The latest "social software buzz" is for Orkut (no link gratuity today) and according to almost everybody in the blogging world, Orkut is failing in a big way to deliver on Cory Doctorow's requirements for socal software. Joi Ito summarizes. David Weinberger jokes and complains. Some guy named michael with a truly crappily implemented weblog writes better than he codes html (for the curious; I would say I suck a good deal more at web design/HTML hacking than at writing but my typing is so terrible that this fact is probably not really believable from my web log)
If you're in the United States as a non U.S. Citizen you no longer have any human rights.
Bruce Schneier, as always, has the right take on this. Total control does not prevent serious crime it's just a slippery slope away from democracy and freedom.
The Bush administration has got to go. This is getting scarier and scarier. It is extremely disconcerting to have an ally that at the same time is run by protectionist, closed mind, right wing assholes and want international backing to support its policies. There's just no way these two sentiments add up.
Among the features of Mozilla Firebird is the simplicity ff the install: Thw Win32 binary download is a zip file and you just extract that and run.
It is testament to the sad state of consumer software that you involuntarily need to struggle with this simplicity. You find yourself looking for the SETUP.EXE file in the distribution, but there isn't one because it isn't needed.
One feature they should add to the Win32 browser though is the ability to register the browser a little better with the registry so that the Installshieldy plugins can go about their complicated ways. Of course some of us wish that all the flash sites would just go away and die anyway, so this may be a feature and not a bug in the browser.
DO yourself a favor and download the short but sweet Howard Dean mashup right away. More streetcred than he can take probably, but reason enough to vote.
[UPDATE] Oh, there's even a website exclusively for Dean Howl remixes. Sites like this are living proof of the bonanza we would be missing out on if we had the repressive copyright laws requested by the RIAA and MPAA and their european counterparts.
Clay Shirky comments on the remarkable quick decline in popularity of the Dean campaign in the primaries. His asks the interesting question whether the intensity of the believers in the highly praised Digital Dean Campaign actually turned non-believers off Dean. There's that, and then there's the framing phenomenon I wrote of earlier.
Inspired by the Autotote Terms of Service I discovered at last the true calling of Classy's Kitchen. It was to be the home of the world's largest pop up window. So here it is at last The World's Largest Popup! (CAUTION : This is a 1.2 MB download on a slow line).
The popup in question contains the entire text of Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
At the same time ridiculous legalese and horrible web design. I am guessing the gambling industry is a litigous place to be.
This is rich. As reported by Dan Gillmor, audience members had to sign an agreement to only say good things about the film before attending a preview of Mel Gibson's film on the passion of Christ.
That's not saying much about Gibson's confidence in his own message. Generally when people have something to say, but have to attach clauses on how you are allowed to understand it you're supposed to expect the worst.
Med Kashmir, Swan Lee, The Raveonettes og andre som hhv protektor og guvernante er Prins Joachim og Brian Mikkelsen. Det er ligesom hvis Sex Pistols i sin tid havde fået en varm anbefaling af Margaret Thatcher.
Politiken: Christiania bliver socialt mere skæv. Og her gik man og troede at det størte problem var at de var ganske almindeligt skæve...
My cell phone died some time ago (please stop calling until I get a new one) and I just today fixed a requirement for its replacement in addition to the PIM synchronization : It must run perl.
A while back I wrote, in response to what I considered a misguided attempt to define the danish blogging scene, that as far as I am concerned weblogs will have to either explode or die, that is either defy the current scope and (attempts at) definition or die as just another fad. So on that note I was happy to read Never mind the bollocks - here's the wonderchicken, which seems to say just about the same thing. At great length. With lots of style. Subscribed.
Rushkoff reports that one of the casualties of Pres. Bush's PR in Space campaign is the Hubble telescope. The Hubble telescope has made
real difference, pushing the observable horizon of space significanlt, but now the (aging, granted) telescope has had a maintenance mission canceled because of new priorities (getting reelected). That's just sad.
When I go off my self imposed bread moratorium (it's one of those post new years weight loss things) I think I'm going to try out this bagel recipe. It looks to be one of those things where the enormeous effort required makes up half the taste of the finished product.
Textism claims to improve on the recipe.
Obviously traffic is less intense than it might be, but the Technorati beta is really fast. Sub second query times is essential for that google-like blog surfing fun.
I will probably disagree with a lot of the stuff he says, but that will not detract from the Rageboy thesis on AI.
The basic problem with anti-AI philosphers is one that is actually covered from the other side in Rageboy's text via a quote from Jerry Fodor:
"There is, in short, every reason to suppose that the Computational Theory [of Mind] is part of the truth about cognition.
But it hadn't occurred to me that anyone could think that it's a very large part of the truth; still less that it's within miles of being the whole story of how the mind works. (Practitioners of artificial intelligence have sometimes said things that suggest they harbor such convictions. But, even by its own account, AI was generally supposed to be about engineering, not about science; and certainly not about philosophy.)" [p. 1; italics in original]
Just stumbled on mod_pubsub a combination of various clients and a mod_perl application for enabling publish subscribe two way interactions with browser clients over HTTP. The demo apps indicate that browser mileage will vary - but that is to be expected when using specs to their limits.
This open source project comes out of what looks like interesting work by Rohit Khare.
As Nikolaj informs me, I actually stumbled on mod_pubsub indirectly a few years back when KnowNow (the company sponsoring mod_pubsub) was featured in Release 1.0. I remember reading the description of the technology and thinking 50% vaporware and 50% brittle borwser hack. The brittleness I assume is still an issue, but no vapor is to be found.
Was Howard Dean the victim, and John Kerry the beneficiary, of the phenomenon of psychological framing as explained in this product pricing example?
In a political context the framing would go like this: Through his early lead and absurd amounts of press coverage of Deans "acerbic" rhetoric, Dean has established a boundary of the reasonable that makes Kerry's Bush bashing seem like solid middle ground? If that is the case then Dean should be commended for moving the middle ground off the usual "We all cut taxes and we all support the troops, believe in god and stay silent on abortien" middle ground driven by the christian right in another fine exercise of psychological framing.
[UPDATE] - I think this was Kevin Werbach's point also.
It sounds like an april fools joke but unfortunately it is true: A patent has been issued for using the domain/email naming scheme christianname.surname.tld for a URL and email@example.com for an email address. How ridiculous do these Patent scams have to get before somebody does something and gets rid of software and method patent for good ? Why is a government agency involved in the business of protection rackets?
The Swedish social security number system claims to use a "modulus 10" algorithm to validate numbers. However, the algorithm in use is not what any math savvy person would expect given that description namely "36 modulus 10 is the remainder in division by 10 i.e. 6". But rather "Round to next higher multiple of 10, then subtract" so 36 modulus 10 in the Swedish system is 40-36=4 not 6. So that is actually 10 minus modulo 10. How odd to have an elementary math error in a national standard.
Obviously they have no interest in dramatically increasing killer cell activity. I'm assuming "killer cell" is the new buzzword used by the RIAA and MPAA for the pockets of resistance in the copyright wars.
I løbet af eftermiddagen så jeg to gode dokumentarfilm - naturligvis på svensk TV, de danske kanalers eftermiddage kan slet ikke finde plads til den slags.
Den første var "I faderns navn" af Nitza Kakoseos. En film om den svenske bosatte Raymond Ahlgren-Paredes, søn af "Coco" Paredes, en af Salvador Allendes fortrolige og en af de der blev myrdet ved kuppet mod Allende. Det interessante ved filmen var at man troede man kendte historien på forhånd: Søn af myrdet mand skriver bog om sin far. Tager tilbage til Chile med sin bog og fortæller folk historien. Blandt filmens gode scener er en hvor han fortæller om sin fars omhyggeligt brækkede knogler (man kan se på hans lig at han fik tæsk og de fleste knogler brækket før han blev dræbt) til nogle Pinochettilhængere som bruger lang tid og megen fantasi til at finde på en historie hvor denne tortur ikke har fundet sted: "Det retsmedicinske institut er slet ikke en officiel institution". "Det er hvad regimet vil have dig til at tro". "Du kan jo ikke vide at det lig du så virkelig var din fars".
"Jeg kendte Pinochet personligt og det er utænkeligt at han har givet ordre til denne tortur" siger en anden Pinochetist i et interview. Det er uhyrligt, men det er også hvad man ventede af historien.
Imidlertid tager historien en drejning fordi Raymond Paredes i Chile tager kontakt til det chilenske højre, komplet med Pinochets håndlangere, altså simpelthen de mennesker der dræbte hans far. Og så bliver filmen pludselig interessant. Raymond Paredes forklarer sig med at det er en slags forsoning han forsøger, men indholdet i forsoningen er uklart, og han plejer omhyggeligt kun kontakt med Pinochetister. Pinochetisterne udnytter prompte hans tilstedeværelse i propagandeøjemed som historien om at en nominel modstander har sluttet sig til dem, og mest interessant er det hvordan Raymond Paredes glider af på spørgsmålet om hvorvidt han lader sig udnytte. I et langt pinefuldt interview er han skiftevis påståeligt afbrydende og tavs, han sidder uroligt i stolen og kigger i løbet af interviewet væk fra kamera og interviewer mens han ikke rigtig forklarer ordentligt hvorfor han hjælper sin fars mordere til respektabilitet. Hans intensitet kommer til sidst til at virke påtaget og alt for mediebevidst, og hans argumentation virker mere belejlig end oprigtig. Det er uhyggeligt, men fængslende, at se.
(Spansksproget sammendrag, bogomtale)
Den anden dokumentar var lettere kost, nemlig Lost in La Mancha, den morsomme "Making of" for Terry Gilliams aldrig fuldførte Don Quixote film. Filmen ramtes under indspilningen af totalt katastrofe og måtte sættes i bero, men "Making of" filmen blev udgivet alligevel - nu som dokumentar om et mislykket filmprojekt. Det er gruopvækkende at se de mængder af ulykker der på forbløffende kort tid forhindrer filminspilningen i at kunne gennemføres, alt imens man ved hver ny ulykke blot hører Terry Gilliam råbe standardsvaret på modstand "We're fucked!" et stort antal gange.
For et stykke tid siden skrev jeg en post om den danske højrefløjs intelligentsia, specifikt om tilfældene Henrik Gade Jensen og Søren Krarup, og stillede spørgmålet om de virkelig ikke kan se hvilke rædselsfulde synspunkter deres principielle synspunkter bruges til at begrunde. Den seneste debat omkring Søren KRarups påståede antisemitisme viser at man ikke skal så langt for at finde de ækle synspunkter - de er finde lige i Krarups eget forfatterskab.
Når jeg snakker om ækle synspunkter så er det i virkeligheden ikke antisemitisme jeg tænker på, men den klæge, selvtilfredse nationalisme som Krarup står for og hylder i de kritiserede passager. Hvor Krarup ikke vil være ved at han har en afsky for Georg Brandes og hans synspunkter pga race, så er hen fuldstændig bevist om at han nærer denne afsky pga den kultur Brandes tilhører - og den forbinder Krarup glad og gerne med Brandes kulturelle jødiske baggrund. Man behøver ikke lægge racebegreber oveni for at gøre det utiltalende, og det er ikke egentlig fordi det er jøden Brandes der står for skud det er utiltalende, selvtilstrækkeligt, repressivt og rædselsfuldt nationalistisk. For Krarup er den nationale blevet noget man kan slå andre folk oven i hovedet med, og denne nationale ortodoksi gør Krarups argumentation fuldstændig uspiselig.
I virkeligheden synes jeg diskussionen mest er underholdende som en ubevidste total selvafklæden af Søren Krarup: For hvert punkt han afviser at stå for når han kritiseres stiller han til forklaring op med sit virkelige sysnpunkt - og det viser sig at være endnu mere rædselsfuldt end det modstanderen forestillede sig.
Afvisningen af Brandes er bare ét eksempel. "Jeg er skam ikke antisemit, jeg er kun rabiat nationalist".
Tim Bray suggests two laws of explanation:
When you’re explaining something to somebody and they don’t get it, that’s not their problem, it’s your problem; When someone’s explaining something to you and you’re not getting it, it’s not your problem, it’s their problem
The DRM mafia is of course inadvertently boosting Linux and IP6 on the desktop by taking away from the standard closed platform freedoms we have come to take for granted. Doc Searls writes about two examples: 1) The adoption of NAT and closed by default routers on ADSL connections means you need to hack to actually run a machine on the internet. 2) Highly restrictive rights management schemes are making their way into mainstream consumer devices from major vendors.
When these kinds of things become pervasive the appeal of free alternatives will become greater thus boosting the open source desktop. The idea that the less capable product will win the consumer war is unthinkable to me.
A nice idea: Build corporate collaborative environments from popular web based applications like Wikis, Chat rooms, blogs, etc. is the concept for Smart Meeting Design. The caveat if one were interest in the company as an investment is that the idea is very easily copied - but that just speaks to the strength of the idea and is not really a weakness.
The Linux desktop is much talked about, but not widely deployed. If I were the network manager for a huge office network of mostly boring browserlike data entry clients I would consider MandrakeMove a game changer. On the fly hardware detection, i.e. the simplest install you could possibly think of and with al features of a modern desktop (internet, multimedia, MS Office compatible productivity apps).
The "Linux Lifeboat" run from CD concept is nothing new but the completeness and hardware discovery features are.
They have been getting a lot of (blog-) press but that's well deserved: Cory Doctorow's statement for 2004 is right on the money, in fact it's so good I'll just reproduce verbatim, I'm sure nobody will mind but otherwise it's real easy to complain to a blogger
The last twenty years were about technology. The next twenty years are about policy. It's about realizing that all the really hard problems -- free expression, copyright, due process, social networking -- may have technical dimensions, but they aren't technical problems. The next twenty years are about using our technology to affirm, deny and rewrite our social contracts: all the grandiose visions of e-democracy, universal access to human knowledge and (God help us all) the Semantic Web, are dependent on changes in the law, in the policy, in the sticky, non-quantifiable elements of the world. We can't solve them with technology: the best we can hope for is to use technology to enable the human interaction that will solve them.
On that note: I have a special request to the toolmakers of 2004: stop making tools that magnify and multilply awkward social situations ("A total stranger asserts that he is your friend: click here to tell a reassuring lie; click here to break his heart!") ("Someone you don't know very well has invited you to a party: click here to advertise whether or not you'll be there!") ("A 'friend' has exposed your location, down to the meter, on a map of people in his social network, using this keen new location-description protocol -- on the same day that you announced that you were leaving town for a week!"). I don't need more "tools" like that, thank you very much.
An important note for 2004: stop trying to build an Internet without malefactors, parasites, freeriders and inefficiency. There is no such thing as a parasite-free complex ecology (thank you Kathryn Myronuk for this formulation). Some organisms lamented the existence of mitochondria. Others adapted to exploit them and integrate them. Some lament the existence of spammers. Spammers will always exist: stamping your foot and demanding their nonexistence won't change that: adapt or die.
David Weinberger has installed GPS navigation in his car and gives us a demonstration of one of the key points of Steve Mann's concept of humanistic computing:
we might ask the question ``since we have intelligent highways, smart floors, smart furniture, smart lightbulbs, smart toilets, smart elevators, ... why not have ``smart people'' --- people equipped with information processing hardware. This ``smart people/dumb environment'' paradigm suggests an alternative to ``smart rooms'' and other environmental intelligence gathering infrastructure. Moreover, the ``smart people/dumb environments'' framework solves the privacy issues, as well as the customization and user-preference issues, by allowing each individual to ``own'' his or her own ``bits'', as well as to set forth and customize the protocol for interacting with the world.
In an internal memo, IBM executives are encouraged to switch to Linux on the desktop by the end of 2005.
No less effort will do certainly, and it still sounds a bit weak to me.
I think it is useful to compare the effort to that other great desktop effort: Microsoft's Longhorn evangelism and pre-release program. The Longhorn promotion is being carried out with great force and demands of total commitment by everybody at Microsoft. It is clearly the focus for Microsoft. That's a considerable overperformance compared to a leaked internal executive only memo. The results could very well be proportionally more impressive.
The Perl 6 project is suffering severely due to Larry Wall's protracted illness. Parrot is slogging along through subdecimals and the Perl 6 language project has turned into what looks very much like a deathmarch. This summer the project will be 4 years old and Still Not Shipping. Perl 4 is turning into The Great American Programming Language - a mythical programming substrate, immensely powerful and so full of right and bright ideas that it is downright scary. But mainly mythical.
The project makes it abundantly clear how impossible pure peerage is. In any group somebody ends up asserting leadership and are consequently missed dearly when not available. No amount of community feeling or symbolic abdication can change that. Let's hope Wall gets well soon.
Only two authors left, and only 10 points to make, but the gist of the message is the same: Some time last spring the cluetrainers (once again : Has Adidas started making Cluetrainers?) have extrected the technology only consequences of the Cluetrain theses in the banner slogan The World of Ends. A very good acid test to apply to new technologies.
This on the other hand is POC: Plain Old Cluetrain.
Salon does an interview (by the interviewee) with the father of the currently overhyped term "metrosexual".
We also learn that in Greek the term means "motherfucker".
Nice double interview, i.e. a conversation but with an interviewer present, with Lars von Trier and Paul Thomas Anderson on actors, America and film.
Listen approx 40 mins and 22 seconds into this brilliant rock'n roll radio program - Little Steven's Underground Garage:
Welcome to the AXE deodorant body spray automated ordering system. To choose the right scent of AXE select the woman you wish to attract: For real women press 1 for blow up dolls press 2 if you are attracted to lunch meats or are calling from a rotary phone please stay on the line...
[We're still waiting for Jon Udell's new standard for link adressable audio visual stream segments. In the meantime the minutes and seconds will have to do]
FCC Chairman Michael Powell concedes plain old telephony is over, as reported on isen.blog. The undoer is easy to use PC based voice IM. It's not quite VoIP, since ot does not integrate with POTS, but it sounds good and it's available to a lot of people.
It is worthwhile pointing out that the winners are application that do seemingly pure point to point connections oveer the general internetwork ether. Due to the failure of ISPs to deliver true end to end to a majority of connected devices the applications have to fake the pure end to end but that's hopefully a temporary condition.
Having just found the marvelous Pork4Kids site - a fatty meats promotion site for kids - via Salon's technology predictions for 2004 I browsed through some of the old predictions and found they were pretty damn accurate:
Take this prediction
8. Slashdot sells out
The popular discussion site for fans of open source software will disclose that it's perilously close to bankruptcy and needs to make all Slash code proprietary in order to survive. Slashdot regulars will rebel, and some will attempt to set up alternative discussion sites -- but Slashdot's founder, Rob Malda, will sue under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent any copycat sites. When readers accuse the site of "monopolizing" all the vital discussions of the various ways of cooling your computer with liquid nitrogen, Justice Department officials will threaten prosecution of Sherman antitrust violations. But Slashdot will prevail, after hiring David Boies, litigator to the stars.
But wait! There's more: In January of 1999 Salon did an even more stunning prediction:
Son of iMac
In 1998, Apple's iMac made a big splash by putting the familiar Macintosh into a sleek new avant-garde package -- and removing the floppy drive. The strategy was so successful that in 1999 Apple plans to expand -- and reduce -- the iMac line as follows: In March, the iMac II will feature a fancier case but will leave out the keyboard. "The mouse is a superior input device -- keyboards are a tired old 19th century technology," Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs will explain.
In June, the iMac Deluxe will leave out the monitor. "Video displays have outworn their welcome -- we want to lead the way toward the future of direct machine-mind interfaces," Jobs will declare. Finally, for the all-important fall shopping season, Apple will unveil the Ultimate iMac, with no keyboard or monitor -- and no CPU, either. "In the future all real computing will be done over the network, anyway," Jobs will tell the press. The Ultimate iMac may not do much -- but it will look great in its limited-edition, artist's-signature case that, Apple promises, will be suitable for museum display.
Måske skulle Danish Crown prøve at efterligne pork4kids - et svinekødspromotion site rettet mod børn.
Memo til DC: Husk at fortælle børnene at der skal være rent der hvor man skærer koteletterne.
Guan found a company hring mercenaries, and either a lot of people are having fun with him or his blog comment system has turned into a runaway mercenary market by accident.
The company Guan blogged represents a scary development by the way - namely the privatization of the military. I don't know if Sandline has performed any large scale operations for any reputable government, but other companies have.
Et interessant bud på et stort set helprofessionelt blog-eller-noget-der-ligner baseret www medium er flix.dk. Indholdsleverandørerne lader til i det store hele at være journalister og skribenter der har haft eller har deres gang på Information. Udseendet er fuldstændig rodet, og det er noget uklart hvad ambitionsniveauet for indholdet er, men der er masser af vinklede historier på tidens nyheder at finde.
Man kan læse mere om baggrunden i FAQ'en.
Jeg hader virkelig, virkelig meget danske sangere der synger på engelsk som synes det skal gøre det på "en fed måde" med en eller anden farverig dialekt af en art som ikke er deres egen. Målet er naturligvis at musikken lissom skal blive enormt personlig og vedkommende af det. Det er det stik modsatte. Det er så pissefalsk at det fortjener et helt nyt ord, som er meget værre end falsk.
Eksempler er der latterligt mange af - idag faldt jeg over et mere : Homesick Hank. Storstank. Men man skal desværre ikke til demo-rocken for at finde flere eksempler, masser af veludgivne bands der udgiver på engelsk gør det i stor stil. På min egen shitliste i den retning står Marie Frank virkelig højt oppe, D.A.D har altid ligget i farezonen mens man til gengæld frikender sårn en popdreng som Thomas Helmig. Men hvad du vil om musikken, men i det mindste synger han som sig selv.
The many IE CSS breakage circumvention hacks make the classic "That's not a bug - it's a feature!" motto true in an odd way: You use actual bugs to get by.
Who would have thought it possible: Among the other cool things in Longhorn is a reinventions of the command line based on xml streams instead of line streams, as blogged by Jon Udell. It's a long way away but Longhorn is still looking rather good.
The amazing Wikipedia project, already a very credible and coherent on line reference, is in need of funds. The popularity of the site had led to demand for new hardware, and for that reason a pledge drive was set up. I guess christmas is a good time to be aksing people to donate because as of new years (December 31st - three days later) the goal of $20000 was already exceeded by more than 50%. I think the $20000 was a very modest sum to ask for, and I'm sure the wikipedians could use your donation as well as mine. So go give some.
I just bought a recent DVD featuring the amazing music videos of Michel Gondry and containing a strikingly complete sample of the watchable videos from the last 10 years or so. The videos share a common theme: Saturated strong colors, elaborate sets with elaborate casts, technical brilliance and a particular liking for seemingly continuous flow of action without cuts of any kind.
The technical brilliance is always very visible but the interesting thing is that it is not one technique but whatever was appropriate although the many "one take" videos dominate. The playfulness and the sleight of hand makes many of the videos look like magic trick, and according to the included documentary this is no accident.
While I was at the store, I also picked up "D.A.F.T". A collection of the amazing videos from Daft Punk's first album "Homework". Gondry and Daft Punk meet at the combined peak of their powers in the amazing "Around The World" video - featured on both discs - but Daft Punk also have a great Spike Jonze video and another favorite of mine, the beautiful americana of "Burning" (by french director Seb Janiak)
Check out the awful track listing from "The Ultimate Party Survival Kit". I would kill to get out of that party.