From the TBS broadcast of Lord of the Rings

Posted in Linkage at 1:38 am by cori

"It sucks to be Frodo."

How profound.



Update on the Post’s Domenech

Posted in politics at 8:08 am by cori

Ah, the truth surfaces; he’s a plagiarist:

Why anyone would think, in this day and age, that they can get away with something like this is beyond me. Especially when you’re as much a firebrand as Domenech is/was.

Here’s a bit of the right-wing flummery that I expect he would have produced had RedAmerica been able to continue:

“To my enemies: I take enormous solace in the fact that you spent this week bashing me, instead of America.” – from Red America Ends

So Domenech resigned. I understand thet the Post may hire another blogger to fill his place. Let’s hope that

  1. The Post vets their new candidate a little more thoroughly.
  2. They hire an opinion columnist from the left to balance the scales.


What about the rest of us?

Posted in politics at 4:44 pm by cori

New Blog: Red America

The Washington Post is now offering a platform for a conservative blogger, Bob Domenech, to

“offer a daily mix of commentary, analysis and cultural criticism”

Interesting that they don’t seem to value balance enough to offer a “Blue America” blog.

For what it’s worth, I don’t see anything wrong with Red America. Domenech himself says:

“…this is an opinion blog, and not a work of unbiased journalism…”

essentially defusing any illusion or pretense of objectivity in this forum. And that’s fine. In fact it’s great; if anything can show that Domenech doesn’t represent the majority of Americans it’s his words themselves.

But where’s the balance?

I call upon the Post to provide the same pulpit to a strong liberal voice as to Domenech’s conservative one.

Hooray for the “state-sponsored culture of piracy!”

Posted in Linkage, music at 2:04 pm by cori

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple attacks plan to open iTunes

This is potentially a big blow for Apple, whose iTunes/iPod business model is built on its very lack of interoperability with other devices and services
Jonathan Arber, Ovum

Any company that can’t adapt to making money without resorting to breaking my ability to move my data from one place to another deserves to fold.  I’m not some “open-source communist” on this idea; I have no problem with companies making money from the proprietary software they write.  But if I own the data (be it text, pictures, or music) then don’t stop me from moving from one place to another.  It’s one reason why I’ve never bought anything from iTunes (aside from “buying” the occasional free downloads) and never will.

Via Dave (and, previously, Dave)


Spam solution? Perhaps not.

Posted in Linkage at 3:46 pm by cori

Lots of really good commentary regarding the GoodMail solution and Esther Dyson’s op-ed piece in Dave’s comments. Unfortunately, aside from a brief visit from GoodMail’s founder, it’s been pretty one-sided.
This does have the feel of an answer for the privileged. For what it’s worth, I’m all for a better spam solution, but there are alternatives that can make it more difficult for the true spammers without making the rest of us bear the burden. SenderID, for all its weaknesses, comes to mind.


New News: Deconstructing the newspaper

Posted in Linkage at 1:15 pm by cori

From Deconstructing the newspaper (BuzzMachine):

“It is important for newspapers to boil themselves down to their essence and figure out how to do better at providing that unique and valuable service.”

I don’t consider myself a particularly valuable contributor to the New Newsroom conversation, since I’ve never subscribed to a newspaper, and probably never will (thought I did deliver them for many years). My greatest exposure to the newspaper are when my neighbors go out of town and have them delivered to us while they’re gone. Aside from that, all I typically see is the funnies in the breakroom. That said, here I go anyway.

I generally agree with Jeff on his points about what will keep the newspaper alive, and I do think it’s important that they stay alive because any independant news coverage is important, especially in the current atmosphere. We need all the truth-telling we can get these days, no matter who’s on the receiving end. Mostly I think that Jeff has good pointers that the newspapers would be wise to heed.

However one thread of this particular piece (which it has in common with others he’s written) is the idea of syndicating everything you can:

“I’ll be[t] that half the papers that maintain third-rate bureaus in Washington would do better running news from syndicates….”

I see the same problem with over-syndication that I see with over-consolidation in media markets. Fewer voices means less truth – whatever truth is – and if we end up with all the news in newspapers nationwide provided by 3 or 5 news agencies, the loss of so many voices will be sorely felt, and noticed too late.

Perhaps Jeff’s way is the only way for newspapers to survive, I don’t know, but I’m afraid of a world where every bit of news I read is written by the same 5 or 6 organizations.


2 female presidents, in Africa and South America

Posted in politics at 12:14 pm by cori

NPR : New Liberian President Sworn In

“Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as Liberia’s first elected female president Monday.”

NPR : Chile Elects First Female President

“The first female president was elected in a runoff election in Chile Sunday.”

When the United States?


The Conversations Network is live!

Posted in Linkage at 9:43 am by cori

A little more about it here. Lots more about it here.

Go. Now.


From TECHNOSIGHT: 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout

Posted in blogging, learning, Life, Linkage at 9:34 am by cori

TECHNOSIGHT » 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout

“If there is no discovery for the writer, there is none for the reader.” – Robert Frost.

Well-timed commentary for me personally, since I’ve been lax in blogging recently and have a number of posts in “churn-mode” where I think about them and write/edit a little bit at a time over days or weeks. Some really excellent thoughts from Ken.  Every single point he makes here has validity for many (most?) bloggers.
If you’re a blogger (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), go read this.


Wisconsin taking the lead

Posted in politics at 11:29 am by cori

Dan Gillmor points to the Wisconsin Technology Network‘s post regarding Governor Doyle’s signing of a law to force electronic voting machine manufaturers to open their source code. WTN’s updated their post – Assembly Bill 627 called for opening the source code, but the enacted law (pdf) places the source code in escrow, only to be seen in case of a (successful) recount petition, and then only by a representative of each party to the recount. From the bill:

“…each municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of a municipality that uses an electronic voting system for voting at an election shall provide to any person, upon request, at municipal expense, the coding for the software that the municipality uses to operate the system and to record and tally the votes cast.”

From the law:

“If a valid petition for a recount is filed … each party to the recount may designate one or more persons who are authorized to receive access to the software components that were used to record and tally the votes in the election. The board shall grant access to the software components to each designated person if, before receiving access, the person enters into a written agreement with the board that obligates the person to exercise the highest degree of reasonable care to maintain the confidentially of all proprietary information to which the person is provided access…”

This is in addition to laws already on the books requiring that electronic voting mechanisms produce paper ballots for recount, and adds to that requirement the requirement that the paper ballot be presented to the voter for verification before being stored. The law also specifically indicates that the code placed in escrow be determined to be the same code that counts the votes.

While this isn’t a complete solution to the problems inherent in electronic voting, it’s among the first and strongest steps in the right direction.


NPR bit on advertising in the internet age

Posted in Linkage at 12:04 pm by cori


“With TiVos and iPods giving consumers more power, what’s an ad guy to do?”

from Advertising Strategies Challenged in High-Tech Age – All Things Considered

Echoing what Dave (and others, of course) has been saying since I started reading Scripting News – about 2 years now.
Further evidence (if you needed any) that even if you dislike Dave’s politics or public persona, you’d be a fool not to read him and follow what he’s talking about.

Also, I love NPR and listen with some regularity, but sometimes it’s hard to understand how long it takes them to catch up to things like this. Not their strength, perhaps….


Tim Berners-Lee blogs!

Posted in blogging, Linkage at 12:41 pm by cori

His first post.  Some other interesting stuff (not by Tim) there as well.


Writely notes from class

Posted in learning, web2.0 at 3:36 pm by cori

Still using Writely to keep my notes from this week’s class. I thought I had published them, but apparently hadn’t; here’s the up-to-date version.

One nice feature that I’ve noted is that you can set internal anchors to spots in the doc pretty easily. Today’s notes are here and yesterday’s, here.

I plan to ellipticise my notes about my week-long experience with Writely later.

Google Music Search looks pretty cool….

Posted in Linkage, music at 1:53 pm by cori

Google’s new music search looks fairly useful. Here’s a search for Fugazi.

Using the music search’s album list you’ll see all the albums Google can find, along with pricing at various vendors and links to reviews, if there are any that Google can find. Here’s a better example, for Pink Floyd.

From the song list you can view other versions of a particular song, iTunes and eMusic purchase options, and lyrics searches (I wonder how the RIAA is going to like that? Not much, I expect).

via Dave

Update: Just noticed Dave’s post about a potential music industry heads up. Figures Google would talk to the RIAA but not to the rest of us.


Posted in Linkage at 12:49 am by cori


“Systems, Applications, Products in Data Processing”, formed by four ex-IBM employees who used to work in the ‘Systems/Applications/Projects’ group of IBM.

from this. I’d like to know where he got his info. I understood SAP to stand for something in German. Given that much of the backend ABAP code is commented in German, I suspected that was fairly accurate.

Yahoo-licious suffers the longest hour evar.

Posted in web2.0 at 12:32 am by cori


” del.icio.us is down for maintenance. we’ll be back in one hour.”

That’s about the longest hour I’ve ever seen; that message has been up since 7:00 or so. It’s now half-past 11. That’s even longer than the hour that goes by when the company website is down because I frelled something up.

I truly hope this isn’t indicative with future Yah.licio.us performance.


An interesting dichotomy….

Posted in learning, Life at 11:20 am by cori

Wednesday at Inacom’s Madison education facility is apparently the day that the 3-day classes begin. My class, Developing Microsoft ASP.NET Web Applications Using Visual Studio .NET, is all men. Today the course in Photoshop 7.0 Basic Skills 1 began, completely filled with women.



OpinMind cool new feature

Posted in Linkage, OPML, RSS, web2.0 at 4:07 pm by cori

versus searches.

Here’s a good one.

Instructor habits

Posted in Life at 3:51 pm by cori

I noticed today that female training instructors almost always have tissues in the classroom and male instructors almost never do.

Wonder why that is…


ASP.NET training this week

Posted in learning, Life, RSS at 11:21 am by cori

I’m at Inacom this week taking an ASP.NET class.

One good thing to know from the first hour is that my instructor, Gentry Bieker, not only knows about RSS, but also evangelizes it and has his own blogs (http://gentryb.blogspot.com/, http://blueskiesforever.blogspot.com/, and http://courseopia.blogspot.com/). None have been updated recently, but at least he’s blogged.

My notes are being taken in Writely, and when I publish them will be here.


Scripting News trackbacks

Posted in blogging at 12:56 pm by cori

Dave Winer’s added Technorati search to the sidebar of Scripting News. This is a nice feature, but one that I’d like to see even more would be for Dave to put a small Technorati bubble (technorati bubble) by the permalink icon for each post that would allow a Technorati Search based on the url for that particular post. That would be as close as you could get to implementing trackbacks on Scripting News without actually hosting trackbacks.  Like so: technorati bubble


Know your legislators

Posted in Linkage at 11:32 pm by cori

Thanks to Dave, I’m now subscribed to the voting records of my 3 legislators. An avenue in to involved and interactive government, especially when RSS is built in to more apps.

Herb Kohl: RSS

Wonder Tammy: RSS

Super Russ: RSS

Thanks, Dave


Untrue quote of the day

Posted in blogging, Life, Linkage at 10:32 am by cori

Conversations worth having require beliefs that you are secure in.

Many of the most valuable conversations I’ve ever had are exploratory – about things I don’t have a settled belief about. The conversation helps me resolve those ideas.

Having looked at Sawdust and Incense when Doc last linked to it, I find something very appealing about the gentleman’s approach, especially when contrasted against that of many of the pro-life or pro-choice groups. I’d also like to hope that this fellow isn’t thinking “conversation = conversion”.

In addition I’d like to encourage a conversation with a few women I know, who could tell him that the first few paragraphs of this aren’t necessarily the norm.

via Doc.


Getting Categories in OPML Editor

Posted in OPML Editor at 7:18 am by cori

Dave Winer’s trying to retrieve the categories from a WordPress blog but isn’t having much success. Since I’m running both a WordPress.org and WordPress.com site I thought I might be able to lend a hand, but Dave seems to be looking for people with proven WordPress expertise.

I did some digging on my own and found that it was pretty easy to install a script like the one that Dave references; simply open the ftsc file using OPML Editor’s File | Open menu selection and OPML Editor will try to install it, asking where you’d like to put it. Not much to explain, really. Since I was trying to hack this on my own I installed it to a slightly different name than the default, and I had to change some of the test code to have it run against my WordPress.org blog so that I could look at the log file.

Everything looked fine to me in the log file, and I get back a list-type entry in the scratchpad that reflects the correct number of categories for that blog, with each entry a Table with 5 items. Since it’s a list I can’t expand it or see mor detail. Same thing if I allow it to run against my WordPress.com blog (this one). If I change the Kind of the list to, say, Outline (first I had to change it to a string, then I could change it to an Outline), I see a categoryId, categoryName, description, htmlUrl, rssUrl.

This doesn’t quite follow the MetaWeblog specification for getCategories, which specifies to return a struct with 3 elements (description, htmlUrl, rssUrl), but WordPress uses both categoryId and categoryName, and I don’t know what Radio or other blogging platforms use. I suppose it kind of makes sense that the structs returned include those values.

What I don’t understand, not knowing Frontier programming well enough, is why this is returned as a list instead of as a table (which seems the most logical Frontier representation of a struct, and also appears to be what Dave intended in the script).


Dave, in the dust…

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:57 am by cori

Dave Winer:

“I really appreciate that Ben pointed this out, he was the first to notice (other than me, of course).” [link to the referenced post]

Not true, Dave.

I noticed, and if I did I’m sure a lot of other people did too.  The thing was, it was your battle to fight, and you seemed pretty OK letting it go – obviously some tension, but not all up in arms.  Not that it would have mattered, but I certainly would have voiced my opinion (and did).


Attention on TV

Posted in attention at 2:11 pm by cori

Oliver Thylmann, one of my new finds via the Corante Network says:

Now we analyse click streams, in the future also view streams.

I couldn’t agree more, and in fact said as much in my (revised) post today at elliptical….  I didn’t happen to mention TV there, instead the example I chose was cell phones, but the idea’s the same.  More focussed advertising, from things like TV, will be in pour attention stream in the not-too-distant future.  Think about what TiVo is doing.

I’m not much for advertising, but at least if I can choose what I see then we’re a little better off.

technorati tags: , , ,

Yahoo! watching attention

Posted in attention at 1:44 pm by cori

The Web portal company does not give personal information to advertising clients but tracks a few types of behavior by its users, including search queries, movement through Yahoo sites and the specific ads clicked. That lets it decide on the fly what ads are most appropriate for a user.

Yahoo uses online behavior to target ads | CNET News.com

Welcome to the world of attention, Yahoo!  Now, what can I get from you (or your advertisers) if I show you some of my behavior on Google? 

Because I can, you know…..

technorati tags: ,

Propagation of untruth

Posted in Linkage at 12:24 am by cori

Erik, old bean, you’re propogating an untruth:

“Podfather” Adam Curry, the former MTV “VJ” who started the world’s first podcast

From: Vegan.com

The world’s first podcast was probably created by Dave Winer, though Harold Gilchrist might also have some claim there, depending on your definition. But certainly not Adam. Instrumental in it’s growth? Probably. First ever? Definitely not.


Yahoo’s river of news

Posted in aggregator trials, OPML, RSS at 10:05 am by cori

Dave Winer:

“They’re including a nice smallish RSS reader in their Mail app. I had seen it before, and it’s a River of News aggregator.”

Pointing us to TechCrunch:

“Yahoo has deeply integrated RSS into the Yahoo Mail beta experience. Directly below the email folders are “RSS folders?. Clicking on the top folder show all posts in a ‘river of news’ format, meaning all posts for all subscribed feeds are listed in the order they have appeared in feeds.”

This could act nicely as a backup to Rojo when I’m having problems over there, especially if they’re smart and at least account for OPML synchronization (and I mean synch, not import and export – now’s the time to build it in, fellows). Too bad it’s a closed beta…

I’m totally uninterested in Yahoo! mail – I don’t wnat or need another mail account or even another mail reader. But another good web-based RSS reader. That’d be cool. And if it could synch with an OPML that I maintained somewhere’s else, or allowed me to publish the OPML that I maintain there without jumpign through hoops, that’d be the Golden Fleece (or is that the Holy Grail?).

technorati tags: ,


OPML Editor as WordPress blogging tool: hack #1 (or is it #2?)

Posted in OPML Editor at 9:41 am by cori

I’ve found (and/or created) a couple of hacks that make using the OPML Editor as a WordPress (and other blog platform) blogging tool a little nicer.

The first applies if you want to use OPML Editor to blog to multiple Metaweblog-based blogs. Right now to do so you have to set each one up in your preferences, and decide before creating a new post which blog you’re going to use (or at least that’s what it seems like).

If you’re up for a little OPML Editor hacking, you can make this a lot less of a hassle.

What you need to do is to create a right-click menu item by using the “Tools | Edit right-click menu” menu item. In the resulting outline enter a new node and name it whatever you want to call your new entry. Then double-click this node to open the script for this action.

In the script window, type the following:

This script causes OPML Editor to pop a dialog box when you right-click on a node and select your new menu item (mine’s called “Set Att”). It will ask you for the attribute you want to modify. If the attribute has a value it’ll put ha value in another dialog, if not you get a blank dialog. Type the new value you want and OPML Editor will either update the existing attribute or add a new one.

For the purposes of WordPress blogging using the OPML Editor, you can right-click the top-level node (the one with the title) of your newly added post and type “blogname” for the atribue you want to modify. Then type the blogname value for the blog you want to post to (from the list you’ve created in your prefs) and when you save the workspace you’ll post to whatever blog you’ve selected.

If any of this doesn’t make sense, please leave a comment and I’ll try to clarify it – I didn’t want to get too basic here, but in doing so might have left ou too much detail.

Next Up: hacking a little deeper into OPML Editor’s code to control post status (draft, published).

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