Monday, January 22, 2007

Gotta Whole Lotta Links!

Been busy. Here's what's attracted my attention during the brief moments I've been able to lift my head above water.

First, some articles on news and Internet video.

"This is just the beginning of the local push. But surprisingly, local television is standing flat-footed while key local niches and their corresponding revenue pools are captured by the pure plays. In a few cases, stations are cutting content-for-revenue deals, but this is only a partial, case-by-case solution. In the next 2 to 4 years, if local TV doesn’t aggressively launch innovative new products into key local niches, its interactive revenue will plateau at a shockingly small share. So small, it will only scratch the surface in offsetting the decline in television ad revenue."

"Chatting with colleagues about "hyperlocal" journalism as the future of newspapers, I finally came up with the right metaphor for a phenomenon we all experience: that our interest in a subject is in inverse proportion to its distance (geographic, emotional or otherwise) from us.

For instance, the news that my daughter got a scraped knee on the playground today means more to me than a car bombing in Kandahar."

Nothing particularly new in Chris Anderson's idea, but the comments are worth a read.

"Station CEO Kevin Page says that making segments available on YouTube is easier and faster than burning DVDs of segments that viewers call to request copies of. It also allows viewers to subscribe and receive notices whenever a new segment is available. Page reportedly hopes to sell ads at the end of the segments in the future - we’ll see how that goes over."

Some guys at work had this idea last year that we should be putting all our news items on Google Video. I still think it's worth putting the files somewhere under your control, but I completely agree with the idea of making the video shareable.

Onto other topics...

Every year these guys ask the world's top thinkers to answer a question of relevance. This year, in a world that seems to be falling apart, they asked these people what they were optimistic about for the future.

While conventional wisdom tells us that things are bad and getting worse, scientists and the science-minded among us see good news in the coming years. That's the bottom line of an outburst of high-powered optimism gathered from the world-class scientists and thinkers who frequent the pages of Edge, in an ongoing conversation among third culture thinkers."

So long as we're in a thinking mood,

"My definition of an 'intellectual' also requires explanation. To me an intellectual in this context is an expert generalist -- a polymath or jack-of-all-trades who sees and understands the Big Picture both past, present and future. While I value and respect the work of specialists, they can be frustratingly out of touch with other disciplines and some of the more broader applications of science, technology and philosophy. Given the obvious truism that nobody can know everything, there is still great value in having individuals understand a diverse set of key principles."

Continuing his future thinking informal series on his LJ.

"Arphid ink. Or, rather RFID ink - Radio Frequency ID ink. Its existence was announced at the start of the week. Through some arcane method, information is encoded into a substance that acts as a RFID sounder and uses fine mammal hairs as its antennae...
Sooner or later, someone's going to get hold of RFID ink, and figure out how to encode it, and tattoo it on to themselves. They're going to walk around with complete knowledge of where and how often we get pinged for RFID tags -- and their tats will send a message back to those systems.

Silly-season newspaper story for 2012: anti-shoplifting systems at major stores will find their report documents filling up with the broadcasted phrase FUCK YOU.


Because IPTables is Fun!

"My neighbours are stealing my wireless internet access. I could encrypt it or alternately I could have fun.
I'm starting here by splitting the network into two parts, the trusted half and the untrusted half. The trusted half has one netblock, the untrusted a different netblock. We use the DHCP server to identify mac addresses to give out the relevant addresses...
we set iptables to forward everything to a transparent squid proxy running on port 80 on the machine.
That machine runs squid with a trivial redirector that downloads images, uses mogrify to turn them upside down and serves them out of it's local webserver."

Now that's clever.

Want to know where you fit into the political spectrum? Why not try the...

According to the table, I sit somewhere on the border between libertarian and liberal. Sounds about right.

And while we're discussing "Thinking So You Don't Have To...", here's what Ze Frank's likely to be doing after "The Show" completes its season this March.

"So Mr. Frank has decided since then to focus on feature films for his first foray into the mainstream. But don’t worry, netizens! He swears he’ll never ditch the Web."

My guess of "Internet Cult Guru" is a little off I suppose.

Now it's time for some fun. First up, because I love remix trailers so much, here's Casino Royale... starring Tom Hanks.

God as you've never seen him before.

Another comic to add to the list.

Every day it's the same picture. Only the text changes.

Onto the lists! First up, Maxim magazine's list of

Not sure I agree with all the clips they show, but there's some damn fine ass-kicking moments.

Continuing with the lists,

"There is a scene in Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men when Theo, the selfish and well-soused anti-hero, enters his cousin's luxurious London aerie and is greeted by two growling dogs -- Cerberus, anyone? -- guarding Michaelangelo's David, the left leg of which is held together by a bone-like steel joist. Theo then sits down to lunch beneath Picaso's Guernica and afterwards takes in the window view, which includes a massive reproduction of the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals.

It is a disturbing scene cluttered with art-turned-tchotchke. And When Theo asks his cousin, amid all this gratuitous opulence, how he lives without hope for the future, his cousin replies "The truth is, I just don't think about it."

Below, in top ten order -- but not including Children of Men (we practice a year's moratorium on adding anything to a movie top ten list) -- are Reel Pop's favorite dystopian films."

Includes GoogTube clips.

Getting close now.

Looking at the Original Trilogy in light of the Prequels.

"If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon, then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels. As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2.

Consider: at the end of RotS, Bail Organan orders 3PO's memory wiped but not R2's. He wouldn't make the distinction casually. Both droids know that Yoda and Obi-Wan are alive and are plotting sedition with the Senator from Alderaan. They know that Amidala survived long enough to have twins and could easily deduce where they went. However, R2 must make an impassioned speech to the effect that he is far more use to them with his mind intact: he has observed Palpatine and Anakin at close quarters for many years, knows much that is useful and is one of the galaxy's top experts at hacking into other people's systems. Also he can lie through his teeth with a straight face. Organa, in immediate need of espionage resources, agrees."

A wonderful High Dynamic Range image of the Tokyo Cityscape on Flickr.

Click on the image for access to the full picture.

And finally, everything I have wanted to say about this stupidity involving the supposed "horror and outcry" over the BDO's request to patrons to keep the Australian flag at home this weekend.

"I have many fond memories of my various Big Days Out: sooky Goths stomping around in the heat as their make-up melts in the lead up to Nine Inch Nails; disgusting sauce-covered Dagwood Dogs and loads of Hare Krishna nosh falling off pitifully inadequate environmentally-friendly plates; Frenzal Rhomb's gleeful destruction of comedy effigies of politicians; singing The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love with Andrew G in a brief moment of televisual infamy; and, of course, the music.

You'll note that not one of those happy reminiscences included "Being given a spray by brick-headed tools insisting I 'kiss the flag!' or face the consequences."

This is not about being "ashamed" of Our Flag, as so many quick-to-froth nationalists will wail. It is about admitting the connection between the flag and its use as a symbol of hate/anger/patriotism/whatever by a very ugly, but unfortunately very real, portion of our population. Commentators may call them "troublemakers"; pollies call them "un-Australian"; I call them "dickheads"."

And on that note I head back into my shell, preparing for the big move out of Toowong. Doubt I'll have any more to say for a short while.


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