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Dave Winer -

Scripting News - 2018-07-22T22:25:46Z

- 2018-07-22T22:25:46Z
Here's a quick video demo of hoisting.

- 2018-07-22T22:14:54Z
I've been working on hoisting for the core outliner in LO2. Just got it working today. Saving while stuff is hoisted was the hardest part. I don't seem to have hoisting defined on my blog, probably because the outliner in Frontier didn't have the feature. There are two operations, hoist and dehoist. Put the bar cursor on a headline. If you hoist it, everything that's subordinate to the headline becomes your world. The other stuff is still there, but you can't see it or edit it. You can focus on just this part of the outline. I need it for my blog, when I'm working on a long post and want to quickly scroll to the beginning or end. Dehoist as you might imagine undoes the last hoist.

- 2018-07-22T21:46:40Z
Poll: When Trump is impeached, will you watch it?

- 2018-07-22T21:53:19Z
If you give a shit, and don’t want to end up in a concentration camp, stop fighting with others who care and close ranks.

- 2018-07-22T17:51:43Z
As I get older I have more confidence in the power of deliberation. Give my mind the time to weigh the alternatives, and I'll come to a better decision in 24 hours than I would in 2, and if it's important, it's worth it.

How to improve Twitter in 2018 - 2018-07-22T15:53:44Z

So Jack Dorsey is looking for ways to improve Twitter.

There are three I can think of:

  1. Eliminate the character limit, allow for linking, simple styles, titles and enclosures (for podcasting). The move to 280 chars was so successful, that should be a clue. Remove the barriers to expression and let the whole web in via linking. Handle length the way Facebook does with a see more link. It's good prior art.
  2. Help news orgs create collections of news feeds for people to follow on Twitter and on the open web. I think ultimately that's what news orgs will become. Experts on where to find the people who are saying newsworthy stuff. It's not much of an evolution, it's what they've been doing for as long as I can remember. The web gives us the ability to create new structures for that. Since Twitter is a place people go for news, it's a natural evolution for Twitter. I have a roadmap for how to do this.
  3. Make a commitment to developers and make it irreversible. What exactly this means is subject to negotiation. But no one company can do what a medium does. As great a company as Twitter might be, its not something companies were meant to do, imho.

Bonus: A new rule. For every original tweet you write you have to RT someone else's.

- 2018-07-21T14:03:20Z
I'm a one-issue voter for 2018 and beyond. Make politics boring again.

- 2018-07-21T13:55:41Z
The business-as-usual approach of Bernie Sanders et al is unsupportable. We need to close ranks. Stop trying to optimize and just focus on getting the Repubs out of our government, asap.

- 2018-07-21T13:51:32Z
I like to write about Central Park as the analog of the open web, and the city surrounding it as the silos. This photo shows the analogous interface.

- 2018-07-21T13:15:20Z
It takes courage to write a blog post like this from Ben Werdmüller. Whenever we write, imho, we're saying something simple. This is what I see. These are my values. This is what it's like to be me. By showing yourself, you become vulnerable, and that has a cost. Better to be safe. But sometimes you have so much to say, the pain is so great, it has to come out. One thing I've discovered in a life of ups and downs -- it's true -- it's darkest just before dawn. 💥

What Russia has on Trump - 2018-07-22T01:31:21Z

I think Julia Ioffe got it right. This is what Putin has over Trump.

At any time they could leak to news orgs proof that without Russian hacking of the 2016 election Trump would have lost.

Anything else is BS, pee tapes, etc. No one, especially Trump, would care.

Being a conservative in 2018 - 2018-07-21T16:38:09Z

I'm a conservative. Something former-Republican conservatives can probably relate to. I think the vast majority of Americans who are freaked out about the Trump presidency could legitimately be described as conservative. However I've been voting solid Democratic since 2004.

For me, a bridge too far was the Iraq war. By 2004 we knew there were no WMDs, that the government had lied to us. This was huge. On such a serious matter as war or peace, you can't do what they did and keep the support of good Americans. At the moment they're talking about mushroom clouds you need to suck it up and trust the government has seen something unthinkable that you can't see. Not lying out of their ass, as the Bushies were.

It was the realization that this moment was based on a lie, that meant I would never vote Republican again.

Yes, I firmly believe in Choice, am in favor of radical gun control, I have a serious pre-existing condition, so I get how important health insurance is. But you could actually vote Republican before 2000 and still have these positions.

Or so I thought. ;-)

And voting Democratic is no panacea.

Think Snowden.

But the United States is what it is. No generation gets to radically change direction. I say that as a baby boomer who marched for peace in the 60s and 70s.

This is the lesson of America.

Change is continuous. A country that still hasn't shaken off the legacy of slavery isn't going to transform into a European socialist country in a generation. Not after what we've been through in the last 20 years.

We made a lot of changes in the last ten years. And our chain has been yanked back. Hopefully that's all it is. But it's a mistake to try to yank it again. It's time to compromise. We need to elect a president we'd all like to have a cup of coffee with. Not someone who wags his finger and talks over us. Who doesn't listen. Who is as much a narcissist as the current asshole in the White House.

My slogan, if you've made it this far is this -- Make Politics Boring Again.

I felt, once Obama was elected, that that was as good as it was going to get. We are the United States. That means we're fucked up. But at least let's think a bit before we start pushing people around.

Toby Ziegler nails it in this scene in The West Wing. "They'll like us when we win." This could be the motto of America right up there with E Pluribus Unum. 🚀

I think IFTTT supports rssCloud - 2018-07-21T16:02:25Z

This is why I think that.

When I post an item to my linkblog, it also goes to an RSS feed.

I have an IFTTT app that watches that feed, and when something new shows up posts it to this Twitter account.

I also ping the rssCloud notifier, the one that's pointed to from the <cloud> element in the feed. It tells an app how to be notified immediately of an update.

Here's the thing. The Twitter feed gets the update immediately now. Sometime in the last year (?) or so it started being instantaneous. Unless they're polling the feed ridiculously often, they must be hooked in through the <cloud> element.

If they did, I think this is very cool. 💥

Not left or right - 2018-07-21T15:57:05Z

I don't like "left" and "right" -- because it implies that there are just two answers for everything, and a formula that leads to a correct answer.

Every left person thinks this way and every right person thinks the opposite on everything. I doubt if anyone is really like but I am not.

I am neither left or right. I think for myself. I try to understand each issue and form my own position. I do not delegate my thinking to others.

- 2018-07-20T21:26:45Z
Russia has been hacking our political system, not meddling or interfering. Further, Trump isn't embarrassing the United States, he's humiliating it.

- 2018-07-20T21:35:11Z
Matt Groening still isn't listening. Apu is lovable. The problem is not political correctness, or people being offended, it’s that Apu creates problems for Indian-Americans because there are so few South Asian characters on TV. Apu dominates. I'm sure the Simpsons and Groening didn't intend it, but it's happening just the same.

- 2018-07-20T19:11:05Z
Bike riding pro tip. If you want to ride faster, be sure your tires are fully inflated.

- 2018-07-20T17:40:44Z
Andrew Sullivan explains, convincingly, that the idea of appealing to the conscience of Repubs is misguided. They've made it very clear that to the extent they have such things, they will have no influence on what they do. This piece is required reading, imho. And the business-as-usual approach of Bernie Sanders et al is unsupportable. We need to close ranks. Stop trying to optimize and just focus on getting the Repubs out of our government, asap.

- 2018-07-20T13:58:01Z
MyWord Editor needed to be updated. 🚀

Why Facebook doesn't ban liars - 2018-07-20T18:52:15Z

I love the Daily podcast, but it may be because I'm a neophyte in most of what they cover. When they cover Facebook, and other tech industry topics, they are the neophytes, and imho, they once again, imho, have missed the story in today's podcast.

The story is Facebook's attempts to regulate the virality of lies. They're not trying to eliminate the lies, because as Zuckerberg states, we all make mistakes, and if they banned people or organizations that told lies, they'd be banning a lot of valuable interactions and people. Instead, when a story starts going viral, and if it's a lie, they tell the algorithm to ignore its popularity. To me, someone with some experience managing online communties, though not at the scale of Facebook, that seems to be a clever and wise solution.

The Times reporter wants them to do more. He says Zuckerberg will have to use his power. He has no obligation to be fair, applying the standards of a western democracy to speech on Facebook. He could do what the NYT would like him to do, ban Infowars, Breitbart and Gateway Pundit, and keep the NYT and Washington Post. But this isn't what Facebook wants.

What would happen if Facebook banned Infowars and Breitbart and other lie-spreading make-believe news orgs? They'd start their own Facebook. You might think it's not possible, but Facebook knows how many followers they have, and how hard the technology is. "Facebook is a business," Zuck said. And as a business he has to think about growth, and defending against potential competition.

The last thing he wants is to give the right-wing infowarriors an excuse to move their users off Facebook and onto a right-wing-approved social network. I am sure that's coming, btw. I'm sure he's sure as well. And he wants to put that out as far in the future as he can.

Any senator could stop this - 2018-07-20T14:18:27Z

If a Republican senator wanted to do something brave to call a timeout on the Trump presidency until some basic questions were answered, all they would have to do is this...

Announce that they were voting against Kavanaugh and make sure everyone understood this is why. Then a few other Republican senators can join in, and then we'd have a bi-partisan discussion of the very minimum loyalty we insist on from a POTUS.

Congress can act as representatives of the people. Never mind what they say to pollsters' questions. Imagine they knew how disloyal the president is. Act as a way of preventing the First Amendment being a suicide pact. Which is what's actually happening. Fox News has taken control of the political process, more than Trump, imho.

Update: Andrew Sullivan explains, persuasively, why this won't happen.

- 2018-07-19T13:09:17Z
Good morning sports fans!

- 2018-07-19T21:42:23Z
Yesterday: "Waiting for other people to save us isn't working."

- 2018-07-19T13:10:00Z
Mid-morning yesterday I realized that what I had been writing on this blog and elsewhere for months, if not years, amounted to one simple idea. Waiting for other people to save us isn't working. What could I do to focus on that idea? I decided to use my blog home page for 24 hours to say it. That is what appeared on the home page of Scripting News yesterday.

- 2018-07-19T14:55:15Z
I don't understand why the NYT would employ a tech reporter who isn't immersed in tech. The world is. Walk around any city if you doubt me. I haven't read many of his stories, but I would wonder if he's missing something important since he basically is one big blind spot when it comes to tech. I'm hoping the reporter who reported on the reporter was exaggerating, as they sometimes do. 💥

- 2018-07-19T14:40:21Z
The Democrats have a new campaign slogan "For the people." It's close. But it betrays an attitude that separates you from us. Better to get down in there. Luckily there is a very American idea that fits. "We the people..." I'd leave the elipses in the expression to let memory remind us that we remember who we are.

- 2018-07-19T13:49:17Z
BTW, I hope no networks are planning to televise Trump's military parade, but I suspect it's a lost cause. More free campaign coverage for Republicans.

- 2018-07-19T14:32:02Z
A Congressperson’s job isn’t to get re-elected, it’s to run the US government.

Trump can't arrest McFaul - 2018-07-19T13:25:08Z

Re exaggeration to feed our rage addiction -- a classic example. The president is considering whether to accept Putin's proposal to give Mueller access to the twelve GRU hackers in exchange for being given access to Ambassador McFaul and Bill Browder and a few others.

This was a cause to set our hair on fire? It's a fantasy. It might happen in a few years if Trump is able to establish a dictatorship with no rule of law. No doubt he fantasizes about that, but it isn't happening now.

Yet Maddow and McFaul and a hundred reporters we'd like to respect pretend that Trump could do this! Hah. He's having a meeting about it, says Maddow. The mood is somber. This is gross malpractice. She must know it's no threat, that someone in the meeting would ask Hey boss, how exactly do you plan to get McFaul to show up for this interrogation? That would be the end of the discussion. No judge would sign a subpoena. No cop would arrest him. What would the charge be? We have the rule of law in the US, and thank goodness it's holding.

There is plenty to be upset about, but this is a cheap thrill. The liberal media is being every bit as bad as Fox News. Cut it out. We have minds, we're educated and we know when you're bullshitting. This is bullshit.

We're addicted to rage - 2018-07-19T13:14:56Z

Look at how awful this thing is, and that. And we exaggerate to make things look worse than it is (more on that in a bit). In the meantime, what we were told would happen is happening. We're losing our will to act. We had great demonstrations around the inauguration. But that wasn't enough. Isn't enough. We have to be smart. Learn from the experience of Russia and Ukraine. What would the resistance there do differently if they had a do-over? We have a chance to look at our own future, and change direction. We keep missing chances. We have all the tools we need to make it work. But we have to risk, we have to be willing to sacrifice. Before it's too late. Because every day it's too late for what we could have done yesterday.

- 2018-07-18T18:43:43Z
Poll: If you're an outliner user, do you know what hoisting is, and if so do you use it?

- 2018-07-18T12:49:50Z
I know this is like pissing in the wind, but here's an idea for a demonstration that might impress the Repubs in Congress. In every one of their home districts, people march to their polling place, next Saturday or the Saturday after that. Carrying signs that say We Know How To Vote, with the name of their congressperson on it. Go out of the way to recruit Republican-looking voters. Make sure the TV cameras are there.

- 2018-07-18T12:47:12Z
Imagine a guy floating down the Niagara River just before he goes over the falls, thinking "It's probably not too late. There are a bunch of Republicans in the observation area, all they have to do is reach out and grab me and I'll be OK."

- 2018-07-17T13:52:25Z
Occam's News says the reason Trump is so deferential to Putin is that he is deeply in debt to Russian oligarchs. His problem isn't a pee tape, it's that Trump's wealth is Russian wealth. That fact is about to come out publicly, and Trump was afraid it would come out at the press conference, with the whole world watching with the cameras on his face. That's what they talked about privately, and that's why Putin had such a big grin. He has Trump's balls in a jar on his desk back in Moscow.

- 2018-07-17T12:57:11Z
How to put this -- it's nice when a journalist or political figure correctly explains out how technology works. For example, Noah Smith, an opinion writer for Bloomberg, advises a columnist for the Washington Post that muting on Twitter is not a good idea, that blocking works better. I saw his post because it was RT'd by Brad DeLong, an economic historian at UC-Berkeley. I chimed in -- "You are right. They are trolling you, [and when you mute them] you just don't know it." And even if you block them, they can and do still go one-on-one with people who engage with you, and there are no tools on Twitter to stop that. But at least when you block them you keep them from broadcasting to everyone who follows you. Bottom-line: Block trolls, don't mute.

We're complicit, part II - 2018-07-17T13:25:59Z

Earlier this month I wrote a piece about how Americans are like people who worked at Microsoft in the 90s. You can't separate the people from the group. In that sense, no matter whether you voted for Hillary or Jill or Bernie, or whether you marched with a pussy hat, or write angry tweets, if you're an American, you're complicit. Eventually you will be blamed for what America is doing, and that's fair and just.

Truth is, Americans are lazy. How did we get this way? We let two wars be fought in the 2000s, with no draft, not only no wartime tax increase, but a tax cut. And we let the government get away with not showing the returning flag-draped coffins. We fought two wars in Asia (still are, btw) and you'd never know it at home. That imho is a crime. You shouldn't be able to fight a war without feeling a lot of pain.

With that in mind, maybe we should be doing more than being outraged at why the Republicans don't act. Remember Gandhi said "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." In other words, in more American terms, stop waiting for other people to save your ass, risk some of your security for the greater good.

Off the top of my head I thought of something we can do right now. Stop. Don't go to work for the rest of the week. Don't buy anything. Stay home, or go out and march. Stop the US economy. Make it clear what we want. Trump either resigns or the House impeaches him. There's plenty of time between now and Friday to do that.

If we ground the economy to a stop that would make the world take note. Very likely the big companies would join the protest, and people around the world would join too. We fancy the US is the leader of the free world (obviously our president no longer is). How about a little of that famous leadership, from the people of the United States?

- 2018-07-16T18:37:24Z
Poll: What will the GOP do about Trump?

- 2018-07-16T14:56:44Z
To use his oven, he has to accept the terms and conditions.

- 2018-07-16T13:22:27Z
There's a new Uber commercial playing on TV in NYC. First they take you to various neighborhoods, esp Hispanic, black or Asian neighborhoods. Outlying neighborhoods. This is the real NY, they say, or imply (I don't remember which). Try to get a fucking cab to take you to one of these places. Or pick you up. At Uber, we love your stupid neighborhood. So fuck DiBlasio, the fucker, and the cab companies. They're just out to fuck you. But Uber loves you. Uber. Of course they don't say all that, but the message is unmistakable.

- 2018-07-15T22:09:35Z
Poll: What will we witness tomorrow when Trump and Putin hold their joint press conference?

- 2018-07-15T14:39:05Z
Happy to report that an SQLite test app took about ten minutes to write and install. They make it sound like installing the native portion is some huge deal. It's not. I would share what I have so far, but I just followed the instructions on this page. They work, and the demo app works. I have an interesting project in mind, but first I have to learn more about SQLite to see if it's feasible. Still diggin. 🚀

- 2018-07-15T14:51:17Z
If you’re a developer who works inside a news org, here’s a plan for how to create a great set of whitelists of news that’s trying to get it right. This is based on what I learned bootstrapping blogging and podcasting. The same ideas should work for journalism, at least as starting points. We have to work together, and not wait for the tech industry to do it, imho. We can do it. Programmers can save the world. (Not really exaggerating.)

- 2018-07-15T19:35:50Z
Buster Keaton's philosophy: "I always want the audience to out-guess me, and then I double-cross them."

- 2018-07-15T14:44:29Z
New personal description on Twitter profile page. "American software developer, blogger, inventor of new media types."

- 2018-07-15T01:51:27Z
Have you ever had a thought "Geez this person just needs to read the article," so you say so, and they reply with something like "Thanks. I did need to read it." 💥

- 2018-07-14T20:02:18Z
Try a new form of protest. Block Trump on Twitter.

- 2018-07-14T17:39:37Z
Braintrust query: I'm thinking about using an SQL database in an Electron app. I want to bake the database software into the app. Looks like SQLite is the best option. Any other ideas?

- 2018-07-14T15:42:57Z
Humiliated. That's the word for how the United States is.

- 2018-07-14T12:08:18Z
It seems to me AWS, with the combination of S3, Route 53 and the fact they have your credit card and shipping address, could turn HTTPS support into a checkbox.

Listening when it's especially hard - 2018-07-14T12:26:32Z

As I wrote earlier this week, listening is hard. It's even more difficult when someone wants to report a problem. This comes up in all kinds of relationships, it even models software bug reporting.

Here's a scenario. A person with a missing leg says "When you push me, I fall over and that hurts." Here's a list of possible responses, from best to worst.

  1. If you understand what they're saying, just say that, literally: "I understand what you're saying." If you don't understand, then say that, but only if you really don't understand.
  2. Don't defend yourself. For example "I didn't know you only had one leg," or "I didn't know if I push you you'll fall over." The person just wants to know you heard them. You're changing the topic to something about yourself. This leaves the question of whether you understood out there, unanswered.
  3. Don't argue. "The leg you say is missing is really just shorter than the other one, it's not actually missing." We're getting very far away from "I understand what you're saying."
  4. Even worse. "It never happened" or "I didn't push you over."
  5. Worst. "What about the time you said I was stupid."

I'm sure you see the analogy to software bug reporting. We want to know that something went wrong, so we can fix it, and make the product work properly. Same thing in personal relationships. If you care about the other person, you want to know that something you're doing is trouble for them, so you can stop doing it. There really is no better way to show that you care for them than listening when it's especially hard to.

Finally, why keep the response focused on the problem?

  1. It builds trust.
  2. It encourages the other person to report other problems, so the relationship can be further optimized.
  3. It makes for a happy family!


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