Get used to it

Clay Shirky: "It doesn’t matter if the Wifi backchannel is a bad idea; it’s not going away."

I thought we liked markets?

This controversial DARPA Project to create a futures market for terrorist events actually sounds like an worthwhile application of virtual markets that have been used in many other fields.

NYC State of Mind

Heading to New York for some meetings today, so I’ll probably be offline until tonight.

AOL's new CTO

AOL hired John McKinley, former CTO of Merrill Lynch, as its new Chief Technology Strategist and President of AOL Technologies. At Merrill, McKinley was a visible and respected leader in the move to Web services. Hiring him suggests that AOL, which has always defined itself as a company that doesn’t care about technology, may be changing its tune. The Internet companies that have thrived while AOL faltered — Microsoft,, ...

Where did the FCC go wrong?

PC World: "In response to a direct query from an obviously agitated Upton, the FCC’s Pepper said he hopes the agency can get the Triennial Review order released by Labor Day." This is truly amazing. The FCC’s order concerning the unbundling obligations of local exchange carriers was adopted in February, and it might not be released by early September? The delay is especially egregious considering the February date was required ...

Controversy isn't the same as power

Cindy Skrzycki of the Washington Post, quoted in Fortune: "[R]ight now I think the most powerful agency is the FCC, with its recent decision [to relax media concentration rules]."

Haven't we heard this before?

The regional Bell companies say this time they’re serious about broadband. I think they missed their opportunity. When cable operators were fighting mandatory open access in 1999-2000, the Bells could have positioned DSL as the open alternative for broadband. They could have leveraged independent ISPs and content providers as an unbeatable sales force. Instead, they have taken the traditional route: play it slow and conservative, maintain as much control as ...

Woz goes wireless

New York Times: "Mr. Wozniak described WozNet as a simple and inexpensive wireless network that uses radio signals and global positioning satellite data to keep track of a cluster of inexpensive tags within a one- or two-mile radius of each base station. WozNet, he said, will include a home-base station that has the ability to track the location of dozens or even hundreds of small wireless devices that can be ...

Safety first?

US auto fatalities are at a 12-year high. Eighty percent of the increase since 2001 is due to rollover accidents. The rollover rate for SUVs is three times higher than for cars. You do the math. Millions of Americans buy these things because the think they are safer. Our government policies create huge incentives to buy gas-guzzling big SUVs that destroy the environment, apparently becasue this is the one bright ...

RSS goings-on

Dave Winer is transfering ownership of the RSS 2.0 spec to the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School. This addresses one of the concerns that motivated the Atom project (nee Echo), but I suspect it won’t keep that group from moving forward. There is growing recognition that syndication standards are important for the future of Internet-based applications, something I wrote about four years ago in Release 1.0.