This began as a quick reply to a discussion on the Well about a recent posting from John Gruber which links to a hit list from Crackberry.com about the iPhone. Gruber focuses just on the keyboard issue, about which I found I had this to say: With the built-in spelling correction, I can type close to 30wpm on my iPt keyboard. This is faster than I ever was with Graffiti, which I used for about 8 years and was pretty good at if I say so.
Back in February I mentioned Scott Rosenberg’s book Dreaming in Code. Somehow I never got around to posting more extended comments. Recently I was asked, by someone who had followed the Chandler project but hadn’t seen the book, to clarify why I thought the story was sad. This post is a cobbling-together of my answer to that question as well as some comments I made in the course of our group-interview on the Well.
Over on the Well we’re having a discussion with Salon.com co-founder (and longtime Well member) Scott Rosenberg about his new book, Dreaming in Code. The book follows the Chandler project – conceived as a radical reinvention of the personal information manager – from its inception in 2002 through… well, through multiple stalls and restarts that lead not to a triumphal “Rocky of software” finish but to our embedded journalist moving on after deciding he just can’t wait any longer.
Suzanne Stefanac’s new book, Dispatches from Blogistan, is out. She’s a Well pal and you may have seen her name in the comments here. I haven’t gotten my hands on the book yet, but Suzanne’s blog gives an excellent taste; the glossary entries are particularly worth browsing. Good luck with it, Suzanne – try not to check your Amazon sales rank more than three times per hour!
So, there’s a bit of a stink brewing about Comcast’s SMTP blacklist. Once again, Comcast decided to block mail forwarded from the Well to Comcast addresses, and they have been raising similar havoc elsewhere. Nothing gets people pissed off like messing with their email. It’s possible that Comcast’s admins are well-intentioned, but it’s also possible that this is part of a business strategy to push people from small ISPs (who sporadically get blocked by Comcast) to Comcast itself (which happens never to get blocked by Comcast).
I’ve recently moved the Wellblogs aggregator to my server from its former home. It’s a simple “planet” style presentation that shows the last week’s worth of posts across a few dozen blogs written by members of The Well. The software is a Python engine written by Michael Josephson, and I’ve been very impressed with it so far. It’s based on Mark Pilgrim’s Universal Feed Parser, a MySQL data store, Cheetah templates, and some extra bits to gracefully handle the inevitable connection failures involved when fetching dozens of disparate feeds every hour.
Over on the Well, in a what-is-this-web-2.0-thing-anyway topic, I posted: I’ve been thinking about starting a joke social networking/sharing site called “huester” where you can post your favorite colors, tag them, make RSS feeds of them… Within a couple hours Jeffrey had posted a link to colorcombos.com. It’s a site that lets you post your favorite color combinations, tag them, make RSS feeds of them… The only thing it’s missing is friending.