||Tuesday, August 27, 2002
[Philringnalda] is looking at random blogs and drawing some interesting conclusions. QUOTE
Three ways to surf blogs at random:
NextBlog! gives you a random recently updated Blogger-powered blog.
random blog gives you a random blog from the blo.gs database (updated in the last seven days).
RandomFreshBlog is my version of the weblogs.com version of NextBlog! that Dave wants - I'm using the blo.gs changes.xml file rather than the weblogs.com version, since blo.gs's file is a superset of weblogs.com's.
To use any of those, either save the link as a bookmark or drag to your Links bar/Personal Toolbar, then give it a click whenever you get bored.
My thoughts from a fair bit of random blog surfing the last couple of days:
- The overall quality of blogs has gone up quite a bit since the last time I did much random surfing.
- Dorothea's right, there are way too many people using unaltered default templates. Including me.
- It takes more than using Blogger's "Sports Cut" template to become InstaPundit.
- I need to get out more - there are a ton of people doing interesting stuff that I'm missing.
- I've been around - pick a random blog out of the last 500-900 to update, and it's amazing how high the odds are that I've read it at least once, or know/know of the author, or (my favorite by a mile) it's using one of my archive scripts or I've helped the author with some sort of problem.
I imagine that with the flood of new people getting into the Weblogging hobby, the number who have not yet figured out how to do things will outweigh the number who have learned enough that their site begins to look sophisticated. However it is much easier to learn about content packaging from how other people are presenting information, than it is to learn how to change the appearance of your site, so the learning curve on quality content will go a lot faster for many people than the learning curve on changing the default rules.
In talking about template changing, several people have mentioned that they have made so many changes to their template, they lost track, so changing the Theme is out of the question. Well that reality is a stage in our learning. At a later stage we will know how to find all our changes, place them in some file, change our Theme, re-apply our other changes.
Can the Weblogger Search Engines, that I talked about Aug 22 (check the calendar), look for something other than content, such as template variants ... find me a site which does NOT have certain stuff? Yes Weblog, exclude those that are just defaults. Perhaps one of the random deals can do that as one of the options in the future.
[Boing Boing Blog] QUOTE
Doonesbury runs for Congress. Garry Trudeau's college roommate -- partial inspiration for Mike Doonesbury -- is running for Congress.
Link Discuss (via Fark) UNQUOTE [Boing Boing Blog]
Can the Ms Grubb supporters get the technology cartoonists to put in a word or two of support?
Dilbert is an extremely popular character, subscribed to by both the kind of worker that those cartoons of Scott Adams represent, like geeks and engineers, and people whose work space is a cubicle, but also masses of people who can identify with the silly stories. Ask Scott's secretary to answer a letter about Coble-Grubb, and it will reach millions of people, who will forward it to millions more.
I had suggested that a link to that Scandal Map should go on Ms Grubb website. Now that is something that children who understand the issues can communicate to their older family members. Do you really want these people to remain in charge of our lives and retirement incomes? The guy who originally created it, Mark Poyser, says it is soon coming out in the form of a wall poster. Now I can imagine children, who are accustomed to selling candy to support their football band, selling the Scandal Poster to raise money for a candidate who is opposed to this sort of thing, who stands for accountability for people actions. The Scandal Picture communicates on a level that reaches out to people who do not know how to program a VCR, and may have inadvertently forwarded e-mail with a computer virus attachment.
My cloud status just went from 97 to 96 % of my 40 Meg being free.
Tara Grubb is running in North Carolina against the sponsor of the bill to give Hollywood the right to hack into anyone's computer that they only suspect of violating copyright of music etc., use whatever technology like computer viruses they like to attack such suspected pirates, and if they damage anything else in the process, then tough.
- This is like saying to retail stores that if you suspect a person who lives in a building of shoplifting, it is legal for you to set the whole building on fire, and ruin the lives and residences of everyone else who lives in the building.
- It is like giving someone the right to do drunk driving, and too bad however many people get killed.
- It is like granting the right to someone to start forest fires.
- They will be authorized to do anything, to any computers, in the name of fighting people with no proof of them doing anything wrong.
Here are some links to stories about her candidacy: http://grubbforcongress.manilasites.com/directory/12/press
My suggestions to improve her site - I posted a bunch over the weekend then Radio ate them & I blamed Hollywood, since Tara's opponent is sponsoring a bill to let Hollywood do anything to anyone's computers (not even Congress computers exempted), so then I posted to some of Tara's comment areas with some of my suggestions. Here are some more.
- Post a link to the Libertarian Party platform and indicate which of their positions Ms Grubb supports, has a somewhat different stance on.
- This will help educate those people who think she is a one issue candidate.
- Clarify is she for P2P copyright violation?
- A person can be for P2P but opposed to piracy.
- Post statement how much money the election laws allow an individual to contribute to a candidate.
- Does this apply to a family?
- Can husband wife and their children individually give up to the ceiling?
- Post links to how much money Hollywood is paying to buy votes.
- I think Al Gore was pro-Internet at one time, but Hollywood may have swayed some politicians.
- Post a rebuttal to specific statements Coble has made.
- Example, he says with reference to an untrue e-mail rumor QUOTE
- The internet will remain unregulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Postal Service.
- The rebuttal should show specific places where the Internet is already regulated by the FCC, such as anti-spam and opposition to consumer fraud and other criminal activities conducted through the Internet.
- Possibly indicate those areas of FCC regulation that Ms Grubb approves of.
- The rebuttal should quote specific sections of the Coble bill in which the government will put control of the Internet into the hands of companies that will now be authorized to hack into anyone and to distribute computer viruses and etc.
- Indicate other areas where the Coble bill, if passed and signed into law, could be disruptive.
- Millions of people all over the world get hurt by computer viruses, and authorities try to crack down on the creators.
- A perfect defense for those people can now be that they claim they were writing software for Hollywood.
- The anti virus companies may have to go out of business because they providing a service that is in opposition to this new law, legalizing computer virus creation by Hollywood.
- Web sites get hit by cyber terrorism.
- Today we suspect enemies of the USA, but now it can be oops, Hollywood made a mistake, but they are legally protected from criminal negligence.
- Tomorrow al Quada can attack the USA such as the nuclear power plants computers, Air Traffic Control.
- Tomorrow Hollywood can attack the same stuff, if they suspect people who are using those computers of engaging in computer piracy, or if those computers are on the same networks as their suspects.
- Could Y2K have been solved had this been the law of the land a few years ago?
- Get some statistics on the benefit of e-commerce to the economy, and how much this will disrupt it.
- Has the office of budget made any kind of estimates of what this will do?
- Will this disrupt EDI?
- What will be the impact of legalized computer viruses on wireless computing?
- Will it be like electronic smog which killed several people in Japan?
- Example: The doors on bullet trains opened when they passed certain high rise buildings, and the decompression sucked passengers out, like in an aircrft disaster.
- Cause: Lack of safety interlocks in the Bullet Train design, and poor shielding on the electronics of both the bullet train and consumer electronics - all those kids playing computer games in the apartment buildings generated electronic interference which the bullet trains interpreted as signals telling them to open the doors.
- Reach out to the average voter.
- Computer users who understand technology, are in a minority.
- Reach people by means in addition to the Internet.
- Reach out to youngsters, children, in her district.
- Children are more computer savvy than their parents.
- They understand the significance of legalized cyber terrorism.
- But can they explain this to family members?
- Children have more energy than adults.
- There's an army of enthusiasts there, waiting for marching orders from an inspiring leader.
- What you want, is for them to:
- download from their home computers, print some literature promoting Ms Grubb's candidacy;
- go door to door in their neighborhood, delivering to every household;
- do this in a way that does not put the children at risk.
- Think about that - the children should go in a group, an adult watching them.
- Do you want to invite them to talk to strangers?
- Look at halloween (younger children typically involved than those you inviting to help) safety tips.
- It is similar to kids collecting money for Unicef, a good cause.
- As a youth, I participated in this, and then I got cynical.
- We have very bad situations in those countries, there have to be other solutions.
- But Unicef got me started thinking about the reality of growing up in those other countries.
- Having a pen pal with someone in another country hits home how good we have it here.
- We live in a society where
- not everyone has a home computer.
- a lot of people not know how to program a VCR.
- very few people read the click through contracts that come with software.
- most people receive a scam in the e-mail, believe it, send it to all their friends.
- look at how computer viruses get spread.
- those people votes are needed for Ms Grubb.
- The kinds of Internet issues that might appeal to the person who struggles with home computer operational issues are oten the very same issues that are problematic to people who know a lot about computer innards.
- When will it be safe to vote from your home computer at the on-line ballot box?
- Does Motor Voter Registration really work?
- [The National Review] has a weblog.
- This weekend I posted something like this about The Wall Street Journal but Radio ate it.
- My working theory (Hollywood comment was intended in humor) is that Radio uses Cache to store our posts, and lacks (Radio Wish here) an easy way for the end user to copy from Cache to permanent storage, so if we have any kind of idiot PC problem, like Bill Gates Blue Screen of Death, Radio can lose the Cache which means it ate the work we done for the last 1/2 day or longer.
- Another thing Radio ate this weekend was my link to an MSNBC blog where someone asked
- If Firefighters fight fires, what do Freedom Fighters fight?
- Monday's Topics: Etiquette; Multi-Author; Navigation; e-Organization; e-Planning; Terminology.
- I need to move some of the longer posts to stories.
- I need to be nicer person when being critical of a behavior pattern and I see one person engaged in it.
- I need terminology coined for the phenomena of.
- Person A says X.
- Person B quotes it.
- Person C quotes it.
- Person D reads it but can't tell that it is Person A being quoted.
- When there are a whole string of people finding something interesting, who should be given credit and how?
- I believe that when a person's words are used, we must give credit to that person.
- I believe that if we found something interesting because of a post by someone, we must credit that person.
- But should we also try to credit all the people in between the original post, and the person we got it from?
I visited [A QA Guy's Radio] because I am interested in the interrelationship between a company's ISO and its computer, because the ISO standards that I have seen seem to focus on the form of something on a computer, as opposed the the content, or how easily someone can manipulate it. As far as ISO is concerned, the way to assure accuracy is to use the forms consistently, totally ignoring the computer security and corporate standards with respect to not spoofing data.
Well, this guy is just like us computer geeks struggling to figure out how to effectively use technology, and along the way gain some insights.
[A QA Guy's Radio] QUOTE
- Are there some basic incompatibilities between testing and managing?
- As a tester, you go right for the weakest areas, trying to determine defects and faults.
- As a manager, you find out what each person is capable of, and build on strengths.
- You most certainly do not keep poking at the weak spots of your staff.
- How much of a problem is this dichotomy? UNQUOTE [A QA Guy's Radio]
[James Robertson], in Australia, has similar writings on general topic of software testing and design issues for Knowledge Management. I ask what is the difference between Information Architects (IA) and Usability? He asks why there are so few blogs on intranets, when there are an estimated 300,000 out there. Well I think the reason is that weblogging and intranets have not really met each other yet in a big way, so there are tons of discussion groups about intranets, within the context of whatever software or Operating System is used to drive the intranet. There is also the problem of finding another outfit to share how to with, that is not really in competition with your company. The traditional way I have seen this done is through the local user groups associated with a particular type of computer system, so people get together from manufacturers, schools, banks, police, stores, public utility companies, and so forth, to discuss how to get the best value out of whatever computer system they all have in common, sometimes with tours of each other facilities to see the cool stuff they have implemented, and how it is done.
© Copyright 2002 Al Macintyre.