The words of Blair’s outgoing chief strategy adviser translated for “net-heads”. (As a hostile, self-righteous blogger, I may have got the wrong end of the stick. Never mind, I’m sure nobody else has.)

Read More · 23 November 2006 ·

Note to Spammers

A subject line of “Watch the pounds disappear” really doesn’t work for a UK audience.

9 September 2006

KF on The Future of Peer Review in Electronic Scholarly Publishing.

30 June 2006

Jaron Lanier on the hive-mind:

The beauty of the Internet is that it connects people. The value is in the other people. If we start to believe the Internet itself is an entity that has something to say, we’re devaluing those people and making ourselves into idiots. ... The collective is good at solving problems which demand results that can be evaluated by uncontroversial performance parameters, but bad when taste and judgment matter.

And some responses.

13 June 2006

The Subtle Knife

Thanks to the miracle of Boot Camp, I’m writing from the last virtual environment I expected to see on this monitor: Windows XP. My home iMac is pre-Intel, but this Mac Mini now has a 6-gig Windows partition on it. Installing it was seamless once I had the right disk, and switching between the two on restart couldn’t be simpler. Mac OS X can even write files to and from the Windows partition.

I won’t be spending much time here, mind you. It’s 100% Windows, right down to control-X/V instead of apple-X/V for cut and paste, and 100% Windows means actually having to worry about viruses again. But it’s good being able to use a few Windows-only tools, like the USB cable for my mobile, without having to find someone with a PC who doesn’t mind me borrowing it. For the first time since 2000, I can easily compare how web pages look in Mac and Windows; I’ve already nailed a couple of CSS bugs that were bugging me. Most importantly, I’ll be able to answer Windows questions for our students without having to phone a friend.

Now get me back to OS X, quick. Man, these fonts are ugly.

6 June 2006 ·

Fears of Tiers

Ben Werdmuller points out the threats posed by a tiered Internet, and is rightly aghast. It’s hardly surprising that telcos are looking for ways to undo the net as we know it, when their century-long dominance of communications is about to be challenged by power companies; ubiquitous alternatives to landlines + VOIP = no more old-style phones. But that very competition might (fingers crossed) be enough to keep the threat at bay. If not, watch out for denial of service attacks on tiered ISPs and the resulting government crackdowns on “cyber-terrorists”. Where are you when we need you, Hiro Protagonist?

Read More · 3 June 2006 ·

Tom Standage on how the more things change, the morons stay the same. (Sorry, an irresistible pun. Link via Virge.) And speaking of the pace of change, there have been some great ripostes to critics around the traps lately.

27 April 2006

Supposing computers are deliberately wasting our time. More from Charlie Brooker, with links to a whole series of extra Guardian columns.

Read More · 23 April 2006

A Dutch court has enforced a Creative Commons licence.

4 April 2006


29 March 2006

How blogging saps the vital juices:

It renders the word even more evanescent than journalism; yoked, as bloggers are, to the unending cycle of news and the need to post four or five times a day, five days a week, 50 weeks of the year, blogging is the closest literary culture has come to instant obsolescence. No Modern Library edition of the great polemicists of the blogosphere to yellow on the shelf; nothing but a virtual tomb for a billion posts—a choric song of the word-weary bloggers, forlorn mariners forever posting on the slumberless seas of news.

Alas, poor choric.

Read More · 7 March 2006 ·

KF mentioned an academic-blog brouhaha that I’d completely missed, and shortly afterwards I noticed a good thread on the same at Jill Walker’s blog, with a particularly helpful comment by Espen.

Read More · 25 February 2006 ·

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