Well, the AutoLink debate continues to descend into unintended irony. Look at Steve Gillmor's rant on the subject - after this ode to letting end users do what they want with content:
Luckily, great chunks of the Sixties were captured on tape. The record companies are the Boomers’ WayBack Machine. Actually, it’s the record owners. Not just the official releases but the unofficial ones, the cut-outs, the outtakes, the remixes, the mono mix of Sgt. Pepper (reprise). The Dead’s thicket of tapers clustered around the soundboard. The WiFi junkies clustered around the power strips at the back of ETech two years ago. J.D. Lasica standing like a traffic cop with a radar gun at BloggerCon III.
He then comes out... against allowing end users to do what they want with content:
How do they cross the chasm Microsoft seems congenitally unable to ford? By cooperating on a standard link arbitration that lets users choose which variant or composite of the service they want. Join in a public-facing dialogue to establish an API for addressing link rendering, so that Google’s AutoLink can be chosen or spliced as a service with other offerings. Invite Microsoft to join in, given their SmartTag prior art. Then invite MyYahoo, who may be hard pressed to join in given their Roach Motel leanings around attention metadata. In ten minutes, your messaging goes from hailstorm to brainstorm
Which part of "The Google Toolbar is an optional (IE only, I might add) add on" doesn't he get? Which part of "AutoLink can be turned on or off" is hard for Steve? Finally, which part of "Microsoft will compete with Google on this" is confusing?
The cognitive dissonance is getting too loud for this hour of the morning...
Update: For over the top cluelessness, don't miss this stuff, which Dave Winer pointed to. The "panelists" are all crying for a way to opt out. Here's a big cluestick for these morons - you don't have to install the Toolbar. By gosh, you can uninstall it. Heck, you can use Firefox and completely ignore it. Oh, and here's another thing - I installed it this morning, and what they hey - when hovering over a Google created link, there's a tooltip that clearly identifies it as a Google link. It even changes the cursor, just to make sure I know that it's extra information.
The whole thing drips of the same arrogance I ranted about here - the professional media, academics - and now the "A-Listers" are all in a tizzy that the hoi polloi can - by gosh - remix the content and garner additional contextual information (no wait, that wouldn't be the semantic web, would it? Nah, it has to be complex and involve RDF for that). You know what? These people are (almost) torquing me off enough to make me want to use IE and AutoLink just to spite them.
Let me point out what I'm talking about: Here's a screen shot of an Auto-Linked page (after I pressed the button - by default, it doesn't mark up pages - you have to enable that or press the button). I'll use small words for the A-Listers - the user is in control, and has to ask for the enhanced content.
See that? See the clear marking of the link as a Google addition? You can't see the cursor change, because the print screen doesn't capture it. It's there, trust me. Now, let's have a look at the same page in Firefox:
There's the same page in Firefox, without the link. I'm simply horrified - I haven't been given any clearly marked additional content. Sheesh. Winer, Scoble, Doc (et.al.) - go play with Gorman. You can end up in the same place he wants to go, where experts only control the horizontal and the vertical, and the rest of us are banned from using tools we have to load on our own and set up. Can't have that - might empower us or something
And to add insult to injury, the "Bad News" site with the bozo video completely hosed down Firefox.