My name is Adam Curry and this section will contain info about me in the future, as soon as I get a few other things done.
Clearly it's time for me to start taking this blog roll serious, as it is now at it's own url: blogroll.curry.com
My LinkBlog (updates very frequently)
Throughout the process I've learned how to set up a server on Amazon's webservices, create 'buckets' that work a lot like a really, really easy to set up webserver and I've been re-introduced to the OPML editor.
The beauty of what is happening here is that many great nuggets are hidden in plain sight. You just have to know where to look and follow the breadcrumbs.
After having set up a small group (<10) of producers of the No Agenda Radio Show on their own Radio2 minimal blogging system, and flowing their feeds through a dedicated river of news, I found another peice of the puzzle.
Feed Hose is a term I remember reading about somewhere back in september, at the time I wasn't sure what it meant and didn't put much time into investigating it.
I'll draw an analogy here for explanatory purposes. The easiest example is twitter and the iPhone app I use to manage my incoming tweets.
Under the hood of this iPhone app, it talks to twitter HQ and can pull in all the tweets that are being created in near real-time. I liken it to sucking down the data from Twitter full-bore "feed hose"
Of course looking at that vast amount of data isn't very useful, so I usually just look at the tweets of people I'm following. This is another feed hose, just one that I've customized to only deliver the data that I want to see.
And then there's mentions of @adamcurry. Also represented by a tab in the iPhone app, but again, this is really just a custom feed hose that only delivers tweets in which I'm 'mentioned', wether I'm following those people or not.
I know that there is too much data being created from all the world's tweets, so clearly these feed hoses are stored at twitter which filters the appropriate information to the feed hoses I've determined.
With the feedhose.root tool, I am now my own twitter HQ. I can set up any number if feedhoses, that parse ALL of the feeds my main river aggregator is subscribed to ready to be accessed by my feedhose.root tool on the other end, anywhere in the world.
I can filter by URL and I've even had some success at parsing by keyword.
The result shows up in my personal feed hose app (the OPML editor) in near real-time and sometimes even instantaneously. The result (screenshot) is exactly like twitter!
New stories show up at the top, if they have a description you can expand them and double click on the link to open the story in a webbrowser. Sound familiar?
Now all the stories the producers think I should look at flow into my working environment in real time, and I can copy/paste them right into any outline I'm working on.
What's so great about these feed hoses that I set up and control? Well first of all there's just that. *I* control them, both server and client side.
But more exciting is that this is all based on RSS, so I can pipe all kinds of content combinations through my hoses.
I will be writing more about this as I learn more with my little test group and hack around.
For now, I just wanted to share my enthousiasm :-)
Postscript: If you want to hook into my Feed Hose, the server is located at feedhose.curry.com and the default feedhose is "linkblogs"
Two full months after President Obama signed the so called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010' into law, the New York Times has apparently finally decided to actually read the bill.
With previous celebratory headlines like: 'Obama Signs Away 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', 'At Long Last, Military Honor' and 'Senate Repeals Ban on Gays Serving Openly in Military', I knew that either no one in the mainstream had taken the time to actually read the bill, or they were complicit in the presidential marketing job that took place on TV with great bavado.
Associated Press actually reported: "The new law ends the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forced gays to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal."
'This is done!' 'This is a very good day' proclaimed the president.
What a crock.
I recognized the obvious scam the miniute I read the bill's contents. My favourite line:
"No Immediate Effect on Current Policy- Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect."
Isn't that as clear as day? Of course not, that would require actual work and looking up Section 654 of title 10: the Don't Ask Don't Tell law!
The reporting definitely skewed differently. ALL mainstream media shouted that the horrible law had been repealed.
BS from politicians and media is the norm, I get it.
What I don't get is the total lack of outrage from my gay brothers and sisters. Are you stupid? scared? ignorant? indifferent? intimidated?
Why isn't Lady GaGa singing about it?
Here's my prediction, any spark of fury from the LBGT community will surely be blamed on republicans, conservatives, foxnews, Sara Palin instead of the asshats that pose as journalists and news reporters.
The real truth is, your media is not only failing you, they are complicit in lying to you.
It's the Ministry of Truth. Wake up.
Earlier in the week I watched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton give a speech at George Washington University titled: "Internet Rights and Wrongs: Choices & Challenges in a Networked World", and caught an underreported comment that warrants dissection and discussion.
About halfway she said the following: "We have also ratified the Budapest Cybercrime Convention, which sets out the steps countries must take to ensure that the internet is not misused by criminals and terrorists while still protecting the liberties of our own citizens."
This is the end of free speech online in the USA. Even if you aren't a criminal or terrorist.
For an overview of the agreement, you can peruse the wikipedia entry, but the actual document itself isn't all that hard to read and it's important everyone who writes online understand what it means you can and cannot say/write/post/blog/tweet or change your facebook status to. [do this!]
Ratification of the Budapest Cybercrime Convention means that the United states has joined Europe, Japan, Canada and China in this agreement and is now beholden to it's protocols. That's elite-speak for 'it's now the law of the land', and like the other countries that signed this agreement, we must put laws and penalties in place to uphold it.
I think most will agree that although it is technically a restriction of free speech, racist writings have no place in any modern society. Xenophobia however, is a very different animal alltogether, and although the word sounds scary and wrong, it's actual definition is quite broad: "fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign"
The dictionary that came with my MacBookPro defines xenophobia even broader: "intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries".
Words matter, especially when you are looking at them from a legal perspective, which is exactly what courts do when you are being charged with a crime.
Under the protocols laid out by the Budapest Cybercrime Convention, which will soon, or perhaps already is law in the United States, it is illegal and punishable by law to post the following scentence:
Iranians scare me.
It's debatable wether this is an irrational statement of fear. Many deem me to be an irrational person in general, which would make me guilty. For the record, Iranians don't scare me. Hillary Clinton does.
I fear this broad language, that we apparently have all signed up for, will be used to create "criminal offences under its domestic law" for what is clearly free speech.
What ever happened to: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."?
It's been crazy busy the past few days. Doing a corporate video job to help make ends meet. I hate sucking the corporate cock, but such is life sometimes. Luckily there are many other exciting projects I'm involved in.. One of them will greatly benefit the No Agenda audience, who we call producers, since they actually produce more of the show than they probably even realize. I'm maintaining a feed of the stories that they've sent to me since this past Sunday that I feel are worth tracking. Just imagine how good this would be if we linked all these Human Resources together with Fractional Horsepower.....
The New York Times posted this hilarious picture of the Nokia Microsoft announcement. Not so funny for the possible thousands of employees who will be RIF-ed. Apparently there is an acronym going around Helsinki: GOOF: Get Out Of Finland
As an information manager I use a lot of tools. Every tool Has a specific function, requires my manual hands-on operation and has only two requirements: it has to save me time and interoperate with my other tools.
The information I manage is primarily news. Not the kind that the NY Times, Guardian or even WikiLeaks provides, rather news that is percolating behind the headlines of the mainstream. This can range from a blogpost written by a scientist hidden several layers deep on a university website, to an email sent 'anonymously' from inside a big corporation to a local news broadcast from New Zealand. Once I think I'm 'on to something', the research starts. I collect links, quotes and other media assets (audio and video clips) that I then aggregate into a 'story' that I will discuss on my bi-weekly No Agenda podcast with John C. Dvorak. This discussion in turn spurs the audience to send me more information on the topic which often leads to a follow-up on the next episode of the show. Sometimes a story like High Speed Rail in the United States, or H1N1 Vaccine will become a 'topic' and will even get it's own jingle if it is revisted often enough.
The information flow for this comes from a couple of primary sources: twitter and (unfortunately) email.
I do not like my news information flowing through email. Messages are free form by nature, links need to be found in the body of the text, it's difficult to identify duplicates (I receive a LOT of duplicate stories) and since email is unstructured, I wind up doing a lot of copy/pasting from this river of sludge into my primary management tool, the OPML Outline editor.
Twitter is more enjoyable, since it's information flows like a pristine river all day in the corner of my eye. I have the TTYtter commandline client (screenshot) installed running in a terminal window. As it scrolls by it highlights tweets to me in red, search terms I've entered in green and everything else in white. I call it my serendipity window.
Serendipity is defined by Merriam-Webster as "the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for".
My 20 year old daughter and her friends mistakenly call this 'random'. Random pulls from a defined dataset. I'm pretty sure they mean serendipity. Despite the misnomer, this is what spawns viral content with the kids.
Even though we may not be able to define it for ourselves, we all love that one song on the radio you didn't expect, an article you never expected to read about a topic that never ocurred to you, or even an email from someone you haven't heard from in 20 years (this may be part of facebook's secret to success). I believe we all love to experience the unexpected.
I have been dilligently following Dave's reboot with his river of news project, as I desperately want to swim, fish and live from the purest river of news I can create and nurture. His piece this morning about a news river that send things downstream that I want and am interested in hit home. I do not however think this can come from a computer analyzing what I follow and like alone, it needs to deliver serendipty.
The killer serendipity app to me is people. People who toss stuff into my river that catch my eye when it floats by. Sometimes this is an email, other times it's a tweet @adamcurry that scrolls by with a link. Rarely is it from someone I already follow or subscribe to. It almost never comes through my current river of news. Until yesterday when I subscribed to Dave's linkblog and this gem caught my eye. I don't subscribe to the imdb rss feed (do they have one?) it would pollute my river, but this led me to the Atlas Shrugged movie which, judging by the trailer, not only looks atrocious, it appears to be blatent promotion for High Speed Rail. Serendipity.
Now for the hard part. I completely buy into a decentralized rss world to construct my own personal river, which allows for a single tool to manage the information I need effectively. What is missing is the @adamcurry of rss. How does someone toss a gem into my river without me ever following them or subscribing to their feed? Is this some kind of reverse rss? How do we allow for serendipity to be injected into the stream?
Interesting analysis from Dan Lyons on why the deal with AOL is a mess.
I was listening to the Rebooting the news podcast this evening in my hotel room when a thought struck me. It wasn't the show itself that inspired me, (although I'm sure one of it's hosts does that frequently, and perhaps in this case subliminally) it was the connections that enabled me to listen to the show that fired me up.
I was listening on my iPhone, with the Dropbox app. You can play media right from the app, it continues playing if it's in the background and you can 'scrub' forward or backward, even if the file hasn't loaded fully. Certainly enough functionality for podcast listening.
I was accessing the app from a Dropbox folder that is shared with a computer running the River2 news aggregator, part of the EC2 for Poets project. It knows to download podcast files from feeds I'm subscribed to and drop them into the 'podcast' folder I set up in my Dropbox.
Another awesome use of Dropbox, but also inspiration for some brainstorming.
Why not 'subscribe' directly to a podcast dropbox? When the producer of the show drops a new episode into the box, it automagically appears ready to play on all my dropbox enabled devices.
Of course I want shownotes and art and an index of the show, so why wouldn't this podcast folder also contain an rss file that links to the file in the dropbox?
This way I can run the whole process of parsing a feed and accessing the file locally, after the files are already on my devices.
I'm unsure of the real benefits, but somehting about it just feels worth trying.
Wide distribution of both the content and the rss creates multiple archives of my 'stuff' that are ready to be replicated/mirrored by anyone who is sharing my folder.
Audience members can set up their own 'repeaters' by publishing the rss and files from a structure already in place.
Even if dropbox were to 'go away', as cloud services tend to do from time to time, there would be thousands of copies of my show ready to replicate.
Great for wikileakers!
It simplifies the process a 'private' or 'by invite only' publication through the dropbox invites and sharing process.
Another related thought is using dropbox to bootstrap the World Outline of linked OPML files.
2/7/11; 11:27:36 PM by AC I gave the aforementioned a try, I'm calling it my 'small world outline' and it worked. The rendered results are like peering into Alice's looking glass....
2/7/11; 11:36:32 PM by AC Here's another version of a rendering using the optimal widget
Paul Mason works for BBC's NewsNight. He's also a blogger, one with enormous promise. He's taken his working notes for a topic that didn't make it onto the show and posted them online. Good thinking here, and curious that his superiors decided not to go with it:
Trains Good, Planes BAd (Whoo Hoo!)
Gitmo Nation Jewelry
Gitmo Nation East
Gitmo Nation Lowlands
Gitmo Nation Brussels Sprouts
United $tates of EURO-pe
TV & Radio PR
Minstry of Truth
COBOL & Skip Logic
Shut Up Slave!
What color is your revolution?
Nap For Humanity
No Agenda Books
End of Show Clip
According to this article the person who (re)posted a youtube clip from 1994 was fired from his NBC related job. I recall these days quite well, and although it seems hilarious to us today, the concept of the internet took many years for people to grasp. You think Gumbel and Couric fumbling at understanding the @ sign is funny? How about MTV executives who told me they didn't care if I registered mtv.com and ran a Gopher server, because they had already secured their AOL 'keywords'.
Many, many people, myself included, spent years evangelizing the network.
And it wasn't just the non 'techie' people who needed convincing. Another gem in this video is the email address they are trying to parse: firstname.lastname@example.org
IT executives wielded enormous power over their mysterious kingdoms and weren't about to let any 'marketing types' tell them how to run their email systems. If you wanted to receive an email on his network, you just know you're going to be a sub-domain of the mighty ge.com!!
It took equally as long to change the conventional thinking that engineers, sysadmins and developers had at the time. Like how setting up an email alias for todayshow.com was more appropriate for the audience than a convoluted multiple [dot] address of the (now former) parent corporation.
There was even a time, before the web, when you could get banned from a newsgroup (remember those?), possibly ALL newsgroups if you posted a message of 'commercial content'. Exactly what constituted 'commercial' was open to interpretation and even the rules of 'netiquette' didn't last long once the world wide web created the largest marketing opportunity in our lifetime.
So this is a rare moment when I defend the mainstream nest I come from. Looking back we can and should all laugh at ourselves, but also reflect on how much has been accomplished in a relatively short time. Facebooks, Twitters and Googles will come and go. Our generation's job is to continue to protect the network and our access to it, for today and generations to come.
From Wikileaks CableViewer # 08TRIPOLI340:
When the Russians informed al-Mismari that Putin would be accompanied at all times by an assistant carrying Russia's nuclear launch codes, al-Mismari blew up: "Libya has made a decision to get rid of its nuclear weapons. We will not let you bring your nuclear weapons here!" Russian diplomats explained to al-Mismari that Putin would be traveling with codes and not/not the nuclear weapons themselves.
Unbelievable: "Egyptian authorities forced Vodafone to broadcast government-scripted text messages during the protests that have rocked the North African nation, the U.K.-based mobile company said Thursday."
Will this company stop at nothing for profit? If you really want to show your support for your Egyptian brothers and sisters. Cancel your account.
I'm a relatively new user of the Google Chrome browser. Suddenly when opening a new tab, a page with an advertisement for Google products/services started appearing. Is this new?
Although I don't agree with the policy of banning smoking outdoors in parks and on beaches as New York City has just done, I am happy to be a non-smoker, and not one of those hateful ones that goes 'eeeuwww' when someone lights up.
Although I do find the smell unattractive now that I can actually identify fresh air from contaminated :-)
#275 No Agenda Show for Thursday February 3d 2011
The New Normal
Become a member of the '276 Club', support the show here
Direct Link to the show.
If we are to believe all the WikiLeaks 'Cables' are true documents, then there should be some pretty big outrage that the report of three Qatari men that provided support for the alleged hijackers did not show up in the official 911 Commision report.
Interestingly, the official 911 commission website appears unresponsive at the time of this posting.
Pretty soon the entire industry will actually really, really be dead and gone:
MusicWeek: "EMI has been sold to its major creditor, US bank Citigroup, raising questions about a possible sell off of parts or the whole of the company."
To put the industry into perspective, the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor outsold the US music business in 2009.
Film legend Francis Ford Coppola recently made a very astute comment about the state of the creative industry:
"You have to remember that it's only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry."
For the past few weeks, many listeners of the No Agenda Show from Gitmo Nation Lowlands have experienced problems when attempting to download the mp3 files from Mevio's content delivery network. The problems started with the delivery of episode 271 from December 16th 2010. After a lot of research we have concluded the following:
Mevio switched to a new DNS provider on December 15th.
Mevio Switched to a new Content Delivery Network provider around the same time period
This combination has resulted in a perfect storm (my opinion) that is not a simple fix from one point in the chain. It also may not be anyone's fault per se.
What does appear to have happened, and this may not be isolated to The Netherlands, is that one or multiple ISP's have 'stale' DNS info and continue to direct requests for Mevio's media servers to the old CDN. Tracking this was complicated by the fact that the old CDN continued to serve files after the DNS and CDN switch were made. It appears that at least one ISP: xs4all.nl still has stale DNS data.
There are a few steps you can take to fix this problem. One is local to your machine, the other is the most important fix, and that is convincing your provider there is a problem.
Locally, you can try to manually fix the problem by first 'flushing' your local DNS information. On Windows you do this by selecting Run.. from the start menu and entering the following: ipconfig /flushdns and clicking on OK. On a Mac, open up your Terminal program and type the following: dscacheutil -flushcache and hit Enter.
If this doesn't result in your ability to download the mp3 files, you can configure your computer's DNS information to DNS servers that are known and tested to work properly. I am not a fan of Google, but their DNS resolves properly, and you should consider at least trying to retreive the mp3 files using their DNS servers temporarily. Instructions can be found here.
If either of these steps results in your ability to download files again, the most important step is to convince your ISP that there is a problem with the DNS they are serving to their customers. I know several of you have already tried to do this without result. Pointing them to this blog post may help.
Please post in your results in the comments below so we can track progress publcily.