Monday, May 09, 2005


Engineers Say Device Has Multiple Uses (AP)
AP - Two Sandia National Laboratories engineers working on a way to make natural gas drilling equipment better say it also can help make lighter weight airplanes, better electric cars and earthquake monitoring systems.

U.S. Computer Kingpin IBM Looks More Longingly To The East (Investor's Business Daily)
Investor's Business Daily - Will IBM look to the East, to China and India, to shake its profit blues?

PalmOne : handheld with audio,video features (Reuters)
Reuters - PalmOne Inc. is expected nextweek to unveil a digital media device to rival the iPod, as themaker of hand held computers and mobile phones shoots for apiece of the growing market for portable music and video.

Faults Found in Online Reporter's Stories (AP)
AP - An investigation over the sourcing and accuracy of roughly 160 news stories by a freelance journalist at a leading Internet news site concluded that the existence of more than 40 people quoted in the articles could not be confirmed.










Chinese Businessman Acquitted of Illegal High-Technology Exports
The businessman was acquitted of illegally exporting microwave technology to China for military purposes but was found guilty of making false statements.
By LAURIE J. FLYNN

Cheating, or an Early Mingling of the Blood?
Did the genetic legacy of a"vanishing twin"cause the champion cyclist Tyler Hamilton to test positive for doping?
By GINA KOLATA

A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip
Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker Media and its growing list of popular Web logs, is one of the most watched entrepreneurs in the business.
By TOM ZELLER Jr.

I.B.M. Expected to Buy Start-Up to Advance Open-Source Strategy
The purchase of Gluecode Software, an open-source start-up, is the latest step in I.B.M.'s strategy of building a big business around open-source software.
By STEVE LOHR

A Career Spent Learning How the Mind Emerges From the Brain
Big questions about the mind are Dr. Michael Gazzaniga's stock in trade.
By CARL ZIMMER

Venture Capital Streams Into Internet Phone Company
Vonage is expected to announce that it has raised$200 million in new private investments, one of the largest single rounds of venture capital financing in the last decade.
By MATT RICHTEL

Put (Almost) Anything on a Stamp
The Postal Service will once again try letting consumers print customized stamps after an earlier trial ran into some trouble.
By BOB TEDESCHI

Big Firms'Ad Bucks Also Fund Spyware (Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times - Blue-chip companies are sponsoring more than TV shows and golf tournaments to promote their products: They are inadvertently underwriting computer spyware too.

New Xbox details leak out ahead of launch (Reuters)
Reuters - Extensive details of MicrosoftCorp.'s newest video game console leaked out on theInternet on Monday, three days ahead of the console's formalworldwide unveiling on MTV.

U.S. Computer Kingpin IBM Looks More Longingly To The East (Investor's Business Daily)
Investor's Business Daily - Will IBM look to the East, to China and India, to shake its profit blues?

Napster, Dwango pair up to offer song ringtones (Reuters)
Reuters - Online music service Napster Inc.and Dwango Wireless on Monday unveiled a pact to offer musicringtones and other features in a new service that Napsterhopes will widen its reach.

IBM offers software development patterns (InfoWorld)
InfoWorld - Focusing on code reuse, IBM on Monday is making available four enterprise software development patterns intended to ease application-building for users of the IBM Rational Software Architect tool.

Novell Loses Another Open-Source Aficionado (Ziff Davis)
Ziff Davis - Richard Seibt, the former president of SuSE Linux before its acquisition, leaves his post as president of Novell EMEA. A spokesman says his departure does not relate to two other recent executive resignations.

For Some Techies, an Interminable Workday (AP)
AP - The traffic jam ended hours ago, the parking lot is nearly empty and fluorescent lights are dimmed at PortalPlayer Inc., where the nightly brainstorming session is about to begin.

PalmOne : handheld with audio,video features (Reuters)
Reuters - PalmOne Inc. is expected nextweek to unveil a digital media device to rival the iPod, as themaker of hand held computers and mobile phones shoots for apiece of the growing market for portable music and video.

New PalmOne handheld aims at iPod (Reuters)
Reuters - PalmOne Inc. is expected nextweek to unveil a digital media device to rival the iPod, as themaker of hand held computers and mobile phones shoots for apiece of the growing market for portable music and video.

Faults Found in Online Reporter's Stories (AP)
AP - An investigation over the sourcing and accuracy of news stories by a freelance journalist at a leading Internet news site concluded that the existence of dozens of people quoted in the articles could not be confirmed.

As the iPod Stays Hot, It Risks Losing Its Cool
President George W. Bush listens to an iPod, it was learned recently. How uncool is that?
By KEN BELSON

California Dreaming: A True Story of Computers, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll
John Markoff makes a convincing case that for the ubergeeks in the 1960's, approaching drugs as they might any other potentially helpful tool was only natural.
By ANDREW LEONARD

Internet Phone Company Raises$200 Million in Venture Capital
Vonage's deal constitutes one of the largest single rounds of venture capital financing in the last decade.
By MATT RICHTEL

After Cost-Cutting, MCI Posts a Small Loss
MCI Inc. posted a small loss in the first quarter as it made deep cost cuts to offset steep declines in revenue.
By KEN BELSON

Microsoft to Lease Some Ideas to Start-Ups
Microsoft said that it would license its home-grown ideas to venture capital firms and entrepreneurs, in an effort to open its technology to outsiders.
By STEVE LOHR

A Wealth of Materials That Say'Material Wealth'
New colors and new choices of leather and steel have brought a new approach to interior décor, especially to American vehicles.
By PHIL PATTON

Earth Has Become Brighter, but No One Is Sure Why
The brightening could partly explain the record-high global temperatures reported in the late 1990's, and it could accelerate the planet's warming trend.
By KENNETH CHANG

I.B.M. Job Cuts Will Hit Europe Especially Hard
I.B.M.'s job cuts will fall heaviest on Germany, France, Britain and Italy, where the costs are high and growth prospects have been dim.
By MARK LANDLER

Programs That Start When XP Does
My Windows XP machine takes forever to start up. How can I tell what programs are loading during the start-up process?
By J.D. BIERSDORFER

Giveaway: Radio UserLand Kick Start
We adopted a kitten from the humane society nine months ago who thinks he's a dog, and there's nothing he likes more than the taste of a computer book. A stack of them make an excellent scratching post, as I learned when he shredded a dozen copies ofHow to Use the Internet Eighth Edition.

This situation adds urgency to my need to give away more of my books, before they become either out-of-date or drenched with saliva.

I'm giving away four author's copies ofRadio UserLand Kick Start, each in new condition and completely untouched by my catdog.

If you'd like to win one, post a comment on thisWorkbenchentry or write about it on your weblog, linking to itspermalinkso I don't overlook it. I'll pay the postage to anywhere that I can send it for under $10.

Kick Startcovers everything you need to get started with Radio UserLand, an Internet content management and programming tool that makes it simple to publish your own weblog, develop web services, and collect information from thousands of Internet sites. Severalsample chapterscan be read online.

During mylast book giveaway, I awarded an extra copy to the person with the most inventive reason for wanting one. If I can scare up a fifth copy, I'll do that again here.

That's Quite a Spectacle
Whenever a character in a movie is a by-the-book square who never got over the end of the 1950s, he wears plastic-top, metal-rim eyeglasses. Tom Hanks donned them inCatch Me If You Can, and you can't make a film about Malcolm X, NASA, or the JFK assassination without ordering them in bulk.

The glasses are especially effective if the buttoned-up wearer is one bad day from a total nervous breakdown, like the downsized defense contractor D-FENS, who rampages across Los Angeles to protest incivility inFalling Down.

I wrote about these glasseslast yearwhen I heard the only manufacturer, ArtCraft NewYork, was discontinuing the style. This was crushing news -- I step on my pair of Clubman Art-Rim frames at least twice a year and can barely see through a SuperGlue smudge in one lens.

Since then, I've heard from an executive at Shuron, the company thatinvented the style in 1941and sold more than 17 million of them by 1970:

The Ronsir was in many movies and worn by many actors/celebrities -- Kevin Costner, Denzel Washington, Vince Lombardi, Nicholas Cage, and many others. The Ronsir is not going away.

Because I keep directing people to Shuron when they ask about the glasses, the company is sending me a free pair, which I believe makes me the world's first blogger/spokesmodel. I'm spending this weekend trying to come up with my ownBlue Steel.



Everybody Carl Jung Tonight
Avoicemail messagereceived last week:

Hey, it'sMancow, we're trying to get you on the radio show here. It's an Illinois guy, he probably knows this show. But he got the pope's web site. And the story is he's going to turn it into a porno ...

I didn't get this message soon enough to return his call. I suspect that if he heard my actual plans forBenedictXVI.Com, I would have been a great disappointment to him.

WashingtonPost.Com reporter David McGuire wrote afollowup storyyesterday about how the domain has been donated to the charityModest Needswhile we await the Vatican.

I'm glad that Modest Needs founder Keith Taylor was able to put something together so quickly April 21 -- 90 percent of the 410,000 visits to BenedictXVI.Com were made by Sunday morning, and traffic has slowed to around 9,000 visits a day. (Taylor may be seeing more traffic directly on the charity'sBenedictXVI.Com page.)

Jacopo di Trani, the owner ofBenedict16.com, offers aJungian analysisof why he seeks financial reward and I chose the approval of my Catholic grandmother:

I think that C.G.Jung will say that Cadenhead primary function are his"thoughts", and his last function are his"sensations", and that my primary function is my"intuition", and my last function are my"feelings". I think (do you agree?); so it's very predictable that from all this popedomain-story I'll earn more and more cash than he will ever get . Even if he was the first (he registered his domain the 1st april, against my 14 april), even if he is the most famous (but not in czech sites!), and even if search engines give more traffic to his domain than to mine. I have only a better brandable domain and more real hair - but I'll get more cash than you, Rogers. It's only logic.

I can't address his theory. I majored in journalism -- the only way I would've learned about Jung was if I interviewed him for the school paper. In retrospect, I should have spent less time skipping classes in college to watchGeneral Hospital.

But I will concede the point about his hair.

To Dream the Impossible Dream
Lifetime to-do list:

  1. Writehands-on tutorialfor beginning Java programmers who want to teach self language in no more than 21 days
  2. Successfully predict next pope's name
  3. End TV news segment with segueway back to anchors
  4. Be insulted in no less than five languages by total strangers
  5. Do more to helpworthy charity
  6. Become a professionally ranked tennis player.

My uncle Paul wanted to become John McEnroe as a teen, and we've disagreed for years over whether I could become ranked if I devoted myself to tennis instead of web surfing and fatty foods.

I figured if the rankings went low enough -- the ATP Tourgoes to 1307-- I might have a shot.

Paul thinks I'm an idiot, but I haven't given up the dream. At the very least, I might draw a match somewhere against a ranked pro who had to withdraw due to injury or illness.

Nestor Bricenowatch your back!


I tookBuzzword.Comoffline for several hours this morning to compact the databases and perform some other server maintenance. I'm tempting fate by saying this, but so far, so good.

We're nearing the one-year anniversary of the server, which became the home for 3,000 longtime Weblogs.Com bloggers last June. I have some ambitious plans to mark the occasion, but for now my priority is to keep theactive bloggersrunning smoothly and bring all of UserLand'supgradesonline.

UserLand has a new version of Manila, the software hosting these weblogs, inbeta release. There are a bunch of new features, among them a better way for bloggers to manage visitor comments and trackback.

All-Podcast, All-the-Time Radio
A San Francisco radio station is going to start airing nothing but user-submitted podcasts beginning on May 16. The station, which calls itselfKYOU Open Source Radio, will broadcast on 1550-AM/San Francisco and the Internet.

Submitted podcasts must be 60 megabytes or less in size and can be in any format. The categories on thesubmission formdemonstrate how strange this is likely to be -- traditional fare like news, sports and politics is mixed with over-the-road trucking, sex and wiffleball.

This could be one of the great wheels-off radio experiments of all-time -- at least until earnest liberal San Franciscans fill it with local community news, activism and independent music.

The station sounds like a good opportunity for Jacksonville webloggerTodd Smith, who devotes his site toAmericana musicand has a Saturday morning show about the music on alocal college station.

Give Me an E!
The Texas House has approved legislation toban sexually suggestive routinesby school cheerleaders:

"Girls can get out and do all of these overly sexually performances and we applaud them and that's not right,"said Democratic Rep.Al Edwardsof Houston, who filed the legislation.

Edwards argued that lascivious exhibitions are a distraction for high school students that result in pregnancies, high school dropouts, contraction of AIDS and herpes and"cutting off their youthful life at an early age."

If Edwards hopes to turn the thoughts of teens away from sex, he'll have to restrict a lot more than an NC-17 rendition of"Rock Steady."He seems to have forgotten what it was like after the adolescent change of life known asPeter Brady, which turns the entire world into a lascivious exhibition.

When I was a teen, a legislator trying to protect me from knocking up a dropout would have banned all of the following:

  • The time Laura Dumais fell into my arms and my left wrist inadvertently reached second base
  • Drawing theShe-Hulknaked
  • A breeze of at least three knots
  • Role-playing a female NPC with a charisma score of 15 or better inAdvanced Dungeons&Dragons
  • The scene inThe Sword and the Sorcerorwhere Kathleen Beller had to be lathered in oil to prepare for her wedding
  • Phoebe Cates

Good times.

Boy Meets Girl, Girl Seeks Bob
An e-mailer asksWorkbenchfor relationship advice:

... it's me and my boyfriends anniversary coming up and he always seems to somehow mention it and say how he wants it and I thought it would be a great thing to give him, no matter how weird it sounds. But I think it would be something he would enjoy, or like at least. I've looked around in all shops that could have a chance of selling older software but there aren't many where I live, I've looked around on eBay too but have had no luck, do you know where I could get it?

I don't know who's luckier -- the guy whose girlfriend would hunt down a copy of Microsoft Bob for their anniversary, or the woman whose boyfriend has such great taste in social interface software.

I'm one of the only people who has gone on record with my love forMicrosoft Bob, the mid-'90s product that has unjustly come to be known as one of the greatestdisastersin software history.

The only place I can find him iseBay, where a few go on sale each month and usually can be nabbed for under $25.

Over the last eight years, I've used eBay to find the original software, the Bob Plus Pack,Great Greetings for Boband the only two computer books written for the software:At Home With BobandMicrosoft Bob. A third book,Microsoft Bob for Dummies, was cancelled by Wiley prior to publication, robbing technical literature of a book that would have been an enduring classic.

I also acquired some great swag on eBay -- a Bob coffee mug, key chain, long-distance card, T-shirt, pin, and baseball cap -- and nearly talked a former Microsoft freelancer into selling me the documentation for companies developing Bob add-on products (he feared, perhaps correctly, that it would constitute industrial espionage).

The swag auctions higher than the software, because I am not the only imbecile willing to blow as much as $50 on Bobabilia.

Scripting the Future
Dave Winer turned 50 today, and he asked for links toScripting Newsin lieu of presents.

I've had a chance to get to know Dave in recent years, first through his work and then through his visits to Northeast Florida, an area he prowled as a kid with his uncle, theGreat VavaVoom.

VavaVoom lived in Crescent Beach, a laid-back town south of St. Augustine, back when it could still be described as a"hippie commune."Today, suburbanites like me are scaring them off, subdividing the bucolic area into the kind of well-manicured, community covenant-ruled neighborhood that the feds shipped Steve Martin to inMy Blue Heaven.

Dave's had a unique impact on the technology that drives weblogging, creating or cocreatingRSS,XML-RPC,OPML, and theMetaWeblog API; developing the web content management softwareManila,Radio UserLand, andFrontier; and evangelizing the strange idea that millions of people would be blogging.

I can't decide whether he's prescient or he just makes his predictions come true by dragging the rest of us along. A May 1999 post he made to theXML-DEV mailing listshows how far ahead he saw this stuff:

RSS is an XML-based format that represents what we in the Frontier community call a"weblog". It's frequently updated site that points to stories on and off-site, that identifies an audience and feeds links to them. Until RSS came along the only format people were using was HTML. RSS changed that. ...

We're doing easy to use software to develop and maintain weblog sites, and of course they will all aggregate using the next generation of RSS and today's RSS. Who knows in what perverted ways this content will flow around the net? I'm totally looking forward to the creative chaos that's coming!

Back then, I thought weblogging was a fad that would receive aWiredcover story and an ignominious fate, likepush technology and the Zippies.

Shows what I know. Here's to another decade of perverting the flow of content around the Internet. Happy birthday, Dave!

Close But No Cigar
I publish several web sites that run advertising sold byBlogAds, a broker that has been a financial boon to hundreds of weblogs.

I rejected an ad today from a site that sells Cuban cigars. The site claims that it's legal for Americans to import two boxes, but the language of the site's frequently asked questions page gives me the willies:

The original embargo on Cuban products has been revised by the US Dept of Justice to allow importation of small quantities when returning from a licensed trip to Cuba. This revision was extended to the public who are now allowed to import up to 2 boxes for personal use. There is no formal regulations that outlines the ability for US residents to import Cuban Cigars. There have been thousands of customers importing Cuban Cigars for personal use in the US and there is no history of anyone being prosecuted. Also, it has become a common practice among celebrities, military personnel, politicians and even law enforcement.

AU.S. Treasury brochure on the Cuba embargoseems pretty clear on the subject, stating that Americans can't even buy Cuban products while in foreign countries.

I rejected anabsinthe adlast year over similar qualms. When I saw that Google wasn't selling text ads for absinthe, I decided to adopt the same policy.

A Google search for the phraseCuban cigarsfinds only onecigar sellerin the sponsored ads, and that company won't export to the U.S.


Source Code Torrent feed
Here's atest feedof source code podcasts as bittorrents

@podder
@Podderis an evolving podcast receiver designed especially for visually impaired listeners

Amsteram 2005
Amsterdam 2005:"Then just as quickly as it began, it was over. I was standing up on myown, and our attackers were fleeing. There had been dozens of people onthe streetcorner, but none of them had acted or even yelled anything."

PalmOne : handheld with audio,video features (Reuters)
Reuters - PalmOne Inc. is expected nextweek to unveil a digital media device to rival the iPod, as themaker of hand held computers and mobile phones shoots for apiece of the growing market for portable music and video.

Faults Found in Online Reporter's Stories (AP)
AP - An investigation over the sourcing and accuracy of news stories by a freelance journalist at a leading Internet news site concluded that the existence of dozens of people quoted in the articles could not be confirmed.

Big Firms'Ad Bucks Also Fund Spyware (Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times - Blue-chip companies are sponsoring more than TV shows and golf tournaments to promote their products: They are inadvertently underwriting computer spyware too.

Sony, Toshiba to agree on new DVD format -paper (Reuters)
Reuters - Japan's Sony Corp. (6758.T) and ToshibaCorp. (6502.T) are close to finalizing a plan to develop acommon standard for next-generation DVDs to resolve athree-year-long battle over formats that threatened theindustry's growth, a Japanese newspaper reported on Monday.

Cast Blaster beta closed
We have more than enough qualifiers for our cast Blaster beta test,thanks for sending in your mixer reports. You will be contactedpersonally if selected for this beta period.

Daily Source Code for May 2nd 2005

Daily Source Code for May 2nd 2005


From the Clift Hotel in San Francisco

Direct link tomp3

This show includes an excitingannouncementabout Podshow.com
and Sirius Radio as well as new podcast promos, podsafe music
from'Out of Warranty'and Jan Polet's Hit Test

Runtime: 40 minutes

CBS Evening News Podcast
Originally taped in January, the CBS Evening Newspieceon podcasting finally ran last night. GoBiddies!!

Daily Source Code for May 5th 2005

Daily Source Code for May 5th 2005


Shownotes
  • From Curry Cottage in Guildford UK
  • Direct downloadlinkto this show
  • Election day in the UK
  • War rememberance day in Holland
  • Podcast Paul's ElectionPodcast
  • Jan Marijnissen, leader of the Dutch Socialist Party's firstPodcast
  • European Constitution - Googlesearch
  • My recent US trip (east and west coast)
  • TSA tagged me as'suspicious'
    • Lighters? We don't need no stinkin'lighters!
  • Mashup: Big Ruckus - Walkie Talkie Vertigo Man
  • More about the US trip
  • BitTorrentforpodcasts
  • The weblogs.comdebacle
  • More about thePodshow on Sirius
    • Submissions:
      • submit@podshow.com
      • podsafe@podshow.com
      • mashup@podshow.com
    • Please also use these addresses for submissions to Daily Source Code
  • Gigadial
  • DMCA
  • Promo: Dorktones -Site
  • VC's
  • Promo: The MShow -Site
  • Promo: Ed Tech Musician -Site
  • Madge is mad  at Paris
  • Podsafe Music: Chance - Say what you will [Site]
  • Promo: Rocket15 [Site]
  • Promo: AwareTech Podcast [Site]
  • Jan Polet'sHitTest#37 with special appearance by Announcer-Guy Kevin
  • Promo: CC Radio [Site]
  • Promo: iRok Radio [Site]
  • The Speechless Podcast [Site]
  • Promo: The Grind [Site]
  • Podcast Brothers [Site]
  • DisneyPodcast


In The Apple again
Goodmorning from New York! It's early thursday and the next 2 days arebooked solid (that's a good thing). Part of the schedue is thestrategy'castRon and I have been working on. It will be online tonite, in your mp3 player tomorrow.

Time to make some damn announcements.

Source Code Torrent feed
Here's atest feedof source code podcasts as bittorrents


Symphony in Eight Bits

A funny video is making the rounds of aschool choir performing Nintendo themes:

This next song needs a little bit of introduction. Keeping with the experimental nature of Redefined we decided that we would now do what some might consider an art piece. It's a little older than some of the music we've already sung today, and it's all original work from Japan. So I hope that you can all listen with open minds, and if you'll give me one second I need to boot it up.

The choir does a really nice Tetris, complete with falling blocks in L, S, and T shapes, and theLegend of Zeldaswordfight scene is practically Shakespearean.

Some digging reveals thatRedefinedis an 18-member ensemble at the University of Wisconsin that kicks major a cappella ass.

They're auctioning off thelast few copiesof the CD that includes the"Redefined Nintendo"video on EBay.

All-Podcast, All-the-Time Radio
A San Francisco radio station is going to start airing nothing but user-submitted podcasts beginning on May 16. The station, which calls itselfKYOU Open Source Radio, will broadcast on 1550-AM/San Francisco and the Internet.

Submitted podcasts must be 60 megabytes or less in size and can be in any format. The categories on thesubmission formdemonstrate how strange this is likely to be -- traditional fare like news, sports and politics is mixed with over-the-road trucking, sex and wiffleball.

This could be one of the great wheels-off radio experiments of all-time -- at least until earnest liberal San Franciscans fill it with local community news, activism and independent music.

The station sounds like a good opportunity for Jacksonville webloggerTodd Smith, who devotes his site toAmericana musicand has a Saturday morning show about the music on alocal college station.

Boy Meets Girl, Girl Seeks Bob
An e-mailer asksWorkbenchfor relationship advice:

... it's me and my boyfriends anniversary coming up and he always seems to somehow mention it and say how he wants it and I thought it would be a great thing to give him, no matter how weird it sounds. But I think it would be something he would enjoy, or like at least. I've looked around in all shops that could have a chance of selling older software but there aren't many where I live, I've looked around on eBay too but have had no luck, do you know where I could get it?

I don't know who's luckier -- the guy whose girlfriend would hunt down a copy of Microsoft Bob for their anniversary, or the woman whose boyfriend has such great taste in social interface software.

I'm one of the only people who has gone on record with my love forMicrosoft Bob, the mid-'90s product that has unjustly come to be known as one of the greatestdisastersin software history.

The only place I can find him iseBay, where a few go on sale each month and usually can be nabbed for under $25.

Over the last eight years, I've used eBay to find the original software, the Bob Plus Pack,Great Greetings for Boband the only two computer books written for the software:At Home With BobandMicrosoft Bob. A third book,Microsoft Bob for Dummies, was cancelled by Wiley prior to publication, robbing technical literature of a book that would have been an enduring classic.

I also acquired some great swag on eBay -- a Bob coffee mug, key chain, long-distance card, T-shirt, pin, and baseball cap -- and nearly talked a former Microsoft freelancer into selling me the documentation for companies developing Bob add-on products (he feared, perhaps correctly, that it would constitute industrial espionage).

The swag auctions higher than the software, because I am not the only imbecile willing to blow as much as $50 on Bobabilia.

Giveaway: Radio UserLand Kick Start
We adopted a kitten from the humane society nine months ago who thinks he's a dog, and there's nothing he likes more than the taste of a computer book. A stack of them make an excellent scratching post, as I learned when he shredded a dozen copies ofHow to Use the Internet Eighth Edition.

This situation adds urgency to my need to give away more of my books, before they become either out-of-date or drenched with saliva.

I'm giving away four author's copies ofRadio UserLand Kick Start, each in new condition and completely untouched by my catdog.

If you'd like to win one, post a comment on thisWorkbenchentry or write about it on your weblog, linking to itspermalinkso I don't overlook it. I'll pay the postage to anywhere that I can send it for under $10.

Kick Startcovers everything you need to get started with Radio UserLand, an Internet content management and programming tool that makes it simple to publish your own weblog, develop web services, and collect information from thousands of Internet sites. Severalsample chapterscan be read online.

During mylast book giveaway, I awarded an extra copy to the person with the most inventive reason for wanting one. If I can scare up a fifth copy, I'll do that again here.

Close But No Cigar
I publish several web sites that run advertising sold byBlogAds, a broker that has been a financial boon to hundreds of weblogs.

I rejected an ad today from a site that sells Cuban cigars. The site claims that it's legal for Americans to import two boxes, but the language of the site's frequently asked questions page gives me the willies:

The original embargo on Cuban products has been revised by the US Dept of Justice to allow importation of small quantities when returning from a licensed trip to Cuba. This revision was extended to the public who are now allowed to import up to 2 boxes for personal use. There is no formal regulations that outlines the ability for US residents to import Cuban Cigars. There have been thousands of customers importing Cuban Cigars for personal use in the US and there is no history of anyone being prosecuted. Also, it has become a common practice among celebrities, military personnel, politicians and even law enforcement.

AU.S. Treasury brochure on the Cuba embargoseems pretty clear on the subject, stating that Americans can't even buy Cuban products while in foreign countries.

I rejected anabsinthe adlast year over similar qualms. When I saw that Google wasn't selling text ads for absinthe, I decided to adopt the same policy.

A Google search for the phraseCuban cigarsfinds only onecigar sellerin the sponsored ads, and that company won't export to the U.S.

R.S.V.P. at Any Time
This Saturday at MIT, aTime Traveler Conventionwill be held for anyone who hears about the event in the future and can find a way to attend:

We need you to help publicize the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in major outlets, not just Internet news. ThinkNew York Times,Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.

If MIT no longer exists at the time the invitation is received, time travelers are given the latitude and longitude of the event: 42:21:36.025 degrees N, 71:05:16.332 degrees W.

Everybody Carl Jung Tonight
Avoicemail messagereceived last week:

Hey, it'sMancow, we're trying to get you on the radio show here. It's an Illinois guy, he probably knows this show. But he got the pope's web site. And the story is he's going to turn it into a porno ...

I didn't get this message soon enough to return his call. I suspect that if he heard my actual plans forBenedictXVI.Com, I would have been a great disappointment to him.

WashingtonPost.Com reporter David McGuire wrote afollowup storyyesterday about how the domain has been donated to the charityModest Needswhile we await the Vatican.

I'm glad that Modest Needs founder Keith Taylor was able to put something together so quickly April 21 -- 90 percent of the 410,000 visits to BenedictXVI.Com were made by Sunday morning, and traffic has slowed to around 9,000 visits a day. (Taylor may be seeing more traffic directly on the charity'sBenedictXVI.Com page.)

Jacopo di Trani, the owner ofBenedict16.com, offers aJungian analysisof why he seeks financial reward and I chose the approval of my Catholic grandmother:

I think that C.G.Jung will say that Cadenhead primary function are his"thoughts", and his last function are his"sensations", and that my primary function is my"intuition", and my last function are my"feelings". I think (do you agree?); so it's very predictable that from all this popedomain-story I'll earn more and more cash than he will ever get . Even if he was the first (he registered his domain the 1st april, against my 14 april), even if he is the most famous (but not in czech sites!), and even if search engines give more traffic to his domain than to mine. I have only a better brandable domain and more real hair - but I'll get more cash than you, Rogers. It's only logic.

I can't address his theory. I majored in journalism -- the only way I would've learned about Jung was if I interviewed him for the school paper. In retrospect, I should have spent less time skipping classes in college to watchGeneral Hospital.

But I will concede the point about his hair.

Take a Bite of the Apple

Michael Moore is swimming in money afterFahrenheit 9/11, according to aSlate analysisthat describes how the filmmaker and Disney rode the controversy over the movie all the way to the bank:

Under normal circumstances, documentaries rarely, if ever, make profits (especially if distributors charge the usual 33 percent fee). So, when Miramax made the deal for Fahrenheit 9/11, it allowed Moore a generous profit participation -- which turned out to be 27 percent of the film's net receipts. Disney, in honoring this deal, paid Moore a stunning $21 million. Moore never disclosed the amount of his profit participation. When asked about it, the proletarian Moore joked to reporters on a conference call,"I don't read the contracts."

I lovedRoger&MeandTV Nation, but over the years Moore'spenchantfor dramatic embellishment and sloppy facts made it hard for me to enjoyFahrenheit. He produces great diatribes, but documentary filmmakers are one of the last remaining groups who believe in the quaint notion that facts matter. If we lose them to spin, all we'll have left are reference librarians, theSociety of Professional Journalists, andBob Somersby.

I'm not surprised that Moore exaggerated Disney's actions in refusing to distribute the film, nor that Disney found a way to profit handsomely from a project it was ostensibly refusing to release. Their relationship is a lot like Tom Cruise publiclygrouting the esophagusof Katie Holmes right before both release summer blockbusters.

The same cynical game appears to be at work with the new Steve Jobs biographyiCon: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business. The book's print run was doubled after Apple, at the presumed behest of Jobs,banned the publisher's booksfrom Apple stores.

I haven't spoken about this with anyone at Wiley, a company that also publishesone of my books, but I have trouble believing that a marketing genius like Jobs took this action without knowing it would send book ordersthrough the roof. The guy runs a company with so much hype you'd never know it sellsfewer desktop computersthan also-rans likeAcerandLenovo. Apple's marketing is difficult to resist. I own five computers and a laptop, and I'm still convinced I need aMac mini.

Memo to self: Find a way in next book to anger Steve Jobs.

That's Quite a Spectacle
Whenever a character in a movie is a by-the-book square who never got over the end of the 1950s, he wears plastic-top, metal-rim eyeglasses. Tom Hanks donned them inCatch Me If You Can, and you can't make a film about Malcolm X, NASA, or the JFK assassination without ordering them in bulk.

The glasses are especially effective if the buttoned-up wearer is one bad day from a total nervous breakdown, like the downsized defense contractor D-FENS, who rampages across Los Angeles to protest incivility inFalling Down.

I wrote about these glasseslast yearwhen I heard the only manufacturer, ArtCraft NewYork, was discontinuing the style. This was crushing news -- I step on my pair of Clubman Art-Rim frames at least twice a year and can barely see through a SuperGlue smudge in one lens.

Since then, I've heard from an executive at Shuron, the company thatinvented the style in 1941and sold more than 17 million of them by 1970:

The Ronsir was in many movies and worn by many actors/celebrities -- Kevin Costner, Denzel Washington, Vince Lombardi, Nicholas Cage, and many others. The Ronsir is not going away.

Because I keep directing people to Shuron when they ask about the glasses, the company is sending me a free pair, which I believe makes me the world's first blogger/spokesmodel. I'm spending this weekend trying to come up with my ownBlue Steel.



To Dream the Impossible Dream
Lifetime to-do list:

  1. Writehands-on tutorialfor beginning Java programmers who want to teach self language in no more than 21 days
  2. Successfully predict next pope's name
  3. End TV news segment with segueway back to anchors
  4. Be insulted in no less than five languages by total strangers
  5. Do more to helpworthy charity
  6. Become a professionally ranked tennis player.

My uncle Paul wanted to become John McEnroe as a teen, and we've disagreed for years over whether I could become ranked if I devoted myself to tennis instead of web surfing and fatty foods.

I figured if the rankings went low enough -- the ATP Tourgoes to 1307-- I might have a shot.

Paul thinks I'm an idiot, but I haven't given up the dream. At the very least, I might draw a match somewhere against a ranked pro who had to withdraw due to injury or illness.

Nestor Bricenowatch your back!


I tookBuzzword.Comoffline for several hours this morning to compact the databases and perform some other server maintenance. I'm tempting fate by saying this, but so far, so good.

We're nearing the one-year anniversary of the server, which became the home for 3,000 longtime Weblogs.Com bloggers last June. I have some ambitious plans to mark the occasion, but for now my priority is to keep theactive bloggersrunning smoothly and bring all of UserLand'supgradesonline.

UserLand has a new version of Manila, the software hosting these weblogs, inbeta release. There are a bunch of new features, among them a better way for bloggers to manage visitor comments and trackback.

Scripting the Future
Dave Winer turned 50 today, and he asked for links toScripting Newsin lieu of presents.

I've had a chance to get to know Dave in recent years, first through his work and then through his visits to Northeast Florida, an area he prowled as a kid with his uncle, theGreat VavaVoom.

VavaVoom lived in Crescent Beach, a laid-back town south of St. Augustine, back when it could still be described as a"hippie commune."Today, suburbanites like me are scaring them off, subdividing the bucolic area into the kind of well-manicured, community covenant-ruled neighborhood that the feds shipped Steve Martin to inMy Blue Heaven.

Dave's had a unique impact on the technology that drives weblogging, creating or cocreatingRSS,XML-RPC,OPML, and theMetaWeblog API; developing the web content management softwareManila,Radio UserLand, andFrontier; and evangelizing the strange idea that millions of people would be blogging.

I can't decide whether he's prescient or he just makes his predictions come true by dragging the rest of us along. A May 1999 post he made to theXML-DEV mailing listshows how far ahead he saw this stuff:

RSS is an XML-based format that represents what we in the Frontier community call a"weblog". It's frequently updated site that points to stories on and off-site, that identifies an audience and feeds links to them. Until RSS came along the only format people were using was HTML. RSS changed that. ...

We're doing easy to use software to develop and maintain weblog sites, and of course they will all aggregate using the next generation of RSS and today's RSS. Who knows in what perverted ways this content will flow around the net? I'm totally looking forward to the creative chaos that's coming!

Back then, I thought weblogging was a fad that would receive aWiredcover story and an ignominious fate, likepush technology and the Zippies.

Shows what I know. Here's to another decade of perverting the flow of content around the Internet. Happy birthday, Dave!

I'd Buy That for a Dollar
A stamp machine at the post office gave me dollar coins back as change -- five Sacagaweas and two Susan B. Anthonys. I gave some to my kids, who had to be convinced they were legal tender, and freaked out a clerk at an Arby's by using one.

"Are you sure you really want to spend this?"he asked, marveling at the golden coin honoring a woman so obscure there'sno record of her appearance. A coin can't be doing very well when people think you spent one by accident.

Last week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to crowd out Sacagawea withnew dollar coinsfor each president, beginning in 2007 with the first four: Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, and Madison. I'm setting a task in Microsoft Outlook to corner the market in 2010 on Millard Fillmore, widely recognized as our least accomplished leader.

The earliest a Hillary Clinton dollar will be available is 2017.

Everybody Carl Jung Tonight
Avoicemail messagereceived last week:

Hey, it'sMancow, we're trying to get you on the radio show here. It's an Illinois guy, he probably knows this show. But he got the pope's web site. And the story is he's going to turn it into a porno ...

I didn't get this message soon enough to return his call. I suspect that if he heard my actual plans forBenedictXVI.Com, I would have been a great disappointment to him.

WashingtonPost.Com reporter David McGuire wrote afollowup storyyesterday about how the domain has been donated to the charityModest Needswhile we await the Vatican.

I'm glad that Modest Needs founder Keith Taylor was able to put something together so quickly April 21 -- 90 percent of the 410,000 visits to BenedictXVI.Com were made by Sunday morning, and traffic has slowed to around 9,000 visits a day. (Taylor may be seeing more traffic directly on the charity'sBenedictXVI.Com page.)

Jacopo di Trani, the owner ofBenedict16.com, offers aJungian analysisof why he seeks financial reward and I chose the approval of my Catholic grandmother:

I think that C.G.Jung will say that Cadenhead primary function are his"thoughts", and his last function are his"sensations", and that my primary function is my"intuition", and my last function are my"feelings". I think (do you agree?); so it's very predictable that from all this popedomain-story I'll earn more and more cash than he will ever get . Even if he was the first (he registered his domain the 1st april, against my 14 april), even if he is the most famous (but not in czech sites!), and even if search engines give more traffic to his domain than to mine. I have only a better brandable domain and more real hair - but I'll get more cash than you, Rogers. It's only logic.

I can't address his theory. I majored in journalism -- the only way I would've learned about Jung was if I interviewed him for the school paper. In retrospect, I should have spent less time skipping classes in college to watchGeneral Hospital.

But I will concede the point about his hair.

Boy Meets Girl, Girl Seeks Bob
An e-mailer asksWorkbenchfor relationship advice:

... it's me and my boyfriends anniversary coming up and he always seems to somehow mention it and say how he wants it and I thought it would be a great thing to give him, no matter how weird it sounds. But I think it would be something he would enjoy, or like at least. I've looked around in all shops that could have a chance of selling older software but there aren't many where I live, I've looked around on eBay too but have had no luck, do you know where I could get it?

I don't know who's luckier -- the guy whose girlfriend would hunt down a copy of Microsoft Bob for their anniversary, or the woman whose boyfriend has such great taste in social interface software.

I'm one of the only people who has gone on record with my love forMicrosoft Bob, the mid-'90s product that has unjustly come to be known as one of the greatestdisastersin software history.

The only place I can find him iseBay, where a few go on sale each month and usually can be nabbed for under $25.

Over the last eight years, I've used eBay to find the original software, the Bob Plus Pack,Great Greetings for Boband the only two computer books written for the software:At Home With BobandMicrosoft Bob. A third book,Microsoft Bob for Dummies, was cancelled by Wiley prior to publication, robbing technical literature of a book that would have been an enduring classic.

I also acquired some great swag on eBay -- a Bob coffee mug, key chain, long-distance card, T-shirt, pin, and baseball cap -- and nearly talked a former Microsoft freelancer into selling me the documentation for companies developing Bob add-on products (he feared, perhaps correctly, that it would constitute industrial espionage).

The swag auctions higher than the software, because I am not the only imbecile willing to blow as much as $50 on Bobabilia.


Sun Microsystems Expands Around Globe (AP)
AP - Sun Microsystems Inc. has chosen four of its facilities around the world to take the place of its Silicon Valley office as the research and development hub, the U.S. computer hardware and software maker said on Friday.

Palm To Debut New Line of PDAs But Remains Mum on Details (NewsFactor)
NewsFactor - Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) is remaining tight-lipped about its next-generation handheld -- which will offer a 4-GB hard drive -- despite a premature listing on Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) that offered a peek at the device last week.

Big Firms'Ad Bucks Also Fund Spyware (Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times - Blue-chip companies are sponsoring more than TV shows and golf tournaments to promote their products: They are inadvertently underwriting computer spyware too.

Review: OpenOffice a Strong Competitor (AP)
AP - It's weird how things can come back to bite you. Microsoft Corp. killed off the competition for office software suites and became a de facto monopoly in the area, with what result? The competition is back and, this time, it's free!

In The Apple again
Goodmorning from New York! It's early thursday and the next 2 days arebooked solid (that's a good thing). Part of the schedue is thestrategy'castRon and I have been working on. It will be online tonite, in your mp3 player tomorrow.

Time to make some damn announcements.

Bill Gates on Engadget Podcast
It's great that Bill Gates allowed an Engadgetinterview,too bad it's an'old world'format of Q&A from a scripted list ofprimarily industry oriented and geeky questions. I want to hear BillGates review products just like Engadget usually does.

Cast Blaster beta closed
We have more than enough qualifiers for our cast Blaster beta test,thanks for sending in your mixer reports. You will be contactedpersonally if selected for this beta period.

safe in san francisco
Developments in NY have led to a brief trip to the west coast afterall. Now I'm really jet lagged :) I've got some exciting news to reportin tomorrow's Daily Source Code!

CBS Evening News Podcast
Originally taped in January, the CBS Evening Newspieceon podcasting finally ran last night. GoBiddies!!

pipe cometh
OK, the floodgates are about to open up on the server, throughput anddownloads should start to work for everyone in the next few hours.


@podder
@Podderis an evolving podcast receiver designed especially for visually impaired listeners

Daily Source Code for May 5th 2005

Daily Source Code for May 5th 2005


Shownotes
  • From Curry Cottage in Guildford UK
  • Direct downloadlinkto this show
  • Election day in the UK
  • War rememberance day in Holland
  • Podcast Paul's ElectionPodcast
  • Jan Marijnissen, leader of the Dutch Socialist Party's firstPodcast
  • European Constitution - Googlesearch
  • My recent US trip (east and west coast)
  • TSA tagged me as'suspicious'
    • Lighters? We don't need no stinkin'lighters!
  • Mashup: Big Ruckus - Walkie Talkie Vertigo Man
  • More about the US trip
  • BitTorrentforpodcasts
  • The weblogs.comdebacle
  • More about thePodshow on Sirius
    • Submissions:
      • submit@podshow.com
      • podsafe@podshow.com
      • mashup@podshow.com
    • Please also use these addresses for submissions to Daily Source Code
  • Gigadial
  • DMCA
  • Promo: Dorktones -Site
  • VC's
  • Promo: The MShow -Site
  • Promo: Ed Tech Musician -Site
  • Madge is mad  at Paris
  • Podsafe Music: Chance - Say what you will [Site]
  • Promo: Rocket15 [Site]
  • Promo: AwareTech Podcast [Site]
  • Jan Polet'sHitTest#37 with special appearance by Announcer-Guy Kevin
  • Promo: CC Radio [Site]
  • Promo: iRok Radio [Site]
  • The Speechless Podcast [Site]
  • Promo: The Grind [Site]
  • Podcast Brothers [Site]
  • DisneyPodcast


Cast Blaster beta closed
We have more than enough qualifiers for our cast Blaster beta test,thanks for sending in your mixer reports. You will be contactedpersonally if selected for this beta period.

Daily Source Code for May 6th 2005

Daily Source Code for May 6th 2005


Radio and Record legend Steve Leeds visited the cottage this lovelyfriday afternoon and I sat him down for a trip down memory lane intoday's'cast

  • From the Cottage in Guildford UK
  • Directlinkto the show


Bill Gates on Engadget Podcast
It's great that Bill Gates allowed an Engadgetinterview,too bad it's an'old world'format of Q&A from a scripted list ofprimarily industry oriented and geeky questions. I want to hear BillGates review products just like Engadget usually does.

Daily Source Code for May 2nd 2005

Daily Source Code for May 2nd 2005


From the Clift Hotel in San Francisco

Direct link tomp3

This show includes an excitingannouncementabout Podshow.com
and Sirius Radio as well as new podcast promos, podsafe music
from'Out of Warranty'and Jan Polet's Hit Test

Runtime: 40 minutes

Happy Mothers Day
Happy Mothers DayMom!

Love,
Adam

In The Apple again
Goodmorning from New York! It's early thursday and the next 2 days arebooked solid (that's a good thing). Part of the schedue is thestrategy'castRon and I have been working on. It will be online tonite, in your mp3 player tomorrow.

Time to make some damn announcements.

Microsoft Podcast
As far as I know, this is the first'official'Microsoftpodcast.Welcome!

Update: It appears this is a video podcast with wmv files, don't know how many ipodders will understand the feed...


After Cost-Cutting, MCI Posts a Small Loss
MCI Inc. posted a small loss in the first quarter as it made deep cost cuts to offset steep declines in revenue.
By KEN BELSON

I.B.M. Job Cuts Will Hit Europe Especially Hard
I.B.M.'s job cuts will fall heaviest on Germany, France, Britain and Italy, where the costs are high and growth prospects have been dim.
By MARK LANDLER

Cable's New Pitch: Reach Out and Touch Someone
Voice over Internet protocol is no longer the sole province of start-ups. Established cable providers are taking digital phones to the masses.
By KEN BELSON

Spending for a Rainy Day
The umbrella, while a sensible accessory, isn't always the most chic. Until now.
By MICHELLE SLATALLA

A Wealth of Materials That Say'Material Wealth'
New colors and new choices of leather and steel have brought a new approach to interior décor, especially to American vehicles.
By PHIL PATTON

A New Photoshop Makes Retouching Reality (Somewhat) Easier
Adobe Photoshop, the world's most popular photo-editing software, has added some new features. What could it possibly have been lacking?
By DAVID POGUE

Chip Maker Develops Denser Storage Method
Matrix Semiconductor plans to announce a breakthrough in one-gigabit chips.
By JOHN MARKOFF

Time Travelers to Meet in Not Too Distant Future
Some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have organized what they call the first time traveler convention.
By PAM BELLUCK

Big Online Brokers in Talks About Takeovers
A takeover skirmish among three of the nation's largest online stock brokerages erupted over the weekend, potentially leading to a significant reorganization of the industry.
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

Giveaway: Radio UserLand Kick Start
We adopted a kitten from the humane society nine months ago who thinks he's a dog, and there's nothing he likes more than the taste of a computer book. A stack of them make an excellent scratching post, as I learned when he shredded a dozen copies ofHow to Use the Internet Eighth Edition.

This situation adds urgency to my need to give away more of my books, before they become either out-of-date or drenched with saliva.

I'm giving away four author's copies ofRadio UserLand Kick Start, each in new condition and completely untouched by my catdog.

If you'd like to win one, post a comment on thisWorkbenchentry or write about it on your weblog, linking to itspermalinkso I don't overlook it. I'll pay the postage to anywhere that I can send it for under $10.

Kick Startcovers everything you need to get started with Radio UserLand, an Internet content management and programming tool that makes it simple to publish your own weblog, develop web services, and collect information from thousands of Internet sites. Severalsample chapterscan be read online.

During mylast book giveaway, I awarded an extra copy to the person with the most inventive reason for wanting one. If I can scare up a fifth copy, I'll do that again here.

All-Podcast, All-the-Time Radio
A San Francisco radio station is going to start airing nothing but user-submitted podcasts beginning on May 16. The station, which calls itselfKYOU Open Source Radio, will broadcast on 1550-AM/San Francisco and the Internet.

Submitted podcasts must be 60 megabytes or less in size and can be in any format. The categories on thesubmission formdemonstrate how strange this is likely to be -- traditional fare like news, sports and politics is mixed with over-the-road trucking, sex and wiffleball.

This could be one of the great wheels-off radio experiments of all-time -- at least until earnest liberal San Franciscans fill it with local community news, activism and independent music.

The station sounds like a good opportunity for Jacksonville webloggerTodd Smith, who devotes his site toAmericana musicand has a Saturday morning show about the music on alocal college station.

Scripting the Future
Dave Winer turned 50 today, and he asked for links toScripting Newsin lieu of presents.

I've had a chance to get to know Dave in recent years, first through his work and then through his visits to Northeast Florida, an area he prowled as a kid with his uncle, theGreat VavaVoom.

VavaVoom lived in Crescent Beach, a laid-back town south of St. Augustine, back when it could still be described as a"hippie commune."Today, suburbanites like me are scaring them off, subdividing the bucolic area into the kind of well-manicured, community covenant-ruled neighborhood that the feds shipped Steve Martin to inMy Blue Heaven.

Dave's had a unique impact on the technology that drives weblogging, creating or cocreatingRSS,XML-RPC,OPML, and theMetaWeblog API; developing the web content management softwareManila,Radio UserLand, andFrontier; and evangelizing the strange idea that millions of people would be blogging.

I can't decide whether he's prescient or he just makes his predictions come true by dragging the rest of us along. A May 1999 post he made to theXML-DEV mailing listshows how far ahead he saw this stuff:

RSS is an XML-based format that represents what we in the Frontier community call a"weblog". It's frequently updated site that points to stories on and off-site, that identifies an audience and feeds links to them. Until RSS came along the only format people were using was HTML. RSS changed that. ...

We're doing easy to use software to develop and maintain weblog sites, and of course they will all aggregate using the next generation of RSS and today's RSS. Who knows in what perverted ways this content will flow around the net? I'm totally looking forward to the creative chaos that's coming!

Back then, I thought weblogging was a fad that would receive aWiredcover story and an ignominious fate, likepush technology and the Zippies.

Shows what I know. Here's to another decade of perverting the flow of content around the Internet. Happy birthday, Dave!

Take a Bite of the Apple

Michael Moore is swimming in money afterFahrenheit 9/11, according to aSlate analysisthat describes how the filmmaker and Disney rode the controversy over the movie all the way to the bank:

Under normal circumstances, documentaries rarely, if ever, make profits (especially if distributors charge the usual 33 percent fee). So, when Miramax made the deal for Fahrenheit 9/11, it allowed Moore a generous profit participation -- which turned out to be 27 percent of the film's net receipts. Disney, in honoring this deal, paid Moore a stunning $21 million. Moore never disclosed the amount of his profit participation. When asked about it, the proletarian Moore joked to reporters on a conference call,"I don't read the contracts."

I lovedRoger&MeandTV Nation, but over the years Moore'spenchantfor dramatic embellishment and sloppy facts made it hard for me to enjoyFahrenheit. He produces great diatribes, but documentary filmmakers are one of the last remaining groups who believe in the quaint notion that facts matter. If we lose them to spin, all we'll have left are reference librarians, theSociety of Professional Journalists, andBob Somersby.

I'm not surprised that Moore exaggerated Disney's actions in refusing to distribute the film, nor that Disney found a way to profit handsomely from a project it was ostensibly refusing to release. Their relationship is a lot like Tom Cruise publiclygrouting the esophagusof Katie Holmes right before both release summer blockbusters.

The same cynical game appears to be at work with the new Steve Jobs biographyiCon: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business. The book's print run was doubled after Apple, at the presumed behest of Jobs,banned the publisher's booksfrom Apple stores.

I haven't spoken about this with anyone at Wiley, a company that also publishesone of my books, but I have trouble believing that a marketing genius like Jobs took this action without knowing it would send book ordersthrough the roof. The guy runs a company with so much hype you'd never know it sellsfewer desktop computersthan also-rans likeAcerandLenovo. Apple's marketing is difficult to resist. I own five computers and a laptop, and I'm still convinced I need aMac mini.

Memo to self: Find a way in next book to anger Steve Jobs.

I'd Buy That for a Dollar
A stamp machine at the post office gave me dollar coins back as change -- five Sacagaweas and two Susan B. Anthonys. I gave some to my kids, who had to be convinced they were legal tender, and freaked out a clerk at an Arby's by using one.

"Are you sure you really want to spend this?"he asked, marveling at the golden coin honoring a woman so obscure there'sno record of her appearance. A coin can't be doing very well when people think you spent one by accident.

Last week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to crowd out Sacagawea withnew dollar coinsfor each president, beginning in 2007 with the first four: Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, and Madison. I'm setting a task in Microsoft Outlook to corner the market in 2010 on Millard Fillmore, widely recognized as our least accomplished leader.

The earliest a Hillary Clinton dollar will be available is 2017.

Close But No Cigar
I publish several web sites that run advertising sold byBlogAds, a broker that has been a financial boon to hundreds of weblogs.

I rejected an ad today from a site that sells Cuban cigars. The site claims that it's legal for Americans to import two boxes, but the language of the site's frequently asked questions page gives me the willies:

The original embargo on Cuban products has been revised by the US Dept of Justice to allow importation of small quantities when returning from a licensed trip to Cuba. This revision was extended to the public who are now allowed to import up to 2 boxes for personal use. There is no formal regulations that outlines the ability for US residents to import Cuban Cigars. There have been thousands of customers importing Cuban Cigars for personal use in the US and there is no history of anyone being prosecuted. Also, it has become a common practice among celebrities, military personnel, politicians and even law enforcement.

AU.S. Treasury brochure on the Cuba embargoseems pretty clear on the subject, stating that Americans can't even buy Cuban products while in foreign countries.

I rejected anabsinthe adlast year over similar qualms. When I saw that Google wasn't selling text ads for absinthe, I decided to adopt the same policy.

A Google search for the phraseCuban cigarsfinds only onecigar sellerin the sponsored ads, and that company won't export to the U.S.





Stop Them Before They Shoot Again
Digital cameras are taking billions more pictures than anyone wants to see. The notion is finally dawning that perhaps less may still be more.
By AMY HARMON

Skeptics Take Another Look at Social Sites
Industry watchers are wondering if there is an answer to the big question looming over social networking companies: how will they make money?
By GARY RIVLIN

California Dreaming: A True Story of Computers, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll
John Markoff makes a convincing case that for the ubergeeks in the 1960's, approaching drugs as they might any other potentially helpful tool was only natural.
By ANDREW LEONARD

A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip
Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker Media and its growing list of popular Web logs, is one of the most watched entrepreneurs in the business.
By TOM ZELLER Jr.

Broadcasters May Seek Congress's Help in HDTV Anti-Piracy Effort
A court ruling last Friday could give broadcasters the opportunity to make good on threats to withdraw HDTV programs from over-the-air TV unless they can be protected from piracy.
By ERIC A. TAUB