Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Arrived safely in Brandon, Manitoba. Great drive, went through the geographic center of North America, in Rugby, ND; then turned due north. So east-west-wise I'm roughly equidistant from NY and Seattle. Tomorrow I turn west and head for Saskatchewan. At the end of my drive today, bored with Gore Vidal's book about Adams, Washington and Jefferson, I bit the bullet and started getting caught up on Adam Curry's Source Code radio program. I knew it would be trouble because I immediately wanted to do my own audio show in response. What was even weirder is that Adam included a clip of The Gillmor Gang, which I had also been avoiding, because I want to get away from all that michegas for a bit, but no such luck. I'm already back in the thick of it. I'll probably do an audio blog post before the night is out. Damn.
Movie #1: Adam Curry talking about Steve Gillmor while I'm driving in Manitoba. Does geography matter at all any more? Or time? Adam recorded his talk in Belgium a week ago. Steve recorded his before that, presumably in California.
Movie #2: Singing along with the Beatles while driving in Manitoba.
Movie #3: A windmill on US-2 in North Dakota.
Photos: Grand Forks to Brandon, Manitoba.
I missed the debate about the accuracy of Wikipedia, but let me get my two cents in anyway. The librarian was right to raise the question. However, I find that on some subjects that I have expertise on, it does a remarkably good job, better than most professional journalists. But on other subjects, it only represents one point of view. When others try to balance it, their notes are deleted. This is the inherent weakness in the Wiki model, the consensus isn't always correct, esp when some people want to have their point of view prevail above all others.
Remind me to tell you about the bizarre ways hotels make you connect to the Internet. There are only two correct ways to do it. 1. Support WiFi (easiest by far). 2. Have an Ethernet jack on the wall behind the desk. For a bonus point, include a cable. The room I'm in tonight actually has a PC in it, as if anyone who cares about the Internet travels without a laptop. I had to get a support person to come up and reconfigure it so I could connect with my laptop. I asked how often she has to do this. Basically for every customer, she said. Why not give in and just let us plug directly in. She was absolutely sure there was some magic reason the hotel wanted you to use their computer. I told her I was sure the computer would be gone in no more than a year. She looked at me like I was a clueless old coot (which of course I am).
Progress report on the Frontier open source release.
Good morning from Grand Forks, North Dakota. Lots of pictures filed in the last few days, from Wisconsin and Minnesota, green pictures, lots of water, a little farming here and there. I took these pictures knowing that soon, in my drive west, the dominant color would change from green to brown. Out here the states stack, north-south-wise. North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas. They're all green in the east and brown in the west. Same thing in Canada, or so I hear. I've never been to this part of Canada. I'll have brown pictures, possibly by the end of the day. So enjoy the green, it ain't gonna last.
I wonder if you noticed how much closer the sky seems "out here" than it seems on the coasts. It's weird because we're not at a very high elevation, but yet somehow it feels as if the sky is closer.
Pleasure Boat Captains for Truth: "The man couldn't hold his liquor."
USA Today on Republican convention bloggers. "'Bloggers' corner' is situated next to 'radio row,' where stations conduct live broadcasts around the clock."
We're getting close to the open source release of Frontier. I believe it will happen before the end of September.
Technically, the software is ready to go. Andre Radke, who was the last full-time maintainer of the code at UserLand, up until four years ago, when he returned to be a full-time physics grad student, did the work to get the code ready. Steve Zellers at Apple has also been participating. I see Andre and Steve as the two leaders of the project once the release has taken place. I trust both of them, I can't imagine two better people to entrust this project to. I see myself as playing an advisory role, writing scripts to test new versions, and representing Frontier as a legal entity.
The one remaining issue to decide is the license agreement. I guess this has always been so, but now it's the crucial decision, once it's made, the release can proceed. Here's my current thinking, after having talked with several lawyers with experience in open source software, and having read up on various approaches, this is what I've come up with. (Note I am not a lawyer, I am posting this so that lawyers can comment publicly.)
1. No breakage. I want old scripts continue to run in new environments. A lot has been invested in code that runs in the Frontier environment, one of the reasons to release the kernel as source is so that those apps will run better, in more operating systems. I want to limit incentives for people to fork based on compatibility. I don't want to create a dozen semi-clones of Frontier, rather I want to incentivize people to add to the culture, add new features, fix user interface bugs, but not to break apps.
2. I want it to be possible to create a commercial business from the code base. However, I want the general rule to be that if you make an improvement to the code, you must share it on equal terms.
I think these two goals clearly imply a base license that's GPL-like, with an option for a more liberal license, for either a cash fee, or an agreement to remain compatible, or a combination of fee and agreement. This is a derivative of the MySQL license system.
I'm looking for feedback from lawyers who have experience with open source licenses, and developers who have released code under open source licenses, and people who have used code under open source licenses. The best form of feedback is in public, on a weblog, so you can send a URL and I can point to it. I'm not opening a comment thread on this becuase it's sure to only attract unconstructive comments.
Note that we are not trying to shake up the world, or change what anyone does, or kill anything, or necessarily even create anything. So comments that say things like "This will never kill Apache" or "Python already has too much of a lead" while quite common, always miss the point.
For an idea of why I'm releasing Frontier as open source, please refer to this article I wrote in May.
Monday, August 30, 2004
Greenspun dropped his land line in favor of VOIP.
Do you like the car movies? I do, but I'm not sure why.
Pictures from the University of North Dakota campus.
Today's first round of pictures take us into North Dakota, barely, in Grand Forks, just over the Minnesota border. Driving on US-2 today through a pretty empty and wet part of Minnesota. I saw a sign on a creek that shocked me. Since I've become a river buff, you have no idea how exciting that was. A hundred miles later, a field of sunflowers. Arrive in town in time for a walk on the campus of the University of North Dakota, and then vegging out in front of the Republican National Convention. Finally, how far north is Grand Rapids? Well, Fargo is south of here. Heh.
Julie Leung wants tips on hiking opportunities on long car trips too. I've discovered two things. Smallish towns like Ashland are great. Walk 20 minutes down Main St, make a right on First, walk 10 minutes, make a right on 8th Avenue, and zig-zag back to the car exactly an hour later. And you get to see all the neighborhoods (hopefully they're nice, but you can drive around first to make sure they are). Second tip. University campuses are perfect for walks. They're usually pretty well-kept, and designed for walking. The interesting thing about the university here in Grand Forks is that they have this network of interior walkways, just like Duluth. It gets so cold here that it's not practical to walk outside to get from building to building. That's where I'm headed right now.
Phil Haack shows what happens when XML nerds protest.
Lake Superior this morning from my hotel room.
Apparently President Bush called Iraq a "catastrophic success."
I'm listening to David McCullough's biography of Harry Truman, as read by the author. Fantastic. I've finally found a can't-put-it-down audio book.
Mary Jo on the Longhorn decision.
The Channel 9 guys have video of Jim Allchin explaining the decision.
BTW, "Hard core" means "death march." It's the same trap that Apple fell into with Copland. The devteam was always in death march mode, when one impossible ship date was missed, they scheduled another impossible ship date. When you ask a Microsoft person to say what Longhorn is supposed to do, you get rambly hand-wavy words that mean nothing. A product with a purpose has a two-sentence description that gets everyone so excited they can't wait. Longhorn isn't designed to solve anyone's problems. I think they all know it, but they can't say it out loud because they've all drunk the Kool Aid on this.
Wired: "Microsoft announces Longhorn, its next version of Windows, will meet its 2006 release date. But to deliver on time for corporate client contracts, a key component -- the underlying file system for the software -- will be missing."
Scoble summarizes the blogger reaction.
NeroSoft TimeTrax "records songs from your XM PCR satellite radio directly onto your PC in MP3 format!"
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Taegan says most forecasts call for a Bush win in November.
Peter Rukavina has a scraped RSS feed of books he has checked out of the library.
6PM Central Time, arrived at hotel in Duluth, MN. Had a great drive today, walked on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, WI. Did an audio blog post, photos, a movie. Northwestern Wisconsin is spectacularly beautiful, my pictures don't begin to do it justice.
Northwestern Wisconsin driving pics.
A roadside movie, first a car passes in one direction, then, well, I don't want to give away the plot.
Today's audio blog post was done while driving north in Wisconsin. I didn't end up making it as far as International Falls today, and I didn't take US 51 all the way north. I cut west on state roads, and then headed north, then west. Anyway, this blog post is about why Internet access while traveling is going to be free, soon. And I explain how weblogs will make money, far more money than you can make through an advertising model. As the Silicon Valley money people get interested in weblogs and making money, this is becoming again an hot topic. It's not about replicating models from the print and TV world. I lay it out pretty clearly. Designed for people who manage big multinational businesses. Nothing really technical here.
Meanwhile back in NYC there were demonstrations. My mom went to the big march and took pictures.
Good morning, what a lovely day for a drive. Temp in the low 50s, bright blue clear sky. Sweater weather. Up early, let's go. To regular readers, it may not be possible for me to get a net connection tonight. I'll be back on the Web as soon as I can. Have a great Sunday!
Lots of newly scanned blogs in the RNC aggregator.
The DNC aggregator is still catching some good posts.
Rex Hammock is covering the RNC from the inside.
Jim Armstrong: "The name of the guy that bombed Sterling Hall was Karlton Armstrong."
On the Interstate highway system in the US, they tell you about all the fast food restaurants at every exit. And they have places to walk a dog at every rest area. But what about pointers to places for humans to get a bit of exercise? "You're about to pass a great state park and they have a free hiking trail for Interstate drivers. Spend one hour exercising, you'll enjoy being cooped up in the car more." And how about a special extra big ad on the freeway for restaurants that offer something tasty and healthy? (And even bigger if it has caffeine in it.) And while we're at it, pass a law that every gas station must stock extra large bags of pistachio nuts.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
GmailFS provides a "mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium."
I just reviewed the pics from Paducah and realized I didn't point out something important. It's located at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River. You can see the two rivers in this picture. After they join the new river is called the Ohio River. Downstream about 20 miles or so, the Ohio becomes part of the Mississippi.
It's wet and cold here in Madtown. I hear it's been that way much of the summer. Part of me wants to turn south, buy the cottage at the beach, get the T1 line and cover the election from what's likely to be ground zero. I've always wanted to live on the beach. Hmmm.
Jeff Sandquist is from Saskatchewan.
Engadget discovered that Apple is hiding something.
Ed Cone's report on the Piedmont blog conference.
It was an unconference, and the people liked it.
More Madison campus pictures on a cloudy rainy day.
The government of Alberta supports RSS.
Canada has an excellent online atlas.
Friday, August 27, 2004
Former Lt Governor of Texas Ben Barnes explains that he helped George Bush get out of serving in Vietnam.
I'm pooped, but I'm going to get some coffee in me, and get caught up on the RNC community site. There have been lots of requests for sites to be included. At this time I'm only going to include sites written by people who are actually covering the RNC from inside the convention. I may, if there's time, do a special page aggregating sites that are covering the RNC from outside. BTW, two buses left Madison today for NYC carrying protestors. Just like the good old days!
If your site is not included, and it should be, please read the instructions carefully, and then post a comment with the four bits of info. Thanks.
Rogers Cadenhead on weblog hosting. "All existing weblogs will be hosted for free, as long as they've been updated at least once in 2004."
More pictures from Madison, this time the house I shared with nine other roommates. It was a magic place, and it's more or less unchanged. 437 West Wilson Street. The only major change I could see is that the garden, where my Wisconsin-bred roommates planted all kinds of vegetables, is grown over. It's been 26 years. Given enough time, bright-eyed young grad students turn into old farts, and lovingly tended gardens become forests.
Movie taken on the patio behind the Union on Lake Mendota.
Still pictures from an early morning walking tour of the UW campus in Madison. One thing I learned, in a really stark way, I totally overestimate the quality of my memory. I drove past a place I used to live while I was watching for it carefully. A place I walked to and drove to hundreds of times. Totally missed it. I also remembered Madison being dirtier and poorer than it is. Memories of opinions. Perhaps my point of view then was more priviledged somehow, or my tolerance for grunge has gone up. Anyway some of my memories of this place were sweet and are not going away. I remember loving my work like I never have since. And I remember walking home late at night in sub-zero temperatures, full of enthusiasm for life, to a bed already warmed by a 19-year old girl I was in love with. It was a sweet life, but one filled with puzzles. I lived two blocks from the minor league baseball stadium. Why didn't I ever go to a game? (I think their name was the Muskies.) State St is still there, and the Parthenon is too. I drank coffee on the patio behind the Union watching the boats on the lake. But my memory is so incomplete. I could drive right by the Computer Science building and not recognize it. (I did.)
Reminder to self. Next time in Madison stay at the Edgewater.
Trivia. Locals have affectionate names for the two local papers. The Crap Times, and the Wisconsin State Urinal. They're both owned by the same company. Wisconsites have a cornball sense of humor. Makes sense because the state makes a lot of corn.
On this day five years ago, I stated my vision for RSS which contains a simple explanation why RSS is different from CDF. RSS files are expected to change several times a day. CDF describes a site structure that changes rarely if ever. Perhaps that would be useful if it had been followed-through-on by Microsoft (it wasn't). But that's different from RSS which flows news through a fixed point, something you can subscribe to.
MIT student: "Your blog's comments section continues to amaze. It's like some kind of zoo, but with idiots instead of exotic animals."
Zawodny discusses the difference betw feed search and regular search.
Jay Rosen: "There are jittery people in the networks, trying not to be the cause of anything."
Jessica The Librarian talks about merging weblogs and file management. I think the extra bit you need is an organization-level search engine.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Photo tour of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Today's first movie has all the basic elements of a Quicktime movie in a moving car: Music, rain, wind shield wipers, trucks, other cars.
A second driving movie with the same elements.
Wired: RSS attracts really serious money.
WSJ: Meet the Bloggers, Part 2.
Looks like the Madison farmer's market it still there. It was an incredible deal. This is just the right time of year. Are you in Madison? If so, send me an email, and let's go for a walk and get some brats, drink a few Points or Leinies. I'll be there later today.
Brendan Eich: "There is no way Firefox would ship without View/Source or any other UI that goes back to Netscape 1."
RNC Watch: "Cabbies Against Bush are offering free rides to Kennedy or Newark Airport for any delegate who will fly to Iraq to fight."
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
George Bush: "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."
NY Times: Bush Campaign's Top Outside Lawyer Resigns.
More movies from today's travels. Here's a bridge across the Tennessee River at the border between Georgia and Tennessee. Now a movie with the view out the front window as I drive up I-24 in Tennessee. Another driving movie, this one with trucks. A third and final driving movie, no trucks this time, but some incredibly threatening clouds in the background. The sky eventually opened up, and I drove for two hours in the deluge. That was reallly tiring.
Still pictures from Florida to lovely downtown Paducah, Kentucky, a very strange place. Okay, you ask, why is it so strange? First, it's in a very powerful place, at the confluence of two huge rivers, the Ohio and the Tennessee, just before the Ohio merges with the Mississippi. So you're looking at a very large part of the flow from the eastern half of North America, east of the Continental Divide. But the town is dead, or so it seems, but here's what's really weird, someone spent a lot of money trying to get it to come back to life, but it didn't work. They have a huge empty hotel and convention center. A huge and empty farmer's market. Some really nice looking empty restaurants. Shops and boutiques, well-stocked, open, empty. Lots of for sale signs. A Republican headquarters. An eerie feeling. And it was hugely hot and humid. While I was there the sky opened up, I took shelter, then it was over and five minutes later the sidewalks were dry, that's how hot it was.
If you're waiting for an email from me, I can't send email. There's some kind of firewall here at the hotel or at their ISP that seems to be blocking port 25. A funny thing happened while I was talking with the support guy at the ISP. He asked what mail server I was talking to. I said mail.userland.com. He said "That's weird because that's one of Dave Winer's servers." I said "I am Dave Winer." He said they usually don't get famous people coming through this small town in southern Illinois. Me, I was surprised that anyone in southern Illinois knows who I am. Maybe there's a new career lurking in there for me somewhere? Too tired to figure it out.
TA is a brand of truck stop in the US, here's a list of outlets. They have WiFi at many of their locations. The prices are quite good compared to what you pay at airports and Starbucks. $1.49 for an hour. $4.49 for 24 hours. 62 days for $22.49, 365 days for $169.99. If you're a trucker, what a great deal. Eventually air travelers will get the same deal or better. (This stuff should really be free, come on, we know how little it costs to provide.)
Mary Hodder: "BloggerCon was radical."
If you're looking for Internet access on I-75 in north Georgia, your best bet is Calhoun. I stopped at a bunch of exits before Calhoun, no Internet anywhere. But every hotel in Calhoun has free in-room Internet. I guess once one has it they all have to. It'd be really cool to have a map of the US with big red dots on all the Calhoun-like towns.
Fact: Kerry overplayed his Vietnam experience and Karl Rove is making him pay for it. Rove's MO is well-known, attack the opponent's strength, not his weakness. Apparently Kerry's team doesn't have anyone in Rove's league, or we'd be talking about how Bush dodged the draft. Do the Dems have anyone in his league? Probably. Why not ask for some help?
BTW, when I say Bush dodged the draft, I say that with the greatest respect. He should be proud of it, and should explain why he did it and help our national healing instead of supporting assholes who keep the wound festering. Dodging the draft is what young men were doing in the late 60s and early 70s. You got out of the draft any way you could. I have a clue what it must feel like, I missed the draft by one year, had a low lottery number and shitty grades. Kids just a couple of years older were going to Canada to get out of the draft. Vietnam was a lot like Iraq, a totally optional war, a war that killed lots of young Americans, and was built on Presidential lies, a Democratic president, btw.
One more BTW, the Swift-Boat-Guys-Who-Lie is George Bush, President of the United States. I'm not stupid, and I wasn't born yesterday. It's so obvious. Let's get that fact on the table and out in the open and get on with it. What a crock that he seems to think we don't know. Amazing.
Sylvia Paull, a friend from Berkeley, says: "Don't ever think of moving to Florida! What would you do for coffee, man?" Well, they have a Starbucks in St Augustine, and a Barnes and Noble, and NPR too. It's not quite as backwards as you might think. Also, to add to the global database of knoweldge, there's a Starbucks at Exit 62 on Interstate 75 in Georgia. A surprising place for a Starbucks? Yeah, for sure. But get this. McDonald's has southern style ice tea, sweetened and unsweetened, and it's about half the price of Starbuck's iced coffee, which I was starting to get tired of. The McDon's tea has lots of caffeine. Another trick to stay alert while driving long distance, pistachio nuts. An open bag keeps me going for miles and miles. And you don't have to stop for lunch.
Thanks for all the great mail about yesterday's Scripting. People seemed to like it. That's cool. I like the movies of the birds, and the man on the bike and the waves. There's something magic about beaches, and that beach is the best in the US. Steve Hooker, from the UK, asked how long the beach is, because it seemed quite long to him. Steve, sit down before reading this. It's a thousand miles long, and runs up and down the coast from Miami to North Carolina and the Jersey Shore, Long Island to Cape Cod. That's the east coast of the US. It's all one great fcuking beach.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Steve Gillmor: The G-Spot.
Feature request for Yahoo. If I ask for driving directions from St Aug to Madison, how about an icon I can click for hotels that are about 1/2 way that have free high-speed Internet? And another I click for any Starbucks that are within ten minutes from my route? This is one of those things you know we're going to have in two years, but of course I want it now.
Three years ago Manila supported the Blogger API. Still does.
Wired: "BugMeNot.com, a site that helps web users get around website registration roadblocks, is back up after disappearing for several days because of server hosting issues."
It gets hot here early, so I've been taking my daily walks earlier and earlier. Today I was up before dawn and thought this must be the best time of all to walk. Turns out that was totally true.
When I left it was dark. I got onto the beach, and while I could see in front of my feet, I couldn't make out the houses that line the beach. As I walked, it got lighter, and now I could make out two people walking from a house to the water, about a two-block walk, the beach is very wide.
Then more light, revealing people everywhere! It seems I'm not the only person with this idea (why do we always think we're the only smart ones). I walk and walk. Oh man.
I thought to bring my camera, so you can experience this too. This time I deliberately took some movies. Here are three. 1. Some birds wading in the tide; 2. A man on a bicycle and 3. A bit of surf and nothing more. (There is an annoying click on the audio, not sure what it comes from, I was holding the camera quietly, or so I thought.)
And then here are some stills. I shot them at double resolution, but the HTML image elements reduce them in size. I don't have the patience to store two versions of the pictures, so if you're bandwidth-constrained don't click on the link, and if you already did, I apologize.
Right now, with fresh sweaty endorphins running through my system, and the inspiration of a beautiful sunrise shared with other souls who are similarly inspired, I think this is the finest place in the world, a place made just for Uncle Dave.
This morning I make my exit from Florida, for now.
This type of travel, a long road trip with lots of stops, means lots of arrivals and departures, and at this stage in life I have lots of places I can go where there are friends, aquaintances, and especially in the case of Florida, memories -- to first say hello to, then goodbye.
I used to come here when I was a college and grad student, but when I moved to California warm weather wasn't such a novelty, and Florida seemed so far away, so small. I didn't come back again until just a couple of years ago on a road trip through the state from Miami to St Augustine and back with Uncle Vava, one in which we luckily took a tour of his property east of Crescent Beach on the Intercoastal. Some part of me sensed this would be the last time, and that I would visit next after his demise, a premonition that came true far too soon.
Yesterday I got a check for most of my share of his estate and I looked at real estate. This part of Florida, for all the growth, and the growth has been enormous, is still very reasonable. A nice three bedroom, two bath house can be bought for less than $300,000; easy walking distance from the beach, most amenities (most houses don't have pools, and none have hot tubs).
The sense I get from this trip is that people are so temporary but the things we build last much longer. When I was a kid, I didn't understand how such big things as a beach front condo complex can get built, but now I do. The people who make the finance decisions don't understand life any better than I do, they just have been taught a formula for what makes a good investment, and what doesn't, and the formula is tried and true, it expresses something mathematical about the nature of our species, as a community, and it's stood the test of time. I've learned it first on a relatively large scale, in California real estate, and now in a much more manageable size, Florida real estate. I've learned that I could afford an equally lovely slice of Planet Earth here, now, for much less money than my slice of California cost in 1992. And as a bonus there's a very swimmable beach nearby.
The tradeoff of course is that there aren't very many Internet heavy weights nearby, but maybe that's a blessing, and for the money I save, I could buy my own T1 line and be as close as you can get to them anyway.
Part of me is tempted to write the check for a down payment and call the movers in San Jose and have all my stuff brought here out of storage. But I'm going to resist the temptation, for now at least, and drive north and west, but mostly north. My next stop, Murphy-willing, and assuming a last-minute gig to cover the RNC in NYC doesn't materialize, is Madison, Wisconsin, and then over the Canadian Rockies, a passage I've never before made and one I totally look forward to, ending in Seattle by Labor Day for Bumbershoot.
Meanwhile back in California, they're paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot. (With thanks to Joni Mitchell.)
Everywhere you look the blogosphere is being hitched to business models, none of them very creative, nothing more than rehashes of what was tried in the 90s, and in some cases worked, but in no cases yielded anything that behaved like a weblog.
The only reason to publish a weblog, imho, is if you have a passion for something and want to make sure people hear what you have to say about it. You have to be pro-flow, anything that restricts flow is un-blog-like, and will yield a newspaper, a magazine, a professional publication, something very different from a blog. (Sure there are also the personal diaries, which are mostly ways of saying Hey I'm Here, and I'm not sure my model for a blog is much different, so nothing is very simple, or hard and fast.)
I suppose it was inevitable, and I guess it's okay. I just find that I'm repelled by the idea of raising multiple millions of dollars for a business where the tools can be had so cheaply. What are you going to charge for? Hmmm. I think I shouldn't have to pay for that.
Anyway, I keep getting requests to link to some silly things, like sites taking their content out of their RSS feed. When this happens it sends a chill deep into my body, a sense that this is what was wrong with Silicon Valley in the 80s and 90s, but it wasn't so easy to see as it is now.
Weblogs started out, I thought, as a fun project to push neat ideas into the world, but maybe they were always supposed to be a news magazine that made money. No matter, I don't think very many who read blogs in RSS will change and start reading them on the Web so we can see the ads. As usual, that's a benefit for the publisher, not for me. I understand why they want me to do it, but have they given me any reason to want it?
Maybe I'm reading this wrong. Hope so.
I have a mind, I also have eyeballs, but I'd prefer if you think of me as a mind.
Monday, August 23, 2004
The US Department of Education supports RSS. Bing!
John Edwards: "The moment of truth came and went, and the President still couldn't bring himself to do the right thing."
Jay Rosen: "It's sad. That's my comment on the Swift Boat Veterans campaign to impeach the honor of John Kerry and question whether he deserved his medals."
Rogers Cadenhead: "Pilgrim's article provides a nice tutorial on how to normalize URLs for use as guid values, but he neglects to mention a salient fact: This solves a problem that no one is having."
Michael Fraase: "A transplant surgeon called from the University of Minnesota this morning to tell me they had a cadaver kidney for me (Iíve been on the transplant list for four-and-a-half years). 'Iíll pass,' I said in a quiet but steady voice. 'Call the next person on the list.'"
NPR: "Ads attacking Sen John Kerry for lying about his Vietnam War record -- an accusation that is unproved -- appear to be eroding Kerry's standing in polls of independent voters and veterans."
BBC: Messaging spam heads for your PC.
Mark Pilgrim article about RSS 2.0 guids. In theory yes people could do guids wrong, but in practice they work and are one of the most useful additions in 2.0. Guids help aggregators know for sure that they've seen an item, so they don't waste the user's time by showing it again. I wrote a howto for guids. "A convenience that many users will appreciate, especially people who are in a hurry."
Don Park says it well. "I want Bush out and someone else in."
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Pictures taken today at St Augustine Beach, FL. Life is good.
I love my Nikon CoolPix 3200, it's like a Brownie for the 21st century, but sometimes its user interface confuses me and instead of taking a photo, I take a Quicktime movie. For example, here's one I took in one of the BloggerCon classrooms at Stanford. And here's another taken on a trail in Shenandoah National Park.
John Battelle outlines the conference he's running Oct 5-7 in SF.
AP: "She said she was going down to George Boudreaux's store and have him whip up some of that butt paste."
Buttpaste.Com: "It's not just for diaper rash anymore!"
Bush: "We say to those tyrants who believe they can blackmail America and the free world: 'You fire, we're going to shoot it down.'"
Okay, let's play it out. Suppose Kim Jong Il, the Dear Leader of North Korea, was listening. So he fires a missle at Tokyo and then goes on TV as the missile is launched and says "We fired. Shoot it down." That would be funny except a lot of Japanese would die because we don't have any way to shoot the damned thing down.
Time: "Kerry has offered only vague criticisms and an increasingly implausible promise to lure our allies into the chaos."
Saturday, August 21, 2004
NY Times: "Negative ads also pay dividends beyond what campaigns actually spend on them by getting more attention in the news media. The debate about the Swift boat ad, which accused Mr. Kerry of lying to get his war medals, has played out for weeks on talk radio and cable news, meaning it was played over and over at no cost to the group running it."
BOP: "New York is unfriendly territory for Bush Republicans."
Heads-up to DNC bloggers.
Wired: "The International Olympic Committee is barring competitors, as well as coaches, support personnel and other officials, from writing firsthand accounts for news and other websites."
Thanks to a recommendation from Adam Curry, in one of his audio blog posts, I've become a subscriber to audible.com. The first book I'm reading is Timeline by Michael Crichton, also a Curry recommendation. Also downloaded a new Gillmor Gang.
Don asks what's the big deal. His point of view is interesting.
It's very true that Google has failed to keep up with the "search engine optimization" tricks that cause links to porn sites to show up on our Referers pages and blog post comments. As we've said here several times, and thought many more, Google is the place where this practice should be stopped. It's because of Google that our sites are littered with links to these offensive sites that have nothing to do with ours. If they're smart enough to come up with tricks like Google News and Local Google, why can't their search engine recognize comment and referer spam and not use it in determining page rank? Of course they can. Why don't they? I'd love to hear an explanation. Better yet, I'd love to see them fix it. It's a bug in Google's software.
Maybe secretly Google really doesn't like blogs. Maybe it's not so secret. They still haven't deigned to support the standard format for syndication, as every other tech company and major publisher has. Why Google has a stake in breaking the standard is another puzzle. How does this relate to Don't Be Evil. We've asked this question a few times, only to be met with the usual Google stone wall.
This is not a public company but they have public stock now. And while they think they're real special, like Don Park, I'm not so sure they are. I made $800 on my Google stock yesterday, that paid for my hotel and gas and then some. But I'm paying for their deafness in other, imho more important ways. This is a company that desperately needs competition, and I hope they rise to it, instead of folding, as the previous Silicon Valley wunderkind (with the same backers) did.
Every night on this trip I wake up at approx 2AM. I have no idea why. I get up for a couple of hours, do some writing, or programming, then go back to sleep. I can't recall this happening before. Maybe it's because I'm drinking more coffee than usual? Not sure. Anyway, I'm up, and writing.
I heard a report on NPR yesterday as I was leaving Harrisonburg about the seige in Najaf in Iraq, and how it's a lot more serious than most reports indicate. They interviewed a Washington Post reporter who was embedded with the US troops there. Defying Sean Hannity and his flock who think I should turn my mind off (no I'm not a liberal), this makes sense.
The Imam Ali shrine at Najaf is one of the most meaningful places in Islam. We don't have anything remotely like it in the US, because our culture is so young. This place is like Yankee Stadium to a Yankees fan, or Disneyland to a Disney fanatic. And this doesn't begin to explain the value to Muslims. It's like one of the historic Jewish or Christian places in Israel.
In science fiction, even very bad science fiction, they teach you how to take what you know about one set of circumstances and apply it to another. To see why this is such a mess, all you have to do is apply the sci fi mindset. How would you feel if there was an Islamic army driving down every main street in every town in America? I wouldn't like it, and I bet you wouldn't either.
Friday, August 20, 2004
JoongAng Daily: "The wrestling match between the media and the blog is as exciting as anything we could hope to see in the Olympics."
Harvard Business School has an RSS feed. That feels good.
News.Com: "Gates has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to have his best programmers build a free update to an operating system that many people still don't want."
PC World: Blogging Across America.
Last year on this day, Chris Lydon and I went on a road trip to New Hampshire to see John Edwards and Howard Dean campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Betsy Devine and Jim Moore turned up at the Dean event.
Greenspun: "The worst book that I've read during this trip around Japan is William Gibson's Pattern Recognition."
I'm looking for Republican bloggers who will be at the RNC.
Changes to ConventionBloggers.Com in preparation for the RNC.
Why am I, a person who plans to vote Democratic, running an aggregator for Republicans? 1. The software is apolitical, it's equally useful for Republicans and Democrats. 2. The Republicans are the party of Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. In other words, there's a lot to respect there, a tradition of intelligence, courage, fairness, vision. 3. We will have to work together after the election. Cross-party work is important to create a unified United States. It would be un-American if we all agreed on everything. But we have to agree on some things, or we aren't a country. The First Amendment is one of those things. Voltaire, who wasn't an American, said "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." We need more of that in the USA. The Convention Bloggers site is my humble contribution.
For the sake of simplicity I attribute the quote above to Voltaire, knowing that there is a controversy about this.
New York City has a special site for protestors coming to the RNC.
NY Times: "Among Google's 2300 employees there are now an estimated 1000 millionaires."
Thursday, August 19, 2004
US Court of Appeals determines that distributors of peer-to-peer file-sharing software are not liable for copyright infringements by users.
Wired: "Peer-to-peer file-sharing services Morpheus and Grokster are legal, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday."
An episode of the Computer Chronicles from 1988. "PC users were ecstatic over the introduction of 32 bit processors and CPUs running at the blazing speed of 33 megahertz."
I just got a heads-up that UserLand is beta-testing Atom 0.3 support for the Radio/Manila aggregator. This is a huge deal, because there are quite a few RNC feeds that are from Blogger sites, and they only have Atom feeds. The authors don't understand why we can't process them on conventionbloggers.com. Now, hopefully, we can.
Pictures from Shenandoah National Park (and Harrisonburg).
Next stop on my cross-country travels -- three days in St Augustine. I checked, the storm didn't upset St John's County, it's normal hot summer weather there. Three days on the beach will be good for my soul. Also plan to look up some of my uncle's friends, and see if Rogers is around. Then after that, it's probably Pensacola, then New Orleans, and then, well, I'm not sure.
BBC: Google shares rocket on first day.
On its first day of public trading, Google is up $15.33 or 18 percent.
Today: Shenandoah National Park.
I signed up for the Google auction as soon as possible, probably within the first hour that the server was open for business. I got all the emails, and there were a lot of them, announcing a revised prospectus, revised pricing, a hold from the SEC, a release, etc. But I never got an email saying here's where you go to bid. So I never did. Maybe other people missed that email too, or maybe I didn't do something I needed to do to get registered. I saw other people writing about how their brokers wouldn't work with them. I totally missed the part where I had to get a broker (I already have one). Anyway, when the stock opens for trading today, I'll probably buy a few shares, esp since the auction didn't make the price go through the roof. If other people missed out on the bidding as I did, $85 may be a low price.
A slight change in plan re BloggerCon registration. To be sure there's room for Stanford students and faculty we're going to start the wait list at 250 instead of 300. As I write this, there are 242 people registered, so we're very close to sold out, but that's probably mostly technical, since some of the first 250 are sure not to show. And the turnout has been spectacular, there will be lots of expertise at the conference, we should be able to answer some good questions, share a lot of knowledge, and otherwise have a great time.
A great Scoble rant about a Dan Gillmor review of SP2.
In rural Virginia, the Bible that comes with the room isn't in a drawer in the night stand, it's on the desk, next to the lamp, and it has a catchy title.
Russell Beattie says what many of us are thinking about MP3 blogs.
BBC: "Google's IPO share price is set at $85, the bottom of its projected range, as the internet search engine goes public."
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Remember Walter Mears, the retired AP reporter who came out of retirement to blog the Democratic National Convention? Well, we found his blog. And he was interviewed on WNYC this afternoon about what it's like to blog. I'm listening now, it was coming on just as I was getting out of range of NY radio.
Today I begin my drive south and west. It's not looking good for a Florida visit, where they're still digging out after the hurricane. My first stop is in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Should be there tonight. I'm trying to plan ahead by one or two days so I can get Internet connections at each stop, and enough time to catch up on email and news. It's a weird time to be working on a conference, but weird is good. I'll probably be in Seattle for Labor Day and the Bumbershoot festival. After that I don't know, I'll probably hang out on the west coast through the conference on Nov 6.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has an RSS feed.
Boston University has an RSS feed too.
With all the negative press Google is getting, you gotta wonder if having a solid developer program might have helped their IPO just a little. If so, it's a shame, because it wouldn't have cost a dime, developers were and probably still are anxious to take a ride on the Google Wave.
Two years ago today: "For those who are new to Scripting News, Morning Coffee Notes are notes I take, in the morning, while drinking coffee."
BBC: "Google lowered the price range of its planned share sale to $85-$95, as it awaits approval from regulators."
Dowbrigade reviews the Olympic sport of synchronized diving.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
BloggerCon III invitation is posted.
Random pictures from my recent Bay Area trip, including a pic of Steve Gillmor taken at our audio coffee clatch, Dave Jacobs, myself, classrooms at Stanford we'll use at BloggerCon, and people who came to eat spicy Scripting Noodles. My apologies to my food-mates, by the time we got to the restaurant I was totally talked out, having just led a three hour discussion of convention blogging before the dinner. Three hours of talking leaves me pretty well kaput.
Of course there is no such thing as a perfect conflict-free date for a conference, and there are some other things happening on the chosen day, but I'm sure any other Saturday would be much worse, so barring any last-minute emergencies we're going to freeze the date for BloggerCon III at November 6. Don't buy your non-refundable plane tickets yet, and don't stop the mail delivery, but you could give a heads-up to the baby sitter, and definitely mark the calendar, in pencil.
Political Wire: Astroturf is Back.
CBS MW summary page for GOOG.
Cadenhead: Walter Cronkite spit in my Web.
Gizmodo: "...the first legal music downloading price war."
Big Dave Jacobs still needs a kidney. It's been a rough year in the Jacobs house, but The Big Guy is hanging in there. Anyway, after teaching his youngest kid to lip fart last week, I have to make amends by pointing to a walk for PKD that Dave's wife Amy is taking on September 19. She and Dave want to find a cure before any of their four kids, each of whom has a 50-50 chance of having the disease, gets symptomatic. You can help by sponsoring Amy's walk.
BTW another nice thing about SP2 is no more popups. Really. They're gone. Nice.
Wired: "Wired News will no longer capitalize the 'I' in internet."
Buzz: "It will be 2-5 days before my power gets turned back on."
Sun bids for the Unix users HP left behind.
Monday, August 16, 2004
BloggerCon III date: November 6, 2004.
CBS MW: "Google says it wants to complete its initial public offering on Tuesday night."
News.Com: RSS gets down to business. Using RSS for calendars is not a new idea, but it's a very good use for RSS. Basically you subscribe to a calendar, and then add items in the future. The feed shows you the items that have been scheduled for that day. It's like MailToTheFuture for aggregators.
Rebecca MacKinnon is coming. Excellent. She says there's a 5K race for charity at Stanford the next day.
Hotels reasonably close to Stanford. Almost all have free high-speed Internet. We should probably choose a default show hotel so it's easy to stay at the same place.
Scoble asks if people are interested in a bus tour the day after.
In progress: Getting in the loop.
New mail list for BloggerCon III.
Dan Gillmor: "Count me in. Hope I can help." You just did.
Another rule about BloggerCon. Everyone is invited and the cost is $0. So it's the antithesis of the classic Silicon Valley conference, whose goal is to be exclusive, where participation, even as a member of the audience, is a priviledge conferred on the few. No disrespect to that model of conferences, because I supported them myself, and helped Stewart Alsop with Agenda and Demo. Stewart is an expert craftsman of exclusivity, and it worked well in the eighties and early nineties. But with the turn to blogs there's a new kind of filter in place, courage. Do you have the guts to put your ideas out there, to be tested in a public forum, without a brand or masthead over your name to cushion the fall if you get it wrong or say something that offends a powerful person? And do you have the guts to come to a conference where there is no pecking order, where your ideas might actually be heard and acted on? There's safety in being powerless, but would you like to try being powerful instead? That's the challenge of BloggerCon. The members of exclusive clubs are welcome, but first-come-first-serve.
This Con is filled with contrasts. Hatched in The People's Republic of Cambridge, where open and free makes so much sense, we now go to the heart of the technology industry, the incubator of Silicon Valley, Stanford University, symbol of what John Doerr called "greatest legal accumulation of wealth in human history," and say Let's start over, get back to our beginng. The Homebrew Computer Club, where so many of the pioneers of personal computers got their start, was also a figment of Stanford's great imagination. Forget the money for a moment, and let's focus on what we can do, working together, to create a better future.
We've picked a tentative date for BloggerCon III in Palo Alto. After some coffee, I'll post a news item on the newly relocated BloggerCon site, and then get to work porting the registration app. Once that's up, I'll send a brief email to the people who
Note the striked-through "attended" in the pargraph above. It's so hard to change the way we think about conferences. For non-blogging conferences, "attended" is the right word for most people. You play a passive role, except in the hallways, which is why so many people spend so much time in the hallways. In blogs, we assume that the people reading your blog at least could have their own blogs; just like at an unconference, anyone could speak if they wanted to. As someone who wants to speak at every conference, whether I'm permitted to or not, it would be virtually impossible for me to launch a conference without changing the rules so that it's acceptable for everyone to speak at all times. But old habits die hard, and the language of the old style of conferences creeps back. But you're not attending, you're not part of the audience. The discussion leader is allowed to call on you even if your hand isn't raised, and can cut you off if you're repeating a point that's already been made. We assume people are attentive, are present, aren't asleep. Ask anyone who was at BloggerCon II. It works. By acting as if people are conscious, they stay conscious. Heh. A little trick that works.
NY Times: Warner's Tryst With Bloggers Hits Sour Note. Misleading headline. Warner Brothers Records decided to promote a new band through MP3 bloggers. Most turned them down. Then apparently Warner started an astroturf campaign, got caught, and denied it.
The Daily Illini, an independent student newspaper for the University of Illinois, has a collection of RSS feeds.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
As the fall term starts up at schools around the country, the Daily Princetonian is one of the few college news sites with RSS feeds.
Russell Beattie imitating NBC's Olympic commentators: "Whoohoo! These games could suck worse than Atlanta's!!! Yeah! We won't be the worst any more!"
NY Times: "In the first two days of competition, many of Athens's spanking new stadiums and courts were nearly empty."
In the leadup to the Olympics we learned that atheletes were banned from keeping weblogs. I was thinking of going to the Olympics, I still could, but would I be allowed to publish pictures I took? Would I be able to get a press pass or would I have to pay for every event? How much would it cost? Maybe this will be the last Olympics designed around television? Not much chance of that, of course.
Electoral Vote Predictor says Kerry 327, Bush 211.
My audio blog post for the day, riffs on Adam and The Gillmor Gangstas. Music. "Sandy, the waitress I've been seeing lost her desire for me."
A couple of corrections to today's audio blog post. First, the date at the beginning is wrong. The date at the end is correct. Second, the corporate guy on The Gillmor Gang was R0ml Lefkowitz. In my rant I appear to be saying his priorities are misplaced when his priorities are a shining example of pragmatism. I seem to have gotten confused on this point during the recording of the show, and wanted to clear that up.
Listen to Adam's latest audio blog post, that's what I want. Press a function key while I'm talking to play a song. A little premeditation, perhaps. Maybe another key that allows me to choose an MP3 file to play. I'm jealous, Adam has a song of the day. I have my own idea for a song of the day, it's not so goyisher. I might play clips from The Sopranos.
Ed Cone: "By writing directly onto the web, Thigpen has the ability to communicate with a potentially enormous number of people, in his own voice, unmediated and at almost no cost."
Joshua Brauer says RSS could have saved NBC's Olympics coverage.
Dvorak's list of the ten most important software products of all time. My list would be different. Think C would be on the list, as would be Manila and MORE. I might have included Pointcast, it was a real eye-opener. Don't forget MacWrite and MacPaint. Director. PowerPoint and FileMaker. Notepad and Teachtext.
Boston Globe: "You can safely delete Microsoft Rebooted from your summer reading list."
Jeff Sandquist is vacationing at home this year.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Netflix is great. And a few months ago we had the intuition that there's something they could do with RSS. Today the idea is well formed, and there's no question, there's a lot they could do, and it doesn't stop with RSS. We are a community. Some of us belong to Netflix. What movies have we rented that we like. Who else watched Traffic in the last few weeks and what did you think of it? What's in your queue? What's in our aggregated queue? Just the beginning. BTW since Microsoft did a deal with Blockbuster, why hasn't Yahoo done a deal with Netflix?
NY Times: Florida Digs Out as Mighty Storm Rips Northward.
A picture I shot of Scoble last week, enhanced.
Insight: Once you become a regular listener of an Internet radio program, like The Gillmor Gang, or Adam Curry, or even my own Morning Coffee Notes, and if you have an iPod or equivalent, you immediately want to be able to dock your iPod and subscribe to the channels, so you have to do absolutely nothing to have the latest installments of your shows pre-loaded on the iPod as soon as they're available. Adam has been saying this for a while, but until I became a subscriber myself, I didn't get fully get how important this is. The practices we have developed for reading weblogs and newspapers in our Web browsers apply equally to disconnected listening on the iPod.
Rod Kratochwill recommends Acoustica MP3 Audio Mixer.
File not found. "The requested URL / was not found on this server."
Florida gets all the publicity, but Wisconsin is a swing state too.
Rogers Cadenhead: "Welcome to St Augustine, Charley."
Adam Curry has a new audio blogging channel. Listening to today's installment. Adam is looking for Mac software that allows him to mix various sources, music and voice. I want that for Windows. Then I would include snips of the song of the day. I know the RIAA will probably sue me, so then maybe I'll just move to Europe and we can set up the Belgium Internet Audio Studio. "Just boil it in a big pot of scum." Heh. It's great to hear Adam's show. It's like tabloid audio from the blogosphere. Nice. "Living in the future."
As I watch the Atom people loop around and around on dates, how many should there be, which if any should be required, I keep wanting to stick my neck around the door, like Helen Hunt's mama in As Good As It Gets: "There is no answer, we wish there were, but there isn't." And with that said, suggest that they talk to a publisher or two and ask them the question. Just putting it in terms that make sense to a publisher may cause the answer to magically appear before their eyes.
Ed Cone: "Start your own blog, link to me and tell me that I'm an idiot."
Business Week interviews Howard Rheingold.
Every time you go through security you take out all the crap from your pockets, take off your shoes (hope you're wearing clean socks), take off the coat, and take out the laptop. Then it all goes in those plastic buckets and then on the screener belt, and comes out the other end, bumping down a short incline and slamming into a steel wall at moderate speed. Now your shoes were built to take this kind of abuse, but what about the laptop?
The ThinkPad, which has a reputation for durability has developed some kind of fracture, where my left wrist rests as I write, right above the slots for PCMCIA cards which are almost obsolete now that USB has become the universal connecting standard. Perhaps this is a weak spot in the current design of laptops? Maybe laptop designers need to build more rugged machines now that the TSA has singled them out for special treatment? Anyway, it's just a matter of time before my laptop is totally broken, it seems. I wonder if anyone else who travels by air with a laptop (seemingly everyone who travels these days) shares this concern?
Friday, August 13, 2004
NY Times: "What made Mrs. Child such an influential teacher was her good-humored insistence that competent home cooks, if they followed instructions, would find even complicated French dishes within their grasp."
Julia Child on Time's cover in 1966.
Julie Powell: "Bon Appetit."
Julia Child's tombstone.
Beautiful satellite shot of the air show at Oshkosh, WI. Huge numbers of private airplanes.
BBC: Olympic games open in Athens.
The Playboy interview with the Google guys.
Steve Rubel: Why We Need a Blogger Hall of Fame.
Hacking Netflix: "Variety is reporting that Blockbuster has signed a deal with Microsoft to promote their new online service to the more than 350 million unique visitors to the MSN site each month."
Seattle PI: "Microsoft and NBC are looking to modify or perhaps even end their MSNBC joint venture."
Recall Toolbar is a "personal search engine that helps you instantly find that needle that you're trying to find again in the haystack of pages you've already visited."
Yesterday's audio blog post was about differences between bloggers and journalists. I thought of another. Bloggers generally have archives, so you can see what they said a year ago, two years ago and so forth. Newspapers and magazines, even on the Web, generally don't make their archive availalbe, and when they do, it's almost always for a prohibitive per-article fee. So when the NY Times or Washington Post acknowledge that their reporting of the Iraq War was flawed, they have access to the archive that we don't. What other stories turned out to be wrong? How frequently do they look back and examine? What coverage assumed facts not in evidence? We don't know. This makes them less trustworthy, and gives them less incentive to even try to cover the news fairly. Most bloggers know, because the archive is permanent, that their writings will be examined with the benefit of hindsight.
This Is Rumor Control reports that Iran has decided to attack US forces in Iraq. "The rhetoric coming out of the Bush administration has convinced Iran that military conflict is inevitable and rather than await an attack at a time and place of America's choosing, the Iranians will try to inflict significant damage to US forces on Iraqi soil..."
CBS MW: "Google said in a filing Friday that it does not believe an interview in the September 2004 issue of Playboy magazine by founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page violates quiet period rules governing initial public offerings."
Douglas Anders reports on anti-semitism on the airwaves in Toledo, OH.
Engadget recommends a new kind of marketing for Vonage.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
BBC: "Google has confirmed that an auction of its shares, which will proceed the firm's eagerly awaited flotation, will begin on Friday."
Today's audio blog post is about the faceoff between journalists and bloggers. It's in the air, coming up all over the place. In talking about it with people I've learned a lot. My story doesn't work all that well in writing, yet, so I did it in an audio post. Please listen. Thanks!
2001: "Internet 3.0 will be a bootstrap."
Chris Heilman got an extremely urgent letter from John Kerry.
Scott Johnson is getting married. Who knew? Beautiful story.
I listened to the latest Gillmor Gang on my walk today. It's always good, but this time it was a little low on quality. Two guys from Real Networks, answered every question by saying that they're open source so maybe someone else can do it. They also showed how not to do developer relations, when Jon Udell pitched his audio bookmarking idea for the 80,000th time (I can almost predict the exact words he'll use) they said they are very interested in developers. Hmmm. Just like when a girl asks you if you have a girlfriend you say you are dating ten thousand women but aren't really interested in any specific one. The girls don't go for that, btw, and neither do developers. When you have one on the hook, she's gotta be The Only One For Me. Ask Scott Johnson if he was proposing to a bunch of girls when his fiance said yes. Finally to Steve, okay it wasn't an interview, it was a conversation. Now, please stop calling everyone a player, and there isn't actually any space. Heh. Sorry. Everyone's a critic, of course.
CBS MW: Google to begin taking bids Friday.
NY Times: "Ms Sandlin is reveling in a pop-up-free existence and spreading the word about Firefox."
LA Times: "Democratic and Republican groups are increasingly courting unregistered and unreliable voters."
Engadget: "...he broke the encryption Apple uses to stream audio from iTunes to the AirPort Express, meaning that, at least in theory, you could set it up so that any application could stream to the AirPort Express."
Ed Cone buys into the unconference concept, with style.
Frank McPherson has put together an OPML file of feeds covering the summer Olympics. Most excellent Frank. Very nice.
Google sent an email to registered bidders saying their prospectus has been updated.
Arrived safely in NYC after a very eventful trip. Thunderstorms at JFK. We circled the eastern seaboard. Arrived six hours late, and were lucky. lots of flights were diverted to other cities. Traffic in and out of the airport was unbelievable. But all's well that ends well.
NY Times: "Two people were electrocuted by a dangling power line and at least five others were injured as a freakish lightning storm swept through the New York region yesterday afternoon, shattering rainfall records."
Good news about SP2 -- after running it, and then re-running Spybot and Ad-aware, the spyware appears to be gone. This is good. My machine seems to be running much faster too. Happy about that as well.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer is collating early comments on SP2.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
You can help choose the date for BloggerCon III.
Wired: We're all journalists now.
Is there a reviewer's guide for SP2? There are some new features. Notably a new wireless connection tool (I'm using it from San Jose airport, where my flight to NYC is delayed). What else should I be looking for?
The National Hurricane Center has RSS 2.0 feeds.
Special NY Times feed for the Olympics.
BBC: "The US space agency has given the go-ahead for a robotic mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope."
A blogging conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, August 28.
Matt Stoller: "Bush didn't serve, Kerry did."
Here's something I've not seen before. RSS 2.0 feeds for TV networks, like CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox News, MTV, Showtime, VH1.
BattleTorrent aims to make BitTorrent easy.
After reading the News.Com roundup of mostly negative blogging hype, I called up Charles Cooper, and arranged to meet with him at 3PM at the CNET offices, which are just two or three blocks from my hotel in the Mission District of San Francisco. Dan Farber, an old friend from PC and Mac days was there too (he works at CNET now). We talked about blogs, I tried to communicate that some people (like myself) take weblogs seriously. If we didn't do a good job, we want to know. But if we did a good job, and people say we didn't, we're like everyone else who takes pride in their work. We don't like being ridiculed, made fun of, or minimized. I told Charles I remembered when the mainframe computer guys sniffed at our "micro" computers. They said our little computers would never match the power of their big ones. It didn't turn out that way. We don't talk about Control Data, Univac, or even DEC anymore, except in a historic sense.
The turn to blogs is very much like previous generations of the computer revolution. Everything computers touch gets disintermediated. The expertise of connections is something that is easily replaced by computers. Human insight, intelligence, innovation, those are things we do. But with the aid of ever more powerful and inexpensive tools, we can do more with less. So it seems the role of bloggers must expand over time, if it didn't that would be to deny Moore's Law. Sure not every blogger is a visionary and willing to work hard to have the honor of being first. But as I told Charles, decisions are made by those who show up. It didn't take that many people to start the personal computer revolution, and even if just a few bloggers do excellent work, the die will be cast, the precedent set, the future clear.
At lunch with Craig Cline, we talked about the next BloggerCon, and as I've discussed with everyone I've met with on this trip about the conference, we talked about The Question. What will we try to figure out at this conference? I like to frame each conference that way. Even if we don't answer the question, we at least have a framework for discussion. After much back and forth, here's what we came up with: What are the different kinds of blogging? By asking this question, we actually make a statement -- that there is more than one kind of blogging. A student's blog is likely to be different from a preacher's. How? A reporter's blog different from a librarian's or a historian's. Never mind listing all the different kinds, what are some of them? These questions don't have finite answers, so it makes sense to have a conference around them, one where everyone can make a contribution.
As with the April conference, the cost to participate will be $0. It will be an un-conference; that means no speakers, no panels, no audience. I have already started to recruit discussion leaders, that will be a continual responsibility of mine, and if experience is a guide, I'll be doing that all the way up to the conference day.
When will it be? Either before the election or after. We'll try not to coincide with major religious and national holidays, and other major events that bloggers are likely to want to participate in. It will be on a weekend.
We will seek sponsorships. We've already had one offer, which we gladly accepted. We will ask people who usually pay to go to conferences to make a financial contribution. But we won't need a lot of money. Stanford Law School has graciously offered the use of its facilities. It's not the same kind of venue as Harvard Law School, but we'll make it work. There will be more tracks, and most of the sessions will be smaller.
I've bought the domain bloggercon.org, that's where the site will be. I plan to move the existing site from the Harvard server to that location, and then start building the grid for the next conference. This trip, which is about to end (I return to NYC early Wednesday morning) was a blazing success. Thanks to the people at Microsoft, especially Robert Scoble and his family, for being such generous hosts. Thanks to Lauren Gelman at Stanford for helping us with the new conference. I had a great trip. The next stop is NY and then after that, points west or south. We'll see!
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Four years ago today: "If you made it this far, here's your reward, a piece of virtual cheesecake. No calories or fat."
News.Com asks if blogs are worth the hype. I loved the comment from the former NY Times editor, Howell Raines, calling blogs "unsourced ranting." A few years from now we'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. When it's all shaken out, it'll be clear that, far from being unsourced, bloggers are the sources. When the pros stop thinking of us as competition and start seeing us as tools, it'll all just work out. Sure, some reporters will lose some power, because we'll be able to find out if their quotes are accurate, and get more points of view, but why, if they have a passion for news, would that bother them? Answer: It doesn't bother real journalists.
Zane Thomas: "The attempt to banish monolithic operating systems is no mere intellectual exercise."
Tony Chor, the Group Program Manager for the Internet Explorer team explains SP2.
Don Park has links to various sources of SP2. I've installed it. Looking for ways to disable spyware. Haven't found any so far.
BBC: "The file-sharing lobby group, Downhill Battle, has taken matters into its own hands. It has made a copy of SP2 available using BitTorrent file-sharing technology."
Ever wonder how certain people in the news get a tagline that everyone seems to use? Like the guy who's fighting against our regime in Iraq: radical Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. It's as if the part in bold were his official title, one that no one ever gets it wrong. Gives me the willies. It's like the scene in The Manchurian Candidate, where they realize that not only do the two guys remember the big event exactly the same way, they use exactly the same words to describe it, right down to the order of the adjectives. And by the way, I've read the book, and it's excellent. Very well-crafted writing. Not your typical book that inspired a movie (or two).
Monday, August 09, 2004
President Bush: "The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway."
What is Meme-O-Randum?
NPR: Recalling Nixon's Resignation.
Can you imagine how Google felt pitching execs at various high-flying dotcoms on a new idea in Web search. "People don't think search is important," the execs would say. Today the most powerful people in publishing believe that blogs are only used by people to state their opinion about things they know nothing about. What they should be focusing on, imho, is that sources of their reporters may tire of being misquoted and sound-bitten, and will go direct, providing users with information they thirst for. That's what blogs will mean to publishing. That was certainly one of the takeaways from my breakfast with Jonathan Schwartz this morning. Why wait for the reporters to get the story right, when the means are at hand to do it yourself.
Chris Pirillo asks why Microsoft didn't use BitTorrent to distribute SP2.
BusinessWeek: Blogging for Business.
I had breakfast this morning with Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's president and COO. He's as refreshing in person as he was on The Gillmor Gang a few weeks back. The conversation was interesting, and the food was good, but I haven't fully digested either yet.
The Guardian also has an article on business blogs. I guess it's in the air today.
NY Times: "TiVo, which helped introduce the digital video recorder, or DVR, in 1999, now faces an onslaught of competition from cable system and satellite operators, which are quickly eroding TiVo's once-dominant market share."
Phil Ringnalda reviews MSN's new blogging service.
Accordion Guy: "Jayson Blair had credentials."
Scoble's ramble on yesterday's conversation with Steve Gillmor. I don't see much of a dilemma. I just want to add a snippet of HTML to a page with none of the "features" turned on. No ActiveX, no scripts, just hyperlinks and maybe a simple image or two. No need to turn off branding, the marketers can load up animated gifs to their hearts' content (subject to user's power to opt-out). Scoble, if your colleagues at MS are telling you this is a hard problem, remind them that the security holes were added quickly, one could rebuild, even more quickly, without the features that opened the door to hacking. That's the attitude that will be required, imho -- building instead of fixing. BTW, don't stare at the animated GIF too long, it can drive you insane. I know from experience!
Russell Beattie on Minibrowsers.
When I wake up in the morning these days it takes me several seconds to figure out where I am, and where I'm going back to. Esp when on the west coast, and esp when in the Bay Area, where I lived for 20-plus years. Confusion reigns.
More and more all that matters is: which of my friends is nearby, and what's the weather. The Bay Area has very agreeable weather. It's foggy and chilly this morning. Last night going to dinner I wore a sweater. Perfect. This kind of weather affords you the maxium control. If you're cold, go get a Starbucks followed by some Pho. If you're a little too hot, take the sweater off and grab a Diet Coke.
But all that pales in comparison to the importance of people, little ones and big ones. I spent the afternoon and evening hanging out yesterday with Dave Jacobs and his four boys. I taught the youngest one, Dylan, how to lip fart. It worked. Important skill to have, for a boy (or a girl).
One more thing: A reminder. At 4PM we're having a convention bloggers followup at Stanford Law School.
And at 7PM, Spicy Scripting Noodles at Jing Jing in Palo Alto.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
I arrived safely in SF. Had lunch with Steve Gillmor at Max's in Burlingame. Considering that we're both Web audio fiends, I had to record something live at Max's. As usual there were technical glitches, big ones. But the result should be somewhat entertaining, and perhaps a little informative.
Dave Johnson: Post-Convention Blogging Report.
Arianna Huffington was on an NPR show called Left, Right & Center yesterday. She said she was disappointed that Kerry is catering to the small number of undecided voters, so he doesn't express strong opinions, for fear of driving them to Bush. She would prefer if he said what he thinks, clearly and strongly, and that we work instead to get some portion of the voters who don't vote, to vote. Even if we only got another ten percent, that would be a revolution. And it's something we could all work on together.
Scoble: "Well, you know where to find me."
Boston Globe: "A beach is supposed to be an escape from this urban blight, purified by ocean currents and blessed with white sugar sand and the hypnotic dance of rolling waves."
The Blogger API was three years old yesterday.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Pictures from this afternoon's BBQ at the Scobles.
New comment management features for Manila.
The Guardian asks us to forget the bloggers, and they have a replacement in mind, the vloggers.
John Markoff, the self-proclaimed blogger from the NY Times, is still poking fun at his fellow bloggers. He's so clever, I've decided that my pompous lie-filled advertiser-owned "fact-checked" newspaper is Scripting News.
I'm happy to report that my hotel room is a non-smoking room that doesn't smell like smoke. But the sign the hotel puts on the desk could use a little editing. For the continued comfort our non-smoking guests. Hmmm. What does the word "continued" add? Maybe they weren't comfortable to begin with and will only be comfortable if you don't smoke in this non-smoking room. And I'd love to see a room that's "equipped" for smoking. Perhaps it comes with an iron lung. An EKG machine? A nicotine patch on the pillow at bedtime? Or maybe a huge fan in the floor and the ceiling to move smoke quickly into the atmosphere outside the hotel? When I was a smoker I always wished the airlines would provide bathroom-like places for smoking with those kinds of fans. Anyway, net-net I'm happy to be able to sleep in a room that doesn't smell like an ashtray.
Here's the edited version. "This is a non-smoking room. Don't smoke in this room. Non-smokers can tell you smoked here. If you smoke in a non-smoking room we will bill your credit card for the cost of removing your smoke, it usually runs around $25,000. If you want to smoke, we'll do our best to find you another room, it's much less expensive."
Kerio Personal Firewall helps users "control how their computers exchange data with other computers on the Internet or local network."
A .NET bloggers dinner in Boston, August 18.
Phil Haack: "The firewall built into XP blocks incoming traffic, not outgoing."
On this day last year Scoble was hanging with someone even more interesting than yours truly. Item 2. Lest anyone doubt that we lost a great blogger when Douglas Adams died, here's a piece he wrote, six years ago today, about his nose. Item 3. He wrote a testimonial for Scripting News. "His opinions are passionately held, well-informed, intelligent, argumentative and quite often wrong." Heh.
Julie Leung wrote up my visit on Thursday. I didn't need a visitors badge, but I did have to take a ferry (which was very nice) and I was charmed by two new special friends who showed me their unusual blogs posts, on paper, if you can believe that. A generation is on the way to whom blogging is no big deal, esp when both Mom and Dad do it. I asked for Julie's help in planning a west coast con, since she flew all the way to Boston to help make the second one such a great success.
Friday, August 06, 2004
More Bainbridge Ferry pictures, and Microsoft visitor badges.
The first picture in the sequence is sure to get top billing on Scripting News at some point. The Seattle skyline was looking pretty good yesterday. The water of Puget Sound will make a good backdrop for the name of the site.
Northern Voice is a blogging unconference in Feb 2005 in Vancouver.
Julian Bond recommends ZoneAlarm for tracking all outbound traffic and Scott Frazer recommends TCP Spy, Jack Huisinga recommends Winternals TCP View Pro. I've tried ZoneAlarm, got lost setting it up. I'm more motivated now. I spent an hour and a half bending the ear of a Microsoft guy who's responsible for this stuff today. I said it's time to get on the side of the users. It's amazing the press isn't beating this drum more loudly, but it's just a matter of time. I paint a pretty good doomsday scenario for Microsoft people. Imagine a major bank requires its customers to get a Mac in order to do online banking. With the spyware situation on Windows, it's not such a far-fetched idea. These machines are leaky sieves. Who knows what info they're sending back to Spyware Corporate Headquarters. Passwords? Account numbers? Hmmm.
There's something missing from the search engines. I'd like to give it a name of a thing or a person and have it show me, in reverse chronologic order, what's been said about that thing or person. That would allow me to effectively create a custom weblog about a person or thing, even if there was no weblog about the person or thing.
There's something missing from Windows. An application that hooks into the outbound Internet message flow, and shows me where messages are going. This would allow me to figure out what spyware is running on my system even if the various utilities can't get rid of them. Then the next step would be to allow me to block traffic to certain servers. That would disable the spyware. It seems that I should have control of my machine at that level.
Jeff Sandquist says that Windows XP SP2 has this feature. Cool!
News.Com: "Microsoft on Friday wrapped up development on a long-awaited security update to Windows XP."
On this west coast trip I'm talking with people about the next BloggerCon, an academic, non-commercial un-conference. No speakers, no panels, no audience. Long 1.25 hour sessions, multiple tracks. A welcome session where we sing the national anthem, and a closing session where we say tearful goodbyes and plan to meet again. The first BloggerCon in October of last year was an inaugural. In April we did the mid-term. Should the next one be in October, or after the election? Are there enough true believers on the west coast to make it a clean sweep, setting the stage for a European Con in Spring 2005? We'll discuss this at the BBQ at Scoble's on Saturday, at the convention bloggers meeting at Stanford on Monday, and between bites of noodles and chicken at Jing Jing later Monday night.
Steve Gillmor's Ode to iPod.
President Bush: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
Washington Post: English, a Battleground State.
NY Times: "Silicon Valley's digerati, traditionally the biggest proponents of initial public offerings of technology stocks, are overwhelmingly bearish on Google's anticipated offering."
Thursday, August 05, 2004
New Bryan Bell theme for Manila users.
Engadget asks what's the best laptop for travel.
Pictures from Bainbridge Island ferry ride (and one of Scoble).
John Battelle: Google IPO delayed.
CBS MarketWatch: Google IPO remains uncertain.
Jessamyn's photo album of the DNC.
I've heard so many people say that blogging coverage at the DNC sucked, but they usually don't say which blogs they were reading. I wonder if that includes Scripting News, because I think when we hit our stride, the coverage here was excellent. I say "we" because most of the items I pointed to were collaborations or created by others. There was magic in the air at times. For example, here's a brief audio with Rebecca Blood who stopped by the blogger's booth. Now if you know the history, you know that she and I have been at odds at times, not always in a nice way. We had never met face-to-face until Wednesday last week. She's cool, it turns out. We had a great time. She's got a huge heart and a very sweet disposition, made all the nicer because she brought that out in me. Do you doubt there was magic present that night? Listen. It's there. When I play the recording in iTunes, it automatically goes into Red Rubber Ball, which is the perfect song to play at that exact moment. More magic.
Hanging out with Jeff Sandquist and Robert Scoble in Building 18 at Microsoft yesterday, I dug out my laptop, and recorded this very informal and somewhat kooky discussion. I thought I was using my conference room mike, but I had it plugged into the speaker jack. Serves me right for sitting on an airplane all day cramped into a New Mexico-size seat that was about 1/3 too small for my Texas-size body.
Chris Casey of the Democratic News Service asked, on the Convention Bloggers mail list, what we would do differently for 2008. Here's what I say.
In retrospect, it would have been incredible to have a BloggerCon at the DemCon. Off the floor. A room packed with big Democratic icons, the candidates, the operators, the money, the press.
A discussion leader. Let's get to the heart of things. Let's explain to the folks at home how this really works.
We've shown you what the convention looks like to a hayseed in the big city. Now what does it look like from the insider perspective.
And by the way, it's cool that you're all so excited about blogs. Really cool. But what about your friends at the RIAA. They're not our friends. Not because we're pirates, but because we love the First Amendment, like Democrats do. The two positions are not compatible. You can't love blogs and love Hollywood at the same time.
But this iteration was great. Next time let's give the people what only they have. Power. Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Shall not perish from the earth.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Betsy Devine: "When I'm sober, I act the way most people act when they're drunk." Heh. Me too.
Tomorrow night Robert Scoble is hosting an open dinner in my honor, at 6:30PM at the food court of the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. If you're in the area looking to geek out with some real geeks, this is the place to geek.
Sean Bonner on lobbycon.
1995: "But after the six-hour flight, locked in a single position, a very unusual and awkward one, my body wouldn't straighten out. My energy flow was disrupted." This happened again. No room to breathe on the flight out, my pyloric valve slammed shut, and my back is all contorted. No energy flow. Breathe Dave.
Reuters: Microsoft launches Japanese weblog service.
Business Week: Don't Quote My Blog on That.
Wired: "321 Studios, the company that sold DVD-copying software and faced an avalanche of lawsuits from the entertainment industry, shut down Monday."
Boston Globe: "'We're just looking to change how people connect to the Internet on Nantucket."
Off to Seattle at 7:30AM Eastern. Checked the forecast in Seattle, San Francisco and Palo Alto. When packing you never imagine the weather is very different from the weather you're leaving. But it is different in Seattle. I only packed one sweater. A mistake?
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Announcing a Scripting Noodles dinner, Monday August 9, 7PM at Jing Jing in Palo Alto. The new motto: "It's not just for geeks anymore."
Before the dinner, at 4PM, we're having a Convention Bloggers meeting at Stanford Law School.
A humble beginning for rnc.conventionbloggers.com.
Bryan Bell: "I am so stoked!"
Electoral Vote Predictor: "[Kerry] is now ahead in the electoral college 328 to 210."
Mike Levin is pitching Florida as a place for me to relocate to. I totally appreciate the attention, but if I were going to live in Florida, I'd locate near the ocean.
Spam has finally reached serious denial-of-service levels. I'm getting almost 1000 messages an hour from one address, informing me that I've won the Swiss lottery. I wonder if anyone else is getting this. (Postscript: I hadn't opened any of the emails, I just did, and saw that he's marching through all four-letter combinations of email addresses at one of the domains I own. I turned off email forwarding, hopefully that should cause all the emails to bounce. Post-postcript: It did.)
Engadget on hidden iPod features.
This is Rumor Control is a weblog with anonymous posts by people in the military and intelligence establishment in Washington DC about foreign policy and the Middle East.
The Washington Post reports that the information that led to Sunday's terrorist alert is very old. If so Howard Dean's conjecture is more than likely. Postscript: The NY Times found sources saying the same thing, as did NPR.
Don Park: "With Bush is doing much of the work of terrorizing this nation for political gain..."
Rogers Cadenhead provided tech support as we were preparing to go to Boston last week, curing a bad interaction between Movable Type and the Convention Bloggers site. And advice that the Convention Bloggers name was available came from Steve Rubel. Thanks to both for their help. I just bought another domain yesterday, MigrantVoters.Com. Not sure what to use it for, but I liked the sound. Could be a blog to help people find states that are close and need a few extra votes to help push your guy over the top. Tired of having a meaningless vote? Willing to vote with your feet? A battleground state isn't that far away.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Rick Klau: "All politics is RSS." Amen.
Radio UserLand has a product manager. Hey how about that. And he's already on the job. I use Radio, using it right now to write this post. I was planning on fixing some bugs. Steve Kirks is a good guy. A true believer.
Dan Bricklin's response to Charles Cooper re blogging in Boston.
BTW, now that Dan has an RSS feed, I never miss one of his posts.
Happiness is more feeds from NPR.
About the Republicans, lying and the latest terrorist threats. The Republicans are protesting Howard Dean's comments on Sunday suggesting that there's probably at least a little politics in the latest warning from the Homeland Security folks. Dean's conjecture, even if it turns out to be wrong, is reasonable. The President lied about the connection between al Qaeda and Iraq in order to get us to go along with his war, there was no connection, it was obvious then, and totally obvious now. So if he lied to get us to pay billions to fight a war we didn't need to (if our goal was to fight terrorism, which we are told it is) well, why wouldn't he lie now? This is something the President should address, if he wants people to vote for him. At some point I hope even smart Republicans would want some kind of explanation about that. And Bush should also explain why al Qaeda is still in business, almost three years after the 9-11 disaster. How effectively has he used our military, our money, our time, our lives, to make the country safer. And skip the hype, give us some facts, and don't try to change the subject.
Marc Canter switched from Radio to Movable Type, and finds that some features he depends on are missing.
Starting to look for bloggers who will cover the RNC.
Last year on this day: How to name a product.
And on this day in 2001, a couple of jokes you could tell your niece or nephew.
These are the what they call the dog days of summer. In NYC at a little after 8AM it's already 80 degrees, 100 percent humidity. That's one reason I'm heading west on Wednesday, to get a taste of Pacific dry warmth and cool nights before heading south on the east coast by car.
I'm in Seattle Wednesday through Saturday, then down to San Francisco Sunday through Tuesday, then back to NY. Robert Scoble is generously hosting a dinner and a BBQ. I am available for dinner on Sunday in San Francisco, if people are interested. I'd love to get together to talk about convention blogging, as it's still very fresh on my mind. A good time to do a brain dump.
CBS: "South Korean Web site operator Daum Communications said it's buying Lycos from Terra Lycos for $95 million, according to published reports."
Question for Yahoo, Google, Bloglines, anyone else who wants to run a centralized aggregation service. I can't speak for anyone else, but the user interface I want is the one in the Convention Bloggers site. It's derived from Radio's aggregator, which was derived from My.UserLand. It's designed to let the reader skim over hundreds of articles in just a few minutes. It works. Why mess around emulating three-paned email interfaces. In my humble opinion, if you just emulated this interface you'd clean up.
Jonathan Schwartz: "Whoever owns Novell controls the OS on which IBM's future depends."
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Spoke with Jim Moore this afternoon, he says the genocide in Sudan has reached the boil-over point. Nigeria and France are preparing to enter, and the US has committed funds to support an intervention. The Holocaust Museum, for the first time, has said this is a genocide emergency. I've been reading the blogs, Passion of the Present and Jim's Berkman weblog.
Steve Jobs had surgery for pancreas cancer, which is serious, but he's going to be okay. Best wishes to Jobs and his family.
Robert Scoble is planning one or two dinners in my honor in Seattle next week. And then, we could have a dinner in San Francisco on Sunday, a week from today.
Tim Jarrett: "Iíve come over 1600 miles in two days."
USA Today: "The Democratic National Convention boosted voters' perceptions of John Kerry's leadership on critical issues, a [poll] finds. But it failed to give him the expected bump in the head-to-head race against President Bush."
I admit I'm just learning how Technorati works, so this is certainly a newbie question. It says that ConventionBloggers last updated "10 days 3 hours 23 minutes ago." It actually updated less than ten minutes ago. The question is, how often do they check? Do I have to ping them to get them to check more often? Clearly not. It says Scripting News updated 38 minutes ago, which is just about exactly right.
NY Times: Blogged in Boston.
Information Please: Residency Requirements for Voting.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Sandy Berger had been cleared of all charges.
NPR: "John Kerry's popularity is rising in Europe."
Convention speeches you can download for free even if you don't have an iPod and don't want to register with Apple.
Remember that cartoon that at first was so upsetting? Today, I want it on a t-shirt. It's the anthem of blogging. It's a perfect way to visualize the barriers to entry crumbling, a priesthood being defrocked, fresh air entering a stale ivory tower. In other words: "Yay! We win."
Jim Moore: "One of the best parties was given by the RIAA."
Young Steve Jobs in 1984. Quicktime.
David Weinberger, in a video blog post, says bloggers are not journalists. This is a perma-thread, it's like the one about whether or not scripters are programmers. I've always argued that they are. If you write logic, loops, assignments; if you worry about saving stuff to disk and user interfaces, why should it matter what language you work in? Same thing with journalism. I explained to a journalist, who interviewed me before going to Boston, that I planned to go there, experience things, see things, use all my senses, and apply all my experience, and then write about the parts that I felt should be written about. He said that's half of what he does, the other half being "big stories." I argued that there's nothing bigger than writing about what you experience. Maybe this is the distinction between a blogger and a journo. We accept our limits, they're still struggling with theirs. But I don't accept David's belief that journalism is having an office and an editor and being given assignments. I think there's more to journalism, and less. And in the end it's not such a big thing to say you're a journalist, and yes, the pros have to be concerned, not because we're out to get them, but because we stopped waiting for them.
In the WHYY interview on Thursday, a caller said she was frustrated that Kerry isn't responding to the "flip flop" attacks of the Republicans and did I think he should. (I had already said I planned to vote for Kerry.) I said his only job, right now, is to get elected, and I can understand why he personally doesn't want to engage at that level. Also, we can do other things to help increase the chance that Bush is not re-elected, especially in a battleground state like Pennsylvania. Even if you can't convince a Republican to switch to vote for Kerry, you can talk with all your Democrat-voting friends and make sure they know why they should vote on Election Day. Every Kerry voter who stays home is an effective vote for Bush. The Democrats like to talk about the grass roots, but where are our marching orders? Suppose I live in a state that isn't a battleground state? What can I do to increase the likelihood of a Kerry win? It's not enough, in 2004, to ride in a bus across the country and get five minutes on the nightly news. Tell us how we can help, and then help us do it.
NY Times: "In terms of technology, a political convention is rivaled in complexity perhaps only by the Olympics."
I just noticed something really cool. WNYC, New York's public radio station, is using enclosures in its RSS feed.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.