Posts from September 2002

The latest reality show:

The latest reality show: Selling off Enron
: You can listen to the Enron auction right now (midday Wednesday). Sony 27-inch TV just sold for $300.

: Thanks to Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers for pointing me to the auction. I’ve been listening off and on all day long (while doing more productive things, of course). It’s riveting. This is what becomes of crooks. The loot is so telling: Not just the chairs, lined up like those Chinese clay soldiers in an archeological dig, but lots of Enron briefcases and balls and best of all, beer coolers with the Enron log and the slogan, “Ask why.” Indeed.

I look forward to the auctions for not only the companies but also their executives.

I want to pitch this as a reality show for the Home Shopping Network.

: The show is going into overtime tonight and they’re not nearly done unloading all the servers and laptops and chairs. It starts again Thursday morning. Tune in.

Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction:

Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction
: Here is Tony Blair’s paper detailing evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

Spam, another solution
: I’m sure someone will tell me what’s wrong with this but I come to think we are all attacking spam from the wrong direction.

We are trying to make lists of spammers and their tricks so we can block them.

We should instead be trying to get ourselves off the lists of email addresses the spammers are using.


I want someone to invent an email function that lets me easily and manually bounce email from spammers so they think I don’t exist and so they don’t want to waste time and money sending me spam and so they take me off their lists.

Surely, this can’t be hard.

I mark a bunch of email in the morning and direct my email to send bounce messages to all of them.

The program sends a (faked) bounce message via my mail server.

The spammer counts this as a bounce and takes me off the list.

And that’s one fewer spams I’ll get the next morning. One by one, piece by piece, we kill the cockroaches.

Make sense?

: Update. Gotta love this Internet. Within minutes, I got an email from Danny Jobe pointing me to Mailwasher, which does what I want and for free. The key description from their web site:

MailWasher works directly with your email server, exactly like your email program does. But there is one important difference: you can tell MailWasher to delete a message at the server, without downloading it – or you can bounce an email back to the sender so that it looks as though your address is not valid.


So much for the future of journalism
: Here’s the list of luminaries Columbia’s president appointed to a commission to rethink the future of Columbia Journalism School and thus journalism itself.

Don’t hold your breath for anything new to come from this.

Though there are unquestionably some smart and capable people on the list, the cast as a whole is quite predictable.

And you will not find any emissaries from the future of any weight, experience, or credibility. I could nominate people here in blogdom but that would take on the air of blogrolling for the sake of aw-shucks links back to me; you make the list. I could nominate people who have changed journalism and reporting and commentary using the tools of this new medium and the new relationship with the audience they create, but what’s the point.

Too bad. Opportunity lost.

: See also Columbia J’s interim dean, David Klatell on Romenesko, responding to Michael Wolff‘s excellent column on the future of Columbia J and journalism. The guy completely misses the point and the point misses him. Wolff was writing about a new vision for journalism education and media study; the temp dean whines about Wolff not listing the school’s name-brand alums. Forest, meet trees.

Google news
: Google’s automated news is cool but Nick Denton points out the fatal flaw in how it works.

Missed opportunities
: Old blogging pal Thomas Nephew gives me the punchline I should have gotten myself (I’m so ashamed!) for the HAL Internet-connected refrigerator post below:

You overlooked the chilling possibilities of a wired fridge:

The morning after: Forget the

The morning after
: Forget the Emmys. People are talking about the Sopranos. And the best place to listen in is in the Soprano’s forum (full disclosure: one of my company’s sites). It’s great reading for true fans.

Meanwhile, in Germany: The election

Meanwhile, in Germany
: The election is incredibly close. Bild speculates that the Greens are saving Schroeder. It appears that the Social Democrats and Greens will govern again even though the Conservatives won more than the Social Democrats. Note that the Greens are now almost 9 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, Yahoo offers you the change to build your own chancellor.

: Update: Schroeder and the Greens win. Note that they did this in part by opposing war in Iraq.

What’s for dinner, HAL?: The

What’s for dinner, HAL?
: The long-blathered-about Internet-connected refrigerator is here. LG is touting it not just on its web site but also spending money marketing it in magazines.

Now on the one hand, this may seem like an almost-forgotten hangover from a too-long brainstorming session in those go-go Internet years. But the simple summary of what you can do with this thing actually looks sensible:

Watch TV. Play MP3s (through four speakers). Leave messages for your family. Read email. Check your calendar. Look at screensaver family snapshots. And, of course, get recipes.

: The one thing the spec doesn’t list — which, surely, it must — is wireless networking. For that’s what makes all this feasible. I’m now sitting on my couch with laptop literally on lap thanks to wireless. Wireless means the refrigerator wouldn’t have to be cabled. High-speed wireless (802.11a) means the refrigerator can even play video.

Wireless networking is getting cheaper and cheaper and is spreading like West Nile.

Now Toshiba has announced wireless chips for TVs, stereos, and DVDs. LG, by the way, also has an Internet-connected microwave, washingt machine, and air conditioner for very remote remote control.

From a geek perspective, this is as fundamental a change as HTML: Just as HTML separated content from display, allowing any browser anywhere to display content, wireless networking separates content from devices, allowing any device anywhere in a network to play anything.So your refrigerator can play a song from the Internet or a show from your TiVo or a movie from your DVD or a voicemail from your email or a page from your PC (at home or at work).

It’s really happening — slowly, gradually, but that’s the way these things are supposed to happen, at the speed of the market, not at the now-laughable “speed of the Internet.” Even if slower and quieter, this is a revolution nonetheless.

: And this, once again, is what makes AT&T Cable so incredibly stupid for trying to limit cable-modem customers to one IP — that is, one device. They would stop you from using that refrigerator ar that Internet-ready TV. Old, dead companies just don’t get it.