January 6th, 2005


And the next senior military officer to be dismissed will be...

Lt. Gen. James Helmly, who says that the Army Reserve...
"is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."

I've heard this several times before from soldiers, but I'm glad that someone senior had the balls to say it. He's bound to go the route of Gen. Shinseki, who was called "wildly off the mark" by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, and let go after he had the audacity to say that securing Iraq after an invasion would require a force of approximately 200,000 troops.

Now, I know that a lot of you probably think that my take on Iraq is also "wildly off the mark", but I'm the "doomsayer" who said that Iraq's occupation could require 50-75,000 troops and was expected to take at least two years. Those numbers sound damn conservative nowadays.

I also said well before the invasion that Iraq either didn't posess chemical weapons, or had an arsenal that was severely limited in nature, and that "it could be a war fought by urban guerrillas, where US troops must fight through the streets of every major Iraqi city . . . followed by a lengthy, dangerous, expensive occupation and rebuilding process," and that "even if we ignore the cost in human lives . . . who can ignore the cost to our economy?"

It's depressing being right at times.

More on the whole SixLiveApartJournal thing.

You should all read this dead-on critique of LiveJournal's new "Guiding Principles". Combine that with crschmidt's post here about how LJ has *already* been refusing to open source code we all paid for them to develop because other LJ-code sites *gasp* use it and *gasp* give paid features away for free, and you'll probably see my concerns.

Basically, LJ's code has always had one gatekeeper -- Brad. He says what goes into the code or not, and he says what will be open sourced and what won't. Now, there's *already* some evidence out there that LJ is willing to hurt those LJ code sites that compete most effectively with them, but yet there *IS* no talk of LJ designing its software to have better interconnection / closer ties with other LJ code sites... only with SixApart weblogs.

Currently, changing to other services is a pain. The difficulty of moving your site to another LJ-code site is prohibitive, LJ is already withholding source code to make those sites less competitive, and the kind of interconnection that may make it easy, for instance, for you to have an account at DeadJournal or GreatestJournal or... and add LJers or LJ communities to your friends list not only doesn't exist -- it probably won't exist, because SixApart has no motivation for improving the LiveJournal's GPLed codebase.

The only way out of this trap is to make LJ's code seperate from SixApart and to take away Brad's veto power over what goes into the software... but the people who know the code best are also the people most likely for SixApart to hire. And of course, SixApart can be bought out by any company with enough money once they go public, so LJ's future is far from secure, and Brad's former "contract" which has now become "guiding principles" may mean nothing a year down the road.

In other words, the rules have been changed on us -- even if we paid in advance -- and we're all locked in. Enjoy the ride.

LiveJournal's worst case scenario that nobody's mentioning...

The economy continues to struggle, Six Apart and its 70+ paid employees never achieve a profit -- like most dotcoms -- and they go under, taking LiveJournal with them.

LiveJournal may not have been as big as Six Apart, but one thing they were was financially secure and completely self-funded... unlike SixApart, which has yet to make a single penny's worth of profit.

And it's not just an issue of whether they make money or not. They can go under because of lawsuits. They can go under because Google drops a hundred million on Blogger developers and forces Six Apart to try to keep up. They can go under because a prominent investor gets upset. They can go under because somebody important dies or decides they want out. They could go under for a million reasons.

Anyone want to take a stab at what percent of dotcoms go bust? Anyone?!

Journal roulette!