He's Back!

When William Gibson started blogging a couple of years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he’s really good at it: personable, funny, weird, mindblowing. You know, just very William Gibson but without the star trip that a lot of famous writers are on.

If this close presidential race and possibility of a Bush win has done nothing else, it’s pulled Gibson out of retirement, and for that, I say (for perhaps the ONLY time): thank you, Mr. Bush, because Gibson sees and, more importantly, writes it down for the rest of us:

“Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, Laney, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan’s audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.”
— William Gibson, Idoru, 1996

backing up del.icio.us links locally

UPDATE: 2005.07.06: the following linked article no longer exists, but I use the curl statement below in a cronjob, and that still works great for backing up my del.icio.us bookmarks to a local machine.

Josh has a great post about Automatic del.icio.us backups with iCal and Applescript (go read that first, so you’ll know what we’re talking about). One thing he asks for a QuickSilver plug-in to search the resulting xml file, but there’s not one (yet).

There’s a way around that with del.icio.us’s HTML feed. Here’s how you might go about modding Josh’s script to QuickSilver-ize it:

  • FIRST: you can use curl (which is already installed under 10.3.x) instead of wget and skip his bits about installing fink and wget (though both are nice to have). The shell bit to use in place of his wget statement is:
    curl -o ~/Library/del.icio.us/delicious-bak.html -O 'http://del.icio.us/html/USERNAME/?extended=body&tags=yes&rssbutton=no&count=10000
    (you can adjust what html is actually sent back from del.icio.us, see the docs)
  • use QuickSilver to open the resulting delicious-bak.html (or whatever you name it) with Safari.

The end result is a big HTML page of all your del.icio.us links that can be searched using the Find command in Safari.

The missing step in my additions to Josh’s great idea of using wget, AppleScript, and iCal is that Safari isn’t scriptable enough to add a bookmark. Otherwise, you could continue the AppleScript and have it cycle through the Safari bookmarks.

I tried adding another “do shell script” bit to the AppleScript to copy the downloaded file to the Firefox bookmarks.html location, but Firefox didn’t treat it as a “real” bookmarks file, otherwise that could have been a solution (unless you don’t like/use Firefox).

So, my solution is by no means perfect, but it does allow you to browse your del.icio.us links in any browers and you can at least launch that giant page ‘o links via QuickSilver. We’re this close to having it!

Feeds a splicin'

I’m now rolling my feeds via Feedburner.com. In addition to friendlier feeds and feeds in just about any flavor (RSS 2.0, RSS 0.92, Atom 0.3, etc.), you can now splice in feeds. Also, you can splice in del.icio.usfeeds, too. So, my main feed now has most of my digital output on it: blog posts (few), photos (few), and links (lots). Kickass, huh?

Gmail Accounts

I’ve got a Gmail invite or two I don’t need. If you’re a friend, family member, distant relative, passing acquaintance, or have an Orkut invitation to offer in return, let me know, and I’ll probably hook you up.

UPDATE 2004.07.21: They’re back! I have more. Come and get ’em.

The Death of Internet Radio?

Doc Searls gives his take on the whole murder of internet radio in his new LinuxJournal article: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting Death March Claims KPIG.

I listen to radio over the net quite a bit. Not as much as I listen to MP3s (which have WAY overtaken CDs for me), but quite a bit. I especially like to listen to NPR over the net at work, because, due to the bunker architecture of our building, we can’t get decent radio reception inside. Plus, our NPR station just has news and information in the mornings and afternoon, with classical music the rest of the time.

And though the recent attack on internet radio by the RIAA and their thugs in Washington might not affect NPR, it certainly affects the handful of non-commercial internet radio stations I listen to regularly. I’m not optimistic. Big Content is scared shitless, and they’re going to call in every bit of favor owed to them and every bit of leverage that they can buy. Eventually, we’ll win, I think, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Information wants to be free.