· 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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