Archive for March, 2005

Technorati DeepCosmos

Saturday, March 5th, 2005

Late last year I requested that some blog aggregator give some indication of the existence of indirect blog post citations, i.e., a blog thread. Adam Hertz suggested that this could be done using Technorati’s API.

I whipped up a crummy implementation the following weekend and contributed a small patch along the way. I decided I’m not getting around to producing a non-crummy version, so here it is:

If you attempt to use the DeepCosmos demo the first thing to note is that you need to obtain and use your own Technorati API Key. Check out the examples above if you just want to see what the output looks like.

I haven’t used this much since I wrote it. My request still stands. I’d use the information all the time if integrated into the output of Technorati, Bloglines, Rojo or similar.

Open Source and Free Software non-Reciprocal Trivia

Saturday, March 5th, 2005

Name the only license both explicitly called out by the Free Software Foundation as non-free for matters of substance and approved by the Open Source Initiative.

The Reciprocal Public License.

Here’s why the FSF says the RPL is non-free:

1. It puts limits on prices charged for an initial copy. 2. It requires notification of the original developer for publication of a modified version. 3. It requires publication of any modified version that an organization uses, even privately.

For more on why these might be problems see debian-legal tests for Debian Free Software Guidelines compliance.

Further trivia: The Artisitc License is the only OSI-approved license rejected by the FSF for matters of wording:

We cannot say that this is a free software license because it is too vague; some passages are too clever for their own good, and their meaning is not clear.

Addendum 20050311: I looked up the RPL and discovered these bits of trivia after reading that FX is considering the license.

Use [the] force

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

Saw this in a Robert Scheer column printed in today’s San Francisco Chronicle: The force Bush won’t use on Iran.

So, tangled history aside, what should the U.S. do now about a repressive and potentially threatening government in Iran? The one thing Bush strangely has refused to do throughout the world: practice the principles of capitalism.

The model for such a policy, which emphasizes normal trade relations even with regimes that have religious and political obsessions different from our own, was most successfully employed by Richard Nixon in his famous opening to “Red” China, as well as in the detente period that should properly be credited with the ultimate fall of the Soviet empire.

The most powerful liberalizing forces the U.S. wields are not military, but economic and cultural. Though not as macho as trying to spread democracy through the barrel of a gun, normalization offers a better prospect of accomplishing that end, while saving billions of dollars and priceless lives.

I’m pleased to read Scheer get it Wright.