Scripting News for 2/1/2008

Blogs win the LongNow bet 

Decision: Blogs vs. New York Times.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been emailing with people from the LongNow Foundation and Martin Nisenholtz of the NY Times, to determine who won the bet.

Ultimately we asked the foundation to consider all the arguments and make the decision.

They published their decision today. It’s well worth reading because it answers some of the questions raised by the bet, for example, what is a blog, and how does Wikipedia relate to blogging. I don’t agree with everything in the decision, but I do like the result — we won. πŸ™‚

The beneficiary of the bet? The World Wide Web Consortium. I chose them as the charity to receive the proceeds if I won the bet because web standards are what make it all work and the W3C is central to standards on the web.

Best feel-good picture of 2007 

Okay, a few days ago I wrote a review of the Diving Bell and the Butterfly saying it could be the best picture of 2007, but even so you might want to skip it because the truth it reveals might be something you don’t want to look at. It’s a fine picture, but a tough one.

Another wonderful but tough picture is No Country for Old Men. It’s one of those movies that leaves so much unresolved that you walk out of the theater not sure which foot goes in front of the other. On a second viewing it makes much more sense. The world isn’t necessarily as crazy as it at first seemed.

But there’s a movie that is also incredibly well crafted, and gets better every time you think about it — Juno. I didn’t realize how much I liked it until I heard someone compare it to Little Miss Sunshine, a movie that I did not enjoy, unlike everyone else it seems. I loved Juno because it organizes its sweetness into love for one person, the star of the movie, Juno. But everyone, no matter how dorky or clueless (and some of the adults are truly dorky and clueless) shares the love. The movie has a wholeness, an unqualified goodness, you not only walk out of the theater in love with Juno and everyone else in the movie, but your heart is warmed for everyone, including yourself. It’s that good.

All three remind how good movies can be.

And there were some not-too-bad movies at the end of 2007, for example, Atonement, which some didn’t like, but I did. 3:10 to Yuma is a well-crafted genre picture. Michael Clayton was a perfect showcase for the talents of George Clooney. Great acting and a simple story in The Savages.

Which one was the best? I’d hate to have to choose!

Yahoo + Microsoft 

Should Yahoo accept Microsoft’s offer?

Sure. What else do they have to do?

Most tech companies are pretty aimless, people think there’s a grand plan to Apple or Google, but I bet there isn’t. They just throw stuff up on the wall, if it sticks, do version 2.0. πŸ™‚

Does Yahoo + Microsoft make sense?

Nahh. It’s like the dead leading the blind.

The only reason the deal makes sense is because it’s the only thing either company could do that anyone might possibly care about.

It would make more sense for Twitter to acquire Yahoo. At least then they’d get some servers that could stay up for 24 hours straight. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I might have been too hard on em. But then again…

PS: To those who think Twitter couldn’t acquire Yahoo, I might have agreed until we saw NeXT “buy” Apple.

PPS: Scott Rosenberg sees it as “a path to failure for both companies.”

PPPS: Scoble thinks it’s interesting.

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