Brainspace

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I was reminded today that my memory sucks.

I asked Andy Sautins — raconteur and gentleman about town — about a project that he’s beeen working on for some time, and he pointed out that a few months ago we’d had a fairly long conversation on the very topic about which I was asking. In my defense…I guess…we were both drinking during that initial conversation, but it was nevertheless a little embarassing.

Over the past year or two I’ve been trying to better manage my tendancy towards absent-mindedness, with some success. I’ve figured out some of what I need to do to keep more of the importanct active things, both personal and professional, available in my head, and am better about finding tools that I’ll actually use to help manage whatever doesn’t fit into my head (backpack, anyone?).

Even so, it’s irritating to me that I seem to have relatively little available brainspace when I can sit here and — without having to dig at all — type out the voiceover from the TV show Renegade:

He was a cop, and good at his job…but he committed the ultimate sin and testified against other cops gone bad — cops that tried to kill him, but got the woman he loved instead. Now, framed for murder, he prowls the badlands: an outlaw, hunting outlaws…a bounty hunter…a renegade.

That’s, like, 250 bytes of storage that I’m apparently never going to be able to reclaim for any other purpose.

Miscellaneous RSS

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Three links:

Yahoo opens 360 to outside content
“Is it fair to say that the ‘walled garden’ concept is finally and officially dead?” Probably not, but we’re still seeing pretty astonishingly fast acknowledgement that people’s online stuff (and selves) are widely distributed these days, and that people seem to like it that way; that interests me.

Why Yahoo buying Konfabulator is more than just about widgets
I’m a sucker for endlessly amusing resource hog that is dashboard, and am kicking myself that the idea of a “meta-widget” didn’t occur to me before reading this.

Google adds RSS reader
See note one.

For those who haven’t been following along at home…

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When White House spokesman Scott McClellan recently said “The president believes that the manufacturer of a legal product should not be held liable for the criminal misuse of that product by others”…and…”We look at it from a standpoint of stopping lawsuit abuse,” he was referring to legal protections for companies that manufacture firearms, not any other cases that have been in the news recently.

MarketingVOX: An Odd Take on Ajax

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MarketingVOX is running a little article entitled “Ajax May Undermine Web Advertising, Analytics Models.” Read it, it’s…odd.

The focus is a claim that Ajax (referred to in the article as “hodgepodge of JavaScript, Dynamic HTML, and XML”) may cause the impressions-based Web advertising sky to fall, by screwing with the metrics used: “Traffic metrics are also affected by the technology, because most sites measure traffic in terms of visitors and pageviews. Though visitor counts are unaffected, [Adaptive Path’s Lane] Becker says ‘this blows away the page-view metaphor. Click paths have to be measured differently.'”

Weird. Point A, if use of Ajax makes for better user experience, “oh, but if we use it we’ll have to re-think how we make money” doesn’t seem like an argument with a lot of legs. Point B, it sure seems like the complaint isn’t that the tracking of page views will be incorrect in any way, but rather that use of Ajax means that where a site’s visitors once had to suffer through three or four page reloads to accomplish a single task they will now have a single page load — which reduces artificially high pageview “inventory” numbers.

Technology happens, and businesses have to adapt to that technology — whether the implications are exciting and heavy with low-hanging hundred dollar bills or lose-your-shirt scary.*

* Okay, unless you’re the MPAA or RIAA. Then you just pretend that the technology has absolutely no implications whatsoever for your business model, and ask congress to make that fantasy the law of the land.

Online Indentity Management: AlwaysOn

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AlwaysOn is apparently planning on launching an online identity sort of service, pulling profile data from other services into the AlwaysOn portal. SiliconBeat notes that the idea has never taken off, despite a number of offerings in the area. The linked post doesn’t have much by way of details, but it’s worth tossing into the hopper for consideration.

So here’s a question: other than the computational overhead, key management complications including fun like designating authoritative servers, complexity for end-users, and some valid concerns about whether it really fits the need all that well, why is it that we don’t hear more about people using either public key crypto or its basic architecture as the basis for an online identity management system? While it might not be the right approach, it’s not any worse than some of the ideas I’ve seen tossed out there.

There are already a few different examples of people using public key crypto to create private content on the Web, with client side decryption, and signing data (to authenticate that it came from a particular source) is a reasonable leap to make from there…while it seems like a bit of a stretch to make it all work, so does every other option that I can think of.

And just as a slightly related side note, check out the stealthsurfer drive…while it’s focused on anonymity online, one could (or rather “I do”) view that as just another perspective on “controlling one’s online identity.” Going to pick one up to play with…

Podcasting, Podcatching, Whatever

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Mike at Techdirt today posted BBC Takes A Step Towards Broadcatching? Apparently the BBC is taking the step of debuting a new sitcom online, and Mike writes:

The show will go online a week before it actually airs on TV, and then be available to download until a week after the series ends. What’s not clear from the announcement, though, is whether they’ll offer up any kind of RSS feed or enclosures for this. Also, it’s unlikely they’ll be using any kind of BitTorrent-like P2P tools to ease their bandwidth needs. However, just the idea of offering up a new television show for download at the same time as it’s playing on TV is an intriguing idea.

So the BBC isn’t yet “podcasting” — or whatever we want to call it when it’s non-audio content — but Mike’s mention of RSS enclosures and BitTorrent as relevant to this sort of distributrion reminded me of a link that was passed to me a few weeks ago: the Azureus BitTorrent client has long had an “RSS Import” plugin. Point the plugin at one of the RSS feeds that lists new torrents, provide it with a regular expression that defines the shows you want to capture and away you go — new episodes of the shows that you choose are automagically downloaded as soon as they’re available.

Excellent.

Oh, and the trend-conscious should note that this is so buzzword-compliant as to be a little frightening…RSS, BitTorrent, and search all at once. Mmmmm.