Dave Winer - Scripting.com
Scripting News - 2019-09-16T21:49:43Z
Kavanaugh actually blamed "revenge on behalf of The Clintons" out loud and in public in his Senate confirmation hearings. So you don't have to look to what he did with his penis in the past, really, to see why he shouldn't be on the court. He's as unhinged as Trump.
Nadler: Impeachment needed to vindicate the Constitution.
We wait for proof, then it comes, and go back to waiting for proof. We think we want proof, but what we really want is to not have proof. That is if you judge us by our actual behavior. Just a bit more normal, we'll deal with the truth when we have proof.
I've had neck pain and stiffness for the last few days, but it's better and finally it's feeling good enough that I could do something, so (like a fool?) I went for a 20-minute bike ride. My legs were sooo ready for this. I could have easily done an hour. But I stopped at 20 hoping my recovery would continue.
A corollary of your never knowing the struggles of other people. As the people you think about grow older, the chance they're dealing with serious health issues approaches certainty. So if you make work for them that might be one reason they don't do it. This is one of the most offensive things about what Google is doing to the web. Make-work, security theater, whose main consequence won't be a more secure web, just a web with bigger holes in it.
Braintrust query: I'm being quoted in an oral history about podcasting. I haven't seen the whole piece, but have been shown two quotes, ostensibly from me, that are similar to something I might have said, but use terms that I would not have used. The quotes sort of accurate, but they aren't literal quotes. A question for journalist friends. Is this standard practice? Should I object?
Someday archaeologists will uncover random pictures from this era and wonder why the primates were in so much pain.
When I was a college student in New Orleans in the 1970s, I used to hang out at restaurants and bars on Oak St in Uptown. It's very close to the line separating the city and Jefferson Parish, and like most political lines in the area, it's marked by a levee. If one side floods it doesn't necessarily mean that the other does. It was also very close to the Mississippi River, which of course also has a levee. In this case you walk up the levee, and the river comes to within a few feet of the top, way above the level of the city. If the levee were to break, a huge volume of river water would flood the city. I understood at an intellectual level how precarious this place was. But Oak St was an affluent street in a mostly affluent area. Living there you had the sense that it will always be this way. It seemed impervious to catastrophe. Thirty years later, after Katrina, I came back and Oak St was destroyed. A fire had raged through the area, unchallenged by fire fighters who were gone. The civilization that seemed so dependable had folded. The people had moved to other cities. New Orleans was almost empty. The point of the story is that climate change may seem theoretical because you live near an Oak St in whatever town you are in. But its stability, the foundation it's built on, is mostly in your imagination.
Yesterday I described Succession as The Sopranos without the sentimentality and intellect.
I fixed a problem in the persists package yesterday. When initializing a shared object, it ignored all non-scalar fields. I was using a daveutils routine copyScalars to do the copying. I wrote a new local routine that copies everything. I can't think of a reason it should only do scalars. It came up in an application I was writing. We're at that stage in this project where I try to use it as it was designed to be used and discover that the system guy (me) didn't correctly anticipate the needs of the app developer (also me).
Jimmy Cliff: Sitting in Limbo.
Poll: Will Elizabeth Warren be the Democratic nominee in 2020?
The Ruling Class, a comedy starring Peter O'Toole, was one of my favorite movies as a teen. The main character, a member of the British aristocracy, said he was God and spread a message of love for all. Some great jokes. It appears they have the whole movie on YouTube, for free.
An idea for the New Yorker and other pubs with paywalls. Suppose I request a link to a story, you include a code in the url, so when you get a hit you know it came thru me. At least deduct that page from my monthly quota. Or maybe a twofer.
It took hours of digging through various bits of software to figure out that the nbariver Twitter account had been suspended because they thought it was sharing personal information inappropriately. Here's a screen shot of the report. Obviously we were not sharing personal information, just relaying a news report from the Denver Post that some sharing had taken place. This is interesting because a human obviously would be able to tell the difference, and also it's exactly what we were discussing on Twitter over the last few days, how to automate these things. I did not delete the tweet, it was completely innocent.
Interesting that the Denver Post had tweets with exactly the same text and was (apparently) not suspended?
A definitive list of news feeds - 2019-09-15T15:30:25Z
Yesterday I posted an item here and on Twitter suggesting a collection of RSS feeds from news orgs managed by one or more universities. There were a few responses from people who believe they at least have a good start on this, so let me flesh out the idea a bit.
- Think of it as a process more than a product. A list frozen in time isn't very useful. We have lots of those. The idea here is that the list is maintained, it grows and shrinks as new feeds are created, new organizations get on board, and of course some fall off.
- I think the people should come from a university or a group of universities. It could be a student project. Lots of people flow through the project over time, and go out into the world and help build awareness of the project.
- Having a list that no one knows about is pointless. There should be marketing activity for the project, a Twitter feed, Facebook group, what else?
- All popular feed formats are supported.
- Feeds should be added conservatively. The quality of the feeds is very important. The list should be culled of dupilicates, different URLs for the same resource. Don't worry about including two feeds that include similar stories (for example, there is a sports feed for the NYT and also a New York news feed, stories about the Knicks would appear in both, this is not a problem, ).
- Use the standard OPML subscription list format as documented. Add attributes to any item with the metadata you have for it.
- Open source all the way. MIT License for any software, and Creative Commons for the list itself. Create a GItHub repository to store the list and any associated documentation. It can be distributed in other ways of course, via a website, an internet-accessible database.
Please post your comments here.
On Twitter, an interesting thread started by Emily Bell. It went off in a lot of directions, I brought it back to what I think is a constructive first step. A collection of RSS feeds from news orgs, maintained, with metadata. Something a group of j-school students, maybe even from different unis, could do. Lots of room for growth here. ;-)
I was asked in a recent interview to talk about the first software I remember seeing demoed. This was hard, because when I started programming, in the mid-70s , what we think of as software today, didn’t exist. In 1979 I got my eyes opened with a demo of VisiCalc. I had never ever conceived of something like that. I immediately decided to copy their user interface. Didn’t take more than a few seconds to grok it. That's elegance, a clear breakthrough.
They have red hats. We should wear MLK buttons.
Chris Lydon interviews Evgeny Morozov. I tried listening, couldn't get very far into it. In the last 25 years a huge amount of new media has been created, I can't think of a single thing that was created at the Media Lab. Negroponte's column at the back of Wired wasn't a place to turn to for new ideas. Mostly it was self-promotion, as I recall. Demoware has always haunted tech. In my experience that's what the Media Lab pushes. Stuff the funding organizations go for. It seems in all the mess that came out of the Epstein affar at the Media Lab, someone at some point would have offered a defense of the form, "But the Media Lab gave us X, Y and Z." But that never happened. I think in the early days, before the web, they did create some influential stuff, like the Logo language. What's been uncovered in this scandal is how little is created with all the millions of dollars of funding, not just at the MIT Media Lab, but at all the media labs everywhere. Moral of the story, at least in this round of tech, money isn't what creates new media, individuals with a vision who persevere do.
Truth be told Biden would be preferable to Trump even on his death bed. Frankly even if he were already dead he'd be a better president. Just sayin.
I did not know that there is a Trump piñata. It could be a hit at your next party!
A minor league football coach could figure out how to beat Trump. It requires minor collaboration between the Democratic Party and the entertainment world. We need programming to go up against Trump. The programming has to be about Trump, because he's made himself the story. But it has to tell the story he doesn't want told, in as dramatic a fashion as he tells his story. It doesn't have to be good drama, it won't reach into your soul and make you cry, it doesn't need to because Trump can't do that. What it has to do is fill you with rage. Grab and hold your attention. But it must not be done by the Democratic candidate. The Republican team only has one play. It's a game where the quarterback runs. So you just fill the field with defensive backs. When Trump moves, destroy him. When he moves again, destroy him again. With what? Acting, childish pranks and low comedy.
What nice internet users do, in a Twitter thread.
Elizabeth Warren's campaign has mastered humble snark.
If you read this blog via email, you can now see how long it has been running, at the bottom of the email message. We're getting close to 25 years.
It was asked: If you could take the next plane to any place, where would you go? I said I'd travel in time to when I was 22 and in love. ❤️
Sorry last night's emails didn't go out until 4:25AM Eastern instead of 12:01AM. Here's the lesson I learned. When you change the password on an account, think about the apps that connect to that account, and change them too.
Back in the day they used to broadcast soap operas live. I assume they wrote the scripts the day before. So it would be interesting to use the same technique to dramatize the goings-on in the White House. Don't attempt to impersonate Trump and his staff, it's not funny or interesting -- maybe even given them different names to bring that home. Have them say and do the things the people in the White House are doing. Use your imagination. They can do things that haven't been reported on, or be dramatic flourishes.
I was reminded with a note from a Boston friend that Radio Woodstock is pretty great. It is. It might be a good substitute for disappointed KFOG fans, of which I know at least a couple. "Acoustic Saturday mornings now part of my weekends!" If you have an Echo, you can listen by saying "Alexa WDST please." Easy. 🚀
Yesterday's Fresh Air interview with the NY Times reporters who exposed Harvey Weinstein is totally worth a listen.
Jonathan Franzen: "The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it."
Wouldn't it be great if all the reporters in tech got together to see truly new stuff, without regard of which company it came from, or if it came from a company at all? The big message no one in the establishment wants to hear (a term that's become precise these days) is that money does not yield progress. Jobs left a seed for you all as a clue. It's people that make the difference, not piles of money. That's the big reboot of news we're waiting for. For our news to stop worshipping money and get down to telling us what's new.
Twitter and Facebook feel equally important in news today, but in the future, if the archive of Twitter survives, it will probably be the more valuable, because except for blocking, it's on the web, where Facebook has access constraints that make it not a good record.
I'm helping a publication do an oral history of podcasting. The writer is earnest, thoughtful, a good person. But... Would you read a history of cars written by someone who didn't know the basics of how cars work? It'll be a miracle if something coherent comes from this.
On this day in 2001 - 2019-09-11T15:35:54Z
I was up and blogging early on this day in 2001. If you visit the site you'll find that many of the links are broken, so you might want to try the archive.org version. It's in reverse-chronologic order, so read from the bottom and scroll up.
What the day was like for me. It started as a normal blogging and programming day. A link to an article on Wired. A plug for David Banks' book new book on Microsoft. And then the day started for real.
At 6:15AM I got an email from Bill Seitz with a link to a webcam in the Empire State Building pointing south. The World Trade Center was in the middle of the picture, smoke was coming out of the side of one of the buildings. He said a plane had hit the building. I had no TV. Emails came from people in New York, some with pictures. People sent me links to stories via email (remember this was before RSS was supported by most news orgs). Digital cameras were just starting to catch on, readers in Brooklyn and in lower Manhattan, with clear views of the scene, sent pictures.
- I had no TV because I turned it off. I had become obsessed with cable news after the 2000 election. Didn't like it. I turned it back on later in 2001, when we started the war in Afghanistan.
News orgs in New York had been knocked out, I was safe in California, but I grew up in New York, so I knew the geography. And later we'd learn that my father, a professor at Pace University hadn't been heard from. My mother, a school psychologist was on a rooftop in Brooklyn.
That day my blog served the function that Twitter and Facebook play today. The biggest story in the world, before or since. Only as much as one person could absorb, only the questions that occurred to that person.
I just got a question from a user about how to get the OPML source text from an outline you're editing in LO2. Two steps. 1. In the File menu, choose View OPML. 2. In your browser's File menu, choose Save Page As. That's it. You now have a local copy of the file.
This week's 1619 podcast is fantastic. It's the story of American music. I laughed and cried, and get goosebumps thinking how great America is, thanks to slaves and ex-slaves and children of slaves.
My friend Steve Garfield is now Twitter-famous.
We were able to boot up podcasting from Harvard with $0 in funding. That's something we can replicate. So ask the Media Lab if their goal is to create new media, or spend lots of money. Because they are mutually exclusive things imho. 💥