Scripting feed

Dave Winer -

Scripting News - 2021-01-21T16:13:20Z

- 2021-01-21T15:14:34Z
I'm now unfollowing everyone who RTs a fascist post. I don't care if we've been friends for life. You're at best an idiot for doing this. At worst, you want to see the world burn.

- 2021-01-21T16:13:20Z
With hard disks so cheap, it's ridiculous that more and more, the storage for my phone has to come in via Google's or Apple's servers. This is not an accident. It gives them too much control, and it's quiet, you don't hear people ranting about them the way they do about Facebook.

- 2021-01-21T15:50:31Z
A NYC doctor I saw three years ago wants $40 and won't say what it's for. This isn't the first time they've done this. Luckily this was just for some foot pain, and I know exactly what was done. No tests, nothing.

- 2021-01-21T15:05:00Z
Four years ago today we marched. Peacefully. We didn't kill anyone. We didn't occupy the Capitol. We behaved like respectful Americans.

- 2021-01-21T14:11:13Z
When someone says you are difficult, I think that means they wanted something from you and you said no.

- 2021-01-21T14:11:02Z
My opinion of President Biden? Yes! I like him. Good move America. We elected a good president. Thank you very much.

- 2021-01-21T14:08:59Z
What's "neo" about neo-Nazis? Why not just call them Nazis? I've asked this question a bunch of times, over many years, never heard a satisfactory answer.

- 2021-01-21T15:18:12Z
I spend an awful lot of money on video entertainment and receive very little in return. There were many months I paid for HBO but didn't watch a single thing on it. I paid for Showtime, but I think there were whole years that I never watched anything there. I'd love to re-watch an HBO show that I recommended to a friend (and am hereby recommend to you) but I'd have to re-sub to watch it legally. Couldn't I just use one of those months in the past where I watched nothing but paid anyway? Okay so they need so much money for the lavish productions of new stuff. Maybe they could price their archives separately? How about that. Anything more than 10 years old say, you can have for $1 a month, and do a bundling deal where I can get everything that's 10 years or older from any of the majors for $10 a month. Problem is they'd find they have a glut of good stuff. We don't really need that much more. The whole thing is grossly out of whack. BTW, I did sign up for Fubo, only to find out they don't have an app for my LG TV, which is a whole other rant, why exactly do there have to be special apps for every TV. (Yes I know the answer, but I'm asking at a deeper level. Thank you.) I thought I might watch the Knicks, but there was an inauguration, and I had my Covid vaccine, and it made me tired, I think, so instead I just went to bed.

Twenty years ago in podcasting - 2021-01-21T14:13:32Z


Thanks to Eric Nuzum for writing this story of the first podcast feed, about the project I did in January 2001, twenty years ago. The feed he writes about was used to test software I had developed that reads podcast feeds, otherwise known as a podcatcher. The feed was a small effort compared to the software that reads podcast feeds.

A few people on Twitter have criticized Eric's story, they say it was wrong, but actually he got it right. That's why it's always a good idea to hedge a bit when you say someone is wrong.

Okay first, a nit -- the idea that Chris Lydon had the first real podcast is not true. There were a couple of others that predate his Radio Open Source -- Doug Kaye's IT Conversations and Steve Gillmor's Gillmor Gang. They were doing MP3-based radio when we came out with the podcast format, and they quickly adopted it. I've written about them here many times. Lydon's podcast was the first I had a role in producing. I've shrugged off the distinction a few times, because Chris was the first who showed up to play in my sandbox, and that, to me, was worth a lot. I learned from his experience, a lot.

My UserLand on the Desktop

But here's where Nuzum got it right and his critics are wrong.

In early 2001, after meeting with Adam in New York, which Nuzum documents, I produced a daily feed of Grateful Dead songs. I don't think the RIAA would have had a problem with it (as Nuzum jokingly says) because the Dead had a culture of letting their users do what they like with their music. I thought it was completely appropriate that the Heart of Gold Band would play a role in bootstrapping the new medium. I created the feed to test my new podcatcher. Here's the story of that software, whcih is also documented in the archive of my blog.

In 1999, at UserLand, we created a product called My UserLand, to compete with Netscape's My Netscape. Both were server-based RSS reader apps. This was the very beginning of RSS being used as a news publishing format. Then a we created a desktop version of My UserLand called, unimaginatively, My UserLand On The Desktop or MUOTD for short. It did what the server-based product did, but it ran as an app on a user's desktop. The Grateful Dead podcast feed was there to test the podcatcher functionality in MUOTD. That predated Adam's iPodder by over three years. Adam used it.

Radio UserLand

MUOTD was later merged with Radio UserLand, a desktop blogging tool, creating something that has yet to be matched by anyone -- a desktop blogging and reading app, all in one. It was pretty cool. I'm pretty sure the guys who later formed Twitter used it. It was more or less Twitter on the desktop, based on RSS, five years before Twitter. 🚀

This was all part of an idea I loved that I called a Fractional Horsepower HTTP Servers. MUOTD and Radio UserLand were full powered web servers that ran on the user's machine. Most probably weren't even aware they were running a server, because the user interface was so smooth.

PS: Here's the archive for Scripting News for January 2001.

Screen shot of MUOTD from 1/11/2001.

- 2021-01-20T21:06:04Z
I got my Covid vaccine today. I was really lucky, I had signed up to be notified from a local pharmacy, and I got their email last night a few minutes after they sent it. Signed up right away and at 3PM today I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. So far no side-effects. Two life-changing events in one day. Not bad! 💥

- 2021-01-20T14:48:37Z
Happy Inauguration Day. Looks like we’ll survive Trump. Knock wood, fingers crossed, praise Murphy. Remembering the last inauguration, a dark day, this one in comparison is filled with hope.

- 2021-01-20T14:25:41Z
Trump is like wearing glasses with a covid mask and having them always fogged up so you can't see shit. Fox News et al are going to keep pumping fog at their viewers.

- 2021-01-20T21:19:08Z
How about a 2-hour trial for Trump on a Saturday in April.

- 2021-01-20T14:04:02Z
Trump is now officially off-topic.

- 2021-01-20T13:30:19Z
Countdown to the end of the Trump madness.

- 2021-01-20T01:50:01Z
Inauguration fire. Hope you like it!

- 2021-01-19T20:42:47Z
Highly recommend today's Daily podcast. They interview Trump voters about the Capitol invasion/insurrection. Lots to think about. Here's what I'd like to tell people who support Trump and feel like invading the Capitol and killing people was kind of okay. We didn't like Trump. We protested. But no one invaded the Capitol and no one killed anyone because we didn't like the result of the election. Also, we do a really good job with elections in the US. The best in the world by some accounts. So if you say our election was bad, you'd better have some facts to back you up, or seriously shut the fuck up. What I've heard so far is totally lame. And if you think you're the good guys, well, it doesn't seem to me you are. It seems you're bullies. You think what the rest of us, the majority of us, think doesn't matter. You get your way even if you're the minority. That is un-American as hell.

- 2021-01-19T20:51:36Z
Yesterday I wrote about a "total turnkey home TV guest computer." I got an email from Guy Kawasaki who says you can do it for $1200, not including a computer.

- 2021-01-19T12:50:40Z
On this last full day of Trump's presidency, I am grappling with an inconsequential decision. CNN vs the Knicks. I can have one of them, but if I want both it'll cost me an extra $65 per month. If I felt strongly about either, or both, the decision would be easy. It's difficult only because I'm somewhat ambivalent about each. CNN is for mindless relaxation. I like watching Wolf Blitzer because he's so pompous. "This just in to the Situation Room," he likes to say, but of course it's a studio not a room, and nothing is "in" there. It's the most old and stuffy place. It's totally out. I find it relaxing the same way I used to find it relaxing to watch my grandmother knit, or my cat lick herself. I like watching Erin Burnett because (I know this is weird) I think she's hot. Esp when she's angry, and these days, she is very angry, a lot (at the same things we all are angry about btw). I also like CNN because they have better guests. But I could live without them. For 20+ years I never watched CNN. Then there are the Knicks. I've been a Knicks fan, on and off, for most of my life. I came back strong for Linsanity, and hated them for screwing that up, and then they fired Melo and Porzingas, well I kind of gave up for a while. The pandemic and the bubble made it seem illegit. But with a new coach this year, they're looking interestings, and they're competitive, and sometimes they win! I'd like a chance to watch, not sure I would actually watch. The sports news service Fubo doesn't have CNN, and YouTube TV has CNN but no Knicks. So I did a poll to find out what people thought. As I write this the consensus is to leave CNN and go with the Knicks. I think it's time for a more à la carte menu. Most of what's on either Fubo or YouTube TV doesn't interest me. Too many good choices on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, and podcasts are great these days too.

- 2021-01-18T21:37:38Z
A handy web page tells when Trump leaves office.

- 2021-01-18T17:21:28Z
if you want to help the country start to heal.. Move one of the news networks to the middle of the country. CNN, MSNBC, or something new. Instead of reporting from NY and DC, do it from Chicago or Dallas. Same news, same people, just put the host in the middle of the country. When and why did CNN move from Atlanta?

- 2021-01-18T17:24:36Z
When the virus is under control will the networks revert to having in-studio guests? If not, one of the tech companies should make a total turnkey home TV guest computer, with everything you need to sound and look great when your Maddow moment comes. This sounds like a project for Microsoft. Or one of the smart speaker companies? A lot of interviewees use Skype. One thing to start, teach people how to make ther room sound good. Lots of pillows to start with. You can handle a poor picture better than awful audio.

- 2021-01-18T16:34:27Z
I think the people who invaded the Capitol are telling the truth when they say Trump told them to do it. But that's not all. Trump made them feel special. They were one of a few thousand people that he trusted to set this right. It may not be logical, but the people in the videos seemed drunk. From the recognition from god. The ProPublic videos show that, at the demonstration. They actually called him god. Trump. The scene in the Senate from the New Yorker video, sounded like what I think a hospital for the insane would. Where was their sense of self. DId they think they would get away with it? Why would they think that? Hard to imagine someone could be so far from reality.

- 2021-01-18T16:06:52Z
Another motto that has yet to make it online. "People think I'm creative but I'm just hard of hearing."

- 2021-01-18T16:02:35Z
Here's why you need super lightweight easy to deploy networking interfaces. So you can quickly create connections between apps when the idea occurs to you, when you have the need. Then you can use it, and then you have experience using the 1-in-10 idea that's so good to want to further develop, when you develop it for real. That's why your second version of something is so much better than the first, and the third version is good enough for other people to use (even though we make them use the first two versions anyway). The idea we had, for connecting apps on a single machine, back in the mid-80s was right. It has been a big part of the evolution of every layer since. (And probably before, I just wasn't around during those evolutions.) I mention this because in less than 10 minutes I whipped up a connection between two worlds I'm working on, and watched the newer app update based on a ping from my older app. Ping! It "just worked" and if you're a programmer you know how satisfying that can be.

- 2021-01-18T19:19:43Z

New Yorker cover.

- 2021-01-17T22:40:37Z
I've been working, in slow mode, on a new feature for my outliners, tagging. I saw a similar idea in action with Roam Research's outliner, and thought it was a really nice idea. I always want to save references to my notes in a cumulative index, like the index in the back of a book. This has always been a good companion to the fluid hierarchy, the outline structure which is more like the table of contents in front of a book. Only when you're working electronically, there isn't really a middle. Everything is in both places, at the same time. It's ideas like this that make programmers' eyes glaze over. They start using words like orthogonal, or loosely connected, and of course the always welcome "distributed." Really having fun programming the last week or so. As the world is falling apart. Why not? It's not like any of us are getting out of this alive. 🚀

- 2021-01-17T18:30:46Z
White supremacy is the crisis in the US. There was confusion after 9/11 if we were at war, and now it's even more confusing. What's not confusing is that both events were Acts of War. If I were white, and I am, I'd want to have a way to clearly say I am not with them.

- 2021-01-17T18:15:37Z
It's nice to see more people using

- 2021-01-17T20:00:59Z
Seth Meyers' closer look at Trump's failed Insurrection.

Good morning everybody - 2021-01-17T17:08:49Z

There's a weird feeling in the world right now. Tomorrow is a national holiday, and Wednesday is Inauguration Day. No matter what, things will change radically in the US in the next few days.

I got an answer to a question I asked yesterday, about who 20K+ troops in DC will report to, until Biden is sworn in. By law they report to the commander-in-chief, President Trump. Just a fact. If Trump orders them to assassinate everyone at the inauguration, it's not all that different from what Trump told the mob to do on January 6. So unfortunately it is in the realm of possibility.

It all hinges on who the troops are loyal to. Turns out the military thought of that, and pre-screened the soldiers assigned to this job to weed out white supremacists. I kid you not. They know how to do that? I guess it would be naive for them not to.

I have a nightmareish vision of Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981. If you haven't seen it, watch the video. You've never seen anything like it, even in a movie or TV show. As they say, this is why you want to have programmers around, we think about these things. 💥

I read last night that the Pentagon turned Trump down for a great military send-off on Wednesday morning. Interesting, are they allowed to do that? No one seems to be questioning it.

Anyway, if it goes smoothly and the Bidens end up running the government on Thursday, and recinding Trump's orders, the tension goes down a lot. We still have to deal with Trump, and Republicans, but really if they could just STFU our real business is with the virus.

All the usual mottos apply, Let's Have Fun, Still diggin, and It's not like anyone gets out of this alive.

Famous Front Pages - 2021-01-17T17:41:46Z

We thought we lost a lot on 9-11, but it's nothing compared to what we're losing now.

NYT front page on 9/12/2001.

- 2021-01-16T16:42:06Z
Vaccinating all Americans in short order is the kind of thing we're good at. While I was growing up, we went to space. I remember the Mercury and Gemini missions, and I was 14 years old when we landed on the moon. When there are catastrophes elsewhere in the world, America helps them dig out. We can do this. It will be a great thing to be reminded of our capabilities. We've spent the last four years losing. We need a win. This one is a slam dunk.

- 2021-01-16T16:45:30Z
I needed a script to loop over a calendar-structured folder to generate a list of the most recent updates to a set of projects that are backed up in these folders. I used Frontier. Here's the script source. This is the kind of thing that's much quicker in a scripting system than it would be in Node or some another system language.

- 2021-01-17T03:42:02Z
Why does GitHub make people log in to see an example script?

- 2021-01-16T16:04:48Z
People are obsessed with what others should do, but here's something you can do. 1. Unfollow and block trolls. 2. Unfollow and block friends who RT trolls. If we all did this, and were open about it, we could beat trolls. Trolls don't change, but you can.

- 2021-01-16T17:06:00Z
You know why you need programmers around? We're always looking for ways things can go wrong.

- 2021-01-17T03:47:23Z
The Departed is on Netflix. What an incredible movie. I've watched it so many times. Never fails to grab my full attention.

- 2021-01-16T17:09:34Z
There are 20K troops in DC. Who do they take orders from? Do they think Biden won, or it was stolen from Trump. How many of them believe in the peaceful transfer of power. The question really is, who is the individual cop or soldier loyal to. Since the Civil War, as far as I know, this has not been in question.

- 2021-01-16T17:00:17Z

America lands on the moon in 1969.

- 2021-01-15T21:03:32Z
Every so often the Daily podcast hits it out of the park, as with today's interview with Republican congressperson Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Trump, after voting to certify Biden's win.

- 2021-01-15T15:54:45Z
I was looking at the home page on Memeorandum this morning, wondering how journalism would adjust to not having a daily Trump story (or more) to obsess over. How will everyone else deal with that. What will Maddow talk about every night? The fear factor should diminish, one would hope. Former presidents have much less power than sitting presidents. Trump could be the exception. They will have plenty to write about. First the impeachment. The trials of the January 6 insurrectionists. Trump's trials, bankruptcy. Trump going to jail? One can hope. Will this be good for Biden? For us? I don't know. The Democrats need to get a great online organizing machine rolling, for more than raising money and getting out votes. We need to have healthy forms of political action, to balance out the evil kind, which we're seeing so much of. Say what you will about Trump, he did organize an active base. The Democrats could too, but they don't seem to know it. Same as it always was.

- 2021-01-15T16:05:06Z
Come to think about it, Maddow will have plenty to talk about as details of how Trump and his associates hollowed out and looted the US government while they were in office. We'll be finding smoking holes in the ground for decades to come. Things that used to work that no longer exist. So if you need a nightly story of American carnage, you will be well taken care of.

- 2021-01-15T15:42:20Z
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's thread from the Wednesday about the "significant ramifications" of banning Trump from Twitter. In the thread he talks about Twitter funding an open decentralized standard for social networks called Blue Sky. I remember when they announced this in 2019, I think I offered to help then, and I offered again today. Creating an open distributed system at Twitter's scale is an ambitious undertaking.

- 2021-01-15T14:45:07Z
There are, as far as I know, two places to get a Covid vaccine in Ulster County, the county itself in Kingston and the Village Apothecary in Woodstock. Neither are making appointments now, but you can register to be notified when they are. If you know of others, send me a link and I'll try to post it here or in the linkblog.

Roku's UI? - 2021-01-15T18:11:57Z

I think Roku is an incredible product. The remote is the best. The UI is great. On screens that integrate it, where Roku is the OS, it's even better. It's how screens should work, imho. I called it the Entertainment Desktop in April 2019.

But there's something I've heard a lot -- Roku's user interface "needs work." Or it's old-looking, dated.

But I don't get it. Compared to what? It seems pretty good to me, and I've spent decades thinking about and working on interfaces for stuff like that.

PS: Remember iTunes?

- 2021-01-14T20:30:22Z
Last Wednesday was a horrible day for white Americans.

- 2021-01-14T15:58:43Z
White people should wear a MLK button. Here's what it says: "I am not a white supremacist. I believe in an America that loves and respects all its people. No one is allowed to interfere with or limit another person's right to vote. Government of the people, by the people and for the people."

- 2021-01-14T15:43:06Z
I wouldn't listen to anyone who spouts hate about white men any more than I would one who hates on black men. I'm so fed up with people who spew hate. They're all evil, sick, selfish people. There is no acceptable form of hate.

- 2021-01-14T15:25:49Z
The Nets traded for James Harden, one of the top stars in the NBA. They gave up most of their draft picks, so their future looks pretty grim. And they now have two of the most worst-attitude players in the NBA in Kyrie Irving and Harden. Not sure about Durant. But I wonder how many games Kyrie is going to play this year, when ball-hog Harden is on the court. Maybe he can lead the second team. Somehow the power has to gravitate away from the stars, and back to the teams. In the meantime, it's kind of a blessing for the Knicks that none of the superstars want to play there. That way every victory feels earned. The team has a spirit. Of course they have egos, but none so dominant as the ones who now play for Brooklyn. Now I just wish I could watch the Knicks for less than $65 a month, which is a ripoff that I refuse to pay.


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current date: Jan 21, 2021 - 7:09 p.m. EST