permalink.gif 2003-04-11

permalink.gif Announcing: ENT v1.0 Easy News Topics for RSS2.0

Fri Apr 11 13:59:53 BST 2003  Permalink 

Easy News Topics

Paolo and I are pleased to announce the release of the first public draft of the Easy News Topics (ENT) specification.  ENT1.0 is an RSS2.0 module designed to make it really easy to incorporate topics into RSS feeds.  Why would you want to do that?  Because it will help to enable a raft of new, smarter, aggregator products.

RSS has become very important to a lot of us and we are starting to see its penetration into the business world as well.  We think that integrating topics will help aggregators applications to scale to meet the future needs of users as well as delivering some very powerful applications.  I've spoken before about the kinds of thing I want my aggregator to do:

  • group posts from many feeds by interest.
  • filtering posts I don't want to see
  • scoring & promote posts
  • recombine different feeds dynamically.

I hope that ENT might help bring all these things a little closer.  We also see a role for classification in bringing new ways to order, view, and, search weblog data.

We are offering ENT1.0 to the community (under a Creative Commons License) in the hope that we can foster these applications and many more, that we haven't even begun to think of yet.

I will soon be releasing to the public the next version of liveTopics which will be ENT compliant.  At that point any Radio user will be able to easily add topic metadata to their RSS feed.  We hope that there will soon be many applications available to make use of it.

We look forward to your comments.

permalink.gif RSS: It's a pretty diverse world out there

Fri Apr 11 09:16:08 BST 2003  Permalink 

1 NetNewsWire/1.0.1fc1 (Mac OS X; http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/)
1,571    24.3%
13.9MB    6.79%
19 2 0
2 Syndirella/0.91pre
880    13.6%
6.8MB    3.31%
113 1 0
3 NewsGator/1.0 (http://www.newsgator.com; Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600.0; .NET CLR 1.0.3705.209)
420    6.49%
1.2MB    <1%
6 0 0
4 Feedreader
406    6.27%
20.2MB    9.86%
25 0 0
5 MagpieRSS/0.3 (+http://magpierss.sf.net)
362    5.59%
2.3MB    1.13%
1 0 0
6 SharpReader/0.9.0.0 (.NET CLR 1.0.3705.288; WinNT 5.1.2600.0)
317    4.90%
3.6MB    1.76%
104 0 0
7 User Agent: Genome Machine (Powered by Waypoint); info@thinktank23.com
241    3.72%
38.2MB    18.6%
11 241 0
8 Java/1.4.1
211    3.26%
33.9MB    16.5%
7 188 0
9 Syndirella/0.9b
176    2.72%
1.4MB    <1%
3 1 0
10 NetNewsWire/1.0.3b1 (Mac OS X; Lite; http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/)
169    2.61%
2.2MB    1.06%
3 0 0
11 NetNewsWire/1.0 (Mac OS X; Pro; http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/)
159    2.46%
2.0MB    <1%
5 0 0
12 SharpReader/0.9.0.0 (.NET CLR 1.0.3705.288; WinNT 5.0.2195.0)
118    1.82%
716.2kB    <1%
11 0 0
13 Java/1.4.1_01
96    1.48%
8.6MB    4.20%
2 82 0
14 Java1.4.0_03
91    1.41%
6.6MB    3.20%
1 58 0
15 NewsGator/1.1 (http://www.newsgator.com; Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600.0; .NET CLR 1.0.3705.209)
78    1.21%
625.4kB    <1%
7 0 0
16 NetNewsWire Lite/1.0.2b3 (Mac OS X)
78    1.21%
1.3MB    <1%
7 0 0
17 NewsGator/0.9 (http://www.newsgator.com; Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600.0; .NET CLR 1.0.3705.288)
77    1.19%
941.4kB    <1%
1 0 0
18 Frontier/8.0.5 (WinNT)
72    1.11%
1.8MB    <1%
2 36 0
19 Aggie 1.0 Release Candidate 5 - http://bitworking.org (Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600.0; .NET CLR 1.0.3705.288) http://bitworking.org/AggieReferrers.html
69    1.07%
1.8MB    <1%
18 0 0
20 Frontier/9.0 (WinNT)
66    1.02%
1018.2kB    <1%
2 31 1
21 Popdexter/1.0 (http://www.popdex.com/)
62    <1%
6.3MB    3.07%
2 40 0
22 AmphetaDesk/0.93.1 (MSWin32; http://www.disobey.com/amphetadesk/)
55    <1%
627.3kB    <1%
10 0 0
23 Python-urllib/1.15
54    <1%
4.8MB    2.32%
13 29 11
24 lwp-trivial/1.34
49    <1%
1.2MB    <1%
6 4 42
25 Syndic8/1.0 (http://www.syndic8.com/)
42    <1%
2.0MB    <1%
1 0 0
26 RssBandit 1.0d
41    <1%
2.2MB    1.09%
5 0 0
27 NetNewsWire Lite/1.0.2 (Mac OS X)
40    <1%
1.1MB    <1%
3 0 0
28 sitecheck.internetseer.com (For more info see: http://sitecheck.internetseer.com)
30    <1%
2.6MB    1.27%
4 29 2
29 Wildgrape NewsDesk
29    <1%
1.1MB    <1%
9 0 0
30 perl
26    <1%
2.4MB    1.18%
1 26 13
31 RPT-HTTPClient/0.3-3
26    <1%
1.4MB    <1%
2 2 0
32 Microsoft URL Control - 6.00.8862
23    <1%
3.2MB    1.56%
5 18 0
33 Java/1.4.1_02
22    <1%
4.8MB    2.36%
11 22 1
34 PHP/4.2.2
20    <1%
927.6kB    <1%
3 0 0
35 Lotus Notes
20    <1%
1.1MB    <1%
1 20 0
36 Gazette RSS Aggregator
20    <1%
959.1kB    <1%
1 0 0
37 Wget/1.7
18    <1%
326.1kB    <1%
1 13 12
38 Kevin http://websitealert.net/kevin/
18    <1%
2.9MB    1.42%
1 18 0
39 PHP/4.0.3pl1
16    <1%
727.5kB    <1%
1 0 0
40 asterias/2.0
14    <1%
1.2MB    <1%
1 13 1

permalink.gif More patent nonsense

Fri Apr 11 09:39:46 BST 2003  Permalink 

It's patent time.

Movielink tagged with patent suit. The film-rental site is being sued for patent infringement, in a case that could have far-flung ramifications on the video-on-demand market. [CNET News.com]

There are a NUMBER of patents that were issued - all surrounding this area of VOD - back in the early 90's.  This particular one, from USA Video - broadly covers a method for Internet users to request and receive "a digitized video program for storage and viewing.  What next?  A patent on walking down the street?

I know of patents that were issued for TV On-Deamnd, digital video servers (storing movies - which then get sold or rented) and even hot-spots within a video stream (click on something in a particular zone of the screen.)  This a hopeless litigous situation!

I ran into patents first - when we tried to do our MediaMaker project - which had thumbnails representing video clips.  Surprise, surprise a company called Montage had that patent.  So anybody who ever tries to have a thumbnail represent a video clip - can get held up by Montage lawyers. Of course Montage doesn't have a product, services or really even exist at all - except for the explicit purpose of suing people.

How ironic that the same folks who sued RePlay (and put them out of business) are getting sued themselves.  Enough already!

[Marc's Voice]

The only thing crazier that current patent laws (in the US and probably here in Britian) is the idea that we have any chance of seeing anything more sane in our lifetimes.

permalink.gif Nurture vs. Murdoch

Fri Apr 11 09:37:34 BST 2003  Permalink 

Certidudes.

See, here's the problem. (Brace yourselves. I'm going to bring up Lakoff again.) Basically, all our politics proceeds from two radically opposed notions that are nonetheless equally true. The one on the Right holds that the world is a dangerous place, that bad people are on the loose, and that we need to keep ourselves safe from those people. The one on the Left holds that the world is a good place, and that we should do everything we can to nurture whatever keeps it that way. Only one of those, however, makes interesting news. Only one of those is good for stirring up the kind of righteous anger that carries us to war, and to "delivering justice," whatever we decide that is. Only one of those lends itself to handy all-simplifying sports and war metaphors.

[The Doc Searls Weblog]

Sad but true.

permalink.gif A weapon of corporate terror

Fri Apr 11 09:24:51 BST 2003  Permalink 

Economic Sledgehammer. As an addendum to the previous post, direct reverse engineering has always been illegal, and the DMCA hasn't changed that. The engineers who developed the x86 clones went to great lengths to do so in clean environments and to avoid any contamination that could be construed as misappropriation of trade secrets or theft. They did this as a direct result of laws that were already on the books exacting severe penalties for such behavior. We did not need the DMCA to protect companies from theft by direct reverse engineering. DMCA extends these severe criminal penalties to the acts of merely discussing such things, investigating them via legitimate research, and engaging in almost any activity that the copyright holder deems to expose his "intellectual property" regardless of whether it causes actual harm or not. Thankfully, the courts have yet to uphold a conviction where no harm has been found and there are those in the legal community who claim this as evidence the DMCA is acceptable and functional law. These "unbiased" advocates of the DMCA blithely overlook the effects of economic penalty imposed on defendants when a law is structured, as the DMCA, to make them guilty until proven innocent. It is the economic sledgehammer aspect of the DMCA that is most damaging to users and individuals, for it prevents innovation by stifling the willingness to speak, act, or promote any function that may draw a copyright holder's ire. [b.cognosco]

Yep, it's hard to conceive of a better weapon of corporate terror -- a fantastic tool for incumbents, anxious to stamp out potential competition.  When I read people like Larry Lessig, Ernie and Rick I get the feeling that good law tends to be subtle, precise, does what it needs to and keeps the hell out of everyone elses way.  It's hard to see the DMCA as good law.

I was reading recently from The Innovators Dilemma which talks about the history of companies manufacturing hard disks.  I wonder, if the DMCA had been around then, whether we would be seeing 250GB hard disks today?