I wish every gallery and museum could follow the example of Rijksstudio, the new online gallery of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. When I’m visiting a gallery in a place I’ve never or rarely visited, I take photos of particular works (if photography is allowed) not because I’m trying to make perfect reproductions for nefarious purposes, but to flag them in my own memory, so that I can remember what I really liked; the photos are mental triggers. And if I want to do that, I have to do it while I’m walking around the gallery; the alternative of buying a postcard in the gallery shop at the end doesn’t usually work, because most of the time they won’t have that specific image.

Read More · 15 November 2012

No wonder the UK economy is sinking fast. The Governor of the Bank of England has sent me a Personal Email announcing that there’s only twenty million left and nobody’s even claiming it.

Read More · 23 May 2012

ACTA: if you think we’ve won, we’ve lost.

Charlie Stross on Amazon’s ebook strategy and DRM and ebooks.

29 April 2012

The siren songs of telly and sleep were too strong tonight, so I didn’t post the links I had queued up. This note tapped out on the iPad will have to serve as placeholder. [Next morning:] Okay, here are the links I was going to post.

Meet the New Boss, Worse Than the Old Boss? A long piece questioning whether the digital model of music distribution is better for the artist.

The Guardian’s Battle for the internet series, for future reference.

Isaac Asimov imagines digital learning in the Electronic Age (1989). Why are so many surprised that one of the leading hard-SF writers was good at predicting technological trends? (See also Arthur C. Clarke.)

The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future. I liked Tom Ewing’s response: “This may all be true but, ah, so what? Expecting a paradigm shift every five years isn’t ‘disruptive’ or ‘innovative’, it’s just greedy.”

Hacking the Non-Disposable Planet. Lots of interesting ideas here, but I’m not sure that hackstability is likely just because it’s an attractive alternative to collapse. Surely it still needs an oil-replacement and the world’s coastal areas not to be flooded.

20 April 2012

Flowing and Taking Stock

The FT interviews Larry David.

A clever take on the influence of Photoshop on modern standards of beauty.

Stock and flow and Dance the flip-flop, from Robin Sloan, author of Fish (which I have now Looked At several times).

Over at MetaFilter, a MetaTalk post asked to hear from active users who have been there the longest. I chipped in with my own Mefi memories, which I will now quote in their entirety (with an edit or two) below the Read More fold. Because I can.

Read More · 16 April 2012

Hold the Bus

Don’t go getting all unlucky on me, Friday the 13th, threatening to drop me off the yellow brick road on Beeminder if I don’t post 258 words today.

Right, you made me do it. Stream of consciousness.

Read More · 13 April 2012 · x1

Fish: a tap essay is one link that deserves not to be lost in a list of them. You’ll see why. (If you have an iPhone.)

26 March 2012

Serious Business

The Ministry of Justice claims that the Freedom of Information Act has not improved government. This quote in particular is a sign of serious cognitive dissonance: “civil servants believed freedom of information was not being used to increase accountability, but instead by journalists fishing for a story”. Some civil servants seem not to understand the first thing about modern democracy. (A pertinent link via Heather Brooke.)

Nick Cohen on the Twitter joke trial appeal: Where are the judges fit for the internet age?

Al Murray on same: Problem is, the law don’t do funny.

Matthias Lenke’s macrophotography (not serious business, but seriously good).

16 February 2012

Cracked ACTA

I’ve been collecting useful links on ACTA, the international equivalent of SOPA, and had been meaning to post some here; but events are outpacing them, with political support for the treaty in at least some European countries fast collapsing. Still, here they are. Glyn Moody’s Twitter feed is a good source for the latest updates.

Read More · 16 February 2012

“Research has long backed the therapeutic value of diary-keeping for teenage girls and boys. But according to a new study, when teenagers detail their woes onto a blog, the therapeutic value is even greater. Blogging, it seems, can be good for you.” Psychiatric validation at last.

29 January 2012

After 4–5 years of relative silence I was hoping the blog comment spammers would have forgotten about me, or would have found themselves more honourable jobs like CEO of Megaupload or the MPAA, but it only took them three weeks to latch onto the place again. As a result I’ve had to switch on comments approval for a while. Sorry if yours gets held up, but as I’m checking the place daily now it won’t be for long.

Or, to put it into words the spammers seem to understand: MeAB7q rwojvswtqqfb wrTNtn fodtkbgwdgyx gsfHbZ pqhfhlcyqljn vKeiwk cpusdbxaeksh xlj2Dd yojhwipnvwjk MsvWeL rdhkpzwlkeis 1KbH3t asftiescrucj.

Read More · 24 January 2012 · x2

The SOPA links keep on coming, and rather than just post them, I thought I’d add a few more thoughts of my own.

Read More · 23 January 2012

SOPA del Dia

Some relevant links collected during today’s SOPA blackouts, from Twitter, Metafilter and Metatalk.

Read More · 18 January 2012


Speedysnail is joining the online protests against SOPA and PIPA today by blacking out the front page.

Read More · 18 January 2012

Net Culture in 2011