to finally have our second product, SmartManila, released."
Gossip's bootleg RSS feeds palooza.
Salon: "Just off the heels of the official Democratic veep announcement, left-wing reactions to the Edwards pick are ranging from incredulous to the ecstatic."
Jeremy Zawodny: "The pinger simply accelerates the refresh process. There's no conspiracy here."
Scripting News dinner in NY on Thursday? We can talk about covering the conventions on blogs. NYC is hosting the Republicans, which is pretty amazing given how Democratic the city is. Kind of like hosting the Yankees in Queens. Stranger things have happened. By Thursday I should know for sure if I'm getting into the DemNatCon. Of course I'd like to cover the Reps too. And the quote by Trippi in today's Washington Post is typically narrow. He's thinking of Kos. I think they're all suspect. Of course Bush is totally nasty, imagine claiming that Kerry really wanted McCain. Feh. Keep raising the question Dubya, maybe the Reps will get hip and throw your ass out and nominate McCain. Now that would be an election worth having.
Adam needs some help with UserLand's aggregator API.
BBC: "Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has formally announced Senator John Edwards as his running mate."
Email sent by Kerry to email subscribers.
Signs of life at the Edwards weblog.
The DNC says they'll announce which bloggers will get credentials for the convention later this month.
More BlogTalk blogalia from Vienna via Paolo.
Apartment 11D: "When bloggers personally attack others, who are not public officials or celebrities just private citizens trying to go about their work, this undemocratic creation is deeply troubling."
Via Joi Ito, via Metafilter, from US Aviation forums: "John Kerry"s 757 was in hgr 4 pit tonight John Edwards vp decals were being put on engine cowlings and upper fuselage." If it's not true it's a good rumor! And I've been looking for a way to say this -- Edwards is the obvious right choice. He's a great campaigner and team player, and despite all his protests to the contrary, clearly wants a shot at national office. The Dems still won't win the south, but Edwards did pretty well in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Who to believe? The NY Post says it's Gephardt. Union guy, the core Democrat base trust him, probably worth a bunch of votes in the rust belt states, most of which are in play. Win Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, and win the White House. That's why the announcement is coming in Pittsburgh.
Isn't it interesting that Wesley Clark isn't much mentioned as the Kerry running mate? Does this signal that the Dems see the economy as the major issue, and not the war? I guess Gephardt is a choice to make the economy the issue, and Edwards is the choice to make TV ads the issue? We still don't really have any idea what Edwards' politics are. With only one term in the Senate, and some vague populist talk during the primaries, we know that he's attractive, has nice hair, and looks younger than he is. That's about it. He could play the vice-president on The West Wing.
In my opinion, a reporter should be thirsty for information, and passionate about conveying it. It should bother you when you got the story wrong, and you should put aside pride or ego when the object of your story tells you you got it wrong. Get out the notepad and get the real story.
I think this is so basic, perhaps it should be a third tenet of real reporting, along with 1. Disclose your interests. 2. Never knowingly say something that's not true.
In the last flamefest, this is what separated the real reporters, professional or amateur, from the space-occupiers. Did they care what the actual story was, or were they just bloating the blogosphere with more uninformed crap. There was a lot of the latter, very little of the former.
Monday, July 05, 2004
During the flamefest about weblogs.com hosting, James Grimmelmann at Yale Law School's LawMeme tried to analyze the story from a legal point of view, got most of the basic facts wrong, and therefore arrived at a wildly incorrect conclusion (along with some childish name-calling). I wonder if they would like to take another look, now that the flames have died down, and see if they'd like to tell the story again, based on what actually happened. And maybe they could tell the story of how their condemnation came to be, based on so little information? If technologists have an obligation to treat users fairly (they do, no argument there) do lawyers have the same obligation, according to Yale Law School?
So Yale doesn't feel totally out there, Harvard Law School also took took a shot at me during the flamefest. Their comment about RSS is pretty nutty (it's a format, not software, it can't be licensed under GPL). They say they got their facts from Wired, so they're just passing on what they heard. I guess that's an okay excuse. Anyway, thousands of people weren't stranded and we got all the sites back on the air within a week. It would be nice if they published that part too.
Greg Linden: "Findory Blogory just launched a new and unusual feature: personalized, aggregated, and adaptive RSS feeds."
According to CNN, Kerry has chosen a running mate and will announce shortly.
Jason Calacanis: "Dave, how much would you pay for an add-free RSS feed from Engadget.com?"
Follow the links in this post by Tim Jarrett to learn about Yahoo's first attempt at a gated community built around RSS.
Listening to Sun president Jonathan Schwartz on The Gillmor Gang on my new iPod. He's a master of "vendor sports," as Steve calls it. The ponytail is misleading. He's as good as McNealy ever was, and he has good manners. He should make a proposition to RSS developers that doesn't necessarily depend on Java. It'd be interesting to see what he comes up with.
Boston.Com: Engaging young Bostonians in citizenship.
Britt Blaser: "We cannot comprehend how stupidly the inexperienced bulk of society speaks of war as a rational option that we're entitled to use on people the way a company might launch a hostile takeover."
Photos from BlogTalk in Vienna.
Aggregated bloggings from BlogTalk.
Lida Liberopoulou, writing from Greece: "In your July 4 entry you mention some really wild celebrations going on at a NYC neighborhood. It is possible that what you witnessed was the Greek community of New York City running wild." Yes it is possible. Last night there were Greek flags around everywhere. I had no idea why and didn't think much of it. Greece won the Euro 2004 cup. Lida continues: "This is probably the biggest sporting victory in the history of the country. Here in Greece we have been getting reports that Greek communities have begun to celebrate the event by the thousands in big cities all around the world (London, Melbourne, Berlin etc)."
In Vienna, the BlogTalk conference is underway. Paolo is blogging.
As Adam notes, Radio and Manila sites have officially joined the age of comment spam. It's happening on my sites too. Look on the bright side, here's a new chance to get creative. BTW, I had an interesting phone talk with Adam this week. He didn't want to call while I was under attack on blogs and in the press, which I kind of understand, then he told me how the Dutch press is treating his wife (she's a movie star) and I realize I don't have it so bad.
Geek News notes that SixApart is now getting Trackback spam.
This is a puzzling story, perhaps someone from Britain can explain. "The BBC has just under four months to redefine the remit for its online services, the government has said." I think that means that the websites have to explain why they shouldn't be shut down. The BBC web is unique, it's the only major news site that doesn't move their archive behind a for-pay firewall. The NY Times is second-best, but the BBC is perfect. It would be a shame, but an understandable one, if they became more restrictive.
Lance Knobel: "Thereís no chance the things most people value from the BBC, principally the news sites, will face any changes."
Independent: "There was evidence that BBC Online, which was launched in 1998, was having an adverse affect on commerical rivals."
NY Times: "Apple has elected to use a compression standard that, to put the best face on it, creates an awfully small file."
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Tonight's movie: Slums of Beverly Hills. Pretty good.
The fireworks in this NYC neighborhood is pretty outrageous. Sounds like there's a battle going on every street. Nothing like this happened in California, or used to happen here when I was a kid. Pretty crazy stuff.
2001: "Listening to users is actually not that easy. It's easier to *be* a user and make products for other users. And that my friends, the combination of user-based information exchange and products that reflect user experience and wants, is where money will be made on the Internet."
BBC: Universities get wi-fi access.
Okay yesterday I did something I said I wouldn't, and today I did another thing I didn't think I would. I bought an iPod. A few weeks ago my old iPod, the one I got as a get-well gift from the blogging community in 2002, stopped working. Since I'm going to be traveling a lot, and my Rhomba can only store 256MB, I decided, finally, I really need an iPod, so I bought a 15GB model for $299. It's charging right now. It'll be interesting to see how well it works with my ThinkPad running XP (an operating system I once said I'd never run). The funny thing is that it comes ready to speak German. Why is that so funny? Because the only German I know is what Andre Radke taught me: Ein, svei, drei, feuhr, fumph, etc.
I got the iPod working with XP, still a little confused, but it's not too hard. Listening to music right now, while the battery is charging. Anthony Baker says he's really happy with his iPod, has used it on Windows, ran into a bit of a glitch when switching to Mac.
I'm going to be looking for several contractors over the next few months to work on programming projects with me. The first one is someone who knows how to program XML-RPC apps in C. It's probably about a month of work beginning-to-end, involves a little database work. Description here.
On this day in 1776 the United States of America, then a colony of Great Britain, declared its independence,
Ted Leung: RSS for System Status.
The Economist: "Should old media embrace blogging?"
Brent Simmons lists cool American people and things.
Check out the Statue of Liberty Cam and see how the Lady is doing.
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Today was my last day in Boston after a week of goodbyes, I'll hit the road bright and early tomorrow heading south and west. Thanks to New England for hosting The Dave Winer Show for 1.5 years. I mastered Boston weather and Boston driving. And I made enough friends to give departure a rich and meaningful feeling. I'm leaving a lot of love in Boston. I hope to be back soon, before the end of the month, to cover the Democratic convention. Until then, thanks to Boston, and onward ho!
"thinkusaalignright"I saw Farenheight 9/11 today. I could enumerate all the cheap shots, all the emotional arguments that, when you follow them through, end up meaning nothing. But I won't waste your time or mine. Now I remember why I, for so many years, refused to label myself a liberal or even register as a Democrat. It's because even when the Democrats have right on their side, they don't stop there, they have to throw in the emotional bullshit, the senseless stuff, and reduce the argument to its most petty level. The war is wrong, Bush is incompetent, that's all I need to know to vote Democratic in 2004. I don't need to hear that mothers of dead soldiers' grief is unspeakably horrible. I don't care that they didn't get the full month's salary for the dead soldier's last month, and I know that the President had nothing to do with that. I hate Americans who politicize the most sacred unpolitical things. It doesn't matter to me if they are left or right-wing. But I think Americans who resort to bad arguments when they have a winning case are the most despicable of all. They aren't fighting for a better, more just, smarter country, they just want to win, even if they turn off people with minds. I have no patience for that.
I also saw Spiderman 2, and I laughed, I cheered, I cried and it made me feel happy. The ending scene was, I told my female companion, a chick's ending, except then I realized it was a guy's ending too. What a great line she ended the movie with. Every guy's dream. A very sweet movie, and after seeing Farenheit 9/11, I was glad to see a movie that doesn't try to manipulate me into being stupid.
My review of the first Spiderman, from 2002. Spiderman 2 still gets a 1 on sex, but #3 promises to be better.
AKMA, who initiated the audio barn-raising for Lessig's book, says it's not likely to happen for the Cluetrain, because the book isn't published under a Creative Commons license, and because there already is an abridged audio version of the book. Still an interesting idea, imho, worth discussing perhaps. I'd be surprised if the audio version is generating huge sales, and it might be something the authors would permit, given that the full text of the book is already on the Web.
Friday, July 02, 2004
Doc Searls: Quit Envying the Dead.
William Sloane Coffin: "Most necessary evils are far more evil than they are necessary."
Scott Rosenberg: "The Squeezebox -- a small black box about the size of a book, with a bright, readable display -- sits at your stereo and pulls in, over your existing Wifi network, any music file or playlist sitting on your computer's hard drive."
Joe Costello: "Well one of the greatest problems with the Senate at this point is the states of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho, Nebraska, West Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Iowa and Connecticut have a combined population equal to California's 34 million people."
Another RSS-related venture capital investment.
I'd like to remind people who say that RSS needs advertising that the whole equation is flipped upside down, and advertising is the least interesting way to flow information via RSS. Consider that I might subscribe to feeds that contain commercial information that one might otherwise see as advertising. For example, I'm in the market for a bunch of products that don't exist yet. I'd love to be able to subscribe to a feed that alerts me when they exist. Then of course I'll pay money, and someone will profit. I'll write about it again, in the meantime, if you want to brush up, read The Cluetrain Manifesto and repeat after Doc Searls: There is no demand for messages. There is no demand for messages. There is no demand for messages. Remember folks, you're not living in the same economy, this one is decentralized, not a monoculture, and doesn't follow the same rules. Them that invest in buggy whips are going to to have buggy companies.
BTW, two excellent feeds for watching for products as they are being invented are Gizmodo and Engadget. For a long time Gizmodo was the only act in town, and didn't have an RSS feed for many of the reasons Jeff Jarvis lists here. Then along comes Engadget, and supplies a feed, so all of a sudden Gizmodo does too. Guess what, now they both get links from my blog and many others when they run something that fits into our respective world views. In the old days a PR person would call you up, or you'd have to drag your ass to a press conference. Today, my aggregator does the drudge work, and I get to have all the fun.
One more thing. Both sites/feeds owe some legacy to the Fetish column in Wired, inaugurated by my very good friend David Jacobs, the guy who's still looking for a kidney. Fetish was great because Big Dave is a totally obsessed gadget guy, and pours hours and hours into studying them. Of course so are the editors of Gizmodo and Engadget. I am not, but I love to use cool technology, so I hang around people who put the time in. It's the old formula that worked so well, back when journalists would report based on love of information, not nightmares.
Okay I'm almost done. I just got back from the Barnes & Noble in Burlington, MA. I loaded up on audio books, which I'm going to convert to MP3 so I can listen to them on my Rhomba. I love having audio books when I'm driving a lot, and it seems like I'm going to be doing a lot of driving soon, because I'm homeless (in a good way) again. So here's the question. Larry Lessig's book is available in audio, as a community thing. It was an incredible barn-raising. Why don't we do the same for The Cluetrain Manifesto? It's an important book. And after that, maybe I should do audio of some of the bigger DaveNets. Maybe I should do that while I'm driving. Just a thought.
Just FYI, I think I've heard Halley say Go Fuck Yourself once or twice.
Glenn Fleishman on trackback spam.
Geek News Central got hit by trackback spam too.
CSM: Michael Moore's showing in Show Me State.
NY Times: Marlon Brando dead at 80.
Time profile of Marlon Brando.
Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather, one of Brando's big roles, died five years ago today.
And on this day in 1997, Jimmy Stewart died.
6/7/96: "I wish DaveNet were a TV show so I could show you a clip from one of my favorite movies, The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando and eighteen other great actors doing their best work."
Last year on this day, I was playing with an open subscriptions harmonizer. It's still a problem that needs to be solved across aggregators. A few developers have solved it for their own products, but there's a problem with that approach.
Phil Ringnalda: "Googlebot's got a serious jones for my comments."
Charles Cooper: "Scrolling through countless 'political blogs' on the Internet, how many of them are authored by party operatives?"
Brad Feld: Why I Invested in NewsGator.
At the dinner I sat across from John Palfrey and Mary Rundle and next to Terry Fisher. It was hard to hear, but we had some great talks anyway, no surprise there, because Berkman is a place for discussion, a place for intellect, but not idle thinking, thinking-with-doing. That's why I liked it there so much.
As I was listening to the toasts at the end, when it came time to thank John Palfrey, I didn't want to interrupt, but now, here on Scripting News, I can hold my virtual glass up to John, who is one of the best people I've ever worked for, one of the only people I've ever worked for, and someone who if you ever get the chance to, you should work for. Let me tell you why.
They recruit incredible talent at Berkman, the smartest, most passionate, most curious people. Now in a lot of places, it would stop there, a bureaucracy would develop among the permanents, and the temporaries, the fellows, would have to learn the ropes and it would take time before they were effective, and there might be limits on how effective one can be. Especially at a university, especially at an old university like Harvard. But John thinks like an entrepreneur, and tries to cut down obstacles, he encourages your outrageous ideas, when he finds out you want to do something, he pulls out all the stops to help you get there. In the 1.5 years I was at Berkman, I never once heard John say no. And believe me, I needed a lot of yes's to make two conferences happen, one on very short notice, a day after another Berkman conference run by Charlie Nesson. Yet John pulls off what must be a very complicated job without involving you in his cares, and that's important. The internal problems fade away, and things get done. Everyone says it, everyone knows it, this place works because Palfrey makes it work.
Anyway, I said goodbye to a lot of people last night, and closed the book on one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I really appreciate the chance Berkman Center gave me, and thank Charlie, Terry and Jonathan for believing that a commercial software developer could make a contribution to an academic institution. Thanks to Wendy and Catherine for support at the two BloggerCons, thanks to Jesse and Hal for backing us up technically. Thanks to Diane for being a friend. Thanks to the people who aren't at Berkman now, but who, like me, are part of its incredible extended family. But I gotta say it, thanks most to John Palfrey for making it all work. I hope to get a chance to work with you all again some time in the future.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Here's a free idea I had the other day while cleaning up a spewage of comment spam. What if comments, by default, were deleted after 24 hours? What if the owner of the site had to check a box in order for a comment not to be deleted? That way if a comment had lasting value, the owner of the site could make sure it sticks around.
Referer spam is getting ridiculous. As Jessica Baumgart notes, it's cool that Jonathan Schwartz shows referers on his weblog home page, but it's just a matter of time before the spammers find him and he's advertising all kinds of kinky sex. BTW, I just remembered where I heard the name Jonathan Schwartz before. He was a DJ on WNEW-FM in NY in the 70s when I was a teen. You want to hear something funny? When I was driving into NY through NJ after driving across the US, last spring, guess who was on the radio to welcome me after all these years? You probably guessed. Jonathan Schwartz. I wish I had an audio clip of how he says his name. It's so saccharine, so fake-caring, but it actually works.
Reuters video of Saddam Hussein appearing before an Iraq tribunal.
BBC: "The international mission to Saturn has returned the first close-up images of Saturn's rings."
Register article on Sony iPod-like Walkman. "Unlike the clunky-looking players launched in the Japanese market, the European model appears a serious challenger for Apple's market leadership."
Engadget: "Itís not much to look at, but the Network Walkman is supposed to be able to get an astounding thirty hours of battery life on a single charge and have a retail price of $400."
Wired: "In its initial investigation, AEI uncovered a total of nine unique software bugs in AEI's inCircle product that were also present in orkut.com,"
Julie Leung is hosting a blogger's picnic at Bainbridge, WA; July 17.
Okay I admit I've become an addict of The Gillmor Gang. I copy them to my MP3 player, which unlike the Sony below, plays MP3s (I guess it's kind of obvious, but the obvious seems to have eluded Sony, that MP3 players should actually play MP3s) and take it on my daily walk. The last one I listened to, from June 18, was about whether Sun should open source Java. It was good. I imagine I feel about them as a lot of people feel about Scripting News, they're mostly wrong, in a predictable way, but they get you thinking. I've also become a fan of Doug Kaye's interviews with people with blogs. I downloaded his interview with Doc Searls, and plan to listen to it on my Friday walk, or maybe on the drive down to NY on Sunday. There's this gap between Worcester and Hartford where there isn't much good radio. Hey I'm getting good at this stuff.
The war is bad, Bush is a bad president, probably the worst of our lives. I've heard about the seven minutes of video of Bush paralyzed after the second plane hit the WTC on 9/11. Sounds powerful. Even right-wingers have to admit that a President should be someone who's mobilized by a crisis, not frozen.
So often people overstate their case. That's Moore's mistake. When you overstate, you lose people with minds. One of the greatest things about my talk about Moore yesterday is that I heard from right-wingers with minds. What a relief to find out they're not all like Limbaugh or O'Reilly. Seriously.
There's hope for this country yet.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.