Scripting News: Scott Adams is right.
Scripting News: People need an online nest they own.
Tim Carmody: The last of the great Twitter apps.
Here's an example of an application of the idea of a personal nest.
Little Pork Chop allows you to create a paragraph-length tweet, which it breaks up into 140-character packets that Twitter can process.
I'd like to add a feature that creates an archive of your writing. So maybe someday you'd be able to review them all and see the progression of your thinking. Or possibly make them public, so they can appear in other places (such as your blog, or Facebook, or some new aggregator that might show up).
Where to store it? Today's Little Pork Chop is a free app. It costs me nothing to run it, and even if it grows huge, it still will cost very little. It's good advertising for me, keeps my work on people's minds. Totally worth the effort for me, and almost all the code runs on your machine. My server just acts as a conduit to shuttle your ideas to Twitter's cloud. But adding permanent storage to this app makes it much more complicated and problematic.
On the other hand, if you had an online nest, you could create a folder there, call it Short Ideas, say, and give my app access to it. Then when you post something, it would automatically deposit a copy, in a standard format, in that folder. Even if you stored it there for 100 years, the cost probably wouldn't add up to more than a penny. Today's servers are very good at storing small bits of text cheaply.
However, we don't have such a place. So if I wanted to implement the feature, I would have to store the backup for you, probably in Amazon S3. It would work fantastically today, but wouldn't be much of an archive because I'm just a person. How long would it last? Not very long because people don't last so long, or they lose interest, move on, etc. So it gets expensive to try out a small idea, so we don't try so many, and progress slows, or only progresses in directions that allow startups to make money by aggregating data about us, or selling access to to advertisers. Seems silly to trade all that for a simple archive of your paragraph-length ideas.
Update: I added this feature to Little Pork Chop. I'll do the hosting of the RSS feed in my space. I wish it were in the users' space.
I just got a link from United asking for my feedback on a recent flight. It so happens I have feedback. But first I had to answer questions I was unwilling to answer. So I decided just to post a note here. If they see it great, if not, no problem.
The idea is about their wifi service. I basically always want to use wifi. The process of signing up for it was unbelievably tedious, and when I finally did get through, the service was unusably slow. It was only $3. I watched a movie instead.
On the way back, I started the signup again, maybe the slowness on the wifi on the way out was a fluke. It wanted me to go through the whole signup process again. It hadn't remembered any of the data it made me enter, plus all the CAPTCHAs to make sure I'm really a person. That's ridiculous. I didn't bother.
Here's the idea. 1. Let me use my frequent flier number to sign up. Because it already has a credit card attached to it, I wouldn't have to enter that. 2. Let me use miles to pay for the service. Isn't that consistent with the way they think about perks like this? Then the low quality of the service might not feel so bad.
Like everyone who was alive in the summer of 1969 I remember where I was when Neil and Buzz got out of the LEM and walked on the surface of the moon. I was 14 years old, on a trip with my summer camp to the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI.
It was an amazing experience, in so many ways. I saw Muddy Waters, BB King, and Johnny Cash, and so many more (my memory is pretty weak) and then on the evening of the 20th someone put a small black and white TV on top of a VW microbus, and everyone left the show and gathered around, to watch, and even though we couldn't see much, we felt a part of something amazingly great.
Lots of new features: Little Card Editor v0.60.
The <source:outline> element is supported by v0.90 of River4.
Scripting News: Movies for me at 20.
Scripting News: I have more feeds than I can manage.
Scripting News: How good is my mind?
Scripting News: I like to RT.
Documenting a bug that thankfully I found fairly quickly.
Scripting News: Why age in software is bullshit.
Chris Dadswell how-to: Fargo Self-Hosted Publishing.
Scripting News: How blogs create competition for pros.
AOL and MSN both did it to me ten years ago when I wanted to cancel my accounts. I hadn't used either account in years. But I dreaded interacting with them so much that they got a bunch of extra money from me. It's part of their business model.
I had actually never used the MSN account. It was set up automatically for me when I bought a laptop at Best Buy. I only discovered it when I was cleaning up my credit card statement and wondered what the mysterious charge was.
It's great that people are tuning into this now. Let's clean this cesspool of shitty customer service up. Get the FTC involved. (BTW, to all the libertarians out there, this is what you get from a "free" market.)
A new feature in Happy Friends, the mailbox-style reader for Twitter users, helps you manage the flood of tweets.
Scripting News: What's coming in WordPress 4.0?
Scripting News: Did Amazon leverage their APIs in Zocalo?
New release: Happy Friends v0.46.
A new command in Happy Friends 0.47.
Happy Friends 0.48 has two important fixes for iPad users.
Twitter feed of anonymous Wikipedia edits made from IP addresses in the US Congress.
Little card: Is gender a good predictor of politics?
Christian Dadswell: Setting up a River of News.
For poets: About Twitter's rate limits.
thesaurus.land is a thesaurus in an outliner on the web.
The thesaurus came from a blog post I wrote in June. I quickly got a pointer to the Wordnik API, which was just what I was looking for. A week later I had a little slice of time to try it out, and it just worked. It's a clean and simple API that does just what I needed. thesaurus.land is a software snack, fun and useful if you love words, which I do.
Yesterday I wrote a piece that explained, among other things, that I see software as a performing art.
This led Jhay Em Calderon to ask "why develop in an environment where [one of the platform vendors] will eventually shut you down for going over an unknown line?"
The conversation was interesting, and ended with me saying I'm not worried about getting "shut down" by Zuck or Dick Costolo, because shipping software is only the visible part of what I'm doing. The important part is I'm (hopefully) getting a fan club together.
I'm like a dancing bear in a circus. Twitter and Facebook have great tents. So I'll use them as long as they'll have me, and hopefully the fans will like what they get, and remember that if I have to go to another tent, or create my own.
I think perhaps the tech industry may have matured to the point where they get that a guy like me isn't doing what their employees do. Analogously, the NBA employs a lot of people. They get paychecks year-in-year-out, while the players may only get a season or two in the league. There's more risk in what I do. And these days, the employees make more money. I think that's a bit out of balance, and that things will even out over time.
Other people have said that Twitter is not a good bet, just look at their stock. But I am looking at their stock and that's why I feel especially comfortable with Twitter. They need new ideas. The market knows this. I believe the management knows this about the market, and may even feel they need new ideas from outside their company.
PS: It's worth pointing out that today's new release, thesaurus.land, relies on neither Twitter or Facebook.
Update: Thanks to my friend Sarah Pressler for showing me that my outliner thesaurus wasn't just a toy.
She said: "OMG will use this all day long. Generally use thesuarus.com but it's so cluttered that I cringe every time." I realized how right she was. That's why I didn't use thesaurus.com. I had forgotten!
I also realized that with the cute name I gave it, it would never show up near the other thesauri on searches, so it would be much better to change the name now, at the beginning so it would be more visible and memorable.
So that's why the name just changed to thesaurus.land.
Scripting News: What's the point?
Little Card Editor 0.57 has a new Fonts menu.
Little Card Editor 0.56 makes it easy to break a tweet into lines.
Little Pork Chop 0.51 fixes one long-standing problem.
Fargo 1.63 improves the way RSS feed is rendered on Fargo sites.
Scripting News: Why the Facebook API works better for me.
Riding my bike the other day, crossing 9th Ave on 54th St. A NYPD van is blocking the bike path and much of the intersection. I have the light, so I go around the van, into the car lane. As I come around the van there's a pedestrian in my path. I swerve to avoid her, but it was close (to be clear, she was crossing against the light). A half block later, the cop van pulls up beside me (again, in the bike lane), the driver says I fucked up. I said I had the light. By the time I could say "and you were blocking the bike lane" they had pulled away. Grrr.
Had there been an accident, they would have been the cause of it. I don't see how I was at fault. I was crossing an intersection and I had a green light. What was I supposed to do? Stop in the middle of 9th Ave and wait for the cop to stop blocking the bike path? Heh. This is NYC not Minneapolis.
Little Card Editor 0.54 now works with Facebook.
This is why LCE on Facebook matters. It makes a beautiful statement, that people can attach their ideas to.
BTW, there's one little bennie from the way Facebook does their API. Since I don't have to run a server, Little Card Editor will scale indefinitely without me spending a dime.
Scripting News: Comparing APIs.
While I'm waiting for Facebook to approve the new version of Little Card Editor I thought I'd do a little diversion to solve what has been a thorny problem in Fargo that has prevented a lot of interesting things from happening.
Previously when I entered a glossary element or a macro in a bit of text on my blog, it would pass through RSS unevaluated. So if I included a nice piece of cheesecake at the end of a post, you would see the word cheesecake in quotes, not the cheesecake itself. Same with smileys. They would go unevaluated. Some thought it was a bug, but actually it was a thorny problem that I finally figured out the solution to. Sometimes you just have to live with something for a while, it has to become familiar, and then all of a sudden, blam it's done. You know how to do it.
A test version of Little Card Editor can now post to Facebook.
Philip Greenspun: Glastonbury Festival for Old People.
Excellent short post from Erik Wemple at the Washington Post, quoting myself and David Carr, explaining why, very concisely, what the NY Times called blogs, weren't. Carr's point puts it well: "To the extent that The New York Times does anything remarkable, it emerges from collaboration and shared enterprise."
Welcome to Little Card Editor!
On Facebook: I think we're moving toward a social network of puppets.
1/3 I just upgraded the Little Pork Chop server to the latest Twitter operating software for Node.js. This is a big crap shoot. Either it— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
My name is Melo. pic.twitter.com/M6mYqg9Gil— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
Melo feeling good about things. pic.twitter.com/LBXumBm0K5— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
I just crashed the server, but it wasn't Melo's fault. pic.twitter.com/ofDk1Ime6t— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
Let's see if I did it again! pic.twitter.com/8ntbuTqJD2— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
Let's see if I did it again! pic.twitter.com/Q22720fMoB— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
Ygritte didn't crash my server either. pic.twitter.com/rk0YFHGUqg— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
Ygritte says I should try again. pic.twitter.com/GrbKPQMX7f— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
"This time it will work," she said. pic.twitter.com/13MvuucRoU— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
I told you it would work. pic.twitter.com/ifagJNNJgh— Little Pork Chop (@Twittergram) July 2, 2014
Scripting News: Today's photo-tweets.
This is one of my favorite tweets.
Today's background image is a cowboy from the American west.
Another vexing problem for the Scripting News brain trust re the Twitter API routine update_with_media.
This is an example of a tweet-like post that some feed readers will mangle. Time to fix this bug, so your products can take part in the next evolution of the web.