Very long-term backup

Then it will remain at rest as the comet orbits the sun for hundreds of millions of years. So somewhere in the solar system, where it is safe but hard to reach, a backup sample of human languages is stored, in case we need one.

~ Kevin Kelly from,


There are several things about this post from the Long Now Foundation which are exceptionally cool. One aspect of doing backups well is to store at least one copy somewhere “offsite.” That is to say, far enough away from what you are backing up, so that it is unlikely that the original and all of the backup copies can be lost due to the same event. Now, this project is partly, (maybe even “mostly,”) a technology demonstration intended to get us to think longer term. But since they’re backing up all of the human languages where’s a cool spot to put an offsite backup?

On a freakin’ comet! The cherry on this hot fudge sundae of awesome is that they put a copy on a freakin’ comet. Humans are awesome.



App-net-icon is WAY cool

What makes it cool, different and BETTER is:

  • They built the PLATFORM, (the heavy lifting behind-the-scenes that makes it all work)
  • They wrote the API, (the instructions for how to build things to USE the platform)

…and that’s all they wrote.

Aside: Yes, they did write sample applications. It’s hard enough to wrap your brain around it as it is, let alone if there were no apps to play with. So they built a web-based front end called “Alpha”, (for example.)

You, (dear reader) do not “look at”, and you do not “use it”. You use APPLICATIONS which are built on the platform/API. is different charges the developers: They’ve built a stable, powerful and feature-rich PLATFORM. They logically believe that developers will be willing to pay to use the platform.

Developers build applications: They pay for access to connect their application to the platform. For example: Tapbot’s Netbot app is a superlative app using the platform. ( also maintains a directory of available apps.)

People use the applications: You, dear reader, choose your favorite application. You can use the free “Alpha”, (that’s it’s name) web front-end that wrote. You can also download an app, (some are even free) from your favorite app store for your mobile device.

So, for example, how do you find me on Easy: Open your favorite application and look for “cc1315”, my full name, or my email address. If you like to use the “Alpha” web-based application, then I’m /cc1315 . So there’s you using an application! Another example is the application I wrote, (it required three mouse clicks) which enables this blog to push my posts into the platform.

Wait. Wat?

The problem with all the big-name social networks is that they built, own and control the platform AND the application.

By “problem” I mean “things regular-users don’t like.” For example: Ads appearing; Weird algorithms that determine what I actually see and which strong-arm content-creators into paying money to boost viewership; Posts that look like posts but are really ads paid for by advertisers. And things that limit content creators, like: Not allowing posts at all into the platform; Weird rules that limit how posting is done because they don’t want the users leaving the platform to go read  content directly.

This is exactly WHAT WE DESERVE. The companies that built the platforms get to create the rules because they own the platform, control the API and they control the applications. The people USING the social network are the product that gets monetized. So everyone shows up, for free, to socialize. But then the advertisers buy-in to get access to all the people. To the people socializing, it feels like the social club is letting weirdos into the club who roam around asking if we want to buy things.

Don’t believe me? Here are some search-result links:

“why Facebook sucks”
“why Twitter sucks”
“why Pinterest sucks”
“why Instagram sucks” fixes this how?

Let’s think through the “problem” scenarios…

First, you do still choose who to follow. So let’s assume for this discussion I’m following a couple hundred accounts. (My friends, some favorite businesses, etc)


I see a post from a business, but it’s actually an ad! …how do I make that go away? Current social networks? …you cannot.

Aside: Yes, some social networks let you kill that particular ad, but there are always more to follow. In reality, you’re just TUNING what ads they will show you, not blocking out ads.

With it’s easy: Stop following that account. (Or maybe contact them and say, “yo, less ads please” if you really like their other posts.) won’t let them send you further content, that would be a lousy platform that developers wouldn’t pay to use!

So maybe that ad you see is being shown by the application you’re using… it’s not really coming through the platform… Easy: Don’t use that application. Or maybe pay them to turn the ads off. (Look! An application ecosystem where great apps win out.)

But, (you ask) what If someone tries to write an app to spam ads into the platform? It turns out the platform doesn’t have that ability. (The current social networks have that ability BIG TIME — it’s how they make money.) But makes money from the developers, so they don’t have a “spam everyone” feature in the platform. That’d be a lousy platform that developers would not pay to use.

content filtering delivers everything from all the accounts you’re following; That’s why developers want to pay to use the platform; It works well! So the applications might filter, or sort, or whatever. (Maybe, show me more posts from my friends whose posts I favorite.) But that’s a feature that you CHOOSE when you select what app to use. Don’t like how the app filters or sorts? …switch apps!

content posting into the platform

Current social networks want you to use their apps to post content. simply moves the content through the platform. (Which is why it’s a great platform that developers want to pay to use.) So anyone can write any application to post content into the network.

Closing thought

The only thing more cool (in social networking) than is . With, instead of having one centralized platform like current social networks and even, you have one giant fabric which is composed of everyone’s PERSONAL data platform. So Craig’s posts are on Craig’s platform, etc. Then the magic moves the messages around between the nodes, prevents anyone from impersonating anyone else, etc.

But that’s another post altogether… :*)


Ice Crystals

Caught these ice crystals forming on glass; The whole area of glass was initially frosted, and as the car warmed up, the evaporating frost fed the growth of these ice crystals. I was just fast enough to catch this one photo. A moment later, the crystals, and all the frost, melted.


The Listserve

The Listserve is an e-mail lottery. One person a day wins a chance to write to the growing list of subscribers. (23,000+ when last I looked at the web site statistics.) So every day, you get one REALLY random email via The Listserve from someone, somewhere around the globe.


So Proud

LU_death_star_costThe Interwebs are a-buzz with the news that our current administration has formally responded to the petition about building a Death Star. (“This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For” …well played, sir!) It’s a nice response touting NASA and current space exploration. But, uh, I wasn’t expecting the petition response to start off by linking over to a Lehigh article, “So You Want to Build the Death Star?” as a reference.


The Freecycle Network: Don’t throw usable stuff away

freecycle_logoThe Freecycle Network™ is made up of thousands of groups with millions of members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers. Membership is free.

To sign up, find your community freecycle list by searching on the Freecycle web site.