Character encoding quirks in the aggregator

Weird Characters in RSS. Does anyone else see these weird high-ASCII characters in the Corante: IdeaFlow RSS feed?

If it’s true that the bust is about busted, I hope that the resulting opportunity to innovate innovation itself isn’t overlooked. There’s been a lot of thought in the last few years about how to make sure innovation doesn’t pack up and leave town when the venture capitalists close their wallets. For example, in the Open Innovation scenario, loose-pocketed venture capitalists aren't as necessary for technology innovation.


I have the same problem. It appears to be a bug in the way “Radio”'s news aggregator handles the character encoding. It doesn't happen in some other aggregators.  It's one of those standards quirks that programmers get to worry about I guess. I think of it as a bit of sand in the works — adds a bit of flavor. Since I'm not qualified to fix it, I try to ignore it.

Adding (n)Echo support to my copy of Radio

Major fun: Radio gets some kind of Echo support.   [Scripting News]

(n)echo feed. There's now a valid (formerly known as | not) echo feed for this weblog. I would hope that the namespace gets set soon, so far I've seen about 5 variations. [Simon Fell]

And it took me longer to write this post than it did to add (n)Echo support to my copy of Radio. For a user worrying about what all the noise around RSS/(n)Echo will mean, that's cool!

Activewords press

ActiveWords gets good press.

Great press for ActiveWords in USA Today: Information springs from your fingertips.

Like Tivo, Active Words is one of those things that doesn’t seem to make much sense until you try it – at which point you can’t imagine why others don’t use it. Check it out.

[tins ::: Rick Klau’s weblog]

ActiveWords is one of those tricky products to market. I originally downloaded it on the recommendation of Ernie the Attorney, played with it a bit, and let it languish, after mentioning it on my blog. Shortly after, I got a call from the indefatigable Buzz Bruggeman, ActiveWords’s driving force. With some demoing and coaching from Buzz, ActiveWords is now one of the tools that sits quietly in the background and, over time, lets me tailor my computing environment to my own needs and work habits.

Let me give you a really simple example. I talk about knowledge management and knowledge sharing a lot. But I never type those words out anymore. Instead I type “km” and “ks” and ActiveWords does the rest for me. Better yet, ActiveWords (“aw” BTW) does it anywhere and everywhere I might want to use those terms. That alone is enough to justify the tool, but you can get a lot more clever than that over time.

Top Network Security Tools – Top 100 Network Security Tools.

In May of 2003, I conducted a survey of Nmap users from the nmap-hackers mailing list to determine their favorite security tools. Each respondent could list up to 8. This was a followup to the highly successful June 2000 Top 50 list. An astounding 1854 people responded in '03, and their recommendations were so impressive that I have expanded the list to 75 tools! Anyone in the security field would be well advised to go over the list and investigate tools they are unfamiliar with. I discovered several powerful new tools this way. I also plan to point newbies to this page whenever they write me saying “I do not know where to start”.

Respondents were allowed to list open source or commercial tools on any platform. Commercial tools are noted as such in the list below. Many of the descriptions were taken from the application home page or the Debian or Freshmeat package descriptions. I removed marketing fluff like “revolutionary” and “next generation”. No votes for the Nmap Security Scanner were counted because the survey was taken on an Nmap mailing list. This audience also means that the list is slightly biased toward “attack” tools rather than defensive ones.

[Privacy Digest]

Resources to be aware of. BTW, Nmap is the tool Trinity uses in The Matrix Reloaded.

Installing the k-collector beta

The k-collector beta is now installed in Radio and this is the first post with it running. It does mean giving up LiveTopics but I figure I'll be better off with a shared dynamic topic list.

Watching for the imminent arrival of k-collector

k-collector goes live.

Paolo and I are now subscribed to a single shared cloud (called WWWW) of topics using the k-collector server and client for Radio.

This means that our posts will be aggregated together by k-collector on the basis of the topics we use.  The demo interface shows a simple hierarchical view but we have lots of other things planned.

Another poweful feature of this setup is the shared topic roll.  Because we are both subscribed to the WWWW topic roll we use the same topics and any topics we create are automatically made available to other subscribers.

For example I am creating a topic 'Paolo Valdemarin' to attach to this post.  In a little while Paolo's client will automatically have this new topic available for those moments when he wishes to talk about himself!

[Curiouser and curiouser!]

I'm looking forward to seeing how k-collector really works. Matt Mower's liveTopics tool has been immensely valuable to me on a personal basis. I can see how k-collector would be even more valuable in an organizational or team setting.

Adding comments to my weblog

I’ve decided to add comments to my blog.

Initially, my purposes in blogging didn’t require comments. My weblog was my backup brain. Later when I started to use it to supplement my teaching, my primary audience was my students and they could either comment in class, use blackboard (which I hate), and use their own blogs (a largely unsuccessful experiment).

As I’ve begun to develop a bit of a small audience, the issue of comments now needs to be revisited. I have reservations about Radio’s default comment system because there is no way to exercise any control over postings. Not that I want to censor so much as I worry about comments getting spammed and inappropriate off-topic comments. I think I now have things almost set up to get what I want. I’ve implemented comments with a “Manila” site that I do have control over should I receive comments that I believe are inappropriate. It also will let me subscribe and track any comments that do get posted.

Over the years, I’ve generally been disappointed by threaded discussion as a tool. I see what ought to be possible, but getting knowledge workers in organizations to develop the skills and norms to realize that potential seems to be awfully hard to do. I haven’t had enough hands on experience with wikis yet to have a strong opinion about where they fit it. Blogs do seem to have some characteristics that contribute to more robust thinking. I’m still trying to parse why I think that and where comments fit into that mix. I guess it’s time to get some primary data.

Ditto on RSS Feed problems

Blogger RSS feed problems.

Anyone else having problems with feeds they subscribe to at Specifically, I’m seeing items show up in my aggregator repeatedly – even though they aren’t new. I can’t tell if this is a Radio bug or if it’s a problem at mis-identifying old content as new.

If you subscribe to ExcitedUtterances, Dean2004, NYCSmith and are not having trouble like I am, could you let me know?

[tins ::: Rick Klau’s weblog]

I’ve been running into exactly the same problem over the past week or so. I’m guessing that somehow the feeds are being regenerated and timestamps are being changed, but I don’t know anywhere near enough to figure out exactly what.

Adding trusted blog search

Trusted Blog Search.

Micah has simplified his microblogosphere search tool, which he calls “Trusted Blog Search“. It’s really simple. You feed it the URLs for your blog and for your subscriptions file, and it gives you a piece of Javascript that you can copy into your home page template. Afterwards you can search spheres centered around your blog with radius 0 (my blog), 1 (blogs I read), and infinity (the Web).

I’m trying it out right now (find it below the calendar). While there are still a few things to iron out in the “blogs I read” search, I find it quite handy. If you try it, be sure to put in the slash following your blog’s URL in the customization box.

[Seb’s Open Research]

Worth trying out. I’ve added it here. Micah’s also set up a simple form to generate the javascript you need to add to your template, so it’s pretty simple to do.

Bubbling blogs and emergent order

Fleming adds some very useful counterpoint to the evolving debate on blogs and power laws started by Clay Shirky. He picks up on Ross Mayfield’s post on Distribution of Choice that I picked up on yesterday, but takes it in a more interesting direction. He focuses on what can emerge from each of us thinking, writing, and then interacting with one another. The patterns that Shirky sees at the macro level are the end result of all of our activities at the micro level. Some of Fleming’s key observations:

Blogging allows us to work more openly and refer to each other’s work, while also sharing it with a bigger audience. …

Connections form. …float up and into the cloud of the web. Specifically they will end up in an assortment of directories and search engines, most notably in Google.

…the choices of many relatively ordinary folks become more visible than ever before. And they form emergent patterns that become very visible.

…The point is not at all whether I have unfairly more or less readers than some other weblog. The emerging democracy in blogs is in that we together leverage our choices in a way that normally isn’t possible unless you run a big corporation or you’re run by one. We’re a swarm of thought bubbles. [Ming the Mechanic]

What we have in blogging are tools and a process that let us participate in the kinds of messy, distributed, emergent process that will characterize work and life for us tomorrow. It’s the concrete instantiation of what Howard Rheingold is talking about in Smart Mobs and Steven Johnson described in Emergence.