Links for 24 July 2009 through 26 July 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 24 July 2009 through 26 July 2009, collected together for a Suitable Sunday of reading:

  • Online Ad Rates Picking Up | The Business Insider: Based on a review of data from 6000 web publishers, it appears that online advertising is up 35% since its low-point of December 2008. Rates climbed 15% between May and June.
  • Love is Old-Fashioned, Sex Less So | A Stubborn Mule’s Perspective: Comparing the music in the Triple J Hottest 100 and The Guardian’s recent list of 1000 songs to hear before you die, the Mule comes up with the view that love is out of fashion. Also, chart pr0n.
  • Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule | Paul Graham: This essay really speaks to me. If you’re a manager, then your schedule consists of those 1-hour blocks to beloved of scheduling software. But it you’re a maker, or someone creative, one hour is barely time to get started. A good discussion of how these two different working styles can be resolved.
  • Too much networking? | msnbc.com: A network expert argues that less social networking would produce more radical innovation on the Internet. “An overabundance of connections over which information can travel too cheaply can reduce diversity, foster groupthink, and keep radical ideas from taking hold,” Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, director of the Information + Innovation Policy Research Center at the National University of Singapore, writes in this week’s issue of the journal Science.
  • Electropulse weapon fear spreads to UK politicos | The Register: A campaign by US right wingers, designed to raise fears of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack they allege could cripple Western nations and lead to chaos, is targeting British politicians, with some success.
  • God is not your bitch / This just in: It is hugely unlikely God cares much about your sex life | Mark Morford: A glorious rant about politicians and others exploit God to explain how they’re really, really going to change this time — amongst many other things.
  • Best RSS feeds for information graphics | nicolasrapp.com: A collection of feeds which represents a nice mix of information graphics and data visualisations. (Is there a difference between those two terms?)
  • Rebooting The News: A weekly podcast on news and technology with Jay Rosen and Dave Winer.
  • The atmosphere in the control room gets tense … | Twitpic: This photograph is an overview of the control room as ABC TV’s Insiders is about to be broadcast last Sunday. Even with the combination of roles and reduction of control room staffing levels, broadcast TV is still a complicated beast!
  • The Great American Bubble Machine | Rolling Stone: An astoundingly harsh critique of the US economy and, in particular, Goldman Sachs. The piece begins: The worlds most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.”
  • Why cops should trust the wisdom of the crowds | New Scientist: The “unruly mob” concept is usually taken as read and used as the basis for crowd control measures and evacuation procedures across the world. Yet it is almost entirely a myth.

Links for 11 March 2009 through 18 March 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 11 March 2009 through 18 March 2009, posted after considerable delay in some cases:

Rudd hampers police child-protection efforts

If you really wanted to protect children from sexual abuse, why would you take money away from the very people who could best stop it? Better ask Kevin Rudd, because that’s exactly what he’s done.

$2.8 million, which the Howard government allocated to expand the Australian Federal Police’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team (OCSET), was instead used by Rudd to help create Conroy’s $44.5 million Rabbit-Proof Firewall.

That’s a shame, because OCSET’s entire annual budget in 2007 was only $7.5 million. Without that money, OCSET simply doesn’t have the staff to investigate all of the suspected pedophiles it already knows about. Some cases get palmed off to the states — that is, to police who don’t have the specialist training and experience of OCSET. The rest…?

“Only half are likely to be investigated by child protection police,” reported the Daily Telegraph. “The rest will be farmed out to local commands or dropped”.

What a great way to “protect the children”, eh? Take money from the police, where it’d do some good, and burn it on a poorly-defined Internet filtering project. Anyone who knows anything about IT will tell you the same thing: without clearly-defined goals up front, you will go over budget, over schedule and in all likelihood, your project will never be completed.

[This article is based on material which first appeared in my subscriber-only Crikey piece Another nail in the coffin of Conroy’s Rabbit-Proof Firewall on 15 January 2008 2009, and would not have been possible without Irene Graham’s superb research at Libertus.net. Another part of it, with some fascinating discussion in the comments, is over here.]

Links for 15 September 2008 through 19 September 2008

Stilgherrian’s links for 15 September 2008 through 19 September 2008, wrapped in a nice green ribbon and love:

Links for 10 August 2008

Here are the web links I’ve found for 10 August 2008, posted automatically with cheese and onions.

Found Art: The Suspect’s Property

The Suspect's Property

A new semi-regular feature, Gentle Readers. Found Art. Objects which I’ve stumbled across in the street.

Today, a Returned Property Docket from the NSW Police Service. It records in detail (and fairly poor typing) exactly what was being carried by S– when he was detained at the Newtown police station, and which was subsequently returned at 2.24am on a Saturday morning.

A life, in summary.

Don’t worry, S–, I’ve shredded the original. Though if you were concerned about your privacy you wouldn’t have thrown it into the street.