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May 31, 2005

Let’s clear up the other big Watergate mystery

Now that we know to a fair certainty who Deep Throat was, it’s time to have modern science look at the tape with the 18-minute gap. I’ve been told by one of the engineers who examined it at the time that we could probably recover the erased sound, but we have to act soon before the tape deteriorates entirely. [Technorati tag:]

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RSS and TV

Holmes Wilson of Downhill Battle‘s ParticipatoryPolitics.org is giving a lunchtime presentation at the Berkman Center (well, we’ve actually moved to a different building because the jackhammers on Mass Ave make every conversation come with its own headache) about their open source project that will enable people to watch RSS-based video. You’ll download a client and be able to “tune in” to the channels you like. E.g., you might decide to see what’s on the moveOn.org channgel.

Of course, you might also tune into any of the 500,000 porn channels, or fans of 24 who republish all of Series 3, or a channel showing a video of Star Wars III taped in a local theater. In order to achieve Downhill Battle’s political objective — to enable citizen participation — the client will have default channels and a channel guide. They’ve also been doing outreach to political organizations, trying to get them to provide channels. They’ll asl enable “del.icio.us-style republishing,” i.e., bookmark a feed and then socialize the bookmarks.

I love the idea of making RSS feeds be browsable the way TV is because it opens it up to a much wider group of people. Add to that Downhill Battle’s aim of enabling citizen voices, and I’m pretty damn enthusiastic about this. [Technorati tags: ]

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May 30, 2005

Infringing technologies

Wendy notices that her new Canon camera comes with a warning that it’s not intended to be used to infringe on anyone’s copyright.

Next to get stamped with that stupid warning: Pencils, paper, brains and the air used by speech. [Technorati tags: ]

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Chris Lydon’s Open Source

I just came back from Chris Lydon’s new radio-Net show, called “Open Source.” Doc, Dave and I were the first guests.

Chris and his team, including long-time producer Mary McGrath, are trying to do something new. They take seriously that one-way broadcasting is the solution to a problem we no longer have. Chris is even more besotted with the Web than he sometimes lets on. He’s open to ideas about how to make it more open, more Webby, more integrated with the Web. This show will be an interesting experiment…not a statement one can say about many shows you find on your radio dial.

Afterwards, Mary cracked open champagne to celebrate the first episode in Chris’ new show. It was a privilege to be a little part of that.

(Here’s Chris’ blog entry about the show. The podcast of it should be available within hours.) [Technorati tags: ]

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MT vs. WordPress

A friend of mine wants to move from Blogger and set up blogging software on her server. She’s not very technical, but knows which end of an FTP to hold and has at some point in her past changed permissions on files on her server. Between Movable Type and WordPress, which do you think she’s more likely to succeed at installing on her own?

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David Koch missing in Vancouver

Shel Israel posts a message from Gary Bolles asking for help publicizing the fact that a friend of his, David Koch, has gone missing on a mountain in Vancouver; apparently he missed the tram down and set out to hike it. Gary is worried that the Canadian authorities are giving up their search, and he’s looking for ways to encourage them to continue, including by publicizing David’s plight. Time is short, so if you have any thoughts, you can reach Gary through Shel’s post.


This has ended sadly. My sincere condolences to David’s family. He touched many people.

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Dickens: Better than I thought

I’ve never been much of a fan of Charles Dickens, what with his two-dimensional characters jostled about by his steam-driven plots. But I started Little Dorrit yesterday. Here’s how it opens:

Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.

A blazing sun upon a fierce August day was no greater rarity in southern France then, than at any other time, before or since. Everything in Marseilles, and about Marseilles, had stared at the fervid sky, and been stared at in return, until a staring habit had become universal there. Strangers were stared out of countenance by staring white houses, staring white walls, staring white streets, staring tracts of arid road, staring hills from which verdure was burnt away. The only things to be seen not fixedly staring and glaring were the vines drooping under their load of grapes. These did occasionally wink a little, as the hot air barely moved their faint leaves.

There was no wind to make a ripple on the foul water within the harbour, or on the beautiful sea without. The line of demarcation between the two colours, black and blue, showed the point which the pure sea would not pass; but it lay as quiet as the abominable pool, with which it never mixed. Boats without awnings were too hot to touch; ships blistered at their moorings; the stones of the quays had not cooled, night or day, for months. Hindoos, Russians, Chinese, Spaniards, Portuguese, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Genoese, Neapolitans, Venetians, Greeks, Turks, descendants from all the builders of Babel, come to trade at Marseilles, sought the shade alike—taking refuge in any hiding-place from a sea too intensely blue to be looked at, and a sky of purple, set with one great flaming jewel of fire.

The universal stare made the eyes ache…

Best of all, the action in that first chapter takes place in a cave-like jail cell, hidden from the stare. Brilliant, so to speak. [Technorati tag:]

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May 29, 2005

Fish out of school

The normally gregarious blue gills in the lake where my family owns a house are each standing guard over their broods.

Brooding fish

I thought about taking some of them out of the lake for the night so they could get a good sleep, but my son nixed the idea.

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May 28, 2005

Star War games

Haiwatha Bray reviews four Star War games in The Boston Globe. And at last a reviewer represents my reaction to Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel: “…the games were giving me a strange new power — the ability to sleep with my eyes open.” [Technorati tags: ]

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The generosity of Ms. or Mr. Linksys

We’re in Western Massachusetts for the weekend. There’s no cellphone signals out where we are, and also no water. So, I’m in a parking lot in the nearby small town where I’m picking up a very weak open wifi signal. SSID: linksys.

I don’t know who this Linksys person is, but she seems to have residences everywhere! Thank you!

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