May, 2008

May 08

Great Article about the Great Firewall

Must-read article on the Great Firewall of China for anyone who’s interested in the Internet in China today, by James Fallows. [He’s also got a great blog — nerd, writer, world affairs reporter focusing on China — great stuff!]

First half of the article focuses on the what & how, which is interesting enough, but the second half is more important as it talks about the whys, and the effects that the techniques are having even though they’re quite easy to circumvent. Huge implications for everyone around the world, not just in China.

Article also features Rebecca MacKinnon, a very very smart observer/participant/writer in the middle of things now.

May 08

Brewster Kahle: “Gagging librarians is horrendous”

Shameful story (but with a positive outcome) of Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, fighting a National Security Letter from the FBI. Starting with a gag order not allowing him to talk with his family or advisors is unconscionable. Hooray for Brewster, for standing on principle and winning during what must have been a very frightening situation personally.

May 08

firedrop! zaplet!

In a weird blast-from-the-past moment, TechCrunch reported yesterday that hot mail startup Xobni has licensed the IP from Zaplet (nee Firedrop, and most recently bought by MetricStream), a company we started from Reactivity nearly 10 years ago. TC has bits and pieces of the story, and gets most of the basics of the history right. Seems like both yesterday and an eternity ago when Mike Hanson and Brian Roddy and I were brainstorming about live HTML in e-mail and when Mike mocked up the first one — as we were searching for names, we started with Zimlet or Zaplet or Zammogram, among many other very bad names. Then Brian Axe took it and started to build a business case, recruited Dave Roberts, got some mad Firedrop namage & logo help from Gentry, and was away to the races. (And IIRC, the Reactivity Austin team of Lynn and Dave and others built the screenshots showing up on TC now.)

Anyway, it’s neat to see that another piece of Reactivity technology is still breathing — and hopefully will be put to good use at Xobni.

May 08

some days

no specifics to go into, but some days just go a little strange. felt like most things i touched today went in the wrong direction, despite good intentions.

on the other hand, something i was pretty worried about turned out to be nothing.

anyway, looking forward to tomorrow being a new day.