Joho the Blog » 2002 » August

August 31, 2002

Michalski jumps in

The redoubtable Jerry Michalski (the writer/thinker/networker, not the battleship) has started blogging and has put up a wiki. (Wiki, not Wifi. A wiki is a page that can be gang-edited, a digital act of trust.)

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Top Ten Signs RB’s on the Mend

Here are the Top Ten or So Signs that RageBoy Is on the Mend:

11. When he puts in a link to a bloody, angry, foul-mouthed CD, he remembers to put his Amazon affiliate code at the end

10. He’s got enough strength back to type out all of “motherfucker”

9. Remembers that if he’s a “babe magnet,” he’s got his polarity reversed

8. Uses elegant CSS definitions to put “Fuckhead” into 64pt green san serif font rather than messier inline notation

7. Drops “Big Lou Gerstner” from his blogroll

6. Winer and Lessig take out joint ad in Variety to complain about him

5. Hand writes a note to each of his EGR subscribers to apologize for not calling them fucking hosers enough recently

4. His blog entry on why the DayPop Top 40 eats motherfucking shit makes it onto the DayPop Top 40

3. When you click on his photo, it no longer takes you to a John Denver play list

2. RageBoy clips his page boy

And the number one sign that RB is on the mend …

1. No one’s safe any more

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August 30, 2002

Chris Macrae’s Wild Idea

Here‘s a discussion of Chris Macrae’s “wild idea” that we should on our web sites encourage people to sign a pledge that says: Once a million people have signed up, we will avoid buying from global companies that spend more than $250M a year on advertising but won’t spend 10% of that on making the world better.

I’m suggesting that we called it “The Tenth Ad Pledge.”

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$80 Billion Phone Scam? Or: Making MCI look like a piker

TeleTruth.org has filed a complaint alleging that Verizon (and the companies that merged to form it) have vastly inflated the amount and cost of missing equipment to the tune of $20-$80B. Why? Presumably because this “vaporware” counts as an expense that can be passed on to the consumer in the former of higher rates.

This one, if true, would scrape the field clean.

The press release is here. There’s a table of contents here. And, oddly, if you click on the link to the “Executive Summary,” (http://www.newnetworks.com/auditexecsum.html), it actually takes you to the Microsoft security home page.

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August 29, 2002

How to Get into the DayPop Top 40

Doc blogs “In Praise of Breasts” which, in addition to raising questions about our culture’s fetishism and about the ability of art to transcend the sexual, also poses the eternal riddle: Are there other sure-fire ways to crack the DayPop Top 40?

Yes, there are. Here are some titles guaranteed to shoot you into that vaunted heaven:


Open Source toilet kills 30

Large, Round UFO visible in background of photo of Bush and Blair

First entry in new White House weblog links to porn site

How to fold a $20 to see Martha Stewart topless

RageBoy Apologizes

eBay auctions off Michael Jackson’s nose

New Apple power cord to come in 3 colors

Which superheroes are the best hung?

75,000 missing votes from Florida recount claimed to have been stored in the WTC

Quiz: Which sort of shithead are you?

See you on the Top 40!

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It’s not super simple. It’s not even simple. In fact, it’s hard.

Dave writes in response to my blog that asked for some empirical basis for the software copyright spat:

For crying out loud David, it’s super simple. If I build a house I can live in it as long as I want. If I want to rent out rooms I can do that too, as long as I want.

I don’t know what the right answer is. I am hugely suspicious of arguments by analogy when the things being compared are different in contentious ways…like houses and software. I do think we’d get closer if we looked at some data. And I am 100% positive that the issue isn’t super-simple because if it were, smart, well-intentioned people like Winer and Lessig would agree about it.


For a brief article from three years ago about why arguments by analogy fail when applied to the Web click here and page down to the subhead “Floundering Morality.” It’s about ThirdVoice. Ah, the good old days!

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Number of Bloggers Doubles

Dylan Tweney in his newsletter ups the ante on the number of bloggers:

…most published estimates put the number far lower, at half a million [9] or less [10]. But leading Weblog provider Blogger.com has more than 700,000 registered users, LiveJournal.com (which most weblog news stories overlook for some reason) boasts more than 650,000, and Radio Userland has upwards of 50,000 users. Freeware/open source blogging tools such as Movable Type and Greymatter add even more to the total, though no one seems to know how many.

I asked Steven Levy where he got the 500,000 figure when he interviewed me for his Newsweek article. He said it came from Blogdex. It seemed low to me. I’m glad to see Dylan come in with new numbers.

Also, Dylan traces weblogs back to Douglas Englebart‘s Augment system, “a kind of hyperlinked, team-oriented online journal…” Interesting precursor. I’d never heard of Augment before. But because Modern Weblogs began not as team journals but as individuals publishing annotated logs of where they’d webbed that day, the historical line is at least dotted. Besides, don’t the cave paintings in Lascaux count as a type of early weblog? And the tales told by the Homeric Bards? And Psalm 22? And, when you think about it, isn’t the last warm breeze of summer, sending a chill through the sparrows even as it rocks them to sleep, a weblog? Isn’t it really?

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August 28, 2002

Too obviously ironic

Gary Unblinking Stock points us to coverage of the obvious irony of the sumptuousness of the dining at the Earth Summit that’s addressing world hunger.

Don’t these folks have a freaking PR agent who could have whispered to them beforehand: Ix-nay on the aviar-cay!

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Pat Robertson in Blakely’s hands

I particularly enjoyed this week’s missive from Hank Blakely. He turns from his weekly W bashing to the news from Pat Robertston:

Pat (actually his real name is “Marion,” but that’s just a bit gender ambiguous, so he substituted “Pat”) and his American Center for Law and Justice (they do both!), have come up with this simply nifty idea they call the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act*. Wow! Huh? We mean, wow! How many loaded words can you get into one title? Do these guys know their business, or do these guys know their business?

More from Blakely here. And more about Robertson’s initiative here.

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10-Word Word Square

Word Ways, the oddest journal on the planet, and available only in print, has at last put up a website at www.WordWays.com. WordWays is a small-circulation journal for people who treat words as objects. They set themselves challenges and then create enormous word lists of, for example, all the words that can be broken into pallindromic sets. And that’s one of the simplest examples.

The site is scandalously out of date, though! It runs Jeff Grant’s 10-word word-square that relies on people’s proper names but does not yet run the 10-word word-square in the current issue, the first such square with all authenticated sources. It’s from Rex Gooch in Letchworth, England. Here it is, with the source of each word to the right:

A B A P T I S T U M     Pulliam

B A H R A M T A P A     in Azerbaijan

A H L E R B R U C H     in Germany

P R E P A R A T O R     Oxford Eng. Dict.

T A R A D A N O V A     in Russia

I M B R A N G L E S     OED

S T R A N G F O R D     in England

T A U T O L O G I A     qv in OED

U P C O V E R I N G     OED

M A H R A S D A G I     in Turkey

Congratulations to Mr. Gooch and all the little Letchworth Gooches!

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