Monthly Archives: December 2008

links for 2008-12-22

  • James Boyle introduces readers to the idea of the public domain and describes how it is being tragically eroded by our current copyright, patent, and trademark laws. In a series of fascinating case studies, Boyle explains why gene sequences, basic business ideas and pairs of musical notes are now owned, why jazz might be illegal if it were invented today, why most of 20th century culture is legally unavailable to us, and why today’s policies would probably have smothered the World Wide Web at its inception.
  • A report by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative says the power it takes to send and receive signals from cellphones and other wireless electronics creates the same amount of carbon dioxide per year as that generated by the aviation industry. According the report, 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is generated worldwide each year to keep communications towers buzzing.
  • Bill Gates wrote a paper titled The Internet Tidal Wave in 1995. It’s a concept that’s been used quite extensively since then. This was the document used as prove of the real concern od Bill Gates about Netscape's browser (Navigator) on the Anti-trust process at the and of the Browser War I.
  • ViOS (Visual Internet Operating System) was a client-server software system designed by Julian Lombardi in the mid-1990s and built by a team he led at ViOS Inc. from 1999-2001 as a way of spatially organizing all Internet-deliverable resources (including web pages) into a massively-scaled multiuser 3D environment with users of the system represented as customizable avatars. The basic concept behind the "ViOS 3D Internet Viewer" was to take the virtual world of the entire Internet and adapt it to a physical representation of large virtual landscape, complete with mountains, rivers and cities. This approach was taken because of the belief that virtual landscapes resembling our physical world are more conducive to exploration and social interaction than the flat and abstracted world of the current document-based Internet.
  • One in five US teens has sent nude or partially-clothed images of themselves to someone by email or mobile phone and twice as many have sent sexually suggestive electronic messages, a survey shows.
  • Fresh off the press, just finished coding a tool to that will export all the posts in your Tumblr blog into an XML file. You can then import that XML file into your blog or self-hosted WordPress blog.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights infographic movie

In (belated) honour of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here is the document presented as an infographic movie (with a political message about Aung San Suu Kyi at the end):

via: information aesthetics

It’s important to bring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the forefront of our awareness from time to time, as the fight to bring human rights to all is still an ongoing process.

links for 2008-12-16

Yongfook – The Blog is Dead! (sorta)

The Blog is Dead! – SlideShare

To watch a video of Yongfook’s presentation you will have to go to: Ustream.TV: Yongfook talks about the move from blogging to lifestreaming and his Sweetcron, as I can’t embed videos here on (sigh).

You can read more on his blog post: The Blog is Dead! › Yongfook – Web Producer

I agree with what Yongfook is saying in this presentation – that people are using blogs less and other online services more.

I’ve come to realise that this situation suits me fine. I’m not much of a blogger, but I like capturing, sharing and somtimes commenting on what I find on the Web. I prefer to keep my blog for longer reflections.

You may have noticed that I have been a lot more active on the web of late. I’ve been Twittering more, I’ve been saving my bookmarks to again and I’ve started a tumblelog at (which posts to Twitter via twitterfeed, via my account). I’m currently streamlining my workflow so I can easily capture and share everything I come across on the Web that I find interesting or potentialy useful.

Eventually I’m going to move away from hosted Web 2.0 services (more about why I’m doing that later). I’m currently setting-up my own self-hosted online tools, using free and open software wherever possible. As part of this process I will be experimenting with Yongfook’s lifestreaming software, Sweetcron.

As an aside, I agree with Yongfook when he says WordPress is bloated. It’s become overly complicated and slow to use (on, at least). It’s suffering from featuritis (they’ve even added an RSS reader called “Readomattic” – only for blogs!) It makes a great Content Management System, but is not so good for quick and easy posting. It seems to be trying to be everything to everybody.

This is why I like microblogging with Twitter and, more recently, tumblelogging with tumblr – they are so much easier to use.

links for 2008-12-14

  • We're now reaching the end of a cycle, we're seeing feature wars. That's what's going on between Facebook and Google, both perfectly timing the rollouts of their developer proposition to coincide with the others' — on the very same day! I don't even have to look at them and I am sure that they're too complicated. Because I've been around this loop so many times. The solution to the problem these guys are supposedly working on won't come in this generation, it can only come when people start over. They are too mired in the complexities of the past to solve this one. Both companies are getting ready to shrink. It's the last gasp of this generation of technology.

Seth Godin on Tribes

If you are interested in community formation and have an hour to spare you should check out this presentation by Seth Godin on Vimeo where he talks about the ideas in his book Tribes.

Here are the slides from the presentation:

Seth Godin on Tribes – SlideShare

Update – 13/12/08: As per Andrew‘s comment below the Vimeo embed is working now. Thanks to Andrew for posting the video online. See Seth Godin On How To Build And Lead Your Tribe. :

I would have embedded the video here as well, but when I tried I got this message:

Seth Godin on Tribes–via

Some “feature”! I’m not sure what Andrew Warner has against At least Seth lets me embed his slides. 😦

links for 2008-12-02