Inventing the Future

I was just thinking of you…

I just had one of those damn computer things, where I send an email to someone who I couldn’t reach by voice, but just after sending it, I get an email from that person that changes the conditions of what I was writing to the person about. Arghh.

I’ve written before about how Croquet fosters both synchronous and asynchronous communication, like combining chat and email. Here’s how it plays out in this particular scenario. I go to the special space that Alice and I have created (with a few clicks or voice commands) for the stuff common to us. (Or maybe common to a group of three or more. It doesn’t matter.) I create a message in that space – voice, text, or video. The idea is that Alice will see that message (and possibly be notified) and will review at her leisure. Alice starts to do the same thing, but since each of us has a presence (an avatar) visible to anyone else in the space, we see each other. Then we just start talking, directly. While we do so, I can even point at the paragraph that I was just composing. Alice can edit it, too, so that she or I can then bring over the collaboratively revised version to Bob. No mail client. No telephone. No chat client. No whiteboard. No filenames or email addresses. No server.

OK, this isn’t that different in principle from the little colored balls in Macintosh Mail that tell you which addresses belong to people who are in your buddy list and available for iChat at this moment. But maybe it’s enough different to actually be useable.

Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Low Power Radio Order

On the decidedly low-tech side, but still a very important part of my work, is helping the Low Power FM community (particularly the good folks at Prometheus Radio Project) deal with the FCC.

One of the things that has kept me busy this month has been a final push to get good stuff out before Powell left. It finally happened at 7:30 p.m. the night he left, with the release of this Order.

This is actually an interesting story that, among other things, pits local community radio organizers aganst some folks in Twin Falls, ID that are either exploiting loopholes in the rules or violating federal law to set up a nation-wide evangelical Christian radio network.

Read More »

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

My Day With the Supremes

There are advantages to being a member of the Supreme Court Bar. One is, you get to go and hear the arguments from the Supreme Court Bar section. Guess what I did today! While you will get tons of info from other websites, this is probably the only place you will see someone say that Justice Rehnquist now sounds like a bad combination of Darth Vader and the Emperor from “Return of the Jedi”….

Read More »

Posted in Fighting the IP Mafia, General, Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Tagged , | 22 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Wetmachine use marketing mixes for good marketing

By way of Slashdot I come across this marketing professor’s test case of bad prose that he uses against grammar checkers.

Actually I thought his paragraph contained some useful insights that I might profitably use in my unending quest to build the brand loyalty and success and memic mindshare of Wetmachine(tm) home of “One-stop-shopping for all your technoparainoia needs(sm).” I’ve modified the text below accordingly.

—————————Demonstration Paragraph Begins—————————-

Marketing are bad for brand. Wetmachine is good brand. Wetmachine’s is good brand. Wetmachine’s are good brand. Wetmachines’ are good brand. Finance good for marketing. 4P’s are marketing mix. Wetmachine use marketing mixes for good marketing. Internets do good job. Internets help marketing. Internets make good brand. Gates do good marketing in Wetmachine. Gates build the big brand in Wetmachine. The Gates is leader of big company in Washington. Warren Wetmachine do awesome job in marketing. Wetmachine eat Wetmachine.

—————————Demonstration Paragraph Ends——————————

Posted in Memology, My Thoughts Exactly | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A brief personal observation on the pay gap

New census data indicates that, on average, white men with a four year degree earned, on average, more than any other catagory. Women generally earned less than men, but white women earned less than black and asian women (and slightly more than hispanic women). No one is sure why this is the case.

What’s odd is that that last night I was having a conversation with my wife which has some relevance on this. While one anecdote is hardly the basis for public policy, I’d be interested in knowing whether any of the xtant research has explored this issue . . .

Read More »

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

components

The computer spreadsheet doesn’t get enough credit among computer programmers. I think that more than any other one concept, VisiCalc, 1-2-3, and Excel were the killer app for the personal computer. As a programmer, I have tended first to think of formulae and calculation mechanisms when I think of spreadsheets, but the UI and development style are perhaps more significant. For each individual cell, you can look at the value, the formula, or the formatting, and change each through a menu. You can incrementally build up quite a complex application all on your own, never leaving the very environment you use to view the results. Why doesn’t all software work this way, only better? That’s what I’m working on.

Read More »

Posted in Brie, Inventing the Future | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Hofstadter

I spoke with Douglas Hofstadter for about an hour yesterday. That was kinda cool. I’m still hoping that he’ll participate in the mashup of my Cheap Complex Devices, but I ain’t going to count on it.

Read More »

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

hardly working?

Inspired by John’s observation of a slow news period, I checked the activity of Croquet bloggers. Except for my 9 day old announcement, the average posting is 22 days old.

I guess everyone’s hard at work. Come on guys, tell us how it’s going!

Posted in history: external milestones and context, Inventing the Future | Tagged , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Slow News Day

Wetmachine is a bit sclerotic of late (content wise). Maybe it just needs an emitic or whatchacallit, an enema. Or a little more science. In any event, here’s a link to some earlier work I did towards A General Theory of Everything.

Sample quote:

My theory will not account for the chemical or atomic or subatomic: that’s covered elsewhere (See: scientists). Nor will I deal with cosmic stuff, for that’s too big to be of concern to us. Astrophysicists are on some kind of trip, we’ll agree on that, but what it has to do with you and me and the price of dough nuts is a closed question. So that leaves us with the human scale, that where we live, us’ns, and that’s what my theory shall reconcile, just like Milton, only updated.

Maybe that will be enough to scare some of the other wetmachiners in to action. After all, there’s more where that came from.

Posted in General, My Thoughts Exactly | Tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Lose one round in Florida

Florida, which has a number of good muni systems, has passd an anti-muni bill out of subcommittee and out to the FL House of Rep.

If anyone in FL is reading this, get on the horn to your state rep today. Tell them to show the same courage against Bell South that folks in Indiana showed against SBC and that folks in NE and TX are showing.

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Tagged , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

    Email Updates

    Subscribe with just your email address To get updates for all Wetmachine posts. Want more control? Log in using your Wetmachine account (or with your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account), or register for a Wetmachine account.

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register