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Stepping Into MSN's Space

I saw this in Gizmodo's interview with Bill Gates when he was asked about RSS:

The phenomena for us is we've got in beta this MSN Spaces thing, and it lets you leverage everything you do around Messenger—that's your buddy lists and those relationships—to set up blogs, and who has access, and who gets notified. We've got up over a million people [who] set up blog sites.

I was writing my thoughts on that, but I got stuck after a few paragraphs and wasn't ready to wrap it up. So instead of that, I'll let you reflect on what Bill means instead of reading my thoughts. The key phrase here is "...it lets you leverage everything you do around Messenger".

Snooping by Satellite

I thought this category might be dying, but I guess not. I found Snooping By Satellite by Declan McCullagh:

When Robert Moran drove back to his law offices in Rome, N.Y., after a plane trip to Arizona in July 2003, he had no idea that a silent stowaway was aboard his vehicle: a secret GPS bug implanted without a court order by state police.

Police suspected the lawyer of ties to a local Hells Angels Motorcycle Club that was selling methamphetamine, and they feared undercover officers would not be able to infiltrate the notoriously tight-knit group, which has hazing rituals that involve criminal activities. So investigators stuck a GPS, or Global Positioning System, bug on Moran's car, watched his movements, and arrested him on drug charges a month later.

A federal judge in New York ruled last week that police did not need court authorization when tracking Moran from afar. "Law enforcement personnel could have conducted a visual surveillance of the vehicle as it traveled on the public highways," U.S. District Judge David Hurd wrote. "Moran had no expectation of privacy in the whereabouts of his vehicle on a public roadway."

Read on.

At Last

At last I've found what looks like a fun and decent toy that I need to play with. That being AZ-Tech's ePass2000 USB SmartCard. It's basically all your crypto on a USB stick, which would make it pretty easy to use PKI. Pop in your USB stick, type in your password, and no more passwords! And you could have encrypted and signed communications on any computer without compromising your private key.

This is going to be added to my MUST have list.

Death of Email: Stats


I was reading Life Interrupted by Richard Seven. It had a pertinent quote from a survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

Sixty-two percent of Americans between 18 and 27 have sent instant messages, and 46 percent of those say they IM more than email.

The Aunt Tillie Community

This crossed my mind today for anyone who wants to net the Aunt Tillies with Jabber. It basically involves building communities that make use of Jabber. There already exists two communities that make use of Jabber: the Jabber Community and the Polish community.

So if anyone wants to get Aunt Tillie, they need to build an Aunt Tillie community. Granted Aunt Tillie is a mythical computer user, but the concept of building a community applies, it just needs to be built around the use of Jabber.

A new community would have to be more than just a Jabber user community. There would have to be something that ties it together. It could be a community like MySpace, the business community, or any other hair-brained community.

The keyword is community, not "Jabber community". Jabber would just have to be the enabling and underlying technology of the community. So pick up a cross-platform client, hack on a 1-10 photo rating system and keyword matching, and target it for the single 30-50 year olds, and we'll get Aunt Tillie.

PubSub.com Doing Its Job

PubSub.com's sidebar turned up a random post in reply to Justin Kirby's podcast. I figured I should share it since he's not on the planet and may just be talking into a void. The post can be found at http://www.pikolint.org/blog/index.php/tiennou.

Aunt Tillie

I just listened to Justin Kirby's podcast on the unimportance of Aunt Tille. I agree and disagree with his conclusion that Aunt Tillie is completely unimportant. Aunt Tillie is not important for the Jabber community, not directly at least. We can net her indirectly through other means, namely by enterprise adoption of Jabber and the real-time Internet.

Trends point towards email being decreasingly used. Peter Saint-André recently made a post giving some actual figures for the death of email, and another post that referred to how much kids use IM. The later was easily evidenced when I was going to the library to check my email when I didn't have Internet access this past month. There were usually kids in there chatting. Usually through MSN Messenger since it was available and the computers were locked down, but there was also one occasion when there were a couple of kids who probably just learned how to read that were using the Internet. I couldn't help but wonder what this five year old sitting next to me was doing on the Internet. So I would look over occasionally, and it looked like she was chatting on some website for kids.

Using kids as our indicators of the future, they point towards the use of messaging/chat over email.

That has implications on the business world. Enterprises will increasingly be faced with young employees demanding instant-messaging. An area that Justin mentioned that Jabber is doing quite strongly. They will also be faced with customers who demand to communicate through instant-messaging. Sure they may use email, but it won't be their preference. If Jabber is already the platform that a business is using for IM and customers prefer to communicate over IM, then it will most likely be the case that the business' customers will have to use Jabber.

That is the first way to net Aunt Tillie indirectly. By having businesses that have invested in Jabber publicizing some JIDs and the fact that they use Jabber, they will be able to leverage the big IM players into switching over to Jabber. This is something that Apple is at the fore-front, because they recognize that Jabber/XMPP is the future IM standard. Reality will catch up with the big IM players in the near future, just like it did with email, the web, and actual Internet access did in the early 1990s to the online services.

We can also net Aunt Tillie with the real-time Internet. In this case it won't be a typical IM application that she'll be using. It'll be something that hides the fact that she is even using Jabber. Something like a news reader, her 100% Internet enabled TiVo, her Wifi/Jabber enabled universal remote and appliances, or some other Aunt Tillie ready product that needs to send structured data, XML, from point A to point B.

In this case she won't even know she's using Jabber, akin to using HTTP. She'll be on the Jabber network, and may even be able to receive messages from other people, but Aunt Tillie will not know or care how it works. It'll just work, and she'll be happy. She'll be happy to know what song is playing from her remote and no longer has to deal with remote hell. She'll be happy that her refrigerator has ordered more milk and it just got delivered. She'll also be happy that she can bring up a map that'll get her to where Uncle Billy is enjoying a cup of coffee.

It'll surely be better than the good ole days when things were slower.

Those are the two ways we'll get Aunt Tillie. We won't get her by focusing all of our initial efforts at her. A few will and they may succeed, but for the majority of us it will be employing our time using Jabber in enterprises and building things with Jabber that have not been seen before. Both of which will fall under the moniker: the real-time Internet.


I just sent my modifications to JEP-0045 to the JSF's editor (PSA). It's a pretty hefty edit, but should be more powerful. I have it up at http://www.semanticgap.com/jeps/muc+.html. This is what I'm going to implement as Psi's MUC support. For the user interface I was wanting to do JEP-0045 was just to limited. It also incorporates some ideas that were on the standards-jig list recently and eliminates some inconsistencies that got introduced into 0045 as it aged.

(Yeah, this is just a copy of the two emails I sent to the ejabberd and mu-conference mailing lists.)

Merry Christmas


It's Christmas! I hope everyone has a merry one. Mine has been so far. If anyone missed Old St. Nick and had to stuff stockings themselves, I have him roped up in my closet awaiting a $10 billion ransom. You elves better pay up!

Objectivism and Common Sense

I just finished Nathaniel Branden's The Objectivist Ethics in an Information Age Economy. He ended with:

However, should the Objectivist ethics ever gain widespread social acceptance, you may be sure of one thing-it will not be called "the Objectivist ethics." It will be called, "Well, of course. It's obvious. Wake up, man, don't you realize this is the twenty-first century? What we're talking about-it's only common sense."

He is right. Part of the reason why I like Objectivism is that it is common sense. I didn't have to read all of Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism to grasp where it was going. I pretty much already knew it. Though my public education taught me about most of the topics, no teacher ever said "this is right".

Take capitalism for example. It was covered in my economics class, but my teacher didn't say "capitalism is right" though there was some condemnation of communism. He taught how the US's economy was a mixed economy, but did not denounce it. He should have since it is a compromise with socialism, or communism, which basically equates to the US economy being socialistic. He merely taught it as a fact without judgement. A judgement that I would have at least stressed had I been teaching.

I would have to do a deeper historical and sociological study to determine what is and was common sense. I am willing to say that Objectivism may actually be on track to being renamed as common sense as Branden concludes, at least here in America.

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