My Little Man

Meet Benjamin Warner Fleishman: The little feller took a few days to be coaxed out of his comfortable home, but as one maternity nurse said, "He thinks he bought it, but he's just renting." We're home, exhausted, exhilarated, and still sleep deprived, but we're told that we'll catch up on sleep over the next 10 to 30 years. He's a fine little peanut, and very personable for a few days old.If you don't hear back from me in email in the near future, remember, it's all about the Benjamin.

Troubled Elections Will Have Monitor

A country which had massive voting irregularities, and had to rely on a small cabal of unelected officials with ties to one candidate to "decide" the race will have its election monitored. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will monitor U.S. elections under a 1990 agreement that the U.S. is party to, but which wasn't invoked previously. Perhaps Jimmy Carter will visit, too. (Oh, wait, he became partisan at the DNC event.)Fortunately, the Republican-led House is hard at work to prevent election fairness through impartial third party monitoring. The US House of Representatives last month approved an amendment to its version of the federal budget bill barring the United States from requesting United Nations observers of US elections. First, you get UN monitoring; then, we have to turn in our guns; next, the black copters arrive; finally, One World Government. I believe that's how it goes. This is kind of like the Republicans trying to prevent easier voter registration, because most people who register through the means typically promoted (DMV, etc.) register as Democrats. Mmm...smell that democracy. Florida has said it won't use a Republican-controlled company's list of felons who are ineligible to vote after it turned out that the list was largely inaccurate and disenfranchised tens of thousands of legitimate voters. What's the world coming to when the politician who says what you agree with most is Al Sharpton? Let's just say this clearly: blacks were denied the vote in Florida in 2000 just as definitively as they were denied the vote from Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Act. No politicians should be happy with that; Sharpton called bullshit on it, and bravo to him. The white pundits (in a great montage shown by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show) leapt on Sharpton's "disrespect" for speaking the truth at length. But you can't walk away from civil rights. If this were the 1960s, I would have expected Florida to be shut down after the 2000 elections with peaceful protests in every city. But people are worn down, and Florida is a state run by the police, if not a police state. We need a Martin Luther King, Jr., of voter enfranchisement--an avatar who can catalyze this problem.

Thanks to Journaling

Every time the power goes "glurp" (as it did just now), I thank heavens for journaling.Journaling is a technique of preserving disk drive state by constantly writing an intermediate record of changes on a disk drive to a file that can be used to recover the latest state when there's a crash. I've gone from a couple of years ago having to babysit Linux and Mac OS X reboots to not even giving them a thought. When the machine reboots, it loads the journaling file, restores the drive's last state, and typically moves on. If you're using an operating system that supports journaling and you don't have a high-end need (like video editing or other drive intensive uses), for god's sake, turn on journaling right now.

Kudos from The Seattle Weekly

Some very kind words about my blog in The Seattle Weekly:BEST INDEPENDENT LOCAL TECH BLOGS Blogs (or Web logs) are often no more than very public personal diaries. But they’ve turned into labors of professional love for two local tech bloggers who have found their online niches. WI-FI NETWORKING NEWS (www.wifinetnews.com) from long-time Seattle tech writer Glenn Fleishman is a blog of record for the Wi-Fi industry and—like journalistic old media—breaks stories (such as the failure of Wi-Fi service provider Cometa Networks).

Abject Apology

My friend and colleague Dave Sifry issues this Apologia pro Vita Sua, at least Pro Web Site Sua. Dave's Technorati is in beta, and is a very very cool item indeed: it's a constantly spidered and indexed pile of silicon goo and stray electrons that has the current live shape of the blogosphere. Think of it as a remarkable visualization of the state of a subset of human beings express in words and relationships. (Yeah, yeah, I know, the blogosphere isn't humanity: it's the part that likes to write about humanity...or their last ice cream cone.)Technorati has grown unbelievably quickly. I remember talking to Dave over a year ago when he had some agony about buying three or four servers, and was thinking about re-architecting part of the site. Then they bought dozens. The current number is undisclosed, but they just added another 60 to their farm. They list millions of blogs. They know when you're sleeping (or when your blog is quiescent), they know when you're awake (and just posted--sometimes within seconds). Their traffic has gone through the roof, an order of magnitude, in part because of their CNN coverage deal at the Democratic National Convention. It's a clear sign of when a resource becomes invaluable that people are angry when, even with no promises, it's not working the way they expect. Technorati has been in beta for a while, but they do take some money from folks who want email or RSS watchlists. Still, this reminds me of the weblogs.com brou-ha-ha a few weeks ago, which was resolved quite neatly and relatively quickly. I like that Dave Sifry can say he's sorry. That he's willing to explain what went wrong. That he's taken measures to change things. I know his technical expertise, and I know he's hired amazing people. This is a glitch, but one that will be overcome and forgotten. He's riding the Cluetrain (which is why he's willing to post an honest and straightforward accounting of the site's troubles). The Cluetrain is one long confessional filled with sympathetic listeners. I have enormous respect for Dave, and enormous confidence in him. This acknowledgment of weakness is the expression of strength.