I would not mind paying for a copy of an e-book or music recording on the Internet if I could do so anonymously, and it were ethical in other ways (no DRM or EULA). But that option almost never exists.


It is possible to sell online media with payment in cash by mail. Have the payment return a coupon good for some amount of purchasing.

But no need to work so hard at it. Amazon already sells pre-paid cards that you can use to download music and ebooks. You can pay in cash at Safeway.

Postscript: Stallman is against Amazon. And maybe he’s right.

Hot beer

Beer with fresh jalapeno and lime

I had low hopes about putting jalapeno in my beer along with lime, but it worked out really well. The beer absorbs the smoky flavor from the jalapeno, not the pure heat. I’m sure I’ll do it many times more.

This wouldn’t work with pickled jalapeno! The flavor that carries over is unique to the fresh pepper.

Four small plates


Honeydew. Portobello with lime and olive oil, grilled in the Joe Foreman. Hardboiled eggs with Tapatio. A banana.

On separate plates. Not a salad, not a fruit salad.

A flat hierarchy. A meal without a center. No entree, appetizer, dessert. No sequence – take bites of any one at any time.

No explicit starch, but the banana adds carbs.

No meat, but the portobello gives you the feeling of a full belly and the eggs give you protein.

Lots of food, but low calories.

Large numbers at Spotify

Jay Frank on Spotify economics:

In observing the Spotify charts over the last year, the major deviations in weekly play counts almost always correspond to being added or dropped by a playlist.

Spotify’s growth in 2014, like nearly every other digital company, has mostly been in the mobile space. What makes that interesting is that you can’t listen to a particular song on demand on Spotify’s free mobile service. You are forced to listen to music on a random shuffle instead. Most of that listening, by app design and consumer choice, goes to playlists. By extension, this means the majority of free plays on Spotify are just a different iteration of internet radio.

The law of large numbers for Spotify:

  1. Only a few spins are on-demand listeners. The volume is too low to make much money, no matter what the rate is.
  2. Most spins are passive listening to playlists.
  3. Playlists are created by on-demand listeners.

Also: on-demand spins may well be cannibalizing direct sales at the iTunes music store, but they don’t do enough volume to matter. It’s the passive spins that affect anything, and in that regard Spotify is no different than Pandora.



This document is a starting point for talking about how blogs can be more like social networking.

This is about blogs or things reasonable close to them, not novel new types of interaction. The intent is to make smallish changes to an existing ecosystem of tools and users.

The use case to enhance is intimate relationships rather than public ones. Writers should know their readers, or get to know them, and vice versa.

Readers should be able to meet one another. There should be introductions. There should be transitive relationships.

There should be friend lists. It should be possible for a reader to look at the writer’s relationships.

Participants (reader+writers who own a blog) shouldn’t have to add plugins to have a complete set of social features.

Reading and writing should be integrated. For every blog, a blog reader.

Readers must be able to follow multiple blogs without going to each one to see whether there are updates.

This is a departure from the convention of clicking on a link and being taken to its destination, familiar to us from years of using web pages. In a third party card, the content is embedded in the card itself so that it can be experienced wherever a user might encounter that card.


RSS is a technology. Non-technical readers must not be required to know what it is, or even that it exits.

Any reader/writer must be able to install a compatible app on the host of their choice.

Any coder must be able to write a fully compatible and interoperable implementation.

Any host must be able to run the app.

The ideas must be compatible with GPL implementations. Free software must not be excluded or limited.

What do you think?