weblogsky: industrial strength weblog and more

Powered by Blogger Pro
RSS feed  Click for geourl
Listed on BlogShares
Technorati Profile

email delivery

Read Weblogsky via email:


EFF-Austin Cyberdawg Social, November 2003.

Austin: Wireless Future, ongoing project / meetings; conference (March 12-16)

SXSW Interactive, Austin (March 12-16)


Polycot helps organizations determine how to build and use effective web technologies to solve problems, build loyalty, share knowledge, and organize projects. For more information, email consult at weblogsky.com, or check out the Polycot Consulting web site.


CEO, Polycot Consulting. Polycot is a network services company: network consulting, installation and administration, as well as web solutions (architecture and development).

Member of the blog team at Another World (worldchanging.com)

Co-Founder of the Austin Wireless City Project

Manager of the Wireless Future Project for IC² Institute

Associated with Rheingold and Associates, Online Social Networking

Moderator and co-administrator at the Dean Issues Forum

Writer of various interviews, reviews, essays, and articles.

President of EFF-Austin

Member, Board of Directors, Austin Freenet

Local advisor for South by Southwest Interactive

Steering Committee Member and Webmaster, Austin Clean Energy Initiative

Member of the blog team for Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs weblog.

Cohost of The WELL's Inkwell.vue, discussions and interviews.

Webmaestro for Viridian Design

Co-instigator of Austin Bloggers

Member of Mindjack's Board of Advisors.

links worth traveling

weblogsky archives

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003

December 2002

November 2002

October 2002

September 2002

August 2002

July 2002

June 2002

May 2002

April 2002

March 2002

February 2002

January 2002

December 2001

November 2001

October 2001

September 2001

August 2001

July 2001

June 2001

May 2001

April 2001

Email jonl at weblogsky.com


Sunday, June 30, 2002
O'Reilly Network: The Strange Case of the Disappearing Open Source Vendors [Jun. 28, 2002]

Tim O'Reilly discusses the political as well as practical significance of Open Source software as a preface to the upcoming Open Source Convention. [Link]
The willingness to make scurrilous accusations ("open source might facilitate efforts to disrupt or sabotage electronic commerce, air-traffic control or even sensitive surveillance systems") is symptomatic of the disregard for the truth afflicting corporate America these days. The willingness to harness misinformation as a tool of corporate strategy springs from the same "me first at all costs" mentality that led us to the Enron debacle. Just as Enron thought it was appropriate business practice to manipulate the California energy markets to raise its profits, Microsoft seeks to influence public policy to raise the costs of software and prohibit government support for a low-cost alternative.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/30/2002 10:52:07 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The Museum Of Jurassic Technology

Tour the museum, send money, etc. Not to be confused with Jurassic Park! Thanks to the Actlab! [Link]
Like a coat of two colors, the Museum serves dual functions. On the one hand the Museum provides the academic community with a specialized repository of relics and artifacts from the Lower Jurassic, with an emphasis on those that demonstrate unusual or curious technological qualities. On the other hand the Museum serves the general public by providing the visitor a hands-on experience of "life in the Jurassic"....
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/30/2002 06:53:52 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

CNNSI.com from CNN and Sports Illustrated

It's Brazil! (Look for Ronaldo on a Wheaties box near you!) [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/30/2002 06:15:51 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Saturday, June 29, 2002
Lou Dobbs on corporate reform rhetoric.

CNN's Lou Dobbs has been absolutely giddy with fresh air lately. In this transcript of Moneyline, he absolutely says it like it is: where the meltdowns at Enron, WorldCom, Xerox and potentially others are concerned, where corporate MALPRACTICE is concerned, politicians on both sides of the blurry partisan line have slimy muck on their hands... and backpedaling rhetoric isn't enough to save the American financial market. (Thanks, Jonathan!) [Link]
Well, Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco, Rite Aid, Qwest, Adelphia, ImClone Systems, now WorldCom -- the Democrats have discovered a campaign issue, corporate abuse. The Senate majority leader says the issue will play in every state this November. Tom Daschle today charged that the Republicans -- quote -- "dismantled the regulatory environment we had and, in large measure, created the sense of laissez faire," end quote.

Even Al Gore wants to play, saying at a fund raiser here in Manhattan this week that the president's tax policies resemble the outbreak of accounting fraud.

I don't want to be a spoilsport here, but did either Mr. Gore or Senator Daschle notice that these multibillion dollar corporate restatements go back to 1997? That the telecommunications act was 1996?

And now, of course, President Bush wants to put them in jail and the treasury secretary wants to hang them high. George Bush and Paul O'Neill talking about corporate criminals, not the Democrats. The president is siccing the Justice Department on the bad guys and the SEC is investigating just about every major company in the country.

Again, I don't want to be a spoilsport here, but does the Bush administration forget that it's been supporting Senator Phil Gramm's efforts to stop accounting and corporate reform on Capitol Hill for months now?

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/29/2002 07:54:21 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Friday, June 28, 2002
The Greatest

The eclectic/eccentric publisher Taschen is producing a book on Muhammad Ali with photos by Helmut Newton and artwork by Jeff Koons. Endorsed by Ali, the book will literally be huge: 20 by 20 inches (50 cm x 50 cm) and 600 pages, with 2,000 photos of the champ and his own writings as well as contributions from others and a complete chronology of his career. Unfortunately most of us won't be able to afford it, or LIFT it, but it'll be ... the greatest! [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/28/2002 07:10:57 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

All part of the bubble!

There's nothing new about about Tulip Mania, even when the tulips are on steroids, according to historians, and as a boom cycle accelerates, everybody hops on the train. So when you're wagging your finger at at Enron and Worldcom, wag wider. Culprints are countless. (Thanks, Dennis!) [Link]
"I think it is fair to say that there was nobody in the business community who is not implicated in this in some way," said Jeffrey Garten, dean of Yale University's School of Management. "Not the executives who were under the excruciating pressure of having to meet quarterly earnings targets, no matter what. Not the lawyers and the accountants and bankers who were forced to compete furiously to get and keep clients. Not the regulators who became so intimidated by all exuberance in the air. Certainly not the underwriters or the analysts or the credit ratings agencies or you in the press.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/28/2002 04:11:55 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The Gator got your granny...

A group of web publishers are suing Gator for popping its green, scaly ads up in front of their web sites, creating the impression that they've generated and approved the ads. Now if somebody'll just file a class action suit to eliminate all popups forever! (This story's in the New York Times, which requires registration...) [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/28/2002 03:41:18 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Thursday, June 27, 2002
Cory Doctorow's latest on NPR

Cory comments on the new linking policy NPR unveiled. NPR gives conditional permission to link. The fallacy here is the contention that you need somebody's permission to link to their web site. Unfortunately, if the clueless keep repeating this mantra, others may begin to believe....[Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/27/2002 05:09:37 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Worldcom (2)

World markets were shaken by the Worldcom news.[Link]
The markets took the WorldCom announcement every bit as badly as economists had feared. Trading screens became a sea of red as share prices collapsed. When the London market opened, for example, every share included in the FTSE 100 index was marked down. Perhaps even more significant was the reaction of the currency markets. The dollar promptly sank to new lows, rapidly approaching parity with the euro and causing alarm in Japan as the yen soared against the greenback.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/27/2002 05:31:40 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Worldcom (1)

What happened with WorldCom? The company lied about its profits, is what ... "chief financial officer Scott Sullivan improperly booked expenses as investment in order to make the company look much healthier than it actually was. " It appears that dotcommunism was just one symptom of bad practices that were more widespread... bilking consumers, lying about finances, working pyramid or ponzi schemes on a grand scale. But what happens now? If the American economy is truly a house of cards, its collapse will be felt everywhere. Meanwhile the U.S. is operating at a deficit again (was the U.S. Treasury into funny numbers, too?), and we're spending billions of dollars on an open-ended war against some terrorists. Doesn't look good... better learn to grow cabbage and eat squirrel. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/27/2002 05:30:38 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Lord Buckley

The penultimate practitioner of word jazzification, mad genius Lord Buckley, is biographied in Oliver Trager's Dig Infinity! The Life and Art of Lord Buckley, just released and profiled in this Salon article. Lord Buckley was the James Joyce of standup performance, and a seminal influence on America's exploding midcentury culture (he died in 1960), dang near forgotten by now (we should all send a thank-you note to Trager for remembering). Thanks, Cory! [Link]
In the mid-'50s, as Beat culture and Buckley's metamorphosis took hold simultaneously, he became as well known to a certain sector of the population for his abundant eccentricities as for his rhapsodic and transcendent storytelling. Jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks said of Buckley, "He was probably the hippest guy I ever met." But Dizzy Gillespie put his finger on the infectious musicality of Buckley's delivery. "What I liked about him was the way he could recite. He'd say, 'They get on magnabuttasitemin youmakcattabare wa! ...' He was doing rap and scat before anybody." And musician Buddy Jones nailed it this way: "Comedian is not the word to describe him. He didn't come out and use words and have these routines like other comedians at the time. He would play to the house and be able to wing it. He improvised as jazz musicians did."

As Kesey pointed out to Trager, Buckley's masterly transposing of classic stories into hipster argot turned out to have a surprisingly broad influence and underground staying power. Bob Dylan called him "The fuel to my success," and Frank Sinatra crowned him "the most sensational comic of our time." For those who catch the Buckley virus, their enthusiasm often mutates into a desire to proselytize. "When you get bit by the bug," Trager explains, "you want to share it with whoever will listen. Aside from the breadth of his work, the absolute uniqueness of it, there's a message there that is really thousands of years old, basic Golden Rule stuff -- that we should laugh with one another, that we should help one another. A lot of his work also explored the darker elements of the human condition -- [monologues such as] the 'Bad Rapping of the Marquis de Sade,' or 'Murder' -- but they did it with a kind of goodwill that didn't make evil seem benign, but embraced it in a way that didn't deny it existed either. He was dealing with the yin-yang aspects of human character."

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/27/2002 05:28:47 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Tuesday, June 25, 2002
{coudal partners inc}

The Museum of Online Museums is a great concept: links to online museums, and to bricks 'n mortar museum sites. It's got everything from the Smithsonian to the Museum of Air Sickness Bags! Currently featured: the Museum of Firecracker Pack Labels. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/25/2002 09:17:11 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The Biography Channel on acid ...

The Biography Project features bios of subcultural whatzits like Tim Leary, Bettie Page, Iceberg Slim, and Olaf Stapledon. The BP was originally part of the FringeWare, Inc. web site, and was created by FringeWare bookmeister Patrick Deese, along with his compadre Bonesy Jones. One of my favorites is Pancho Villa:
During fiestas the mustachioed legend would dance all night with female camp followers, although he didn't drink. When Emiliano Zapata insisted Villa join him in a toast when their two armies met outside Mexico City in December 1914, Villa gagged on a swig of brandy. He was an avid swimmer and would run to stay in shape. According to one of Villa's last surviving widows, he officially married 26 times.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/25/2002 06:41:00 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Arnold Kling figures it out: blogging's not a fad!

Interesting analysis of weblogs gets you where you wanna go: blogs as personalized filters for information, tools for communication... and then there's the question of MONEY... were we looking for an economic model?? (Thanks to hlr!) [Link]
In the simple circular model that I sketched, the blogging system as a whole has value. However, no individual blog is the source of that value. I believe that this collective nature of the benefit of the blogging system is what makes it particularly difficult for an individualized economic model to be successful. Thus, I believe that neither the donation model nor the advertising model will prove to be viable (there may be some transitory exceptions).
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/25/2002 05:14:31 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Be creative -- or die!

Today's great cities are built on creative scenes that have many dimensions, according to Richard Florida. My favorite cities, San Francisco and Austin, are the top of his list. [Link]
I'm talking about is the fact that it isn't just knowledge workers, it isn't just scientists and engineers, it isn't just technology people. It's that creativity is multidimensional. Certainly there are scientists and engineers and professional-technical people, but there are people in other fields and other walks of life who use their creativity -- in particular, artists, entertainers, musicians and cultural producers.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/25/2002 04:22:18 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Monday, June 24, 2002
Dvorak vs Macadelia

John Dvorak is irritating. In defensive mode, he attacked the latest Mac ad campaign, calling it "Desperation." But who's desperate? Dvorak's column is, after all, broken by a monstrous green Microsoft ad (discovered after the fact that the ad rotates, so who knows what you'll see if you go there?). The he refers to "spike-haired Mike Frauenfelder (if that is, indeed, his real name)", meaning Mark Frauenfelder, so hey, Mike is NOT his real name. But he can write, and DO RESEARCH, so he's got one up on Dvorak. Okay, I'm irritated... this is synapse-deficient journalism. It irritated me, and I'm a PC user. Hopefully other PC users who still read PC Magazine will do the boycott thing until they come to their senses, fire Dvorak, and HIRE MARK to write opinion pieces... [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/24/2002 06:32:19 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~


Jakob Nielsen says that web usability is steadily improving. [Link]
Assuming linear growth, adding 4% every 1.5 years means that we'll add 40% over 15 years. Thus, by 2017, websites will follow 90% of the usability guidelines. A 90% compliance rate is the closest we can get to perfection, since there will always be special circumstances that make it acceptable for any individual site to deviate from a few of the established usability guidelines.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/24/2002 01:14:34 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Your PC's enemy within - Tech News - CNET.com

Do we need new laws to protect PC users from adware and spyware? [Link]
Technologies that "piggyback" on free software available on the Net, often unbeknownst to those who download it, are being used with rising frequency by marketers seeking to pinpoint potential customers. But many of those same programs can be used to spy on an individual's every move and even take over a PC's hard drive--in theory, if not in practice.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/24/2002 06:08:45 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Sunday, June 23, 2002
TIME.com: The Bible and the Apocalypse

Time Magazine confirms that the world is still ending. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/23/2002 06:47:02 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The Internet interprets the Netherlands as damage...

A judge in the Netherlands has ruled that Indymedia NL must remove links to mirrors of the Radikal web site, specifically to articles deemed illegal by the court. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/23/2002 05:46:10 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Saturday, June 22, 2002
Bruce Sterling on 21st Century Warfare

Telepolis features a fresh interview with Bruce Sterling, by Krystian Woznicki. Bruce's blend of sci-fi and journalistic perspectives, his travels and the kinds of people he meets and studies, equips him better than anybody I know to comment on the state of the world. [Link]
Well, humans are very aggressive and scrappy, and go to war at the drop of a hat. However, a standard land war is no longer going to work as it is no longer technically possible. There are no fronts, the commanding headquarters of generals can be smashed instantly and are number-one targets, supply lines can be interdicted at will, trans-border invasions by organized national armies are heavily disapproved by large coalitions of nations. War as Napoleon knew it just not possible any more. However, we're very unlikely to accept or recognize "world peace" even when we get it. Therefore, events that Queen Victoria would recognize as outrages, frontier skirmishes or minor popular rebellions will be reclassified as "war." And so will major atrocities such as biological warfare and surreptitious nuclear explosions. They used to be seen as insane or unthinkable acts of madmen. But if they take place they'll be called "war" too. And there will still be no conventional war.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/22/2002 09:43:11 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Friday, June 21, 2002
Culture Jammer's Encyclopedia

I'm not even sure how I found this site, but it's wonderful. It's a grinning deconstruction of the collective conscious/unconscious garbage pail we call culture. I expect to spend a lot of time in this particular bath... [Link]
Most of this site highlights deception, but it's not because I have a thing for liars and cheats. I think there's a brand of immunizing deception that helps us to expose and correct the lies we tell ourselves and the webs of falsehood that make up our societies. Harmless fibs can remind us that we've dropped our guard and let the Big Lies in.

Pranks and hoaxes and delusions and frauds remind us that we're easily fooled and that we aren't nearly as smart as we sometimes think we are. The trickster, by taking us down a notch, does us a valuable service. It's when we start acting clever that we summon forth the worst of humanity's evils.

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/21/2002 10:21:06 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Cory on NPR's linking policy, again.

NPR has posted more about its linking policy; Cory was standing by with his scalpel. [Link]
There is no way that one could link to a stream of a fair and impartial newscast (links to streams must be to the whole stream, from beginning to end, remember) such that it can't be distinguished from advocacy or opinion. If there were NPR stories that were indistinguishable from advocacy, this indicates that the NPR stories were not impartial to begin with.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/21/2002 09:29:01 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Thursday, June 20, 2002
The militia movement quits the scene

The mililtia movement is losing steam, according to USA Today. With the Bush administration in place, they don't have the same sense of mission as with Clinton, who riled the paramilitary types into a persistent state of readiness, especially after the Waco fiasco. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/20/2002 06:49:44 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched The Carabella Game, a fun way to learn about fair use, copyright, and privacy issues in cyberspace. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/20/2002 03:55:45 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Want something to worry about. I mean, really worry? An asteroid missed the earth by a hair, and we didn't even see it coming! [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/20/2002 03:43:52 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Wired News picked up on the flap about NPR's linking policy and contacted the NPR ombudsman, Jeffrey Dvorkin, by phone and email. He proved remarkably clueless about this whole Internet thing. Cory fries a filet of the ombudsman's POV. [Link to the Wired story]

From Cory's rant:

I think you misunderstand the nature of the news (which is disheartening, considering that you work for NPR). As reporters, your job is to present facts and opinions to the public. These form the underpinnings of public discourse. That discourse (on the web) consists of links and commentary. A debate in a public hall between "left-handed socialist diabetics" and "$SOME_OTHER_STUPID_EXAMPLE" might very well include references to NPR pieces. That same debate, on the web, will augment its references with links. How very curious that a news organization would take the official position that its material is not to be cited in public discourse.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/20/2002 08:36:45 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

A diverse group of prominent Americans have published a letter to the world stating opposition to the open-ended 'war on terror.' 9/11 was a wake-up call, all right, but did we really wake up? Or did we drift into a nightmare? (Thanks, Tiffany!)[Link]
President Bush has declared: "You're either with us or against us." Here is our answer: We refuse to allow you to speak for all the American people. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences in return for a hollow promise of safety. We say not in our name. We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name or for our welfare. We extend a hand to those around the world suffering from these policies; we will show our solidarity in word and deed.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/20/2002 07:29:29 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Smart Mobs

The right meme with the right label. For years now we've been talking about nodal politics, emergent online democratic movements, adhocracies... Howard Rheingold came up with the label smart mobs. They're already forming! [Link] (Thanks to Cory and Howard)...
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/19/2002 11:03:17 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The Madness of King George (from Wired)

George Gilder helped create the Internet boom by being right about the revolutionary impact of wired technologies, but he (like so many others) failed to realize that the success of front-line Internet companies was not inherent. Gilder's proved to be a tech visionary who whose business forecasts failed because they were products of his vision untempered by a consideration of the realities of the business world. No criticism: we were all a little crazy for a while. Thanks, Dennis![Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/19/2002 08:00:48 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Whoa, what does NPR stand for? Supposed to be National Public Radio, with Public meaning it's for everybody, right? Then where does this come from?

NPR Online's Linking Policy
Linking to or framing of any material on this site without the prior written consent of NPR is prohibited. If you would like to link to NPR from your Web site, please fill out the link permission request form.

So the public has no right to link to the NPR site?

Thanks to Glen for pointing this out. Several other weblogs have also picked it up. Be sure to let them know what you think.

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/18/2002 08:04:01 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

The World, the Flesh, and the Copyright Attorney

Coming to New York this fall: Illegal Art! Freedom of expression in the corporate age.
The laws governing "intellectual property" have grown so weighty in recent years that artists need a team of experts to sort them all out. Borrowing from another work--like jazz musicians did in the 1930s and Looney Tunes illustrators did in 1940s--will now land you in court. If the new copyright laws could be rendered retroactively, whole genres such as collage, hiphop, and Pop Art might have never have existed.
Also relevant: pay a visit to the Creative Commons!
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/18/2002 07:00:39 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Who's spreading terror?

Can you reconcile a headline that says FBI searches L.A. coast for al Qaeda crew, cache with a sentence midway through the article that says FBI spokesman Mike Kortan said, "At this point, the investigation has not been able to substantiate or otherwise support this information." ... ? Somebody is spreading terror, all right. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/18/2002 06:31:43 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Monday, June 17, 2002

From my review of 'The Fly' for TVUltra:
When the film was released, 20th Century Fox offered a reward to anyone who could prove beyond a doubt that its scientific premise was bogus. As far as we know, nobody claimed the prize, and the film was a big hit.
Now somebody in Australia is about ready to claim the prize... [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/17/2002 08:31:00 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Are you making an online journal, or is it a weblog? The semantics of posting to the world... [Link]
A person who keeps a diary or journal online is logging their life, not the web, no matter how they get their words out. So the next time someone uses "blog" as a synonym for "web diary," do both bloggers and diarists a favor and straighten them out.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/17/2002 06:12:09 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Jon Udell at oreillynet.com: a rich piece on ways of perceiving and understanding social networks. [Link]
New forms of social software are one of the most hopeful green shoots erupting from a still-bleak technology landscape. "The excitement is coming back," wrote EDventure's Kevin Werbach. "Web services, Weblogs, and WiFi are the new WWW." Those who attended the Emerging Technologies Conference, and wirelessly blogged sessions on all three topics, would surely agree.

Since we don't want the new WWW to be another tulip craze, though, we owe it to ourselves to seek out diverse points of view.

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/15/2002 06:15:43 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Friday, June 14, 2002

Tim Berners-Lee on the semantic web, a refinement that emphasizes data rather than documents. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/14/2002 05:18:39 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Errol Morris is fast, cheap, and out of control! [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/12/2002 08:24:58 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Governments and Open Source

Governments are doing the math and finding that open source solutions are more practical, economically, than proprietary software. As a result, they're resisting Microsoft's attempts to work its way into their systems in a big way. It's not just the fact that OSS is cheaper and lighter: there's also the advantage that they can develop and support solutions without depending on the U.S. (ergo U.S.-centric) software industry. However Microsoft is working hard to sustain its marketability worldwide, and open source solutions are not quite as easy to load and use as proprietary technology for the Windows environment. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/12/2002 02:32:51 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Tuesday, June 11, 2002
The Blog Wars?

The New York Times features a long piece about the supposed rift among bloggers, specifically between post 9/11 "war bloggers" and others, and between bloggers at either end of the left~right political spectrum. (You have to register with the NY Times to read this, but it's still free!) [Link]
The war bloggers and veteran bloggers have largely ignored each other, rarely reading or linking to one another's sites. What brought some factional tensions to the surface was a plan, hatched by several war bloggers, to compile the best Web writings about the aftermath of the terrorist attacks into a book to benefit charity. In mid-April two bloggers, Eric Olsen and Ted Frank, took charge of the project, setting up a Weblog (blogbook.blogspot.com) and asking people to nominate their "favorite 9/11-related posts from ANY blogger." Mr. Reynolds agreed to make the final selections for the book, which is not yet titled.

The project was in part a reaction to the release of "September 11 and the U.S. War: Beyond the Curtain of Smoke," a book of left-leaning essays about the attacks. On the project site, Mr. Olsen called on fellow bloggers to crush "Western-civilization-hating, lefty-fascist essayists."

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/11/2002 04:48:31 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Check out the demographic profiles associated with your neighborhood. My neighborhood's a bohemian mix with the single city blues... (Thanks to Jonathan for the pointer.) [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/9/2002 02:35:51 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Doug Lenat's Cyc project is probably the most ambitious of efforts to create an "artificial intelligence," whatever that might mean. In this case, it's a machine (actually software) with common sense... and now it's open source. [Link]
Already its knowledge appears wide-ranging. Ask Cyc whether al-Qaida might possess anthrax, and it will tell you it presumes you are not referring to the heavy-metal band Anthrax.
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/9/2002 02:28:22 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

If you were awake in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep, would you be fixing html? Or would you find better things to do?
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/9/2002 02:07:23 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Yow! Not sure I have words for this one. Virtual Om... a mind-manifesting flash-intensive site by Larry Carlson. Thanks to Michael Guess for the pointer! Ommmmmm........ posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/5/2002 06:29:44 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Enlightening interview with Jim Cramer, co-founder of The Street, who makes good points about the dotcom bubble, and comes across as a real human being, much sadder and somewhat wiser after a really crappy couple of years following the dotcom debubblization. (Thanks to Owen for the pointer. [Link]
What I didn't count on was a lot of people don't even know what debt is. They don't even know that you have to look at the balance sheet. They kind of melded this bizarre belief in stocks with a philosophy called "buy and hold," so they could buy and hold really bad stocks, and ride them to zero.

I mistakenly thought that you could teach anybody, or that people knew. I just did not know how little people understood about a balance sheet. I used to say if you can do your checkbook, you can understand a balance sheet. But maybe you can't.

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/5/2002 05:18:27 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/4/2002 06:49:33 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Adam Powell and I had a discussion that's popped up on the Microsoft web site, of all places! [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/4/2002 05:02:31 PM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Mozilla 1.0 is finally near release. Release candidate 3 is the final release before the official launch (launch party set June 12 in San Francisco). [Link] Also check out Paul Boutin's recent piece in Wired News if you wonder why you might want to choose Mozilla over IE. Boutin quotes Mitchell Baker of the Mozilla project:
"I see the browser as the interface between human beings and the Web itself. The setting we're moving towards today is one where all the functionality of the Web can be seen and manipulated by humans through only one mechanism, and that's Internet Explorer.

"The determination of how data is presented, how it's manipulated and what happens to it is determined by the business plan of whoever controls that one way. The goal of the Mozilla project is to have enough standards-compliant browsers in the world to keep content on the Web open."

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/4/2002 04:04:41 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Stumbled onto a Jon Lebkowsky archive! Pieces I wrote for the Austin Chronicle are linked to the Weekly Wire author archives. Try other searches (e.g. Bruce Sterling. However if you try to link to the issue, author, or column indexes, you hit this page. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/4/2002 03:55:48 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Monday, June 03, 2002

Dan Gillmor calls for a national broadband policy, and more. Read this op-ed piece more than once, it's a call for technology advocates to articulate a position and lobby hard inside and outside the beltway. [Link]
A national policy on broadband would honor the First Amendment. It would tell industry that the builders of the pipes can't own or control the content. And if the potential builders refused to compete under those conditions, something I don't take for granted, then a sane nation would build the connections itself.

That's why I still think the best approach is a national program to lay fiber to every home and business, an analogue to the Interstate highway system the nation built after World War II. The Interstates wouldn't have happened without the federal taxpayers.

Governments maintain the roads, and control them. We should remain responsible as a community for keeping the communications fiber up to grade. But the government role should end there. Let industry light up the fiber in a seriously competitive environment.

posted by jon lebkowsky on 6/3/2002 07:19:40 AM | ~permalink~ | ~post a comment~

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.

Hibiscus by Jon L.


Interview with David Weinberger for SXSW Interactive Conference's Tech Report

Discussion with Bruce Sterling at The WELL, January 3 - 17, 2003.

Jon L. interview for South by Southwest Interactive conference's Tech Report.

Jon L. interviewed by Adam Powell (5/13/2002)

jonl interviewed by R. U. Sirius (A version of this interview appeared in The Austin Chronicle)

Conversation with Bruce Sterling at the WELL's Inkwell.vue Forum

Interview with R.U. Sirius at CTHEORY

interview conducted by Yoshihiro Kaneda in conjunction with the publication in Japan, in the book CyberRevolution, the essay "Inforeal."

interview with Allucquere Rosanne Stone.

No Stone Untenured: May '98 Interview with Sandy Stone

Bruce Sterling interview for bOING bOING #9

The Tedium is the Message, Assholes: Interview (for AltX) with R.U. Sirius and St. Jude

Don't Believe the Hype (Austin Digerati Roundtable published January 28)

Why We Listen to What They Say: Interview with Doug Rushkoff

Interviews with
Doug Block and Michael Wolff

Projecting the 21st Century: An Interview with Gary Chapman

Information Junkie, an interview with Reva Basch (Researching Online for Dummies)

Webb on the Web

Wired to Virtual Reality: Interview with Howard Rheingold

Interview with Carla Sinclair, author of Signal to Noise

Making Movies on Cyber Location: an interview with director Doug Block (Austin Chronicle, February 1998)

Untangling the Web: interview with Gene Crick of MAIN and Sue Beckwith of Austin Freenet


Review of Paulina Borsook's Cyberselfish, in Whole Earth Magazine.

review in HotWired of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.

Cyber Top Ten for 1997 (Austin Chronicle, December 1997)


2001 Blues
in Rewired

What Happened to the Cyber Revolution?
in Signum

A Few Points about Online Activism in the March '99 issue of the UK journal Cybersociology

ZapSpace, published as A Fistful of DOS in the Australian magazine 21C

The Cyborganic Path from the April '97 issue of CMC Magazine

Essay: Are We a Nation? We Are Devo in The Ethical Spectacle.

Chaos Politics!

Fiction that Bleeds Truth!


Little Nemo in Slumberland (bOING bOING, February 1998)

Technopolitics, a 1997 essay on cyberactivism originally appearing in the Australian magazine 21C.

Your 15 Minutes Are Up, Mr. Gates!

1998 Top Nine List from the Austin Chronicle!

Dungeons and Draggin's: a look at the Ultima Online phenomenon

"We Do Cool Things": a profile of Austin's George Sanger, aka The Fatman, and Team Fat

The Opera Ain't Over 'til the Cyber Lady Sings: Honoria in Ciberspazio (Austin Chronicle, November 1997)

Shout Spamalam! The Austin Spam Suit

Election Notes 2000

Who Are You? Who Owns You? A consideration of Amazon's privacy policy.

Nodal Politics

Amicus Brief filed with Supreme Court regarding the "Communications Decency Act"

11.25.96 Freewheelin' in Austin

1.7.97 Cyberdawgs and CyberRights: EFF-Austin

2.25.97 VR in 3Space: Brian Park

1.28.97 Going Native in Cyberspace: Bob Anderson

3.25.97 A Parisian Spring in Austin: Joseph Rowe and Catherine Braslavsky

4.22.97 On a Rock and Roll Firetruck: Shawn Phillips

Search the web Search weblogsky.com