Monthly Archives: November 2005

Music and movie related link dump

Google Video: Randy Rhodes in Quiet Riot – except for Randy’s awesome guitar solo… my band smokes this version of Quiet Riot (they got far better by the time they got signed)… but Randy… unbelievable even then. He even plays a version of “Dee” in here! It made me cry when he slowed down and started to play those delicate passages. May he rest in peace.

Google Video: A killer Paul Gilbert guitar solo

Google Video: Canon in D Guitar: Wow, wow, wow

Google Video: Mario Guitar: Wow (not as awe inspiring as Canon in D – so just one wow)

the Onion: Metal Council Convenes To Discuss ‘Metal Hand Sign’ Abuse (hell ya!)

Please take the ‘Cool Person Test’

Wired: The Hit Factory: On MySpace and the future of music marketing

the smedley log: Give the music back (quoting lyrics to one of my favorite songs)

Matt at Philly Future: Creating Buzz: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on NPR.

ScientificAmerican: Creativity Linked to Sexual Success and Schizophrenia. via Garret.

And not music related, but why not:

Superman V: The Whole Sordid Saga: this script has been thru hell and ba… no… it still seems in hell

Guardian: The longlisted passages for the Bad Sex in Fiction award. NSFW and funny.

atom2rss: a poorly written Atom to RSS converter

Not to vent, but Blogspot’s default of outputting Atom and no RSS for its users gave me all sorts of headaches. A huge expense in time that that drove me away from more important matters at Philly Future. CivicSpace/Drupal’s aggregator does not handle Atom. That means if you are on Blogspot, a site like Philly Future could not include you. An upcoming version of Drupal’s aggregator will have this capability. Bryght’s hosted Drupal solution does right now. However, I couldn’t wait for Drupal to release an aggregator with Atom functionality, and I’m self-managing Philly Future – so I needed my own solution.

A simple service that would, upon passing it a URL of an Atom feed, produce RSS, be best. That way I could avoid hacking Drupal code. A few folks suggested I use Feedburner, and for a while I did, until I read the terms of service. I was, inadvertently, claming I owned those feeds! Once I discovered this, I removed those feeds from my Feedburner account and found another way. After an exhaustive search on Google, I found a few Python implementations of what I was looking for, but no PHP. The hosted web services that I did find wanted to charge money, or warned they were to stop service at any moment. I had to do it myself.

Not that anyone needs converters like this anymore as most services and aggregators handle both Atom and RSS, but I figured it would be a good thing to release for others reuse, so here it is. Using the required Magpie RSS, the PHP RSS Parser library, it retrieves, caches, and parses the passed in Atom feed, iterates over its items, and outputs RSS. A brute force approach, certainly not perfect, nor complete in terms of the metadata it attempts to convert, but one that has worked for the great many Atom feeds Philly Future encounters.

Accessing the Newsgator API within PHP

Shelley Powers published a short tutorial on accessing Newsgator via its API and PHP. I’m working with the code and fleshing out a wrapper library I hope to release shortly. I’m fairly sure using Newsgator judiciously will help alleviate the hosting problems I’ve been facing as Philly Future grows, and allow me to add some interesting new features. We shall see.

The start of a good day

Last night one of my best friends, a sister really, Richelle’s best friend, had her baby girl. I can’t wait to see her today.

Now for a little bit of this, and a little bit of that:

Looks like Saturday’s blogger meetup was on of the best yet: see our fearless meetup czar Scott’s summary, see Albert’s, and Neo‘s.

Lisa Williams’s (of H2Otown) post, and its discussion at PressThink have open my mind to a few things. Check it out. I need to write a dedicated piece to tie it all together.

Shelley is considering buying a Powerbook. I want one too.

Doc Searls wrote a thought provoking must read in Linux Journal: Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes. Those quotes from Edward Whiteacre, CEO of SBC are ummmmm…. well glad I don’t work there. That’s all I’m gonna say.

OSM to change name

Like others, my concern was over the rising confusion between OSM and another pre-existing effort’s name, and the co-opting of an ethos dear to many software engineers. The words “open source” have a storied history on the web. To see them appropriated like what OSM was attempting just rubbed me the wrong way.

I was mentioned in the Saturday’s Inquirer criticising OSM’s choice of name due to the piece I wrote at Philly Future: “Open Source Media – Anti-Open Source and Anti-Blogging?”

Dan Gillmor raised awareness of it in the tech community yesterday.

I did the same by submitting the story to Slashdot. A discussion is still taking place there on how “open source” has been reduced to so much marketing blather (yeah I know – happened a long time ago – but not in such an obvious way if you ask me).

I emailed and discussed with ESR (yes that ESR – he’s from Philly ya know) – the legality of the name and he felt uneasy over their licensing.

And last but not least, Jeff Jarvis gave the folks at OSM some good advice that it looks like they are starting to follow.

OSM has removed the questionable licensing I objected to (without comment that I can see) and are now moving to change their name. Good for them. For a service that claimed to usher in a new age in journalism, the lack of feedback and transparency was painful to watch. This post is a move in the right direction.

A party day in Philly

Hang out with fellow bloggers and make new friends at this month’s regional blogger meetup. We’ve changed location – Nodding Head treated folks rudely – so your loss Nodding Head. This one looks to be the biggest yet.

Afterwards you can get together with the folks from Young Philly Politics to celebrate their birthday. Congrats YPP!

PhillyCrime.org now covers the entire city, but needs your help.

And I’ve collected a small round up of OSM reactions across the web here. I’m honestly disgusted. These folks are people that supposedly claim they “get the web” and the media looks to them more and more for a window into what we do. Indeed, many are highly influential. It’s obvious they don’t. Or maybe the truth is – they do – and they fully intend to take advantage of it.

Open Source Media – Anti-Open Source and Anti-Blogging?

Yesterday’s launch of Open Source Media could have gone by with little comment from me except to congratulate a group of well known bloggers on attempting something like Philly Future, except far grander in scope and size (which helps when you have millions of dollars of financing and big names pushing it). Instead what I see is troubling and hopefully will change.

OSM.org mission, in its words is to: is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it.

An admirable mission. One much like Philly Future’s. I don’t look at commercialization as a negative thing. We are even part of an ad network for local Philadelphia advertisers. Among blogs in my personal aggregator are those from Weblogs Inc, Gawker Media, Metroblogging and Gothamist, and in two cases, Philly Future’s. But there’s much wrong with the implementation of this particular network so far.

While some have attacked the authors and concept behind OSM – that is not my concern. In fact, I applaud their effort.

I have a more serious set of concerns. Among them the the highjacking of an ethos that the site is the antithesis of. Read my thoughts on OSM at Philly Future.

I hope Tim O’Reilly, ESR, and other supporters of the concepts behind open source will set these folks straight. Lawrence Lessig should take a look as well.

It’s depressing to see “open source” reduced to so much marketing blather, in such a hypocritical way, by people who should know better.

Kinda like war == peace, now open == closed.