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

The lame duck ducks, redux Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday I posted a video of US President George Bush having a pair of shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist while yelling insults at him. Bush did what you'd hope he'd do, he ducked -- then came back up unbelievably with a half-grin on his face, just before ducking again as the guy threw his other shoe.

Bush ducking shoes thrown by Iraqi journalist in Baghdad.

I also posted a number of questions on Twitter that I should have posted here, which would have made more clear my concern.

1. Will Secret Service make reporters remove shoes?

2. Bush is POTUS. Such disrespect of US is bad

3. Will they throw shoes at Obama? Will we think that's funny?

4. What if it escalates? Where is the line where it stops being entertainment?

Now Twitter is the opposite of verbose. In a blog post I can fully explain, which I will now do...

First and foremost until January 20, Bush is more than Bush, he is the President of the United States. When you throw shoes at this guy, until then, you're also throwing them at the office, and at the country. If you're an American and your pride in your country isn't offended by this, then well, you're different than me. I think Bush is the worst President we've ever had. But until he's out of office, he is our President. I hope we make it to January 20 without paying more dearly for our terrible choice.

Second, I found, from watching the video, over and over, that while I saw the humor in it, and I laughed out loud, that I can't help sympathizing with the guy who's being attacked. I admire his spirit. He didn't get angry, he sort of acted like a goalie, and fielded the shots. But as funny as it is, it is sad for us.

The day-after reaction in the Arab world confirms this. They can get away with throwing shoes at the President. What's next? Shit? What if one of those shoes had injured the man? Do we want discourse to go this way? And then what if someone throws shoes at Obama. Can you imagine there wouldn't be a response from the US? There better be or else the next symbol to go could be something bigger -- but wait a minute -- there is no symbol bigger than our President.

If you're not an American, imagine your leader visiting our country and being physically attacked this way by an American. Yes I fully understand that the Iraqis have legitimate issues with America and with Bush, but a visiting leader of a foreign country is entitled to some respect and protection. Otherwise how can we have relations? It's the same principle that provides immunity for diplomats.

This is no good. Sorry if you don't understand, when people say the shoes were being thrown at the man and not the office and not the country, I can't agree. Until the 20th of January, there's no difference between the three.

Twitter federates with Google? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named ronaldMcDonald.jpgNot sure what to make of the announcement that Twitter is becoming part of Google's federation. That could be the wrong way to describe it. Here's what I do know. You'll be able to use your Twitter ID to sign on to any site that supports Google's API and the relationships between you and your followers and the people you follow will somehow be reflected in the Google "social graph." It'll be interesting to see how this works because "follow" isn't mutual, if I follow you it doesn't mean that you follow me, where friendship in social networks is two-way.

Also unsure of how safe this is for Twitter. Once they've let Google have a shot at their users this way, how far a reach is it for Google to provide a Twitter-like service to all of Twitter's users and all of their users? Maybe this isn't interesting for some reason?

Update #1: Twitter is also connecting with Facebook.

Update #2: And leaves MySpace wondering WTF.

Netflix is dix Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named hope.jpgMy credit card account got hacked, leaving me in a sticky wicket when I got to NY. I was able to convince the credit card company to let me check in, just, and then when I got to the room they cancelled the card. As a result various services will try to bill that card and will fail (I've been through this before). Most of them come at the end of the month, but Netflix tried to bill the account the day after it was cancelled, and I was still in NY and hadn't received the new card yet. But they put my "account on hold" anyway -- which means if I thought of a movie to add to my queue in the meantime, tough noogies, no payee no queuee. No grace period, even though I've been a subscriber in good standing since 2001 or so. Assholes.

The stupid thing about it is I'm on the verge of shutting down Netflix anyway. I've exhausted my imagination of old movies to have them send me. I usually don't even watch the ones I order, I just send them right back, and it makes me feel guilty that I'm contributing to global warming. But Markman just posted a long list of great 1930s films, and I wanted to check them out in Netflix, but nooooooooo... I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

I've always said Netflix should be about the intersection between movies and the Internet, and they should own that space, and never under any circumstances close the site to an avid film user, esp one who has been paying $20 per month steadily year after year. What a bunch of losers!!

Singin in the Rain, day 2 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I didn't know so many 20s and 30s film enthusiasts were tuned in to Scripting News. I am one myself, the 30s were probably the biggest growth decade for film, at the dawn of the decade sound was just coming out (I was wrong yesterday, The Jazz Singer was of course the first picture with sound, 1927).

A commenter posted a pointer to a Chris Pirillo piece that explains in great detail how to download an MP4 of a YouTube video. The Cliff Notes version: Right-click on this link, choose Bookmark This Link. Then when you're on a YouTube page whose video you want, just choose the Bookmark menu item, and save it to your local hard drive.

I tried it with Singin in the Rain, and it worked, and now I have a copy in my archive on Amazon S3, so it's less likely to disappear in the future.

Re yesterday's piece, I'm still wanting to create a list of all the people in the song, in order. I only know who a few of them are.


Last update: Monday, December 15, 2008 at 3:03 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, 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.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

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

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"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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