Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

Austin Cline is right: "we are seeing Western leaders back away from freedom of speech in favor of supporting those who advocate murder and destruction whenever they feel insulted". Alas, they won't be punished at the polls.

Peter Wall: "But we're not members of your religion, so we're not bound by your rules of reverence and piety. Get it? We can think and say and publish whatever we want."

Oh, this is just so fantastic! Ms Kelly gets it so right: "This is just one of those things that comes with being a politician". Every member of parliament should have that tattoed on their forehead on entrance to that supposedly sacred realm in Westminster.

Is Radio UserLand dying? Or is it dead? Perhaps it's time for UserLand to open-source Radio and Manila and have a model based on MySQL or some other open source companies. The ideas behind much of UserLand's software are good, and it would be neat if it could be reborn as an open source business to fix some of the annoyances.

Abiola Lapoite: "The Jyllands-Posten articles are supposedly offensive because of their equation of Islam with violent extremism, but given what Muslims across the world have done and said to date in response to it, what room is there to doubt that this equation is anything but the unvarnished truth?"

I don't quite know what to think about this story. All I know is that Alistair Campbell's statement ("We don't do God"), while not wholly accurate (Ruth Kelly and the Department for Education and Skills certainly do do God), is as good a statement of secularism as they come. If only they could live by it...

I'll vote for full-length feeds when people stop posting too much. Long posts need to be cut down in my feed reader. So stop making long posts. Brevity is the root of decent online communication. Depth should always be a click away though.

Email ettiquette

Guy Kawasaki has a post on email ettiquette. Here are my main bug bears about email and etiquette. Kent Newsome riffs on the Plain Text rule.

People who send me big files. I read much of my email via Gmail on GPRS. If you can't fit it in text, don't send it. Alternatively, provide a decent description of what you are sending me, and make it as small as possible.

It's all too easy, in this age of broadband, to think that the world has lots of bandwidth. I do. I have a 2Mb connection at home. But when I'm on the train, I have a very, very slow connection. Deal with it.

Cut your quotes right down. Top-quote, but make sure the quote is relevant. If I'm reading on my phone, I don't want to have to read through my whole message to understand it. I also don't want to have to go right down to the bottom of the message (read: browse through three or four screens on Gmail Mobile) in order to understand the context.

HTML email is usually spam or marketing crapola. Most, if not all, of it goes either to the Spam bin or the Trash bin. Don't follow them there. Send me text. Send me small amounts of it. And give me context.

Oh, and cut all that corporate legal crap off the bottom. State facts and/or opinions. But don't state them then deny them in your sig. That's horseshit and you know it.

Kosso is reporting that Google Reader OPML is invalid (as is Bloglines). Why do they bother? Is annoying users and breaking specification really worth it?

I see we are now getting Flash in RSS feeds. Fantastic. Just in case my computer wasn't slow enough already, it is really helpful to have my NewsRiver page take half an hour to load up because it's been filled with YouTube videos and games. How about BLINK tags in RSS? BGSOUND? ActiveX?