An off-list conversation with Ann Greenberg.

Ann: In reply to Restarting Kleiner, I mostly hated college, I found there was so much self congratulatory indulgence, brown-nosing and rigid hierarchy. Let's face it, the rich and powerful in any institution try to leverage the creativity and upward desires of the poor and weak. All the while calling it nurturance. But because of the strings, great art cannot be cultivated that way because it can never be self-critical.

Dave: Me too. But I loved grad school because I picked the right subject, and I went to a school that focused on doing, not writing or pontificating. Then, after a career as an entrepreneur I went back to university and was able to create a revolution using the resources of the campus and other faculty. So I have had very positive experiences, even though as an undergrad I was not part of the club, as you experienced.

12/17/13; 02:11:03 PM

There are ads all over Manhattan for Microsoft's tablets.

They have to position against the iPad because that's the first thing anyone thinks of when they think about a Microsoft tablet. How is it different from an iPad?

Microsoft's answer is that it's serious and for business.

Not very compelling, because I don't understand how a tablet could be for one or the other. Microsoft's tablets have less software than Apple's. In order for it to be more serious it would have to have software that Apple doesn't. I believe it's the other way around.

But there are applications that Apple's tablet should be doing well that it isn't. It's really shitty for watching TV. If you want to watch a live program on an iPad, like a sporting event, if you want to use the tablet as a second screen, you need to have a second tablet! Because switching to a different app puts the TV app to sleep. So you can't look something up on the web while watching a game.

Now I know it's technically possible for a tablet to allow you to access one app while another app continues to run. I used to be able to do this on netbooks. I was also able to access a file server, so I didn't have to have a copy of a video to be able to watch it. Hey even today there are plenty of things worth watching that aren't on Netflix. And Netflix works just like TV on an iPad. You have to switch in to watch it, so you need a second iPad to get a second screen.

Why doesn't Microsoft make their tablet really good at this, and position accordingly. Assuming Apple doesn't fix the problem too soon for that.

12/17/13; 12:05:19 PM

I've been transitioning all my content to static hosting on Amazon S3. It's the perfect way for me to store stuff for serving. Very low cost, and much more reliable and hassle-free than running my own servers, which I have been doing (and continue to) since the beginning of the web, 1994 or so.

I'd love to completely get out of the business of running servers, but that's not likely to ever happen. But the last thing I want to do is move content that's in S3 into a space where I have to run the server to keep it on the air. I refuse to do that!

So I want to figure out how to serve HTTPS on S3.

PS: I see that it is possible if I use Amazon's name as the host. Really, this is not an option for apps like Fargo. I need to maintain the branding. If you redirect to when you use Fargo, well that just doesn't work

12/17/13; 11:10:16 AM

Intro: Reporters should be working tirelessly to get an outcome like Watergate's. Both were about the government spying in the United States, but the latest scandal is much larger. I really don't see how the NSA survives this. We need massive government reformation. Yet the press is complicit. And this reporter wants to blame the generations that lived through Vietnam and Watergate for their complicity! What?

Dave Weigel has the most ridiculous theory about why 60 Minutes has turned into a PR mouthpiece for the NSA. It goes like this. People who remember where they were when JFK died use Viagra and watch 60 Minutes.

That's where he leaves it blank for us to fill in ourselves with various unspecified ageist theories. Presumably, I guess, people who are my age or older (I was 8 years old when the tragic event happened) are so scared of everything that we need to be reassured that the government is really okay and looking out for us after all.

Now Dave, sit on my knee while explain to you, s l o w l y, how this really works.

People a little older than me were drafted and sent to Vietnam. I missed the draft by a year. Many of them came back from the war with a very bad feeling about the American government. More than a few of the rest of us marched on Washington to try to end the lunacy. A few years later, President Nixon was caught wiretapping the Democratic National Headquarters in DC. You're probably too young to remember this too. Look it up. After an attempt to cover it up, making it much worse, he was the first and only US President to resign in disgrace. If you think that people who lived through all that have a lot of faith in the government, well you should go back to school because you got nothing from your expensive education.

PS: People much older than me are still making a contribution. So fuck your ageism.

12/17/13; 09:51:01 AM

Thanks to Steve Marx who is a developer advocate at Dropbox, we have a very nice and simple Hello World app for Dropbox.

As promised, I've packaged it up so people who come along later have it easier than I did.

  1. Before starting, think of a name for your app, and find a server with https where you can store an HTML file. I used the public folder of my Dropbox account, but I started my account a long time ago when you could access these files directly over the web. If you started your account more recently, you won't be able to use that feature.

  2. Visit the Dropbox app setup page. Click the big Create app button in the upper right corner. Screen shot.

  3. Click on the Dropbox API app option, Files and datastores, Yes, your app can be limited to its own, private folder, and enter the name of the app you decided on in step #0. Here's a screen shot with the options chosen correctly. When you're ready, take a deep breath and click the Create app button.

    • Make sure your app doesn't have the word Dropbox in its name, as illustrated in my screen shot. That doesn't fit their branding guidelines and they'll refuse to create it.
  4. Copy your App key, you'll need it later, and enter the OAuth redirect URIs. This part is a little tricky. You need to enter the exact address of the web page containing your app, which you haven't created yet. It must begin with https://, as indicated in the prompt. Here's a screen shot with the two parts highlighted.

    • Also click the Enable additional users button, if you anticipate that other people will use this app.
  5. Here's my Hello World app. Do a View-Source in your browser. Copy the text and paste it into an editor. Replace my app key with yours. Screen shot. Save. Do whatever you need to get it into your https server folder.

  6. Pray.

  7. Access your copy of the app over the web. With any luck you'll be redirected to the Dropbox site to have your app authorized. When you do so, the page reloads, and a dialog appears saying the file was written.

  8. Look in your Dropbox/apps folder. You should see a new sub-folder, with one file in it, hello.txt. That's it! When this works you can pat yourself on the back, because you've written a Dropbox app!

12/17/13; 09:28:15 AM

Last built: Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM

By Dave Winer, Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM.