Scripting News for 3/18/2007

Naked Jen in South Africa press 

Another of my friends, Naked Jen, was part of a protest to save some old trees here in Berkeley. It was written up in a South Africa newspaper, which I get via RSS. “On Saturday, 78 bare-bottomed activists — some first-time nudists, others lifelong exhibitionists — joined a half-dozen protesters who have been living in the trees since December.”

The TimesOnline quotes wrong 

They quote a top blogger (Scoble) saying “Microsoft sucks.”

The only problem is he didn’t say that.

Another accuracy-challenged “real” reporter.

Airport Extreme 

I just set up a new Airport Extreme at the house.

I thought transfers between my laptop and a server would be considerably faster, but there’s no discernable difference. Maybe I still need to buy the $1.99 enabler software, even though this laptop was purchased after they shipped the new Extreme.

I was confused at first when I ran the Airport Admin Utility after installing the new software. It still complained that it wasn’t compatible with the new version, but then after reading the MacInTouch review, I realized that they were no longer maintaining it, and ran the new “Airport Utility,” and all was good. The setup took just a few minutes, and went smoothly.

Welcome to the camp 

A big change was announced last night, TechCrunch has a CEO, ex Fox Interactive acquisitions director, Heather Harde.

The amazing thing is that TechCrunch has a CEO.

What started as a labor of love by my friend Mike Arrington, a man with a hidden gift for quickly grokking the value in a myriad of web projects, and a deep genuine passion for entrepreneurship, had become first a juggernaut, then a nascent empire, and now shows signs of becoming a for-real empire that harkens back to the heyday of Pat McGovern and Bill Ziff.

I met Heather briefly at Gnomedex last August in Seattle. I know Mike has had his eye on her for a long time. I’m glad he’s getting to focus on content, and can only imagine what they have in store. Along with everyone else, I look forward to watching this story unfold.

NY Times update 

I was trolling around looking for another Twitter-related project this morning and I came across a comment from a guy who works at the NY Times saying that: 1. The other nytimes account on Twitter is from the Times itself! 2. They’ve been there since March 5. 3. They’re planning to do more with feeds in Twitter. 4. And they welcome competition.

My first comment to all that: Awesome!

I didn’t know who was doing the NY Times twitter-river, but it’s great that it’s the Times itself. I love it when we get into this mode, where things are moving so fast when on March 18 you can boast (legitimately) that you’ve been doing it since March 5! That’s when you know we’re rising up the curve quickly. Reminds me of when podcasting was catching on.

I have more stuff planned too. 🙂

Let’s have fun!

PS: Jacob Harris from the Times elaborates in a comment here.

17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jake on March 18, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Who wouldn’t have an eye on her…


  2. Hello,

    Let me introduce myself a little more directly. I am the developer at the New York Times responsible for the “official” nytimes twitter, and I wanted to say, thank you very much for making your twitter river. Note that I use “official” in quotes, because despite my position there, this was not an official project (more of a labor of love), Indeed, with the exception of some of my more savvy colleagues, I doubt anybody official even knows it exists (or knows what twitter is). Nor do I claim any sort of legal, temporal, or technical superiority over any other NY Times-driven twitters. And I am using the exact same public feeds you (or anybody else can use) to mix up and transform our content (no special advantages).

    And so, I do indeed welcome any competition, noting this is a wonderful sort of sport in that we all win. And I do hope we can open up more feeds and APIs, etc. in the future for further experiments and fun. We’ll see, but in the meantime let’s have fun!


  3. Jacob, excellent in every respect.

    When I said the other day that this was an illustration of the importance of open APIs on both sides, on the Times and Twitter, that only went so far.

    The other side of it is management that is blissfully unaware of what’s going on and have the good sense to not get in the way. Really, a lot has been accomplished when it works that way. The Times has both been a great practitioner of this method, and a great beneficiary of it.

    Great to “meet” you. When you have something new please let us know, either by sending me an email or posting a comment here.


  4. Posted by Mark on March 18, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    The “n” enabler is on the CD that came with the Airport Extreme. You need to install the software on that CD on each Mac to enable ‘n’


  5. Very cool twitteriver views… I noticed that uses the permalink URLs from the RSS feed (partner=RSSuserland etc.)

    Those are much more useful when I want to blog about a story for students to read now, then review at final-exam time. If I used the standard link, by May they would have to unearth the story from the archives via Times Select or the library. (OK, Times Select is now free to “.edu” users, which is wonderful… but the “partner=RSS” links are still more convenient as an academic citation.)

    Example via Dave’s


    Thanks (again) for suggesting the RSS permalinks in the first place, Dave, and for this latest use of them!

    (And I love the “…fit to twit” tag)


  6. Posted by Pete on March 18, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    How to tell if 802.11n-enabling software is installed:


  7. Posted by DaveD on March 18, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Also remember, if an 11g is on your network, you Extreme will lower ALL clients to that.

    I read online where there’s a way to run two networks through it to make you 11n Mac truly operate at that speed. Since I don’t have that setup, I don’t know enough to even point you to it though. 😉


  8. Posted by Jim Posner on March 18, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Interesting Metaweb Hiring Questions:
    If this seems like an interesting future to you, please submit a cover letter and resume in plain text or HTML to, and include your answer to the following questions:.

    1. What is your favorite time of day? Why?
    2. Mark V. Shaney is an ancient Usenet bot that generated realistic (for some value of reality) prose that fooled many educated people into thinking a human was the author. (See for an example.) Describe succinctly an approach, algorithm, or technique you would use to automatically distinguish Mark’s prose from human prose, assuming you don’t have access to his compiled program or source code.
    3. What’s most broken with SQL as an API of database access? How would you fix or replace it? What would a representation of your personal music collection information in your new, improved design allow you to do that you couldn’t easily do with a standard SQL database?


  9. Posted by Matt on March 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Regarding the Times piece, you can’t really blame the reporter on that story. Read the story again — the story itself is absolutely correct.

    Your problem is with the headline. And just so you know, the reporter doesn’t write the headline. A sub-editor writes the headline. In fact, the reporter usually has no say in the headline and doesn’t get to see it until it’s in the paper the next day. It’s not uncommon for journalists to be peeved at the paper’s subs because they don’t think the headline’s accurate.

    Anyway, my point is that you shouldn’t blame the reporter. He got the story right.

    As for whether the headline really is inaccurate, I’m not convinced on that either. It sums up the story and although Scoble didn’t say “Microsoft sucks”, that is the essence of what he said.


  10. Posted by john caddidy on March 19, 2007 at 4:20 am

    matt beat me to the punch. dave, you unfairly dinged the reporter. his dispatch was entirely accurate. your problem was with the headline — which really wasn’t so far away from the gist of scoble’s comments. but anyway, the article was fair & accurate. you should reconsider your comments. that’s the issue regarding blogging: the blogosphere fells it can diss the MSM all day long…but what happens with the critiques are wrong? the blogs need to step up and have the integriy to retract innacuracies. otherwise, where are we?


  11. David –
    I thought you would find a post I wrote today on the pending demise of full text RSS feeds interesting. Please see this link.
    I would be curious to get your feedback as the father of RSS.


  12. Anton2000 – that tip doesn’t work for Intel Macs. Been there, done that, argued with the Apple engineer about how idiotic they’ve made the new Macs. Seriously, Apple needs to fix this. I spend a lot of time in libraries, classrooms, trains and so on. And the Apple Chime blasting out of my speakers isn’t welcome in any of them.


  13. 1. Scoble didn’t say that Microsoft sucks.

    2. The article, in huge type size, quotes him saying that.

    3. The reporter’s name is right there, in black and white.

    4. There is no disclaimer saying the reporter is responsible for everything but the headline.


  14. That’s right, Dave

    I’ve trying to tell my editorial staff that no one ever says, “hey your editorial process got that story wrong.”

    They say, “Hey, that reporter blew it.”


  15. Posted by john caddidy on March 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Sorry boychick, but you’re just repeating an exaggeration. Look at the article again. It’s entirely factual. The quotes are accurate. Period. You’ve got a problem with the headline? That has NOTHING to do with the reporter. Cut out the “oh my, the reporter shoulda known about that.” That’s not the way a big outfit like the Times works. They write those headlines in another department.

    But you know something, when I read Scobie’s comments to the effect that”

    “Microsoft’s Internet execution sucks (on whole). Its search sucks. Its advertising sucks…” I walk away with the impression that he’s extending his less than elegant put-down to the entire company.

    But we’re arguing pee pee, ca-ca here. The bigger point is that you exaggerated this in order to unfairly diss the reporter. The guy did his job and he was fair & accurate. As a reader, I’m fully satisfied with the report.


  16. “oh my, the reporter shoulda known about that.”

    1. Who said that and why is it in quotes?

    2. Do you work for a news organization, and if so, which one?


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