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

What is an asshole? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named think.gifAn asshole is someone who says Obama is like Hitler because he wants everyone in the US to have health insurance.

These people are so stupid they need to be slapped in the face to wake them up. They need to have their mouths washed out with soap and be sent to bed without dinner. They need to be sent into hard labor and allowed to die of starvation.

Hitler gassed my people and incinerated them in ovens. Hitler came very close to wiping us out. Hitler was a monster. Hitler was the human race going insane on a mass level.

If you think Obama is Hitler you deserve to meet with others who agree with you, starving and freezing and dying in a cattle car, sitting in each others' excrement, on your way to a concentration camp and its ovens and gas chambers, along with your children.

You will not be allowed to bring your assault rifle.

How to fix URL-shorteners, part II Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Last Wednesday I wrote a piece that explained how to fix URL-shorteners. Today, with the help of Joe Moreno at Adjix, I implemented it. ;->

Here's how my new URL-shortener works.

1. Joe is running the shortener at It's the same one he's always been running, but it's got a few new features.

A picture named mao.gif2. In the prefs for Adjix, I told it that I wanted to use my own domain, I also told it to write copies of all my shortened URLs to a bucket at Amazon, which I had given his app permission to write to. By using my own domain, one which I control the DNS for, and retaining a copy of all the data, I am fully protected against his service going away. And I can decide at any time to take over hosting of my own short URLs by directing the domain to instead of

3. When I create a shortened URL, I do it by calling an API routine that works exactly as the APIs of the other shorteners. I give it the long URL, some identifying information so it knows to associate it with my Adjix account, and it returns a token, which I smash together with to form the shortened URL.

4. All this is done with a bookmarklet communicating with a web app on one of my servers. It then takes the title of the page I'm linking to and adds the full URL from step 3, and redirects me to, where I can edit the tweet before clicking on Update.

5. Then, every few minutes I call the Twitter API and ask if Dave has posted any new tweets. If so, I parse them, store the long and short versions of the URL in my database (by dereferencing the URL). Then I call a second API on Adjix to ask it to give me the counts for the most recent 50 links created by Dave. I then update the counts in my database, sort them, and prepare the familiar Top-40 report.

Bottom-line: I am now using URL-shorteners in a way that does not make the Internet suck. I have done my good deed for the day! ;->

Dear Disqus: Can I have the old interface back? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named bonehead.gifNear as I can tell there are no new features in the new interface. Things were just moved around and everything is way way slower. The UI was always bizarre, but I figured most of it out. Now you're telling me I have to learn it over again? Why? What's the benefit?

All I know now is that my bookmark to the dashboard broke, and to get to the unapproved messages or spam messages, the maintenence I have to do on a regular basis to keep my site working, I have to wait minutes for the page to load. I don't have any idea if there are any new features in this to justify the pain.

I would really like to go back to the way it worked this morning. You know, when it actually worked.

How to get Lessig to blog Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named lessig.jpgIt's sad that Lessig is "hibernating" his blog, but there's always hope. It's easy to say goodbye, but what's he going to do when he has something that has to be said right now. Wait two years to write and publish a book? I sure hope not!

In his supposedly last blog post (heh) Lessig points to his first post, which was a response to something I wrote in response to something he said. In 2001 and 2002. It's interesting to recount the exchange, because only seven years later things have changed a lot.

1. First Lessig tells a story of Hemingway and source code, an analogy that I feel is flawed. And I say so, very strongly, but hopefully not in a personal way.

2. Then in August 2002, I expanded it, and on re-reading it -- I said some things that were a bit too much. A difference of opinion between two learned people shouldn't involve throwing people out and "up yours."

3. This got Lessig to write his first blog post! So there is a silver lining.

Now the hindsight.

1. In 2002 I said in five years every member of the US House will have a weblog and will be communicating directly with the electorate. I'd say that's been realized now, only they're using Twitter and Facebook and blogs, and they have to communicate directly with the electorate because the news industry is crumbling.

2. The controversy betw Lessig and myself in 2001 and 2002 was over whether software developers should be required to release their source code to get copyright protection (at least that's how I interpreted it). I was vehement in saying no, that we were already putting our ideas out there and that putting the source code out there too would give us nothing to sell. I still believe the logic of that, but since then I gave up on commercial software and in 2004 I released my main work under the GPL. There was no parade, no new respect or even thanks from people outside the community that already used the software. Did it inspire any young would-be designers? Time will tell, but it's looking doubtful. Just saying it's harder to influence the future than it should be, or maybe not -- who knows.

3. I like to think that Lessig and I have now become friends. Just goes to show that when there's a spark between two people, it may express itself in a variety of ways. I admire Lessig, I've come to see him as an open-minded, generous person who really listens. All good things!

4. I don't believe for a second that he's given up blogging. ;->

Urgently need an Intel build of OPML Editor/Mac Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I thought about writing a more creative headline, but opted instead for a direct request for help.

1. Yesterday I pre-ordered a family pack of Snow Leopard. As I understand it, the new version of the Mac OS will run PPC apps only with special software loaded, the way earlier versions of the OS ran Mac Classic apps.

2. The OPML Editor for the Mac is a PPC app.

3. It is also an instance of the GPL'd Frontier kernel, which I understand has been converted to be an Intel app.

4. I can build the Windows version of the OPML Editor. However, I cannot build the Mac version. It's been a long time since I worked at the C level, last time I did was with THINK C on the Mac in the mid-90s. I've tried to build the Mac app on XCode, but I always hit a problem that I don't know how to work around, and honestly I don't want to struggle at this level. I'm going to stick to developing in the OPML environment. When I can do a kernel build on both Mac and Windows, I may look at working inside the C codebase.

5. I need someone to get a build of the Mac OPML Editor together asap and to do some basic testing to be sure it works with the current opml.root.

Resources: The Frontier Kernel project website. Source download of the OPML Editor from August 2008.

Thanks in advance!


Last update: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 7:41 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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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