Archive for January, 2003

Aggregators Encore

Of course, Usenet is a solution to a different problem. Usenet is not syndication, and irc isn’t IM. They both have a different hierarchial relationship than their predecessors.

Usenet is a very peer to peer relationship between servers, but once you are within the realm of an ISP, it’s a centralized service. Usenet has an infrastructure and management cost that your ordinary aggregator simply doesn’t require and can’t provide. Aggregators have an ad-hoc nature that lower the barrier between connecting readers and writers. For the readers, type in a url and autodiscovery takes over. For the writers, just summarize, rerender, and point to it.

NNTP solves a different problem of injecting one message somewhere in the network and having it show up in every interested unread list. It’s essentially a perfect cache – one message tranmission from the source for all the readers. Aggregation does not require this level of caching.

Usenet also has the problem of trust. Its design encourages essentially untrusted clients to send a single message to a world wide audience – giving it the effect of a network of open relay mail servers. So usenet in its gigabyte per day full feed glory isn’t the answer.

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One of the big topics of discussion at the bloggers dinner (after what weblogging package) was aggregators: favorites, the effect of, and what happens when you don’t have an rss feed. At one end of the table, NetNewsWire, Radio, an aggregator feeding into outlook, one in .net, and amphetadesk (I think) were represented.

I got some interesting looks from asserting that the rss/syndication system is going to end up redoing usenet, badly, as all peer to peer systems seem to end up doing.

Fundamentally, weblogs as rss and many other bulk feeds of data are very similar to usenet. There’s not much focus on formatting, it’s just data. Many feeds, many groups. A little crossposting, a little referrer spam. A link, a title, some description. Recent news is at the top of the spool, anything older than the last scan is quickly moved to archive status.

Usenet and mailing lists have been uneasily merged for 15 years or more. It’s crying out for an interface that allows you to scan lots of news quickly. Witness the rise of rss aggregators that are very similar to email clients, which have in turn been coevolving with news readers since the beginning. And news readers, in my experience, have the best interface for scanning huge numbers of posts in a short time.

Now there’s this: INN + blagg + plugin = News Aggregation via NNTP

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Eastside Blogger Dinner

three images of the blogger dinner

What can I say other than there was wifi, many laptops, more cameras, and a killer mirror project shot. Well worth the trip to the other side of the pond. Links to follow…

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Dear Raiders:

I’d love to hear some variation of this rant coming from a mayors office or city council chambers:

Look, we built you a damn stadium, gave you millions in tax breaks, and now your fans trash the place. They’re worse than football hooligans. Get out. We’re better off without you. Go back to LA.

Could you imagine a city kicking a sports team out?

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RIAA again

There’s at least one music exec with a clue:

“It’s horrible. Anything we can do that’s effective will seriously annoy our customers,” said one industry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I think we might need to stop fighting fire with fire and figure out something new to do, or we will end up with lots of ex-customers who swap files just out of spite.”

from here

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Before and After

Early Morning

Morning sky, oversaturated on my camera that chronically undersaturates.  Yes, that's what it looked like.

Mid Morning

Neutral grey sky

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Making Light


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blog rolls

how many blogs could a blogroll roll
if a blogroll could roll blogs —
from here


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Cat Pictures

What this world needs is more weblogs with cat pictures.
Dougal, just after a minor fight

Jasper in the cat tree after a minor fight

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Recent Reading:
The Great Gatsby, Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars, Manifold Time, Hyperion, the Fall of Hyperion, Enders Game

In Progress:

Next In Line:
Slightly Smaller Bunch o’ SF

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