Scripting News archive for July 2012

Hello r2.ly, our new URL shortener permalink

My tweets will now use a shorter domain -- r2.ly.

I still love the name Blork, it was fun while this stuff was in development. Now we've got quite a few people running servers, and posting links that are fairly visible. It's better if the name corresponds to the product they're using. Radio2 and River2 --> r2.ly.

And r2.ly is shorter than blork.ly.

So goodbye my friend Blork -- for now! :-)

Posted: 7/31/12; 8:13:19 PM.

Apple OS updates scare me permalink

All I want from an operating system is stability and performance. I want it to stay out of my way. I use today's Mac OS largely the same way I used previous versions and how I use Windows. Not looking for innovation in the OS. Pretty sure I'm like most users in this regard. Yet the tech industry seems to think that users want change in the OS.

I used to get the new versions of the Mac OS whenever they came out, hoping they might have come up with something that I want, until they started changing the way things work. If they weren't adding features, stability or performance, why would I go out of my way or pay money to have them take things out?

To me it doesn't matter if no one else uses a feature I depend on. When they take it out, I either have to do without or find some other way to do it. I don't find it interesting, amusing, entertaining, worthwhile or productive to install new software in order to take steps backwards. Doesn't make any sense that I would.

The only times I get a new version of the Mac OS is when I have to. I didn't like Lion, but I did want the new MacBook Air that it came on. I would probably buy a new MacBook Air in a few months, if they came out with something enticing, but only if I were sure that it would do all the things my current MacBook Air does. Thing is, with the way they've been doing "upgrades" that's the one thing I'm sure will not happen. I will take major steps backwards if I install a new verson of Apple's operating system. So rather than buy something new, I'll just stick with what I have.

I've been here before with Apple. They kept delaying in the transition to System 6. Year after year, it didn't ship. It got bigger and more confusing. At one point Apple told developers not to ship anything until System 6 came out. Then a year went by. And another. People got out of the habit of installing new versions of the OS. And developers got out of the habit of shipping new apps.

Apple is playing an unnecessarilly dangerous game here. They have to deal with the same thing that Microsoft does, that there really aren't any new features people want from OSes. The best OS is one that fades into the background so you can forget it's even there. That can't happen as long as they're deliberately breaking users.

I went from someone who had a habit of buying something new from Apple every few months, to someone who forgot how to do that because they became tedious and definitely not fun.

Posted: 7/30/12; 10:42:53 AM.

Olympics on tape-delay? No please! permalink

Is there a way around the tape-delay of NBC's Olympics coverage? What if I want to watch the opening ceremony as it's happening?

I hope they're not planning on delaying basketball.

I thought we got beyond this bullshit. I remember watching the presidential debates in 2008 from California, three hours after I read the play by play on Twitter.

I thought all these big media companies were so savvy to new media! Oy oy oy.

Posted: 7/27/12; 9:57:29 AM.

Non-standard body formats permalink

Popular formats/protocols that were not created by standards bodies:

BitTorrent, QuickTime, RSS, GIF, HTML, HTTP, PDF, SWF, FLV, JSON, RTF, PostScript, TrueType, WiFi, Ethernet, XMPP, OPML, XML-RPC, RSD, CSV.


Posted: 7/26/12; 5:06:18 PM.

Dear Fred: A more concise question permalink

What happens to your users' tweets, blogs, podcasts, check-ins, discussion threads, Scrabble games, photos when the companies go out of business?

PS: This is a followup to an earlier thread.

Posted: 7/25/12; 10:16:06 AM.

Rich people need to pay more taxes permalink

Richer people should pay higher takes to fund the next banking system bailout. Like Social Security for rich folk. Lower their taxes when we re-enstate Glass-Stiegel like safeguards. Till then we need a good escrow account. And it's really their responsibility.

It's right to create a connection betw cause and effect. The reason we're in such shitty shape is speculation that created all that wealth.

Posted: 7/23/12; 9:48:15 PM.

Olympics blogs or feeds? permalink

I'm putting together a river for the Olympics. If you know of any blogs that are covering the Olympics, or news orgs with good feeds, please let me know.

Posted: 7/18/12; 7:24:59 AM.

Why The Newsroom works where The Social Network didn't permalink

A picture named cage.gifI think I know why news people hate The Newsroom. I think it's the same reason I hated The Social Network. Because he got it all wrong about how tech companies work. You can't make software and drink like a fool. Maybe you can be a musician that way, but software isn't like that. I don't think basketball players can be heavy drinkers the night before a game. I've never known a great programmer who was also a boozer.

Anyway that wouldn't have mattered if Sorkin had written an idealistic story for The Social Network like the one he writes for The Newsroom. If he had them arguing about protecting the freedom or privacy of users. Or fighting the corruption of big tech companies, or telling VCs where to shove it, refusing to treat users like hamsters.

But Sorkin doesn't use the Internet so he doesn't have any great vision for how it could be better. That's where The Newsroom is different. He is a news user, and he's pissed off at the simple easy things news people could do to fight for their users. He understands news, not from the inside but from the outside. And that's why the show works. Why it inspires and why it resonates with news users.

Posted: 7/17/12; 10:28:24 PM.

I'm rooting for Yahoo permalink

Hiring Marissa Mayer is a good thing, imho -- because we all have a lot invested in Yahoo. If it were to fail it would leave a huge hole in the web. It's something we should be thinking about, but we're not ready for it. Anything that stabilizes Yahoo imho is a good thing. However, that might not be Mayer's plan.

Posted: 7/16/12; 5:42:29 PM.

Berkman river? permalink

I came across something I wrote on my Harvard blog in 2003, and there in the right margin was a link to a Berkman aggregator that is long-gone.

Later I wondered what that river might look like now, if we had a good collection of Berkman blogs. So, I've started a river for Berkman faculty, fellows and alums.

It'll take a few weeks to populate, let's see if it's interesting.

Here's the list so far...

If you have suggestions for others, please post a link to their blog or feed below and I'll add them to the river. Or you can send it to me via email at dave dot winer at gmail dot com. Thanks! :-)

Posted: 7/10/12; 6:06:00 PM.

Is Obama the first black president? permalink

When I saw the headline of this story -- Obama not first black president -- I drew the wrong conclusion. I thought when I clicked on it I'd find that one of our earlier presidents had an African-American grandfather or grandmother. Maybe Chester Alan Arthur? Or Woodrow Wilson? Richard Nixon! Heh. Funny. Anyway, it was flipped around. Freeman was saying that because Obama had a white mother and a black father, he's mixed-race, not black. Interesting. How black do you have to be for Morgan Freeman to consider you black? Seems there are fewer "pure" people in the US all the time. Maybe at some point we will feel it was strange that we bothered to make a distinction. Would that be a good thing?

Posted: 7/9/12; 12:57:06 PM.


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