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Permanent link to archive for Friday, October 28, 2005. Friday, October 28, 2005

Okay, here's the first beta of my OPML ValidatorPermanent link to this item in the archive.

I've been crunching on the validator to announce in time for the Tagcamp meetup, tonight, in Palo Alto. It looks like I made it. Hey! We're back in business. Now this one is very very geeky, but much in demand. Guaranteed to be popular. But it's beta, that means you shouldn't depend on the results. "Nice and easy does it, every time," sings Shirley Horne.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Photos from last night's Nashville blogger meetup.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I saw this iPod vending machine on Concourse A in Atlanta's airport, and like Gizmodo, I wondered how it would work. Buy a blank iPod just in time to hop on a flight? Hmmm. Maybe it'll make sense when they come up with a wifi-capable iPod, because the wifi on Concourse A is pretty good, especially near that machine.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dave Slusher: "The only people I ever hear talking about how the public won't listen to anything but slick programming are people that produce slick programming." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Amyloo is impressed with VeriSign.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mike Arrington's new stream Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Most of you know Mike as the editor of TechCrunch, a phenomenal new weblog that tells the story of new web services, written from the heart of SiliconValley. I met him for the first time in a meeting in NY, in May, when we got together to talk about the sale of

Today Mike starts a new blog, called CrunchNotes by telling the story of how TechCrunch got started. He credits me with being an inspiration, and if it's really true, he's taken it so far and done it so well, all the credit belongs to him. Really.

What he says is so true. Too many software developers wander into the market without knowing what's been tried before, what worked, what didn't. Often the users know more about the history of the category than the designer of the software. What Mike does, by writing up every product and service that he sees, is the beginning of a process that we must develop; but is itself a revisit of something that used to be done thoroughly and systematically, but because of the quick pace of boom and bust in the tech business, is an art that now needs to be reinvented, a bootup that's actually a reboot.

Mike is a lawyer. Laws have precedents. When it was thought that Harriet Miers believed in a constitutional right to privacy, many inferred that she was a choice advocate. One position implies another because legal decisions are based on previous decisions. Sometimes a higher court changes direction and overturns a precedent, this is necessary because the context changes over time. It's true in technology too. In 1985 we designed software to run in 640K; today my machine had more than 500 times that amount of memory, but in order to make it run adequately, I had to double it. Laws that made sense in 1985 clearly need another look in 2005.

In software, I call this system of precedents design by prior art. To really make it work, we need to go back and scour the past for lost art. It's not enough to just chronicle what's coming online now (although I'm glad we're doing that). Maybe the next step is for Mike and I to visit Michael Miller, who, as editor-in-chief of InfoWorld and then PC Mag (where he still is, I believe) put in place a system for looking at software over time. That was a system of prior art in software.

There's another reason it's a good idea to study the past in software -- anything that was designed or implemented before software patents forms a prior art defense against the patent system of the 21st century. Mike, being both a lawyer and a student of technology, is in a great position to lead us here.

In any case, congratulations to my friend Mike, for doing this work so well. It's great when someone so talented and motivated finds something that suits him so well. How lucky for him, but then we're lucky too, because we get the full benefit of his brilliance, without having to do the work!


Last update: Friday, October 28, 2005 at 5:31 PM Eastern.

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