Monthly Archives: September 2006

Dave Shields HELLO Steve O’Grady

How do we communicate? We need a protocol. Yes, the open-TWIT protocol

We need a way to communicate, some way to write text in a way that it can be transmitted from one point to the next without being altered during the trip. We are going to start off by just exchanging text contained solely within the subject lines of blog entries.

We are going to make all this a little easier because I have pre-seeded the BlogRoll with people whom I think will be reading this blog from time to time.

Let’s define a TWIT message to be a string of the form “sender HELLO receiver.”

I am about the sent a TWIT message. I will then look at the various blogrolls, looking for a file with entry “receiver CONFIRMS sender HELLO receiver.”

Let’s put it to a test, in the form of the next post to this blog. The goal here is to get Steve O’Grady to post a blog entry with the title “Steve O’Grady CONFIRMS Dave Shields HELLO Steve O’Grady.” We don’t care about the body for now, just what’s in the post.

So let’s it soon and see if it gets through. We are about to learn if we are truly laboring in obscurity or if there are some people out there who will come across this, take some action, and send that cheery HELLO back our way.

Here we go…

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

On Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Why censor him?

A couple of weeks ago I read in the New York Times about a new collection of Mozart’s complete works and soon thereafter ordered it from Amazon:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Complete Works (170 CD Box Set) [BOX SET]

When it arrived I opened the box, randomly picked out one of the CD’s, and put it in my player. Turns out it was Vol. 6, CD 8, Track 1: Twelve variations on the French song “Ah, vous dirai-je,Maman”, in C major KV 256 (1781-1782).

The melody was very familiar. I recognized it in an instant, as would you: “Twinkle, twinkle, little star …”

It is playing now as I write this.

This is the form of DRM I like the most: Digitally Recorded Mozart.

This past Wednesday, September 27, 20006, I noticed a story in the bottom left corner of the front page of the New York Times:


Opera Canceled Over a Depiction of Muhammad

By Judy Dempsey and Mark Landler

BERLIN, Sept. 26 – A leading German opera house has canceled performances of a Mozart opera because of security fears stirred by a scene that depicts the severed head of the Propher Muhammad, prompting a storm of protest here about what many see as the surrentder of artistic freedom.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin said Tuesday that it had pulled “Idomeneo” from its fall schedule after police warned of an “incalculable risk” to the performers and the audience.

The company’s director, Kirsten Harms, said she regretted the decision but felt she had no choice. She said she was told in August that the police had received an anonymous threat, but she acted only after extensive deliberations.

Political and cultural figures throughout Germany condemned the cancellation. Some said it recalled the decision of European newspapers not to reprint satirical cartoons about Muhammad, after their publication in Denmark generated a furor among Muslims.


You know, some stories make your heart warm, some make you fret a bit before you move on, and some really wake you up.

This is one that really woke me up. I think of it as Deutsche Rights Management.

Think about it. The same police who were quite comfortable seventy years ago marching into homes, ripping people from their daily lives and carting them off to their destruction — those police are now quite comfortable advising an opera house that it cannot perform Mozart because of an “incalculable risk” they can’t handle.


What happened? I don’t know. Let’s call it Deutsche Rights Management

Now I could go on now, but I’m not. Because first we have to decided how to communicate.

I say this because we are starting an experiment to see if it is possible to carry out a meaningful discussion in full public view.
I will send you messages from by blog.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

David Shields Hello Steve O’Grady : re Run! It’s a Standard

Steve just posted a question about the above topic and asked:

Do you know of any instances where standardization eliminated or otherwise destroyed a business?

Yes I do. Ten years ago on the desk of every secretary of IBM executives above a certain level a printed copy of the Airline Travel Guide. There were frequent updates. It must have been a good business, but I haven’t see one in years.

At work I now get less than one piece of postal mail a month. Several years back I got several trade rags, and I remember flipping through them and scanning the ads. All that has moved to the web now. Yes, there is still a PC Week but now it’s just a web site, and I certainly don’t find the ads as attractive. I also think it has become harder for the columnists; for example I used to look for the columns of Jim Seymour and Peter Coffe as I knew just where to flip the paper. Somehow it’s not the same now. Yes, there is still a PC week but the internet has somehow “standardized away” a piece of that business that won’t come back.

I tried to post a comment at Steve’s web site, but somehow it didn’t take. I’m sure it’s pilot error on my part. I’ll try to get it right next time, but am posting it here while the thought is still at hand.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

TWWP Blog Stat Milestone: 1028 Total Views, 140 Best Day Ever

We TWWP folks are computer folks. We live in a binary world, so we will report Blog Stat milestones corresponding to powers of 2.

We just reached 1028 Total Views, moving past 1024.

The current Best Day Ever is 140 views, so the next milestone will be 256 views on a single day., or 2048 Total Views, whichever occurs first.

Defining the milestones for TWITness remains an open problem. Until it is solved, we’ll just measure values in this space using the powers of 0 — the same scale used to pay open-source programmers.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

E-mail considered harmful

To paraphrase a famous saying in the field of programming, “GOTO’s considered harmful,” I want you to know that, going forward and in the spirit of “Full Public View,” and in an attempt to see if blogging can be used as an alternative to e-mail, I plan respond to any e-mail you send my way motivated by the words you find here as follows:

  • I’ll most likely just ignore it;
  • If I decide you sent it without not knowing my philosophy, I will either ignore it or will reply and say, “Read my blog;”
  • If I decide you know of my philosophy but sent it anyway, I will either ignore it or publish it here in full public view.

This policy is in effect starting now.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

The Wayward Word Press License – Make use of my writing here as you wish

[Ed: Originally publised on 29 Sep 2006, this was revised on 10 Oct 2006. The original post said my writings here were freely available for anyone to use in any way they deemed fit. I later decided that it would be better to use a real license, and so revised this post to indicate that all my writings herein are licensed under the Apache License 2.0.]

We here at TWWP don’t publish computer software source code. But we do publish ideas in the form of writing. And this is an open-source project.

So it is a fair question to ask: Where’s the License?

Here as in everything to do with open-source, do what apache-dot-org does. Why not do it right from the start? This will save time, yours and mine.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

TWIT alert: Tracey Ullman joins the team

While at the gym this morning I saw that Tracey Ullman was being interviewed on one of the morning shows. She is a great comedic talent, a person who knows to have fun, to give fun, to make us laugh.

I didn’t have my earphones so I couldn’t hear her. I could see the sidebar text on the screen. It was all that I needed:

Knit Wit: Tracey Ullman’s Latest Yarn

Thank you Tracey! Even in the dark times, and especially in the darkest times, we need to laugh, to have what fun we can.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

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