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The Longest Now

Google makeover
Monday March 29th 2004, 10:33 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

Nice new face on Google today — but then, you’ve probably noticed already.

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Transmitting the Word through Air
Monday March 29th 2004, 6:20 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

IT conversations is a lovely site full of audio interviews with the technorati  (including our very own aegrumet!), and this week focuses on the 48-hour conversion of Larry Lessig‘s new and spellbinding work, Free Culture — released under a CC license — as audio recordings made by various interested individuals.

For the discussion of who is recording which segments of the book, visit AKMA‘s afterthought on the subject (where some of the aggregated playlists of multiple chapters can be found), and the original post that started it all (where the latest list of contributors lies).  

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CIA Open Source Notification System
Monday March 29th 2004, 11:24 am
Filed under: chain-gang

Awesome.  Realtime commit logs, broadcast on one low-overhead channel.  A great improvement over the old CIA Mailing List Server.  I wonder how easy it is for log-browsers to filter out only those messages relating to operatives you care about…

CIA Open Source Notification System …

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Reality Publishing
Friday March 26th 2004, 12:00 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

A revolution in how books are organized, edited, and published…‘ — distributed collaborative publishing, with what seems to be a decent collection of printing and design know-how.  Their first book?  The collected stories of Dean grassroots supporters.

Reality Publishing …

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CLOSE THIS WINDOW NOW! (This blog is no longer work-safe)
Friday March 26th 2004, 7:43 am
Filed under: international

Now embedding: the world’s greatest ad for swearing.  Care of the ever-loving blue-eyed channel4… you have to say it just like that.

CLOSE THIS WINDOW NOW! (This blog is no longer work-safe) …

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Heiroglyph generator now freely available
Thursday March 25th 2004, 1:33 pm
Filed under: international

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own string of heiroglyphs, you should check out the international standard for abbreviating a heiroglyph chain in the latin character-set, and then visit heiro, a lovely heiroglyph generator whose output you can use however you please.

Heiroglyph generator now freely available …

German Primers online: Last Wikiplug for a while
Wednesday March 24th 2004, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory

Well, my infatuation is only growing stronger, but I think I’ll go back to posting about communication and general dissemination of ideas and hold off on the wikilinks for a while.  First, however, I want to share one of the recent results of the Wikibooks project:  A colorful, neatly laid-out German primer for English-speakers, with audio files and external references (to websites and texts), broken into three levels of advancement.  In all, this is probably the equivalent of a full year of university German; I suppose that means that in print the text(s) would run you some $60. 

This trio of texts is complete now, though still undergoing quiet improvements; the project to develop this book was begun six months ago.  Of course many of the people who contributed had been gatharing their own private notes and images for years prior to that, but this is how life goes — 99% of all usefully-collated information gets packed up in a box and eventually recycled… as tree pulp, not as information.  A non-rival award of two oofm to those who reuse such order instead.

German Primers online: Last Wikiplug for a while …

Britannica compared to WP
Wednesday March 24th 2004, 8:16 am
Filed under: popular demand

This article includes perhaps the first public comparison of Britannica vs. our favorite underdog, the free encyclopedia. It is only a backhanded reference to Wikipedia, but there it is.  (And I find it awfully unfortunate that sales of encyclopedias are down, in general; I consider the Britannica one of the great successes of modern information stewardship.)

Britannica compared to WP …

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Creative Commons RDF-Enhanced search
Tuesday March 23rd 2004, 1:24 pm
Filed under: popular demand

Just what the doctor ordered for Easter.  You know you’ve been wanting to drive this baby around the block a few times…

Creative Commons RDF-Enhanced search …

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Biological Photonic Crystals
Thursday March 18th 2004, 2:36 am
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory

Coming soon to a Main Page near you:  the most commonly-observed photonic crystalline lattice, in living color.

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Hypertext Transfer Protocol: Commentary
Wednesday March 17th 2004, 1:01 am
Filed under: indescribable

Re: HTTP 1.1 : “I am seeking ladies…

Hypertext Transfer Protocol: Commentary …

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Texas DUI campaign and Jacqui
Tuesday March 16th 2004, 1:17 am
Filed under: indescribable

A bizarre and striking anti-DUI campaign running in Texas, using before and after photos of a Venezuelan who was greatly disfigured by burns received in an accident that also killed two of her fellow passengers.  Both she and the driver, who was 18 then and served part of his 7-year sentence before joining her to campaign against drunk driving, can be seen in TV spots, on posters, and on her website,  Not for the faint of heart.  Thank goodness that’s not a problem in Texas.

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Librarianesque content
Thursday March 11th 2004, 7:26 pm
Filed under: metrics

Jessica sez there’s buzz in various circles about a librarianesque content-related topic, as distinct from topics related to content that is educatoresque, information manageresque, etc.

Discussion Leader: Baumgart?; location: Harvard campus somewhere;  audience: people, librarians and otheresque, interested in developments in librarianship via blogging in the present decade of fast-paced technological diversification.

On artificial borders, names, and cliques
Tuesday March 09th 2004, 9:20 pm
Filed under: indescribable

…the Algerian gov wants me to get an identity card. But when I do, I will be Algerian citizen. When I move across the sahara, where I and my ancestors have been living for generations, I happen to cross the Nigerian border. I am Nigerian as much as Algerian. I am first Bedu, and I need to move to live. Why should I have to ask the right to cross this border to Nigeria, since the Sahara on either side is my home ?  
                                 —a Bedu, speaking to Anthere(?)

What antidote to categorization, identification, vocalization, in instances where it detracts from meaning more than it adds to it?  What counteracting force, idea, substance?

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Chinese proverbs
Tuesday March 09th 2004, 6:14 am
Filed under: international

At least two of you will understand how excited I was to find this article.  The link to it I saw on someone else’s page paused while using “hua she tian zu” in context to toss it off, after a mention of how indescribable certain idioms are.  In an orderly world, focused, rhythmic proverbs can forestall chaos.

List of Chinese proverbs …

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Passion Pure
Sunday March 07th 2004, 7:59 pm
Filed under: popular demand

I love the way people keep underestimating Gibson‘s The Passion.

It wouldn’t take much to note that we haven’t had a major worldwide passion play for a long time, that such plays have always been a source of public reflection, entertainment, and discussion, and that this taps into wellsprings which somehow people have skirted in modern media.  [considering how many little passion plays are put on with great regularity across Europe, you’d think there would at least be more mainstream novellas and cartoons and indy theatre performances of variations on this theme across this country and the Christian world.]

Now that it’s clear this will be Gibson’s most famous and successful endeavour, and that it is already a massive success, people could acknowledge that it will become an instant classic, and be similarly successful on a 6-month timescale and after it goes to video.  so I would think.   But the current projections (it’s already passed $200M in gross in 2 weekends) are merely that it will “eventually gross over $300M”.  Excuse me?  Say what?  Eventually as in “by April”, right?  I have no doubt that this will eventually top $1B in worldwide sales.  Not only has there been nothing like it for decades, there is nothing like it in the works — even if other filmmakers change their tune and start trying to follow in its footsteps, it will take many years for that to happen.

My prediction, based on how funding for this movie worked out:  Gibson ends up on the Forbes “billionnaires of the world” list within 5 years.  Let’s hear it for putting your money where your dreams are.

And, for the record, I haven’t seen it yet and have no idea whether it could reasonably be considered “anti-Semitic”, but I doubt it was conceived or will be remembered that way.

Passion Pure …

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500,000 arts in 50 langs
Sunday March 07th 2004, 9:05 am
Filed under: indescribable

Check out the latest amazing Wikipedia press release.  What they don’t mention is that the site will soon be one of the 500 most-visited sites on the Web, an OM more popular than the Brittanica site, and significantly more popular than big community sites like Slashdot.

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