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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, September 20, 2005. Tuesday, September 20, 2005

If Google really is doing a big nationwide wifi network then bless their souls for thinking so big. Someone has to do that big network. I mean, all our laptops have wifi now. Someday we'll have wifi access everywhere, why wait? The money we're spending on the war in Iraq could have done it. The money we'll spend rebuilding the Gulf Coast could have done it. If Google can leverage their economic power to give us the network we deserve, now, then I gotta say thanks. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

"Like Scoble says, I don't understand this industry," says Steve Gillmor, in a phone conversation today. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Pinky: "Hmmm. Don't think I've seen that one." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

New header graphic, a roadside in Florida. Looks pretty, doesn't it. I miss Florida, the walks on the beach, the easy flow of life. I even came to like the sand and the heat.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named river.jpgSure sign that Rex uses a poorly designed RSS aggregator. It shouldn't make you feel guilty. You should have easy access to news, and stuff you missed while you were away is nothing more than stuff you missed. Let the news flow by you and relax like someone sitting on the bank of a river looking for something interesting as you while away the time. That's how news works, and RSS is, emphatically, for news.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Microsoft reorganizes. Allchin will retire in 2006. Raikes stays. Ozzie gets new responsibilities. Scoble likes it. What about MSN? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Microsoft public relations has RSS feeds. Subscribed. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Motley Fool: Why I Fear Google WiFiPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Rita is now a Category 2 hurricane.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

From the FAQ of something called Google Secure Access: "The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area." I guess this means that Google is going to compete with Wayport, T-Mobile and Boingo. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NPR: Simon Wiesenthal Dies at Age 96Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The culpability of the press in Katrina Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named users.jpgListening to Meet the Press this week was interesting, but this time not because the interview was so one-dimensional and horribly adversarial. The main interview was actually pretty good -- it was with former President Bill Clinton, who they call "William Jefferson Clinton." They cut him a lot of slack, which is appropriate I guess, for an ex-president, and he cuts himself a lot of slack too. He's a master of these things, much better than the current crop of politicians from either party.

Meanwhile I have no sympathy for Bush who a NY Times columnist I can't point to called Lucy to our Charlie Brown. Are we going to fall for it again? This is the guy who lied about WMD's yet never fessed up. He only took the blame for the screwup in the aftermath of Katrina because there was no way out, the story couldn't be spun, it was not just close to home, it was actually at home.

Anyway, all that was interesting, but what was really interesting was the discussion between the reporters at the end of the show. They were so smart and relaxed and having a real discussion about real things, for a change. They were talking about who was going to catch the blame for screwing up this and that. One of them said there are a lot of rocks and hard places in Washington these days. Brilliant! Then I wondered who was going to ask about the culpability of the press. How many ways did they screw up in the lead up to and the aftermath of Katrina? Weren't we watching them figure out, in real-time, how horribly vulnerable New Orleans was? Why weren't they ringing the alarm bells as Katrina turned into a Category 5 storm in the Gulf and turned toward a major city with lots of people so poor they couldn't evacuate? Did any of them know that the levees were so vulnerable? (Even after the levee broke.)

I was struck a few years ago when I found out that the major US networks all rent apartments permanently on St Peter's Square in Rome so that when a Pope dies they can have live camera shots of the mourning and the deliberation about the new Pope. So when big news is inevitable, like the devastation of New Orleans was, they pre-position resources, and are ready to go when the event happens. I'm sure all the major papers had already written their obits of Simon Wiesenthal. Hey maybe one or two has a little blurb already written about me. Nahhh. Anyway, back to the question -- why didn't they know, and why didn't they make a stink about it while it was happening? How many lives could they have saved? Better question, how many lives should they have saved?

No one will pay any attention to this question, it's just the old irascible gadfly again, that's how they rationalize it. But if bloggers don't ask the question -- who will?

When RSS isn't very great Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named hov.gifBoing Boing has run an ad for A History of Violence in its feed 17 times in the last two days. That's as if a feed ran a post with a picture and repeated it 17 times. It was on the 17th time that I said enough, I've had enough of this.

I'm tired of being a lab rat for Boing Boing, their feed just doesn't have enough value to compensate for the distraction. They should just pay me to watch the damned show (if that's what A History of Violence is), I might even subscribe to their feed (assuming they have one), but paying Boing Boing to interrupt my news-reading with a "message" is not going to get me to watch. It did get me to finally unsub from BB.

On my walk yesterday I realized something. You can use RSS in un-RSS-like ways, and when you do, it stops being like RSS (of course). I think so many people are using crappy readers, and reading feeds with these junky ads in them (even more coming soon), that net-net the user experience is almost as if they had a bookmark manager in a web browser. For them RSS really doesn't do anything all that useful. I'm surprised they even like it!

As I've said so many times, RSS is itself an advertising medium. Boing Boing isn't set up to advertise anything, I guess -- although I imagine that the blog has helped Xeni get her jobs at NPR and ABC News, and helped Cory get his job at EFF and lots of option shares in companies that have made or might make him rich. Come to think of it, running ads for TV shows couldn't possibly be so lucrative as to let it interfere with their much bigger business model. Hmmm.


Last update: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 at 8:55 PM Eastern.

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