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Tue, Mar 23, 2004

What? Huh?

Lotte pointed out to me that these buttons don't make a lot of sense to the uninitiated. That's kind of okay--none of that stuff is necessary to enjoy reading the site. They're essentially geek shibboleths, useless to most general readers. For the curious, however, here is a little explanation:

RSS feed and Atom feed are syndication formats. The links each go to a version of sebbo.org that's in a markup language that's similar to HTML, but more specialized. It has a consistent syntax to define what's an article, what's its title, who's the author, and so on. This is useful for people who use an aggregator to check their favorite websites. An aggregator--either on your computer or on the web--presents that info to you in a consistent form for easy scanning. Earlier today, I encountered a quote that explains the "benefits" nicely:

"Since I've started using a news aggregator, I don't spend eight hours a day compulsively noodling through a dozen favorite blogs anymore. Instead I spend eight hours a day compulsively noodling through hundreds of RSS feeds."

The quote is from a Wired article that I found through the RSS feed of bOINGbOING.net. I used to use AmphetaDesk as my aggregator. These days I'm using SharpReader

My public key is data that allows people who use public key encryption tools to send me mail that only I can read. Think of it as a Captain Midnight Secred Decoder Ring for the twenty-first century. (Lotte asks: "Does anyone actually use it, other than crism?" Um...no. Not really.)

Valid XHTML is an assertion that the page it's on was designed to conform to the rules of HTML set forth by the W3C, a nonprofit organization in charge of setting them. Most web browsers are designed to be forgiving of sites that are sloppy with those rules, but they end up having to try to guess what the author meant, This leads to all sorts of nastiness, including different browsers guessing different things. If you click on the button, the W3C's validator will tell you if it thinks this page follows the rules correctly.

blosxom powered refers to the program I use to run this site. Firefox tested refers to the web browser I use 95% of the time--Mozilla Firefox. Dreamhost hosted means that this site is being run off of servers owned by a web hosting company called Dreamhost. If you sign up for their service by clicking on the button, I get a kickback. This differs from pyramid schemes in that...um... Hey, look! A tree!

CC Licensed means this site is offered to you under a Creative Commons license, which gives you, my hypothetical reader, more rights than under traditional copyright. Click the button to read the details.

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