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March 11, 2009

Filed under: random»linky

Link Forward, Fall Back

Thanks to daylight savings time and the user interface engineers at JVC, my car radio's clock is wrong for about six months out of the year.

  • The 10 Unexpected Costs of Owning Things, via Brinstar. A great, thought-provoking list.
  • Although I've read Making Light for years now, I wasn't aware that co-author Theresa Nielsen Hayden was an ex-Mormon. Her story of being excommunicated from the church, "God and I", is typically funny and surprisingly good-humored.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the "Red Mars" series and other books, has written an editorial on the "multigenerational ponzi scheme" of modern capitalism in the face of environmental change at What Matters. This ties in nicely with Jamais Cascio's post the other day about eliminating the phrase 'long-term' from our thinking. Robinson is not the only one arguing for a serious reevaluation of capitalist markets: Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen considers the question in the New York Review of Books.
  • Speaking of Robinson, his publishers at Random House have joined Baen and Tor with a free e-book library that includes "Red Mars" and four other titles at this time. They're also available on Kindle for free at the moment, as well as several other e-reader formats like PDF, LIT, and Stanza. Unsurprisingly, these are all the first books from series--I guess it's finally becoming clear that this is a really good way to hook readers.
  • So you've just released a videogame into the middle of a racism controversy. What's the best way to publicize it? How about a scavenger hunt for fake body parts scattered through London, culminating with players gathering on a bridge and shouting nonsense words in Swahili in the hopes of winning a trip to Africa? Words fail me. (via Pandagon) Also from the comments in that thread: there is nothing racist in this screenshot.
  • To be clear, that's definitely me being sarcastic about that last link.
  • Video from the Aid Watch conference in New York has been posted. I really enjoyed this clip of June Arunga talking about getting business funding for ventures in Africa, and the difficulties of fighting Western perceptions.
  • The Berkman Center at Harvard has hosted a couple of very interesting speakers in the last couple of weeks. Al Gidari, of the Perkins Cole law firm, speaks on cell phones and location privacy--in other words, who can track you by your phone, and what protections do you have? This is a matter of no small interest to many activists. Also, Gene Koo discusses games as learning environments for ethics. For whatever reason, Berkman insists on using a Quicktime plugin for its videos, but it's definitely worth pulling the link open (you've got Firebug installed, right?) and using VLC to watch them.
  • The guy who runs 4chan can foster almost every prominent Internet meme, but he can't get a job.
  • "Finally, local man sees Jesus in a sandwich/floorboard/cat/etc." for more than six minutes. But remember, it's the Internet that's killing journalism.
  • Android continues to get better applications than any other smartphone platform--in this case, Torrent Droid is a program that scans the UPC on a movie or CD with the camera, searches for a torrent on the major trackers, and then sends it to uTorrent for downloading. More and more, the only thing keeping me from switching is the mayfly battery life.
  • More as events warrant.

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