Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Tue Apr 13 11:29:36 2004
Chalk-dust Aura

For shame, I'm mainly commenting on slashdot articles today. I guess, in a way, slashdot is a communal BLOG.. albeit one that talks very little about the author. Depending on what you expect from a blog, that could be a good or a bad thing.. I read a number of blogs, many of which are mostly pointers to articles with commentary, many others are mostly personal, and others are original creations. I personally don't have much of a preference.. well, that's not entirely accurate. If it's an interesting person, like Abtahi, I'm happy to read his personal stuff. Of course, he also talks about politics occasionally. For people I know (or knew) personally, I also like reading personal entries. There are a few people, like jwz, who I mainly read because they have neat links -- I don't care about his personal life, and didn't get along with him too well when we met online. And so on.. I'm just saying, in a long-winded way, that what I want to read from someone depends on who they are, their relation to me, and how good they are at that kind of writing. Kind of .. yeah, kind of uninteresting. Oh well.

You might've heard about Playfair, a tool to remove the DRM from Apple's encoded audio they're selling on iTunes. They recently got a cease and desist from Apple for making such a thing (DRM = Digital Rights Management = the thing Apple uses to stop you from playing the music on systems other than those you bought it for). As is becoming increasingly popular in the geek community when people enslaving data start waving legal things around, they're not taking it lying down, and moved the digital home of the thing off to India. This thrills me -- as the author says, INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE.. the rallying cry of our community. Of course, it sounds cooler in German.. Auskunft muss Frei! Na klar, development continues on software that'll make it very difficult to track down people who write such software, or to put a lid on it, once produced. Someone recently commented that computers and the internet, when part of the upbringing of a child, tend to produce libertarian beliefs. I think I understand that now, and it's taken me awhile for the intensity of the experience of real life to match the intensity of online life, and temper that libertarian bent with liberalism. The sheer emotional delight of unraveling the plans of those who would enslave us as they walk towards the church of the almighty dollar, or the decadent church of their dead gods and prudishness, it is a sweet nectar. A better spam filter, obfuscating networks, securely tunnelling data, forging keys to free the slaves, ways to infuriate the paper-pushers trying to lay down new rules, and to free those stuck in repressive countries from the shackles they wear.

This is kind of amusing.. and strange, and disappointing. It's unfortunate that they would try to limit peoples ability to record and speak about things that happen in their life (yes, I know that they're putting themself in a position specifically to record, but even still). Still, ideally people would also be smart enough to use anonymizers or other means to render themselves effectively untracable when they don't want to be traced. It seems that the right way to nab someone for something like this would be to wait for them to physically meet up with someone, conduct a 'sting'...

Heh, kind of amusing how use of a ..., online, turns into a mumble, and lets the author get away with not correcting a sentence with poor grammar or has a remainder that's just implied. I wonder how often people use mumbling to shift the conversation into such a 'mode', because of grammar-laziness or to just kind of loosely sketch out their thoughts to the other person.

Argh, I'm still fighting my unfiled folder in my bookmarks. It's way too big, and I get the feeling I'm using my 'Unfiled' folder for too much. I should probably split it into 3 sections: 1) Unfiled - For bookmarks I truly haven't filed yet 2) Rev - For bookmarks I want to revisit and read more throughly 3) BLOGMe - For bookmarks I want to write about in my BLOG

I guess this brings to mind the purposes of bookmarks in general -- why am I saving things that I've already read to my satisfaction? There do seem to be three general types of bookmark users, I've found. The first doesn't use bookmarks at all while browsing the web, either using typing-completion or remembering all the websites they use frequently. The second uses them sparingly, having perhaps 10 bookmarks for sites they visit fairly frequently. The third type, to which I belong, keeps a large number of bookmarks, saving everything they might want to come back to. I suspect that this behavior is similar to leaving bookmarks in books. There is another dimension to the second and third types -- some of them use structure, and some do not. For example, I use structure, and as of current, have the following toplevel bookmark folders, many of which have subfolders:

Oft - For often-visited sites. I have subcategories for news sites, webcomics, entertainment, as well as some generally useful sites in the main folder Soc - For social-networking sites. Orkut, Tribe.net, and Friendster are the only three (I don't use the latter two, and might eventually remove this category, moving Orkut into oft and the latter two elsewhere Comp - For computer-related stuff. Poorly organized, needs cleaning TD - For technical documents. Edu - Educational stuff on various topics. Poorly organized Ent - Entertainment Sci - Science-interesting stuff. Probably needs subcategories Phil - Philosophically interesting stuff. Probably needs subcategories Ppl - Homepages of various people I know J - BLOGs (Journals) I read. Very well categorized Dead - Sites I used to visit frequently but now never visit because of life changes. Unfiled - Things I haven't filed yet, or things I'm gonna write about, or things I have yet to read. Ugh.

I think I like having so many bookmarks because it gives me access to a lot of information I'd otherwise need to dig around for, and I can recommend things to friends or recall some articles I know I read a long time ago. Bookmarking is similar to BLOGging in that way -- one never really loses information, one just archives everything. I also made this entire bookmark list into a toolbar, so the folders are all always visible like menus. This brings me to a point that cannot be stressed too strongly to web developers -- the most important reason you give a title to your webpage is so people can find it in their bookmarks. Provide enough information, but not so much that they're going to need to retitle the bookmark (wide names make the menus irritatingly big).

Oh, incidentally, I've recently been playing a bit more with my RSS generation code to make it generate RSS that's more standards compliant. I pass some validators, but some RSS viewers still don't like me. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong...

Oh, here's a nice quirky link. Enjoy.