Looks like I missed a lot of interesting news while I was away last week. In no particular order:
The new AutoLink feature in Google’s toolbar has caused an uproar of sorts, and I agree with Dave Winer on this one. On the surface the feature seems innocent enough – perhaps even useful – but this isn’t some small toolbar vendor we’re talking about, this is the Internet OS company. As a content creator, I’m not at all comfortable with the idea that Google can add links to my site. But beyond that, as a content user I’m bothered by the idea that an external entity – be it Google or Microsoft – can insert their ads into what I read, and that’s the precedent this simple little feature sets. If nothing else, Google needs to at least provide a way for content creators to easily opt-out of this feature (and any similar features they have in the works).
Jeremy Allaire is someone I respect, so I keep watching his blog hoping he’ll post more frequently. Sure enough, on Saturday he broke his silence with a post about the XBox which was picked up by Scoble. The next day, he announced the launch of BrightCove, which no doubt benefited from the Scoble juice. I remember Jeremy talking about the “democratization of media” long before blogging was coined, so this will be interesting to watch
Likewise, the announcement about Odeo from Evan Williams got my attention. Podcasting is still brand-spanking new, but there are already companies hoping to profit from it (growing pains and all). Nice!
Speaking of profit, Jason Kottke announced his plans to make blogging his full-time job. Those who contribute $30 or more are entered to win one of the many gifts donated by companies such as my own (yep, you can win a copy of TopStyle or FeedDemon by giving to Kottke.org)
On a sadder note, GUI pioneer Jef Raskin passed away last week. Countless software developers – and more importantly, countless software users – are indebted to him for helping create The Humane Interface.
Tim Bray’s post titled “Free No Longer” contained this great snippet: “The notion that small companies with poor cash-flow should give things away is so 1999. The world has come to expect that when there’s a useful service on the Web, you either have to pay to use it…or that there will be advertising.”
…and bringing this post full circle, I just noticed that TIME magazine has a piece about Google’s AutoLink.