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Scripting News

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

Published: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:06:34 GMT

Last Build Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:02:07 GMT

Copyright: © 1994-2017 Dave Winer.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:30:21 GMT

Good morning e-sports fans! 🚀

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:06:34 GMT

I learned something new about DNS today, I think. You can use CNAMEs for top-level domain names? Who knew. I always thought they had to be IP addresses. I still do, actually, but this experiment seems to work. Puzzled.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:54:22 GMT

Podcast: It's not often you LOL at a Bloomberg headline.

Media Files:

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:29:45 GMT

Occam's pundit: He's in the business of moving money out of Russia and into apartments and golf courses.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:20:37 GMT

I've been under a total eclipse. It gets dark. Then it gets light. My friend #rex will be under the best part of the August 21 eclipse in Nashville.

A cascade into dysfunction

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:10:34 GMT

I just did yet another server move. This all got started by me saying What The Heck to a question a hosting company asked. Would you like a free upgrade from 2Gb of memory to 4Gb? Pause. Sure! Let's go. Click. Wait. Reboot. Two days later I realize something critical broke in the transition.

Apparently they didn't perfectly copy the file system, some permissions didn't come across. No idea where the problem is and Dropbox support was probably a piece of software not a human, they just asked questions that I had already answered. A human would have been able to read my email. It's possible they could have told me what permission didn't get set because the error message told me to contact tech support, with a code that looked like a database index of some kind.

So rather than try to fix what's wrong with the server, I provisioned a new one. This is like having a flat and deciding it's impossible to fix it so I got a new car instead. This made all kinds of things cascade into dysfunction. Including my Mac desktop which is prone to rainbow cursors if you change something material (rebooting is enough of a change apparently).

Here we are in 2017 and things don't work any better than they did in 1987. But our toys certainly are much bigger and better. And who doesn't like playing 52-pickup with a bunch of virtual servers.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 01:14:51 GMT is a domain I bought today. ✈️

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:46:34 GMT

I'm wearing a MLK button as my avatar on Twitter. By wearing this button on my virtual self, I'm hoping to reserve my place in the traditional, diverse and generous America.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:01:44 GMT

What will happen on health care now? I have a prediction. Repub senators are pissed off and split, they like the Senate, think McConnell is a heartless hack, and enough of them will work with Dems to form a majority on just this one issue. Then McDonald's Trump will declare victory. "I always said the Dems could work with us." Everyone's happy. DJ Don gets to drive a fire truck for Christmas.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:31:00 GMT

New version of the MacWrite demo app for nodeStorage. I factored the top level into a JavaScript object called nodeStorageApp. Makes it a little simpler to make a browser-based storage-capable app.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:29:13 GMT

Interesting Daily podcast yesterday. French president Macron has figured out how to be friends with our president. I think maybe some people in the US will figure that out too. What would happen if we gave the president what he wants. Parades, trucks and lots of money. Just give it to him. And then get on with it. He really seems easy to please. It would blow his mind. It's something the Mission Impossible people would do. Or the Blues Brothers. 💥

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:54:50 GMT

Trump does deal-making like they do it on TV. He plays someone who makes deals.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:45:05 GMT

I wonder how much carbon is dumped into the atmosphere because we don't have basic train service between cities in the US. For example, I was looking at taking an Amtrak from NYC to Nashville, thought that would be an interesting trip, well there is no Amtrak service to Nashville. You can take a train to Chicago and get on a bus.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:22:49 GMT

I just had to switch servers, one that has a lot of parked domains. That meant going to three different registrars (I know I have to consolidate) and entering the new IP address in place of the old one. Why haven't we created another level to DNS that lets this just be a matter of changing a constant in one place.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:17:26 GMT

I'm interested in Hubble contact lenses, but I just need one lens, for the right eye, and their website doesn't seem to allow for this.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:40:30 GMT

Welcome to the camp, I guess you all know why we're here.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:40:43 GMT

Here's the official JSON source code for Scripting News. It's the output of my editor, in JSON form. It's totally analogous to programming in a high level language. I write in a form that makes sense for me as a writer. The software transforms that into something easy for people to read. Of course this file is maintained as I publish new stuff to the blog. Knock wood, praise Murphy, I am not a lawyer. 💥

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:33:34 GMT

There's all this wisdom out there that isn't being heard.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 16:26:31 GMT

I'm starting a project with my friend Rex Hammock relating to this blog. When you see a #rex tag that means I wanted to call his attention to the item because it relates to something we're discussing.

Seeking common cause with opposing tribes

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:51:45 GMT

For the sake of argument, suppose Ann Coulter did something good. It's not debatable. Suppose she was wronged and protested and you heard about it on the Internet. Could you say "Hey Ann Coulter did something good?" Or would tribalism prevent you from doing so?

By tribalism I mean, she's the member of a different tribe. You disagree with her on most issues, in fact up until today you disagreed on all issues. Further could your friends tell the difference between you saying "Hey Coulter was right about this" and "Hey Coulter is right about everything." (There is a difference you know.)

I usually don't like moral parades. That's a lot of what Facebook and Twitter have become. My tribe is having a parade. I will memorize and rehearse the talking points and spew them out when called upon to do so. I will show that I am a member of this tribe in full standing. I will never think for myself, I let the tribe do my thinking for me.

If we're ever going to dig out of the hole we're in, it will eventually be seen as a good thing to find common cause with someone from a different tribe. I was happy to say I support David Frum, even though he wrote speeches for Bush II that led to the deaths of huge numbers of innocent people. A wrong war. Huge corruption. But he and I agree on Trump, and I'm happy to say that, because we need to work together to get out of this mess. I look forward to the day when I can think of Frum as the opposition. Right now, re Trump, we're on the same side.

And like Ann Coulter I got bumped from a seat I paid for, on Delta, and moved into a middle seat for a long cross-country trip, without any other explanation than "We can do it, read your ticket." I suspect this is because the company's policies make this a common occurrence for the people working there. I understand. What I don't understand and totally object to is a rep of a big company personally lecturing a customer. Many years ago I found out one of my employees was doing this. He got a really stiff lecture from me about how we revere our customers, and I pay him to serve them, not to lecture them.

Ann Coulter was right to be pissed off, even though she's on the other team. And I am happy to say so. And I am also happy to unfriend members of my tribe who lecture me on proper piety. I look for opportunities to erase tribalism and think for myself and encourage others to do so. Ultimately that's what I think the Internet is useful for.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:48:42 GMT

Good morning open tech fans! 💥

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:57:55 GMT

To people in blogging-tools-land, I have a new proposal for interop this morning, already implemented on my blog.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:04:00 GMT

Jay Rosen pointed into a Twitter thread that said that news orgs, instead of sending NYC-based journalists to the middle of America, should give the money to local journalists and run what they write. Good idea. Perhaps go the next step, find thoughtful people everywhere to write about what's wrong with the world, and listen. A lot is lost when you have to explain things through reporters. We're limited by what they understand. As a result events fly by without much understanding.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:54:29 GMT

I just plain don't like it when big companies lecture their customers.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:42:22 GMT

I hear the Democrats need a core message, how about: "We love America and Americans and the Constitution and we're fighting for all of it." Or hot dogs, baseball and apple pie, or you could do that in the background with farm pictures, subways and highways full of cars. Mountains, the Grand Canyon and the Florida Keys too.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:03:38 GMT

Why don't the Democrats hold a contest among the people for the new message of the party. That itself might be the message, in a sense.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:21:12 GMT

I think you have to be over 55 to get the idea of a phone call that isn't scheduled two weeks in advance.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:23:22 GMT

Tweaked the fonts a little on the Scripting News home page. The titles should be tighter and more clear.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:25:05 GMT

This happened to me yesterday. I knew I had a contact lens floating around somewhere in my right eye, outside my vision. I couldn't feel where it was, and no amount of tweaking would get it to re-center. So finally I decided it must have fallen out, and put in a second lens. Then I could really feel something was wrong. So I took out the second lens and miraculously the one I thought had fallen out came back into view, and my vision was back to where it was supposed to be. But I wondered what I would do if I never found the first lens and had to live with the possibility that I had it floating around inside there, getting infected and fused and whatever contacts lost in your body do.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:47:43 GMT

Things are still settling in after the server switch over the weekend. I explained what happened in a comment in the Issues thread. I had a chance to learn once-again the old adage -- If it ain't broke don't fix it. 💥

Just trying a little experiment to see what happens.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:09:50 GMT

This might be interesting. (Indeed it is.)

Come on Eileen

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:21:37 GMT

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Might as well face it you're addicted to love

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:09:34 GMT

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Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:16:01 GMT

Links are spoilers. Think about where Tywin Lannister is at his moment of truth and the title of the show. It makes you wonder. Are they really clever or is it just an accident? (I bet they're clever.)

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:25:19 GMT

BTW, Amazon has Game of Thrones action figures. For example here is Tryion Lannister. Only $10.95. They make perfect right margin images on Scripting News. Expect to see more of them.

About sarcasm

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:51:53 GMT

I've been thinking about sarcasm in online communication and how rarely it works or is understood. As part of the thinking I did a search for the word on my blog to see how it has come up over the years. I always disclaim it, either way, if I think people will mistake sincerity as sarcasm, or if I want to be sure people know I'm being sarcastic. I think sarcasm usually just gets in the way and is only funny to the person saying the words, so just be sarcastic with yourself, enjoy a good laugh, and avoid the grief.

"The deception is mind-boggling."

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:35:37 GMT

I had never seen the full discussion on Fox News between Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace. This is definitely a turning point.

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Sat, 15 Jul 2017 20:19:25 GMT

4PM Eastern: I moved the apps on an old server to a new server. If you notice something that stopped working around that time, post a note here.

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 23:28:29 GMT

7PM Eastern: I had to switch to a larger instance size. Hopefully that'll make things run more smoothly. As before if there continue to be problems please post a note here.

Catching up on Game of Thrones

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 18:55:07 GMT

Over the July 4 weekend I indulged in a lot of Game of Thrones. They were running the episodes back to back. I tuned in at various times, and got bits of all six seasons. Then, I filled in the blanks. I still have to watch a few episodes in Season 6.

The most illuminating episodes were in Season 1, esp near the end. If you watch Season 1, you'll hear the first mentions of a lot of characters and families whose names would have meant nothing to you the first time through. And the end of Season 1 is a basic primer on the logic of the titular game. Cersei and Ned do a demo with help from Kings Robert and Joffrey and the rest of the cast.

Then there's the question of who is my favorite the best character? There are so many great ones. Obviously all the main characters, Daenerys, Jon Snow, Cersei, Jamie, Tyrion, Sansa, Arya, Ned Stark, it's impossible to pick one. So it has to be a supporting character. If I had to choose a male and female, I'd go with Ramsay Bolton and Ygritte, for opposite reasons. Ramsay is the purest of evil. So entertaining. You always want to know what he's up to now, even though you might have to avert your eyes. And Ygritte, because I am totally head over heels in love with her. I would love love love to hear her say You know nothing Dave Winer. 💥

The word you're looking for is traitor

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 15:08:33 GMT

Treason probably isn't the right word. Legally it only applies when we're at war. If Trump had aided the Taliban in their fight against the US, that would be treason. If he helped ISIS plan an attack, that would be treason. If he gave North Korea a map of safe hiding places for government officials, that might not actually be treason because we're not currently at war, but there's no doubt it's a betrayal of the country.

The word everyone's looking for is traitor, which is derived from betray. By accepting help from Russia to win the election, he betrayed us. He upped the betrayal by accepting the office, knowing that Russia had control over him.

You say there's no proof? I have two answers:

  • I am a member of Occam's Church of Political Analysis. Our motto: "It is what it appears to be until proven otherwise."
  • Just wait, the proof is coming. I'm pretty sure you, if you're paying attention at all, know it as well.

Ghost != Medium

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:29:12 GMT

John Gruber started a thread on Twitter lamenting that Medium is going down a predictable path. To which I responded, it's time for a Medium without a business model. A place for people to quickly write a document that stands alone on the open web, and has a chance at longevity, to be part of the record for a long time to come.

Predictably, I wrote a post about it.

And also predictable, people who love Ghost say that Ghost already does this. To which I predictably say, Ghost is a nice product, for sure, but if it did what Medium does, people would use it for what they use Medium for, and they don't.

Think about Medium this way. It's a big public legal pad. In a perfect world, no one owns the pad. When you want to write something you tear off a sheet, write, when you're done you tack it up to a global bulletin board where everyone can see it. Search engines can add it to their indices. People can find it. Forever. You can put something on the record, without having to "start" a blog. This has a different feel from starting a blog, which to many people feels like a committment to write regularly, an obligation. This is for the one-off, I have to say something now, post. It has a place in the world of public writing. Ghost is not such a place, and neither is WordPress.

I've long felt that tying a business model to a global writing pad inevitably leads to it becoming something else. And eventually to the writing disappearing from the web. It is not a plan for long-lived writing, something I feel we should have. Urgently, because every day we don't do it is a day that may be lost to history.

At this point it would be predictable for someone to ask if I know about Yes I do. It also is not Medium. 💥

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 01:10:18 GMT

I like the phrase Nothing Burger. When I hear a Trumpster say it I think they're saying "Russian Burger."

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 20:44:34 GMT

I have no idea what this means. Is there $232 million in a bank account somewhere that you can spend to hire people, pay rent, buy food?

What if Medium were open source?

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:39:47 GMT

Assuming you know what Medium is.

What if Medium had been designed from the start to be the Mother Node of a network of clones. The basic software would be available for installing on your own server, but if you want, there's a place you can put your document today, now, quickly, where everyone will be able to read it, now and for the foreseeable future.

I wanted to do this as a community project a couple of years ago. It didn't happen. I've thought it through, have software for it, including the core editor which is already a popular open source project. If you want to try it out, start here.

This could be the cornerstone of the #indieweb, imho. It is work that's totally worth doing.

It is what it appears to be, until proven otherwise.

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:27:05 GMT

So much virtual ink has been wasted on what amounts to giving Trump all the benefit of the doubt and then some. I don't know why.

Suppose you had a relative who lies as much as the Trumps do. Next time would you believe what they say?

And they deflect and distract and when you get too close to figuring it out they fire you.

In the end it wasn't very complicated, we know what happened.

It's time for a total devotion to the Occam School. It is what it appears to be, until proven otherwise.

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:28:08 GMT

Just checking. Fargo still works.

Demo of a new Scripting News feature

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:32:36 GMT

The other day I wrote a piece about how I prefer blogging on the open web because if I have an Aha! idea, over here, I can implement it. If you click the wedge next to this item you can read the full text of that post, without leaving this post.

That's the feature I figured out. One of the nice things that Old School does is create a JSON file of every post on the site. You can derive its address from the permalink. It took all of today to get the new feature working. I could have waited 100 years and they would never have implemented it in Facebook. They don't listen to me. But I listen to me. 🎳

I have ideas where this feature could go, but for right now it's really cool just to have the feature. Let's see if I use it. (No guarantees. I don't always use the features I implement.)

Short video demo of new feature

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:26:16 GMT

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Standard Response #23

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:31:39 GMT

When someone says --

  • None of this matters to Trump supporters blah blah blah etc.

My response is --

  • I don't care.

This happens so often we might as well just given them numbers.

Let's call the first one Standard Response #23. And the second is #23a.