Apple WWDC 2004: RSS is everywhere

Courtesy MacRumors’ coverage of the WWDC Keynote, it looks like Apple will be adding an integrated RSS aggregator and search capability to Safari in Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4). My first thought was, “Somebody buy Brent Simmons a drink.” Brent is at WWDC, and his company, Ranchero, has one big product, NetNewsWire, which is the current leading aggregator on Mac OS X.

But on second thought I’m not sure how much this will hurt Brent. It may even help him. I think the interesting scenario for Safari is less around aggregating feeds and more around ensuring that the feed doesn’t look like gobbledygook when you click the link. If Safari’s changes mean that the user experience for finding and subscribing to feeds improves for Joe User, then the whole RSS-sphere wins because it makes more people understand what RSS is about and adopt the technology. There will still be a market for power apps like NetNewsWire when people tire of reading feeds in their browser and want a more refined experience—and at that point they’ll understand the value and be able to make an informed decision about purchasing the product.

Put another way, this move by Apple broadens the potential base of RSS adopters to people like my kid sister and my mother-in-law, neither of whom would be likely to download a specialized RSS reader application voluntarily.

Sonic Youth Lollapalooza’d but not out

I think that the unexpected cancellation of the Lollapalooza tour could be the best thing to happen to music this summer. Proof? I get to see Sonic Youth at a small club in Seattle instead of at a big festival. And while their show at Bumbershoot 2002 was fantastic, the small club show should be a lot less…safe, certainly if their show on the Thousand Leaves tour that I saw at the 9:30 with Craig is any indication.

Those ungrateful journalists…

…don’t they understand that talking to the President is a privilege? What do they think they’re doing, providing a public service or something? Certainly the journalists in Ireland appear to feel entitled to ignore the White House’s pre-interview briefs and treat the president with something less than kid glove deference:

The Irish Independent learned last night that the White House told Ms Coleman that she interrupted the president unnecessarily and was disrespectful.

She also received a call from the White House in which she was admonished for her tone.

And it emerged last night that presidential staff suggested to Ms Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question on the outfit that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wore to the G8 summit.

Anyone who still believes that the White House doesn’t seek to control its presentation in the media, please raise your hand.

Oh, and “admonished for her tone”? After last week, there’s only one thing—following the administration’s own example—that one can say to that accusation… (Thanks to the Rittenhouse Review for the tip (scroll down); you can also access the audio of the aborted interview.)