Is the World socialist?

Ayn Rand

Revisiting an old story by Dave Winer:

If you want to go back to the point where we decided to be socialist and try to undo it, you’re going to have to kill most of the people on the planet who depend on the current system for sustenance. And like it or not, that probably includes you. It certainly includes most of the idiots running around preaching Ayn Rand these days. — in The World is socialist

It’s funny how most people can’t understand that everything is interconnected to a point where it’s impossible to live without depending on something.

Re: Afternoon sellout notes

Dave Winer praises Dropbox technology and goes further by suggesting that everyone should be able to run their own private servers:

(…) the technology that Dropbox has mastered is so important that there should be an open source equivalent that we can all deploy, so we can have Dropboxes for sensitive info we don’t want to share with them (…)

I’m a happy Dropbox user myself and I went looking for options. Well, there isn’t an out-of-the-box open source equivalent to Dropbox but you could easily build one:

Now we have is a simple Dropbox style app that is lightweight, with a functional back-end running rsync, which is a known stable app that will scale, and while it doesn’t provide the front-end and web view that Dropbox does, that could be an easy part for a UX developer to tackle (…)

Read the original post: Afternoon sellout notes.

Re: Bing Tries To Buy The News on TechCrunch

In order to actually make a dent in Google’s market share, Bing would have to pay such exorbitant sums to so many different news companies that it would be difficult to recoup its investment. Bing certainly get some marketing buzz out of any such move, but that’s about it.

Here’s a list of links about this:

Read the original post: Bing Tries To Buy The News on TechCrunch.

A possible future for Chrome OS

I’m writing this after building Chrome OS from scratch and running it from a USB drive. In fact, what I built and ran wasn’t Chrome OS but instead Chromium OS. There’s a big difference not just in the name. According to Google:

Today we are open-sourcing the [Chrome OS] project as Chromium OS. We are doing this early, a year before Google Chrome OS will be ready for users, because we are eager to engage with partners, the open source community and developers. As with the Google Chrome browser, development will be done in the open from this point on. This means the code is free, accessible to anyone and open for contributions.

They close the paragraph by saying that “this is the initial sketch and we will color it in over the course of the next year”. This, I believe is the single piece of information that contains the clues to what will happen to Chrome OS.

Going back to my first experience with Chromium OS, I immediately saw a bunch of people talking about issues and problems with this first version. One of the biggest concerns was about a supposed lack of support from Google:

In addition to excellent support, which I don’t think of as Google’s specialty, users of Chrome OS are going to want their netbooks to work seamlessly and instantly with their printers, digital cameras, smartphones and more.

[…]

But Microsoft spent years trying to catch up to Apple in terms of automatic hardware detection and installation with its Plug-and-Play initiative, and Apple users will tell you that it never quite succeeded. Is Google about to find out what a huge headache it can be to support an operating system? History argues that will be the case.

I sincerely don’t agree with this concern. Here’s what I think the future of Chrome OS will be:

  1. Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) has a partnership going on with Google for the development of Chrome OS: “In the interest of transparency, we should declare that Canonical is contributing engineering to Google under contract”.
  2. Google launched Chromium OS early so that the open source community could jump in and contribute.
  3. In 2010, Google will launch Chrome OS (not Chromium) on a list of selected devices. This will be done with the help of Canonical, of course: “we will be working with Google on Chrome OS based devices”.
  4. Asus will be the first device manufacturer to officially promote Chrome OS.
  5. Giant HP will be next. They were already thinking about moving to Android earlier this year, so this is the obvious path.
  6. Many others will follow during 2010.
  7. Chrome OS will use Ubuntu One as its official cloud synchronization.
  8. Chrome OS will be official supported only on selected devices, by the device manufacturer with help from Canonical and Google.
  9. Chromium OS will still exist as a pure, unsupported, open source OS that anyone can use at their own risk.

So, if I’m correct, 2010 is going to be a huge year for the netbook market. Get ready!

RSSCloud, a PubSubHubbub alternative?

Great news for all RSS advocates: Dave Winer somehow convinced Matt Mullenweg to automatically support RSSCloud on all WordPress.com blogs.

Quoting ReadWriteWeb, who apparently broke the news:

All blogs on the WordPress.com platform and any WordPress.org blogs that opt-in will now make instant updates available to any RSS readers subscribed to a new feature called RSSCloud. There is currently only one RSS aggregator that supports RSSCloud, Dave Winer’s brand-new reader River2. That will probably change very soon.

If you have a WordPress.org blog, you can easily install the recently launched RSSCloud plugin, by Joseph Scott, an employee of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

Now, how will RSSCloud compare to PubSubHubbub? As Chris Messina points out on a comment to Dave Winer’s announcement, “it’d be nice to either protocol gain adoption and enable a better P2P push-based infrastructure to rise up.”

Let’s see how both technologies evolve. So far RSSCloud is only being used by a single feed reader but has gained a massive number of publishers through the WordPress.com adoption.

PubSubHubbub is ahead in the game, currently being used by Feedburner, Blogger, Google Reader, Google Latitude, YouTube, PicasaWeb, FriendFeed, LiveJournal and Superfeedr, to name just a few. There’s also a WordPress.org plugin, written by Josh Fraser.

Should twitter have its own data storage?

Now that twitter OAuth feature is in public beta, some people argue that twitter should also provide a data storage facility through their API. This would allow developers to add payloads to different twitter objects but would create another information silo, instead of leveraging existing data storage providers.

I agree with Kevin Marks when he asks “Why should the storage and the event stream come from the same provider?”.

Quoting Dave Winer’s article “Twitter and OAuth, interesting brew“:

Maybe it won’t be Twitter or Facebook, but whoever builds the next consensus platform will have open data storage APIs in addition to identity. It’s a vital part of identity. We’ve been waiting too damned long for this.

Let’s see what happens.