Scripting News for 3/8/2007

Programming with love 

With all the talk about My.Yahoo today, I happened to trip across another app on Yahoo that is so much nicer than anything like it I’ve seen. It didn’t get big headlines today, maybe it was announced some time ago and I missed it, maybe not.

Their stock analysis tool is beautifully crafted, very usable.

I think the problem with browser-based RSS software is that the people who write the apps aren’t news junkies. If they were, they could, with much less effort, create something far more powerful and far more usable.

When Steve Rubel says they’ve abandoned the geeks this is what I imagine he’s saying. There are people who hook up to news intravenously. Make news software for them, and magically, it will work for everyone else too. That’s the time-tested way to make software.

It really isn’t so hard. Find a programmer who lives for news.


Arrington has the scoop (of course).

An all-new My Yahoo.

Okay, let’s do the upgrade.

My first reaction: “Zzzzz.”

My second reaction: “Yawn.”

My third reaction: “Oooooh it’s Ajax!”

My fourth reaction: “What’s so great about it?”

I still vastly prefer MyBigFatRiverOfNews.

Oh la.


Kristine Lowe writes about the Sarkozy-led crackdown on amateur photojournalists in France.

She says something that I was trying to figure out how to approach, that Sarkozy is endorsed by a blogger that many people in the US consider a friend, Loic LeMeur.

There’s this weird tech industry thing about friendship, people throw the word around so casually, until something like this happens. If you think LeMeur is a friend, why is he advising and supporting (and giving stage time at a blogging conference) to Sarkozy?

He’s at a conference in the US now. If you see him, you might ask him what his position is on Sarkozy now that he has acted against amateur journalists, against bloggers.

In the US, bloggers take the First Amendment seriously. I think that’s part of what makes a blogger a blogger, even outside the US. When a western country, an ally, goes so seriously against free speech, it’s a good time to ask who are our friends, and who aren’t. Over to you Loic.

A video response.

Paired donations news 

Dave Jacobs’ new company gets well-deserved recognition on KGO-TV in San Francisco.

KGO: “On Valentine’s Day, Ryan Ramirez donated a kidney. His mother Gretchen was desperately in need of a transplant, but his kidney actually went to a man he never met, and his mom received one from that man’s daughter. It’s what’s called a paired donation.”

Geeky OPML stuff 

Progress in the RSS-based updating for the OPML Editor.

I now have feeds for all the different code-roots.

I also have the production of these feeds automated, so it’s a simple menu choice on my end to update any part in any of the databases.

The next step is to come up with a testing plan, then once that’s working, a way to install.

PS3 & Sprint 

Two electronics purchases yesterday.

1. Playstation 3.

2. Sprint mobile broadband with a Merlin EX720 card.

I’ll let you know when they arrive.

9 responses to this post.

  1. I’m not in favor of censorship, and maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture.
    Say a) i’m an amateur journalist and a take a picture of a couple performing something in private. Being an amateur journalist should I be allowed to broadcast this over the net?
    I assume a professional reporter that associates herself with some traditional media network is subject to some sort of legal constraints (both professional and regulatory) but what sort of constraints is an amateur journalist subject to?
    b) On the other hand, does this law mean that if I as an amateur journalist record something that is beneficial to society, but against (for some reason) government interests (say Watergate type etc…) then indeed posting it implies legal implications.
    Again, I am not making a statement, but do have some concerns regarding both sides of the argument…Where do you draw the line regarding a) or b)??


  2. Posted by Mark on March 8, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Hmm. Sarkozy is supposed to be France’s Margaret Thatcher. He is intent on breaking down and ‘modernising’ what he and his supporters regard as the out of date French socialist state. When Thatcher did this in the UK there were violent, full scale battles between striking miners and the police. Given that the French generally appear to believe they have a revolutionary right to take almost any political grievance onto the streets, I suspect that this is Sarkozy preparing to muzzle, in part at least, any consequent bad publicity by anticipating the trouble that will almost inevitably result from his ‘reforms’.


  3. Are you aware (or is it just me?) that every now and again your RSS feed publishes an old days data? Today for example it’s publishing:

    It’s happened a few times in the last months…



  4. Posted by mark wilson on March 8, 2007 at 9:14 am

    You a gamer Dave? Or did you get it for Blu-Ray?


  5. As a followup to the idea of bloggers as source, compare the NYT coverage of the Turkish YouTube ban with BoingBoing’s entry. The AP/NYT’s coverage is garbled and even makes the Turkish government’s action look more ominous than it is. The BB coverage is less hysterical, more informative AND wittier.

    As per Jay Rosen, we do need dedicated journalists in some form, but this is an interesting example of the shift.

    Camus wrote somewhere of the need for critical journalism, a paper that would criticize the other papers. Perhaps we are seeing that emerge in the blogosphere.


  6. Have you looked at the Wii? It has some interesting applications of aggregation (namely news and weather) – however its fairly closed – needs an advocate for openness.


  7. Sarkozy made it perfectly clear at the train wreck of conference, Le Web, that he was strongly in favour of regulating the Internet. Considering that Le Meur had the ability to say one thing in spite of huge evidence to the contrary (calling the event an “unconference”, despite it being absolutely the opposite), the idea that he might support Sarkozy does not surprise me.


  8. Posted by David Lewis on March 9, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Yep, Yahoo’s investment chart app is terrific — glad you discovered it.

    It’s got one flaw — or opportunity — however, that’s driving me nuts. Maybe mentioning it here will get thorough to them.

    It needs an option to automatically reinvest dividends from mutual funds, or equivalently show the growth of, say, $10,000 rather than simply the price. Without that, comparing many investments, especially funds, is a PITA. For example, chart TAREX (a real estate fund) vs IYR (a real estate ETF) at 6 months. Looks like IYR wins, right? Wrong! If the TAREX dividend at 12/20/06 were reinvested, as most are automatically, then TAREX wins. Instead, the dividend drops TAREX’s price, as usual, and it looks like the fund took a big hit, which it didn’t.

    Of course, the detailed, AJAXified dividend display is already a fantastic feature of Yahoo’s charts. (The corresponding feature in MSN charts doesn’t even work.) But a dividend reinvestment option would make it even better.


  9. Posted by Anton2000 on March 9, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Hello Dave

    The longterm Dow Jones graph is also interesting.


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