Scripting News for 11/16/2006

Sylvia Paull: Mr GNU meets Mr RSS

According to Mike Arrington, Jason Calacanis has left AOL. Hey Jason, I call dibs on doing a project with you now that you’re out of BigCoLand.  

Slate: “The new formats are doomed because shiny little discs will soon be history.” 

Sitemaps becomes a defacto standard 

I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of days, so I’ve had to wait to offer my support and congratulations to Microsoft, Yahoo and Google for getting together on a protocol that optimizes search engine crawlers called Sitemaps. It’s a simple format that should be easy for all the major tools to support. It helps improve the efficiency and currency of the web, good things of course, but it’s even better that big companies are working together instead of reinventing. This means that developers only have to support one mechanism.

Of course it’s pragmatic for Microsoft and Yahoo to get on board behind the leader in search, Google. But there have been many times when big companies have avoided such pragmatism, so they deserve our support and gratitude.

Now that the Dems control Congress 

I think having a Democratic Congress is cool, but it just pops off one level of lunacy. They’re still talking about Iraq like it’s a borough of NYC, both parties. I think I see what’s going to happen now — gradually Iran is taking over, waiting until they can announce that they have nukes. Eventually we’ll have to decide whether we want to fight a war with Iran or come home, defeated. The purpose of the Baker group is to spin it so that it’s not W’s fault, maybe even pin it on the Dems. We’re headed for some bad times, no way out of it, and I think they all know it, and they’re jockeying not to let the blame land on them.

So what’s the best outcome in Iraq? The Shi’ite part of Iraq will either become part of Iran or will be a client of Iran. The Sunni part will be annexed by Syria, and everyone will fight over Kurdistan. Now if I were a pessimist, I’d say that this is the place we’ll fight World War III, with lots of fronts opening up all over the world, including here in the US.

It was never an option for Iraq to become an American style democracy, I don’t think Bush and the neocons ever really believed that could happen. If they did, I would have loved to have seen the plan for that to come about. One thing you can hear in all the Washington spin is that no one is talking about democracy anymore. The next myth to explode is that Iraq actually has government. And we should stop shipping arms into Iraq, we’re just arming various sides of the civil war, and bringing about the death of more Iraqis.

When you watch Baker in motion, don’t think he’s working for you. He’s working for the Bush family, and more broadly, the Republican Party and the defense industry.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Here’s an option, Dave. Why don’t we arbitrarily declare that Iran is an ally. Bush should go on TV and say, “I’ve been thinking about it and, you know what, that whole “evil triangle” thing was some stupid thing Cheney dreamed up on a quail hunting trip.” Wasn’t China an enemy a long time ago and then one day, Nixon or Kissinger or someone said, “Hey, they may be commie bastards, but they’re OUR commie bastards — and they work cheap.” Is there some current equivalent of ping-pong that we can play with the Iranians to help us get over the belief we’re supposed to be enemies. Or, perhaps this displays why I didn’t go into international relations.


  2. Posted by David Berger on November 16, 2006 at 9:54 am

    How can someone so visionary on technical issues be so hidebound in his approach to political issues? I mean really, “Corporate America?” What’s that supposed to mean? Microsoft? Cisco? Bechtel?

    Really, Dave. There’s plenty to criticize about Iraq without slipping into flabby thinking or outdated (like, from the 1960s) ideological assumptions.


  3. It’s worth remembering that Baker is the fixer who secured the presidency for GWB in 2000.


  4. Posted by Solo on November 16, 2006 at 10:44 am

    David, What is an alternative to the way that Dave puts it?

    If Iraq _had_ been treated like a borough of NYC and they let Giuliani and Bratton run things, Iraq would have been better off! Those guys understand cities (even if you don’t like their position on elephant dung and Chris Orfili).


  5. Posted by David Berger on November 16, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    Solo – very funny! I don’t disagree.

    Again, my quarrel isn’t with Dave’s assessment of Iraq. It was with his throwing around hoary old chestnuts like “Corporate America” as a symbol for something insidious.

    And I just see that Dave edited out that reference. So, “nevermind!”


  6. Posted by sbove on November 16, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    Re: “When you watch Baker in motion, don’t think he’s working for you. He’s working for the Bush family, and more broadly, the Republican Party and the defense industry.”

    Heh heh. Exactly. Baker is like the Havey Keitel character in Pulp Fiction…he’s there to clean up the mess. The scoundrels who made the mess have already been hosed down and are wayyy out of reach. By the time the Dems are holding the bag (which they are scrambling to grab), there will be so many fingers pointing everywhich way, and the situation will have devolved so terribly that nobody will be able to pin anything on anyone. As usual, the chess-grand-master CIA-Bush-Ocracy is at least 3 steps ahead of the well-meaning-checkers-playing-politically-lame-Democrats.


  7. “The new formats are doomed because shiny little discs will soon be history.”

    Ummm… I wouldn’t be playing any funeral dirges yet.

    This is not a technical issue, it’s a legal one. The writer (Cooper) assumes the studios will joyfully go along with licensing the 65,000+ titles in the current DVD library for download. There is not the slightest indication that will happen. Hollywood studios love the shiny little discs because they give the studios the illusion of control.

    As long as movie content is locked up in an oligopoly — which it will be for our lifetimes, due to their dicking around with copyright law — there will be some physical constraint on said content. Atoms, not bits.

    Hell, we’re talking about an industry that hasn’t yet figured out what a self-inflicted wound the DVD Region scheme has been to their sales (mostly because they want to sell country-by-country distribution contracts, and don’t care if that hurts aggregate sales — yet another way amurrican business will take greater control in a choice over greater profit, every time).


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