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February 2003 Archives


February 28, 2003 10:27 AM


AOL is just announcing (via email) another shuffle in the board room...
Steve Swad... has joined America Online as executive vice president and chief financial officer
Here's the part where it gets interesting...
Steve was vice president of financial planning and analysis for AOL Time Warner and vice president and deputy controller at Time Warner. Before joining Time Warner in 1998, he was a partner at KPMG LLP and deputy chief accountant with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission
That's a serious résumé and I'm glad to see that sort of experience taking a high profile role at AOL. The stock price seems to be benefitting from the announcement.

February 28, 2003 10:17 AM


Ranchero points us to an article about RSS feeds taken from the journalists point of view...
"...perhaps the biggest potential impact of news readers is the prospect that they will further level the playing field between Big Media and individual content creators... For news providers, it's useful to remember that information stripped to its bare essentials - that is to say, text - is what a great many readers come for."
And perhaps that's true, but even more fundamentally, what they come for is information and knowledge and then ultimately, understanding (one begets the next). Does the format of that information really matter? HTML, RSS or even audio will probably do, and that's what Blogger seems to think. Perhaps this will level the news reporting playing field a bit between the pros and Joe Blogger. After all, your news outlet is just a phone call away.

If the format does really matter and people demand text, then some sort of voice to text parser would be really cool, which of course would require a long and complicated W3C standard for VTML (Voice to Text Markup Language). And we could sound like we were back in the telegram days (but on our cell phones) saying stuff like...

"New blog item... stop"

"New paragraph: I'm on the corner of Avenue A and St. Mark's Place and there's some dude, or girl, I can't tell, wearing a Strongbad Sweatshirt and screaming something about squatter's rights... stop."
Etc. etc. and that all gets translated, via VTML thru XSLT into HTML (triple recursive parsing is oh so efficient) and then posted to the blog as the final output. Right...
[via ranchero and metafilter]

February 28, 2003 9:39 AM


Part of my college education was sitting in far too many poli-sci classes listening to, and participating in, discussions about European security, international trade, and Green Party politics (bleh). Most of it bored me to tears, except for the reading assignments that involved The Economist. It's a good rag.

Now, The Economist discusses things like Sony's "Life after PlayStation 2." It's an excellent read and includes such hist as...

  • "people walking around with an iPod and an Apple PowerBook look much cooler than those equipped with a Clie and a Vaio notebook"
  • "With so many consumer-electronics, software and other technology firms co-operating to forge an alternative to Microsoft, it will be hard for Sony alone to gain control of the living room."
  • "If its [Sony's] desire to protect itself against piracy messes up its other plans, firms such as Apple will continue to design the devices that Sony ought to be making."
Also, the article has a cool pie chart in it that looks more like a donut chart than a pie chart. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, donut chart.....
[via MacCentral]

February 27, 2003 9:10 AM


Like most web surfers with more than day or two of experience under their belt, I hover over links all the time, and look at the status bar to gain a clue about what's on the other side of that link. Such was the case when I was at this page yesterday and hovered over a link that says "Viewtiful Joe Video Preview, 400x300 QuickTime, 30MBs".

The URL that showed up in the status bar ended with ".mov" so I thought a click would result in some delicious full motion video. Instead, I got a new page with a registration form asking me for money. Not delicious.

Now, I'm not against capitalism, or paying for original content in the form of huge Quicktime video downloads, but when a link lies to me, it annoys me. The last time I checked, annoying your users wasn't the best way to get more subscriptions, even if the content behind the annoyance barrier is a video preview of Viewtiful Joe (a game I anticipate with much drooling).

So screw it, I used Google to get what I want.

February 26, 2003 1:11 AM


Amazon, and more specifically, Jeff Bezos has a new patent under his belt that, in the simplest of terms is...

A method and system for conducting an electronic discussion relating to a topic.
When I first heard that from a friend of mine, I thought the blogosphere was the target, and that Daypop might have a new number one item. Well, as of this moment, it's not the number one item at Daypop, and the blogosphere is going to be ok, because...
What is claimed is:
1. A method in a computer system of a non-participant for starting a discussion relating to an item offered for sale...
So, as long as I don't ever offer an item for sale as a blog posting, I'll be ok? That still seems overly simplistic, doesn't it... After all, I'm just one person, and I don't have any significant sales thruput (read: none at all).

My guess is that Epinions is the one that needs to be nervous about this. The vagueness of "discussion relating to an item offered for sale" blankets the Epinions business model (even if they don't sell the stuff themselves, the discussion is related to a product for sale).

I'm amazed that Amazon can patent things like this, or more to the point, that the US Patent Office allows it to happen. The last patent that seemed absurd was one click ordering that Apple actually licensed, which no doubt is making my Macintosh habit more expensive. [via Slashdot]

February 25, 2003 4:46 AM


Kalsey and Kaufman make the same point today about bad copy writing and what it does to the user (not good things). I learned this lesson two years ago when I took an info architecture class with Thom Haller. One of his major points was that good copy is as important as the UI it's embedded within, and being an English Major, I happily agreed.

Now, perhaps many of us blogging types have too much copy writing experience to not find something wrong with just about everything we read (eg, everything on this page), but the points remains that good copy is usable copy (and usable copy matters). Your writing should provide context to the user within the scope of their experience, and leverage their understanding of the issue being discussed. Too often we fail to keep the message personable and suffer from Haller's oft described 'disease of familiarity' and go off the handle and rail on how much Netscape 4.x sucks ass.

In the case that Kaufman points to, ESPN tells you sort of abruptly that your browser sucks (if they sniff a particular browser). Well, they are probably right, but stepping on toes doesn't help the situation and likely achieves absolutely nothing. My advice? Don't make a point out of something if it's going to be pointless, otherwise spend a minute thinking about being helpful, and how to best execute that helpfulness.

February 24, 2003 12:29 PM


It probably cost thousands of dollars to trick this 3 series out, and now he's just selling it for (approx) $12k. You too can look like a pimpin' assassin!



February 24, 2003 7:48 AM


I'm considering installing a threaded commenting plugin that allows for subject lines and threading in your comments. You would be able to reply not only to my posts, but to the comments of others as well. The plugin will show comments in the familiar nested format that we all know and love.

Does anyone have any opinions on how useful this might be at this site? Like Phil, I want to think about it before I implement it (who wound up implementing it).

February 24, 2003 4:12 AM


Out of the many Apple related articles recently published, only one dares to say something smart. All of the others are unsubstantiated or plainly ignorant...

The good...

  • Job No. 1 for Apple: Find a Parade and Get in Front of It - by Tiernan Ray
    The gauntlet has been thrown down. When David Stutz, a former product line manager at Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), fired off a version of his resignation letter last week, arguing that Microsoft must innovate, it was a wake-up call to packaged software vendors: Decide how you'll bring value to free software, or face extinction.
The bad... The unsubstantiated...
  • Wanted: A Portable Desktop Replacement That Really Is - By Jason Brooks
  • It's not that I wasn't charmed by the littlest Apple. The 12-inch PowerBook is beautifully made, and although I've yet to see the Lindows Mobile PC up close, I can't imagine it cutting a more striking figure than the Apple unit does. What's more, the G4-driven PowerBook certainly packs a greater performance punch than does the Lindows Mobile, which is powered by a 933MHz C3 chip from Via that's built for low power and low heat, but not for speed.
    Then why do you want the Lindows box?


February 23, 2003 7:13 AM


Apple has posted an article about JavaScript support in Macintosh based browsers, and Safari supposedly scores well (but doesn't win). In my experience, the JavaScript engine is totally screwed up when it comes to dealing with forms, especially when doing client side validation onSubmit. In an internal web app I work with, we have a checkbox that gets its state checked to do an eval on another form element. No matter which state it's in, it gets tripped off for some reason.

I can't even begin to support Safari until the JavaScript engine is fixed, and hopefully the final production version of Safari will be pretty solid, but even then, I know I'll be tweaking our scripts. Just call me Sisyphus.

February 22, 2003 1:13 AM


I'm seeing a lot of searches for "Synderella" that fail because the name is actually "Syndirella" (note the "i" instead of the "e"). So I'm just tossing this post up so searches will find a page that will help people download Syndirella.

After you've downloaded it, subscribe to this url...

http://inmyexperience.com/index.xml
...and you will never have to come back to this site again. The full text of every post is included in the feed, but it's still a transient listing (last 10 posts). Also, if you use Syndirella, send the author of the app email asking him to support relative URL's in the content:encoded portion of the feed. Thanks.

February 21, 2003 9:01 AM


Regarding the original web browser Andreesen says...
Things like the Back and forward button, we never intended that to be a permanent part of the interface. But people get locked into metaphors. You have to be careful with the metaphors you put in front of people because once they click onto one, that's it.
This is pretty much true of web apps, brochure-ware and compiled applications. And this represents the largest risk to the high fidelity prototype. You want to under promise and over deliver on your projects, but you need to draw a fine line between giving away the store and not delivering the goods.

To mitigate this, you have to know what you are talking about, and how to execute on various requirements as they arrive on your doorstep. Pattern languages can help but real experience will better inform your decisions. Andreesen's comments are based on experience, but this next one is off the mark...

I think it's so funny that Apple comes out with a new browser in 2003. Where were you guys six years ago? I wish them the best, but it's not as if you're about to see Safari go from 0 percent market share to 47 percent.
In its (puny) market, Safari owned that market overnight, so in terms of that bit of business strategy, Marc missed the point. Safari is a good move for Apple due to the fact that none of the seven browsers I have installed on my tiBook are fully adequate. But I digress; Andreesen's UI instincts seem to be finely tuned, even if he's supposed to be a business guy.

February 20, 2003 9:34 AM


Morbus Iff was curious about "the faces you used for your commenting." He asked "How do you have that hooked into Movable Type? What's storing the 'what face you chose' info?" I answered via email, but it's probably useful to post this up on the site...

First, I don't write anything into any db tables or handle any hidden form elements, instead I'm using two plugins from Brad Choate (this one and that one). One of them lets me read any MovableType field and see if there is a key value pair in that field. I'm placing a key and value into the MTCommentBody field when a user submits a comment in this format...

faceurl=some/url/to/an/image.gif

...and goes at the end of the comment (placed there via JavaScript). At the same time, I set that value into a cookie. Currently, I am only saving that value if they select one of the faces I have in the pop up menu. If you select the 'normal guy' I don't save it's value (and assume a default later...)

In the individual archive template, I use the key-value plugin to look into the MTCommentBody fields to see if faceurl exists, and if so, we use its value to set the src of the face icon image. If there is none at all, I assume the default and insert the url for 'Normal Guy.'

THEN, when we output the value of the comment body, we regex MTCommentBody to remove any face url text...

s/faceurl\=[\w|\W|\S]*//g

Don't laugh an my lame regex skills. heheheh.

Future plans are to make it possible to save any URL to an image the user wants. Currently, if you select 'normal guy' as the face, and then write in "faceurl="http://yoursite.com/your_image.gif" on the bottom line of your comment, that url will be used. But it isn't currently saved.

Rumors are that the Pro version of MovableType will have custom form fields making all of the above unnecessary (except for the cookie thing).

February 20, 2003 9:33 AM


One of the great things about Internet Explorer 5 for the Mac (IE5) is that it's pretty tight on the html and css standards, and kind of behaves like it's PC cousin. That made developing sites somewhat easier because you could reasonably guess that JavaScript you wrote would work in both, and IE5 has been dominant on the Mac platform since is was made the standard (which was a few years ago). Enter Safari.

Now, we have the KHTML engine to deal with since that is what Safari is based on, and if you cover Mac news, or software, or Mac-whatever, you need to support it, because on the Mac IE5 use has evaporated overnight. Those same results appear at this site, but I see a larger contingent of PC based browsers than Daring Fireball does.

February 19, 2003 8:03 AM


I've been using Mac OSX since the first public beta, which is what, 2 years ago? Ever since then, Quark has been the one big hold out on migrating to the new operating system, and now the rumors say the new OSX version will be OSX ONLY. What part of the word 'migrate' does Quark not understand... oh wait, they're a dead tree applications provider. Nevermind.

In other, more relevant news, I saw a presentation on upcoming AOL software/products/strategy, and I have to say I'm very encouraged (even if the time tables seem a bit aggressive). The training wheels are coming off, and I think the 'reset year' is going to be better than people think.

February 19, 2003 4:52 AM


If using Safari is like Voting for Ralph Nader, then using Epiphany (yet another Mozilla based browser) is like voting for Al Sharpton. However, some folks will go their own way and accept the consequences of their choices. Too bad those choices affect others in adverse ways.

This is considerably less stupid then what's happening to the Chimera browser these days. They are considering a name change instead of trimming and improving the code base.

February 19, 2003 3:12 AM




February 17, 2003 5:55 AM


I have this site at a point visually where I sort of like it and can at least live with it for a while. I've attempted to create a simple and targeted version of the site that will be easy on the eyes and invites you to participate.

15 months ago, this site was developed with the notion that it would help me find a new job (I was at a dot bomb), but now it's based on half assed ideas, poorly written missives and functionally incomplete technology. The idea of course is to intelligently improve my skills in all of those categories thru today's uber meme, blogging. I am looking for any suggestions you might have for improving this site, so speak up.

Meanwhile, here's what I have left over from the most recent (and hopefully last) redesign effort...

  1. I need to create a utility to allow visitors to save a 'faceurl' in a cookie that is used in the comment form.
  2. I need to test everything in PC based browsers (seriously).
  3. There's an odd bug in Safari (1.0 beta, v60) on the "external links" checkbox. Sometimes you can't click it on the search results page, and I don't know why. I want to fix it, but I don't think I can.
  4. Also, the links in the top left box (eg, "home") will behave in the opposite way they should based in the state of the checkbox. The links in blog posts will behave correctly. VERY weird. It works correctly in IE5.x/mac and Chimera.
  5. I'm not validating 100% for my chosen doctype, HTML 4.01 Transitional.
If you see any odd behaviors, broken links, missing images or just want to make a suggestion, please feel to post a comment.

February 16, 2003 6:06 AM


Finally, someone (Google) has bought out Pyra (the company that runs Blogger), and that's bad news for AOL. The value of Blogger is pretty obvious when you multiply the (potential) monthly fees against the number of subscriptions over the next twelve months. I say potentially, because most Blogger users don't pay and instead use the base configuration, and this is why AOL is missing out.

It has been my opinion since I joined the company that AOL should either buy out Pyra, or put them out of business. One is easier than the other, and now that the buy out ship has sailed, there's two problems. If AOL decides to get into the web logging market, they will have to buy someone else, (and obtain the subs list (eg, Live Journal)) or build their own tool set and introduce that to the AOL user base.

Either way, that will put them in a competitive position with Google, with whom they already have a relationship. uses Google for their search technology provider (STP, hehehehe) and likely has little desire to piss them off because the Google experience is a good experience, and no one wants to lose that. Co-optition is unavoidable though if you engage in so many diverse businesses that AOL Time Warner does.

The problem with a home grown solution is the learning process. Blogger is a refined product, and the crew building it knows what web loggers want and how they do their thing. AOL will have to learn all of that from scratch if the rumors are true and they are building a web logging system (disclaimer: I work at AOL, but not in a products group, and certainly don't know anything more than what has been published online).

To be honest though, I wouldn't expect that AOL would be inclined to simply buy a web logging business. As far as I can tell, AOL is a lot like Apple was five and ten years ago (ie, the 'not invented here' syndrome). If they are able to come up with a smart web logging solution that is user oriented (per 's core capabilities) then I think there's some interesting possibilities.

The Blogger business plan (it's basically free) can be more easily swallowed at AOL since you already pay to be a member. Thus the company could just add this as a another service under the umbrella of AOL services that members currently enjoy, and you have another vehicle to drive subscriptions. Another option is to offer it as a low cost add-on premium service for a few bucks a month. This way you probably still drive AOL subscriptions, and then boost the revenue with a few extra bucks a month from those who subscribe. That's likely not a lot of money though, and driving users to the service is a better idea.

Now, consider the Bring Your Own Access plan that AOL sells for $15/month. If an AOL web logging service was bundled into that, then I'd likely be a buyer (note: I get free access to the service). $15/month is two dollars less than my monthly costs for InMyExperience.com which is hosted at Pair.com (who rocks by the way). The feature set of the product would still have to sufficiently robust for a web developer like myself to be interested in abandoning my current system. And that is pretty much the same problem they would have if they choose to compete with Google/Pyra/Blogger.

By the way, is in no position to be buying any businesses these days due to extreme debt levels. 2003 is a debt reduction year for AOL Time Warner, and that creates a competitive disadvantage over one or two product cycles, so I have to believe any possible web logging business will come from within.

February 15, 2003 10:36 AM


On a mailing list last week someone asked about placing a maxlength on a <textarea> which most

HTML munkies will know is not a legal (or supported) attribute of that tag. Someone chimed in making that point and suggested that the person get familiar with the HTML 4.01 DTD. That advice is in the vein of 'if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.' I'm going to take the other tack and give the man a fish.

Most (all?) web browsers have onkeydown and onkeyup and onkeypress implemented as event handlers for the textarea tag. So we can use any of those to detect when a user is typing something into that field, and count the length of that field, and warn the user when they have passed an arbitrary maximum length that we choose. First, we make a <form>, a <textarea> and a place to show how many characters are remaining...

<form name="maxlength_test" action="who_cares" method="">
<TEXTAREA NAME="something" ROWS="10" COLS="50" onkeypress="textCounter(this,this.form.counter,255);"> </TEXTAREA> <br> <input type="text" name="counter" maxlength="3" size="3" value="255" onblur="textCounter(this.form.counter,this,255);"> chars remaining </form>

The form name doesn't matter because we use 'this' as a object model handle back to the form to operate on the elements within it. The name of the textarea does matter, so be sure you set that correctly. In the textarea, the onkeypress fires when a user pushes a key in and the key comes back up while typeing in the text area. The JavaScript function called "textCounter" gets a few variables passed to it. First, the textarea form object, the textarea's form object called 'counter' and a number. That number is the maximum length that the text area can be.

The function looks like this...

function textCounter( field, countfield, maxlimit ) {
  if ( field.value.length > maxlimit )
  {
    field.value = field.value.substring( 0, maxlimit );
    alert( 'Textarea value can only be 255 characters in length.' );
    return false;
  }
  else
  {
    countfield.value = maxlimit - field.value.length;
  }
}

The function basically says if the textarea object that was passed in is longer than the number that was passed in, then set that textarea back to the length that we passed in, and alert the user about the maximum length. Otherwise, set the 'countfield,' which we passed into the function as "this.form.counter," to the maximum length minus the current length. Thus we get a count down.

And that's pretty much it. If you are using PHP or Mason or something, you can fill in the max length number in a variable, and let that get handled on an arbitrary basis. Pretty sweet. A working version of the text area is below, but first, note the following. I didn't write that JavaScript, Sprint did. I needed to set a max length of textarea for a project, so I found someone who did it already, and adapted it to my needs. This is a nice little bit of code that improves the usability of the form by informing you of any limits on data. Enjoy.


characters remaining

edit: Fixed entry that was truncated



February 14, 2003 10:51 AM


Like I mentioned in my comments to the last post, I'm going to scrap the current design and introduce something better. Here's the plan...
  1. The CSS will be simplified and more uniform.
  2. I'm going to use em instead of px for font sizes and see what happens.
  3. The site will be fully viewable in a window smaller than 800px wide.
  4. Netscape 4.x will not be supported in any way. I won't even test with it. IE5/mac is another browser that I'm considering dumping support for. Over night IE5/mac and Safari switched positions for browser market share on this site (the night that Safari was first released).
  5. Custom icons will stay, and I'll make a tool for using your own icon and saving that to a cookie (saving the url to the icon that is). I'll document how I'm doing that (I've already received emails asking me for the system) and post it to the site.
  6. Even though I'm not getting very many, Ping Posts will remain and be positioned in a prominent location. They will not be contained by an iframe anymore (which was a dumb idea).
  7. The over all page layout will be similar to what you see now, but will be cleaner brighter, and use some more negative space. I'm packin' 10 pounds of shit into a 5 lb bag right now, and I don't need to be doing that.
  8. I'll be using less div positioning because it's still not consistent across the browser landscape.
  9. I need to update my 'Elsewhere' links to include the sites of all the regular posters (I'm a slacker, I admit it).
The risk of doing another redesign is that I can't keep changing the UI and confuse visitors, but I can't leave it in its current state. The next rev has to be solid and able to stand the test of time (ie, more than a week, hehehe) for the sake of consistency. the good thing is that all of the complicated comment icon code is done, and I can simply migrate to the new UI templates.

The weather reports for this weekend are pretty ugly so far, so I think I'll have some time to hack this out on Sunday. After that, I hope to get back to some high quality posts. Quinn, thanks for the words of reason and encouragement. My mind is made up.

February 14, 2003 3:40 AM


Many thanks to Benjy for sending in a link to a mother load of horrible BMW's. Unbelievable.

February 12, 2003 7:39 AM


The redesign I've been slowly working on and implementing has been, imho, a failure. The only good things to come out of it are custom comment icons and, uh, that's prolly it right there. I already hate this UI and think it's too wide, dark and flat. I need to make some changes...

February 11, 2003 9:07 AM


CNN reports that "Lollapalooza set to return after six-year hiatus" and I'm pretty psyched about it because Jane's Addiction is slated to perform. Over a decade ago I used to hang out with my high school friends a lot and skateboard and listen to Jane's. I saw their last club date and their first arena date (for the Ritual tour) and was really blown away by how bad Perry sounds at the beginning of a show and how good at the end. I also managed to make it to the second and third incarnations of Lollapalooza, which pretty much sucked (imho).

This spring, more than a decade after my last Perry Ferrel sighting, my wife will give birth to our first child (a girl! whoot!). I wonder how many other new parents will show up to Lollapalooza this year with a 'baby or board' sticker in their Sedan.

February 11, 2003 4:56 AM


Well, if this doesn't beat the band. Kentucky (!) has...

passed a mandate stating that all new housing units funded more than 50 percent by the KHC (Kentucky Housing Corp) must be equipped with access to high-speed Internet service.
What the hell?!?!

I live in a dot com community of about 5000 homes (apartments, townhouses, single family homes and big ass houses on the Golf Course) that is unable to get any broadband of any kind (no cable, no DSL). Also, we're 4 miles away from AOL, WorldCom and a Verizon CO, making the situation unbelievable to anyone I tell at work. I get laughed at! So now, Cletus is gunna have the fat bit pipe, and I'm not? Unbelievable.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy for Cletus, because he needs the help more than I do. The digital divide is growing my friends, growing really f'ing quick where things like RSS are news to the other geeks I know. Imagine a world where constant digital interconnectedness is not your daily experience. Imagine not immediately knowing that Kottke has a cold.

February 10, 2003 9:29 AM


konfabulator is one of those little things that I really got to play with, right now. One really impressive thing about it is the website, which lends a lot of credibility to the app, and I haven't even downloaded it yet. Very professionally designed and well rounded websites are a nice change from the unwieldy web app I'm working on these days (ever changing = never perfect). However, the Konfabulator site is butt ass slow and all of the urls are different for pages, examples and downloads, etc.

I'm not sure why, but different domain names on different pages of a site makes me trust that site less. Why do you need one page of the site to live at an entirely different domain? I understand putting a file to download at a diff site (such as Akamai) for caching or download speed, but other normal pages of the site should be within the same domain. I don't know why, but it bugs me.

Who cares though, it all runs on JavaScript, and I know JavaScript, so I'll be tinkering with this soon.

February 10, 2003 8:56 AM



Here's the third installment of "when bad things happen to good BMW's" that now gets it's own category here at IMX. If you see a bad bimmer, let me know!

February 8, 2003 12:06 PM


I'm currently working on the implementation of the new UI, and I'm doing it to the live site, so expect lots of oddness for a while. Don't even bother emailing about any prblems you might encounter until tomorrow.

Thanks.

February 7, 2003 7:40 AM


$50k, wow.

February 7, 2003 2:31 AM


C|Net reports on worker dissatisfaction...

The study said that one of the reasons workers are so grumpy is because managers wrongly interpret why employees are so disgruntled. Some of the major reasons that workers cite for their unhappiness are: amount of workload, a lack of a chance for professional development, boring job tasks and insufficient recognition.

Meanwhile, managers mistakenly believe that employees' feelings about management and the future of the company were more important to job satisfaction than workers' personal goals. In fact, the opposite is true. The study also found that managers underestimate the importance of many factors contributing to workplace satisfaction, including career development opportunities, rewards, challenging tasks, and a sense of self-confidence.
When management hands down edicts that directly contradict the business model of the company and are obviously tailored to self preservation, at the expense of doing good work, I get pissed.

It's institutionalized. Companies create systems where by people get promoted based on how many people they manage, or by being connected to the right projects at the right time. That creates a system whereby individuals seek out the situations that will benefit them the best (we are after all, human) at the expense of others. Human nature gets leveraged by corporate ignorance of the real work being done by the coal shovelers, and this creates fear and loathing when you have no control over the process. The article cited mentions "self-confidence" as a factor, but for me, it's career control. I want to feel like the work I am doing is better preparing me for what is next in my career.

February 6, 2003 10:25 AM


AiAiSuper Monkey Ball 2 for the Gamecube is one of the better games I've played recently, and most of that is due to the fact that it involves monkeys. Also, the controls in the game are perfect, easy to learn, and tough to master, making it a classic game. The cross marketing [see inset picture] is brilliant, even if the price was cut by 75%, and someone else bought the game figure and gave to me. She kept MiMi though. Heh.

Nintendo understands franchises. Sega does to, and so should all of you bloggers out there. There are too many blogs out there with the same basic UI that does nothing to differentiate the site in my mind. And with the volume of blog content pouring forth, differentiation is more important than ever. But don't take my word for it, I'm just very sensitive to branding and logos (being an Apple, Nikon and Nintendo fetishist).


February 5, 2003 8:07 AM


Does this solution solve this problem? Probably not, but it's fun to think of the possibilities surrounding NetNewsWire and the platform it's built on, OSX. It certainly seems that RSS 2.0, and insertion of comment elements will create a different (better?) way of surfing the blogosphere.

At times like this, I really wish I was a good Perl coder and AppleScript guru.

February 4, 2003 11:38 AM


The AIfIA has a compiled a study on the problems with CMSs, but there were only 64 responses. In a world of millions of CMS users, 64 responses seems kind of anemic. Having the respondents be "Members of sigia-l, AIfIA, and the ia-cms" mailing lists would tend to skew the numbers in one direction due to those respondents being generally cluefull and skilled. So I'm not sure what I take away from the report after reading it.

February 4, 2003 11:04 AM


I am, at best, a copyright neophyte. With little experience and too few hours spent considering the issue, I come accross a proposal by Lessig that seems to make sense...

The basic idea is this: 50 years after a work has been "published," a copyright owner would be required to pay a copyright tax. That tax should be extremely low--this proposal says $50, but it could be $1. If the copyright holder does not pay the tax for 3 years, then the work is forfeit to the public domain. If the copyright holder does pay the tax, then its contacting agent would be made a matter of public record. Very quickly we would have a cheap, searchable record, of what work is controlled and what work is free.
The idea seems worth considering, but since I haven't spent much time doing that, I don't really have anything to add other than some blog space.

February 3, 2003 12:00 PM


Based on your suggestions, I've taken another stab at the redesign for this site. Let me know what you think. Note: at the top of the page, aboce the title of the article, there is a next and previous article link. Those will only appear on individual archive pages.

February 3, 2003 7:15 AM


In a short discussion about TrackBack pings being displayed JC said...
I wonder if it might be worthwhile (or even possible) to combine comments and TrackBack... if someone does a TrackBack on your post to display it in line in the comments, as if it were also a comment, which, in a way, it is.
To which Adam replied...
I agree, TrackBacks are comments and should be displayed as such.
Stop! Consider the context. In the redesign, I'll be providing a place for people without regard to any articles or categories (well, ok, I've made a category called 'Ping Me' so that people can ping it). I had this idea before LazyWeb came along, and there's some discourse on the merits of what I'm trying to do as opposed to the LazyWeb meme. I'm hoping folks like Josh, Milbertus, Josh (a different one), Adam, Paul and JC will ping the category when ever they post to their sites. That's better than simply linking to their sites. But who knows if people will use it.

Now, those TrackBack pings won't have the same referential (semantic?) value as a comment on a particular post, however, TrackBack pings on individual posts will (and perhaps should be shown inline like normal comments). Same technology, two vaguely different applications there of. We'll see how that works out. :)

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