When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · March
· · · · 03 (3 entries)

AutoLink Again · After a day of severe blogospheric battering, I went and spent some quality time with the Google Toolbar beta. Summary: I went over the top, was too nasty, and shouldn’t have fulminated about legal action, and I’m sorry. But, I still believe this feature as positioned now is either evil or stupid or both. But, it could be fixed. But, it doesn’t matter that much because AutoLink is actually kind of useless and anyhow, the Google Toolbar is doomed ...
 
Google Is Wrong · There’ve been a couple of weeks to think about it, and the more I think about it, the more it seems obvious that Google has gone seriously off the rails with the new AutoLink feature of their toolbar. On this one, I’m lining up with Dave Winer, Rob Scoble, and Zeldman. Google has established a relationship of trust with many millions of people: they provide a good service and they make good money doing it, and that’s just fine. It seems so obvious that this move is not only evil but stupid; I keep hearing that MSN is pretty good these days, but Microsoft isn’t trustworthy, so I don’t go there. If I don’t trust Google either, all bets are off. Anyhow, this is a policy problem not a technical problem, so here’s a suggestion: perhaps our friends at Creative Commons could have a look and develop a professional legal opinion as to whether their licenses, like the one I use, are infringed by AutoLink (my non-professional opinion is that Google’s damn close to the edge). If not, perhaps they could create a variant license that clearly rules it out of order. Then Google stops, or we sue their ass. [Update: This was controversial; a lot of people disagreed, publicly and one-on-one. So I researched some more and wrote this; check it out.]
 
Those Days · I’ve been having one of ’em, and when you got a blog you can wallow in self-pity in front of the whole world, and it’s even OK if you can keep it to once a year or so. Item: I spent 45 minutes waiting for the 30 seconds with the infectious-diseases specialist, at least I seem unlikely to become Nine-fingered Tim Item: I subtly borked my Tomcat/Jython setup, hours later and after perusing PyServlet.java I determined that the faulty component, the one between the chair and the computer, had accidentally deleted a crucial import statement. Item: I proved conclusively that the combined magic of Swing and X11 don’t allow you to sit in Vancouver and use NetBeans on a computer in Menlo Park when you’re connected via Ssh over VPN over PPOE over DSL. Item: I flamed at Google’s AutoLink and apparently every sentient being in both hemispheres thinks I’m out to lunch and is willing to say so loudly and publicly, except for the ones who tell me politely one-on-one. Consolation: The second half of the Pistons/Suns on HDTV, what a treat.
 
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