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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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People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


May 2011

Apr   Jun


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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.

HBO GO (with Verizon) -- doesn't go Permalink.

I'm a legal HBO subscriber. I want to watch a program on HBO on my computer or iPad, so I went to the HBO GO website.

Clicked on Verizon to sign on. Entered my username and password. It says it's wrong. Over and over.

Used the same username and password to sign on to the Verizon site. Works fine.

That was 45 minutes ago. I've been on hold, after being transferred three times. I tried their virtual chat assistant but it couldn't understand that I don't have a voice line at home, and kept insisting that I enter that number. (I have a Verizon cell phone.)

That's where I'm at right now.

Still holding.

Thank you for your patience. You will be assisted momentarily. Please stay on the line.

Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold for the next available representative.

Thank you for waiting. Please continue to hold for the next available representative.

Your call is very important to us.

I gave up after an hour.

PS: I was of course calling on the Verizon phone and accessing the website on FIOS, both of which are part of the account that subscribes to HBO. That they somehow couldn't correlate this info and just give me access to the site, is fairly pathetic. And of course the show I want to watch is still sitting there on their website. Where I can't watch it.

PPS: I made a recording of the Verizon hold message.

Update: June 1 -- They got me an account that is valid for HBO GO. I'm in. :-)

Apache for Poets Permalink.

A picture named espresso.jpgOne of the 11 ideas for Hackathon projects that also would be good ideas for incubator entrepreneurs is an Apache with a user interface that a mortal could love.

I just wrote an email to a developer explaining the idea, and thought I should do that openly.

Most developers approach the problem from the wrong direction. They think: How can I make the power of Apache understandable to a regular human? If you try to do that you will confuse people and fail in your mission. Apache cannot be understood by a regular person. You have to love a special kind of torture to have the patience to learn how to configure Apache.

Instead, start from the other direction. Pretend you're a person who understands the web and how a computer fileystem works. Now go edit the httpd.conf file for Apache and make it so that it serves the content of a folder and nothing more, and does it without opening any security holes.

That's a what I think of as a "zero conf" web server. You don't have to do anything to set it up. Install the app, copy the files into the special folder and bing! -- you've got a web server.

Now start adding options, very carefully, always asking this question: Would a person who understands the web and file systems understand this feature. If not, sorry, it doesn't go in.

An example. Maybe I don't like your choice of the folder to serve from. Give me a command to have it serve from a different folder.

Another feature that's a no-brainer: associate a CNAME with a folder. As many as you like.

A picture named marquisDeTrieste.jpgRedirects? Can you explain that to your user? Can you do it in a way that it doesn't add complexity for the user who doesn't care about them? I'd say redirects are a borderline feature, for a version 1.0 at least. But I'd try -- because redirects are really useful. (And filesystems have the idea of an alias or shortcut, so it's not crazy-ass foreign to normal people.)

Have I ever seen such a product? Yes, in fact I have. The Mac, in the mid-90s, had MacHTTP. And we had an FTP server that worked this way. How did we lose our way? Unimportant. Now let's get back on track! :-)

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:31:15 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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