Dave Winer: RSS on the desktop, 15 years later
Distilled, in a tweet, this is what it’s about to me. “One of the most patriotic things you can do is to upgrade the quality and breadth of the news you read. Invest in your personal news flow.”
Even just a few months ago, that statement would have seemed arrogant, even unhinged. But today we know that control of information flow is essential to basically everything. It will be even more so in the future.
That’s the anthem of my new product, Electric River. It’s now available for the Mac, hopefully soon on other desktop platforms. It boots up reading the feeds I set it up to read. But you can and should make it your own. I want to work on making feed discovery better next, but for right now, you can build your own news network and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make it work.
Why Apple Defends Encryption:
Now is the time when we get to decide if we have a right to privacy and security, and the limits of our government for the digital age. It won’t happen because of public statements by tech leaders. No, it’s up to us to make our opinions about online privacy and security known to our elected representatives, in order to determine the limits of policing (and protecting) by consent.
In fact, you have an opportunity to weigh in right now. A bill has been introduced in New York State that would ban the sale of smartphones within the state unless they can be decrypted and unlocked by the manufacturer. It’s astonishingly misguided, and for those who want express their disbelief that elected representatives could be so ignorant of technology (and geography), you can set up an account with the New York State Senate, vote against it, and even leave comments.
Then, just sit back and wait for the next ignorant statement or misguided piece of legislation, because these issues aren’t going to be resolved easily, quickly, or definitively.
More Apple Car Thoughts: Software Culture | Monday Note:
Just because the software running inside Apple’s personal computing devices is considered high quality doesn’t mean that the culture that produces it is capable of producing the high-reliability, real-time embedded software needed for an electric car.
I am one of the many who believe culture always wins. Culture eats strategy for breakfast, it causes mergers and acquisitions to fail and, above all, it resists virile executive calls to change. Culture evolves slowly, as if having its own independent will, or not at all.
The bottom line is this: For the hypothetical Apple Car project to succeed, a necessary (but not sufficient) condition is a culture change of a kind rarely, if ever, achieved by large organizations.
Perhaps the new software culture could arise in a new, separate group, well protected against the corporate lymphocytes always prone to attack what they see foreign objects. But that would break Apple in two separate cultures, and be the beginning of a dangerous process for a company that, today, strives on having a united functional organization.
It came up at work, we checked with the author to ensure what we saw in the code and by experiment. Documenting here in case anyone else has the question.
“It forces SSL everywhere by default. The only mechanism to disable SSL is to provide a url as :endpoint that uses the http scheme instead of https.”
Open source license usage on GitHub.com:
Open source simply isn’t open source without a proper license. Unless you’ve explicitly told others that they can modify and reuse your work, you’ve only showed others your code; you haven’t shared it. Here at GitHub, we’re big fans of open source, so we set out to better understand how our users approached licensing their code by looking at license usage across public, non-forked repositories, in hopes of encouraging more users to share their work with others.
Share your code
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to add a
LICENSE file to your project. To make things a bit easier, if you begin to create a file named
LICENSE via the web interface, we’ll even provide you with a list of common license templates to choose from.
This is just the start. Look forward to a more in depth analysis over the coming weeks as to how license usage affects project success, as we delve deeper into the numbers. Of course, in the mean time, we encourage you to explore license usage on GitHub using the Licenses API.
Happy open source licensing!
→ 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?