Scripting News for 2/18/2007

It took a few hours, but I got my cool Panasonic webcam working with my Mac over the net. Thanks Chris! Hi Ponzi! 

Public Radio Manifesto, part II 

I’ve been spending lots of time thinking about the talk in Boston later this week.

1. Proof that we have a problem with discourse in our country — we got into a crazy war without discussing it.

2. This little problem isn’t something theoretical. It’s costing us nearly a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives, and the problems it causes will last for generatins because kids are growing up in the world today with no respect for the US, and we don’t deserve their respect bedause we don’t think.

3 We need a thinking upgrade.

4. What better time to do it than as a national election is approaching.

Some of these ideas are outlined in a 1/2 hour podcast I did yesterday.

Looking forward…

Springtime in Berkeley 

There’s always a moment when you realize this is it, spring is here; and this year, that moment came this week. It’s warm, you don’t need to bundle up when you go out.

The air smells like perfume, every time you turn a corner, there’s a new version of heaven for your nose; and visually, it’s pretty stunning too — the colors! Oh man.

The weather in California is pretty amazing, and every year it peaks, right around now, and there probably isn’t a more lovely place on the planet.

Another sign it’s spring: you can sleep with the windows open.

And, as “Solo” reminds, you can sleep with the windows open in NY too, but you’ll freeze your ass. 🙂

Continuing with codecasting 

Two changes to how the feed is generated. 1. Only output a part once, no need to update a part more than once, when updating, the last version will overwrite all previous versions. 2. Because of the first change, we have to change the order of the feed to reverse-chronologic. The result of this changes is that the size of the feed decreases, and the time spent processing it on updating decreases, and the cost of running the server decreases. A three-way win, so an obvious improvement.

If all goes well, I’ll release the client code to OPML Editor users. It won’t be turned on by default, but I will turn it on in all my copies of the OPML Editor, so it can get a good test before deploying to user sites.

People ask what’s so great about codecasting, and the answer is, for users, nothing in particular. For developers who manage environments with users who need to update frequently, it might cut the cost of providing updates. For me, it certainly will cut my costs, and since the software that I will update is open source, and produces no revenue, cutting costs means I have more money to go to the movies, eat out, buy toys, pay for health insurance, save for retirement, give to good causes. I write about stuff on my blog because I like to keep a record of my work, so it may not make sense to you, or even seem like a good idea, if so, so be it.

Actually, there is an advantage for users. The current method of updating requires the user’s app to call teh server on port 5337, but we’ve received complaints that some corporate firewalls don’t allow traffic on that port (contradicting the assumption, btw, that some critics of XML-RPC offer, saying we’re just tunneling over port 80). Using RSS and a plain old web server, now we really are doing updates on port 80 and the corporate firewalls won’t have any issues with it. 🙂

Another reason I document my work here is so that I can include pointers in my comments, saving me having to document my work twice.

Influential pundits 

It’s great to see Marc Canter get the recognition he deserves. It’s been a long road for him, a lot of the pundits are put off by Marc’s directness, enthusiasm, certainty.

I always listen to people like Marc (there aren’t many) because I want to get new ideas, and over the years I’ve gotten plenty of them from Marc.

Speaking of influential pundits, what’s Clay Shirky’s problem with Second Life? He seems to be making a career of overhyping how overhyped it is. 🙂

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Solo on February 18, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Hey, you can sleep with your windows open here in Manhattan too… only it’s fucking freezing! Well, at least we know you have that fucking BART that closes at midnight and shitty pizza too.


  2. Solo, that’s why I’ll always love NY and love NYers, we’re so fucking irreverent. You’re right the pizza here sucks and the BART closes at fucking midnight. They say it closes for maintenence, but we know it’s really because they’re pussies.


  3. Posted by Kent Hockabout on February 18, 2007 at 10:39 am

    I was a BMUG person and I like to read your notes.

    The day I finished Cal I got a note to go to Fort Ord. Then I Went to Alaska for two years and the was a first Job.

    More if you want.

    I like yours.


  4. Dave, I wish you’d podcast more often – it so much more personal and profound than the writing – at least to me. This is one of your best podcasts along with the Italy one



  5. Posted by morris james on February 18, 2007 at 6:07 pm


    You are right on about people not respecting us.

    Twenty-four months ago, we began the process to adopt a little girl from Russia. Everything was great until my wife made the first visit there last summer. Things had changed. The adults at the orphanage hated Americans and it filtered down to the kids. Six American adoptions at the one orphanage went down in flames.


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