Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Dave Jacobs is getting a new (donated) kidney on Friday, Murphy-willing.
CBS: "When a fellow panelist mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are 'on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem.'"
Kottke: "I've been contacted by a lawyer representing Sony and they have asked me to remove the audio clip."
NPR segment on Jeopardy god Ken Jennings.
Brent Simmons on the virtues of XML-RPC.
An update on the car buying experience.
Scoble explains the slow process of Windows bug fixes.
NY Times tech columnist David Pogue has something resembling a weblog, with permalinks and an RSS feed. His FAQ also says that the archive of the Circuits section of the Times is now open to all and free.
For example, "What is the podcast about?" can be handled by the description element, that's actually been in RSS since 0.91. What keywords could be associated? That's the category element. When was the podcast recorded? That could be pubDate (but maybe he wants them to be separate dates, in which case we'd have to go to a namespace, not a problem). What are categories? Hmmm, maybe I misuderstood keywords. What's the diff betw categories and keywords? Isn't keyword just a simple case of category? (Please don't yell at me.)
The only two that clearly require new elements are: "Who is on the podcast?" (There can only be one author element per item, but podcasts can and often do have more than one.) And length (which may be hard to get from the operating systems, although it clearly would be valuable; there's no RSS element that corresponds to length).
Another place we can and will go for metadata for podcasts is the ID3 information that's carried along in MP3s. No reason you should have to download the MP3 enclosure to get that info.
Here's a screen shot of the ID3 info for a Morning Coffee Notes podcast.
Monday, November 29, 2004
I keep wanting to tell Marc Canter to stop jumping up and down, and (calmly and carefully) write a list of the data he wants to accompany podcasts, and we'll see what we can do. Now's a really good time to make specific proposals, not blanket condemnations. Marc sometimes misses things, like the Web for example. Podcasting will happen with or without the metadata. But it would be better with it. Drop the martyr act, it's borrrring, and get busy making a list. BTW, that's the first time, as far as I know, that a crucifix has appeared on Scripting News. Apparently it's also the first time the term blowjob has appeared here too.
Kottke has audio of the end of Jeopardy uber-champion Ken Jennings' amazing run, on tomorrow night's show. "Too bad for Ken," says host Alex Trebek. Heh. $2.5 million.
On this day five years ago, Manila shipped.
Attention Frontier kernel developers in Seattle. We're having a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night at the Crossroads in Bellevue, to make face-to-face contact, and discuss various projects including the Python-in-Frontier work that David Brown is doing. So far it's Dave Luebbert, Dave Brown and myself. You're welcome even if your first name isn't Dave. Newbies are welcome too, but please C programmers only. We're going to start pretty early, 6PM, and go for a couple of hours.
I need a quick programming warm-up job, so I decided to do something about referrer spam. Here's an example page. Almost all the pages it points to are spam. I'm going to create a blacklist, by checking each site, and see if it actually points at mine. If not, it goes on the blacklist, never to appear on this page again. Pretty simple. The purpose of the referers page was to show who was delivering the flow to my site. Then of course the spammers will include a link to my site and then I'll have to up the ante. Let's see what happens.
I just did the first pass, and it's nice!
I archived the old spam-ridden referers page here, so you can see the before. (Yes, I know the images are all broken.)
Now here's the after. What a difference. Geez. The cool thing is that all the sites in the list now actually are known to point back to us. So even if the spammers figure out how to circumvent this (they just have to point back to us) at least we share in the page-rank bonanza. They might as well work for us for a while.
As I'm writing the code I keep thinking of neater ways to solve the problem, ones that would be harder to circumvent by the spammers, and still allow legitimate referers to show up. The problem is that they'd require cooperation from Google. Remember, the reason these guys spam us is to steal page rank from Google, by making it appear as if we're pointing to them.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
NY Times: "WiMax delivers broadband Internet connections through fixed antennas that send and receive signals across entire cities."
Car recommendations from Scripting News readers.
BBC is looking for radio fans. So they asked I Love Radio.org.
Scoble is up early! (Or late?)
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Drew's production notes in OPML. Boiiiinnnggg!
When my plane landed in Seattle, I called the Dawn & Drew comment line. I had just listened to three D&D shows, and had the number, and just had to get in on the fun!
Thanks for all the great recommendations on minivans and cars. You guys are incredible. First thing tomorrow I'm going to collate the comments and publish them. Enough other people have similar transportation needs, so I'm sure you'll find it interesting.
I was talking for a year about getting a new cellphone, finally the old one broke and I was ready for action. I had already asked enough people which works best, and wanted a service that worked in Europe so that pointed to AT&T with an inexpensive Nokia phone. Three weeks later, I'm still happy with the purchase. The service is a lot better. I've also been talking for the last year about getting a new car, and I'm not going to wait for the old one to break. Here's what I'm looking for, and I'm soliciting advice. 1. A large interior with lots of space for all the junk I move around. My SUV has a lot of space, but it's organized for four passengers, and I very rarely have more than two. 2. Decent gas mileage, but certainly not great gas mileage. 3. Excellent GPS navigation system. 4. Handles well, doesn't require alot of maintenence. So... all this put together suggests some kind of minivan, or maybe a smallish regular van. Any ideas?
Doug Kaye asks how IT Conversations can become financially self-sustaining.
NY Times: "Despite the best efforts of Hallmark and television channels rebroadcasting 'It's a Wonderful Life,' holidays have long been understood to represent an interpersonal minefield for some individuals and families, as much as a time for carols and warm reminiscences around a glowing hearth."
Interesting post on bandwidth, viewed from the server logs of a podcaster.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Gary Price on "impeccably maintained" web directories.
Nicco broke a tooth at our lunch today. But that wasn't the end of the story. Here's the voicemail he left this afternoon. He said he wants to do podcasts. Hey he just did one.
I notice people are using the term interopathon, a term which I coined, in an incorrect way. It's fair approach to interop, it treats big software companies with patents and open source projects with large installed bases, and smart consultants with their own implementations, as equals. Basically the door is open to all, the playing field is totally level, and interop with each one is considered important, and until it's reached, no one gets to claim interop. Unfortunately Microsoft and IBM didn't want to play by these very fair rules, and went ahead worked privately with each other and tried to force it on everyone else. The usual way interop is not achieved in the software biz. Eventually interop came to mean "Works With Microsoft" but since Microsoft's architecture astronauts were in charge, well, SOAP is pretty dead in 2004, sadly, because a handful of people spoiled it for everyone else. When I resigned as Chief Hardass, I felt like a kindergarten teacher, a failed one.
Bertolt Brecht: "[Radio] is purely an apparatus for distribution, for mere sharing out. So here is a positive suggestion: change this apparatus over from distribution to communication. The radio would be the finest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes."
Had a great lunch with Nicco Mele, former blogmaster at Dean For America. We talked about so many things but one of the last ideas was the best, imho. I said we need something like The League of Women Voters for 21st Century voters who want to think about their decision and need information and other points of views. That led to the The League of Blogging Voters. LOBV. Nicco said he'd grab the domain.
Blog Torrent is "software that makes it much easier to share and download files using the bittorrent protocol."
Draft spec for the BitTorrent RSS module. We plan to use this for Adam Curry's Daily Source Code, The Dawn and Drew Show, and a newly formatted Morning Coffee Notes (with its own feed and an easy way to find back issues, for all). We expect lots of growth in the coming months, and we want to help produce more feeds in the future, so we're getting ready, as are so many others. The combination of BitTorrent and RSS is all over the place these days, and that's super-exciting, and right on.
Joel Spolsky: "When you go too far up, abstraction-wise, you run out of oxygen. Sometimes smart thinkers just don't know when to stop, and they create these absurd, all-encompassing, high-level pictures of the universe that are all good and fine, but don't actually mean anything at all."
A test file for the BitTorrent implementation of Daily Source Code.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
In years past I'd publicly thank all who I wished to thank. This year, it's a private thanks-giving for Uncle Bumba. Have a great day, month, year, etc, everybody!
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
All Things Considered segment on BitTorrent.
Kevin Marks, via IM, reminds us that Apple bought a company called eMagic, that makes a breakout box, that's probably a lot like the product that's being rumored around the blogs today.
AP: "McCartney, after 40 years of second billing to his late partner John Lennon, has turned the tables on his Beatles collaborator by reversing the order of the famous Lennon-McCartney songwriting credit."
For some reason now that I have an iPod I am re-discovering the Beatles in a whole new way. I bought $91 of old Beatles albums today, on CD, all for the second time (the other copies of these CDs are in storage in Calif). Anyway, I also found an excellent Beatles site, with excerpts from all the songs, video of interviews with the band. I've learned something new and important. Paul McCartney was the lead singer. It was never clear to me who was singing on the old songs. I thought John Lennon's style developed over the years, but it turns out he always sang the same way, he just didn't sing many of the songs. John gave a better interview, but Paul was the nicer guy, simpler, more commercial, for sure, but he did most of the work, it seems. I always thought I liked John better, he was the poet of the band, but then I found out that Paul wrote Hey Jude, Let It Be, Lady Madonna, and of course all the "silly love songs." Now I could learn more, and I expect to, but it seems that Paul got a pretty shitty deal from John.
Tod Maffin has a picture of Apple's breakout box.
Pet peeve. I was going to point to a podcast feed just now, but because it uses some kind of weird style sheet, it doesn't look like a feed, rather it looks like a really poorly designed web page. I'd like to request that people leave XML looking like XML. Okay the counter-argument: XML should just disappear into the background. Well, okay, but not really. When I drive on the Long Island Expressway, I see trucks. You might argue that the trucks should just disappear into the background, and I would totally agree. They take up too much space, are hard to understand, and even though they have labels, sometimes I can't figure out what they do. But somehow they're still on the highways after all these years. So someone comes along and has a bright idea. Let's paint cars on the side of trucks. That way the trucks can fade into the background and we can pretend they don't exist. Uhhh, something about that doesn't work. Could just be me.
Adam Bosworth: "While the concept underlying RDF is simple, even brillliantly simple, it isn't how most of us think about data."
I can't get it up. That is for some reason I'm not able to upload my latest Morning Coffee Notes. It wasn't that good, even if it did introduce a new meme: micro-politics, for an old idea, politics on a burg or burb level. We got so distracted by the national race, glad that's over. Now let's think about blogs on a local level. Based on the email I've been getting on this subject, it seems the time may be now. I want to lead a discussion on this at the I&S conference at Harvard in December. And otherwise help evangelize the notion that we can route around the TV networks, and create the political system we want, from the one we were given. That's the gist of today's MCN. I'll look for a Starbuck's, or maybe do another which is more musical.
Tony Kahn's Thanksgiving podcast.
Fascinating story about newspapers in Wired. "Imagine what higher-ups at the Post must have thought when focus-group participants declared they wouldn't accept a Washington Post subscription even if it were free. The main reason (and I'm not making this up): They didn't like the idea of old newspapers piling up in their houses." That's exactly why I cancelled my subscriptions to the NY Times and Wall Street Journal in 1995. Most of the issues never got unfolded before they went into the recycling bin.
Britt Blaser: "My dad hired the Macy's Santa Clauses."
Sebastien Paquet asks about a weblog conference in Montreal.
Tod Maffin: "I want to be able to delete podcasts or other audio content from my iPod after I've listened to it."
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Microsoft's Dave Massy, who works on MSIE, lists some of his favorite DHTML sites.
I did a bunch of email today with Nicco Mele, who I met at Dean HQ and at the DNC last year. Very smart guy and probably the most natural sales guy I've ever met. We walked around the Flint Center and I met some of his friends. They're interesting people because, while they supported the Democrats, they were, like me, just about ready to give up. Nicco and I are having lunch on Friday (he's also from Queens, home for the holiday), should be interesting. In the meantime he pointed out this paragraph in a piece I wrote about Joe Trippi, who he worked for and loves. "Here's an idea. We're as far as we ever get from an election right now, it's two years until the mid-terms, four years to the next Presidential election. Let's start raising money for a truly open blogging network, out of which candidates for local office can emerge, and new journalists, and empowered voters, money-givers, an army of citizens ready to listen, to learn, and feed back to all of us what they learned." It was a pretty good bit. Worth thinking about. Would I stop everything to work on this network if we got the $10 million it would take to do it right? Yeah, I probably would. It would be good for America, and not just America, for everybody.
My mom reads this weblog. On the way to breakfast this morning she asked if I wanted a correction. I said of course. In this bit, I said that Giuliani is a citizen, implying that Schwarzenegger is not. Of course both are citizens. What I meant to say is that Giuliani was born in the US, and therefore is eligable to serve as President of the US, without a Constitutional amendment. Of course, literally speaking, my statement was correct, in two ways. First, Giuliani is in fact a citizen. Second, Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen, so it's accurate to point out that Giuliani is a plain old citizen. My mom admitted she was standing up for Arnie because she also is a naturalized citizen. I of course am not, and could serve as President without an amendment. Of course I did inhale, so I'm probably out of the running just on that count, if not for all the others.
According to AppleInsider, Apple is developing a "breakout box" to connect to its GarageBand software. "The external audio device attaches to a computer and offers audio inputs and outputs for attaching instruments or other audio sources."
AP: "78 cents in savings, $44,000 in debts, $88.5 million in winnings."
Dan Rather stepping down as CBS News anchor.
Laptop update. When I booted it up in NY it found my dad's wifi network and worked like a champ. It could be that my apartment house in Seattle is a totally polluted wifi environment.
Anyone looking for a podcasting use-case, need look no further.
Welcome Jon Udell to the world of podcasting. As usual we get an excellent narrative of his experience with lots of tips and tricks.
Reminder to people having trouble with their podcast feeds. Run your feed through the debugger periodically. It really finds problems.
The subject of how a site gets into Google News came up at the ONA conference a couple of weeks ago. They claim it's totally algorithmic, but the choice of which sites to include is made by human beings, using a undisclosed set of criteria. John Battelle writes about a case where a publication, basically a weblog, indexed by Google News, went after Russ Beattie (they've gone after me too, and Adam) and he's pleading for Google to remove the site. This just shows how far out of whack things have gotten. It's time for Google to either withdraw Google News, or stop claiming it's algorithmic, or even better, make it algorithmic. They've figured out how authority works in the search engine, why can't they do it in news? Disclaimers: 1. Scripting News is not considered authoritative by Google News. 2. I think that's ridiculous.
Paul Boutin's new podcasting piece in The New Republic. You have to give them your email address, but it's a good story. Cyberpunk/cyberpunk doesn't work. Arrrgh.
Julie Leung: "Elisabeth's vocabulary is expanding. She learned to say 'BloggerCon' and 'Burger King' this month."
Monday, November 22, 2004
There's free wifi in the new Terminal A at Seatac. It's very nice and shiny. Feels international like one of the myriad terminals at Heathrow. I'm in a Tully's Coffee drinking a Starbuck's ice coffee reading the NY Times. Got all my brands jus where I wan em.
Draft: How to extend RSS 2.0. This is a new howto I wrote this morning while packing to fly to NYC. It's just a draft. Talking with Adam over the weekend, I said "Hey, if you can fly an airplane, you can learn to extend RSS." He laughed, probably wondering when I was going to call him on the dumb blonde act. Anyway, namespaces seem so difficult because there's almost nothing to it. Like the Web, they're loosely coupled. Most of the glue is there to help human beings, the software assumes you know what you're doing, and ignores stuff it doesn't understand. Even though the core is frozen, RSS itself is a liberal environment, you don't need anyone's permission to extend it. It's really simple, as the name suggests.
Tim Jarrett: "I love whatís happened with enclosures and Podcasting. Thatís the sort of innovation that XML syndication needs, user experience and business models; not 'innovation' in how the underlying content is expressed."
BTW, yesterday David Brown announced that he has Python integrated with Frontier. One of the first bennies of releasing the Frontier kernel as open source. Andre Radke is improving the performance of the object database.
Register: "Early on Saturday morning some banner advertising served for The Register by third party ad serving company Falk AG became infected with the Bofra/IFrame exploit. The Register suspended ad serving by this company on discovery of the problem."
Wired: "Shared Media Licensing, based in Seattle, offers Weed, a software program that allows interested music fans to download a song and play it three times for free. They are prompted to pay for the 'Weed file' the fourth time. Songs cost about a dollar and can be burned to an unlimited number of CDs, passed around on file-sharing networks and posted to web pages."
After god knows how many weeks I still can't get Windows XP on my cute Sony laptop to find these newfangled "web sites" on the Internet. So I offered a bribe to Microsoft evangelist, Robert Scoble. If he'd help my machine work on the Internet, I'd buy him a Pho dinner (they have wifi at my favorite Pho restaurant in Bellevue). Anyway, the night started out bad, the restaurant was closed, so we went elsewhere, and then found a wifi signal at a shopping center. He was able to get online in two minutes by erasing the queue of preferred hotspots. Then he farted around with my screen telling me I was doing it wrong, and only made it worse, much worse (he tells the story here) and ended up saying they're going to get this right in Longhorn. I was beginning to think I'd be a Mac user by then, anyway, so humor him, at least he got the Web working again. When I got home, of course it wasn't finding the sites, so I have a fancy $3000 DVD player. It's nice, but that wasn't the idea.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
This afternoon I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the second time. It's a good movie to see twice because the first time you don't really get the order in which things are happening. It's a sweet movie because the characters get a second chance at love. And as they relive their memories of love, so does the viewer.
Tech question: How to encode BitTorrent in podcast feeds?
"thinkusaalignright"At the dinner in Vancouver I was one of only two or three Americans, the rest were Canadians. Of course they wanted to talk about the political situation in the US. What's to become of the Democratic party? This is much-discussed in the US too. Why worry? The diversity in the country won't go away just because the Democrats can't nominate a winner. Even within the Republican Party there's choice. Democrats could vote for Schwarzenegger or Giuliani (who is a citizen). Are either of these really any less repulsive than Kerry? Think about it. I'm now where I was before Kerry was the Democratic nominee. I think we do it backwards in the US. First we should decide what our issues are, then we should go shopping for representatives to represent us. See the connection? Represent. We end up voting for minor, almost irrelevant differences, and as a result, no representation, and our country can't make positive change. I don't believe the red-staters are bad or stupid. I think they're stuck in the same mess the rest of us are.
On November 8, as a service to people participating in BloggerCon, I asked vendors to post pointers to services that would be of interest to bloggers. 10 vendors have responded so far. It's still an open thread, so if you want to get your message in front of bloggers, post a comment there. We'll do this again at the next BC. There's no cost to participate.
Little-known fact in the RSS world, Microsoft's hit game, Halo 2, supports RSS. Here's a review by a user.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Care to caption this cartoon?
John Palfrey: Pornographer sues Google on 12 grounds.
Vancouver harbor at surise from the window in my hotel room.
Adam Curry surfaces in the UK.
The audio for the Election 2004 session at BloggerCon is ready.
Had a great time at the dinner in my honor at the Phnom Penh restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown. All kinds of topics came up. A couple of people who had been to BloggerCon at Stanford earlier this month. A MORE user from the 80s (still has the bright eyes and big smile that was the hallmark of that community, this was before the Web and blogger dinners so not too many met each other, but I met them). We ate frog legs, but most of us thought it was chicken (me too). The food was delicious. Talked a lot about OPML, directories, Manila, Frontier, podcasting, what it all means. There are Jay McCarthy fans here, so far away from Lowell, I count myself among their number. At the end of the night about fifteen of the Vancouver bloggers walked me back to my hotel. Basically bloggers who come to these dinners are very nice people, we talk about their city, their country, I get tutored in the language and the currency, and hear a lot of ideas that I then incorporate into my view of things. I like that. Darren Barefoot has a list of the people who were there and links to their sites.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Barry Bowen on building a Manila-based OPML directory site.
A must-read Ode-To-Scoble by Steve Gillmor. And Scoble responds!
I've arrived in Vancouver. Didn't cough once on the way up, sneezed a few times. Feeling much better today. I have time for a nap before dinner. All caught up on my Gillmor Gangs and Daily Source Codes. Vancouver is one incredibly beautiful place. Everyone says that but it's true.
Happiness is an American cellphone that works in Canada.
Congratulations to Zeldman for quitting smoking. My own two cents. Smoking is an aid to creativity. I don't do the intense multi-day programming jags anymore, I can't without the cigarettes. The reason why, I think, is that the drug helps you tune out distractions. The smoke keeps interruptions away. Work that requires intense concentration is aided by things that push away distractions. But at our age, Zeldman and I are roughly the same age, after thirty years of smoking, to keep doing it would be suicide, and not far-in-the-future suicide, like it is for people in their twenties and thirties, but suicide in the near future. A few people get to smoke into old age, but it seems that most don't. So quitting is a way of giving us a chance of having an old age. So we can't push the envelope like we did before. But we can help others do it. And we can applaud it when it happens. And we can tell stories to kids on our knees about the old days when we could do it ourselves. It's not so bad. Hey it's better than being dead!
Russell Beattie is going to work for Yahoo, starting Monday. This is something like Scoble going to Microsoft. Without the ramp up. Good move on both sides. It'll be interesting to get some visibility into Yahoo. We expect an interesting story. Natural Born Blogger meets BigCo.
JD Lasica's movies of BloggerCon.
Don Park: "Frankly, this is the kind of innovation we need to be thinking about instead of reinventing what is already in wide use."
With all due respect to Jeffrey Veen, who I know from my Wired days, his experience with the email model type of RSS reader is exactly why that's the model you don't want to use. It's not like email. Let the river of items flow through your queue, scroll over them with a scroll bar, and don't let the software tell you you're falling behind. Your time is what's valuable, there's no value to the items you didn't read. If it's important it'll pop up again. RSS is not email. Don't sort them out into little boxes that you have to go to, make them flow to you, in a river, unsorted. I wish people would just listen to this simple idea, so many people are using RSS the wrong way.
Mary Hodder reviews the new interface at PubSub.Com.
Yahoo has a new way of mapping cities that's really nice for people visiting who don't know their way around.
Vikas Kamat is from Birmingham, Alabama, where Condoleezza Rice is from, and he's proud of her, but observes she's not much-loved by blacks in her hometown.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Here's an idea, probably not very new, that came from a thread on Don Park's weblog a couple of days ago. Suppose there's an issue, say Choice vs Life (to pick something heavy) and you've got two people who like each other enough to be willing to have a refereed online back and forth. So there are three people, one on each side of an issue, and the third making sure that there are no personal attacks. The discussion takes place only between the two people, for two months, two years, two decades, two lifetimes, however long it takes, however long both have something to say. (Of course people can comment on the discussion on their own blogs, on mail lists, radio shows, where ever.) A document with three authors that's constantly being revised. Sure you can take vacations, maybe a month or a year at a time, as-needed. This would be different from a mail list, or a blog, or anything else. A deliberate respectful discussion, more about the respect and exposure of issues, than about settling the unsettleable. An interesting idea?
Philip Greenspun saw Arlo Guthrie perform in Harvard Sq.
I listened in on tonight's Berkman Thursday meeting with Marc Canter giving his semantic web roadshow talk. Here's a picture of Berkman, via Keyhole, where the meeting took place. Marc keeps getting cut off. "God bless Murphy," he says. I hope someone is making a podcast of this.
Shannon Clark says that sometimes we seek out advertising. That's so true. I consume huge amounts of commercial information, every day, as I do my work.
Stan Krute says (via email) that Keyhole is an accomplishment on par with Basic, the Apple II, Mac, Mosaic and Google. He's created a set of bookmarks that let one "fly among the major league baseball park to baseball park." A bbs where users share their discoveries. I downloaded and installed the trial. It's very interesting, not perfect, it was off by three blocks in finding the house I grew up in.
Rich Salz: "WSDL 2.0 is the worst example of architecture astronautics I have ever seen."
Wired News reports on advertising in RSS feeds.
I take a stab at explaining why advertising in RSS is boring.
Robert Raketty is starting a discussion of a Seattle BloggerCon.
Brent Simmons explains why weblog editing is complex.
Michael Gartenberg notes that blogging got a mention on last night's West Wing. Toby Ziegler reminds Josh Lyman that bloggers are not journalists, but not in time to save Josh from getting reamed. On par with the usual junk that passes for drama on TWW. I don't know why I still bother.
Request for feedback. Last week we got a new server running, one which eventually, Murphy-willing, will host a BitTorrent-plus-RSS distribution service for podcasts. We moved Adam Curry's Daily Source Code to this server on Monday, and have had a few reports of problems. Neither Adam or I have seen any problems, the server seems responsive, but we need to know before we go much further if there's a problem.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
It's been an all old-Beatles day here in Seattle. The song I listen to over and over is Lady Madonna... "baby at your breast, wonders how you manage to feed the rest." It's the perfect transition song, midway between She Loves You and Octopus's Garden. They weren't quite tripping yet, I think, but they were on their way. It's not sad like Eleanor Rigby, not quite as deep as Yellow Submarine. Now what I want -- a $249 hard disk with every Beatles song ever recorded in MP3 format. Come on RIAA, cough it up. I want to pay! If you really want to break down the barriers, sell me a license for another $249 that lets me include the songs in my podcasts. I bet you make a $billion. Rockin out here in Seattle, love Dave.
I'll be in Vancouver, BC on Friday night for a blogger's dinner in my honor hosted by Roland Tanglao. All are welcome.
Heritage Foundation: Can the Blogosphere Transform Government?
Looks like Dave Slusher got a good response to the idea of an unofficial unconference in Myrtle Beach, SC. I'd probably go myself, looking for a new place to situate for the winter, I want some place where I can get programming and writing work done. Turns out Myrtle Beach is very cheap this time of year. I've never seen hotel prices like that, cheaper than my apartment in Seattle. Makes me wonder what other parts of the US are so off-season but still interesting in the winter.
I sparred with Joe Trippi on Saturday, in an effort to keep the room awake, and I think it worked. There was a kind of magic warmth in the room after the session. I thought people would be mad at me, but quite the opposite, they seemed pleased.
I've heard so many Trippi interviews, I could practically play the part myself, but there's one line he uses that's so right on, and I was glad to hear him use it toward the end of the show so I could agree, and then amplify.
He said that a campaign could raise a bunch of money, just for the feeling of power it gives the givers, and not even spend it (presumably on ads). Then I agreed, totally, but wouldn't it be even better if the campaign spent the money to make America better now, before the election, before we take office, as a gesture of good faith. If we can do something really imaginative and good with $40 million now, imagine what we can do with $1 trillion next year!
(An exaggeration, of course, most of the budget is pre-spent, on entitlements like social security and paying interest on the national debt. Defense eats up a huge chunk of the remainder. The discretionary budget is actually very small.)
Everyone agreed. So here's an idea. We're as far as we ever get from an election right now, it's two years until the mid-terms, four years to the next Presidential election. Let's start raising money for a truly open blogging network, out of which candidates for local office can emerge, and new journalists, and empowered voters, money-givers, an army of citizens ready to listen, to learn, and feed back to all of us what they learned.
Remember, the Internet has always been and will always be the ultimate research network. Well, now we need to do some research. What can we do better? How can we bring America together? We don't have to wait for the parties to do this, they won't, they're as obsolete as ABC, Viacom, the RIAA and the MPAA. As cloistered as CNN and the NY Times. As self-obsessed as Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken. To get to the next step we have to listen. It won't cost much money, certainly not much compared to what it costs to run for President or even the Senate or a governorship. We can invest in communication now, that's what we need a lot more of, and not the fake kind you get on TV, in the environment (see below).
I had an epiphany on Sunday, on returning to Seattle, in my car, listening to the radio, in the environment. I don't know exactly how I came to it, or if I can explain it, but I'll try.
It's my car, I think of it that way, but it really belongs to the RIAA. I'm sure they see it that way. They've been willing to compromise to give me some of the features I want, but they still have a chain of ownership maintained all the way back to their contracts with the artists who wrote and perform the music they let radio stations play in my car.
I'm pretty sure you can't be heard in my car over radio unless you have a deal with the RIAA.
Once you think in terms of the environment, you can see that the times you step outside the environment are few and far between. I stopped in Sam Goody's yesterday and bought a CD of 27 Beatles hits for $12.99. The environment. I was coming home from a movie at a downtown shopping mall, Pacific Place, every store part of the environment, and of course the movie, The Incredibles -- totally environmental.
When you view things this way, you see how totally extrordinary the plain old PC is. It broke the environment. Hollywood didn't get it. Even the Internet was allowed to blossom, outside the environment. And what we've been struggling with, ever since, is Hollywood wanting to get their hooks into this space too, so we can be in the environment, safe, warm, etc.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Thanks Josh, and you're right, lurking in OPML is another big idea.
A Google AdSense puzzle. For the first few weeks, audio.weblogs.com had charity ads. Now it has ads about Iraq. What's up with that? Why no ads about podcasting? (And after I posted this, the ads are back to charities.)
One of the most interesting people I met at the ONA conf is Ken Sands of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. He's a softspoken man, the managing editor for online and new media, he runs the blogs at the S-R, and blogs are big business there. They use citizen journalists to fill in the local and specialized coverage that the pros no longer supply. Ken says he can teach a reader to be a journalist more easily than he can teach a journalist to be a blogger. That's sounds like my mantra. "If journalists won't write from a users' perspective, what's to stop the users from becoming journalists?" It seems Ken has put this idea into practice, in a big way. Let's follow what they're doing in Spokane, I have a feeling they're leading in a very important new direction.
News.Com: "Stewart Alsop, the venture capitalist who helped foster TiVo, is leaving his firm to try something new."
Something very mysterious that sounds like it should be up my alley, if I had any idea what it does. "MetaWeblog-compatible plugin for the popular Java cross-platform and multilingual Azureus BitTorrent client."
Jeff Walsh: "Macromedia finally came to its senses and fired me."
Scott Rosenberg on the Journalism discussion at BloggerCon III.
Wired: RSS Edges into the Bureaucracy.
KFVS, channel 12 in Cape Girardeau, MO, says it's "the first television station providing a news podcast. The podcast is the first block of local and national news from their newscast. The podcast is also commercial free." They serve 53 counties in 5 states, including Paducah, where I took this photo tour in August.
I'm finally having my post-BloggerCon crash. It's so predictable. Push yourself really hard, and your body stays up for the duration. Drive down to SF in an 800-mile rainstorm. Prep for and then manage a one-day conference, hanging out with friends from all over the world. Enjoy oneself enormously. Then hop back in the car, drive back to Seattle, having epiphany after epiphany. Rest for one day, then fly south to LA on a full plane. Sleep overnight in a room next to a bunch of hookers in a horrible LA neighborhood, in a non-smoking room that reeks of smoke, with a heater that doesn't work and wake up after two hours of sleep to a shower that doesn't work. Have a great time at a conference for reporters and publishers, make a bunch of new friends, then fly back, again -- the flight is full, the guy sitting next to me in the middle seat has his elbow in my ribs the whole way. I pointed out that my ribs are in my seat, to no avail. And of course someone on that plane must have had this horrible throat cold that I now have that's causing me to sleep 19 hours a day and the rest of the time walk around in a daze.
Yeah that's what always happens. I'm sick now, but in a relatively cheery mood. Next Monday I do it all again and fly to NYC for Thanksgiving, and then a couple of weeks after that, fly back to Boston. When will I really get a chance to get back in the groove? Maybe in late December when I hit the road again!
Monday, November 15, 2004
I've been hunting for a free or low-cost log analysis tool for Windows.
Scott Rosenberg: "At what point will our leaders get their heads around the simple fact that our enemies here have no back to break?"
The audio of the BC session that Scott led is up at IT Conversations.
Craig Cline summarizes the Mobile Blogging session.
Okay I got tired of comment spam and got tired of waiting for Google or UserLand to do something about it. I wrote an hourly script that deletes all comments (on just one of my servers) that have one of several keywords in their bodies. Yeah, I guess they may change the URLs of their sites, and I'll add the new URLs to the list of URLs I check for. I guess I'm getting started on a race. The first two sites to benefit are the iPodder and BloggerCon sites.
CNN: Colin Powell, Bush's Secretarty of State, resigns.
Microsoft's search blog reports on an unauthorized leak, with screen shots, of their own desktop search tool.
Rebecca MacKinnon: BloggerCorps?
Don Park on standards bodies and breakage.
A year ago I wrote that I was a smoker who doesn't smoke. Something changed. Today I'm a non-smoker. It's getting hard for me to understand how I used to be a smoker.
The Accordion Guy has an old cigar ad to go with the times.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Channel surfing, came across an old West Wing; I gave it a watch to see what changed. In the first five seconds it was clear. They used to do acting, very good acting. The scenes, the sets, the actors, all worked together. And they had some great actors. They still have most of them, but not the drama, none of the giggles as they hit your truth bone, over and over.
Wired: "By nature, musicians are thieves."
Anonymous: "Only steal from the best."
Newsweek: "Only patent attorneys populate the quiet hallways."
NY Times: "Microsoft is turning up the volume in the portable music business. And Mr Gates makes no secret that he expects to beat Mr Jobs in that market as convincingly as he did in personal computers."
AP: Bloggers offer no apologies.
I had an absolutely lovely time last night at the party and dinner after the panel discussion, which will be broadcast on C-SPAN (not sure when). It begins kind of slowly, but reaches an interesting conclusion. Not the usual soundbites, I tried to incorporate what we learned at political session at BloggerCon III. I promised to point to my podcast, recorded while driving through Oregon, on Tuesday last.
John Robb says his kids use Skype for most of their phone calls, and they found it on their own, and price has nothing to do with it.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Arianna Huffington: A Mash Note to the Blogosphere.
We're getting ready for the 3:30PM keynote. I have a notebook with six items on it. The first thing is the story about the scream speech, what the bloggers were doing at the DNC, podcasting, sources with blogs, local contests.
I'm at a session about automating news delivery. There's a guy from Yahoo who's talking up RSS, and a guy from Google, talking about Google News, Jay Rosen (the NYU journalism prof, BloggerCon discussion leader).
Scoble is hosting a geek dinner in Mountain View, CA tonight.
A Quicktime movie of Wonkette speaking to the ONA lunch.
A Quicktime movie of Joe Trippi.
A Quicktime movie of Jay Rosen.
Listening to Wonkette give the lunch speech, now's a good time to say this. I realized after BloggerCon III that not everyone who does a blog thinks they're as revolutionary as I do. Wonkette surely is one of those people. She is very cynical about blogs, about herself. No matter, she was a random writer at AOL a couple of years ago, and now she's giving a keynote at a respected conference. How did that happen?
AP: "Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart trouble, was having tests at a hospital Saturday after experiencing some shortness of breath, a White House spokesman said."
Julie Leung: "If Billy Joel had been at BloggerCon, I would have asked him if he would sing Just the Way You Are as the theme song for my session. Of course, perhaps Billy Joel himself doesn't own the rights to it."
Staci Kramer: "Journalists who write about blogging need to remember that a single blog or a kind of blog doesn't represent all blogs, just as one journalist or media outlet doesn't represent all journalists." Amen. I just had that argument over coffee at the ONA conf. I am not responsible for all bloggers. I didn't leak the exit polls on Nov 2, I was driving from Seattle to SF. The journos tend to want to view bloggers as flawed versions of themselves. To me, the important bloggers are the sources who got fed up with being misquoted and routed-around. We can still work together, but every year another train leaves the station, we find ways to make-due without support from the pros.
We're in need of some terminology for non-RIAA music, and yesterday I may have come up with one, which I arrived at this way. It's music that's safe to include in a podcast. Safe-to-podcast. Podcast-safe. Podsafe. Podsafe music. Voila?
I'm in the conference room now, it's a traditional conference, a lot like the one I went to in Prince Edward Island. Lots of pros, some welcoming blogs, my guess is that most don't. We'll find out later. They spent a lot more money than we did at Stanford, the wifi is better, but I don't have a desk and I don't have power, so I won't be able to blog the sessions. My battery will run out in a few minutes. Not much I can do.
1. Hello from Hollywood!
2. I hate LA.
3. Always have. Esp today. It's a sucky trashy city, but unlike NY (also sucky and trashy) this place is flat and insincere. I'm sitting outside using some free Wifi, nice, after staying in a hotel with no heat, hookers operating all night out of the room next door, the shower didn't work, reeked of cigarettes, and it's in LA, which makes it all suck all the more. But now I have a Starbuck's venti iced coffee, I'm in the heart of what they call tinsel-town, and it's kind of pretty, even if one in every four people seem like they must be trolling around trying to get discovered. I'm here to talk with Arianna Huffington, one of my heroes, and Joe Trippi, who I've never actually met. And speak with all kinds of Online News Associators.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Wired: Longing for a Blogging Candidate.
Scott Peterson is guilty. Watching the coverage I realized the trial is taking place in the same courthouse that I did jury duty in, in 1996.
Indexed Forever: "Adam Curry is the biggest thing since Survivor."
Here's another twisty media clash story, like yesterday's photo shoot with Newsweek, but with more media crossings, and bi-continental, using Skype, and involving citizens of two countries, with two of them in a third country, all happening at the same time. Adam Curry calls on Skype, saying the BBC has been there for five hours setting up to do a six minute segment on him doing a podcast. Would I mind being part of the show, from far away, over Skype? Of course not! He calls back. I make a note that we have to try to do what Dawn & Drew did with their latest cast, with Dawn in Los Altos and Drew in Wisconsin. Then I tell the story of Dick Cheney's dick, which is a hot topic in Wisconsin today, and now of course, all over the Internet. "Itís like a scud missile, for crying out loud." If you're in Wisconsin please please go get a copy of the Journal Sentinel, there apparently is a pretty good shot of Cheney's dick. Interesting bit of election news. The BBC guy didn't like it. Further, they didn't want Adam and me talking about them. It's kind of hard to do, and stay in the podcast culture. Sheez. We've got these guys telling us what we can and can't talk about, and we can't even talk about them, eh? And they're not even paying. For-get-it.
Political Wire reports that the battle for the Democratic Party is on.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Comments on the botched rollout of Microsoft's new search engine.
Tim Bray suggests that Atom might nearly be finished. I read his comments carefully, and find the benefits of the possibly-final Atom to be vague, and the premise absolutely incorrect. Unlike SGML, RSS has been widely deployed, successfully, by users of all levels of technical expertise. There are many thousands of popular RSS feeds updating every day, from technology companies like Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Sun and Oracle, big publishing companies like Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Newsweek, Time, BBC, Guardian, etc, exactly the kinds of enterprises that his employer serves. It's also widely used by today's opinion leaders, the bloggers. Where SGML was beached and floundering, RSS is thriving and growing. So to conclude that RSS needs the same help that SGML did, is simply not supported by facts.
Scoble: "Halo 2 uses RSS to share game stats."
My culture clashed with that of Elizabeth Grigg.
Kottke: "ICANN has a new policy about domain name transfers which will make hijacking domains much easier." Update from Kottke: "The Netcraft article I pointed to about the new ICANN policy was misleading and I didn't check into it close enough. I updated the post."
So we're in a totally different place, on Capitol Hill, called Victrola. It's totally packed, totally wifi. Taking pictures listening to yesterday's Daily Source Code. Everyone here must think we're weird. Okay. Hope this makes it into Newsweek. Back in a minute with some pics I took of the pics being taken of me. The photographer wanted pictures of me blogging, that's what I'm doing. Service with a smile.
I'm getting photographed for Newsweek in a few minutes. There's a tradition of not saying what the article is about, to protect them from their competition, because of lead times. I understand this is for a piece they'll run in next week's issue. That's another thing, you never know for sure if the piece will actually run. We're going to take the pic in a coffee shop, probably the one I brainstormed moblogging with Scoble in, the one that caused the moblogging guy to throw a hissy fit. They want me to blog during the shoot, so we'll have to do it somewhere there's a good net connect. That's not hard in downtown Seattle, in fact it's hard to find a place where the wifi networks don't interfere with each other so much that you can't get on. How about that for a problem to have.
Looks like I'm going to throw a party on Friday December 10 in Cambridge, somewhere on or near the Harvard campus. Bloggers, Red Sox fans, Tax-and-Spend Liberals, and other Massive-Two-Shitters. We could have had a dinner, but sheez, let's have a party with drinks and music, and seasons greetings. If you have an idea for a venue, let me know. Looking forward to chilling out back east. And it is chilly back there! Brrr.
Mary Hodder says searching for metadata in podcasts isn't enough. I think we'll be lucky to get even limited metadata, and transcripts are completely out of reach. I'm not going to spend the time or money to produce them for my podcasts. And even if I could easily and economically produce a transcript, I wouldn't. Adam tried to excerpt my last podcast and found it impossible. I wasn't surprised. It was a sequence of thoughts, each building on the previous. Try to pull one out of context and it doesn't work. If I had to respond to people who had skimmed my podcast (by reading the transcript) I would stop doing it. Finally we have a medium that, unlike the Web, can't be skimmed. Reading comprehension keeps going down, people skim for keywords, not for understanding. I know because I get so much email that is based on misreading what I wrote. What a waste of intellect. For now, it's hard to do that with podcasts. Mary, my advice is to pick someone to be your guide, and let them guide. Listen to all their podcasts, get in the groove, and then reflect. For some reason I think you'd especially like Dawn & Drew.
This time it seems Yasser Arafat really is dead. They've got a coffin, and an honor guard and they're playing taps. Now all the TV guys are experts on mideast politics. Lots of blah blah. Relaxing.
BBC covers Microsoft's new search engine.
A place for public comments about the search engine.
Onlypunjab.com: "The world's first tap dancing podcaster, Sondra Lowell, was also the first tap dancing podcaster to declare the presidential race for President Bush."
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
BBC: "The veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has died in a French hospital, nearly two weeks after being transferred from the West Bank."
Ladies and gentlemen, Microsoft's new search engine. Their press release will run at 9PM Pacific, a little less than 1/2 hour from now. I'm interested in what other people think of the search engine. I didn't see any features that would make me switch to it. But maybe I missed the important features. Or maybe those will come later.
Microsoft's search blog.
AP: "You'll soon be able to check your Gmail account from your favorite e-mail program, including Blackberrys and cell phones."
Just got back from my daily walk and yesterday's Daily Source Code, which was about a minute shorter than my walk, just long enough to hear the beginning of today's DSC that begins with the soundbite from Dr Nick Riviera from the Simpsons, pictured below. Hi everrrybody!
Micki Krimmel: "Dude, I ruled Bloggercon." True.
Google's VP Engineering: "You probably never notice the large number that appears in tiny type at the bottom of the Google home page, but I do. It's a measure of how many pages we have in our index and gives an indication of how broadly we search to find the information you're looking for. Today that number nearly doubled to more than 8 billion pages."
The House of Blues rocks on RSS.
Setting up another Windows server, hitting the same wall I always hit. This time it's not Windows 2000, it's the 2003 server. I disabled socket pooling, configured TCP to know about my five IP addresses, but still no joy, I can run either Frontier or IIS, but not both. The new variable is the 2003 server. Hold the horses. Here's a technote that says they changed the way you disable socket pooling in the 2003 server. Let's see if it works. It took a couple of tries, but it appears to have worked. Here's a static file served by IIS. And here's a dynamic test site served by Frontier. Same machine, different IP addresses, Windows 2003 server. Now Uncle Davey gets a break!
Someday I'll tell you about Ron Bloom, who I met at BloggerCon, but in the meantime he has a new blog and it's funny.
I agree with John Battelle that Google is not a Netscape, but what a joke to think that Larry and Sergey are the next Bill Gates. John, when Gates was younger, he was a constant evangelist, deal-maker, BOGUer. He'd do anything to win. Larry and Sergey are, by comparison, cloistered, insulated, aloof bordering on arrogant. I'm sure they're smart, but in an academic way, which isn't the same thing as being smart in a commercial way. All their second acts have been duds, they're still lookiing for another hit. Also, they pick the wrong battles to fight, ones that have no bearing on their success. And they're really shitty at building consensus behind a developer platform, something that Bill excelled at, in the old days, when he was trying.
The US Dept of Agriculture gets on the RSS bandwagon.
Doc Searls: "I wanted people to look past the subject of making money with blogs, to making money because of blogs."
Herb Weisbaum on where to shop for consumer electronics.
Lots of rumors floating around about Microsoft's new supposed Google-killing search engine. Google stock is down as a result of the buzz, maybe. As you may know, I own 100 shares, bought just after the IPO at $100. I also was briefed on a new Microsoft service about a month ago. I can't talk about it now. I'm not selling my Google stock.
Meanwhile a MSIE team guy is glad Firefox has gone 1.0. Ever wonder if MS's priorities are somewhat misplaced? Last night I booted up a new server running their 2003 server platform. Up till now I was totally happy with the 2000 version, but this time there was no choice offered. Anyway, their answer to security is to make you click in a dialog on every different website you access in the browser. Hmmm. That ain't gonna work. If they were paying attention there would be a war on spyware to equal the war on terror. With Microsoft's cash reserves, one can't help but think they could do a lot better than they are doing.
BTW, not that Google is doing any better. They could solve the comment spam problem where it must be solved, but so far, they've said and done nothing, leaving bloggers with sites full of comments about casinos and all kinds of weird drugs. Help.
Lying in bed today before waking up I rolled over in my mind all the BloggerCon details I had to deal with today. Earth to Dave. Earth to Dave. It's over. There's nothing to do. Waaaaah! What will I do with myself? I have nothing to do. Hello world.
Mary Podder goes Hod-crazy.
Don Park wonders if Atom is ready for prime time.
Seattle P-I: "A high-speed wireless network that covers most of downtown Seattle is being rolled out by Internet service provider Speakeasy."
Wired: "College students around the country start groups to teach their peers about copyright law and how Hollywood and record companies abuse it. To fight vacant stares, they frame the issue like this: Save the iPod."
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Today's Morning Coffee Notes podcast, recorded on Interstate 5, south of Eugene. What to do with the leadership vacuum in the Democratic Party, what we can learn from people who voted for Bush, and now the truth can be told about how we really feel about Kerry and why it might not be such a bad thing if he isn't the President for the next four years.
The audio from the Podcasting session at BloggerCon III is ready to download. All fourteen sessions will be available.
Dr Nick Riviera: Hi everybody!
The Dallas Morning News has RSS 2.0 feeds.
Firefox 1.0 is out. Mazel tov, for all of us.
Missing feature on the Web -- show me all the Starbucks with Wifi on the drive from Redding to Seattle.
There's an email thread going on about the Making Money session. This was the second episode, in the first, Jeff Jarvis did an excellent job of leading a chorus of nickel-and-dimers. In other words, how can we turn blogs into mini-magazines, generating enough revenue to make us feel good about what we're doing. (My paraphrase, of course.) This is a hot topic. It was also at hot topic at this Con, but I played a little trick by choosing a DL who I knew would argue with this idea, a person who has written a book on it, a popular one, so there would be some disagreement in the room. When I walked in, mid-session, I could see my little plan hadn't worked, Doc was in front of the room fielding comments from people who really really want to think small. So I asked for a mike, and I argued with two or three people (who seemed to enjoy it). Anyway, now there's some irritation because it seemed we were trying to force our way of thinking on the people. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, we, Doc and I, were disagreeing with them, and that's what makes a conference interesting. And unusual. Usally there's a sameness to discourse at conferences that makes you fall asleep. So even if I agreed that putting Google ads on your blog was the best you could do, I would have looked for a way to incite some disagreement. Now if you think this is wrong, BloggerCon is not the place for you, and probably blogging is not a good thing for you either. You're going to get disagreed with, sometimes even when you're right. And that's a good thing. If you're always surrounded by people who agree with you, you never get a chance to change someone's mind, never get a chance to learn something new, to have your mind changed. This is also the big bennie of Election 2004, for those of us with blue-state beliefs. Heh haw, there's another way of looking at things. We may not agree, but who can argue that we're not different?
BTW, I do some nickel and diming myself, very profitably. www.weblogs.com has Google ads, and it makes a substantial contribution to the hosting costs for all my sites. At one point it even paid for them all, but now with the podcasting monster riding on my back, the bandwidth costs have shot up, and will go up even more in the coming weeks and months. No matter, it's my love, not my pocketbook that drives my bloggin.
Anyway, no time to edit, I have to hit the road. Murphy-willing I'll get to Seattle tonight, in time to catch my breath and head back south (by air this time) for another conference, in Hollywood.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Mark Cuban: "This is the only industry in the world that can see thousands of its retailers close, reduce the number of products it sells via cutbacks in artist rosters and albums released, cut back marketing and promotional dollars and then blame a reduction in sales on someone or something other than themselves."
Robert Cox, who has been to all three BC's says the social features of this one were superior. That's good, that was one of the goals. We want people to feel included, have lots of opportunities to meet others, and engage in smaller, ad hoc discussions. Glad it worked.
Jay Rosen on the People of Moore's Law. Renee Blodgett posts on the conference. An open thread for product announcements that are of special interest to BloggerConners. Technorati has a page of aggregated BloggerCon posts.
I got a new cellphone and service provider yesterday. The old one broke on the way down from Seattle, leaving me unreachable via cell. I've been meaning to get a new phone. Yesterday I took Adam on a trip to Mecca, and got a new one. I like it so far. It unfolds to become a QWERTY keyboard, has Bluetooth and a built-in radio. And a completely strange user interface. I had become quite accustomed to the old one. As always, building new neural pathways makes me feel smarter, even though I'm staying at a Hyatt, not a Holiday Inn Express.
Estimate of BloggerCon attendance: 300. Here's how I arrived at that number. The capacity of the rooms, in total, was 330. At most times the rooms appeared to be 90 percent full, give or take. 330 * 0.90 = 297. That sounds like we counted, but we didn't. Round up to 300.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
We recorded a Trade Secrets in Adam's room at Rickey's Hyatt. Midway through the recording Steve Gillmor showed up and joined in.
An open thread on the BloggerCon site for people to post action items, ideas, things they liked, and didn't, whether you were physically present or on the webcast.
Dowbrigade on the upcoming assault on Fallujah. The questions he asked were on my mind too.
My voice is raspy this morning, I did so much talking yesterday, had an incredibly good time. I've had quite a few thank you messages this morning, but let's all thank each other and keep going from here. As Adam says, developers and users partying together. It's been a long time since we've had a user's conference in Silicon Valley. No surprise there were some rough spots, ask the DL's, I prepped them for it, esp Scoble and Curry. We've had verbal scuffles with vendors at both previous Cons. It comes with the territory. No hard feelings. Eventually most of the vendors will profit from listening to users, speaking their language, not over their heads; put them first, and we can return to something that works. This is my hope for Bloggerdom.
One of my personal peptalks is: I make things work. I first heard this talking with John Palfrey during the buildup to the first BloggerCon, when I had some doubts whether I could pull it off. He told me it was his impression of me that I didn't fail. At first I wanted to brush what appeared to be a compliment aside, but then I thought about it, and it made me relax. All my life, when I really wanted something to work, I could make it work. I think this comes from a stubborn streak, I can visualize failure, all too well, and can't tolerate it. In the end, BC had to work because I willed it to work.
Everyone has a chance to speak, even if I don't agree with what they're saying, esp when I don't agree with what they're saying. Every dissenter is validation that it's an open conference, this is the reassurance we need to believe in the sincerity of every speaker. And yesterday, we all willed it to work, even the people who appeared to be dissenting. They bought into the model. They stayed seated, they spoke with respect, and there was a lot of listening going on. This is what success looks like. Now let's see if we can build something on it.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Notes from last night's opening dinner.
AP: "Former President Clinton has a message for Democrats inconsolable after President Bushís re-election: Buck up. Itís not that bad."
The webcast will include sessions from room 209, including the National Anthem, Podcasting, Overload, Election 2004, Making Money and Fat Man Sings sessions. We will record the sessions from the other rooms, they will be available in MP3 format, Murphy-willing, shortly after the conference. Here's a place to ask questions, ask for help, etc.
Before the opening session I open a notepad and jot down some thoughts, things I might talk about to get the discussion going. Here are those notes.
Why I'm glad we lost the election.
Why the West Wing totally sucks.
You can send mail through smtp.stanford.edu.
How Susan Kitchens' mom got everyone to smile when taking a picture.
Why philosophy isn't just important, it's everything.
Wait for mike.
Say your name.
What do you want to achieve at this conf?
What's the song?
Friday, November 05, 2004
Back at the hotel to chill out before the 7PM dinner at Ming's.
I'm accessing the Internet from room 290 over the Wifi we'll be using tomorrow. The username is bloggercon, the password is bloggercon. If you can read this, it's working. Coool. Of course today is the day my cellphone decided to crap out, so I'm pretty much cut off from the outside world (not being able to send email). The student monitors are getting their walk-through of the AV system. Doug Kaye will want to know that Mike Lehman just showed up.
Ed Cone: "It's just before midnight on election night in Raleigh, NC, and Erskine Bowles approaches the podium to address his supporters. The mood in the room is sober."
Newsweek postmortem on the Kerry campaign.
I'm at Stanford. An important note for people who will be using Wifi here tomorrow, they block port 25, so you will not be able to send mail with a mail app like Outlook or Eudora. No problem receiving mail, or sending-receiving instant messages, or sending email via the Web.
CBS: "Everything in the blog universe -- from 'podcasting' to advertising to publishing philosophies -- will be on the agenda this weekend as Webloggers gather for a conference Stanford University."
Engadget report on iPodder 1.1. "The latest version of iPodder for Mac and PC adds a ton of new features, including a podcast directory you can browse to help you find stuff to listen to."
Good morning from Rickey's Hyatt. Went out for Spicy Noodles last night with Adam Curry and his friend Ron Bloom. For people who are staying at Rickey's looking for some early morning caffeine, there's a Starbuck's about a block north on El Camino, on the east side of the street.
NY Times: "Hollywood's major movie studios said yesterday that they would begin filing lawsuits this month against people who make copyrighted films available for downloading over the Internet."
If you want to understand the shock felt by the blue-staters, a review of the articles in today's NY Times most-emailed RSS feed is revealing. (Don't subscribe to the feed, I took a snapshot, it's never going to change.)
Last night I pointed to Chris Nolan's piece about Arlen Specter. Before she got to Specter, she had a stern lecture for Democrats, one I wanted to shine some light on. I agree Bush and his people are smart, very smart, but I believe there's a difference between the people who voted for Bush, and the people whose interests he serves. Do the people who voted for him understand that? That's a question, not a statement. Now another statement. I can't believe they really do, because:
1. The President has no power to stop judges from permitting gay marriage. A constitutional amendment is (rightly) much more difficult than electing a president. If you guys really want to pass that amendment, you're going to have to convince a majority of liberal eggheads in some of the blue states.
2. He's going to reform the tax system, which means that most of the people who voted for Bush are going to pay more taxes, and the top one percent that Kerry kept talking about will get another tax cut. (BTW, this is no longer speculation, they're already talking about it.)
3. He's also going to reform Social Security. Were you planning on having some of that money for your retirement? I wouldn't be so sure.
Now, I'm not saying #2 and #3 are bad things, maybe they're good. Re #1, I believe the Federal government has no business legislating sexuality, and I honestly don't understand why a gay couple in Massachusetts getting married changes anything about a heterosexual couple's marriage in Iowa. In general, I think the government should let people do what they want, as long as no one gets hurt. To me, those are compassionate conservative values. Are they not for people who live in red states?
One thing that needs to happen, and I think every reasonable person would agree, is that we should get to know each other. Speaking as a person who has lived in blue states all my life (a variety of them) I was pretty shocked that Bush was re-elected. I think you guys sold out too cheap, but now we're going to find out what it feels like to have a government that doesn't reflect our values, and I understand this is something you've been living with for a long time. But the problem is, I still don't think you've got it.
We're all going to find out that there are much more important values that Bush and his team don't share, generosity to the poor, respect for human life (Iraqis are people too), a love of the freedoms passed down from our forefathers, and on and on. In other words, the negotiation that must take place is between the people of the United States, not the two parties, not the news networks, we need to solve this one ourselves, to decide what kind of country we want. We shouldn't leave the country, yet. Shock is a good thing, if it brings about positive change. We're shocked, maybe you are too, maybe now we'll find out that you're good people we can work with, and maybe you'll find out the same?
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Chris Nolan: "Specter could use the money to pay off his campaign debt, I'll bet. And right now, he's pretty much the only Republican in the Senate willing to say Roe v Wade should remain the law of the land."
Saturday forecast: Sunny, high 65. Whew.
Just got a call from Adam, he's at SFO on his way to Palo Alto. Ed Cone gets in later tonight. I'm working on the cribsheet we hand out at the beginning of the show. My to-do list is getting pretty short.
There's still space available at some of the Saturday night dinners.
Dori Smith asked Priceline for a 3-star hotel in Palo Alto for $50, and got a room at Rickey's. (Where I and others are staying for $99 a night.)
Responsible clothing for the politically frustrated.
Ethan Zuckerman: "If you voted for George W Bush in 2004, and you're willing to come to deep blue Lanesboro, MA, let me buy you a beer."
Mary Hodder posts some ideas for the Core Values discussion.
Reuters: Arafat reported dead by Israeli TV.
Bush was asked about Arafat's apparent death during his press conference, which is live at 8:48AM Pacific. Then a brief press release from the Paris hospital where Arafat is, saying he's not dead.
Rogers Cadenhead: "The first step is to elect a Senate Minority Leader with a solid seat in a blue state." Amen.
In hindsight, the Democrat who might have beaten Bush was one of the least exciting of the initial nine candidates in the primaries. So unexciting that I didn't even think to mention him in yesterday's podcast. From the heart of Red State country, former minority leader of the House, with deep roots in another religion, you gotta wonder what his fatal flaw was.
12/31/03, Newhouse: "In a crowded Democratic field, presidential candidates are increasingly trying to show that they 'get' religion. It's far from clear, however, whether any Democrat can compete with President Bush on this front."
A new map of North America courtesy of Civicspace.
I'm downloading last night's West Wing via BitTorrent. You can join the team and get a faster download because I'm downloading now.
Electoral Vote Predictor: "The people have spoken."
An email that was sent to BloggerCon participants earlier today.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Photos: A storm building outside Sacramento.
Driving through Bush Country, looking Jewish with Massachusetts plates on my Lexus, I felt really self-conscious. 51 percent of the electorate looked the other way and re-elected a President who started a war with a far-away country that was no threat to the US. Why do people like me feel so scared of what this country has become? Simple. How do we know they won't go to war with us?
NY Times: "Now that a victor has been announced, the American people know what to do in these situations: accept George W. Bush as the rightfully elected president."
Electoral Vote Predictor for 11/3/04.
Arrived in Palo Alto. Listened to Kerry's concession speech about a dozen times on the radio. It was great. Next time, be careful about nominating a guy who gives a great concession speech. The best concession speech is an overdose of sleeping pills, or a self-inflicted bullet wound in the head. You want a guy who can't conceive of losing. The Democrats have had too many great losers. I want a great winner in 2008.
Registration is now open for 75 more people for BloggerCon. I likely won't check in again until I reach Palo Alto this afternoon. At the rate things are going, I expect all 75 will be gone by then. If you know someone who wants to come, please let them know asap, before registration closes for the last time. Thanks.
As they were announcing Kerry's concession on NPR, I was driving in the snow in the mountains outside Shasta Lake. Of course I took a Quicktime movie with my camera to remember the moment.
Your correspondent is checking in from Redding, California; alive and well. Had a white-knuckle drive south yesterday, pouring rain the whole way, very low visibility. Spent the night in Medford, Oregon, no net connection. I'm in a Starbuck's. First thing I note is that www.bloggercon.org is down. Oy. Just when we opened up 75 new slots. It's back up now, and should stay up (fingers crossed). Please, if you were wanting to register, please do so now. Many apologies for the disconnect. ipodder.org was down too.
Speaking of disconnects, George Bush was re-elected. But it was a triumph of philosophy anyway. Remember the Red Sox went 84 years before beating the Yankees and winning the World Series. Eventually they prevailed. We will too. I said if Kerry won we'd hold his feet to the fire. That goes triple for Dubya. Okay, four more years.
If you're a Republican, do you get to hang with Katherine Harris?
I'm traveling, so I'm taking pics. Here are some random pics that were in my camera before. Ethan Zuckerman will probably like the pictures of containers in the port of Seattle. I took a pic of Scoble as we were recording our podcast a couple of weeks ago, and took a pic of a BSOD that's been showing up recently as I restart my ThinkPad.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
The national nightmare is almost over. Vote Kerry.
Jason Kottke is collecting stories of election user experience. I voted. Got there 1/2 hour before the poll opened, I was third in line. By the time the poll opened the line went out the door. It took me about 10 minutes to fill in the ballot, with a black pen, filling in ovals. I finished first in the first group to vote, so I waited for someone else to finish and followed him out, because I wasn't familiar with this process (it was different from Calif and Mass). I fed my ballot into an electronic vote reader. That was it. My concern was that people could see how I voted. In fact I'm sure they could, and I wasn't very happy about that. But I did my civic duty, and I hope you do yours if you're an American citizen of voting age.
JD Lasica wonders if he can videotape sessions at BloggerCon, and includes comments from Denise Howell, a lawyer. I'm glad they found the groundrules, stated clearly, and upfront, that gives JD and anyone else permission to record what happens at the conference, much as the Grateful Dead and Phish gave their fans permission to record their concerts. BloggerCon is, after all, the meatspace instantiation of a community that already exists in cyberspace, so the traditions of our cyber existence trump the traditions of our meaty existence.
NY Times: The Revolution Will Be Posted.
1/11/01: "When I started talking with Adam Curry late last year, he wanted me to think about high quality video on the Internet, and I totally didn't want to hear about it. Like a lot of people, I had tried it, and found it unsatisfying and frankly, exhausting."
Blogharbor has support for authoring weblogs with RSS 2.0 enclosures. From a quick read of their docs it looks pretty good. I would love to hear from a user of the product that it works, then we should start a sub-directory for blogging tools with enclosure support on ipodder.org, but first let's be sure they do it (we'll then have three tools, and maybe four, that work). What does the form look like, ie how do you link an audio file with a blog post? I've done a basic checklist for enclosure support, how does Blogharbor match up with that checklist? I haven't seen their RSS output, does it pass through the debugger? I'd dive in deeper myself if I wasn't traveling today.
Blogmatrix Jager, an aggregator, appears to support podcasting, but I'd still like to hear from an iPodder users to confirm this.
Monday, November 01, 2004
New header graphic. Vote your philosophy.
I just got a note from Lenn Pryor, on behalf of the Channel 9 team at Microsoft, they're giving $1000 to feed the bloggers at BloggerCon. It's cool to get Microsoft on board, along with Adam Curry, Associated Press, Google, Bloglines and Bradbury Software as major benefactors to the greatest amateur journalism conference on the planet. Thanks ever-buddy, and now thanks Microsoft. We've gotten a bunch of individual donations since the last group thanks-to: Gene Ragan, Chris Nolan, Gabriel Rivera, Evan Williams, David Adams, JJ Allaire, 500 Hats, Erik Higgs, Steve Zellers, Rackshare LLC, Niall Kennedy, Patrick Morrison, Ed Cone. We've definitely got enough money for this conference. Thanks to everyone for their generosity.
Today's Morning Coffee Notes podcast, wherein I ramble and sniffle and rasp (still getting over my cold) but explain how being a blogger could possibly make you rich in the next few years. Worth listening to? Depends if you want to make money on the Internet. This is the podcast Marc Canter might do in about four years, if he stays on the path he's on.
Please sign up for Saturday night Food For Thought dinners at local Palo Alto restaurants. "First come first serve."
There was a bit of news on Larry King Live this evening. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was asked if the President would need Senate approval to launch an attack on Iran or North Korea. He said he didn't. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. King asked former majority leader George Mitchell if he agreed, and he said firmly that he did not. Only the Senate has the power to declare war. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post was on the show, as was Rev Jesse Jackson. No one called Frist on his lack of understanding of the separation of powers.
Macworld: iPod Voice Recorders.
The missing Gillmor Gang from Steve Gillmor. Exclusive!
Tomorrow I start my drive from Seattle to Palo Alto. I'm going to take driving breaks by stopping and taking pictures of voting in small towns in Washington, Oregon and northern California. I expect I'll see a lot of Bush country, rural areas tend to vote Republican. If I can find a net connection on Tuesday night I'll upload them. Maybe other people will take pictures of their voting places on Election Day 2004. It might make an interesting Day in the Life experience.
My interview with Doug Kaye is online.
Doug Kaye would like to do a webcast from BloggerCon, but he needs help from someone with a PC laptop.
Visual Studio already supports RSS enclosures according to Josh Ledgard. I'm saying "according to" because there's a wide variety of stuff people do and call it enclosure support. I'm being a hardass about this. I want the aggregator developers to meet the users and give them what they want. Tired of having developers acting like parents. This is a feature users want, maybe not a lot of them, yet, but they're leading edge people, exactly the kind of people you want singing your praises. I like the approach the VS guys are taking, using an existing feature of RSS to solve a problem the designer of the feature (me!) didn't anticipate. That's the way it's supposed to work.
How the fcuk does this thing work??
Here's how the fcuk they did it. Thanks to Thomas Creedon for the pointer.
Adam uses an outliner to organize his podcast production work.
Roger Benningfield wrote to say that his blogging software, JournUrl, supports enclosures. I took a look and yes it does. My debugger likes his feed. And then I got an email from a WordPress developer explaining that they had enclosure support too. There's still some confusion about that. We'll certainly figure it out on Saturday, Matt Mullenweg is going to be at BloggerCon. I'll ask him what's up.
Mini-editorial. The syndication community used to be a very nice group of people, and now it is again. It's really very simple, we make software for users so they can have fun and do what they want. What the bits look like on the wire is nowhere near as important as the user experience.
Can you or your organization help with webcasting BloggerCon this coming Saturday? If so, please send an email. We have onsite audio and wifi, 3 streams, and potentially 100s of remote people who want to tune in.
Cory Doctorow finds another utility to work around Apple's user-sabotage. I gave this whole situation some thought on yesterday's walk and I have a few comments. 1. We already knew Apple treats its customers with high disregard. The only people they hold in more contempt are Mac developers. 2. I told you so. 3. So did Doc Searls. 4. You want to pay the music companies? It's good to pay for what you use. Go ahead and buy the songs from Apple, and then load up LimeWire and download the MP3 of the song you just paid for. Assuming they let you delete songs (I honestly don't know), delete the one you bought and replace it with the MP3. The quality may be lower, but you'll enjoy it more knowing that you can use it any way you like.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.