Monday, 30 October 2006

Where Was I?

Where was I last week? I don’t know either.

Doesn’t matter, I’m back. Let’s rock.

I Thought Europe Was Already a Museum ;)

“In that scenario Europe survives as an Asian and American theme park, with the manual labor done by Muslims. The French and German lifestyle will continue, but with smaller numbers and as a kind of museum piece.” – Tyler Cowen

The rallying cry for change:

Europe is too rich, too lazy and lacks a dream, a focus. And I am not quite sure if Europe values its liberties and its civilisation enough to fight for it, now that it is being challenged. Europe needs a wake up call. – Marcel Bullinga

Back over at Marginal Revolution:

“…when I think carefully about what delights me [about Europe] I find that it is less anything developed since World War II and more the remnants of the Europe that existed before the First World War.” – Andrew Smith


“A report by Eurochambers, the Brussels-based business lobby, published on Monday (5 March) argues that the US reached the current EU rate of GDP per capita in 1985 and its levels in employment and research investment almost 30 years ago.” – Lucia Kubosova, EU Observer

“If all of Europe looked like its postwar construction, Americans would be less likely to admire European policies and political institutions.” – Tyler Cowen

Sunday, 29 October 2006

Genealogy Namespace for OPML?

In my effort to organize the collection of family tree data I’ve acquired in the past week, I’ve tried out a number of proprietary software applications – some worse than others.

Currently all my data is in a free application that imports and exports the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ GEDCOM format. The application isn’t the easiest to use nor is the format itself.

OPML is pretty good at describing relationships and their associated attributes. Maybe all this family data is just an OPML namespace.


Friday, 27 October 2006

Web Apps, the New Lock-in, and the Opposite of Backup

Over at, we’ve been talking about how to close your MySpace account. Leaving sites like MySpace and Friendster should be straight forward – simply delete me. Disconnecting me from all my ‘friends’. No biggy. Not letting me do that is both a privacy issue and a Google juice problem.

Sites like YouTube and Flicker are slightly different – I put stuff I find valuable there, but I’ve got a local copy of all that. No biggy.

The biggy is with sites like Amazon, eBay, BaseCamp, Stikipad, browser-only email, and other collaborative sites where the assets only exist on the service’s servers. What happens to my assets when I want to leave?

I see that there was export functionality, but ‘this feature is currently unavailable’ – Darren Barefoot


In addition to regularly backing up the important information on your local machines – the same goes for all the web-only services, what do we call this…a ‘back-down’?


“…I’m not spending lots of my time building anything in a system where it is locked up, I can’t take it out, and am at their mercy on rate hikes and such.” – Dave Slusher

Babe Ruth: 1330 Strike Outs – 714 Home Runs

Steve is wondering how to break through the din of our post-scarcity world.

I see the lowering of the barriers to publishing very much an opportunity. An opportunity to move faster, publish faster, and continue to lower the barriers for getting interesting applications out to the world. Evan says this is Obvious.

The photo Steve used reminded me that Babe Ruth struck out nearly twice as many times as he hit a home run.

Thing is, getting a hit (being Dugg, Slashdotted, etc) actually hurts. It can take down your server and give you crazy bandwidth bills. The long tail doesn’t accommodate spikes very well.

I’m good with consistently getting on base. Keeps the game moving.

UPDATE 3 Nov 2006:

“The mistake bloggers often make (actually, all marketers make sooner or later) is the believe that being popular is its own reward.” – Seth Godin

330 Years Ago Still Not in Buren

I’ve been doing a little climbing on my family tree this week. While there’s still many bits I’d like to confirm and make more complete. I’m pleasantly surprised to find I trace the Van Buren name 330 years with free search tools like

I predict 2 generations further will put me in Buren. 😉

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Be Progressive, B-E Progressive

On my daily walk last night, I saw a campaign sign for the Independent candidate running in the 5th Congressional District.

Odd, I thought this race was a foregone conclusion.

Then I find this bit from Mark over at Norwegianity:

“..the Cities hoi polloi desperately don’t want Ellison in Congress. He doesn’t owe them squat, and is likely to be a little hard of hearing when the corporations and mega-non-profits come calling. It’s been a long time since I thought public radio or TV deserved any public money. Sleep with pigs, wake up smelling bad.”

Ouch. Though, it makes me wonder if the blue, italic “Be Progressive” on her website isn’t product placement.

The notion that independent candidates might be more attractive to corporations makes me giggle a little. Then, the cynical side of me says it’s the only way the party will get enough traction to win more than 10% of the races.