Dave Winer, 56, is a software developer 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 and NYU, 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.
scriptingnews2mail at gmail dot com.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
On Friday I wrote a piece that suggested, perhaps, that the iPad 2 is a better device than the iPad 3.
The reasons: 1. Battery life. 2. Weight. 3. Heat.
I don't see that much difference in screen quality. Sure the new iPad has a nicer screen. But 1-2-3 above are pretty important too.
So I keep both around. Sometimes I have trouble telling which one is which.
Surefire way to tell: Turn on the pad, see how much battery is left. If it's 80 percent, it's the old one. The other one usually runs with about 20 percent.
Earlier this month I made an offer to news organizations, that I would work with one or two or all of them to revolutionize the way they offer news to their community. I have a very simple proposal, which I outlined in the piece. It would require guts. But it takes guts to live, and there's no security in any of it. No takers, so far, but John Robinson of the News-Record in Greensboro, NC called publicly on editors to do it. For which I am thankful.
I have a similar offer to universities. I thought I might outline it here, although I've written about the idea quite a few times.
Here's the proposal.
Let's start a program where we teach students to run their own servers. They set one up, install a few apps and administer them. Support users. If they want, add features, or even write their own server-side apps.
This is not an idle or simple idea, it's a revolutionary one.
We always get stuck in this loop in relationship to technology. We, users, get caught waiting for the guys in the air-conditioned palaces to give us the stuff we want. Eventually we get tired, and break out of the wonderful jails they create for us. Then we do this dance again. And again. We should also teach the students the history of tech, so they can, in their careers which will stretch deep into the 21st Century, to recognize this, and to circumvent it.
Taking the mystique out of running a server is step one. A server is just a laptop that is on all the time and has a persistent net connection. And a fixed address. You can get to it from where ever you are, from any device. Otherwise it's just a computer. That's the Aha! moment. From there, it's pure fun (for a certain kind of person, of course).
I think ultimately this should be a required course, but I doubt that will happen. Just as I believe every student should take a semester of accounting, so they know how to do their own taxes, and know how to vote on matters of tax policy. And I also think in the age of blogging, every student should take an introductory class in journalism, so they know how to ask questions, and to tell a story, and the importance of disclosure. With everyone writing publicly, it would be great if an education included some practice at doing this well.
Universities are right to move onto the Internet. But that's not just a matter of putting the faculty online, teaching TED-like classes, which no doubt are, and deseve to be, popular. It's also a matter of putting the future on the Internet, in meaningful and powerful ways. For that, the place to turn is the student body.
A quick note that I switched from Firefox to Chrome on my main desktop computer, and plan to make the switch everywhere over the next few weeks.
I decided to switch finally because Firefox is trying to get me to switch to version 12 from 3.6. I've been warned by them that there will be no more security updates for 3.6. And over the last few days I've been given warnings by the software that they will soon automatically move me into what I see as a tester's program.
I appreciate that Firefox existed when I needed to get off Windows. I didn't want to use the OS vendor's browser, Safarin, on the Mac. I learned that limited my options in getting off the Windows platform. Didn't want to repeat that mistake.
But I don't like a user interface that's a moving target.
If Firefox were just moving the browser to provide more features for web developers, I'd consider going with them. But they're actively changing the UI of the browser. And that's not something I'm willing to be forced into.
I wrote about this in June of last year.
So I switched to Chrome. Not sure it will be any better. I will, of course, let you know.