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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.


November 2011

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.

Warner cartoons of the 1930s Permalink.

I'm working my way through a collection of Warner Brothers cartoons, starting in 1930 and going through the 1990s.

I did this once, in an incomplete way, with the movies of the 1930s, and learned a huge amount about the evolution of an art form. I could compress into a few weeks what it took a creative industry a full decade to accomplish.

A picture named porky.gifThe 1930s, a decade of depression and the buildup to World War II, was a hugely creative period in the visual arts. And it wasn't just the technology that was growing, it took a decade to figure out what worked from a story-telling and humor point of view. What gags worked and didn't? Are there stars in cartoons (yes, of course). You can see the development of Porky Pig, the first real star. He was at first a child, then a full grown man with a daughter. He was a hero and even somewhat of a villain. They tried out everything, until settling on a young adult mostly straight man to the eventual superstar, Bugs.

I like to learn about the evolution of art in the 30s because it helps me understand better what's happing here in the teens of this century.

Here's Porky's Poultry Plant, 1936.

And I'm now in 1937, and from what they say on the Wikipedia page for Porky Pig, I'm about to see the star come into his full final form. Exciting!

The tech industry is update-happy Permalink.

I had a problem the other day that involved running a Java app. The problem was, apparently, that the developer, a large Taiwanese company that generally makes good products, had written the code a couple of years ago. It didn't run on any of my Macs.

Frustrated, I had an idea. I have a netbook that I haven't run in over a year, sitting in my closet. I imagined that they had tested the Java software on Windows, and since nothing had updated on the machine in a year, it might just work.

A picture named porkyPig.gifMy theory proved correct! It worked. I was able to run the configuration app and get on with the rest of my project.

But then I left the machine running, so the battery could charge, and hell broke loose. Every app on the machine, every little bit of system code wanted to update itself. Not only did it waste a ton of my time supervising all this updating, I could never be sure when it was finished. After updating a lot of stuff didn't run anymore.

Now the typical answer is this is good for the ecosystem, sweep out all the code that isn't being watched or maintained. And of course turn the poor user into a janitor for the tech industry and assume he or she understands all the questions that are being asked, and all the implications.

But in what way is breakage good for users? (It's not.)

In contrast, if I leave a car parked in front of my house, and go away for a while, when I come back, the radio still works. So does the heater, and the engine. I've had batteries go bad while cars sat idle. Once I froze an engine block in a Wisconsin winter. But none of this was done to the car, deliberately, by companies in the car industry. Generally when my car breaks it's because I did something to it. (There are exceptions of course.)

The tech industry is update-happy. The rationale that somehow breakage is not only acceptable, but good -- is nonsense.

newsriver.net for sale Permalink.

I have newsriver.org, and am keeping that and transferring it to hover.com and using Amazon as the DNS.

I also have newsriver.net, and I don't want to keep both. So if you're a person who loves rivers of news, I would like to sell the domain to you at a fair price. I would rather this one not end up as a porn site. :-)

Let me know and if there's any interest we'll figure out how to do this.

Howto for credit unions? Permalink.

Suppose I want to move my checking account from a major bank to a credit union.

Which one should I move it to?

The most important thing for me is that they have a good website for bill-paying. Some bills are paid automatically every month, and others are paid by me filling in the blanks in a form. It should be fast, reliable and easy.

I wouldn't mind earning a little interest.

I would like them to keep records indefinitely.

It would be great if they would export my data to a format that I could write a script to process. XML or JSON would be excellent. I doubt if any of them do this, though. Banks appear to be a couple of decades behind the leading edge.

I would like to be able to give money to any cause I feel like supporting, not just ones that the bank supports.

I tried looking up credit unions. It looks like I could join the one that's affiliated with NYU. But I don't think they actually run it. What do we know about the people who run credit unions? I have no clue which are the good ones. For all I know I could be moving my money from one evil institution to an even worse one. At least I know the one I use now manages to pay the bills I ask them to, with the caveat that they won't let me give money to causes they don't like (which is absolutely a deal-stopper, it should be illegal imho).

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:25:06 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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