Reviews and Links for January 2012

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

3/5

Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant about this and that through the voice of a 13 year old girl condemned to hell, supposedly for overdosing on pot. Entertaining, but felt that the plot served the ranting rather than the other way round.

 

Links

Shit Programmers Say: http://t.co/0rYyXWM5

Best explanation of software estimation failure ever: http://t.co/jC5hmQ3g

I've just funded Mission:Explore Food on Pleasefund.Us: http://t.co/ysLyDOZ6

Another comedy amendment: http://t.co/sWAqflbO

Shit Bernalites Say: http://t.co/O8AY0sgs from @bernalwood

San Francisco's rubbish - why everyone wants a share: http://t.co/kHzC6mgf

Own a color: http://t.co/5jKpfvJO (for Unicef)

Just say terrorist enough times Panetta: http://t.co/07tmXDEO

Applause: VA state senator attaches rectal exam amendment tacked on to anti-abortion bill http://t.co/Neezj7n6

ITHCWY: Has France Cracked Fixing Education?: The French are close to making it illegal to deny a second genocide… http://t.co/koOkE02M

Arrrrgggghhhh, it's pledge. Go throw @KQED a bone radio-chavving-freeloaders: http://t.co/ur7fBVGx

ITHCWY: But does it get you in the HOV lane?: Interesting but highly disturbing alternative fuel source... http://t.co/IOUVbIPD

Shit San Franciscans Say: http://t.co/vVfiI5yJ via @youtube

IANAL, but it certainly seems a bit crazy: http://t.co/iVW4I4ZR

Discover London With Mission:Explore! http://t.co/T0ZVGGr4

Load Testing with @CloudAssault http://t.co/PkwYNOh1 #API @myEN

Shit Silicon Valley Says: http://t.co/YK1Hlbws via @youtube

On the subject of deadly pork, MRSA found on 7% of samples in a University of Iowa test: http://t.co/1wIK1uqE

Thanks SCOTUS for making us eat sick pigs: http://t.co/scTowXXI

+1: http://t.co/V7QW1hi0 "I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter! What the hell more did you want from me?"

Yay! Precita Park Upgrade: http://t.co/f4JOcNS7

Mission:Explore Food - PleaseFund.Us http://t.co/ysLyDOZ6 via @pleasefundus

ITHCWY: Mission:Explore Food - Crowd Fund It!: My brother is part of the Geography Collective, the team that make… http://t.co/jg6s9FKK

The word 'sustainable' is unsustainable: http://t.co/Iw8e9P2Q (XKCD)

Next step, jail for incorrect maths answers: http://t.co/US35YW2v (more illegal history in France...)

Chilling Effects: http://t.co/dXUSwGOQ (post Megaupload, file sharing sites disabling sharing)

http://t.co/jU4AeOdh

Visual Studio Gamification: http://t.co/kgHvGtsi

Shut down the Interstate highway system because a few people are speeding? Then don't do this: http://t.co/gvSaucwu

My new favorite word: semithermonuclear: http://t.co/zV8u067w (what Google will be doing tomorrow).

3 of 5 stars to Damned by Chuck Palahniuk http://t.co/CcmlNPqL

ITHCWY: Carr is Wrong: Costolo is Wrong: Wikipedia’s SOPA Blackout is a Great Idea: I was very happy to see… http://t.co/6rlFNgut

ITHCWY: Yet more on breaking the Internet: January 18th is Internet blackout day to protest against SOPA and PIPA… http://t.co/RH5bhObW

Web Goes On Strike: Jan 18th! All-out blackout 2 stop #SOPA #PIPA. Petition @twitter and other sites to join us. http://t.co/UNird4iF

ITHCWY: Better Paperless: I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical… http://t.co/J7GBWJsb

ITHCWY: Misplaced Outrage: The video of US Marines urinating on corpses is shocking and counterproductive. But it's… http://t.co/E4jWRVcI

Worked on this idea in 2004, didn't get funded: http://t.co/CFuCTblk (Cloud-Based Video Editor WeVideo Launches To Public)

ITHCWY: Farallon Islands: A rare clear day where you can see the Farallon Islands from Fort Funston. http://t.co/hkvR1zYp

http://t.co/lPfzZesz

ITHCWY: More on breaking the Internet: I finally got round to actually reading SOPA and PIPA. I make my living from… http://t.co/WW8wIKou

Stop Internet #Censorship! Sign the global petition @Avaaz urging the US Congress to reject the #Blacklist Bill #SOPA http://t.co/MfsrnrBy

Illegal dumping on Bernal Hill: http://t.co/lR4GemC0 - Vote to get this cleaned up!

Office dog... #fb http://t.co/aOlinLwD

A Bird’s Eye View of Bernal Heights in 1938: http://t.co/XluPCJjW from @Bernalwood

AT&T LTE lights up in San Francisco: http://t.co/CzlJuUYo

ITHCWY: Installation: Early and Often: Jiri Novotny at Dextronet wrote a great post this week on improving… http://t.co/Q1rvrAWm

ITHCWY: Moon on a Wire: Testing posting by email with a picture of the moon from last night... I've extended… http://t.co/MQvLSeBj

William Gibson Essays: http://t.co/9AD9jQmo (How much do I need a parallel universe reading day?)

ITHCWY: LEGO, now for Girls: LEGO Friends is “The new LEGO theme – for girls!” So I guess the current sets not for… http://t.co/yVtN7awL

The Commodore 64 is 30 http://t.co/bBslFoVF via @reghardware

ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.40: I’ve just released a small update to Catfood.Shapefile. Stephan Stapel, who… http://t.co/qindsQBw

Looking forward to seeing the restored Battery Townsley: http://t.co/jDPvI3jU #todo @myEN

Is Obama doomed in 2012? http://t.co/aGKoq2Nw

Has France Cracked Fixing Education?

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Has France Cracked Fixing Education?

The French are close to making it illegal to deny a second genocide. I was going to write a post despairing at the increasing number of thought crimes in Europe. Bad form, maybe, however does there really need to a law?

But maybe this is part of a far grander plan. It starts with history, then maybe geography (Can't spot Finland? Six months community service!), mathematics (Don't know how to figure out the volume of a cylinder? Two years and a fine!) and science (Can't sketch the Krebs Cycle? Life without the possibility of parole!).

Once every incorrect answer is against the law maybe children will start paying more attention in schools. That must be behind then ban on headscarves as well, it's not xenophobic, just trying to make sure that the view of the blackboard isn't obstructed.

(Photo credit: stttijn)

But does it get you in the HOV lane?

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

But does it get you in the HOV lane?

Interesting but highly disturbing alternative fuel source...

Mission:Explore Food - Crowd Fund It!

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

My brother is part of the Geography Collective, the team that make the Mission:Explore site and books. The first book won the Hay Festival and National Trust Outdoor Book of the Year in 2011. 

The latest in the series, Mission:Explore Food, is being crowd funded at PleaseFund.us. There are a variety of levels to choose from, most of which will get you a copy of the book and your name in print. You can also get yourself included as an illustration (or surprise a friend). This is going to be a great book for kids and the young at heart. Check out the sample pages (PDF) and sign up as a backer today.

Carr is Wrong: Costolo is Wrong: Wikipedia’s SOPA Blackout is a Great Idea

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I was very happy to see TechCrunch 2.0 launch today as Pando.

Much less happy with Paul Carr’s applause of Dick Costolo’s tweet that Wikipedia's support of Internet Blackout Day is “…just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish”.

Possibly a smart position for Twitter. It would be expensive to shut down for a day, and it’s hard to infringe copyright in 140 characters so of the many sites that depend on user generated content Twitter could very well be the least likely to fall foul of SOPA/PIPA.

Carr says:

And, you know what? He’s right. Whatever your stance on SOPA, closing down a global business to protest an American law is foolish.

It happens to be an American law that seeks to unplug foreign sites from the Internet, even if they’re not breaking any local laws. And then:

Arguing that a one-day closure reminds everyone of the importance of net freedom is like burning down one church to underscore the importance of the First Amendment for all of the others.

Really? Nobody is burning down anything. But if there was a potential law that allowed churches to be repossessed, say on the basis of claims of false scripture from other religions, without requiring a trial and say with a specific exemption that no legal challenge could be brought against any repossession made in ‘good faith’ compliance with the law then it might be worth it for a church or two to self-immolate.

And then:

The trouble with taking a political stance on one issue is that your silence on every issue becomes a stance.

There’s a difference between fighting an existential threat and throwing in the towel on neutrality. I’m very glad to see Wikipedia join the blackout.

Yet more on breaking the Internet

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

January 18th is Internet blackout day to protest against SOPA and PIPA. As I'm writing this post 6,988,056,464 people still don't read ITHCWY, so I'm taking part by blacking out my software site, catfood.net, which gets substantially more traffic.  

Better Paperless

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical documents and other nasty paperwork. This is even after I've gone paperless with as many companies as possible. Very tedious, not to mention a monumental waste of time and money.

The companies that are paperless vary in what gets stored, for how long and in what format. And if I ever need some statement from years ago I may not even still have an account. I seem to change medical insurance at least twice a year at the moment. 

How about a common standard for pushing paperless whatevers out to a third party storage service? These could go directly to Evernote, SugarSync, etc and bypass the post-scan-shred cycle of doom. Just send a PDF, a date, a summary and maybe a service type. Make it easy (or mandatory) to opt in when signing up to each new bank account, health insurer, wireless carrier, etc. Make the world a slightly greener and slightly less boring place. 

Misplaced Outrage

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Misplaced Outrage

The video of US Marines urinating on corpses is shocking and counterproductive. But it's not the worst thing that happened to the victims that day. More shocking, and more damaging to the US is that at the same time Guantanamo marked its 10 year anniversary. While the Republican Presidential hopefuls fight over who will be the first to invade Iran. But go ahead, spin up the news cycle for the sideshow.

Photo credit: stroud4341

Farallon Islands

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Farallon Islands

A rare clear day where you can see the Farallon Islands from Fort Funston.

More on breaking the Internet

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I finally got round to actually reading SOPA and PIPA

I make my living from intellectual property, it's my hobby as well. I also used to work at Macrovision, at the time the leading anti-piracy company for Hollywood, software, music and games. I understand the sentiment behind the legislation and agree that theft of IP causes real harm. I'd love to see the pirate sites vaporized. But not at the expense of undermining the fundamental architecture of the Internet. 

The most controversial penalties are removing sites from search results and DNS combined with a shield from prosecution for sites that comply with requests voluntarily or even preemptively. 

It's an insidious infrastructure tax comparable to requiring the phone company from removing you from their directory and taxi drivers to shrug their shoulders and pretend they don't know where you live. It also inverts the DMCA approach of holding sites harmless provided that they respond to take down notices.

Worse still, the legislation would make it illegal to provide a product or service that circumvents these penalties. Because the proposed remedy to piracy is censoring the Internet this equates to making anti-censorship software illegal. 

It's not even like mucking with DNS will be effective. People who want to steal movies will still be able to find them. These are bad laws. Sign a petition and contact your congresspeople to help put the brakes on.

This brings me to a piece on KQED where Rick Cotton from NBC says: "But these new forms of distribution that all of the content providers are embracing cannot compete against stolen, cannot compete against free.

Which sounds like bad news for a company in the business of competing with free. Luckily this isn't true. People happily pay for speed, quality, convenience, features, support, kudos, reputation, collection. Yes, some people will never pay. It's not worth the decreasing returns to go after them both to your company and as with SOPA/PIPA to society as a whole. 

Instead of having Congress censor search results for you grow a pair and use some SEO. Fill the search engines with legitimate ways to access your content. Invent new windows. Treat piracy as market research for unmet needs. 

How about a streaming service for parents who can't get to the cinema that often? I'd happily pay a premium - two tickets, parking, popcorn equivalent - and it's money you're not getting now while I have to wait for a film to eventually show up on Netflix. 

Release raw footage for an episode every season and have a competition for who can cut together the best episode. Embrace the Internet rather than fighting it. 

Don't spend your time and energy and money on SOPA/PIPA and other attempts to fight a battle that can't be won.