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Scripting News



Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.



Published: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:56:11 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:48:42 GMT

Copyright: © 1994-2017 Dave Winer.
 




Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:13:01 GMT

If you want to be up on the latest developments emanating from this blog, be sure to watch the Scripting-News repository. We're using that space more and more.




Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:37:21 GMT

Warren Buffet bet on an index fund over a managed fund, and he was right, he's winning the bet. I even understand why, as I've bet the same way more or less. Governments are judged by two prices: gas and stock. If gas is down and stock is up, the president wins re-election. So guess what. Gas stays low and stock goes up. It's like free money, basically. Until there's a war or a bubble burst. But most of the time you just make money with an index fund. Now you have the secret too. ๐ŸŽ




Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:56:11 GMT

If Kim Jong Un is Rocket Man, who's the Madman Across the Water?




Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:26:59 GMT

I wondered why people cared about Sean Spicer having his "brand" redeemed by being allowed to make an appearance at the beginning of the Emmy award ceremony on Sunday. I don't think his brand was helped or hurt. I think it's all mixed up with Melissa McCarthy's parody. Spicer will forever be a punchline. Some things probably will never matter. This imho is one of them.




Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:21:55 GMT

If you think making others feel your pain is going to ease your pain, you're mistaken, and wasting effort. It just makes them tune you out.




Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:24:33 GMT

I listened to five minutes of the president's UN speech, expecting to be horrified, but I thought it was good. But only five minutes.



Chief of Staff at UN speech

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:06:17 GMT

(image)




We get the big things wrong

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:25:44 GMT

During the campaign last year, I pleaded with the press to listen about at least two things.

  • Email is inherently insecure. You're spreading your ideas all over the place when you send an email. Just because the person-to-person channel is guarded, it doesn't prevent the email from being forwarded, saved to disk and transmitted other ways, or through phishing, being stolen as part of a whole mailbox. When you secure email transmission, you're locking a window but all the doors are wide open. It's really just security theater. In other words, someone is taking advantage of your ignorance, and there's one way to fix that -- to stop being ignorant.
  • Trolls. We're being trolled. There's nothing new or novel about this. I know it's hard to not be fascinated, I could tell you stories of years I wasted dealing with trolls, thinking I could win by engaging. You can't. The only way to win is to just turn your back.

But we get the big things wrong. The frustration I feel about us always being late at figuring this stuff out, and digging the hole deeper and deeper, is one that other people who care about science and technology share.

Meanwhile Google is wiping out the history of the web, the few sites that remain from the early days, by doing it in a slow almost invisible way. I guess I have to give up on trying to stop this. I'm going to let them delete my sites over the coming years. I have done make-work for BigCo's in the past, countless times, thinking if I just do what the big company is forcing me to do, it'll all work out. Now I know that isn't true. It doesn't work that way.

We get the big things wrong. Accept it. We take the low road every chance we get. Assume it's being fucked up and be surprised when it's not.





Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:52:55 GMT

Good morning Citibike fans! ๐Ÿšด




Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:14:56 GMT

This is where I'm working on the docs for the Public Folder desktop app. It's not going to be an easy thing to set up. But it works. It's a beachhead.




Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:57:21 GMT

Speaking of Citibike, they sent an email asking if I'd like to be part of their Bike Angels program. Yes, of course I would. You're basically part a human load-balancer for bike stations. There's an app that shows you which stations need bikes and which have too many. If you move a bike for them, you get reward points. With enough points you can give friends (visiting from out of town for example) free days of Citibike. I'm exactly the kind of person to pitch this to. I'll do anything to get more people on the bike paths in NYC.




Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:24:33 GMT

Checking to see if Fargo still works, and it does. I just see a lot of hits on Little Outliner and that gets me thinking. Did something change??




Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:14:25 GMT

I wonder if there's a class in high school or college that teaches how to have a respectful conversation. You learn to ask questions and listen instead of assuming you know what the other person is thinking. I say that because I'm pretty sure some people never, in their whole lives, understand why every conversation they have ends up in frustration and anger. Not only would it make the world work better, but I think there would be more happiness.



Let's actively support bipartisanship

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:54:34 GMT

I knew this was coming. I believe Repubs are splitting up now. Maybe one part will be very small, the part that goes with Trump. I think maybe the number of diehard Trump supporters is very small. Where were they all when called to the Mother Of All Rallies this weekend? It was pathetic. Not even a thousand people showed up.

A new middle ground is forming with moderate Repubs and the Democratic voters who don't cast protest votes or stay home on Election Day, who understand that our system depends on compromise, on not getting everything you want because the other guy has to get some too. Obama would fit into this middle party.

Radical change like the failure of the USSR or Trump as POTUS have a way of shaking the order of things. It's like having a death in the family, or some kind of windfall of opportunity. It's a time for change. The assumption that we would change to fascism isn't the only way it can go. It could also turn out that the shakeup breaks the destructive partisanship in DC. Which is why, we as citizens of the US, who have an interest in support from government, also have an interest in bipartisanship.

I also hope it breaks the logjam of the journalism elite, who only listen to each other -- and it shows in their inbred thinking.





Sun, 17 Sep 2017 18:07:23 GMT

The best standard practice for how to respond to a bot. ๐Ÿš€




Sun, 17 Sep 2017 20:42:04 GMT

An idea for Citibike. When you return the bike you get an email. If the bike needs repair, there should be a place on the confirming email where you can report the problem. (Especially if you return the bike one minute after checking it out at the same station.)



I'm no fan of Facebook, but please...

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:38:10 GMT

I can't point to Joan Walsh's rant about Facebook, because she posted it on Facebook, but here's my comment.

  • I'm no fan of Facebook, and I am a fan of Joan, but this is crazy talk. "Allowed" is Repub-like misdirection. Your phone allows you to say and do all kinds of nasty stuff. If you want your platforms to take an interest in the words we use, more than they already do, you're just inviting fascism in here.

I'd add, there are ways to prevent foreign nationals from breaking US laws using Facebook without condemning Facebook's past actions.

PS: Here's a screen shot of her post.




The publicFolder desktop app takes shape

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:32:30 GMT

Here's the screen shot.

Let me explain what's going on there...

That's an Electron shell. The publicFolder package is running inside it. There's a web interface that shows you what's going on.

It's configured to have three concurrent processes, i.e. three simultaneous file uploads or deletions. All other operations are queued up, when a slot becomes available, the first in the queue is removed and processed. First in first out.

At least once a minute publicFolder gathers stats about the local folder and the S3 image. You can see how many files are in each and how much space they use. Obviously the numbers should be identical.

You can see how many uploads and deletions have been done since the app first launched, and how many GB of uploads.

Finally, there's a log of the last 500 operations. So you can scroll through them. The file name is linked to the public version, so you can see what's there (read a page, listen to a song, watch a movie, etc) by clicking the link.

If you want to review the source, here it is.

And here's a place for questions about publicFolder.





Sat, 16 Sep 2017 22:54:02 GMT

Look at what's happening at the University of Wisconsin. A good school. I got my Computer Science education there. Professors without tenure who answer to politicians.




Sat, 16 Sep 2017 22:31:31 GMT

New version of publicFolder. More stats, three new callbacks.




Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:14:53 GMT

New version of PagePark, fixes a "breaking change" from the mime package. Why for crying out loud they felt it necessary to change the name of their core routine, such a simple function. Please. This is nuts. Unless there's some kind of explanation, which I would love to hear.




Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:29:45 GMT

This is how I like my sports journalism.




Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:09:28 GMT

The president is a white supremacist. That's a big problem for everyone, especially ESPN.




Fri, 15 Sep 2017 18:09:33 GMT

A couple of small improvements to Instant Dave. 1. We now only show notifications for posts you are able to see in the timeline. 2. And we strip the HTML from the notifications, since they aren't correctly interpreted by the Notification Manager on the Mac. The new version, v0.5.4, is now available for download.




Sat, 16 Sep 2017 00:47:40 GMT

On today's Daily podcast, an interview with Bernie Sanders about his bill to provide Medicare for everyone. The host asks why introduce the bill if it has no chance of passing. "You have to start somewhere." I agree. Obama always prenegotiated. Instead of saying what he really wanted, he proposed a compromise. The Repubs took advantage. Bernie says go for what you want. Accept less if you have to, but that's where the negotiating starts. Also gives Dems something to campaign on in 2018 and 2020. Good move.




Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:35:38 GMT

Morning Coffee Notes was the name of my early podcast, but before that it was a recurring title here on Scripting News. I created a MCN headline when I wanted to start over a new day. When the good morning message needed to be encapsulated so a new top item could appear. Today was one of those days, the first in a long time.




Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:33:02 GMT

Re Apple's Face ID: "Whoโ€”for the price of a thousand bucksโ€”owns whom?" Good question. We loved personal computers in the beginning because they were off the grid, out of the reach of the priesthood and the military industrial state. One of the companies that made these liberating products was Apple Computer, Inc. Woz's Apple, not the Apple of 2017.



Rebooting our societal intellect

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:59:58 GMT

At first I was ambivalent about Chelsea Manning as a fellow at HKS. But seeing all that it has stirred up, I think she would be good. You want lightning rods to help identify issues and boundaries. I understand the objections, let's get those people at HKS too, and discuss the issues, like scholars. That's what universities are for.

I know so many influential people in academia, many who were early participants in the web and blogosphere. We were there in the early days when online discourse held great promise for bringing the differences of the world together, to be accepted, de-weaponized. It turned out the opposite. We brought the differences together and enhanced them, and the rage spilled out into the real world.

Firing Chelsea Manning was a mistake, but an understandable one. Let's get the guy who quit to come back and spend more time at HKS, and get more people on either side of this divide, study it, civil discourse it to death, and see what we're left with.

I think the university is our way out of the intelletual logjam we're in. We have to use all the tools at our disposal, including academic discourse.




Morning coffee notes

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:59:37 GMT

Good morning everyone. Nothing special on the calendar for today. Apple's products are announced. publicFolder package is released. I'm thinking about new projects for the fall and beyond. Hope everyone is healthy and happy.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a random emoji? An emoji that when viewed generates a random choice every time? I'm going to simulate it now by closing my eyes and randomly clicking on a short code on this page. ๐Ÿ“Œ

JavaScript is getting too big. I wish that the Ecmascript working group, instead of adding more obscure features that people will use (and therefore I have to understand to be able to follow their code), would work on a profile (or subset) of the language, that includes a single construct to do each thing, and no more. One way to write a function, for example. No conditional assignment (even though I use it, and think it's clearer in some cases). Languages that get too big become dinosaurs more quickly. What was the name of that language that was supposed to replace C and Pascal because it had everything everyone could ever want?

Sometimes I do picture searches to find things for the right margin. I stumbled across this picture of my friend Betsy Devine, long before I knew her. People who are beautiful, like Betsy, are beautiful their whole lives.





Thu, 14 Sep 2017 14:39:51 GMT

Here's the first release of publicFolder. It's a Node app that runs on your desktop and keeps a folder in sync with a location on Amazon S3. We will have a simple-to-use shell soon, but for now, this is for experienced developers. I'm looking for help validating the software, to be sure it works, before building too much on top of it. I see this as essential system software, something we have to be confident in. If you have questions or comments, please post an issue on the repo. Here we go! ๐Ÿ’ฅ




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:13:18 GMT

The first question is (of course): "Why isn't it just like everything else ever?" BTW, no criticism intended. Positioning is important. It's the first thing I think of too when looking at something new. ๐Ÿ‘Œ




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:52:49 GMT

In 2013 I wrote about positioning between Twitter and Facebook.




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:26:48 GMT

Something weird happened on my blog today, an S3 outage of some kind, 503 (slow down) when it tried to read the CSS file. I wrote it up in case it happens again, I'll find it when I search for it, hopefully.




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:23:28 GMT

About funny wifi router names. I had a router ten or so years ago called Google Public Wifi. It was rumored that Google was going to deploy a huge free public wifi network in the Bay Area. I lived in an apartment in downtown Berkeley. I was hoping to start a rumor, maybe get it into Gizmodo or something, but it didn't happen. ;-)




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:09:24 GMT

SparkyT found a problem with the new arrangement on Scripting News, which I was able to quickly fix. If you spot any further problems, please report. Thanks! ๐Ÿ€




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:13:17 GMT

Late in the day I realized that Twitter truncated my video about the tab-clicking problem, so I uploaded it to YouTube where they show the whole thing. This video is more like a podcast than a concise demo. There's a little bit of philosophy in there. Hope you enjoy.




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:32:20 GMT

Good morning day-after-new-product-from-Apple fans. ๐Ÿ




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:46:01 GMT

I'm halfway through the second episode of Ozark. It's very weird, for sure. But it's very much a network type TV show, even though there is nudity, strong language, violence. I don't know if they can keep up the pace. My experience with shows that start really fast is that they run out of gas around the middle of the season. I'll keep you posted.




Thu, 14 Sep 2017 00:50:32 GMT

Is President Trump a white supremacist?




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:33:30 GMT

Thanks once again to the great Jonathan Chait at NY Mag for explaining why Bernie Sanders is still selling unicorns. Uncle Bernie is the worst hand-waver anywhere.




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:41:43 GMT

Why I hate the press. They say oh Hillary why don't you shut up. Just go away. No one wants to hear what you have to say. But, hey Steve Bannon, that was great, can we have more. Haha you wear two shirts. We're smart, we saw that. We're funny, we have a great sense of humor. Never mind you've heard us say shit about Hillary for years, and we're kind of fascinated with Steve Bannon.




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:38:14 GMT

How shocked the press are that Russians could plan events on Facebook for Americans in Idaho. What could possibly have stopped them? To stop that from happening, FB would also have to stop regular people from organizing using FB. You can see the problem with that hopefully.




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:22:34 GMT

One thing I don't understand wrt North Korea. What if the US said to China and Russia and everyone else, fuck you, you guys deal with them. We're standing down. If North Korea wants to blow us up, go for it. But as soon as they launch their missiles at us, we will launch ours at Moscow and Beijing. Deal with it. And btw, fuck you.




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:34:47 GMT

Work on Scripting News for some reason always gets dicey. That's why I've been shy of working on it for all the years. But I have to keep coming back to it. It's by far the most popular thing I have going on the net. Investment here is more productive than elsewhere. In any case, the problems are solved for now. We have tabs. The sidebar is gone, so we have scrolling with arrow keys again. Now I'm going to work on something else for a while!! Happy. โ˜€๏ธ



TrumpLaw

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:58:24 GMT

What if Trump were to pardon white police officers of a crime, but not black officers? Would the pardon stand? What if he pardoned a police officer who had been found in contempt of a court order requiring him to stop violating people's rights? Which is more important -- the pardon or the rights that are being violated? And what happens to the court's power to protect us if the president can pardon people to circumvent legal court orders? Turns out there is a case for vacating Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio. And this practice is even being given a name: TrumpLaw.




The amazing Scripting News community, part 287,658

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:39:21 GMT

I just spent a couple of hours trying to figure out why the tabs on the new home page don't work on an iPhone. I decided to ask you all if you had any ideas, so I recorded a video to demo the problem, and outline my theory. Also took out the sidebar, and replaced it with a directory in the About outline. It was responsible for flakiness elsewhere. I'll probably add it back in a year after I've forgotten the problems it caused. (It's even worse than it appears.) Here's a place to discuss.

width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PspBzwW1rtk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Update: Sahil Khan figured it out. The element #idPageTopText is in front of the tabs, invisibly. It's not a problem on the desktop because there's more space. The fix was easy. Thanks to Mr Khan. (More proof that you often can't see what's right in front of you. In this case literally.)





Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:27:52 GMT

Good morning new-product-from-Apple fans. ๐ŸŽ




Wed, 13 Sep 2017 02:03:18 GMT

You know who cares what Hillary Clinton has to say?




Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:05:01 GMT

Serious fake news. You hear this idea all over the place. The Russians couldn't have known to target Facebook users without help from Americans. This is a crazy idea. Russia is on the Internet. Data moves around the net very easily. Someone in Moscow could have just as much info about America as someone in Boston. Crazy.




Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:15:47 GMT

Melo, if you want respect, take a chance. No glory for you available on the Knicks. Find a cause worth fighting for.