Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Nick Bradbury: RSS readers and bandwidth consumption
The primary concern is how often RSS readers download feeds to check for new items. After all, if a feed is updated once a day, there's a huge waste of bandwidth if RSS readers are downloading the feed every few minutes. However, a well-designed RSS reader won't download the entire feed if it hasn't been modified - instead, it will do as FeedDemon does and utilize HTTP If-Modified-Since and If-None-Match (ETag) requests. If the feed hasn't changed, then the server simply returns a 304: Not Modified response, which requires very little bandwidth. FeedDemon also supports GZIP compression and it remembers redirects, which further reduces bandwidth consumption.
Joi Ito's Web: The New Yorker on the torture at Abu Ghraib
In case anyone missed this, there is a detailed article on the torture at Abu Ghraib in The New Yorker. Unlike the sniper rumor, this one is pretty much documented fact. I realize that this is obviously not standard behavior, but it is not a single wacko, but a group of soldiers. It's really quite appalling. How can something like this happen? What is the mood like among American soldiers in Iraq? Is there a general hatred or is it really isolated behavior? I can't imagine an occupying force being very successful without some basic respect for the local citizens. I remember hearing that the occupying forces in post-war Japan were selected from soldiers who had not served in combat against the Japanese. Most of the stories you hear about the soldiers occupying Japan are good stories. I suppose it's easier to be nice when there is no resistance, but still... (My sister has a nice post about the story of our family's first interaction with the US occupation of Japan.) I also heard from a Spanish friend of mine that there is very little if no hatred towards Muslims after the 3/11 attack in Madrid. People realize that it is a splinter group and are not blaming the Muslims. I don't want to over-generalize, but trying to link Al Qaeda to Iraq and the increased racism directed at Muslim
Bush sucks at management
(Kevin Drum has an excellent post today on President Bush as the prototypical bad CEO -- Here's a snippet: "Bush styles himself a 'CEO president,' but the world is full to bursting with CEOs who have goals they would dearly love to attain but who lack either the skill or the fortitude to make them happen. They assign tasks to subordinates without making sure the subordinates are capable of doing them — but then consider the job done anyway because they've "delegated" it. They insist they want a realistic plan, but they're unwilling to do the hard work of creating one — all those market research reports are just a bunch of ivory tower nonsense anyway. They work hard — but only on subjects in their comfort zone.")
Collecting a belfry this big requires multiple Lego pieces. Very many of our team's supporters have gave awayWe from their individual collection, however the goal would never be possible without the great help of thousands of sponsors.
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Friday, April 30, 2004
Catholicism and Abortion: An Owner's Manual | The Village Gate
The advantage of this position over the typical liberal position—that this is a private matter between a woman and her physician—is that it is aggressive rather than defensive and that it stands not on "privacy" which is very nearly code for sordid things that will not stand the light of day, but on religious freedom, something virtually all Americans agree upon. The Christian right has had this field to itself for far too long. Do Baptists really want Catholics legislating about how they are to attain eternal life? Are they saying that the life of a fetus requires coerced belief, but eternal life does not? Think about it.
Great post! I thought again about this just yesterday when I saw some guy's agressive, home printed, 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper scotch taped to his back window saying something like "You're going to hell if you get an abortion.". I'm a Lutheran. I believe all life is created by God and supremely prescious. Human life being the most unique. A conception is life. Ending conception is a sin. Shouldn't happen.
That said. Why oh why do pro lifers insist on confronting pro abortionists in the most agressive way possible? The goal here is to reduce the number of abortions and then, when it becomes mostly unnecessary (in a perfect world) there would be no need for it. Why isn't that their goal? It seems that their goal is to make a person who is in the midst of the most personal, wrenching decision of their life feel as worthless and defensive as possible.
Here's the recipie for stopping abortion:
1) Make birth control free and more easily available than asprin. Develop a male contraceptive. Drop bales of these pills or shots or whatever out of airplanes. Blanket the country with them.
2) Put real money and effort into fixing the problems with the orpan/foster care system. Its broken - everyone knows that. Un-break it. Spend at least as much money on this as you do on... say a war in Iraq.
3) Set up systems - in whatever way possible... government, religous, whatever - to make it as easy and as free as possible for a person who gets "accidentally" pregnant to know that it will be easy to have the child and that the child will go to a great family. Give tax breaks to this family. But don't make it about money.
4) Reduce the "status symbol" of being a young, single mother in poor communities.
5) Get very serious about taking kids away from people who (forgive me here) don't deserve them. This includes any parent who brings drugs into the home or abuses the child in any way. Put these kids in the aforementioned new, great foster system and never let their parents see them again - until they prove they can be good parents.
Once we've done all that - then worry about overturning Roe v. Wade. Republicans are just so short sighedly stupid! (saying that with a bit of a grin).
Great article guys! I agree with it wholeheartedly. I know so many Christian Republicans who would at least consider a Democrat if abortion wasn't on the table.
Doc: On the Internet, nobody knows you're a God
Google Guys Get Gazillions
So the offering will make billionaires of Google's top three executives. Mr. Page, 31, and Mr. Brin, 30, each owns about 15 percent of the company, conservatively worth more than $4.5 billion; Eric Schmidt, the 49-year-old chief executive, has stock options on 6 percent, worth $1.8 billion.
Niiiice... now I need me one of them billion-dollar idears... [think like Google... think like Google]. OK - links are votes? How about votes are votes. Like in November, this time the guy with the most votes should win? How 'bout that for a billion dollar idea?
Dave scouts out Europe for us
Looks like Dave is doing our trip in reverse.
Oh, didn't I mention that E I will be hitting France, Switzerland Germany in six weeks or so? And didn't I mention that after that we're going to be traveling to most of the US National Parks west of the Missippi for five weeks?
Well, you're going to be hearing more about that trip. A lot more...
Dave, carve scripting.com into the table you're at right now. Maybe I'll see it when I'm there - I'll post a pic of it...
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Tell Tale Weekly's audiobooks | Creative Commons
A New York Times article recently pointed to Tell Tale Weekly, an audio book site selling MP3s as cheap as $0.25 each. They've also committed to licensing the books under a Creative Commons license after 5 years or 100k downloads, whichever comes first.
It's not easy to find good, cheap, DRM-free audiobooks and Tell Tale Weekly looks like a pretty cool new provider of such work