Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Health Insurance for All

Health Insurance is severely hurting small businesses. I’d like to see Universal Healthcare for businesses that provides a level playing field for self-employed to small businesses, to mega-corporations. This would be a big help to the economy and I think better than any tax cut. There are probably some out there.

Microsoft ships RSS platform

Public beta of Internet Explorer version 7 is released. Dave Winer has more on the topic.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Squidoo Lens on Dave Winer

I'm a fan of Dave Winer. ThinkTank was a great invention and I believe RSS changes everything. So I created a Squidoo Lens on Dave.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Yahoo game-changers for 2006

Dave Winer wrote about technology game changers that he foresees. Clone the Google API, BitTorrent and P2P webcasting. Dave is usually ahead of the curve and I note the non-central server view. Worth pondering as time unfolds. Has me thinking.

I think in the coming year and after Dave’s OPML work will be responsible for a new explosion of web creativity. In the last year we’ve seen the RSS creative explosion with memeorandum, top10sources, Squidoo and the like. We’re seeing a glimpse of it with reading lists, but much more is coming on the web and in the enterprise. Exciting times.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Publishing Economy

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but we now live in a publishing economy. It is nearly every phase of our economy now. So Dave Winer’s comment about publishing ring true. I’ll publish more on this after work.

Monday, January 23, 2006

10 Years of AJAX? No, 10 Years of HTMLjive.

10 years ago on Monday, Jan 23, 1996, HTMLjive was released. This HTML editor written in JavaScript was incorporated into thousands of web sites and translated into many different languages. Most of the first set of books on JavaScript featured it as an example.
It may not fit today's definition of AJAX, as if there was a definition 10 years ago, but it was an application. JavaScript was release only one month prior and with little documentation. Given those constrains, it has held up very well for being 10 years old. I wonder how it will do has a teenager. It may be time for a makeover soon.
So in honor of the occassion I did some very minor changes to the original. Now that it has grown up a little, HTMLjive also has a new (home) URL. Your siblings RBGjive and GEMjive wish their big brother a Happy Birthday.

JavaScript Birthday: 10 years old and a month

On December 23, 1995, Netscape released the first version of a browser with JavaScript. That was 10 years and a month ago. Since then JavaScript has developed into a respected language and the glue that makes AJAX application like Google Maps and other work. So so a belated Happy Birthday to Brendan Eich and his child – JavaScript.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Superbowl XL Ads Lens

While watching the Steelers and Seahawks, I created a Superbowl XL Ads Squidoo lens. Think I have most of the advertisers listed, except ABC. I’ll have some work in the next couple of weeks keeping it updated.

Internet Neutral

What has sounded like a technical and business issue is presented wisely to show the potential negative impact of changing the Neutral Internet in The Coming Tug of War Over the Internet. This is why the FCC was created and I hope they do their job.

We've come to expect that the people who own the phone and cable lines remain "neutral," doing nothing to influence the content on your computer screen. And may the best Web site win.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Design Goal

In reviewing my list of best books for 2005 I just noticed that design is a common theme. Game design, home design, design patterns and D-school. I’m also working on a post about Good Technology and I’m talking about design in there. I’m thinking that I want to focus more on this topic.

So this presents a problem that I need to solve this year. I now have several blogs including this one. Two others are Multipurpose Room where I have not posted in a few years and Surfing The Laws of Media. So I’ll see if I can find some focus and improve my blogging.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Love Monkey

Is this a tv show or an effort to revive the music business? First, they have a great web site for True Vinyl Records, the record company in the show. Second, the characters are on MySpace: Tom Farrell and Julia Hixon. But it looks like the show is going to feature real muscians in each show with like Teddy Geiger, Ben Folds and LeAnn Rimes. And check out the Other Artists We Love – Aimme Mann, James Blunt, Ben Folds, Eugene, Robbers on High Street, She Wants Revenge and Anna Nalick. Got me listening to new music tonight on my computer.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Web Office is out of the gate

As we move into the contributed content of Web 2.0, collabroation becomes essential. Writely.com looks like it will become THE place to work together to create Word processing documents. WikiCalc is taking care of the spreadsheet. Not sure where the PowerPoint equivalent is, yet. Then an app to make them into a suite. I sense a new new way of sharing that will just keep growing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Digging Digg

O’Reilly Radar answered the critics on digg.com about “stealing” a CSS. This is a great Web 2.0 story for several reasons.

First, digg.com is a wonderful site where the community submits stories and decides which ones make it to the top of the home page. I’ve listened to their podcast on my Tivo a few times. It really is a interesting way to get the latest tech news and points out the power of social software in the web 2.0 world.

Second, I just started reading The Origin of Brands by Al & Laura Ries. (blog) They state that divergence is “the most powerful force in the world.” This is already happening with digg as the O’Reilly story shows with its link to pligg. TechCrunch pointed to a porno version the other day. Here’s a Linux version using the digg model. ituneslove diggs music. Look for many more. Diggs or pliggs will probably become a common feature of some community sites now that there is an open source version.

Third, any new technology “reverses” at some point according to McLuhan’s Laws of Media. For example, a car gets you there faster until there are so many that it reverses into traffic jams when you go nowhere. I think digg is at this point. It was hit by spammers and now the accusations of mob journalism. Maybe having an editor isn’t so bad? (Interestingly, the podcast is an editorial product.) Maybe memeorandum looks better with its robots and spiders? I expect both will find their place and that I’ll continue to enjoy digg.com and their podcast.

Fourth, there seems to be a change of attitude now about CSS. You’ll commonly read in computer books that you should “view source” of other web sites to “steal their code”. Why reinvent the wheel? People have avoided JavaScript code for this reason. However, this attitude may be changing. While accusing someone of stealing CSS has the ring of red/blue politics, this maybe a milestone in Web 2.0 integrity.

Art Rage is one reason why I'll get a tablet

12 years ago I owned a pen computer. It looked very much like the tablet computers you see today with a convertible screen that was touch sensitive. However, the processor was really not powerful enough given that is was a 386 with a black and white screen. I’m anxious to do art again and a mouse does not cut it. It looks like Art Rage is designed for the hand on screen. Thanks to Scoble for pointing to it. Maybe in 2007 I’ll saved up the cash.

Monday, January 09, 2006

You, not Howard Stern, are the Program Director

Sirius and Howard Stern have done great PR. But cut through it and look at the real future of audio programs. It is not broadcasting but podcasting. We know radio is primarily listened to in the car and occasionally on the clock radio. Radio, whether AM, FM or satellite, will compete with hard drive devices (mp3 players) in the car. You’ll subscribe to the programs you want and they’ll automatically (through WiFi or BlueTooth) be in your car. You’ll be the DJ Program Director. Maybe the hard drive device will be on your cell phone that will play through BlueTooth in your car. Look for most satellite, non-music programs, to be available as podcast within three years. And then look for popular podcast to move to satellite too. The action is in podcasts, not radio.

Howard killed the radio star and satellite radio is fighting for dominance against hard drives. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005 Top 10 Lists

Heath Row was nice enough to highlight my new Squidoo lens on 2005 Top 10 Lists in his Squidoo Blog. It was fun to make. And I won’t feel obligated to update it because it is a snapshot in time.

Why Build a Squidoo Lens?

A reader asked why I built a specific Squidoo lens, but I’ll answer with a more general answer.

I’ve always believed that member contributed content was the key to online sites. This goes back to my first BBS in 1979 and the followup BBS which was entirely fiction: The Storyboard. I then worked extensively with Searchlight BBS in the ‘90s because it brought the features of a BBS to the web. I contributedcontent.com will someday get my attention.

So I write Squidoo lenses for my own interest and fun. My first Squidoo lens was on Marshall McLuhan which is some indication of my deep interest on the subject on new technology. I’m very intrigued by how Squidoo will do in the longterm. How will Squidoo work when the Web 2.0 spotlight is removed? Will Squidoo work as a site because typically people only view a few pages on a site and move on? Will Squidoo lens primarily work as search results? How do lenses fit into the trackback and tag world of the blogosphere? And I really don’t mean to ask these questions specifically about Squidoo, but about member contributed content. This is all part of the reason I like creating Squidoo lenses.


Was listening to Dave Winer podcast with John Palfrey of toptensources.com. This seems very similar to Squidoo.com where I’ve put together a few lenses (like Sudoku). I’ll refrain from a side by side comparison review for now. Feel free to comment on your view. I do think that they two will compete for the same attention and will learn from each other.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Flyi Flies Off

From Flyi. Just shows that sometimes a great service is not enough.

Today is a sad day for Independence Air.

Today we must announce that we will be ceasing scheduled service operations this Thursday evening, January 5. The financial pressures in the industry have prevailed. We have run out of time.

It has been an amazing 18 months. We set out to challenge the status quo and to re-set your expectations about air travel. We set out to introduce you to lower fares and a new level of service delivered by employees who care. Currently ranked #2 in customer satisfaction among all US airlines, we are proud that we did indeed earn your respect and loyalty. We are proud that we built a brand so universally praised by over 8 million customers. We are proud of the mark we have made.

Customers with reservations whose trips are completed between now and Thursday evening should expect the same great service for which we have become known.

Additionally, we are seeking bankruptcy court approval to automatically provide refunds to customers holding reservations on flights occurring after our shutdown of operations on January 5th. No refunds will be offered for free tickets or vouchers.

Finally, we will be contacting those customers with itineraries that start before and end after our shutdown (including those customers who have already commenced their travel) to offer them the opportunity to change their return reservations to a flight on one of our remaining days of operation if possible. Customers can immediately change travel dates on their own by visiting the “Change Itinerary” section of our website, FLYi.com. All change fees will be waived when travel dates are changed via our website, but a difference in fare could be incurred (unfortunately, this results from a website process that cannot be disabled. Alternatively, if moving the return trip to one of our remaining operating days is not feasible, we are also seeking bankruptcy court approval to refund any amounts paid by these customers for their return reservations.

Please be aware that under section 145 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (November 19, 2001) Congress has obligated U.S. airlines to offer stand-by transportation to passengers holding un-refunded tickets for airlines that have ceased operations due to insolvency or bankruptcy. The Act stipulates that passengers must make their request to carriers serving the same routes as the bankrupt carrier and must do so within 60 days of the cessation of service. The U.S. Department of Transportation has ruled that airlines who offer the stand-by transportation may charge $50 one-way per person to cover related expenses.

Further information can be found on our website, FLYi.com.

Today is a sad day for Independence Air. Today is a sad day for our customers who have gotten used to tender loving service and paying less for air travel. We will miss serving you. Thank you for your vigorous support.

Guy Kawasaki is Blogging

Guy Kawasaki, the Apple evangelist is blogging and I’m subscribing too!


Gmail was the best use of JavaScript and AJAX in 2005. Just wowwed everyone. Well, you’ve got to take a look at Writely.com. Writely does for work processing what Gmail did for email. Actually it does a lot more. It lets you collaborate with others. Then you can also publish it to your blog or print it or whatever. I’m using it now with four less technical types than me and I think they’ll do fine. There is already another I know group using it without any training.  We’ll see. Sure beats meeting.

But check it out. Maybe start you family history, your novel, or just notes.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Another Video Outlet

Here’s were a star will be born in 2006: http://www.youtube.com/

"Video Killed the Radio Star" 2006 version

When technology allowed cable tv to move from 12 channels to hundreds, the age of public access television became possible. In the ‘70s Sony produced inexpensive, portable video recorders – the PortaPack. People started seeing the possibilities of moving television out of corporate control. Michael Shamberg wrote Guerrilla television and then went on to produce The Big Chill and many other films.

With podcasting it was easy to produce your own radio shows with the help of mp3 players. We  now have new video podcasting, iTunes selling tv reruns, TiVo to go, etc, for video distribution. Video can even be shot with a cellphone or any of the millions of digital cameras sold this past year. So there will be an explosion of video production like what happened in the Guerrilla television days. And we’ll probably see a few new Michael Shambergs emerge, the Dawn and Drews of this video wave. Look for them soon. Television won’t be the same.

2006 Predictions

Mainly technology, but what will probably happen in 2006.
  1. TV shoves out Radio. Podcasting gave new life to radio shows in 2005. It was an extension to the MP3 player boom of 2004. But now cell phones and iPod are accepting video podcasting. So will TiVo and other cable tv DVRs this year. “Video killed the radio star” with a twist.
  2. Musicians will look for iTune alternatives. As a technology is heavily used, it shows weaknesses. Too many cars gave us traffic jams. With iTunes soon to be the major distributor of music, people will look for alternatives. These will probably work with cell phones and have little copy protection.
  3. Cell phones as platform. AJAX really made the browser the new platform. Are there more cell phones than computers on the web yet? This is the new platform. More cell phone games than PC stand alone games this year.
  4. RSS moves behind the firewall.  There will be a lot of action by vendors to RSS-enable their enterprise software which MS has already announced. Everyone will join in. With an RSS reader on every desktop, companies will adapt.
  5. Executive Dashboard will finally make sense as an RSS aggregator. If every employee, every team, every project and every server is spitting out RSS then the executive can tune in. The executives will also be pressured to blog.
  6. Ruby on Rails will get XML or die. Ruby was developed with disdain for XML, but if it flip-flops the the enterprise will adopt Ruby. So it will get XMLed.
  7. Home RFID reader will be sold by major electronic chains. Won’t be a big seller, but home businesses might pickup a few.
  8. GYM will change. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft will change order of their reputations. Just suggesting that one will stumble. Or we’ll add a letter like A or A.
  9. AJAX is Web 2.0. For most users, Web 2.0 will be AJAX. It will be so widely adapted in increments that even the average user will sense a difference. The infrastructure that is really Web 2.0 will be the invisible hand.
  10. HDTV will need universal “set top” box. DVRs like TiVo will be “required” components to HDTV. The clamor will start to allow other electronic products to replace cable TV set top boxes. The “cable-tv ready” set in reverse. If we don’t have to buy our phones from the telco then why do we need to buy their settop boxes?