←January 2018March 2018→

February, 2018: 19 posts.

John Perry Barlow, Rest in Peace 2018 Feb 07

I went to Jason Calacanis’ conference Digital Coast 2000 way back when. I didn’t write about it, but it was inspiring. I found Calacanis inspiring, he’s a raconteur and a troublemaker and I have enjoyed his podcasts over the years. The other standouts from that conference were Mark Cuban who I quoted long ago The minute you think you’re smart — you’re toast. I wish I’d kept notes from hearing Barlow speak.

Here’s the description of that conference I got out of the web archive:

Exploring the Digital Transformation of Entertainment and Southern California’s Booming Internet Economy

September 12-14, 2000 at the Directors Guild of America, Los Angeles

Digital Coast 2000 is the second annual gathering of the leading executives, artists and technologists building Southern California’s burgeoning digital industries. The three-day event takes place in association with The Directors Guild of America and NATPE with the support of Variety.

We’re thrilled to announce a number of newly-added guest speakers, including: Shaquille O’Neal, NBA reigning MVP & World Champion, and Co-founder & Principal,; Award-winning directors Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club, Smoke, Blue in the Face), Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World, Decline of Western Civilization); and Alex Singer (director of more than 250 TV and 5 motion pictures including Stanley Kubrick‘s first feature, Day of the Fight); Stan Lee Media Founder, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Stan Lee; Centropolis Partner Dean Devlin; Digital Media Campus Chairman and CEO Leonard Armato; Acclaimed cinematographer Theo Van de Sande; Project Voyager CEO and co-founder Joe Firmage; RIAA CEO Hilary Rosen; and David O. Carson, General Counsel for the U.S. Copyright Office.

The three-day agenda features keynote and fireside chats with e-business leaders including CEO Mark Cuban and Idealab Chairman Bill Gross. Panels on the e-Business Track include an e-services CEOs roundtable with Jeff Dachis of Razorfish, Bert Ellis of IXL, Robert Bernard of MarchFirst, Bob Gett of Viant, and Scott Mednick of Xceed; a “Digital Coast Enterprise Success Stories” panel examining how mature companies are re-engineering through Internet technology and new, networked operational models; “Internet Book Publishing and Online Literature” with leading executives and e-published authors, and a roundtable of top Digital Coast VC’s on the state of venture capital in Southern California.

Topics on the Digital Coast 2000 Convergence Track include “The e-Biznification of Hollywood” in which top executives from major and independent motion picture studios examine the Internet’s impact on the film industry;“The Animation Renaissance” featuring exclusive premiere screenings from top online animation producers; an Interactive and Enhanced Television panel showcasing live demos from award-winning enhanced TV content creators and the American Film Institute; “Talent Rights: Artists, Agencies and the Risks and Rewards of Online Opportunities” on the new Internet agreements with leaders of the DGA, SAG, and WGA; and panels such as “The Future of Intellectual Property” and “Music, Money and The P2P Revolution” including Ian Clarke of Freenet, Gene Kan of Infrasearch, Bill Bales of Applesoup, Jim Griffin of Evolab; and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow.

Online entertainment creators at Digital Coast 2000 include Bruce Branit and Jeremy Hunt of “405 The Movie”and Joseph Levy of “George Lucas In Love”; plus special international guest Gordan Paunovic, co-founder of RadioB92 Belgrade.

We’re also very proud to announce the first annual Digital Coast Awards for excellence in digital entertainment — we’ll be honoring some of the hottest online entertainment projects from the past year at a special ceremony on September 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

What I remember of Barlow was that he really helped me understand what internet sharing was about. Napster and intellectual property were deeply in the news, and Barlow contextualized internet sharing as part of music history. The Grateful Dead famously allowed fans to record and share their music. It helped me put internet freedom and “intellectual property” on my map of free public goods — libraries and shared knowledge in the form of science. He was inspirational.

Barlow was in the zeitgeist of the time back then. Here’s something from Courtney Pulitzer’s CyberScene, a quote from Barlow from 1999 about his own mother dying:

A vertible institution himself, the great woman (and institution) behind the great man — John Perry Barlow — is Miriam Jenkins Barlow Bailey. John’s mother died a few weeks ago and he sent a moving tribute about her to friends, and granted me permission to reprint it with her picture.

John wrote: “My mother was immense, *much* larger than life. No one who met her came away untouched – or unscathed, as the case may have been. She has kept an electric tension on a line that ran through the center of my life all its course. Now, all at once, that line’s gone slack. The world is suddenly a far less interesting place. Some years ago, shortly after his own mother died, John Kennedy, Jr. mused to me, ‘I don’t think anyone really becomes an adult until both of his parents are dead.’ Now I’m starting to understand what he meant. …”

How sadly ironic that John quotes his friend JFK, Jr., who he (in addition to the rest of the world) has had to say goodbye to also. I saw Mr. Barlow on television talking about his friendship with JFK, Jr. this past week, and can only think of how the world does seems a far less interesting place when one loses someone dear. Death is a great and final tragedy, but as John and as JFK, Jr. both indicate, it’s a release, a dawning and forces us to grow up a little more, straighten our back, lift our chin and go boldly forward as an “adult.”

God Bless Miriam Jenkins Barlow Bailey, John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Lauren Bessette. May they all go forth in peace and may we all breathe a bit deeper today in appreciation of our gift of Life.

From the EFF: John Perry Barlow, Internet Pioneer, 1947-2018

Random Notes on #lightningnow Tour / Trailhead / Salesforce 2018 Feb 09

On January 29th and 30th I attended the Lighting Tour of that was held here in San Diego. I had a lot of fun, and got a great sense that my skills in web development may have a great deal of carryover into working with and developing for Salesforce.

Cutest stickers at @salesforce #lightningnow seminar here in San Diego. Added to my iPad though I took my notes on paper today.

Day 2 of #lightningnow learning about Kanban view inside @Salesforce + bonus t-shirt! Remain impressed by quality of Trailhead exercises for a novice like me. I also like that it’s kind of Shazam!/Mage/Captain Marvel.

Here’s the code editor that is part and parcel of developing for Salesforce.

In web development one has to be cognizant of issues related to caching when making frequent updates. Here’s the setting you’d look for to make sure you’re seeing freshly edited content.

I was very impressed with the API versioning that’s a part of Salesforce. You can target different versions of Apex and in this way you can migrate to newer API versions as you need to in a manner that’s safe. Salesforce can keep innovating, and your apps won’t break. That’s smart.

I was also very interested to see the differences in code from “old style” and their “new style.” Of course I had no concept of the older style but I can see that they’ve taken some time to encapsulate very robust and common functionality in ways that are quicker to develop for.

Installing a new Project screen. I’m not sure what made me capture this one actually. Possibly I just thought to myself: this is some pretty professional and polished stuff. Which is the impression I got generally.

It’s a few weeks later and I’m having fun going through the tutorials and exercises on Trailhead.

Here’s my profile on Trailhead: Joe Crawford

Backup your Soundcloud files to 2018 Feb 13

Well here’s something cool! My pal Dennis Wilen backed up his Soundcloud hosted files to Archive.orgWe backed up my SoundCloud to and you can too.

There’s a shell script by Tom Higgins that facilitates it.

I don’t understand the excess rules about ferrets or the deficit of rules about guns. 2018 Feb 15

We (the government) regulate hairdressers and car exhaust and doctors and lawyers and how you add a new room to your house and we license you to drive a car and regulate boats and regulate your speed on the interstate and how you educate your children and test whether your toys are safe and whether your lettuce is clean and we regulate what the word “organic” means on a food package and we regulate how people houses are sold so it’s fair and we monitor air quality and we regulate how much you get paid on unemployment and we regulate how and who can vote and we have rules on lead in paint and we regulate if you can own a ferret in some places. Most of us see these as good things because a hairdresser not meeting standards can hurt you and cars with too much emissions cause smoke and untrained doctors and lawyers are a terrible idea and you need to learn to drive a car properly if you’re going to drive and if you’re going to teach your kids yourself you aught to do it right and if the lettuce isn’t clean you can get really sick and if something is “organic” it should actually mean something and the real estate business has a really shady history of treating people different based on race so we need to fix that and we should keep track of air quality because again, health and yes we should make sure people who vote have the right to vote (although more of us really should vote because we all have a stake in this world) and lead in paint has this really terrible history of hurting people bad and while I don’t understand why some places don’t allow ferrets, even worse I have no idea why my idea of monitoring and regulating firearms better — as in, in such a way that we maybe get less people killed every year — makes me Un-American.

(Originally posted to Medium)

WordFence is vital for self-hosted WordPress instances. 2018 Feb 19

I’ve been hosting WordPress websites for a long time. This blog I migrated to WordPress in 2004. I had experience with it running San Diego Blog which started on B2 and I converted to WordPress in Summer 2004. So I’ve been hosting WordPress a long time. There’s a reason the software is popular. It’s free, flexible, straightforward to customize, theme, improve, update.

This ease-of-use has brought ubiquity. So much so I attended Creative Mornings San Diego the other morning and one of the sponsors was WordPress. The short description of WordPress included the tagline “powering 25% of websites.”

Ubiquity has made WordPress an extraordinarily attack surface area for hackers. (Like Windows has been for a long time! Yay?!) I’ve seen hacks against user accounts, against the upload feature, I’ve seen worms, and DOS attacks and everything in-between. An absolutely vital tool for me has been WordFence. They’ve done a great job on the free version of the tool. I feel like the paid version is a bit too pricy for my own usage, but WordFence version 7 has been a great update already. This blog has had some targeted SQL injection attacks as well as some suspicious user creation behavior directed at it that WordFence alerted me to and thwarted successfully.

I run several other websites and having WordFence do this kind of work and keeping me up to date keeps my mind at ease.

17 Years And Counting 2018 Feb 19

In 2001 I started blogging via It allowed me to augment my personal site using blog with an external service via FTP and experiment with regularly writing. On this anniversary I have commemorated this before: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2014, and 2015.

In 2003 I wrote:

I am at a loss, but it’s not for public condemnation or praise. I would like this blog to be a conduit for finding work and for sharing my thoughts on the technical things which jazz up my life. I also want it, now I realize, as a means to share my experience.

And these many years later that’s pretty much what it’s for. Granted, much of what I do now is cross-post my Instagram posts but still, I’m using this more as my own showcase, for my imperfect self to play with technology.

Just a few months after I started the site here’s what the site looked like when you landed on it, note the blog in the right column:

I’m still learning to blog, and still blogging, and still experimenting.

Most Steps. 2018 Feb 19

I did an export using Pedometer++ and here’s a graph of my steps for the last several years.

That corresponds to a 4 and a half mile walk I took. I’m not sure why there’s an off by one error or why there are so many zero-step days. (Was I bedridden?) But I love the trends, such as they are, regardless.


March Modok Madness is coming! 2018 Feb 20

I never posted about the fact that I did a second MODOK in 2012. I mentioned the first one I did here, but not the second.

What? You’ve never heard of March MODOK Madness?

You’ve never heard of MODOK? Read about him!

January 2018 ←Before After→ March 2018