Monthly Archives: September 2005

Friday break

Check out a great review of Serenity. Can’t wait to see it this weekend. Another movie to see will be Roman Polanski’s version of Oliver Twist: Like Oliver, Polanski said he knows what it’s like “to walk for kilometers without socks in boots with bloody feet.” “Above all, I knew that the worst thing isn’t a hard bed or hunger, but having no parents,” he said.

What’s discussed when a number of influential bloggers have a meeting with big media execs: Jay Rosen has a summary.

Wall Street’s revenue pressure is killing newspapers while Yahoo! is hiring journalists. Sad isn’t it?

From Jeneane Sessum comes news of Netsquared – a blog focused on growing web-based nonprofit communities. Just my cup of tea.

Interesting Web 2.0 related posts: thesocialsoftwareweblog: “Approaching a definition of Web 2.0″, Bokardo: “Web 2.0 as the Era of Interfaces, Redux”, Read/Write Web: “Web 2.0 is really about normal everyday people using the Web and creating things on it – forget the acronyms”.

RateMyProfessors has caught the attention of university staffs, and they aren’t happy (Wired). How about RateMyPriest.org? Really! I mean it.

As if on cue the Right is attempting to slander Ronnie Earle, the prosecutor who brought Tom Delay’s indictment. Earle has prosecuted four times as many Democrats as Republicans. That sound partisan to you?

Speaking of which, even while having unprecedented one party rule over the House, the Senate, the Executive, and now the Supreme Court, the GOP is having a bad year. The Democrats, however, apparently want to lose (Oliver Willis).

And for something completely different: Death and the Iron Maidens.

Thursday morning bits

Let me second Jeneane Sessum in offering well wishes and good luck to Shelley Powers who is about to be deployed by the Red Cross to points unknown to people who need help. Like Jeneane, I am very proud to know Shelley (well online at least :)). She’s taking the compassion she shares online to help in the most direct way possible. It takes guts and heart.

Matt Raible continues his evaluation of open source CMSes and centers in on Joomla and Drupal/CivicSpace.

Jeremy Zawodny writes about how three year plans at Internet companies are a bit of a stretch and links to a great presentation on planing and design by Adam Bosworth.

Rollyo lets you roll your own search engine, and the results, I think, exemplify the utility of a Memeorandum seeded with a specific set of feeds. Rollyo looks like to be another great webservice. One to watch (and to use!). In fact, a long, long time ago, Philly.com hosted a search engine – Philly Finder – that was seeded with only high quality sites reviewed by its editorial staff – I miss that search engine. RSS search at Philly Future will solve a similar problem once I have it up and running.

Corruption surrounds White House and GOP leaders this week. First David Safavian, President Bush’s top procurement official – was arrested. Now, in what will overshaddow that news Tom Delay is indicted in the Texas Finance Probe. From the comments comes a link to the Smoking Gun and the actual bill of indictment.

An officer seeks clarity in codes of conduct for the handling of prisoners – and is attacked (Rumsfeld was heard to have said “Either break him or destroy him, and do it quickly.”). via rc3.org. Read his letter to Sen. John McCain.

And now for something more lighthearted – read Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon’s interview in Time.

Wednesday bits.. is it Wednesday?

If you do anything online today, make some time for Dick Hardt’s Identity 2.0 presentation at OSCON. Thought provoking and spot on.

Browse. Search. Subscribe.:Damn straight Dave. Damn straight. There have been solutions talked about, but none have taken hold. It’s a problem that still stands begging to be solved.

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone, Yahoo!’s first original content effort, has launched. But where’s the RSS?

Philadelphia Magazine trashes the Philadelphia blogosphere and its successful efforts to raise awareness of LaToyia Figueroa. Read Richard Cranium’s response and Will Bunch’s rebuttal.

Decline in male college attendance is a serious national problem. – but no one is talking about it. How about instead of blaming efforts to improve women education we look at the effects of poverty and culture on today’s men? Nah.. this will probably denigrate into a blame fest and so it sits as a growing problem.

Daily Kos and Atrios miss Media Whores Online. Pre$$titute$ is a good alternative, but what I miss is the late, great, Spinsanity – nothing came close to providing clarity in the muck. FactCheck.org just doesn’t have the bite and is less effective.

Google is preparing a move into classifieds search. If I was working at CareerBuilder – I’d be worried – “Commercial classifieds sites such as CareerBuilder, Cars.com and others have to weigh the additional audience Google could deliver against the potential loss of revenue. Analysts, including us, predict that advertisers will move to free sites if they become convinced that they will reach an audience as large – or larger – on a search engine than on a paid advertising site.”

LiveJournal has added a feature that lets you navigate communities by school. It gets slagged at Metafilter but I think this feature is very cool.

ProgrammableWeb has a cool matrix up of Web 2.0 mashup apps. Check it out.

The church-state barrier has taken some major hits this past week – House OKs Faith As Head Start Hiring Issue and FEMA Plans to Reimburse Faith Groups for Aid. Richard at the All Spin Zone isn’t optimistic.

Raleigh NY is having success improving public education by using integration by income. More at A Little Urbanity. via Ed Cone.

Garret points to an interesting article (and site for the bookmarks) Urban Food Production: Evolution, Official Support and Significance. He comments that with such a current emphasis on ‘self reliance’ and events like Katrina showing that we are – indeed – on our own – you should see more links out there like this one.

Speaking of self-reliance, no matter what folks might think, it’s hard to have good teeth without health insurance or good health insurance that provides for regular dentist visits. Jeneane Sussum is wondering if America is setting itself up to be a nation of people with crappy smiles…So we let go what we have to let go. Our teeth. And we make due. And we’re glad if we can just make our health insurance premiums every month. And those of us who once wouldn’t be seen without perfect enamel and every six month cleanings smile a little less often these days…. The New Yorker, in stomach twisting piece would seem to agree.

Tuesday grab bag

GoogleBlog ushers in the launch of Google Video: “The era of the couch potato is so over. We’re rooting for the desk (and laptop) potato”. Speaking of Google Video check out the “everybody hates Chris” premier. The quality is good (not great), but it is very easy to use, and since it is Flash, no new plugin to install or some external app to load. Nice. Another great example is Google’s Recruiting Video – no really!

Rafe Colburn and Ted Leung (who deleted my comment while cleaning out spam – I can relate – did that myself quite a few times), second a thought I’ve had on improving Memeorandum – feeding it a group of RSS feeds that you care about. They are thinking in terms of a personal aggregator – I would like to make that personalized page public as as service.

Microsoft is taking radical steps to beat itself back to life. It’s facing facts – Windows was broken – and Longhorn wasn’t going to fix it – and taking bold corrective measures that should pay off down the line. The folks at the Register aren’t very optimistic.

Jason Calacanis gives his thoughts on recent moves by Microsoft and Google, Fox, Yahoo, and AOL.

Speaking of Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky gives us a behind the scenes look at MS’s dev team management structure.

And look at this – Internet ad revenue climbs 26 percent.

Did you know it’s Banned Books Week. Check out the discussion at Metafilter and buy one.

Oh, and a Saudi Prince Buys a 5% Stake in Fox how ironic is that?

Ummmm… Michael Brown, former head of FEMA, is still getting a paycheck there – as a consultant.

Bush wants to expand the role of the military on domestic soil, giving authority over to the Pentagon in disaster response (Washington Post), overturning the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 that baned the armed forces from participating in police-type activity on U.S. soil. John Scalzi calls it the mother of all bad ideas.

Speaking of bad ideas… read “Bush administration threatens veto against Geneva Convention” at Metafilter.

Rest in Peace: Don Adams, TV’s Maxwell Smart, Dies at 82.

I’ve been ‘bit-blogging’ a a little too much these past few days…must step away from the keyboard…

News Roundup

September’s Philly Blogger Meetup was another success. Lots of new faces. Wish I could have been there. I’m looking forward to October’s.

The Eagles had a hell of a fight on Sunday, but they pulled it thru.

The FBI’s War on Porn has struck its first well known site: the Goth haven Suicide Girls has been forced to take down a number of photo sets. They urge donations to the EFF.

Thousands of people fill Washington’s streets to protest the Iraq war, and nary a mention in broadcast news. More at Brad Blog.

Memorandum continues to win me over. It really is the Google News of blog produced content and conversations.

It looks like the music labels want to put the squeeze on Apple – they want a cut of iPod sales!

There is a new hosted blogging solution on the horizon at Six Apart, so far called Project Comet. Mena Trott says: People are always saying that they want to make a product that’s “easy enough for their mom to use.â€? Well, we want to do something more. My mom knows how to use a computer so it’s not just about ease of use: I want to make a product that my mom actually wants (emphasis mine – Karl) to use.

Dan Gillmor speaks about the NYTimes Anti-Columnist Pay-Wall: By rendering the publication’s most interesting assets invisible on the Web — if I were a Times columnist I would be furious — the paper is reducing its authority in the real world in an understandable effort to show better numbers for the online operation.

Dan was formerly a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, and a former Knight Ridder coworker of mine – the corporation continues the bloodletting that started last week as it announces plans to shrink the Merc newsroom by 52 jobs.

Rumor: MTV & Warner Prepping For “Big Announcment” This Morning (PaidContent.com).

Speaking of Time Warner: CNet: It’s Not TV, it’s Yahoo: Is Terry Semel, Yahoo’s chief executive and the former co-head of Warner Brothers, trying to turn Yahoo into the interactive studio of the future? The short answer is yes, but Semel’s ambitions are far bigger and more complex than that. He wants Yahoo to be seen as more akin to Warner’s parent, Time Warner, which mixes content like Warner and CNN with distribution, like its cable systems. Yahoo is both of those and a lot of software, too.

Speaking of video at Yahoo!, have you checked out Google Video? They are using Flash video! A fun example vid going around is Bill Gate’s Coke commercial.

More on GoogleNet – Google’s broadband WiFi plans – can be found here.

Speaking of video search, Truveo looks very interesting. Check out a recent article in MIT’s Technology Review.

Watch Battlestar Galactica? No? Shame on you man. Anyway Shelley Powers checks in with a review of Friday night’s season finale. One of the best episodes to any show I have ever watched. And at times wanted to turn away from.

Matt Raible is evaluating open source CMS solutions: see part 1 and part 2 so far.

Roland Tanglao has put up a mp3 of his Remixing RSS presentation he gave at a recent conference in Vancouver.

Web 2.0 is already here. Has been for some time actually. Time to get over the hype curve, recognize the reality – the mashup web is flat out awesome and here.

In what kind of world is ‘dumping’ of homeless and mentally ill into a part of town, to fend for themselves, acceptable?

Morning bits

My prayers go out the folks in Rita’s way this morning. Remember to give.

The Commission on Federal Election Reform has released its report – urging paper trails (Wired). More at VerifiedVoting.org. Locally, check out the Committee of Seventy for information on voting rights and reform.

via Global Voices, Ma-Schamba, a Mozambique blogger shares that Live 8 is nothing but broken promises.

Atrios gives an update of his efforts in DC to convince the powers that be not to regulate free speech on the Internet as ‘political speech’.

Jay Rosen gives his thoughts on TimesSelect and shares a compliment for mine on this week’s newspaper staff reductions (thanks!). Me? I will never link to a TimesSelect article. It’s bad enough linking to something that eventually falls behind an archive wall, but I can’t link to a for-pay article. It’s what keeps me from linking more often to The Atlantic as well.

The news is that Cheney killed testimony on Able Danger.

And for more frightening news, there are 115 sick of avian flew in Jakarta.

AOL is to begin its VOIP rollout October 4th. Speaking of AOL, it has dropped the ‘beta’ tag from its new portal and has begun marketing.

At Fool.com, by Seth Jayson: “Why I Fear Google WiFi”: “How much of your life do you want to put at Google’s disposal?”

And for you porn hunters – a job for you – the FBI is looking for recruits: “The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against “manufacturers and purveyors” of pornography — not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults” War on terror? Got that handled. We have other priorities. Your tax dollars at work.

If you need a giggle (and I do man, I do), check out JWZ’s guide to turning your hamster into a fighting machine.

Morning tech/web/citizen journalism bits

Dan Gillmor rips Google for its hubris in putting together an event for 400 special guests to be ‘off the record’ – including to invited journalists and bloggers. More from Doc Searls and Dave Winer.

A lot of folks have started to point to Truth Laid Bare blogger driven anti-pork campaign. The funny thing is Citizens Against Government Waste has been around for a long, long time and this looks to simply duplicate the effort of a non-partisan non-profit.

You can now get your My Yahoo! subscriptions as OPML. About time :)

GoogleRumors: “Google will soon launch a security tool for WiFi users, perhaps as a precurser to GoogleNet.” More from Jeremy Zawodny and Inside Google.

I haven’t read this yet, but plan to: Global PR Blog Week: “Adding Blogs to an Existing Non-Profit Community”.

Morning news bits

Katrina has opened up an opportunity to talk about class and race in America. If you read anything today, read “Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid” in Harpers magazine. There has been terrific progress in Philadelphia, but there are many, many factors stacked against us. A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer shares a major case in point – “Philadelphia (is) among the nation’s poorest counties and Chester, Burlington and Bucks among its richest”. How do you think this helps or hurts education funding? And don’t you think that’s self-reinforcing?

Ed Cone takes note of John Edwards who has been championing how “Personal responsibility combined with smart government can beat poverty, that’s the message. Don’t have babies out of wedlock in your teens and we’ll make sure you’ve got a chance.” That’s Bill Clinton’s old message. Notice the two part goal here: Personal responsibility and smart government. It’s a message I believe in.

Speaking of Bill Clinton, he has finally begun to share his views on how things have been going – and it’s not pretty. Tellingly, if you watch Memeorandum it appears that most folks talking about this are Republicans who are appalled that Clinton opened his mouth. And most Democrats are just sitting idly by when they should be cheering him on. Just like old times. Pandagon tears apart one of the popular ones.

America’s response to Katrina, and the two-tier society it exposed for all to see is not looking so good abroad, even in Britain. Just look at the tone of recent articles in the Mirror or Sky News.

Amongst the stories of system failure that have come out of Katrina, folks should recognize there are many more times the number of stories of survival (Washington Post) that tell of strength, ingenuity, quick thinking, courage and compassion.

Rita is growing to hurricane strength and Galveston might issue an evacuation order today.

A shout out of thanks to all who have been donating and finding ways to help in the wake of Katrina. There are so many great examples to share across the web, but one I’ve been meaning to mention is Shelley Powers and her Critters for Critters campaign. The auction she is running I believe ends tomorrow, check it out. And if you can donate to the Humane Society.