Posts from June 28, 2004

Geekgasm

Geekgasm

: Jason Shellen has a moment of rapture when his Treo talks to his TiVo to record 60 minutes.

Apple & RSS

Apple & RSS

: Apple just announced adding RSS to its Safari browser and Vivek Shankar (of the Northwestern Hyperlocal project) just sent me the link to the demo. Most cool. Nice features, such as a slider to change the length of the listings. Amusing note: They say the feeds are ad-free, not something the client can control at the end of the day. Bottom line: How long before it’s in IE?

Dear Bill Gates,

Dear Bill Gates,
:

: Jay Rosen sends Bill Gates an open letter with suggestions for his rumored blog.

Do a newsy blog. Something like: Bill Gates reads the headlines. Gates on politics and world affairs. Gates on the spread of freedom and markets, war and peace, public education, AIDS prevention, the limits of technology, the misery of Africa, and the difficulty of solving messy global problems. Gates on why the politicians are sometimes a joke. The big picture Gates. The occasionally angry Gates. Even the ranting Gates. The man who had to expand his knowledge in order to extend the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to its practical, global and problem-solving agenda.

Jay, ever the media historian, says there have been three ways for the rich, powerful, and famous to deal with media: (1) Lock them up. (2) Ignore them. (3) Hire a flack. This is a fourth way (a la Mark Cuban): Speak to your public directly.

Jay also gives Gates some practical suggestions: Hire a blog assistant. Ignore the lawyers.

I’m with Jay on the overall notion: Who needs to be humanized more than Bill Gates? Who needs a means of talking directly to the people without enough filters to clean up the Hudson more than Bill Gates? What modern business mind would be more fascinating to step into more than Bill Gates?

Plus, we fellow bloggers can suddenly find ourselves in the same club with Bill Gates. And we can all hope to get a little Gates link love (a microlanch?).

And more Moore

And more Moore

: The Sun-Times has two good stories on one page about Fahrenheit followups. In the first, reporter Tom McNamee does a straightforward fact-check on the film. In the second, a MacArthur genius got so upset over the film that he found himself starting a revolution with nothing but his pooper scooper:

Saturday night, a 64-year-old man was walking his Doberman through a South Side neighborhood where residents have been complaining about dog owners not cleaning up after pets.

Patrol officers stopped the man — community activist Sokoni Karanja, a onetime recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship — to see if the dog, which was on a leash but without tags, had a license, police said.

But, officials said, Karanja became agitated and threatened to sic the dog on the officers. A scuffle ensued, and Karanja was arrested and slightly injured.

“He just saw ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ and apparently he was telling the police officers, ‘George Bush does not control me,'” said Prairie District Lt. Dave Caddigan.

Police Capt. Eugene Roy said “the best way to summarize is he was distraught and upset after viewing the movie, and his wife attributes his behavior to that.”

More Moore: Health next

More Moore: Health next

: Well, this is good news/bad news:

Michael Moore plans to tackle health care next.

Well, the good news is that health care is a subject that damned well needs tackling. It’s shameful what’s happening in this country: millions uninsured; people trapped in the wrong jobs just because of health benefits; money wasted on exploding insurance bureacracy; doctors’ time wasted with insurance time-wasters; proper and necessary care withheld from the sick; costs skyrocketing; malpractice rates driving doctors away…. Oh, Lord, it needs tackling.

The bad news: If Moore does as blunt and bad a job of it as he did with war and politics in Fahrenheit and gun control in Columbine, it ratchets-up and dumbs-down the debate. What we don’t need is more polemic and preaching to the converted and the sick. What we do need is intelligent, well-researched, strongly argued media that will set and change the agenda in both parties. Once upon a time, I might have thought that Moore could contribute to that debate. But that’s my real problem after Fahrenheit: He merely seethes and it’s too damned easy for the other side to ignore the slob seething in the corner.