Updated: 9/22/2002; 11:19:54 PM

The FuzzyBlog!
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Friday, May 24, 2002

The Radio Chapters for the O'Reilly Book are Up!

I didn't really do a good job of posting this before (if I even did) and I wanted to point out that the 3 chapters I wrote for "Essential Blogging" are live on the net and can be downloaded.  I wrote

  • Chapter 3: "Basic Radio" (or some such title, it's kinda a blur)
  • Chapter 7: "Advanced Radio" (that one is right)
  • Chapter 9: The Blogging Community which talks about tools like NewsIsFree, DayPop, etc.

Now.  We'd really like feedback on these 3 chapters to make sure that you think that they are the chapters you'd want -- if you didn't already know Radio.  A couple of disclosures.

  1. I was late submitting and I was rushing towards the end.  Hey!  What author isn't late?
  2. I didn't do as good a job as I wanted to on the News Aggregator (one of the reasons I spent a bit of today writing code to flow financial info into the aggregator) was to learn it better for the revision period.
  3. The UserTalk section got dropped from the comment period.  Even though it's not there for public feedback since it wasn't edited, here's a peak: HelloWorld in Radio (thanks Paolo!  thanks Simone!).  Note: Russ looked at this and thought I did a pretty good job but I'd still like feedback.  The whole UserTalk section is larger of course but it still just can't do justice to UserTalk as a whole.
  4. I got great feedback from the Mac Radio folk.  Just great feedback and, let me say, LOUD AND CLEAR, any errors are mine.  Errors were unintentional but I was running behind.  I also wasn't able to take advantage of Ashley Grayson's generous and wonderful job of editing that he did for me without request.  And, for all the people that did give me that wonderful, detailed help on the mac side, I'll be emailing you separately, shortly to get your names right for the acknowledgements section.
  5. I heard from one the best tech writers I know, and a friend, Guy Haas, that he would have rewritten the Install section I wrote just like Nat did (the editor).  So that's a good sign.  Thanks Nat!
  6. Need to reach me -- sjohnson@fuzzygroup.com

Here's how and what to do in order to participate in the review:

  • The zip file contains a cover letter that explains what we're looking for and how to send in your comments. I'll be sending the authors your comments on Tuesday the 28th, so have them in by the end of next Monday!

Hint.  Hint.  Nudge.  Nudge.  I wouldn't mind getting a feel for your comments if you wanted to cc them to sjohnson@fuzzygroup.com address just so I can think about them over the weekend.  But, even if you do this, send them to O'Reilly first and foremost.  That's most important!

Thanks for your help.  Have a great weekend!

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And they Wonder Why We Use Kazaa

From Salon.com:

In 2000, the average suggested list price of a CD was $14.02, according to the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA). The CD itself costs about 32 cents in a large production run, according to Michael Pardo, V.P. of sales for CD duplicator Greenwood Solutions. Add packaging and the price goes to 54 cents. Add the cut for a new artist, somewhere between 10 and 50 cents, and your cost nears a buck. Add $28 million to cancel your estimated $80 to $100 million contract with Mariah Carey, as EMI recently did, and adjust your costs accordingly.

NOTE: Emphasis added.

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Yo Scoble!  Here's Why I Won't Go To XP...

From Scoble's Blog:

>>So, I see you are thinking of getting into Windows XP. I should write up another review now that I've used XP for seven months. It's still the best OS that Microsoft has made. It still doesn't crash. But my system is going slower than when I first installed it. They still haven't cured the "OS Rot" problem (although it's a lot better than on earlier versions of Windows).

Me: It'll be a cold day in hell before I go to XP. 

Here's why:

  1. I Don't Believe Microsoft Represents ME.  My basic problem is damn simple: I no longer believe that Microsoft can improve my computing experience in a way that is beneficial to only myself.  Take IE 6 for example.  Yes, now it can play MP3 files natively and that's useful.  But I also have to get an advertisement every single time I play a file.  I don't care that Jennifer Lopez or Julia Roberts has a new movie coming out.  I don't feel that this is appropriate in a business context (and the bulk of MS $ still comes from business).  Or, look at it this way, do you want Microsoft encouraging your staff to waste time?  I sure as hell don't.  This crap doesn't belong in by default.  And don't tell me I can configure it to be off.  Why do I have to turn off things that make you more $ and spend my time to do it?  Why can't you do the right thing for me?  And, finally, don't tell me how you need to make $$$ from the browser since there is no fee for it.  Come on...it's part of the operation system, right?  And you got paid for the OS when I bought my thinkpad.  So why are you making even more $ from me?
  2. I Don't Trust You.  Every single version of windows in my career, with the sole exception of NT 4, has gotten progressively less stable.  It's clear to me that stability, robustness and security are not things Microsoft cares about in any way.  I would have stayed with NT4 but the lack of USB support forced me to move.  Windows 2000 regularly has to be restarted 2 to 3 x per week.  At an average lost labor cost of $4,500 per software engineer (I am one).  I don't have an answer here.  I can't stay on 2000 forever but I don't trust you and without trust there is no business relationship.
  3. Bloat.  I'm sorry Microsoft.  I'm tired of your sloppy programming practices forcing droves and droves of people to upgrade hardware.  This is no longer economically feasible in these all too bad times.  You need to suck it up and make an OS that gets faster not fatter.  Or you need to give me the RAM upgrade when I get XP.
  4. Anti Copy Protection is Invasive.  I don't know one Network Administrator or IT person who hasn't used a downloaded serial # at one time or another when they lost one.  I will not have you sniffing my network and shutting stuff down arbitrarily.  Period.
  5. It's Unclear What Benefits I Get.  Scoble tells me it's more stable.  Sorry.  I just can't believe that.  I hate the look and feel with a passion (friggin big and ugly).  So what do I get?  An updated set of device drivers?  Just go away.

Seriously folks -- I no longer trust what is arguably the single most important IT vendor in the world.  What does that say?


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Cool Day for Me and RSS (Flowing Yahoo Investor Message Boards and Edgar into Radio)

Last week I used RSS to flow two people's blog postings with separate copies of Radio into a single home page.  Today I was talking to Ian in Hong Kong (gotta love Yahoo Messenger -- a free, high fidelity, 2 hour phone call).  Ian says to me that he'd like to flow Yahoo Message Boards like this into his Radio:

Roll up my sleeves.  Swear a little.  Grab some real time assistance from Kjartan (I had no idea that if you are debugging with IE and you change content types during the session, IE retains the old one).  Thanks Bill!  Not!. 

So... Here's the question.  Being the aggressive, sell snow to the eskimos guy that I am:

  • Anybody besides Ian care?
  • Any investors out there that need this?
  • Anyone willing to pay for this kind of a web services?  Probably makes sense to license it on update frequency, amount of filters, need for archival and personal versus institutional type pricing.  $5 per month?

sjohnson@fuzzygroup.com to give me input.

1:06:00 PM  Google It!  comment []   IM Me About This  

The First Time Sun Ever Linked to a Weblog?

Not sure if this is the first time or not but it's the first time they linked to my weblog.  http://www.openoffice.org/, upper right, is my "If I Were Scott McNealy" article.  Just to clarify, OpenOffice is the open source version of Sun's Star Office product.  And, even better, I just heard from a professor at Loyola on how his research group is using  Python and COM interfaces to do elements of what I described.  And, even better yet, "In any event, thank you for your posting. It has given some validation of what I am trying to do, especially with your mention of COM."  Damn.  Wonder if I should tell him I have a BS in Management?  Nah...  I also sent him an extension of the original idea that focuses on not a centralized implementation but a middleware stub so that any box running Office that's connected to the Internet could be a conversion node.

12:31:40 AM  Google It!  comment []   IM Me About This  

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Scott/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/MA/Boston/Nahant, speaks English. Spends 80% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes Open Source / PHP/Cooking.

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