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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Is Google the root of all pain? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Washington Post: "If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?' Zell said during the question period after his speech. 'Not very.'"

Believe it or not I think I understand what he's saying even though what he literally said makes no sense.

He's thinking that publishing their content on the web is a money-loser for his papers. It has nothing to do with Google, but in his mind there is no separation between Google and the web (and he has a point, most of the money being made on the web, market cap-wise is being made by Google).

He's looking at the balance sheets of the papers he's bought and wondering "Why the fuck are we on the web?"

Good question, btw. Not saying it would be good for us if they pulled out of the web, and ultimately it probably wouldn't do anything to help the financial condition of his papers.

Look a little closer Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Some people are saying that Day 1 of Scripting News was nothing more than a collection of links to sites I had visited. I have a couple of responses to that.

A picture named airplane.gif1. That's what weblogs were in the early days, it's only later that the the title-link-description model became the norm. Wes Felter, an early blogger, laments that change, and says it has more to do with the software than the way people blog. I agree, in fact that's why sites like del.icio.us came along to reinvent what blogs were in the first place! ;->

A picture named blackHelicopter..jpg2. Look a little closer, the last link on the page is to a DaveNet piece, which was more like what you'd think of as a blog post today. For people who weren't around back then, DaveNet was a series of essays I started in 1994, they were shipped via email, published on the web, and often quoted in the press (thanks!). I humbly put the link at the bottom of the page in the beginning because I didn't want to seem egotistic, but later I got over it, and put it at the top, where it belonged. Eventually I stopped writing DaveNets because mail became clogged with spam, and I wanted to encourage people do use the web more. Nowadays, Scripting News is like DaveNet, so things have come pretty much full circle in the almost thirteen years since all this michegas started.

Today's links Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "The popular image of a heart attack is all wrong."

Rafe Needleman: "Jaiku is another nanoblogging service, much like Twitter."

Question for htaccess experts Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I have some documents in a site with no suffixes, like this:


And I want to redirect them to:


I tried the obvious thing in an htaccess file:

Redirect /utah http://somesite.com/utah.html

But it generates an infinite series of redirects. Makes sense when you think about it -- Apache is not exactly redirecting urls, but patterns.

I thought maybe RedirectMatch would be the right way to go, but it's not clicking.

How do you handle a situation like this??

Please post a comment if you know. Thanks!!

Why lawyers are special Permanent link to this item in the archive.

In a comment on yesterday's Lawyers essay, Dan Stoval says lawyers are "no better, no worse than any other profession."

Of course other professions and trades have unethical and incompetent people, and of course there are lawyers who are principled and competent, and there are lawyers who are good some days and bad others.

But -- people are scared of "outing" lawyers who misbehave because when a lawyer gets mad, he or she can destroy you. I suppose a doctor can too, but that's a little too scary to contemplate -- let's hope that doesn't actually happen. But lawyers try to destroy people as a matter of everyday business. Non-lawyers just accept it with a shoulder-shrug.

My point is that now it's time to go through that, and use our new tools to at least let each other know which lawyers are the good ones.

Is Microsoft dead? Feh. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Paul Graham posits that Microsoft is dead and the cause of death is:

1. Murder by Google.

2. Oh who cares, it's all bullshit.

In fact, Microsoft is not dead, because (come on get real) it's a company, and companies aren't living, and they don't die.

In 1983 I wanted to develop for the Mac and I had investors advising me, older guys who had been in the tech business probably about as long as I've been in it now. Everyone said that Apple was dead. They asked what Apple's sales were. About a billion dollars. They said it was safe to develop for them, because billion dollar companies don't go away. Same with Microsoft today.

What's happening with MS is not death, but being pulled back to earth by gravity. It's the cycle of tech companies, and it's like the cycle of world powers. You have a vast natural resource to exploit, your population grows, the air gets clogged, the resource starts to run out and you're left with a large population. You go from optimism and huge growth to reality and flat, even negative growth. It's completely natural and predictable. It's going to happen to Google too, bet on it.

BTW, Microsoft's natural resource was people who don't have personal computers. And that's what they're running out of now. So they have to sell people their fifth and sixth PC. They will. And they will suck. Like everything else does. And Microsoft will be a mediocre huge company, again like every other huge company.

Sorry, Graham has no clue about the cycles of technology. You never should fear the incumbent, any more than you fear the IRS. Keep your distance, unless you're trying to be the next one, in which case good luck to you.

Emailing with Ole Eichorn about this (I think he used to work at Intuit) -- he wonders if MS has become irrelevant. I volunteer that of course they are irrelevant. It's been going on for a long time. My diatribe continues.

Geez, it's as if he (Graham) discovered something new!

I would say MS jumped the shark right around the time of "write once run anywhere."

They fought that. Oooops. Mistake.

They also tried to bury the web to protect Office.

Instead the web just routed around them.

Google took advantage. For a while.


PS: I could use some help with Apache htaccess files. ;->


Last update: Saturday, April 07, 2007 at 6:41 PM Pacific.

Dave Winer, 51, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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Scripting News

On This Day In: 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

April 2007
Mar   May

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

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