My Thoughts Exactly

Obama's plan: Another corporate bailout?

Representative Kucinich makes good points.

We need to keep standing behind progressives to make sure that the bill reported out includes real reform, not a mere windfall for the insurers and drug companies. As Rep Kucinich says, it’s not yet time to say he’ll vote “no” on the final bill. But he’s not very optimistic.

I do take to heart the advice of my Wetmachine colleague Harold Feld, who constantly reminds us that whining and hand-wringing don’t help. What really matters is getting involved and supporting the people who are doing the right things. As soon as I post this I’m going to call Rep. Delahunt’s office. He’s signed the Progressives letter to President Obama saying he won’t vote for a bill that doesn’t have the American Option (AKA “public option”), and in general I’m very happy with his voting recordd. But his name doesn’t appear on the Progressive Caucus letterhead, so I’m not sure if he’s in danger of “backslidin’”. Now’s the time to dig in, sez I.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Off to Big Tent In Denver Next Week.

For anyone who cares, I will be in Denver next week, but not for the Democratic National Convention (although I wouldn’t say no if someone wanted to slip me a pass — hint, hint). I will be attending the Big Tent event for bloggers, progressives, and anyone else who cares to wonder over and see what the changing face of online politics looks like. The event is running in parallel with the Democratic Convention, with significant overlap, although not actually part of it and far enough away geographically to be separate and distinct. I shall leave it to the reader to draw his or her own meaning from this.

Still, the hope is that the Big Tent event will attract significant cross over from the convention. On Tuesday, in conjunction with Common Cause Colorado, there will be a symposium on media issues and all that policy stuff I do over in my day job at Media Access Project. If you’re there, you can catch me speaking on media ownership and its impact on diversity in the afternoon, and/or my colleague at MAP, Parul Desai, talking on network neutrality. In the morning there will be a bunch of other speakers, including FCC Commissioner Jonathon Adelstein, so it should be fun.

Anyway, if you see me out there, feel free to come up and say hi.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

NEWSFLASH! West Coast Dilettante David Newsom to join Wetmachine

Never let it be said that nagging never pays off. For years I’ve been importuning my pal David Newsom, that matinee idol, photographer, award winning movie producer, etc, etc, to start a blog, preferably here on Wetmachine. He’s a great storyteller, as you’ll see shortly, and I’ve been looking for another voice to balance out the glorious wonkery from Harold, Greg, and Howard. I mean, I love FCC policy & sofware geekery as much as the next fellow, but sometimes I think our little wessle lists a bit to starboard, if you will. So I’m delighted to announce that David has tired of telling me to buzz off, and as of this instant is an official wetmachiner.

(David, is it OK that I announce that your new gig is as a producer/reporter for planetgreen? Gee, I sure hope so!)

As soon as our colleague Gary gets his attention back to mundane things, he’ll be setting up a sub-blog for David to be called [notes or dispatches or null] [from a] West Coast Dilettante.

In the meantime, I’m taking the liberty of posting his innagural contribution to Wetmachine main page, which I’ll do sometime later today when I get a sec.

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My Thoughts Exactly

On the open-sourcing of OpenLaszlo

My friend and colleague Sarah Allen has a nice little essay on her blog Ultrasaurus about what it was like to be part of a project that took a closed-source platform (“Laszlo Presentation Server”) and made it open (OpenLaszlo).

Like Sarah, I found that changing to the “open” way of doing software development took a little getting used to. One of the most profound, and yet most mundane differences is how you use email. Before we went open, if I had a technical question for, say, Tucker, I would send him an email; perhaps I would copy a few other interested parties.

Now, however, if I have technical question for Tucker, I send it to him and copy the OpenLaszlo Developer’s list or the OpenLaszlo User’s list. Which means that hundreds of people, at least, may be reading my messages. Similarly, all development work (including my baliwick, the documentation) is driven by tasks and bugs listed in the OpenLaszlo JIRA database. All of our code, communication, and planning, is in the open.

Sometimes this does make one feel a little awkward– like when you have to ask a question that you think you should know the answer to, and are embarrassed. But the “upside” is tremendous, as you often get helpful answers from people you’ve never heard of, in far off places, who are part of the OpenLaszlo community.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Software | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Pardon my demo…

Sorry that I haven’t been writing. To busy coding. News soon. But a cute thing happend today that I have to share…

I was starting a demo of some Internet-accessible collaborative spaces, and someone else was there! Frank Wattenberg, a colleague at the US Military Academy was in the same space. I had to use the in-world communications facilities to ask him if he wouldn’t mind leaving for a little while.

I guess it was only a matter of time. Time and a lot of effort to get to the point where accidents like this can happen.

Hmmm. Frank’s been trying to find the time for some instruction on how do WAN Croquet. I think he’s figured it out!

Posted in Inventing the Future | Also tagged | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Independent Artists Losing an Independent Internet

Parul Desai, my colleague at Media Access Project, has written an article about the impact of network neutrality for Voxunion.com. The article talks about how independent artists will suffer if we lose the fight on network neutrality and therefore lose the Internet as an open, neutral platform for independent artists to distribute their work.

Parul knows whereof she speaks. Not only is she one of the kick-ass attorneys at MAP (“Kicking ass for the public interest for almost 35 years”), but she is one of the founders and co-owners Propa Gandaz Music Group, an independent record label.

UPDATE 6/13/06 — Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy of the Future of Music Coalition have now written this excellent opinion piece on the same theme.

Stay tuned . . .

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Inventing the Future

Scaling to the Enterprise (Part 1 of 4)

Croquet is built on some well-used, but not mainstream technologies. A colleague has asked “Why should we believe that Squeak scales to the enterprise?” I’d like to share my answer, to solicit comment.

It is good to ask this, and there are several aspects to the answer:
1. How reliable is the underlying software?
2. How much use can the software support?
3. How will applications be developed?
4. How reliable is the community.

Part 1 of 4.

Read More »

Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: More Than A Toaster With Pictures

My colleague Cheryl Leanza and I wrote an article for the American Bar Association Communications section defending media ownership limits and explaining why the old rules should be retained. It’s written with lawyers as the target audience, but we think we put it in English. It is available here.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)
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