in case it hasn’t become painfully apparent – i’ll reveal the extreme nature of my superdorkiness by proclaiming loudly and proudly that i find this interview with jeeves very funny. it also reminds me that alan turing would probably be quit impressed with the current state of the art. don’t forget to stop by and get some tips from mr. clean – of course only after you talk with him about your cleaning habits and sundry personal issues.

actually, there are some interesting chatterbots out there, but mr. clean doesn’t seem to be one of them.

salon is talking about napster and the ways that it may or may not change the music industry:

“Over time, though, I think that a growing number of artists will question their own participation in a system that really doesn’t serve the great majority of them. They’ll begin to experiment with more direct sell-more-T-shirts approach mocked by artists in our article last week, but serious new ideas for generating revenue for musicians: ideas like annual fan subscriptions, charges for early access to
new music or special deals on collector’s items, using online networking to boost attendance at shows and no doubt many others that I can’t yet imagine.”

i agree that in the long term this might happen to a certain degree – napster will ‘prevail’, but undoubtably the industry will eventually figure out how to deal with it and resume business as usual. just look at electronic book market for a lessons.

ouch. The Motley Fool is discussing red hat’s earnings and it looks like redhat’s valuation may be due for a correction:

“Red Hat may be the leader among Linux providers, but it remains far from clear that the company can increase revenues substantially enough to justify its price. The company sports a $8.6 billion market cap — and that’s after dipping 63% from its high-water mark. Even if Red Hat stays at its present valuation, after five years of 100% revenue growth, its price-to-sales ratio would stand at 6.4, which is higher than Computer Associates (NYSE: CA) or IBM (NYSE: IBM) .

The market has priced extremely high expectations into Red Hat. We’ll have to see much better performances in the future than we saw this year.”

to beat a dead cliche in the mouth – i resemble that comment!

i’m on the fence about online bookmarks – the idea sounded useful, but apparently salon is not impressed with the current services. it’s interesting that the article states that savvy internet users have an average of 84 bookmarks. i guess i must be super-savvy, since i had 84 bookmarks in 1994 and they have grown out of control. my problem is that after a certain number of bookmarks my meager attempt at a hierarchical categorization breaks down and i’m left looking for a new organization method.

well, i’m back from out-of-town and getting back into the blogging swing of things. while i was gone, it appears that salon ran an article on google and it’s use of the open directory.

“As Harik explains it, the decision to go with Open Directory — just one player in a space that includes Yahoo, LookSmart and Excite, among others — had two main drivers. One was the licensing — it’s pretty hard to argue with “free,” whether you’re talking software, beer or content. The ODP’s evolving editorial
culture was also a plus, said Harik. “We like the way submissions are made to the Open Directory, and we think it has the potential to be more accurate and more timely than other directories. The people who contribute to it care about what they’re doing.” The truly decisive point, though, was the Open Directory’s potential to scale in parallel to the Web’s hypercharged expansion.”

this is pretty standard praise of the open directory, which i tend to agree with. [disclaimer: i also am biased towards liking the open directory, since they were prompt in accepting a section of snowdeal.org.] however, not everyone agrees that the open directory is so open. not too long ago, traffick ran an article on why the directory may not be so open after all:

Lack of representativeness and lack of transparency. Unlike the federal bureaucracy in a democratic nation, you don’t precisely know what the criteria for acceptance are. Criteria for progress through the ranks is similarly unknown. The Open Directory’s procedures for accepting new editors or accepting site submissions are no more open or transparent than they are at private companies like Yahoo or Looksmart.

Incentive for corruption and excessive categorization of low-quality sites.Yahoo and Looksmart (presumably “closed shops”) have employees performing similar functions to the Open Directory Category Editors. Think about this. Looking at it from the point of view of organizational sociology (yes, I must), the underlying reality is that these three are all organizations with rules and structures whose main output is the opinionated categorization, and importantly, rejection, of a vast number of submissions of web sites and Internet content. The key difference seems to be that dmoz category editors aren’t paid. What is the likely result of this? Think about the analogy of a country whose bureaucrats are poorly compensated. Any textbook can give you examples. All moralizing aside, extremely low pay creates an
incentive for the postal inspector or the traffic cop to engage in petty forms of corruption. What’s my city health inspector’s incentive to REALLY crack down on all the bug-infested restaurants downtown? And what might motivate a dmoz category editor to prevent their buddies’ lower quality sites from getting one or even several listings? And are they likely to think about the whole mess all fits together, or is that someone else’s problem? In fact, there are considerable incentives in volunteer directories to pump up one’s numbers of site submissions, since that is the key criterion for advancement through the ranks. The web’s best resources, therefore, are impossible to find, buried under a mountain of minutiae.

The “open” directory is owned by a $300 billion company. Most importantly — and I hate to bring this to the attention of the self-governing republic of dmoz — the relatively benevolent overseer of its operations, Netscape, was acquired by AOL, which recently merged with Time Warner, creating a $300 billion behemoth. To repeat: the Open Directory Project is owned by AOL Time Warner. The “project” now has marketing executives assigned to it, though you won’t see that openly admitted on the “About us” page. AOL Time Warner: a bastion of openness? Quite the opposite. AOL loves to be proprietary. It dislikes the “open” Internet, but just now it probably wants as much PR as it can get which juxtaposes the word “open” with “AOL.” This could help a lot in smoothing things by the regulators. Fair enough. But when that’s all done with, AOL, how about some truth in advertising?”

it’s really sad when an article from friday seems old and stale. one of the unintended consequences of mainting the snowdeal.org family of sites, is that it’s making me “hypervigilant” of when stories come online – with anything over 12 hourse being past its prime. anyway, the article is yet another ‘mainstream’ reference to The Cluetrain Manifesto, ‘blogging’ and the changes that are afoot – using the amazon patent ‘situation’ as context:

“The traditional media sources — The Wall Street Journals and the BusinessWeeks of the world
– have opined on Amazon’s recent patents. Online magazines such as Salon have run their
pieces. Web sites such as stopamazon.com have been started. But the heart and soul of the
movement to criticize Amazon’s patents is the Weblog.

The Weblog is the raw voice of the people — your customers. Essentially, a Weblog is an
online diary with hyperlinks. It’s a point of view and a collection of links to anything on the Web.
It’s a remarkably potent means of communication. A Weblog is a lens to view the world through
someone else’s eyes. ”

to beat a dead cliche in the mouth – i resemble that comment!