Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A quarter-century of innovation that changed the way government works and how people live

A quarter-century of innovation that changed the way government works and how people live

A friend of mine, JF Mergin, wrote a section of this article in which he said:

What individual had the biggest impact on your work in the government or the work of government?

In the late 1980s a fellow named Harry Forsdick was working at BBN Technologies on early Internet applications. No one really understood what he was doing and he was exploring and area where no one had gone before. One particular application was called (as I remember) the PIN or Personal Internet Newspaper. Using a scripting language that foreshadowed Java Script and Google scripting, one could build an automatically generated newspaper based on the content of very large number of sites. When this was shown to a number of potential customers, there was almost a universal lack of understanding. However, it really made me think about how little we know of the potential of this growing network and it obliterated a number of conceptual walls.
At the time, it seemed obvious to me, but if people as smart as JF's potential customers were mystified, I must admit that my powers of explanation were not as good as my ability to think up and build new Internet applications... [The Personal Internet Newspaper was known as the PINPaper. When I moved to CMGI with this technology, the product was known as Echo].

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA

There is a new map store in Harvard Square. For years, there has been a map store on Church St in the Square. I'm not sure if it is still there. Now another.

Here is a nice example from Ward Maps of a map around Fresh Pond where BBN was located.

Monday, December 10, 2007

FLV Tools

I find that the .FLV format is the best one to include on web pages. So do most of the Internet video sites. When converting video to .FLV format, there are certain tools that are needed to create usable video productions. Here is a list of the ones that I am currently using. FLV Player

This is a very clean, standalone .FLV player.
GoGo DVD To flash flv Converter

This is a wonderful one button click conversion from a DVD to a .FLV file. You get to adjust enough of the encoding parameters to create exactly the quality of .FLV you want.
JW FLV Player

This is the component I use for embedding .FLVs in web pages. It has a playlist facility for playing multiple .FLVs with very flexible ways to display the playlist. If you want to just show one video, you use a playlist with one element.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Move over Facebook. Dogster is upon us...