So I've got all this bad hypertext lying around. What'll you give me for
it? Bids start at $700 billion.
- Of all the Paul Newman obits I've read, and there have been plenty
in recent days, Dahlia
Lithwick's is probably the best, with its personal look at the man's
love for philanthropy.
- A while back, John Scalzi wrote something interesting about writing
for licensed properties--stuff like the Star Wars Expanded
Universe novels: if a writer announced that they were going to write an
episode for a TV show, he said, we'd no doubt congratulate them even
though it's basically the same situation. With that in mind, I found
Karen Traviss's comments
on her love for writing tie-ins to be really interesting.
- The reporters behind the "Giant Pool of Money" piece explaining the
mortgage crisis have done another story on the commercial paper crunch
at NPR's Planet
Money. Also in that program, hilariously, is an interview with a
libertarian who thinks that the problem has been too much
regulation. Thus proving that no matter what the story, American
journalists can always find somebody completely insane and unqualified
to comment on it.
- The White African blog is one of my new favorite reads. Partially
because of a series of posts on innovation (If
It Works In Africa, It Will Work Anywhere", "Afridex:
An Index of African Tech Startups") making the point that the
continent is a vastly fertile zone for repurposing and inventing
technology in cool ways, contrary to the typical Western perception. But
I'm also grateful that it introduced me to Afrigadget, a kind of Boing Boing
for Africa without the breathless tone or the endless Disneyland posts.
- Also vastly cool is FrontlineSMS, which is not a
text message-based heartworm treatment, but a free solution for NGOs
looking to run information campaigns, polls, and other mass
communication over cell networks.
- The news went out the other day that Valve will start putting
Source mods on Steam. I have to say, the most interesting part of the
recent resurgence in DRM debate, precipitated by Spore, has been
the redemption of Steam. When the service first came out, people were
unbelievably upset that their copy of HL2 had to be associated
with this buggy, bandwidth-hogging monster. Nowadays, the service has
become the very model of how to do DRM and electronic delivery right,
due in large part to a set of features--unified chat APIs, easy game
reinstallation, discount weekend sales--that are pro-consumer.
- Michael Berube, author of a number of insightful posts as well as
the highly-recommended What's Liberal about the Liberal Arts? has
resumed writing at his personal