Stilgherrian’s links for 16 June 2009 through 20 June 2009, posted with a distinct sense of “better late than never”:
- Tether me!: How to tether your iPhone (that is, use it as a broadband modem for your laptop) when when your carrier doesn’t officially support it. (I haven’t tried this. I don’t have an iPhone.)
- Hobby Horses | Blackbeard Blog: Tom Ewing observes that it might be better to stop trying to think about the “usefulness” of social media and instead consider it as a hobby. He draws some excellent parallels to hobbies and sport.
- Optimizing Rural E-service Engagement | Information Technology in Developing Countries: A paper comparing development-driven and entrepreneurial models of Internet services in rural third-world locations. On of the examples is India’s DakNet which I mentioned the other day.
- First Dog on the Moon | Crikey: The entire First Dog on the Moon back catalog is now online. 300+ images. Enjoy.
- Letter Opener | restoroot.com: A plug-in for OS X’s Mail.app to handle those pesky winmail.dat attachments that sometimes, even today, still infect some emails from people with Exchange servers (which have been poorly configured).
Stilgherrian’s links for 11 June 2009 through 13 June 2009, gathered with tenderness and love. Especially love.
- The Poll Cruncher | Pollytics: How trustworthy is the result of an opinion poll? This handy little tool allows you to enter the sample size and the result, and it gives you the margin of error. Assuming, of course, that the poll was conducted randomly and ethically in the first place.
- What’s Your Professional Reputation? | Pollytics: Possum interprets the latest results from the Roy Morgan poll of public perceptions of ethics and honesty for various professions. As usual, newspaper journalists and car salesmen are down the bottom. Possum creates a nice little interactive graph showing how the result have changed each year since 1979.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four turns sixty | Inside Story: Brian McFarlane’s take on the 60th anniversary of the publication of Orwell’s classic. Somehow, while talking about film adaptations and connections to Phillip K Dick, he completely fails to mention Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
- Dear Global Service Direct, where is my Snuggie? | Crikey: Crikey‘s coverage of their interactions with the Snuggie has the potential to become quite obsessive. In a good way. However this silly exchange of emails with Snuggie’s sellers contain one of the best customer service responses ever: “I wish I could do more but I am just a pawn.” Also, a graph.
- From little things… | RN Future Tense: This episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense included an interview with ActionAid Australia’s Archie Law about Project TOTO, as well as some great stuff about innovative uses of telecommunications technology in Kenya and India. Internet via bus, anyone?
- William Langewiesche on Somali pirates | vanityfair.com: Feature article on the incident where French luxury cruise ship Le Ponant was targeted by Somali pirates.
- louder than swahili: The blog of Pernille, a 37yo Scandinavian woman who’s been living in Tanzania since 2007, and most recently before that spent 26 months among Sudanese refugees along and across the Ugandan border to Southern Sudan.
- A Never Ending Race | absolutelybangkok.com: Bangkok in 2015 is a paranoid short yarn from Yan Monchatre, a French cartoonist and illustrator who’s resident in Bangkok.
- The First Few Milliseconds of an HTTPS Connection | Moserware: A deep, deep explanation of what happens when your web browser creates an encrypted connection to a website.
- mHITs: An Australian company providing the technology to pay by mobile phone. Currently seems to be limited to food and drink, and to a handful of venues in Canberra and Sydney.
- The United Republic Consulate of Tanzania Consulate: This is, I hope, the official website of the Consulate for Tanzania in Melbourne. It’s not particularly reassuring when the home page’s title bar reads: “::Welcom to Company Name::”.
- Rise of online mercenaries | Australian IT: Steven Bellovin, professor of computing science at Columbia University, predicts the rise of online mercenaries using techniques going back 200 years to letters of marque and reprisal, where governments commission somebody to attack another government’s assets with perfect immunity under law. The story’s a couple weeks old but still relevant.
The guy in the photo is Jerry Watkins, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne — and I want to slap him.
This morning he was a guest on ABC Radio National’s FutureTense, where he talked about some fantastic third-world technology projects, like India’s DakNet.
A Wi-Fi transmitter and receiver is fitted to the local bus. So the bus drives along its normal route, goes through a number of villages, and what it’s doing while it’s stopping at the bus stop in each village, is simply picking up and delivering information via Wi-Fi from publicly-accessible computers in each village… Once it gets back into town, it simply uploads all its stored data onto the Internet… So in this way, the rural community is getting access to a very affordable internet connection, it’s just simply not always on…
It’s services like e-shopping which are proving increasingly popular with these users. So e-shopping is using the bus internet system, and it allows villagers to order essential items and luxury items, which just aren’t available at the village market. And what’s more, the items are often delivered to the village on the very same bus with the Wi-Fi transmitter.
Awesome. But that’s not why I want to slap him.
I want to slap Jerry Watkins because he said daft things about Australia’s proposed National Broadband Network.
Continue reading “NBN: Of course there are no applications yet!”
Stilgherrian’s links for 29 May 2009 through 08 June 2009. Yes, another delayed posting which will give you plenty of Queen’s Birthday holiday reading.
- How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live | TIME: Yes, TIME magazine’s cover story is about Twitter. It starts extremely badly: that clichéd, lazy trope about people tweeting what they had for breakfast. Despite that inexcusable slackness, it’s a useful addition to the cornucopia of Twitter-based articles.
- 10 Things I would do differently | Still A Newspaperman: Written with the benefit of hindsight, a former newspaper journalist considers how he’d have handled running a metropolitan newspaper. He’s spot on in many ways.
- Can the EU play Battleships? | Global Dashboard: Is it time for Europe, as a united entity, to develop a naval strategy? The article’s illustration is also a remarkable example of period gender stereotyping.
- How IT Can Save Africa | SAP Network Blogs: While clunkily-written, this piece outlines why getting decent IT to Africa isn’t a “waste”, but in fact a core element of getting rid of poverty.
- How Twitter’s Staff Uses Twitter (And Why It Could Cause Problems) | ReadWriteWeb: It turns out that the staff of Twitter don’t use it like “power users” like me use it. Could this affect the tool’s development?
- The oldest sculpture ever discovered is a 36,000 year old woman with really big breasts. Is anyone surprised? | 3quarksdaily: Dubbed the “Venus of Hohle Fels”, this 6cm tall sculpture us about 36,000 years old. And it has large breasts.
- Live Streaming Video From Livestream.com: The live video streaming service Mogulus has re-branded as Livestream. That should Hoover them into some generic wordspace, yeah. (Google it!)
- Spootnik: A tool to automatically synchronise information between 37signals’ Basecamp (which use extensively) and OmniFocus (which intend to use).
- Tom’splanner: Another software as a service start-up, this time about “creating and sharing project schedules”. Their website’s menu bar is the clichéd list of Home, tour, product Info, Pricing and — of course! — “Buzz”, so it must be good. Sigh.
- How Journalists Are Using Twitter in Australia | PBS: Julie Posetti’s rather reasonable article which responds to “the views of resistors and detractors” who argue that “Twitter isn’t journalism”. “Sound familiar to veterans of the great blogging vs journalism debate?” she asks. “Of course Twitter isn’t journalism, it’s a platform like radio or TV but with unfettered interactivity. However, the act of tweeting can be as journalistic as the act of headline writing. Similarly, the platform can be used for real-time reporting by professional journalists in a manner as kosher as a broadcast news live report.”
- Light Rail to Summer Hill | Metro Transport: The other Monday, yet another proposal for a new transport line in Sydney went to NSW state cabinet. This one involves extending the existing light rail line by 3.7km from Lilyfield to Summer Hill by converting the Rozelle freight line. It also has the advantage of running through the state seat of Balmain, where sitting Labour member Verity Firth runs the risk of losing to The Greens in the 2011 election.
No wonder this budget airline is so cheap — it looks like you have to fly it yourself. But hey, it looks like it could be fun…
This poor choice of editorial photography was brought to you by “Cochin”:http://www.cochin.com/ today. Those wacky Indians.