Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Chalk-dust Aura

For shame, I'm mainly commenting on slashdot articles today.I guess, in a way, slashdot is a communal BLOG.. albeit onethat talks very little about the author. Depending on what youexpect from a blog, that could be a good or a bad thing.. I reada number of blogs, many of which are mostly pointers to articles withcommentary, many others are mostly personal, and others are originalcreations. I personally don't have much of a preference.. well, that's notentirely accurate. If it's an interesting person, like Abtahi,I'm happy to read his personal stuff. Of course, he also talks aboutpolitics occasionally. For people I know (or knew) personally, I alsolike reading personal entries. There are a few people, like jwz, whoI mainly read because they have neat links -- I don't care about his personallife, and didn't get along with him too well when we met online. And so on..I'm just saying, in a long-winded way, that what I want to read from someonedepends on who they are, their relation to me, and how good they are at thatkind of writing. Kind of .. yeah, kind of uninteresting. Oh well.

You might've heard about Playfair, a tool to remove the DRM from Apple'sencoded audio they're selling on iTunes. They recently got a cease and desistfrom Apple for making such a thing (DRM = Digital Rights Management = the thingApple uses to stop you from playing the music on systems other than thoseyou bought it for). As is becoming increasingly popular in the geek communitywhen people enslaving data start waving legal things around, they're nottaking it lying down, and moved the digital home of the thing off to India.This thrills me -- as the author says, INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE.. therallying cry of our community. Of course, it sounds cooler in German..Auskunft muss Frei!Na klar, development continues on software that'll make it very difficult totrack down people who write such software, or to put a lid on it, once produced.Someone recently commented that computers and the internet, when part of theupbringing of a child, tend to produce libertarian beliefs. I think I understandthat now, and it's taken me awhile for the intensity of the experience of reallife to match the intensity of online life, and temper that libertarian bentwith liberalism. The sheer emotional delight of unraveling the plans of thosewho would enslave us as they walk towards the church of the almighty dollar, orthe decadent church of their dead gods and prudishness, it is a sweet nectar.A better spam filter, obfuscating networks, securely tunnelling data, forgingkeys to free the slaves, ways to infuriate the paper-pushers trying to laydown new rules, and to free those stuck in repressive countries fromthe shackles they wear.

This is kind of amusing.. and strange, and disappointing.It's unfortunate that they would try to limit peoples ability to recordand speak about things that happen in their life (yes, I know that they'reputting themself in a position specifically to record, but even still).Still, ideally people would also be smart enough to use anonymizers or othermeans to render themselves effectively untracable when they don't want to betraced. It seems that the right way to nab someone for something like thiswould be to wait for them to physically meet up with someone, conduct a'sting'...

Heh, kind of amusing how use of a ..., online, turns into a mumble, and letsthe author get away with not correcting a sentence with poor grammar or has aremainder that's just implied. I wonder how often people use mumbling to shiftthe conversation into such a 'mode', because of grammar-laziness orto just kind of loosely sketch out their thoughts to the other person.

Argh, I'm still fighting my unfiled folder in my bookmarks. It's waytoo big, and I get the feeling I'm using my 'Unfiled' folder for too much.I should probably split it into 3 sections:1) Unfiled - For bookmarks I truly haven't filed yet2) Rev - For bookmarks I want to revisit and read more throughly3) BLOGMe - For bookmarks I want to write about in my BLOG

I guess this brings to mind the purposes of bookmarks in general -- why am Isaving things that I've already read to my satisfaction? There do seem to bethree general types of bookmark users, I've found. The first doesn't usebookmarks at all while browsing the web, either using typing-completion orremembering all the websites they use frequently. The second uses themsparingly, having perhaps 10 bookmarks for sites they visit fairly frequently.The third type, to which I belong, keeps a large number of bookmarks, savingeverything they might want to come back to. I suspect that this behavior issimilar to leaving bookmarks in books. There is another dimension to the secondand third types -- some of them use structure, and some do not. For example,I use structure, and as of current, have the following toplevel bookmarkfolders, many of which have subfolders:

Oft - For often-visited sites. I have subcategories for news sites, webcomics, entertainment, as well as some generally useful sites in the main folderSoc - For social-networking sites. Orkut, Tribe.net, and Friendster are the only three (I don't use the latter two, and might eventually remove this category, moving Orkut into oft and the latter two elsewhereComp - For computer-related stuff. Poorly organized, needs cleaningTD - For technical documents.Edu - Educational stuff on various topics. Poorly organizedEnt - EntertainmentSci - Science-interesting stuff. Probably needs subcategoriesPhil - Philosophically interesting stuff. Probably needs subcategoriesPpl - Homepages of various people I knowJ - BLOGs (Journals) I read. Very well categorizedDead - Sites I used to visit frequently but now never visit because of life changes.Unfiled - Things I haven't filed yet, or things I'm gonna write about, or things I have yet to read. Ugh.

I think I like having so many bookmarks because it gives me access to a lot ofinformation I'd otherwise need to dig around for, and I can recommend things tofriends or recall some articles I know I read a long time ago. Bookmarking issimilar to BLOGging in that way -- one never really loses information, one justarchives everything. I also made this entire bookmark list into a toolbar, sothe folders are all always visible like menus. This brings me to a point thatcannot be stressed too strongly to web developers -- the most important reasonyou give a title to your webpage is so people can find it in their bookmarks.Provide enough information, but not so much that they're going to need toretitle the bookmark (wide names make the menus irritatingly big).

Oh, incidentally, I've recently been playing a bit more with my RSS generationcode to make it generate RSS that's more standards compliant. I pass somevalidators, but some RSS viewers still don't like me. I'm not sure what I'mdoing wrong...

Oh, here's a nice quirky link. Enjoy.

Tags: blog, tech
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