Scripting News for 5/18/2007

Next stops 

Sunday back to Calif, early morning flight. Ride BART from SFO to North Berkeley.

Sunday evening, Cybersalon, a reprise of the “debate” here this afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon, San Diego for the Future In Review conference. On-stage interview with BBC Radio Wednesday.

Friday, mediation with Russo & Hale.

Monday, fly to Copenhagen for REBOOT 9 on Thursday. Days inbetween to discover Denmark, acclimate to time-zone, midnight sun.

June 1-7, train riding around Europe. Destinations unknown!

June 7, return to US of A through Milano.

Pretty good wifi at conference 

Bloggers debate 

Andrew Keen opens a panel at Personal Democracy Forum debating The Cult of the Amateur.

Links of the Day 

Aaron Pressman on MSM that fell for hoaxes.

BBC on Flickr censorship.

Twittervision in 3-D.

Wandered into a press conference 

It was hard to find a place to sit down to eat lunch, wandering around I saw an open door in a room with some tables and an empty chair. Turns out it was a press conference announcing a movement to draft a “tech president.” I sat down, asked if it was okay, started eating my lunch and listened.

Craig Newmark is sitting at the table, saying Being There type quotable things, of course he is much more self-aware than he lets on. Eli Pariser from is sitting to my right.

Will something come of this? Well, there are a lot of industries that want to see the US networks for computers and cell phones to stay in the 20th Century. The cable and entertainment industries are scared of access being a free or relatively free thing.

Stifling while listening to Friedman 

I did a good job of stifling while listening to NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman, although at times I did gasp out loud at his arrogance and disregard for us, the audience.

As you know I don’t like the audiences, but today I am definitely in one. I’m not allowed to talk, respond, agree or disagree. My job is to listen and that’s it.

Friedman told an old story about how the Internet out of control would turn everyone into a public figure, like Friedman, who suffers from slander and exposure. True, the press can be unkind, Friedman himself has given credit for my work to a mob. What recourse did I have? Not much. I was thinking of responding to him in a question after his speech, but luckily I didn’t have the chance.

Talking from the audience is to talk with no power. I’ll wait until I have the stage, later today, or here on my blog, when I can finish a thought without having to explain my qualifications.

Friedman told the story of an Indonesian woman who thought Al Gore is Jewish, something she heard on the Internet, which Friedman says is untrustworthy. But we remember when Friedman warned of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, who explained to us in his audience why we had to go to war. If I had time to ask a question, I might have asked him what regrets he has about the mistakes he’s made, the lies he told that caused more death than the lies the Indonesian woman who thought Gore is a Jew. The mistake we make is when we blindly trust any source, including the NY Times.

I’ve been able to use my ability to out bad businesses to get equitable treatment for myself and others. Sure some people will use this medium for bad purposes, as Friedman uses the Times for what I think are bad purposes. Him painting our medium as inherently evil might have slowed things down a tiny bit, a few years ago, but today it only tells us how flat this world looks to a man in Friedman’s place. It’s no more flat than any other world, but if you over-simplify it can look that way.

Report from the PDF 

I’m finally ensconced in a seat in the auditorium at Pace University in NY listening to Lee Rainey talking numbers. Millions of people do this. Millions of people do something else. The median age has risen from 33 to 39. It’s a lot less white. But it seems we could read this on the web and be a lot more comfortable.

People are dressed much better here than the typical California conference. Lots more women. ALready schmoozed with lots of people who it was good to see. Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, Craig Newmark, Salim Ismail. I have Alzheimer’s, I know this because I’ve been confused by three people who knew me who I didn’t recognize. Two of them were very attractive young women. I’m losing my mind.

Sitting next to Ed Cone. I explained that he was lucky that I actually recognized him.

I’ve already sung his praises, as the godfather of Greensboro blogging, a legendary small North Carolina city that probably has the highest per capita blogging population than any other comparable city in the US.

Ed Cone: “Guy in tie at podium w/slides == death.”

Please, no more presentations!

How about a discussion. This conference desperately needs to adopt the philosophy of the medium that it covers. If you’re reading this in the room and agree, please cover your mouth and cough three times. 🙂

It’s not the blogosphere 

Engadget on the Apple leak that made the stock move.

Somehow a fraudulent email was distributed to Apple employees. One of them forwarded the email to Engadget. They made a reasonable attempt to verify the email, failing to get a comment from Apple PR, they believed it was authentic, so they ran it.

What’s new is the quick turnaround, otherwise Engadget is a professional publication that happens to use the web and tools of the blogging world, but this is not the blogosphere. Nothing wrong with that, and I don’t think Engadget did anything wrong. Are they a powerful publication now? Yes. The news, while it was believed to be true, made Apple’s stock go down; when retracted, the stock went back up.

They acted as any professional news organization would, which is what they are.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ralph Hempel on May 18, 2007 at 6:54 am

    Re the Engadget leak:

    What many of the comments on the Engadget site ignore is that the employee that forwarded the internal memo was very likely breaking an NDA.

    What seems like no big deal to one person can be a huge problem to somebody else. We take for granted that leaked memos are reported by the media so we’re used to it. Governments do it all the time to test policy before its announced. PDA manufacturers “accidentally” make FCC filing papers appear on their websites just to gauge user reactions to new products.

    My guess is that the memo is an attempt to sniff out a rat in the Apple

    Dave, I’d love to hear your take on the story from the viewpoint of basic trust and integrity that was violated by leaking internal emails to a news organization. What if some personal details of a pending Userland
    deal were leaked to the press and effectively scuttled the process?

    I’m not trolling for flames here, I’d just like to know how you feel about the other side of the story…


  2. Does Friedman not realize that if the world is, indeed, flat then it not only puts developed and emerging countries on an equal footing, but it also means that you and I have as much authority as Friedman? Or are NYT calyumnists exempt from flat worldism?


  3. Josh Marshall writes, “(T)his White House has mainly used ‘classification’ as a way to keep embarrassing information out of public view.”

    Absolutely. It’s been fairly clear that the expanding circle of classification has been a pre-emptive strike because they either a) have so little faith in themselves, or b) knew they were about to do things illegally. The circumvention of the FISA Court and the NSA wiretaps are obvious examples.

    But it has been ever thus. One of the most fascinating books about the intelligence community is Marchetti and Marks’ “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” from the 1970s. Not because of the information in it per se, but because it went through a repeated process of having redactions be court approved. What one finds, yet again, is that what CIA wanted kept from publication weren’t items with intelligence value, but embarrassing items.


  4. Don’t forget that the pros have fallen for all sorts of similar scams. Most recently, Bloomberg reported a fake takeover of a South African gold mining company. A blogger was the first to challenge it. See

    And a few years ago, Bloomberg issued a fake story about the CEO of a networking company resigning. CNET’s write-up of that one includes a history of fakes at


  5. The corporate media spreads the same type of misinformation on many other issues that it did on Iraq. My favorite example is the supposed “bankruptcy” of Social Security, probably the most lied-about topic by windbags like Friedman. Another blatant example is health care.

    Its all predictable, though – the “MSM” is really the corporate media, their loyalties and biases are primarily class ones.


  6. Dave, rather than BARTing from SFO to Berkeley Sunday morning, instead why not hop CalTrain a few stops south to the Maker Faire in San Mateo? Lots of fun stuff to see, and I happen to know of a carpool ride that would get you back to Berkeley by 3.


  7. I’m really looking forward to the unConference today. There was not nearly enough back and forth yesterday.


  8. One of best dinners I’ve had in a very long time:

    As Sardinian restaurant in Milano. They just keep bringing you seafood and pasta that is another planet of freshness & simplicity.


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