Thursday, June 30, 2005
According to the NY Times, Microsoft is in talks to buy Claria, "an adware marketer formerly called Gator, and best known for its pop-up ads and software that tracks people visiting Web sites."
WTOP in Washington, DC is podcasting.
Macromedia is podcasting.
News.Com has a tag cloud or "a visually interesting display of what stories are about."
Hacking Netflix says the reason movies are in decline is that people in the theaters are rude. I've noticed that too. But the theater owners are even more rude, showing commercials before the movies. I'm amazed more people don't object. It's like a conference with sponsors who speak. It's one thing if they let you in for free, then sure, show a few ads. But I paid to see the movie. Sorry, you don't get to run ads if I pay. Maybe if they stop running ads, people will start going to the movies again. Of course, then, there are some commercials that I would pay to see.
Mark Bernstein writes: "Tinderbox -- our hypertext tool for making, analyzing, and sharing notes -- now reads OPML."
John Palfrey, executive director at Berkman Center (where I used to work), announces a new venture capital fund that focuses on investments in "tagging, RSS, OPML, search, social software, and related next-gen standards." According to Jim Moore, another former colleague of mine and JP's partner, they have raised $20 million from Ritchey Capital, and plan to raise another $80 million.
Silicon Valley Watcher: "We're off to the races."
WSJ: Podcasting for Dummies.
Google Maps has a documented API. Good move.
The San Francisco Chronicle is podcasting. Interesting that their feeds use the category element. You don't often see this. Thanks.
Don Park: "Blogging and syndicated data technologies in general have yet to fully test the fires of hostile computing world. As their prime time nears, they will be subject to abuse and exploitation."
Scoble: "I'm playing with some secret new technology that makes the tech blogging world even flatter."
Apple explains how to create a podcast with GarageBand.
Ethan Zuckerman is skeptical of Live 8. "This is yet another reason why I donít get invited to cocktail parties."
It turns out that iTunes does export its subscription list, in a weird format I've never seen before. It is XML, so it's process-able. But why not use the
I've been having a back-channel conversation with Larry Lessig about software patents, and why they may be worth the trouble (my position, not his). Here's another reason. If we had a patent on podcasting, one of the terms of the license would be using the same export format we did.
BTW, I've been watching for any evidence of acknowledgement from Apple, haven't seen any yet. Do they acknowledge that they didn't invent this? Or do they only look out for the creativity of those who force them to? (Or their own.)
It's important for the bigco's to get that they're receiving innovation, for free, from the small developers and bloggers they often have such disdain for. Whether they acknowledge it or not, however, let's not us forget it.
Because they pay big bucks for conference sponsorships and buy ads, and consulting, they tend to get the juicy speaking slots, quotes and, testimonials. But in all these years, nothing has changed. The engine of creativity lies outside the corporate structures and brand names we admire so much. Someday a technology company will build on this simple idea and clean up.
It's the end of June, and the beginning of a month of travel. I spent a bunch of time last night packing and cleaning, and getting ready to move today. I'm now ready. (Using the wifi at a local restaurant to write this.)
I'll stay in Florida for a couple more days, and then head north, through DC and NYC, on a vector for maritime Canada, then west across Quebec and Ontario, and then who knows.
Hopefully I'll find places to stop for a few days at a time to work on the OPML Editor. I have a list of things to do to get to 1.0. Now with things heating up in the podcasting world, I feel an urgency to get to this milestone, asap. And yet I have many more goodies to bring over from Channel Z and other outline programming projects over the years. And my dad is busy with his book about outlining. Did I tell you about that yet? I don't think so.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
A Scoble peptalk for Microsoft on new media and podcasts. He's right. Some may think podcasting is a fad. It's not a fad.
Vadim Zaliva reviews iTunes podcasting. They strip links out of podcast descriptions. No linking off-site, to the nth degree.
Om Malik's mini-review illustrates perhaps the best thing about Apple's implementation of podcasting. After seeing podcasting grow like a weed for the last year (it's been over a year since my first podcast, btw), we can see how Apple tends its garden. All of a sudden the pioneers are off on the side, we're the "indies." Heh. Look, Apple is educating the market, and for that we owe them a lot of gratitude. But they are also educating the users about Apple in a way developers never could. We know what it's like being in their company town, now many of the users are developers, and are getting a taste. Analysts like Michael Gartenberg sniff at details like user lock-in. It matters. Eventually dumb users learn, and ask why there's copy protection, why they're taking out links, why they can't switch.
Doc Searls weighs in on FM transmitters for cars, just as I get ready to begin my July auto journey. I'm heading over to Radio Shack right now to get the extenda. Right on. (Postscript: Didn't have to go to Radio Shack, I had such a cable, and Doc is right, it works.)
Sorry I missed this bit written by Marc Canter about my appearance at Gnomedex. It was a great event. Shows what can happen when the promoter lets people be themselves, and doesn't sell speaking slots to the highest bidder (or give them to companies he's invested in). Anyway thanks Marc. I hope to come to a Silicon Valley conference and wow them too sometime, when one of them decides it's okay to have me. In the meantime say hi to John Doerr.
Brent Simmons: "I took a quick look at the iTunes podcast RSS extension, and it could be better. My guess is that it will end up getting revised: I doubt that the current spec is the one weíll live with." That's how I parse it too.
Totally unsolicited, Taegan Goddard sent me a link to his OPML subscription list. He calls this a feed but I think of it as a reading list. I'd like to be able to subscribe to this reading list, and when he unsubs from something, I'd automatically unsub too (but only if I got the subscription from him), and likewise when he subs to something I'm not sub'd to. Unfortunately, no aggregator (yet) has this feature. Now, be sure you're sitting down. Would you like to see the power of standards? Remember, I didn't ask him to do this. Here's the directory view of his reading list. Does that just blow you away? It does me.
Robin at Podnova has an excellent summary of podcasting by Apple. Let's hope Microsoft and Real, and everyone else gives us a way to get our old subscription lists in, and our new subscription lists out. To celebrate Apple's offering, I'm adding import-export of subscription lists to the OPML Editor right now, as we speak. If it's true that Apple doesn't give you a way to get your data out, you should use it only for experimental purposes, plan your exodus, think different, starting now. (And to podcasting directory authors, I love you, and I will kick butt to make sure you have a home. I had dinner with Adam on Saturday, we talked about this. And I'm listening to my Archos right now.)
Speaking of the Archos, I just finished listening to David McCullough's excellent new history of 1776. The last chapter made me break out in tears, sobbing because I love this country so much and the freedom that was so hard-won by the patriots that fought the war for independence. Did you know that we lost most of the battles of 1776? It's true. It wasn't until the decisive middle of the night surprise attack at Trenton, at the end of the year, that the tide turned, and we went against Hessian mercinaries, not the redcoats. As I said to Steve Gillmor the other day, it's always darkest just before dawn. We had to get the Apple product out of the way, now it's here, if it turns out to really be a locked trunk for users, we can have our tea party now, and look forward to hard and glorious fight, and victory, in 1783. It won't be quick, it won't be easy, but it will be worth it.
Tim Jarret: Whose podcasting directory is this?
BTW, could they possibly have found a worse picture of Curry?
The National Hurricane Center is reporting on Bret, in RSS, natch.
Rex Hammock quotes a WSJ article quoting Steve Jobs on a concession from the music industry about podcasting. Hmmm.
Rogers Cadenhead: "A mission statement on Cohen's personal web site reveals that he developed BitTorrent to enable piracy."
Register: "For Microsoft, it's much easier to go with something that's fixed. RSS 2.0 may not be an IETF standard, but it's a marketplace standard, and that's good enough." Thanks but, they got the sequence of formats wrong, RSS 2.0 came before Atom, and there never was an RSS 1.1. Where do they get these "facts."
Dare is worried, but it seems to me he can ignore Apple's extensions when processing podcast feeds. Same with Yahoo's. He's concerned that Slashdot goes too far in its criticism of Microsoft, and I agree -- but he's gone too far in his criticism of Apple. Net-net, the bigco's should adopt the philosophy of interop and avoid funky extensions of RSS where ever possible. The same logic that applied when RSS was the exclusive domain of the little fry still works in the age of the 100-ton dinosaur.
I've been fighting a denial of service attack for weeks. Whoever it is has a domain name registered in Russia, it's directed against me. There are no hits for the domain in Google. Their IP address keeps changing, and the bandwidth bills are huge (thousands of dollars), coming out of my pocket, of course. Pretty soon it's going to be time to call the police, to find out what we can do about this.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Does Apple not read OPML subscription lists? If so, it's hard to say it's a podcasting client. Do they export subscription lists? If so, in what format? If not at all, that's lock-in, a Roach Motel.
Mac Daily News has a FAQ with new data on Apple's podcasting stuff.
Silicon Beat: Behold, the new Yahoo Mail.
A rough recording of The Gillmor Gang at Gnomedex on Friday. (You may want to fast forward five minutes to the beginning of the show.)
Very often when I tease, especially about other people's products, it's because I am not allowed to reveal more. For example, yesterday, I talked about previewing a new version of an old standby, I couldn't say which product it was or who the designer was because of such an embargo, which is now lifted. The product is Yahoo Mail, something few of us spend much time thinking about. But it's in the process of getting a major upgrade, by the developers from Oddpost, a company which Yahoo acquired 11 months ago. If you recall they shipped a stunning DHTML-based Outlook-clone-in-the-browser, which you heard about first here on Scripting News. They were also the team that developed the Halfbrain spreadsheet, the first DHTML marvel, in 1999, which I featured in a panel on web apps that I led at PC Forum the next year. Anyway, the cool thing is that at the very end, just before they were acquired, Ethan Diamond, the designer I spoke of, added a very simple RSS aggregator to Oddpost. When I saw it then, I thought it was kind of sad, like a mouse crying at the sight of a piece of stale cheese (inside joke, sorry), but no, it turns out Ethan was doing something brilliant (duh). They wanted to brief me on their new work so we could start an exchange of ideas. Right on. Let's go Yahoo. And this is not the only project that started with Yahoo in the last week. I can't not tease, it's in my jeans. (And I can't not pun, either.)
Apple has defined a namespace for podcast info. Just took a brief look. Net-net, it would have been a really good idea to get a community review, like Microsoft did, before shipping. We could have done a lot better.
Edd Dumbill reviews the iTunes namespace.
The discussion has started on the podcasters mail list.
John Palfrey: "It is not clear that Grokster is a complete victory for the entertainment industry."
Marshall Loeb: "Don't trust everything you read in blogs."
Monday, June 27, 2005
Mark Cuban: "The MGM Grokster decision won't help the content business make more money. It wont help artists make more money. This deal gave something to both sides, but it gave the most to lawyers and lobbyists."
BBC: File sharing suffers major defeat.
Checking in from Gate 84 at SFO at 11:30AM Pacific, where there's an excellent Tmobile wireless signal. Luckily I have an unlimited Tmobile account so effectively this connection costs me nothing. I almost signed up for Cingular wireless in Seattle, that and Wayport were all that was available.
Apparently podcasting was part of the Supreme Court decision, as a non-infringing use of file sharing. We're doing our part to defend free speech on the Internet, and this is a clear example of that. The non-infringing-ness of podcasts also came up in the Gillmor Gang we did on Friday, hopefully you'll be able to hear it soon.
Scotusblog: "The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that developers of software violate federal copyright law when they provide computer users with the means to share music and movie files downloaded from the internet."
The Wall Street Journal is hosting a Grokster roundtable.
Heard on the Bay Area grapevine, Tuesday is a big day for iTunes and podcasting. The client ships with RSS 2.0-with-enclosures support, and Apple will announce a big corporate content partnership. Still waiting to confirm who the partner is. I'm returning to Florida today, leaving at noon. I was in SF for an early look at a new version of one of the standbys of the Web, an app with a long past and a bright future, with one of my favorite product designers at the helm. Not much RSS in version 1, but yesterday I saw a a brilliant light at the end of the tunnel, a wet one. At Gnomedex, Dylan Greene said he hated Scripting News because sometimes I show just a hint of leg. And that of course is how you're supposed to feel. Sometimes anticipation is better than knowing -- who was it who said -- It hurts so good?
There are so many pictures of me at Gnomedex, this is what y'all are accustomed to seeing, but not me. My mirror lies, it says I'm still 22, young and virile, a gorgeous hunk. So who's this old guy in the pictures? My father predicted this would happen. As he was turning 70, I showed him a picture I took. He winced. I said, But Dad, that's what you look like! He said: In my mind I'm still 19. When I go through this loop here's what I do. 1. Sigh. 2. Go on.
Michael Gartenberg explains RSS to IT people.
Rick Segal explains the Microsoft playbook of the past. "In the past, you wouldn't have seen support for "pure" RSS. Not on my watch, boyz. Nope, what you would have seen is yours truly hawking something along the lines of SIR (Surround Isolate and Replace) Technology or RSS+." A couple of comments. 1. John Markoff, in a 2000 NY Times profile, predicted that they would do this, but in the end , they went the other way, as I told him they would. In an email to me. He said he'd be glad to eat his words, seems now's the time to do that John (not much chance of that actually happening of course). 2. Second, this strikes me as exactly what Technorati was trying to do with OPML, and if it's ridiculous for a gorilla like Microsoft, it's pathetic for a gnat like Technorati.
Tim Bray is in SF too, and writes about the Gay Pride Day Parade, which I got caught up in too, driving from SFO to my Union Square hotel. It was quite a scene. In all my years of living in the Bay Area (a bit to the south in Silicon Valley) I had never seen a Gay Pride Day.
Brent Simmons: "Will Microsoftís support of RSS help make syndication more and more popular? Yes indeed, and thatís a good thing."
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Before I head out to dinner, I don't want to forget to thank Adam Curry for being so gracious in his keynote and on the Gillmor Gang we taped there. I plan to do the flipside, tell my version of how the peanut butter got mixed with the chocolate. Actually I was thinking it was more like how Martin met Lewis. What a rude awakening it was to see how Adam writes code. Or eye-opening. My first response was "You can't do stuff like that." But when you want to make a point, and have an idea, and no one understands, and everyone thinks you're just a hairdo, well, you do what you have to do, even if it ain't pretty. We also had dinner last night along with Ponzi, Chris, Steve Gillmor and the Pirillo Parents (from Des Moines). Lots of new secrets were traded. Hmmm.
Good afternoon everybody on the west coast, and good evening to those on the east coast. Good night to our friends in Europe.
Chris Pirillo reports that Gnomedex changed his life. Funny thing, it changed mine too, in a big way. I've been telling the story verbally. I look forward to doing it in a podcast sometime in the next few days, but now I have to rest and then go out for Pho in San Francisco with Big Dave Jacobs. Just got a product demo that I'll report on shortly after I get back to Florida, late tomorrow night. For now I'm in San Francisco, pooped but exhilirated.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
I just spoke with Amar Gandhi and Sean Lyndersay of Microsoft at Gnomedex. They'll revise their spec in response to concerns reported by Phil Ringnalda. This turns yesterday's home run into a grand slam.
A huge cargo ship in Puget Sound.
Movie of the room at Gnomedex during the Microsoft announcement.
Googlefight: RSS vs Jesus.
Dan Farber: Gnomedexers gather around RSS.
I'm sitting next to Frank Barnako, a very fast two-finger typer, taking notes on all that's said. I asked if he has anything to say to Scripting News people. "Hi mom." Heh.
Steve, it's darkest just before dawn.
Jason Calacanis: "If I was CEO of Technorati or Feedster there is no way I would ever dump my entire business into an uncontrolled cloud."
BTW, Weblogs.com has always had an open back-end, we share all the data we generate, since its inception since 1999. On Friday we got 1.1 million pings. Technorati got all its data from us for their first few years (not sure how much they get now). As far as I know Technorati's back-end is also open, that was one of the conditions of our continuing to keep our back-end open. If it's true that they've gone closed we have an issue with them.
BTW, we heard that invites for Foo Camp went out this week. Again, we did not get an invite (never have). There can't be open standards work done at this event, since it is a closed conference. I don't think the O'Reilly people understand how discourse works in this industry because they keep trying to do standards work limited to people they consider friends. Disconnect. Can't possibly work. I believe that's why Feedmesh has had such a troubled life, because it was born at a proprietary event. Look at how much work comes out of Gnomedex this year, and you'll see how powerful non-exclusivity is.
Microsoft: Simple List Extensions Specification.
Quick postscript on the Microsoft extensions to RSS 2.0.
The schmoozing at this conference has been excellent. World class. Lots of the right people in the room. And all the connects were just happening. I was going to introduce Brent and Sheila Simmons to Dean Hachamovich, but when I went looking for Brent, he and Sheila were talking with Dean. Then I wanted to make sure Dave Luebbert and Doug Kaye had met, but when I went looking for Dave, he was over by the bar talking to Doug. It was just going like that. Meanwhile for me, a constant stream of interesting people doing interesting things and ready to do more. On the walk back to the hotel from the party with Steve Gillmor, Nick Bradbury told a similar story. I have seen this happen before, at the beginning of booming markets. Like the Apple II. We had this kind of collegiality when the Macintosh market was just about to boom, in 1986. You could feel it in the offices of Wired on Third St in SF in 1995. You can't bottle the feeling, and it doesn't last very long, maybe a year or two. But in these periods, when people are relaxed and excited and confident, you can really get stuff done. We'll remember Gnomedex 2005 for that for many years to come.
Steve, I totally don't agree that developers have to support the Longhorn aggregator platform. Longhorn has a long way to go before it matters. And Microsoft has to do a lot more before developers should trust them enough to get in a locked trunk where Microsoft controls the air supply. In fact, I don't think there's anything they can do to earn that kind of trust. Keep the trunk open, let God the put the air in there, never trust a company to keep you alive.
4/4/01: "There is a difference between riding in the car and being stuffed in the trunk."
Geek News has MP3s of my keynote and the Microsoft announcement.
Phil Ringnalda reviews Microsoft's embrace of RSS.
Business Week: Microsoft Crashes the RSS Party.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Business Week: Microsoft Crashes the RSS Party.
eWeek: "Microsoft has decided that subscribing, via RSS, will join browsing and searching as the third leg of its information-access triangle."
BBC: "Microsoft's next version of its browser, Internet Explorer 7, will make it easier for people to keep automatically aware of website updates."
A perspective on MS's announcements coming later today, triggered by a phone conversation with Vic Gundotra and a re-listen to the Pisa talk.
A snapshot of traffic on weblogs.com. Yesterday it served 34.65 gigabytes of data, took 1.1 million pings and 11000 downloads of changes.xml.
Wikipedia article on conveyer-belt sushi.
Netflix users talk openly about "throttling," a practice I hadn't thought of until now (I am a long-term Netflix user). And yesterday I got yelled at in public by the CEO of Audible, Don Katz. One of the things he was angry about was that, when I decided to unsub, instead of trying to work things out with them, I wrote about it on my weblog. I was incredulous. I tried to ask if he was saying that his customers shouldn't have blogs, but he had a smart answer for everything. "You're not a customer," he said. Damn straight. And I never will as long as he's the CEO. And the funny thing is, until this conversation, I had a warm feeling about Audible, even though I had stopped using their service (the DRM was too much). You can see it in the bit I wrote about Microsoft a couple of days ago, where I gave Audible's RSS a plug. The warm feeling is gone. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And if any other CEOs of companies who make products I use have a problem with me having a blog, let me know, and I'll switch to your competitor right away. No product is more important to me than my power to speak.
From Matt Haughey comes news that American Express is doing RSS.
Good morning ever buddy!
You'll be pleased to know that I saw Adam Curry last night, and rushed over and shook his hand and let's not fight. He said "I'm a lover not a fighter." Sounds good to me. Later in the evening I gave him two OPML buttons, one for him to wear, and one to give to a friend. Basically I got what I wanted, it was harder than it had to be, but that's life. Nothing's ever handed to you on a platter. Onward!
I met Dr Jo last night. My life is changed! In so many ways.
There seems to be a consensus that the song should be the Beatles classic, Yellow Submarine. According to Wikipedia, it was released at the height of the "bigger than Jesus" controversy, "cited as part of the reason that it failed to reach #1 on all US charts." In case you weren't paying attention earlier this month, we're bigger than Jesus too. Okay here's your smiley. Happy?
On the plane cross-country I watched Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had never seen it. 70s kitsch. What was unexpectedly funny was the main character's last name. You have to hear it pronounced to realize how close it is to the British epithet, wanka. I laughed out loud every time they said his name. Willie Wanka, Willile Wanka. Heh.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I'm sure this doesn't mean a lot to most people, but I'm now using the OPML Editor to create and edit Scripting News. In the business, we call this Eating The Dogfood, which is actually kind of a gross image (you have to see your users as dogs, which may not be very healthy). Anyway using the product yourself helps reinforce its reality, to me. In The Soul of a New Machine, the engineers working on the Data General mini-computer experienced a disconnect when they saw someone using their product, . To the engineers it is and always will be a prototype. But if people are going to use something as a product, the perspective has to shift, you have to see it as a tool, something people use, something you use.
Today's OPML news: "Here is a blogging tool that does not have a browser-based interface. It runs from a folder structure of OPML files that live in your www folder, and are uploaded as you modify them. There's a dynamic server app running at blogs.opml.org, that renders the OPML files in the familiar weblog form. Of course since all the data is stored in folders and OPML files, this is 'small pieces, loosely joined' -- client side tools and server side environments can replace my parts, with only one or two XML-RPC calls to exchange preferences data that are too small to fit in an outline."
Greenspun: "Kugluktuk is an easy place to make friends if you're traveling with a dog."
I was wondering how the professional journos were going to handle the news we had here yesterday, since there were no other sources, no press release. Finally CNET broke the silence and ran a brief story. Is it that they don't trust me, don't believe me... or are they slow? Do they need a second source? Is it news that I said what I said? Something perhaps for Jay Rosen to ponder. For me, it's sunny and I get to go for a walk on the Seattle waterfront. I'll take this question with me.
Paul Thurrott: "He violated his NDA by a good 36 hours." The he he's talking about is me. I didn't violate anything. If he's got a beef it isn't with me. Something like that can really damage a reputation, and he should withdraw the statement. It's wrong.
The Seattle header graphic is back.
A Seattle burnout podcast after days of heavy programming on the OPML Editor blogging tool.
Steve Tibbett: "Having your blog available in a standard format is IMHO a great thing. It wrests your creations from the grips of your blogging tool, and puts it into a format where interoperability is possible." Exactly!
John Palfrey is waiting for the Supreme Court's decision on Grokster.
Steve Tibbett and Peter Bruels are Most Valued Testers. They're catching all my mistakes. Cooooool.
Steve also reports that the alt text for his header graphic is (like mine) Give em hell Harry! That's not good (he doesn't have a picture of Harry Truman on his blog). So there's a new version, 0.43, and if you do a Get Latest Code, you'll see a new command in the sub-menu called "Header description..." Choose it and a dialog appears, asking what it should be. I updated mine to say "Harry Truman was a media hacker!"
I was programming in every little sliver of time I had in the last days to get the blogging tool together in time for Gnomedex. It's still quite rough. But now I want to switch modes, it's time for the schmoozing to begin, and then tomorrow morning it's time to sing. Then it's time to make lists, listen, ask questions, talk, listen some more. On Sunday I fly down to San Francisco for the day, for meetings, and then Monday mid-day fly back to Orlando, then drive back to the beach, pack up my van and head to DC and then NYC for the 4th of July. Somewhere in there I'd love to meet with NY people to talk about OPML and outlining and all the new stuff. Then on to Canada, and then who knows where.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
In April I visited Microsoft to hear about some interesting ideas they had about RSS. On Friday they will explain these ideas publicly. Today, with their permission, I have a preview of part of what they will talk about. I hope everyone who's interested in RSS listens carefully. I know I will.
Dave Luebbert: "Outlines can model the flow of time."
Lots of ideas for songs to sing in the opening session of Gnomedex on the long cross-country flight. One of them was on my list and on Julie Leung's -- and that's (envelope please) -- Louie, Louie by the Kingsmen. It's a favorite frat song, and was sung by lots of rock and rollers, and the lyrics sure are simple. Other candidates on my list are (in no special order): Yellow Submarine, Happy Trails, Dixie, Yummy Yummy Yummy I've got Love in My Tummy, MacArthur Park, Kodachrome, The Candyman. Some would be great to play but would be hard to singalong, like Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild. A bunch of good ideas in the comments. I like Alice's Restaurant. That might have to be it.
Rebecca MacKinnon reports that all Typepad sites are blocked in China.
Good morning from Orlando. I'm adjusting my clock for Pacific time and waking up at the single most awkward time of the day -- just after midnight. How about that. Got a voice mail from Scoble, but he didn't answer the Big Question of the Day posed by Kosso, the one we're going to labor over at Gnomedex. The question of The Middle Initial. Come on Scoble, give up the goods. Is it an S? Or not. Is it yet another evil plot of world domination for Scoble and his so-called bosses. We're not fooled. Oh no. We know what the real issue is. It pays to start thinking about it. The big question, the one that will determine the fate of all of us is (please quiet in the back)... click here.
Phillip Torrone: "Odeo, the podcast service is launching as we speak, I've been using it for a couple weeks and really like it."
Also from Phil comes news that iPodder 2.1 is out.
Three years ago an incredible outpouring of support. Truth be told I haven't had the guts to read these posts until today. Tears streaming down my face. Thank you.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Today's puzzling cacaphonic screen shot. WTF?
6/14/05: "The blogging world is growing up fast."
Thomas Penfield Jackson: "Microsoft has won the browser war in the United States. Netscape Navigator, if it is still available at all, has only a small fraction of the browser market."
Kevin Schofield: "In six days, a research project went from some algorithms in a paper to Microsoft's competitive answer to BitTorrent, to 'vaporware' to an evil conspiracy."
Arrived safely at a random hotel adjacent to Orlando International Airport. Wifi is free and good. Got a smoking room (it stank, and had an ashtray with matches) so I called down and asked "Is this really a non-smoking room," and got an instant upgrade to a suite. Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn (sorry Drew) I fly to Seattle on Alaska Airlines, and then have my first meeting at 2PM. It's going to be a very sexy trip.
Seattle weather: "Mostly cloudy. 66°F."
Look at all the Gnomedex giveaways. You know this feels like the West Coast Computer Faire in 1979. So much low-budget excitement!
Tim Broeker: "If I were a betting man Iíd probably put a bundle down on Dave Winer and OPML."
Rogers Cadenhead: "Check out the entry on the mercury-based vaccine additive thimerosal and the ongoing nine-month flamewar among people removing each other's edits."
Kosso raises an important issue we should discuss in great detail at Gnomedex. "Does Robert Scoble's middle name begin with an S, and if not, why?"
Dan Gillmor: "The trolls of this world are happiest doing damage. I wish the newspaper had gone ahead with its experiment, however, because in the end there are more good people than bad -- and eventually the good folks would have made the vandalism a pointless exercise."
Jeff Jarvis: "This is like hearing Kathy Lee Gifford try to rap and then, upon hearing the results, declaring hip hop dead."
Old Koss did a badge for me too. Nice!
Scoble: "After Gnomedex these kinds of lame sites will look even lamer!"
AquaMinds NoteTaker supports podcasting.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Okay, here's a place you can go to get an official OPML t-shirt. It's the infrastructure on every cool nerd's chest.
Steve Lacey thinks podcast shownotes should be RSS. That's cool, but I think OPML works a bit betta.
It turns out Steve Gillmor isn't an evangelist after all. Go figure.
Apparently the email I sent to people going to Gnomedex didn't make it to everyone. So if you're going and you'd like to test the new OPML Editor before we all meet, just pop me an email. We're going to send out the first batches later this morning. Sorry for the screwup. Still diggin!
From Andrew Grumet: "If everything goes according to plan, we'll have a new iPodder public release out in time for Gnomedex. The new version number is 2.1. The new version will support one-click subscribing, auto-cleanup, syncing subscriptions to a remote OPML file, genre overriding in iTunes, launching show notes and embedded links via right-click menu on episodes, accessibility improvements and translations into 15 world languages."
Don is keeping track of Gnomedex content. This will probably set some kind of record for the most blogged conference evuh. (Still twawkin wak a Bwitesh wanka.)
What if I wanted to get 100 t-shirts with a simple logo to show up in Seattle on Thursday, and didn't mind spending some money to do it. Do you think there's a way to do it? Seems for enough money there must be a way to do it.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Here's an email I sent today to people registered for Gnomedex.
Bob Stepno tells the story public media flameout in Tennessee.
Chris Pirillo has the "pre-conference jitters." I know what he means, having run three conferences myself in the last two years. It's easier being a keynoter, but I'll be the first person on stage at Gnomedex, and I wonder how it's going to go.
Kosso does what Kosso does, make buttons. I'm going to be wearing the OPML button myself. Hope he made lots of those.
BBC: "A computer hacker may have broken into more than 40 million credit card accounts, US company officials say."
Two years ago today: "We listened to you, we thought you were right, so we did it your way."
Don Park: "Scoble is to Microsoft what the Schrodinger's cat is to Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: his observations of Microsoft and the view of world beyond it changes the company itself, from the ground up!"
Last night I wrote file converters for Bloglines and RSS Bandit, to make it possible for OPML Editor users to edit, organize, combine and split RSS subscription lists created by these apps. There's been some unfortunate incompatibility, visible for the first time for users. It's a form of lock-in, but we're going to try to erase it.
BTW, the OPML Editor understands RSS too. Surprise!
Seattle weather forecast. Highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s. A bit of rain here and there.
A glimpse inside Microsoft's rating system from the anonymous Redmond blogger, Mini-Microsoft. Glad I don't work there, I'd be a 1.0 for sure.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Apparently there are going to be some surprising announcements at Gnomedex. Wow, that would be great. I love surprises!
eWeek: MS Office XML Formats Not OK with GNU.
Hey Scoble, you're right! They're wrong. :
The Seattle Public Library supports RSS.
Shifted Librarian: "After two weeks of diligent posting and tagging, Google gave us a little over 50 referrals while Del.icio.us gave us over 700."
Hacking Netflix: "I was surprised to find the Netflix New Releases RSS feed as a built-in option for the OS X screensaver."
Someday this picture will be a header graphic on Scripting News.
I had dinner last night with Rogers Cadenhead, one of the people I'm working with on the OPML Editor. We were talking about next steps, now that we seem to have a decent enough foundation, where should we go next?
Rogers often has a good idea, and this time was no exception. He suggested building a connection between OPML and del.icio.us. That was already in the back of my mind.
del.icio.us is a rough kind of hierarchy, and it has an API, and a lot of users, and they're probably the kind of people who would like an outliner.
So this morning I picked up the idea and dug a very small hole. Since I am not much of a del.icio.us user, my database of tags is too small to really get something going. I guess what I need is a del.icio.us user who's willing to let me have their username and password for a few days (or weeks) or some way of cloning a user on the server side, sort of a G.I. Joe of del.icio.us, someone whose realm of tags an ind.ustrio.us developer like myself could program against.
Or does this make no sense at all?
Postscript: I'm in!
Friday, June 17, 2005
Chicago Business: Motorola to start iRadio pilot.
Rogers reports on Bill Clinton's interest in being Ms Clinton's Veep.
The Times of London supports RSS.
Steve Gillmor is in Tokyo with Woz.
Rebecca MacKinnon set up an experimental blog on MSN/China, using all the prohibited words, to see what would happen.
WNYC: "With a population that is 70 percent under age 25 (and a voting age of 15), Iranís younger voters will play a big role in elections there on Friday. Many of them are turning to blogs to avoid the mullahsí stifling grip on public discourse."
BBC: "Live performances of Beethoven's first five symphonies, broadcast as part of The Beethoven Experience on BBC Radio 3, have amassed an incredible 657,399 download requests during a week long trial."
Robert Scoble got my attention with this post about a two-man skunkworks-style project at Microsoft. "We have a philosphy that advertising shouldn't bug users." BTW, he lost his cell phone, so now when I want to ring him up I have to call his desk phone at Microsoft. He's been there over two years, they still haven't learned how to pronounce his last name.
Interesting, you could almost do a blog in this format.
We got over the hump, it was a bit of a panic at first, but I had made a change on the server at 5AM yesterday and didn't test it properly, and when the 25 new users showed up early on the evening of the 16th, well, that's the condition that failed. And my Internet access at home has been really flaky during the day, so it was down when we hit the problem, so I had to quickly drive to Starbucks to get online.
The good news is that I am actually able to get work done this way, so when I it the road again on July 1, I will be able to continue to move forward on this software, by programming in hotel rooms, Starbucks, public libraries, etc. Internet access is really starting to get ubiquitous.
As I announced, we focused on people who are maintaining nodes in the distributed podcasting community directory in our current round of testing. Nick Starr who maintains the AudioBlogs category has already managed a successful conversion. For the most, people were editing their OPML by hand, now that they have an editor whose native format is OPML, the job gets easier and the quality of the output goes up.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
A new header graphic from the Seattle waterfront. Happens to be exactly where Gnomedex is going to be held next week, and it's also where I took my daily 40-minute walks during the glory days of podcasting.
A blade of grass popping through the fertile earth. That OPML file is hosted on my server, and the directory app is also on my server, but the domain belongs to Ed Alkema. That's the kind of thing Feedburner could do for its users. Anytime Ed wants to move his stuff, he doesn't even have to call me. And all the setup was done by him, I didn't have to do anything. Technology is compatible with freedom, if you want it to be. Lock-in isn't required.
Odeo screen shots at Google Blogoscoped. It's a portal!
Bob Stepno reviews the EFF guidelines for bloggers. Me, I don't hold out much hope for the EFF's advice, given that they don't see any problem with Google's ad hackery of our sites, what kind of clue could they actually have about blogger's interests? They think we're part of Google's Gulag. Hey that's kind of catchy.
I'm working at the local public library today, they have excellent free wifi. I came here yesterday, but too late to avoid the rush of school kids, who love the library, but are really noisy about it. Now it's nice and quiet, but when I came in, at first there was a busload of retarded adults, and they made a lot more noise than the kids, and it was more disgusting, screechy, body noise. Get what I mean? They're gone now, and I'm getting a lot of work done. But I have to be careful not to L-O-L. I make a lot of noise myself while I'm woikin.
One of the reasons I liked the term Really Simple Groupware is that it conveys something important about the Instant Outlining server. It's just a bit more complicated than an RSS server. Most of it can be handled by a static HTTP server. The part that requires some dynamic smarts will be open and documented and (easily) cloneable.
Dave Luebbert posts in Dan Gillmor's thread on Instant Outlining.
Scott Rosenberg wants a left-handed camera. "Millions of potential customers."
Today's my day to write documentation for the new users who will be joining our test group later today or early tomorrow. I'm working on the docs that explain The World Outline. I'm finally writing it at a user-level. No hand-waving. I think people are going to get it this time. Yahoo!
It's possible that Don Park is looking for some help getting back on the wagon. Here's my two cents. Before I quit for good, the longest I had ever gone without a cigarette is about six hours. That's how much willpower I had. You have to want to quit to quit. So no one else can do it for you. This part is a total DIY thing.
Now, I have been on diets and exercise regimes where I fell off the wagon, ate something really bad for me, or went a couple of days without exercise. Then what worked for me is to give up the guilt and just get back on the wagon. Pick up as if I had never failed. Do what I would have done if I had been perfect.
Something like that just happened on Monday this week. In May I had lost 9 pounds. But in June I had been slacking, and thought I had put it all back. (I don't have a scale, I find the day-to-day monitoring unproductive.) So I went for a checkup on Monday, blood work, and blood pressure, and they weighed me. I had lost 6 more pounds! Yow. So while I had been bad, I hadn't been that bad. I went out for a delicious breakfast, lots of bad stuff, and then went shopping and bought only good stuff. I've been happily eating veggies, fish and salad, drinking lots of bottled water and Diet Coke, and feeling productive ever since.
In other words Don, one cigar won't kill you, really. And you're just a human being. Welcome to the club.
Love, Uncle Fluffy
On a private mail list I signed off as Uncle Shippy.
In a coffee shop, using their free wifi, I'm Uncle Sippy (for the coffee I's sippin).
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
A hugely dramatic thunderstorm godcast, with an update on progress with the OPML editor, and a roadmap through next week. Only 11 minutes.
A movie of the thundercast.
A Seattle P-I cartoon that eloquently illustrates why we don't want to trust the technology leaders with our freedoms.
eBay item: "You are bidding on an opportunity to accompany my 19 year old son and myself in a taxi from Chicago to Los Angeles! Sort of like a reality television show for podcasting."
I've posted a call for people to help us finish the development of the OPML editor, especially people who are doing OPML as part of directory editing in the podcasting community. I'm also interested in working with people who will be at Gnomedex, because we'll have a chance to talk about it face-to-face in a little over a week. Also, I'm not so much looking for people to find bugs, or request features, I know there are lots of bugs (I've been using this outliner for 17 years) and many possibilities (it's actually a platform for outlining apps), rather I'm looking for deal-stoppers, and people who will help new users when we open the gates to everyone. If you're the kind of person who likes to answer questions, more than find bugs or neat ideas (unless you want to fix them or implement them, heh) then I want you, later this week, weekend and early next week.
Rogers Cadenhead: "Dave's trying to bootstrap an innovative new Internet technology and will relentlessly drag the rest of us along until we realize the potential."
Bootstrap: "When engineers build a suspension bridge, first they draw a thin cable across a body of water. Then they use that cable to hoist a larger one. Then they use both cables to pull a third, and eventually create a thick cable of intertwined wires that you can drive a truck across."
The Music Bakery "specializes in royalty free music."
I've not heard a better description of Instant Outlining.
"Really Simple Groupware."
That just about captures it.
However, group editing of a shared outline is not, imho, a problem that anyone knows how to solve, nor is it a problem that anyone has.
In the last couple of days the To Do list on the OPML Editor has really gotten short, most of the stuff that's on it is now is reviews of things, and I'm knocking those off the list pretty fast.
The Mac version is stalled, I'm looking for a Frontier programmer who knows MacBird and can even go into the kernel to debug. I really want Dave Luebbert working with me on the check out of the cross-platform functionality.
Many people don't know that this is built on the GPL release of Frontier that happened last summer. The outliner itself entirely open source. The applications, at this time, are not (although full source is provided, meeting some people's definition of open source, but certainly not the technical definition). My intention is to release all of it under GPL, and offer commercial redistribution licenses if people want them, a la MySQL, which imho is a very rational system for open source. I didn't get it at first, but when I did I knew it was for me.
Anyway, I'm expecting that we will broaden the test group before the weekend, but not release a public beta (or maybe not so beta) either at the beginning of Gnomedex or shortly after I get back. It depends on how self-supporting the product is, and the community.
This time, I'm not even going to be on the support mail list, so in the next round of testers I'm looking for people who love to help define communities, and support new users, and who have experience with outlining.
Long term, I'm hoping that the user community here will inspire a developer community to form around the open source kernel. To me this is the dream. Outliner users are the smartest, nicest people on the planet. Their eyes sparkle they're so bright and turned on. I want the geeks to meet these people, and become part of their community. That's the itch I want to scratch. Users and developers party together. Really simple groupware. Right on.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Yahoo bought blo.gs. If I didn't own weblogs.com, I'd wonder what's next. But since I do I'll just say congrats to Jim Winstead and Yahoo. The blogging world is growing up fast.
Wow this is really nice. Thanks Brian!
Jon Udell: "AJAX isn't the best imaginable lever. It is, however, sitting on the right fulcrum."
Today's sexy dialog. There's a lot of data there.
Dave Luebbert: "When I started to work with Charles Simonyi, he taught me to keep a steno notebook at my side."
Wired: "The French news agency said bloggers were not allowed to post terms to MSN Spaces such as 'democracy,' 'human rights' and 'Taiwan independence.' Attempts to enter those words were said to generate a message saying the language was prohibited."
Rebecca MacKinnon: "Most Chinese, like all other human beings I've ever met, would very much like to have freedom of speech."
Rebecca is the star of the famous Nashville movie. I told her I might send the movie to Scoble. She said "You have free speech." Amen.
Three years ago today I quit smoking. I don't miss it one bit. Every time I pass a smoker I hold my breath. People who say it's hard to quit smoking are addicts, or enablers. The first week is miserable, then the cravings become intermittent, then trail off to insignificance. I still, very rarely get a craving. It always passes in a few seconds. If you smoke and want to quit, you can do it. For half the people who smoke, the anti-depressant Bupropion helps manage the craving. They're developing new drugs that work even better. The health benefits of quitting are enormous and many of them immediate. The long-term benefits are also enormous. Three years ago a doctor told me I'd be dead in three years if I didn't quit smoking. No shit. I'm still here.
Check out all the great comments.
William Shatner said it so well: "I finally understood what Sally Field meant when she said, They like me, they really like me!"
Monday, June 13, 2005
Today, who feels threatened by Microsoft? But four years ago I was asking if people wanted to try Microsoft-free Fridays. Today, to some, the menace is Google. And to others, Wikipedia. I've gotten into an extensive discussion with people on and around a Harvard mail list about it. Researchers and librarians are not happy, but don't dare say so publicly. Like the mania about open source in the 90s. It was going to change everything, but open source already existed before the mania, and honestly, the mania ended up changing nothing, except a lot of people got distracted at a time when we should have been focused on the new power of networking, for users. But there was so much shouting then, much the way there is shouting today about Wikipedia.
BTW, Dave Luebbert, who's working with me on the outliner, used to work with Dean on Word. And Dave, is in charge of the Mac version, is looking for someone who can join us who knows how to do MacBird dialogs.
After Gnomedex, ConvergeSouth, Greensboro, 0ct 7-8.
A podcast feed of old time radio shows. Excellent.
John Robb on Instant Outlining. "Radically improves team productivity."
Jon Udell on Wikipedia's way of dealing with integrity issues.
I agree with Ed Cone (what else is new) about the use of the World Trade Center site. A park, a baseball diamond. A place to have Simon & Garfunkel concerts in the summer and picnics for people who work in the financial district. Cross-country skiing in the winter. Some nice trees. Parents with baby strollers. Jazzercise and martial arts. Invest in the spiritual and physical health of the planet. Please no more monuments to nationalism or world trade. We've already got plenty of those.
9 days to Gnomedex and word comes from Chris Pirillo that it sold out. Excellent. Every seat will be filled. Hopefully with a friendly face.
NY Times: "The cafe filled with laptop users each weekend, often one to a table meant for four. Some would sit for six to eight hours purchasing a single drink, or nothing at all."
I spent about four hours programming in the middle of the night.
Why? The same reason I programmed in the middle of the night in the 1970s, the computers are faster then.
But 2005 is different from 1977, in so many ways.
I write a script that inserts ten lines into an outline. Each insertion causes a scroll and a display refresh. The script runs in a tiny fraction of a second. In 1977, well let's say it wouldn't have been quite that fast.
It's logging code. Should I save the logs to the disk? Maybe the disk will fill up? In 1977 I would have had a serious concern. In 2005, nahhh. Write it to disk. Not to worry.
But we do have our concerns, limits, tradeoffs. It used to be time versus space. Today it's viruses, spammers, spyware and hypesters.
Back in 1977 I would tell my university roommates that someday everyone would use a computer. They looked at me like I was out of my mind. I was a hypester then. I was selling snake oil. My claims were not believed. I think this was good. It's good that people tell you things you don't believe that turn out to be true. That means you live in amazing times. But far too often people tell you amazing things, that we believe, that aren't true. That's terrible. It's better to be suspicious of great claims. At least that's the way I was raised. If something seems too good to be true, trust that.
Between 1977 and 2005 we became innocent, of course people took advantage of that, and now we're cynical again. We need to find a comfortable place inbetween.
But one thing's for sure, the time-vs-space tradeoff is way way behind us. Left in the dust. A distant memory. Farewell old friend.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
A must-read article if you work at Microsoft and are interested in using technology to be more effective in your work and to get ahead in your career. Of course none of this can make any sense until you use it. You might want to ask Scoble, because he did use Instant Outlining when he worked at UserLand in 2001. I'll try to work this into my demo at Gnomedex. I'll put my stake in the ground, if Microsoft tries it, it will revolutionize the company. I've never seen an organization more prepared for this.
Ed Cone: "A California newspaper posts the full name of an anonymous blogger, and has yet to reply to her repeated requests to the reporter and editor for information on how the decision to do so was made."
Okay I have this iPod. I stopped using it because I had to start using another computer because the previous one was so infested with spyware, and the iPod started misbehaving and I had an itch to get a portable player that didn't have any DRM at all. So I got an Archos and stopped using the iPod. Then I got a car without a cassette player, and bought a Belkin FM transmitter, and found it doesn't work worth a damn. Dave Jacobs confirms, he got the Monster transmitter, works great -- one problem though, it only works with the iPod. So I charge up the little devil and in the meantime forgot that it was
File this under The Culture of Instant Outlining.
Thanks for the excellent discussion in response to the question about home pages and what they are. Very useful. One thing that's going on my home page, for sure, is my Netflix queue. It says a lot about a person. It would be cool if they also told you how long each movie has been in your queue. Some of those have been there a long time, with new films coming on in the number one position. Also it would be great if Netflix had an expanded view of the queue that included descriptions. I got a lot out of just reading them (they are included in the RSS).
BTW, I already have the perfect domain for my home page.
ConnectViaBooks: "Find people who share your interests, your hobbies or just read the same books."
Jason Calacanis: " I wanted to export my Gmail contacts the other day and it turns out that the only way to do this is the tedious ten-step process of cutting and pasting the names out of Gmail and into Excel, saving them as a CSV file."
Brent Simmons tells the story of Eric Albert a heroic developer who works at Apple. In my day there were many such heroes, but one that stood out was Terry Teague, who I believe still works at Apple. I'm glad to hear the transition will go so smoothly for so many.
Our first hero was the first head of developer relations in what was then known as the Mac Division, Mike Boich, who went on to be the founder of Radius, then Eazel, and now is (I believe) a venture capitalist. When the Mac was still in development, in late 1983, we had trouble getting anything working at all. Mike actually came over to our office and helped us debug the code. I was blown away. No one from IBM had ever done that for us. They really wanted us to ship when they shipped. We didn't make it (no one but Microsoft did, they had a very big head start) but we were among the first, shipping ThinkTank 128 in June 1984, we followed with ThinkTank 512 in December, and MORE in September 1986. That was the home run. As they say, it takes three tries to get it right. It was also our third platform, after the Apple II and IBM PC.
Mike and I used to be regulars at the same Thai restaurant in Menlo Park, Siam Garden. Now there's a piece of data you didn't need.
In 1984 our offices were across the hall from John Markoff's, on Elwell Court in Palo Alto. He was then a reporter for Byte. We used to see him all the time, we were friendly back then (and much younger of course). He went on to be the NY Times' ace technology reporter. On my 25th birthday we threw water balloons from the windows in my office in that building. I only remember that because I got an email from Pam McQuesten, who was there that day, on my 50th birthday. I told her I still do things like that. She reads Scripting News. That's one of the cool things about having a blog that has nothing to do with advertising. People you liked from your past find you. Also people you didn't like. :-(
Saturday, June 11, 2005
I was driving from the beach to Gainesville, and got into an argument with the voice navigation system in my new Toyota minivan. Hey it's a driving podcast. Been a while since I did one of those. It's fun.
One year ago today I did my first Morning Coffee Notes podcast.
Checking in from Gainesville. We had a very spirited discussion, interesting stuff. I also did a podcast with a special guest -- the female voice of my car's navigation system! I don't have the cable to upload it, will have to wait till I get back to the beach. It's probably pretty funny.
Kaye Trammel, superstar from LSU, was at the meetup in Gainesville.
Philip Greenspun, getting ready for a plane trek from Boston to Alaska, compares the cargo-carrying capacity of a minivan and a small plane.
James Fallows: "Search engines are so powerful. And they are so pathetically weak."
Harold Gilchrist's outline of New Jersey podcasters.
Two years ago today: "When asked for a show of hands of people who care what a blog is, three peoples' hands shot up: David Weinberger, Doc Searls and mine. I thought, what is it that we three have in common."
Wired: Radio sets eyes on podcast profit.
Three years ago today I couldn't sleep. My left arm felt like it had electric shocks running through it at random times every few minutes. I would bolt upright in bed in panic. At random times during the day it would feel like an elephant was standing on my chest. I tried to exercise, it had always worked before, but it didn't work this time. By this day three years ago I couldn't walk more than a block without being exhausted and in pain. Talking on the phone was extremely energy consuming. Yet I continued to smoke, and worked, and tried to put off the inevitable. Inside I was sure I was about to die, but on this day three years ago, in a life-affirming move, I made an appointment with a cardiologist. I talked with a friend who had had a heart attack. He urged me to go to the emergency room right away.I should have taken his advice, I didn't, but I got lucky.
The Wikipedia history of podcasting has been carefully rewritten to eliminate any mention of my work. The open approach has the same problem that the proprietary one has, it can easily be manipulated by people with an axe to grind. It's nice that they give such prominent credit to Chris Lydon and Adam Curry, but the technical innovation in both cases was my work. And my podcasts were the inspiration for Curry's. How is WIkipedia going to prevent from this from happening again? That's a serious issue. It's not the first time it's happened. This is why I've never been a strong advocate of Wikipedia.
And the WIkipedia entry for RSS has been rewritten to be an ad for a competitive format. I don't dare even open my biographical page.
This is what makes innovating so damned unsafisfying. It's a total burnout to create new stuff and have other people take credit for it, over and over. Makes me want to put on the brakes and start taking out patents. This is the point I've been trying to make with the people who encourage programmers to give away all their IP. There are good reasons not to do it, there are no accolades, no incentive to be generous.
Barry Bowen sent a pointer to an Internet Archive page of an older version of the article on podcasting.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Dumb question: What is a home page?
The Republican Party is podcasting.
Four years ago today in the NY Times: "The notion that independent publications could challenge established media concern because it costs very little to publish online has fallen on hard times along with the rest of the Web's early illusions." Wishful thinking.
The National Hurricane Center has an advisory feed with updates on Tropical Storm Arlene. It could strengthen into a hurricane overnight. Looking at the map of the system, it's clear that the inclement weather we're having on the east coast of Florida are part of the system.
Feedburner offers a redirect program if you choose to return to hosting your feed. I agree with Randy Morin, in the comments, they should provide the redirect permanently. I like that they're promoting the content-level redirect I proposed in 2002, all aggregators should support that. But they ought to also offer the same solution that Libsyn offers -- let me direct a domain at their server so that I can predictably redirect no matter what the aggregators do. Charge a reasonable fee for that, maybe even become a registrar. It's the simplest solution. Anyway it's good that they're listening. Let's go all the way, and open the door for more improvements.
In 1998, Mason Hale wrote a howto on working with me.
Unfortunately I didn't have a camera when I saw this on a bumper sticker. Around here it's seagulls not pigeons.
Rebecca MacKinnon: "I spoke to Isaac Mao in Shanghai via Skype to get some clarification and detail about how the latest regulations requiring bloggers to register in China are actually being implemented."
Ed Cone on his father: "I wish he had known his grandchildren."
Engadget says Yahoo may buy Skype. Oyyyyyy. I use Yahoo, but I really want a new company to start here. Please don't sell out. On the other hand, they are a beast of venture capital, backed by the firm that backed Hotmail when they sold out to Microsoft (made big waves in the valley at the time) so there's a pretty good chance the rumors are right.
Per yesterday's post, I unsubbed from Taegan Goddard's political feed. I got stopped again in my scan, the ads are just too intrusive. Further, I've delivered a lot of flow to his site over the years, and I don't appreciate being used in an experiment this way. Readers are people, not guinea pigs, and if we didn't sign up for tests, then we shouldn't be used that way. Time to read the Cluetrain Manifesto, Taegan.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Miami Herald: "The first tropical storm of the year developed today."
BBC: "A previously unknown piece by German maestro JS Bach is found among papers from a Weimar library."
The next funky HTML dialog for your entertainment. (People say Scripting News is more entertaining when I'm shipping something.)
Approximately 42 people will know the purpose of the picture to the right, and for them, let me say that it is not yet functional, the number of machines that will respond correctly when the picture is clicked is exactly 0. However before the end of the day there will be one machine that responds correctly, then three others. And by the end of the month perhaps as many as 250. Then from there, we hope not to get sick this time as we did last, and be able to see this through to a universe in the thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands and so forth. Today Good Morning Silicon Valley said my ego had achieved its ultimate size before exploding. Well folks, you ain't seen nothin yet. The boy is aiming high!
Doug Kaye interviewed me for IT Conversations back in October.
Ed Foster: "From Apple's perspective, using its lawyers to keep its customers in the dark was a good business decision."
Okay we're having our blogger-podcaster meetup in Gainesville on Saturday at 3PM.
Today I unsubbed from a feed because its ads were too big in relation to the value of the content. I found as I scroll through the new stuff, Infoworld's new format got me to stop and look, and and then I'd quickly see it was an ad. I know that eventually I'd tune it out, but then I'd miss illustrations that weren't ads. So this is where my line is, at least for Infoworld. Goodbye old friend. (Irony: The articles in Infoworld are pretty much ads too. So it's ads in ads. What a business model. They managed to forget the user, completely.)
BTW, Taegan Goddard has, for me, a very high value feed, but his new ads are way too distracting. I'm thinking of unsubbing. (Arrrgh, he switched to Feedburner. Minus ten points for Taegan. BTW, when you point to a Feedburner-hosted feed, it's basically one big ad for Feedburner. Sorry, you also lost a chance for more subscribers Taegan. I don't see why I should point to their ads from my blog.)
Gallup Poll has RSS.
Tod Maffin: "I am now one-third on my way to becoming legally able to play music on my podcast."
Harry Truman was a 20th century media hacker.
Lenn Pryor, formerly of Microsoft, newly of Skype, is a media hacker.
Scoble is catching the media hacker wave. "I hinted at the geek dinner the other night that Microsoft is announcing something at Gnomedex." Hmm. Wonder what that could be?
Some people just don't get that there are two sides to every story. No doubt Hammersley thinks I'm a wanka too. He's written as much, at least twice in The Guardian and maybe other places as well. He doesn't come right out and say it, his editors would never let him do that, but the effect has been pretty nasty anyway. So by openly making it clear how I feel about this schmeggege (that's Yiddish for wanka), I hope to prevent him from getting any more of these supposedly objective writing assignments. He can go fuck with someone else's career using his employer's ink if he wants to, if they'll let him. Anyone who works for the Guardian or the BBC now surely knows he's conflicted when it comes to this wanka.
I almost put a note at the end of that post about the tongue being in the cheek, but it spoiled the ending, so I took it out. I figured either people had a sense of humor or perspective, or they don't. I don't feel sorry for the people who don't, because there are people dying in Iraq or in jail in the US for posession of marijuana.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I did a one-hour Gillmor Daily yesterday with Steve Gillmor.
Okay, Steve Gillmor is going to like this chain of logic. John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. No argument, it was true, they were. Well, even though the vast majority of people have never heard of Steve or myself, we're more influential than John Lennon or Bob Dylan ever were. We're media hackers. It's true they led a media revolution in the 1960s. But we're hacking media in the 21st century. How do I know? Well who's the biggest podcaster? (Okay for sure you think I'm going to say Dave Winer, but I'm not.) The biggest podcaster is, sad to say Rush Limbaugh, and he knows it too. But that's only temporary. Limbaugh is a radio star. We're going to have our own stars. Limbaugh is good for this medium, much better than the other guy who every one thinks is number one. Rush is a star, the other guy is a DJ. But Limbaugh ain't Dylan or Lennon or even Jesus.
Comments on Google Sitemaps. Could be a teeeny bit better.
Don Park illustrates how the Internet might implement a police state.
Paul Jones announces a Chapel Hill blog teach-in on Saturday.
Mr Gutman on second-time entrepreneurs.
Dan Gillmor on Apple's cold war with online journalists and bloggers. It's kind of weird that Apple promotes podcasting, but not surprising that they went with the corporate approach. They like the Wall Street Journal, but pretend News.Com doesn't exist? Hmmm. Will their directory include podcasts like Morning Coffee Notes? If so, Jobs may be surprised to find out that we're not all like the fictional Wayne's World. Sure we're lovable, but we love the First Amendment. Schuh-winnnng!
Wayne: "What I'd really like is to do Wayne's World for a living. It might happen, tsshyeah, right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt."
Another feature waiting to ship. It's been in the pipe for over ten years.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Ready or not, Rebecca MacKinnon is podcasting. Yippee!
Adam Weinroth classified a week of posts for three blogs: Scoble, Steve Rubel and Scripting News, with some not-too-surprising results. We're routers, DJs, front-page editors. An occasional scoop, plug, howto, but mostly links to stuff we think is essential or important.
Ready or not, Microsoft is podcasting.
Note to Paolo -- the OPML Coffee Mugs will be back soon. Jon Udell, you might find this interesting too. There might be a mug on Scripting News before the end of the week. How about that!
Register: "Having risen to prominence as a computing innovator, Osborne as quickly found notoriety as the industry's first victim of pre-announcing unready products."
UserLand has shipped Manila 9.5. Scott Young has the details.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Ready or not DMOZ is going to have a podcasting branch. Are they putting it in the right place? They're asking for comments. What are some of the other choices? And wouldn't it be great if we could share technology and have OPML be integrated in the DMOZ structure?
NPR does not "currently offer its programming for podcasting, but we are interested in your views on podcasting. If you would like to help, please complete this brief survey that will inform our efforts in this area."
Wes Felter: "It's always interesting to see the Mathematica demo get trotted out again."
Rebecca MacKinnon: "Reporters Without Borders has issued a press release today voicing alarm at 'the Chinese governmentís announced intention to close down all China-based websites and blogs that are not officially registered.'"
Garrick Van Buren: "How much would you pay for your accountant to leave a voicemail answering a question just before you ask it? Thatís how to make money podcasting."
The announcement is over at 2PM Eastern, now the bits the others don't have: 1. Apple is not going into the software business, their operating system will not run on other vendor's hardware. So you won't be running the Mac OS on Dell, HP or IBM, for example. and 2. While Windows is not explicitly supported, they won't do anything to prevent Windows from running on their hardware. Reported by Michael Gartenberg.
Today's reportage came to you live from Starbuck's (where the phone and wifi coverage are excellent).
When I have news, this is where it will go. Please comment.
I just got a call from a friend inside Moscone where the Apple announcement is about to begin. I should have a report here by about 1PM Eastern. And -- we're going to get an exclusive. Something that's not announced on stage.
Engadget: "United Airlines is planning to become the first domestic carrier to offer WiFi access on all of its flights."
Ready or not, Rush Limbaugh is podcasting.
People who have been listening to my podcasts have been getting little clues about some strange things about the upcoming outliner. For example, it's not just a desktop outliner, it does stuff over the Internet. Of course. What would be the point of having an editor whose native format is OPML and not have it natively push outlines up to the web? Duh. Anyway, so the first thing it asks you to do is to register with opml.org so you can have your hosting space set up for you. If you don't want to register, no problemmo, but we'll ask the next time you launch and the time after that, and the time after that. The point being this outliner is much more interesting if you join the community.
Wired: "If Apple has licensed QuickTransit for an Intel-powered Mac, all current applications should just work, no user or developer intervention required."
Scoble: "The entire industry is shaking because of Jobs' decision."
Steve and I recorded a Gillmor Daily yesterday that will never make the air, but there were some moments, as Steve recalls. "A lot of it was crap, but it was good crap."
Sunday, June 05, 2005
A Sunday Morning Coffee Notes about Jobsian reality distortion fields, AutoLink (again, sorry), Feedburner, progress report on my outliner, and when quality really matters.
NY Times: "Steven P Jobs is preparing to take an unprecedented gamble by abandoning Apple Computer's 14-year commitment to chips developed by IBM and Motorola in favor of Intel processors for his Macintosh computers, industry executives informed of the decision said Sunday."
Tod Maffin claims to listen to 100 podcasts a day.
Doc Searls wonders if it's Intel that's having the sex change, not Apple.
News.com: Intel, Apple coupling could woo Hollywood.
Note to Jake Savin. I'm using the HTML dialog feature in Frontier on Windows and it's working great. I never wrote any apps that used this before. Sometime it takes a while, I think this has been in the codebase for about five years or so.
BBC: "The explosion in podcasting has led to home-grown shows, playing music ignored by conventional radio."
NY Times: "The received wisdom about Silicon Valley is that the region is single-mindedly dedicated to technological innovation. But that's not quite right."
Feedburner makes light of the appearance that they are seeking lock-in (giving them the benefit of the tiniest sliver of doubt). Here's a post from an exec at the company, and here's my response. If they are not seeking lock-in this is not the way to communicate it. (Postscript: In the comments on my response, the Feedburner guy flips his position, and now says they're thinking about providing users with a way out. So the roach motel might get an escape hatch. Amazing how a little light can help. I wish more people would join in this examination, it should be easy to get them to change, and it's a very precarious situation, and not a good one for RSS. I've sent an email to some of the Identity Gang, asking them to look into this. It seems to me that an RSS feed is an important part of one's identity, and should be under their control.)
Saturday, June 04, 2005
According to Bill Koslosky, the WSJ confirms the Apple story.
Steve Gillmor: "Geez, can I get a life now?"
When the Bush spokesperson blamed Newsweek for getting the story wrong -- about a secret government report that said American security people descrated the Quran at Guantanamo Bay, I thought "They'd better hope there's no report," because then they'll have to take the blame for the people who died in Afghanistan, the ones they said Newsweek was responsible for. Okay, now that the report is out, they're still blaming the reporters! Now that's chutzpah. BTW, not my fault, I voted for the other guy.
Okay, no matter what day it is, is your Gmail down? Mine is.
Wes Felter: "I don't believe the Apple/Intel rumors."
Lance Knobel likes flying on Jet Blue.
Scoble confirms that the Apple story is true. "This is a real story and I've gotten confirmation from people who know."
Russell Beattie says: "It seems like craziness. If they announce new Macs running x86 next year, not an intelligent being on Earth will buy a Mac for the rest of the year until the new hardware ships." That's probably why they'll announce Intel in addition to IBM, not instead of IBM.
John Stanforth says Apple is making a mistake by not going with AMD.
Got an email from Dave Mansueto at Libsyn about a post here last month. He says that users can map their own domains to content hosted at LibSyn. That's a bit more trouble for them, but makes sure, as he says, that people use their service because they want to, not because they are locked in. Good work. If Feedburner would allow their users to do that (maybe they already do?) then I'd withdraw most of my concerns. No matter what I'm not comfortable that there's a rich company out there with an interest in incompatibility.
Friday, June 03, 2005
News.com: "Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors."
A place to comment on this story.
Google Sitemaps appears to be a feature I've been asking search engines to implement since 1997. Basically it lets you give the search engine a complete list of all files on your site and when they've last changed. That way the search engine doesn't have to re-read your whole site every day. This is especially useful for archives of weblogs. I'll support it on Scripting News as soon as I possibly can.
In 1914, Fred van Eps played Dixie on his banjo and it was recorded on an Edison Diamond Disc. Now, thanks to the miracle of the Internet, you can hear it too. It's foot-tapping good music, come one and all, yee-haw!!
Gizmodo says Rah to Archos thanks to the SDK. Yah!
Just in time for the WWDC, a picture of some of the leading Mac software developers, in 1989.
Richard MacManus says there are "RSS Ripoff Merchants."
Vic Gundotra explains why he is excited about Longhorn.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
MSN Spaces has an innovative feature for creating and displaying lists. Seems like a perfect application for OPML.
New Statesman columnist on podcasting. "Winer will get up mid-sentence to walk across the room and pour himself a coffee. That's 30 seconds of your life that you'll never get back." If your brain is dead.
St Cadenhead: "I will try to acquire benedictxvi.xxx to keep it out of the hands of pornographers."
Next week is Apple's WWDC. Any rumors??
Going to Cambridge this weekend reminded me how much I thrive on the bustle of a big city. But getting back to the beach is nice too, the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves. The funny thing about the city is that you can't imagine living in t-shirts and shorts, but as soon as you're back at the beach you can't imagine wearing long pants and a jacket. I brought my flip-flops with me to Boston, but could have left them home. There was never an opportunity for such informality. So where is the perfect place to live? I think I would like a teaching job somewhere, where I could work part-time as an entrepreneur in residence, at a VC firm, perhaps. Not too far from a beach, to keep sane, and out of traffic, that was probably what I disliked the most about the Bay Area. Maybe Berkeley, though, with BART to get into SF. I need a place to go to work, several times a week, where there are smart people doing interesting stuff. That's a requirement that's not being met here in the beachtown. Anyway just some thoughts that occur when transitioning from one mode to another.
The nice thing about traveling is everywhere I go people want me to stay there. I guess I'm mellowing in my old age. Zephyr Teachout, who I've only met twice, but who I've come to like very much, sang me a folk song in her car as she drove me back to the studio after the group dinner celebrating the first Open Source show. She wasn't really singing at first, but then I said wait a minute, that's a song, so we sang together. Yes, quality counts, but if it comes at the cost of a lawyer and a programmer not singing when the moment strikes, well who wants to live like that?
Here's the official MP3 from WGBH of the inaugural airing of the Open Source radio program, hosted by Chris Lydon, with guests David Weinberger, Doc Searls and myself.
Congrats to Feedster on raising their first round of VC.
Calvin: "Simple affection from a yummy smelling woman is magic stuff."
A bunch of new stuff is happening at Gnomedex that hasn't been announced yet. I can't say more, but if you can be in Seattle, June 23-25, you'd probably want to be there. No guarantees of course.
Rex Hammock: "Here are a few examples of the kind of podcasts I'd actually pay for."
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Tod Maffin via email: "CBC Radio, Canada's public broadcaster, is developing a weekly on-air program about the blogosphere and podcast community, using the voices of audio bloggers and podcasters. CBC has commissioned Tod Maffin to host and produce the show; a pilot is currently in production (not all pilots make it to air)."
Archos has a SDK.
Jason Lefkowitz has a fascinating shot of the Washington Post's front page today.
Scoble has a brother and he's blogging for ComputerWorld.
Seems it should be pronounced blogga's dinnuh, a la James Mason. I guess then you'd 'ave to be listening to me bluggcasts wit Kosso. Wanka! And I've just watched both Bridget Jones movies (the first is much betta) so I don't feel that bad about being a Yank tawkin lawk a Bwit.
Mr Gutman: "Most women smell good."
Today's Dilbert is right on-topic.
Had breakfast with Greg Del Sesto, a Boston-area investment banka who uses The Brain, and doesn't read this blog but does listen to all my podcasts. Had some interesting things to say. Took issue with my thought that quality is meaningless. He asked a probing question that revealed he had a point. Does quality matter when you're having surgery. He kept talking. I interrupted and said Yes yes indeed it surely does matta. It doesn't mean I don't love your inner child if I require you to have a medical degree and several years of internship before I let you crack open my chest and cut me up. Same with flying me home after a holiday in Cambridge. Yes quality does matter. I promised to do a podcast about this and I shall keep that promise. Remind me to talk about continuous functions and the Fundamental Theorum of Calculus. Knew I'd sneak that in there, didn't you? Wanka.
Here's the full MP3 of the Monday night radio show in Boston. (Their server appears to be really slow. Once I have it downloaded, I'll mirror it on one of mine. Postscript: I haven't been able to download it after trying for five hours.)
Wired: Nokia Draws Bead on IPod People.
Bob Stepno rounds up Deep Throat news. He says that Bob Woodward, who still writes for the Washington Post, will file a story on Thursday. Wouldn't it be great if he did a podcast too? I'd love to listen to his story in his own words, in his own voice. That would be one for posterity.
Michael Gartenberg: "If Watergate were happening today..."
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