first monday has published a lengthy article on the ‘linux phenomenon’:

“This paper establishes a context for the work of Eric Raymond and his description of the Linux phenomenon, by examining the emerging science of complex adaptive systems pioneered by John Holland, Christopher Langton, Robert Axelrod, among others. Raymond’s evolutionary view is given an extended and more formal treatment under the terms of chaos and complexity, and chaos and complexity under the terms of sociology. In addition, this paper presents an ethnographic account of Linux, amassed from a series of electronic mail interviews with kernel developers. These interviews examine Linux as a social phenomena, which has prompted wide interest and become a subject of heated discussion. Comments and feedback of this paper can be found at”

great. if this study is to be believed, benedryl affects my driving more more than if i were legally drunk. now, somebody is going to really ruin my life by proving that my propensity to bang out e.mails while driving is worse than my habit of breaking open thermometers and playing with mercury.

there has been an interesting series on national public radio regarding the results to of a technology survey commisioned by npr, the kaiser family foundation, and harvard’s kennedy school of government. while many results are not surprising – some are, including the fact that the so-called ‘digital-divide’ exists, but is not as severe as worst-case scenarios would suggest:

“While there has been much talk about the digital divide by race, we find that gaps between blacks and whites under age 60 are more pronounced in the home than at work. We also find they are more pronounced at lower-income levels than at higher-income levels. There is a gap of 11 percentage points between blacks and whites using computers at work (46% vs. 57%); but there is a larger, 22 point gap between blacks and whites who have a computer at home (51% vs. 73%). Similarly, a gap of 8 points exists between blacks and whites using the Internet at work (21% vs. 29%) compared with a larger 19 point gap in access to the Internet or e-mail at home (38% vs. 57%). Although there is a 17 percentage point gap in home-computer ownership between low-income blacks and low-income whites, the differences virtually disappear at upper-income levels.”

amazon patent saga. scene 48.

fade in. tim talking on cell phone with jeff. tim looks disheveled and oblivious to the ire that he is raising in the woman seated at the next table because he is talking loudly.

Tim: With the Web we’ve had this incredibly fertile period marked by a great deal of sharing and consequent innovation, most of it by independent developers who’ve learned by looking at what others were doing, imitating it and then playing leapfrog. And it is these developers whose efforts are most harmed by the fear that they may be sued by a player like Amazon.

Jeff: We aren’t going after those developers. There are lots of people using 1-click purchasing on their sites whom we aren’t suing. We’re just going after the big guys who are going after us, the guys who are not innovating themselves but just copying us and working to crush us.

Tim: Would you be willing to make some kind of public promise that you won’t be going after other people about this?

Jeff: I’ll think about it and talk with my lawyers to see if there’s any way we could do that without harming our suit against B&N.

more talk. woman at next table scowls and flings peas at tim. power lunch leads to ‘action items’ for tim:

1. For to think hard about what kind of assurances they could give to independent developers about their safety from patent lawsuits.

2. To continue our conversation about patents, openness, and software innovation.

3. For me to write up our conversation so far and share it with the public, even in its inconclusive state. After all, one of the rules of the Internet, as articulated so brilliantly in The Cluetrain Manifesto, is that a market is a conversation. We don’t have an answer yet, but we’re talking.

salon hyperlinks stage right. adds historical dimension in attempt to distinguish itself from punditry masses.

Contrary to popular belief, business-method patents have flowed from the Patent and Trademark Office for over 100 years. Many appear at least as obvious as Amazon’s. For example, patent 44,778, awarded to Isaac Bates on October 25, 1864, covers a “method for teaching penmanship,” specifically an innovative position of arm, pen and hand. Meanwhile, patent 660,255 protects a method for teaching
speaking and reading to the deaf. It was issued in 1900.”

dave hyperlinks stage left. offers large hunk of cheese to tim [who politely declines] with a side of unsolicited advice for jeff:

The only way to have a conversation with the Web is to put your own words on the Web. An actual interview or essay, clearly stating Amazon’s position. It’s great that he talked with Tim, but it’s no substitute for a direct response to their customers.”

slow fade. pan left as woman draws back large spoon of peas aimed at…

are you good with doing a lot with a little? then there’s a contest for you.

“The idea behind the contest is that the rigid constraints of designing for the web are what force us to get truly creative. Between servers and bandwidth, clients and users, HTML and the DOM, browsers and platforms, our conscience and our ego, we’re left in a very small space to find highly optimal solutions. Since the space we have to explore is so small, we have to look harder, get more creative; and that’s what makes it all interesting. Just celebrating that is all.”

need help? the look here, here and here.

{ intertwingled since 2000 }