When
· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · April
· · · · 18 (4 entries)

Earthquake Anniversary · From Doc Searl­s, a very good piece, with pic­tures, on the hun­dredth an­niver­sary of the Great San Fran­cis­co Earthquake, and on Cal­i­for­nia quakes in gen­er­al. I can’t help think­ing what would hap­pen if The Big One came along while some­one was run­ning a keynote ses­sion at the Moscone. Yow.
 
Hao Wu and Graham McMynn · Gra­ham McMynn is a teenag­er who was kid­napped in Van­cou­ver on April 4th and freed, in a large, noisy, and news­wor­thy po­lice op­er­a­tion, on April 12th. Hao Wu is a Chi­nese film-maker and blog­ger who was kid­napped in Bei­jing on Fe­bru­ary 22nd in a smal­l, qui­et po­lice op­er­a­tion not in­tend­ed to be news­wor­thy, and who has not been freed. Read about it here, here, and here. Mak­ing noise about it might in­flu­ence the gov­ern­ment of Chi­na to mod­er­ate its ac­tions against Mr. Wu, and can’t do any har­m. Mr. McMynn’s kid­nap­pers were a gag­gle of small-time hood­lum­s, one of whom was out on bail while await­ing tri­al for an­oth­er kid­nap­ping (!). Mr. Wu’s were po­lice. In a civ­i­lized coun­try, the func­tion of the po­lice force is to de­ter such peo­ple and ar­rest them. A na­tion where they are the same peo­ple? No­body could call it “civilized”. [Up­date, months lat­er: Hao Wu is free.]
 
Astounding, As Usual · Dave Sifry’s back with an­oth­er State of the Bl­o­go­sphere and the num­bers are, well, see the ti­tle. We re­main on track for ev­ery­one in the world to have a blog by 2009 or so. A mild gripe: Dave says “blogs” but he re­al­ly means “feeds”, a lot of them aren’t blogs at al­l. Stil­l, we’re up to 3.9 mil­lion of them be­ing up­dat­ed week­ly or bet­ter. The me­dia spec­trum is get­ting aw­ful­ly smooth, whether you’re talk­ing about the out­put of a multibillion-dollar me­dia em­pire or news from your brother’s fam­i­ly, they’re all just tabs in the ag­gre­ga­tor.
 
XML Automaton · In De­cem­ber of 1996 I re­leased a piece of soft­ware called Lark, which was the world’s first XML Pro­ces­sor (as the term is de­fined in the XML Spec­i­fi­ca­tion). It was suc­cess­ful, but I stopped main­tain­ing it in 1998 be­cause lots of oth­er smart peo­ple, and some big com­pa­nies like Mi­crosoft, were ship­ping per­fect­ly good pro­ces­sors. I nev­er quite open-sourced it, hold­ing back one clever bit in the mo­ron­ic idea that I could make mon­ey out of Lark some­how. The mag­ic sauce is a fi­nite state ma­chine that can be used to parse XML 1.0. Re­cent­ly, some­one out there need­ed one of those, so I thought I’d pub­lish it, with some com­men­tary on Lark’s con­struc­tion and an amus­ing anec­dote about the name. I doubt there are more than twelve peo­ple on the plan­et who care about this kind of pars­ing ar­cana. [Rick Jel­liffe has up­grad­ed the ma­chine]. ...
 
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