Permanent link to archive for 10/29/04. Friday, October 29, 2004
Oh boy do I need help

I didn't get to watch last night's West Wing, but I hear it's pretty radical. Anyone have a Torrent I can download? (Got one. Downloading from TVTorrents. It's also available here, here and here.)

Next problem, I've downloaded the file from TVTorrents, its name is:


I tried playing it in Windows Media Player, it can't find the codec. Same with every other player on my ThinkPad and my Sony Vaio.

What am I missing? I really want to see what happened to Leo. A clue, I can hear the audio fine, just no video.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 10/29/04; 12:09:26 AM - --

Permanent link to archive for 9/17/04. Friday, September 17, 2004
Eating at Pike Market in Seattle?

Simple question -- which are the best places to eat at the Pike Place Market in Seattle?

# Posted by Dave Winer on 9/17/04; 5:09:28 AM - --

Permanent link to archive for 9/16/04. Thursday, September 16, 2004
Firefox and Kottke's feed?

Jason Kottke reports that the new Firefox is having trouble with his RSS feed; and since he patterened his feed after mine, he checked it out and that's not working either. Can anyone who's using Firefox shed light on why this is happening?

# Posted by Dave Winer on 9/16/04; 7:22:18 AM - --

Permanent link to archive for 8/7/04. Saturday, August 7, 2004
Pictures from the Scoble BBQ

# Posted by Dave Winer on 8/7/04; 10:24:55 PM - --

Permanent link to archive for 8/6/04. Friday, August 6, 2004
Permanent link to archive for 8/5/04. Thursday, August 5, 2004
Permanent link to archive for 8/3/04. Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Scripting Noodles on Monday

Where: Jing Jing, Palo Alto.

When: Monday, August 9, 7PM.

Who: Open to all. "Not just for geeks anymore."

Why: Eat spicy food, drink Diet Coke, see old friend.

Bonus: Help remove the spyware from Dave's laptop!

Please post a comment here if you're coming, I'll call ahead on Sunday to tell my friends at JJ how many to expect.

PS: There's a pre-dinner meeting at 4PM at Stanford to talk about convention blogging.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 8/3/04; 7:28:06 AM - --

Permanent link to archive for 7/21/04. Wednesday, July 21, 2004
I want to run IIS and Frontier on the same machine

I have a new Windows 2000 installation. The machine has five IP addresses assigned to it, I want IIS listening on one IP address, and Frontier listening on another, and I don't care about the other three at this time.

I can't seem to get them both listening at the same time, even though they're configured to use different IP addresses.

Is there a step by step howto somewhere that says how you get IIS to really relinquish the other IP addresses. I've been through the Administrative program, started and stopped IIS a dozen times, rebooted the machine, I've done everything reasonable, now I have to ask for help.

Postscript: Here's the fix.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 7/21/04; 8:33:21 PM - --

Permanent link to archive for 7/15/04. Thursday, July 15, 2004
What do you see? (A game.)

Four years ago we played a fantasy game on Scripting News.

Want to play it again? (I thought it was fun.)

Here's how it works.

A picture.

What do you see?

Who are these people?

What is the guy who's talking saying?

Why do the two guys on the left hang their heads? Are they sad? Are they thinking?

What about the guy in the middle? And the guy at the end?

Are these people related in some way?

Why are there no women? Or is that significant?

What just happened?

Did someone die?

What's about to happen?

Make up a story and share it with us.

Let your imagination run wild!

The more fantastic the better...

# Posted by Dave Winer on 7/15/04; 9:20:48 PM - --

Permanent link to archive for 7/5/04. Monday, July 5, 2004
Scripting News dinner in NY on Thursday?

I have this habit, I meet with bloggers on Thursday nights.

I have to feed this habit. Help help. I feel a Thursday coming on. ;->

So who will host? I'm in NYC. We need a conference room that can hold about a dozen people (not sure how many people would show up). A projector I can hook my laptop to (a ThinkPad). Live Internet, WiFi preferable.

What you get in return? A small amount ofpublicity; a few bloggers will learn how to find their way to your place. Afterwards we go out for dinner. Something Jewish, or Chinese, or Roumanian?

I'll be in NY for at least a couple of weeks, maybe more. Can we do this as a regular thing? I'd like to give it a try.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 7/5/04; 1:19:25 PM - --

Email on the BBC question

Grant Titmus:

In reply to what you mention about the BBC website I have a few things about the BBC that you may not know, not being in the UK as I am.

The BBC is a publicly funded organisation (i.e Tax payers money through a TV Licence requirement) they have to justify everything they do to the government in order to recieve their funding each year. If something that the BBC produces is though to have a higher economic cost that social benefit to the country then it must be stopped. Therefore the BBC website is under scrutiny, does it represent a worthwhile investment for the Bristish people as a whole. The few portals mentioned are ones that are of obvious interest to a monority of the population but offer no real worth to the rest of the UK population.

The article mentions the BBC online division having to try and have 25% of its funding come from private sources by 2006. We can both see that this is some target for them to achieve, however what we really need to know is whether the BBC news archive comes under BBC News, in which case it would not be under threat, or if it was BBC Online, in which case it would be a consideration of the board to make a pay-per-view service on articles. In my thinking it is run by BBC Online, which is a seperate entity to BBC News and therefore the loss of free archives is possible.

By my reading of the article it seems as if the 'valuable resources' which one would expect to be the news and others, are to be kept under the original BBC remit of 'provide[ing] a home for licence payers on the internet and act as a trusted guide to the new media environment'. By making Licence payers pay again to view information they alread feel they have paid for would be agaisnt the remit. How the board take this however your guess is as good as mine!

Hope this enlightens you, if I have just spouted nonesense that your already knew then feel free to mail me and tell me i'm an idiot, otherwise you could mail me and tell me that you found it useful, either way I don't mind.

Matt Deegan:

The UK Secretary of State (for Culture, Media and Sport) commissioned Philip Graf to conduct an independent review of BBC Online in August 2003. The BBC finds most of its 'new' activities are independently reviewed by the government. The report was delivered in May 2004, and has just been published.

More on the DCMS review
here, and the BBC's response here.

The main reason for the review is to juge whether the BBC has had an adverse affect on the online market, stunting its growth etc. ie its hard to make money off the internet when your main competitor has infinite resources, keeps developing new (unrelated to its other broadcasting activity) sections and then giving it away all for free. The BBC also hasn't really helped itself by promosing to only spend £21m a year and then spending over £100m.

Generally its come off pretty well, and will just have to close a load of sections that are unrelated to existing activites, and will probably introduce more independent commissioning, so little companies will make some of the BBC's sites thus helping the content creation commmunity.

I've got friends at online, and it's something that they've been planning for, for a while and have been gradually restructuring over the past 12 months.

Simon Speight:

I've only been reading for a few weeks now.  I'm embarassed to say I'd not come across your site(s) before now, but if its any consolation for the amount of crap you took for it, all the fuss surrounding your issues at introduced me to you!

Anyway, after a quick compliment (I enjoy reading - its more personal than most, and the style makes a welcome change from the majority of people who feel the need to write an essay in each blog entry) I thought I'd come back to you on the BBC web story you found.  No doubt others of my fellow Britons will have mailed you by now to explain the slightly odd story about the BBC web sites having to justify their existence but I thought I'd lend my opinion too.

In case you haven't been told/weren't aware, the BBC is funded in a rather unusual way - by the form of a compulsory tax that gets called a TV "license".  Anyone who wants to own a TV (or any device capable of receiving TV images, which includes PC cards these days) has to pay this license.

This has a few rather interesting effects on the output of the BBC.  Firstly - no adverts!  That alone is nearly worth the license fee itself.

Second, you have a corporation that isn't interested in making a profit.  Consequently, most people in this country would say they believe news from the BBC more than from the independent channels (I know I do).  Arguably this factor improves the quality of everything which is produced as they are as close as you can probably get in this day an age to producing art for art's sake (the best reason in my view).

However, the last major factor is that the compulsory nature of the license fee causes a significant portion of Britons to complain (I think its a national pass-time to be honest).  Some use the argument that as they're already paying lots to Sky or whoever else supplies their TV feed, why do they have to pay again?  (The fact that Sky charges a whole lot more and then has the nerve to put things on pay-per-view seems to escape them.)  This complaining nature means that the BBC  constantly has to justify itself.  It has a board of Governors whose job it is to be a go-between between the BBC and our government.

(This doesn't make them answerable to the government however - recently they fell out big style when a report by a BBC journalist related to the Iraq war ended up leading to the suicide of a leading civil servant and the resignations of the two top people in the BBC.)

Personally, I think the BBC web sites are some of the best I've ever come across.  As you noted, their news site is superb (as is access to their archive), and what is also nice is that they reach from an International level down to my home city (visit to see what I mean).

(For more detailed and probably more accurate information on this, visit and check out the links at the bottom of the page, particularly "About the BBC", "How the BBC is run" and "License Fee".)

Unfortunately, a large portion of our population seem to have become rather too comfortable with capitalism and cannot comprehend something that is run as a public service.  As I've said, I think the BBC is one of the best things that's ever come out of our (increasingly insignificant) country and it isn't something we should be looking to curtail.  I'm quite happy paying my license fee if this is what it is paying for.

To reassure you however, I cannot ever see the day when any BBC web output is pay-for.  I think it goes massively against the BBC's remit (none of their TV channels are pay-for - they have investments in other companies that produce pay-for TV but all channels labelled "BBC" are free to air) and the outcry would be huge!

Anyway, I should probably be getting on with my day job.  Hope some of the above helps explain this strange little country I'm very proud to call my home!

Take care, and thanks again for making a web site I enjoy reading!

Tim Watt:

You wanted to know further background to the story about the review of the BBC site.

Of course the reason for the review basicly comes down to money, and suggestions of unfair competiton from commercial rivals.

Like many things here, the funding for the BBC is an anacronism but generally works. It comes from a licence to own a TV (about $200 a year) but pays for BBC TV, radio, digital TV and BBC online.

It also has a profit making publishing operation and worlwide marketing operation.

So there is a whole host of conflicts - most people pay the tax for TV and there is strong pressure on the BBC for ratings to justify its funding (arms length from government)while at the same time also supposed to provide content of quality that rivals are not capable of providing through the commercial market.

So, bizzarly, the BBC has to  be populist to justify its funding to the goverment, rather than directly to its viewers. This was the BBC's softspot as it's 10 year round of funding is up for review when they were in conflict with Tony Blair over Iraq - basically they were right over WMDs but had to back down under pressure.

Commercial TV sometimes complain that the BBC is too 'populist' if it takes ratings from their shows while they also are often unhappy when there is subsidised cross promotional activity (eg BBC magazines and web content) that they contend is unfair competition.

Such accusations (post dot com boom) aren't heard much now about the online content however, more about the cost to licence fee payers.

The massively expensive expansion in the digital TV services is where they maybe more reason for critism but this may pay off in the future.

So it all comes down to money really - and justifying UK licence fee payers for overseas users of the websites to use the BBC for free.

But as you say, its great content, if very sprawling and confused.

When I was in New Mexico four years ago it was the best way to keep up-to-date with happening back home...

As well as news, I now princally use the site to listen to music, sportcasts, on demand my local radio station on my iMac in preference to my stereo (though I wish they'd improve the sound quality and make it so I can hear it through iTunes rather than Real player).

So (although I haven't read the The Graf report mentioned in the story I wouldn't worry that you'll have to start paying for content - I thought there archive was going to be opened up? But maybe it could do with reorganisation.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 7/5/04; 6:47:18 AM - --

Permanent link to archive for 7/4/04. Sunday, July 4, 2004
Anthony Baker on the iPod/Windows XP

Via email...


When I got my 15GB iPod a year or so ago, I was also using Windows XP. Used MusicMatch at first for the iPod (which worked great) and then iTunes when the PC version came out. It worked perfectly -- no woes whatsoever. Am amazed at how seamless iTunes works overall. Watch out, you may end up downloading a ton of songs due to the ease.

Note: The only difficulty I've ever had with it has been when I moved from a PC to a Powerbook. That kind of sucked, as my iPod HD was wiped when the Mac upgraded the iPod OS from Windows to Mac. My mistake was using my iPod as the primary storage for all the tunes, not a PC hard drive. There really should be clearer, in-your-face information on the subject. Am sure the process is easy, it just wasn't apparent and I had difficulty as a result.

Otherwise, very very happy.



ps. You can still download MP3s from elsewhere, insofar as I've found. Importing them into the iPod is a snap (I do so with the Gilmor Gang, now that I'm listening to them following a post you had this week).

If you have iPod experiences you'd like to share, please comment below.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 7/4/04; 2:58:11 PM - --

Down to the metal XML-RPC app on Windows 2000

I want to write an XML-RPC app in C running on Windows 2000 and am looking for a contractor who can work with me on this. I have never done Windows programming, but I'm an accomplished C programmer. We'll need a very low-tech database, or a connection to something like MySQL. Has to be multi-threaded. Would prefer not to run behind another server. The goal is to get the maximum amount of work from one machine and be able to keep a little bit of information around about a lot of sites. If you're interested in working on this with me, send an email, with a pointer to your resume. It's probably about a month of work. Must be able to start soon. References very important.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 7/4/04; 12:14:51 PM - --

Permanent link to archive for 6/23/04. Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Indian dinner, Thursday night, 7PM, Harvard Square

Tomorrow at 7PM, a bloggers dinner in Cambridge. It's kind of sad, this will be my last Thursday at Harvard, but what the heck, we had a dinner when I came to town, let's have one as I leave. It's at the Bombay Club in Harvard Square. Please post a note here if you're coming, we'll call the restaurant tomorrow afternoon to tell them how many to expect.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 6/23/04; 11:12:13 AM - --

Permanent link to archive for 6/20/04. Sunday, June 20, 2004
My father's new television

Some people think that $150 is too much to spend for a hotel room. So if you're one of those people, please hit the Back button in your browser, save us both a bunch of grief.

I got a truly luxurious present for my parents, who are notoriously hard to buy for, especially my father, who doesn't hide his feelings about presents. I don't think, until this weekend, I had ever given him a present that he really liked. And it was surprising to me that he liked this one, because it wasn't exactly an intentional present. Sound weird? Keep reading.

A picture named tv.gifLast June, when I moved into my then-new digs in suburban Boston, for some reason I got a yen for a big flat-panel TV, a Sony 42-inch baby. So I went to a local electronic store and went shopping. I thought about buying a smaller one, or less expensive brand, and couldn't make up my mind, so I went home. On my way, I turned around, plopped down $8,000 and bought the television of my dreams. It was great living with this TV for a year.

Now I'm going mobile again, so I needed a place to park the TV and some other things, so I moved it to my parents' house, never thinking that my Dad, who watches no TV, would be intrigued by it. He was. I turns out there was a reason he doesn't watch TV, he can't hear the tiny crappy TV they had until Friday. Along with the crisp 42-inch digital picture, the Sony also has very beautiful sound. He can hear it. And it made him happy. And considering that it's his 75th birthday and Father's Day, it made me happy to finally be able to give him a present that truly delighted him. It doesn't get better than that. Really.

# Posted by Dave Winer on 6/20/04; 7:34:28 PM - --