DasBlog

I’ve been thinking of replacing RedYawning’s software with DasBlog. I recently checked in a feature that allows multiple people to write content into one blog to get my feet wet in the code. DasBlog has a lot of extra features that I’d never have time to implement on RedYawning so I’d love to chuck the RY code and use DasBlog in its place. See Reeves’ blog for an example of DasBlog. Unfortunatly, there’s no multi-user support in their engine yet, which I’m prototyping to see how hard it would be. More on that later. In any case, thoughts on abandoning RedYawning (the software, not the service) for DasBlog?

Amazing Adoption of RSS

www.scotsman.com showed up in my inbox via a Google News Alert about spam or Hotmail or something like that. I went over to the article and saw a XML icon at the bottom of the page. Nothing exciting about that, lots of news outlets have RSS feeds now (Yahoo, CNet, etc) but over next to the XML scarab was a link for news feeds. Checking it out it looks like The Scottsman provides not only RSS 2.0 feeds for every one of its categories, it also provides feeds for what look like searchs, JavaScript feeds and OPMLs as well! Amazing to see a news site taking the concept of feeds and embracing it so wholeheartidly.

ClearChannel Not to Carry Howard Stern?

BusinessWire is carrying a story that claims ClearChannel is going to stop carrying the Howard Stern radio show under its “Responsible Broadcasting Initiative.” I listen to his show in the mornings. While I’m not a fan or agree with his viewpoints, I see why it’s important to not cenor the media based on one company’s view point. I point to the same shit as when CBS didn’t let the MoveOn ad play: since when did corporations get the power and the moral authority to decide what is decent or not? Federal regulators have always been responsible for content, not companies with a morally decided leadership.

Dave Chappelle’s Skit on Internet

Did anybody see last night’s Dave Chappelle’s skit on the Internet? The skit supposed that if the Internet was a real place, it’d be a dirty and wacky place. It was hilarous! It’s set in a mall and he’s walking around trying to find the score of the Knicks game. As he’s walking by he gets a porn spam, finds a singles chat room, and a debt consolidation pop-up. At the end, he gets so frustrated he uppercuts the two pop-ups (e.g. a guy saying “debt consolidation” and another saying “gaaaambling!) with the hilarous punch line, “spam blocker, bitch!”

New Music

Several new CDs added to the collection yesterday:

  1. Moondance by Van Morrison — I think I bought this album solely for the eponymous title track. Turns out the entire CD is great bluesy folk Van Morrison. Makes me contemplate buying some more CDs from this era.
  2. In the Mode by Roni Size & Reprazent — I first heard this album my second year of college when my then roommate Ryan Taylor let me borrow a burned version of it. It’s the quintessential drum and bass mix with hip-hop. Guest MC’s on it include Method Man, Zach de la Rocha (from Rage) and Razell.
  3. Un Poquito Quema’o by Sergent Garcia — found this one by browsing Amazon’s “You Might Like” after buying Buena Vista Social Club. Turns out Amazon was right (yet again). It’s a Cuban/Latin/Salsa jazz album from a group out of Paris. If you enjoy Ozomatli‘s debut album, you’ll enjoy this one. I’ll need to pick up some P18, Orishas and Manu Chao albums now to fill out this area in my musicsphere.

Freeway Traffic in SoCal

To anyone who’s lived in SoCal, this should come as no suprise:

  1. Los Angeles — Ventura Freeway US-101 at I-405 interchange
  2. Houston — I-610 at I-10 interchange
  3. Chicago — I-90/94 at I-290 “Circle Interchange”
  4. Phoenix — I-10 at SR-51/202 “Mini-Stack”
  5. Los Angeles — I-405 at I-10 interchange
  6. Atlanta — I-75 at I-85 interchange
  7. Washington, D.C. — I-495 at I-270 interchange
  8. Los Angeles — I-10 at I-5 interchange
  9. Los Angeles — I-405 at I-605 interchange
  10. Atlanta — I-285 at I-85 “Spaghetti Junction” interchange

Aditya is a tool! I hacked his shit!

Q&A Barbera Boxer Talk

I took notes of the QA session at the end of the talk, so I cleaned them up and here they are:

  • No child left behind — a fairytale, it’s a story of deception. Barbara wrote the after school part of the act, which was a great advance. With the funding levels set out it was a good act. The story is Bush refused to fund the bill. 9 Billion dollars short on funding the bill. Testing was a part of the bill because if they didn’t pass there would be immediate help, such as 1:1 help, mentoring. Without funding no child left behind is a phony deal, Bush didn’t show up to fund it.
  • Expensive Broadband in bay Area — packaging of broadband and cable is something being looked at. Deregulation was supposed to be about choose and more competition. In the midst of pursuing how to fix the monopoly
  • where does partnership end and back scratching being (Cheney versus Halliburton) — “well that’s corruption”
  • usa patriot opinion — parts important: changing laws to follow individual, not the phone, for ex; bad part: allows gov’t to go finishing without a court order. Boxer wrote part to repeal that and fight Ashcroft to make patriot II. The original patriot act from Ashcroft was “1000x” worse
  • Halftime show — saw it, with 9 children under the age of 5. not to take it too far to get into censorship but apply common sense. FCC has enough tools (fining of network laws) to do their job, leave it at that
  • gay marriage — “well, that’s a threat to civilization” (w/ sarcasm). to say that marriage is failing because gays are living next doors is ridiculous
  • immigration reform — doesn’t like bush’s bill, feels in the end it will make things worse/cause worker exploitation. Offered to help question asker, directly, with his problem (!!)
  • software job outsourcing — maybe need to give employers incentives and kudos on keeping jobs in the country.  Wants a label on the annual report that this company does/doesn’t proactive outsourcing (e.g. like tuna labeling)
  • Closing marks — don’t be afraid of the power, grab it. it’s a country by and for the people, be responsible for it and get involved

Barbara Boxer Talk via MSPAC

I’m in a talk today by Barbara Boxer at the Microsoft SVC campus. I don’t really know that much about her (I can’t even recall if she’s the junior or senior senator from CA — I think junior), but as this introductory speaker has said, it’s her second term and she serves on the “High Tech Working Group” as well as the Commerce Committee. The thing I’ve always noticed about the demeanor of people in “high places” is their posture and Senator Boxer was no exception. It seems they’re so relaxed and poised. One of the really interesting stories she passed along was when she was giving a talk at a big pharma company where a young man in the audience told her that he was still paying 8% on his college loans and was unable to refininace them. So, she took that back to congress and introduced a bill to allow students consolidate and refinance their federal loans. She talked also for quite a bit on the importance of pervase broadband. Her ideas on the futre, roughly is: reneweed commitment on basic sciences (build the national research labs, etc), renewed funding and size and duration on size and grants for NSF to graduate research, the “Make College Affordable Act” to make college loans/tuition tax deuctable (? — didn’t quite catch it), and a digital summit between tech leaders and goverment to build technology into poor communities.

Search is Getting Interesting Again

Finally, search is getting interesting again. I’d love to see a rehash of the AltaVista versus Google battles go down again. Everybody knows that MSN, Yahoo and Amazon are making plays in the search space that Google now owns (and dominates). Yahoo intends to roll out its search product by the end of Q1 2004, god knows when MSN’s search will make it to market (altho you can see a highly improved version of it at http://beta.search.msn.com), and there are some new commers on the scene, such as Dipsie. The media and press have been hyping a MSN versus Google showdown, but looking around at the players it should be much more interesting. John Battelle’s Searchblog does a much better job of cover the impending search war.

Update: I guess Yahoo started switching their UI today. Check out http://search.yahoo.com. It’s impressive! Customizable tabs, auto RSS integration into My Yahoo not to mention the search results seems quite relevant. Choice in search — I’m loving it!