October snow

It never happens. 4 times in NYC recorded weather history. But it happened this weekend. I have pictures and everything. But it’s gonna have to wait until all the services get turned back on.

Update: It’s now November 2nd and we still have no connectivity. I’m working where I can get a reliable connection and some quiet, and while I do I thought I’d upload some stuff. Here’s a flickr set of a bunch of photos from Sunday after the storm.


User-led RSS advocacy

User-led RSS advocacy:

A picture named loveRss.jpgIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, take a few moments and read this manifesto by actress Felicia Day about the importance of supporting RSS. She says that some sources are turning off their feeds. I was not aware of this. I subscribe to new feeds all the time, and rarely do I find a source that updates regularly that doesn’t have one. I think I’d notice.

But what’s reallly cool about this is that passionate and intelligent advocacy is coming from users. For me, that’s new. And very welcome. I’ve felt like the only person who’s willing to stick his neck out of the idea that we could have news flows that were not controlled by the tech industry. I was told that users would never understand why this is important. Well, looks like the people who said that were wrong.

This happens regularly in the tech industry, as I’ve written about so often. In the early days of a technology, in this case news feeds, users need training wheels on their tools. But a few years later, they understand how it works, and they can see how they’re being controlled. Shortly after that they break free of the bonds and a new layer of tech comes online.

If you’re a developer, it seems now is a good time to take a fresh look at building networks of news flow that doesn’t run exclusively through Google, Twitter or Facebook. There is an architecture possible here, built on formats and protocols we all know well. XML, JSON, HTTP, DNS. All of it lightweight and easily cloned for lots of choice for users.

But at least read Ms Day’s screed. :-)

Source: Scripting News

O’Keefe vs. Rosen, Shirky

O’Keefe stings Rosen, Shirky: My thoughts: It’s okay to go undercover and publish the result if you actually caught someone doing something inappropriate. Based on what I know about journalism classes, and what Clay does (there’s only one quote from Jay in the 10-minute video) he did what guest lecturers do, give their opinions on the topics of the day. This kind of stuff goes on in J-schools everywhere, every day, with people of all political persuasions.

[The first problem I have with this is with the first few seconds of video where the word “caught” is used. Dave in his piece used the word “stings” which might be closer. But certainly the word caught implies that either one of the subjects of the piece were doing something wrong. That’s the kinda of crappy journalism we can expect from the next generation, who are busy trying to make a name for themselves pointing out the supposed flaws of the previous generation. It’s all a terrible loop.]
Source: Scripting News

Two less cables

Two less cables: Services like Hulu Plus and Netflix streaming have a huge problem getting content, and I continue to think that this is in no small part because they vastly underprice their services—which they do because consumers continue to decide how much they’re willing to pay for content based not on the content itself but on the delivery mechanism. If you watch a dozen shows and pay $120 a month for HD cable, you’re paying around $2.50 per episode. An iTunes season pass for a 24-episode show in HD is probably going to be about $45, or $1.88 an episode. Yet consumer behavior suggests we think iTunes is the service that’s priced unreasonably.*

I wrote a few months ago that I doubted you could do a streaming service that was really capable of supplanting cable or satellite unless it was at least $30 a month, and that’s probably including ads. I don’t think Netflix or Hulu could ask that kind of price and have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding. I doubt even Amazon could.

[Lisa and I were discussing the math of cable just last night. Generally it doesn’t provide the value you think it does. It’s worth looking at what you use cable for… you might be able to drop it.]
Source: Coyote Tracks