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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Online archives solve the problem

Great essay in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by David Shribman. He writes about the ephemeral nature of the newspaper biz, how what we write today is pretty much gone and mostly forgotten tomorrow.

There's a lot of good writing in newspapers today — in this one, in the national papers, in little papers across the country — and the inescapable fact is that we throw a lot of it in the recycling pile every day, along with the container of cat litter and the empty pickle jars...

I think about this a lot. It's one reason I'm a fan of free online archives. The fewer barriers that keep us from accessing good writing online, the more that writing will be read. That's why I was so excited when 7D finally launched a permanent archive this year, and why I think the Stowe Reporter and the St. Albans Messenger are wrong to keep much of their content offline. The Internet can keep your stories in circulation for years instead of days, effectively boosting society's collective intelligence.

I've heard the argument (from the publishers of the two VT papers listed above) that putting content on the Internet is expensive. To which I say, quit dragging your feet and find a way to pay for it.

May 31, 2005 at 03:09 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Real VT: Dandelions!

Even the dandelions look spectacular at the Old Shaw Farm in South Peacham.

May 31, 2005 at 07:34 AM in Real VT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Burlington Telecom on Slashdot

Somebody put my Burlington Telecom cover story on Slashdot ("the nuts and volts of news for nerds), and this discussion ensued.

Not many Vermonters over there, but a few.

May 31, 2005 at 07:15 AM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, May 30, 2005

Why Not Wi-fi?

Bill Simmon from Candleblog raised this question yesterday, and I want to draw attention to his post about Burlington's conspicuous and bothersome lack of wi-fi access. He writes:

In Burlington, the owners of the excellent cafe Muddy Waters have made a conscious decision to not offer wireless internet to their customers — free or otherwise. When I asked Carrie, one of the owners, about this decision, she said that they wanted to foster a more interpersonal environment and not have people sitting at tables in the cafe with their noses stuck in computers all day. This response confused me. If interpersonal interaction is the goal, then why line the walls of the cafe with bookshelves full of books? Why discriminate between digital and analog antisocial behaviors?

I got a similar response when I asked about Muddy's lack of wi-fi last August. Read more and comment, both on the blog, and to our esteemed local cafe owners.

FYI, you can find free wi-fi at Radio Bean and at Speeder and Earl's on Pine Street. Also at Bruegger's on Church St.

May 30, 2005 at 11:00 AM in Wi-fi/Broadband in VT | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Memorial Day Weekend

I'm away in Worcester, MA this weekend visiting my partner's family, so no more on the VT Politics VT affair (at least until after I return). In the meantime, in honor of Memorial Day, some links:

Soldiers For The Truth: Col. David Hackworth's gadfly site. Hackworth died recently at age 74, of a type of cancer now appearing frequently in Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange.

An NPR story about Cpl. Jason Dunham, killed in April in Iraq. This made me cry yesterday on my drive down to Mass. Listen to it.

Baghdad Burning by a twenty-something Iraqi woman living in Baghdad, writing in English.

A USA Today story on U.S. soldier bloggers, or milbloggers.

And finally, a Vermont blog, for the Dorset-based Clear Path International, an advocacy and relief organization for victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Asia. Many of the victims are dying from landmines placed, sadly, by us.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts or links. If anyone knows of any blogs written by Vermont soldiers, please add those, too.

May 28, 2005 at 08:55 AM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Got a disappointing email from Jessamyn West, 802's favorite librarian blogger, who lives in Bethel and reads the Randolph Herald. The RSS feeds she reported a while back were not as exciting as she thought.

well it turns out the rss feeds were just an advance for the paper
CHARGING for access to the online version of the paper. don't know if the
rss feed will be free or not.


too bad.

May 26, 2005 at 08:51 PM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Save Kinko's!

Effective June 1, Burlington's Kinko's copy shop (aka FedEx Kinkos) will no longer be open 24/7. Fortunately, it's not too late to complain about this grave injustice. Call 1-800-2KINKOS or email [email protected]

Read my moving eulogy for 24/7 service — featuring comments from Greg Giordano aka flameape, and Capt. Randy Gates of the VT National Guard — here.

May 26, 2005 at 07:24 AM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Them's fightin' words

Did anyone else realize that there are actually two anonymously written and sourced blogs focusing on Vermont politics? I didn't. I've been linking to Politics VT for awhile now, and I just assumed this Con Van Ness character was a real guy. Guess not.

Honestly, I didn't pay that much attention to it because it's kinda dull. Looks pretty conventional, just a collection of articles from various news sources, unlike the similarly named VT Politics, which appears to be a rough-around-the-edges purveyor of gossip.

But apparently there's some actual writing going on at PVT, as "we are insiders and you'd never guess" from VTP pointed out yesterday in the comments from the Frauds? thread below.

They point out that PVT, aware of the anonymity conversation here at 802, posted a pre-emptive thread defending their use of anonymous sources. The "Insiders" at VPT offer their own comments, which I'm reprinting verbatim here despite my overwhelming urge to correct their spelling and grammar:

What is fascinating to me is their pursuit and presentation as a “real” or legitimate news source. Sure, they post a lot of other peoples “real” news. But there own writings are all commentary and doesn’t pass journalist muster. Their double and triple checked sources are certainly no better than the sources that we have or even Frayne or Allen or a dozen others who can pick up the phone and call around.

Oooh, sounds like a catfight! Don't know about you, but I'm sheepishly looking forward to seeing these two duke it out. But guys? What's with the dull, unimaginative names? Jeez. Leave it to the politicians to kill creativity.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, I have updated my assessment of Politics VT from "dull" to "earnest," which is not necessarily a bad thing in politics.

May 26, 2005 at 07:16 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Vermont cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who draws the strip Dykes To Watch Out For, just posted an interesting entry on her blog (which, as her assistant, I helped her launch).

Seems she got an email this week from conservative David Horowitz. Who's he? Says Alison: "He’s the once-radical-now-conservative force behind Students for Academic Freedom—an organization that is more or less to academic freedom what Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative is to reducing mercury emissions."

Horowitz contacted her and asked for permission to reprint a panel of her leftist, lesbian-centric comic on the SAF website. She drew a panel recently in which conservative lesbo Cynthia chastises Ginger, her liberal lesbo professor, and reports her to SAF. Alison was making fun of SAF, but no matter.

She gave them permission to reprint the strip (here). They paid her $100, and now she's asking people to comment on her blog and tell her where to send the money. Weigh in here.

May 25, 2005 at 03:48 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This is what happens when you insist on anonymity — check out the first comment on Politics VT's post about a possible Rainville/Dubie rift. You'll recall this blog is written by "we are insiders and you'd never guess."

I think you're a fraud. This is a ridiculous scenario. If it doesn't pan out, you should stop calling yourself an "insider"

# posted by Anonymous : Tuesday, May 24, 2005 2:25:14 PM

May 25, 2005 at 06:18 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack