Scripting News for 3/5/2007

Future-safe archives 

The discussion about future-safing content continues.

I had lunch on Sunday with Jeff Ubois, he’s been working on archiving for many years. He sent me an article by Alfred de Grazia, explaining the problem for academics. When a scholar dies, he or she leaves behind a life of work, papers, unfinished manuscripts, notebooks, pictures, recordings, and nowadays computers, disks and websites. Their family and university generally don’t know what to do with them, often the problem is given to the libraries.

Our thought is to try to anticipate the problem, while the scholar is alive, and now that our work is largely electronic, to have it future-safe at all times, leave no work for the librarian, let the families and colleagues deal with the death of a relative and colleague at a personal level, and not as a professional problem.

Today’s links 

Maryam and Robert announce Scoble 3.0, coming to Stanford in Sept.

Mike at TechDirt on the new RIAA-inspired royalty for webcasts. “The new rates pretty much decimate a large portion of the industry.”

Washington Post: “The Patent and Trademark Office is starting a pilot project that will not only post patent applications on the Web and invite comments but also use a community rating system designed to push the most respected comments to the top of the file, for serious consideration by the agency’s examiners. A first for the federal government, the system resembles the one used by Wikipedia, the popular user-created online encyclopedia.”

Joost review 

Thanks to Robert Scoble for inviting me to participate in the Joost beta. I like it. The programming is very international. The user interface is radical, but appropriate. There is some Viacom content, from MTV, also from CNN and Warner Music. It’s a lot like TV but on a computer. I can see installing it on Mac Mini in the den, the one that’s hooked up to the 46-inch Sony HD-TV.

Sidebar: It reminds me of Jamby, a project Adam Curry was working on in 2000, except the time is right for this now, and Joost is usable. You could definitely see RSS fitting into Joost, much as they have it built into YouTube.

Oh Flickr 

On March 15, according to Flickr, you won’t be able to use your “old skool” id to log on, they want you to use a Yahoo id instead. I was reminded of this because I wanted to access my Flickr account on my new laptop. I’m now going to explain the problems I had (stil have) although it makes me tired to even think about it, much less write about it.

First, here are some facts.

1. I have a Yahoo account, dwiner.

2. I have a free Flickr account, Guilty Party, associated with that account that I created by accident a few years ago. When I log on to Flickr using the dwiner name it takes me to the Guilty Party account.

3. I have a Pro account on Flickr, the one that I use regularly, Scriptingnews. It is not currently associated with a Yahoo account. I haven’t got a clue how to get it associated with one. Can I have two Flickr accounts associated with one Yahoo id?

So if someone from Yahoo happens to read this, and I don’t want to join your support forum, thank you (I already have enough stuff to do), please tell me what I’m supposed to do and keep it simple. I’m certainly willing to nuke the Flickr account I created by accident, it’s just got some pictures of a Gephardt rally in New Hampshire from late 2003.

In the meantime, here’s a screen shot of the new Joost app, on my real Flickr account.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Dave, here’s the process. Log in to your Yahoo account on Flickr. Go to

    Choose the bottom option from the drop down. In the box, ask them to unlink your Flickr account from your Yahoo account and explain why. List both your Flickr username and your Yahoo usernames and explain which one is the right one. Wait until they respond (in my experience, they are pretty quick), and follow the instructions.

    I have my problems with Flickr, but getting support from them was surprisingly easy. If only that goddamn Steve Jobs could learn from some of the newly-minted and not-so-newly-minted startups nearby…


  2. Tom, I sent them a pointer to the writeup on my blog.

    I don’t relish writing it up twice. Once is enough for what seems a relatively unnecessary thing to put your customers through.


  3. p2p is web 3.0


  4. Dave, sign into the “Guilty Party” account on Flickr, delete it and that will free up your YID. Go back to and try again to associate your correct account.

    Let me know if that doesn’t work.


  5. Tara, I did what you asked, I deleted the Guilty Party Flickr account, but when I tried to associate the scriptingnews account with the dwiner Yahoo ID, I got this error message.

    I wish someone would explain to me why this is my problem and not yours. I pay you guys money to host my pictures, not to make me jump through hoops.


  6. Okay, I tried again a few minutes later and it worked.


  7. Hey Dave

    RE WordPress:

    Actually, having recently spent some time examining the WordPress code,
    I’d say that it’s Pretty Okay software.

    A lot of that, of course, comes from sitting atop AMP.


    — stan


  8. Then again, it is not unreasonable to be a member of BOTH sets (S****y and Okay) simultaneously.

    In fact, pondering further, that may be one of the more common cases.

    — stan


  9. Re: shitty software

    I think that if the enterprise world could get this idea through their heads, not only would their vendors be able to release new features more rapidly, they would actually spend less money / energy on gearing up for new product installations.

    As you make very clear, software has very little to do with code and everything to do with business processes. Good processes evolve over time.


  10. Posted by Tim Towtdi on March 5, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Regarding the Flickr into Yahoo assimilation and your user experience:
    I can’t think of any little companies being bought by large companies where
    the user experience has been greatly enhanced… is so many cases, you can just write off the acquisition as the loss of a product in the market. It seems to take about 2 years and it’s effectively gone.

    Like Sun buying Cobalt: gone. What a great little web server.
    Like Google buying Blogger… just stuck in place.
    Like Yahoo buying Flickr… slowing down?

    Is there one that actually took off after being assimilated?
    I’m just thinking out loud.

    Of course, the alternative is for the little company to just fall over.

    On a positive not: is there a mega-corp that does great acquisitions and users benefit from their attention to the companies they eat? Maybe ‘cisco?
    Not sure.


  11. Relating to “Future-safe archives”.

    There’s a recent article on Scientific American relating somehow to this issue. Didn’t read it through yet; just connecting a couple of dots.

    It is about a project at Microsoft Research, called MyLifeBits, exploring the issue of “digitally chronicle every aspect of a person’s life”. “After six years, Bell has amassed a digital archive of more than 300,000 records, taking up about 150 gigabytes of memory.”


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