The Kerry I Know

Thomas Oliphant publishes a deeply personal profile on John Kerry in the American Prospect.

The more I hear about him, the more I like him. How different that is from other candidates in the past!

First Night Over And The Biggest News Is…

Local weblogger Atrios’s unmasking is the biggest shared news item among many convention webloggers. Go Atrios!

In all seriousness, Atrios’s story and effect are news and hopefully now that he is public, a real profile can be done on how and why he does what he does and is so effective at it.

Fox News talked over a powerful rendition of Amazing Grace, played as memorial to 9/11. You know Fox News – they hate America.

Unmentioned among ALL the convention webloggers, and suspiciously not shown on CN8 (Comcast’s news network) or CNN is David Alston. His tribute to serving with Kerry in Vietnam was moving and even from TV, you could tell he had the convention floor rocking.

The NYTimes catches a theme that I picked up on, the speakers represented a half a century of Democratic leadership. From Al Gore, to Carter, to Bill and Hillary Clinton, their speeches were tough and optimistic. With a good dash of humor thrown in by all.

“Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.”

President Clinton, Democratic National Convention, 2004

Blogger Convention Coverage

Metafilter has a thread pointing to various weblogger driven coverage of the Democratic National Convention. Unfortunately it appears to have been hijacked by folks that want to flame instead of discuss the various sites to watch.

So you can ignore that thread and look here:

Related articles:

NYTimes: Web Diarists Are Now Official Members of Convention Press Corps.

WSJt: Meet the Bloggers: Not the usual cast of characters for once!

9/11 Commission Report

The 9/11 Commission Report came out yesterday and a few questions are on everyone’s mind. Let me try and summarize the best I can (and feel free to correct me folks):

Who is to blame?

The report makes clear that no single person is to blame. It was a collective failure. I’m reminded of the Rolling Stones in Sympathy for the Devil: “I shouted out, Who killed the kennedys? When after all, It was you and me.”

Who will be held accountable?

That remains to be seen. Because blame is so far spread, I doubt there will be any single person.

Are we safe?

The immediate response to 9/11 ad-hoc since we were unprepared. Many more could have lost their lives if not for the heroes doing emergency response: Police, Fire, and EMTs in New York and Washington D.C.. The long term policies of this administration in response have been inadequate and have not made us safe. In some respects it has made things worst.

What about the reports recommendations?

It remains to be seen if they will get implemented or politicized.

Now go read it for yourself and determine what you think about it:

The 9/11 Commission posted the major chapters as a set of downloadable PDFs.

PDFHacks took those and broke them down into bookmarkable sections.

Jason Kottke posted an HTML version of the Executive Summary (very easy to read).

Apple’s iTunes has posted audio testimony from the hearings for free.

Boing Boing has been the clearing house to find these.

John Kerry released a statement that you should read after the report.

The NYTimes has an section devoted to analysis and reactions to it.

Oliver Willis points out some key recommendations in it.

For more reaction, check out the Feedster’s DNC Webloggers Aggregator.

Unix’s Founding Fathers

Almost everything we do rests on the shoulders of others. profies Dennis Rictchie, who invented C and helped produce the earliest version of Unix:

Because computers were rare at the time, people did not have them on their desks, but rather went to the room, one side of which was covered with whiteboards, and sat down at a random computer to work. The technical hub of the system became the social hub.

It is that interplay between the technical and the social that gives both C and Unix their legendary status. Programmers love them because they are powerful, and they are powerful because programmers love them. David Gelernter, a computer scientist at Yale, perhaps put it best when he said, ?Beauty is more important in computing than anywhere else in technology because software is so complicated. Beauty is the ultimate defence against complexity.? Dr Ritchie’s creations are indeed beautiful examples of that most modern of art forms.


The first in a series of articles covering alternate JVM languages at developerWorks: Get to know Jython. Why I haven?t tried this before is a mystery. I’ve used Python on occasion and this is an easy bridge for a Java developer like me.

IBM Implementing a Liberty Alliance single-sign-on network for France Telecom

IBM deal boosts Liberty Alliance (CNet).

Flashforward’s Winners

Interestesting concepts, useful tools, and lots of fun can be found among Flashforward’s finalists.