Monthly Archives: June 2005

School, State, Church

New Yorker: God and Country
Hanna Rosin on “a college that trains young Christians to be politicians.”


(Spoof) Bolton Appointment

The Onion | What Do You Think?

‘Appointing Bolton to the UN is like appointing a fish to ride a bicycle that he hates and wishes to destroy.’

A fish!


Podcasteurs francophones

Au joyeux podcasteur :: Bonnes adresses :: Sites francophones diffusant en podcast
Maintenant qu’iTunes supporte les podcasts directement, ça devient intéressant.
Pour ajouter un podcast dans iTunes, dans le menu «Avancé» il y a «S’abonner au podcast». iTunes accepte les liens RSS mais certains podcasts semblent ne pas fonctionner pour l’instant.


Saint-Jean

Bonne fête à toutes les Québécoises, à tous les Québécois et à tous ceux et celles qui aiment le Québec!
C’est la fête nationale, un moment où nous nous connaissons tous comme Québécois.

Happy National Day to all Quebeckers and to all of those who love Quebec!
This is a time for unity and sharing.


Syndicat Wal-Mart Union

“Union Jacked”
Samantha Bee interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Pour la Saint-Jean?


We’ll Live in Massachusetts

As it turns out, my wife and I will be living in Massachusetts from September to December and we’ll be looking for a place to stay. As she’ll be doing a post-doc in Linguistics at Smith (in NoHo, Western Mass.) and I’ll be teaching Anthropology at Tufts (close to Boston) and Bridgewater (Southeastern Mass.), we’d like to find a place from which it’s somewhat convenient to travel to both Boston and Western Mass. Actually, something close to the MBTA commuter rail would be great.

Sharing an apartment could be a great solution, if roommates are ok with having a couple at home. We’re quiet, responsible, clean, non-smoking…
If anyone knows of a place where we could both stay, a comment here would be convenient.

(On Gmail and other services, I’m enkerli. Email is fine.)


Podcasting Going Mainstream

Playlist: Mainstream media embraces podcasting
Interesting criticism of “mainstream media” on most Internet-related advances. According to this piece, the “mainstream media” might be jumping on podcasting earlier than most people. Not necessarily convincing as, despite relatively low numbers, podcasts have been part of the mindshare for a bit and have developed independently of “Big Media” ideas.
Also, if “Big Media” were to push podcasting too much, it might lose much of its appeal and could become just one another way we’re force-fed “information.”
To note, this very strong tendency to think about numbers: audience numbers and revenue potential. The enthusiasts who started podcasting might think about the same issues, but not as the very first things on their minds. Quite characteristic of “Big Media” that they think less about quality or social impact than about applying the same models to a “different medium.”
The point on bandwidth might merit some reflection. Is it costing podcasters that much? If so, aren’t P2P models the most obvious solution? And how much are we talking about exactly? Aren’t there other ways to cover those costs?
While this piece implies that “Big Media” are “getting” podcasting, I’m not sure they’re thinking about the same thing podcast users want.
At least, they’re not as reluctant as with TiVo, P2P networks, or non-DRM downloads…


Outlines and Styles

ATPM 11.06 – ATPO: Outlining and Styles
The simple idea of tagging pieces of text is quite productive. There were some interesting discussions on the Humanist mailing-list recently about the status of texts. New computer technology could potentially bring text structuring devices to a new level.


Modding is in

Playlist: iPod shuffle mods a hit online

“I think people have rediscovered the joy of making things with your own hands,” Make editor Mark Frauenfelder tells Playlist. “There’s a great deal of pleasure to be had in modifying your technology, because it then becomes part of you on some level. People knew this well in earlier times, but it was forgotten when manufacturing methods improved to the point that it became a lot cheaper to buy new stuff than it was to fix or customize broken or older stuff. shuffle hackers are definitely part of this re-found joy of hacking the world around them to suit them.”

Electronics, technology, and the DIY attitude. Can be seen in many social domains.


Picaroons

Great beer, right here: Fredericton’s Picaroons brews medal showings
And the Taproom in downtown Fredericton is a great place to try it out!


Awards for NB Breweries

New Brunswick breweries kick butt: Moncton's Pump House named 2005 Canadian Brewery of the Year
Congratulations to NB brewers!
Lived in Moncton for a while and in Fredericton for just a bit. NB beer geeks (including some "Members of Barleyment") may feel that their province has little to offer beer-wise, but those awards may tell another story…


Money and (Musical) Talent?

Plan to extend copyright on pop classics – Sunday Times – Times Online
They justify the move by saying that the industry needs money to “find talent?” Wow! What have music fans been doing through MP3 exchanges, Podcasts, shows, festivals, etc.? Plus, how do you define talent, in this context? It seems to be “the ability to generate record sales” as opposed to any specific musical ability, whether inborn or learned.
Weird.
These people (the recording industry) really have a peculiar perspective on music. They will transform themselves eventually. But in the meantime, they seem to react pretty badly to changes in the world of music.


Flattening the PC Industry

Dell makes car analogy with launch of new PCs:

for the majority of everyday applications, a two- or three-year-old system is just fine

Did they just realize this?


BSA, Piracy, Intellectual Property

Macworld: News: Companies adopt activation as software piracy tops $33 billion
Somewhat elaborate article on software piracy. Well, it skims over several issues and doesn’t go into any depth. Still, it’s interesting to look at some ideas of those associated to the Business Software Alliance and compare them with the recording industry’s stance.
One interesting/insightful quote:

“I tend to be somewhat dubious about so-called lost sales estimates, because it’s not reasonable to assume that every pirated copy is a lost sale,” said Jupiter analyst, Joe Wilcox. “Additionally, the estimates assume that nobody pays, which isn’t the case.”

So the question of software piracy might be analyzed in a slightly more clueful fashion than that of music transfers. Although, the “loaf of bread” fallacy is used by the BSA too:

Software piracy is a relatively anonymous experience that can be done from the comfort of your home, but the BSA said it’s no different than walking into the local Best Buy and stealing something from them. While most people would have a problem stealing from a store, downloading a piece of software seems much easier for them.

Still, software developers quoted in this piece (or, at least, their representative) seem much more clueful than the BSA lobby group:

Adobe has heard of workarounds available at some piracy Web sites that [Adobe senior manager Licensing and Anti-Piracy] Nanavati said do appear to work. However, as with the other companies, Adobe’s first concern is for its customers, not stopping every person that wants to steal its software.

Sure, these all contrast with the ideals of the Free Software moverment/groups/philosophy. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that Bill Gates was one of the first to propose a business model on selling PC software. Like music becoming a commodity (as opposed to, say, an art), software code has become the basis for a huge economy. Sure, some people got rich through both processes. But how did humanity become richer through software has little to do with end-user license agreements.

Ah, well…


CIA in UK Anthropology Classes

Times: CIA outrages UK academics/anthropologists

The Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (Prisp) funded anthropology students by up to $50,000 each through undergraduate courses if they agreed to work for the US intelligence services when they graduate

The only thing that surprises me: didn’t we expect this to be done anyway? We’re being told that the CIA reads our work and that they’ve taken anthro classes. Aren’t people allowed to take our classes even if their goals clashes with the goals of the discipline?