Scripting News for 10/25/2006

Marc Canter asks about support by aggregator developers of media formats in RSS feeds.  

Dell Hell, in a JibJab-like infomercial. 

The OGQ tool? 

Something that’s missing in Google’s repertoire of information searching tools. It’s something between Technorati, Google News, and Google itself. Think of it as the old-girlfriend query tool. Let’s say I used to date a woman named Tammy. From time to time I wonder what’s up with her. So I do a search, and find the same old links. I want to find all the new stuff. I don’t just want to search blogs, so it’s not what Technorati does. I don’t just care if she makes the news, so it isn’t what Google News does. For extra credit, I’d like it to come in RSS format so I can teach my aggregator to do this for me automatically.

BTW, once we get this feature, I predict the same kind of backlash that came when Facebook added rich RSS support. All of a sudden lurkers will have a new advantage, and the lurkees might not be happy about it.

Iraq and incentives 

Listening very carefully to podcast and broadcast discussions about the war in Iraq between Washington policy-makers, there is a lot of subtlety that’s missed in the crude discussion of “stay the course” vs “cut and run.” I’m sure we’re just getting an inkling of what’s going on there, and to even get that inkling you have to listen a lot and carefully. Here are some things to consider. We’re encouraging the supposed unity government of Maliki to work with other factions, but he isn’t doing it. He doesn’t really have much of an incentive, as long as we prop him up, pay his bills, provide him with body guards, why should he do anything at all?

Further, we’re pumping billions of dollars into Iraq, how is that being spent and who is getting it? How much of that money is being used to fund the various factions in the soon-to-be civil war? Lots. 60 Minutes had a report this Sunday about $800 million that disappeared from Iraqi defense appropriations. The money is being given to people we don’t know. And some of them are arming themselves and fighting against the government, but most of them are just ignoring the government, it’s so weak and innefective.

Anyway, there’s a point to all this. Clearly behind the scenes, when the Americans put pressure on Iraqis, they’re telling them to work with each other. Even the Republicans say that, that in order for Iraq to have a chance of working, each of the factions must compromise. But here’s the disconnect. Here at home, the Republicans completely disenfranchise the Democrats and people who vote for Democrats. Every bit of disagreement is cast as cowardice or disloyalty. Most of us aren’t going to become Republicans. So how can we expect the Iraqis to do what we ourselves don’t? The answer — it’s unreasonable to expect them to.

God knows why America should care about change in Iraq, but Bush insists that we must. So if we want Iraq to reform, Bush should stop throwing dirt at anyone who dares to disagree with him, because he so desperately needs to be disagreed with, and we should form some kind of coalition government of Republicans and Democrats that decides how to get our country out of the mess we’re in, in Iraq.


Meanwhile, the Democrats have discovered the power of spam. Somehow they got my “real” email address into their database (I probably corresponded with someone who works for Democrat causes) and now I’m getting a few spam emails every day that get through the spam filters from idiots like John Kerry and Barak Obama. I call them idiots to emphasize that, with me, spam does not endear me to you, it makes it impossible for me to give you money or support. I’ve tried five times to unsub, but they seem to ignore the request, like any good spammer.

Would someone give the Internet guys down at Democratic Party HQ a kick in the butt for me. Thanks.

Postscript: I got an email from a tech guy at the DNC saying the email came from the Kerry organization not the DNC. He said: “The DNC does not buy email addresses or spam people.”

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Phil Thompson on October 25, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Are you sure the spam wasn’t sent by Republicans, masquerading as Democrats to poison you against the Dems?


  2. I learn more about Iraq from your blog than I do from any new source. It shouldnt be so complicated….in fact, it is much too simple; it’s pointless!

    p.s. I have a friend in Iraq who seems to have lost his mind. He sent me pics of himself posing as an Iraqi in a suit and on camels with huge guns… I never imagined he’d do something like that. What a waste of lives:(


  3. Posted by Simon Hamilton on October 25, 2006 at 11:02 am

    I think that’s a brilliant insight into the hypocrisies of the GOP. Unity government is the only solution for Iraq but the furthest thing from desired here. Keep it up!


  4. Posted by Jake on October 25, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Sure the DNC doesn’t buy email lists and doesn’t spam…it’s just the subcontractors.


  5. OGQ tools?

    I remember IceRocket used to have an ‘only show new items’ option in its searches, but it doesn’t seem to be there now …

    However the does point out three (paid) services that seem to fit the OGQ bill :, and

    I haven’t used any of them, just did a quick bit of diggin’ 🙂


  6. Facebook doesn’t have RSS support. I wish they did – they just have a “Facebook River”.


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