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About the author

A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He 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 New York City.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

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

"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.

"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.

10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.

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.

8/2/11: Who I Am.

Contact me

scriptingnews1mail at gmail dot com.




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November 2010

Oct   Dec


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FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

My Hacker News firehose Permalink.

A picture named elmersGlueAll.jpgI love Hacker News, and appreciate that they have a feed for the stories that make it to the front page. But I want more. I want to get a stream of stories, as they are submitted. For that I'd need a feed that they don't have.

I asked about this on Hacker News, of course, and found that a clever developer in Texas, Ronnie Roller, had cobbled together an API by scraping the HTML of the website. It was a simple matter to create a tool that coverts the data from JSON to RSS, which is what I did in a couple of hours last night.


That's the feed, but you'll note that it hasn't updated since early this morning. Apparently that's because Hacker News has blocked his API.

That doesn't seem consistent with the philosophy of the site. We're just playing with data and apps to see if there's something there worth developing. That's the only reason we like having the API, and Ronnie is running it entirely on his own dime.

So this is an appeal to whoever decides these things. Let us do this work. Or even better, provide us with an offical sanctioned API that connects directly to the database behind the HTML.

Unbundle our archaic cable TV system Permalink.

A picture named remote.gifFirst, I don't think we should call products like the iPhone and Droid "phones." Their phone functionality is fading quick. This probably would be happening even if the cell networks could keep up with the growth, but these devices don't really work as phones. I can call my mother on her land line, but a talk with Scoble, cell-to-cell is impossible. For the most part I, and many others, have given up. The devices we carry in our pockets are computers, not phones.

I'm coming to a similar realization about cable TV.

I hate the distribution technology, but I want (some of) the programming. I really want them to unbundle and let me buy only the services I want, and get the programming over TCP/IP, not through the settop box.

I just moved into a new apartment, and for the first time since I shut off Comcast in 2008, I have cable. Before that, I had EyeTV devices on my office and living room Macs, so I could watch digital programming, as long as it was broadcast over the air.

So here's my setup. I have a Mac Mini behind a 46-inch Sony display. I also have a new Apple TV, but I haven't used it yet. Too busy. I have a Motorola settop box, and a new Slingbox HD. I tried an EyeTV HD, but couldn't get it to work for more than 5 minutes. I returned it and got the Slingbox. But it sucks too.

I don't want to watch cable programming through the settop box.

I don't like the user interface, or the remote. I have become very accustomed to using the Mac desktop to navigate through EntertainmentLand. I want my cable programming to show up that way too.

Why should I pay Verizon a fee for being a middleman here? And why should I pay for all the services I don't use. Like anything but CNN, HBO, Showtime and whatever stations I need to watch the playoffs in baseball, basketball and football. Why should the channels I want share revenue with the ones I don't want, and with Verizon? Makes no sense.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:37:43 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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