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Happy Sunday. Just had a remarkable programming session. At the beginning of the session I had a nice chokidar-based image uploader app in Node. I wanted to get started at putting it into an Electron shell. A couple of hours and it's done. There's an image that was uploaded with it in the right margin. The cool thing is that it hooks into the OS, no polling, so there's zero latency. Drop an image in the folder and it's up before you can bring the app to the front. Debugged a race condition, a file deleted before it was read, and then realized I had two copies of the app running.

Here's a screen shot of the app of an image of of itself uploaded by itself. I could have kept going, but I decided not to. ??

It's 78F here in NYC, humid but it feels delightful compared to the heat we've been having. Feels like springtime! Might have to wear a sweater (just kidding).

One more thing I like, the node-notifier package. Not a huge fan of desktop notification, but that's a separate issue. The team that did this package did it well, with good examples, and attention to detail.

The new server locked up again. I rebooted it with the same apps running, but now I'm thinking I have to split it in two. I also have in mind some software that will make that easier. Always factoring. Also might give me a chance to try out the new cname trick we learned. ?

Pay attention to this. Something we might not want to let a president do.

Josh Marshall: "President is accused of winning election by conspiring with a foreign power, now openly signaling no investigation will be allowed. A crisis." Also meets privately with the leader of the foreign power and makes unilateral concessions.

How to get important tech ideas reviewed?

Personal emails still work the best. Of course this makes sense. When I have a project of some importance, sending an email directly to someone who I want to review it elicits the most responses. But it's inefficient. And the more you do it, the less power each email has.

Suppose I had an Node package in development that I think represents a basic technology for news distribution. Do I have to send emails to the people I think of to get access to their minds? And what about the creative thinkers who I either don't know, or didn't think to send an email to?

Our idea distribution system is non-existent. Hacker News is like a nuclear shotgun, there's so much there how do you find the stuff that's relevant. Wait for a reporter to write about it? Well that never happens.

I guess this is the technical side of the Mike Arrington-style product blog I asked for.

I'd like to have a channel that's for serious releases only. If something is a maintenence release, or just the beginning of an idea, it wouldn't be thought of as important. However, when a technology has matured and is ready for other minds to consider it, there ought to be a way to get it looked at.

I guess this is the equivalent of peer review in academia, but it's concept and code review that I want.

I like the Atom editor

A few months ago I started using the Atom editor, and it has proven so useful it's now in the dock on my Mac.

It's an Electron app, which means that under the hood it's a web/node app packaged to run on the Mac desktop. (To say it's an Electron app is a bit of an understatement, it was the app that Electron was developed to run. The two begat each other, a very important software design principle. They factored well.)

It's a programmer's editor. I use it for lightweight stuff, as a viewer for technical documents.

I edit my JavaScript source in an outliner. Sometimes it's nice to be able to view it flattened, so I use it for that (I also use GitHub for the same purpose, funny how they come from the same company). Or when an error message refers to a specific line number, they have line numbers, my outliner doesn't, so I drag the JS file onto the Atom icon.

I use it to view a JSON file when I'm working on code that works with that kind of file. A very handy way to keep it around as a reference. And I look at RSS feeds and OPML files in all their XML glory using Atom. I even use it for light touchups to config.json files for some of my apps.

It's playing the role that BBEdit plays for some Mac users or X-Code, or probably an IDE on Windows. But I like Atom, so that's what I use.

Actually Mark Twain didn't say that

Anthony Scarramucci, a newbie in the Trump White House, who has yet to be broken by the Cheeto-in-Chief, posted a philosophical tweet on June 15.

  • Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth. Mark Twain

As we all know that was not said by Mark Twain, which led to an epic tweet-meme of famous things that were not said by historic figures. I contributed my own to the meme-parade.

  • We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine. Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg

Oh the things we do for amusement these days. ??

Special story: Musical podcasts of 2005.

A magazine is doing a profile of me re the beginnings of podcasting in 2003-2005. They asked for stories of goofs, or the first time something weird happened on a podcast. If you were listening back at the beginning, the podcasts from the DNC in 2003, or a BloggerCon, or one of the casts from my cross-country driving in 2004, please leave a note here with any stories you remember.

Here's the original Morning Coffee Notes podcast page.

I've skipped Rachel Maddow for the last three nights. It's no longer interesting to me. We're looping around and around. It's the same story. Trump was and is in the money laundering business. They operate in the open, just lie about it. No coincidence the same people in the June 2016 meeting are turning out to have relationships with Trump and his team as well as Putin and his. They're all part of the same effort. Trump is so happy to meet Putin and hang with him because he's the boss's boss's boss. We can all see Trump is both crazy and subordinate to Putin. The only story left to tell here is when are the Repubs going to do something about it.

An interesting side-effect of all the Russian-Trump michegas is that the Russian actors in US politics are getting exhaustively examined by the US press. They probably don't like the exposure. Makes it harder for them to do what they do.

Tweet: A few years ago in Berkeley I had a public argument with Lowell Bergman. I said judges would blog, an idea the famous journalist laughed at. The point being that people who have climbed to the top of a ladder, the people we respect the most, usually miss new ladders being erected.

President Trump didn't get his way on health care, not that he had any idea what he wanted, so he threatened to "let ObamaCare die." Of course the Repubs can make it die, and there's a pretty good chance that's what they're doing. That's really fucked up. What's next. He wants something so he threatens to launch the nukes? A president who tries hostage-taking once will do it again.

The movie industry should solve this problem

The movie industry should invest in a simple ad-free fast showtime listings site where you can find out wtf is playing when near you.

Google used to have the perfect movie listings site, but they shut it down. Here's what Google says: "You can now discover showtimes on the search results page by searching for the name of the movie you want to see or try searching for the word 'movies' to discover what’s in theaters."

For the first part, I used Google Movies to find out what was available, so I might not know what movie I want to see. But today I know what movie I want to see: Dunkirk. So how do I search for all theaters in Manhattan that are showing that movie, and the showtimes, and the address of the theater. That used to be one click in Google Movies.

To the other half of their advice, when I type "movies" into the search engine, I get Fandango. Fandango is a piece of shit. Impossible to get the info you need, and it's incredibly slow. There must be a money-making reason for it. It makes it hard to find a movie in a theater to watch. To just daydream about what's available. Sometimes I used to go to a movie just because there was nothing else that interested me. I never do that anymore because they make it so hard to scan the listings. This, from an industry who feels imperiled by Netflix and piracy. Please. How much could it cost to solve this problem? How much revenue would it generate?

When I was a kid, New York Mag had a great movie listings section. So this is an example where the print era provided better info than the age of the Internet. That's just wrong. The bits cost nothing. The data is certainly available. Why don't they just solve the problem.

If you're feeling down there's nothing like a little Wayne's World

Good morning e-sports fans! ??

OJ is paroled. Here comes the moral parade to end all moral parades.

To me a blog is daily writing and a software project.

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.

Just sayin the Repubs could have gone through the CBO exercises in private before rolling out their plan. Even a small software company would do a little testing before deploying, just in case, you know, the app deletes 23 million people's insurance.

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

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

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.

David Byrne, blogging philosopher

He offers two bits of advice in one song.

  • When I have nothing to say my lips are sealed.
  • Say something once, why say it again?

A cascade into dysfunction

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.

instantdave.com is a domain I bought today. ??

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.

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.

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.

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. ??

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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. ??

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

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

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.

Good morning open tech fans! ??

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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