Kinsley on Lydon’s OpenSource

First a plug for Christopher Lydon’s new hour of talk radio on Public Radio International (PRI), OpenSource. Lydon is a fixture in Boston public broadcasting, a true Yankee voice in the clenched jaw tradition of George Plimpton and William F. Buckley, who took to blogging and early experiments in podcasting thanks to Dave Winer during Winer’s Berkman fellowship at Harvard.

Lydon has relaunched his show with a focus on the Internet and all things web in the evenings on the local NPR affilates (WGBH). MP3s of the shows are archived on Lydon’s blog. 

Last night (6.29), Lydon interviewed Michael Kinsley of Slate and Crossfire fame, now editorial page editor of the LA Times, on the infamous recent "failed" experiment in participatory journalism by permitting readers to edit an editorial via a Wiki-interface. The net result was a total trashing of the system by porno-vandals, so Kinsley pulled the plug and those "in-the-know" chuckled up their sleeves.

I thought it was a good experiment, a perfect example of the perils of open postings in an unmoderated world, and the need for a good collaborative community to coalesce and self-police itself.

Anyway, the best line of the night, was the last line of the night when Lydon asked Kinsley what he had learned from a decade of online journalism. Kinsley’s response: "What the heck. Let’s try it." 

Wired News: Grokster May Haunt Podcasting

Wired News: Grokster May Haunt Podcasting

I don’t see the syllogism that iTunes is at risk if people submit podcasts through 4.9’s podcast subscription facility. Common carriage would appear to apply, but I’m not the legal mind to make that determination.

 Sam Whitmore is blazing a lot of trails with Podcast IP issues through his work with ASCAP and the Grateful Dead to podcast music. He has a column on the situation at

iTunes 4.9’s podcast facility

iTunes 4.9 is out and is now my podcast aggregator and sychronizer of choice …

Well say goodbye to Odeo, the still-in-beta podcast subscription and synchronizer. I had it running for a week but just hit the uninstall button to purge it in favor of iTunes 4.9.

This latest version of Apple’s already excellent music player and music library organizer has the potential to really drive podcast dissemination to the 10% of the American public who own an iPod (I heard that stat recently and need to corroborate it somehow).


I’ve asked our IS department to get a paid of iPod minis with Belkin FM adaptors so we at CXO can begin to develop a podcast channel of our own. I’m moving my existing podcast subscriptions — Sam Whitmore’s Closet Deadhead, IT Conversations, and Christopher Lydon’s excellent OpenSource — over to iTunes now and will try to put together a strategy for CXO that would compile an IT channel’s worth of weekly IT news for our c-level audience and then make the case that instead of listening to NPR (why does Michelle Norris insist on pronouncing her name "Mee-chelle" and not "Muh-chelle") or the latest Grisham book-on-tape during their commute or daily slog on the Stairclimber, that they can get smart and entertained with geek talk.

Colin Crawford blogs on the release with pointers to indepth reviews and the news that some podcasters are beefing about the implementation requirements imposed by Apple. Chad Dickerson writes about getting dinged by iTunes when attempting to port his podcast feed over.

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Longhorn, and RSS: I’m having IE4 flashbacks!

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Longhorn, and RSS: I’m having IE4 flashbacks!

About time someone called RSS for what it truly is — ActiveDesktop redux. Just kidding. Back in the day, when was looking for Microsoft’s blessing, we built an active desktop CDF channel that pushed a "quote of the day" onto the user’s IE 4.0 enabled desktop. The thing was an utter kludge our CTO John Moschetto cooked up in a short amount of time.

What did it do for us? Not much, other than the right to say Forbes was baked into IE 4.0. 

 Me, I like to compare RSS to good old Pointcast.

Current reading list – June 28

So much to read, so little time, and I refuse to concede to books-on-tape:

1. The World is Flat – Thomas Friedman. Everyone got worked up into a lather in May about this book. I dunno, so far I still think Walter Wriston nailed it better and earlier than everyone else. This is a good CEO book for the people who are late in getting the joke.

2. DHTML and CSS – Jason Crawford Teague. Why? Why not. CSS rules and WordPress is a good place to practice one’s chops thanks to the Presentation/template editor and tons of good stylesheet examples to mess around with.

3. Building Oracle XML Applications: O’Reilly, Steve Muench. My world revolves around an Oracle axis these days. If you can’t get rid of ’em, join ’em.

4. Don’t Make Me Think: Steve Krug. Web usability guide — couple years old, but the title is a mantra.

5. The Brand Gap: Marty Neumeier. Don’t ask. It’s on my desk. I should read it.

6. 101 Tivo Hacks: O’Reilly. The Tour de France is upon me and I need many hours of capacity to save Lance’s quest for number 7 while I toileth at my desk. Time to break out the Torx and bless some new mucho-gigabyte drives and stick em in the faithful Tivo.

Geeking Out — stuff I’m playing with

I must be in some geek bio-rhythm cycle where all I do is download stuff and mess around in php files. Here’s what I am playing with and why:

1. MySQL – why? Because it’s there, it’s the "M" in LAMP and any good web application around these days is written with it in mind. Although I operate in an LOAP (the "O" stands for Oracle) environment, LAMP is where it is at if you want to mess around stuff like MediaWiki (the opensource engine behind Wikipedia), vBulletin (threaded bulletin boards), and Drupal (community focused content management system).

2.  phpMyadmin a gui app for working with MySQL. An evil little critter to get installed, by the sysop at, my ISP, says I can do it, so do it I shall. I needed it last week to recover a lost admin password for this blog, and I’ll need it before I can install ….

3. Drupal – a CMS that is also a very friendly blog platform, or so sayeth my colleagues elsewhere at IDG who are using it as the foundation of their community initiatives, some going so far as to trash forums in favor of Drupal blogs.

4. Odeo – a podcast aggregator/synchronizer. I’m off to Best Buy to snag a pair of iPods to start messing around with auto-synch streams with a future eye towards a CXO radio show. Beta but pretty useful.

5. Audacity – Dan Gillmor says this is the thing to use to cut a podcast, so download it and try it. It’s a nice alternative to good old SoundForge.

6. Adobe Premiere, Adobe Premier Elements – for messing with digital video. 

The Supreme Court is Turning me into a Raving Libertarian – High Court Rules With RIAA in File-Sharing Case

Okay, I’m generally an apolitical guy, but last week’s Supreme Court ruling that municipalities could extend eminent domain takings of private property for commercial economic development got me started and this morning’s ruling against Grokster has me foaming.

This latest is hands-down the biggest setback to technology policy in the history of the court. This is analgous to banning any implement, tool, or technology that has the potential for lawbreaking on the grounds that the potential is indeed the primary use.

 Given the plaintiff list — all I can say is the vested interests got their day in court and came away happy. My recommendation is to innovate, don’t litigate, because the train has left the station on file sharing and these corporate IP retards are going to be playing whack-a-mole forever with users determined to pirate, share, manipulate and break their media free of its formats, locks, and copyright protection schemes.

All the books that Penguin can print …. – Real Time

And to think I used to lust after a complete set of the Oxford English Dictionary — the WSJ’s Real Time column talks about Penguin’s Complete Collection — 1082 books that stacks 882 feet high and weighs 700 pounds. Got a spare $8K? It’s yours. 

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