Next Tuesday 9 June I’ll be speaking at SoGiKII: Law, Communication Technologies and Culture Conference, hosted by the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales.
Registration closes today, so be quick. My 15-minute presentation is “The Parable of the Topless Gnome: Cultural imperialism and censorship in a global world”. Well, yes…
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.
There have been objections to the presence in my video diary of Gnaomi the Gnome.
Gnaomi is topless and, it is alleged, this is symbolic of the degradation of women — inappropriate given what ActionAid stands for.
I will consider my response and post it in due course. However you may wish to join the fascinating discussion, as opinions differ.
Please post your comments over on the original thread so everything’s in the one place.
[Update 28 May 2008: I have now responded, in a post called Look, about that damn topless gnome… Do feel free to continue the conversation.]
Stilgherrian’s links for 09 May 2009 through 17 May 2009, gathered intermittently and jumbled together at random:
- Frame grabbing: The art of drawing great photography from video | Nieman Journalism Lab: As the boundary between video and still camera blurs, photojournalists and other people we’d normally consider “photographers” are using video stills in mainstream media.
- How to kill five hours in Parliament House | Crikey Team: The wond’rously snarky Ruth Brown reports on a day in Australia’s Palace of Democracy. Great fun.
- Internet Meme Database | Know Your Meme: I haven’t explored it properly, but it does seem someone has decided to catalog all the stupid “memes” that proliferate online. Also, I hate this degradation of Richard Dawkin’s concept of memetics to mean “a joke we pass on”. Fuckwits.
- Computing in Melbourne: A Historical Tour: The next one’s on Sunday 31 May 2009, running 9.30am to 5pm, with plenty of tram travel and café-snacking along the way.
- Google outage lesson: Don’t get stuck in a cloud | Macworld: When I see stories like this, warning of the peril of relying on an external party for your IT needs, I often react by asking whether such an outage would be more or less likely on your own systems, given your own current contingency plans. But this piece also points out the interdependency of so many systems.
- Critical Mass, The Road, and a new wave of graphic nuke porn | Slate Magazine: Apparently our thrillers are no longer looking at the “before” and “after” of nuclear war, but more directly at what happens when the bomb drops.
- EWN – The Early Warning Network: The Australian Early Warning Network provides free emergency alerts covering everything from tsunamis through to severe weather, via SMS, pagers, phone (text to voice), web, email and their Desktop ALERT™. (I’m not sure how legit it is to trademark something as obvious as “Desktop ALERT” though.)
- Older Australians less likely to participate in the digital economy | ACMA: Nearly three out of four Australians (73%) have a home Internet connection and 87% of the population have used the Internet. In contrast, only 48% of people aged 65 and over have the Internet at home and 44% have never used the internet
- Anal Bleaching— NOT just for women | best of craigslist: When I posted this to Twitter, a disturbingly large number of people didn’t seem to realise that it was satire.
- 1952: London fog clears after days of chaos | BBC ON THIS DAY: Well, the “on this day” bit is for 9 December. Nevertheless, this has the echo of Kevin Rudd’s further delays in actually starting Australia’s response to global warming. In 1952, London's "Great Fog" killed 4000 people. Drastic action was called for. The Clean Air Act was rushed through… in 1956.
- 25 things about twitter that are pissing me off | The Bloggess: I couldn’t agree with her more. Also, she writes the best blog on the planet.
- China's Commercialization of Censorship | Far Eastern Economic Review: China’s government doesn’t have to do all the hard work of censorship itself, it just bullies commercial operators into doing it for them.
Here are the web links I’ve found for 29 April 2009, posted with postalness.
- Australia 2020: Government Response: A year after the event which seemed so important at the time, we finally have the government’s response.
- Developments in internet filtering technologies and other measures for promoting online safety | ACMA: The second of ACMA’s three annual reports on “developments in internet filtering technologies and other safety initiatives to protect consumers, including minors, who access content on the internet”.
- The Full Story: “The Full Story is a media and information release portal where individuals and organisations can post breaking news, publicity, information or their side of the story on issues of local or national importance — free, as it happens, unedited and in full.”
- Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview | McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: “Course Description: As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era focuses on the creation of short-form prose that is not intended to be reproduced on pulp fibers.”
- NBN Luddites will be proven wrong | BuddeBlog: Analyst Paul Budde with another thoughtful piece.
- RedR Australia: This organisation provides training for people working in overseas aid and disaster relief, covering everything from logistics to personal protection. Yes, there is a reason this is being bookmarked, but it’s secret.
- Swine flu: Twitter’s power to misinform | Net Effect: Once more, the usual human trait of passing on information which may or may not be true is blamed on Twitter, not on the humans. Fail.
Stilgherrian’s links for 19 March 2009 through 29 March 2009, posted not-quite-automatically in a great lump for your weekend reading pleasure:
I really must think of a better way of doing this…
- The World As Seen From Chang’an Street | Strange Maps: A nice piece of work from The Economist, in the style of Saul Steinberg’s ironic as well as iconic The World As Seen From New York’s 9th Avenue.
- A battle rages for control of the internet in China | PM: ABC Radio’s current affairs program PM covered the Grass Mud Horse phenomenon on Thursday.
- Conroy’s Blacklist Responses | TinyPic: A satirical take on who Senator Stephen Conroy planned for his appearance on Q&A.
- “conroy fail” T-Shirt Design by disgruntled [2807035-3] – RedBubble: Available in 15 colours, and only AUS$30.
- Song of the Grass Mud Horse (Cao Ni Ma) | YouTube: One version of the song, with handy subtitles showing both the respectable words and the anti-censorship subtext.
- Blocking the Net | SBS Insight: Senator Stephen Conroy has a chance to make up for his stumbling performance on Q&A with a guest spot on SBS TV’s Insight this coming Tuesday 31 March at 7.30pm (plus repeats).
- Podcast of The Tangled Web: Beyond an Internet Filter | Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ: The audio recording of New Matilda‘s public forum on Internet censorship, with Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Irene Graham of Libertus.net fame, and Nic Suzor from Electronic Frontiers Australia. The panel was chaired by the infamous QUT law lecturer, Peter Black.
- Right To Know Free Speech Conference | Alliance Online: The record of a liveblog of Tuesday’s “Right To Know” Free Speech Conference, run by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
- 60-foot penis painted on roof | BBC News: An 18-year-old has secretly painted a 60ft drawing of a phallus on the roof of his parents’ £1million mansion in Berkshire. It was there for a year before his parents found out. They say he’ll have to scrub it off when he gets back from travelling.
- How do you get others onboard with using 37signals tools? | 37signals: I love 37signals’ tool Basecamp for managing communications on client projects. One perennial problem, though, is getting people to actually use it, rather than just replying to random emails.The comment stream for this blog post has some useful thoughts.
- DBCDE wouldn’t agree to blind filter trial: iiNet | iTnews Australia: iiNet’s chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said the ISP had told the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) that if customers knew they were being filtered, they were more likely to attribute any problems to the filters. This would likely skew the results of the trials. Several customers calling into iiNet’s call centre already to complain the filters were slowing their connection speeds, even though the ISP isn’t part of the trials.
- David Weinberger: 4.5 lessons from Twitter| The Huffington Post: Amongst the flood of articles about Twitter, here’s one which offers some genuinely new observations, well expressed.
- The Tangled Web | newmatilda.com: On Tuesday night, newmatilda.com hosted the first in a series of public forums about internet regulation in Australia. If you’ve managed to miss the raging “clean feed” debate, here’s Rachel Maher’s overview to get the conversation started. Obviously nowhere near as good as mine.
- iiNet quits Conroy’s filter trial | ZDNet Australia: “It became increasingly clear that the trial was not simply about restricting child pornography or other such illegal material, but a much wider range of issues including what the government simply describes as ‘unwanted material’ without an explanation of what that includes,” [iiNet CEO Michael] Malone said in a statement.
- Google submission hammers section 92A | New Zealand PC World Magazine: In its submission regarding the controversial new s92 of New Zealand’s copyright law, Google notes that more than half (57%) of the takedown notices it has received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, were sent by business targeting competitors and over one third (37%) of notices were not valid copyright claims.
- Stilgherrian on Lateline | TwitPic: I look rather scary when appearing later than life on someone’s 42-inch TV.
- Mandatory internet filtering. It’s not a debate. | Wazzapedia: In summary: The pro-filter lobby are offering a solution to the “problem”. It’s not enough for the anti-censorship campaign to demolish their argument — if we don’t start offering an alternative workable solution as part of our strategy, we will ultimately fail.
- Govts website black list leaked on internet | Lateline: I appeared on last Thursday night’s ABC TV program Lateline as part of a report on the leaking of a secret blacklist of naughty websites.
- Blog, Podcast, Vodcast and Wiki Copyright Guide for Australia | CCI: I think the title explains it all. A handy reference for everyone, it’d seem!
- Social Collider: Whatever this visualisation is visualising about my Twitterstrean, it’s pretty. I’ll come back to this later.
- World War II: If Maps Could Fight | Strange Maps: A cartoon and cartographic interpretation of World War II by artist Angus McLeod.
- Metropolitan Skin | Out to Space: Some of ’Pong’s photos are in this this exhibition on the video displays at Sydney’s World Square (George Street) through to 25 March. Also featured are images by Robert McGrath and Vitek Skonieczny .