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Scripting News  XML Source: http://www.scripting.com/rss.xml  

Braintrust query: I'm writing docs that include an example of an HTTP request, in Markdown. Can't figure out to do it in MD.

I'm doing a reboot of the XML-RPC website and readying a new JavaScript implementation. I was reminded that the original reference implementation, in 1998, was in UserLand Frontier. The docs are still there. 21 years. Not bad.

Nancy Pelosi (not a boomer, she was born in 1940) was great yesterday, both in her press conference where she said what is sure to be a famous historic line: "Don't mess with me" all the way to the CNN town hall, which I watched, where she asked not to have to look at things through the prism of the White House, which as long as Trump is there is crazy town. She's the leader we didn't know we had. What I admire most about her is her clarity and her ability to think on her feet. Either that or she really prepared for this moment. No matter, she's just what we need right now. A strong woman to stand up to Trump. That's his Kryptonite. He's like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz.

McKinsey is a management consulting company. Hiring someone with experience there means they understand how that part of the world works. I don't think it means their soul is dark, as some people seem to assume.

Important to note the role journalism was ready to play in the Trump plot to throw the 2020 election. Fareed Zakaria of CNN would interview Ukraine president Zelensky, where he would say they were investigating "The Bidens" for corruption. From there, Trump would ask repeatedly, as with Hillary's emails what's the deal, or they're under investigation or his favorite "I don't know but people are saying." That's all that would be needed to keep the "story" alive in American journalism. Biden's rep is already tainted. In software we'd consider this a serious vulnerability, and we'd close it asap before our servers were infected again, but journalism just lumbers along oblivious, happy to be used this way. Fake stories don't just enter through the web, Facebook and Twitter, sometimes they enter through the thought-to-be-pure methods of American journalism.

BTW, Fareed Zakaria, born in 1964, is a boomer. Joe Biden born in 1942 is not. His son Hunter was born in 1970, not a boomer.

Had a brief talk with Doc yesterday. He and I of course are boomers. So is Trump and Rudy G. They were both born a decade before me. Their experience and values are vastly different from mine. There aren't many things you can say about boomers that's true of all boomers except for the period in which we were born (1946-1964) and our parents had sex and a few months later we were born (just like you btw). We come in all sizes and shapes. Some have penises, others have vaginas. Some are black others are white, others are Native American, some are children of Holocaust survivors, and others are Nazis. So many things to say about this, but most importantly the only way we get out of this mess is if we work together. The rest of it is stuff your parents should have taught you. If they're boomers, go ahead and blame them, but don't blame me. I'm not your father. ??

All of a sudden Alexa says Goodbye when I say "Alexa stop." I wish it wouldn't.

Wouldn't it be cool if one of the candidates who have so much criticism for Facebook discovered that there is an open news distribution system, widely supported, ready to work for the people? None of the problems of FB. We're natural allies.

If something truly goes without saying you donít have to say it.

My friend Yvonne was storing a bunch of boxes for me in Berkeley, and now that I have a house again, she shipped eleven boxes to me via Fedex (see below). I started going through them today and I'm so glad we did this. I had no idea what was in the boxes. I had a vague idea that it was junk, but it was not junk. First I found three quilts my mom made for me. Two of them in really good shape. The third had been chewed by my dog, Bon Bon, back when I lived in Woodside, CA in the early 90s. There were tons of pictures, the old kind, made with film cameras. Friends and relatives long gone, or now much older. Memories. Love and regrets, happy times and sadness, stored in boxes on paper. It all comes flooding back. And notebooks from when I was in grade school. Here's a page from one of them, in 1962, where I'm practicing the most basic writing. Funny thing I remember what this felt like as a seven year old. I loved learning then. We're programmed that way I guess.

I appreciate people pointing to me when quoting something from my blog, but I prefer you point to the blog and not my Twitter account. My home on the web is my blog, scripting.com, my Twitter account is a place to record random ideas before they appear on the blog.

Vegan.com: "RSS is a crucial technology every activist ought to know about and use."

Every so often I get tagged in someone's lament about how no one uses RSS. It's not true. It's one of those things you can't use alone, because it depends on your news sources supporting it. I get most of my news via my rivers, which of course are just aggregations of RSS feeds. I imagine the rivers will survive me. At some point it may not be a fire hose, it may be the way the Colorado River flows into the ocean, but I think I will never see the day that RSS is gone. It does its work quietly, unlike Twitter or Facebook. It doesn't steal your personal info. Or support Russian hackers. It's quiet. That's okay with me. ??

BTW before Russians hacked our meme ecosystem, Google was doing it, and before them Sun, Microsoft, Apple and IBM. Google always felt threatened by RSS. They encircled it and then cut it off. They quietly got their shills in the tech press to talk about its demise. To slam me personally. It's an insidious thing. They still do it. Usually through cutouts, journalists and consultants, and sometimes Google employees. Big tech companies hate open formats and protocols, because they evolve independently of them. They feel they must control everything. It's not smart, wise or even realisitic, but after decades of existing in the wake of bigco's I know it's as inevitable as the sunset and sunrise cycle. Eventually the lack of flexibility marginalizes the big company, but they don't die, they just keep polluting, they buy politicians and we have to live with the result.

Speaker Pelosi kicks ass

ďI think the President is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence. I think he is cruel when he doesnít deal with helping our dreamers of which we are very proud. I think he is in denial about the climate crisis.

However, that is about the election. Take it up in the election.

This is about Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the Presidentís violation of his oath of office.Ē

Fedex impresses

As you know I've had trouble with UPS, so I figured when Fedex was set to do a big delivery to my house just after a 1.5 foot snow in the area, that they would never get one of their big delivery trucks down the road to my house, and I'd end up driving somewhere to pick up the packages. But yesterday afternoon there was a knock on the door, and there was the Fedex guy with my packages. Smiling. I couldn't believe it.

The truck said Hertz, not Fedex. It was a small AWD vehicle. He said when they came to deliver the stuff a day before they realized their big truck wouldn't make it down the orad, so they rented a smaller truck and drove that to my house with my package. He said we like to go the extra mile. Yes, they surely do! Compared to UPS, which has basically the same policy, trust the driver, but the ethos of this driver compared to whoever made the call at UPS (basically the customer can fuck off) was night and day.

Hat's off to Fedex. You win this contest, hands down.

My four-minute podcast about why removing the president is obviously the thing to do.

I was driving while listening to the Judiciary Committee testimony. During a break the NPR commentators spoke. Endless Republican spin, even though most of what we had heard at that point was very favorable to impeachment. Eloquent and passionate. A real education. At that point Turley had barely spoken, but all they did was make his points over and over. No question at this point NPR is Republican. Disgusting to me because I am most definitely not Republican. I need another source of news. WNYC which is generally good should consider breaking off from NPR if that's possible.

This moment is the last gasp of the American Revolution.

Something bothered me about Brave, and the direction Firefox is going in, and of course Google and Chrome. Finally figured it out. I don't like tech companies imposing rules on writers. I may hate what pubs do with their tracking code and paywalls, but I hate what the tech industry is doing to oppose that, more. Maybe if Brave came out of the University of Illinois I would like it better, but it came from Silicon Valley, from the former CEO of Mozilla. A club of high priests of tech and their bankers who see us as the little people, when we're not ignored, to be treated with disdain and disrespect. They know what's best for us. It's like that old Who song, meet the new boss same as the old boss. The web was about freedom, and that required a weak tech industry. I hope, if they control it as it appears they do, something wonderful and free rises to replace them.

Maybe if we pool our money and run ads of people laughing at Trump he'll get the clue and leave our country too.

An open podcast to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. It's way too long and rambles too much, but the idea is imho worth 16 minutes.

Chrome keeps coming up with new things to complain about my sites. I ignore them. I wonder how many web devs pay attention to Google's complaints?

I had a little health scare a few weeks ago. As you may know, I broke a rib in a bike accident in September. Mostly healed now. I had to go in for an X-ray and my doctor said there was a shadow that she didn't like. I should go for a CT-scan she said, let's find out what's going on. If it's lung cancer, that's good news, she said, we found it early and it's probably treatable. If we wait for symptoms then it's often not treatable. I smoked for 31 years, she reminded me, in case I was feeling sorry for myself. Heh. So I scheduled the test, had a couple of weeks to think about it. I was obsessed. Maybe she knows and isn't saying until she's absolutely sure. I was convinced that was it, and my life was about to change to the life of a cancer patient. I know a little about it because like pretty much everyone I know people who have cancer. My father died from it. Anyway, no cancer. Knock wood. But I had the benefit of thinking I had it. So I got that experience, without the awful chemo and radiation and possible dying. I feel very lucky. I decided to tell this story now to give you an idea why I don't care that Chrome hates my websites. I do what my doctor says, mostly -- I don't give a shit what Google wants me to do. As Logan Roy says, have a nice day. ;-)

Poll: How many phones do you carry?

You may not like Bloomberg, but his new ad is the perfect Democratic candidate ad for winning in a landslide.

Interesting point. Brian Kelly thinks Scripting News should not remember the tab you were at from visit to visit.

I encourage readers to see this blog as a piece of software. If you get an idea on how to improve it, I'm interested in knowing about it. I wrote all the code for it, so I can relatively easily add or tweak features.

Vulture has a list of lists of best TV shows of 2019. I find some of their choices hard to fathom. Deadwood Movie was awful, imho -- and it wasn't a TV show, yet it's on a list. Anyway I'd love to have a list of all the shows so I could pick my own top 10. Amazon, Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu and a few others. I'm sure I only watched about a dozen shows total, no more, so while the list of possible shows is huge, the actual top ten lists wouldn't be that hard to come up with.

We had a good size winter storm at my country house in the last couple of days. It's the kind of storm that's mostly wet in NYC, where I lived previously, but up here it was first heavy snow, then it got lighter. So the first time I shoveled the walkway to the car it was heavy lifting and the second time, light and easy. Perhaps 1.5 feet of snow. I drove down the road before it was plowed, having an AWD is great, and noted that someone had been cross country skiing on my road, I was envious. I took note of where the tracks came from, and went. The air is cold and clear, it feels like one of those mornings in Utah, it's the best first moment of a day anywhere. Later we'll be on top of the mountain looking down at the village, and thinking man this is as good as it gets. I have to figure out how to either ski or ride my bike in this weather. Probably both. I live about 1/2 hour from a ski area. It isn't Utah, or the Alps, but it is mine. ??

The name of podcasting, part N

I've created commercial products, and no one ever said they named my product ThinkTank, Ready, MORE, Frontier, Manila, Radio UserLand, even if they thought of the name before I did. Because people respect commercial development.

The process for podcasting was no different, except we did it in the open and no one claimed ownership of the resulting product. This is the way new web standards were developed in the late 90s and early 00s.

Hammersley could have helped, but didn't. He made a lucky guess, and for that he deserves credit, but not for naming the product. It's possible that Dannie Gregoire, the person who does deserve the credit, got the idea from Hammersley, but I've never heard him say that. And he put in time and effort to help make podcasting real. So many people who poured their hearts into this work got little or no credit.

It has become established that Hammersley named our product, even though this is not true. That's the only reason I object. I think the truth matters.

Hopefully this makes it into the Wikipedia piece on the history of podcasting, if not, know that our system of fact checking and truth vetting is about as bad as can be. When people naively say that Facebook should be able to vet everything for truth, here's something that's easily shown to be false, has been contested for years, however the record never gets altered, and reputable reporters still cite the lie as fact. Probably will continue to for a long time, maybe always.

Tooting my own horn a bit: John Naughton calls me a genius in this Guardian piece. I'll take it, to balance all the other things people have called me. ??

When did it become even thinkable that a president would publicly fake an orgasm to humiliate a woman who works at the FBI, for him. This is the moment for our Republican friends, if we have any left, to wake the fuck up and realize what you're endorsing.

There comes a point where our minds are closed, we're not interested in considering there might be an innocence for people who stand by Trump. We're over that line now. You're dragging the rest of us to hell and we don't want to go there. Republicans this is on you.

I live in a Hallmark greeting card.

Suborning perjury is not just an issue for lawyers, Reporters have an obligation, if they know a subject is going to lie, to not put them on the air.

Iíd like to see a courageous journalist tackle this story. Why do Repub politicians sound like Russians? Iíd like to know. Note I use the word courageous sarcastically. There's nothing courageous about investigating an obvious question. It's ridiculous that not one reporter has done this story. It's a scandal happening out in the open. But it doesn't fit a model that reporters know: it's not a horse race, and it's not a replay of Watergate.

BTW there is precedent for turning off Repubs on CNN and MSNBC. They went through this in Ukraine. They thought they could be fair and balanced, that just let trolls keep an attack vector. Ultimately you have to close it. Journalism will do some growing up before that.

When I was a kid I participated in several marches on Washington. We took buses from NYC. On one of them, I was part of the organizing committee, I was the political guy on the trip, even though I was just 16. One of the passengers, the mother of a high school friend, said I should get up and give a peptalk and lead a discussion on behalf of the organizers. I gave the talk, it wasn't very good, but I remembered the idea. Any good protest needs organizers. When I turn on MSNBC in the evening I keep hoping they'll cross the line, and start helping us, instead of being with us in desperation waiting for someone to help us. They have the pulput. Putin has Trump. Who does Putin's American opposition have? Someone with courage, a spine, and a sense that it is his or her destiny to lead us out of the wilderness.

Gall's Law: "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system."

For crying out loud itís what, December already? What the..

There's no doubt we have crossed the tipping point in the climate crisis. Part of the equation is politics. We're not only not doing anything to halt the crisis, we're accelerating it.

Oh the weather outside..

We need a channel for organizing more than we need horse race news and Watergate.

Watched a bit of the Sunday news, and listened to NPR. Lots of Republican lies. Enough with the news that gives more than half the time to lies to keep less than half the population in line. We're deep in a hole, and need a landslide in next year's election to have any hope of turning things around. The press as usual has a bias toward keeping everything disorganized because that gives them the horse race, one of two stories they know how to cover. (The other is Watergate.)

I have no interest in the current crop of superhero movies, but I would see a movie starring Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, as superheroes with their money. They would have to wear outfits and have interesting names and powers. Bezos would be the guy who can get anything delivered to you when you want it. Not sure what Gates' superpower would be. It would be a lot like Idiocracy. This movie would anticipate the future of the species when the evolution we're currently going through has run its course.

What is Digital Ocean?

At a dinner last night with local friends, a question came up -- What is Digital Ocean? I mention them in my posts and the nightly email.

I realllly like that people read my blog even if they don't know what everything means. This is one of the big principles of the net -- ignore what you don't understand. But read it anyway, over time unfamiliar ideas do sink in. I was tired and too much under the influence of White Russians last night to attempt the answer. I'll try now.

Think of Digital Ocean as a giant warehouse of personal computers. You can rent one of the computers for about $20 a month, and put software on the computer, even stuff that I write myself. This is a big deal because the ability to run software "in the cloud" used to be something only employees of big companies could do. Now anyone can.

Unlike my house in the woods their computers are less likely to lose power or their net connection. Also their warehouse is in a place where your computers, and your phone, can access it. I don't want thousands of people connecting to the computers in my house. It's a security thing.

So I pay them money and they run the server for me.

Over the years, as you might imagine, the cost goes down and the power goes up. A lot. They have competition, so that helps keep the price down and performance up. I like Digital Ocean because their software and docs are good, and I just like the company. They are by far not the biggest company in this space, all the major tech companies compete, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM.

PS: This is not an ad. I pay full price for my Digital Ocean servers.

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