With sadness I must report the passing of William C. Tate, my stepfather, on Thursday. Bill and my mother met and fell in love when I was a young teenager. He was a neighbour, and I had met him, and even stayed over at his house with his son before they would meet, which is a bit unusual. He was kind and generous and supported her and our family for many decades. While he died from cancer, it came upon him quite suddenly and he was fortunately strong until near the end.
Ok, admit it, who likes blogging in to a vacuum. You want to know how many people are actually reading your blog.
I have created a simple Perl script that scans your blog's log file and attempts to calculate how many people read the blog and the RSS feeds.
You can download the feed reader script. I release it under GPL2.
End of next week I'll be going to Munich/München for an interesting conference called DLD. Since the flight is so long and I haven't been to Bavaria since I was a kid, I booked a few extra days around the conference, even though it's not exactly the high season. I welcome comments from blog readers on stuff to do there, and in surrounding Bavaria -- we'll take some day trips to the Alps and maybe to Salzberg. I know there's a great science and tech museum we'll go to.
Computerworld has been nice enough to include me in their series on unsung innovators of the net. I should point out that I try to downplay the dot thing -- to me it's an amusing anecdote of having participated in the right mailing lists at the right time. I remain much more interested in whatever I will do next!
I've been informed that the ENIAC programmer talk featuring Jean Bartik, a member of the world's first software team, has been postponed until sometime in January. I'll update with more information when it is worked out. Donors can transfer their seat to the later event, get a refund, or give it as a donation as they wish.
Update: Sorry to say, this event has been postponed to January
Here are three events coming up that I will be involved with.
Burning Man of course starts next weekend and consumes much of my time. While I'm not doing any bold new art project this year, maintaining my 3 main ones is plenty of work, as is the foolishly taken on job of village organizer and power grid coordinator. I must admit I often look back fondly on my first Burning Man, where we just arrived and were effectively spectators. But you only get to do that once.
As I noted earlier, my web site got hacked. As a result, I decided to leave my old hosting company, PowerVPS.com, and find a new host. While another VPS would probably have managed, I know a woman in San Jose who runs a hosting company, simpli.biz, who offered me a good deal on a fast dedicated server. I'll grow into it, and in the meantime you should see much greater performance from my site.
I will make some final commentary on PowerVPS. I left for a variety of reasons, and they were certainly not 100% bad.
A few weeks ago, my site got hacked. The attacker inserted an iframe pointing to a malware site into most of my html pages. That of course is bad, but the story doesn't end there. (I should of course have upgraded my OS from the ancient one my hosting company gave years ago, but they don't really support that, and feel an upgrade consists of rebuilding from scratch.)
Whoops, the URL for the iPhone item got published missing part of it, so I created this alias.
The real item is at jobs-warns-knockoff-iphone-lacks-many-key-features.
Whoops, sorry. I was playing around with a shared to-do list manager in drupal, the software that runs this web site, and it seems to have poorly configured security defaults, so the test entries showed up on the home page. I've made them unpublic now.
I've been participating in online discussions about my favourite TV show, Battlestar Galactica, so I have collected a number of my selected postings about the show, along with some new ones, into a sub-blog on this web site.
If you are a fan of the site I invite you to subscribe to my Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog.
From the shameless narcissism department: I was surprised to see myself and the EFF picked by PC World today at #12 on their 50 most important people on the web list. I'm really there as a proxy for the EFF, I suspect, but it's great to see our work recognized. I'm pleased to say the EFF is going like gangbusters right now with so many cases under our wing, and many thousands of new members in the last year, thanks in part to the AT&T lawsuit and others.
I have upgraded the site to the latest Drupal 5.1. For a short time that means some features I coded won't be available until I re-patch, such as my anti-spam comment tool (comments are moderated for now.) If stuff is broken, let me know. (I don't know what happened to the category menus and will try to get them back.) I'll also be adding some new features, such as RSS feeds of comments and nodes and some other things mostly only seen by those who create an account.
Join me next Thursday (one-eleven) at the one-eleven Minna gallery in San Francisco to celebrate EFF's 16th year. From 7 to 10pm. Suggested donation $20. Stop by if you're at Macworld.
Details at http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005055.php
I'm in Edmonton. Turns out to be the farthest north I've been on land (53 degrees 37 minutes at the peak) after another turn through the Icefields Parkway, surely one of the most scenic drives on the planet. My 4th time along it, though this time it was a whiteout. Speaking tomorrow at the CIPS ICE conference on privacy, nanotechnology and the future at 10:15.
TONIGHT, April 20th, there will be a debate on the issue of per-message charges for E-mail, sparked by the recent debate over Goodmail and AOL.
The debate will feature former EFF Chair Esther Dyson, who has become a surprising supporter of pay-to-send E-mail, and EFF Activist Danny O'Brien, NTK author and coordinator of EFF's involvement in the efforts against Goodmail. Esther is also publisher of Release 1.0, host of the PC Forum conference and former chair of ICANN.
Next week (Mon-Tuesday) I will be speaking at David Isenberg's "Freedom To Connect" conference, on an open net, in Silver Spring, Maryland (Washington DC.)
April 10 I will be at UCSB's CITS conference (Santa Barbara, obviously) on growing network communities.
The next week April 19-21 sees the annual Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop, always a good time.
See you there.
Each year since 1992 the EFF has given out the EFF Pioneer Awards to a wide array of online pioneers. Check out the lists on the web site.
We're seeking new nominees for this year's awards, to be given at CFP 06. We need them by Feb 28. Check out the web page, and e-mail us the nominee's name and contact info with a description of their contribution. Organizations and Systems can be nominated, as well as individuals.
Who do you think has helped make the cyberworld what it is? Get them recognized.