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Month: June 2004

Hand-held giant robots

“If you’re not excited by a movie that features giant robots, hand-held death rays, flying fortresses, mysterious ninja hotties, underwater dogfights, last-second cliffhangers, and guest-starring cameos from dead guys, then maybe this movie wasn’t made for you.”

(Scroll down. But the Wes Anderson flick sounds great too.)

Veteran concerns

Kerry grandstands a little and visits the Senate to vote on an amendment which provides more veteran benefits. The Republicans use various procedural tactics to make sure he can’t vote on the bill, delaying it until the next day. Kerry heads back to keep on campaigning. The Republicans vote the bill down.

Of course Kerry was playing political games and manuvering to make himself look good. But it worked. Maybe Bush doesn’t want the military vote.

History of support

Dave Winer, 3/23/04:

The Cluetrain says we should be more open and communicate. I’ve bought into that. So have the Trotts and their investors. If they have to walk on eggshells in order to communicate, they’re going to do less of it. So try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and try to work with them. I will too, overlooking how they’ve treated me in the past, because it’s good for the community for us all to work together.

Dave Winer, 5/14/04:

Six Apart announced new pricing for Movable Type and hell breaks loose. The users are acting as children, saying somehow they didn’t know that eventually Six Apart would charge for their software. I knew they were going to charge, why didn’t you? I can say this because I’m not a customer (I do use their software, but I didn’t pay for it) and I’m not them. But I’ve been where they are and it sucks. No one’s perfect. If you use their software, you owe them some money. If you don’t like the price, don’t use it.

Dave Winer, 5/21/04, on Six Apart’s pricing:

Editorial: It’s lame to charge for weblog software based on how many weblogs you make and how many authors there are. A weblog isn’t that big a deal. Manila lets you make as many weblogs as you want with as many authors as you want. Today’s modern $2K computer can manage thousands of weblogs. Charge a fair price and don’t fuss over how many blogs they make or how many people edit them.

Dave Winer, 6/14/04, on transitioning sites:

There are several commercial Manila hosting companies, including Thomas Creedon maintains a list of commercial and free hosting services. If you want to have your site hosted more cheaply, consider the possibility of forming a co-op of some kind.

Anil Dash of Six Apart, 6/15/04:

We’re also interested in offering TypePad as a hosting service for those who are transitioning their sites. I’ve got a good idea how to do a lot of the tech, but if people can lend insights into a more open way to export and import these sites, I’m all ears.

I’d love to see someone document the process of migrating (from any tool to any other, really) in order to help us all focus on making this better for users in the future. I’d volunteer myself but I’d rather it be someone neutral who’s interested.

Dave Winer, 6/23/04:

One difference between what happened to SixApart and what happened to me, is that I came to their defense, and they joined the mob. I’ll still come to their defense in the future, when I think the community needs moderation, but I won’t forget what they did, trying to hustle new business with the people whose sites were stranded.

Wellman deal

If you’re looking for Manly Wade Wellman to read, and you should be if you like American mythology and folklore, Night Shade Books is running a 50% off sale until midnight tomorrow. The collected stories are beautiful volumes, well-bound and nicely typeset. I recommend them highly.

Not like us

Reuters happily informs us of the following facts:

John Kerry’s wife inherited $500 million. John Kerry’s Nantucket house is worth $9 million. John Kerry’s boat is worth $150,000. John Kerry’s sporting equipment cost $2,500.

And George Bush has a huge ranch, but for some reason it’s not important how much that cost. Also, he fishes. No news on whether he pays $500 for a fishing rod or not, or how many rods he owns. I dunno — maybe he builds ‘em by hand, and maybe he carved the ranch out of the wilderness with his own two hands.

Ow my eyes

I’m only a few pages into the new Delta Green novel, Denied to the Enemy, and I will no doubt finish it. However, I am overwhelmed with a strange compulsion to rant. First I will quote.

Before he joined in 1938 he was frightened almost all of the time. Oh now, how he missed those innocent days. Since his induction into the group Bruning was in a constant state of paranoia and fear. The things he had seen! The way his world had changed in under one year! He had a skill you see, a talent with language which was necessary for the group to achieve its goals. Bruning had studied many ancient tongues and was lettered in three very difficult ones. In addition he had a skill with cyphers, something developed during a stint at Oxford and his study of the works of John Dee. If only he was not so clever! His mind, something he had considered a blessing in his murky past now was a terrible weapon at the disposal of the Reich, and although the intangible front he fought upon was won or lost through the study of words, of meanings and innuendoes and secrets, the casualties caused by such battles were real enough.

I, too, suffer from the affliction of the comma abuser. I, too, use commas to extend a sentence far past its healthy conclusion. But man. I think the problem here is as much the absence of commas in key locations as the overuse of them. This is disappointing, particularly insofar as the novel comes from a company known for meticulous editing and painstaking care.

Clone vats

After seeing Napoleon Dynamite, I am greatly heartened to know that should something happen to Wes Anderson we’ll still have someone to make Wes Anderson movies. Very minimalist, very charming if you don’t assume it’s intended as mockery of the title character. Dryer than the average Wes Anderson movie. I liked it.