Scripting News: What should TAG Heuer do?#

Scripting News: One way I keep the trolls at bay.#

I now write all my important Facebook posts with Little Facebook Editor for this reason -- the History menu. I have an easy way to get back to any of the messages I post this way. #

So for example when I asked about places to donate a car, a post that got me a lot of good advice, I can quickly get back to it by choosing it from the History menu.#

This is one of the things Facebook is not great at -- finding old posts. Now I have that problem solved. #

Now, if they had linking and styles, I'd be really happy. #

If I were a musician that competed with U2, I would be pissed that Apple just gave them $100 million and a historic distribution deal. After all, in an instant, U2 is the most distributed music of all time. More than the Beatles, Beethoven, anyone. And was it based on some kind of merit? Is Tim Cook really a judge of what's the best music? Doesn't U2 already have billions of dollars? Couldn't they find a better use for the money? #

For a company that makes products that are supposedly about personal creativity, they seem to focus on elite creativity a bit too much. I suspect in their minds, the people who run Apple, and the people who run U2, our function is to admire them, and accept our own mediocrity. This is one reason I find it so galling that the press takes it up the ass so thoroughly for Apple. I would like there to be categories of products with competition. There must be something good about Android watches. But so far the message is the sold-out one. Apple Apple Apple. It's all about Apple. Why should anyone else bother to compete? You lost before you started.#

The NBA has 30 teams. Any one of them can win the championship in any season. If there was only one team that could win, I doubt if there would be much interest in basketball. For some reason tech has always been like this. There was IBM, then Microsoft, now it's Apple. We'll do better when we can accept our technology from a wide variety of sources, including god forbid, ordinary people who just happen to have a lot of talent.#

Scripting News: I'm a Narrate Your Work guy.#

Scripting News: What do nice Internet users do?#

One thing people who don't do development don't understand is that the grind of doing something repetitively is how you figure out how it works.#

So when users ask for a new feature that's obviously needed very early in the life of a product, for example, where Radio3 is now, while I recognize there's a need to simplify and automate a repetitive process for the users, for me as a designer, the repetition, the drill of it, is how I will figure out how to address the issue.#

I can't tell you how many times I didn't resist the temptation for an easy quick fix, and then had to live with a foolish newbie decision for the whole life of the product. Two years later when people ask why it works that foolish way, after *they* have experience with the grind, I have to say it's because I moved too quickly. #

I'm now working on something I've already done a dozen times. This time, I see how to organize it. The other 12 times I was fumbling around in the dark. How long did this take? In this case -- 2 years. #

But I did wait. So now I'm fairly confident I have the right answer.#

It's an act of desperation to say someone is wrong because they're too old. I usually try to get out of the person's way at that point, or have a good laugh, and hope they get the joke. #

One thing you can't do, with any hope of success, is argue with them.#

Scripting News: Like screaming into a big barrel.#

[image] Scripting News: 9/11/2001. I was up, and blogging, in Calif, when the first plane hit the WTC. Scripting News was a focal point that day. There weren't many blogs, and the journalists in NY were off the air. My father, who worked a few blocks from Ground Zero, was missing (he walked home to Queens, and was safe). It was a day of big change, and in retrospect, huge growth. We learned a lot, our fears were newly exposed. We were living on a big house of cards, and part of the foundation, the assumption that we were safe from attack, had been knocked out. Even the United States was not safe. #

Radio3 0.52 does podcasts.#

Radio3 0.53 has a simple API.#

Scripting News: Which Markdown do you use?#

Radio3 v0.51 release notes.#

Scripting News: Thanks MacWorld!#

Scripting News: Apple Pay is the big deal.#

Joe Moreno: The Failure of Technology.#

Scripting News: Knight library challenge.#

That's former Vice-President Dick Cheney in the background. Urging us on to yet another war in Iraq. More money for his buds in the defense industry from the US Treasury. #

Little Card: Will we get fooled again?#

#

Scripting News: Another level of spam.#

Fargo blog: Fargo and OPML, Evernote, Radio3.#

Little Card: David Byrne might like the Apple Watch.#

Henrik Carlsson is joining the crusade to breathe life back into the web!#

Radio3 v0.49 works with WordPress.#

Scripting News: So I'm siding with Gruber.#

40 years ago today, President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon. Today's background image is Ford doing that. #

"Hilarity ensues" is the proper punchline to every Internet story.#

The perfect comment. #

There's been a problem using Fargo with Dropbox for the last few days.#

Everything would seem okay until I had to reload Fargo (which doesn't happen often). Then I'd see an old version of the file. When I looked in the Fargo app folder in Dropbox, I'd see a huge number of conflicted copies. One of those copies contained the latest version. A bit of poking around, and renaming of files, and I was back in business. Until the next reload.#

Users started reporting the problem yesterday. I can't imagine what they must have thought. It's pretty distressing when the filesystem doesn't behave like a filesystem.#

I reported it this afternoon on the Dropbox developer bulletin board, and Greg got back to me right away. They're always very responsive when there are problems. It appears as if it was the same problem other apps that use the API were reporting. When they fixed the problem for the other developers, it seems to have fixed it for Fargo. That's why I'm writing this post now. To see if it's behaving rationally once again. Looks good. The most recent version of this file is the one without "Conflicted Copy" in its name. Whew. #

It really is the kind of problem that makes your gut hurt. You want to not have to think about your filesystem, it's one of those things that should "just work."#

Tomorrow 2000 reporters and bloggers will visit Apple in Cupertino, watch a stage performance with Apple's top execs, and write in gushing terms, the exact same story, every one of them, exactly as dictated by Apple Computer, Inc.#

Meanwhile, there's been a rebellion in Markdown-land, a real story, not a press release rewrite, but there has been, as far as I can tell, not one story by any tech reporter. Confirming the belief that they only write stories that are sanctioned by big companies. Or news about their stock prices. Or rumblings from competitors about eating their lunch.#

It's not as if there aren't some famous companies involved in this would-be takeover. But I'm not a reporter, and I'm not going to try to do their jobs. Suffice it to say, if you do a teeny bit of digging (hint: read my blog and follow the links) you'll find out who they are (GitHub and Stack Exchange) and you'll find one side of the controversy very thoroughly explored, with pointers included (as is fair) to the other side.#

I know reporters don't like it when non-reporters are critical of them. But this is the normal business of tech news. It just comes to an incredibly lunatic head when Apple has a press conference. They forget entirely who they are and what their jobs are. It's a good time for The Rest Of Us (thanks Steve) to use our critical judgement to decide whether we need real tech reporting or if this ersatz kind is sufficient. #

Philosophically, these rituals, esp when they're about Apple, are echoes of a great event that took place in 1984. There wasn't any news at that event either. But at least we had a great showman putting on the show of his life. It was theater of the first order. When the Mac came out of the bag, it was truly fantastic, even though I personally had already been playing with (couldn't really say "using") a Mac for several months at the time. He was Carl Sagan and PT Barnum wrapped up in one very smug arrogant package. And he did it so well. #

Recent Radio3 tweets.#

Radio3 v0.48. In this release, as an experiment, we send full links to Twitter, instead of shortened ones. Seems to work just fine. #

Best. Tweet. Ever: "Nice people are assholes."#

Since everyone is telling Twitter what to do these days, I thought I'd offer a few ideas. They fall into two categories. Things you can do for power users. And things they should do to make it work better for the masses. The needs are very different. Trying to make one user interface work for all of them is making Twitter less workable for both. #

1. There are lots of quick fixes that could be done for power users. For example, unfollow someone for one day. This takes care of people you want to stay in touch with but who are liveblogging some conference you're not interested in. That one feature would earn you a year of love from power users. BTW, the mute command was very welcome. I decided you were listening, at least a little, based on that alone.#

2. Buy Flipboard, or quickly get a Flipb0ard-like product ready. That's what you should be offering newbies. Give them an easy and obvious way to "graduate" into the boiler room, the algorithm-less timeline the power users use (and say it's w/o algorithms, clearly and unambiguously). #

3. Evolve the two user experiences to fit the different needs of both. You need the power users to create content for the newbies. It pays to make an investment in their happiness and productivity. We're working for you for free, I bet that's where a lot of your P/E ratio comes from, btw. #

Radio3 v0.47 expands the text box if there's more than 140.#

Radio3 v0.46 invests in robustness. Bugs shake. Techie stuff.#

Little Facebook Editor 0.43 has a glossary.#

Scripting News: I write apps in JavaScript that run in the browser.#

Scripting News: Email to Gruber.#

Little Card: Blooper #1 in a multi-bloop Presidency.#

Scripting News: RSS ties all my stuff together.#

Scripting News: Why I love programming.#

Little Card: This is an Uber car.#

Today's background image was taken by Eve Winer, my mother, at the NY Botanical Garden on Monday. Striking picture! #

Little Card: The basic idea of Radio3.#

Startup message on the Radio3 mail list.#

Scripting News: Meryl Streep's anthem.#

© 1994-2014 Dave Winer.
Last update: Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 4:19 PM.
You should never argue with a crazy man.


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