Monthly Archives: November 2003

Wes Clark's embracing of weblogs

Wes Clark's embracing of weblogs.

It's hard not to be impressed with the way that Wesley Clark's campaign for the 2004 Presidential campaign has embraced weblogs. Going way beyond the now-requisite candidate weblog, the campaign registered, and (under Cam Barrett's guidance) is using it to create smaller communities of supporters that are able both to coordinate their efforts locally and share them globally. There's a Massachusetts for Clark weblog, an environmentalists for Clark weblog, a Clark fundraising weblog, and as many other ones as you could imagine; they all feed into the same content management system, which allows for communication between communities. The Community Network also allows for a uniform user experience when poking around all of the individual communities, establishing a clear brand that's even stronger than many corporate identities on the web today. It's so far beyond what any other candidate has implemented, and I'd be surprised if it isn't significantly simplifying the communication within Clark's campaign in the run for the White House.  [Q Daily News]

Hiding behind the web

Hiding behind the web. I guess I'm not the only one that noticed that a customer service phone number no longer appears anywhere obvious on Amazon's website. (A few months ago, I bought a wireless keyboard from them, and when it was broken on arrival, went hunting for the proper way to deal with the problem. Alas, my biggest question — whether Amazon would pay for the return shipping on the broken keyboard — was left ambiguously unanswered by the help section of their website. Looking to get an answer, I then noticed that a phone number was nowhere to be found, replaced by forms that allowed me to submit my issue. Then I remembered that, way back in Amazon's first days, I had put the phone number into my Palm… and sure enough, there it was, and it was still connected to the customer service department. By speaking with someone, I was able to handle the new order and return shipment in under three minutes. Of course, this was probably because nobody else knows how to call the company…) [Q Daily News]

On the Road with Wi-Fi

On the Road with Wi-Fi., which recently signed a deal with Sprint to build hotspots in truck stops, signed a deal with Pilot Travel Centers. Pilot operates rest stops in 37 states and claims to be the largest “travel plaza network” in the country. Pilot's rest stops will get Wi-Fi aimed at truckers and other folks on the road. The press release isn’t up yet but should be available here eventually…. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

A tale of two Cairos

A tale of two Cairos.

Microsoft's 2003 Professional Developers Conference (PDC) reminded some observers of the same event in 1993, when the hot topics were the Win32 APIs, a rough draft of Windows 95 code-named Chicago, and a preview of a futuristic object-file-system-based NT successor code-named Cairo. The hot topics this year were the WinFX managed APIs, a rough draft of a future version of NT code-named Longhorn, and … Cairo. Now called WinFS, this vision of metadata-enriched storage and query-driven retrieval was, and is, compelling. Making it real wasn't then, and isn't now, simply a matter of engineering the right data structures and APIs. [Full story at]

[Jon's Radio]

Pre-Thanksgiving note and more switching

Pre-Thanksgiving note and more switching.

My laptop hard drive bit the dust yesterday, but I give pre-Thanksgiving thanks to the folks at Centerbeam who keep my laptop backed up every night via Connected.  Connected is really amazing.  It is truly freeing not to worry about whether or not your machine is being backed up, then being able to retrieve files yourself via a nice GUI over the Internet without asking your IT guys to get backup tapes.

On another note, I'm going to be switching from Radio Userland to Movable Type for weblog posting.  I'll probably keep Radio as my main aggregator, though I'm looking at web-based solutions like Bloglines and Oddpost.  We're already using Movable Type for TechWatch and I find that waiting while my Radio machine boots up sometimes kills my inspiration to post.  I'll be following these instructions to do it.  Hopefully, this weblog will be Movable Type-driven by the end of the Thanksgiving holidays — stay tuned (I might not be posting as I make the transition).

[Chad Dickerson]