…to everyone whose RSS feed I destroyed this morning. It seems the problem was an extra quotation mark inside an <a href> tag.

I generally make changes to my tools to scratch an itch, and I’m feeling two itches now:

  1. Some way to ensure the validity of my anchor tags before I post them (whether it’s having the tool build the tag for you, or running a validator before posting, or something)
  2. A list of recently posted items with buttons for “Edit” and “Delete.” It’s very hard, almost impossible, to edit a news item with a mangled anchor tag using Manila—maybe I can come up with something that works from Manila Envelope.

Amateurs and professionals

Dave and Babble talk about the difference between being an amateur and a professional. Here’s one difference: mentioning amateurs in your weblog gets you a hell of a lot more hits from Google than mentioning professionals, but it’s rarely in the context you meant it the first time.

Oh, and I still feel the same way about music that I did then (Shaw’s “Choral music, like sex, is far too important to be left solely to professionals”), but I feel that way now about journalism and software development too.

Other North End recommendations

New York Times: In Boston. Julie Flaherty reports about the state of Boston, including dining out.

I agree about the Daily Catch (and note that it’s possible to find a meal for two for much less than $50, especially if you’re not shy about trying unusual calamari dishes—they range from the normal fried squid to squid meatballs!). It’s long been one of my favorite restaurants. It’s got about eight tables around an open kitchen, where olive oil and garlic is in splattery abundance. House wine is served in plastic cups and a really excellent pasta con seppie nero (black squid ink) is served in a hot sauté pan. Don’t go if you don’t like smelling like your dinner; it took a week for the garlic odor to come out of the coat I was wearing the first time I went.

There are plenty of other excellent options, though, like Taranta (where we talked to a few of the wait staff about living in Campania), Mamma Maria (which had some really outstanding pappardelle with rabbit), Limoncello (which is next door to us and served so much good food and limoncello that I don’t know what to write about), the newly opened Carmen (a wine bar next to Limoncello that has $3-$4 wine plates, an enormous wine list, and outstanding pastas), Trattoria à Scalinatella (run by the owner of the Wine Bottega), Artu, Antico Forno, Assaggio,Terramia… and then all the pizza and sub joints…

Man, I’m going to miss living in this neighborhood.


A justification for my behavior

New York Times: Chug, Don’t Sip. Relax, they’re talking about tea. Suddenly my wife’s habit of returning from weekend trips to London with enormous Harrod’s shopping bags full of loose tea seems sensible:

Those who drank the most tea — about 19 cups a week — were the least likely to die in the three to four years after [a heart] attack; they had a 44 percent lower death rate than nondrinkers.

Now if there were only advice on how to keep one’s teeth from browning under that regimen…


Fortuyn killed; Curry blogs corrections

AP (via NYT): “Right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, whose anti-immigration party stunned the public with its strong showing in local elections last March, was shot six times and killed Monday as he left a radio interview.”

Adam Curry (the former veejay turned expat techie): “To reiterate: Pim Fortuyn never called for a ‘Ban on immigration’ or ‘Removal of Muslims.’ Unfortunately the memes were set, and the largest news organizations in the world are copying incorrect information and propagating it shamelessly. These organizations used to employ fact checkers. If they still do, then they should all be fired immediately.”

This is why newsblogging is important—it makes it possible for us to get the voice of the man on the ground in a way that would have been unthinkable in a world where only the pros disseminate the news.

Back again

I was in Newport, Rhode Island over the weekend with a crowd from Sloan. There’s an annual gala there each spring for the b-school, and it was so well done it was almost possible to forget how much the tickets cost. I almost managed not to feel bad about not blogging or checking email. But it’s nice to be back in Boston and back on line.

Hating your professors? Madnick on the stand

Slashdot: Microsoft Expert Witness Stumbles. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that was Stuart Madnick, legendary Sloan School of Management IT professor. He is an institute professor. It’s interesting how many main campus (i.e. non-Sloan MIT) people on Slashdot jumped up to disclaim any knowledge of him when his testimony went awry.

Actually, reading the direct testimony, he did point out some interesting things. Does removing “the browser” mean removing the IE user interface? the HTML renderer (which is now used by substantial portions of the Windows explorer UI?

Hating your customers, part (n + 1) : Anti Deep Linking

Wired: Site Barks About Deep Link. Jeez, what is it with these people? “No, go away!” says the Dallas Morning News. “Don’t link to our stories! We don’t want people to be able to find what we’ve written!”

I think that the New York Times through their partnership with UserLand has shown a much more enlightened mode of operating—if you want to build a reputation, make your content more visible, not less. But then, that’s why they are the Times and the others are the Dallas Morning News.

Oh, and by the way, here are some deep links to the DMN articles. The same deep links that got BarkingDog.com in trouble. Link them from your site, won’t you? Let’s push back on this one a little.

Hating your customers, part n

Slashdot: Turner CEO: “PVR Users are Thieves”. Why are users of Personal Video Recorders such as the TiVo criminals?

“Because of the ad skips…. It’s theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you’re going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn’t get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you’re actually stealing the programming.”

Anyone out there remember signing a contract with the network? Obnoxious question: did the cable industry hear from the music industry that heaping abuse on their customers was good for business?

Serious question: Does watching TV really constitute an implied contract? If so, my TV set stays off starting today.

The wheels of law grind slowly…

…but exceedingly fine. Washington Post: Judge Rejects Jailing of Material Witnesses: Ruling Imperils Tool in Sept. 11 Probe. Since September 11, Ashcroft’s Justice Department has been throwing people in jail who are not accused of any crime “to guarantee that [they] will testify before a grand jury.”

Thank goodness for those “unelected judges” who keep sticking their nose into the law and upholding niceties of American justice like “probable cause.”