Ray knows a thing or two about respect. And about applied anthropology.
Monthly Archives: February 2007
If passed, the FAIR USE Act will amend the DMCA to codify recent exceptions granted to the anti-circumvention rules by the Register of Copyrights, which include some allowances for obsolete technologies and cell phone unlocking.
Doesn’t sound like a whole lot, especially since the bill specifically does not address some of the most controversial parts of the DMCA. But if codifying fair use is the goal (as fair use is not yet guaranteed, in the United States), maybe this bill can shake things up at least a bit.
It’s quite interesting to see how a large majority of citizens agree that things need to change yet a handful of corporate entities enforce the status quo without much apparent effort.
It’s also quite funny how many bills in the U.S. have acronyms designed to work as expressions. This one is: Freedom And Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007. Catchy!
Talk about chilling effects…
Interesting that the NYT should take this issue on. Because of its readership, it might have an impact. Many researchers have, in fact, been having these discussions, including in ethnographic disciplines.
Watched George Stroumboulopoulos’s The Hour last night. He did an interview with Canada’s Auditor General Sheila Fraser who is widely known for her role in unveiling the sponshorship scandal which rocked Canadian politics during the past few years.
Not sure what other people’s reaction has been but, the first time I saw Fraser, her approach and behaviour impressed me as heroic. I don’t tend to have heroes, idols, or even role models (apart from my mother, my paternal grand-mother, and my wife). But I’m touched by people’s sense of duty and Fraser seems to have exactly that.
This isn’t to say that Fraser is a better person than anybody else. But there’s something truly glorious about her work. Maybe there’s something in her attitude which oozes both self-confidence and selflessness. At any rate, I get the feeling that we need more people like her. And I wish she won’t go into partisan politics.
What’s interesting here is that, in her interview with Stroumboulopoulos, Fraser addressed the issue of how chartered accountants (CAs) are perceived. Typically, accountants are thought to be boring, uncool people. Currently, there’s a campaign in Quebec to fight this perception. Some ad agency (Cossette, most likely) has been putting posters in metro cars with actual CAs pictured as glamourous Stars on the covers of fake gossip magazines. There’s also a TV show about CAs (haven’t watched it but it seems to approach the same idea of glamour).
Can glamour backfire on the definition of what a CA should be?
In anthropology, we often have the “Indiana Jones Effect” as people take anthropology to be all about a sense of adventure. There’s also the “CSI Effect” about forensics, which influences the way some people interpret forensic evidence.
Mass media may tend to produce heroes of a specific kind. Is this process detrimental to the type of heroism displayed by Sheila Fraser and, say, Louise Arbour?
Is heroism defined by the epic genre or is the epic genre defined by heroic characters?
Catherine and I have a lot to celebrate. Her recent offer from Austin, her less recent doctoral defense, ten years of living together… We had promised ourselves one truly good restaurant meal. In fact, this promise was made several times over the past year or so but we had never been able to fulfill it. Continue reading
Latest in the line of corporations getting a clue, Swiss pharmaceutical Novartis releases data it can’t process alone:
For its part, the NIH has suggested making this kind of free access the standard operating procedure for all of its genetic research.
And I mean that in a positive, optimistic, hopeful, idealistic way.
Been pretty busy recently. Have a bunch of things to read and catch up with. So this’ll just be a series of links. I feel they’re all related, in a way…
- Apple – Thoughts on Music
- Rethinking Academia
- Jazz Liveliness Online
- RIAA’s Creative Accounting on CD Prices
Will the GBN jump in now or did it do so already?
Who said anthropologists were out of the loop?
Web 2.0 in just under 5 minutes.
Hey, blog-brothers and sisters!
Feel free to put a plug to your blog, here. Doesn’t even need to rhyme.
Got the idea from YULBlog last night and thought it might be neat. (Besides, it’s a shameless attempt at getting more comments and/or pings.)
Though it might not seem so obvious, I’m longing for comments… 😉
Aux blogueurs, carnettiers, carnettistes et cornettistes.. Y compris ceux de YULBlog.
Ploguez votre blogue (carnet, billet, journal personnel, fluegelhorn) ici. Même pas besoin de rimes… 😉
Waiting for Google’s presentation app, I tried some of the other suggestions contained here:
Google prepping presentation product | Webware : Cool web apps for everyone
I had already prepared my presentation in “the application that should remain nameless but has a name rhyming in ‘Showerpoint’,” so I didn’t want to rebuild it from scratch.
Thumstacks looked perfect for my needs (I specifically do clean, simple presentations for my classes). Unfortunately, I couldn’t see a way to import content directly (maybe it’s there but I didn’t have a lot of time) and, in Firefox, I couldn’t paste content from my presentation. Too bad. It would have been most excellent, I think.
Then tried Zoho Show. It imported my PPT presentation just fine (though the dialog box was confusing) and it’s exactly the kind of “web-based Show-her-point” thingie I was looking for. Except for one thing. Switching from one slide to the next was just way too slow for my needs. Maybe there’s something I did wrong but it would take several seconds to show the next slide and my students were getting anxious. So I switched back to “Flowerpoint” during the break.
Spresent looks like a neat way to prepare Flash presentations, but that’s really my thing.
ThinkFree is probably the obvious choice and I’ll try it next time.
Why use a Web app for presentations? Well, there’s the possibility of collaborating, of course. But there’s also the issue of bringing the presentation from one computer to the next. Using the classroom presentation computer, you have to get the presentation on the computer (Zoolander flashback: “The files are in the computer?”). It’d be with a USB thumbdrive but, for some reason, the computer in my classroom doesn’t have a readily accessible USB slot (and I don’t have a thumbdrive but my media player works as one).
Besides, it’s easier for me to keep a file in a central place and keep adding material to it.
To me, the killer app is the outliner. A web-based outliner that could do presentations would be a wonderful tool, for me. It would fit sooooo well with my workflow, I would swoon.
So… Erm… Is there such a thing already? Pleeeeez?
I quite enjoy being powerless. Much more comfortable. And fun.
What’s more, nothing you say can nor will be used against you in a court of social capital.
Let’s hear it for power-free humanism!
Completely unsolicited, of course. In no particular order.
- Malian tô millet and sauce dish
- Chungking Express poetic movie
- Lamb sandwich from l’Olivier at Jean-Talon Market
- Oregon, long-lived and eclectic Jazz band
- Boris Vian
- Ripe Brillat-Savarin cheese from Atwater Market
- West Africa
- Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories
- Mussels marinère with Belgian beer
- Open Access policies for academic texts
- French Chanson
- Quality beer and all-you-can-eat ribs at Redbones
- Geeky conversations
- Beef banh mi from Nhu Lan on Saint-Zotique
- Cultural awareness
- Flemish Red ales
- Geek culture
- Orval tart and bitter Belgian ale
- Peter Sellers’s Being There
- Free/Libre Open Source Software movement
- Reblochon cheese from Migros
- Myst-like adventure games
- Lactancia My Country unsalted butter
- PalmOS (GarnetOS) devices
- Le Paltoquet French theater-like movie
- Mort Subite gueuze on tap at Pianissimo
- Mountainous regions
- RJ Coup de grisou buckwheat ale
- TuniZika Tunisian music podcast
- Pieces of dry beef («rebibes») from Migros
- Apple computers
- Ripe avocados from Atlantic Superstore in June 2003
- Calabash Music "fair-trade" music store
- Hunting Island, SC
- Freshly-baked bread rolls from Doré mie
- Well-Rounded Radio open-minded music podcast
- View of Lake Leman from the BFSH2 building
- Sea scallops
I admit: I am a User. A Mac User.
Oh, not that I use a Mac right now. But I’ll probably remain a Mac User all my life.
“Hello, my name is Alex and I’m a Macaholic.”
One year after being forced to switch to an entry-level Windows XP desktop computer, I still have withdrawal symptoms from my days as a full-time Mac User. I get goosebumps while thinking of the possibilities afforded users of Mac OS X. I occasionally get my fix of Mac goodness by spending time on my wife’s 2001 iBook (Dual USB). And, basically, I think like someone who spent the last ten years on a variety of Macintosh models (Mac Plus, iBook, SE/30, Mac IIvx…).
With this addiction, it might be unsurprising that it took me so long to do what any Windows user would have done while buying a computer: getting more RAM.
I finally did exactly that, when I got my first paycheck for the semester. Got a 512MB DIMM a couple of weeks ago and it transformed my PC-using life from a nightmare into something comfortably dull and uninteresting. Not bad for an $80 purchase:
What took me so long? Well, when I went from running Mac OS X 10.3 on a 2001 laptop with a G3 at 500MHz, 384MB, and very little free disk space to running XPSP2 on a 2006 desktop with a Sempron at 2GHz, 512MB, and quite a bit of free disk space, I assumed the new machine would run at least as fast as the old one. When it failed to do so (I would get unbelievably slow response with only Firefox and iTunes as the main apps opened), I started blaming myself more than the lack of RAM. I had noticed a similar lack of performance on some Windows machines in offices in which I had worked in the past. Though I did notice that my pagefile was growing frequently and that many issues I had seemed to be related to memory, I still thought that the fault was in my pattern of use. “Maybe running a browser and a media player at the same time isn’t a common thing to do, in the Windows world.” Oh, it wasn’t an actual reflection. But it’s a set of uneasy impressions I had. And because I didn’t have much money for RAM (and the machine didn’t cost me much in the first place), I wasn’t particularly interested in buying a DIMM just to make sure the machine is working properly.
Then my friend Alain came over, right after I had installed Office 2007. For some reason, my machine was even slower than it had ever been in the past. Extremely frustrating. Alain, a former Mac User, tried to help me investigate the problem. We did talk about RAM but we focused on defragmentation and such. Nothing really made a difference, at the time, but I gained some hope in making the machine somewhat useable.
When I bought the DIMM, the difference was immediately noticeable. In every single process. My machine is no speed demon (that’s really not what I wanted anyway) but it’s not making me want to yell every time I use it. At this point, using a few apps at the same time is almost as efficient as using the same number and type of apps on my previous iBook.
So I now have a full 1GB of RAM on my emachine H3070 and it’s performing semi-appropriately when I have two or three apps open at the same time. My life improved drastically. 🙂
Meanwhile, the Recording Industry is still creating heroes:
Teen accuses record companies of collusion – USATODAY.com
Good job, guys! Keep it up!
This one is even more exciting than the SecondLife statement.
After the announcement that the USPTO was reexamining its patents in a case against open source course management software, Blackboard incorporated is announcing that it is specifically not going to use its patents to sue open source and other non-commercial providers of course management software.
I am writing to share some exciting news about a patent pledge Blackboard is making today to the open source and home-grown course management community. We are announcing a legally-binding, irrevocable, world-wide pledge not to assert any of our issued or pending patents related to course management systems or transaction systems against the use, development or support of any open source or home-grown course management systems.
This is a major victory. Not only for developers of Moodle, Sakai, ATutor, Elgg, and Bodington course- and content-management solutions, but for anyone involved in the open and free-as-in-speech approach to education, research, technology, and law.
Even more so than in Microsoft’s case, Blackboard is making the most logical decision it could make. Makes perfect business sense: they’re generating goodwill, encouraging the world’s leading eLearning communities, and putting themselves in a Google-like “do no evil” position in the general public’s opinion. Also makes perfect legal sense as they’re acknowledging that the law is really there to protect them against misappropriation of their ideas by commercial competitors and not to crush innovation.
A small step for a corporation … a giant step for freedomkind.