Scripting News for 5/19/2007

Today’s links 

Kevin Tofel: “Widsets have extended my phone by magnitudes; granted, I use a Windows Mobile smartphone, but these widgets are Java based, so many phones can run them.”


I’m in a presentation by Dave Harper, founder of Winksite.

One of the people in the audience is monopolizing the discussion, saying over and over how she doesn’t get it. That’s the problem with a vendor doing a product presentation. He’s got to be nice because it’s a customer. The room empties out. I’m staying here because I’m getting caught up on email.

Postscript: I asked Hudson what he thought of Twitter. A long discussion ensued. I suggested that he provide a user interface, both mobile and desktop, for posting to Twitter, in addition to allowing for the display of Twitter-created RSS feeds. I thought Winksite could be the perfect first-peer in Twitter’s coral reef. Let’s see what happens.

Unconference art 

Neither of the conferences I went to today are really unconferences, people are doing presentations, I’m in the audience, expected to either ask questions or make suggestions.

People don’t seem ready yet to accept that knowledge is distributed through the room, we’re here to be taught.

3/5/06: What is an unconference?

Afternoon at MobileCamp 

I spent the morning at the PDF Unconference, so I’m spending some time this afternoon at MobileCamp. I’m in Room 3, watching a presentation about how to build your own SMS gateway. Not sure I need to do it, but the other sessions are either over-full, or I don’t understand what they’re about.

Cocoa UltraSMS is a “free utility for extracting SMS messages from a mobile phone into a MySQL database for use within your own applications and websites.”

The teacher, Jose Marinez, says he’ll put the full instructions for setting up the SMS gateway on his blog. He has the gateway running on his Mac Mini at home. Maybe I’ll set one up too, but I couldn’t follow the demo he did here today.

Remixing politics by JD Lasica 

I’m in a discussion led by JD Lasica about remixing politics.

He’s describing a project to allow people to share speeches and interviews, commercials.

Problems with Youtube, per JD:

1. Uploads are limited to 10 minutes.

2. No Creative Commons.

3. Can’t download the video.

Outthink Media is doing the development. is a partner.

Ourmedia is the central place people will go to.

Coral reefs, the saga continues 

Bravetrail asks how many coral reefs do fish need?

The answer is of course that we only need one coral reef.

But a federated server that ties into Twitter would not be a new coral reef, it would be part of the Twitter coral reef.

Just as Feedburner is part of the RSS coral reef. And rumors say they’re selling their piece of the reef for $100 million to Google.

The danger is that Google is a super-power, and coral reefs depend on harmony and no one entity being too powerful. Such an entity might disrupt the fragile ecology of the whole reef. Of course they’ll say they won’t, but…

Well I’ve gotten too far ahead of reality. There is no announced deal, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. This is the main reason I’ve been uncomfortable with a company (Feedburner) trying to make a business out of the centralizing something that only works if its decentralized.

And I’d feel much more comfortable if a publishing company bought them, than a technology company. Publishing companies tend to accept technology as-is, technology companies, often try to play a game of lock the user in the trunk.

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