turnings :: daniel berlinger

passions :: perfections :: peoples :: stuffs

David Carr’s sad story

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Nytimes hq

Scripting News:

The end of David Carr’s current column in the NY Times is, I think, meant to outrage us. Reporters are being asked to deliver papers. I’m trying to think of what the analog would be in programming. We have to do a lot of menial tasks. Without a pulpit like Carr’s on which to tell our tale of woe. But I agree. Having a professional reporter deliver papers is ridiculous.

[snip -ed]

Summary: You have to let more of the world in. Or eventually the world will invent what you have with a different name. That’s always been the option. The Times should have fully made the transition to the web by now. The biggest part of that transition is allowing more voices to speak directly through your platform.

[I think what Dave has is still true (he’s said this before many times, he’s just not being heard (yet?). But I also think that David Carr missed something that he wrote about at the top of the column.

When the Forces of Media Disruption Hit Home – NYTimes.com:

I read on Friday that the price of taxi medallions in New York City had fallen about 17 percent, a drop created by competition from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. The impact is remarkable because neither company possesses big capital assets, or a huge number of employees. Instead, they put a new user interface over cars and drivers already on the road. In the same way, Airbnb has remade the rental markets, not by buying properties, but simply by surfacing available units on the web to people in need.

What he ignored is that there is a new interface for journalists too. It’s called blogging. And while the Times could potentially lose exclusive access to those people, no one else has to. And in fact, the Times doesn’t have to either if they do what Dave suggests. The Times no longer needs to have “big capital assets, or a huge number of employees” or at least as much or as many. They could take advantage of the new interface for journalism to rebuild their business.

I don’t mean to belittle the pain the people involved in these changes have to go through. Many probably liked the way things were, and worked hard to do their part and make it the success it was. But nothing lasts forever, and the old model is going away.]

Written by Daniel

December 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Posted in advocacy, news, tech

→ President Obama’s statement pushing for net neutrality

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→ President Obama’s statement pushing for net neutrality:

And isn’t it sad that a U.S. president can have such a strong opinion on a regulatory decision that’s such obvious common sense, so obviously beneficial to consumers (and the lack of which is so obviously harmful), so well-supported by the citizens, and falling on the shoulders of someone he appointed, yet it still has such a low chance of actually getting done?

∞ Permalink

[More than sad, it’s everything that’s wrong with government in the US today.]

Written by Daniel

November 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Posted in advocacy, tech

MacRumors: ‘iOS 8 Adoption Stagnates Just Two and a Half Weeks After Launch’

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MacRumors: ‘iOS 8 Adoption Stagnates Just Two and a Half Weeks After Launch’:

Very worrisome — a canary-in-the-coal-mine indicator that casual users no longer trust Apple with major iOS updates. Last year the number for iOS 7 adoption was in the 70s in October, which was a faster adoption rate than iOS 6 the year prior.

[Here’s my take. Lots of devices don’t have the room necessary to complete the update, and folks haven’t made time to do anything about it yet. My son’s device is a perfect example, 16G, totally maxed out. I haven’t had time to check that it’s backed up, wipe it, update, and then reload. It’s gonna wait…]

Written by Daniel

October 8, 2014 at 9:18 am

Posted in tech

20 years of blogging

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20 years of blogging:

Every day I try to do some development work on my projects, but I see the end coming, not too far away. I don’t think I’ll be digging any great new holes in the future, but I do want to wrap up all the stuff I’ve started. That’s what the last few years have been about. I want to have great open publishing tools, that don’t require you to give everything you have to a billionaire in the hopes of getting a little attention.

[It does all come to end, and in technology it is harder to sustain a legacy I think. If you build a great building, it could easily be standing hundreds of years later. Software rarely lasts for 10 of years, although some stuff does. I have no problem with that. What I did/do is mostly work for hire. I love doing it, and it’s been kind to me, but most of programming I’ve done is already long gone from an executable standpoint. Some of it lives on as lessons applied to current work, and some of it lives on in the work of people I’ve taught. So when Dave says “Maybe it won’t go anywhere. Maybe it’ll all be swept aside, forgotten, along with so many other dreams of so many other people who thought they could make a difference.” I hear him, but I feel like all the folks who learned something about software from using his stuff, or writing their own software in his, or simply taking ideas and running with them in their own direction… that’s what makes a lasting difference. There is no way to sweep that aside. It just is.]

Written by Daniel

October 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Posted in news, tech

★ Now Batting for the Yankees, Number 2

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★ Now Batting for the Yankees, Number 2:

One final time, Bob Sheppard’s voice booms through The Stadium. “Now batting for the Yankees, number 2, Derek Jeter. Number 2.

Winning run on second base. One out. Everyone in The Stadium is standing. I’m standing watching at home. My son, 10, is standing on the couch next to me. The tension is excruciating. First pitch, Jeter jumps on it with his signature inside-out swing. Single to right! Richardson beats the throw to the plate. Yankees win. Yankees win. Pandemonium. My boy jumps off the couch into my arms and we run around the house, hugging, screaming, laughing like the maniacs that we are.

Things like this just aren’t supposed to happen. Real-life endings aren’t like scripted storybook endings. Except with Jeter they so often were. That broken-bat RBI grounder in the 7th was a realistic ending. A spectacular walk-off game-winning single in the bottom of the 9th was not. It felt like the World Series. It felt like the old days.

“This is what it used to be like,” I told my son, “every single year. Something crazy always happened. And then someone for the Yankees always stepped up. Jeter was always in the middle of it. Every year. This is what it was like.”

[I’ll miss Bob Sheppard’s voice. A remarkable institution, now truly silenced.

For me, not much of a baseball fan as team sports go, Mr. Jeter’s baseball career means something to me mostly because of timing. He, (and the other Core 4) Paul O’Neil, Bernie, Joe Girardi, the coaches… the whole “dynasty” team and all the crazy stuff that happened… means something to me because it happened when I had a chance to watch it with my Dad. When I was a kid he had no time to sit and watch baseball (I don’t mean “with me” either, I mean *at all*). He might have caught a few minutes here and there, but I never recall seeing him sit down to watch a game. If anything, I recall watching a rare basketball game with him, maybe a bit of football? Not much of any of it to be sure.

Besides… television then was not television as it is now. It was small and blurry and black and white for the most part.

Anyway, later on in both our lives there was time to sit and watch some games. The Patrick Ewing/John Starks/Pat Riley Knicks were the lead in and having enjoyed some great games, it was easy to sit and watch some baseball with him. I never developed the pastoral joy that allows baseball lovers to sit through a 4 hour game, but there were lots of exciting games to enjoy, and my father taught me a lot about the game.

Baseball has long since slipped off my “todo” list. It sits behind lots of other things on any night of the week and especially on Sunday. And of course, there’s been really no chance to watch those games with my Dad, though who knows, he could be living a lot closer to me next year… but it doesn’t matter from a sports viewing perspective.

While the time for me to watch sports with my father may have ended, and my son has only a passing interest at the moment, I expect to be one of the many who will say, to the unending chagrin of the kids around at that moment… “I may not have seen Mickey Mantle or those guys… but I saw Derek Jeter play from some great seats. I was in The Stadium at the height of Red Sox/Yankees and watched Pedro pitch… I saw the Davids throw perfect game after perfect game, and I watched all of it with my Dad.” (BTW, I saw those Knicks with him as well… could anyone light up the Garden like John Starks?) I’ll always cherish those teams, not for the great playing, the fierce rivalries and all the hype and craziness. But simply because I got to enjoy those moments with my Dad.

PS While there was a career filled with highlights, I always greatly admired the conviction in this famous play:


That’s what I call “all in”.]

Written by Daniel

October 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Posted in personal

In an Uber all graphite and glitter

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In an Uber all graphite and glitter:

Sure, maybe O’Reilly’s post bugged me because he’s playing the familiar game of using recent Apple product news as a strawman to compare to an utterly different kind of technology, while throwing in coded phrases like “Apple hype machine.” (Replying to a comment on his own article, O’Reilly declares, “What I wrote wasn’t really about Apple Pay.” Of course it wasn’t.)

But I think what really rankles is that Tim O’Reilly is applying his vision to a Silicon Valley utopia where people take Ubers to their Cover-booked restaurants, always operating on their own recognizance and never, ever waiting for the check. There’ll be spandex jackets, one for everyone.

Apparently these people never go to the supermarket.

[Common problem… Apple is used for so many things unrelated to Apple. OTOH, people are now making pants with larger pockets because of Apple. So if that matters to you, regardless of what phone you carry, thank Apple.]

Written by Daniel

October 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Posted in ethics, tech

How things go… (car camping)

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IMG 3355

As a kid my parents shared their love of the outdoors, passed on I’m told from my grand parents, and while we as family never did more than day hike together, some how that lead to my love of backwoods hiking and camping. I’ve since sectioned hiked the AT a bit, “bike” camped, and now, in my latest incarnation car camped.

I never would have thought it.

But my wife is more of a city girl, and so far my son is a city boy as well. Now he’s young, and there’s plenty of time for him to develop the put it on your back and walk aesthetic I enjoy so much, but I recognize that if I’m going to maximize my own outdoor time, it’s going to be with necessary compromises on how I go about that… so car camping it is. Recently, The Kid slept in a tent all night with me for the first time and loved it. He’s hiked up various paths in NY, ME, and NH… and loves rock climbing (like many kids). I appear to be off to a good start.

Some unexpected additions?

A solar chargeable battery arrangement that allows my son to use his devices. We also have the ability to recharge it from the car, and or run various things while in the car. There’s more LED lights than I would have expected, but they do make it easy to see. There’ll be more cooking related things than I would have thought. We have an excellent cooler that will hold ice for days (or other things frozen or cool).

In short, there’s way more gear than I ever considered in my light and ultra-light days. but it sure does make it homey regardless of where we hang out.

If anyone cares for details about what gear we’re using… feel free to get in touch.

IMG 3366

Written by Daniel

September 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Posted in environment, personal


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