Given that mere popularity doesn’t reflect quality, here’s my personal selection of my best, timeless posts for 2008. Happy reading!
- Kruddiversary: The internet thanks you for 12 months of achieving nothing, my Crikey article looking at the first year of the Rudd government from an Internet geek’s perspective.
- Thailand’s political crisis: an introduction, though later pieces in The Economist are better than my amateur efforts.
- Journalism in a hyperconnected world.
- @KevinRuddPM stumbles into the Twitterverse, a Crikey article which includes links to the previous three essays I’d written about the PM’s entrance into modern social media.
- Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown, my experiment in live-tweeting a descriptive essay and still one of the best things I’ve written all year.
- How Dell fixed my monitor order, which is being used by clever consultants as an example of how to use social media for quality customer service.
- Sunday Thoughts about Journalism, a rather lengthy essay with many links to background on the Death of Newspapers this year.
- Finally, The Shave, a rather wonderful film we made.
- The Great Firewall of China: how it works, how to bypass it.
- Note to “old media” journalists: adapt, or stfu! This piece triggered an entire wave of discussion and was quoted globally.
- Winter Solstice Meditation.
- Anzac Day Rememberings.
- ABC Playback: so this is the future of televisionâ€¦? Nope! A review of what’s now called ABC iView.
- There ain’t no shortcuts to professionally-managed IT.
- Remembering the Space Age: Arthur C Clarke dead at 90.
- Super Hornets are Go.
- Jason Calacanis and the Evil Cult of the Internet Start-up. I don’t really think Jason is evil, but I do worry about the self-centred anti-human attitude of many people connected with Internet start-ups.
- New national anthem: I am So an Aussie, when the Snarky Platypus and I created, yes, a new national anthem. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!
- Is it really so wrong to mix business and politics (and religion)?
- Leaving room for elephants: a chat with David Attenborough, a personal fave since it harks back to an interesting time in my life. This is still one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done. Ever.
- Angry geeks: “Don’t waste money on internet filters”, one of many articles I posted about censorship, but which outlined the key issues way back in January.
- Post 801: Kill the Hallucinating Goldfish.
Stilgherrian’s links for 21 November 2008 through 22 November 2008, after being tickled with a feather duster:
- Danger Room Debrief: How to do Defense, When the Money’s Gone | Danger Room from Wired.com: “The current global economic and financial meltdown may yet become something worse: a protracted global depression. As with the last century’s Depression, which spawned fascism and WWII, it could recast the world at a fundamental level. As such, it may soon represent our biggest security challenge in over 50 years.”
- The Power of Nightmares | YouTube: The 2.5-minute introduction to The Power of Nightmares, to give you a flavour of the full 3-hour documentary series.
- The Power Of Nightmares (DVD) | Internet Archive: This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today: “Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’s nightmare vision of a secret organized evil that threatens the world, a fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.” The full DVD image is free to download.
- Irrelevant Al Qaeda | Jon Taplin’s Blog: Is it time to declare Al Qaeda irrelevant and downgrade the War on Terror a police action that’s just mopping up the stragglers?
- Mother Earth Mother Board | Wired 4.12: A massive 1993 feature article in which Neal Stephenson toured six countries following the roll-out of fibre optic cables. It introduced me to his writing and it remains an excellent read today.
- The End | Flickr: A collection of classic “The End” title cards from a wide variety of films.
- Fiscal Conservative vs. Tax & Spend Liberal | Be the signal: Another variation of an infographic pointing out that the Republicans don’t have the best track record for the US economy.
- Opinion graph | Junk Charts: On average, the US stock market does much better under Democrat Presidents than Republicans, as this graph shows.
- How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin Mom Campaign | Advertising Age: A groundswell of opinion on Twitter caused Johnson & Johnson to pull an adverting campaign.
- Thesis Theme for WordPress | DIY Themes: A high-quality but not-free theme framework for WordPress. While I currently use the free Tarski theme for my website maybe this is worth a look at some point.
- NSW Parliamentary Research: Mandatory ISP filtering is not what it seems | Internet Industry Association: Research by the NSW Parliamentary Library shows that Senator Conroy’s claims about other nations’ compulsory Internet censorship regimes are wrong.
- Kerr's curse | ABC Unleashed: If nothing else, I love this essay for the phrase “cardboard cutout think tanks”. But there are many other reasons to like it.
- Internet Censorship and the Irukandji Jellyfish | First Dog on the Moon: Only First Dog on the Moon could successfully combine Senator Conroy’s Internet censorship plan and jellyfish in one cartoon.
- PG Nation | ABC Unleashed: An interesting essay about the neo-wowserism of the Rudd government.
- Europa Film Treasures: An archive of European cinematographic treasures. It looks like there’s a lot of material here.
- The Trojan Horse | Business Spectator: “The current government policy of forcing ISPs to offer their customers a so-called ‘clean feed’ has the overt intention of helping parents to protect their kids while surfing the Internet. It is, we are told, all about child protection. However, the use of content filtering to make the Internet ‘safer’ for kids is already available, to the extent that any statistically significant real demand exists to solve it.”
- Failing hard drive sounds | Datacent: A collection of the sounds made by dying hard disc drives. Yes, they can be used in music provided you contact these guys first.
- 19-year-old Commits Suicide on Justin.tv | NewTeeVee: Abraham K Biggs committed suicide on Wednesday while broadcasting himself on video site Justin.tv. Apparently the 19yo Floridian was egged on by commenters on Justin.tv and forum users on bodybuilding.com. The article canvasses some of the legal and ethical issues.
Stilgherrian’s links for 26 August 2008 through 30 August 2008, collected using a fine-meshed net and a spoon:
- Interpreting Privacy Principles | Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre: The Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre is holding a 1-day Symposium o 2 October to discuss the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report on Privacy (August 2008), and to take stock of the NSW Law Reform Commission’s Consultation Paper 3: Privacy Legislation in New South Wales (July 2008). The Symposium is part of the Interpreting Privacy Principles Project, an Australian Research Council Discovery Project.
- Electing a US President in Plain English | YouTube: A quick explanation of the US Presidential voting system from the wonderful people at Common Craft.
- The Grand Twitter Experiment | Widgify: One guy’s experiment to increase his Twitter followers so his “channel” is one of “greater influence”. He seems to miss the two far more important aspects of Twitter: how he’s contributed to the conversation to improve his reputation, and what connections he’s made.
- My current backup strategy | eirikso.com: A nice explanation of how one media producer stores his backups, with other suggestions in the comments.
- 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business | chrisbrogan.com: What it says. The thread through all of it is “be human”.
- The Anatomy of a Successful Music Broadcast Event | The Ustream.TV Blog: Nice set of tips on doing live music stuff on this Internet thing.
- Explanation before information | Made to Stick: A nice little article explaining why explanations need to come before the low-level facts, not the other way around.
- Twitter demystified and debunked | The Fluent Self: Havi Brooks has written a fine, playful piece about Twitter.
- Oedipus (with vegetables) | YouTube: The story of Oedipus in 8 minutes performed by vegetables in the tradition of Ben-Hur. Featuring a Potato, a Tomato, Broccoli, Garlic, and Billy Dee Williams as the Bartender. Official Selection 60+ film festivals including Sundance
Yes, it’s finally complete! Our short film, The Shave. Enjoy. It runs for 3 minutes 35 seconds.
If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, try here.
We decided on the desaturated look rather than going all the way to black and white — though you can see that version in Stilgherrian Live Alpha episode 8.
For those interested in the technicals, it was shot using the built-in iSight camera on my MacBook Pro. We sat the computer on books piled on a milk crate sitting on the kitchen table, and used desk lamps for lighting. We recorded it using Apple’s Photo Booth software. ’Pong edited it using iMovie. Whaddyareckon?
And episode 8 of Stilgherrian Live Alpha, the final in the Alpha series, is now online. This special edition (an hour!) included our short film The Shave.
Here are the web links I’ve found for 04 August 2008 through 05 August 2008, posted automatically using a coat hanger, three melons and a small well-brushed poodle.
- Scoble, Brainstorm & Braided Journalism | Global Neighbourhoods: Shel Israel adds an extremely sensible contribution to the eternal journalists vs bloggers whingefest. If you know any journalists, tie them to a chair and force them to watch this twice before they’re allowed any more beer.
- Blade Runner sweded | YouTube: Forget the Director’s Cut, this 4-minute version of Blade Runner is superb. I love the release of the white dove.
- Sweded Films (and Movies): Films: An A-Z listing of Sweded films.
- Be Kind Rewind | Wikipedia: Just in case you don’t know what the term “Sweded” means, here’s the explanation from the Wikipedia entry for the movie Be Kind Rewind.
- Tron, a video from freres-hueon | Dailymotion: A Sweded version of the lightcycles scene from the movie TRON. Using live stop-frame animation to recreate a CGI movie? Priceless!
- Digital futures report: the internet in Australia | CCI: Findings from the first survey by the Australian component of the World Internet Project. This survey is a major piece of research undertaken by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Innovation at Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research.
- Large Hadron Collider nearly ready | The Big Picture: Beautiful photography of The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27km long particle accelerator straddling the border of Switzerland and France, nearly set to begin its first particle beam tests.
- Atomic Weapons Tests: TRINITY through BUSTER-JANGLE | Internet Archive: A 1952 film providing an overview for security-cleared members of US Congress committees and military. Declassified 1997, but some technical details still redacted. 22 minutes.
- Kosovo Parody Song | YouTube: A Seattle radio DJ created a parody song to criticise US involvement in Kosovo. Norwegian peacekeepers then shot a video clip parodying the original. Fun.
- Tabloid remarks | 12seconds.tv: Sitting sideways in the video, I rant about the Daily Telegraph for 12 seconds.
- Foveaux: We haven’t tried this fine restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney, but the cocktail bar downstairs is excellent. The website still shows the summer menu drinks list, fools.