This is a test post

DW Radio: Amazon smart glasses patent. (link)

DW Radio: Famous quotes, the way a woman would have to say them during a meeting. (link)

DW Radio: NYC on Sat night, game 1 of NLCS, low of 37. Brrrr. (link)

Ted's radio3: TIL: In C `()` doesn't mean "no parameters", it means "unspecified parameters." For "no params" use `(void)`. (link)

DW Radio: Bethesda Updates Fallout Shelter With Survival Mode, More. (link)



DW Radio: Murphy, Mets beat sleeping Dodgers 3-2 to reach NLCS vs Cubs. (link)

DW Radio: Mets beat Dodgers in Game 5, head to NLCS! (link)

DW Radio: One long-suffering MLB team is going to win the World Series. (link)

DW Radio: Mets Hold Off Dodgers to Advance to N.L.C.S. (link)

DW Radio: Dropbox's New 'Paper' Is Yet Another All-in-One Work Tool. (link)

DW Radio: This video has a chilling start, but it makes a great point about the 2nd Amendment. (link)

DW Radio: Open House New York Offers a Citywide Adventure. (link)

DW Radio: Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It). (link)

DW Radio: Chattanooga boosts citywide broadband capacity to 10 gigabits. (link)

DW Radio: A.L.C.S. Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals. (link)

DW Radio: I had no idea Cubs fans hate the Mets. We think the "cubbies" are kind of cute. (link)

DW Radio: Why aren't more women in prison? (link)

DW Radio: Podcast: Software design is not easy. (link)

DW Radio: I forgot for a minute who Wayne Newton is. Wait I forgot again. (link)

DW Radio: Scripting News: There's power in not needing to make money. (link)

DW Radio: "Clubbing opponents to death with pillows and bleeding the life out of them with paper cuts." (link)

DW Radio: Would Apple bring on a board member who doesn’t use an iPhone? (link)

DW Radio: Tesla just transformed the Model S into a nearly driverless car. (link)


Too late for that. They lost.


I know. I'm going to write a new displayer just for this.

DW Radio: BBC: Why the mobile web runs so slowly. (link)

DW Radio: My friend Jeremy Zilar asked me to narrate the playoffs with podcasts as it happens. Here's the next installment. (link)


Back to the Future called it first

DW Radio: Of course the Cubs are favored to win the World Series, for now. (link)


Rendering issue:

<="" p="">


You know, you have friends in Texas too! 😜

DW Radio: Berkman Center: Open Call for Fellowship Applications, Academic Year 2016-2017. (link)


Another thing you can try -- if you have a second browser on your computer, is go to without logging in or hacking the URL of the server. You'll be able to watch a realtime view of my liveblog. I'm already blogging things there. I have to get used to working there.


Texting. Texting 1-2-3.

DW Radio: It's Too Late to Save Over 400 U.S. Cities From Rising Seas, Scientists Say. (link)


The boat rocks.

I think I'm probably going to move all the files to and then point the server at that URL.

Slackalike was a good name for a while, but it's not the right name now.


I can see this!






And we're back!

DW Radio: Twitter’s new executive chairman has only tweeted 11 times. (link)

DW Radio: Andrew O’Hagan on the manifestos killers leave behind. (link)


I'm sure there will be breakage, btw.


Andrew and Ted, if you can see this please say something...


This is a test.

DW Radio: Twitter Names Omid Kordestani as Executive Chairman. (link)

DW Radio: Mets: "We don't need to break your shortstop's leg to make you lose." (link)

Ted's radio3: Black is white, up is down! Are we living in the bizarro universe? Plano Just Showed Dallas How to Run a City. (link)

Ted's radio3: Four rules for neighborly sidewalks. (link)

DW Radio: Jack Dorsey’s jargon-free firing memo, edited to remove the jargon. (link)

DW Radio: If you're interested in the tech of publishing, this is an important post, including the things it points to. (link)

Ted's radio3: Car-Friendly Design, Not 'Pedestrian Error,' Is to Blame in Dallas Street Deaths. (link)

DW Radio: Scripting News: Getting in sync with Medium. (link)

DW Radio: Marco is ready for Big Money to come to podcasting. I have doubts. I think the market is over-producing. (link)

DW Radio: Scripting News: Payback at CitiField. #podcast (link)

DW Radio: Twitter to Cut More Than 300 Jobs. (link)

DW Radio: Travis d’Arnaud Leads a Rally and Breaks Out of a Slump. (link)

DW Radio: Mets say they won’t plunk Chase Utley, who isn’t in Game 3 lineup. (link)

DW Radio: De Blasio: Chase Utley deserves suspension for dirty slide. (link)

DW Radio: WNYC to Open New Podcast Division. (link)

DW Radio: Scripting News: It's still "Sources go direct" (link)

Ted's radio3: "Why would a school board member lie to us?" @EricCeleste drops another truth bomb on DISD. (link)

DW Radio: My thoughts on the Mets-Dodgers series. I'm going to the game tonight at CitiField. (link)

DW Radio: Jews were a small minority in Germany before the Holocaust. (link)

DW Radio: Harper: In NLDS Game 3, Mets' Harvey can right this wrong. (link)

DW Radio: Chase Utley appeal on fast track. (No honor.) (link)

DW Radio: Meaningless Games Matter to a Healing Carmelo Anthony. (link)


Texting one two three.

DW Radio: Would-be Waffle House robber dies after having been shot by customer. (link)

DW Radio: "My goal is to keep the number of reporters really high at the New York Times." (link)

When I write about baseball here, and I've been doing it since the start, it's always meant to be light-hearted, fun, playful, humorous, philosophical, soulful, traditional and loving. That's the way I feel about baseball. Look at Mr Met in the right margin. That corny dude perfectly reflects the way I feel about the sport.

But last night it got serious. What happened at second base in the seventh inning not only changed the outcome, but it made it no longer a game. It took the focus off pitching and hitting and base-running, which is where it should have been, and threw it into a discussion of payback.

The Mets should not have to be in the position they are in. MLB must make the Dodgers pay for what they did. As a Mets fan, I would like, in a perfect world to have the game end at that play, and the Mets go into tomorrow night's game up 2-0. I'll settle for Chase Utley being suspended for the rest of the season. Otherwise you're going to have an ugly game on Monday and Tuesday, and on and on. It won't end with last night's game.

It's all been said elsewhere. That wasn't a slide, it was a tackle. That play is prohibited in football because it's so dangerous, and in football the players wear helmets and shoulder pads to protect their head and neck. It could have actually been much worse than a broken leg. And reality-check -- there are almost never broken bones in baseball. It isn't that kind of sport.

One more thing, to Dodgers fans, if my team pulled a bullshit stunt like that, they wouldn't be my team anymore. Honor is more important than winning. And in the end it is just a sport.

Another try with the Braintrust

davewiner: Hmmm

davewiner: I just changed the name of braintrust/server.js to braintrust/braintrust.js. This means that when we do a forever list, it shows the name of the app, not something so generic (which is kind of useless).

davewiner: Testes testes.

davewiner: When things like this happen I cackle like a fool. ;-)

davewiner: And it did.

davewiner: The braintrust server app is looking for updates on the channel named "braintrust" -- this is the way it was set up to work with Slack. If we want the exact same app to work with this app, it must use the same channel name. So I added a setting in config.json that allows you to set the default channel name. In theory, this update should appear on the liveblog as a result. Let's see! These photos will change how the world sees the Syrian refugee crisis. (link) Why blogging still matters. (link) Slack cofounder: 'We didn't have a sense of the scale it could grow to'. (link) How One Architect Is Trying to Make Post-Katrina New Orleans Look More Like Amsterdam. (link) It's "Grateful Dead Night" in St Louis right now. (link) I went to the Mets game this evening where we saw an inside-the-park home run. A very rare thing. (link) NYU Local: Confessions Of A Drug Delivery Boy. (link) Scientists discover that the world contains dramatically more trees than previously thought. (link) Ask HN: How much wealth do I need to retire at 65? (link) Teen Boy Will Be Charged As Adult For Having Naked Pics of a Minor: Himself. (link) Before the Pope’s Visit, a 180-Foot-Tall Francis Arrives in Midtown. (link) I spent the last 1.5 weeks working on a very simple chat app that implements a subset of the Slack API. (link) ‘The reaction has been bananas,’ says Amber Jamieson, who went topless to report on desnudas. (link) ‘Everest’ Review: Baltasar Kormakur Re-Creates the 1996 Climbing Disaster. (link)

davewiner: Watch out this thing kind of works. Wired Binge-Watching Guide: The Americans. (link) Teen kills himself while taking a selfie with a gun. (link) Acer unveils the Revo Build: A tiny, modular, stackable PC. (link) Mr. Colbert is approaching his own transformative moment. (link)

davewiner: greetings from the hall of montezuma.

davewiner: Now I don't get it.

davewiner: liveblog: hmmm

davewiner: liveblog: it worked, now lets see if the count of calls goes up by 2.

davewiner: Let's see if the stats gathering works now.

davewiner: braintrust: it looks like the problem was fixed by updating utils.js?

davewiner: liveblog: test 3

davewiner: liveblog: Do you know the way to San Jose?

davewiner: liveblog: Do you know the way to San Jose?

davewiner: braintrust: hooray for hollywood

davewiner: braintrust: hooray for hollywood

davewiner: try it again

davewiner: Hello dolly

davewiner: The Mets play the Phillies again.

davewiner: This does not have a trigger word at the beginning Could the sharing economy bring back hitchhiking? (link) New study suggests sex hormones change the way we process language. (link) Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers. (link) Ashley Madison Code Shows More Women, and More Bots. (link)

davewiner: Lalalalalalala la la la la la la.

davewiner: Hasn't hurt me none

davewiner: And though my lack of education...

davewiner: Hello from Hollywoo. Someday no one will ask you what Kodachrome was. (link) Scripting News: We're still somewhat in the Information Dark Ages. (link) The naked truth about Germany: Clothing is optional. (link) PayPal Launches PayPal.Me, A Simpler Way To Request Money Using Your Own Personalized URL. (link) Apple Exploring Original Programming Move, Could Compete with Netflix. (link)

davewiner: Is it still working (just made a change to PagePark). It has become routine to describe Ramos as a kind of Mexican-American Walter Cronkite. (link)

davewiner: Hey I have the pathway built. It's still rough, boulders in the way. And no rails so you can fall off the mountain. But it's all working. And it's really fast. ;-)

davewiner: So mama don't take my Kodachrome away!

davewiner: I love to a photograph.

davewiner: I got a Nikon camera

davewiner: Makes you think all the world ' s a sunny day.

davewiner: They give us the greens of summers.

davewiner: They give us those nice bright colors.

davewiner: Kodachrome

davewiner: I can read the writing on the wall.

davewiner: Hooray for Hollywoo

Trouble with Dropbox

I am unable to log on through the web browser, or through "Fargo".

Haven't checked all the other places I hook into Dropbox.

Useful code abstraction

1. Factoring is a major part of what I do. Most of the messes I create are because I did too little factoring, not enough.

2. Having large numbers of programmers working in exactly the same environment. It means there are no limits to the way we can work together. Apple II, IBM PC, Mac all developed grooves like this.

3. Too many frameworks. I wish more people worked in "straight" JavaScript. I would be able to understand more code.


Note to people who read my Rivers

There are a number of people who are regular readers of my rivers, for those people -- I had to do a reset on the river server. So each of the panels are refilling. For some of them you'll hardly notice, because they refill so quickly. But a few will take a while, notably movies and podcasts.

It's a new week on the Braintrust

davewiner: Yes it does still work.

davewiner: Just checking to see if this still works.

davewiner: That last item is the idea.

davewiner: It’s the obvious next step. They’ve established a strong standard for a new kind of communication. If I were doing a new product that supported these kinds of hooks, I’d want it to be 100 percent compatible with Slack, so it could “run” the same software.

davewiner: The other half is implementing the Slack side of both these interfaces, so one can create Slack-compatible environments.

davewiner: Outgoing: Posts from the <#C08R9ULLT> channel show up on .

davewiner: Incoming: The connection from Radio3 to Slack, so my links show up in <#C051X484P>.

davewiner: I started a fresh post for a new week in the braintrust.

davewiner: Scratch that, it did make it into the liveblog. It just took Slack a long time to get around to calling the webhook.

davewiner: For some reason my message didn���t make it into the liveblog.

davewiner: Another week in the braintrust.

Braintrust test

We discuss the Mets, as they win again

  • davewiner: Mets win
  • davewiner: More runs. 12-3
  • davewiner: Now the Mets are rubbing it in.
  • ted: I’ve apparently trained myself to try to scroll on everything
  • ted: I’m not saying that’s a good thing
  • ted: hmm… I have the default scroll settings on my Mac which means I almost never see scroll bars
  • davewiner: there wasn’t a scroll bar there, now there is
  • davewiner: weird ux
  • ted: scroll down
  • davewiner: So I see the plays for the 1st inning. How to get to the third?
  • davewiner: I see
  • davewiner: E.g. Murphy got a single, Uribe walked, Johnson doubled scoring both.
  • davewiner: Tell me how the Mets scored their 9 runs
  • ted: right hand side, click plays
  • davewiner: That’s not play-by-play.
  • ted: Is that not this?
  • davewiner: heh
  • davewiner: 9-3
  • davewiner: Score is 8-3
  • davewiner: I looked away for a couple of minutes and the Mets scored two more runs.
  • chuck: ah.
  • davewiner: but he���s had two doubles
  • davewiner: solo home run
  • davewiner: no no
  • chuck: bases loaded homer?
  • davewiner: Kelly Johnson drove in 3 runs
  • davewiner: 7-3 Mets up
  • davewiner: home run!
  • davewiner: burning in a new version of river4
  • davewiner: i’m watching the game on my computer
  • jeremyzilar: trying to find it
  • jeremyzilar: does the play by play in text form.... there is a super buried link here
  • chuck: yep
  • davewiner: assholes
  • davewiner: aha
  • chuck: they want you in the parks or watching tv
  • davewiner: It’s the game we went to on Tuesday.
  • chuck: I think MLB crawls up the ass of people who try to do that in real time. They claim to own the stats produced by MLB games, so it makes it problematic to report on them in real time if they don’t want you to.
  • chuck: That���s after the fact right?
  • davewiner:
  • davewiner: Just found it.
  • davewiner: Wait a minute
  • davewiner: They’re winning 6-3 in the 5th inning. But how did they score the runs? No clue.
  • davewiner: The Mets are playing right now, a rare weekday day game.
  • davewiner: Here’s something that doesn’t seem to exist. A site that has the play-by-play for current MLB games.
  • chuck: no reason you can’t run 2 of these streams, one for copy and one for media assets
  • jeremyzilar: Like, if I am live blogging a baseball game, and I post to instagram with the <#C08R9ULLT> hashtag, it would be great to pull that photo into the live blog. For that matter, if I post to Twitter or Facebook and use that hashtag, it would be great to pull in those tweets or Facebook posts.
  • jeremyzilar: outside of e-mail, it would be great to pull in all photos from a user using a hashtag.
  • jeremyzilar: E-mail (on iPhone at least) is the only background connection that will reliably keep trying to send, regardless of the fact that you may be going in and out of signal range. In a breaking new situation, you want the peace of mind to know that the item you sent will be sent the next time it is possible.
  • jeremyzilar: The most reliable way for someone on the ground (like a reporter) to get a photo back to the newsroom is to e-mail it from their phone
  • jeremyzilar: So if I were at an event, and I were one of your live bloggers, you'd also want an automated way to pull in photos — _fast_.
  • davewiner: It could even be something the reader could do.
  • davewiner: Sure that makes sense.
  • chuck: Dave, I wasn’t thinking about it just from a chat transcript perspective. As an editor who might be preparing a more structured presentation of some recorded dialog, having to do it “upside down” is challenging. It might be interesting to have the option to just invert the whole outline after it is recorded.
  • ted: I have no idea
  • davewiner: Ted there was a movie I think where “turn that frown upside down” was a big line. Can’t think of it. Can you?
  • davewiner: If you're a patient it's super important to connect with the staff at the doctor's office on a personal level.
  • davewiner: Old style phones could be cradled betw shoulder and ear so you could type while talking. No can do with cell phone.
  • davewiner: heh :wink:
  • ted: turn that frown upside down! :grinning:
  • davewiner: everyone’s a critic :disappointed:
  • ted: bummer
  • davewiner: My software isn’t watching for edits.
  • davewiner: Ted, it won't
  • ted: lets see if I can edit something and have it propagate. I’ll wait for this to appear on liveblog
  • davewiner: You know the Mets are playing a day game today. I’m thinking about playing hooky. :wink:
  • davewiner: JZ, what a beautiful day in NY.
  • davewiner: BTW, did you know you can edit what you post to slack after the fact? I have to look to see if there is a webhook for that (I bet there is).
  • davewiner: Chat transcripts are nothing new. There probably already are lots of ways of getting Slack to do them? If not, geez, maybe I should just go straight to that. I can’t imagine they don’t have it.
  • davewiner: Just getting started here..
  • davewiner: Chuck, I don’t know.
  • chuck: Will you have an option to have it spool out in chronological order, too? That’s probably easier to read after the fact, while reverse is easier to read in real time

NakedJen shows up

  • davewiner: Jen, there’s no limit to the number of people. It’s not really about the number of people. Like you said, we could do the play by play of a Knicks game. But I wouldn’t just post a chat transcript, that’s been done before. I want to have an editor between us and the published page. That’s why the text flows through my outliner. Where the editor can organize it any way he or she wants.
  • nakedjen: It truly is magnificent. I like the simplicity. How many people does it support at one time?!
  • nakedjen: Ha!
  • nakedjen: Or even things like Knicks Games when I can't be sitting there on the couch with you.
  • davewiner: yes, it came from an idea from the NYT, they used slack this way during the repub debate
  • nakedjen: During political debates. Or finale television series.
  • davewiner: ?
  • nakedjen: You know when this will be especially fun?!?
  • nakedjen: I love this! And every body! Of course. I wasn't just saying that.
  • nakedjen: This is magnificent!
  • nakedjen: oh look at that? and it does!!
  • davewiner: Jen and it does
  • nakedjen: So if I post here that I love every body it should appear on the live blog, right?

Andrew Shell tries an experiment

  • davewiner: Andrew, what version of are you running? It should be 0.54b.
  • davewiner: I’m in the middle of something right now, I’ll have a look in a few minutes.
  • andrewshell: I’m seeing it on Dave’s post, but nothing on my liveblog.
  • andrewshell: I have liveblog open. Let’s see what happens.
  • davewiner: try again in a minute
  • davewiner: hold on
  • davewiner: oh that’s not good
  • andrewshell: false
  • andrewshell:
  • andrewshell: When I go to it says "Can't open the editor because there was an error connecting to the server, or the user is not whitelisted."
  • davewiner: try launching and see what happens when you post something here.
  • davewiner: aha
  • andrewshell: On your liveblog
  • andrewshell: No, it’s that earlier my message didn’t go through. So I tried again and it worked
  • davewiner: I forgot that it would work on ANY copy of , not just mine.
  • davewiner: Oh did you hook up? :wink:
  • andrewshell: It worked
  • davewiner: Did something click for you Andrew?
  • andrewshell: As Dave might say… Bing!
  • andrewshell: Let���s try this again!

JZ checks in

  • davewiner: But it was fun to write. Relaxing. And I needed some relaxation at the time. :wink:
  • davewiner: The “stack” may sound complex, but in its implementation it’s super lightweight. JZ, as I told you yesterday, the way the Slack people implemented it is exactly the way I needed them to. The only thing they could have done is let me make a long-poll request, so I don’t need the little Node app as a go-between.
  • davewiner: Hello there!
  • davewiner: All the metadata is attached to the headline as attributes, and is saved in the OPML. I can then edit the outline any way I want. This is essential. And to JZ, there’s no copy/paste by the editor. That step is eliminated. The pasting is done by the software.
  • davewiner: I should explain how this works. 1. I create an outgoing webhook on this channel, that sends each message to a Node app running on one of my servers in the EC2 cloud. 2. That server implements a long-poll HTTP request, like the function supported by nodeStorage, that lets a remote app be notified immediately when the hook is called. 3. I call that long-poll handler from , and when a message comes in, it just inserts it at the cursor position in the current outline.
  • davewiner: Andrew’s post didn’t make it through for some reason. Hmmm.
  • jeremyzilar: Hello friends!

Stuff that was entered before Ted came here

  • ted: so I see all the updates that come through
  • davewiner: aha
  • ted: I use Slack at work, so I have the slack app open all day
  • davewiner: no
  • ted: are we sure they know about it?
  • davewiner: and marco marcofabbri
  • davewiner: how can we get andrewshell to try it
  • davewiner: hey ted glad you checked this out
  • ted: affirmative!
  • ted: does this work for me?
  • chuck: Have fun at the game. Hope the doc appt is tame. Gotta go get coffee!
  • davewiner: nice
  • chuck: I’m in Ft. Lauderdale to put the pirate system on some cargo boats today. Not as fun as a baseball game, but still an interesting peek into stuff normal folks don’t get to see
  • davewiner: good! I will need test cases, things that really need to be group-blogged
  • chuck: Well, when you get to it, that will be the killer feature. It’s already cool.
  • davewiner: assuming it doesn’t get rained out
  • davewiner: i can’t do it today— I have a big doctor appointment, and then i’m going to the mets game tonight
  • davewiner: we’ll have to look into this
  • davewiner: I don’t think they called me
  • davewiner: there’s nothing in the outline
  • davewiner: OK back
  • chuck: k
  • davewiner: hold on don’t post anything for a moment.
  • chuck: heh. what does that do in the outline?
  • davewiner: Oh I see what you’re doing
  • davewiner: my old friend
  • davewiner: They don’t use it themselves.
  • davewiner: Haha. If the Twitter guys had a vision it wouldn’t be so lost in space.
  • chuck: yep, chase their own vision, not a Twitter hallucination
  • davewiner: Rather than giving them any ideas.
  • davewiner: If I were them I’d just let Twitter burn themselves up.
  • chuck: There is a lot of hidden value in the Slack stack. It *could* do what Twitter missed if that is on their roadmap
  • davewiner: No bullshit.
  • davewiner: And the code to do this was just a joy to write.
  • davewiner: I got the idea as I was about to write yet another “This is what Twitter should do” piece. I realized after outlining it that Slack had already done it.
  • davewiner: Has none of the problems of Twitter.
  • davewiner: Slack is a good editorial surface.
  • chuck: how does it handle rich media? Can I paste a picture yet?
  • davewiner: I can “navigate” in the background without the human user knowing it.
  • chuck: This is really cool though. It lets Slack be used as a private room to blog/podcast stuff to a private space.
  • davewiner: I now am a more sophisticated JS programmer than I used to be.
  • davewiner: It’ll be easier than that
  • chuck: Might have to add a second cursor of sorts (or add an attribute on the node that is currently receiving updates or something)
  • davewiner: I wanted to get a little experience using it before attempting that.
  • davewiner: I haven’t programmed the part about how it decides where to put the new stuff.
  • davewiner: It throws the whole thing off
  • davewiner: If I move the cursor
  • chuck: heh. just pointing it out in case...
  • chuck: Hmm. My last post didn’t show up though.
  • davewiner: Let me show you what I can do from my "editorial workstation."
  • davewiner: Yeah. I got the idea from the NYT. How about that. Might be the first time.
  • davewiner: The important thing is is that it’s just an outline on my desktop that I can edit.
  • davewiner: Glad you like it
  • chuck: This is pretty killer!
  • davewiner: Chuck you just have to type something here and it should show up on the page.

Stuff that was entered before Chuck

  • davewiner: I warned you about that
  • chuck: oh! the outline edit is cool
  • davewiner: That’s a glitch
  • chuck: Unless you edited it :wink:
  • davewiner: Before the net, we'd say what we think, and not worry too much about the consequences, because there weren't any. But lately, discourse has been like the great movie The Lives of Others about how hard it was to say anything in East Germany before the wall came down. We all live in that world now. We're all subject to the same rules as Presidential candidates in the US, and you know what -- it sucks! I'm not running for anything. Why should I give up my ability to speak? Why should your fake offense prevent anyone from saying what they think? It shouldn't.
  • davewiner: in my next coding session i hope to make this more bulletproof
  • davewiner: so if i were using the liveoutliner while typing into this window, the stuff would go in the wrong place.
  • davewiner: it’s a little ad hoc
  • davewiner: I have a nice thing working here
  • davewiner:
  • davewiner: test5
  • davewiner: test4
  • davewiner: test3
  • davewiner: test2
  • davewiner: test1

Fascinating thread on Twitter

There's a thread on Twitter with lots of people cc'd and because of the 140 char limit, you basically have to say what you have to say in 60 chars or less, because most of the space is taken up with people's handles. So it's micro-snorts and grunts, instead of the usual full-size snorts and grunts. A few comments here with more room to breathe. Whew.

When I'm talking about running a server I'm not thinking of the same servers you and I as techies run. I'm thinking of making that a lot easier. I know it can be done. In the early days of the web, we had servers on the Mac that were just apps you launched. They served content from a folder on port 80. They used normal dialogs for configuration. They were fully programmable, but very useful without programming. Setting one of these things up was a lot easier than setting up Dropbox, for example, today.

If you programmers still don't want users running servers, then I propose you look at your thinking a bit, and wonder if you're perhaps a member of the computing "priesthood," trying to protect what you do from the unwashed masses? If so, you're on the wrong side of history, imho. The inexorable process of tech is taking things you used to need to be a wizard to do, and making them easy for normal people.

If you had told my grad school room-mates that someday everyone would have not just one computer, but lots of them, and we'd carry them around in our pockets, they would have thought you were nuts. That's the way techies are, often -- limited imaginations. But reality is a lot more weird than you think, over time.

This is a test






Why recommend Stewart for Twitter?

Yesterday I posted an idea for Twitter that they merge with Slack, and have Stewart Butterfield, their founder, run the whole thing. Shortly after posting it, Stewart was tagged by another Twitter user (I don't like to do that myself, because I don't like being dragged into discussions, you tend to be cc'd on all replies and that goes on indefinitely, and Stewart didn't ask for this), and replied that he was busy. Not surprising. I didn't intend it as a literal suggestion, I wanted to show that there was another choice for Twitter, that perhaps wasn't being given enough thought.

There seem to be two possible courses:

  • 1. Follow the direction dictated by "the street" which means the product doesn't change. Basically go down the path that was pioneered by Facebook. Twitter gradually turns into Facebook.
  • 2. Or go another fundamentally different way. Add long-needed features, clean up the UI, create new API endpoints, so the product can be a more effective platform. If the new leader of Twitter was very bold, he or she might try turning Twitter into a protocol and encourage federation, on the theory that a flotilla of competitors is what Facebook actually needs. ;-)

The two courses suggest completely different kinds of leaders.

If you go with #1, you might as well hire back Dick Costolo. He's probably available. And he has experience trying to lead the company in the direction the street appears to want Twitter to go.

But the second course, which would be one you'd want someone like Butterfield to lead, suggests hiring someone who has deep product experience in tech, and might see how to evolve the current Twitter product into an exciting platform. I think the potential is there. Starting from a base of 300 million users is not nothing! :-)

I don't go to tech industry parties these days, so I can't tell you who might be floating around in the valley who has wacky ideas and yearns to drive something big into some new uncharted territory.

And I have no idea if such a transition could work if Twitter is a public company. Maybe this could only happen as part of an acquisition, effectively taking Twitter private.

An idea for Twitter

Merge with Slack, and let Stewart Butterfield run the whole thing.

He and his team clearly know how to evolve this stuff.

How to think about Microsoft Band and RSS

This piece moved to Scripting News.

I finally have a Thunderbolt drive

I got the LaCie 1TB. I did a couple of A-B experiments to see how much faster it is.

I copied 10 files varying in size from 245MB to 292MB.

  • Copying from the internal drive on my iMac..
  • 1. To the Thunderbolt drive: 31 seconds.
  • 2. To a USB 3.0 drive: 44 seconds.

I copied a 6.2GB file.

  • 1. To the Thunderbolt drive: 1 minute and 1 second.
  • 2. To a USB 3.0 drive: 1 minute 43 seconds.

It's faster. ;-)

Glympse is still the coolest technology

I have a friend on the Amtrak from DC to NY this morning. At my request he sent a Glympse before he left. So I can watch, in real time, as he travels up the coast.

Here's a screen shot, but understand the difference, on my computer, this is in motion.

Where does this go? It's easy to imagine having connections made automatically by scheduling software. It could factor in traffic, weather, historical data, and keep me informed at a higher level, of Chuck's ETA. The software could be written today, the challenge is working together, as it so often is.

Glympse deserves to be more famous. Pass it on. (I don't own any stock, I'm just a fan.)


You've said on Twitter that "it would make such a huge difference over time if journalists weren't so controlled by tech." Could you explain what you mean by that?

  • You know the old saying that freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one? I know it's cute, but it's also true. Journalism depends on tech to provide a level playing field, but when has tech ever promised to provide one? That's been implicit in the complaints about Facebook's algorithm. Facebook decides what people need to see, and they're not even willing to tell anyone how they decide -- and that's their right, just as news organizations don't tell us how they decide what gets coverage and what doesn't.
  • So as tech advances into news, they will do more deciding about who-sees-what, and they'll do it with one thing in mind -- maximizing the growth and profit of their businesses, not in the interests of news orgs, or any higher principles. So it's very simple. If you want to be in the news business, you also have to be in the distribution business. And these days that's called "tech."

You've talked about journalists creating running their own servers and their own CMS. I'm sure a lot of people aren't quite sure how to do this, let alone the benefits. Could you detail how journalisms could change if journalists could spin up their own servers?

  • The main reason is to remove the mystique and to encourage creative thinking. I wouldn't recommend it if it weren't a lot easier than most people think it is. And I want to make it even easier, and we can only do that with brave users who step up and give it a try, and help us see where they get in trouble, so we can iterate toward making it easier. Developing software is very much an interactive process. And when we learn, we can make stuff better. Repeat as necessary.
  • It encourages creative thinking because once you know what's possible, you'll get new ideas you wouldn't otherwise get. How many times, when you come back to a trip to a foreign country, do you have fantastic ideas for new things you could do? Stepping outside your comfort zone in tech is like that too.
  • There are methods to creativity, and this is an important one. Go on intellectual adventures. You come back with new eyes.
  • And with all the talk about learning to "code" -- learning to run a server is a lot easier, and has immediate benefits. And it's a gateway drug for coding. Once you have a server running you'll find tasks that you want to automate, by writing little bits of code. It'll ground your development as a programmer in real-world problems, right from the start. I've been doing this for a long time, and I'm always learning, because first I create the problem, then I solve it. So running a server is a great first step toward becoming more technically powerful.

How would what they create on their own servers be discovered? Part of what I'm seeing doing in the Mediums and Reddits of the world is act as the discovery vehicle.

  • You hear this a lot about Medium, and I'm not convinced it's anything but good marketing on their part.
  • Regardless, people discover news writing on Twitter and Facebook much more than they do on Medium. I'd focus on developing systems that do what they do first, and what they do is not hard! Loop back to the first question. This is why we must have independent distribution systems. Maybe something like Hulu was for TV, for news.
  • When you trust Medium to do the distribution for you, your stuff will go where Medium wants it to go, not where you want it to go.

If you could start a journalism publication or product from scratch, what would it look like?

  • Have a look at Podcatch or Techblast, two sites that I run that provide good podcast listening, and comprehensive tech news. That's what news systems will look like in the future. Every news org should start with a "river" like those sites. An aggregation of news sources you consider authoritative. Then go from there.
  • When you see an interesting story develop, start a topic page, and link developing news into those pages. I think in this sense Circa was onto something. Each story creates its own news site. How that's formatted, and how people use that, we have to iterate over the design, to find patterns that work.

You work on a lot of projects that help people aggregate information or surface information. What tools have you developed that journalists could use in their own work?

  • There are so many! :-)
  • Radio3 is great for posting links to Twitter, Facebook and an RSS feed. This exemplifies my philosophy of news, today. Twitter and Facebook exist now and people want to get the news there. So we must provide it. But we must also create our own independent web presence so new non-controlled distributions systems can come about. That's why it's also important to flow your linkblog to RSS.
  • Happy Friends is a mailbox-style reader for Twitter. I use it to keep up with certain important people whose tweets I don't want to miss, like you Melody! :-) It's such a simple idea, and incredibly useful.
  • Fargo is a publishing system based on outlines. Each blog is an outline, with stories hanging off branches of the structure. It has a full object-oriented CMS. If you used my blogging systems, Radio, Manila or Frontier, you'll immediately understand Fargo. I love working with outliners, and I'm going to have more web-writing tools that work with outlines, in the future.
  • PagePark is a simple Node-based web server. If you want to learn how to set up and run a server, it doesn't get any easier than PagePark. But it is GitHub project so it's not exactly an end-user product.
  • River4 is a river-of-news aggregator. Like PagePark, it's a server app, and requires server-running skills. But it's amazing how powerful it is to have your own river, with your news sources accumulating stories for you to share with your team and followers.
  • All these products are free to use. PagePark and River4 are open source, MIT License.

Why is it important to publish simultaneously to multiple platforms?

  • Today I publish to Twitter, Facebook and the open web.
  • Why? People are on Twitter and Facebook and want links. It's that simple.
  • I post to the open web because that allows me to build flows with other people who participate in the open web. I don't have that kind of access to the flows of Twitter and Facebook. They pretty much have a monopoly on innovation on their platforms. That's the way it works. If I want to continue to be active as a developer, I have to feed the web, and I depend on other people to do the same. If this ever stops, everyone who doesn't work for Twitter and Facebook will be fairly impotent, imho.
  • As Benjamin Franklin said, on the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." He would have understood the open web, that's for sure.

I've written in the past about my fears about archiving and private social media networks. What are your thoughts on this?

  • OMG. We are totally blowing it.
  • Here's how bad the situation is. A few days or weeks after I die, and unfortunately that day will come, all of what I've published to the web will disappear. Why? Unless someone pays my hosting fees, Amazon, Rackspace and a few other vendors will close my accounts. Maybe they'll even delete all the files. Any dynamic content I have will certainly disappear.
  • And, as far as I know, there's nothing I can do now to prepare for this.
  • And I am a developer. It's my business to understand how the technology works. And I'm telling you it doesn't.
  • A couple of disclaimers:
    • 1. I know about It maintains a backup copy of much of the content on the web. It's great. But it's not the same thing as a web presence.
    • 2. The Library of Congress has been archiving all tweets, so we know a permanent record is being created there. Yet we still have no way to create a long-living link to a tweet. If Twitter goes away someday, a large piece of the web will disappear.
  • It's no longer just a theory that platforms like Medium or Twitter or even Facebook, do go away. I wouldn't trust the longevity of anything you post on those sites.
  • I've been writing about what I call future-safe archives for quite some time. There are solutions, and we should be working on them. An important part of what news does is maintain an archive past news.

You spent the past weekend working on an open source version of Medium. What are the benefits and costs of publishing on this platform vs. Medium.

  • I've spent a lot more time on this than one weekend, and the service doesn't exist yet. We do not yet have an open source Medium alternative. We're close. The software itself is fairly trivial. We just need to have the will to do it, and so far, it has not come together. However, I'm optimistic that it will.
  • Why do this? Because Medium is a silo. Smart people who imho should know better are posting good writing there, stuff that should be available 10, 20 or 100 years from now, with no promise that any of it will exist for any period of time. I've seen open source projects post official docs on Medium. This is not good, or even acceptable. Incorporating a closed platform into open source projects, when one could be building on open platforms, that's not okay.
  • But there is no good open alternative to Medium. There are bits and pieces. I'm trying to get them to come together in a product that people will find as easy to use and beautiful as Medium, and open. They are entitled to the best, without any sacrifice of access or longevity of the content.

Who's doing it right in journalism? Why?

  • There are certainly news orgs that are doing inspiring, courageous work, exploring new ideas that seem to have potential. But no one has put it all together yet in a way that makes me feel that they have got the full vision of where news is going.
  • To do it right, they'd have to build around the people who we used to think of as sources. In the past, a reporter would call a few of them to make a story, but today, when they want to comment, the sources just get on Twitter and say what they think. So the reporting process is flipped around. Journalism has adjusted, but how good can journalism be when the system is as limited as Twitter is? Maybe that's why today's news is so coarse. How much subtlety can you communicate in 140 chars? Twitter is basically a medium of grunts and snorts. And Facebook, without the 140 char limit, has got its own oddities.
  • These are inadequate systems, so it's hard to put together a real news system in 2015. The foundations just aren't there. But creating the foundations, that's something the news industry should be excited about! The ways that tech is weak are exactly the strong points of journalism.
  • With those caveats, I love Quartz. I love everything about what they say about what they do, and how they put their ideas into practice. They're young and they're willing to risk, and they like to think and play. I find all that very refreshing.
  • Others worth mentioning: Gawker has put together the best public news system around. But they hire aggressive reporters, and that's fine I guess, but it makes it impossible to build any trust with them. They just go crazy at random times. (This is true of a lot of news orgs, btw, not just Gawker.)
  • And believe it or not, I like Buzzfeed. I think they're making a huge bet in tech news, and there's a vacuum. Tech news is ripe for disruption.

If a journalist wanted to learn more about creating servers or spinning up their own products, where would you suggest they start? I'm thinking of smaller newsrooms, resource-strapped newsrooms, and newsrooms with very small staffs. If they can't spin up a server, what's a good first step to take?

  • That's a very good question!
  • And there is no answer as far as I know.
  • We need to work on this Melody.
  • Let's create a flow of information for these exact organizations. The ones who are inquisitive, ready to put it all out there, who feel inspired by the opportunities in front of them, but don't know how to get started. Let's treat that exact problem as a product definition, and let's work together to solve it. I'm ready. Let's do it.

Knicks free-agency liveblog

Fri July 3, 8:32AM

  • This qualifies as good news. The Knicks apparently have a tentative deal with Robin Lopez, big man of the Portland Trail Blazers. They're waiting to see if they have a chance with De Andre Jordan. Lopez is a good big guy. Not an all-star.
  • However its Lopez who's waiting, not the Knicks. Hmm.

Thurs July 2, 12:54PM

  • Knicks sign Arron Afflalo. At least free agency won't be a total bust. ;-)

Thurs July 2, 12:15PM

  • Please Jeremy Lin do not go back to the Knicks.
  • At least as long as Melo is there.
  • I don't think there's much chance PJ wants to get Lin though.
  • Hint: Brooklyn would be an inspired choice. Deron must have some market value.

Thurs July 2, 11:50AM

  • Greg Monroe turns down the Knicks, goes with Bucks. He wanted to be on a ready-to-win team where he was the missing piece. "The Knicks have meetings Thursday with DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge in Los Angeles. The team met with Robin Lopez on Wednesday night, and is now their most realistic big-man target."

What is this?

  • I'm going to try an experiment here. Mixing links to stories about the deals the Knicks have done or missed in free-agency. The future of the team is very fluid right now, and interesting.

I do not want to read your mind. Please!

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg said that someday he thought computer networks would be connected right into our brains and we would communicate to our friends through thoughts.

I predict if that day comes, we will have no friends, in short order. I've had the experience where I relaxed so much that I just blurted out a weird thought that was in my head. It always ends badly. You have to have those filters. Otherwise we'd all hate each other all the time.

I suspect that by the time such a thing is technically possible people will value the opposite. Give me a feature that puts up a nice wall between me and the random thoughts of everyone else. I already feel that way sometimes, on Twitter and Facebook, and people still (mostly) have to type their ideas through their fingers to get into other people's minds.

On ageism

Interesting piece, well worth a read.

However I don't think that ageism is caused by resentment, rather it's two separate things.

  • 1. Fear of aging. When a young person looks at an older person they're confronted with their own mortality. When you're young, you try to live in a bubble of immortality. You try not to be confronted with ageing. And to a great extent, you can do it. But if you have older people around, every day, it's impossible not to see it. And there goes the bubble! ;-)
  • 2. A desire for independence. The older person is a symbol of their parents. And many people, maybe most, want to escape dependence on parents. Maybe in that way the author is right. But it's very specific. When I had older people around in my first company they were always cast in parental roles. And because I had power to form the relationships (it was my company), I was able to make things work in ways I was unable to influence my actual parents.

What he says about people coming into their own as they age is very true. There is so much I can contribute to my art, software development, that I would not have been able to contribute earlier.

My solution is to do it anyway, whether or not I have the approval or support of younger people. I am not nearly as effective as I would be if they would work with me, but you also learn, as you get older, to accept other people's power. I can't make them do anything they don't want to do. So I don't try.

However, I hope when they attain the maturity that I have, they will find my work and will find it useful. And in that way, we'll work together. Not in the most optimal way.

That's one of the reasons I'm so interested in having future-safe archives. :-)

Why the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment

Very simple: The non-zero probability that we've executed innocent people.

In 1998 I wrote a series of pieces about the death penalty. It was Topic One on the net because Karla Faye Tucker was about to be put to death in Texas. The idea of a killing an attractive young born-again Christian woman seemed to be a problem for death penalty advocates. I thought that was interesting. And worth writing about.

"Everyone says over and over that it doesn't matter that she's a woman, but we know it totally matters. Why is it more of a tragedy for the government to kill a human being just because the person is female?"

My Uncle Sam: "The death penalty *is* cruel and unusual punishment. For me. What crime did I commit to deserve this punishment? This makes me angry! Very deeply angry."

Bingeing makes TV more like books

This AdAge article says 9 out of 10 Americans are binge-watchers.

That's amazing.

The article is fairly negative on the idea, saying that people who binge-watch are somehow less perfect human beings than people who watch TV the old-fashioned way, one installment a week.

I disagree. A good binge is more like reading a book than it is TV. The plot develops at the pace you're happy with. If you want to read a chapter a week (heh no one does) you can do that. But if you want to know what happens next, now, go ahead and watch.

I recently binge-watched Transparent in one sitting. What an excellent show. It took about five hours (each episode is 1/2 hour). How much nicer that was than stretching it out over 10 weeks.

Inside Out is a revolutionary movie

No spoilers, but at some point I'd like to create a place where it will be possible to discuss the movie only among people who have seen it.

I'll say this -- Inside Out is a story that starts with the usual wrong ideas of what it means to be a whole healthy person and sets it straight. A healthy person has the full range of emotions, because in real life there are good reasons to be angry, sad and scared as well as joyful.

So much of the disease in our world is caused by a lifestyle that forces people into one or two of those feelings and none of the others.

You have to see this movie. It truly is the first of its kind. Hopefully there will be many more.

It's very easy to create a new outliner

That was one of the goals of Concord.

Outliners everywhere.

An outliner is just a jQuery plug-in.

Want an example?

How it works:

1. Enter a word in a headline.

2. Double-click on the wedge.

3. The synonyms fill in.

4. Repeat.

There are a few sample apps in the Concord repo that illustrate.

Don't be a sore winner

When you win, it's all upside! It's time to be positive.

In fact, there's always a silver lining, even when you lose.

We use GitHub as if it were a public utility, but it isn't

This Wired article is a must-read for all who use GitHub, in any capacity.

It's true it has good APIs, and GIT by definition is all about exporting your data.

But even though all that's true, it's still dangerous to put all our source code there.

I did not know what happened to Sourceforge. They're now putting adware in the downloads. That's totally unacceptable, obviously. But when people take their projects off Sourceforge, they put them back, with the malware back in.

You think this can't happen to GitHub, okay. But at one time it was unthinkable that it would happen at SourceForge.

Read the Wired piece. If you read one thing today, this is the one you should read, esp if you depend on GitHub.

You have a place, I have mine, they mix

Posts can be as long as needed to express your thought.

Have no structure, have lots of structure, as much or as little as you like.

Include bits of other people's posts.

  • When they appear they are connected back to the original context.
  • And they carry with them their full metadata.
    • And I can put notes underneath them, use them as a starting point for a whole new structure of thinking. However if someone prefers a different structure, the ideas are available as units and can be organized however they like.
  • Including the path they took to get to where you're reading them now.

They can be shot at non-participating servers.

  • Such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Where they retain none of their metadata.
  • And are subject to limits of their systems.