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Here are the web links I’ve found for 22 May 2009 to 27 May 2009, posted automatically.

  • The Age of the Essay | Paul Graham: This essay dates from 2004, but it’s still valid. The essay, the kind that’s about exploring an issue, is a natural form of writing online. Plus I like his comments about disobedience and creativity.
  • GLAM | Wikimedia Australia: One for your diaries! A little conference called “Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia: Finding the common ground” at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 6-7 August 2009. Hosted by Wikimedia Australia, with discussions on four themes: Education, Technology, Business, Law. To be opened by Senator Kate Lundy, Senator for the ACT.
  • That 180ms is the bane of my life: Network engineer Glen Turner explains why the 180 milliseconds it takes for Internet data to cross the Pacific causes problems. “You’ve got to realise that Australia is almost unique in being a long way from the centre of gravity of its language. Broadly, almost all German-speakers live in Germany, whereas a tiny proportion of English-speakers live in Australia. That has an effect on Internet traffic. Most Internet traffic in Germany stays within Germany. Most Internet traffic in Australia goes offshore.”
  • One thing PC users can do that Mac users can’t…: Crude but effective.
  • Media and Brand Supremacy: Why the New Media Brand Could Be Nike | The Huffington Post: Heidi Sinclair notes that individual journalists and commentators are sometimes bigger news brands than the outlets they work for. There’s plenty here which meshes with my complains that some folks don’t separate the content (“news”) from the container (“newspapers”).
  • texts from last night: A scarily funny collection of people’s (allegedly) drunken text messages. Don’t click through unless you’ve got plenty of time to spare.
  • Death in Birth – Where Life’s Start Is a Deadly Risk | NYTimes.com: The first of three articles on efforts to lower the death rate in Tanzania. Excellent timing, given Project TOTO. Challenging to read, however
  • The Angelina Factor | Bitchy Jones’ Diary: A ranty article which, in language which may be confronting for some, explores the social and psycho-sexual issues around the idea that Angelina Jolie is universally sexually attractive. Just for the record, I do not find her the least bit attractive.
  • Rethinking the Global Money Supply: Scientific American: China has proposed that the world move to a more symmetrical monetary system, in which nations peg their currencies to a representative basket of others rather than to the US dollar alone. The article includes a little history, too.
  • “We did not know that child abuse was a crime,”says retired Catholic archbishop | the freethinker: The retired Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert G Weakland, says “We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature… [I] Accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it’.” WTF?
  • Comedy Thrives in Times of Despair | Spiegel Online: Monty Python’s Michael Palin on what the financial crisis is a boon for comics, and the perils of political correctness.
  • Hello Africa | Vimeo: A 42-minute documentary about mobile phone culture in Africa.
  • Shell On Trial | newmatilda.com: Next week, Shell will appear before a US federal court on charges of torture, extra-judicial killing and crimes against humanity for incidents which took place in the Niger Delta. Will it be the first multinational found guilty of human rights abuses?
  • Genital warts take Shoaib out of Twenty20 World Cup | ABC News: There was a time when someone’s medical history was considered private, even if they played sports professionally. Personally, I reckon the specific of Shoaib’s medical problem are none of anyone else’s business.
  • PlugComputer Community: The developer community for Marvell’s Plug Computer.
  • Plugging In $40 Computers | NYTimes.com: Marvell Technology Group has created a “plug computer”. A tiny plastic box you plug into an electric outlet. No display, but Gigabit Ethernet and a USB. Inside is a 1.2GHz processor running Linux, 512MB RAM and 512MB Flash memory. US$99 today, probably under US$40 in two years.
  • Misguided middle-class moaners | BusinessDay: Ross Gittins explodes a few myths about Australia, class, taxation and social welfare.

Wow! Yesterday @KevinRuddPM said “Looking forward to communicating with you on Twitter” and now he’s said “Thanks to everyone for adding me on Twitter”! The Rudd Government really is about fresh thinking! Look!

Screenshot of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's second tweet: Thanks to everyone for adding me on Twitter

OK, I’m not going to write a blog post every time the PM tweets something. But this gives you an idea of the scrutiny he’s under. He (or an as-yet-unnamed minion) types eight words and suddenly hundreds of people are a’flutter. Or a’twitter.

Mr Rudd’s first challenge will be to explain why he had over 400 followers last night, and had followed most of them back, but now half of them are gone. It’s probably just a Twitter glitch, but we all Need To Know. Now please. I’m sure the friendly folks at Twitter will respond quickly when they know it’s Australia’s Prime Minister (or an as-yet-unnamed minion) asking. That’s like even more important than Sarah Palin!

Have you ever seen Sarah Palin and Kevin Rudd in the same room? Spooky!

Since my welcome to the PM yesterday, I’ve been thinking about some suitably Prime Ministerial tweets.

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Stilgherrian’s links for 16 August 2008 through 20 August 2008, collected by a team of unemployed philatelists under a Word for the Dole program:

  • Actor’s Release Form | PakBuzz: I was looking for a sample release form which people could use to sign away their rights when they participate in my media projects. This one isn’t a bad start.
  • Video Capture and Editing in Linux using Kino | SLUG: Marghanita da Cruz’s notes from a year ago, explaining how to use a low-end (by today’s standards) laptop, free Kino software and consumer-grade video cameras to capture and edit video.
  • Is there anybody out there? | VatorNews: A 22-minute video interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, in which he explains the concept of “ambient social awareness”.
  • Cake Wrecks: As the subtitle explains, this is blog is about “when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong”. Gentle amusement value.
  • Wirecast : Vara Software: “Wirecast is the most advanced live webcasting product available for your Mac or PC. You can stream multiple live video cameras, while dynamically mixing in other media (movies, images etc).” To be investigated soon, though the US$500 commercial license is putting me off a bit.
  • RAAF Bases | Google Maps: A map showing the bases operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
  • Mines of Papua New Guinea | Google Maps: A map showing the location of (presumably significant) mines in PNG.
  • AtGoogleTalks’ Channel | YouTube: Full recordings of the various @Google events, such as Authors@Google. More than 450 of them, including names like Noam Chomsky, George Lakoff, Salman Rushdie, Ralph Nader, Barack Obama…
  • Big Things of Australia | Google Maps: There’s more than 145 Big Things in Australia, from the original Big Banana in Coffs Harbour to… Well, this map shows them all. Explore!

Stilgherrian’s links for 05 July 2008 through 08 July 2008, gathered with string and glue:

  • The State of the Web – Summer 2008: A million people mentioned this fine commentary on the current state of the web. Nice work.
  • Future of Media Summit 2008 | Future Exploration Network: The third annual Future of Media Summit will be held simultaneously in Silicon Valley on 14 July and Sydney on 15 July. Why was I not told about this? OK, time to scam…
  • TuneRanger | Acertant: A tool to synchronise, copy or merge multiple iTunes libraries and iPods over the network. Available for both OS X and Windows. US$29, with 30-day free trial.
  • Mercury Messenger: Client software for MSN Messenger written in Java and runnable on OS X, Windows and Linux. Allows you to use the Mac's built-in iSight camera for video chats, unlike Microsoft's own software.
  • Scrivener | Literature and Latte: Word processors are for processing words. Like processed cheese. If you CREATE words, then you need a writing tool. Scrivener is just that, for OS X only.
  • iPhone in Australia – now for the bad news | Web Directions: A comprehensive analysis of the available data plans to support iPhone in Australia. Recommends NOT getting an iPhone yet to force carriers to lift their game.

Stilgherrian’s links for 26 May 2008 through 01 June 2008, gathered semi-automatically and covering a disturbing range of topics:

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Photograph of iPod Photo with partial installation of Linux

I’ve finally found a use for that iPod Photo 60GB that’s been languishing in my desk drawer. I’m going to use it as a field recorder for my podcasts.

The resale value of an iPod that’s bigger than a postage stamp but doesn’t play video is, presumably, three-fifths of bugger all. However it can record sound.

Apple deliberately crippled the iPod’s recording functions to mere 8-bit quality — OK for recording dictation and the like, but not good enough for snarfing surreptitious bootlegs of a Silverchair concert. But running Linux on the iPod unleashes its full 16-bit glory.

After a couple hours’ work I now understand the process of Linuxing a ’Pod. But to get it to work, my MacPod (that is, an iPod formatted for Mac file systems) has to be turned into a WinPod (one using Microsoft’s file systems). I won’t bother explaining why, but it’s yet another example of that old phenomenon…

In general, Macs can read Windows file systems, but Windows machines can’t read Mac file systems. Sigh. I’ll finish it on the weekend.

I’ve decided to have another go at publishing the links I find online. So, thanks to del.icio.us and some mild semi-automation, here’s today’s batch.

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Some things I found on the weekend which you might like. The UNIX-HATERS Handbook, which reminded me that for all the religious hype over Unix/Linux it really is just a kludge. (Hat-tip of the geekiest kind to Alastair Rankine.) A NY Times article How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children? Answer: not particularly. A fine Wired story about Titan Salvage, the smart, brave and somewhat scary guys who salvage ships. And Possums Pollytics’ wonderful response to an attack by The Australian‘s Dennis Shanahan.

03 March 2008 by Stilgherrian | 2 comments

Finland makes our buses look crap, as well as our phones. “Every bus and tram in Helsinki and the surrounding cities of Vaanta and Espoo are being fitted with Linux servers and GPS units. Every bus and tram in the conurbation will not only become a wireless hotspot serving broadband internet throughout the vehicle — for free — but every bus and tram is visible on a Google map (the beta version is at tinyurl.com/2gftso) that uses the same real-time passenger information as the controllers in their command centre.” Hat-tip to Guy Beres.

29 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | 5 comments

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