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

Joe Hewitt on Bad Hair Day at 7PM Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Our special guest for the Bad Hair Day podcast at 7PM Pacific is Joe Hewitt the author of Facebook for the iPhone. What a great day to talk with Joe!

You can listen live on BlogTalkRadio.

I had lunch with him yesterday in Santa Cruz. I said that if Facebook wanted to compete with Twitter they needed a vastly simpler version of Facebook. Little did I know that 24 hours later I'd be looking at it.

If you have any questions for Joe, please post them as comments here, and Marshall and I will try to get to them.

You can listen to the show live on BlogTalkRadio, and of course it will be available as a podcast from the site.

Here we go! ;->

My one sentence review of the Facebook iPhone app Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I wish the desktop version of Facebook was this simple, fast and elegant.

Facebook iPhone screenshot

Update: Believe it or not I actually had lunch yesterday with Joe Hewitt, the developer of this app. I said that if Facebook wanted to compete with Twitter they needed a vastly simpler version of Facebook. Little did I know that 24 hours later I'd be looking at it.

Another screen shot shows why a simplified Facebook kicks Twitter's butt.

Health care in a nutshell Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mirror.gifHealth care is a lot like a fire department or police department. You never know when it's your house that's going to be on fire, that's why everyone pays equally for protection, and the person whose house burns gets the "benefit" if you can call having your house burn a benefit (or getting very sick).

The main difference is that very few houses burn, but eventually everyone needs life-saving or end-of-life care. Every responsible person must pay for care, and basically only the truly rich (multi-millionaires) can afford to self-insure.

If you assume that everyone has to pay for health insurance, then the question is how much do you want to pay. In the US, our current system costs 16% of GDP and we get less care, in some cases much less care than other rich countries that pay as little as 9% of their GDP.

So we're making poor choices here.

Obama's plan is less comprehensive than the German, Canadian, French or Japanese plans. In each of these other rich countries, health insurance is a non-profit business. That doesn't mean insurance companies don't make money, they do, but not from health insurance. Obama isn't promoting that (although it's not clear why).

And for 40 million Americans they might as well live in the third world, for them health care is based on their ability to pay out of pocket. As long as they just get colds, they survive. As soon as they need more care, they either go bankrupt or become disabled, or die. This is their country too, they get a vote in how our system works. You're related to some of these people (unless you have no family). They're the ones who should be standing in anger at the town halls. And they're not all poor, many of them are middle class or upper middle class, they just happen to not be profitable for the insurance industry. These are the people whose houses burn to the ground when they catch fire.

The people who would vote against universal health insurance are stupidly cocky, because they will all need health care some day and for many of them it will not be there. Sometimes they're people who don't smoke or aren't obese, who don't have any personal bad habits. People get sick for a lot of reasons that no one understands. Maybe just bad luck or bad genes. In the wrong place at the wrong time.

Bottom-line, we could spend a lot less money on health care and take care of everyone. Instead we're opting on the worst approach, we spend a lot more, and a huge portion of the populace isn't cared for and the rest of us are treated not as patients but as profit centers. If you happen to need health care, you can't get it. This is some kind of way to run a country? Yikes.

If you want to understand what our options are, I highly recommend listening to the FreshAir interview with T.R. Reid, who has just written a book on health care systems around the world.


Last update: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 8:39 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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