On Not | Mo Chit

August 17, 2004

Buy a Politician This just in from the New Yauk Times: Politicians for sale in Texas.
Running as a Republican in a heavily Democratic district in Texas against a five-term incumbent, Ms. Klein, 39, has received more in donations and fund-raising help from the telecommunications and power industries than any other rookie candidate in the nation.
What? Why the hell do they care about some lowly district race?
Because administration officials have said that in the event of a second Bush administration she would be considered by the president, whom she served as a senior policy adviser when he was governor of Texas, as a candidate to be the next head of the Federal Communications Commission.
So what exactly does campaign finance reform do for us? Hold on, it gets better:
"The reason they've told me that they support me is that they appreciated that I had integrity," Ms. Klein said. "Even though we disagreed, it was harmonious."
What a crock of shit (Pardon my Texan). I think they "disagreed" on her kickbacks, but the outcome is "harmonious" for both parties.
Posted by Dudley at 01:39 AM

June 18, 2004

FeedDemon Crack
nickbradbury.jpg Just reading Nick Bradbury's latest post about how people pirating FeedDemon have the gall to actually complain to Nick about the upgrade crashing their cracked version of FeedDemon 1.0. Where do these people get their sense of entitlement?

Wes and I thankfully have steered clear of those kinds of users up until now. We've certainly had our fare share of demands. However, our core Gush users are great, and they have been very patient with our continual "refinements."
Posted by Dudley at 11:57 PM

June 15, 2004

PubSub and Jabber's Network Topolgy pubsub_image.png The about the PubSub service is really exciting both for us and the rest of the Jabber community. We've been saying all along that IM and syndication belong together, and the PubSub service is the server side extension to that vision. The most exciting part for me about a PubSub like service, is the possibility to subscribe to a topic, and then get notified within in seconds of the actual post. It's basically like subscribing to Google results and being instantly notified when Google discovers a new webpage matching your query. Very exciting.

By the way, anyone reading the Jabber mailing lists could have put two and two together and realized that PubSub.com derived their names from Jabber's pubsub proposal which PubSub.com uses to expose their database to the outside world. Two months back I thought that this was just one big coincidence. [ Update: Turns out it was just a coincidence. Bob Wyman says they started using the name even before JEP-60 was first drafted. ]

Bob Wyman, PubSub's CTO, recently about PubSub's usage of Jabber on the Jabber Standard's mailing list, and asked for some feedback. I the obvious things that I thought would be needed to make PubSub's service behave like a first-class Jabber citizen. Justin Karneges also on the most relevant point that exposing PubSub's service to the rest of the Jabber network is essential to exploiting the full potential of PubSub's service. Bob raised some valid concerns regarding server karma which is used to regulate bandwidth so that other rogue servers/clients don't monopolize the available bandwidth.

After thinking about PubSub's potential problems with pushing a lot of updates to clients via various servers, I thought of a nice work around. Jabber has a really elegant 3 part protocol scheme for initiating file transfers. The first step, , is rather generic and is intended for use outside of just file transfers. Stream Initiation relies on "profiles" to fill in the implementation details for the service i.e. there's a . My idea is to have a stream initiation profile for initiating a direct end-to-end XMPP session.

Slightly strange, but not without merit. Ignoring the details for the moment, the end result is that I'll have a direct XMPP session ( direct TCP/IP connection) with the Jabber entity on the other end. The big advantage of this is that a service like PubSub can push as many updates as they like in my direction. My server will be really happy because it's not involved with routing each of the PubSub's Atom IQ packets.

Having clients support direct end-to-end XMPP sessions extends the Jabber topology. The current Jabber topology is for clients to connect to a server, and the servers talk among themselves to relay messages for clients on different servers. The technical terms for this is type of topology is federated. However, with direct e2e the Jabber topology would be more of a mesh network where the current Jabber topology is responsible for what could be consider the first tier for XMPP traffic, and the direct e2e would be the second tier for high bandwidth/low-latency traffic.

Another area aside from a Publish-Subscribe service that would benefit from direct e2e is . File sharing could require a good amount of data to be exchange especially if the directory-file structures being shared are very large.

These ideas need to be flushed out, but I think there's a lot of potential here.
Posted by Dudley at 03:39 PM

May 23, 2004

Did they read it junkbutton.png Slashdot has a post about a new email service called DidTheyReadIt.com which allows you to send an email, and then be able to track when, where, and for how long their recipient read the email.

DidTheyReadIt.com linked to a USA Today article as part of the favorable press coverage section. The article had the following to say:
Rampell Software CEO Alex Rampell says he's braced for controversy. "It can be used inappropriately, but our intentions are good," he says.

The tracking service could be used by job hunters who want to see if their résumés were read, or by salespeople wanting to track pitches. Today's spam filters can sometimes block e-mail sent with attachments, leaving the sender thinking an e-mail got through when it didn't. This is a way to check. "It can be useful peace of mind to know people got your e-mail," Rampell says.
Ironically, all the of supposedly good purposes for using DidTheyReadIt still sound pretty slimy. How can you with a straight face tell me that this software will benefit me, salespeople, and headhunters all in the same breath?

The claim that you can verify that the email wasn't chewed up my some span filter is probably the most plausible excuse for this software. However, I'm sure these guys, if they have half a brain, have already figured what I just realized now: What if the spammers started using this software to track and profile who received their spam? Big bucks for them, and more spam for me.

Outlook and other mail clients have had different forms of this feature for a long time now. People at the company that I used to work for used this fairly frequently. I setup a special folder for emails with tracking just so that I can purposely delay responding to those emails.

The same kind of people who would use this feature are those who currently send an email and then immediately call to make sure you've received and read the email. Except with this service, they'll be able to be a little more covert with their harassment.
Posted by Dudley at 08:28 PM

May 19, 2004

Yann Arthus-Bertrand YAB has a compelling series of photographs called "The Earth from Above." The frenchmen travels all around the world taking pictures from helicopters and small airplanes. YAB's team has put together a very nice Flash gallery as a sample of his work.
You can also see and download hundreds of photographs for free from the "The Earth from Above" series.
Posted by Dudley at 12:49 PM

May 03, 2004

Quote of the day The definition of emotionally unavailable was perfectly articulated today:
Emotionally unavailable, what's that!?
Posted by Wes at 07:49 PM

March 31, 2004

SPAM Me! Well actually, spam this guy:
Can I have some SPAM, please...?
We are currently testing a piece of software and need a fair amount of SPAM. Really. I mean it.

I you want to help, please send all your SPAM to .

If you can, please copy this request on your blog. Thank you.
(via Tech Observer)
Posted by Wes at 02:13 PM

March 06, 2004

Thank you Microsoft? The bogus Eolas patent has successfully been nullified by the USPTO. This is probably the first time the trademark office has put any thought into a patent decision, but unfortunately it takes a good deal of time and money to get them to take a second look. Last year the "one man operation", Dr. Mike Doyle, was awarded a $521 million settlement for Microsoft's infringement. No patent is worth that, period. Barring a successful appeal, MS saves some dough, which really means we save, and they don't have to break the web like they wanted. So .. uh thanks Microsoft? No that just doesn't sound right. (via The Register)
Posted by Wes at 03:50 AM

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