Total number of books I’ve owned: It’s a bit offputting that it starts with the question people are least likely to be able to answer, especially the kind of people who are surprised to discover clothes they didn’t know they had in their own laundry. (This morning.) So I’ll just say lots and lots and lots.
Last book I bought: Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare At Goats. I’ve long loved his writing for The Guardian and his previous book, Them: Adventures With Extremists. His is a world full of fascinating shlemiels into which he happily lumps himself. His (rarely-updated) blog is here.
Last book I read: Currently in the middle of the above. Since I don’t currently have a long commute (which I wouldn’t be able to read on anyway, since I drive) and I don’t read much in the evenings either, my reading is sadly limited to weekends and toilet breaks. It’s fairly easy to keep track of what I’ve been reading by just looking at the continually-growing pile of books on the cistern. This weekend I also made a brief start on Jared Diamond’s Collapse but didn’t get very far.
Last book I finished: Moore & Cambell’s From Hell. Yes, it really has taken me this long to get around to it. Like any other Alan Moore work it must now be read again, and again, and again, discovering amazing new things every time.
Five books that mean a lot to me:
- Anyone who’s asked me for a book recommendation in the last five years has usually received the same first suggestion: Carter Beats The Devil. It’s not earth-shattering, it won’t change your life, it’s just bloody excellent fun – so excellent that I’ve been eagerly telling everyone. I read this at roughly the same time as Kavalier & Clay and while they’re obviously comparable in a lot of ways and both wonderful, Carter narrowly edged it for me.
- I’ve mentioned Andrew Mueller before, but his Rock And Hard Places – a collection of his wonderfully acerbic/enthusiastic music and travel writing – is probably the book I’ve revisited more often than any other in this list. Tragically, it’s now out of print, but Amazon still have some. Even better, the majority of the book is online for free at his site. To start with try his adventures on the Cresta Run, then China Drum’s tour of Bosnia. Unfortunately my favourite of the lot, his hysterical account of the apocalypse that was Woodstock II, is not currently online.
- Inviting Disaster: Lessons From The Edge Of Technology is probably the best book I read last year, and I’ve been meaning to review it properly for a long time. Until I get around to it, be assured that it’s superb, revelatory, and remarkably gripping for a set of tales told so calmly. Chiles just lets the stories unfold, neither skimping on detail nor overloading you, to show how and why technology fails. The situations themselves range all over, from famous tragedies (Challenger, Bhopal, Titanic, R101, Chernobyl) to famous screw-ups (Hubble’s mirror, Three Mile Island) taking in lesser-known-but-still-horrific accidents and a bunch of near-misses on the way.
- I realise that I’ve been overdoing the Douglas Adams references around here recently (and I’m not done with them yet), but how could I not include him? I was initially tempted to go with Last Chance To See, which is probably the most consistently-well-written of all his works, but the book that had the biggest effect on me is easily Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a book so utterly rammed with fantastic ideas that it took my teenage mind about four attempts to fit them all in.
While throwing ideas down I was thinking about the old joke about comparing people’s lists of books that they think changed their lives (“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, “The Dice Man”, etc.) with the lists of books that actually changed their lives (The Highway Code, the UCAS Institution Guide, etc.).
But then I got more interested in creating a list of five books that were most important to my twelve-year-old self:
- The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Radio Scripts
- The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison
- Chocolate: The Consuming Passion by Sandra Boynton
- The Puzzle Mountain by Gyles Brandreth
- This thing.
The baton is hereby passed to:
- La amiga, Bob
- El barbudo, Santiago
- La mujer del cristal quebrado, She
- El hombre del cubo que falta, Dan
- El hombre que fue traicionado por una manzana, Ian
- El Tim, Tim
In a few hours, cheapest we get one of the most eagerly-awaited events in the technology calendar: a Steve Jobs keynote. I’ve been watching them since he returned to Apple in 1997, pharm despite the fact that I’ve never owned any Apple gear. I know I’m not the only one hypnotically drawn to his performances. I’m a Windows user, but I don’t watch video presentations from Bill Gates (well, not often) or Andy Grove. Why Steve?
The answer: It’s why we’re here in the first place.
Whether you love or hate Apple and its products (personally, I’m all over the map on that one) you can’t deny that Jobs is a demo master. There are few better examples of technology theatre than one of his keynotes. For two hours one is transported into the infamous Reality Distortion Field, where everything is swooshy and wonderful and Apple did it all first. He is the loving uncle bestowing gift after gift, and just when you think he’s all done, he’ll give you the best gift of all. (Now that everyone’s attuned to the “One more thing…” moment, we spend most of those two hours holding our breath for it, waiting for Steve to play Columbo. Such delicious teasing!)
If you want to see just how completely Jobs dominates his keynote performances and rules our attentions, the keynote he gave in January (stream here) contains three notable moments:
Twelve minutes in, something goes wrong – the photo viewer locks up, the machine’s dead. It’s the usual demo nightmare, but it’s the first time something’s gone severely wrong in any of the Jobs keynotes that I’ve seen. It takes Steve a couple of moments to work out what’s happened, plays it to the crowd – “Alrighty… I got a little bug here!” – just long enough to get a laugh, then instantly switches the whole KVM setup to a second hidden Mac. “Well, that’s why we have backup systems here. Anyway…” Round of applause, demo continues. Whole incident is done in 20 seconds. Most of the roundups didn’t even mention it. As Danny said at the time, you imagine that if Steve suffered a heart attack onstage then an identical Steve would instantly step out from the wings and carry on as if nothing had happened.
Fifty minutes in, Steve introduces the President of Sony Corporation, who comes on and immediately, giggling, tells the crowd how excited he is to be taking part in a Jobs keynote. This is the President of a company that could absent-mindedly crush Apple with one tread of its big scaly foot (Daring Fireball headline: “Why It’s Cool To Say AIIEEEE!!”) yet the guy is acting like an awkward kid on stage with his hero. He takes way too long to ramble badly through a discussion of the HDTV standardisation efforts before eventually crumbling into ten seconds of being utterly lost, waving to Steve for help. Steve gets up and thanks him, shakes hands, and just as Mr Ando is leaving the stage, he stops! Turns back to the crowd! And tries to do the “Just one more thing…” thing!
This is not good. He’s stolen Steve’s Holy Addendum Of Wow and he’s doing more rambling with it. Every single person in the auditorium can see Steve’s thoughts above his head, like a mantra:
Get the fuck off my stage
Get the fuck off my stage
Stop screwing with my keynote
And get the fuck off my stage
… and Steve’s eyes are bulging like he’s trying to will laser beams out of them. It’s lucky that Ando shut up and left when he did, because a few seconds later Jobs would have pulled out a silenced Walther PPK from the back of his polo-neck, quickly dispatched the President of Sony without a moment’s hesitation and said, “Well, that’s why we have guns here. Anyway…”
About half an hour after that, Phil Schiller comes on to demo Pages, and it’s a good demo. Actually, it’s a really good demo. Out of all the software demos in this keynote, Pages was what impressed me most. Lovely templates, image embedding and flow that’s as easy as breathing, a genuine break away from the “word processor = Word” mentality, gorgeous. (The reality, sadly, doesn’t live up to the demo, but the demo was really good.) When I spoke to other people about it, many of them Apple fans, they were just, “Pages? What? Oh, yeah, word processor thing, nice. I want another iPod!” Now, it may be just that I was alone in getting more pleasure from a demo of a word processor than is considered healthy, but I think the key reason they didn’t notice was that Steve didn’t give it, Phil did. And Phil’s good, but he’s not Steve. Poor Phil.
A Steve Jobs keynote is the closest thing we have, in our industry, to a rock’n’roll stadium gig, and it reminds us why we’re here.
Those of us who make a living through building and using technology spend 99% of our time up to our elbows in code or email, reading websites, talking to customers, trying to make the backups work properly, etcetera. The world of technology only seems fast because there are so many people doing so many different things, and as a result new things appear every day. But if you’re working on a big project, it can be months or years between releases, and the amount of drudgery is almost intolerable.
This is not what we came looking for. When we were young we wanted jetpacks, underwater cars, holographic video games and x-ray specs. These days, when we’re at the office want the magic button that says “Produce Great Work Instantly”, and we want it to work right goddamn now. (And when we’re at home, we want a machine that lets you become James Bond.)
Please, Mr Demo Man – give us that button! In your brief time on stage, show us that the last week of work could be done in a minute! And with really whizzy graphics!
One of the most notable aspects of working at The Digital Village was the number of famous people stopping by to say hi to Douglas (and then engage in long chats with Emma or Mary). Off the top of my head I can recall Paul Allen, Terry Jones, Charles Simonyi and Brenda Laurel, but it’s Kai Krause who I remember most clearly. This was in 1997, when Kai’s Power Tools was on every designer’s hard drive and Kai’s Photo Soap was raking in millions. His products were way out, wacky but brilliant, and utterly unique. One evening he commandeered a spare 8600 and gave a handful of us a half-hour demo of some new stuff he happened to have with him.
He gave us a great demo.
At the risk of sounding like this guy, the difference between a really good demo and a great demo is this:
- A really good technology demo will genuinely impress you and show you how certain aspects of your life could be a lot easier or a lot more fun. You will become quite eager to get your hands on the product, and you will tell others about it.
- A great technology demo will suddenly drop you ten years into the future. You will start breathing the the words “How the fuck…” and then your mouth will be open for the rest of the demo. You will not want the demo to end, because this is a seriously cool future and as soon as it ends you have to wait ten years to get back there again.
I can only remember snapshots of Kai’s demo (it was eight years ago, after all) but I was standing there with Tim waiting to be impressed while we were taken on a whistle stop tour around his new software, and thinking roughly the same things:
Kai: “So I can take this picture and spin it all around like this…”
Us (thinking): “Yeah, you’re mapping a texture to a polygon and rotating it, this is how you got rich?”
Kai: “… and I can take this picture and zoom all the way in like this…”
Us: “Okay, fractal zoom, nicely gradiated, nice curves going on, nothing particularly special.”
Kai: “… and I can wibble it around like this and zoom out and wibble it about up here…”
Us: “Wait. Do that again. Did he just do what I think he just did? Do that again? Please?“
As the demo went on we saw more remarkable things and heard incredible stories about these Russian guys he was working with who had a camera that could take instant 3D shots that you could load into a modeller and he’d be selling these for $200 a pop and we were completely in the palm of his hand and drooling. None of it ever came out, alas – I don’t know why. (“Everything we ever sold was six months too early,” he says. If you want to know more about what he’s up to now, good luck; all I can give you is this bizarre rambly book thing from the Myst school of UI design)
Truly great demos come all too rarely for addicts like us. This year’s DEMO conference was, according to Om Malik, bereft of them. The best I’ve seen in the past few months have been Will Wright’s “Spore” talk at GDC and this remarkable augmented reality demo. Even Steve, the demo god’s demo god, only shows something truly incredible once every couple of years, if that. (This year’s buzz is all about Apple possibly changing the type of silicon they use. I’ve been speculating just as much as anyone, but really – do we actually care? Those of you working at IBM and Motorola excepted.)
But it’s near-impossible, because however good your demo skills are, they’ll only get you as far as a really good demo. Great demos require great technology. This is why Scoble is currently running around the Redmond campus filming his Channel 9 videos, because he knows that the only way to bless Microsoft with even 1% of Apple’s cool is to show other techies that, you know, there’s actually some genuinely impressive stuff going on there. One day, Bill may actually get it, and show us the many dreams he has pointlessly locked away in his many research centres. Until then, I’ll be watching Steve.
Rebranding: always a pain. Throwing huge amounts of cash at pretentious design consultancies with interminable meetings about “core values”, clinic endless iterations with focus groups, worries about brand recognition… then one department folds its arms and refuses to budge, and you have to start all over again. Plus, there’s all the effort you have to put into protection of the trademark and prosecution of infringement – because, for a brand to work, it has to have meaning.
It’s slightly harder when the brand in question is literally designed to save lives.
Under international law established in 1864, “use of the emblem for protective purposes is a visible manifestation of the protection accorded by the Geneva Conventions to medical personnel, units and transports.” The Red Cross symbol was created by reversing the flag of Switzerland, the home of the Geneva Convention.
However, it’s not the only emblem covered by this law:
In 1876 the Ottoman Empire declared that it would reverse its own flag for use as an equivalent emblem in the war with Russia (while still respecting the red cross) since the red cross “has so far prevented Turkey from exercising its rights under the Convention,because it gave offence to Muslim soldiers” – who mistook the cross for a symbol of Christianity. (This problem of religious connotation has dogged the Red Cross ever since.) The ICRC grudgingly accepted the Red Crescent into the Geneva Convention as a temporary measure while stressing that the situation was far from ideal; however, the Crescent has remained ever since and is now accepted as a core emblem.
Okay, so we’ve got two symbols to remember and respect. Not a universally perfect situation, but pretty good, as long as we don’t let any others in…
… apart from that one.
The “red lion and sun” was introduced by Persia (now Iran) at the end of the 19th century and is still considered a Red Cross emblem, though deprecated and not recommended: it’s been out of use for over 20 years, Iran having adopted the red crescent to line up with the rest of the Muslim world. The red lion and sun was grudgingly accepted into the Geneva Convention during the diplomatic conference in 1929, but at the same time the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) put its foot down and said that this was absolutely the last new national emblem they’d allow, no, really, no exceptions, and they mean it this time.
You know what’s coming, don’t you?
Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David) is the name of a Jewish relief agency that was created in (what was then) Palestine in 1931. Four years later, the Red Archway Society (Mehrab-e-Ahmar) was formed by the Afghan government. Both requested recognition and both were denied by the ICRC, which pointed at its foot, still down.
The diplomatic conference of 1949 is where trouble really started. Debate raged about the new state of Israel and the validity of the MDA symbol, opposed by the various Arab nations that had been defeated in the previous year’s war. But it was a more complex and varied issue than that, as François Bugnon explains in his excellent and thorough “Towards a Comprehensive Solution to the Question of the Emblem”:
It has often been considered that all the discussions on the emblem at the 1949 Conference centred on the examination and rejection of the Israeli draft amendment, but this does not put the matter in proper perspective. Indeed, although the Israeli proposal certainly gave rise to the most heated debate, it was by no means the only issue at stake. Other proposals are also worthy of note, especially those advocating a return to the unity of the protective emblem, whether by reverting to the single red cross sign or by adopting an entirely new sign devoid of any national or religious connotation. The Conference set aside the most innovative proposal — adoption of a new sign in place of the existing emblems. This idea was rejected by the Western States in the name of tradition and by certain Muslim States for religious reasons. Conversely, the Conference also turned down a Burmese suggestion that each State and each National Society be free to adopt the emblem of its choice, feeling that this would lead to an unacceptable degree of confusion.Thus the Conference rejected the two solutions which were perfectly equitable in that they would have imposed an identical rule on all States and all National Societies. In the circumstances, the 1949 Diplomatic Conference could only resort to the compromise it had inherited from the 1929 Conference: tolerating certain exceptions to the rule governing the unity of the emblem while attempting to limit their number. In rejecting the Israeli amendment, the Conference maintained the two exceptions that had been accepted in 1929
while refusing to allow any others.
The number of votes against the Israeli draft amendment far exceeded the number of States in conflict with Israel. It therefore seemed that the determining factor was fear of opening the way to a constant increase in the number of protective emblems, at a time when cracks were appearing in the colonial empires and a large number of countries were on the brink of achieving independence.
… and that’s the way things have stayed. MDA, being Israel’s only official medical service, has retained its logo; as a result, it has not been given full membership of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, nor are its ambulance and staff protected by the Geneva Convention.
As you can imagine, this is a heavily politically-charged situation: my interest was first aroused by this petition from the Simon Wiesenthal Center that was forwarded to me by relatives. (Hello, Kushnirs!) Israel and its supporters are understandably sensitive to any dictated exclusion from major international bodies. This particular case is being touted, from the Israel-supporting side, as a clear example of anti-Israel and anti-semitic discrimination. In this opinion piece from March 2000, the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer provides a notably nasty quote:
Particularly upset was Cornelio Sommaruga, then president of the ICRC. In a private meeting after her speech, and in the presence of several witnesses, he said to Healy: “If we’re going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?”
The comparison of Israel’s problems with the ICRC with its ongoing dramas in the United Nations is obviously incredibly tempting; Krauthammer (and many others) jump into it wholeheartedly. However, it’s also particularly blinkered:
- Sommaruga’s statement regarding the swastika is covered further by Krauthammer here, yet he chooses to rubbish rather than research the true meaning of the remark: the Ceylonese Red Cross had asked for the Hindu swastika – the origin of the reversed Nazi symbol – to be accepted by the ICRC in 1957. The Indian Red Cross Society also asked for a swastika in 1977. (See Bugnon, p29)
- As we’ve already covered, the ICRC’s limitation on new emblems came into effect before Magen David Adom (and the State of Israel) existed.
- Israel is not the only nation to have emblem-related troubles with the ICRC. As well as Afghanistan’s Red Archway situation in 1935 and the swastikas, Kazakhstan and Eritrea have also run into problems through combining the red cross and crescent so as not to offend its mixed-religion population. At this time Eritrea is still excluded from the Federation.
- The positioning of the American Red Cross as lone defender of Israel is relatively recent, and ignores its earlier opposition. Not only did the USA vote against Israel in the decisive 1949 conference, but it was one of only two nations to object to an Israeli reservation in 1955. (Bugnon again, p19)
- Israel’s American supporters appear to be providing a much more confrontational picture of its relationship with the Red Cross than actually exists. On the contrary, Magen David Adom itself proudly enumerates the advances in cooperation between the two organisations, as does the ICRC. Quote: “With the support of the ICRC and the International Federation, the MDA has increasingly fulfilled the role of a fully-fledged national society at the international level.”
- The limitation on new emblems is entirely justifiable in itself: not only would accepting new emblems on a per-nation basis require changes to international law for each, but they’d cause a large and confusing proliferation of symbols that would only weaken the Red Cross movement and its power to save lives. This is the most vital point here, and bears stressing: The universal recognition of the Red Cross emblems is what makes it work. Complicate the brand and you get people killed. If you want to know why the Red Cross has been so successful as a universal symbol of hope, the clue’s in the name.
Despite all this, the emblem issue still keeps MDA – and Eritrea’s medical services – from being full members of the Federation. So, how to fix it? Well…
… meet the Red Crystal, created by a special working group within the ICRC specifically to solve this problem. Not only is it a symbol devoid of religious and political connotations, the proposed protocol for its adoption specifically allows for its use in combination with a nation’s existing medical emblem. (The ICRC site has a large collection of resources on the topic – best start with the FAQ) Its passage into international law, however, is moving slowly – not just because of the huge amount of legal work required for solid ratification, but also due to the prevalent instability in the Middle East making this work harder and more risky to introduce. Bugnon:
Unfortunately, between the November 2001 Council of Delegates and the statutory meetings held in December 2003, the sun did not break through the leaden skies above the international scene. The bombings in Bali, Riyadh, Casablanca and Istanbul, the war in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and above all the continuing clashes in the occupied territories created a general climate fundamentally incompatible with any resolution of the emblem issue.
The lesson, as ever, is one of which the Wiesenthal Center should be reminded: Resolution of this pressing issue requires the ending of conflicts, not the creation of new ones.
UPDATE: As Andy points out in the comments, neurosurgeon others have been investigating hNews as well; see pieces from Ars Technica, medicine Ed Felten.
As the baying crowd gathers around Old Journalism – creditors on the left, pills bloggers on the right – the Associated Press makes a desperate lunge. Behold, a new direction that will provide revenue and copyright protection for press agencies while letting those tech-heads… um… mash-up their RSS content beacons! Or something! Or, as the digerati have interpreted it: Someone just sold the Associated Press a bag of magic beans.
But let’s stay with the idea of a technology-based strategy for staying relevant rather than, say, doing better work. What would we digerati, being clever people of taste and distinction, choose as a non-laughable course of action?
Okay, so, a big swirly mass of press agencies wants to peddle their content over the internet under a unified schema. How about…
- At the very least, an open internet standard to keep the playing field level
- … based on existing open, popular standards, like RSS or Atom
- Use of microformats in published content that maintain all the metadata (viva semantic web!)
- Some method of encoding rights data, ideally using the hippest content licensing scheme there is
- Rights enforcement using the actual law rather than even the merest hint of DRM-crypto-insanity
- And while we’re reaching for the stars, maybe even a way of encoding the author’s journalistic principles in the metadata too?
Let’s take all that, stir it up with a big dollop of XML, bake it into an Internet Draft and call it hNews. Whoa, look at that! And look at which organisation’s behind it – the Associated Press! How’d that happen? And more importantly, what about the magical beacon wrappers?
The answer lies with the other organisation responsible for hNews, a British registered charity called the Media Standards Trust. Their latest non-profit project is Value-Added News, aimed at both promoting the use of hNews and creating a search engine that will help creators track the re-use of their work. (And the other other organisation in the picture is the WSRI, which is led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.)
Now we’ve replaced the money-grabbing DRM dreams of the Street Of Shame with the ivory-tower idealism of the semweb crowd. That’s a definite improvement, but it’s still lacking some of that salty pragmatism we cynics demand. So I got in touch with Mark Ng, one of the names on the hNews spec. His first response contained the line
This isn’t “DRM for text”. That would, clearly, be stupid.
… thus giving me a glimmer of hope for the rest of the conversation. So I asked: tracking content via micro-semantic-metadata-tags is lovely in theory, but surely those who are seriously ripping off your content are just going to remove those tags, no? (I suppose one could resort to searching for key phrases instead.)
Mark made it clear that the A.P. representatives he’s been dealing with – such as those named in the hNews spec – are very much on the tech side of things, rather than the business side. Nonetheless:
To do my best to explain how *they* have explained APs motivations, I would compare them much more closely to what The Guardian are doing with their content API. They have their own content API, which is currently in private beta and uses this format. They see the rights stuff as an opportunity to allow third parties of various types to work with their data and make interesting software, but for them to come back and ask for some advertising/cash if the stuff that’s built becomes successful and/or useful later on.
re: searching, speaking to those people closer to the tech reveals they’re more concerned about wholesale spam blogs. Searching can help these be found, and the removal of things like the beacon or rights information they’re setting up makes intentions clearer.
That’s all great, but this plan to tag content with statements of journalistic principles still smacks of idealism. Who’s going to define, and more importantly enforce, the tags and their correct use?
Principles, I can speak more authoritatively for, as I’m almost entirely responsible for that. The existing set of proposed values is a link to the set of principles or code of practice a journalist operates under.
In the UK, journalism by newspapers (including their online editions) should be covered by a minimum of the PCC’s code of practice. Many organisations have their own supplementary codes also. For bloggers, independent journalists and citizen journalists, it would be nice to see them begin to publish the principles they choose to operate under.
As a social effect, it’s hoped that linking to principles from articles will have a few effects :
- give people an opportunity to be aware of the standards they should be able to expect from the journalism they’re reading
- make sure people are aware of how they can complain before seeking legal recourse (or to solve things that are not open to legal recourse).
- encourage news producers to publish their principles where they do not do so already
Regarding who decides whether a news producer sticks to their principles, ultimately, you do! That said, codes like the PCC code often offer recourse themselves. Also, it’s completely possible for external services to be written to collaboratively judge how closely a producer sticks to their principles. Of course, these are exercises for the reader or the rest of the internet, and not things we would choose to “regulate” ourselves.
It is an intention for us to work towards a standard for actually making statements of journalistic principles machine readable themselves, but is work we have only just begun. This would potentially allow you to filter based on news that claims to reach certain standards (and perhaps, further still, filter based on some external judgement of whether that organisation actually meets their standards, too).
I’m still somewhat skeptical, but agree that it’s worth a shot if only to see what happens. As for the A.P.’s plans, there’s reason to be skeptical too – especially given their trigger-happy record in the legal and business departments. The Tech and Law blog has a good take on this (and is the only blog I’ve found that’s given hNews a proper look): the A.P.’s business side may try and milk this as a way of squeezing cash out of Google, Yahoo! et al, but in the end an overly-restrictive policy is sure to backfire. Meanwhile, less profit-hungry independent journalists (and bloggers) who pick up these magic beans may end up with a very nice beanstalk and a dead giant.
Whatever the A.P. is planning it’s clear that they don’t have a properly-formed cross-organisational picture. This isn’t too surprising, given that they’re a giant non-profit currently taken up with trying to keep a thousand smaller agencies from committing suicide. So far I give them ten out of ten for technology design, minus several million for good communication. The business side seems to think they’re getting something far more magic than mere microformats can provide. The bloggers, meanwhile, have clearly been too hasty in their vaporware accusations. The business of Old Journalism may be yelling for the doctor, but it’s the principles that really need it.