Scripting News for 5/7/2008

Obama, the Democratic nominee 

1. There’s no doubt now, Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee, and very likely the next President. I doubt if McCain has the sense of entitlement that HRC had but he’s going to run on experience, and we don’t want experience, we want intelligence, honesty and change.

2. Obama will show up once or twice in Kentucky and West Virginia, but it will be relaxed, he’ll do big rallies, town halls, meetups, take a bowling lesson, shoot some hoops.

3. At the same time he’ll tour the following states: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Virginia. I must be leaving some out. The point — illustrate for everyone who might have been listening to HRC that he gets that these are the important states for any Democrat, and it doesn’t matter that HRC got more votes in some of these states, he plans to compete to win all of them. Campaigning in those states signals that he’s on to the next phase of his candidacy.

4. Take a breather, prepare for HRC’s concession, a big party somewhere, and then off to Europe in June to meet with the leaders of the western alliance. A motorcade down the Champs Elysees. The family visits with Gordon Brown’s family. Pay respects to the Queen of England. Show the folks back home that in the Obama Administration the US will have many challenges, but we’ll also have lots of friends to help.

What else? Not sure. What do you think??

Fred Wilson on Bootstrapping 

Fred’s heart is in the right place. He puts money behind technology he likes. This is bootstrapping. Then he bothers the developers with features he needs. He’s a bootstrapper and a hacker. Then Fred reads articles written by other people and listens to a Tim O’Reilly keynote and tries to get everyone into agreement. Reminds me of The Negotiator, William Shatner.

Fred believes in triangulating, I do too. It’s how you find the truth. Obviously I agree with Fred’s conclusion — just today I was working with Jay at Switchabit on a very small project. We spec’d it out, I went to work on it, and after I did it the way we discussed I realized there was a much more direct and simple way to do it, so I re-did it, and again I realized it was too complicated, and I re-did it, sent him a report, he integrated it into his project agreeing that it was much better than what we discussed.

People who believe in big-bangs miss that you learn stuff while you’re implementing stuff and that learning should be recycled back into the project, again and again.

There was an excellent series on PBS a few years back called Connections; in each episode they take you through a series of developments how little pieces of one thing became something much bigger, you start with something small and every step of the way make small improvements and before you know it you’re standing on the moon saying “One small step for man…”

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I’ve heard bootstrapping described as “paving the cowpaths.”

Twitter was a bootstrap too. There were a lot of small things that needed to get solved before Twitter could work. It may look like it popped up out of nowhere if you don’t know how the pieces came together, but if you do…

One thing that’s feeding epiphany for me is that I’m working with Scott Rosenberg on his history of blogging, which promises to be a great book, and reliving all the steps that got us to where we are.


Comcast’s 250GB limit? 

DSLreports piece says Comcast may impose a 250GB monthly limit for customers. If you go over, you pay $15 per 10GB.

Since I got shut down last month for being in the top 1/10th of 1 percent of their customers, without notice, I’m in a pretty good position to evaluate this plan from a customer’s perspective.


1. They’re stating publicly that they have a limit and what the limit is. This is better than having an unstated limit that’s a moving target over time and geography.

2. They will provide a site where they tell us how much we’ve used.

2. It gives other ISPs something to compete against. They can offer plans with a 350GB limit or a 1TB limit.

3. It’s not fair to customers to change the terms after they sign up. People always argue it from Comcast’s perspective, never from the customer’s. They may have a right to do it, but it still isn’t fair.

4. How much bandwidth does a product like Slingbox use? Probably not a product Comcast loves very much, btw.

5. There’s a weird connection between this and DMCA notices. Makes me wonder what their real motivation is. Remember Comcast is in the TV business, and video on the Internet is a big bandwidth user.

6. Do you think Comcast should lease their cable to competitors if they’re not going to provide plain vanilla internet access?

7. I want neutral Internet service, so I can build whatever I want to out of it. I don’t mind if there’s a meter, but I don’t like the deal changing after I sign on, makes me wonder what’s coming next.

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