The Barrel shooting report

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.


Blogspot, Typepad, and other hosted weblogs began to be blocked by various ISPs in India, all based on a directive from the Indian government. Luckily, it would seem that the wholesale blocking was a mistake, but until it was sorted out, Amit Agarwal provided a how-to-bypass the censors weblog post, with plenty of useful information.

(Wow. Useful writing related to technology appearing on This is a day to mark in your calendars.)


A collection was taken earlier this week among the A listers for links for Jason Calcanais. The man, desperate for attention and to avert AOL displeasure and thus avoid the the dreaded Death by Being Buried by AOL CDs, first tries to hire Unboomed Amanda with promises of stardom on AOL’s new Netscape portal.

(AOL!? That’s like being cast as Mary Ann in the remake of Gilligan’s Island.)


Rebuffed, he then tried to hire a dozen people whose only claim to fame is they spend hours a day just linking to other stories. When it was revealed that the ‘people’ he tried to hire were, in fact, monkeys typing randomly into a computer keyboard, Calcanais suffered a breakdown, and was last seen holed up in a hotel room, surrounded by plastic cutting sheers, muttering, “Earthlink. Earthlink. Earthlink.”

The illuminati knew that an intervention was necessary, and stepped up to provide such links: even arch nemises, Mike “core values” Arrington–after first informing AOL of Calcanais’ location, of course, because it was ‘the right thing to do.’

Speaking of our favorite Good Boy, Mike Arrington is throwing a party for 500 or so of his bestest friends (and other useful people), using a wiki to manage the sign up list.

This is an open party and at least the first 500 people to sign up on the wiki will be admitted. Identification will be checked and your name must be on the list.

A wiki to manage the sign up list.

A wiki.

Think about it.

But that’s not all…in an accidental emailing sent to Valleywag’s Nick rather than Techcrunch’s Nick, Arrington also talks about getting his staff to put Important People at the top of that ’silly list’. (Because the head of TECHCrunch can’t do it himself, we presume). Valleywag Nick, that reticent, noble, though charmingly naughty boy, published the email even though it hurt him to do so, thereby ensuring that no matter what, he’ll always be Mr. 501 to Arrington.

Earlier in the week, at a speech given by Tim Berners-Lee on the semantic web, lead algorithm wrangler at Google, Peter Norvig, debated the goodness of Tim B-Ls approach, especially when considering the ‘users’:

“What I get a lot is: ‘Why are you against the Semantic Web?’ I am not against the Semantic Web. But from Google’s point of view, there are a few things you need to overcome, incompetence being the first,” Norvig said. Norvig clarified that it was not Berners-Lee or his group that he was referring to as incompetent, but the general user.

Users are incompetent. Well, according to Techdirt, so are Google engineers.

Seriously, where would we be without the fine engineers like those at Google, making the world a better place for an incompetent thee and me? Probably sitting beside the Digg monkeys, hitting our logs with the shinbones of an antelope beating out words like vendorsphere.

(”Hey is that a series of short beats or one long *THUMP*? Damn! My bone just overheated!”)

Hey! Zune, Zune, Zune!

Yes, Microsoft is getting into the music business with a potential new iPod/iTunes killer coming out this fall. Two members of the team were so inspired that they each spontaneously created a weblog to talk about music and Independent Artists and community and creativity and other stuff.

In a tizzy of activity not seen since last week, insiders speculate widely on the new iBob, urh, iPod killer.

What we know is that it doesn’t utilize Microsoft’s other media management technology, PlayForSure, because it (PlayForSure) was created in a different division of the company (it being OK to ‘borrow’ heavily from rivals but not Joe down the hall); it has a logo that looks like a Jacob’s Ladder created by one of the Digg monkeys; Zune pronounced just right in Hebrew sounds like screwed (for sure); and the device will have Wifi and both it and the service focus on ‘community’ and ‘connectivity’.

According to Billboard:

Zune users will be able to view each other’s playlists, recommend music and sample tracks in what Stephenson describes as a multifaceted music discovery experience. This capability will extend to the Xbox 360 game console, PCs running Windows Media Center and mobile phones using the Windows Mobile operating system.

“The ability to connect the different devices is a key part of the strategy,” Stephenson says. “Whether it’s a portable media device, or a phone, or the Xbox or Media Center PC, the idea is you can access your entertainment from anywhere.”

I find this last bit reassuring, coming from a company known for its openness, its interest in protecting the confidentiality of its client’s data, and the security of its products.


Both Head Lemur and Charles at Disinfotainment have posted leaked photos of the new iPod killer from Microsoft.

Actually, I kinda like it.

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