News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus picture Mail Starting 2/25/97

From: Shipley@aol.com;
Sent at 2/26/97; 2:03:03 PM;

I'm catching up on my reading post-Demo and ready your Rants from 2/19 regarding Mocha. You might be interested to know that Sun addressed this question at the Java World Tour in San Francisco last week. A decompiler is part of the JDK, they said, because (and I quote reasonably accurately) "if we didn't do it some one else would have."

The contention is that the Java development community can learn a lot from examining one another's code. That a copyright is still a copyright. That by the time one developer has decompiled another's code, the original developer is steps ahead on new innovation. In short: the decompiler is a learning tool.

From: josh_miller@earthlink.net (Josh Miller);
Sent at 2/26/97; 9:35:22 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

This second part already happens, Dave. Network Backups. Many medium-to-large corporate networks have a centralized backup system. The one we use does have provisions for "private folders" that are ignored by the backup server, but we don't use this feature. Our policy is much like the Army's policy toward gays: We won't go looking through your private files for fun, but if we happen to see one in the course of day-to-day network administration, so be it.

I guess the bottom line is this: If you're worried about your boss seeing certain files on your computer then they probably shouldn't be there.

From: jkurz@record-journal.com (Jeffery Kurz);
Sent at 2/26/97; 11:03:11 AM;
Re:This Web is Free

Dave: You are right on target about newspapers and the web. I just returned from the interactive newspapers conference in Houston and I can tell you there is a lot of worry over just tossing printed content onto the web. Newspapers know they've got to do more. Frontier, by the way, is an astonishingly powerful tool for helping newspapers in that regard. Yet, as far as I can tell, I'm one of very few newspaper Web guys on your mailing lists. There's opportunity there for you. Jeff Kurz Record-Journal

ps- bring your classifieds thing to Windows soon, please pss- just one 'e' in judgment (unless you're British)

From: cas@interlog.com (Colin Sampaleanu);
Sent at 2/26/97; 9:50:47 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

If you want a twist from standard "push", you may want to check out a new product, HeadLiner, at http://www.headliner.com/. It's made by the company I work for, LanaCom.

For want of a better category, some people have been lumping HeadLiner together with all the push products, but I really think it's different.

HeadLiner has agents that basically go out to sites with some sort of content posted in repeatable form and brings back headlines and summaries. You see these in a ticker bar or headline manager. When you click on a headline or summary, you actually go the the proper web page.

The difference from normal push is that you have a lot more choice. Right now there are four or five hundred sites that it can handle, with a few dozen being added every day, but the cool thing is that we're releasing a version soon that allows you to add your own sites. This means that if you want to keep on top of a site with an audience of 2, you can do it. This is the kind of content PointCast will never have.

HeadLiner is only a Windows product right now, but a Java version is in development for other other platforms.

Colin Sampaleanu

From: dsherman@cyberhighway.net (Dave Sherman);
Sent at 2/26/97; 6:50:15 AM;
Re:This Web is Free

> PS: A quiz. Which is more interesting, www.macweek.com or
> www.macintouch.com? Think it's a fluke? Think again.

You hit the nail on the head. As time marches on, I find that I usually go to MacWeek only if Macintouch tells me that something newsworthy is reported there.

Another thought: I have a wholly adequate system (28.8 modem, 604/120, 48 MB RAM) for web browsing, but I like the fast-loading, text-predominant layout of Macintouch much better than the artful, iconified design of MacWeek. Go figure.

From: cs@apple.com (Larry Tesler);
Sent at 2/25/97; 9:27:46 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

> One-way is not the way of the Internet. When one-way is promoted as the
> next wave, I see diversity being limited and control of expression
> being invited in. I see it as something other than the Internet. The
> One-Way Net? Sounds like TV! Ohhh.

"Push" is not one-way. As with any HTML page, you can receive a form or other interactive page, fill it out and otherwise interact with it, and submit a reply. OK, maybe that's "one-and-a-half-way", but when a pager lets you say "OK" to the sender, they call that "two-way paging".

More to the point, you could subscribe to a dialog channel that scrolls a newsgroup-like discussion in a pane and lets you participate: peer-to-peer, no media conglomerate behind the curtain.

Or you could subscribe to your favorite "What's New" or "What's Hot" channel, and become aware of links either chosen by an editor you have found to have similar interests to yours, or by a robot that has watched your browsing habits, stored the information _on your own local secure disk_ and used that to create a private and personalized filter.

Not at all like TV. For one thing, we can have multiple sessions at once, some pushed, some pulled.

> I'll keep the web. I'll keep my choices.

It's not either/or. You can go anywhere any time, the usual way.

> Hey, if you have a fulltime net connection, and are willing to open
> your hard disk to being pushed from strangers you're more trusting
> than I am.
> Installing a new piece of software is an act of faith, sometimes
> undeserved. The other day I installed something. It installed an old
> thing in my System Folder without asking me. The new software worked.
> But now some other stuff that I depend on... doesn't.

That is why Marimba places emphasis on Java, which has security goals, and why BackWeb downloads new versions of software but leaves it to you to install.

> What if they could do this without even telling me they're doing it?

Any system that does not let the user control what can happen will not become popular.

> The art of upgrading is still evolving and chaotic and in many ways,
> demeaning. So what if there are new pipes that can carry frequent
> upgrades? What silver bullet do the push proponents possess to keep
> things from breaking?

That's a somewhat orthogonal issue, but push does help. If you want A, but to make A work you also need B, these systems can know to push B as well.

> When real system managers with jobs to protect get their hands on push
> they're going to demand even more security, more isolation, even
> less diversity.
> Who's going to assume the liability for the broken systems? How does
> Corel and Lotus and McAfee know what other software is running on the
> systems they're installing software on? And do they have the time or
> motivation to do the testing required to be sure that their pushed
> upgrade really works?

These are the interesting problems as far as I am concerned. I think they are solvable and will be solved.

> With a push agent implanted on your machine, the network manager has
> the power to copy information onto your system. That's somewhat
> innocuous. But they also can copy information from your hard disk and
> put it anywhere. Anywhere. They *can* touch this! Uh oh.
> You may want to keep things on your hard disk that you don't want your
> employer or co-workers to see. You have to trust them, it's part of
> your job. Inside the firewall there's no right to free speech and a
> very limited idea of privacy. You have to trust them... But do you?

Users will resist agents that blatantly copy stuff from their hard disks behind their backs. But come to think of it, I let my system manager backup my disk nightly over the network. Retrospect lets me name a folder with a bullet to suppress it from being backed up, but I usually don't bother. Yes, I guess I do have a level of trust--or naivete.

> Push is not pretty. I think it aims to flatten the net. To give the power
> back to the old way. I think Bookmarks are cool. I like websites. I like
> free-will and random behavior. Call me a Luddite if you want.

You can have both. In your hotel, you can make your telephone wake you up at 6:00AM and recite a robotic message. But you can still place calls, and that's what you do most. And you can receive calls others place to you.

> But we'll try it anyway, with some harmless stuff and see what
> happens. I'll do a channel and see if the corporate wieners are
> willing to listen to another point of view.

That's the point. Anyone can do a channel, just as anyone can do a web-site.

> PS: I went back to Netscape 3.0. The new 18MB thing, 4.0b2, started
> crashing. Spectacularly! Ohhh. Just like old times. I decided I
> can't touch this right now.

If you want a reliable browser, try Cyberdog 2.0 alpha. :-)


From: jrsumser@interbiznet.com (John Sumser (IBN));
Sent at 2/25/97; 9:49:17 PM;
Re:This Web is Free

The thing I like most about DaveNet is that every once in a while it reminds me about what I'm doing. You are absolutely right about the window of opportunity open in the classifieds business. I look at the arena all day, every day.

It's tempting to get dazzled by the big budgets and flashy stuff put out by the old media. Some of it is actually quite good. But, functionality and microniche distribution *rule*...that's the web. Thanks for reminding me today.

Remeber Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom and "billions and billions of websites"? Back then, today's hypercharged fast paced web was a hard to imagine vision. The vision pales in comparison to the reality that grew out of it.

At the root of community are conversation (as everyone has focused) and commerce. Billions of classified advertising sites will let like minded people trade with like minded people. Commerce isn't a bad thing, we all trade. In the "old" days, classified advertising sections were flea markets for the region. Your experiment forecasts the possibility that each community can have its own integrated trading floor.

Best of luck with the project. Tonight, I had a chance to look back at the first full website I put together using AutoWeb more than 2 years ago. Although it isn't recognized in any of the formal "histories", I'm certain that AutoWeb was an acceleration point for the Web's takeoff.

I'm as certain that your new classified ads server will have the same impact.

Nice piece today. Nice reminder. Great new experiment.

From: rlai@best.com (rlai);
Sent at 2/25/97; 8:09:19 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

I was wondering when you were going to come to your senses about Push. You brought up very good points about "legitimate" people messing with my system... another thing that these systems would do is open it up for unauthorized people to push things onto my machine, through spoofing, etc.

Also, I don't really think of PointCase as being "Push", though they claim it is. Pointcast is really just another client, but it's one that can be set to retrieve data on a regular basis. I like this model. I like being able to set my machine so that it DOESN'T get the latest news. I don't like having the latest news thrust upon me.

From: joelm@eskimo.com (Joel McNamara);
Sent at 2/25/97; 7:26:51 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Good comments on "push" Dave.

Captured many of my sentiments exactly. I see the Web as this marvelous interactive environment. A galaxy of choices and discovery. I see push technology pushing a television set metaphor onto a vibrant and living thing. Anaesthetizing users with a totally passive media.

It's funny, I'm a security and privacy consultant, and definitely see the associated technical issues and concerns associated with push.

But the thing that concerns me the most is turning the Net into TV wasteland.

My prediction is it won't happen. While commercialism slowly takes root, the Net is still driven by creative people who don't spend their time plopped on some overstuffed sofa, flipping through network pabulum, only pausing ever so often on PBS.

The efforts to "channelize" the Net seem extremely misguided, both in terms of push as well as the much hyped digital convergence. I would love to see a DataQuest or Forrester research report that did an indepth comparison of active Web users versus TV watchers. A few studies have suggested decreased television viewing by online users, so why this maniacal push to a television metaphor. Perhaps visions of advertising revenues. Perhaps a lack of understanding of the Net and its associated culture.

WebTV and hybrid computer/entertainment centers make just as much sense. You're trying to force a highly interactive media on a target market that's used to total passiveness. Additionally, you're fighting a cultural and architectural battle. Think about the typical American family room or office. Is it really conducive to such hardware?

Anyway, your words struck a chord, and I thought I'd reply...

From: DDimick@aol.com;
Sent at 2/25/97; 5:57:04 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Great stuff on those corporate push-technology folks reaching out and touching us in ways they want (and ways they don't want us to know about.) Just like browser cookies, but only worse.

As to the Luddite thing, I doubt you are one, but what a concept. If only citizens were taught to be critical of what they're being spoon-fed by mass media and advertisers: uncontrolled material consumerism, blind faith in technology, Wintel inside as the only real way, etc. If we were more aware, we would also see the absolute need for "free-will and random behavior." (To stay sane and tolerant, if nothing else.)

That original Jan. 24, 1984 Apple Macintosh Superbowl TV ad is more relevant today than 13 years ago. We are becoming only more a nation of twitching technological drones, silently sitting in that dark cavern of a Plato's Cave hugging keyboards and willingly being programmed by whatever Big Brothers Bill, Andy and acolytes proclaim is "The Way." (Do not try to resist, you will be assimilated....You want wilderness, hug our virtual tree on your new monitor.....)

Cliff Stoll was described a Luddite in the new WIRED Book of Grammar and Style. All because he continues to ask that we be aware of and question the impact of technology--what blind acceptance can mean in our lives and relationships. Nothing wrong with that!

As you allude, a worrisome aspect about pervasive technology-driven "solutions" is that we are told it is GOOD for us. It will FREE us from drudgery of labor. It will make life EASIER and give us extra TIME. (We can just ask the 30-40,000 former AT&T employees and thousands of other "outplaced" workers how technology has freed them from drudgery of labor.)

A climate of patronizing, amused intolerance responds to those who express concern, even gently, about effects on the human condition of a totally wired, networked, electronic future world. One can only hope the revolution will not be televised, or web-pushed, just for the sake of alternative and mystery. Kids give good hugs. RGB monitors do not embrace well. We forget.

From: cnewmark@cnewmark.com (Craig Newmark);
Sent at 2/25/97; 4:52:30 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Hi, Dave. I don't know if I've mentioned, but I'm now helping edit and write for a zine www.channelsite.com, focused on push technologies.

Your latest posting raises a bunch of good issues, but the problem is not normally whatcha think. The right security model, ala Marimba, doesn't have the intrusive abilities you're worried about. I haven't yet done the research on alternatives.

In addition, I'm going to suggest adherence to the e-Trust program, sponsored by the EFF and CommerceNet. It's in an early stage, but would address some of these issues. For example, they seem to do things like audit technologies to make sure they adhere to privacy principles.

To reiterate: I'm in complete agreement with your concerns, I just think they're already being solved.

(And thanks for the kind words regarding craigs-list.)

From: wesf@mail.utexas.edu (Wesley Felter);
Sent at 2/25/97; 5:30:38 PM;
Bandwidth and Latency

This TidBITS article was great; I couldn't have picked anyone better than Stuart Cheshire to write it. It's too bad that the article doesn't give any background on him. How does he know so much about latency? He's the author of Bolo, a networked multiplayer game. Recently, he's been doing wireless networking stuff; latency is wierd in wireless because it changes all the time. And the idea about optimizing PPP is interesting; I proposed the same thing to John Carmack (the mastermind behind Quake) just a few weeks ago.

I hope the next article in the series gets into the bandwidth * delay product and why LFNs need larger buffer sizes. (how does OT handle this?) And as for how software copes with latency, RealAudio (err, RealMedia) and QuakeWorld have a similar scheme: they introduce a certain, fixed amount of latency that hides the variability in the Internet's latency. For RealMedia it's about 10 seconds while QuakeWorld uses between 250-400 ms. There's more lag, but it's a fixed amount of lag so there's no jerkiness. Still no good for videoconferencing.

Makes me even more glad that I'm on ISDN...

From: cjsparno@pobox.com (Chris Sparno);
Sent at 2/25/97; 3:15:51 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Super piece on push. Especially the part about companies owning the hardware and having ultimate control. Thank goodness for Zip cartridges :)

From: sbove@ravenswood.com (Stephen Bove);
Sent at 2/25/97; 2:47:54 PM;
Re:This Web is Free

Hi Dave. I think Frontier NewsPage has great potential as a product for "personalities" who want a "webchannel" of their own. Much as you have created DaveNet, there are literally thousands of personalities in every conceivable profession and cause who could publish their thoughts direct and create the kind of community that you have created.

For example, in the environmental and human rights communities, I can image guys like Dave Foreman (founder of Earth First) or David Brower (ex Sierra Club president) etc. etc. using your technology to "narrowcast on an intimate level.

How can you independently, or through a partnership with a hosting service or even (god forbid) Apple, enable "personalities" to use your technology to set up channels effortlessly.? - sb

PS: the economics of advertising sponsored sites are "interesting", but ad sponsorship always must be sold. It is in the area of having a sales force that most small sites can't compete. There are, however, a number of interesting efforts underway to help advertising agencies find "narrowcasting opportunities". These efforts may potentially offer a boon to small, unique sites everywhere.

From: dwiner@well.com (Dave Winer);
Sent at ;
Re:"Free Web"


You *have* figured out how to get your opinions on the web with no effort.

Just send me email!

Happy to share what I have, and thanks for the bright eyes!


From: amy@home.cynet.net (Amy Wohl);
Sent at 2/25/97; 5:32:30 PM;
Free Web

How prescient of you to know what I was talking about this very afternoon. The Gartner folks were visiting and we were talking about the success they've had so far with their @vantage web site which is essentially their stuff with a web front end. Many of us newsletter folk let them talk us into putting our stuff up there too since their audience is mainly corporates whom we don't much sell to.

You've got this all wrong, I said. The web isn't about publishing what you used to print. It's about figuring out how to exploit what the web does well and doing that. I suspect it's about a different style of interface, a different kind of interaction and -- as you remarked -- a different pace, where people want to talk about things in real time.

I haven't quite figured out what to do about that since even though I think in real time I'm' not always able to put my thoughts onto my web site. But I'm working on it.

Voice interfaces will help. So will understanding that the information may not be the revenue stream (but we're still working out what is?) Maybe the right to republish it?

It's amazing to be reborn -- it sure does keep you young!

From: ptw@pobox.com (P. T. Withington);
Sent at 2/25/97; 5:10:47 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Seems to me you should have been listening to Herbie Mann's "Push Push" when you wrote this ;-).

From: markman@batnet.com (Markman);
Sent at 2/25/97; 12:25:49 PM;
Re:"Can't Touch This!--One of your best"


It's good to see you pushing back at push.

The issue, as always, is bandwidth. If not in the pipes, then in the mind. There's two (roughly) categories of what you might push: content and executable code. You did a thorough job at warning about the gotchas in pushing executables. On the content sid e, well... I'm always going to have a longer list of bookmarks than subscriptions.

You can't push everything. I don't have the personal bandwidth for it. (I've been taking some InBox Direct stuff. Guess what? I can't look at it all.)

My reason for de-installing PointCast? It had bad manners. It was always borrowing my Mac resources without asking, just when I was working up a good flow of writing. GRRRR.


From: anonymous;
Sent at 2/25/97; 6:54:26 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Some years ago a few of my guys did a system for a student lab. At 3 am all the macs had a clean and appropriate (to their configuration) system copied to them. By 3:30 am or thereabouts, all the systems were truly "like new". Lowest support costs of any London University lab.

Then again, in comparison to that situation, I think I prefer my system "dirty" :-)

As for IT departments "pushing" a prescribed set of s/w ("and with NT we can lock it" - yeah right) the concept is OK. But Soooooo often it seems its the IT people who read no further than the s/w vendor's literature (and when did you read "may crash and corrupt your disc" in that ?). The _last_ people most seem to speak to are the poor bloody users ("but HOW do we get our WordPerfect files into Word, or our 123 files into Excel ?" - "Not my problem Maam"). Its totally amazing, and here's a real example from my wife's company:

- Her salesforce have to carry 2 portable PCs cos the IT department won't support their legacy data (or convert it)

- She has refused the upgrade to the new desktop machines (NT4) on account of it won't support the client side of some of their existing essential stuff (we didn't know that)

- Email sometimes mysteriously takes 3 days to reach her from the Internet.

- They have no web access.

The list goes on. These people couldn't run a party in a brewry (or even a mirco party in a micro brewry).

This is a multi billion dollar global company. She is about to refuse to sanction her contribution to the IT budget on account of the service(s) are not of merchantable quality.

Soooooo, unless I am running a computer lab, I think I'll just "pass" on push. (and keep things working).

From: marc@canter.com (Marc Canter);
Sent at 2/25/97; 9:44:40 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Castanet ain't just one-way.

As I understand it - Castanet and it's tuner components do not necessarily assume that they'll be used just for a push application.

The idea of channels - of multi-tasking events going on simultaneaously - is really key for the future.

I would have preferred it built into Java - but the point is that just because everyone is using Marimba technology for push - doesn't make the technology limited.

It's the positioning of the technolgy to the press - who don't know any better - that Marimba is apparently focusing on - and right on! Castanet will become trojan horse that will enable lots of cool things - moving forward.

In the mean time - if Pointcast and the other stock quote services convert over to using Castanet, then we'll at least be able to send them back a message, perhaps even embedding a tiny little animating Dave agent - waving a blue ribbon!

If security and background updating scare you - then don't be opening any letters from Chritian militia - or try and start a new business in this industry that ISN'T about the Internet. Now that's scarey!

From: wesf@mail.utexas.edu (Wesley Felter);
Sent at 2/25/97; 6:08:21 PM;

I've been keeping up with the push stuff, but so far I haven't seen much that was interesting. Proprietary formats like Pointcast don't seem like a good idea. I don't think push media has to take over your screen like some companies want it to. These solutions are so complex; why not start with what works and figure out the most efficient way to deilver it? That's what push is to me; just a more efficient way to deliver Web information.

Netscape's Constellation looks like the right idea. I'd be happy if I could choose certain Web pages and be notified whenever they change. Just a little window in the corner of the screen. Maybe preload them into the cache, so when I click on the name of a page, it loads instantly. That way almost anyone could push. Push isn't a new kind of information, just a new delivery method.

I'm a geek and a programmer. In programming, there are two ways to know when something has changed: polling and callbacks. Polling is just checking something every so often to see if it has changed. Poll too infrequently and it takes too long to find out about something. Poll too often and the computer (and the network!) grind to a halt. I hear the Finder is so slow because it's always polling the disk drive to see if there's a new disk. How often do I check for a new version of a Web page? It's a difficult problem.

Then there's the Right Way, which is to be notified when something changes. This requires a new protocol, new software. But it doesn't have to be fancy and expensive. An efficient, low-tech notification protocol for Web pages would be immeasurably useful. No wasted bandwidth or processing power. If Marimba or Netscape could provide me that I'd be behind it.

From: louis@wired.com (Louis Rossetto);
Sent at 2/25/97; 9:59:37 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Here's the litany -- push will not replace the Web any more than television replaced radio, etc. What it will do is redefine the Web, liberating it to be what it's truly good at. The Web is good for a lot of things, but is it truly good as _media?_ If push is better as media it will thrive. If it isn't, we will continue to look for how to make interactive media work.

Television is what it is primarily because it's a regulated oligopoly, not because it's push -- and it isn't even push, since there is no interactive component to it.

Finally, I think we need to get past the idea that television is unremittingly bad. There's a hell of a lot of good stuff being produced for television. Indeed, the ratio of quality-to-shit on television is probably no worse than any other media form, be that radio, magazines, movies, the stage -- and especially the Web.

From: knash@cw.com;
Sent at 2/25/97; 11:37:53 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

>>But it's being touted in the press now as a replacement for the web.

I don't think that's the case, at least not from what I've seen. But I do whole-heartedly agree with you that the majority of stories about push technology so far have been perhaps unduly positive.

Disclaimer: Computerworld (where I work) just ran a big piece about push that tried to get at some of these issues.

My personal opinion is that many concerns remain unaddressed. You mentioned scary software distribution issues. There are also the purely practical issues information systems managers face in maintaining push applications and optimizing internal networks to send and receive information in this way, to name just a couple.

> the web to continue, as diverse and interesting as it can possibly be. TV
> is anything but diverse. I've heard some awful shit in the backrooms and
> hallways. One VC said to me "Isn't it true that there are just going to be
> four websites?" Oh man! Hey, some big money is betting that way.

This *is* a frightening prospect and points up an apparent fundamental misunderstanding of push technology among the money people. Push could very well water-down the Web and perform a TV-style lobotomy on the Internet. But that's a worst case scenario -- although one that we should all be careful to guard against, in part by talking about these issues.

Kim Nash
Senior Editor

From: dwiner@well.com (Dave Winer);
Sent at ;
Re:Can't Touch This!


I'm presenting an alternative viewpoint, alternative to my own pieces even, going back as far as early 1996, which generally were positive about Pointcast and the idea of push.

But it's being touted in the press now as a replacement for the web. I want the web to continue, as diverse and interesting as it can possibly be. TV is anything but diverse. I've heard some awful shit in the backrooms and hallways. One VC said to me "Isn 't it true that there are just going to be four websites?" Oh man! Hey, some big money is betting that way.

I don't like the way everyone's singing the same song on this one. I see problems. And, surprisingly, no one has commented yet on the software distribution aspects of this stuff, which is really scary stuff.

Thanks for adding your fuel to the fire.


From: louis@wired.com (Louis Rossetto);
Sent at 2/25/97; 9:08:34 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

Subscriptions to magazines are push. A copy arrives in your house regularly without your intervention. Just because you get a subscription to a magazine doesn't mean you can't go to the newsstand to browse. Regular delivery of professional information and entertainment is what the media business is about, so no wonder some media companies like it. But just because media likes push doesn't make push bad.

The Web is a lot more than media (thank God). The other benefits of the Web are not about to go away, push or no push. If push sucks, people will deinstall it, like you did Dave. If they like it and leave it running -- well, isn't that the essence of free choice? Let the best medium win. Meanwhile, it seems kind of defensive, if not actually conservative, to pound on a new interactive medium before it even gets started.

From: Geek@GeeksRUs.com (Steven W. Riggins);
Sent at 2/25/97; 9:03:31 AM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

With regards to your Pointcast info, I too deinstalled it, but for different reasons.

I determined I never need a screen saver! When I am at the computer, I am working, reading, etc. When I leave it, I power it off. 150 watts is 150 watts.

What I decided I wanted was a ticker tape of the info that I could stash anywhere. I've got some unused menu real estate...

What struck me about your piece was the comment about One Way Push. What defines that? *I* downloaded the software. *I* told it which news I was interested in. So? Is that bad?

How is that different than me going to MacWeek and only clicking on the articles I want to read?

So I think we have to be careful with push/pull, etc. Unless its cramming info down my throat I didn't ask for, its all the same to me.

I equate this to the term multimedia. What the hell is that? I heard this a lot during my early Voyager days when we showed off our laserdisc drivers for HyperCard. "Look! Video and sound! Multimedia!"

Oh please. Then there came "Interactive Multimedia!" Tah Dah! What? VCRs are interactive multimedia! Stop, play, rewind, toss in trash, all interactive, all multimedia. (Picture the trash bag collapsing in due to the weight of the VCR, and the sound of the plastic cups giving way to said weight)

So, Push, Pull, whats the *real* difference? Maybe its WHEN I get the information. I certainly don't like these sites with monstrous animated gifs, making me spent 10 mins downloading them. But as for PointCast is concerned, it did everything I told it to do - Now I want that info in a palette. :)

From: BCFrancis@aol.com;
Sent at 2/25/97; 12:03:16 PM;
Re:Can't Touch This!

>>I'm bored with Pointcast. I was happy with it when I first saw it.
>>But the reality was sanitized and totally commercialized.
>>I de-installed Pointcast, with some difficulty.

At last! Another Pointcast refusnik. I had the same reaction and experience de-installing it.

BTW.. re: dark side of Push... boredom is the darkside... take this from a guy who works in cable.

Bruce Francis

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