· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · August
· · · · 30 (4 entries)

Two Iraq Ideas · Back in the first heat of the Iraq conflict, I wrote quite a bit about it, but I’ve fallen silent because, like many others, I don’t see a good way forward. Recently, I’ve come across two interesting proposals for how we might get a reasonably good outcome. Here is a detailed ten-point plan from Juan Cole which sounds plausible if not cheery, more than you can say for the current, uh, I guess they call it a “strategy”. Second, the Vancouver Sun’s excellent International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe suggests biting the bullet and giving up on holding Iraq together. I don’t have a decent pointer to his piece, but you can read it here anyhow ...
Nawlins Then · Oh, this is awful. I’ve nothing to offer but happy memories: Item: Peter and I, both greying, scruffy, and geeky, walking down some random street, and the hooker, young and with movie-star make-up, murmured “Oh, pretty men”—we snickered for the next two blocks. Item: Round midnight, some club way off Bourbon street, warm in midwinter, Charmaine Neville and Maria Muldaur traded off verses of Santa Baby, outrageously lewd and intensely musical. Item: At some conference party I danced and danced with a woman I’d never met, we had fun, she lit up the dancefloor with a fast shake during the saxophone break, then we talked about stylesheets. Item: Somewhere in the quarter, two cops had this guy backed into a corner and were giving him a hard time, I was thinking “That’s gotta be a crappy job, a cop in the number-one place in the U.S.A. where people go to get drunk and stupid” but then they walked away laughing, side by side. Item: Somewhere else in the quarter, under twinkly lights in a lovely old courtyard, espressos and cognac after a lot of really good food, a block-away electric backbeat drifting faintly over the walls. Hey New Orleans: when you get yourself back together, I’ll come down and spend a bunch of money on booze and music, that’s a promise.
See You in Slovenia · I’m going to be doing a keynote at the next OpenOffice.org conference on September 29th, in Koper-Capodistria. I love what OpenOffice is trying to do, and really looking forward to my first visit to Slovenia. Also, it’ll be a chance to do a speech that’s (mostly) not about blogging or syndication. Hope to see you there.
USPTO, v-Fluence, Lameness · I got this email from the USPTO five days ago (two of them, actually, to my two main addresses) and I thought I’d wait till I was less irritated before I wrote about it, but you know what, that’s not working. The title was “Yes, the USPTO reads blogs! USPTO Small Business Protection Web Site” Reading the first phrase, for a microsecond I thought “Hey, they’re getting a clue?” but no, it’s a just a vapid PR pitch for two of their “Stop Fakes” websites, which are full of marketing bumph with two messages: “Get Patents Now!” and “The Administration is Great!” And the email itself? Here’s a sample: “Can bloggers help? Yes! The USPTO is well aware of the impact bloggers have and the important role they play. As an online opinion leader you can help small businesses protect the intellectual property of small businesses in one of several ways: Write about the site in your blog...” (I’ll spare you the rest). Oh yes, and across the bottom: ***This e-mail was sent on behalf of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by v-Fluence Interactive Public Relations, Inc.*** So, let’s put this simply. Dear USPTO, you’re lying. If you actually read bloggers you’d know that the few who write about you think you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution (most recently, no less than Irving Wladawsky-Berger). Dear v-Fluence: You’re spammers, which means you’re filth. And, Dear World, please don’t give any more business to v-Fluence, they’re abusive incompetents.
author · Dad
colophon · rights
Random image, linked to its containing fragment

By .

The opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.

I’m on Mastodon!