Reality distortion field

I have a question to the folks in the room at the PDC Blogger BOF session: I’m as .NET platform centric as the next guy, but in what universe are Das Blog and .Text the “dominant engines” for blogging? Perhaps there’s some context missing, but I have the funny feeling that the guys in the room have forgotten that there were people blogging before the .NET framework was even released. As Chris Pirillo says, to paraphrase, we need a third blogging and syndication standard like we need another hole in the head.

Gripes aside, I would like to see a reasonable estimate of how many blogs are on Das Blog and .Text, but I’m not sure how that can be done since they, like Movable Type or GreyMatter (or Manila) hosted sites, don’t sit on central servers. Maybe Phil Wolff’s BlogCount has some insight about how to do this?

Bush to USS Lincoln: “I tell you one time, you’re to blame”

Interesting little story: In his press conference today ,President Bush now disclaimed responsibility for the “Mission Accomplished” banner that greeted him when he landed on the USS Lincoln. He says now that it was the sailors on the Lincoln who put out that banner. But the New York Times, following the landing in May, said that it was Bush’s media coordinator Scott Sforza (paid link; copy of the article for free here) who did the deed.

Who’s telling the truth? Well, according to Bush’s own staff after his press conference, it isn’t the Commander in Chief. According to the article, “Lincoln’s crew asked the White House to have the sign made. The White House asked a private vendor to produce the sign, and the crew put it up, said the spokeswoman. She said she did not know who paid for the sign.” As Kos points out, regardless of who paid for the sign, the White House thought it was a good enough idea to act as a middleman with the private vendor who produced it.

More thoughts at Oliver Willis, Andrew Bayer, and the Clark campaign.

DMCA exemptions posted: wins for accessibility, libraries

The US Copyright Office has posted four classes of exemptions to the DMCA on its official website. The classes include:

  1. Compilations of lists of Internet sites blocked by filtering software (not including those blocked by systems that “operate exclusively to protect against damage to a computer or computer network” or “prevent receipt of email” (examples?);
  2. Computer programs secured by dongles where the dongle has malfunctioned or is obsolete (examples?)
  3. Computer programs and video games distributed in “obsolete formats” that require access to the original media to operate (e.g. copy protected games or other software that require access to the original disk)
  4. E-books, where all e-book editions of the work prevent having the book read aloud and prevent screen readers from reading the book aloud (Sklyarov, anyone?)

These exemptions appear to supersede the previous exemptions, which may be bad news because the new exemptions open some new ground while rolling back others. In particular the first exemption is more narrowly defined than the original version and seems to un-exempt email blacklists.

Additional discussion and anticipation of the ruling: Technorati. keeps rollin’ along hit another new high water mark last Thursday. The big peak we hit back in August has raised the bar for new high water marks, so the graph looks a little funky. From here there are two possible outcomes: stable growth resulting in infrequent high water marks that continue the apparent trend started in late August, or a continuation of the pattern to date of big jumps in the high water line. It all depends on three factors: how many people start new blogs; how frequently they update; and how frequently they abandon blogging.

exponential growth y=185406ln(x)-2E06

The high water data is an indicator, but I think work being done at BlogCount is more likely to answer some of the key questions. Data, as always, available here under a Creative Commons license.

View from a fogged window

The rain started a day early, dashing
hopes of keeping ahead of the falling
leaves. While the moving ahead of clocks
should bring more sleep it brings no more
daylight; the days are shrinking fast.


Urgh. I should know better than to try poetry, even free verse, out in public after a long hiatus…

Apropos of nothing, I’m starting to think seriously about taking up some woodworking projects for our home. Driven partly by our increasing need for storage, partly by the low attractiveness/cost ratio of prebuilt shelves, and partly—I confess it!—by articles about built-in bookshelves in This Old House magazine and on their website, I’m now fighting visions of magnificent wood Craftsman built-in bookcases in our third bedroom cum library.

This is of course compromised by the fact that I’m totally inexperienced in woodworking, and have no idea of what sort of design would be in keeping with the Craftsman bungalow architecture of that part of the house.

Research, here I come…