Scripting News for 9/9/07

China’s effect on the Internet 

Andrew Baron likes to keep checking to see who’s writing about China’s effect on the Internet.

So far, he says, it’s only been David Weinberger and himself. Now I will be part of the club. :-)

Like Andrew, I read with some curiosity that China has developed a way to disable the US military entirely through the Internet. It’s like a science fiction movie. Now we have to develop a similar capability to disable their military, and voila, there’s one war that can’t happen! Excellent.

Apply that technique to all existing armies and you’ve solved a major problem for mankind. Okay this may be a little naive, not sure, but it’s worth discussing, don’t you think??

Morning green tea notes 

It’s been a really interesting morning, in a sick kind of way (that is, I’m still really sick, coughing and wheezing, rasping and sneezing).

First, I got a really excellent How To Be A Sick Dude from Naked Jen, my very good friend from Santa Cruz, who specializes in wellness through herbs and good vibes. She’s been sending well-intentioned “mom energy” my way, advising me to do certain things, and against others. The most serious thing she warned me about was doing too much too soon. That’s a good way to be sick for a month, she warned. So I asked for her prescription. When can I go for a walk, and how long should it be? I really want to get out and I think pulling oxygen in and out of my lungs would be good for them. But when I exert myself, even a little, I start coughing madly. So she wrote me a How To, and I’m going to encourage her to post it on her blog because a lot of other people could benefit from this common sense advice on what to do and what to avoid.

Marc Canter wrote a fantastic blog post this morning that explains in a nutshell all that’s wrong with the tech press. It’s a well-written piece, you get the sense that he’s spent a lot of time thinking about it. The problem is that when the press don’t do their job, and those of us who care about getting the real story do their job for them, it’s very easy to get rid of the problem, just make fun of the people who care enough to ask. That’s what happened at Gnomedex, I asked questions of someone in power that he didn’t want to answer.

The sad thing is that this doesn’t just happen in the tech press, it happens in all media. They feel it’s their responsibility to carry the story the way those in power want it carried, so they ask questions about “the surge” that Bush wants asked and only when he wants them asked. We’re seeing this play out in excruciatingly agonizing detail with tomorrow’s appearance in Congress of General Petraeus. He will come to explain the decision that’s already been made, he’ll say we can discuss it when it’s been given a chance to work or not. How about next June or July?

I’ve been playing around with a new expandable display for the Scripting News home page, using the mktools package from Matt Kruse. Let me know if you like it, or don’t.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Hi,
    I like the expandable display because it gives me a view of several posts on the same page and I can view those posts and still remain on one page.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jacob Levy on September 9, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Love the expandable display but its gonna eat your bandwidth for guys like me who have scripting news set as their home page (gulp, what an admission :) ).

    P.S. Here’s some good vibes for get-healthy from me.

    Reply

  3. Posted by David Sals on September 9, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Like it.

    Reply

  4. Yeah, if China hacks us one more time, they’re sooo not our Facebook-Friend anymore.

    Reply

  5. Dittoes RE liking/loving the expandable display.

    Happily solves a particular website situation I’m dealing with this evening. Homage to Jungian synchronicity.

    — stan

    Reply

  6. Posted by Larry Bouchie, TechPRGuy on September 9, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Like it. Some weekends I am offline, then like to catch up on a few days worth of posts — this makes it easier, on a single page.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Paul Roberts on September 9, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    I love the expandable display (though I always read it through NetNewsWire). However, this could encourage me to click open the home page more. I’d love to see this on more blogs, especially those I visit less often, which makes my next point a bit more relevant.

    One thing that would make it a little more useful, is if the title included the date (at the beginning or end, in short form – -9.8.07, etc, or something like that.

    Also agree with points made by Larry and Eddie.

    Reply

  8. “that China has developed a way to disable the US military entirely through the Internet.”

    Do you believe that? Or was it just a couple of script kiddies in a Chinese internet cafe blown out of all proportion by an administration that needs enemies?

    But more to the point where are the Chinese blogs and Web 2.0 startups? Do we just not see them because Google hides them, thinking we’re only interested in English language web sites from the USA and UK?

    Reply

  9. I like the concept. Do I _really_ need to click a TINY “+” to expand the topic? Why not hyperlink the entry title? It’s much simpler.

    Reply

  10. I like it a lot. Much more content on the one page and it’s uncluttered.

    As for China, I am sure you’ve heard about Estonia’s woes. Who knows where it came from, but here’s one story about it: http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-09/ff_estonia

    Reply

  11. Expandable displays in web pages can certainly be useful. At first glance though, I prefer your main page as they currently appear.

    I find the little plus signs/minus signs on the left of each section, visually less attractive than without them, they are kind of distracting. Overall they make the page look disjointed.

    Personally I very much like that you only show the latest days content on the front page. For me, It makes it feel a little more like the latest edition of Scripting News, kind of like a news paper. If I wanted to read more items on one page, then I would just read through an RSS reader. I like reading by visiting the site because it is clean and simple. I only want to drag the scroll bar to read. I don’t really want to have to click around the page.

    I often read your blog using the browser on my Blackberry and the new style means it takes for ever to load as it loads all the elements fully expanded. The current page layout is also a bit annoying for the Blackberry though as all the right hand margin stuff appears which I really don’t care about when I’m on the phone, apart from the link to the comments section.

    Looks like I’m in the minority on this one though. Sorry be so negative about your experimenting. Get well soon!

    Reply

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