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Current Topic: Technology

Tinkering to the future
Topic: Technology 2:27 pm EDT, May 31, 2009

Alex Pang:

Tinkering is about seizing the moment: it is about ad-hoc learning, getting things done, innovation and novelty, all in a highly social, networked environment. Tinkering is a bit like jazz.

Today we tinker with things; tomorrow, we will tinker with the world.

The counterculture is one important influence on tinkering; so is computer hacking, with its casual contempt for established authority, deep respect for arcane technical skills, and refined love of imaginative jokes.

Consumption encourages you to just react; the more thoughtlessly the better. Tinkering forces you to reflect, to learn from your experience, to think about why something has worked or failed, and to consider the possibilities before you.

Tinkering to the future

Why the free software community cares about The Pirate Bay : northxsouth : free software news from latiN AMErica
Topic: Technology 6:35 am EDT, May 28, 2009

We are currently living in a historical moment which will define and shape digital rights and information freedom on the internet for generations to come. It’s one of those rare moments where the issue is black and white and where the two opposing camps can be identified without over-simplifying the issue. On one side, there are those fighting for the information revolution’s culture of sharing, co-operation and the public commons. On the other side is a powerful, industry cartel who would stomp out the commons to salvage proprietary information that they can buy and own.

It’s for this reason that the global free and open source software community has been paying close attention to specific battles which could have significant ramifications within this overall conflict. Right now, one of those battles involves a website operated in Sweden called The Pirate Bay. The website’s founders Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm & Carl Lundström have recently been found guilty of criminally providing “assistance to copyright infringement.” They were sentenced to one year in prison and have been fined $3.62 million USD. Their website, like hundreds of thousands of other websites, provides a search interface for files available using the peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol, designed by Bram Cohen of San Francisco, California in 2001.

The trial against The Pirate Bay has highlighted a number of important issues related to digital freedom. It has shined a light on the corruption between corporate lobbyists and the judicial systems that decide the public’s fate — just after the trial ended, the defense found out that the judge, Tomas Norström, is a board member for a Swedish association which has lobbied for stronger copyright laws and also belongs to a couple other copyright-oriented organizations. The defense has filed a request for a new trial based on the judge’s conflict of interest.

Why the free software community cares about The Pirate Bay : northxsouth : free software news from latiN AMErica

FLISOL 2009: Hundreds of cities in 18 Latin American countries to host install fests! : northxsouth : free software news from latin america
Topic: Technology 8:19 am EDT, Apr 30, 2009

Every install fest is free of charge in every location and they also include lectures, presentations and workshops.

FLISOL 2009: Hundreds of cities in 18 Latin American countries to host install fests! : northxsouth : free software news from latin america

Access to telecommunications declared a human right by ALBA : northxsouth : free software news from latin america
Topic: Technology 8:17 am EDT, Apr 30, 2009

telecommunications services should be declared human rights and cannot be subject to private deal or marketed by the World Trade Organization. These services are and should be essentially public utilities of universal access.

Access to telecommunications declared a human right by ALBA : northxsouth : free software news from latin america

Barbelith Underground - Books, Criticism & Writing - EBooks - are you interested, tempted, bored, indifferent, eager?
Topic: Technology 6:35 pm EDT, Apr 26, 2009

Popular (on google) blog entry offers criticism of current state of ebooks.

I think the main things preventing ebook use becoming more popular are:

- DRM and format wars. There is a proliferation of competing formats, generally with DRM over the top, so whichever reader you go for you are never going to get access to all of the available content. Whilst hacks and converters are available, when I was looking to find a way of converting my Liaden books into a newer format that I could use with my BeBook the website which originally sold them having gone out of business , several hours of online research persuaded me that this would be too difficult.

- cost and breadth of content. ebooks offered for sale are currently priced on a very similar level to paper books, so there s not much price incentive to buy digitally although the key retailers I ve seen have a points-type loyalty scheme . For example there still seems to be the hardback/paperback pricing difference even in digital format. I have no idea if this is driven by royalties or DRM issues, but in any event it s a subtantial barrier to entry. Similarly the range of ebooks you can get does not match up to printed books so if you re looking for something specific or maybe older, it might be difficult or even impossible to find digitally.

- no second hand market - once you ve read an ebook you can t really give it or sell it on to someone else. This is another reason why the pricing hasn t been particularly challenged.

I think until there s a similar threat to the publishing industry s revenue models as was experienced with MP3s, these issues are unlikely to be sorted out, at least not in favour of the consumer.

Barbelith Underground - Books, Criticism & Writing - EBooks - are you interested, tempted, bored, indifferent, eager?

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write
Topic: Technology 6:27 pm EDT, Apr 26, 2009

Steven Johnson:

The book's migration to the digital realm will not be a simple matter of trading ink for pixels, but will likely change the way we read, write and sell books in profound ways. It will make it easier for us to buy books, but at the same time make it easier to stop reading them. It will expand the universe of books at our fingertips, and transform the solitary act of reading into something far more social. It will give writers and publishers the chance to sell more obscure books, but it may well end up undermining some of the core attributes that we have associated with book reading for more than 500 years.

There is great promise and opportunity in the digital-books revolution. The question is: Will we recognize the book itself when that revolution has run its course?

Samantha Power:

There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

Bruce Sterling:

"Poor folk love their cellphones!"

Have you seen Readernaut?

Share your reading experience by writing notes, tracking progress, and engaging in meaningful discussions with friends.

Got about halfway through the article

Interesting, but kinda reads like an ad placement for the Kindle service.
I want this technology to come about so bad. Kindle's display is fantastic, but if you want to read a free book you got for yourself online, you have to transmit it over the Kindle network, they don't tell you that in this article. And, BTW, will it become like MS's Zune, where if there is no DRM imprimitur the thing wont let you read it after 72 hours.
Of course, if anybody knows of a FREE portable book and document reader, I am DYING to hear of it.

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

Propeller Chip General Information
Topic: Technology 10:23 am EDT, Apr 26, 2009

This amazed me, now microcontrollers boast eight 32 bit cores!
If you visit their site, check out the audio of four part harmony (each part having it's own core, I believe.)

...Its eight processors cogs can operate simultaneously, either independently or cooperatively, sharing common resources through a central hub. The developer has full control over how and when each cog is employed; there is no compiler-driven or operating system-driven splitting of tasks among multiple cogs.
...Two programming languages are available: the easy-to-learn high-level Spin, and Propeller Assembly which can execute at up to 160 MIPS 20 MIPS per cog .
Who uses the Propeller?
Due to its diversity, the Propeller Chip may be used for many types of applications. Most users appreciate the overall processing power and I/O capabilities. Hobbyists like the powerful yet easy language while robot builders and process control engineers appreciate the parallel processing capabilities. Many find the on-board video generation and easy connection to popular PC peripherals reduces the need for additional support components.

Where is the Propeller used?
The Propeller is used in many industries including manufacturing, process control, robotics, automotive and communications. Hobbyists and Engineers alike are finding new uses for this powerful microcontroller every day.

This came to my attention listening to a podcast on embedded linux. The thing that interested the podcasters was that this chip was designed without circuitry for interrupts. The company says that during the design, the engineers saw interrupts as a band-aid for not having enough cores, so they killed the interrupts, and put in eight cores. Other features are on-board video generation. All on one chip. Far out!

Propeller Chip General Information

Deepgeek reviews "listgarden" for Hacker Public Radio
Topic: Technology 2:44 pm EDT, Apr  5, 2009

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 18:21:11 GMT: Hacker Public Radio #330 released.
Hpr0330:Deepgeek reviews the software Listgarden, which makes rss feeds a cinch to generate. Deepgeek also announces to the HPR community his new show Talk Geek To Me.

Deepgeek reviews "listgarden" for Hacker Public Radio

Niche Social Networking Sites from Social Media Answers
Topic: Technology 10:14 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2009

Find here a review of many "niche" social networking sites.

first, anybody want to check any of these out?
Secondly, can we get on this list?


It is amazing how quick niche social networks have grown. I am attempting to review, catalog, and monitor these sites. Below is an ever growing list of niche social networking sites. (I am including sites that are built on community building sites like Ning.) Also I have included links to my review of these sites so you can help determine where you want to build a profile and participate. If there isn’t a review I just haven’t gotten to it yet… This list will be continually updated and tweaked.

Niche Social Networking Sites from Social Media Answers

Talk Geek To Me
Topic: Technology 8:20 pm EDT, Apr  3, 2009

Pimping myself, here

I wish to announce my new podcast

OK, a new user, but I did not just come here to advertise myself.
I originally heard of this place on Binary Revolution and when
I wanted to do some high tech "social networking" stuff, I remembered
Memestreams and decided to go through with it.

Perhaps some of you have heard of
"Hacker Public Radio"
. Well, I've been doing that, and just started my
independent podcast, and wanted to announce it in case there was any interest.

Talk Geek To Me

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