Nice interview with the CEO of MySQL from eweek.
The Campaign for America’s Wilderness recently published a nice report that pulls together four years’ worth of public opinion research about American attitudes towards wilderenss. Not surprisingly, they conclude that Americans are strongly in favor of more wilderness.
That of course raises the question of why they continue to elect environment-destroying Republicans. For more insight into this, it’s worth reading “The Grassroots of a Green Revolution” by Deborah Lynn Guber, which pulls together and rips apart 20 years of environmental polling to better understand WHY there seems to be a disconnect between what people tell pollsters (“we love the environment”) and what they actually do (pretty much ignore environmental issues).
Great article in the NYT today about how the Bush campaign is using local radio as an important part of its campaign outreach strategy.
“‘You can win a national election 50,000 listeners at a time,’ said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.”
DailyKos (great left-leaning politics blog, BTW) pulls together some interesting coverage (and commentary) on the use of open-source software by the Dean and Clark campaigns. Worth reading. What’s most interesting to me is the fact that this conversation is happening on a politics blog, not on Slashdot.
The detection of mad cow disease in the U.S. is a tremendous opportunity for an enterprising food safety/agriculture policy group with real expertise and solid policy proposals to mount a rapid-response campaign. This is a huge issue, and now is the moment of opportunity to push through the reforms that the beef industry and their friends in Congress have been blocking.
It’s also a great organizing moment for vegans/vegetarians and for the organic sector.
Matt Price from BCFacts.org just sent out the following (excellent) summary of the BC provincial government’s environmental record in 2003. I don’t see this summary article on the BCFacts site (yet, hint hint) but there is much more background information about each issue on the BCFacts site. Continue reading
eZ publish 3.3 was just released. This is one of the open-source CMS products that I’ve been keeping an eye on for the past few months. The key feature they just incorporated is RSS support (import and export). It’s great to see this essential feature now available in this powerful and well-regarded system. Among the other cool features in this release are on-the-fly PDF generation and what looks like a pretty solid image library module. Finally, there is now a feature that allows you to easily import/export custom modules between installations, which bodes will for developers who want to extend the platform and make their extensions easily available to others.
Thanks to the most excellent fellowship that is the staff of the Wilburforce Foundation, I was presented with a surprise last-minute ticket to the 11AM matinee of Return of the King at Cinerama yesterday morning.
My expectations were pretty high. This film blew them away. I’m not one of those people who is easily stunned by a movie, but it is truly hard to say how absolutely astoundingly good ROTK really was. What a worthy finish.
A few very quick thoughts:
– It was amazingly well paced (unlike the first two films in the trilogy) and 3.5 hours flew by.
– The visual effects were mind-boggling, even compared to the first two. The extra time WETA had to work on this one really shows.
– I got to sit next to Gandalf (Tim Greyhavens). Hot damn!
Bev Harris, electronic voting watchdog, and Andy Stephenson, candidate for Secretary of State here in Washington, are holding a press conference tomorrow morning. Here’s what they’ve got….
What we have, in Washington State, is this:
WeWeâ€™ve got the state election director misstating when versions were certified, somebody at the secretary of stateâ€™s office signing off on software with no NASED number, and when we try to find out what software is actually authorized, we get the buffalo shuffle. Weâ€™ve got a convicted drug dealer printing our ballots, a 23-count embezzler programming our voting system, and our absentee ballots are being funneled through a private company that hires mainly immigrants but also people straight out of prison.
Weâ€™ve now documented 10 states that are using unauthorized software, and internal memos that indicate that five Diebold programmers uploaded these unauthorized programs, knowing that this was not allowed.
This is a long-simmering story that the powers that be can’t quite manage to kill. And I think it may well be one of the most important stories of the decade, because it’s about secret machinations that may (or may not, to be fair) be undermining the very foundation of our democratic society.
Usually the end of the year is pretty quiet here at ONE/Northwest, but these past couple of weeks have been a madhouse. Projects are washing in over the gunnels so fast that we’re starting to get a little swamped. On the other hand, there is a pretty incredible energy in the air here.
One of the most exciting things is the fact that we now have a formal presence in British Columbia. Jodie Tonita will be doing some of the outreach and organizing work that forms the base for a solid field presence. I can’t say how excited we are to have her on board.
Marty Kearns pointed me towards Weblog strategies for nonprofits @ Radio Free Blogistan which contains a number of thoughts on how nonprofits can/should be using blogs as part of the web strategies. A lot of obvious good ideas here, and some not so obvious ones. Many of them are ideas we’re actively experimenting with here at ONE/Northwest (as evidenced by the fact that you’re reading this right now!).
I’m not sure I agree with the idea that aggregation should happen at the level of “the nonprofit community.” Folks care about issues and places — it would be nice to see the aggregation happen at that level — and in fact ONE/Northwest is working hard to make that happen for the Northwest environmental community.
Howard Dean will the the Democratic nominee. Why?
Lieberman? His former running mate just endorsed Dean. Talk about a kiss of death. He should be out of the race by next week. Next.
Kerry? He’s behind 20 points in New Hampshire. Next.
Gep? He might squeak out a victory in Iowa, but beyond that he’s spent. Next.
Edwards? Still showing no ability to raise money or run a campaign. Next
Clark? Too bad he didn’t enter the race three months earlier. If he’s smart he’ll take the VP slot.
On to more interesting questions:
Can the Democrats find the message (and the medium) that beats the Republicans lies (and their $200 million)?
Can Howard Dean get the media to like him? (A good way to track this would be to monitor Lexis/Nexis for articles that mention “Dean” and “anger”.) Note that Bush’s ability to make reporters think he was a nice guy played a major role in helping him avoid media scrutiny.
Even if Dean manages to take the white house in 2004, what is our strategy for winning back Congress in 2006/2008? That’s a much, much harder problem.
Will the 527s (MoveOn, Americans Coming Together, etc.) turn into yet another clutch of big-money funded, unaccountable interest groups that are more interested in being perceived as “players” than in rebuilding civil society in a nation that Bowls Alone?
Recommended Data Modeling Tools? is a recent thread on slashdot that addresses a topic that we have been thinking about a bit of late.
Internesting analysis from Don Hazen at Alternet of MoveOn’s attempts to end-run around the mainstream media by organizing house party film screenings.
Can substantial numbers of MoveOn members register friendly voters, gather email addresses, hold the corporate media accountable, bring together voters in various ways at the grassroots in the so-called “battleground states” â€“ and perhaps most importantly, communicate a positive clear vision of a different future that is an attractive alternative to the current administration?
Can this networked super-constituency evolve from well-informed financial supporters to election organizers? In a sense, the whole world is watching to find out.
The Bush Background Generator lets you generate your own “backdrop” phrases and insert them into stock photos of Bush. This is a very clever bit of anti-propaganda.
The only problem I can see is that one can’t (easily) cut and paste the pictures for use elswhere.
Planetizen is a cool site (with a dumb name, IMHO) that should be a model for future issue-editorial sites that cater to professional/enthusiast audiences.
It focuses on delivering edited land use planning and design news to… the land use planning and design community. It relies heavily on reader content contributions and has a cool new volunteer editor program.
Very impressive. There’s a lot to learn here.
Paul Ford just designed A New Website for Harper’s Magazine. Better yet, he wrote about it. Amazing. The site is a tour-de-force of state-of-the-art information management. And design.
The most significant element to me is the fact that the site is based around a taxonomy. Terms in the text of articles are manually linked to terms in the taxonomy, and then the taxonomy can build the connections between things into a timeline. Wow. The taxonomy itself is insane and beautiful.
If that isn’t enough to make your head spin, then grep this:
A small team of Java coders and I are planning to take the work done on Harper’s… and create an open-sourced content management system based on RDF storage.
Yes, please, I’ll have one of those.
Someday the web will look more like this.
DailyKos has a nice piece on Political Entrepreneurialsm in which he argues that the New Democrat Network shows how “[d]emocrats are reorienting to both emulate the vehicles of the GOP’s success (foundations, think tanks, a renewed focus on grassroots organizing) and to use new technologies to gain competitive advantages.”
The article, and particularly the followup comments, are worth a read — they contain some interesting thoughts about left-vs-center, Green vs. Democrat, and the role of environmentalism as a core Democrat issue.
The folks at MarketingSherpa just published this fascinating case study about RecipeBuddy, an interactive IM “bot” that Kellogg created to market its online recipe libraries. The bottom line: it blew away their expectations and generated astounding repeat traffic.
I think this is a really innovative use of IM technology as an outreach/marketing tool. I expect that it would require a lot of work to script and program the “bot,” but that IM bots could be a very powerful way to reach IM-savvy NetGen types.