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January 29, 2009

Filed under: random»linky

Link for Sale

In these troubled economic times, only lists of random novelties can save us.

  • Posted without comment: Congressional Quarterly up for sale.
  • Philosecurity has an interview with the guy who coded the invasive adware for Direct Revenue. First question: "You wrote adware. You bastard." Actually includes an interesting confession of how, lobster-like, he was gradually eased into increasingly unethical practices. He retains a surprising amount of faith in mankind for someone who effectively wrote rootkits to sell ads.
  • English Russia has become one of the more interesting items in my RSS reader. I really like their recent post on "moon currency" that some Russian photoshoppers invented.
  • Speaking of foreign bloggers: while I was adding a lot of development tech writers to my feed, I noticed that relatively few of them were native Africans--there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I felt like it would be nice to have a more diverse viewpoint, so I've been looking for good, accessible African bloggers. One of my favorites so far is What An African Woman Thinks, which is based in Kenya and is very funny. I particularly liked her inauguration fever post.
  • I just can't quit you, OLPC: Cory Doctorow defends the program in the Guardian, including a few shots at the development-via-mobile model. He has a point about making sure that phone networks and technology are open to innovation, but the rest of it is typically overcooked. Here's the money quote: "Poverty and its associated problems - hunger, poor health, lack of education and disenfranchisement - are fundamentally information problems." Fundamentally? Seriously? Cory, with all due respect, people aren't starving to death because they can't get to Wikipedia. There's no magic bullet (or, in Doctorow's laughable phrase, "pedagogical and development wonder-boxes") for poverty, which is one of the key reasons for the OLPC's failure. Why is that so hard to understand?
  • Also in development: author William Easterly has begun a blog, kicking it off with a great post about the Davos "Refugee Run": an event that invites participants at the World Economic Forum to "EXPERIENCE LIFE AS A REFUGEE IN DAVOS!" That's right: poverty tourism fused with a team-building exercise.
  • From Matt Stevens, Bill Bailey plays the Doctor Who theme as Belgian club jazz.
  • I've started playing Disgaea DS. I have no idea what in the world is going on with this game.

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