Scripting News for 9/6/2006

My Craig Cline story: “There are very few people who will stand with you when you know you’re right. Everyone who knew Craig knew someone like that, and that made us special too.” 

Dale Dougherty: “Craig was big like a brown bear: slow and watchful, deliberate yet excitable.” 

Michael Gartenberg tastes the tea-leaves on next week’s Apple announcement by rating today’s news of refreshes for the Mac mini and iMac lines. 

On this day, four years ago: The road to RSS 2.0.  

Mike Arrington: Six Apart Acquires Rojo. “The crowded and highly competitive feed reader space, dominated by Bloglines, Newsgator and others, was a tough playground to hang out in.” 

Guardian on the rivers 

Guardian article about NYTimesRiver and BBCRiver. Thanks!

“Dave Winer’s ‘river of news’ finally looks like catching on — at least on mobile phones and other portable devices. In fact, it was Winer getting a BlackBerry that kicked off the latest round of enthusiasm. On his blog, Winer noted that he ‘reached nirvana’ on the San Francisco light railway.”

I have definitely noticed the traffic on the rivers slowly going up. One interesting phenomenon is that the search engine crawlers pickup up story headlines every day or so when they scan, and for some reason they’re highly relevant, so they often make it into the first page of links. Of course when people looking for information click the link, the story has long-since scrolled off the river. But these are probably the kind fo people who follow news, so they’re gradually getting introduced to the idea, and word of mouth of course feeds it too. And thoughtful reviews like the one in the Guardian don’t hurt either! 🙂

Water service RSS 

I’ve been ordering all the services required for my new house, which I get the keys for on Friday. Pretty exciting! What’s remarkable is that all the sites have RSS feeds. Of course the phone company, and the ISP have feeds. (I’m getting high speed DSL from Yahoo/AT&T with 5 static IP addresses, for $80 a month, an improvement over the T1 line I used to have, it’s faster, and costs less than 1/10th the price). The water service, electric company and gas companies all have RSS feeds, prominently displayed on their home pages. That was a surprise.

I’m seeing feeds everywhere. The other day I was looking at the website of UserLand’s attorneys, and not only do they have a feed, prominently and proudly displayed on their home page, but one of the partners, Tim Hale, is even doing a podcast! I guess the future has caught up with us. All the stuff that we developed in the 90s has now become mainstream. I imagine that the utility companies don’t know that their new customer helped them find new ways to communicate, I wonder if our old friends at Russo & Hale do? Haven’t talked with them in a while, hope they’re doing well.

Postscript: According to Tim Harrison, they block port 80 on the DSL.

My Craig Cline story 

I actually have two stories to tell, both have been told before, but I want to tell them again. Now that Craig has passed, I suppose there’s more that can be told. Isn’t it funny how that works. While someone is alive you don’t know what’s fair to write about and what’s not, and it’s often not a very comfortable thing to ask, so you err on the side of caution. But once they’re gone, who’s left to object?

On 8/10/00, I wrote about spending an hour on the phone, riveted, listening to a friend tell a story of his heart attack. Starting with chest pain on the east coast, a plane trip home, a drive up the hill to his Woodside home, and then being evacuated by helicopter to Stanford Hospital, where he was lucky to be when the actual attack came. If it hadn’t happened there he wouldn’t have lived, my friend recounted. The friend was Craig.

To keep my cool while listening to the story I had to massage my own chest and remind myself that I wasn’t having a heart attack, although at the time I did actually have heart disease, and knew it, but I hadn’t told anyone, not even Craig. Then two years later, I asked Craig over to my house, a few nights before I was going to a cardiologist. When I told him about my symptoms he urged me to go to Stanford Hospital, right down the street. He offered to drive me. I said no, I wanted to wait and do it the right way. Now I know how foolish that was. I guess part of you wants to be, if not free of the disease, free of the certain knowledge, as long as possible. When I finally went in for my checkup I didn’t come back until my chest had been ripped open and four arteries from my leg had been grafted onto my heart, giving me at least four more years of life. (Knock wood.)

Craig and I have a lot of bonds, our love of technology, an absolute sense of integrity (to the point of being boring, and making enemies for it, Craig made enemies too), and we both had bodies that paid the price for the way we lived. I still have my body, for now; he lost his on Saturday.

(Do I go back and change the tense on the writing to the past tense? Where I say we have bonds must that change to had bonds? I’m going to keep it in the present tense, not ready yet to let go.)

Like Jory, I confided my personal life to Craig, frustrations with lovers, one in particular, who Craig also called a friend. As with Jory, his advice was great, but did I pay attention? That’s not the way these things work.

The second story of Craig is one I’ve told a few times here on Scripting News, most recently on 8/30 of this year, less than a week ago. Craig was on my mind because I was thinking about a visit. I knew he was gravely ill, and that he couldn’t speak. I imagined that I would do most of the talking, and what would I talk about? I would tell him a tale of his own heroism, a story I tell every young person I come to know, and will as long as I live, the one about Craig and the guy from Apple, how he looked him in the eye and told him in his Craig-like way, that whatever Dave wants to do is okay with him. I will tell the young woman or man how great it feels to be so trusted by one so wise, and that as long as they are true to their heart, they will have my support as I had Craig’s on that day in 1997. It may seem a small thing, but in this world there is very little of that kind of friendship, there are very few people who will stand with you when you know you’re right. Everyone who knew Craig knew someone like that, and that made us special too.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Dave, we need a site that has all the campaign podcast for the canidates this year, if they have a podcast, you would think if their running for office somewhere, they’d want a podcast or blog. maybe like a political river 🙂


  2. the positive rss-experience you made incited my curiosity… so I checked:

    1) my electricity/gas-company
    2) my broadband-/phone-provider
    * the company owning my apartment

    none of them offered RSS. [despite both 1) & 2) being market-leaders in my region… Vienna/Austria that is] 😦

    two of the websites even had popups which my browser surpressed…baaad 🙂


  3. Are you planning on hosting any websites on that DSL line? Yes, they do have packages with 5 static IP’s, but I’m nearly certain they block port 80… at least they do in my area. We have the same plan at my office.


  4. The block port 80? Oy oy oy. They are already bastards and I haven’t even got the service yet.


  5. Posted by John Brewer on September 6, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    If that’s true I would recommend Megapath. I also switched from a T1 to 6MBit/600Kbit DSL with 5IPs where I host 8 (low traffic) domains running various services. I have never been wild about their sales people, but they are one of the few ISPs I have spoken with where their tech people actually know what they are talking about and can help with problems. And they deal with the phone company for you.


  6. Posted by Randy Newman on September 6, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    I have SWBell/SBC/AT&T/Yahoo or whatever they call it now. There isn’t any port blocking going on with the static accounts. At least not in Dallas. I have the 3MB plain and hate it when I go to a clients with a slow T1.


  7. Yesterday I celebrated the 5th anniversary of my emergency triple bypass. I posted it on my blog.


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