Are we going to start a war with Iran? Listen to the Terry Gross interview with Seymour Hersh. What will Iran do after we attack? The British are evacuating Basra, will Iran invade to fill the vacuum? What will Bush do then? And will Iran move into Afghanistan? They share a long border. Will Pakistan then move into Afghanistan? Hersch says it will be a 20 year war. He can’t imagine a President of the US trying everything before going that route, yet, of course, Bush is doing nothing. At this point, knowing what we know about Bush, we are complicit if we do nothing.
Don Park advocates comment gardening.
Microsoft announces a new Zune in the NY Times. Okay, but did they seed any bloggers? Feels like they keep going over our heads. I’ve heard nothing from Microsoft PR. Do I have to buy a Zune to evaluate it? Unless it’s an unqualified home run, wouldn’t it be smart to first market it to people who might work with them to smooth it out? They say they want to build community. Wouldn’t it make sense to use the communities that are already interested in this stuff?? (BTW, it looks like Engadget and Gizmodo didn’t get briefed.)
I love podcasts, I take a walk every day, and listen to whoever Terry Gross is interviewing, or Tim Russert. I love it all, but sometimes there’s no substitute for a great schmaltzy song and some of them never seem to get old, they just get better.
One of those songs is You and Me Babe, from the Ringo album. I’ve said it before, this album is really the last Beatles album, all four of the Beatles write, produce and perform. To me, a Beatles fan since I was a Mets fan, it’s a beautiful album, there are reprises from some of the great post-Beatles music of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon. And I love it even more because it’s all got the Little Help From My Friends spirit that RIngo embodied.
I dare you to listen to that song without smiling.
My podcatcher has its own Twitter account, which everyone can follow.
Right now it doesn’t subscribe to very many feeds, just the ones I try to stay current on. You’ll get at most one or two podcasts a day, except Sunday, when you’ll get at least four, Murphy-willing: Meet the Press, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Face the Nation and 60 Minutes.
Of course you don’t have to listen to any of them, but you can, with a single mouse click. And you’re notified within an hour of when they’re available.
BTW, this is a feature of my podcatcher, when it’s released. Heh heh *cough* tease *cough* heh heh.
For example, I have confidential conversations using Gmail with execs at companies that compete with Google. At one time, when I ran UserLand and they owned Blogger, I actually competed with them myself. The fact that I continue to use Gmail shows that I have a lot of trust in the ethics of the people who work at Google.
I also use Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on my site. I allow them to run ads on a few sites that I run as a community service, to compensate me for hosting costs. From time to time, I run ads myself. I keep financial data in Google’s spreadsheet.
If things were different I might use Feedburner. Especially on weekday mornings it’s amazing how much traffic one file, my RSS 2.0 feed, gets. So it occurs to me that I could streamline things simply by offloading that file to Google. Now that they own Feedburner, this is something I might do, if they take a pledge not to break aggregators that depend on the format of my feed not changing. If someday my feed were to change format and break just one person reading it, I would consider that a serious support issue. It’s not something I want to take a chance with. Some people trust me in this way. Not so many people as Google, but to me, they’re very important. Could I delegate that trust to Google? No, not at this time.
There’s another side to it. Even though I don’t choose to use Feedburner, because I subscribe to the feeds of people who do, I am effected when they change the format of their feeds. When Google does this they inevitably break products that compete with theirs, the most obvious being Google Reader, but there are also server-side products that compete with Google’s that depend on being able to read RSS feeds. If all of a sudden a large number of those feeds become invisible to them, people would find their services less useful, and therefore less competitive. This is exactly the kind of behavoir that made Microsoft such a bad corporate citizen in the 90s as they tried to suffocate the web to protect Windows and Office.
Now, amazingly, it seems as if Google may be doing this. I’ve seen it myself, files that mysteriously change format and break apps and users, and I’ve heard about it from a couple of developers. No one has said anything publicly, that I know of.
So, as a responsible corporation, it seems that Google should say something. What’s their policy about breaking users of Feedburner, and people who read their feeds? Is this something they will do quietly, a sort of “silent data loss,” or do they feel the need to be public about such policies? And what other products will they mess with this way. Will someday I look in my spreadsheet files and find that Google has changed the numbers? Or will emails from execs at Yahoo contain racial slurs or outright lies? See how much damage Google can do because we trust them?
I honestly don’t know what they’re doing, and I don’t want to guess. I’d like them to come forward and explain.
Seth E: “Someone asked me yesterday to sign a petition to have remove JewWatch, a anti-semitic weblist of powerful Jews, removed from Google’s search-engine.”