Birdfeeder and FETHR

>[Birdfeeder is the prototype implementation of a RESTful, interoperable, Internet-scale microblogging protocol, tentatively called FETHR (Featherweight Entangled Timelines over HTTP Requests)][link].”

See also: [Why Twitter in 2009 is like CompuServe Email in 1983][slides].

(via [Waxy][waxy])

[link]: “ (Birdfeeder)”
[slides]: “FETHR Slides”
[waxy]: “Andy Baio”


Windows 7 Starter Edition Only Runs 3 Applications At Once

[This seems like a joke, but it is legitimate][link]. Microsoft is not only pushing this incredibly anti-user “functionality”, but they’re selling it specifically to poor, developing nations.

I guess their hope is once they need more than 3 applications open, the poor fucks will pony up for Windows 7 Pro Starter Extreme Edition or whatever.

[link]: “Windows 7 Starter Edition Only Runs 3 Applications At Once”


App Store Customers Are Neither Bad Nor Good by Default

Garret Murray’s [most recent post on his blog][link], the land where posts do not have titles, is about what happened last week with his (lovely) application, [Ego][ego]. In it, he basically vents about being a single developer caught between a rock (customers angry that something stopped working) and a hard place (Apple’s arcane approvals process). His frustration is completely understandable with regards to Apple, but I think his larger concern is wrong. In the post, he says this:

[link]: “Maniacal Rage”
[ego]: “Ego”

>This kind of thing continually reinforces something I’ve thought about a lot since the App store was released, which sounds horrible to say but it might be true: Apple is creating an ecosystem of the kind of customers I don’t want.

John Gruber thought it important enough [to link to the post][df] using that link as illustration, with the title “Are App Store Customers Good Customers?” This time, though, I think the question is already answered: No, not realy. But the App Store doesn’t create Good or Bad Customers, either. [Sturgeon’s Law][sturgeon] just as well here as anywhere. What the App Store does do is make it very easy for a user to complain when the mood strikes them.

[df]: “Daring Fireball Linked List: Are App Store Customers Good Customers?”

[sturgeon]:’s_law “Sturgeon’s Law”

It’s hard not be frustrated when you have to wait for something beyond your control, but the simple facts are these:

1. Garrett charged money for an application.

2. *The amount of money is irrelevant*.

3. The application sold Google Analytics support in the same breath as support for other applications that have solid developer APIs

4. In doing so created an expectation that GA support was “stable” and “not likely to break at the whims of Google with no warning.”

5. You cannot blame any customer for being angry when that happened.

Do I agree that the users leaving many of these comments are probably *huge* assholes? Yes. Could Apple do more to mitigate the costs for Developers when something goes wrong? Yes. But the frustration that made Mr. Murray write his blog post is the very same kind of frustration that made those customers, assholes or not, write their negative reviews.

More users means more sales means more assholes.


Free Star Trek Icon Set From The Iconfactory

[Well-detailed and as beautiful as you’d expect from the Iconfactory][link].

[link]: “The Iconfactory presents Star Trek”


NYT Bits Blog on The Cost of Bandwidth

[Hint: It’s falling, not rising][link]. Time Warner got into a big shit-fight over imposing bandwidth caps, which Rogers has already done here in Canada.

Here’s an exercise to illustrate how fucked the telecom industry is: Raise your hand if you believe a word that comes from Comcast, Time Warner, or AT&T.

[link]: “The Cost of Downloading All Those Videos – Bits Blog –”


[Sponsor] The Extra Future Amazon Store

[In which, among other lovely items][store], you’ll find what I’m currently reading: *[Hello Americans][hello]* by Simon Callow.

[store]: “Extra Future’s aStore”
[hello]: “Hello Americans on Amazon”

This is the second volume of Callow’s biography on film legend Orson Welles (the first being 1997’s *[The Road To Xanadu][xanadu]*) and it is every bit as worthy a portrait of Welles as it’s predecessor. It covers Welles’s life post-*Kane*, including the hatchet-job that RKO unleashed on *[The Magnificent Ambersons][ambersons]*. It’s tone is one of someone who neither demonizes or worships Welles, but seeks to find the truths of his life.

[xanadu]: “The Road to Xanadu on”
[ambersons]: “The Magnificent Ambersons on Wikipedia”

Sponsorship of Extra Future is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’d like to sponsor the site, [contact me][contact].

[contact]: “Contact Phil Nelson”


Dave Shea on Why He’s Backing HTML5

[The points he makes are good ones, and I agree with most of them][link]. The comments are pretty lively on this one, but seem civilized.

[link]: “mezzoblue § Switched”



[Using a neural interface to send twitter messages][link].

[link]: “Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets | Wired Science from”


Braid Artist David Hellman Releases The Game’s Art Resources

[A bit late for the initial craze][link], but I’m sure the quality of fan-made stuff will only go up. Includes: Level icons, animated GIFs, and some gorgeous wallpapers.

[link]: “David Hellman .net – Braid”



Your headline of the evening: “[Washington scientists make wheat impervious to death][link].”

[link]: “Washington scientists make wheat impervious to death | News2Use | Wichita Eagle”


O’Reilly’s Round-up of iPhone Application Statistics

[Lots of interesting data][link]. As [a commenter notes][comment], the “ratings” metric should be taken with a grain of salt. Instead of defaulting to “no” stars (and possibly prompting the user to choose a rating if they’ve not done so) the App Store defaults to 1 star. Since it doesn’t require you to select a star, there are a lot of positive-to-middling reviews with 1 star ratings.

[link]: “Waiting for the Billionth Download – O’Reilly Radar”
[comment]: “Commenter”


“What’s The Twitshirt Thing?”

[Twitshirt][link] launched yesterday (16 April 2009) and provide a service that I’m sure many people would/will give their patronage to: The printing of individual tweets on t-shirts, on-demand. Since the t-shirt is the defining medium of this generation, and vanity publishing is in full vogue, it only makes sense that a business model which combines the two could succeed, and handily. They kinda fucked it up, though.

[link]: “Twitshirt”

The problem: Twitshirt did not ask permission to sell the words of the authors of the tweets they printed. The author could opt-out, but that is at best [a poor solution][cameron]. It, without question, should be opt-in.

[cameron]: “ Regarding Twitshirt”

Today is down with a message saying, “We’ve heard your feedback-thank you. We’re reversing the polarity.”

Admitting one is wrong is not an easy thing to do, especially in public. Hopefully a relaunched Twitshirt will do what it should’ve in the first place: ask.


Court Jails Pirate Bay Founders

[I’m sure the appeals process will be long][link]:

>Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were found guilty of breaking copyright law and were sentenced to a year in jail.
>They were also ordered to pay $4.5m (£3m) in damages.

[link]: “BBC NEWS | Technology | Court jails Pirate Bay founders”

I feel that their *attitude* didn’t help them with the judge. Google still indexes millions more torrent files than TPB ever could. Why no attack against them? See also: [Wired’s coverage][wired].

[wired]: “The Pirate Bay Guilty; Jail for File-Sharing Foursome”


HTTP Client – Mac Tool for HTTP Debugging

[Found this useful today in my tracking down a problem with la petite url][link].

(via [Shawn Medero][shawn])

[link]: “HTTP Client – Mac Developer Tool for HTTP Debugging”
[shawn]: “Shawn Medero”


PXR + Cufon = Pxfon

[Shawn Inman’s Cufon-compatible solution for pixel fonts][link]. [Check out the generator][gen]. No anti-aliasing!

[link]: “PXR + Cufon = Pxfon //”
[gen]: “PxFon Generator”


John Madden Is Retiring

[Probably the single most visible ambassador of American football][link] is calling it quits after 50 years. A great coach, and a great announcer. Even if you didn’t like his style, you knew he cared a lot about the game.

[link]: “Madden Decides to Put Down His Microphone –”


“The Wire” Series Bible

[Found by Kottke, and presented for download along with 3 scripts from Season 1][link].

[link]: “The Wire Bible”


Track 4chan’s Attempt To Beat Ashton Kutcher and CNN to 1M Twitter Followers

[Currently adding new followers to @basementdad at a rate of about 700 per minute][link]. See also: [the 4chan thread][thread].

both (via [Waxy][waxy])

[link]: “”
[thread]: “Cache of the 4chan thread”
[waxy]: “Waxy”


Free as in “Me”

[I cannot think of a recent read more essential than this lengthy polemic by Merlin Mann][link]. I’d post an excerpt, but it wouldn’t do justice to the thing. Just read it.

[link]: “Free as in ‘Me’ | 43 Folders”


Digg Dropping The DiggBar For All Non-Digg Users

[Finally doing the right thing, though it took them long enough][link].

[link]: “Digg the Blog » Blog Archive » (Yet) Another DiggBar Update”